This is a straggler from what can loosely be called the Christmas stash - a string of beers accumulated over the winter with no real regard for the fact that I couldn't possibly consume them all on or even near the day itself.
As it happened, this one hit the glass this past weekend.
It is Alaskan Smoked Porter, somewhat of an American craft beer classic these days. Dating from 2012, this one didn't quite stink of smoke upon pouring its inky black and bubbly off-white head, at least, not in the sense I expected. It is smoky, but in a rather ordinary, pleasantly mild Irish dry stout way. This stands up to tastebud scrutiny, the palate treated as it is to a smooth, silky and medium-bodied dry porter with washes of mild tobacco leaf, soft, sweet milk chocolate and, right at the finish, a haunting flash of rauchbier meatiness. There's some complex dark fruit reminiscent of a much bigger imperial stout, but nothing to tax the 'buds very much; this one stays very much in the realm of the sensible.
For all the craft beer cred attached to this cap, what you get is a beer more subtle than supercharged, more brains than brawn, more contemplative than cocky.
I'll take that over a hot stinky boozebomb any day.