Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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86
very good
58 Ratings
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Stillwater / Mikkeller RauchstarStillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States
stillwater-artisanal.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
58
Reviews:
28
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
18.46%
 
 
Wants:
27
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 acurtis
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a dark brown color with a damn good looking head on top that held a good retention and a scattered lacing. The smell of the beer was pretty good, there was a nice blend of farmhouse aromas along with the smoked malts. The taste of the beer has a good mix of Saison and Rauch blended together with a mellow bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty smooth with a good amount of carbonation to it. Overall this beer was pretty good, I bought it because I love the label mostly. I also enjoy Stillwater & Mikkeller immensely. So this was a must try for me even though I'm not big on the Rauch style. Glad I tried it for sure.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a dark amber color ale with a large brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar with light smoked notes is quite warming. Taste is a mix dominated more by caramelized sugar with light sweet toffee notes than by smoked malt. Hops presence is not as powerful as I would have expected. Body is full with good carbonation. This must be an older bottle as it appears quite a bit of smoked and hops notes have disappeared.

 474 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice larger creamy tan 1.5 finger head that fades semi slowly with some spotted lacing, over a fairly clear but very dark colored beer, a mahogany ruby molasses amber colored beer.

Nose brings a nice big smoke aroma, light campfire and smoked cheese like aroma, toasted wood, but not overpowering and no real astringent like aromas. A nice dark wheat and malt aroma under that, light molasses, caramel, and light toasty malts.

Taste starts with more smoked malt, again light campfire and a bit of smoked wood. It gets slightly bitter and acrid like a burnt taste but not much. Then malts galore, light roast, crystal malts, hint of cocoa, a fair sweetness with syrupy additions, molasses, hint of caramel, toasty malts, and some dark wheat like flavors as well. Bitterness kicks in with some earthy hops and some from the charred malt and smoke. Hints of esters poke through with the light booze that also comes through. As it finishes it dries a bit, and starts to get slightly astringent from the smoke and earthy spicy hop bitterness, which lingers for a while, with a slight syrupy malt and molasses.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bodied, decent carb, bit syrupy, and a little warming booze.

Overall not bad, interesting smoked malt flavors and even better aroma, that doesn't get too overpowering, with a nice bitterness that plays on astringent with the tannins from the smoke but doesn't get too much. Light sweetness masks the booze for the most part, but it does get a bit too syrupy feeling.

 1,512 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Rifugium
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Kinda surprised I haven't reviewed this one until now--I only uploaded the pic on this site--but oh well. Obviously the bottle art drew me right in to this beer. Extra appearance points for incorporating Metallica, Slayer, and general black metal logos.

Poured a dark brown-black, opaque, with a small tan head that receded to a ringlet and left a bit of lacing on the glass. Unfortunately, I was not a big fan of this beer other than it's bottle and appearance. I like a good smoked beer once in a while, but this one just wasn't doing it for me. Aroma thick with liquid smoke, malty sweetness, charred wood. More of the same in the taste, liquid smoke, strangely sweet and jarring, soy sauce and BBQ sauce, ash and charcoal, chewy caramel malts underneath, with a resinous bitterness coming in near the finish. Medium body, seemed a bit thin in mouthfeel, but definitely huge on smokey taste. This was a tough tough beer to finish.

 982 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
1/5  rDev -74.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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 duceswild
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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 stakem
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

500ml bottle poured into a matching Mikkeller teku glass. The brew pours a dark muddy mahogany brown color with a rich 2 fingers worth of yellowish stained froth. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain about a finger seemingly throughout the entire duration. As the cap fades, it leaves a full wall of webby lacing effect on the glass.

The aroma is pretty intense with smoke quality however underneath is a bounty of fruity alcohol esters coupled with hops. It displays almost a raisin-like aspect mixed with burnt sugars coming across like caramel or molasses. As I smell this brew more, it gets a bit of earthiness mixed with some mineral components across the back.

The taste initially is pretty much dominated by a beefy smoked quality that is somewhat reminiscent of pete but without the phenolics. Bacon comes to mind before the onset of the previously described fruity alcohol notes mixed with hops. Just like the nose led on, there is a flavor a bit like raisin mixed with some herbal hoppy bitterness and trace mineral aspects that lingers long into the aftertaste.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It has enough character to keep it interesting and a bit different from the usual smoke beer. However, coming from the 2 most over-priced breweries I have ever encountered, this was an epically over-priced offering that I wish I never purchased. Had it not been for my friend wanting to try this and the guy who sold it to me proclaiming it's uber rare status that I would never see again, I wish I could have a take back on this one. Even if it is offered to you for a discount price, buy something else.

 1,650 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Max's taphouse in Baltimore for Baltimore beer week. Not my favorite.

Beer is dark brown to black and hazy with a tan head of small bubbles, moderate to low carbonation and some lacing on the glass. Looks good.

Aroma is strongly smokey, some sweetness, lots of roast.

Beer is thin and dry, too dry for a Rauch in my opinion. I think it is stylistically fine to make a dry Rauch, many people prefer it but when you do this you leave the drinker with a harsh aftertaste of smoke. This is what happens here. While the beer TASTES fine, the aftertaste really takes my breathe away in a bad way. I come up from each sip gasping for air. It is a good rauch but I won't have it again.

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Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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

Photo of yourefragile
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's during the Stillwater event.

Pours a dark, thin brown with an off white head; moderate retention and lacing throughout. Aroma is smoked malt forward with mild chocolate undertones and light ash. Balanced flavor with roast malt more prevalent than the nose with a subtler smoke presence. Medium bodied and a dry, smoky finish.

 342 characters

Photo of corby112
3.04/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Draft at Khyber Pass Pub.

Pours a very dark brown that's almost black with faint mahogany edges when held to a light source and a one finger light beige head. Decent retention only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves steaks and spots of lace behind.

Interesting aroma that's part smokey and part hoppy. Not nearly as smokey as I had hoped for unfortunately with subtle hints of charcoal, wood and BBQ. There's some roasted dark malt notes but they aren't burnt smelling along with some grassy pine. As it warms the smoke becomes more prominent but overall the nose is a bit of a disappointment for me.

Chewy full body with a blast of earthy hops that overpower the smoked malt notes and linger over the roasted body into a dry finish. Dry and bitter with hints of grass and pine along with subtle citrus fruit character. Underneath, the malt backbone is somewhat smokey but unfortunately this flavor is outshined by the bitterness. Faint smoked/roasted malt with hints of roast, dark chocolate, BBQ and ash. The smoke is most prominent in the finish but it's kind of an afterthought. I wanted a smoke bomb but I got a hop overload. This isn't particularly negative but in this style of beer it's a let down. Still, the ABV is well masked and the beer is overall decently balanced.

 1,294 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
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 bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
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 IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +2.6%

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Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
3.9 out of 5 based on 58 ratings.
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