Shiner Smokehaus | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner SmokehausShiner Smokehaus
251 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.

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Ratings: 251 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of mralphabet
3.83/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Weihenstephan Glass

A: A golden orange color with about 2 fingers worth of head that settles to a nice ring with sporadic lacing. Very good.

S: Bready sweet malt, a hint of grassy hops and a touch of smokey woodiness.... Maybe mesquite ??.... As it warms the woodiness gets stronger, to the point is very strong on the BBQ side.

T: Right away this is a pretty normal lager. Crisp, clean, sweet with a little hops in the finish. But mixed in all this is a peppery spice woodiness.. Not overbearing but just enough to getting the feeling. As this beer warms up the smokiness really shines. Very BBQ in the aftertaste... Nice.

M: Med bodied, starts pretty crisp and clean, but ends with a smooth texture and a light woody essence and a little on the dry side.

D: Low ABV and pretty interesting flavors... Just wish I had some BBQ to go with it. I could put a few of these away.

First Smoked Beer I've had.... Very nice, I'll have to look for more...

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Photo of Avagadro
3.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Straw in color, and bordering on golden, this brew boasts decent lacing, but a weak head. Clarity is good.

S: Bouquet is surprisingly faint, especially given the style. I was expecting a torrent of smoke, but was left with next-to nothing. No hops, no malts, just a touch of smoke.

T: Smooth malty body is bready and light. The smoke is faint, rating around a 4 on my scale to 10. Taste is definitely this brew's strong point.

M: Medium body is coupled with plenty of prickly carbonation to deliver an enjoyable feel.

D: Overall, not one of my favorite Rauchbiers. It is still quite good, but I feel that it doen't compare to the others I've had. This may be due to the extremely low level of smoke present in this brew. Either way, it is well worth a try.

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Photo of gearkraft
3.34/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a Tumbler.

Purchased from Kroger in Richmond VA.

A: Pours a rich golden brown with hints of a reddish hue. Lots of head that slowly recedes. The head is far from creamy, more like a froth.

S: Smells of dark woods, smoke, roasted malts, and a hint of cooked ham. The smell can be a little overpowering but pleasant: like being around a campfire.

T: A lightly hopped, malted rush followed by a heavy lingering smoked flavor. The flavor sticks around in your mouth for a considerably long time.

M: Light but smooth. Evenly carbonated. Right where a beer should be.

D: Its hard to put your finger on this beer. I mean, you love smoked foods, you love beer... putting the two together sounds smart, right? Bluntly put, wrong. This beer is interesting to say the least, and for a smokey-style lager, is done quite well. However, after finishing one I can never see myself getting it again.

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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.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice medium golden colour with a big, fluffy 2 and a half finger white head. Looks nice, but rather average. Smell is a little bready / yeasty and to tell the truth, not too far from BMC. Smoke is faintly detectable; it's there, but isn't nearly as strong as I had hoped based upon the packaging.
Lightly malty with a little, and I *do* mean a *little* bit more smoke in the flavour, but even still, it's a bit of an after thought. Still not bag for a lager and leaps and bounds better than BMC. Mouthfeel is light and pleasantly carbonated; refreshing.
This was not even close to what I was hoping for, but it's still a decent beer and I did enjoy it. I just thought that a beer called "Smokehaus" with a label like a table cloth from a BBQ place in the South would have a little more smoke in it than this...oh well.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber with a fine-bubbled, yellow-tinged off-white head. Aroma is strong and malty with a subtle tone of hickory smoke. Flavor is malty and just a little yeasty and has a firm hickory smoke overtone. Thick, smooth, slightly fizzy texture leaves a distinctive smoky and yeasty finish.

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

A good smoked lager, assertive but not too loud with a nice balance.

Presentation: 12 oz brown screw cap bottle. BBQ mantelpiece-like label design in brown colors with a brewery and beer emblem framed in red at center. Back narrative notes main intent, style and brewing smoking procedure. Lacks freshness or bottling date. Served in a tall Pilsner glass.

A - Deep gold to pale amber pour, with a generous towering head, medium retention, good surface memory and some lacing.

S - Nicely smoked nose, a bit generic early on, giving room shortly after to touches of mesquite over a malty sense.

T - The smoked notes predominate in a good sync with a malty grainy lager base. Nothing particularly outstanding but fairly pleasing.

M - Light body with medium carbonation and a light crisp finish held up by the smoke.

D - It actually works pretty well for what it is intended to do with little flaws. Nice BBQ refresher with some character.

Notes: Since the brewer chose to label this as a Helles lager that may be the best style suited. However under the general feel and intent smoked clearly works well as the main characteristic of the brew.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.53/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours light golden, with a big finger head
S: mesquite smoke and malt.
T: smoked malt with a nice mesquite flavor. not much in the hops other than a light amount of bitterness in the aftertaste.
M: smooth, medium carbonation
D: like others have said, would be great in quantity when grilling, but is also defiantly worth a try. now to find a way to cook with it.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.18/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light yellow into a pint glass, around a finger of loose white head. Not much aroma to speak of, just a bit of malt.

Mild initial malty flavor with average carbonation and a slightly thin mouthfeel, but a distinct smokiness soon took over, followed by a long finish that bore an uncanny similarity to mesquite BBQ potato chips.

Worth trying once, but I don't think I'd have more than one unless accompanied by some grillin' on a summer evening (and even then, I'm pretty sure Shiner Bock would be the go-to option).

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.83/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to for TheManiacalOne the chance to try this brew! 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Body is a crystal clear pale yellow color. Pours with a nice, fluffy, 2-3 finger white head. Head fades to about 1/2 finger but has perfect retention from there.

