Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Smoke Ale | Rogue Ales

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 254 | Ratings: 328
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big head, cloudy brown. Aroma of smoke but also floral hops. Smoke, fruity peach,grassy hops, carmel, malt sweetness, more smoke. A Rogue is there behind the smoke. I may like it without all the smoke. Thanks MDS, Radekfest 05 sample 28. Medium mouthfeel.

 255 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The newer versions of this brew are solid, but not as powerful as the old ones in the 7oz. bottles. Looking handsomely beer-like with an orange / golden hue and plenty of CO2. A dainty head that couldn't really keep up. Aromas start of very 'beer' like but soon turn to beef jerky. A would-be solid pale ale with a meaty addition of smoke aroma and flavor. Smokiness never really dominates the beer, but contributes nicely to its character. Finishes a little hoppy-dry and malty sweet with a big mesquite finish (never said that before). Rogue really knows how to balance out these flavored beers.

3 / 5 / 06
I undoubtedly purchased an old version of this brew. Though old, my impressions are strong. Purchased at the Party Source in N. Kentucky, the 7oz. bottle displays a pink painted Rouge character and stated, "Bottled in 1995" upon a brown bottle with a cap that says 'Florida'. Anyway, a solid and well rounded smoke and hop aroma was instantly displayed. Dark amber to brown with a light haze. Virtually no carboation detected. Rich malt and smoke flavors on a moderate body makes the smoke more apparant. Texture is smooth and lightly rich. Thin and light body, partly due to the lack of carbonation. Noticable notes of soy sauce and sherry flavors in the finish. Would have been great to have this one in it's prime.

 1,330 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy medium golden orange, with a couple of fingers of thick, puffy off-white head, which leaves webbed lace around the glass. It smells of nice, soft, campfire smoke, like that sweatshirt that you forgot to wash after wearing it camping all weekend, as well as some caramel malt and grassy hops. The taste is smoked caramel malt, some citrus (burnt grapefruit?), and grassy hops. The carbonation is fairly average, the body adequately weighted to balance the smokiness, and it finishes a bit off-dry, the smoke tailing off to some singed caramel sweetness, and tangy, bitter hops.

A nice even dose of smoke, after having a few of those Scottish peat monsters. Good as an exposure to a special style, but not something that I'd want to have more than one of.

 777 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light brown beer with a medium bubbly off-white head with average retention. Aroma is comprised of subtle smoke and some malt, I was expecting a bit more smoke but I’m not complaining since smoke beer is not my favourite style. Taste can also be described as lightly smoke with some nice malt to support the smoke. Overall, this is probably a more balanced smoke ale then what is generally known as smoke ale which I appreciated since this is not my favourite style.

 490 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Undated 7 oz bottle. Carefully poured off of the yeast it's only slightly hazy. The body is a deep orange-tinted copper. A short foamy head drops quickly to nothing. The aroma is quite astonishing and reminds me of my favorite smoked beer, the Alaskan Smoked Porter (also by John Maier). I guess that's the Alderwood. But there's also some sweet malt there that's just as inviting. The body is medium/light and quite smooth in the mouth as there's only a limited carbonation. The flavor starts with a rich and sweet Munich and caramel maltiness but soon gives way to smokiness. Very nice! The bitterness rises in the finish along with a palate coating smokiness. The Beechwood flavor is noticeable. Very well done with lots of smoke flavor, but not overly aggressive and cloying. Some minor hop flavor is also present throughout, although I suspect that this is an old bottle that's dulled considerably. Still, it's quite nice and I intend to enjoy a few more of these!

 969 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of smoked malts, along with touches of citrus, caramel and hops.

T: The taste starts out very smoky and a little sweet with flavors of caramel, some citrus and a hearty malt character. However the smokiness isn't as strong in the taste as it is in the smell and fades into the finish. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, while there may be better smoky beers out there, this is a good beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for the style.

 903 characters

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

Appearance: Pours a hazed, mahogany-hued body with a thin, smallish, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of sweetish, toasty malts layered with smoked wood, chipped beef jerky, a distant fruitiness, and spicy, steely hops.

