Smoke Ale | Rogue Ales

very good
254 Reviews
Smoke AleSmoke Ale

Brewed by:
Rogue Ales
Oregon, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Label of 22 oz bottle:

12 Ingredients: Great Western, Harrington, Klages, Munich & Hugh Baird Crystal, Carastan 30/37 & 13/17, Chuck's Alderwood Smoked Munich & Bamberg Beechwood Smoked Malts; Saaz & Perle Hops, Free Range Coastal Waters & Top Fermenting Pacman Yeast. No Chemicals, Preservatives or Additives.


A German Style Rauchbier with an orange-amber hue, a delicate smoke aroma and flavor, with an intense hop finish.

Oregon Brewed - Established 1988

Oxygen Fixing Caps - 48 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 254 | Ratings: 328
Photo of dgilks
2.28/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear golden colour with no real head. Kind of ordinary.

Very, very mild whisp of smoke aroma. Slightly malty.

Malty sweet with something that isn't quite smoky. A touch earthy. Meh.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

A simply, lightly malty ale. There isn't really any smoke here. What the heck?

 310 characters

Photo of Sixpack595
2.38/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Nice mouthfeel, but thats about it. I think the smoke flavor and aromas just didn't mix well with the rest of the beer. The spicy hops combined with the smoke to give a plastic flavor I couldn't stomach. I actually gave up after less than half a glass and poured the rest into the dog's bowl... He couldn't finish it either.

 324 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
2.4/5  rDev -37%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark orange color, huge off-white head, that has very good retention. Smells of woodsmoke, and not much more, very weird for a beer. Taste is very smokey, very dry and extremely cloying. I do not like this beer, the flavor is not enjoyable at all, and may be the first beer I have poured out in a long time. Get something else from rogue, who makes many different, palatable beers.

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Photo of mattmaples
2.42/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, maybe I'm drinking this too young, it is made here in Oregon. I just can not drink this stuff. It tastes like liking an ashtray. I like Achet rauch beer but I just can't hadle this. Maybe if I aged it out for 6 month to a year. I like most of Rogues stuff but not this.

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Photo of Quaffer
2.59/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

22 oz. bottle

Appearance: This beer poured a brownish-red color with minimal head at all. It thinned out quickly to just a ring around the edge of the glass and left no lace.

Smell: The very first smell that hit my nose was a sweet, maltiness. That was then joined almost instantly by a smokey aroma. It reminded me of smoked salmon, or possibly beef jerky. The two smells, malt and smoke, intermingled, with the smoke being the most prominent. I could not detect any hops in the aroma until I had taken a drink.

Mouthfeel: This was a fairly smooth, full bodied beer.

Taste: Basically, this beer had an intense smoke flavor that was followed by a nice hop bite. I felt the malt in the beer more than I tasted it. Drinkability was horrible. The smoke flavor just became too much. I dumped out most of the bottle

Personally, I did not like this beer. However, I believe that it is probably a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.64/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Beautiful reddish amber with wispy white head.
Smells like bacon. Yummy bacon.
Tastes like bacon. Yummy bacon. And katsuobushi. The flavor is nicely balanced. Balanced but I cannot discern the hops seperate from the smoke. So maybe mixed.
Smooth micro bubbles and long finish.
I like to eat bacon, not eat it.

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Photo of hero27
2.64/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber.

Surprisingly fizzy head which dissolves to nothing after a few seconds. Absolutely zero when it comes to lacing...copper-tinted color. The taste is initially beef jerky in a bottle. The finish is so dry and woody..I don't really understand the appeal, but then again, so far I haven't been much of a fan of smoke beers. O'Fallon's Smoked Porter was so-so, in my opinion, and this one is probably a step down from that. I wouldn't be so dissapointed if I wasn't expecting the high quality I usually get from Rogue. Not one I'm likely to buy again, especially for the price.

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.75/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Rogue served me a flat beer. That’s the 2nd one in a row from their Brewer’s On The Bay brewpub in Newport. Too bad.

I was initially served a glass with a half-inch of head. But it quickly vanished leaving no head, no lace, and no discernable smell. There was nothing to look at but a body of warm chestnut and refined clarity.

This beer tastes like Kielbasa sausage. The smoke flavor is peculiar though not unwelcome. It is derived from traditional Bamberg beechwood smoked malts and from Pacific Northwest smoked alder malts. The use of alder as a smoking agent probably goes back thousands of years. From the standpoint of both tradition and experimentation, Rogue’s Smoke Ale may very well be a fine representation of the style. But how would I know? I was served a tired old dud.

