Shiner Smokehaus | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner SmokehausShiner Smokehaus
252 Ratings
Shiner SmokehausShiner Smokehaus

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States

Style: German Helles

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: 252 |  Reviews: 153
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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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a bright, clear straw/gold color. Two fingers of white foam start out, but reduce back to a thin cover pretty quickly. A steady bead from below helps it sustain itself.

Aroma - just the vaguest hint of mesquite. The helles style hides it fairly well, at least in the nose. The standard sweet graininess is the primary aroma, though little bits of mesquite do pop up now and then.

Taste - mesquite. Oh yeah, much more pronounced in the first sip. A nice light smokiness that respects the Helles style. The grain sweetness is a good counterpart to the light smokiness, well-balanced. A clean, dry finish, a trace of smoke at the end.

Mouthfeel - lighter-bodied, crisply carbonated; summery.

Drinkability - this should be great with smoked/grilled foods.

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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.

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

Nose is grainy malty with sour edge and notes of pork. Smells pretty good.

Pours a medium yellow, good clarity, nice head. Looks good.

Smokey flavor is less pronounced after being poured in a glass (yesterday I swigged one from the bottle which tasted rightly smoky), all-in-all I'd say mildly smoky (which I'm not sure if that's good or bad) . Softy malty - similar to the 99 (which is my favorite Shiner). Softly sweet. Mild noble hops. Moderate tartness, mild sourness. Very mildly nutty. Hints of fruit. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good. Fairly drinkable.

I love the idea, I like the beer. Shiner deserves a big Prost! for the unusual style. If they made it stronger like I would have enjoyed, I'm sure many of their regular patrons wouldn't have. Prost!

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Photo of Seru1
3.61/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in a Pint Glass, substitute for mug.

Appearance- Brilliant Coppery gold, perfectly clear with a thin head and decent carbonation. It's rare for me to see this color in beer.

Smell- I found this beer weak on the nose with light hints of smoke and eathiness.

Taste- Ah there's the smoke. This beer Perfectly Captures the sweet mesquite smoke, backed up by hardy full maltiness without being bitter. The smoke is as advertised very texas barbecue, not peat like as my scotch experience had me imagining. A little tang of citrusy hops rounds out the profile

Mouthfeel- Decently lasting not more than a few seconds, all you'd really want I think

Drinkability- For most this would be an experimental of food beer. I doubt many beer drinkers want a smokey flavored beer. Still it compliments grilled items perfectly, and for us scotch lovers drinkability increases dramatically.

I think I may go buy the six pack next time instead of just the single!

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.68/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pretty cool, classic looking label on this beer. Pours a very clear medium gold color with a 2 finger off-white colored foam. Retention is not horrible and a few strands of lace can be found on the glass.

Nose is pretty faint, especially for a rauchbier, but a few sweet and smoky notes can be found in there. The mesquite wood adds a little different smoke aroma than many of the style, it is more of a dry, leathery smell.

The smoke is quite a bit more pronounced in the flavor. It is still delicate and light, but then again so is the beer. I am guessing, but not sure, that they used the Shiner 99 helles lager as the base recipe, which I think was a pretty solid offering. This beer needs to be one of the first of a tasting, as the subtle smoke and light malts can easily be masked. This is a decent backyard beer for the summer, but I would not mind a bit more smoke. I am glad Shiner tried this style and they have put out some interesting beers lately.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.13/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

For the record, earlier in the year the texas alcohol distributors lobby appeared before the state licencing committee to oppose microbreweries selling beer on the brewery property. Their testimony strongly implied that the distributors were responsible for the growth of Texas breweries. This beer came out June 1 and is still not in Fredericksburg. I bought this six pack in Albuquerque. I also spotted it California, Nevada and Colorado. Good work, Texas beer distributors.

On to the review:

A - Pours up crystal clear gold with a with head that dissipates rapidly leaving a few wispy clumps of bubbles floating on top of the beer.

S - Not much aroma. Some malt and something else. I assume it's smoke, but if I didn't know this was as smoked beer, I certainly wouldn't call it smoke.

T - Slightly sweet malt flavor with a hint of smoke in the finish. Not very noticeable. A little plastic/Band-Aid like flavor, which, I know from brewing a mesquite smoked beer, is the flavor of mesquite.

M - Mouthfeel is a bit thin with good carbonation.

D - It's okay, once you get used to the smoke flavor. But it's a little hard to drink a third one.

