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Scarlet Fire Rauchbier - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Scarlet Fire Rauchbier
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very good

137 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 137
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 13
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: goindownsouth on 04-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 137 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:


3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

06-28-2010 00:44:00 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of SaCkErZ9


3.53/5  rDev -6.4%

Served on the growler station at Charleston Beer Exchange in normally beautiful but currently oppresively hot and humid Charleston, SC.

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head. The foam recedes into a small amount of lace.

Aroma was a bit lacking on the smoke front. Speaking to the brewmaster at CBX, he intimated this would be "in your face smoke". Sadly, it isnt. There is a delicate smoke aroma and flavor that will fit most palates without overdoing things. However, I was expecting more smokiness. Perhaps my expectations are flawed; perhaps not.

Good mouthfeel with good drinkability. Glad I tried this one but I would not actively seek this one out in the future. Barely above average overall.

06-22-2010 22:29:51 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of drabmuh


3.95/5  rDev +4.8%

Rauchbiers have gotten my attention lately, this was on draft so I decided to get some.

Beer is surprisingly light, clear and red (scarlet...I get it). Forms a white broken head of small bubbles, carbonation is low and there is no lacing. Looks fine.

Aroma is no shock here, mostly smoke, like hickory, pretty expected. Not over powering like some though. I appreciate the level of the smokiness in there. The smoke still unfortunately overshadows anything else that may be going on in there though.

This beer is confusing. When I first taste it, I think, medium bodied but by the time I swallow I think it was quite watery. There isn't really any bitterness or sweetness to it. Some moderate to low body in the front and it finishes cleanly. Some of the smoke character is left as a late or even a slight aftertaste and the smoke builds the more you drink. Overall its a pretty decent rauchbier. Could use some beefing up though.

05-24-2010 15:46:20 | More by drabmuh
Photo of TMoney2591


3.18/5  rDev -15.6%

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.

05-21-2010 12:52:07 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of cpetrone84


3.73/5  rDev -1.1%

Had on tap at Victory

A-darker clear golden orange with a pure white head.

S-smokey up front, notes of charcoal followed by dry hay. caramel malt underneath with a light note of grassy hops and a touch of lemon.

T-the taste is smokey up front with a caramel malt backbone. notes of lemon with grassy hops and a touch of citrus. grainy hay lies in the finish and seems to linger a bit.

M-this is smooth and soft on the palate, the carbonation is a little low letting the medium body leave something to be desired.

D-this has a nice smokey presence toit with a good balance of sweetness from the malts and hops in the back.. has some good stuff going on here.

05-20-2010 14:52:05 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of jwhancher


4.38/5  rDev +16.2%

Pours a clear ruby red. Good carbonation. Smells of attractive hickory smoked flavor. Bartender said this was a one off but it smells &tastes great. Wish they would offer this more. Flavor I'd almost liken the malts and taste to are flavors on a BBQ grill with ham or rib flavor. Excellent for any beer drinker who loves ribs, wings, or any BBQ. I really like this. Wish I could get a sixer. I can see if some are turned off as this one probably has a smaller audience than most beers.

05-17-2010 19:35:48 | More by jwhancher
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.38/5  rDev -10.3%

@ 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.

03-06-2010 14:51:21 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.88/5  rDev +2.9%

A light ruby colored body with about one finger of tan head that doesn't last long and doesn't really leave any lacing behind.

The aroma has a touch of smoke, some grain flavors and some hope in the background.

The smoked malt dominate this beer, making it taste a little bit like peat. Underneath the smoke is a little bit of a light grain flavor, and a decent yeast base that adds some peppery and fruity flavors. There is a slight hop presence too, that adds just a touch of bitterness and grapefruit flavor. Smoke dominates this beer, but not in an abrasive way. There is just enough balance to make it a nice beer.

Mouthfeel is a touch above medium in body and a little below moderate in carbonation.

Really drinkable, I downed my pint in no time. Good beer overall.

03-03-2010 23:59:17 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of garuda


3.48/5  rDev -7.7%

Poured into a pint glass produces a one finger thick head with good persistence. Color is a clear orange/amber, slightly darker at the top.

Aroma is a sweet caramel smokey scent with a hint of smoked ham.

Mouthfeel is a medium body with medium to low carbonation.

Taste is of smoked ham with very subtle hops.

The smoked ham aftertaste really lingers in my mouth and makes it salivate, and because of this dominating taste, does not get high marks from me for drinkability. I was intrigued to try it when I read the description of this brew, but probably wouldn't get it again unless it was paired well with a meal.

02-10-2010 02:39:32 | More by garuda
Photo of ljbrisson


2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

Poured into a tulip from a growler obtained yesterday and kept in the fridge. Pours a dark caramel red/amber with a finger-width head with substantial retention. Aroma is caramel, toffee, some bready malt and a suggestion of smokiness from the smoked malt. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation, not too heavy, in anticipation of watching some AFC/NFC championship football. The taste, however, is a different story. Taste is caramel, toffee, whole-grain bread, toast, light charcoal, and a light astringent smokiness. I expected a dark, roasty smokiness from this beer, but the smoke is merely a background note. No hop presence to speak of. Overall this beer is not one I would try again. I saw "smoked malt" on the Victory brewpub menu, and after trying Stone's smoked porter, I have to try any smoked beer. Next time I will be more discerning.

