Saturday, January 10, 2009
Left Hand Smoke Jumper: Smoked Imperial Porter
Serendipity strikes on this one, as I found it down at Joe's Place in Norman, where I like to stop in and see what they've got lying around, as they seem to have all the new beers before anyone else in the metro. So, seeing as I'm trying to drink my blues away after the National Championship loss, a good ole big smoked porter seems like the perfect cure to go along with the George Mitchell blues collection I've got in the play list at the moment.
This one pours a deep dark brown with a long-lasting, two-finger, dark tan head. After a few minutes the head calmly recedes, leaving a thick sheet of consistent lacing all around the pint glass which stays almost entirely intact through to my completion of the beer.
Robust notes of smoked, caramel malts hit the nose up front. A second whiff reveals spicy candy, taffy, coffee, and subtle notes of toffee as well. Tastes big on some black coffee up front, with some grain, a certain earthiness, spice and a big alcohol hit enveloping it all. Caramel and a decent amount of hops show up when I take a second drink making for a near perfect balance between the sweetness and bitterness.
Mouth-feel is full-bodied, and a decent amount of carbonation activity goes off upon a good shake. Left Hand has long been one of my favorite regional breweries, but I'll have to admit, some of their latest offerings haven't quite done it for me. However, I'm happy to say, the Smoke Jumper has changed all that. What a brew.