Charkoota Rye
New Holland Brewing Company

Charkoota RyeCharkoota Rye
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Smoked Beer
Ranked #91
Ranked #41,558
3.64 | pDev: 20.6%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Charkoota RyeCharkoota Rye
Notes: Charkoota Rye - Smoked Doppelbock Lager

Charkoota Rye is a Smoked Rye Dopplebock. Charkoota Rye's malty backbone is derived from a blend of rye and four other malts, including malted barley smoked over cherry wood by our very own brewers, John and Jeff.

Its smoke-forward body is balanced with tones of deep mollasses and caramel, with a crisp, clean lager finish.

19° Plato, Alc. 7.75% by Vol.
Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 240 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft a few years back. From my notes:

Brown/purple hue.

Small dark khaki head; minimal lace.

Smoked meat nose; heavy peat.

Medium mouthfeel.

Pastrami, smoke, peat, yeyo...a plum wine finish. Bold, complex & not for the weak of palate. Best New Holland I've ever had.

Dec 30, 2016
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pezhead_79 from Indiana

4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found a 2011 vintage on the shelf at a local and it it really solid. The smoke flavor is subtle at first but finished with a strong presence. The rye comes through as the temp rises and is a very pleasant taste. Overall a great find.

Aug 03, 2016
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BoilerMo from Indiana

3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: Nice brownish amber hints

s: smokey with ahint of sweetness

t: the smoke is right out front and burnt grains were present

m: Nice mouth and good smokey finish, like you just drank a camp fire.

o: I dont personally like drinking a campfire, but it is a smoked rye so if that is your thing then this one has it. If you like a strong smokey flavor and burnt grains this is a good beer for you. (If you are looking for a more traditional dopplebock this isnt a good choice.)

Feb 24, 2014
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tectactoe from Michigan

3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Park bar in Detroit. Pours a dark mahogany and woody-brown color, laced in deep, ruby red edges. The head is a darker shade of tan with a light ruby tint to it, showing decent retention and some wet legging. This beer looks pretty damn good.

So this is a smoked doppelbock? I guess I can see that. The aroma gives way to a plentiful amount of smoked malt - liquid smoke, mild charcoal, and a certain campfire-like woodiness. Smoked malt tends to be pretty damn potent, and can often engulf and shadow any other present aromas and/or tastes if used too liberally. In the aroma, however, I can still discern the "doppelbock" qualities of this one; sweet molasses is probably second-in-command behind the smoke. A light bit of salt, dark fruit, burnt caramel, and more wood bring up the rear.

The first sip opens up wit a blanket of liquid smoke that comes out strong, but quickly gives way to some of the other flavors lying beneath it. Heavy wood, molasses, deep prunes, and even a mild nuttiness. The more I drink, the more I realize how intact the smoke remains from start to finish, giving off mild hints of campfires, bacon, and smoked meat. Mild bitter twinge on the tail end, cutting through the sweetness from the malt, making for a surprisingly dry finish. Then again, maybe it's the rye that helps provide for the dry finish. I don't taste much rye in itself, but maybe it can be held accountable for that ending bitterness. Medium bodied, slick mouth feel, low carbonation.

Smoked beers are very hit and miss, mostly due to the finesse needed when dealing with smoked malt. This beer wasn't bad at all. I would have liked a little bit more flavor to pop - though the smoke wasn't "overdone", by the end of the beer, my palate was starting to get tired of it. Good in smaller doses, and still pretty tasty overall.

Mar 13, 2013
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Ego from New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage

nearly black, one full finger plus a smidge of micro bubble constructed head, ebbs and flows like the ocean tide, nice retention after a good 10 minutes of sitting here, a solid looking brew

hyper sweet molasses in a fire, upon further snorting the smoke is really starting to race to the front and dominate, the smoke is mouth watering, it really does remind me of bamburg type brews with just a mere hint of fruity sweetness at the tip if the smoke, if you dig smoke, dig this...

taste etc...
ever been utterly confused by a first taste? I'm there... (pausing to try and begin to describe what is going on right now)...
first glance you get some sweet malts (briefly), then there is a very strong sour flavor, hard to compare, not sour like lemon or a lambic... but sour ... like tart cherries. I suppose, that's the best I can do right now, then the smoke HITS, and boy does it, the sour would make this undrinkable but the smoke tames it.... enough? hmm... not sure about that. This drinks smoothly and the carbonation is perfectly matched to the body.

the smoke is absolutely wonderful here but the sour note really is a touch too strong, maybe this is better was a dessert type after some righteous bbq pig etc. I can't imagine this through an entire meal, might make a hell of an interesting sauce/marinade/braising liquid....

