Local Beer = Kay Great! :: Blind Bat Hellsmoke Porter


Our second edition of Local Beer = Kay Great! features Centerport-based nanobrewery Blind Bat and their Hellsmoke Porter. Operated by Paul Dlugokencky out of his home’s garage, Blind Bat produces an oddball line-up of wood-smoked ales and random, artisanal treats like a stout made with organic, locally-grown potatoes.

Super Neat snagged a bottle of Hellsmoke Porter on our visit to the nanosanctum some weeks back and cracked it about three hours before Thanksgiving din-din.

Let’s get to it, homies.

Looks like: A Manhattan Special. Remember those? Espresso and soda, people. Don’t sleep. Tar black in color, thin coffee-and-cream head, light carbonation, a few wittle bubbles. As evidenced in the photograph above, poured into Philbrick’s Port Jefferson Brewing Company pint glass.

Smells like: Bitter Hersey Kisses. Some sour in the nose, as well. Sour kisses.

Tastes like: Smoked Ham Chocolate Espresso. I wish that were an actual coffee flavor, by the way. Smoked meat punches first, then transforms into a Transformer composed entirely of roasted dark chocolate. I call him Chocobotus. Mouth is a bit thin, but it’s extremely smooth while movin’ down the esophagus. Between sips, smoke-roasted chocolate and burnt coffee beans are chillin’ on the tongue. I also detect a tad bitter to the chocolate. Sour definitely comes back toward the middle and end, now infused with sweet. Sour berry chocolate, me thinks.

Overall like: My favorite Blind Bat brew aside from Vlad the Inhaler, one of their other smoked offerings (Vlad is an oak-smoked wheat beer, no malt). I think I enjoy the Vlad a bit more because its smoke is fire alarm level, while the Hellsmoke’s smoke acts as a balance to the sweet chocolate. Still, a great porter for situations like camping and winter-time beering.

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.