Like drinking the best parts of a bonfire...
January 20, 2009 11:48 AM   Subscribe

I just discovered lapsang souchong , which might be the greatest drink I've ever encountered. What other smoky things can you recommend?

I'm also interested in non-food smoky things, like pine tar soap. Cedar, pine, and juniper are some of my favorite smells.
posted by fake to Food & Drink (44 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Stouts or porters have a "smoky" taste.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Laphroaig!
posted by fidelity at 11:56 AM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Smoked paprika -- add to egg salad, hummus, etc.

Smoked gouda -- great for sandwiches
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:57 AM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Smoked tofu
Well done meat (Charbroiled especially)
Smoked cheddar (from here)
posted by lalochezia at 11:57 AM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: I love that Amoy tea. Also, paprika can impart that taste sensation.
posted by dawson at 11:57 AM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Smoked beer! I think it tastes disgusting, but obviously there's people out there who think it's the bee's knees.
posted by aspo at 11:59 AM on January 20, 2009

posted by fidelity

Is that similar to Talisker whisky? Apparently work is now blocking Wikipedia so I can't tell. Anyway, Talisker is quite smokey as well...
posted by Grither at 12:02 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Mmm, smoked salmon.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Laproaig is like drinking the fermented refuse of a peat bog. It's that amazing.
posted by johnbaskerville at 12:04 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My favorite smoked beer. So delicious...
posted by napkin at 12:10 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Regarding single-malt whisky, you might also look into Ardbeg; I think I actually prefer their ten-year to Laphroaig's ten-year, and te prices are pretty much the same. And I know I've recommended this a couple times before on ask.metafilter, but one of my all-time favorite smoky/peaty whiskies is Port Charlotte's new-ish PC5.

As far as Laphroaig goes, my favorite variety that I've tried is the Quarter-Cask. You might also check out the shop on their website, where you can order soap made with Laphroaig!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:13 PM on January 20, 2009 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Last weekend I tried Unibroue Chambly Noire beer for the first time, and literally said "It's like drinking the best parts of a bonfire." See if you can find some.
posted by vytae at 12:14 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Lagavulin is another scotch with incredibly smoky flavor. It's awesome.
posted by hilaritas at 12:15 PM on January 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

I second Greg Nog's Ardbeg 10 suggestion. It's delicious.
posted by jennyb at 12:20 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Whiskey its self is a whole category that you could spend years exploring.

Speaking of booze, you might also like a Tokay wine. I generally despise desert wines, but making it out of moldy grapes turns it into something amazing.

Try pu-erh tea. Not actually smoked, but you wouldn't know it. Great earthy smokey taste and smell.

There are almost certainly some cheeses that would go here.

My neighbor used to make some amazing smoked venison and buffalo jerky in a refrigerator turned smoker. The gaminess of the meat mixed with with real smoke (not liquid smoke. Ugh.) was an excellent combination.
posted by Ookseer at 12:22 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Drank one of these a month or so ago. I think it's more piney than smokey, but I enjoyed it!
posted by o0dano0o at 12:29 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Latakia pipe tobacco.
posted by jouke at 12:32 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Chipotle! The flavor of the day. Actually, that would now be pimentón, which is Spanish smoked paprika. Both are delicious.
posted by O9scar at 12:37 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Combine your interests by trying tea smoked salt, or cook with your lapsang souchong. Also, some tea blends include lapsang, like some Russian Caravan blends, or this blend called Cozy Campfires.
posted by gudrun at 12:39 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Wikipedia has a Smoke category, which contains most of the items listed above.
posted by zamboni at 12:45 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Kippers. My dad used to stink the house out with grilled kippers and lapsang souchong.
posted by scruss at 1:02 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: I've found Cousiño-Macul's Anitguas Reservas Cabernet Sauvignon to have a very nice smoky flavor.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:18 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Seconding kippers, and adding the suggestion of a smoked yerba mate tea.
posted by burntflowers at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: The Alaksa Smoked Porter is to the Bamberg Rauchbier like McDonald's is to aged game meat. It's really only a pale imitation (though good of its own right).

I highly recommend you seek and try the Bamberg Rauchbier pictured in the Wikipedia article. It's difficult to finish for most people I've ever talked to.
posted by kcm at 2:00 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, and Caol Ila are all single malt whiskies from the island of Islay. They all have a pronounced smoke flavour, but the first three listed are definitely the strongest in taste - which is not necessarily a good thing. The latter four makers are arguably more complex and balanced, rather than simply beating you over the head with a piece of smouldering peat bog like the others tend to do. YMMV - I like them all!
posted by tim_in_oz at 2:03 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Smoked cheddar, smoked chicken (nom-nom-nom), and a decent tawny port.
posted by rodgerd at 2:11 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: I strongly second kcm's Rauchbier suggestion. There's smoke beer, and then there is true Bamberg Rauchbier. I lived in Bamberg for a few years, and man, that stuff is GOOD.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:55 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: If you like Lapsang Souchong, be sure to try my favorite, Taylors of Harrogate. Worth the search.
posted by tula at 3:09 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A recipe to think about for your Lapsang: tea-smoked duck.

