As I have noted time and again: My favorite beer styles are Porters or Stouts. I have also stated more than one time that there is no real difference between the two styles of beer because both terms are historically grown, partly with respect to the differing strength of the beers. Today’s Porter is nonetheless something special: it is a “smoked” Porter…
So what is a smoked Porter? Similar as in the production of for instance Islay Whisky, the malt used in the brewing process is flavored with smoke from the fire that was used to dry the moist malted grain. A process that is quite common when brewing smoked beer. This type of beer used to be very popular in earlier times because it allowed a fast and effective drying of the malted grain. Today, unfortunately only a few connoisseurs are still friends with smoky beers. Nevertheless: Especially in a Porter I really like a light smoky character, thus the Camba Smoked Porter from the Camba-Bewery in the Chiemgau (6.3% vol.) is absolutely recommendable from my point of view. Mainly because it brings an elegant and subtle smokiness with itself, which is well worth trying even for skeptics and beginners!
On the nose you can initially scent the smoke quite clearly, albeit definitely weaker than in comparable whiskies or stronger smoked beers. In addition, buttery notes and dark bread. A bit like buttered pumpernickel (a dark German bread from Westphalia) with a thin layer of smoked ham.
On the palate you’ll find very nice toasty aromas, chocolate and a distinct bitterness: A typical and good Porter that only offers slightly smoky notes. In the finish the smoke becomes a little stronger and evokes associations of smoked chocolate. Very interesting and definitely recommended not only as a niche experiment!
Buying sources: in specialized stores or online. The Camba Smoked Porter was introduced to the market only in limited quantities, so you might encounter a lack of supplies when looking for this specialty.