Rauchbiers are another Bavarian beer that is customarily bottom fermented. Rogue top-ferments their smoke beer and defines it as an ale. This brew has earned no less than seven medals at the GABF. Bet those lucky judges in Denver don’t get what I get at the bar.

The appearance of this beer scores high for clarity and brilliance but is undercut by a lack of head and lace. Ultimately I like the architecture, but not the construction.

 1,244 characters

Photo of clvand0
2.76/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a dark color with very little head … actually no head. Came in a 7oz bottle from 1996. No carbonation. The aroma is definitely smoked - nothing much other than that. The flavor is the same - malty-smokiness. It's good, but I don't know how much of it I could take.

 281 characters

Photo of dpnelson1978
2.85/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$6.99 / ea.

A: Cloudy deep copper body topped with a big loose tan head of low retention that leaves light creamy lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Smokey to be sure, with a light sweetness and hints of hot spice. A bit like a camp fire.

T: Sweet bready backbone with strong smoke flavor, but not as overbearing as I've had in the past. Hop character is subdued to nonexistent, but the smoke character helps to balance the sweetness. Fairly one dimensional beer, but that is the nature of the beast.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Mild bitterness lingers on the tongue, but does not build. Strong carbonic bite that quickly fades.

D: I think people will either love this style, or hate it. I doubt there is much middle ground. With that in mind, I had a hard time finishing this bomber, and I doubt I will try it again. The flavor is just not something I enjoy.

O: A smoke ale. It is what it is.

 951 characters

Photo of ricke
2.86/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Amber color with a medium-sized tanned head that leaves some lacings.

S: The smell is rather malty with notes of notes of butterscotch. Some earthy hops and a hint of lemon-peel. The smoke is noticeable, but very faint - just a hint of smoked ham in the background. However, as the beer warms up, the smoke seems to get more pronounced. But it's still very mellow. It's quite balanced, but for a smoked beer it's not very smoky.

T: The taste is rather sweet with biscuity malts to the fore. Some diacetyl. Earthy and citric hop notes complement the malts nicely. As in the smell, the smoke (we're talking smoked ham rather than forest fire here) is very restrained and doesn't get noticeable until the finish where it is complemented by some bitterness, citric hops and a hint of minerals. Well hidden alcohol.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

D: I was quite underwhelmed by this one. It is far from the original German smoked beers. This is more like an American mildly hoppy beer with a touch of smoke to it. It's to clean and uncharismatic.

 1,054 characters

Photo of WetCoaster
2.92/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: A very nice, if somewhat hazy, burnt orange with a billowy, slightly off-white head that lasts for a fairly long time.

Smell: Unique and intriguing, a nice mix of malt sweetness with a pronounced wood smokiness, delicious.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Medium body with nice carbonation. Starts rich and malty with a bit of hop bite when BWAAAH! Oh my GOD, absolutely overpowering blast of smoked meat and sweet barbecue sauce; about as subtle as a lead pipe to the head.

Drinkability: Glad I did it, but I can't imagine ever drinking another. In fact, I had trouble finishing this one.

I must point out I'm no expert in this genre of beer, but I simply cannot recommend a beer with one flavor feature so radically overpowering. If you really feel the urge to drink a liquefied sausage, this is your chance.

 819 characters

Photo of Mandrake
2.96/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep reddish-copper which is moderately cloudy and forms a three finger light beige head that lasts forever but leaves relatively little lacing. Smell is...smoked salmon. Peppery and clove notes and a deep woody smokiness with a definite note of fish in the background. Taste is heavily smoky at first, with a nice spiciness and some interesting woody notes, but then the finish is all fish again. Mouthfeel is thick, rich, and nicely carbonated, but the drinkability isn't great. I just couldn't get the thought that I was drinking a salmon smoothie out of my mind, and that kind of killed this one for me.

 615 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one was an amber, slightly cloudy brew that poured with no head to speak of.

The aroma was of malt and maple smoke. Somewhat promising, so I moved on.

The taste disappointed. It was malty, and tasted of rather strong wood smoke, but there was an underlying flavor of charcoal as well that I just couldn't ignore. There was also no bitterness to speak of, which might have helped mask that charcoal taste.

I like rauchbiers... but this one left me wanting to try something else, as it was unsatisfying.

 515 characters

Photo of mugglesandhops
3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this on-tap at the brew pub in Newport

I am not a fan of smoked beers at all and this is no exception. It poured orange/red in color, thin head, it smelled of smoke, tasted of smoke with maybe some hops coming through, I didnt like this very much, I will not be having this anytime in the near future.