Taste: Toasted maltiness instilled with smokiness and some slight caramel sweetness. Sure, there's plenty of smoke to be had in Smoke Ale, but it won't bowl you over like the Schlenkerla line-up. Faintly fruity. Moderate hop bitterness with some spicy Saaz qualities. Final rise of malt sweetness that drops back down for the dry, smoky, bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's enjoyable. A pleasant, well-balanced beer with a nice level of everyday smoke character.

 734 characters

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

Dusky orange with brighter lemon-orange accents. The cap is classic Rogue. It's massive and frothy, yet with an element of creamy heft. It looks like it belongs on an IPA. The foam displays wonderful persistence with differential speeds of descent depending on the section. Large splotches of foam stick with less tenacity than I would like.

The nose is a nice balancing act between smoked malt and fruity hops. I haven't had too many rauchbiers/smoked beers, but the ones I've had have been wall-to-wall smoke that blanketed any possible secondary aromas. Nothing wrong with that, no apologies needed, but it's nice to be able to pick out the essential beerness as well. Having said that, smoke should still be the focal point, and the quality of said smoke from this particular beer is good, but not outstanding.

The flavor follows the nose in terms of character and proportions of smoked malt and hops. In case anyone is wondering, Rogue Smoke isn't that similar to the Schlenkerla line of beers. The smokiness is greatly reduced here, making this a better 'training wheels' smoked beer for those who are curious about the style.

I pick up a fair amount of caramel flavor along with the smoke, which is a further indication that the brewers had no interest in going over the top. There's a lovely countering fruitiness (and a pleasing bitterness) that ties all flavor elements into a neat and tidy package. Although it isn't overly hoppy, I doubt that there are any smoked beers out there that are as hoppy as this one. Those Rogue boys, they're such rogues.

The finish is both more bitter and more sweet than what came before. The smokiness fades on the back end, further cementing the impression of restraint in the smoked malt department. There isn't much wrong with the body/mouthfeel, but then there rarely is with this brewery.

Smoke Ale is good beer. It won't satisfy anyone looking for an overwhelmingly oily, hugely smoky fix (Schlenkerla), but it is a well-crafted ale that uses its smoked malt judiciously rather than promiscuously. This was a pleasant surprise and I'm glad that my local grocery keeps it in stock. 'Dedicated to the fall of the Berlin Wall'. I'll drink to that.

 2,208 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ordered up this one on tap at Barleys last night. Poured into a pint glass, consumed on 08/23/2008.

The pour was very nice, with a rich dark amber color being presented in front of me. Good clarity here and a decent amount of carbonation could be seen streaking up towards the top on this one. A decent sized head of off white then came up over the top and settled down with some decent side glass lace.

Wow, the aroma was that of a campfire. One of the strongest smelling smoked beers I have ever seen. Really intense aroma here of peat and charred wood. The flavor was more of the same, pretty one sided, but I had expected that. Lots of peat, burnt wood, charcoal, you get the idea. Long lasting burnt flavor in the mouth, not the smoked meat like flavor you see sometimes, this was literally like a campfire. A little thin on the feel to be honest, slightly slippery. An easy drinker, low abv, the only drawback would be that the flavor is a little much after a few pints, and that would limit me to probably two at the most.

Overall not bad. It is certainly a smoked beer that is for damn sure, and one of the better ones I have seen. I would go back for another round without issue. This was certainly very well made, and I am more then slightly impressed.

 1,265 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was enjoyed from an imperial pint at Market Cross Pub and brewery in Carlisle. Part of the Rogue tap takeover.

The color is an amber hue with some golden accents, mildly hazed with a thick cap of cream colored head with average sized bead and lace that sticks well. The smell is great, very nice smoke which is not harsh and seems woody with a sweet accent which gives the impression of a smoked meat. There is a light hop aroma adding to the complexity of aromas. The feel is more mild in smoke influence than the aroma with moderate hoppiness and subtle malt texture adding dimension with a very mild sweet accent, the balance is very good as none of the elements really stands out and they work together well.

This smoked ale has a good malt body with light woody notes and a nice smokiness which gives a nice complimet to the slight piney element from the hops which also seem to go well with the yeast which is mildly fruity. There is a subtle caramel and wood synergy that brings the smoke forward on the palate, yet doesn't go to far either. I really enjoy how it doesn't get too sweet either. Overall I was impressed by this since it is obviously a Northwest version of a classic rauchbier it doesn't stick the style completely-Rogue puts its own stamp on the style and it is very pleasing to my palate with just the right amount of smoke flavor.

