As a lover of whisky, as well as beer, I’m partial to peaty, smokey flavours that you get from a really good Islay whisky. I’d tried and absolutely loved the Brewdog/Beavertown collaboration “Coffee & Cigarettes”, which was huge hits of smoke and peat. So when I saw “Smoke” by Weird Beard I really wanted to give it a go.
Smoke is a very different beast compared to the aforementioned Coffee & Cigarettes, which is an Imperial Stout that hefts in a whopping £10 a bottle, whereas Smoke is a Rauchbier which is a much more affordable range between £2.50 and £3.00, so I don’t want to start making unfair comparisons because Smoke is a very nice beer in it’s own right. However, whereas Coffee & Cigarettes was a full on punch of smokey, peaty flavour, Smoke is more of a light jab.
Smoke pours a nice, clear golden amber with a good fizz and a medium head and the aroma gives you that association with of an Islay Whisky as it has those lovely notes of woody smoke, smoked meats, peat, and that slightly medicinal hint that you get from TCP which you’ll either love or hate, but if you’re reading a review for a beer called “Smoke” then chances are you’ll probably be someone who loves the smell! However, when you taste it, the smokiness actually comes in after a sweet, fruity and hoppy start to the beer. So rather being the forefront of the beer, the smoke is quite a subtle aftertaste which, for me, is a little disappointing and marks it down ever so slightly, but it doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s still a very nice beer. The finish is dry and slightly bitter but, despite this, it’s still quite an easy-to-drink beer.
All in all, Smoke is a very enjoyable drink but if you’re after a beer that has a big hit of smoke then you may want to dial back your expectations a little, but don’t let it put you off giving this a try!
While “Smoke” doesn’t deliver in smokey flavour like I’d hoped it would, it’s still a great beer with lots of going on.