 306 characters

Photo of moocey
3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

My gawd, I think I'm drinking a salami sandwich. It's actually kinda tasty, and a lot better than eating Subway. Appearance is a deep amber color, and cloudy as usual for a Rogue. I didn't know anyone made beers that taste like a smoked deli sandwich. I suppose if beer is liquid bread, then it's not so farfetched. I enjoy the taste of this beer well enough, but I can't see myself buying it again. If offered one, however, I would not refuse.

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Photo of Viking
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Slightly hazy, dark red-amber body. Thick, rocky, cream-colored head. Very smoky aroma with slight undertones of sweet malt. I really can't taste anything beyond the smoke. Smooth beer, just too heavy on the smoke to be truly enjoyable. Probably great with a turkey sandwich.

 279 characters

Photo of bennetj17
3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured quickly but looked somewhat flat with no head retention. The color is an opaque amber. There is a strong aroma of smoky bacon that is unmistakable. The smokiness caries through the first taste, and there is a definite bitterness and sourness to the beer, but no real sweetness. It feels thin and flat in the mouth. The smoke flavor is very distinct on this one but it doesn't yield to many other flavors. I would say the beer is one-dimensional and could use more maltiness to give it balance.

 510 characters

Photo of caddybuyer
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass

A-Moderately veiled medium amber with a creamy eggshell head.

S-Predominantly smoked bacon and some malts

T-Malty, smoky, very much like the smell. Smoke is a little overpowering, not overwhelming, but I wish it were more subtle. Malts hit the palate first then heavy smoke, followed by some tangy hops and a long smokey finish. I was grilling up some hot dogs while tasting this and had to admit that the cured meat reminded me a lot of this beer.

M-Well balanced overall, medium mouthfeel and carbonation

D-Not very, I really didn't like this and ended up saving the rest to use as a marinade. Glad I tried this, I was curious about it, but smoke flavor in beer is just not my thing.

 738 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

My first finished smoked beer. Where rauchbiers have put me off, and they went down the drain, this beer was my first finished, smoked beer. The color is a ruby brown that makes me immediately think of slightly smoked oak stove lengths. Light bubbling in this thick, cloudy hue. The aroma is of a campfire you are 100 feet down-wind of. Lots of smokey wood qualities. Plus tpasty looking malts, but just smell smokey. The taste is a bit cloying. This 22oz bomber would go very well with a smoked pork entree of pulled pork and baby back ribs ...(BBQ sauce). The smoked wood dominates the palate. No hops seem to contribute to the flavor in any significant way. Hints of toasty malts and a little clove sweetmness lingers around the whole palate. The mouthfeel is a bit more over the top with smoke. I could not have more than one of these beers in one day.

 856 characters

Photo of bark
3.14/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is red-orange-amber; the finger thick head slowly sinks down to a thin off-white lid, leaving some lacing. The liquid is a little cloudy (the beer is bottle conditioned).

The smell is semi-sweet and slightly smoked. Hints of caramel and smoked ham/smoked salmon. It is fairly light.

The taste is a little sour. Smoked notes (ham/salmon/cheese) in the background. Some sweet notes of white bread and a touch of cookies from the malt. There are some bitter flavours, although quite mild. The aftertaste got a fresh bitter flavour as well as some caramel and a mildly smoked taste in the background.

The carbonation is fresh and a little strong with lots of very small bubbles. The liquid is semi-smooth.

An elegant and quite conservative smoked ale. I like them a bit more aggressive.

 800 characters

Photo of dedalus
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

looks great, smells great (campfire char, bacon fat, and woodsap), but fails to deliver any real smoke flavor in the palate or the finish. it tastes pleasantly malty and toasty, but the smoke is too subdued to have any real presence. the (in)famous heavy rogue hopping is also missing in action. quite disappointing for the style, although it would make a fine amber ale. from now on, when i want smoked beer, i'll stick with aecht schlenkerla rauchbier.


 459 characters

Photo of TheDM
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew has a smoked sausage aroma. Medium head of fine light brown bubbles above a tempting cloudy dark brown body. Tastes like carbonated sausage too. It also has a strong smoke aftertaste.

 193 characters

Photo of JDV
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a rich amber with a cream colored head from a bomber. Medium thick head and semi lasting. Smell is lightly smoky and malty and a semi rich, nice creamy body. Mild malty tartness and some smokiness in the flavor but somewhat restrained. Pretty easy drinking and mild overall. Nice, but simple and perhaps a bit boring.

 323 characters

Photo of JISurfer
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The smell and appearance were the highlights of this brew. Other than that, it was kind of hard to finish, due to the overwhelming hoppiness. Compared to other smoke beers that I have had, this was average. There taste was smokey for a second, but then got bittered out by the hops. Some may like this one, but I am more of a malt guy.

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Smoke Ale from Rogue Ales
3.81 out of 5 based on 328 ratings.
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