Jim Koebel's picture

From Tennessee With Smoke

July, 2016
Judges Rating: 
23 / 24
6 / 6
29 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

A smoky aroma is the first thing to rise out of the glass in this smoked farmhouse ale. The first hit is so pungent and pure that it could have come straight from Bamberg, and that's a wonderful thing. It takes on a phenolic tone as it warms, but then becomes lemony and generally fruity after some time. This beer pours a hazy orange-yellow color that is characteristic of many farmhouse ales and has a dense and sudsy white head that lasts. The flavor is incomplete, consisting of low smokiness and a so-so phenolic finish. Malt and hop flavors are masked, if even present at all. This beer is bone dry and lightly astringent, but it works, and is helped by the moderately high carbonation. Fusing smoke to this style is an odd choice, as so much of a farmhouse ale's aromas and flavors come from its yeast and spice additions; there's not enough malt character here to be accented by the heavy smokiness. Perhaps a beer that more closely resembled a Biere de Garde would have been a better match.