 1,365 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel with a rocky 5 fingers+ light tan head. Good head retention& some lacing

S: Smoked ham & loads of it

T: Smoked ham & then caramel notes sneak in. A slight hop bite on the edge of the tounge & then some peppery notes. Finishes smokey& sweet

MF: Medium body & good carbonation. Pretty good balance

Drinks fairly easy. This more restrained than I remember tastes I've had in years past. This is an excellent breakfast (with eggs & grits!) or BBQ beer. This could almost pass as a Bamberg Rauch IMO, almost

 529 characters

Photo of Jason
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Small 7oz brown twist bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Hazy amber hued brew with a very sticky off white creamy lace.

Smell: Very aromatic with a whaft of creamy and smooth smelling smoke ... similar smoke aroma as cured meat or fish.

Taste: Soft and velvety smooth with a quite luxuriant and creamy malt mouth feel. A dose of caramelly sweet malt is quickly quelled by an assertive yet balanced smoky flavour. Lingering spicy hop lays its self from middle to end to add a touch more to the complexity while the smoke stays for a long time with an increasing warming feeling from the alcohol and smoke.

Notes: A step above the rest and an absolute delight to savour. Just a small warning ... the 7 oz bottle is not enough especially if you are a smoked ale lover.

 799 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange-amber color. Moderate head that leaves some spotty lace on the glass.

The aroma represents a very good start. This beer has not been over-smoked, which it seems too many overemphasize. Instead, I smell the lighter malts and even some floral hops. Very nicely blended with the light smokiness.

The smoke is stronger in the flavor; almost a burnt wood flavor. The malt is diminished from the smell significantly. Some good hop presence in the swallow that blends nicely with woodsy smoke. Nice body for the style.

One of the more drinkable smoked beers. It is strong enough that if you don't like the style, you may wish to avoid. Otherwise, go out on a limb and give a go.

 696 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly cloudy amber hue nice sized cream head leaves nice evenly strung lacing. Aroma: Wonderful balanced smokey aromatics with a nice amount of hops kicking around and a caramel malt profile is evident. Taste: Nice strong smokiness not in your face as some Bamber born rauchbier, but smokey all the same smoked malts blend well with the heavily hopped profile malts are reserved to some they are enought to not offend while others may yearn for more smoke. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied ale smooth carbonation as the end of the bottle nears body becomes a bit thicker. Drinkability: One of the best all around rauchbiers I've tasted so balanced yet heavily smoked.

 674 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed orangeish brown with a towering head that descends to a patch.

The smell is of Rogue's Pac-Man yeast (which I happen to like!) with smoked bacon.

The taste is of Rogue's Pac-man yeast and smoke. Rogue meets Aecht Schlenkerla. If you like both, as I do, you'll like this.

Well, this is certainly "interesting". You can certainly tell that it is Rogue. And, you can tell it is smoked. Pair with the obvious - smoked food.

 443 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bright amber, nearly crimson, with a big, fuzzy, bubbling, beige head, slowly slipping down to size.
Aroma is all smokey, deep, we're just missing the salmon here...
Taste: neat hop appearance, good malt, with smokefull on the palate, but not too strong, pretty palatable, spicy, fruity.
Not as hearty as the likes of Schlenkerla, but sweet and juicy, tasty, I can see this as an excellent accompanied by great meals, meaty and cheesy.
Hops really do ride the thing through, provide such succulent flavor.
Smooth, yet smokey and spicy, and surprisingly drinkable.
22 0z. bomber, and the first bottle I've ever seen, where I learned that this one is dedicated to to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and to all the great beer that issued forth from the great land of Deutsch.

 782 characters

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

A - Opaque orange. Copious amounts of head with a fine bubble structure.

S - Bacony smoke. Whole wheat bread.

T - Opens with a smooth smoke that ramps up throughout the profile. Brown bread early with a touch of dried white fruits: apple, pear. Finishes with a piney bitterness and a wave of hammy smoke.

M - Light-medium body. Smokiness is relatively mild and doesn't coat your palate.

D - Very drinkable for a smoke beer. The flavors play nice and don't overwhelm your palate.

