Specialty Smoked Beer


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A Specialty Smoked Beer is either a smoked beer based on something other than a Classic Style (a Specialty-Type style, or a broad style family such as Porter rather than a specific style), OR any type of smoked beer with additional specialty ingredients (fruits, vegetables, spices) or processes employed that transform the beer into something more unique.

Overall Impression: A well-balanced fusion of the malt and hops of the base specialty beer style with a pleasant and agreeable smoke character.

Aroma: A pleasant balance between the expected aroma of the base beer, smoked malt, and any specialty ingredients. The smoke character ranges from low to assertive, and may show varietal wood smoke character (e.g., alder, oak, beechwood). The balance between the smoke, the beer, and any specialty ingredients can vary – they do not need to be equal in intensity. However, the resulting mix should be appealing. Sharp, phenolic, harsh, rubbery, or burnt smoke-derived aromatics are inappropriate.

Appearance: Variable. The appearance should reflect the base beer style, although the color is often a bit darker than expected for the plain base style. The use of certain fruits and spices may affect the color and hue of the beer as well. 

Flavor: Similar to the aroma, with a balance between the base beer, any specialty ingredients, and low to assertive smoked malt. Varietal woods can produce different flavor profiles. The balance between smoke, beer, and any specialty ingredients can vary, but the resulting blend should be enjoyable. Smoke can add some additional dryness to the finish. Harsh, bitter, burnt, charred, rubbery, sulfury, medicinal, or phenolic smoke-derived flavors are inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Varies with the base beer style. Significant astringent, phenolic, smoke-derived harshness is a fault. 

Commercial Examples: Fat Head’s Up in Smoke, Ommegang Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Smoked Porter


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