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Z Lager - The Fort Collins Brewery

Not Rated.
Z LagerZ Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

313 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 313
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 11
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Crosling on 12-06-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 313 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Orange/amber pour, good size white head. Strong malty aroma with hints of some smoke. Tastes reminds me more of a dopplebock, malty raisin and peat. Smoke is really just an accent here. Finishes some smoke and hops. Very drinkable, good example.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 00:35:37 | More by Bung
Photo of CWhite
CWhite

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +13.3%

09-07-2012 20:26:41 | More by CWhite
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Deep copper color with 1/4 inch head and ok retention

Smell: Nice amount of smoke upfront and traces of caramel and toffee in the background

Taste: Smoke upfront that reminds me of smoked alderwood. There are a couple other very muted flavors like toffee but this beer is smoke forward and does not let up

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation nice feel to it

Overall: Very good smoked lager. Highly recommended if you like smoked beers

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 01:51:02 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of baklo
baklo

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +13.3%

10-22-2013 17:07:49 | More by baklo
Photo of UltimateLivewire
UltimateLivewire

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +13.3%

03-12-2012 01:08:39 | More by UltimateLivewire
Photo of doowhat
doowhat

Arkansas

4/5  rDev +13.3%

02-25-2014 23:43:33 | More by doowhat
Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
MYJELLOMISFIT

Colorado

4/5  rDev +13.3%

08-15-2012 14:40:17 | More by MYJELLOMISFIT
Photo of ChrisKayler
ChrisKayler

Virginia

4/5  rDev +13.3%

05-30-2013 21:36:22 | More by ChrisKayler
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
Ispeakforthetrees

Colorado

4/5  rDev +13.3%

09-19-2012 16:23:08 | More by Ispeakforthetrees
Photo of stevecooks
stevecooks

California

4/5  rDev +13.3%

12-07-2011 23:31:57 | More by stevecooks
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +13.3%

07-06-2013 20:31:32 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stange.

Very cautious pour (because I had no clue what to expect from pouring into a stange) gives me a bit more than a finger of rich foam on top of a orange (think Texas Longhorns orange) body. Head retention is pretty good, and there's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass.

Smells sweet and meaty. Make your own jokes here. Not nearly as smoky as I thought it would be. Like if you took a caramel, covered it in salt, and threw it in the smoker with the briskets. That sounds awful, I know, but delicious at the same time.

The taste basically follows the aroma. To be honest, I was really dreading this beer because I dislike overpowering smokiness, but this is not unpleasant at all. It's got a nice little sweet/bitter combo going with the caramel flavor and the smoke.

Medium bodied, with an appropriate carbonation level. Surprisingly easy drinker. Just a subtle kiss from the smoke in the finish. Very, very pleasant surprise.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 03:05:09 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of WDJersey
WDJersey

Colorado

4/5  rDev +13.3%

10-27-2012 20:49:10 | More by WDJersey
Photo of vipergtsr171
vipergtsr171


4/5  rDev +13.3%

11-13-2012 03:27:48 | More by vipergtsr171
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

4/5  rDev +13.3%

09-11-2012 04:03:52 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of chasmandocharles
chasmandocharles

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +13.3%

11-02-2012 21:43:56 | More by chasmandocharles
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes are from about a month ago.

This brew pours out a deep amber/copper color. A small white head maintains an above-average retention with some spotty lacing remaining on the glass.
The smell is of a sturdy malt and obvious smoky tones that are strong without being overdone. It's more of a woody smoke like mesquite. This isn't much of the charcoal harshness in the aroma, and it's all backed by a leafy hops note.
The taste follows suit with a bit more caramel sweetness evident on the tongue, adding for a nice balance. The hops lingers underneath the strong malt and smoky undertones, making for a well-balanced sip and a dry finish.
The body is medium and the carbonation is pretty moderate. Each sip starts of with just a bit of a nip and smooths out a bit.
This is a solid brew, and an interesting idea to make a rauchbier out of an amber lager rather than a darker, sturdier brew, but it works well here.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 18:54:51 | More by Brenden
Photo of GarrisWH
GarrisWH

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep, clear, reddish amber with a minimal, light tan head that diminishes to a spotty cap fairly quickly. Not a whole lot in terms of lacing.

S - Sweet, toasted malt aromas with a substantial woody smokiness. A slight spicy hoppiness hiding in the background.

T - Toasted malts with a sweet, caramel character up front. Then the smokiness pushes through along with crisp, fruity, apple apple flavors. Smokiness carries through the finish, which also has a nice, ever-so-slightly bitter, spicy hop kick. I like how the smoke flavors are pronounced, but are kept in check in this one. Nice, fairly complex flavors.

M - Medium bodied with nice, crisp carbonation.

D - Easy drinking with a nice flavor profile. Solid smoke presence that manages to stand out without being overpowering. I don't have a lot of experience with Rauchbiers, but enjoyed this offering quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 03:22:14 | More by GarrisWH
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got from ummagum - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating info. It was clear amber color with sight carbonation and slight sliding lace. It had an average sized off-white head that slowly dissipated into a barely there collar. Other reviews noted bigger and longer lasting head plus better lacing. Since no date on this one can't tell if freshness issue or something else.

