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Shiner Smokehaus | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner SmokehausShiner Smokehaus

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.89%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Helles-style lager made with Texas mesquite wood-smoked pale malts. 16 IBU

Added by drunkboxer1 on 06-04-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 153 | Ratings: 250
Photo of martyrthisthat
1.39/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

As a fan of smoked beer I was super excited for this. Unfortunately this was quite possibly the worst beer I have ever consumed, comparable only to the PB & J Ale by Short's in offensively bad beers. Smokehaus smelled rather like pork rinds.
But the real winner is the smoked salt pork flavour. I could see this beer being awesome to make chili with or like sloppy joe's but as a drink ... I am at a loss for words.

 417 characters

Photo of Lumbar
1.9/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Kudos to Spoetzl for being ballsy-enough to try something this different. The very idea of this brew shouts "Texas!" I'm a native Texan and a beer-lover, but this is the most difficult-to-drink beer I've ever put lips to.

The smoky aroma was evocative of a tantalizing backyard BBQ wafting my direction, but that merely hinted at the in-yo-face smokiness of the brew itself. And that's where the pleasure ended.

This is the first beer in all my beer-swillin' life in which I couldn't get through an entire bottle before I had to quit. The deep smoke flavor was over-powering and off-putting, while the after-taste was cloying as hell - I swear I could still taste it an hour later. Not pleasant.

"A" for effort and creativity, but the taste is an "F" - this brew is not for me.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.03/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I don't know why I expected otherwise, but this beer stunk. After all, this is the brewery that popularized a bock which is frankly not at all bock-like. Anyhow, I ordered it at Norton's Texas Grill (was in front of my hotel) for reasons that aren't entirely clear to me. This beer poured from the bottle a pale-ish yellow, with a medium head. Aroma was lightly smoke-y, but also a touch grainy. Flavor was a chemical-y smoke taste (think liquid smoke) with some graininess in the background. Mouthfeel was thin. I drank this, because I ordered it, but didn't really like it. I noticed that there was an abundant amount of this beer in the cooler (it's row came all the way to the cooler door) whereas all the other bottled beers were somewhat depleted. I should've known...

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Photo of BMoney575
2.16/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Sampled on 7-31-09

Pours a very clear golden orange color, with steady bubbles rising to the surface. A thin white head leaves quickly fading lacing.

Smell is thin, all adjunct lager, with a decently strong, beef jerky smoke character. Odd, but surprisingly unoffensive.

Taste is terrible. The smoke adds an earthy vegetable quality that never leaves. This will be hard to finish.

Mouthfeel is alright, fits the style.

Drinkability is awful, the flavor is disgusting.

Overall, the smoke ruins what would normally be a nice, light, refreshing lager. Avoid at all costs.

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Photo of titusgroan
2.2/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Hello - This is my First Review! I was waiting to review something I love and in a way I am... I'm from TX and LOVE SHINER! I do dislike their wheat beer but everything else they have done I love. They are a TX Tradition and more the National Beer of TX than LoneStar. That said... I am sorely disappointed in the SmokeHouse. I can truly say this is the worst beer i've ever tried. It pours a very nice bright yellow. Had the head of a typical Shiner - so it lasted about 3 seconds. I detected almost no smoke scent - barely there at all. It smelled almost like the 99 Helles but with a faint faint smoky smell. Then the first sip. It starts with a nice Helles profile - crisp with a slight hint of hops. But then i swallowed. You would have thought i shot a Burnt Hot Dog Water chaser! I was not expecting that at all. I unscrewed my face and tried again. Same. I managed to get through one third of the beer before tossing it down the sink. I bought two and used the second to marinade a chicken in the slow cooker - the chicken turned out lovely. I commend Shiner for trying something new. But this is not the way. I'm hoping they keep this experimental streak going but i'm not drinking this again.

 1,202 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
2.23/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a yellow golden color with a macro looking clarity. The head is white and ugly... good thing it fades to nothing. So far not so good.

The scent is in line with the pour, I'm thinking cheap american lager. Stale malts and old musty grains. No bueno.

Taste is the same. Watered down but with a distinct biscuit taste. The evidence of mesquite smoke only appears in the form of slight throat irritation.

This is a poor beer. There is nothing distinct about it and nothing really interesting. This is one you should totally pass on.

 537 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
2.26/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - The label on the bottle looks very retro, and describes this smoked brew as a helles style lager. That piqued my interest... I wouldn't expect a brewer to smoke such a light style. The head is initially two inches, and settles down to a nice thick orangish cap on top of a "first morning void" amber/orange brew.

S - Im not getting a whole helluva lot from the nose. Minerals (coppery notes) and cedar chips.

T - Bland, overly sweet, and soapy at first, this shows some mesquite notes on the back end, but they are only gentle hints. Salty and medicinal.

M - On the thicker end of light bodied, in the same way that a Euro lager is slightly heavier than a Mexican or American lager, but still light. Weak carbonation and high sugars make this flabby despite its light weight, like your skinny (but far from athletic) buddy that has developed little man titties in his thirties.

