The BJCP guidelines for this style state the smoke levels in the beer can have a “varying balance and intensity.” This brew is squarely on the “intense” side of the smoke scale. It pours deep amber with a creamy, tan head. The smoke wafts up immediately after the bottle is uncapped and fills the air as it’s poured into the glass. A bacony, almost oily fragrance also mingles with the smoke. When the beer hits the tongue, there is an initial caramel sweetness from the malted barley, but it’s very quickly overrun by the muscular smoke flavors. The taste also has a baconlike quality -- sweet and meaty. This smoked flavor doesn’t go away quickly and digs into the sides and back of the mouth for several minutes.
95 points, Draft Magazine
Smells of the same smokiness of a smoked Gouda cheese or imported German ham. Faint grain in a charred kind of aroma with a growing maltiness. Thick medium to full body, deeply textured carbonation to bring on a smooth mouth feel. A tight ball of chewy maltiness hits the palate first with its sweetness. Smokiness is multi-level, with straight on smoke flavours to woody, charred and mild charcoal flavours. Hop? Where are they … the smoke is here and here to stay. Mild spicy alcohol and warming in the back. Maltiness stays, it does not disappear it just is an underlying flavour pretty much throughout. Slight caramel and toasted grain flash past the palate before another round of smoke flavour hits. Light residual sweetness is played by the leftover smoke flavours. An obvious acquired taste. Love it or hate it. I love it but it is not a brew that I could drink more than once in a while. I love to visit it especially when I am having BBQ or any kind of grilled meat. I paired it with some cheeses, aged sharp cheddar and a ripe sheep’s milk cheese.
93 points, BeerAdvocate (Jun 2002)