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 DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I reviewed this as a Rauchbier since clearly the malt was smoked.

A - Pours a clear bright yellow color with an inch of white foam. Typical lager.

S - Mostly of grain and slight hops. Really can't smell any smoke.

T - Well i can taste slight hints of smoke from the toasted malt but it really can't cover up the bitterness of the lager. With a low ABV like this it's hard to even believe it's a Helles Lager. But the taste proves it.

M - Medium bodied but the bitterness makes it hard to drink. Goes down pretty smooth overall...

D - Well I will not have this again but it was interesting to have another smoked malt beer. Too much lager flavor so overall I prefer Fort Collins Z Lager over this. Next!

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Photo of hosehead83
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass
Clear, bright gold in color,with a fluffy, two-inch head of white foam
Aroma-Off-in-the-distance woodsmoke, biscuit notes
Taste-Subtle mesquite, buttered biscuit, a bit of a dry finish, inviting another sip. Smoke flavor is not overdone by any means, but very subtle and almost teasing your tastebuds into having another sip of the ghost-like smokiness.
Overall, an interesting, subtle brew that would pair well with smoked salmon or homemade beef jerky. If nothing else, sure to be a conversation starter at your next cookout.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.56/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an American tumbler pint glass. No date or info.

A - Totally clear golden yellow with a frothy white head. Moderate retention and some sticky lace left behind.

S - Smokehaus starts out with a light mesquite wood chip aroma with a crisp and light pale malt bite with a bit of graininess. Not the smoke I was expecting from the name.

T - Mmm, this has a good, balanced level of smokey mesquite with a bright pale and pils malt flavor ending with a bright light hoppiness.

M - Crisp and light-bodied with a tasty smoke kick and a refreshing finish.

D - A good summer beer, especially paired with some BBQ, chips, and coleslaw. Good around a bonfire too.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.77/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a clear deep yellow with a steady carbonation stream and a thin white head.

Smell is smokey, sausagey, and grassy. Smells like a campfire.

Taste is much like the smell. A nice backbone to this smoker. Not too light and grassy, but some strong malt to stand up to the smoke.

Good balance and good mouthfeel make this a very drinkable bbq beer.

I don't understand the low reviews for this. It is very different, but still very good.

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Photo of Moontang
4.13/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in my usual highball.

Appearance: Very pleasant deep golden colour, and a large, slightly cream-coloured head, which dissipates pretty slowly into sparse lacing.

Smell: A rather complex smell, more or less equal parts smoke and malt, and a little bit of hops.

Mouthfeel: Slightly thick, and very low carbonation, the way I like it

Taste: One of the more unique beers I've had, and in a very pleasant way. Quite smoky, with a strong doughy grain flavour, and a little bit acidic. Quite nice.

Drinkability: Very nice beer, I'd definitely buy it in future and have a drink whenever I was inclined to enjoy an experience like this.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.6/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

quite the surprise coming from these guys. their german beer selection is inconsistent but this is a stir in the right direction. a lager golden with a nice nose of smoked malt and mild doughy citrus qualities. a palate that doesn't scream of cereal and a consistent feel. the beer is lean and one dimensional but quite easy to drink. the smoke quality hides the imperfection in the helles. seeing as they aren't one in the same. there is a different between and good helles and this... but his will do for now.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I like Schlenkerla Rauchbier, but I'm not sure about this one...

A: Pours a decent head, but that dissipates quickly and there is not much for lacing. Straw coloured beer... maybe a hint of brown.

S: Smells like a bbq pit, thats about it.

T: Tastes like smoke, a bit of malt there but not much the smoke dominates the flavour. Can't taste any hops at all.

M: Not much body on this either.

D: I think Shiner tried to make a beer that would appeal to the masses rather than the beer connoisseur. Props for trying something different, but I don't think I should be able to see through my Rauchbier. I would also like to taste something besides smoke.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.47/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear straw color. Foamy white head disappears immediately, leaving no spots of lace.

Pale, slightly grainy malt aroma. A bit cracker-like. A nice hint of smoke, and wood without being overbearing. Maybe some earthy hops.