D - This is a miss for sure. I don't know how this got such a high average score. I think its plain and below average at best. I didn't drain pour this one, and I could see how a BMC person would enjoy this with some BBQ in place of their usual silver bullet, but when I see the words "smoked" and "mesquite" I want some heavy hittin' flavor dammit! Good thing I happen to have a bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla around somewhere... now that is some serious smoke!

 1,346 characters

Photo of cudmud
2.3/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer produced a scant amount of foam, which quickly dissipated into nothing. I'm staring at a glass with no foam; hence, no lacing for me to enjoy. The aroma is nothing special even for regual beer; however the smell issue is amplified due to the conspicuous absence of smoke. The same can be said for the taste. So what we have here is a smoked beer without any trace of smoke. I should have been learly about a beer with a label that says, "Serve extra cold."

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Photo of webbcreative
2.39/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Darker golden in color, sorta like piss after you have had a few beers. 3 finger white head that dissapated half way through. Not getting much in the nose at all, really gotta struggle to get anything outta there, and even then still I can't really pinpoint anything. Tase starts out at first hit with a band-aid flavor. Then it's just all smoke from there, really too much for me, seems to get more pronounced as it warms too, this will be hard to finish. Mouthfeel is the best thing this beer has going for it, it's a nice med mouthfeel.

Overall, will not be getting this beer again.

 587 characters

Photo of weissbierdrinker
2.4/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Got this beer from cudmud +1 thanks for the trade!

Pours a clear golden color with a crisp white head that leaves little lacing around the glass.

Smell is faint of smoke, some grass maybe?

Taste is of leather, water, rice, then in the aftertaste some smoke.
Doesn't sit very well on my palate. I did finish though as it did have to come a long way to get to me.

Not really sure if I don't like the style or this beer, I could drink it again as it wasn't terrible, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it.

 512 characters

Photo of winegourmet76
2.57/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I don't understand this beer-I tried it when it first came out, and it wasn't very smokey. They must have re-formulated it, because now it's like huffing fumes from a barbeque grill with mesquite wood!

Appearance-light golden brown, looks like a lager.

Smell-not too smokey, seems like it'll be well-balanced, a little bit of smoke

Taste-whew! all smoke. It lingers.

Mouthfeel-nice and light, still refreshing.

drinkability-not bad if you like strange brews...

 465 characters

Photo of homebrew311
2.58/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pours amber/ gold with a thin white head that dissipates quickly, clear

S: bacon, hickory, smoke, char, and barbecue on the front, some very subtle hops sit beneath this grill smell

T: the smokey flavor is there, but much more subdue than the nose suggest. Some funky sweetness in there that does note blend well with the smokey flavor. The finish is all smoke

MF: thin body, medium carbonation

D: I've had some smoked beers, which seem to work well in stouts and porter, but this one falls flat. The smokiness doesn't work with this one, not the most pleasant to drink

 576 characters

Photo of Briken
2.59/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clear pale yellow with foamy off white head with decint lacing and okay retention. Aromas of what else but mesquite smoke, very strong but pleasant. Strong smokey mesquite with some pale malt background. Calms down but still very prominent and especially sticks to the palate. A thin, syrupy mouthfeel.

A great smell, this really has nothing beyond the interesting smoke flavor. A great pairing for grilling though, I guess.

 425 characters

Photo of hoplover82
2.6/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Ok, this is not my thang, but my friend gave me this to drink and... well. If I was eating some bbq right now, it might be more tolerable but, as it is right now, I don't think I'll finish it. Well, I might. I think smoked malts should be used in a dark beer, not a freekin' "light" beer. I liked Stone's Smoked Porter, but this is something else.

A-Pours a clear light pee pee yellow color with a tall fluffy, bubbly white head that quickly fades to a thin film on beer and leaves little to no lacing.

S-Smells like bud light with a faint mesquite smoke to it.

T-Tastes like a bud light with light but kinda funky smokiness to it.

M-Thin body and full carbonation.Leaves a tangy smokiness on my tongue.

D-I will never go and buy this ever!

 748 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.68/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 7/11/2009 (bottle):

Pours a clear lager like color body, with a big white head, active and quickly diminishing. Very Clear yellow body, with very active bubbling. Lager-like vegetably aroma, some smokiness present. Not much smoke aroma. Vegatably taste, very smoky aftertaste. Some smoke in the taste, but not very sweet like I was expecting from the mesquite. Almost ashy, but not quite. Somewhat refreshing, goes okay with grilled steak. Some vegetably taste, but it's mostly covered by the smokiness.

 513 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.71/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a light golden yellow with a small soap ring of a head.

The smell has a bad burnt smell like overcooked pork fat.

The taste has a big smokey flavor up front with a bit of light toasted malt sneaking through, then the hickory and pork flavor seem to take over in the finish.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery with a touch of slickness.

A weird one dimensional beer, not bad, but nothing I would drink regularly.

 416 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
2.74/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Nice yellow color, average sized white head. It smells like burned wood, blech. The taste is also smoky mesquite and a medicinal aftertaste. I knew this beer was smoked before I bought it but I didn't think it would be so prominent. I really did not enjoy this beer.

