Beer League @ TWR: Crown Valley Brewing Co. Black Cabin Smoked Ale

Happy Tuesday Beer League,

You may be wondering how your Captaineers got it together enough to send this email out so early in the week, especially after all of the Thanksmasyearseve Celebration that’s been happening recently. The how part is answered by coffee. The why part is better answered by saying:

Going back to the work after any holiday is awful but if an email about beer will soften the blow, we’re happy to help. Anyway, this weeks beer has to be…

…Crown Valley Brewing Black Cabin Smoked Ale and holy smokes is this going to be exciting. This is a winter seasonal offering from Crown Valley so it hasn’t yet been worked over by the internet beeirdos – and because of that there aren’t very many reviews of this beer out therein the wild, wild internets. Of the seven reviews on Beer Advocate only one is from Missouri, so what little information that’s there isn’t sullied by the “hometown hero” effect. And lastly, it’s a respectable 5.6% smoked ale – and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

Those of you that have heard my rant about the O’Fallon Brewing SmokedPorter already know what great disdain I hold for smoked beer whose taste seems to come from a bottle of liquid smoke, and those of you that haven’t before have just now. Now let’s not get it twisted: I like smoked beers and I like beers with a smoky finish. However I do not like beer that tastes as if it was brewed in a backyard smoker or was stirred with a bottle of smoke flavoring. Too much of a good thing is never a good thing.

Of the seven reviews, the highest ranked in at 4.08/5 and Demuzik said,”Crown Valley’s best brew, by far – this pours a deceiving, light brown- but aroma is of camp fire, leather and malt. Head quickly disappeared, but I do believe it was at one point a nice light brown.The smokeyness is definitely there – chewey like some smoked bacon, yet balanced nicely with bitterness but of course no hop domination whatsoever. Quite drinkable, would certainly pair well with anything remotely smoked, BBQ’d, and perhaps fried. Keep this one in your back pocket for a nice, chilly fall evening…”

The lowest at 3.18/5 was from plfahey saying, “12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Appearance-Amber and moderately clear. Moderate beige head with decent retention.Aroma-Sweet and somewhat smoky with notes campfire and pork belly. Some underlying notes of toast and bread from the malt. Flavor-Sweet wood fire smoke flavors fade to bready and toasty malt flavors. Some cherry-wood type flavors. Slight bitterness in the finish, but seems to be from the smoked character. Flavors are solid, but not exceptional. Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation. Not terrible, but certainly not exceptional. A nice try ata smoked beer, but just an average representation of the style.”

Beer Advocate has but seven reviews, not even enough to give an average score yet:[3]profile/19832/63696

The Crown Valley Brewing website doesn’t give me the ability to link to the beer directly. Please scroll accordingly:


In the fine tradition of Beer League cooking contests,we are proud to announce the Beer League Wing Off! More information to come as we figure it out and contest rules as we make them up. Get signed up now and start perfecting your recipes, rules will be up this Thursday!

I mentioned last week that Schlafly Cabin Fever is coming up on January20th, and it just so happens that we have five tickets without owners.We’re going to raffle off each Cabin Fever Ticket separately, but at a cost of only $5 to enter that means you have five chances to get lucky and win your entry to Cabin Fever. Proceeds from the raffle are going to the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Five people are getting to go to CabinFever for a $5 raffle ticket after we draw a winner at 9 PM thisThursday.

See you Thursday with $5 for a raffle ticket in hand, and a Black CabinSmoked Ale in my back pocket for the nice, chilly fall evening.

Sarah, Beer League Captaineer, Likes a smoked ale.
Tyler, Beer League Sub-Captaineer, Also likes a smoked ale.

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