Rauchbier | Southern Star Brewing Company

63 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 63 |  Reviews: 24
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
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 Kegatron
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can into a pint glass. Big thanks to armok for this. I guess normally this is only available on draft but a bit was canned and given to select accounts as samples. I'm looking forward to trying this.

Pours a hazy straw colored gold with several fingers of poofy eggshell colored head. Thin creamy layer of retention leaves some spotty lacing behind. The aroma is WOW!, straight up smoked meats, literally smelling like bacon in a frying pan. I like the aggresive smoked smell this is putting off. I'm not picking up much else besides just some residual sweet tones underneath.

The taste switches places, with sweeter malts bringing most of the flavor this time and a pervasive smokey malt feel that winds in and out the sweetness. Pretty low bitterness in this, maybe just a touch in the back. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lower feeling carbonation that still manages to stay crisper in the mouth.

Nice. I'm a fan of smoked malt in my beers and this seemed pretty darned spot on for the Rauchbier style. I wish they would can this on a regular basis, as I would definitely trade for some more.

 1,114 characters

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

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of stakem
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
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 Duff27
3.57/5  rDev -0.6%
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 Dicers
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to armock for this brew.

"The can says Pine Belt on it but that's not what's inside. What is in the can is the Southern Star Rauchbier. The Rauchbier is keg only so they put some in cans to take to bars as samples. My wife works their so she brought some cans home the other week for me and I put one of those in as an extra." Just so there is no confusion.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, nice smoky notes, with some spice. The taste is malty, with some nice smokyness to it, slight spice thrown in. Medium body. Drinkable, I like this one, not bad at all.

 683 characters

Photo of greenspointexas
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of champ103
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden yellow color. A small white head forms and leaves some patchy lace.
S: Roasted malt and smoked meat. Not much to it, but interesting.
T: Lots of roasted and caramel malt. A semi sweet flavor, plenty of smoked flavor to go around.
M/D: A medium body that is over carbonated for my tastes. An easy beer to drink though. Something I could session, even at the almost 7% abv.

I enjoyed this at the brewery for the Oktoberfest party. Not bad at all, but I think I need to be more familiar with the style. I hope to try some more of this in the near future.

 570 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle pours a light gold color with a fizzy white cap that fades quick and leaves little lace. Fairly hazy too, I must say this one does not have many attributes that would lend a high appearance score.

Nose is heavy on the smoke, which is very good. Ham hocks, bacon and campfires all come to mind. Just a notch or two below Schlenkerla if you ask me…

Smoke is a little lighter on the flavor than Id hoped, but it still has some terrific smokiness and meaty flavors. The grain is maybe a little too light, the mouthfeel suffers a bit because of it, I fear. This is definitely not quite up to the standards set by my homies in Bamburg. There is not a whole lot of complexity here, but the smoke flavors are nice and the beer maintains a clean, graininess all the way through. I could drink a lot of this, but not at the price point it is at currently - can this shit and sell it for $8 a four-pack….fine, but don’t charge $6 a pint for it.

 955 characters

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Treyliff
3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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 JohnBender
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of EgadBananas
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

500mL bottle into a Willis glass. I picked this up without even looking at who brewed this because I really enjoy Rauchbiers and there aren't many I come across, and the label looked inherently German. Surprised to noticed Southern Star once I got home. Shame this isn't in a can. Anywho...

Pours an orange color, some clarity, somewhat hazy. Soapy finger of tan color, dissipated quickly. The aroma was meaty, with more of a ham note and a bit of backing malt sweetness. Not very complex, but pleasant. Smoky notes on the taste, but ample malt sweetness up front that sort of take away from the smoke, making the smoke a bit muddled. Body was on the medium side at best, with a slight prickly bit of carbonation.. High drinkability, but could really use a more smoky smell and flavor to make this a real Rauch treat. Worth trying though as its not a style that is typically inundated and its more that decent.

 911 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.81/5  rDev +6.1%
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 ilikebeer03
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Tiernan
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Photo of armock
4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Southern Stars Oktoberfest at the brewery.

A - Poures a golden color with a wite head that leaves lacing

S - Is of strong roasted malt like a BBQ pit

T - The smoke flavor is the star for this beer

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

D - I've only had a few other rauchbiers before this one and I must say that it fits the style good compared to the others I've had this is a good beer to drink with grilled food worth trying

 465 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Rauchbier from Southern Star Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 63 ratings.
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