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Smoke Ale - Rogue Ales

Not Rated.
Smoke AleSmoke Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

325 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 14.21%
Wants: 53
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Rogue Ales visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Label of 22 oz bottle:

12 Ingredients: Great Western, Harrington, Klages, Munich & Hugh Baird Crystal, Carastan 30/37 & 13/17, Chuck's Alderwood Smoked Munich & Bamberg Beechwood Smoked Malts; Saaz & Perle Hops, Free Range Coastal Waters & Top Fermenting Pacman Yeast. No Chemicals, Preservatives or Additives.


A German Style Rauchbier with an orange-amber hue, a delicate smoke aroma and flavor, with an intense hop finish.

Oregon Brewed - Established 1988

Oxygen Fixing Caps - 48 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 255 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pentathlete
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber nearly opaque brew. Small head, that did not last. The smell was smokehouse all the way. I grew up with Dad smoking chicken, turkeys and hams at least once a month. Sticking my nose in a glass of this brought back memories of those days. This starts out for about a millisecond like an amber ale then--pow--smoky flavor, like a hickory ham hits the palate. Mouthfeel is medium but the smoke flavor coats the mouth. There is a discernible hoppiness at the end that balances everything. This was served with Cincinnati-style chili (a three-way for those that know) and matched up very well.

pentathlete, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of sabrills70
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy amber orange with a 1 finger beige head, didn't last to long, nice lace. Smell of a sweet high quality true smoked ham. Some caramel malt smells but mainly the smokiness is what comes through. The best way to describe this is an APA with some smokiness added. The first taste recognized is the smoke, then a nice caramel malt followed by just enough hop flavor and bitterness. I discovered that the more I drank this, the less I tasted the smoke, it is still noticeable, but just not as profound as the first few sips. A decent brew that is worth a try.

sabrills70, Feb 06, 2005
Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange with a thin but solid head, smells like caramelized breakfast ham, malt and hickory.

Taste is mostly malty with a fairly sharp hoppy aftertaste. Clingly mouthfeel, feels like you're inhaling incense or standing over the charcoal grille while drinking it. Pretty light body and mild smokiness make this a nice beer, I imagine this would go great with pork ribs. Maybe not the best smoked beer but a good effort by an American brewery to mimic this German style.

PopeJonPaul, Feb 05, 2005
Photo of marburg
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clouded burnt orange with a puffy, foamy, but petite head. A good amount of bacon, smoked wood, and jerky in the nose. There are some noticeable, almost sweet, pale ale qualities hiding behind the smokescreen, as it were. The smoke washes out the hop presence a bit; otherwise this is more or less a pale ale.

Only a bit spicy, I'm sure this sat on the shelf for a little while prior to my purchase, and it's spent another 4 months in my basement. I had this eons ago, it seems, and I recall a more confused beverage. In its stead, I find a lightly smoked ale with some pleasant qualities.

More bacon fat, please. Less malt sweetness and spicy hops.

marburg, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of Stubbie1
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A reddish brown brew with an off white head. Decent retention and good lacing that does give way to minimal near the end. Aroma, you guessed it smoke. Reminders of putting the hickory smoke chips on the bbq. Reminded me of being back in Germany when the butchers had their smokers going. Underneath the Bbq aroma is a nice aroma of hops, not strong but they are present. Taste is a malt front then the smoke takes over to a mildly hop finish. I dint know what to expect but I enjoyed this brew. I do think after a few of these brews the smoke would get to me but one or two with a good meal or just to enjoy…Hell yea.

Stubbie1, Jan 25, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle from Garymuchow as part of BIF10. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the dark copper brew. Head exhibits some resiliency, with good foamy lacing. Aroma is of smoke mainly, with apparent malt and hops present. Taste is a pleasingly balanced, with smoke present but not overpowering, throughout the experience. Mouthfeel and drinkability both good, for a smoked beer. Nice representative of the style.

ppoitras, Dec 30, 2004
Photo of ybnorml
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a slightly hazey (some may say smokey) amber ale with a small off white head. The aroma is, you guessed it, Smoke and a hint of spicey hops in the background. Again in the flavor the smokeyness takes front stage. But the lightly sweet and the bitter hop finish balances out the flavor of the beer so that you are not overpowered by the smoke.

ybnorml, Dec 01, 2004
Photo of Skidz
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out orange brown and sits reddish brown in the glass with a nice off-white head and nice lacings. Foam running all over the glass.