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Photo of Kromes
3.06/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear light gold color with a fluffy white head. No real smoke aroma coming off of this. Smells like a standard american lager, malts and hops. Not that great of an aroma. Inital taste is a regular old off the shelf lager, some corn, some malt, some hop. After the initial taste there is a nice subtle mesquite smoke flavor. The malt, hop and smoke blend together nicely in the finish but the backbone of malt and hop is rather weak. Mouthfeel is good and the carbonation is somewhat high which gives it good body. Drinkability is ok. I like the smoke flavor but the background is sort of weak and starts to come out the more you drink....the smoke flavor wears off and the beer flavor comes out.

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Photo of champ103
2.81/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.38/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 12-oz mug, this beer is a bright crystal-clear gold--not the color I expected. It formed a nice initial head that quickly fell to nothing but a little dusting of white across the top. The nose is pretty bland, with some mostly clean grainy malt, and not a hint of smoke. The smoke comes out clearly at the taste, which is a plus, but it's still pretty light. It does balance out an otherwise rather ordinary lager, but it's not what I hoped it would be (I was hoping for schenkerla-like smokiness).

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Photo of angelmonster
2.85/5  rDev -10.9%
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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Photo of jbphoto88
2.23/5  rDev -30.3%
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.

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Photo of teamhex
3.94/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Im not going to in depth on this one, its a decent beer. People should read the style before trashing it.
"...a unique smokiness ("rauch" is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste"
This beer isn't bad, but it reminds me of a 99 mixed with a bock. Its not as flavorable as I think it should be, but isn't bad.

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Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.66/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very clear with a metallic yellow/gold color and many fast-paced streams of bubbles

S- Light grain with a wisp of wood smoke and a hint of tinny metallic aromas.

T- Taste is also light with a very very light flavor of smoke. Most flavor is white bread and sweetness. Hops? maybe a few.

M- Light but a bit syrupy. Carbonation is definitely present but a bit masked.

D- It's nothing fancy, but it's better than most BMC or other macro lagers.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The new offering from Shiner for the summer. Fingers crossed as I've been real disappointed in them lately. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. It was a clear golden yellow color with good carb streams and no lacing. It had a finger of fizzy off-white head that dissipated into almost nothing.

The aroma was typical pale malt lager - malty, bready and sweet - with smoke in the background. My original sample didn't have any smoke aroma so glad I got a free 5 pack from a buddy (he tried one and hated it so I got the leftovers). Still not as smoke as I'd like in a smoked beer but way better than last sample. The flavor followed the taste. Better than before but still not overly smoked. It does get better as it warms and does have enough smoke to make it interesting. Not gonna make my regular rotation but would be good on tap if only BMC's available.

Overall, much improved from before but still just good as a level above a BMC and not as a craft player. It's kinda in a weird spot. Not enough flavor to be a big player with good beer drinkers but out there enough to maybe put off BMC drinkers and entry level craft drinkers like my buddy. I'd give a recommendation if you can get a single, on tap or free. For me, it's interesting enough and usually cheap so worth a six or two while in season. More of as something to quench the thirst after drinking the heavy hitters than as the main course.


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Photo of titusgroan
2.2/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.35/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass golden yellow with a nice white head that disapaits quickly. No lacing. Smells quite malted, however there isn't a sign of smoking (I'm not sure if there is supposed to be). The taste is smooth, there's actually a little hop bite to it, which is odd for Shiner. There's alot more flavor than any other beer shiner has made in a long time. However, again, there still is no mesquite taste to it. Which is dissappointing because I love mesquite smoked BBQ. The moutfeel causes a little tingle in the mouth which is nice. Overall, this is Shiner's best "sommer" beer yet.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.71/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shiner Smokehaus

Smokehaus pours out really appealing, lovely golden yellow, with a refreshing clarity and carbonation.

The smell is crisp and malty. A hint of mesquite smoke, with a sugary coating.

Taste is awesome, and incredibly refreshing. A solid dose of delicious semi-sweet biscuty pale malts, along with a meaty smokey attribute that blends the whole beer together wonderfully. There is also a bit of grain, along with some floral/herbacous fresh almost citrusy hops. It's not the most complex beer in the world, but it is ultra drinkable - and the flavors meld really well together. The balance really is phenomenal - the sweetness of the malts, and the smoke blend perfectly.