S- Nose is fairly mild and offers some hops and pale malt...only a hint of smoke can be detected.

T- The flavor is completely different than the nose. The main character here is the smoky pale malt upfront. A kick of refreshing hoppiness comes through in the finish but the smoke remains with the same moderate intensity the entire time.

M- Medium carbonation and very light body-not watery or thin.

D- This beer tastes like exactly what it claims to be a mesquite smoked helles lager to be paired with a summertime BBQ. The smokiness is there and the main character-but its done tastefully so that the lager qualities of the beer are still present. Frankly, this is my favorite of the Shiner lineup so far.

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Photo of colts9016
3.69/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 41 degrees

Appearance: A thin half finger head that has little retention. The head is frothy and cream in texture. The color of the beer is a medium straw color with orange red highlights. The clarity is clear to brilliant there is a lot of effervesce in the beer.

The Nose: The smell of a Texas BBQ a rich toasted malt a light hop aroma that has floral and wood.

Taste: A good malt aroma with toasty notes a nice light hop aroma that has some floral wood and grapefruit.

Overall: Mouth-feel, rich carbonated and slightly astringent. The body is medium light and finish is medium. I am surprised how well balanced this beer is. It is very good only thing missing is a pulled pork sandwich

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Photo of Fitzgerald
3.91/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden straw color, very clear, lots of effervescence with a white foamy two inch head, has almost sheet like lacing.

S- Not real aromatic, some malts not really picking up a smoke scent.

T- Malty, bready with a nice smoky taste not overpowering real smooth no bitterness.

MF- Chewy, full bodied not real carbonated smooth finish.

D- Love Shiners beers this Smokehaus is a very drinkable beer the clear light color surprises you with the smoky malt taste a great beer to have while grilling outdoors.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.03/5  rDev -36.6%
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 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 smares2
4.07/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer bills itself as a perfect addition for a summer barbeque, which is very appropriate. What I mean is it's distinct taste relies a lot on what you're having with it. The first couple times I had it was with some hot wings, bbq meat and then with a big ol' burger. It was great, the smoky taste complemented the meaty, saucy items well.

I've since had it other times both with other types of food and not having eaten in a couple of hours and it just didn't compare. It those had been my first experiences I may not have come back to it.

But when matched with the right food, it's a very smooth drinking flavorful beer. Intense but not overpowering.

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Photo of Jayli
3.56/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired this from gramatton so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours a light, clear golden color with a one finger of white head that recedes immediately. Not much lacing left on the glass.

S: Nose is of hickory, sweetness - not quite sweet malts... more like mesquite barbeque chips.

T: Taste is smoked up front, hint of breadyness, middle is filled with your typical lager taste to it. Finish moves to the sweet mesquite barbeque flavoring, and then hints of hickory.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, crisp, clean body with a bit of a slick feel in the middle.

D: Goes down very easily, not very filling, not a phenomenal beer, but for a light smoked beer, this could really hit the spot in the summertime.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.26/5  rDev -29.4%
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!

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Photo of homebrew311
2.58/5  rDev -19.4%
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

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Photo of EPICAC
3.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smokehaus pours a crystal clear golden, and is topped by a short-lived, bright white head. The aroma has a mild, malt sweetness, a slight grassiness, and a mild, mild smokiness.

There's an initial, crisp maltiness that moves into a slight, fruity sweetness in the center. The finish has a mild smokiness and an herbal grassiness. This beer is crisp, light-bodied, and has a good dose of carbonation.

The smokiness is fairly mild, making this surprisingly drinkable for a smoked beer.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.43/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz twist-off, pilsener, no freshness date.

Exceptionally clear yellow verging on sunny orange tones. Active white head from a manly pour recedes quickly and leaves an even thin cap. Some visible rising bubbles.

Smells crisp with saltine and grain. Only faint mesquite smoke back on the third sniff.

Taste is of the same lager yeast, cracker, and grain with more smoke. Rather bar-b-que like and refreshing. The hopping is minimal, offering a slight balancing bitterness.

Good mouth for a helles lager, not overly bubbly, it could even stand more bubble. I can't believe I just typed that.

For $2.99 a six closeout this was an amazing bargain. I'll drink it in these tough times.

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Photo of tatoodkelt
3.52/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another extra from gramatton, thanks again man!

Consumed 11/30/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a shaker glass.

A- Clear vibrant gold with medium carbination feeding a fingers worth of khaki head. Faded to a thin skim pretty quick, not much in the lacing department.

S- The label says mesquite bar-b-q and they sure nailed it.

T- Very similar to the smell with the addition of a sweet wood flavor.

M- Medium bodied, a little carbination tinlge.

D- Unlike some other smoked beers I've tried the flavor on this one kinda got old towards the end. Wouldnt have more than one in a sitting.

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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

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.32/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No freshness date on bottle. Poured into a tall glass.

A: Initial head dissipates quickly to almost nothing, and does not lace on the glass. Medium to large bubbles rise through a crystal clear deep gold body.

S: Fruity esters over mesquite smoke smell, with sweet fruit throughout.

T: Smoke hits the tongue with the first malt, some subdued hops appear in the middle followed by predominant smokes, and the whole flavor ends with some nice grainy malts.

M: Medium bodied, not over carbonated but not smooth.

D: Drinkable at the expense of complexity. Lower ABV is a plus if you want to drink a few in a row.

Overall: There is nothing wrong with this beer, but it isn't outstanding. I drank it with some sausage and rice and it went very well.

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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 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.

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Shiner Smokehaus from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.2 out of 5 with 251 ratings
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