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Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

234 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 234
Hads: 567
Avg: 3.53
pDev: 23.23%
Wants: 21
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HoustonTX on 08-06-2011

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 234 | Hads: 567
Photo of prototypic
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bonfire is copper in color. It’s mostly clear. When held to light, it has a distinct orange tint. Almost looks a little crimson. A light tan head tops it and is about a finger tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly and holds firm there. Lacing was on the lighter side.

The nose is alright. Not bad. It’s a little weak. More strength would be good. It smells a little sweet. Caramel malts are definitely in the mix. It has a somewhat prominent smoky scent. It’s not overly strong though. It’s a nice complement to the malt base and works rather well. That about wraps it up. Perhaps there’s more here, it’s just not strong enough to cut through. Alcohol is definitely buried. Not bad, just needs more muscle.

The flavor is pretty good. The malt base is certainly caramel. It’s a little sweet, but it’s not offensive. The smoky flavor is nicely done. It’s not too strong and does complement the caramel flavor nicely. There are some earthy notes and an interesting bread-like flavor at the secondary level. They add a little depth and work pretty well. Alcohol isn’t a factor at all. No shock there. Finishes smoky and a little sweet. It’s not complicated, but it’s not bad.

Bonfire has a body that’s on the lighter side of medium. It’s actually nice and smooth. Carbonation is light and the bubbles feel soft. Nicely done. It goes down easily. The smoky flavor isn’t too strong, but could grow a little tiresome. I’ll stick with a single bottle.

Bonfire Rauchbier is pretty good beer. It’s a rather mild-mannered Rauchbier that would be a nice introduction to the style. The smoky aspect isn’t overly strong and complements the other elements well. It’s not very complex, but it is pretty good. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of taigor
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Sam Adams pint glass.

A - Poured slightly hazy dark amber color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving moderate lacing around the glass.

S - Mostly malts with caramel and smokiness.

T - Malts dominate with slight brown sugar and honey sweetness. Caramel and smokiness come through towards the finish with a slightly bitter hoppy aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with above average carbonation.

O - Above average rauchbier that I would recommend but do not go out of the way to get it.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass. Freshness date until the end of this year clearly marked.

Like many beer lovers, I have had very limited experience with this style, as rauchbiers are very rarely brewed or imported here to the U.S. They are without a doubt an acquired taste, as you will see from the notes below...

A: This beer pours a nice deep amber orange color. It's mostly clear, with maybe just a bit of haze. Not much lacing on the glass.

S: Some caramel comes through, but the deep, roasted smokey flavor definitely makes its presence. Kind of smells like a BBQ pit. Just a hint of the piney noble hops are detected.

T&M: Caramel malt sweetness with some toffee that is reminiscent of a good marzen are all met by the complex smokey flavor of this beer. The BBC did a nice job of not overdoing it with the smoked malts, as after a few sips, the flavors seem to blend a lot more. The smoke flavor has elements of a sweet BBQ pit fire and a nice roasted character that intensifies a bit more in the finish, which is semi-sweet, with just a touch of hops. Mouthfeel is excellent. Medium to full bodied, with a nice level of carbonation that is not overdone.

D&Overall: Funny enough, I have met plenty of people who say they cannot stand this beer. Again, this is one of those styles you don't just sit down and try and immediately start to like. In fact, I remember trying one that was a Helles with smoked malts added, and not liking it at all. In this case, I think this brew with it's darker malts work very well with the moderate amount of smoked malt. Good work Sam Adams.

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Photo of TommyW
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish/copper with a thin white head. No lacing.

S- Smells like a maerzen (lots of caramel malt aromas) with a touch of smoke thrown in.

T- Follows the nose pretty well; very similar to an o-fest beer, but the smoke flavor is much more prominent in the taste than the nose.

M- Medium body with an easy carbonation.

D- One of the few American rauchbiers I've ever tried, and it was better than I expected.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Rich coppery orange. I'm liking the color. Head is ok. No real lacing.

