Charkoota Rye | New Holland Brewing Company

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Charkoota RyeCharkoota Rye

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Smoked Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.79%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Deuane on 01-04-2009

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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 240
Photo of bluedragon710
1.42/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

With the exception of accidental ingestion of pig manure from my days growing up on the farm, this is the worse thing to EVER touch my tongue.

Flying Pig on the bottle...coincidence? I thinks not!

It looked like a good brew. That nice dark red hue through the glass with a decent head.

It smelled like last night's campfire.

Tasted like last night's campfire too!

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Photo of cantloveemall
1.66/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Was interested in trying another beer with Rye so decided on this, boy was that a mistake.

A - dark amber, thin brown head

S - Like bacon, not in a good way

T - I don't understand why I finished this, I guess because I felt ashamed for paying as much as I did for it

M - Average mouthfeel, I guess you can't mess that up too bad.

D - I mean, unless you're the kind of weirdo that actually wants to DRINK things that taste like bacon this is not drinkable at all.

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Photo of beerhan
1.69/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I tried this beer at a tasting and after one pour I realized that this in fact was the worst beer I have ever had. It lo oks promising and pours a nice thick black with a decent head but the taste is just awful. I don't like bacon amd that's all I could taste. I ended up not even finishing my taste because it turned my stomach. I live new holland but this is something I would not recommend to anyone.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
1.69/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2


Tonight I decided to use my old throw back imperial pint glass which should be a great vessel for this special ale. As I pulled the black cap of the painted bomber bottle I was greeted with a slight almost nonexistent hissing noise and a slight whiff of the smokey lager. I decided to be careful and pour slowly with a generous tilt on my glass because I want at least a two finger thick head without flooding my whole glass with foam. As I rocked the bottle back I was let down and only left with a thin layer of head that laid on the top of the dark ruby red ale. When I hold my glass up to the light there are just loads of amber and red hues coming through the crystal clear lager that also has a nice steady stream of tiny bubbles floating upwards.


Oh jeez, right of the start I am getting something medicinal that has a tiny amount of rubber thrown in. (My wife even said it reminded her of Vick's throat spray) Once you can get past the off aromas there is a boat load of smoke and caramel sweetness that is finished clean with minimal to no sulfur notes that are often produced from lagering beer. I can just picture myself sitting next to a campfire taking a big whiff of the heavy woody smoke aroma combined with earthy notes around the fire, which makes me want to go camping.


Yikes, this taste terrible. I typically enjoy all different types of smoked beers but this one is bad. Right of the start I am getting a huge rubber glove taste that reminds me of going to the dentist, followed by ashy smoke infused moss or dirt. There is a huge wood flavor that is smoothed out by the brown sugar and caramel notes which is the best part of the taste. Did you ever add the liquid smoke to any type of gravy or sauce you made? Well, this is exactly what it taste like complimented by some of the malty base beer. I feel a drain pour coming on....


Well you win some and you loose some, and this time I guess I lost. Even though this was a beer that I ended up throwing down the drain I'm not going to judge the brewery. I have had quite a few of their beers and I was really happy with them and this was the first one that was off putting. I would say that if you get a chance to try some of their other stuff , go for it because they are amazing. As far as this beer goes, I'd take it with caution. Maybe you might like it and maybe you will not but hey that's part of the fun of experimenting.

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Photo of jrallen34
1.95/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a Narke glass...Pours a super dark maghongy, bordering on an a purple eggplant, but weirdly see through, sorta. Intriguing look. A light tan head rises about two fingers, falling quickly to a half a cap. Light lacing...Aroma is mostly smoke but not done a good way at all, all charred ash. A little rye and pork, just too mush ash, like I just entered a burnt down house. Alcohol is oddly present and strong on the finish...The taste is one of the most horrible things I've ever had. Charred ask, sugar plums, rye and sugar combine terribly...Medium feel with an unfortunately lasting taste...This is not drinkable.


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Photo of tipnsip
2.01/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I picked up a 22 oz. bomber at an area Binny's. I was excited to try something new (or at least new to me) from one of my favorite brewers - New Holland.

Loved the flying pig on the bottle ... it poured dark & inviting into a pint glass ... the aroma wasn't very strong but seemed "ok".

First sips can be deceiving ... even a second sip can fail to reveal what a brew can truly offer. So I went for a third taste, and unfortunately Charkoota Rye was my first dissapointment from New Holland.

At first, it exhibits fairly typical dopplebock flavors, then a mild touch of sweetness glances over the tongue ... and then that's where things went south. The smoke flavor was almost chemical-like - harsh, caustic, synthetic. The finish was dry & somewhat spicy but mainly tasted like liquid smoke.

The only way I found it somewhat drinkable was by drinking it along with eating fatty fried chicken thighs. The richness of the dark meat & fat mellowed the harsh smoke flavor from this beer. IMO this would be great for marinating pork, or if you're inclined to drink it be sure to have something to eat along with it that has deep rich flavor. Whether it's cheese or meat, this beer needs something to balance its flavors.

I understand ... smoked beer is an art and it's easy to over-do it. New Holland makes fantastic beers ... but this one is just kinda nasty.

