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Charkoota Rye - New Holland Brewing Company

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Charkoota RyeCharkoota Rye

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234 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 234
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 21.41%
Wants: 15
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Smoked Beer |  7.79% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Charkoota Rye - Smoked Doppelbock Lager

Charkoota Rye is a Smoked Rye Dopplebock. Charkoota Rye's malty backbone is derived from a blend of rye and four other malts, including malted barley smoked over cherry wood by our very own brewers, John and Jeff.

Its smoke-forward body is balanced with tones of deep mollasses and caramel, with a crisp, clean lager finish.

19° Plato, Alc. 7.75% by Vol.

(Beer added by: Deuane on 01-04-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 234 | Reviews: 130 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Minkybut
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. Took a couple bites of my smoked turkey, then took about three hits of this beer then poured it down the drain. I should have cooked the turkey in it, now that would have been good. The beer was smokey, nearly black. No head and way to smokey flavored for me.

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of foam. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - Campfire aroma with notes of wood and smoked meats.

T - Smoke flavor is less strong than the aroma. Good caramel maltiness that you'd expect in a dopplebock.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a somewhat dry finish.

D - This is an interesting brew. Light on the smoke flavor with a nice caramel presence.

Photo of dman1969
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark red, mahgoany more so. Tan head that disappeared almost immediately.
S: Smoke and charcoal overpowered. Smelled like lighting the grill.
T: Again, smoke was the predominant flavor, giving out some as it warmed in the glass.
M: Medium, low carbination but that was fine. Alcohol covered but you could see it hanging to the glass.
D: It was a little to smokey for my taste, but as it warmed up, it reminded me more of a barleywine.
Overall, I was impressed. I am not much on smoked beers, but it grew on me. I would buy this again.

Photo of Pencible
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This poured a clear black cherry with quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like smoke and bacon and charcoal, with some copper hops and a bit of molasses and coffee.
T: It tasted like tons of smoke, with some dark roasted coffee and a bit of copper hops, toffee, and more smoke. It had a relatively smooth smoky aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Not bad, but not great.
D: This beer was overpowered by the smoke character, ruining an otherwise very good beer. Moderation and balance could really benefit this, but instead the rye wasn't even discernible. The body was alright, and the alcohol was well hidden. But the beer still wasn't easy to drink because it was just overly smoky.

Photo of Beejay
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark red in the glass with a very nice tan head.

S: Big smoke flavor right off the bat. Sweet cherry wood, and bbq with a bit of malt in the finish.

T: Nice and smoky throughout. Some strong malts, but they are a covered up by the smoke. There is a lovely clean finish.

M: Fairly thick, the carbonation seems a little low, but I think it works with the style.

D: By far one of the best beers I have had with cherry smoked malt. Sometimes they become a little too cloying, but this one is strong, and beautiful. Well crafted, clean and delicious.

Photo of billab914
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark brown, cola like color. It started with a thin tan head but it quickly retreated and remained around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of earthy smoke to it. It's enough to know that this is going to be one smoky beer. A bit of the malty, caramel, dark fruit, doppelbock characteristics come through as well and some sweetness.

The smoke flavor really comes through throughout the flavor. It adds a strong earthy, burnt, camp fire like flavor to it. A little bit of the malty, caramel flavors come through to add some sweetness. I'm getting some cherry fruitiness to it as well. I'd like to think it's the cherry wood coming through but it's probably more of the malts. The rye seems to come through in the finish giving it a bit of a spicy, breadiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate, to low. Drinkability is good, I really liked the smoky flavors to it. It's definitely a smoke centered beer and probably fits more in the rauchbier category. I really liked the malty and fruit flavors this had as well, and they made a great base for the smoke. Everything came together very nicely and made for a very flavorful beer overall. If you don't like smoked beers though, this one isn't for you.

Photo of beerhan
1.6/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I tried this beer at a tasting and after one pour I realized that this in fact was the worst beer I have ever had. It lo oks promising and pours a nice thick black with a decent head but the taste is just awful. I don't like bacon amd that's all I could taste. I ended up not even finishing my taste because it turned my stomach. I live new holland but this is something I would not recommend to anyone.

Photo of Proteus93
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by the idea of a smoked doppelbock, and considering I tend to enjoy both rauchs and bocks, it seemed within reason that this would be a good buy.