S: Smoke isn't too strong here. It definitely comes through but never dominates. Instead, the nose is defined by sweet, husky malts and a curious metallic odor.

T: Ah, there's the smoke. Still a little subdued in terms of sheer smokiness, but it's the unmistakable centerpiece here. Very rich like smoked salmon. Good malty body and a kiss of bitter hops in the finish that transition to an interesting lemony aftertaste. Unfortunately, that metallic element is still present.

A good, almost great rauchbier. Could use a bit of a cleanup on some of the rogue flavors. Glad to see them tackle the style though.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazelnut brown liquid with ample reddish highlights shining through immediately noticeable. A puffy little tan head of foam then came up over the top and settled down to a broken crown that clung to the outside of the glass. Very nice carbonation could be seen streaking up towards the top throughout the session, really letting you know that this thing was definitely lively.

The aroma was classic for the style. Rich notes of smoke and peat were dominating the aroma. Lots of roasted malts and a slight touch of caramel as well as a bit of a green bitterness mixed in throughout. The flavor was much more of the same. Rich notes of peat and smoked tones were riddled throughout. Nice malted grain, with a roasted flavor in the middle as well.

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Photo of Justin23060
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown w/ amber highlights. Off white head disappeared pretty quick. Smells nice in a bacon-ey way. Some malt sweetness in the smell with no hop presence. Taste is quite smokey with some breadiness. Mouthfeel is a little watery which keeps it from getting to rich or heavy. Fantastic with some salty crackers topped with pepper-jack and dijon mustard. Looking forward to the second one in the fall pack and again next year.

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Photo of palma
2.43/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got this one out of the fall sampler. Looks nice and smells like your typical rauchbier however the taste was way too smokey and artificial. Too much for me. I think sam adams went over the top with this beer. Almost like they used that fake liquid smoke stuff as an additive to the beer. I wont be drinking this one again.

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Photo of gpogo
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Large cream colored head that dissipated to a nice foam cap with light lacing. Clear dark brown body.

A- Meaty smokey aroma with sweet caramel aroma. The smokiness was a bit light.

T- Light sweet caramel malt. Smokey backing throughout. Clean finish with a light toastiness.

M- Smooth medium body with moderate carbonation.

D- I was quite impressed for a Sam Adams Rauchbier. I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. I would have liked a bit more smokiness.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
1.4/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.75

In a pint glass and a stange at different times:

A: dark amber hazy body, no head, no lacing

S: smokey meaty coming through in a dull bland way

T: exactly the same as the smell

M: medium, not exactly sessionable (at IMO), bland sticky aftertaste pounding all around my tongue, assault by carbonation, bland meaty finish

O: however I guess this still fits the style, but I'm not a fan of this whatsoever

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint.

A: Pours with a brown body and a full tan head.

S: Nice smokey aroma with caramel, BBQ, brisk hops and some salt.

T: Taste kinda falls off. All the caramel and smoke flavours are there, but they don't mix well. They actually clash a bit.

D: Well, the booze is pretty hidden and I wouldn't mind having another, but I'm glad that this comes in a party pack instead of a sixer.

Overall: Its a decent enough brew, but this is a really tough style to pull off and it demands some bravado. Sam Adams, with its tendency to make 'safe' beers, couldn't quite pull it off with this one.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber copper color, thin light tan head fades fast, leaves a thin layer on top, not much lacing on the glass.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with a light smokey aroma, unlike some Rauchbiers the smoke does not kill the nostrils like a cigarettes were put out in it.

Taste is similar to the aroma in that the smoked aspects are mild but still very evident, the caramel malt backing smoothes out any roughness from the smoked malt, carbonation is quite perky but soft.

Rauchbier is an odd style for BBC to do, while not unwelcome it's just not a style I particular care for. With that said, this is probably one of the better ones to break a person into trying it.;

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Photo of PintOHops
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Sam Adams Official

A - A mahogany colored brew with decent clarity and a 2-finger head that fizzled down quickly. I can see moderate-high C02, and there wasn't any lacing left on my glass.

