Shiner Smokehaus | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Shiner SmokehausShiner Smokehaus
250 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 250 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of kjkinsey
3.29/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A smoked German Helles... now that's ballsy.

Spooetzl does a great job to infuse the lighter base base beer with the usually aggressive smoke character. The smoke flavor balances beautifully with the pilsner malt base. The mesquite flavor gives more of a bar-b-cue note rather than campfire.

It's too bad that the base beer doesn't hold up. Thhe Helles base shows a lot of grain character and not enough of the crisp pilsner malt character that is prefered in the style.

Thanks Exiled!

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Photo of zeff80
3.74/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy, pale golden/orange color with a one-finger, white, bubbly head. It left no lace.

S - It smelled of smoky bacon and bready malts. You can really pick up the mesquite aromas, like a BBQ joint.

T - It tasted of smoked bacon, mesquite, a sweet caramel. The smoke qualities were not nearly as strong as the aroma.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a somewhat dry finish. A light bodied brew.

D - This is light in color compared to other smoked brews, but it has a strong smoke aroma with a pretty good smoke taste.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.25/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of mothman
3.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of white head. Fades to nothing. Leaves no lace. Color is clear light golden orange.

Aroma: A typical lager with a smoked flavor coming from it. Reminds me of a bbq. Lots of lager malt flavors. Not to much here.

Taste: Huge smokey flavor. Very dry. Lots of bready malts and light grassy hops. This is an interesting lager.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and smokey. Lighter bodied with more carbonation than the appearance would tell. Ends with a roasted malts very dry.

Overall, a smokey beer which was obvious. Somewhat easy drinking. I could see this being a great bbq-ing beer. Relatively easy drinking, however I don't know how much I would want of it.

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A B- for rating eh, I was really excited for this one, but then again I should judge for myself. THanks TexasStout for a shot at this one.

A: An airy fizzy 1 finger head rises up but fades quickly like soda, and very little addition from the etch at the bottom of the glass. It's a crystal clear golden amber yellow orange color.

N: Lots of smoke, smoked meats and cheeses come to mind, a little crystal malt with the smoke, touch of sweetness, but that's about it. Pretty much just smoke.

T: Starts big with smoke again. Lots of smoked malts, almost like chewing ON smoke. I get some campfire flavors too, obviously from the smoke. A little smoked meat, slight creamy flavor gives the smoked cheese taste too. A little sweetness, some malty flavors, a little toastiness too. Touch of a crisp lager flavor.

M: Medium to lighter body, with quite a bit of carbonation.

F: Finishes drier, with a touch of lingering toasty malty sweetness, and some smoke. The finish kinda dies out. I was expecting a lingering smoke finish, but it mostly just disappears. It does have a lager finish, clean, crisp, here today gone tomorrow, refreshing, etc.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from gramatton, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoked malts, a decent amount of hops and lager yeast.

T: The taste hits with a smoky flavor up front but it's not as strong as most smoked beers. Then some bready and sweet flavors of lager yeast, grain and light malts. The hops presence is mild but complementary. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, I haven't seen too many smoked lighter beers but this one does a good job of not over-doing the smokiness and keeping the "BBQ beer" type of substance to it. Overall it's a decent beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for the smokiness.

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Photo of oberon
3.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I gotta say I was quite skeptical before trying this beer but in the end I kinda liked it.Poured a clear lemony yellow with a thinner white head atop,light aromas of sweet mesquite wood and toasy malt mainly,a tinge of iron is there as well.The smoke is light on the palate but it is crisp and a little toasty,the sweet mesquite flavors as mentioned before are lighter but to me its quite drinkable.Could this beer match up to a Franconian Rauchbier?...Of course it can't, but its crisp and clean with a little smoke making a refreshing summer lager in my mind.

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Photo of nickfl
3.73/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a one and a half finger head of white foam on top of a clear, golden body. Lots of bubbles rising through the clear liquid help to keep the foam stable and it takes quite a while to settle.

S - A moderate aroma of smoke and toasty malt. Some peppery background notes but little else.

T - Sweet, toasty malt up front with a hint of smoke. Some light caramel malt in the middle and a little bit of wood. It finishes with a light toasty note and moderate smoky character, balanced by light bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - Quite drinkable really. How you feel about this beer depends, as with all smoked beer, largely on whether or not you have been exposed to enough smoked beer to develop a taste for it. The smoke character here is not as pronounced as it is in some German examples of the style and it makes for a light beverage that is reasonably appropriate as a summer seasonal. There isn't really much going on outside of the smoke character with only light malt and a hint of caramel. Certainly, this is a bit smoky, which isn't going appeal to everyone, and it is not a deep, complex flavor experience, but it is drinkable and pretty well made. While I may not rush out to buy a six pack of this, I would certainly drink it again if it was offered to me.

