Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

234 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 234
Hads: 566
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.32%
Wants: 22
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 (119) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 234 | Hads: 566
Photo of vkv822
3.47/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
Best Before: March

Pours a dark amber red with a thin tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The nose is quite smokey, hinting at smoked meats at time. Hints of sweet malts help to keep it more balanced.

The taste follows the nose, with smoked meats and charcoal accompanied by caramel and toffee malt notes. Has a medium body, with decent carbonation, though at times is a bit over carbonated for my preference.

As with any rauchbier, if you know what to expect and are in the mood for it this is a decent example of the style. The smokey character is well balanced with the sweet malts. (626 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Deep brownish ruby red with a tint of orange. Lots of bubbles and a solid three fingers of off white head with decent retention and a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A big aroma of smoke with some burnt dark malts and wood. Hints of chocolate and smoked red meats. Very smoky and somewhat sweet. Definitely smells like an outdoor bonfire.

Taste: Like the smell but a little more subtle. Sweet roasted caramel and toffee malts with a good amount of smoke. Hints of chocolate, wood and smoked meat. Pretty well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, smokey, and smooth.

Overall: A pretty good take on a smoked beer from Sam Adams. Smoke forward but very well balanced. (789 characters)

Photo of Duhast500
3.67/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

The color is a dark and is a deep maroon when held to the light. It has finger of foamy brownish/tan head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little toasty with some dark malt aroma with a porter like nose.

The taste is bready with a brown bread like flavor. There is a malt backbone with some slight chocolate with some prune like flavor. There is some smokey flavor that is decent but still seems to leave some space for improvement.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and has somewhat of an interesting character. This would make for a good beer to have while sitting by a fire. It has a good drinkable feel and goes down easy. (704 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
2/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Wei-zen 14oz. glass

Appearance: Very dark amber, not cloudy at all. Has a 1/4inch light amber head.

Smell: Yes it smells, if you think it has an aroma you must be hungry this beer smells of shish-kebabs and steaks. Super-smoked and hardcore meats on top of a wooden-chipped BBQ.

Taste: I am being real with you I try all beers before I judge them but this beer does not taste like your normal "beer". It hints of smoked meat over a fire just like the name of it and an after taste which doesn't leave till after time or after a meal to water it down.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation, sticks to your mouth unfortunately...Sam Adams must have been running the experiment of a lifetime to massively distribute this beer.

Overall: This beer does have a purpose besides making your face squirm, I would definitely use it in a marinade which it probably would excel in. I have had worse beers in my life but with the label of Sam Adams this is by far at the bottom of the list. If I had a slogan it would be "looks good taste morbid" (1,051 characters)

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown amber color with an off-white head that lingers.

The aroma is of peat and malt, which certainly goes well together.

At the first sip the beer is tastes sweet and like caramel malt, almost like an Irish red or a low hopped amber ale. The taste changes dramatically as a smoky taste is left on the palate followed by a curious bacon like aftertaste.

The beer is medium bodied and a little cloying.

Overall it is an okay beer. This is the only rauchbier I have ever tasted so it is hard to know if this is a good representation of the style or not. (572 characters)

Photo of HeavyMetalBrew
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color. Lacing along time. Transparent. Signs of carbonation.

S: Smoky scents. Malts.

T: Smoky, burnt malt, salted meat/bbq, light prune flavors, some chocolate notes.

M: Very carbonated. A sipping beer.

Overall: Bought the Samuel Adams' sampler pack, and this was one of the beers in it. It's a good beer, though personally I am not the biggest fan of the smokier flavors. (394 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber/copper color with bright golden orange edges and a one finger white foam head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Smokey, meaty aroma with some nice rauch characteristics. Hints of charcoal, smoke, campfire, bacon and BBQ but it's actually pretty tame and not overpowering. Balanced by other sweet malt notes that give off hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee and rye.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a balance of smoke and sweet malt notes. Spicy and sweet up front with the smokiness lingering in the finish. Hints of sweet rye, caramel and hazelnut followed by some smokey character. Some BBQ, charcoal and bacon but the rauchbier characteristics are weaker than I prefer. They just kind of linger in the finish instead of dominating the beer. (822 characters)

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear reddish-brown color with a finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of lots of smoky notes with some wood and cured meats as well. There is a bit of roasted chocolate malt in the background.

T - Starts off with some light smoky flavor and some cured meats. Bit of sweet roasted chocolate malts in the background. Through the middle, the smokiness gets stronger with some wood flavor coming out alongside. The finish is a mix of a bit lighter smoky flavors, meats, and some wood that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a slick smoky feeling that coats the mouth.

D - Very drinkable. Nice smoky flavor and fairly bold for Sam Adams. Not quite a traditional rauchbier, but a solid beer from BBC. (842 characters)

Photo of onechordwonder
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got two bottles as part of the harvest collection.

Pours a deep, almost Coca Cola colored reddish brown with very little head.

