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Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Stillwater / Mikkeller RauchstarStillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar
Very Good
58 Ratings
Stillwater / Mikkeller RauchstarStillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Scandinavian smoked ale brewed with applewood smoked malt and loads of resinous hops.. like a heavy metal BBQ in a pine forest.

Added by Thorpe429 on 10-09-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of bmur112
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of patm1986
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of larryi86
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter while listening to Slayer on vinyl

A- Dark brown/black with two finger light tan head.

S- Smokey bacon, piney hops, roasted malts, some bitter chocolate and a touch of coffee, smokiness really steals the show.

T- Smokiness really standout out and stays with you. Nice roasted coffee and chocolate flavors in the middle and a nice hoppy finish, mainly piney hops but is does have a hint of citrus hops. The hoppiness and smokiness work very well together and hides the 9.4% ABV very well.. After taste is like eat great smoked BBQ while drinking a nice IPA.

M- Medium to full body, chewy.

O- I really liked the first Stillwater/Mikkeller project, Our Side, and they did an even better job. Overall this is a great beer and I will get another bottle or two, but I wish the price was more like the Stillwater 750 mL bottles because $16 is a little too much. Worth seeking out and trying!

 925 characters

Photo of PlinytheFarter
4.57/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the mighty Bangers and Lace last week. I am a fan of smoke beers so naturally upon reading the description of it being some sort of metal BBQ I had to order one.

The smell is my favorite part of this beer. If they made Rauchstar air fresheners I would buy them often. It smells meatier than a traditional Rauchbier. You don't get as much of that bonfire aroma and more of a BBQ grill with a big ole ham slow cooking for a few hours. I seriously kept smelling it to the point where the bartender probably thought I had issues.

The taste was just what I thought after the epic smell. A great smoke beer taste with a good amount of almost bacon/ham taste on the middle. The backend finishes smokey with a nice malt backbone as well. I have had smokier beers for sure, but like IPA's.. the one distinct flavor of the style blown out doesn't mean its better. I love the balance of this beer. The balance between meaty goodnes, malty finish, and of course smokey aroma and taste to hold it all together and make sense of the name and beer itself. Cheers!

P.S. send me a bottle ;) thanks

 1,102 characters

Photo of Shadteks
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of timtim
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

dark, dark brown with a tan head that holds and leaves tons of proper looking lace. nose is... holy hops on fire! smells and tastes to me like a burning hop farm that had a couple of wild boars and a grandmother making caramel. fruity hop aromas and flavors blending just about perfectly with smoky bacon and just a touch of sweet malty goodness. everything seems to blend and harmonize seamlessly and effortlessly like it was meant to be (in outer space). fluffy medium-full body with some chewy to it that evaporates like cotton candy. no bad aftertastes, and a very clean finish. this one shocked me. i knew it would be good, but didn't expect it to knock my socks off. nice one!

 682 characters

Photo of WMEugene
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle, date of 17.07.2012 printed on the bottle, I assume that's the best by date. Served in a mug, the beer pours a dark brown color with about an inch frothy tan head that stays around a while. There's a lot of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is pretty nice, it smells like smoked meat, charred/burnt malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and some piney hops and band-aids. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like smoked meats, bittersweet chocolate, charred/burnt malt, wood, coffee, piney hops, and a bit of molasses and band-aids. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a little creamy and slick with moderate carbonation. Roasty, smoky and hoppy, this is quite a brew! I liked this when I had a sample of it about a month ago, and now that I've drank my bottle of this I can say that I still like it a lot. It's a pretty good overall brew. For $13.99 a bottle, I'd definitely buy this again the next time I see it, I think it's worth the price.

 961 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown body capped my a minimal tan skim of foam. Spotty lacing.

S: Healthy dose of smoked malts, roasted malts, dark fruits and earth.

T: Even palate of roasted malts and mild chocolate provides a nice palate for more than a fair bit of smoky/earthy notes to shine. Maybe even a bit of the bacon-like smoky goodness.

M: At 9.4 abv this is a big beer, but surprisingly the mouthfeel is just a hair from being robust enough to truly match up with the flavor profile.

O: A very nice smoked beer, interesting to see Stillwater pull it off. Obviously its Mikkeller bringing the experience on this venture.

 614 characters

Photo of beerist
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of sludgegnome
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of tegelaar
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 500 mL bottle, from BBW.

A: Darker caramel brown, to the point of opacity. Can't see through the thickness of this one. An off-white head blankets the ale, covering the entire inside ring of my glass. Prodigious lacing comes with each pour.

S: Sweet smoke, think the sweetest smoked bacon you can conjure up and add some maple and barbeque to it. Underneath the smoke, a sweet caramel malt base manages to amp up that factor. The remnants of hops, aged away I'm afraid, add to the thickness of the nose. A smoked imperial barleywine has a nice ring, doesn't it?

