Last week the Brooklyn Brewery celebrated the release of the latest beer in its Brewmaster’s Reserve series: Fire & Ice. In almost every beer in this series, Brewmster Garrett Oliver looks to highlight an interesting flavor or technique. Past beers have used spice blends, experimental hops, and maple syrup, to name a few ingredients. Fire & Ice is a beer that featured smoked malt.
A smoked porter, Fire & Ice is smooth and drinkable without hint of its 7.2 percent ABV. The beer balanced the sweet malty character of an oatmeal porter with smoked malt from Bamberg Germany (a city famous for smoked beers). During the release, Oliver, who is well versed in beer history, as he edited the Oxford Companion to Beer, remarked that “back in the old days almost all beer was smoked.”
While the smoke was the focus of Fire & Ice, it was restrained and did not overwhelm the roasted notes of the porter. It’s a perfect cold weather beer – we look forward to enjoying a few during the late fall and winter.