 484 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bomber bottle, typical Rogue lack of freshness indication, this one pours medium amber, slightly orange tinged, and abit cloudy, off white head, initially puffy, settling down to a minor film. This one leaves gobs of thick lacing. Nose is mildly of rubbery old gym shoes and some malt. this creation is moderatly smoked to my taste buds. Tastes like the malts have been smoking for a reasonable/judicious amount of time. Clearly this would be a fine choice to go along with some BBQ or other smoked foods. Another fine brew from the crafty folks @ Rogue

 553 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice dark amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet malt scent surrounded by a mild smokey aroma that gives it character. The taste is good. It has dry, yet malty flavor which is enhanced by an excellent smoke taste. It goes down easy and leaves a bit of an aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a fine smoke ale. It has good smokey aroma and flavor.

 498 characters

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

Pours a nice amber color, nice carbonation, nice little tan head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some smokeyness, slight citrus. The taste is malty, smoky, with some citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, would recommend.

 274 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber-copper color, and is topped by a thick tan head. I get an immediate aroma of smoked malt, with perhaps a hint of maltiness lying underneath. The taste is smooth, lightly sweet, with a nice meaty middle. The smoke is first detected in the finish, which is long, drying and smoky. Interestingly enough the combination of smoke and malt in some way reminds me of oranges, though I can't quite say why. Though the beer is light as it goes down, the smoke adds a nice full richness to this beer that is quite good. This is somewhat subtle for a smoked beer, but it is a great level of smokiness for this particular beer, it is very well balanced.

 661 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rogue Smoke Ale

LOOK: Clear copper colored brew. Slight off white foam cap. Displays a fine clarity.

SMELL: Smoked malts, bbq, charcoal, cured meats.

TASTE: Rich smokey flavor, earthy wood flavor notes come through as well. Charcoal, bacon, burnt toast. There is a mild but complimentary bitterness. Slight tang. Very smokey.

FEEL: On the light side of medium bodied, well carbonated. Smoke flavor sticks to the palette and does not let go.

OVERALL: A nice smoked beer, solid flavor, ideal for a smokey bbq outdoors. Would go great with roasted pork.

 555 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up over the weekend at the COOP ... used most of it in my Mexican Pot Roast recipe... poured the rest into my small tulip glass... 2 finger tannish head.. the brew is perfectly amber.

Nose is smokey beef jerky... immediately brings up memories of the gift shop of the Shoshone Bannock tribe over near Pocatello.... I know I know.... but hey, it is the truth. Definitely a "German" smoke more than a peat smoke... sorta sweet like a thick campfire.

Ughhh... I know I am supposed to appreciate this, but it is just too damned smokey for me.. meaty.. thick.. chewy... smokey.. almost some mushroom qualities... lite malt sweetness helps deliver the smokey smack-down.

Body is medium.. carbonation is medium too... I just don't really dig it... I will finish my glass, but the rest goes down the drain.


 828 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance: rich orange-amber hue with a murky haze and two fingers of slightly orangey tan head. Not a lot of retention, but the color is very nice indeed.

Smell: sweet malt aroma with a solid dose of heady smoke. The smoke is sort of bright and astringent; it's good, but I don't quite like it as much as other smoked beers of a comparable intensity.

Taste: rich caramel malt flavors with a little bit of fruitiness. Bitterness is low and I can't identify any hops under the smoke. The smoke itself is less intense and more well-rounded than in the aroma. Again, it's not bad, but it's not my favorite smoked beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a big dose of well-integrated carbonation which yields a nice creamy mouthfeel. I think it's rather well done.

Drinkability: this beer is pretty good, but I wouldn't write home about it. Drinkable, but not fantastic.

 902 characters

Photo of Derek
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-bronze with a niice off-white, light retention & lace.

S: A herbal, smoky aroma with hints of flora & grass.

T: It's like a new-school Octoberfest with a bit of smoke. Plenty of steelie, grass hops that are a little herbal and minty as well. There's a nice, well-rounded malt backbone. A bit like a Spezial lager, but with some American malt flavour and certainly hopped up.

M: Light to moderate body.

D/O: Much more approachable than anything Schlenkerla, with some nice flavour. I thought their hopping was a bit much (I'd prefer the smoke was balanced with malt).

It paired well with the pulled pork at the brewery, but I'd go for a Chipotle if I did it again.

 677 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Smoke Ale from Rogue Ales
3.81 out of 5 based on 328 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!