T: Sweet smoke against the backdrop of a lot of malts. Oh yeah, and plenty of hops for good measure, certainly more than the nose let on. First the smoke, a sweet meaty flavor that controls the rest of the ale with chewy cured meat richness. The malts have the rich fullness of a barleywine, concentrated caramel and roasted bitterness - at times a stout. The hops, as aspect that I wasn't expecting to be so forward, brings a strong dose of citrus bite that lingers in the palate. Intense as death metal.

M: The smoke, heavy at first, nicely transitions to the sweet malts and overpowering hops. Man, the ale is powerful good.

 1,195 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Churchkey:

Pours a dark brown color w/ a slight cocoa head, which sticks around for a while. Minimal lacing on my snifter glass. Smell is pretty good- wood, smoke, and malt are the main things I get. Feel is nice- full bodied and very oil-like. Excellent smoke taste and aftertaste. Overall, not my favorite for the style- but a solid example. Cheers.

 362 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is chestnut brown with a filmy, khaki colored head. The head settles and holds around 1/8" for the duration. The aroma is smoke, campfire, bacon, char. Very nice - a pleasure to inhale. As expected, a lot of smoke in the flavor. A pretty straightforward beer. The feel is thick, oily, and coats the palate. I enjoyed this and would certainly have it again.

 396 characters

Photo of FLima
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Medium size creamy head with a low retention.
Very accentuated aroma of smoked malts and dark chocolate.
Sweet malty taste, hints of wood (similar to barley wines) and a hoppy resiny feel. Touches of alcohol but well hidden considering it is 9.4% ABV, giving some warmth to the beer.
Light carbonation with small bubbles. Pretty good beer, especially for who likes hoppy and/or smoked type of beers.

 417 characters

Photo of JayS2629
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours beautiful dark brown with red edges, almost black with a huge tan head that sticks around and leaves walls of creamy lace.

The aroma has elements of camp fire and bacon with coffee and chocolate hints.

The flavor follows with notes of chocolate and roasted malts, smoke, caramel, and piney hops. Hoppier than expected which tames the smoke. Almost like a black IPA with smoke.

Medium body, smooth

Overall, enjoyable and interesting. Nothing spectacular in my book.

 475 characters

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark brown with red highlights. Nice thick tan head with thick lacing.
smell: I'm not sure I've ever sniffed peat but I'm sure i know what it smells like now. some Scotch, maybe even coffee (or i'm still buzzin from landing a few cbs and a whole bunch of fbs).
taste: More peat goodness.
overall: I don't think smoked beer is gonna make my fav styles but this one nails it.

Edit 11/8/11: correction courtesy of rwitter who insists what I'm tastin ain't peat. Guess this not an ingredient in a Scandanavian smoke brew.

 531 characters

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

Review from notes.

A: Poured a dark red/brown color with a small tan had the reduced to a very thin cap on top, minimal lacing.

S: Some smoke, toffee and caramel, a little bit of molasses and brown sugar. Also a surprising amount of pine and citrus.

T: A nice combination of sweet and smokey. Lots of the same flavors from the aroma, toffee, caramel, smoke/bacon, brown sugar, and a little bit of chocolate.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Nice body to compliment the smokiness.

O: Pretty good rauchbier. Not a beer I would go to on a normal basis, but good to have once in a while.

 612 characters

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

Pours very dark brown with enormous off-white bubbly head, in my Hogtown Brewery glass. Pleasant smoke and roast aroma. First sips while cold, a little imperial stoutish, very well roasted and tasty with decent malt backbone. As it warmed, more smoke in the taste, unique and bittersweet, spicy a tad chile. Still ridiculous retained head.Above average mouthfeel.Very decent drinkability. $19 in NYC to take out. hop concentration in the sediment.

 447 characters

Photo of jsanford
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's during today's Stillwater event. Served in a cervoise.

Pours a very dark brown with a moderate off-white head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings plenty of smoked malt and a bit of peat. In the background comes chocolate and coffee. The flavor is a bit more balanced with roasted malt and smoke mingling on top of chocolate and coffee. Medium body with a semi-dry finish. Dry and roasty throughout. Tasty.

 441 characters

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

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with pretty good head retention and lacing. The nose is very roasty and smokey, with very much a smoked salmon aroma. The flavor profile replicates the nose, except this beer is a bit sweeter than expected, and the smoke quality is nearly over the top. This seems more like a smoked bock, given the malty sweetness and high alcohol in this beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile. There's something of a burnt toast, hoppy bitterness component on this finish that is a bit unusual.

Interesting beer... give the smoke and high alcohol, I'm not sure how much I could drink, but this is pretty interestinng.

 720 characters

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Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 58 ratings
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