Rauchbier | Southern Star Brewing Company

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64 Ratings

Brewed by:
Southern Star Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by armock on 10-25-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 64 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of Matt141
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of csfcmitchell
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Treyliff
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75


A- pours a hazy dark golden color with a one-finger creamy white head that retains nicely, lots of floating swimming around

S- smoked wood, peat moss, band aid, cured smoked pork, campfire smoke, charred wood, toasted biscuit malt, red apple skin

T- lots of smoky campfire up front with hints of smoked cured ham, biscuit malt mixes with smoked peat flavors, charred wood and light apple flavor. The finish is dry, with a linger of band aid and smoke

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a dry, smoky finish

O- quite drinkable with just enough smoke to linger long after tasting, pairs well with smoked meat

 667 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jmryan8
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

Photo of stephens101
3.46/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours pale yellow and fizzy with a delicate off-white froth. Smells peaty and smoky with light fruits in the background. Sweet and fruity up front with an herbal hop bitterness sneaking in quickly before subtle smoked malts present themselves. After a few pulls the smokiness starts to linger and excite the senses, but never never really kicks off. Light bodied and easy going all the way. Really digging the fact that Southern Star tackled this oh too rare style, but this one needs to grow some balls.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.73/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This one pours a perfect dark and cloudy golden color. THe head is extremely lively and rich as well. The head is very long lived, creamy, slightly off white and leaves a nice thick and complex lacing down the glass.

The nose has a definite hint of smoke floating on top of a fruity malt foundation with hints of apples, grass, pine, earth and bread in the mix.

The taste is rather good and has a very pleasant palate coating experience that is dry malt and has nice smokey flavors throughout. There are notes of vanilla, citrus, mesquite and hickory with a nice crisp clean finish.

The mouthfeel is superb and effervescent giving this a nice crisp nose and flavor experience.

Overall, exceptional. This is a keeper and will be in my fridge again.

 751 characters

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
3.27/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Southern star bottle poured into a Southern Star 2014 Pub Crawl Pint Glass

Holy cow! This thing must of had a secondary fermentation. It practically exploded on me. Took about 10 mins and popping it over the sink for it to subside.

Sadly it looses a lot of points for that. The beer itself was interesting.

A lot of biscuit and malt flavor similar to a pilsner with a slight smoke. I personally expected more smoke flavor.

Way too much carbonation, I was burping all night.

 478 characters

Photo of shawnohall
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of Duff27
3.57/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a one inch+ somewhat fizzy head. Body is a hazy dark golden. Drink-by-drink step lacing, head last about 2 minutes and collar stays throughout.

S- Definite smoke in the aroma, almost like beef jerky.

T- More of the same in the taste. Whereas most rauchbiers make me think of bacon or to a lesser degree, ham, this one is all about the beef jerky. I find this unoffensive and therefor drinkable.

M- Medium-thin mouthfeel...medium/medium-high carbonation, prickles the tongue.

D/O- The only outstanding flaw I see here is Southern Star's Rauchbier is all but one dimensional. Take a clean pilsner and throw in 10% beechwood smoke malt...A good one to introduce others to the world of smoke. Thanks for the style want kojevergas!

 739 characters

Photo of BryantForestry
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of strangebrew1981
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of HardTarget
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Bright yellow amber glass shows off a quick white fizzy head that dies back to a thin halo that leaves a few spots of lace. Looks like a light grain bill.

Smell: A whiff of smoke, not sooty, but like a wood burning stove smell. Pale lager like base comes though and makes the smoke a counter point rather than in your face.

Taste: Smoke comes through much more here, but this has plenty of beer flavor, which given the light base is a nice trick. So easy to overdo smoke, this is at a great level. The beer under it is a bit light for my tastes, but no flaws noted.

Mouthfeel: Light body, low carbonation, a bit watery.

Overall: A well done beer. Not going to have any trouble with the squat 1 pt. 1 oz. bottle, but there isn't much of a Wow factor, which again is a nice execution of a style that so often goes overboard.

 839 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

1 pint 1 fl oz brown glass bottle with generic low-info Southern Star label and unbranded black pry-off pressure-cap acquired at me local HEB Grocery and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. I will say the label does lend it a faux-German look. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery. Reviewed as a Rauchbier because it clearly identifies as such. No ABV is listed on the label (is this a Texas thing?).

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a three finger wide head of white colour. Nice creaminess, decent thickness. Okay frothiness. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a weak clear yellow of below-average vibrance. Translucent and transparent. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

It's quite light and weak for a rauchbier, but I'm optimistic.