S - I get smoke, charcoal and a bit of wood characteristic. I also pick up some brown sugar. Pretty simple, and although the smoke characteristic is the dominant aroma, it isn't real strong. In fact it competes with the sweet brown sugar notes.

T - Smokey, charcoal, and brown sugar flavors are upfront and throughout the flavor profile. Bitterness is very very mild, and just like the aroma, the smokey flavors compete with the sweetness, and the brown sugar flavor. As it warmed I got a touch of dark chocolate on the finish.

M - Thin, moderate-high crispness and lite bodied.

O - Not bad, I would drink it again for sure but I don't think I'd buy it again. I like that it's extremely easy to drink, and that it's well balanced. I don't like how thin the mouthfeel is, and I would like a stronger smoke flavor. Worth a try though. Cheers!

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Photo of JosiahS
3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

glass: Sam Adams Signature

Clear and very dark copper appearance with a 1 finger bubbly head. Aromas of leather, tobacco, smoke, grilled pork with a underlying malt sweetness can be found.

Flavors of milk chocolate, black cherry and toast wheat bread make the base, then a nice, mild smoke overlays. Mouthfeel is similar to a Boston lager but with a bit more body.

A surprisingly tasty offering from Sam Adams.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drink by Feb '12 notched on the label. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Part of the Fall Harvest pack.

Brew pours a nice mahogany color with a very slim beige head.

Lots of roasted malt in the nose with definite notes of a nice smokiness. More of the same in the taste. Just a hint of smoked meat along with some caramel notes. Nice roasted malts in the flavor as well.

Medium body and carbonation.

My first go at a smoked beer, enjoyable but not sure if I'm digging the style to much.

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Photo of DavidST
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, best before February. This pours a cola brown color with a decent tan head which quickly dissipates. The smell is mostly light, a little smoke. The feel is medium or light, smoke coats the mouth. The taste is very much of smoke, a mouth coating campfire smoke, pretty good.

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Photo of budgood1
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a very dark garnet colour with an ample tan head. wisps of lace, too. aroma is smoked malts with a touch of dark chocolate, toffee and caramel. the smoked malt flavour really comes through in the taste department, moreso than what i could detect in the nose. it's pretty tame compared to others i've sampled before, but tasty nonetheless. an underlying hop spiciness melds well with the pungent smokey flavours and residual caramel and toffee like malt sweetness...it all balances out quite nicely. medium bodied, with a mouthfeel that straddles the fine line between thin and crispy and oily and cloying. since i sort of enjoy these type of beers, i feel that this has a high degree of drinkability, especially if paired with some gourmet cheeses and crackers. hits the spot on a very cool late october evening in northern minnesota.

overall this is a pretty nice rauchbier. it doesn't have the intensity of some of the classic german offerings, but is approachable and drinkable. i'd drink more of this if it were available outside of the seasonal mixed twelve packs.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear ruby-mahogany color with a 1cm foamy tan head. Medium retention with spotty lacing.

Nice smoky, earthy nose. Like smoky-leather and a touch of euro malt.

Flavor has a real nice smoke to it. Good balance. Quiet lingering smoke in the aftertaste. Mild tartness from euro malt.

Mouth is light bodied, fresh with medium carbonation.

Overall it's a nice Rauchbier. Exceeded my expectations. I recommend a try.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.96/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pretty good rauchbier, but it is missing the rauch aroma. When I smelled it, I thought it would taste lame, but it doesn't. The rauchbier taste is present and accounted for.

This won't make you forget a good German version of this beer, and won't even give you a reasonable idea of how they taste, but it is much less expensive, so I would buy it again.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App- One finger of sudsy and sandy head that disappears pretty quickly, like most Sam Adams I've tried. It is a dark brown body with ruby characteristics. There is almost no carbonation.

Smell- There are definite malt notes, although any smokiness is way too subtle. It's more of a smokey meat than a smokey and woody scent. There are moments of toffee and caramel malt. Not near as much smoke that should be here.