Dec 16, 2012
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sprucetip from Alaska

2.32/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

201 vintage. Darker than mahogany, minimal head and retention, no lacing, and not alot of activity. It's thin enough to see through if you look at it with the lighting or angle just right.

Smoke. That's about it.

Smoked malt and malty sweetness with some dark fruit. Mostly smoky. Tad bit of bitterness in the finish.

The feel is probably the best part, and normally the feel isn't a super important element to me. Lightly carbonated, medium body, slightly bitter finish.

My brother bought 2 bottles, and didn't like it. He gave me the other. I like Alaskan Smoked Porter and to a lesser extent Stone Smoked Porter. I'm down with a good smoked beer. But I'd heard some other folks say it was not good, so it took me a couple of years to get around to opening it. It isn't as horrible as one guy told me ("the worst beer I've ever had"), but I think most of it is going down the drain so I can drink something I really like. The smoke is way overdone here (though Alaskan Smoked Porter is very smoky and I love it), and it is almost cloyingly sweet too. I'm not really a drain pour type of guy unless something is infected, but I will be going against my typical tendencies in this case.

Dec 06, 2012
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spinrsx from Canada

3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle - Thanks to slyvain for this one

Appearance - Brown colour with with a an average size fizzy off-white head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, smoke/burnt notes, peat

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, dark fruits, and some smoke/burnt notes. There is also an odd meaty/peat flavour and some rye. It ends with a smokey aftertaste.

Overall - Almost like smoked barleywine taste wise. I'm not a fan of smokey beers.. and this one didn't do anything to change my opinion. Fans of the style will surely enjoy this.

Sep 24, 2012
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WoodBrew from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Did the brewer hit his mark...YES. Do I love this beer....Not Really. Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass, Charkoota Rye is an amber-brown in the glass, with a thin, off-white head; almost a cola-like appearance. Nose is of sweet, dark, roasty malts; black licorice, molasses, smoked peat, burnt chocolate and coffee are all present. The taste is similar to the nose with the smoky characteristics coming to the forefront. The beer is dry but not terribly acrid with a very thin carbonation. The increased ABV increases the drying effect but doesn't seem quite as high as the 8.4% listed on the bottle. Overall, as drinkable for a beer as strongly flavored and high in alcohol as a beer like this can be.

Aug 11, 2012
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themind from New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of this that had been aged about a year. The beer pours a small head and has mild carbonation. The smokey aroma appears the second you pop the top off. For me the smokey flavor was a bit much but then again I am an IPA lover. Overall this is a good beer, it grew on me as I worked my way though the bottle.

Bottom Line: If you like smoked beers this is right up your alley!

Jul 04, 2012
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brentk56 from North Carolina

2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a cola color with a frothy head that leaves a shard or two, though the retention is not that impressive

Smell: Smoky, peaty, and tart; somewhat fruity in the range of cherries

Taste: Fruity, up front, with the tart cherry flavors joined by the peat and the smoked wood elements; increasingly tart, after the swallow, with the smoke/peat elements taking a back seat into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation; rather puckery

Overall: Really disappointing, as the tartness takes the doppelbock in an unexpected and not particularly well-balanced direction

Jun 22, 2012
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superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2010 vintage. Pours a clear and extremely dark reddish brown color with a small light tan head with ok retention that reduces to a a ring of lacing. Light spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, smoked meat, molasses, raisin, prune, toast, bread, oak, herbal, earth, chocolate, toffee, and rye. Very nice aromas with great balance and complexity. Taste of big caramel, toffee, raisin, prune, molasses, smoke, bread, oak, chocolate, toast, herbal, earth, rye, and light peppery spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, smoke, toast, earth, and rye on the finish for a good bit. Great balance of all flavors; with a very nice amount of complexity. Smokiness is not overpowering and compliments the style nicely. Minimal cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel as expected for the style. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Definitely a sipper, but is still very smooth. Overall this is an excellent smoked doppelbock. Very nice flavor complexity and balance, and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering, well done.

