Rauchbier | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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12 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-12-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 10
Reviews by elNopalero:
Photo of elNopalero
4.06/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at the Torpedo Room recently (2014). No longer retired?

This pours a gold tan color, like a slightly burnt gold. There’s a big big big campfire aroma here, with the smokey character dominating all else.

The flavor has more smoke, but it’s a delicate smoke—the pale ale of smoked beers, perhaps? There’s a balance going on here, even with all the burning. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of sansho
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of GreenWBush
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

An amazing on-ramp to the world of Rauchbiers, but not at all one that would fend off the most rabid fans of the style. Sure, its a bit marginalized, like SN's Wheat, so its not going to turn your mouth into charcoal, but instead toning down the scorch and giving it a more velvety roastiness. Slight bit of characteristic PacNW hop cleans everything to its essentials. High drinkability, especially in terms of style.

Appearance and mouthfeel was that of a brown ale, a little sweeter than i'd experienced. No real head or lacing to speak of. This beer is a nice little rauch that has some scottish ale influence. A great way to introduce (myself) and others to a style that can be offputting at first.

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Photo of flexabull
4.55/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes and goes from the brewery. First tasted it in 1998, and LOVED it. I had tasted rauch beers before, but they always seemed to overload on the smoke flavor. But I like how this one seems to keep the smoke a bit more subtle, and not the main flavor of the beer. It made a return to the taps last year, not sure if it is still there or not... guess I have to make a visit to find out.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Sampled on draft at Lucky Baldwin’s, Pasadena, CA on Saturday 18th September during the Sierra Nevada Beer Festival and a mini-BA Gathering. Served in a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass, $3 for the Pint.

Generic Sierra Nevada Tap Handle that is Dark Brown and has the words ‘Rauch’ in a cream text, if memory serves me right.

Appearance: Cloudy looking dark brown body which had a light tan colored head that seemed to have some good staying power. Average carbonation not visible through the murky body but was evident when the glass was tipped and righted quickly.

Nose: Subdued but discernable smoky burnt wood nose with some malts and a nice hickory smoked odor. Not in yer face, nor even up yer nose, but enough to tell you that this is indeed a Rauch.

Taste: Pleasantly surprised by the nice balance that this exhibited. Smoked kippers and peat malts intermingled with a hickory smoked burnt wood ending. Nicely poised, and nicely balanced, such that subsequent brews were not affected by the rasping smoky-bacon flavor that is so often left on the tongue for weeks on end after some of its Teutonic brethren. I really took to this one, not a huge fan of the style but this was executed rather well I think, one instance where restraint is the better part of taste for me.

Mouthfeel: Average body that was bolstered by the smoked wood middle. Carbonation was always there, lending a creamy feel to the smoked tastes, and a peaty texture to the malts. Enjoyable.

Drinkability: A nicely balanced easy going Rauch, if such a thing exists. It’s middle-of-the-road-smokiness and restrained bbq feel meant that I could quite easily manage a couple of pints of this with little effort. Still not an all night beer for me, but definitely worthy of a couple!

Overall: Another great entrance beer to the World of the more highly smoked Rauchbiers. If anything, I actually prefer this to some of its German counterparts, its delicate balance and retrained smoked poise make it much easier to drink in quantity. Probably goes well with some good sharp vinegary pickles this one!

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Photo of DMc8ride
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of jbsteiny
2.81/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Though it's listed as retired, this was on tap at the Blind Tiger for their SN night on 5.16.07... Remember, I'm rating this against the Rauchbier style, which is one of my favorite styles. This beer was highly disappointing, especially as the Blind Tiger's had a steady stream of Schlenkerla on tap.

It poured an amber color with a finger of off-white head, which gave some lacing that dissipated quickly. The aroma was all malt, with no detectable smoke or hop. I was wishing I'd ordered something else before I'd even tasted it, and I didn't change my mind once I tried it. Very malty, with caramel and breads dominating the minor smoke, leaving this an unbalanced sweet beer. Paradoxically for such a malty brew, it was fairly thin and light-bodied, which allowed me to chug this and get on with my night.

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Photo of klewis
3.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brew Kettle, Strongsville, OH 2/7/2007

A: Pours a copper color with little head or lacing.

S: Malty with a touch of smoke.

T: A meaty bacon flavor with a gentle but noticable smokiness. Some NW hops flavor in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: A good session rauch. Not as smoky as a Schenkerla, but enough to give it that characteristic flavor. Recommended, especially for newcomers to the style.

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Photo of francisweizen
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Please note that I am reviewing this to style! As a rauchbier this one just does not hold up. A dark amber appearance, that of an oktoberfest, rauch, or many other german beers. The head is flimsy and dies quickly. Carbonation seems low as well. Aromas are malts with just a tinge of smoke and almost no hops to be found. Taste is malt but way too sweet, with not enough smoke or hops to make it work. This reminds me of a decent, but too sweet oktoberfest, but as a rauch it kind of sucks. Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery really, and drinkability suffers as well. A dissapointing rauch from SN.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ O'Brien's Pub in San Diego, CA

A- copper with lighter copper hues, white head was drown out by bartender, white foamy lace

S- beef jerky, wet brown sugar

T- bitter molasses, smoked malts, high sweetness, toasted malts, some yeast, wonderful aftertaste

M- medium body, high carbonation level, dry, flows easy

D- let this brew warm up a bit and its a freakin treat, born and bred for steaks or BBQ , very enjoyable and worth a shot

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Photo of IceAce
3.51/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smoky, of course, with the flavor of Blue Diamond almonds throughout. Zippy CO² with a smoky / sweet nose...but only if you're really looking for it.

This beer poured from the faucet with an orange body, great clarity, with a light tan collar and more than adequate lacing.

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Photo of sleazo
2.63/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a rauch? Seriously where is the smoke?

Had this one at lunch at O Briens. Looked like a SNPA. The smell was slight smoke, barely detectable. Taste was akin to an amber/ESB type with a minor smoke note in the end. Mouthfeel was also akin to the SNPA, maybe a bit thinner. This really just did not seem to fit the style at all. Pretty mediocre all around

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Rauchbier from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 12 ratings