Upon pouring it smells like I opened a bag of beef jerky, and not much else, rather one dimensional.

The taste starts off very malty, then quickly transitions to hickory bar-b-que once swallowed where it lingers on for a long time.

I can't say I truly enjoy the beer, but it's much more a function of the style than the beer itself, which serves as a proper representation of the style. (517 characters)

Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with some ruby red highlights. Not much in the way of head, or at least not one that sticks around very long. A thin film ends up circling the glass.

Aroma is nice and smokey and malty. Personally, I love the aroma of this beer and sitting outside in my yard on a fall day here in New England sipping this beer is just perfect. Not an intense smoke, a bit of jerky and just right.

Flavor is actually a lot less smoky than the aroma. Its a great balance between the smoke and the malty sweetness of this brown ale.

For a Rauchbier this is very approachable and you can certainly enjoy a few of these compared to Schlenkerla which will really kill your palate after one bottle.

If you like the style this is a solid brew. A nice addition to their autumn sampler. (784 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was dark black. Probably an inch of head that dissipated rather quickly. Lacing on the top was minimal after that. Decent amount of film on the sides.

Smelled of very smoky malts. Reminded me of a campfire or a burnt marshmellow. Some chocolate in there, too, which kind of made it smell like a Smore.

Extremely smoky on the initial taste, probably the most smoky beer I’ve ever rated (maybe not had). I really couldn’t get anything else besides the smoky flavor. Eventually some roasty chocolate with a touch of sweetness.

Full body. Creamy texture that lingered in the throat. Average carbonation. Long finish.

I liked it in the beginning but it just didn’t go down well toward the end. Maybe it’s the style, but I don’t know. (794 characters)

Photo of aorloski
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beautiful dark amber to withered rust, pours a half finger head in a tulip which disappears quickly and sticks to the glass

Smell - If you have ever smelled beef jerky this is what it smells like, sorry if that is a little crude but it is what comes to mind first. Big yet smooth smoke characteristics and hidden in them are peat, malts and spice

Taste - definitely on this one follows the nose. Beef jerky, smoke, peat, wood, salt, cured meats. "bonfire" is an apt name for this brew

Mouthfeel - moderate carbonation, true to style

Overall - This came in a mixed pack i bought on a whim and is the only one i cared to rate, the only one that stuck out really. A pretty in the middle of the road rauchbier that is pretty enjoyable and of course great to crak on an october night. cheers! (804 characters)

Photo of hoptualBrew
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the Fall Pack they put out. Excited for a rauchbier not as intense as Aecht Schlenkerla.

Dark brown into the a tulip glass, amber red hues around the edges. Frothy creamy khaki head up top, looks pretty fucking nice. Mild lacing & legs.

Right out front in the nose is a load of sweet malt & backboned by the smoky character, literally like im standing 25 ft from a campfire on a cold night with a pig roasting over it. On the palate the sweet toffee and caramel malts balance the smoked grain well. Once again, really sweet malts up front with no smokiness, then a punch out back of those smoked grain. Very balanced brew here with a nice smooth body & not too full.

Solid Rauchbier, especially for someone who is green to this beer style like myself. Worth the $$$ in my opinion. (801 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.11/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at room temp in straight-edged glass

A: dark caramel brown; clearish; good, hefty head
S: starts off with a very inviting leathery, smoked aroma, but it segues into a rather bland malty aroma
T: leather, roast, fire, smoke; oh yum; tastes like a brown ale was used as a base; malt is subdued, but the hops tangle nicely with the smoking, creating a very nice complex body

Overall, a really good beer; cheers! (417 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a 12-pack Sampler Pack of Sam Adams Harvest Collections in Fall 2011 from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $12.99 as this is the only way to get the Rauchbier.

Pours a dark, cloudy brown color with a thin head that disolves quickly. Smokey malts are the most noticable scent. You don't have to search for the tastes as the smoked malts hit the taste buds right away. Has a great body and texture to go along with its unique taste. For whatever reason it's pretty hard to find a smoked beer as I've only ever had 2 out of trying over 200+ beers. This one is delicous and probably one of my favorite Sam Adams products. (627 characters)

Photo of OStrungT
3.62/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a mohogany ruby color with a thin white head with a tan tint to it, into a Sam Adams glass. The head fades fast, leaving no lace.

This beer smells of charred wood. I get a charcoal aroma also. I get a little caramel sweetness too. A slight beef jerkey aroma mixes in as well.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Smokey charred wood and beef jerkey. A slight caramel sweet malty aroms is also present.

This beer leaves a smokey wood like aftertaste. It is carbonated just right for the style.

This beer wouldnt make a good session beer. The smokey flavor is a bit much for more than 1 bottle.

Overall: This beer is a bit over the top for most beer drinkers. As for Rauchbier drinkers, it is pretty decent. I am not a huge fan of the style, but I wouldnt turn this beer down in the future. (810 characters)

Photo of JustinAniello
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours copper with a two finger head. Head dissipates to a light lacing and cap.

