Scarlet Fire Rauchbier - Victory Brewing Company

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Scarlet Fire Rauchbier
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BA SCORE
85
very good

147 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 147
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 14
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: goindownsouth on 04-19-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 147 | Reviews: 66
Reviews by mymrnngjckt:
Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.13/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap at Tria. Pours a hazy rust like color. Had a slight smell of burnt wood chip soaked in chick pea brine. The taste was that of a four day old italian hoagie covered in liquid smoke. Not for me at all. It was tought to get down but good for the style. I just don't like Rauchbier.

More User Reviews:
Photo of rugbycritic
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I will admit not to be a HUGE fan of this style, I was pleasantly surprised when one of our locals (Monty's Krown Lounge, Rochester, NY) wrangled a host of Victory offerings recently. A very nicely balanced smokiness that fades as the pint goes down. Altogether extremely pleasant quaffing experience. I've been told that authentic German rauches a much more smoky to the point of chewing on charcoal, which is probably why this is not a huge style category, even in the Fatherland. This little tipple is most likely a good entre into the style. I will probably seek out a few more for investigation and experimentation.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Varga in Philadelphia.

Pours a clear amber color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of meaty smokiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by solid amounts of smoked malt flavors. Midway through the sip the smoked malt fades out just a bit and the flavor profile sweetens. The faint smokiness carries through to a moderately bitter ending where it lingers on the palate after the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this wasn't as smooth as some of the better-known smoked beers but I still enjoyed it. Worth a shot.

Photo of Sammy
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On a guest tap at Fatheads Cleveland. A little disapointing, as I like anything smoked, but still drinkable. I was hoping to growler this. Very smoke,and a little too much like inhaling at a public BBQ, not getting much else complexity. Average mouthfeel, served at correct temperature.

Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A growler purchased at Victory on 11/9.

A: The ale is an amber-orange color with a thick head on pour. As the ale warms and sits, the head all but disappears, leaving no lace or hint of carbonation.

S: The aroma is a fresh smokehouse, thick and dense with a cured ham element. The malts are biscuity and provide a nice complement to the smokiness. I don't detect much of a hop presence in the nose.

T: The ale has a smoky malt flavor that is both chewy and sweet. The smoked malts are so strong that they dominate the flavor. Any other malts and hops are a second thought, allowing the smokiness to really shine through. This is the kind of beer that goes perfectly with a smoked Christmas ham.

M: Oh, the smoky malts! Give me more of this delicious depth.

D: Very drinkable with a low abv. Check this out while it lasts and enjoy a bit of Bamberg in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC into a tumbler. Part of DC beer week Victory tap takeover!

A light off tan head with hints of caramel color kind of creamy, sits on a very crystal clear dark copper amber body. More copper red in appearance as the beer finishes. Very clear for a rauchbier and light.

Classic beechwood smoke, and sweet smelling malts, but very sweet smelling.

Once again from the taste comes a powerful liquid smoke, and beechwood flavor. Light bodied and slightly wet texture though however.

Overall, it's a bit too sweet for my tastes and it's light bodied, but it sure does feel true to style, and would certainly substitute for Schlenkerla nicely.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub. Served in an imperial pint glass for $5.

A: One inch of foamy fizzy off white head. Short retention leads to a thin film. The body has remarkable clarity and is rusty copper in color, medium-light saturation. Spare to no lacing.

S & T: Smoky. Beef jerky immediately comes to mind as well as mesquite BBQ and mild chipotle. The hops are so far in the background at this point that any description [from me] is impossible. I pick up on some bready malts and some fruity esters.

M: Just about perfect with the right amount of fizzy carbonation prickling the tongue. Victory RARELY misses in the mouthfeel department. Medium-light body with moderate sweetness and respectable flavor duration. Almost no bitterness. Crisp finish. Dry.

D: The Scarlet Fire is an excellent smoked lager with a prominent, but not overwhelming smoke flavor. Easy to sip on, but not for long term drinking.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent me this growler in the most recent growlin at the moon BIF. I was thrilled to get this one as not only is it one of my favorite styles, the name is just tight as hell! Big flip top growler was served cold right out of the fridge and poured into several large pint glasses. Consumed on 09/27/2008.

The pour was very nice with a reddish tinted, light amber coming through on this one right away. Nice bit of haze at first, though it settled out to produce a mostly clear liquid that showed off very nice carbonation throughout the session. Very light head on this one, maybe a half an inch in all and that faded to nothing almost immediatly.