 1,336 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.36/5  rDev +5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pear colored with a pinky of pearl colored head. Zero head retention & lacing, dragging the whole beer's rating down...

S: Smokey notes, some honey, pear juice & a touch of sulphur that fades as this warms

T: Honey malts, pear notes & slight smokeyness up front. Pear juice, slight citrus hops notes, along with a tinge of metallic notes as this warms. Finishes slightly dry, with honey notes & near zero smokeyness at the end

MF: Light/medium bodied with soft carbonation

Doesn't drink half bad, enough flavor profile that I could do about 1/2 a sixer during a BBQ or fishing trip. A little more smokeyness would've pleased me, not bad though, as usual I ask Spoetzl, MORE MALT please!!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a clear, orange-yellow body with a modestly-sized, white head.

Smell: No need to expect anything akin to Schlenkerla here. Soft pale malts with a touch of sweet-scented grain with the modest aroma of smoked mesquite.

Taste: Mildly sweet, grainy, light pale maltiness infused with a pleasant smoked mesquite wood character. Lightly spicy hops and altogether little bitterness - one may assume they wanted to keep the IBUs low to allow the smoke to shine through, but, then again, I've never found any of the Shiner brews to be hop bombs. The finish is drying and delicately smokey.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Might work as a training-wheels smoke beer for smoke beer beginners. Would pair rather well with a handful of Lay's Mesquite BBQ Potato Chips! No, I'm seriously, Lay's is food too!

 846 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.12/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think that optimator17 sent this to me for a Smoked Beer Night that did not come off. Today, I am having a smoked turkey breast with my uncle and this seemed an appropriate time to break out some smoked beer. Merry Christmas, everybody!

From the bottle: "The Perfect Sommer Bier"; "Good for grillin' and for chillin'"; "Every Drop of Shiner Is Brewed in Shiner"; "Mesquite Smoked Beer, Helles Style"; "It's Smokin' Good"; "Smoked to Perfection - Brewed with pale malt that's been smoked with native mesquite in the backyard of our little brewery in Shiner, Texas (pop. 2,070), this refreshing Helles-style beer has a smoky flavor that goes great with all the flavors of summer. Prosit!"; From our backyard to yours."

I used an aggro pour to create two fingers of fluffy bone-white head with good retention. Color was a deep-gold with NE-quality clarity that would have led to a fistfight between Croesus and King Midas. Nose had a beautiful lager sweetness with a light, underlying smokiness. Oooh. Christmas dinner was perfect for this! Mouthfeel was much fuller than I would have expected from the style and the smokiness was very pleasant. I wonder if it was smokier in its youth, but regardless, it was a perfect accompaniment to smoked turkey.

 1,252 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale pumpkin with lemon peel borders and sheets of sparkling bubbles that keep things looking lively. A thick slice of aged ivory colored foam doesn't have the world's greatest texture and isn't sticky enough to lay down much lace.

Shiner beer has never impressed me, but they got the nose right on this one. Mesquite-smoked pale malt is neither overpowering nor subtle. Each sniff (and eventually, each upending of the glass) results a pleasant whiff of smokiness that is just right if you like beer of this sort.

Keeping in mind that it was brewed to be a low-ABV, summertime, backyard barbeque kind of quencher, Smokehaus gets it done. The base beer tastes a little macro lagerish, but the smoke easily covers up most of its sins. Please don't drink it 'ice cold' as the label suggests.

In terms of both amount and character, the smokiness passes the all-important Goldilocks test (not too much... not too little... but juuust right). There aren't too many other flavors present, which is par for the course when the malt is so boldly flavored from the mesquite. A hint of corny sweetness doesn't offend.

The mouthfeel isn't bad at all. In fact, it has slightly more heft than expected (given the ABV and the brewery) and the bubbles are within the wide range of acceptable. There's certainly nothing here that would prevent multiple bottle consumption on a hot July day.

Smokehaus might be my favorite Spoetzl Brewery offering of them all. It doesn't seriously compete with the brews from Germany's Brauerei Heller-Trum/Schlenkerla, but it's a more than competent beer that would be fantastic alongside a pulled pork sandwich and some spicy baked beans.

 1,662 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a 1/2 pint, shared w/ tenderbranson69.