Sm: Has a pleasant smokiness - mesquite wood or applewood, perhaps. It's not as pork-y or bacon-y as most good rauchbiere. Biscuit malt, clean barley, vague smoked meat. Little to no hop presence at all. I'm not detecting any alcohol either. Buried red apple. I like the smokiness is present but not overwhelming, guiding the beer's focus without swamping the other notes. It's a good aroma for a rauchbier, and the applewood emphasis really helps it along. I could see the rauchbier style becoming a huge boasting point for Texas breweries if they'd commit to it - they can smoke the hell out of barbecue, why not parlay that to beer?

A pleasant multifaceted aroma of moderate strength. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Constructively, I'd recommend the addition of honey as well as blonde malts.

T: Applewood is very well employed here, with some red apple notes in the third act really helping to balance the light smokiness. Unfortunately, the smokiness itself is too restrained; more smokey character is a requisite of the best examples of the rauchbier style. Biscuit malts, clean barley, Franconian pale malts, pilsner malts, maybe some munich malts. Floral hops have an atypically noticeable presence in the flavour profile. A bit too sweet for the style; this wouldn't be an issue if the smokiness was more prominent. If you're going to brew a rauchbier, you've got to commit to the smoke. This doesn't.

Okay balance. Decent complexity. Not much subtlety, with the exception of the applewood. Below average depth and intensity of flavour. Average duration of flavour. Not a gestalt beer by any means. I do like it for what it is.

Decoction mashing would help this beer, as would more blonde malts and honey as aforementioned.

No alcohol comes through.

As it warms, the smokiness fades more and more.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated, but not biting. Unrefreshing. Okay body and thickness, but it's a bit weak for a rauchbier. The texture of a rauchbier should be more assertive and have much bigger presence on the palate. Suits the flavour profile okay, but it's certainly not custom-tailored to it.

Not oily, harsh, astringent, gushed, boozy, or hot.

Dr: Southern Star really needs to embrace the smoked malt more for this beer to really work. Applewood is a great choice for smoking, but they shied away from the fundamentals of the style. I see a lot of potential here, but it's not a great beer in its current form. It's quite drinkable for the style - but a proper rauchbier shouldn't be this easy to down; the smokiness should ideally lend itself naturally to a beer that demands to be savored. This stuff I'll forget by next week. I wouldn't buy this again or recommend it to friends, but in spite of its flaws it's an above average beer in its style. Hides its ABV well.


 3,952 characters

Photo of stakem
3.69/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a lightly hazed golden yellow color with a firm white cap. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass as the cap fades.

The aroma is mildly smoked and lightly fruity with a kiss of alcohol. Some herbal hops integrate well and make for a pleasantly balanced aroma. It almost is ashy in the way the smoke comes off in the nose. Not bad but also collectively pretty mild.

The taste is like apple smoke. Some mild fruity alcohol noted blend with herbal hop bitterness. Some sulfur is noted towards the back with a light fresh grain sweetnessto contrast the smoke. Some floral hops blend everything out.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a crisp feel. Light yet enjoyable smokiness and very enjoyable without being overbearing. Smoked beers are not something I crave and sit down and plow through any real quantity of however this one I could probably go back for more.

 916 characters

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of blastoderm55
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of Dicers
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of allengarvin
3.81/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The label certainly proclaims this to be a real German-style rauchbier. Poured into a pint glass, it's a hazy dark yellow color, with almost no head retention. The nose is very nice, offering a lot of smoky phenol notes. The flavor is pretty good: a little sweet malt up front followed by lots of smoke (though not quite Schlenkerla-level). There's a nice vanilla aftertaste. The body is a bit thin and watery.

Decent attempt, but not exceptional; a few tweaks could make this an outstanding rauchbier.

 504 characters

Photo of JasonMinck
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Photo of Musineer
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of DonFrap
2.43/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to fatsbelvadere for sending this in the HR Derby BIF. Poured from the bottle into a worthy burger snifter. Smells like hot dogs. A little bit of pork also. Probably the lightest raunchbier I've seen in awhile. 2 finger head dissipated real quick. Not digging the taste. Missing the campfire or pork/bacon taste I love. There's just a weird acidic smoke flavor. Disappointing, as its hard to find this style.

 415 characters

Photo of zbooks
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of cfh64
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

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Rauchbier from Southern Star Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 64 ratings
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