The aroma is heavy on smoke - awesome! I love rauchbiers and this one has a great aroma to it. As it warms, the smokes fades a bit and the caramel malt starts to come thru as well. Glad the malt showed up but wished the smoke had stuck around longer. By the end, it had faded quite a bit. The taste was also really good. Starts out with a good caramel malt taste and then the smoke kicks in for a great finish. Again, as it warmed the smoke really faded. If it had stuck around, the aroma and taste scores would have been half a point higher for me.

Overall, a great beer that just misses on being legendary since the awesome smoke aroma and taste really start to fade halfway thru. As I noted earlier, mine was missing some head and lacing that others got so I may not have had a fresh one. Will need to re-try this one in the future and possibly re-review it. For now, still highly recommend. As is, it would be a player in the rotation. If the smoke sticks around longer, it could be a major player.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 02:25:12 | More by TexIndy
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, dark amber color. A finger of dark off-white head adorns and dissipates to a nice foamy ring.

The aroma isn't huge an in your face, but what's there is quite pleasant. There's an initial smoky, woody aroma, with a fairly rich, sweet caramel. There's also some faint chocolate notes that were unexpected, but not unwelcomed.

The taste has a pretty upfront caramel maltiness, with some touches of woody smoke. It's balanced pretty nicely by some bittering hops.

It's fairly light bodied, easy to consume.

I went into this thinking it was going to be meh, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's not a very in your face rauchbier, but it's a well put together beer and tasty, despite being on the mild side for the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 23:52:46 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of feelmefoam
feelmefoam

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a Stone pint glass.

Pours a light brown with orange highlights, slightly murky, with a small amount of visible carbonation. Puts up a finger of off-white head that leaves a pretty nice amount of lacing.

Interesting smell... I've never had a Rauchbier before, but the smell is as the site and bottle describe, I smell smoked meat followed by a little maltiness, though I can't put my finger on what kind.

This is quite the interesting beer. Although at first I was put off by the thought of drinking beef jerky, it's actually pretty damn good. A nice malty sweetness up front gives the beer a pretty solid body on which to build up to the smokiness that comes in at the end of each swig. A hefty amount of smokiness, but not overpowering, rather it is well balanced and combines well with the malts to give the beer a pleasurable 'fiery' feel. I could actually picture drinking this on a cold night by a roaring fire somewhere.

Nice medium-heavy body that works well with the smokiness to provide a good backup to the flavors. Good choice, I'd much rather have this beer be a thicker sipper than a thin, smoky mess. As it is, its like drinking a different kind of porter with a bit of meatiness to it. Smooth, yet assertive.

Drinkable, a sipper for me, but would go oh so well with some choice meaty/ cheesy foods. I actually like this style quite a bit, at least from what I can tell from Fort Collins version. I understand there are smokier versions out there; I'm curious to try them at some point. I'm kind of excited that I like this style, seeing as how it may not be the most popular with everyone. Good stuff, Fort Collins.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 06:45:21 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu

Georgia

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear amber with slightly off white heat that provides rather loose and weak head retention.
Smell is smokey, malty and with some sweat caramel showing up.
Taste includes more of the same, smokey and burnt but while quite evident it is also on the subtle side. Not sure I have ever had a Rauchbier but based on the literature about it this one is very true to its style.
Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth and finishes with a sweetness yet semi dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2010 19:45:32 | More by jadpsu
Photo of afinepilsner
afinepilsner

Iowa

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Z Lager was amber in color with an off-white head. The head was soon reduced to a thin layer that stuck around, leaving a little lacing behind. The aroma was smoky with some malt in the backround. The taste was smoke over nice malt base, a little sweet upfront, but more balanced in the finsh. The body was medium with medium carbonation. Drinkability was good. It's a good beer and would be great with BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 03:39:20 | More by afinepilsner
Photo of Avagadro
Avagadro

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Z Lager is honey-hued, and topped with a thin layer of froth. Lacing is present, but the bubbles are lazy in traveling through the brew's slightly hazy body.

S: The nose is appetizing, with notes of caramel, smoke, and a touch of hops.

T: This beer is very well balanced, with malt, hops, and smoke all playing their part. Bready toasted malt, spicy continental hops, and a subtle note of hardwood smoke play elegantly together.

M: Light body, good carbonation, and a clean finish.

D: A great brew, and an excellent choice for someone looking to get into smoke brews. Z's smoke is subtle, but easily perceived, so that it will give the drinker a good idea of what smoke is all about without overwhelming them. All-in-all, this is a very well balanced brew that deserves some attention.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 22:47:49 | More by Avagadro
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the better fort collins brews. has a fantastic nose of smoked malt and dried pitted fruit. described as a lager, there is nothing lager about what i taste here. smokey like a grill fire, slightly sweet like caramelized malts, and quite refreshing despite its heavy flavors. this beer is in excellent balance and the mouthfeel is just right. fuller bodied for a lager, and well carbonated. i could easily down a sixpack of these in a session any time of year. not as smokey as some of the traditional rauchbiers, but in that vein. this is great

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 19:41:50 | More by StonedTrippin
Z Lager from The Fort Collins Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.