The aroma was different then any rauchbier I have had in the past, this was almost spicey and peppery at times. Rich, with a slightly smoked aroma, but more peppery and grainy then anything else. The flavor was more of the same, grain base, with a spicey, almost tingling taste to it, that was not bad at all, far from it, just different and not at all what I was expecting. Light body was decently carbonated and light abv lended itself well to be decently sessioned.

Overall this was an odd one for me. Not bad at all, just very different. The spiciness of the profile really took me off guard on here. I would have no issue with trying this one again, it was just a bit weird is all.

Photo of blackie
4.42/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: medium nutshell amber in color and capped with a layer of khaki carbonation, good retention and lace

s: great marzen base - leafy/autumnal munich and vienna malts give a dry but satisfyingly aromatic backbone that supports the smooth beechwood smoked malt aroma, perfectly integrated into the base beer

m: carbonation on the higher side of medium, body a light-medium, very crisp finish

t: flavorful marzen base of toasty munich and other lager malts provides a great substrate for the woody,moderately smoky beechwood flavors, densely smoked bacon combined with nutty malt flavors, rustic yam, complex and unique, displaying superb balance, crisp and cleanly bitter finish

d: just a great marzen lager, maintaining a high drinkability without sacrificing any flavor, the only beer I've had that can compete with Aecht Schlenkerla in the substyle, which is a huge compliment

0.4 litre glass at the brewpub

Photo of metter98
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a thin off-white head. No carbonation is visible in the form of rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of smoke in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall flavor is very smoky, but it isn't too heavy.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because the smoky aroma and taste is not overpowering.

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Blind Tiger, NYC.

Poured a deep copper hue with a one half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light smoke and solid caramel malt.

The taste was likewise dominated by a light smokiness that gave way to the onrushing caramel malts.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty smoked beer.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden color with a slight redness to it. The carbonation was too much and resulted in a nice enough head but nothing really note worthy. The aroma had a smokiness that couldn't be missed and a sweet maltiness that pretty much dominated any real hop complexity. The taste was a very upfront smokiness that I thought was more aggressive than the Sly Fox Rauch. Still a very well balanced beer.

Photo of drtth
3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a standard pint glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice clear orange amber color with about ½" light tan head that head recedes fairly soon with some light lacing left on sipping. Towards the end of the beer the ring of foam and lacing are minimal.

Smell: The faint smoky aroma is as much like smoked ham as it is the bacon I expected. There is also some sweet toasted caramel malt but no real hop presence here.

Taste: As expected from the nose, the flavor is almost like bacon or smoked ham but with some sweet caramel to in the flavor to balance and mellow the smokiness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light to medium-bodied with minimal carbonation about midway through the beer. The finish semi dry with the smokiness persisting almost to the end.

Drinkability: As for drinkability, this is a fine beer but more of a curiosity for me. I don't mind the smoky flavor and would drink it again if offered, but I don't think this is a preferred style for me so I won't go out of my way to have it again. I think for me this a good representative of an unusual style but not something I feel the need to seek out and have again.

Photo of hopking311
2.65/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours medium copper golden orange, quarter finger head dissapates to thin bubbly layer along top. light on the lacing.

Immediately smelling heavy smoke almost mesquite. smell lightens up as beer sits for 5 minutes.

lightly carbonated, light body

I dont know what to say about the taste.. kinda astringent, kinda like charcoal or lighter fluid.

May be spot on for the style..I dont know.. I can only say for smoked beer its not great in my opinion.. I have used liquid smoke in cooking and thats what I taste.. It gets a little better as it sits.. but still tough to palate.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.41/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

@ The Indie, Somerville MA.

Thin tan/white head (not sure, it was dark) over an amber beer. Head gets stage fright and vanishes quickly. Leaves not so much as a thin skim.

Mesquite smoke aroma. Taste is similar smoke with a Carolina tang/Memphis sweet hybrid BBQ sauce mish mash sweetness. Underlying fruit which seems out of place. Pharmaceutical huskiness with swallow. Mouthfeel is a little juicy.

Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange-amber color with a small puffy head and a decent lace.The aroma was of smoke and malts.

The taste is spicy,sweet and malty.Smoky notes that are just mild. Also,do not forget the light alcohol burn.

The feel is medium body,moderate carbonation with a nice creamy finish.It was so smooth with a well balanced touch.

Notes:Great balance and a really good beer. I liked it and I really did not detect any sausage flavor or meat taste.I don't think I would have minded though. Overall,I will have this again.

Photo of marcpal
4.57/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ive been seeking this one for a while in the Philly area and behold, I found it in my travels while in Boston at Sunset Tap.

Poured from draft into pint glass.

A: Golden color, middle of the road carbonation and bubbling.

S: Mild in the smoked meat department, but the woody smoke is surely there. Not much hops and ample sweetness. A bacon bite.