Has anyone suggested smoked mackerel yet? It's lovely. Smoked chicken is also very nice as rodgerd points out.
posted by calico at 3:18 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Some fragrances are smoky.
posted by iviken at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Some Chinese restaurants in LA's San Gabriel Valley serve a plum juice that tastes very smoky. I was shocked the first time I ordered it, then came around to feel it's quite a nice beverage if you're not looking to quench your thirst.
posted by Scram at 4:38 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Look for a very smoked salty cheese (oscypek) and double-smoked sausage (like this, but nearly black from smoke) at a Polish or Eastern European store.
posted by parudox at 6:36 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Seconding Laphroaig, although usually that's just too intense for me so I stick to Talisker or Bunnahabhain (both smoky and peaty but not insane) or Highland Park (a bit of smoke but no peat).
posted by mmoncur at 8:29 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: In the "other smoky things" realm, how about a good old-fashioned Southern pulled pork, or a Texas brisket? Smoke + meat = nomnomnomnom.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:21 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Demeter has a scent called 'Bonfire' which is shockingly accurate. I spilled some Bonfire cologne on myself in a shop and was sniffing my hand all day in amazement. You could get shower gel and room spray in addition to the cologne.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:33 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: How about making lapsang souchong tea eggs?

I needed a non-meat dish to match a red wine with smoky notes, so I found a regular tea egg recipe and used lapsang souchong instead of regular black tea. They ended up being quite tasty. Oddly and delightfully, they tasted a bit like bacon.
posted by soleiluna at 10:39 PM on January 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Along with the Tokaji wine mentioned above, Hungarian cuisine has some other great stuff. If you are ever around Central Europe I'd try the smoked meats made from Mangalica. You can actually make the wonderful Jokai soup at's rich and smoky when made with the right stuff.

In many Scandinavian countries, a juniper flavored soft drink called Julmust outsells Coke during the Holiday season.

You can also make tea with the needles of many conifers like spruce.
posted by melissam at 1:18 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I LOVE YOU ASK MEFI
posted by fake at 3:59 AM on January 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Inspired by your post, I brewed lapsang souchong iced tea last night. The flavor is as tantalizing cold as hot. Give it a try.
posted by terranova at 11:45 AM on January 21, 2009

Response by poster: I have found it makes a great base for dark hot chocolate (especially with a tiny bit of red pepper to give it bite).

I'll try it cold.
posted by fake at 12:35 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: OK, because whisky is serious business and there's all this room at the bottom of the thread, here are the single malts identified as smoky, charred, burnt, etc. by the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre menu's tasting notes. The asterisks seem especially smoky:

St Magdalene 19: "burnt grass"

Clynelish 14: "slightly smoky"
Clynelish 24: "lightly smoky"
Dalwhinnie 15 : "delicately smoky"
Glen Garioch 21: "heather fire smokiness, toasted malt"
*Glen Garioch 29: "Big earthy taste, black treacle toffee and charred oak"
Glen Garioch 37 : "hints of ... burnt sugar"
Oban 14 : "burnt heather becoming smoky"
Old Pulteney 15: "a touch of smoke"
Royal Brackla 10: "smoky & spicy notes"
Royal Lochnagar 12: "slightly smoky"
*Teaninich 10: "smoky, fruity, slightly peaty taste"

Aberlour 15: "toffee-like and smoky"
Aberlour 30: "a little smoke"
Benrinnes 21: "vanilla, smoke & a hint of sherry"
Cragganmore 12: "smoky maltiness in the finish"
Dailuaine 16: "smoky finish"
Dufftown 21: "finishing in ... sweet smokiness"
Glendronach 15: "Sherry sweetness with ... smoke"
Glenfarclas 21: "delicately smoked"
Knockdhu 21: "a smoky fragrance"
The Macallan 25: "slightly smoky"
Mannochmore 22: "smoky, yet minty nose"

Ardbeg 10: "Bonfires & the sea with a clean sweetness followed by a long smoky finish"
Ardbeg 17: "peaty, smoky"
Ardbeg 30: "a balance of malt, peat smoke and a hint of the sea"
Bowmore 12, 17, 22, 25, 30, 1066 etc: all "balanced smokiness" or "heather embers" or "DIAF" or some such
Highland Park 12: "rounded malty smoky sweetness"
Highland Park 18: "smoky, aromatic top-note"
Laguvlin 16: "Deeply smoky & peaty"
Laphroaig 15: "a rich smokiness"
Laphroig 30: "famous peat reek & intensity"
MacLeod's Island 8: "smoky & malty palate"
MacLeod's Islay 8: "smoky & peaty"
Talisker 10: "seaweedy & smoky"

Careful along the Grassmarket now.
posted by fidelity at 4:30 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Lapsang Souchong is the base for Thai iced tea. Make super-sweet, pour into a tall glass over lots of crushed ice and topped off with some whole milk or half & half. Soothing between fiery bites of beef with green curry.
posted by tula at 11:13 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Late to the smoke party but.... This perfume is based on Lapsang Souchong, works for a man or a woman and is my absolute favorite.

I really enjoy these natural wood incense bricks I got at my local outdoorsy store (which might be a good resource for you- mine has a whole slew of cedar, juniper, pinon smelling things).

Have you considered a smoker? When I was young my dad used to smoke all sorts of meats and have a great time experimenting with different chips and combinations. Smoked lake trout done with applewood chips was a favorite of mine.
Thanks for asking the question! I've learned about all sorts of new things to try.
posted by tinamonster at 9:26 PM on January 23, 2009

Best answer: addendum: I saw that a food blog I read is exploring conifer flavors
posted by melissam at 10:15 AM on January 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

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