smoked stout


Evil Twin “Ashtray Heart”

87 B+

Ashtray Heart is a Smoked (Imperial) Stout released as a fall seasonal. Aromas give roasted barley notes that come across like Dutch cocoa, burnt coffee, wood ash, and campfire smoke. Dull caramel sweetness blends with a touch of oatmeal.

The palate makes a bittersweet beginning, where malts begin to taste like a bar of 85% dark chocolate. Light caramel rushes into richer layers of coffee, followed by subtle grain character. Sweetness is quite light for this style, especially as it backs down to make way for a tart infusion of berries and red wine. While a sensitive bitterness descends, hops manage to sneak in a minor touch of earth. All the smoke falls to the back, leaving a lasting flavor of burnt tobacco as the barley roast continues to smolder. Mouthfeel gives a smooth intro before active carbonation takes over, resulting in a coarse, bubbly texture that slowly dries out near the end.

Honestly, I think this needs a little work. When compared to the standard Double, the malts aren’t applied in the same weight I’ve grown accustomed to, so it’s not quite as zealous as I tend to prefer. Both sweetness and bitterness are unusually low, so when blended with the sour component, the balance doesn’t taste quite right. It has quick flavor decay without much overbleed, so it drinks considerably easy, especially since the alcohol is well-concealed (8.9% is a comfortable digit — not too high or too low). Overall, it’s been a real genuine “smoked” experience, but unfortunately, I don’t find a very desirable Double Stout at the core. Simply put, there are better tasting Impy Stouts sold at a cheaper price, and they have more alcohol! I think it’s at least worth trying once if have a passion for smoked brews.

$13.89 / 4-pack



Brewed in Stratford, Connecticut

《❄》Snow Angel 《❄》


Kayle was not a fan of the cold, but he did dress accordingly this time for it. His first arrival on Runeterra was at this very place, having been aimed for the placed called Mount Targon. He missed, of course, and landed in the frozen wastelands of the Freljord.

Returning to this place was less forgiving, but he was much more warm in his cloth sweaters than the divine forged armor. The snow was up to his knees, stepping cautiously through the barren landscape, large snow covered wings folded up around his body to keep warm.

Finally… a stout of smoke rose above the treeline, he had found some kind of camp on his walk towards Targon- perhaps they were merciful, and would offer sanctuary for a night.



Dark Horse “Fore Smoked Stout”

90 A-

Fore Smoked Stout is an American Stout featuring peat-smoked malts. This is a winter seasonal belonging to their “holiday stout” series, released in January, and sold in four-packs (I can’t believe I’ve been sitting on this for one year). Aromas resemble charred hickory, dark chocolate, burned coffee, molasses, walnuts, and a faint hint of berries.

The palate makes a roasty start like a bar of dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao, then dark roasted coffee notes begin to take hold. Details of toasted hazelnut and oat grains fill the middle register. Burnt caramels fall to the back in mild sweetness, which then confront a roasted bitterness to unite in agreeable balance. Alcohol adds a touch of fennel before the closing, where it ends on somewhat of a sour note with a whisper of fruit released from the hops. The aftertaste leaves a lingering taste of campfire smoke and barbecue. Mouthfeel is super creamy and smooth, then gentle carbonation gives way to a dry conclusion.

Overall, I find very little influence from hops – this is all about the malts, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The elements of bitter, sweet, and sour don’t necessarily fall in sequence, but everything eventually comes together harmoniously. The smoked grains magnify the roast in a complementary flavor reminiscent of barbecued meat over coals. Its dark complexity could almost be compared to the depth of a Double Stout. Dark Horse know how to work those malts. They sure can brew up there in Michigan! If you’re a Stout lover, go get it for the holidays. I recommend it.



Marshall, Michigan

Ölvisholt Lava from Iceland

A Smoked Russian Imperial Stout. This is what you hope molten lava tastes like after it cools off, you throw it in secondary, and bottle it with some smooth carbonation. Slightly smokey aroma with hints of dark chocolate, reminiscent of making s'mores over a camp fire. Velvety smooth mouth feel with a roasty bitter finish, like espresso.