Smoke Out | Starr Hill Brewery

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Average: 3.53 | pDev: 19.83%

Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 39

German Rauchbier | 8.00% ABV

Wants   Gots 

Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Notes: Rotating availibility. 
Very Good
Reviews: 9 | Ratings: 39
Photo of Bung
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. Bottled July 2013.
Orangey gold pour, just about no head. A few white whisps on top.

Aroma, some sweeter caramel and toffee. Campfire, very light smoked bacon.

Taste, a barbeque smoke, light caramel, grainy malt. A honey bacon. Some nice earthiness. Lingers pretty well.

Light side of medium, higher carbonation. Much higher carbonation than the appearance would leave one to believe. Goes down easy, but you have to like the smoke. Was pleasantly surprised by this compared to two years ago reviews.

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Photo of the38raven
2.43/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Judging by other people's reactions to this one, I feel like I may have had a subpar pint, but I don't know think I'd try this one again.

A: Started out well, a nice dark color, almost opaque. Head was a touch too thin.

S: Curiously, the main smell I got from this one was licorice. Not unpleasant, but certainly unexpected.

T: Eh. Frankly, this tasted like someone had poured liquid smoke into a pint of water, then dyed it black. I really didn't get any *beer* taste, just smoke. My girlfriend, who's spent time in Bamberg and had proper rauchbier, assured me this one didn't taste anything like The Real Thing.

M: Thin, thin, thin. I admit I like my beer to be thick in my mouth, but this was awfully watery.

O: I've really been disappointed with Starr Hill's selection, and this did nothing to lift the mediocrity. Everything they brew feels unnecessarily watery and tastes like not much, and this was no exception.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden body with creamy never say die head that leaves lace as it slowly descends. A smokey, but not too smokey (i.e. beef jerky) smell and I can detect a hint of sweetness. Taste is more of the same as this medium-bodied beer isn't as dry or cutting as other smoke beers, but has a good smoke profile and also some sweet caramel and other sugary malts poke through. Not as "smokey" as other rauchbiers and the profile of the beer is a little generic but overall I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2L swing-top growler into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Filled at the brewery 18 June. From notes. Reviewed 29 June 2011.

A: Two-fingers of tight head, big and pleasant. Copper-cloudy with plenty of bubbles. Really good lacing.

S: Cooked meat. Firepits. Smoooke (duh). Some malty sweetness.

T: Malty-sweet with a robust smokiness throughout. Smoother, richer, and more subtle than expected. Hints of milk chocolate. Aftertaste is soft, then a bit tart(?), then smoothly malty...creamy almost.

M: Very nice! I wonder if it would be more carbonated if it hadn't spent so long in the growler. As it is, the beer is smooth and creamy until the very end, which brings a touch of dryness.

O: Good rauchbier. Sweeter than expected; soft and undemanding. The smoke is secondary, but always in the background. Recommended. I would drink again.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.16/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served into a normal style pint glass from my Starr Hill growler (acquired at the brewery on 6/12/11).

Pours a thinnish, dark golden color with very little head. Once it settles, it has a murky appearance which suits the smell/taste just fine.

Smell is delightful...I can pick up what smells like hickory and bacon.

Taste is likewise delightful and it tastes like it smells...strong smoke flavor with hints of bacon. It really does taste like "camping."

Mouthfeel is good, a bit thinnish with notable carbonation. Doesn't hamper the taste at all, but not the highlight of the beer.

Starr Hill has made an excellent and unique beer in its "Smoke Out." It is very distinctive and unlike any other beer I've had in the Mid-Atlantic. It's not for everyone, but if you have an open mind it is definitely worth it. It pairs well with food - I had a prior growler fill with hickory beef jerky which was a fantastic pairing and I imagine this would go well with all sorts of hearty meat and potato type foods.

Simply put, this is one of the highlights on Starr Hill's roster of beers.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.3/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 2L growler (from Beer Run in Charlottesville, VA) into a pint glass.

Thin head since it's the end of the growler, white with coarse bubbles and some lacing. From past (and more aggressive) pours, the head can get quite large and is too coarse to sip off nicely. Body is a clear brownish amber.

Nose is woody and smokey with a hint of apple and of honey; smells like a real German bock/lager.

Taste is nice and smooth-- hickory smoke and smooth malt. Almost no hops flavor to be found here. Slightly undercut by carbonation. Nice aftertaste, malty, faint honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Not bad, but slightly prickly due to the slightly higher-than-ideal carbonation.

Drinkability is *very* high; if the ABV is accurate on this site, it's not at all noticeable and I could drink this all night. (NB: The 2011 batch of Smoke Out clocks in at 7% ABV according to the brewery) Pairs nicely with blander/heartier foods (think potatoes or maybe meat) as opposed to spicy or more delicate foods.

One dimensional, perhaps, but it doesn't pretend otherwise. A good beer to make a convert out of your mainstream-beer loving friend (although you should ask yourself if someone who loves mainstream beer is really your friend). Not recommendable for people who don't like smokey flavor, but if you do, you're in for a treat!

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Photo of rugerj
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured into glass with small head that fades quickly, good lacing left in glass. Golden color that could be a little light for the style. Smell is of sweet caramel malt and smoke. Taste starts off with sweet malt and finshes smokey with a very smokey aftertaste left in mouth. Beer is smooth and drinkable if you like this style beer.

Overall beer is decent, perhaps a little too much smoke character with not enough balance on the malt side.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured draft, a slightly cloudy but overall clear orange. A muted appearance. Barely off-white displayed slight lacing, and not great retention. Initially rather effervescent.

I went into this beer having been tipped off to a new rauchbier - a style I find under-appreciated - being available on tap. So, I should admit that my palate was biased. Anyway, this beer was fruitier than anticipated (in both the aroma and taste).

I'd say some sour (smoke tinged, perhaps?) apple and light malts to the nose. The smoke quality comes from BBQ wood chips.

Tastes of a lightly smoked fruity helles. A tinge of smoke. Kinda like an apple-ish bread (not to the extent of having full apple or even flavor involved) that is a tad overly toasted - in, for example, a meat smoker or charred grill.

Pretty smooth. A somewhat creamy feel, with a medium body.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a filtered golden orange with a fast-fading white head that leaves a light ring of lace around the glass edges and

Aroma: Smoky, and a little salty, with faint pale malts. Smells like ham, hay, and honey. Which coincidentally all begin with the letter "h."

Taste: Light crisp malts - biscuity, faintly roasted, with a sweet honey edge - a faint hop twinge, but a lot of strong smoky notes, which are very reminiscent of ham.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, even bodied, and a little too full.

Drinkability: A very interesting beer, but not from a style I care too much for. That being said, I still enjoyed this one, and would be more than happy to give it a try again, though I fear availability will be an issue. Alcohol is completely hidden, despite its level. A good fall-time beer.

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Smoke Out from Starr Hill Brewery
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 39 ratings