Jun 20, 2012
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russpowell from Arkansas

3.14/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage pours an effervescent chestnut with a finger of tan head. Average lacing & some head retention

S: Oak & beechwood smoke, cherries

T: Follows the nose, dryness, some figs & raisins up front. Smoked flavors start to over power this as it warms, a touch cherry charms blowpop & pipe tobbacco as well. Finishes dry, oaky, smokey with more weird cherry notes

MF: Chewy, moderate carbonation

This was underwhelming, this brewery is very hit & miss. This one misses, a chore to finish

Jun 20, 2012
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GRPunk from Michigan

3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip. Current ABV listed as 8.4% and 21 Plato.

A- A normal pour creates a 2-finger tan/brown head. The body is a deep brown, something approaching chestnut? The head settles to a thin foam. Light sticky spots cling to the glass before slowly falling back into the body.

S- Lots of smoke and char. Reminds me more of a campfire than a smoky Scotch. Underlying sweetness brings a caramel quality.

T- Strong smoke flavor without completely overwhelming. Rye is light, yet lends a distinctive flavor. Some brown sugar, caramel, even light chocolate sweetness. Smooth ABV warmth.

M- Medium-full body. Clean. Moderate carbonation. Slight warmth at the finish.

O- Heavily smoked to the edge of overpowering, but it's a "smoked beer," right? Good sipper. 22 oz. seems to be the perfect serving size. I'm looking forward to pairing the rest with some Michigan-made sausages from Little Town (cheddar and onion or mushroom Swiss). Great beer for a warm Memorial weekend on the deck.

May 27, 2012
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark ruby with a short-lived, creamy beige head that leaves minimal lacing on a Harp nonic.

Summer sausage, as expected, with some oak and a background of sweetness.

Big, malty flavors with a fair amount of smoke. There is a slight tartness with some cherry and a long finish with brown sugar.

A full body with explosive, prickly carbonation and a pop of alcohol. Beyond the initial entry, Charkoota is smooth and leaves residual sugar on the lips.

This is a nice drinking, smoked beer. I find this style to be an acquired taste and am glad that I didn’t dismiss it after my initial foray. This one was enjoyed after a long, snowy day.

Apr 22, 2012
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Smoked doppel bock lager.

A: Black show in the vessel with a thin frothy peanut shell colored head. A quick lapse of retention showed no rewarding lace coverage.

S: Smoky, smoldering campfire, charred wood, smoked jerky with some freshly scorched pine wood. Good level of awareness.

T: Freshy wet charred woodiness for flavor speaks first, very smooth. Smoked jerky, glazed burnt ham, burnt molassess sweetness rings through as well. Good level of smokiness, yet the grain base remains recognizable with a dry, cris, husky nature. Things round out with some roasted peanuts, smoked dark fruit skins, (plums) and some smoked cherrywood.

M: Full bodied, thick and chewy substance with an oily texture and a nice farewell of burnt charred woodiness.

O: Overall nice drinkability, good level of smokiness, smoothly balanced. Most smoked beers are conservative, this one leans more towards the aggressive side but finds the sweet spot and balance just right, worthy repeat.

Mar 27, 2012
FeDUBBELFIST from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber to stange. 2011 vintage. Sampled 11/13/11.

A: Two fingers of fluffy/frothy head, dark tan in color and orange tint. Above average retention. After the head deflates, the beer is very still looking. No film, collar, or visible carbonation. The body is a dark amber-tawny color, lightly cloudy with transparency only at the edges. There is a decent amount of particulate suspended in solution. No lacing.

S: Heavily malted with toasted caramel and molasses. While the rye character is lost on me, I pick up on a little peppery spice. Piney hop notes are minimal providing a nice balance to the caramel sweetness. The smoked malts add a bit of wood, leather and meatiness to the nose, with light soy sauce and tobacco further in the background. Hints of construction paper.