A mild smoky aroma comes off this beer, nothing major. Nice spicy hop aroma with good underlying base of maltiness. Toasted wood on the back of the nose.

Tastes sweet up front and slowly builds a sour smoke flavor. Hopping adds a good deal of spiciness, and blend well with the smokiness. Malts carry though to the lightly bitter finish; lingering smoke breifly after swallowing.

Fairly light body, closer to medium, clean with a very open carbonation; dissolves on the toungue.

Goes down as easy as any basic German lager, very easy to handle. I wasn't impressed with the smoke flavor at all, very mild. Still, a very drinkable brew.

Skidz, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of Shaw
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed at Rogue's brewery in Newport, Ore.

This was the first smoked beer I'd ever had when I sampled it in Newport in 2001. At the time I thought it was the worst beer ever. But after trying the style again I realized my error. This is one of the toughest beer styles to get into, but very satisfying.

Rogue Smoke Ale is as good as German rauchbiers I've had. The aroma is -- duh -- smoky and malty. The flavor is both smoky and (a Rogue trademark) hoppy. Maybe that's why I like it. The body is medium: just enough heft but not heavy.

If you liked smoked beers, you must try Rogue Smoke Ale.

Shaw, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of clvand0
2.73/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark color with very little head … actually no head. Came in a 7oz bottle from 1996. No carbonation. The aroma is definitely smoked - nothing much other than that. The flavor is the same - malty-smokiness. It's good, but I don't know how much of it I could take.

clvand0, Oct 04, 2004
Photo of nixhecks
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark orange-reddish color with minimal head, though it retains a film and leaves a little lacing. Aroma is almost all smoke, the more subtle smells aren't quite coming through. Flavor, of course, is also dominated by smoked malts, although it does have a degree of hoppy bitterness/dryness on both the front and the finish. I am a fan of smoke beers, and an even bigger fan of Rogue - if this sounds familiar you will like this. Otherwise, this is an aquired taste. Try it if you have an open-mind.

nixhecks, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
2.35/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark orange color, huge off-white head, that has very good retention. Smells of woodsmoke, and not much more, very weird for a beer. Taste is very smokey, very dry and extremely cloying. I do not like this beer, the flavor is not enjoyable at all, and may be the first beer I have poured out in a long time. Get something else from rogue, who makes many different, palatable beers.

TastyTaste, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is dark orange in color with a nice, retentive off-white head.

Smell – The smoked non-bacon pork almost billowed out of the taster glass. I could pick up some faint malt and hop notes as well but the smoke here was overpowering.

Taste – This one eased up a lot at the taste. It’s still very smokey, mind you, but the other flavors of the ale came through nicely. The crisp American grain went well with the smokey character and I could even pick up some decent citrus hops.

Mouthfeel – This ale is bigger than light-bodied but not quite medium and will leave you with smokey breath for sure.

Drinkability – Great mix of flavor and character here. It’s not as harsh as a true German Rauchbier, which some find a bit too much.

RoyalT, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the last bombers left from my March foray to the Rogue public house in Sanfran. Need to get back some day...
Pours a dark copper-amber with a thick light-khaki head. Smells of candy apple malt, smoked salmon, wet campfire, and faint citrus hops. Interesting. Tastes of smoke-tinged caramel malts up front, met by a charred shot of resinous, bitter rogueish hops. Finish is smoky, bitter, with lingering fruity malt. Not bad, but I tend to like smoked beers period. Decent mouthfeel, not overly big, and pretty drinkable for a smoked beer.

alexgash, Sep 21, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light brown beer with a medium bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of subtle smoke and some malt, I was expecting a bit more smoke but I’m not complaining since smoke beer is not my favourite style. Taste can also be described as lightly smoke with some nice malt to support the smoke. Overall, this is probably a more balanced smoke ale then what is generally known as smoke ale which I appreciated since this is not my favourite style.

