I love a smoked beer, and have been keeping an eye out for a bottle of Ashtray Heart for a while following great reviews online. But I think the first sign that this beer wasn’t going to quite live up to my expectations was when I tried to pour it into the glass and it fizzed like it does in that Mentos/Diet Coke experiment.
The ash-y taste is definitely there, but it also has a harsh, burnt, campfire taste and, unlike other smoked stouts of this strength I’ve had recently, the alcohol is too heavy-hitting. When I left half of the beer for a while to warm up and settle, it did improve in the balance of its flavours, with a slightly sweet, dark fruit and nut chocolate taste coming through and tamping down that harshness.
I didn’t particularly like this beer, but I am going to give it a second chance and try and find a bottle of it from a different batch.