Brewery Ommegang‘s newest release departs from their normal Belgian-inspired beers by creating a delightfully dark and rich Smoked Porter. This beer is all about the malt and uses a wide variety to create a flavorful porter that is about more than just the smoke. Ommegang uses pils, cara-20, munich 20, midnight wheat, chocolate malt, special B, and smoked malt to great effect. Smoked malt, if you’re not familiar, is created when malt is dried over an a wood fire. The smoke imparts a smokiness to the grain as it dries which then adds that smoke character to the finished beer. Maltsters can use a variety of different woods to create different smoke flavors. Some of the most common are Beech, Alder, & Oak.
Appearance: Black, brown head, great retention.
Aroma: Cocoa, hint of smoke, toffee, roasty, chocolate, dark fruit.
Taste: light smoke, chocolate, dried fruit, toffee.
Overall Impression: Ommegang’s Smoked Porter was a delightful beer perfect for fall and winter. Don’t let the “smoked” aspect frighten you off. This isn’t a big smoke bomb like the classic Alaska Smoked Porter. The smoked malt gives it just a kiss of smoke to add a nice extra bit of richness and complexity. While it is a malt dominant beer, it’s still very balanced and drinkable. I’m glad Ommegang decided to drift off their normal script a bit. If you’re a porter or dark beer fan, you need to jump on this one while it’s still in stores. It’s also a great beer to introduce to people who don’t like smoked beers or are unfamiliar with the style/concept. They don’t have to be powerful and overwhelming with smoke. Ommegang proves they can be a subtle accent enjoyable for all.
Availability: Nationally where Ommegang beers are sold. This release is only available for a limited time.
More of my Ommegang beer reviews can be found here.
Disclosure: This beer was sent to me by Ommegang for review. Thank You!