T: Not Aecht caliber, but enjoyable indeeed. Balance is terrific even though it doesnt have the potent smoked meat flavors of the German greats. This is ridiculously smooth and the aftertaste of the smoked bark is fantastic.

M: Smooth as can be, fairly substantial mouthfeel with a cooked finish.

D: The most enjoyable and drinkable rauchbier to date, in terms of not being overly smoky, yet tasty and enjoyable.

Leave it to Victory to nail another German style-awesome, just awesome take on this one.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a deep brown with a tan head and a bit of lacing. Nose brings a good dose of smoke and a little bit of earth. Taste is smoky but not overly so. Not a huge amount of other flavors and lacking in the leafy character of many beers of the style. Feel is fairly light and a bit dry. Drinks really well with great body and a not overpowering level of smoke.

Photo of woodychandler
4.54/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OMFG, I dreamt about this beer and on my first visit following said dream, it made a triumphant return following a three-year hiatus. I will now begin dreaming about becoming Croesus-rich and having a knock-out girlfriend.

It arrived with a big, off-white head that slowly reduced to a light coating of wisps. The color was a hazy, light-orange. The nose had a great smoky sweetness to it, not unlike hickory-smoked bacon, if that is your thing. It's definitely mine. The mouthfeel was on the thin side, but it still had a nice effervescence. I really got a jolt of smoke on the tongue and the lingering smokiness on the finish was just what I had dreamt about. Smoke 'em if you've got 'em, boys and girls!

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Victory

The more I go to Victory, the more I like their beer fresh and on tap from the source. This one really hit the spot, and paired great with my fish and chips.

Clearish medium amber pour into a 33cl glass, with a small white head that retained as a small ringlet. Biscuity malt aroma with a nice scent of a fresh burning campfire. A nice smoky malt flavor here that wasn't too potent or overdone, making this an easy-drinking rauchbier; lesser notes of toasted bread and maybe a faint whisper of leafy hops. It wasn't a full-blown smoked ham like some rauchbiers, but I think that's a good thing. I have to kind of be in the mood for a smoked beer, and even then, one is usually enough. This one was light and palatable enough for me to want to go back for more.

Photo of AgentZero
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber colored beer with tan head that left a little bit of lacing on the sides.

S - Smells of smoke and smokey ham. There is a bit of caramel smell in there with some bready malts, but the rauch in this is the focus.

T - Smoke, smokey malts, little bit of caramel malts. There's no doubt that the smoke in this is the focus, but it's not so strong that it's too strong. Not bad.

M - Fairly hefty with some pretty active carbonation.

O - Enjoyable beer, wouldn't mind having it again. The flavor is a good example of the style and it's pretty easy to get down.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean yellow-ish color with a small off white head. In the aroma, bacon and smoke, with hints of a lager in there somewhere. In the taste, beef jerky and smoked pork. A smooth and light bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cabin fire and smoked pork kind of aftertaste. Still a lager but nice smoke, pretty damn nice.

Photo of MissOrch
3.87/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like a pint of liquid beef jerky on an empty stomach, I think to myself, as I now belch up some smoky goodness. It poured a dark copper/amber color, with a thin head, that was gone before I even started drinking. Granted, I let the beer sit for a while first. It smelled of malt and sticky caramel. The taste was surprisingly mild for the malty smell, and full of smoky flavor. It finished with a slight bitterness that only lasted a second. This beer was very light, and very drinkable. I could have easily had more, if only I had more to eat first. It would have gone great with smoked gouda.

Photo of Oakenator
4.67/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber-brown color with an eggshell colored head and good carbonation. Good lacing through consumption. Smells smokey yet some sweetness is present via the nose. Taste reveals some caramel or candy up front and then finishes with a long smokey flavor. A definite favorite from Victory.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a becher.

This guy's been a Want since I learned it existed. Luckily for me ChurchKey's draft list is badass. The pour results in a clear copper/amber with about half a finger of white foam on top. Good start, right? Well, the honeymoon ends when I smell the thing. Whatever is there is very faint, unlike any rauch or smoked beer I've had before. There's a tinge of smokiness, as though the grill wasn't working properly. There's also an intimation of wheat. That's about it. The taste comes off similarly. There's a light smoked ham flavor, along with some wheat bread and a vague dull bitterness. Frankly, according to my tongue, this is one of the weakest smoky beers I've ever had. That said, it's not bad-tasting, just not what it claims to be. The body is pretty light, with moderate carbonation and a smooth and moist feel. Honestly, not a bad brew overall, but I expected better from Victory.

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Scarlet Fire Rauchbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.