Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar - Stillwater Artisanal Ales
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
3.05/5 rDev -19.9%
Draft at Khyber Pass Pub.
Pours a very dark brown that's almost black with faint mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger light beige head. Decent retention only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves steaks and spots of lace behind.
Interesting aroma that's part smokey and part hoppy. Not nearly as smokey as I had hoped for unfortunately with subtle hints of charcoal, wood and BBQ. There's some roasted dark malt notes but they aren't burnt smelling along with some grassy pine. As it warms the smoke becomes more prominent but overall the nose is a bit of a disappointment for me.
Chewy full body with a blast of earthy hops that overpower the smoked malt notes and linger over the roasted body into a dry finish. Dry and bitter with hints of grass and pine along with subtle citrus fruit character. Underneath, the malt backbone is somewhat smokey but unfortunately this flavor is outshined by the bitterness. Faint smoked/roasted malt with hints of roast, dark chocolate, BBQ and ash. The smoke is most prominent in the finish but it's kind of an afterthought. I wanted a smoke bomb but I got a hop overload. This isn't particularly negative but in this style of beer it's a let down. Still, the ABV is well masked and the beer is overall decently balanced.
11-15-2011 07:31:05 | More by corby112
3.18/5 rDev -16.5%
First had: bottle from Pinocchio's, Media, PA
Kinda surprised I haven't reviewed this one until now--I only uploaded the pic on this site--but oh well. Obviously the bottle art drew me right in to this beer. Extra appearance points for incorporating Metallica, Slayer, and general black metal logos.
Poured a dark brown-black, opaque, with a small tan head that receded to a ringlet and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Unfortunately, I was not a big fan of this beer other than it's bottle and appearance. I like a good smoked beer once in a while, but this one just wasn't doing it for me. Aroma thick with liquid smoke, malty sweetness, charred wood. More of the same in the taste, liquid smoke, strangely sweet and jarring, soy sauce and BBQ sauce, ash and charcoal, chewy caramel malts underneath, with a resinous bitterness coming in near the finish. Medium body, seemed a bit thin in mouthfeel, but definitely huge on smokey taste. This was a tough tough beer to finish.
09-11-2012 17:16:12 | More by Rifugium
3.51/5 rDev -7.9%
500ml bottle poured into a matching Mikkeller teku glass. The brew pours a dark muddy mahogany brown color with a rich 2 fingers worth of yellowish stained froth. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain about a finger seemingly throughout the entire duration. As the cap fades, it leaves a full wall of webby lacing effect on the glass.
The aroma is pretty intense with smoke quality however underneath is a bounty of fruity alcohol esters coupled with hops. It displays almost a raisin-like aspect mixed with burnt sugars coming across like caramel or molasses. As I smell this brew more, it gets a bit of earthiness mixed with some mineral components across the back.
The taste initially is pretty much dominated by a beefy smoked quality that is somewhat reminiscent of pete but without the phenolics. Bacon comes to mind before the onset of the previously described fruity alcohol notes mixed with hops. Just like the nose led on, there is a flavor a bit like raisin mixed with some herbal hoppy bitterness and trace mineral aspects that lingers long into the aftertaste.
This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It has enough character to keep it interesting and a bit different from the usual smoke beer. However, coming from the 2 most over-priced breweries I have ever encountered, this was an epically over-priced offering that I wish I never purchased. Had it not been for my friend wanting to try this and the guy who sold it to me proclaiming it's uber rare status that I would never see again, I wish I could have a take back on this one. Even if it is offered to you for a discount price, buy something else.
01-23-2013 02:10:14 | More by stakem
3.53/5 rDev -7.3%
On tap at Rattle N Hum (NYC).
A: Pours a dark brown with a one-finger off-white head that persisted well. Little lacing.
S: A distant campfire, or the smell of the Midwest of my youth during fall as we all raked leaves into piles and burned them.
T: Given the brewers, I was amazed at how subtle the smokiness is on this one. It's certainly present, but it wasn't the cup of campfire I was expecting. However, it struck me as a reasonable brown ale.
M: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation. Little trace of alcohol burn (although the menu does list it at 9.4% abv).
O: A decent Rauchbier, and one I'm glad I tried.
11-13-2011 02:25:58 | More by speter
3.58/5 rDev -6%
On tap at Max's taphouse in Baltimore for Baltimore beer week. Not my favorite.
Beer is dark brown to black and hazy with a tan head of small bubbles, moderate to low carbonation and some lacing on the glass. Looks good.
Aroma is strongly smokey, some sweetness, lots of roast.
Beer is thin and dry, too dry for a Rauch in my opinion. I think it is stylistically fine to make a dry Rauch, many people prefer it but when you do this you leave the drinker with a harsh aftertaste of smoke. This is what happens here. While the beer TASTES fine, the aftertaste really takes my breathe away in a bad way. I come up from each sip gasping for air. It is a good rauch but I won't have it again.
10-13-2011 12:39:18 | More by drabmuh
3.63/5 rDev -4.7%
$13.99 for a 500ml bottle from Belmont Party Supply in Dayton, OH. Thanks, Mark!
A: very dark, deep, deep copper/red color, clear with full tan head that kept nearly to last drop
S: dark chocolate with a pronounced smoke character and piney hops, very full nose but seems a bit unbalanced
T: rich, chewy malt up front with noticeable hop bitterness finish and smoke flavor mid-taste, reminded me of a smoked barleywine in character, unfortunately, the resinous hops dominate and overpower the smoke
M: chewy, full - nothing offensive other than too many hops
12-28-2011 03:39:36 | More by wisrarebeer
3.78/5 rDev -0.8%
Had on tap.