Phyl21ca, Sep 07, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Largely clear, coppery-amber in hue with a slight peachy highlight, it is a lovely color. The head never developed much beyond a fizzy cap. This cap quickly turned into a collar, naked in the middle. There is no subsequent lacing. The appearance is pleasant but far from stellar. The nose is “raunchier” than I thought it would be, which is a great thing! My experiences with Smoke Ale lead me to believe otherwise. It is not Schlenkerla Urbock but what is? The bouquet has all the desired aromas like fatty bacon, charred wood resting at a campfire, hammy too. A pleasant surprise! The potency is solid; while it is not vibrant it is plenty healthy. I find it inviting. The bouquet had me thinking Raunch and not Rogue. I damn near forgot who brewed this and then I tasted it. Hops. Big, bright, American hops… the fingerprints of Rogue. Please don’t misinterpret, this is a damn tasty beer. Lovely stuff. It is just not a Raunchbier nor is like any Smoke Ale I’ve tasted before. It is uniquely Rogue. With that said, the palate starts off with some fatty, hammy, charred woody flavors. None of these tastes are that loud and I am not “wowed” by the intensity. Again, I wasn’t expecting to be. Still I can taste these qualities clearly. That is nice. True maltiness is never detected; I bet this beer would be considerably better with a maltier backbone. Depth is needed. In the middle the hops kick in, citrusy, bitter, kind of brash as they now stand above the initial flavors. By the finish the hoppiness dominates until the aftertaste, which is a nice mix of smoke, fat, and citrus. That might sound odd but it works. Yummy! Medium in body but it seems a tickle too thin, the carbonation is moderate, and overall the mouthfeel is decent. I found this beer to be very tasty. The hoppiness works well with the traditional smoked qualities. This beer would really kick ass with some tangy BBQ. I also found it very easy to drink as I am sailing through the bomber I purchased in Burnsville, MN. Recommended.

bditty187, Aug 26, 2004
Photo of ffboooboo
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks- Amber brown, with a tan fluffy head that slowly fades thin. Smell- all smoke to my nose. Taste- Watery beer that starts out tasting like smoke than becomes bitter sweet. The smoke stays with you long after the first drink. My first smoked beer, can’t wait to try more

ffboooboo, Aug 14, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rogue served me a flat beer. That’s the 2nd one in a row from their Brewer’s On The Bay brewpub in Newport. Too bad.

I was initially served a glass with a half-inch of head. But it quickly vanished leaving no head, no lace, and no discernable smell. There was nothing to look at but a body of warm chestnut and refined clarity.

This beer tastes like Kielbasa sausage. The smoke flavor is peculiar though not unwelcome. It is derived from traditional Bamberg beechwood smoked malts and from Pacific Northwest smoked alder malts. The use of alder as a smoking agent probably goes back thousands of years. From the standpoint of both tradition and experimentation, Rogue’s Smoke Ale may very well be a fine representation of the style. But how would I know? I was served a tired old dud.

Rauchbiers are another Bavarian beer that is customarily bottom fermented. Rogue top-ferments their smoke beer and defines it as an ale. This brew has earned no less than seven medals at the GABF. Bet those lucky judges in Denver don’t get what I get at the bar.

The appearance of this beer scores high for clarity and brilliance but is undercut by a lack of head and lace. Ultimately I like the architecture, but not the construction.

RedDiamond, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of canucklehead
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Liquid gold and hazy with a nice fluffy head this beer smells like a rasher of bacon lives in the bottom of the glass. The taste was smoky with a bacon note but the backbone was in place. This is not the most intense rauchbier but it is easier drinking than Alaska's offering. I like this beer but I find that I actually crave more smokiness and intensity of flavour.

canucklehead, Jul 13, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber-copper color, and is topped by a thick tan head. I get an immediate aroma of smoked malt, with perhaps a hint of maltiness lying underneath. The taste is smooth, lightly sweet, with a nice meaty middle. The smoke is first detected in the finish, which is long, drying and smoky. Interestingly enough the combination of smoke and malt in some way reminds me of oranges, though I can't quite say why. Though the beer is light as it goes down, the smoke adds a nice full richness to this beer that is quite good. This is somewhat subtle for a smoked beer, but it is a great level of smokiness for this particular beer, it is very well balanced.