S - Wow, this does smell like a bonfire. Burned wood with a light caramel scent. Certainly brings out thoughts of a good jerky.

T - And it tastes like one too, nice and smoky. Starts with a salty caramel and ends with smoke and chocolate. Really interesting combination.

M - Medium with light combination. Good for the style.

O - I am glad to have tried a beer like this, very interesting style. Smokey without being completely overpowering. Certainly not a regular drinker for me, but good nonetheless. (591 characters)

Photo of hopsgirl35
4.35/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

picked up the harvest collection first time I ever tryed a smoked beer an enjoying it with a nice flounder dinner...
Apperance is a light copper color with a small head.

Aroma is like smelling beef jerky after it comes out of the smoker. With a bit of a sweetness.

Taste the smokeness hits you right away the sweetness is the next in line but not to strong
caramel and toffee leave hints of being in the beer.

Mouthfeel medium bodied little carbonation.

Overall one of best smoked beers I ever had. (502 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired in a seasonal pack from a Hyvee in Omaha, NE. Best before February 2012.

Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pour produces a fairly large (2+cm) head composed of fairly large, dirty-brown bubbles. Decreases fairly rapidly, leaves no lacing. Body is a dark brown color with reddish highlights. Transparent, with visible carbonation. Nothing special here.

Aroma of slightly sour, smoky malt, some raisins and figs, slight chocolate, and metal (iron). Good, but a little lacking in smokiness in a rauchbier for my tastes.

Taste is decidedly of saltiness, nutty, caramel and toffee flavors upfront, alongside some slightly sour smoke and dark malt. Bacon tastes are present, but fairly minimal. Smoke occupies the second priority here, being balanced by malt sweetness.

Fairly heavy to medium-heavy bodied. Carbonation is initially a bit too high, but this settles as it warms. Then, the mouthfeel is fairly smooth and creamy; carbonation not too atrocious.

I find this to be a generally tasty rauchbier, fairly middle of the road as it's a bit on the sweet and not-so-smoky side, but still very drinkable and a representation I'd visit again should it be available apart from others beers in the SA portfolio. (1,223 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
3.77/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Thanks to my buddy Matt for this one.

A- a hazy amber color with copper tones. minimal head and no lacing.

S- sour apple with hints of charred wood smoke. Almosty like a light whiskley smell on the back end as well.

T- a strong smoke flavor mixed with oaked whiskey flavor. I am sure there is no whiskeuy but it gives the hint of it being added. Some sour apple as well.

M- medium bodied and somehwat chewy.

O- not a bad sam adams brew bu then again Sam doesnt have too many bad brews. The aftertaste can linger a lil too much but other than that good brew. (565 characters)

Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and amber into my Stone IPA tulip glass. Zero lacing.

Sour smoke with a hint of malty sweetness on the nose.

This honestly tastes like a salty smoked almond. Could use a little more malt backbone to support the smoke.

Aside from the sour smoke that lingers, i'd rate the mouthfeel as light-medium.

Overall, this is a slightly above offering from BBC. It was interesting to taste, but I think I'd reach for a Schlenkerla if I wanted a rauchbier. (460 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier is a clear, sparkling, amber beer with a soft, pillowy, lumpy white head that has excellent retention and lacing. The first thing that comes to mind from the aroma is... apple? It smells smokey, like burnt pine, but the fruity smell is really strong. It's medium bodied and pretty smooth. The finish is dry and clean. It tastes smokey and resiny, but it's not over the top. There's a tart flavor that's fruity and malty. The smoke comes later in the taste and lingers through the finish. This is pretty tasty and pretty manly. I approve. (568 characters)

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.14/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque dark brown with red undertones. Oily. Nice thick creamy head.

Smell: Very toasty. Big smoked character. Chocolate, caramel and toffee. Greasy oil aroma. Zesty herbal notes.

Taste: Close to to aroma. Think big smoke and big malts. Very pleasantly balanced with a nice backing bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium chewy. Soft, delicate and drinkable.

Overall: A very genuine interpretation of the rauch style. I got this out of a Sam Adams' Fall sampler. Definitely worth the price because of this. (513 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love smoke beers and am looking forward to see what Boston Beer can do with the style.

The beer pours dark brown with red highlights and an off-white head. The aroma is pretty nice. I get some meaty smoke as well as some ash and a little bit of heavily roasted malts.

The flavor is more of the same. The ashy, meaty smoke is very strong and is the first thing you notice. I also get a little bit of roasted malt and chocolate in the flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Overall, I am impressed. (513 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours reddish amber with no foam, just a smidge left at the top. Smoky smell, with hints of bacon in there. Campfire. Malty taste, full of liquid smoke with a subtle breakfast bacon flavor.

Smooth mouthfeel. Pretty good, but the smoke is a touch too string and eventually becomes offputting. (337 characters)

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