Part 3 for the SMOKE CHASER barrel variants, and the takeaway is, they’re all the same beer. Without having had the two other versions of this beer in rapid succession (a rye whiskey barrel aged version and a bourbon barrel aged one), I would struggle to identify these as different beers. This one in particular, Smoke Chaser Reserve is merely one of their smoked barley wine beers that’s been in both kinds of barrels. Given the mediocre overall score and the limited bottle count (only 1000 bottles produced), it’s easy to deduce that this beer was a small scale experiment that was just successful enough to justify selling it to the public. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I had high hopes with the small bottle count, barrel aging, and waxed caps. This beer is too bitter. Its a robust barley wine with great barley wine flavors in there, marred with too much alcohol, short on sugary sweetness, and muddled in international bitterness units. That’s too bad because there seems to be plenty of time, money, and effort put into the production. Having said that, the 3.5 (out of 7) isn’t all that bad of an overall score. Four is the score we give middle of the road beers, where we can’t say anything bad, or recommend to a friend. One more thing, however; enjoy with a cigar. The Rye Whiskey barrel version of this beer recommended such, and I didn’t take them up on it until I got to this beer, and I must say, drinking and smoking is a combination that worked out in this beer’s favor, and I will certainly try again.
|Beer Name||Smoke Chaser Reserve (Double Barrel)|
|Brewer’s Description||Smoke Chaser comes from the name given to brave firefighters that defend California’s forests from devastating wild fires. Smoke Chaser Double Barrel Reserve is a blend of our 2014 vintage Smoked Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels for 24 months and our 2015 vintage Smoked Barley Wine aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels for 12 months. The blend of barrels and slow oxidation transforms this beer into an uber complex barley wine with a rich malt backbone and complex whiskey overtones. Nuances of smoke, oak, and vanilla flow through every sip. Share with a friend now or reserve for a special occasion. Celler for up to 5 years.|
|Brewery Location||Fresno, CA|
|Alcohol content by volume||14.6%|
|IBU (International Bitterness Units)||90|
|Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark)||3.75|
|Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns)||3|
|Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks||4|
|Sausage detection? Y or N||N|
|Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil)||4|
|Barrel Power 1-7 (in name only – burns nose)||6|
|Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy)||3.5|
Their website is pretty good:
I’d like to recomend another taste if you can. SOLO, no other beer before, Happy Thanksgiving!