Taste- Okay, there is a little bit of smokey char that lasts into the finish, but the back bone is undoubtedly sweet caramel malt. It is almost too sweet for a rauchbier. It works, but just barely. If you crank it any further toward sweet caramel malts and this wouldn't really be a rauchbier anymore. Also a slight metallic tinge in the finish.

Mouth feel- It is medium bodied and slightly bubbly. It could be a little more slick for the style.

Overall- It is a pretty good beer, it just doesn't go near far enough to even really be called a rauchbier. There are better rauchbiers out there definitely, but I guess for the curious drinker it would be an okay introduction to the style.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with a Best Before Date notched at Jan. Pours a translucent burnt orange color with a thin layer of head. Some lacing. Not much of a nose. Aroma is smokey with some spice and malts. Taste is a watered down smokiness with some oak and spice. Some sweet malt flavor as well with a bit of smoke at the end. Bit of an odd earthy aftertaste. Thin mouthfeel. Subdued, watery flavor overall. This was disappointing. Rauchbier is a style I really enjoy but there isn't a whole lot of it out there. While I am glad Sam Adams tried, this beer doesn't have that in your face taste and aroma you expect from the style. Just a subdued version for the average consumer.

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Photo of danmcg62
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a rather transparent reddish brown color with a decent size heads that doesn't stay around too long. Not too bad looking.

S-A real smokey flavor comes through first. Smells like a camp fire. Wood and spice come to mind as well. Pine needles come to mind as well. Interesting stuff.

T-Majorly smokey. Just like with the smell it's literally like you're drinking a camp fire. Maybe some roasted malt and very mild hops. I'm also getting some caramel and chocolate as well.

M-Real smokey and spicy. Decent fell inside the mouth. Somewhat drinkable.

O-This is a solid offering from the fall mix pack. Just like with every mix pack there is a stand out and I think this is the one from this particular mix pack. It definitely feels like a nice fall night in front of the fire.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.12/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pint glass. freshness date marked.

a - pours a deep garnet color that's totally transparent. formed a thin cap of tan head that disappeared quick. leaves a few small spots of lace.

s - notes of bacon, brown sugar and faint raisin.

t - carmel malt up front followed by a herbal, slightly bitter twang. has a distinct band-aid flavor in the finish that is not at all smokey. some residual sweetness from the malt. to the beer's credit, flavor does improve slightly as it warms.

m - medium with a little more carbonation than i prefer.

o - a decent beer, but certainly not the best rauchbier i have tried. try one if you're feeling adventurous, otherwise keep looking.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in a Sam's fall sampler a while back. I never thought of smoked beer as a fall seasonal but I guess it make's good sense, with Halloween and Guy Fawke's Day and all. This one is a mostly opaque brown color with red highlights. The head starts strong but soon melts to nothing. In the nose, I get decent oak smoke with hints of caramel and black licorice.

This one really needs to warm a little bit. The smoke flavor is consistent, and works surprisingly well with the lively, juicy mouthfeel. This is a mellow, but pleasant rauchbier. There is a nice, flavorful brown ale beneath the smoke that is quenching and very easy to quaff. Obviously plenty of smoked beers have a deeper, richer smoke flavor but this one s more drinkable in quanity than most that I have sampled.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Body is a completely transparent beautiful mahogany hue. Pours with a 1-2 finger foamy off-white head- this fades immediately and leaves no traces of lacing behind in the glass.

S- Smell is nice and what is expected for the style. A good dose of smokey meat-nice roasted presence. Not much else to it.

T- Taste is very similar to the nose. The smoke doesn't really come through until the finish. The initial flavor is mildly smokey but pretty mild.

M- Medium carbonation and a very lightweight lager, drinkable body.

O- This is a good brew overall. As with most of the Sam Adams lineup this is a good, affordable representation of the Rauchbier style if you want to know what a rauchbier is. Is it the best? No. But its very well done.

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Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
80 out of 100 based on 234 ratings.