A: Pours a deep brown with some rusty red highlights. I wasn't able to get much head out of it, in contrast to others here, though the Celebrator glass it was poured into may have gone through the wash and been subjected to a drying solution.

S: The aroma is a strong highlight, I find. Sweet caramel and hints of toffee with just enough smoke to be certainly noticed, but not to mask out the other aromas that were to be taken in as well.

T: Flavour follows rather closely behind the aroma, really... sweet and smoky. There are some chocolaty flavours that might be just a little out of place, but otherwise, the balance here is pretty nice. I do not really pick up on rye as much as I could, but that doesn't really play into the experience, because it's quite pleasant either way... I don't think a little more rye spiciness would have hurt, though! The bottle suggests pairing it with "all things pork," and I can honestly see this alongside a tangy barbecue on a toasted roll. Great, now I'm hungry.

M + D: Mouthfeel is a little fuller, though still rather smooth and semi-creamy. Carbonation is moderate, and suitable for the style. I think New Holland has put out a quality offering with this one, and I look forward to returning to it from time to time... especially when the fall chill starts to settle in!

Photo of Tone
4.2/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown. 1/3 inch head of an pale tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong smoke, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of hops, and slight yeast. Fits the style of a Doppelbock. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong smoke, sweet malt, roasted malt, slight yeast, and slight hops. Overall, the smoke dominates; more reminiscent of a rauchbier, than a doppelbock.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a mug. Can't say I've tried a smoked doppelbock lager before.

The pour is a dark reddish-brown, with about half a finger of creamy light tan foam. Retention is pretty good, but there's not much stickage.

Aroma is sweet and smoky. Lots of caramel, brown sugar, and molasses...and smoke. It's got that smoked meat/bacon kind of vibe to it, but it's not overwhelming. Sadly, I'm not smelling a whole lot of spicy rye.

The flavor follows, though the rye stands out in the finish. Good sweet and smoky balance. Any time I read "smoked" in any beer's description, I begin to worry, as I'm not at all a fan of hugely smoky beers. Charkoota Rye has what seems to be the perfect amount of smoke - enough to give you the woody, smoky, meaty flavor without the char. Little dryness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Not much going on the carbonation department, which makes for a very slick, smooth body. Plenty of heft, and no real noticeable alcohol. Good lasting flavor.

All in all, a very interesting drinking experience from New Holland. An enjoyable brew for sure, but a bomber is probably more than enough.

Photo of doppelbockrob
4.83/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown appearance that is standard of a good doppelbock. Little head that dissipated rather quickly.

The aroma of the smoky malt was rather pungent and I could not smell much else. It smelled delightful.

The taste was wonderful. First, a rush of roasted malts, followed by toffee, a very subtle taste of hops and a smooth smoky finish.
Not too smoky and rather balanced.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous garnet red with topaz accents. An increasingly high-altitude pour produced a thick slice of sand colored suds that doesn't have much interesting surface topography and doesn't leave much lace. Oh well, the color of the beer more than makes up for it.

Since the brewery calls this offering a Smoked Doppelbock Lager, then that's what it is. On the other hand, there's easily enough pungent smokiness for rauchbier to be a style consideration. An underlying dark maltiness is appreciated as well.

To state the obvious, Charkoota Rye is good beer if you enjoy doppelbocks, smoked malt and rye malt. I'm not always 100% thrilled with the first, but those last two... definitely onboard. The beer benefits by being on the sweet side, while stopping well short of cloying.

Specifics include darkest caramel, pumpernickel toast, a dollop of molasses, and an ideal amount of sweet wood smoke. I'm reminded of Islay Scotch, but it's probably the fact that that spirit contains peat-smoked barley. A certain earthy tanginess brings the comparison home to an even greater extent.

NHBC did a commendable job using cherry wood smoke as an accent (a heavy accent) rather than making it the 800 lb. gorilla of the flavor profile. This is a well put together large lager that hides all (or at least most) evidence of its ABV on the taste buds. The central nervous system is another matter.

Even though there isn't much carbonation, the mouthfeel easily keeps pace. It's silky smooth and has a light lip stickiness that is enjoyable to anyone who loves bigger beer.