Arrived a hazy dark brown with a thick tan head that seemed to last forever.
Aroma of lots of smoke along with bacon. Really smelled like a campfire that someone had thrown bacon on. There was some fruit coming through as well adding another element to the smoke.
The flavor was not as heavy on the smoke as I was expecting. Lots of caramel along with bacon nicely complimenting the smokiness. A nice fruit element as well lending a nice balance to everything. I kind of wish the smoke would have been a little more prominent.
Overall, a nice take on a smoked beer. I like the fruit and hop elements making this beer just a little bit different.
12-19-2012 19:52:17 | More by rangerred
3.93/5 rDev +3.1%
Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar with light smoked notes is quite warming. Taste is a mix dominated more by caramelized sugar with light sweet toffee notes than by smoked malt. Hops presence is not as powerful as I would have expected. Body is full with good carbonation. This must be an older bottle as it appears quite a bit of smoked and hops notes have disappeared.
10-23-2013 20:16:15 | More by Phyl21ca
3.95/5 rDev +3.7%
monstrous nod to gary on helping me tick yet another major want. i mean, really...your generosity and thoughtfulness just amazes me. if there is such as a thing as a "Beer Advocate" tis you! cheers and thanks!
bottle dated 17.07.2012
a - poured 2 glasses a mikkeller bulbous wine glass and a stillwater sniftery wine glass. brew poured a chestnut brown with ruby highlights. a nice frothy creamy belgianish head lay a top. slowly bubbled away leaving small islands of bubbly creaminess and long streaks of lacing on the glass.
s - first leads with a smooth english barleywine malt, then the burnt peat smoke takes over. [the acoustic guitar comes out, redemption song sing-a-long begins...someone must've remembered the chocolate! how can we make smores without chocolate? you gotta have hershey too...it has to be the classic milk chocolate, no other will be right. oh well...i guess we'll just toast marshmellows and eat graham crackers.] that kind of campfire happens. fun and light, but smores are missing. is this thing on?
t - a bit of a roller coaster. at first, the malt comes out with some nice cooling hop...then a slight bump of bitterness, then a quick decent into the smoke, but the char is immediately put out with a somewhat brisk cooling. leaves a coat of peat, but palatable peat. decent hop somewhere in the mix...or perhaps that's some of brian's magic pixie dust that makes his beers so wonderful (sage anyone?). as i get used to it, the english barleywine like malt seems to stick out more. yum, like a smoked barleywine.
m - very crisp and cool from the start through the middle, but the end of the mouth is where the smoke really comes through and coats my mouth. a bit thick, but it is a smoked beer.
o - overall love a collaboration between these legendary brewers. the smokiness to me is reminiscent of some other mikkeller brews (although don't know of any other stillwater attempts at the style), but not as good as rauch breakfast. that being said, this beer has a really interesting twist which is very reminiscent of several stillwater beers. an almost vanilla sage vibe that is so fantastic. this is a style that is hard to really hit out of the park, but i think that this one comes in with a unique twist giving it an english barleywine malt mixed with some stillwater dust and then smoked like a jerome baker bong. enjoyed this one.
02-26-2012 02:33:22 | More by cosmicevan
District of Columbia
3.95/5 rDev +3.7%
On tap at Max's during the Stillwater event.
Pours a dark, thin brown with an off white head; moderate retention and lacing throughout. Aroma is smoked malt forward with mild chocolate undertones and light ash. Balanced flavor with roast malt more prevalent than the nose with a subtler smoke presence. Medium bodied and a dry, smoky finish.
10-09-2011 22:51:16 | More by yourefragile
3.98/5 rDev +4.5%
Pours a nice larger creamy tan 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly with some spotted lacing, over a fairly clear but very dark colored beer, a mahogany ruby molasses amber colored beer.
Nose brings a nice big smoke aroma, light campfire and smoked cheese like aroma, toasted wood, but not overpowering and no real astringent like aromas. A nice dark wheat and malt aroma under that, light molasses, caramel, and light toasty malts.
Taste starts with more smoked malt, again light campfire and a bit of smoked wood. It gets slightly bitter and acrid like a burnt taste but not much. Then malts galore, light roast, crystal malts, hint of cocoa, a fair sweetness with syrupy additions, molasses, hint of caramel, toasty malts, and some dark wheat like flavors as well. Bitterness kicks in with some earthy hops and some from the charred malt and smoke. Hints of esters poke through with the light booze that also comes through. As it finishes it dries a bit, and starts to get slightly astringent from the smoke and earthy spicy hop bitterness, which lingers for a while, with a slight syrupy malt and molasses.
Mouth is med to a bit fuller bodied, decent carb, bit syrupy, and a little warming booze.
Overall not bad, interesting smoked malt flavors and even better aroma, that doesn't get too overpowering, with a nice bitterness that plays on astringent with the tannins from the smoke but doesn't get too much. Light sweetness masks the booze for the most part, but it does get a bit too syrupy feeling.
05-06-2012 18:24:22 | More by jlindros
4/5 rDev +5%
Review from notes.
A: Poured a dark red/brown color with a small tan had the reduced to a very thin cap on top, minimal lacing.
S: Some smoke, toffee and caramel, a little bit of molasses and brown sugar. Also a surprising amount of pine and citrus.
T: A nice combination of sweet and smokey. Lots of the same flavors from the aroma, toffee, caramel, smoke/bacon, brown sugar, and a little bit of chocolate.
M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Nice body to compliment the smokiness.
O: Pretty good rauchbier. Not a beer I would go to on a normal basis, but good to have once in a while.
03-08-2012 21:30:15 | More by mdaschaf
Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
85 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.