32B. Specialty Smoked Beer

A Specialty Smoked Beer is either a smoked beer based on something other than a Classic Style (a Specialty-Type style, or a broad style family such as Porter rather than a specific style), OR any type of smoked beer with additional specialty ingredients (fruits, vegetables, spices) or processes employed that transform the beer into something more unique.

Overall Impression

A well-balanced fusion of the malt and hops of the base specialty beer style with a pleasant and agreeable smoke character.


Variable. The appearance should reflect the base beer style, although the color is often a bit darker than expected for the plain base style. The use of certain fruits and spices may affect the color and hue of the beer as well.


A pleasant balance between the expected aroma of the base beer, smoked malt, and any specialty ingredients. The smoke character ranges from low to assertive, and may show varietal wood smoke character (e.g., alder, oak, beechwood). The balance between the smoke, the beer, and any specialty ingredients can vary – they do not need to be equal in intensity. However, the resulting mix should be appealing. Sharp, phenolic, harsh, rubbery, or burnt smoke-derived aromatics are inappropriate.


Similar to the aroma, with a balance between the base beer, any specialty ingredients, and low to assertive smoked malt. Varietal woods can produce different flavor profiles. The balance between smoke, beer, and any specialty ingredients can vary, but the resulting blend should be enjoyable. Smoke can add some additional dryness to the finish. Harsh, bitter, burnt, charred, rubbery, sulfury, medicinal, or phenolic smoke-derived flavors are inappropriate.


Varies with the base beer style. Significant astringent, phenolic, smoke-derived harshness is a fault.


Judges should evaluate these beers mostly on the overall balance, and how well the smoke character enhances the base beer and any specialty ingredients.

Characteristic Ingredients

Same as 32A Classic Style Smoked Beer with the possible addition of specialty ingredients (e.g., fruits, spices, vegetables, honey) in noticeable quantities.

Entry Instructions

The entrant must specify the type of wood or smoke if a varietal smoke character is noticeable. The entrant must specify the additional ingredients or processes that make this a specialty smoked beer. Entrant must specify a description of the beer, identifying either a base style or the ingredients, specs, or target character of the beer. A general description of the special nature of the beer can cover all the required items.

Vital Statistics

Varies with the base beer style.

Commercial Examples

Fat Head’s Up in Smoke, Ommegang Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Smoked Porter.

Style Attributes