Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Tasting: Great Lakes Brewing
Big Black Smoke

When I'm not busy drinking all the Belgian beers I can get my hands on, I'm slurping down porters at an enviable pace. Big Black Smoke is a Great Lakes Brewing Co. pub exclusive, which means you can only get the stuff if you get your ass up to Ohio City to the brewpup on Market Avenue. That's exactly what the Enthusiast and I did this past Saturday afternoon.

We had Big Black Smoke for the first time last year and were happy to see it again on the draught board. We sat at the bar and ordered two from the pleasantly nonchalant British barkeep. Then we sat there sipping our beers as we stared at the growler jugs directly in front of us. Beer to go? Why, yes, please. We'll take the big one!

Two local institutions, Great Lakes Brewing and Swensons.
If you could read the other glass, you would know THE PLACE to drink in my hometown.


Big Black Smoke is a 6.2 percent ABV porter with -- now, this might shock you -- a smoky malted flavor. See Billy, sometimes there is something in a name. This beer has big smoked flavor up front, but its sweet undertones balance it well.

The head is thick and frothy, but not as dark brown as you might expect from a porter with an emphasis on its roasted flavor. (For instance, the head is not as dark as Great Lakes regular Edmund Fitzgerald, which has more chocolate and coffee flavoring.)

The Enthusiast and I paired this with some barbecued chicken kabobs and boy-howdy was it good!

A Note on Growlers: You have to drink the whole thing once you open it, or the beer will go flat. I was hoping to get two days out of this one, but by the second day nary a head formed. Sad, but I drank it anyway.

Booze Hounds Beer Rating: 4.4 Hiccups

[Drunkard's note: The Booze Hounds Beer Rating scale (0-5 Hiccups) is based on a complex mathematical formula that would be impossible to explain to such a dunderheaded audience. Let's just say the higher the score, the more likely I am to drink it again. Natty Light would get a zero.]

5 comments:

Jamoosh said...

That's it - I want to hang out with you!

MCM Mama said...

That sounds yummy!

BTW, I'm going to have a beer related giveaway in May. You might just want to check it out.

The Enthusiast said...

Gotta love The Smoke! Thanks for keeping me going out on the trail - and taking hold of Dobson :-D

Al's CL Reviews said...

Sounds good. Thanks for the tip on growlers. They are illegal here, so I did not know that.

Jess said...

I was in a bar/brewery in Montana once where they sold growlers. That was the only place I'd ever seen them. Are they not legal in all states?