01-25-2010 03:47:59 | More by ljbrisson
Photo of drtth


3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

09-21-2009 00:55:23 | More by drtth
Photo of blackie


4.43/5  rDev +17.5%

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

09-16-2009 03:35:18 | More by blackie
Photo of corby112


2.5/5  rDev -33.7%

Serving type: on tap at Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA

Pours a clear golden amber color with thin white head. Aroma was kind of week, not as smokey as I would like. Flavor was also weak, watered down with only a faint hint of smoked malt. Very disappointing.

11-27-2008 18:07:42 | More by corby112
Photo of jwhawkins81


4/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

11-06-2008 01:19:19 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +4.2%

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.

09-28-2008 14:35:39 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

4.63/5  rDev +22.8%

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.

09-24-2008 20:46:06 | More by marcpal
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

4/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

08-23-2008 22:47:23 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.1/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours a clear amber. Fairly mild smoked nose. Flavor is a nice meaty smoked thing. Nice pronounced flavor. Nice ride for the tongue. Well balanced on the smoke. Feel is good. Drinkability is high. This is a rauch that more than the average person could go on. There's no abrasive smoke on it and it's well balanced enough that you can quickly go through it.

07-13-2008 18:50:39 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of ruckzuck


3.88/5  rDev +2.9%

Thanks, BSP.

A - a very amber (almost reddish) clear body with a tiny white head

S - very smokey and malty, not a lot of hop action going on

T - again, incredibly smokey and malty, but very enjoyable

M - medium bodied with some good carbonation

D - this is a good beer, but the smokiness sort of limits its drinkability/sessionability. Still, I enjoyed it and would order again. It's just not something I could drink a lot of.

06-14-2008 18:39:15 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of gabeerfan


2.35/5  rDev -37.7%

Poured a rusty, dark amber with a white head that completely disappeared. No lacing.
Smelled of smoked summer sausage and gouda cheese. No hops detected.
Tasted like smoked summer sausage and gouda cheese. No real complexity.
Oily mouthfeel with good carbonation. The smokiness really lingers though.
I had a hard time finishing one of these, so I don't find this very drinkable.
I love BBQ (real BBQ, slow smoked pork), but had a real hard time with this beer. Too smoky, no complexity. If you like smoked beers, you will like this one. But, I'm not liking smoked beers, so I don't like this one.

06-01-2008 13:54:39 | More by gabeerfan
Photo of cichief


4.43/5  rDev +17.5%

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a nice amber-gold with a decent off white head.

S- Smells of smoky ham, some sweet malt, no hops noted.

T- Smoky, not too sweet, well balanced, not as smoky as the Schlenkerla from Bamberg, more like the Spezial Rauchbier.

M- Well carbonated, far from fizzy, but not flat.

D- I have been drinking this beer since it went on draft at Frisco's, won't quit until its gone.

04-29-2008 01:19:07 | More by cichief
Photo of pershan


3.9/5  rDev +3.4%

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, dark amber with a thin, white head into a pint glass. A slightly sweet smell of yeast, with no discernable smoky aroma. A very nice smoke flavor, not overpowering, with a very smooth finish with a very low hop profile. Very refreshing and drinkable. An accurate representation of the Rauchbier style, in my opinion.

04-24-2008 17:32:54 | More by pershan
Photo of mymrnngjckt


3.13/5  rDev -17%

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.

03-31-2008 18:24:00 | More by mymrnngjckt
Photo of Seanibus


4.4/5  rDev +16.7%

Sampled this on tap at Tria in Philly. I approached it with some nervousness - a smoked beer? Strange. And the staff at the bar were warning people "this is very smoky." But I tried it. And I liked it.

It has an almost unearthly red color, vibrant and, well, red. Quite unlike anything I have seen before. It has a good, solid, if moderate head.

The taste is, frankly, difficult to describe. Smoky? Yes, but not like what one would expect. It is not in the least like a smoky stout, or a scottish ale of some sort. It is the kind of smoke one experiences in a long, slow night in front of a warm fire. It's the kind of smoke your grandfather made with his pipe. It's the smoke of a campfire on a crisp mountain night in the late summer.

The beer is remarkably light, almost like a light amber lager of some sort, but with that lovely smoke rising across it. The taste is dry yet slightly sweet, fruity, perhaps. A bit of cherry, but ever so light.

The taste haunts me, just beyond accurate description. I am eager for another.

03-12-2008 00:58:55 | More by Seanibus
Photo of Biscuit033


4.33/5  rDev +14.9%

A: Clear golden-orange like an Oktoberfest with huge head that recedes to about a finger with moderate lacing and good retention.

S: Nice maltines with the smokey and pork like nose secondary.

T: Smoked pork and dried/cured/salted meats in the forefront with a touch of sweet maltiness coming through and a finish of campfire ash.

M: Creamy witha crisp smoky finish.

D: This is a good alternativfe to a marzen style especially coming out of the winter months. It remind you that BBQ weather is around the corner. Alway a good style with grilled sausage and the like and this is spot on. This is an easy drinking rauch with a well blended smoke flavor.

01-20-2008 20:43:48 | More by Biscuit033
Scarlet Fire Rauchbier from Victory Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.