To continue with beers that only come in huge bottles, this week I present Left Hand Smoke Jumper Porter. Left Hand is quickly becoming a favorite brewery, and not just because they have such a variety of dark beers – they all taste good.
Smoke Jumper Porter is labeled as “Smoked Imperial Porter,” and Nathan and I were both plagued by curiosity about smoked beer. Smoked?? The guy at the store told is it was made to benefit our country’s smoke jumpers – it’s called the “Official Beer of the National Smokejumper Association.” So, brand loyalty, curiosity, and a good cause had us opening our wallets. It was about $12 for the 750 ml, which is outrageously expensive. I’d probably buy it more often if it came in normal bottles, because getting two people to agree they want the same beer at the same time is a challenge.
Smoke Jumper tastes as if someone took a Left Hand BlackJack Porter and put it in a smoker for 8 hours. It smells like jerky and tastes like hickory barbecue. It has a small initial bite, then is smooth and has no aftertaste (except maybe the faint whiff of burning leaves). It has only a hint of sweet – most of the flavor is tangy and, well, smoky. A very interesting beer. I’ve never had one even remotely like this. If you have the curiosity and the cash, I’d recommend trying it.