 266 characters

Photo of chickencoop
2.75/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pour and smell - golden pour with a light head, was expecting a much darker beer, but my bad.
taste and mouthfeel - taste was much smokier than the color alluded too, just a hint of smoke, like walking by one of those smoke butt stands in front of offices, but I was expecting more. mouthfeel was like some smoked ribs but not what I want to drink, taste was sweet.
drinkability - this was ok for a sample pack, different, but overall not a repeat beer, sorry Texas.

 466 characters

Photo of omnigrits
2.75/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I was given a bottle of this by a local beer rep with a view to stocking it in the bar where I work.

It has a nice pale amber colour with plenty of rising bubbles and a thick off-white head. The head vanishes very quickly and there's not a trace of lacing anywhere on the glass. Aroma is... well, I don't normally expect to get a whiff of pigmeat from a beer, but ham is really the only thing I can describe it as. There's a faint hint of mesquite in there, some grassy notes and a bit of malt. I got quite a strong mesquite flavour with the first few mouthfuls but it's faded away as the tasting progresses, and now that this beer has been sitting in my glass for maybe 20 minutes and is about two-thirds drunk, it's getting pretty unpleasant. Very thin on the mouthfeel.

It's not a bad beer I guess, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who will enjoy it. More power to their elbow. It's not for me though.

 913 characters

Photo of skeetermoses
2.78/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Uh what was this??? I really cannot say what I just drank. I feel like I had been standing outside at my smoker. I feel like I have been camping after drinking this beer. I really cannot say what I feel... Although I am curious about how they make this beer. Do they smoke it?

 276 characters

Photo of champ103
2.81/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a golden straw color. Slightly hazy. At first a two finger white head forms, but recedes to a ring. Not much lace to speak of.
S: Sweet pale malts. Some corn and grain sweetness. Kind of skunky. Is that smoke? Imagine that there is a very light hint of smoke in a Rouchbeir. Note the sarcasm. Not impressed.
T: Sweet pale malts again. A bit more smoke than in the nose. Still a corn or some kind of adjunct sweetness.
M/D: A light body that is over carbonated and watery. Easy to drink though.

Kind of like a light lager with a touch more smoke and sweetness. Not bad as a summer beer for the BBQ. Though, I am again unimpressed with a Shiner beer.

 659 characters

Photo of hughesm4
2.82/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a bottle poured into a glass

A. A very light color with not much head.

S. Smells of Budweiser with a ham sandwich added to it. Very little if any smoke smell

T. There is not much flavor at all. The only way to get a smoked taste is to inhale with your nose right above the glass and then take a drink.

M. Very light bodied with a slight ham aftertaste

D. Struggled to get through the bottle. But it has inspired us to homebrew while adding a ham sandwich and a cigar to the wort.

 496 characters

Photo of PatrickJR
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Bright gold, perfectly clear. A half inch or less of white foam rises but fades quickly into almost nothing. No lacing.

S - Little to no aroma, especially when I'm expecting a good deal of smoke. There's a little bit of expected helles bready sweetness and just a touch of spice in the background from the hops. Something a bit strange is lurking around; I can't put my finger on it but I suppose it's the smoke's contribution; although I'd have no way to know any of the malt used was actually smoked.

T - A moderate to decent helles is all that Smokehaus has going for it. Bready, moderately sweet malt takes center stage with just a hair of smoke riding atop. Mid to late palate Smokehaus takes a grainy/minerally turn while some grassiness tries to take hold. Finish is slightly metallic.

M - Medium-light body with a nice moderate to high carbonation. Very smooth and refreshing. The best part is that at no point does this brew feel watery.

D - Pretty decent in the quaffing department. It's not blowing me away with flavor, and I think "smoke" is a bit of a misnomer, but otherwise it's a fairly average helles without too many problems.

 1,203 characters

Photo of roblowther
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark golden clear brew with thin white head and visibly active carbonation (ie- the bubbles want to come see me). Smells smoky and floral, with a malt lurking around in the shadows. Tastes of soft malt and then a wallop of smoke. Not subtle. There is a nice summery malt/hops thing going on but then it just gets beaten over the head with the big stick of smoke flavor. Mouthfeel is good, soft and tingly. Drinkability just isn't there for me. I'm biased as this isn't my favorite style but I'm thinking that going with the like/like approach and drinking it with BBQ is probably the way to go.

 594 characters

Photo of angelmonster
2.85/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a big 2 finger white head. Color is similar to a light beer, transparent, yellow with lots of bubbles rising. Head retention and lacing are non existant

Cant pick up much of the smell except for some pale grassy malt. Almost smells like a light lager

Taste is very light, a bit lacking in flavor. I am not getting much smoke at all. Very slight roasted malt is about it, their regular Helles beer had more flavor. After taste is a bit sour and of corn

Mouth feel has lively carbonation. Body is light but not watery

Drink ability is average at best. Very little flavor and no smoke. Disappointed with this beer, probably the worst Shiner beer I've had besides their Hefeweizen

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Shiner Smokehaus from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
3.29 out of 5 based on 250 ratings.
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