Sweet malt up front. Again, a bit cracker-like. Comes across slightly grainy, with an adjunct sweetness. Smoke is subtle, but adds some depth. Just enough bitterness to balance.

Lighter body, carbonation seems a bit low for the style. Overall, not bad. I like what the smoke adds, but after a while it seems to be a little artificial.

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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 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.

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Photo of LacquerHead
2.92/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Deep golden yellow. Poured this into a Sam Adams pint glass with a 2 ½ finger head. Deep golden yellow. Semi-foamy, large bubbles. Head retention was not very good. Foam quickly dissipated to a thin layer; towards the end there was nothing left it. Poured this at 57 degrees.

The smell reminded me of a BBQ pit grill and a beer.

It had a mesquite smoke flavor, almost like liquid smoke was added to it. However, after a while the mesquite flavor went away and was replaced with a charred smoke, and a metallic finish. It was like what I imagine a char covered BBQ grill would taste like. It starts off very carbonated, but towards the end it went a little flat.

It went down very easily. In fact, before I knew it I had downed a 6pck without even noticing.

This beer was decent. Although I will probably never purchases it again. I might have one if I see it in a cooler/ice chest at a backyard BBQ. This is an okay summer beer. As one BA member suggested, maybe this would taste good if paired with some form of BBQ - such as pulled pork or something smothered in BBQ sauce. I can't knock this beer too much because it told me right up front what to expect - mesquite smoke and BBQ.

Overall it was interesting - like a BBQ pit in a bottle.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: pale straw colored "helles" beer with a slight hint of very light brown
S: surprisingly it has a bit of smoke nose, didn't actually expect as much as it had, somewhat sweet undertones, clean
T: thin, not offensive, well-balanced with a slight mesquite smoke taste, nothing offensive but just not the guts of a helles beer, not all that bad for a major regional brewery considering that it's a pretty unique style (at least some points for effort)
M: nothing offensive, but rather thin
D: again, some points for effort and even contemplating this type of style but very light, watery, and thin

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Photo of gordavidson
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- A clear yellow liquid with a few streams of carbonation making their way to the surface. The head is thin, but leaves nice lacing as it works its way down the glass.

S- Mesquite smoke... and maybe just a touch of light fruit.

T- Mesquite smoke and light fruit. Oddly, this works.

M- Light with a good amount of carbonation. Clean on the finish.

D- Interesting, but not something I would want more than one of.

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Photo of malty
3.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. longneck bottle with 081010 laser etching on side.

Force poured into a stemmed Ayinger goblet produces a brilliantly clear deep golden liquid with a dense 3/4" settled almost white head. Little amount of visible uprising carbonation. Beautiful spotty sheets of thin white lace all the way down.

Faint traces of pale malts with a proper scent of leathery smokiness. Not too pronounced, but still apparent. Smells bright and lively, with a clean & airy openness.

The malt flavor is a little sweet with a small amount of baked ham flavor. The smoke element is nicely balanced. There's a trace of iodine also. There's not much bare beer flavor that breaks through, making this a bit one dimensional.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery with a somewhat oily and thin body. Sweetish short lived finish. The carbonation is fine and slowly builds as the liquid glides down, making for a livelier exit than entrance.

Drinkability is okay. Smoke isn't at all overwhelming, and pretty tame by any Bamberg standards.

Overall a good beer I'm glad I tried. I realize I've been thoroughly spoiled by Schlenkerla brews, but this one is doing the job on this warm summer afternoon. I'll pair the next one with some grilled keilbasa to give it a real test.

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Photo of Bung
3.57/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. Bright orange/amber pour. Just a layer of white head.

Aroma has some malt, leather. Some yeasty hints. Just a hint "smoke" to speak of.

More smoke in the taste. Mesquite for sure. Malt and biscuit accented by a pleasant bbq. Finishes with the bbq as well. Not overwhelming, but certainly present throughout.

Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy almost, just missing something. Not enough body to keep it together. This makes it a one and done, like most pure smoke lagers. Smoke belongs with the dark brews. Not bad, just not really that pleasant or begging of another.