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Photo of Khazadum
2.06/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- Gentle low head formation. Small retention, low collar formation and little carbonation. Crimson body with some charred paper hints.

S- The smoked body on this is exactly what you'd expect from actually smoking wood in your presence. True campfire smell, that acrid wood smoke that begins to accrue in my nostrils and bring nauseous feelings up. Lots of charred pork notes, not to much sweetness to balance it. Some smells of noxious chemicals like melting plastic as well, could be some spicy rye in there but its very hidden most of the time.

T- Opens sweet bit of malt body, but quickly the overwhelming smoke starts to destroy me. Following that is a pork presence that may have been left in the light and heat of summer. Shaved, mashed, and turned into an extract of hate to be squirted into my mouth via this beer. Finish is predominantly grainy, spicy rye. The finish is actually good after a few seconds of torture.

M/D- This is really, really, really hard to drink. Mild body, low carbonation, a bit syrupy. I find the faster you drink the easier it is to hide the awful burnt, acrid, smoky, rancid pork flavors. I'd never ever ever suggest this out to anyone ever. I've had worse beers, and as it warmed it went from absolutely undrinkable, to just undrinkable. Least it looked average.

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Photo of CRichardsMN
2.06/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Dark amber brown with a very clear complexion. Pours little to no head with only a bit of an off white film and no lacing.

Overwhelming nose of smoke with a the unmistakable hint of rye and alcohol hidden in the background. Hard to pick out anything else.

Again, huge woodsy smoke presence masks most other flavors. There is a bit of caramel sweetness, grain and alcohol but not rounded. Complex but not balanced. Would not immediately classify this as a doppelbock or lager but a rauchbier, which btw has not had a very pleasing representation in my experience. This is better than some I've had, however.

Has a smooth yet fizzy touch. Medium body which is my only indication of the doppelbock style.

I don't like to be the naysayer on this one (considering other reviewers) but this must indeed be a specialized taste. I don't hate the beer overall but would not likely seek it out again. Had a hard time finishing my third of the shared 22oz bottle.

I am a huge fan of New Holland Brewery (creators of my favorite brew - Dragon's Milk) and have tried quite a few of their brews. I bought this beer on brand recognition alone, as I know that I typically don't dig the smoked style. True to form, I still can't get around the smoke. You can't win them all, but NHB still has at least one fan.

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Photo of sprucetip
2.32/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

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Photo of adamette
2.4/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

As served at the brewery on tap into a clean, clear pint glass during my visit there within the past week. Review from notes of course.

A Dark brown, translucent body with minimal head. 3.5

S Rye, dopplebock dankness, musty, farmhouse smell with some alcohol. 3.5

T Farmhouse taste like the smell of graxing sheep, not good. Grains, yeast conspire to make a very unwelcome taste. I have tasted other dopplebocks that share this unwelcome taste quality but this beer demonstrates it the most severe way. I really like New Holland as a brewery, evidenced by the visit I am making at this time, but this is not a good beer in my opinion. 1.5

M Full with grain tastes, ABV. 3.5

D Not good due to the taste that is not pleasing to me. 2.0

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.41/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
A- The dense brown body glows a slight brownish-red glow when held to the light. There is a thin tan head that fades to a ring quickly.
S- The full aroma of plastic band-aids dominates with some notes of dark brown malt coming through when the beer is warm
T- The taste of big band-aids has a hint of bacon without the sweetness to support it. There is a faint chocolate malt that comes through when my tongue gets used to the band-aid. The finish is watery with a roasted bitterness and faint chocolate note lingering after each sip.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat.
D- I like smoked beers that put some beer flavors with the smoke. This beer is all smoke and all band-aids with other flavors buried. It was tough to get through a full bottle.

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Photo of jmarsh123
2.49/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours a thick dark red/brown with a finger tan head that leaves sticky lacing down the glass.

Smells like bacon was my first thought. Really malty and smoky aroma. Desirable smells while cooking breakfast, but not for my beer.

Follows the nose. Tons of smokiness and a very malty backbone. Glad I split this, as there is no way I could take down the whole bottle. Not really my cup of tea, but so intense that any more than a few ounces is overpowering.

Nice and sticky. Good carbonation levels.

Not for me. The smoke flavor is way too intensified, making more than a few ounces impossible.

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Photo of lonestar4lunch
2.58/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2010 Vintage on the bottle. This one poured with very little head and there was just lacing that stuck around the edge. Aroma is smoky but subtle and there is something else in there that is almost metallic.

The taste of sweet malts with just a little smoke. The finish on this thing is nothing other than odd. After each sip I have flashbacks of the nitro gas mask and being told to breathe right before passing out for wisdom teeth surgery. It has that full mouth tingle and taste just about the same. Good news is there is a light almost bacon aftertaste that lingers on your lips and that I tasted about 3 mins later but other than that is a bit off.

Maybe this is served a bit to cold but no notes on the bottle as far as rec. temp. Just removed from fridge and let set for about 10 min before opening. There is nothing that really steps forward for me. Even after reading the label again I can't figure this out. Very interesting but not something I would like again.

