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Shiner Smokehaus | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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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 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!

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

Pours a bright golden straw color with a short-lived fizzy white head that hints at the level of carbonation in this brew. In just a minute or two, the head is completely gone, without even a hint of foam around the edges of the glass. But the saving grace of the appearance is the lively brilliant golden straw.

Nose is primarily barbecue spice, not unlike sniffing a bag of barbecue potato chips, with a light bready malt backbone and a curious absence of smoke. Once it hits the taste buds, though, the mesquite smoke joins the party, with the accompanying sweet-and-spicy barbecue spice. Decent biscuit malt backbone that probably prevents the smoke from overpowering this beer, though the smoke isn't particularly big in the first place. Really quite fizzy and carbonated, which, though approaching unpleasantness, actually seems to work to the benefit of the beer by cleansing the palate and preventing the smoke from getting too heavy.

Overall not a bad beer, and one that would be interesting to try with some good barbecue. Would probably make a good starting point for someone wanting to try smoked beer. I don't love it by any means, but it's certainly unique, and I like it for what it is.


Re-review, two or three weeks after the initial review:
The nose has lost almost all of the mesquite spice aroma, and there's a mere hint of smoke on the palate. This wasn't a super spicy, super smoky beer to begin with, but even a few weeks later it's got next to nothing in both categories. Strange that it can fade that quickly.

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Photo of cudmud
2.3/5  rDev -28.1%
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 homebrewhawk
2.98/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a pale gold with a thin white head. Sweet malty aroma with just a hint of smoke. Solid pilsner type base beer with some noble hops. Light bodied. The smoke is very subtle mostly in the finish. I expected a lot more smoke flavor than this. There is nothing really flawed with this beer, it is just boring and safe.

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Photo of Ruslanchik
3.21/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiner is not about brewing a beer that will knock your socks off. They aim for drinkability. They would rather sell you a six-pack and have you drink it all in one night than sell you a bomber that has you raving to your friends. I definitely had that in mind when I picked up their latest. If you are looking for an easy to drink beer with more flavor than your average pilsener, this beer is for you. If you are looking for tons of smokey flavor, you are barking up the wrong tree.

A: Crystal clear bronze color with a fizzy white head. No real lacing, but the head lasts awhile.

S: Basically like macro lager, but with just a touch of smoke aroma. Just a hint really. Definitely nothing to write home about.

T: Again, this is like a standard pilsener with some smoke flavor tacked on at the end. The funny thing is, I had a beer out of this same six-pack and the smoke flavor was much more evident. Nowhere near overpowering, but definitely present. In this beer, it seems underwhelming.

M: This beer is light and refreshing. They definitely hit their target on that one.

D: As expected, this beer is made to drink in quantity. At a party, I could drink these all night.

There may be some consistency problems with this beer, but overall it is decent. Other Shiner beers are better and I may never pick this one up again, but I certainly do not regret the decision to buy a sixer.

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Photo of bcgpete
4.02/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Light straw color with a finger and a half of white head which went away quickly leaving a very light film.

The smell is a bit smokey, not as much as I was expecting though.
Taste is typical for a lager, fairly well balanced. I'm still not getting the smokey flavor that I have heard so much about. This reminds me a lot of Shiner's 99th anniversary Helles lager, but more balanced.
The mouthfeel is great, a very good summer beer. Fairly light in the mouth but with enough flavor so that it's not watery in the least.
I will definitely buy this beer again if I'm in the mood for a lager, I only wish that Shiner would convert all of their beers to pop-tops.

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Photo of utah44
4/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden color with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of light smoke. Taste of heavy, overwhelming, burnt smoke with hints of mesquite. Enhances and complements the flavor of smokeless tobacco. Mouthfeel is superb. Great brew for a smoke-filled room.

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Photo of webbcreative
2.39/5  rDev -25.3%
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.

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Photo of winegourmet76
2.57/5  rDev -19.7%
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...

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.74/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of BMoney575
2.16/5  rDev -32.5%
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 rowew
3.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, screw top. Nice looking retro label. I don't see a date or ABV.

Appearance: Clear and golden in color, nice sized head that fades slowly.

Smell: A light mineral smell - similar to what I've come to expect from a good pilsner. There may be a hint of smoke in there too, but if I wasn't looking for it I don't think I'd smell it.

Taste: Theres the smoke. Very interesting .. manages to be smoky but still light and refreshing. There is a smoky flavor, but almost a fruity note as well. Light body with a medium carbonation level.

Overall impression: This one is a bit hard to pin down - but its enjoyable trying. I'm liking this much more than I expected to.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mesquite smoked, man am I curious what they did here. Mesquite can easily get over-powering. A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a light copper hue that shows a brilliantly clear, rich gold color with copper highlights when held up to the light. The aroma has a phenolic note to it that clearly comes from the smoke; I would describe this as a mix of mesquite smoked leather, a touch of plastic, some salty brine character, and even some smoked caramelized notes. There is not a whole lot of base beer character noticeable here; perhaps a hint of sweet grain comes through at times, and there is a touch of grassy grain to the finish. The aroma is not bad, definitely interesting, but I am not sure I really want to see a bunch of mesquite smoked beers being done.