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Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +14%
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 silver0rlead
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a nice fluffy white head that retains and leaves nice lacing, good clarity too. The aroma has some smokey notes upfront (hickory smoked bacon), along with biscuit and bread dough, a little caramel and some flinty hops. The flavor is similar to the aroma with a mild smokiness upfront, along with some biscuit and bread dough, honey,floral hops and a hint of alcohol. The mouthfeel is light and drinkability is very good. A pretty tasty smoked helles, not on part with Schlenkerla but still good.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear gold color. Poured a 2 finger foamy white head that disspated to a half finger pillow. Sticky lacing in spots.

S: Mostly smokey mesguite. Hay, grass and pepper in the backgroiund. Hard to discern anything about the malt.

T: Sweet malty flavors come through in the taste. Wood and smoke follow quickly. Finish is lightly bitter with lingering, and somewhat clingy, smokey flavor (that doesn't totally go away.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Dry finish is somewhat masked by the lingering smokey flavor.

D: Drinkable; finish could balance a bit better. Smoke flavor not as pronounced as in the German beers, but mesquite gives an different character than beechwood.

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Photo of jtslay
3.68/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours red/gold with minimal head that disappears quickly. No lacing.
Smell: smells like a BBQ. Subtle malt behind that of the mesquite smoke.
Taste: first few sips were overpowered by the smoke. After a while, this subsides and let's the Helles malts take over.
Mouthfeel: par for style. Malts take over. Smooth.
Drinkability: after a few sips this beer takes off. Easy to drink and not as heavy on the palate as a bock.

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Photo of pasdachuri
3.12/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a golden straw color, very clear, lots of effervescence with a white foamy two inch head

The aroma has a mild, malt sweetness, a slight grassiness, and a mild, mild smokiness, and a faint spice aroma I can't quite find a name for. I once drank a 4 year old St Pauli girl that smelled very similar to his brew.

Taste is of the same lager yeast, cracker, and grain with more smoke. The hopping is present but not strong, slightly balancing the bitterness.

Medium bodied, a slight carbonation tinlge.

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Photo of nickfl
3.73/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a solid gold in color, with a wispy white head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of crystal malt and a hint of smoke.

Taste: Pretty good lager flavor, soft grains, a bit of sweet corn bread and a hint of mesquite smoke on the back end. At first the smoke was almost un-noticable, but then became a bit more developed later on. This would be a great gateway beer for non-craft drinkers. A well crafted lager with a hint of mesquite in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

Drinkability: Shiner's Smokehouse scores an extra point higher for being a formidable BBQ companion. Would love to grill away in the sunshine drinking a few of these.

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Photo of thebeerdoctor
3.85/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There is little purpose in mentioning a smoky taste since this is a smokehaus beer, using mequite wood at that.
A nice cookout, American version of a smoked beer, and a fairly easy drinking bottom fermented lager. Golden color with a "grillin'" nose. Cold, this beer will disappear quickly, unless you don't like a profile that is smoky.
I can envision making a chipotle chili using this "perfect sommer bier" as the liquid base.

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Photo of mgbickel
3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Perfect Pint glass. A 1 ½ finger of snow white foam formed on top of the crystal clear, golden yellow body. The head held on for quite some time, leaving very little lace behind.

Hmm...I was expecting the nose to have tons of mesquite smoke; nothing of the sort is detectable. I can smell something "smoke-like", but more along the lines of burnt grass. Lots of grains, barley and malts are also present.

Well the taste has a lot more smoke than the nose would indicate, which is a good thing! Lots of woody flavors dominate the start of the drink. The smokiness lasts throughout the middle before giving way to a malt/grainy finish.

Light mouth feel, a little watery with mild to moderate carbonation.

This is drinkable and refreshing. Nothing I would go out of my way for, but worth a try for sure!!

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Photo of Onenote81
3.47/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle picked up from Whole Foods. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a darker orange with a thin off-white head on top. Little lace sticks to the glass. Scents of sweet malts, and just a faint whiff of smoked mesquite. Expected a bit more here, but can't say I'm disappointed. Glad it's not so in-your-face since this is a lighter style (Helles).

The body is crisp and clean. Carbonation level is moderate. Flavors of grains, sweet honey tones, and again, light smoke. Nothing too bold here. Just a background smokiness that complements the style well. I liked this. It didn't smack of smoke, but it played the part well. Not bad.

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