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Photo of silentjay
2.69/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

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Photo of innersanctum
2.71/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a tough one. There was some real excitement when I bought this bottle with the opportunity of a lagger from a great regional brewer with SMOKE!

It poured out of the bottle like a real tight Bordeaux that needed its time, and patience, to open up. The first pour was cold as it was straight out of the fridge and it exhited a liquorish taste and pruny bouquet. In fairness, once it neared room temperature it was a bit more palatable. As an alternative, 3 Floyds smoked lagger (Sonti?) takes less of a club you over the head approach to a smoked lagger.

Mouthfeel was not very pleasent, but palatable as a sipper at room temperature. I mean no disrespect to the folks over at New Holland, as the 'Hatter is a class act.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a clear dark brown color that produced a minimal tan head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- Tons of hickory smoke in front of nuances like raisin, spice, and bread.

(T)- Again, tons of hickory smoke, but not much else. Kinda thin. Very sugary sweet too. Bread-like.

(M)- Good carbonation. Very one dimensional and straightforward. Smoky? yes, but not much else to offer you. Kinda bland and thin. Way too sweet.

(D)- Good smoke flavor & aroma, but where is the rest? Too sugary sweet. This would be great to cook with though. It says pairs well with pork; I would agree with that.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.79/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. Took a couple bites of my smoked turkey, then took about three hits of this beer then poured it down the drain. I should have cooked the turkey in it, now that would have been good. The beer was smokey, nearly black. No head and way to smokey flavored for me.

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Photo of brentk56
2.83/5  rDev -21.8%
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

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Photo of BMoney575
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sampled on 11-27-09

Pours a very plain-looking deep red color, with almost no head and absolutely no lacing.

Smell is extreme smokiness, and not much else. Very smoked meat, a cross between bacon and beef jerky.

Taste is bitter meat beer. Ultra-smoky, with a bitter boozy kick. The aftertaste is all barbecue sauce (Gordon is a fag).

Mouthfeel is extremely thin, carbonation is low.

Drinkability is poor, the flavors are odd and off-putting.

Overall, I'd give an A+ for trying something different, but this is just too much.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz Bomber. A clear dark blood red pour with a very small short lasting soapy head , some spotty lacing , light carbonation . Aroma smells like a campfire , lots of wood smoke , a light sweetness and a a bit of spice. Flavor is of artifical liquid smoke , bacon grease , dry wood and dusty grain , long salty ham like finish , slick mouthfeel with an oily texture, full body , not what I would call sessionable at all . I was really looking forward to trying this, Someone must like this somewhere right ? I love you guys at New Holland and love your other beers but this one is just not for me , sorry .

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Photo of mryuk
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark amber with a finger of head.

smell is very overpowering. smoke and specifically pork smoke. interesting but maybe more desirable on meat.

taste is very sweet with strong smoke flavors as well.

mouth is thick with low carbonation.

drinkability is not great. weird and bacony. i like my beer and bacon separate.

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Photo of gordavidson
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- A deep brown amber liquid that looks pretty thick and syrupy. It looks fairly lifeless, even after a good swirl. No head what-so-ever.

S- Smoke, rye, syrup, hickory? All I can really think of is barbecue sauce.

T- Remarkably sweet at first. Lots of smoke and caramel. This is barbecue sauce beer. It is not terrible... just remarkably different. I give it a 3.5 for trying.

M- Syrupy and smooth, but severely lacking in carbonation.

D- I give it credit for trying and the alcohol is well hidden. It is just something that does not belong in a bomber, or if it is- just plan on sharing with a friend. Would probably make a good marinade as well.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. 22 degrees Plato, 8.17% ABV, no date.

Thank you Sweemzander for sharing this bottle!

A - Poured a clear dark mahogany color with a low tan head. Good retention which eventually left a ring of foam and a layer.

S - A big hickory smoked nose with a tiny malt presence in the background. Almost 100% smoke aroma. Nothing else really comes through cause it's overpowered. Decent through, the smoke smells good. I just wish there was something to back it up.

T - More hickory smoke. A good malt backbone is present behind but almost indistinguishable from the smoke flavor. The smoke isn't overpowering the palate, its a good level, but it just dominates everything else besides a lingering sugary sweetness which is no surprise from New Holland.

M - Dry and smoky with a very sweet feel. Medium-bodied and plain. A light carbonation finish to it.

D - Not bad. The smoke flavor is actually at a really good level as it's flavorful and not overpowering the senses, it's just not matched in careful consideration by malts or rye. It's another sugary and fairly one-dimensional beer from New Holland. They suggest that it be paired with pork and I think that would be really good with this beer.

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Photo of MrOH
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bright ruby red

smoke dominates, jerky, hints of chocolate, concord grapes, banana, dried fruits, almond, cherry, white pepper, and SMOKE

SMOKE, grapes, quince, chocolate, bread, pepper, almond, maple syrum, SMOKE

sticky and oily with low carbonation

Could barely finish my half of the bottle.

Really complex once you get past the smoke, too bad its so heavy on the palate

From notes, 12-14-10

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Photo of russpowell
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
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

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Charkoota Rye from New Holland Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 240 ratings.
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