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.