Terrapin Smoke on the Porter

The last Terrapin beer was very good. On the whole, I like the company, and I look forward to them branching out into stuff like this - a smokey porter or the like. On top of everything is the fact that many of the tie-in beers that I've had have been tremendous.

The beer is so dark and ruby red that you would be excused for calling it black. The tan head is scant but sticks around in a thin film that is proud to be here. The aroma is smokey malt and barley that is just about what I expected (with just a touch more grain than I would have thought, but it isn't off-putting or anything).

First sip is not as good as I'd hoped. It's a flat smoke with a bitter coffee edge. They need sweet malt in there with it to cut back the bitterness, but they don't, so it's all lopsided and unrefined. I like a smokey beer, but I want there to be more underneath. This is smoke for the sake of smoke and then it just gives up on flavors.

Tip-in is a bit watery, but it has smoke and charred oak under it all while carbonation is a non-event. The middle is smoke, caramel, mahogany, and bitterness. The finish brings the coffee and more bitterness with burned grains supporting it all. Trail-off is a nice smokey afternoon by the campfire.

Bottom Line: It's hard to love, but it comes into its own as it warms a little bit.



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