Review: Heavy Seas Mutiny Fleet Smoke on the Water Smoked Porter

What a name, right?

Heavy Seas is the brewery. I’ve had a couple of their beers and so far, I’m pretty impressed.

Mutiny Fleet is their series of smaller batch beers.

Smoked Porter is the style — a style I haven’t had very much of. (I’ve had plenty of porters, but not many “smoked” porters.)

And smoked it is! I’ve had lots of things that call themselves smoked, and I’ve noticed that there seems to be a variety of flavors blessed with this name. Some taste very artificial and almost plastic; some taste like you’re trying to swallow a campfire. The best ones have a flavor somewhere in between the smokiness of campfire-grilled meats and the peatiness of a good Scotch. This beer has that level of smoke.

But it doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavor. Porter (which, for those of you who may not be as familiar, is similar to stout but without the anger management issues) has strong toasted malt quality, but this one adds a level of complexity often missed in even craft porters. I think I’m getting better at this beer tasting thing, because I could taste chocolate, coffee, and toffee notes.

I had this beer twice (it was a large bottle); the first time, I had it on its own, and I enjoyed it. Tonight, I had it with dinner — a salad and some cauliflower soup made by my friend Sara Sterley. I added some hot sauce to the soup (it didn’t need it, but hey, I live my life on the edge) and suddenly the flavor of hops in the porter positively popped. It was a great combo.

Of course, Smoke on the Water (and yes, the bottle does say “DA DA DA… DA DA DA DA“) hasn’t been brewed since 2010, and most of you won’t be able to get Sara’s soup. So, really, at this point, I’m just bragging.

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