A few weeks ago I reviewed three classic smoked beers. The beers were delicious yet intense. Two of the beers were made in the classic German style, while another was a traditional Norwegian beer. They aren't for everyone.
Magic Hat recently threw their hat in the ring (really bad, sorry) with a smoked offering of their own. The beer is part of Magic Hat's Humdinger series of limited, special beers. This is the fall offering, which you should still be able to find on some shelves.
Burn Pile is a smoked porter brewed with six different kinds of malt. That's important to note because the German smoked beers above were made almost exclusively with smoked malt, imparting an almost overwhelming amount of smokiness into the beers. Based on the makeup of Burn Pile, you'd expect it to be more balanced.
The beer pours black (it's the color of the bottle) with a big, brown head. It smells of caramel, and I get very few smoke notes in the nose. As expected, it doesn't taste too smoky. There's chocolate, caramel, and some smoke. This is definitely a porter. Nothing overpowers, and some other reviews online seem to reflect this overall lack of a standout flavor in the scoring. I really like this beer, even if it doesn't adhere to a particular style. If you're looking to try a smoky beer and don't want to be too overwhelmed, give this a shot.