Lightly sweet with a nice malt-grain note to it, the beer has a faint smokiness to it in the finish that adds a depth and complexity that I wasn't expecting. The smoke in the flavor is quite subdued, though substantial in many ways. While the beer is pretty light bodied and easy drinking, the smoke provides a hearty, almost savory quality to this beer. The smoke also contributes an umami-like richness, a touch of caramel-like sweetness. Perhaps a hint of spiciness and bitterness is contributed by the hops, while the malt adds some grassy grain notes. The smoke causes this beer to come off as quite dry, but there is some body to this brew; it never gets watery and even has a touch of viscousness to it that allows it to cling to the palate. The texture is actually quite nice and compliments the smoke quite well.

This beer will pair quite well with food, the soft, though pervasive smoke character is just about perfect in the flavor; if there had been more smoke here I would worry about the mesquite just getting too harsh. There is just enough smoke to keep this beer quite interesting, and despite my initial misgivings, I am finding myself quite enjoying this beer. This beer is severely under-rated, but given this breweries reputation, I can't say I am surprised.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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

Pours a clear golden color with a large white head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Spotty lacing is left on the glass. Smells like a Helles which this uses as a base but no hint of smoke. I pick up the Munich malt but that is about it. The smoke does play a minor role in the flavor but it fades as more beer is consumed. As a Helles lager it is mediocre but the slight smokiness boosts the score slightly. It needs some hop presence as well as more smokey flavor to really improve this beer. Has a nice texture but the body is on the thin side. A decent initiation to smoke beers.

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Photo of Beerbythepool
2.95/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass.
I drank this one just before starting the grill in order to get the full effect.

Golden straw color with about 2 finger head. Nice looking head that held pretty well. Good lacing.

The label tells you what you will be getting (Helles lager with smoke flavor) and I thought the smoke hits quick and up front. I have never had a smoked beer so it was fairly strong for me. Feels like I am inhaling campfire smoke while drinking a beer, which has actually happened many times in the past.

Like someone else stated...I taste it in the back of my throat. The smoke might overpower a decent beer, but this was fun to try for a hot humid summer day. Leaves my throat raspy and ready to sing a country song.

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Photo of joshuadlight
3.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice packaging on the 12 oz bottle. Shiner bottles look sharp. I just wish the beers tasted as nice as they are presented.
The poured beer looks great too. The head is maintained but consistent rising bubbles through the pretty golden liquid.
No smell to speak of, it smells like BMC light beer.
The taste is not potent up front, but there is a lasting aftertaste that reminds me of smoked bacon. This is the only resemblance of smoke I picked up. I would have liked more smoke in the nose and on the palette.

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Photo of omnigrits
2.75/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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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 hughesm4
2.82/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

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Photo of mwa423
3.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A -Poured from bottle, there was relatively little head. Color is dead on helles and quite clear

S - Hints of smoke and barbecue and not much else, very spicy smelling, I really get the mesquite smell

T - It has a good amount of helles lager flavor, but the only way I get any smoke is by inhaling deeply before taking a sip.

M - Relatively weak, similar mouthfeel to the entire shiner series.

D - While this is a pretty easy drinking helles, there are many many options that are superior

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Photo of natelocc787
3.09/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is exactly what your hearing it is.

Nothing special in the appearance at all. In between golden and amber in color. Head is gone fast and disappears completely in seconds.

Smell like charred wood and lager.

Taste has mesquite wood, charcoal, earthy tones with pepper and malt.

Slightly drinkable and goes great with BBQ as suggested on label.

This is not a great complex brew by any standard. The score is only this high because it is different and the flavor profile makes it interesting and unique.

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

A - Poured a golden color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is mostly of grainy malt with a touch of smoke

T - Theres more smoke flavor than I expected but its not the same taste as a good Rauchbier I think the wood Shiner used gives it a BBQ wood taste rather than a pork product taste

M - This beer has a light body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a good beer for summer as its pretty light but theres just not enough smoke in it for my tastes

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Photo of DeathbySexyBT
3.03/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served: Bottle

A: Light with a head that dies way to quickly.

S: There is a grassy aroma with almost astringent quality.

T: Lightly smoked. Definately not a rauchbeir, but the smoke is there. I am unsure if this is actually mesquite or just Liquid Smoke grilling sauce, though.

M: Sharp with a mild smoke aftertaste that does accumulate.

Notes: As with many Shiner beers, they are good but not great. They have amazing ideas, but they all come across as mild versions of exciting styles.

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Photo of Fnord
3.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Clear orange-yellow with a lot of bubbles and a fairly dense head.

Smell - Caramel, grass, a bit of alcohol and corn.

Taste - It starts with pale malt flavors, with smoke and grassy hops quickly following. The aftertaste is mostly smoke, and a little alchohol.

Mouthfeel - Light body, high carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty good. The smokey aftertaste may start to build up after a couple of these, which can be either good or bad depending on personal preference.

Notes - This is no rauchbier, but the smoke is definitely present. Mainly useful as an introduction to smoked beers.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.68/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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