By Iron Chef Leftovers
Yes, I figured that since I posted the Sorachi Ace Bitter, it was time to post the Smoked Tea Bitter review. This cask version used a scant one ounce of Chinese smoked black tea in the cask, something that is probably not a traditional cask ingredient, but definitely something that piqued my interest.
The beer pours the color of iced tea with significant notes of smoke on the nose with backing notes of dried fruit and malt. The beer starts out lightly tannic with hints of malt and hops before crossing into deeper tea notes before the smoke component shows up. The smoke starts strong with forest fire qualities (in a good way) before mellowing out into a pleasant campfire background without ever really disappearing. The beer finishes with a distinct black tea character showing light tannins and mild notes of dried fruit with notes of smoke and hints of caramel. The beer drinks like a light rauch beer without the heavy malt and smoke qualities, making it easier to drink. It is surprisingly balanced and deep without being ashtray like or losing the qualities of the beer in the process, and I found myself wanting to go back for another pint. It is definitely not a beer that you would enjoy if you don’t like smoked beers, but if you are looking for something very different, this would beer to try.
Populuxe Burke-Gillman Smoked Tea Bitter Cask races in with 4 mountain bikes out of 5.