T: Wow. Such a pleasant, thorough and sustained smokey flavor that never overwhelms the palate. Very crisp with a touch of fruity, clean, lager-like sweetness. Light bitterness. The alcohol is masked beautifully. (The ABV is 8.4% in 2011.) Incredible finish on the flavor (and mouthfeel too).

M: Medium body with a thick, sticky texture. Carbonation is lively on the tongue with just the right amount of bite.

O: Charkoota Rye is my favorite smoked beer. Ever. I think smoking the malted barley over cherry wood really distinguishes the smoke character. And compliments the doppelbock style very well. Frankly, I'm shocked that this beer isn't rated higher...

Mar 18, 2012
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jera1350 from Minnesota

3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep amber color with nice cap of dark khaki foam.

The nose is a mix of bandaids and vegetables. Some smoked malt present also, but overwhelmed by the former two scents.

The taste is thankfully much better than the nose. Lots of sweet malt and some spicy rye to go along with the sweet smoked malt. Putting all of it together makes a nice transition from sweet to smokey. Much like BBQ. Very clean finish.

Feels lighter and very clean. The carbonation is soft and frothy. Some warm alcohol is felt, but not tasted.

I'm going to excuse the nose in the overall portion of my review. I am a huge fan of smoked beers and I especially like when they involve malty sweetness. This beer absolutely delivers in both departments. The rye is a great complement to the smoked malt also. I will be looking for a fresh bottle of this in the future.

Mar 17, 2012
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure of my vintage I got this on sale for 8 bucks at the house of 1,000 beers also noted is a 8.17% ABV on my label so it's probably not the newest batch.

A - A very nice deep woody brown that is a touch hazy with some impressive full inch of tan/opaque colored head.

S - Smells of wood, peat, and a touch of smoke. Also some dark fruits and rye come to play, but not as much smoke as I expected.

T - Wow I found this quite hard to drink. The rye and peat clash giving it a sort of sour dough like flavor that is kind of dry an herbal. Mid palate I do get some regular dough flavors with some toffee or caramel and I noticed that the finish was clean.

M - Medium to heavy even though I got the whole bomber down in 45 minutes it was a chore.

Overall wow I didn't expect such a dry, peat flavored experience from this. Avoid unless you really love rye and smoked wood.

Mar 12, 2012
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SickGnar from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark mahogany with chestnut highlights at the edges, and a warm & glowing garnet/ruby when held to light. Nice color. Bright and clear with a fair number of bubbles sedately rising to the small, light/medium tan head. The foam falls to a ring that stays, but does not deposit any lasting lace.

S: I can smell it from almost two feet away! Malty & sweet. Lots of dark malt goodness – melanoidans, toffee, molasses, dark fruits, and underlying dark bready / crusty richness. Touch of earthy rye spice. Just slightly more than a hint of pleasant smoke. Ghost hint of alcohol? Pungent, pleasant, & rich.

T: Very rich dark malts (but not roast) and quite sweet (any more, and/or without the smoke & rye, and the C word would be in play). Dark toffee, molasses, dark & crusty bread, lots of dark fruit – all sweet and malty and rich. Smoke is way more noticeable on the palate, but still not too powerful – just a wonderful 2nd chair player. As the malty sweetness tames a bit in the middle the smoke pushes through with a quick phenolic hit and then it spreads and layers in, and then stands out more strongly as it lingers in the finish. Earthy & spicy rye also emerges as the sweetness tames and continues to linger in the finish. Ghost hint of alcohol. A faint herbal hop hint comes out as it warms. Combination & interplay of malty & sweet & smoke is great. Burps bring to mind bacon or honey smoked ham – a funny accent to deep richness.

M: Not rich or syrupy, but it is a bigger bodied beer. Under-matched carbonation, just barely enough to stand up to the body & very finely textured. Soft, smooth, rich, and very creamy. Lots of chewy dextrins and sticky sugars. Finish stays a bit semi-sweet until the very, very end. Slight touch of alcohol warming.

