We recently changed this recipe to drop the smoked malt component to 5% from 8%, and like it even better than the last version. We think we’re back in real Schwarzbier territory now, especially after reading more about the dark beers of old Eastern Europe. The beer’s aroma is malty/espresso, with a hint of smoke. On the palate, malt, chocolate and espresso flavors take center stage, along with a hint of smoke. The sweet smokiness just offsets the more bitter/roasty notes, producing a smooth, rich brew. The hops provide balance, but virtually nothing to the aroma. This is the perfect beer to serve with a barbecued steak or tri-tip. It’s also excellent with just about any chocolate dessert!