Stillwater / Mikkeller Rauchstar | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

very good
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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.

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Ratings: 58 |  Reviews: 28
Photo of cheesetoast
1/5  rDev -74.4%

Photo of cosmicevan
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

monstrous nod to gary on helping me tick yet another major want. i mean, really...your generosity and thoughtfulness just amazes me. if there is such as a thing as a "Beer Advocate" tis you! cheers and thanks!

bottle dated 17.07.2012

a - poured 2 glasses a mikkeller bulbous wine glass and a stillwater sniftery wine glass. brew poured a chestnut brown with ruby highlights. a nice frothy creamy belgianish head lay a top. slowly bubbled away leaving small islands of bubbly creaminess and long streaks of lacing on the glass.

s - first leads with a smooth english barleywine malt, then the burnt peat smoke takes over. [the acoustic guitar comes out, redemption song sing-a-long begins...someone must've remembered the chocolate! how can we make smores without chocolate? you gotta have hershey has to be the classic milk chocolate, no other will be right. oh well...i guess we'll just toast marshmellows and eat graham crackers.] that kind of campfire happens. fun and light, but smores are missing. is this thing on?

t - a bit of a roller coaster. at first, the malt comes out with some nice cooling hop...then a slight bump of bitterness, then a quick decent into the smoke, but the char is immediately put out with a somewhat brisk cooling. leaves a coat of peat, but palatable peat. decent hop somewhere in the mix...or perhaps that's some of brian's magic pixie dust that makes his beers so wonderful (sage anyone?). as i get used to it, the english barleywine like malt seems to stick out more. yum, like a smoked barleywine.

m - very crisp and cool from the start through the middle, but the end of the mouth is where the smoke really comes through and coats my mouth. a bit thick, but it is a smoked beer.

o - overall love a collaboration between these legendary brewers. the smokiness to me is reminiscent of some other mikkeller brews (although don't know of any other stillwater attempts at the style), but not as good as rauch breakfast. that being said, this beer has a really interesting twist which is very reminiscent of several stillwater beers. an almost vanilla sage vibe that is so fantastic. this is a style that is hard to really hit out of the park, but i think that this one comes in with a unique twist giving it an english barleywine malt mixed with some stillwater dust and then smoked like a jerome baker bong. enjoyed this one.

 2,373 characters

Photo of IdrinkGas
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Shadteks
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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 WMEugene
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Sam Adams glass. No bottled date but a NHT date of 17.07.12 printed on bottle,
which I take as a best by date.

A - pours a medium brown with some beautiful red and dark mahagony hues at the edges. A slight haze. Some
waterfalling takes place leading to a rocky, three finger medium-dark kahki head that has excellent staying power.
Nice lacing.

S - campfire smokey wood that overwhelms everything. A little sweetness and maybe a touch of chocolate in the
aroma as well.

T - surprisingly malty up front. The smoke isn't as apparent in the taste (it's still very prominent) as it is
in the aroma. Some yeast profiles show up in this one in the mid/late palate along with some hop flavor that comes
on late. A firm hop bitterness lingers with some smokey malt bitteness paired with some dark chocolate
and a touch of caramel sweetness. It has a littl bit of aged oxidized flavor as it warms.

M - Full bodied with a nice mouthfeel. Any less and it would become very acrid and extrememly smokey.

D - Low for me - the smoke is very poweful in both aroma and flavor making it more of a long drinkig beer.

Overall, an interesting beer I'm glad I tried. A little overwhelming on the smoke, but a great beer otherwise.
With a $11.99 price tag, probably won't pick it up again except for maybe a tasting or something.

 1,352 characters

Photo of PlinytheFarter
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Takeanotherswing
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of emdawg
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of jaidenjb
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$13.99 for a 500ml bottle from Belmont Party Supply in Dayton, OH. Thanks, Mark!

A: very dark, deep, deep copper/red color, clear with full tan head that kept nearly to last drop
S: dark chocolate with a pronounced smoke character and piney hops, very full nose but seems a bit unbalanced
T: rich, chewy malt up front with noticeable hop bitterness finish and smoke flavor mid-taste, reminded me of a smoked barleywine in character, unfortunately, the resinous hops dominate and overpower the smoke
M: chewy, full - nothing offensive other than too many hops

 559 characters

Photo of jmilo64
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

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.

 666 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 larryi86
4.7/5  rDev +20.5%
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 timtim
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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 jayhawk73
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
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 +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 patm1986
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of bmur112
5/5  rDev +28.2%

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

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