are certain flavor combinations that would never seem to work on paper,
but in practice they’re surprisingly good. Stone Smoked Porter with
Chocolate & Orange Peel is a perfect example of what I mean. Each of
these flavor characteristics stands out and works on its own, but all
three also work as a team in conjunction with the solid porter brew at
I poured a 22oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It was bottled on 10/17/14.
Appearance: Seemingly opaque dark brown body, but actually a deep shade
of ruby red; slightly translucent. Pours to a large, tan, foamy head
which retains and laces excellently.
Smell: Initially just a standard porter aroma with notes of smoke; eventually becomes all orange in aroma.
Taste: Up front, this beer has a familiar porter taste to its palette,
only a little smokier than most. There’s a mild, dark fruit character as
well as a sweet chocolate flavor immediately present. Throughout the
first half there’s a subtle orange candy taste which is interesting, but
not the star of the show (not yet, at least). At the apex of the swig I
get a fairly strong bitterness as well as increased smoke-like
astringency. As the beer goes down the palette becomes sweet with a
strong orange and citrus character akin to sherbet or soda. The only
problem is, the orange quickly dominates the palette and pushes the
smoke and chocolate to the background. It becomes a little repetitive,
but it’s never not enjoyable.
Drinkability: I tend to associate Stone beers in 22oz bottles with being
beastly, imperial brews. But Stone Smoked Porter with Chocolate &
Orange Peel is quite approachable at only 5.9% ABV. The mouthfeel is
slightly thin, calm, with a flat texture. Light fizziness while in the
mouth, though it’s easy to gulp down. Just a mild, dry aftertaste with a
hint of orange. This makes for an interesting dessert brew for sure.