Smokin Bees Whisky Honey Smoked Porter – ABV 10%

smokin bees

Billed modestly as a classic porter with smoky overtones of a single malt whiskey, Smokin’ Bees has a honey sweetness and floral hints to a roast malt backdrop.

Look: Black pour with brown head.

Aroma: Sugary sweet with roasted malts. You can really sense the 100kg of wild flower honey added at the end of the boil, which gives it a beautiful sweetness and floral notes.

Taste: More sweet honey and toffee, plus smoked malts and some spicey accents

Food Pairing: We’d never suggest drinking beer this strong for breakfast, yet we can’t help thinking about pairing it with pancakes, smoked bacon and maple syrup.

Verdict: Delicious heavy sweet beer with artwork of bees smoking cigarettes by Nomad Clan. Part of Northern Monk’s Patrons project – it’s like no imperial porter you’ve tasted before.

Bloed, Zweet & Tranen Smoked Stout – ABV 8.2%

Rich and luxurious, this De Molen stout’s smoky caramel sweetness immediately brings to mind the peat of a Laphroaig whisky.

Aroma: Malt and that peaty smoke, toffee and chocolate.

Taste: The smokey sweetness is nicely balanced with flavours of roasted malt, chocolate and caramel to give a beer that’s extremely drinkable.

Food Pairings: This beer is big on flavour, and demands strong flavours to match. Try it with a few squares of dark rich chocolate.

Verdict: De Molen love ageing beer in spirit barrels, and Bloed, Zweet & Tranen (Blood, Sweat & Tears) is a perfect example. You can taste the hard work and care that has gone into it to give it its name.

Primal Cut Smoked Porter – ABV 8.8%

Siren’s Head Brewer, inspired by blackcurrant purée, created this concept beer with smoked malts, barley and oats, for a coffee and soft fruit finish.

Look: The beer pours jet black in the glass

Aroma: Coffee, smoke and blackcurrant.

Taste: Roasted malt with coffee, chocolate and a definite meatiness. The alcohol is extremely well hidden in the rich soft body and the fruit subtle but becoming more noticeable toward the end.

Food Pairing: We think this BBQ sauce-style beer goes perfectly with a roast meat. Try it with beef and Yorkshire pudding for winning Sunday roast.

Verdict: Siren describe this as a high concept beer, and its definitely that. We don’t think you’ll have tasted anything quite like it.

Smoke n Barrels – ABV 7.5%

Belgian Dubbel, made with liquorice-smoked wild sloes in a Foudre (a large wooden vat, popular with winemakers).


Look: Nut brown with a frothy head. 

Aroma: Smoked oak, with nuts and the tartness forest fruit.

Taste: Sweet with lots of dates, figs and dried fruit, mellow wood-smoke and subtle red wine tartness.

Verdict: Never your usual Wild Beer, and this beer shows why they are so highly regarded.

Hemel & Aarde Imperial Stout – ABV 10%

Made with Bruichladdich distillery malt – the most peated malt in the world – this smokey stout has creamy chocolate and liquorice notes to sweeten the deal.

Look: Just off pitch black and opaque, with creamy beige head.

Aroma: Imperious smokiness backed up with spicy licorice and dark chocolate,

Taste: More sweet peatiness plus a chocolate creaminess. Massively full-bodied with a bold, thick mouthfeel that persists before floating off in a cloud of sweet smoke.

Verdict: Hemel & Aarde, which translates to Heaven & Earth, uses loads of Earthy peat to make a beer that is really is rather Heavenly. Go figure.

Rook & Vuur (Smoke & Fire) – ABV 8.2%

Smoked malt and subtle hints of chilli with dark sugar the master brewers of Bodegraven. 

Look: Dark brown with a generous dark beige head.

Aroma: Sweet and smoky like marshmallows being toasted over a campfire.

Taste: Sweet brown sugar, roasted malts and oh so smoky, with a delicate chilli hit right at the end when you’d almost forgotten it was coming. 

Verdict: Like maple candied bacon with a hint of chilli, these flavours were born to be married together. Beautiful.

London Smoke Porter – ABV 7.8%

Originally produced for #collabfest14, this collaboration is subtle in its smokiness and instead focuses on chocolate and liquorice thanks to East Kent Goldings hops.

Look: This Imperial Porter, brewed with smoked barley, pours black with a tan head and displays small amount of lacing.

Aroma: Bitter chocolate, liquorice, coffee grounds and a hint of smoke.

Taste: You get all those flavours with the addition of blackberry and vanilla, softly carbonated and nicely balanced with the smoke – which complements but never dominates.

Food Pairing: Pair this beer with smoky food to avoid a clash of flavours. It makes an excellent accompaniment to a bacon sandwich.

Frick & Frack Smoked Barley Wine – ABV 11.3%

Thick, syrupy sweet, smokey and malty – this Kees and de Molen collab is smooth and enjoyable – just like a Swiss ice skater.

Look: Pours dark mahogany brown, with a gently foaming off-white head.

Aroma: Sticky syrup and fruit like figs with sweet malt base with orange accents.

Taste: More dark fruit, thick and rich toffee and caramel with some smokiness in the background. Good boozy burn.

Verdict: Lovely smooth, enjoyable stuff – just like ‘Frick’ (Werner Groebli) and ‘Frack’ (Hansruedi Mauch), the Swiss skaters, themselves.