D: Wow! 2010 vintage (double wow) – this ages/cellars super well. Looking at other reviews (and from my own experience with smoke beers), this must have been quite a bit more smokey when fresher. It still has plenty of smoke, but the focus is now more on the very rich and reasonably complex malts. Full of great flavors that transition around – dark, malty, sweety, smokey, spicy rye, and a great rich feel. This is a great treat.

Mar 04, 2012
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doucmehu from Oregon

3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Groveland in St. Paul, served at a very reasonable, warmer than average temp.

A: Deep brown pour with little light around the edge, minimal tan head that fades quickly. Some lacing hangs around.

S: APPLEWOOD SMOKED BACON! Seriously though, this is definitely a smoke-forward beer. Lots of firewood and roasted red meat, with a hint of brown sugar sweetness.

T: As expected, tons of smokiness. This is very close to a rauchbier, but with a hint more sweetness and toffee malt. The bacon flavor continues.

M: Rich, smooth and heavy body with fair carbonation. It is hard to focus on the MF with all this smoky meat, but it works well with the flavors.

O: I am not a huge smoked beer fan, but this seems fairly well done. There is a huge smoked malt presence, which is great for a sipper but detracts from the drinkability. There is no way I could have more than 8-10oz. of this, and it would be best paired with an indulgent, pungent food.

Feb 09, 2012
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emeline from Rhode Island

3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2011. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Specifically, my Sierra Nevada Hop Glass.

Smells smokey with strong rye and chocolate in the front. Just a touch of caramel in the aroma.

Color is dark brown, with a reddish tone along the edges. A small amount of off-white head disappears quickly, and there is zero lacing throughout. Even the hop glass couldn't help the carbonation here.

Tastes strong with roast and rye, mellowing out to reveal sweeter notes of, and finally finishing with a caramel sweetness.

Slightly syrupy in the mouthfeel, and again, almost no carbonation. Medium body, smooth, and a pleasant, clean finish wrap up each taste. Caramel and smoke linger after.

Overall a very tasty brew. Paired perfectly with homemade split pea soup with ham, carrots and sweet onions. An easy drinking beer, but heartwarming at 8%.

Jan 24, 2012
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silentjay from Massachusetts

2.69/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

deep brown/almost black that gives mahogany highlights with a huge dark tan head that lasts forever and laces well.

well, yah there is tons of smoke aromas, but where are the doppelbock aromas? its just burnt bacon, which I am not a fan of.

the flavor is smoke heavy as well, but there is some sweetness brought in that is slightly reminiscent of a doppelbock. slightly. there is maybe some caramel sweetness, but none of the molasses and dark (not roasted) malt sweetness I expected. Even as a rauchbier, this one lacks in complexity, unfortunately.

lighter side of medium with a crisp lager finish, but a slight smoke left behind on the palate.

wouldn't seek this one out. It suffers from an identity crisis and fails to create an identity of its own at the same time. not impressed.

Jan 17, 2012
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, caramel and maple syrup. In the taste, maple syrupy and a small smoke presence. A small bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry and smokey kind of aftertaste. Syrupy and smokey, a bit sweet but it is OK.

Jan 02, 2012
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elNopalero from California

4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is smoked rye dopplebock. Burgundy-brown in color. The smoke aroma fills the glass and is the first thing I noticed—as well as the last. There’s some notes of sweet smoked woods (applewood? Cherrywood?) that approximate, in my mind, a combination of the fruit and grilling. It has a sharp, focused flavor—the smokiness dominates, definitely, with enough maltiness to give it body and heft, and a dopplebock sweetness to balance it out. I’d definitely try it again.

Dec 19, 2011
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Gavage from Nevada

4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark reddish brown color with a healthy 2" head.

Smell: smoke tones are easily detectable.

Taste: big caramel, roasted nut flavors, dark fruit sweetness, moderate bitterness, and loads of smokey goodness here.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. There is a dry finish.

Overall: this is a great beer for a BBQ or big juicy steak. The smokiness is nicely balanced with the other flavors in the beer.

Dec 11, 2011
Charkoota Rye from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 240 ratings