In lesser hands, a smoked rye doppelbock with rye malt might have been a mess. New Holland has the chops to carry it off and has a winner with this multi-faceted lager. If they haven't already, the brewery needs to give serious consideration to seasonal release. Crisp afternoons, burning autumn leaves, college football games... and a bomber of Charkoota Rye.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: dark brown, fluffy haad, nice lacing

smell: loads of smoke, BBQ, bacon aroma

taste: nice, not smoke dominant. it's pungent, but balanced with the beer.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: decent selection. would try again, probably one of the best smoked beers I have had.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouts a deep brown, almost black color with a thin tan head that retains OK. The aroma has a nice bacon scent upfront, along with some rye, dark fruits, caramel and licorice, soy sauce and a bit of alcohol. The taste has a more subdued smoke character than the aroma, along with some caramel and toffee sweetness, some fig and date, licorice, a rye sharpness and a little soy sauce. The mouthfeel is a little ligher than expected but no unpleasant, and drinkability is good for a high alcohol smoked beer. Pretty solid smoked beer here, nothing mind blowing but worth a purchase.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very sweet, malty, and smokey beer that evokes the pairing of great Bar-B-Que.

The pour brings a rustic brown color with moderate haze, great lightly tanned head formatioh, great lacing and retention. This is one handsome looking beer.

Aromas of smoke and molassas hit the nose immediately. Rich malt sweetness allows for deep caramels, toast, molassas, and brown sugars to thrive in flavor and smell. Rye grains begin with a richly robust malt character and a sharp spiciness leading directly to the hop additions. At mid-palate, the malts waiver just a bit allowing for the spicy rye to linger along with the citrucy and piney hop flavors and bitterness. You don't see that in many Dopplebocks.

The beer starts off sweet, and remains sweet because of the low hop character. Residual sweetness lingers on the mouth surfaces and keeps the beer from the malty-drying finish that classic Dopplebocks do. Still, a pleasure to drink.

Photo of SykDoc
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a pleasant brown color that looks ruby when held to the light. A 1/8 inch tan head forms and reduces quickly to a uniquely active lacing around the edges with carbonation readiliy visible.

The aroma is primarily a caramel malt sweetness combined with smoke. Not complex, but good.

The taste is a quick sweetness followed immediately by smoky goodness that slowly fades to another caramel malt sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. The carbonation is a bit high and may detract slightly. It seems to go down cleanly and leaves a uniquely smoky aftertaste, which almost has a texture.

Overall, this beer is definitely drinkable but the flavor and smokiness may be too much for the palate if I had more than 1. Definitely worth getting again for a good change of pace.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark, brownish-red with a cream colored head. The aroma is smoky and smells somewhat like burnt plastic. The flavor is roasted malt, meaty BBQ smoke and some chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An interesting doppelbock that I hope to try again.

Photo of cantloveemall
1.6/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Was interested in trying another beer with Rye so decided on this, boy was that a mistake.

A - dark amber, thin brown head

S - Like bacon, not in a good way

T - I don't understand why I finished this, I guess because I felt ashamed for paying as much as I did for it

M - Average mouthfeel, I guess you can't mess that up too bad.

D - I mean, unless you're the kind of weirdo that actually wants to DRINK things that taste like bacon this is not drinkable at all.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a dark amber, burgundy hues in the glass. A thin, light mocha head on top, any lacing slides down the glass.

Aroma - huge smoky nose, wow. Maybe a hint of malt, good luck finding it with any regularity though. Rauchbier intensity smoke here.

Taste - sweet, malty grain has more impact here than on the nose. Still, this is very smoky stuff, a definite Liquid Smoke angle going on. A tasty woodiness in there too. Swallow and aftertaste are clean.

Mouthfeel - smooth, evenly carbonated, solid body for a doppel.

Drinkability - a definite rauch-doppel hybrid. Good beer, but limited appeal despite. I would like to try this with some smoked pulled pork or even brisket.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock glass.

Pours a deep, mostly clear dark brown, with ruby tints evident when light is present. The soapy head dissipates rather quickly, leaving a weak bit of lacing. The nose showcases a battle between smokiness and sweetness (sorta syrupy). The taste shows that smokiness has the upper hand, giving a campfire-side impression for the tongue. That sweetness, though, remains in the back, keeping that initial conflict alive on the tongue. The moderate body slickly passes through the body, allowing for a fairly high drinkability (especially if, if you're like me, you enjoy a good smoky beer).