Gueuzedude, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of BeerBuilder
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep copper-orange color with a tan head. The aroma is malty, spicy, with a bit of smoke. The flavor is sweet, then malty, it then finishes with a good smoky flavor. A decent medium bodied brew. Would be great with some smoked meats and cheeses.

Sampled 3/25/04

BeerBuilder, Jun 29, 2004
Photo of connecticutpoet
2.93/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one was an amber, slightly cloudy brew that poured with no head to speak of.

The aroma was of malt and maple smoke. Somewhat promising, so I moved on.

The taste disappointed. It was malty, and tasted of rather strong wood smoke, but there was an underlying flavor of charcoal as well that I just couldn't ignore. There was also no bitterness to speak of, which might have helped mask that charcoal taste.

I like rauchbiers... but this one left me wanting to try something else, as it was unsatisfying.

connecticutpoet, Jun 28, 2004
Photo of budsboy
3.35/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not sure what to make of this style. This is the first smoke ale I've had, so I don't know if my numbers are dead on.

Pours a cloudy brown with small white head that disapates quickly.

As advertised, this brew smells like smoke, man does it ever. Has some fruity overtones and a gingery spice scent.

I'm not sure what to make of this. I'd say a smoker would enjoy this for sure. All smoke and woody flavor, nearly one-dimensional save the mild hop finish. Makes me want to go camping. Interesting.

Full-bodied, mellow mouth feel. Nice reflective sipping beer. Maybe I'd enjoy it more on a cold day.

Truly interesting beer. But after the novelty of the smokey smell wears thin, there's really not much to keep my attention.

budsboy, Jun 20, 2004
Photo of hustlemuscle
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit, I didn't know what to make of this beer on first sip. First, it smells and tastes like a forest fire. And second, maybe that is not such a bad thing? I still don't know for sure. Poured sort of a non-descript amber, with not much carbonation nor head. But put it up to your nose, man oh man. Crazy smoky smell, with a hint of pepper.

When I was a kid, a couple of my friends discovered we could 'smoke' these sticks that had a sort of hollow middle. Drinking this reminded me of that day in the woods, with the fire and hot dogs and soda. Strong smoky malt that mellows as it warms. Mellow hop finish. The stuff is very full bodied, it almost pushes your cheeks out there is so much to it. It is good, but I can't help but think it would have been more enjoyable in front of a roaring fire with snow falling outside, instead of on a back porch in perfect weather.

Thanks to budsboy for providing the porch.

hustlemuscle, May 30, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with Great Western Harrington, Klages, Munich & Hugh Baird Crystal, Carastan 30/37 and 13/17 malts and Chucks Alderwood Smoked Munich and Bamberg Beechwood Smoked Malts. Hopped with Saaz and Perle hops.
14.5 Plato, 48 IBU, 76 Apparent Attenuation, 20.6 Lovibond.

Pours to a slightly hazy deep caramel, forming a frothy, spongy, meringue head with excellent retention and wonderfully sticky lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is very nice...distinct smokiness like Lapsang Souchong, ham, liquid smoke, mixed with a faint floral hoppiness and background of amber malts with caramel overtones. Mouthfeel is soft with a spicy front, medium body, and semi-dry finish. Taste begins with spicy, citric and piney hops with touches of hop resin, followed by smoky ham and incense, a medium-strong herbal bitterness, just a touch of metal, a light residual sweetness, toast, and a very woody and earthy semi-dry finish.

This is a very good brew from the expert brewers at Rogue. Kinda reminds me of a Schlenkerla Marzen mixed 50/50 with Rogue American Amber. Very nice, easy to drink, a Americanized hybrid of the classic rauch style. The potently herbal hops and woody finish distract, and I would rather have a Schlenkerla Marzen if I was going to drink a Rauchbier.

Update: I got ripped off. I bought a 7oz bottle of Rogue-XS Smoke Ale, thinking it was a different beast. Turns out it's the exact same thing you get in the 22oz bottle. Flat, too. $1.49. Still tastes good, though chalkier in the finish. Perhaps more suggestions of prunes and raisins just because it's probably older.

Mitchster, May 28, 2004
Smoke Ale from Rogue Ales
86 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.