This may be the ultimate Texas summer beer. This one ranks up there with Shiner Black, and competes for that crown. I know exactly what I'll be drinking this summer. This is one hell of a tasty beer to drink by the pool. Shiner nailed this one, it's uber tasty. Get a hold of this one guys.

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

Appearance: A crystal-clear golden-amber body with a generous bubbly white head that burns out rather quickly leaving only the barest patches of lacing.

Aroma: A rather typical pale malt Lager body with some definite notes of mesquite smoke. No hops to speak of. I was really hoping for more smoke here...

Taste: The familiar taste of a light Shiner Lager accented with a splash of tasty smokiness in the finish. Unfortunately, the smoke flavor is not very intense and comes off as a bit of an afterthought after the first couple of sips. The aftertaste is composed of a quick flash of smoke and grain that fades quickly.

Mouthfeel: A slightly lighter than medium body with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Built as a very drinkable and refreshing beer, with the smoke flavor light enough to not slow it down whatsoever. A great beer for grilling in the Texas heat.

Verdict: Lots of credit to Shiner for trying something new here, I just wish they had been a bit more bold with the smoke intensity. If you've never tried a smoked beer, this is a nice gentle introduction. I hope this helps pave the way to a new crop of Rauchbiers on the market here in Texas.

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

"The Perfect Sommer Beer" -- 12oz bottle into a Foothills pint glass.

Smokehaus pours quite nicely, building 2 finger's width of eggshell white head atop a clear, pale golden body. Lots of carbonation rising up to fuel the well-retained foam. Decent aromas of pale malts, grass, and green peppers. The mesquite is a nice touch compared to the usual "liquid smoke" beefy aroma of most rauchbiers. Come to think of it, the bottle states this is a Helles Style Beer, with smoke flavor added and not a true Rauch...

Shiner did a nice job with this beer. The malts are crisp and light, dropping a solid backbone of sweet biscuit and bread crust, while the hops add a burst of grassy vegetation. Then comes the smoke, slowly enveloping the sides of the tongue and rising up to meet the roof of the mouth. No joke--I can taste the mesquite flavor with my tonsils! Crisp, refreshing mouthfeel, and the light body is nicely carbonated and drinkable as the smokiness does not overwhelm in the slightest. All in all, Smokehaus is a great summer session beer, and hopefully a sign of good things to come from a normally underwhelming Spoetzl brewery.

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

This is easily my favorite shiner beer. Maybe the smoked flavor (which I love) hides some other Shiner flaws. The appearence is stellar. Darker than I would have imagined. Nice white soft head. Faint, almost rubberish, smoked malt aroma. Don't think rubber, don't think rubber. Nice balanced sweet and smoky flavor. Like good bbq. Light bodied, but not weak or watery. Refreshing. Shiner did very well with this one. A good beer for summer or really any time.

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Photo of diamondc
3.76/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise from Shiner ...

Looks just like a regular Helles style beer, pale clear yellow, lots of tiny bubbles, fluffy head. Very light scattered lacing.

Can't really smell much of the smoke on the first sniff. Cant smell much of *anything* really except for some weak plain cornnuts aroma and a generic 'beer' aroma.

The bottle says to "serve ice cold" but really, this beer needs to warm up to at least 50 degrees so you get that smoked flavor that is advertised. It's not in your face, in fact it is a bit subtler than Stone's Smoked Porter. The sweetness of the Helles hits the tongue first then the burnt paper, wet wood, bacon-y aftertaste. Nice!

I've been let down by most Shiner beers, but this is a real winner!

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Photo of Squelch
4.15/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light Tan colored with a slightly off white head. Very effervescent. Crystal clear.

Smell: Slight mesquite aroma that blents well with the malt. No hop aroma presnet which is good bcause I think it would compete with the smoke.

Taste: Smoker is evident but not overpowering. This is my first of the style so I don't know what to compare it with but it seems a little undersmoked. A little almond or woodsey in the finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Nice. don't know if it fits to style but fits to this beer.

Drinkability: I could drink a few of these.

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Photo of Riccymon
3.73/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a straw-yellow color from the bottle with a sizable three fingers of white head. Plenty of bubbles rise throughout the life of the beer. Smell has a crisp maltiness with a subtle note of smoked pork. The taste holds a little more of that delicious smokey bacon/pork burger flavor, which comes on top of the pale malt. Body is more full than expected and also finishes crisply. On the whole, this will be a tremendous summer beer, both for cooking and consuming. I think Shiner has a real winner!

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Shiner Smokehaus from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.2 out of 5 with 252 ratings