Photo of WakeandBake
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber. A clear dark blood red pour with a very small short lasting soapy head , some spotty lacing , light carbonation . Aroma smells like a campfire , lots of wood smoke , a light sweetness and a a bit of spice. Flavor is of artifical liquid smoke , bacon grease , dry wood and dusty grain , long salty ham like finish , slick mouthfeel with an oily texture, full body , not what I would call sessionable at all . I was really looking forward to trying this, Someone must like this somewhere right ? I love you guys at New Holland and love your other beers but this one is just not for me , sorry .

Photo of prototypic
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Charkoota Rye is a cherry stained brown color. It's mostly clear and has a nice burgundy tint with backlighting. A modest off-white head covers the top. It doesn't quite rise to a finger deep and disappears very quickly. Lacing was very light. Not bad, but not great.

The nose is rather weak and uninspiring. It's simply not very aromatic. There's a bit of a light smoky scent that's noted throughout. It smells nice and malty. I was expecting it to have a spicy edge, but I'm not getting that. I'm hopeful that rye has a stronger impact on the flavor. Alcohol is blended well and isn't noticeable. Overall, it smells very average. Perhaps more strength would help.

The flavor is better than the nose suggests. It has a nice, sweet malty base. There is a slight sugary flavor. The smoked flavor is the driving force of the flavor. It complements the malts nicely. A slight spicy flavor is present from the rye. It's somewhat subtle, and frankly, doesn't work very well with the smoked flavor. They don't gel well together. It tastes a little yeasty on the tail. Alcohol never is much of a factor. It's mildly noticeable in flavor on the finish. It's above average, but a far cry from great.

Charkoota Rye has a light medium body. It's too light and never has a smooth or plush feel to it. Carbonation is very light. I wouldn't complain if a few more bubbles were present. Pretty average. Drinkability is rather average, as well. The flavor's alright, but doesn't do much for me. I'll probably finish the bomber, but I wouldn't pick up another.

New Holland is one brewery that's been hit and miss for me. Charkoota Rye belongs with the latter. The nose is weak, the flavor's jumbled and never comes together, and it's too thin. Despite all that, it's still not terrible beer. It's just not very good either. If you're big into smoke flavored beers, then this may be for you. Otherwise, take a pass.

Photo of Jameyd33
4.47/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown in color; very appealing. Smell is amazing: distinct smoke smells with a hint of bacon. Tastes great. Smoke flavor, subtle chocolate. I love Rye. This wouldbe great with a burger, steak, chicken, anything off the grill. Would definitely get more of this and other brews.

Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel red. Very nice complex color. Very little head, no retention, and no lacing. But I really like the color.

Big, smoky nose. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and smokehouse bacon are all there. Very nice, if you are a smoke fan.

Tad sweet, even sugary, on the hit. Smoke quickly takes over and dominates the rest of the way through. Nice dry hops creep into the finish, but the sweetness from the molasses and smoke overpower their attempt at bitterness. Again, if you like smoke then this is a good presentation.

Feel is actually a tad thin for all of the flavors that accompany this drink. Slightly syrupy at times. Surprisingly easy to drink, for 8%, for this smoke-fiend.

Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Love rye, love New Holland, so this one sounds like a winner before the cap is popped...

Pours out a tame, almost headless burgundy with some great highlights around the edges. The lack of head is clearly not due to missing carbonation, which is readily in evidence bubbling up continuously through the brew. Smell is wild, the sweet malts of the doppel clashing mightily with the smooth rye, with a clear piggy tone underneath.

Charkoota is one messed up doppelbock, & I mean that kindly. In this corner we have the smoked malts, which gain the upper hand upon the first sip. Subsequent shots are necessary to discern anything else, but the second reveals that the other malts are offsetting the smokiness to some degree, the sweetness tamping it down nicely. The rye is a distant player, present but scarcely accounted for.

Drinkability is the weakest point of the brew, because really, I can't think of many folks that would want much of a smoky doppelbock. I mean, it's good, & I'm enjoying it, but half the bomber will be plenty, thank you.

Very good, very odd, very original. This was an experiment that could have gone horribly wrong, but the balance here is good & leaves one wondering whether this is a smoked doppelbock or doppelbock with a bit of smoke. Nicely done.

Charkoota Rye from New Holland Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.