Brew Review: Ithaca Gorges

Smoking is one of my biggest pet peeves. The smell of cigarette smoke absolutely disgusts me and the ensuing coughing is not something I enjoy either. Despite my hate for smoking I absolutely love smoke beers.  Initially I was a bit confused at how the flavor could be anything besides repulsive but after my 2nd taste of Stone Smoked Porter I’ve been hooked. Throw in the fact that my brother went to Cornell and loves Ithaca brewery and I couldn’t resist trying out Gorges, their smoked porter.

Gorges pours a dark brown with a solid 1 inch of creamy brown head. The smell of smoke comes on strong immediately but not in a way that is too overpowering.  One sip of this beer and I was hooked. Despite smoke being the dominant flavor, this beer is well balanced with a very nice malt backbone. The sweetness and a bit of smoke linger sensationally leading to a surprisingly mellow feel on the tongue as the flavors linger.

When Ithaca produces a quality beer I’ve found that they tend to be not only solid but also usually phenomenal. Gorges falls into this mold very well and is certainly in the upper echelon of smoke beers that I’ve tried.

Even though you won’t ever find me smoking don’t be shocked if I’m enjoying a great smoke beer like Gorges in the near future.


2 responses

  1. Not trying to troll when I say this, but the idea that SMOKE=SMOKE=SMOKE doesn’t really hold. Cigarette/tobacco smoke’s taste/flavor are completely different than the smoke flavor imparted by smoked malts.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

  2. Of course. I completely agree and that’s exactly what I’m trying to get across. My point was that at first I wrote the style off due to my dislike of smoke and don’t want anyone else to make that mistake. Then again at this point I’m unlikely to turn down trying any beer because all styles bring something good to the table.

    July 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm

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