A - A dark golden w/ light cream colored head w/ sporadic lace patterns forming. The clarity is great and there is visible carbonation rising to form a tightly beaded cap

S - Ahh slightly woody scent which is mild w/ a sweet mesquite odor. Almost like opening a bag of barbecue chips -not really meaty, more spicey

M - A smooth texture w/ a light woody essence and mild creamy tinge w/ a moderately high amount of carbonation w/ a slightly spiced essence. The feel has both malty tinges and finishes dry

T - The flavor is pretty much a mellow tasting lager which has crisp, nutty creamy malt flavor and slightly woody taste of mesquite which is sweet, peppery and eathy tinged. The lager seems to be outshined by the taste of the woody and a gentle musty yeast note comes out with mild wood notes in the finish

D - I would definitely drink this w/ barbecue, but it is a unique taste as I haven't had any mesquite smoked lagers before. Worth a try if you like spiced or smoked beer

 1,057 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.84/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

It took me a long time, but I was finally able to locate a single bottle o' this (I like to test 'em out before investing in a full sixer or more). It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly dirty foam. The nose is dominated by a barbecue-alluding hickory smoke flavor. It's not necessarily intense, in fact it's quite nice; but it does indeed cover up anything and everything else, though a minute strain of wheat manages to get but a single word in edgewise. Frankly, I really enjoy this smell. The taste, unfortunately, dumbs down the smoke, leaving it not only weaker but meeker as well. The aforementioned wheat comes through this time, along with a vague sweetness that further cuts the smokiness. Now, the smoke does shine through in the finish, but it's now more of a dull, black smoke, with none of the barbecue-like hickory character that made me smile while sniffing. The body is pretty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a haltingly dry finish (that follows an otherwise wet one). Overall, though I wasn't blown away by this brew, I could easily see drinking several if given the chance.

 1,164 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Tone
3.62/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, golden/copper color. One and one half inch head of a white color. Good retention and poor lacing. Smells of yeast, pale malt, and slight grain. Fits the style of a smoked beer, but it is more of a Helles lager. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with a high carbonation level. Tastes of smoke up front, then strong yeast, some pale malt, sweet malt, also slight hop in the background. Overall, a good blend of flavors and the smoke is not over-powering. I've never had a smoked Helles before, but it was rather pleasant.

 531 characters

Photo of aasher
3.24/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark amber hue, slight off white head

Smell: Smells very strongly of chipotle wood chips

Taste: Very interesting flavor. It begins subtle before throwing the smoky, wood chipped flavor at you. Very smoky.

Mouthfeel: Average, well carbonated, light consistency

Drinkability: Not very drinkable. It's very, very smoky and drinking more than one would be difficult.

I'd recommend trying this mainly because it's different. The smokiness can be overbearing.

 516 characters

Photo of tone77
3.41/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some malts. Taste is good, smokeyness up front, malty at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall was a different and fairly enjoyable beer.

 259 characters

Photo of tempest
3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Liquor World in Fayetteville, AR. The beer appears clear amber with a tall white head that quickly fades. This beer tastes like liquid smoke and bacon, but the label says the malts are smoked. The malts leave a slight background taste and there are zero hops. It's drinkable, but simple, if you want something smokey for your BBQ, this'll work.

 366 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.65/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance: light golden hue with a crystal-clear body and a goodly amount of apparent effervescence. Head is a finger of frothy white foam which doesn't have great retention, but is OK. Not too bad.

Smell: light malt aroma with a little bit of smoke. The bottle says mesquite, but I'm not enough of a connoisseur to tell. What I can say is that the smoke isn't so strong as to block out all malt aroma; really, I kind of like the understatement of the smoke (as understated as a smoked beer is capable of being, that is).

Taste: smoky at first, then a smooth, sweet malt fills in the bottom notes. The smoke is persistent all the way through the flavor experience. This is not a complex beer, but if you like a good smoked beer that doesn't get too carried away, Shiner Smokehaus may indeed be for you.

Mouthfeel: lightish body but the carbonation makes this beer really quite creamy. I wholeheartedly approve.

Drinkability: this may not be the best smoked beer I've ever had, but I'm enjoying it quite a great deal. To me, not only is it pretty tasty, but it is a smoked beer of which I think I could sit down and drink a sixer. Good stuff.

 1,183 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a yellow color with a slight orange tint and a white head. The aroma is biscuit malt and quite a bit of smoke. The flavor is a lot of biscuit and bready malt, but there is a strong meaty BBQ smoke flavor in there as well. Light mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Not a great drinking beer, but this has enough smoke that it works great when cooking. Add it to the broth in a slow cooker and it imparts great flavor to the meat.

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Shiner Smokehaus from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.2 out of 5 with 250 ratings
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