By Julia Burke, Beer Editor

Captlawrence This unique series by Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, a riff on experimental barrel aging, has produced some fantastic brews including an NYCR Beer of the Year Finalist.

This bottling, aged in rum barrels, pours a lovely cappuccino/camoflage-colored one-finger head with attractive and resilient lacing. The body is burnt-ember black and thick but not syrupy. Like all Smoke From the Oak beerslike all the Smoke From the Oak beers it's a beautiful package.

The nose is lightly smoky and just a touch hot, with a roasted meat/garrigue aroma as well as notes of coffee, chicory and birch, and the toasted-sugar flavor of creme brulee.

On the palate, chocolate malt and ash (a tasting buddy remarked that it was like an outdoor fire pit the morning after a campfire) blend with rich alcohol and rum-induced sweetness for excellent finish and length.

Definitely a sipper with its powerful flavors and assertive yet well-integrated alcohol, this is an outstanding pairing for smoked meats and blue cheese, and I'd love to try it with a slightly gamey entree such as lamb. 

Producer: Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
ABV: 10%
Sample Size: 25 oz. bottle
Stemware: Snifter glass
Price: Released in 3-pack sampler with glass for $60*
Score: A-