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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Ratings: 240 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of orsulacp
4.59/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark brown, it is clear but you have to look close because it is so dark with a tan head. The smell is awesome, a spicy smoky malt, really smoky, really malty with a peppery note. This is the best smelling beer I have ever had, hands down. The taste is more of the same, I wish I had a smoked pork plate to go with this, peppery spice, caramel malt, and a hint of ethanol. The body is thick and heavy, but is it very drinkable becasue is tastes so good. This is an exceptional beer.

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Photo of Soccerballzz3
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is initially what lead me to this beer. It has a picture of a flynig pig on the front! That is kind of crazy and the simplicity of the art work really makes it stand out. I had also not seen a "smoked doublebock" before and the simple lettering on the front really made it stand out.

Smell - You get a great smell of smoked woodchips mixed in with minor beer tints and a slight hint of the cherry wood used in the smoking. Really a great aroma.

Taste - You are immediately greeted by a BOLD smoky flavoring. As if the smoke from a great BBQ were rolling in your mouth. You get the immediate smoky flavor followed by a malty, slightly bitter, but not overly intrusive flavoring at the back end.

Mouthfeel - Smooth all the way through. The finish leaves a great smokey taste in the mouth, as if you had just had a great BBQ meal.

Drinkability - I really enjoy a great outdoor cooking session and this beer would be good anytime. It would go exceptionally with any sort of meat meal, especially a cook out or a BBQ. I would enjoy drinking this leisurely just to enjoy the great taste.

Overall, phenomenal smoked beer. The first smoked beer I have tried and certainly not the last. Great job New Holland!

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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 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 bheilman
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really nice rich dark color with a decent head. The smell is nice also with some malt and a strong roast presence. Taste is great for those that love smoke beers (I believe the style is rauchbier). I don't love them. This is good, but not great. I am about to bite into some pulled pork and the bottle suggests this goes great with pork, so I'm looking forward to that. The aftertaste is nice and roasty. Not sure I like that in an aftertaste though. I prefer the bitter pale ale aftertaste. Give it a try, but not my favorite. Not sure I taste much doppelbock here, but the smoke taste is bound to go better with one of these styles rather than something lighter.

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Photo of mactrail
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer that leaves you breathless-- or speechless.

Beautiful ruby mahogany color, clear, but little head. The aroma is a mystery. Iodine with Concord grape juice and a touch of that smokin' bone you get at the dentist when you haven't been flossing enough. Flavor is so complex and strange, but all I can think of is carrot juice with a dollop of barbecue sauce. No, it's A-1 Steak Sauce with cherry cider. And a shot of cheap rum. Rather sweet and a hard candy flavor like artificial orange. Hops? What for?

I can't even imagine what they did to create so much bizarre flavor. Weird beer lover, rejoice. Put away a couple of bottles for when one of your wife's blow-hard relatives stops by.

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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 zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark, dark brown color with a small, light brown head of foam. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - Campfire aroma with notes of wood and smoked meats.

T - Smoke flavor is less strong than the aroma. Good caramel maltiness that you'd expect in a dopplebock.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a somewhat dry finish.

D - This is an interesting brew. Light on the smoke flavor with a nice caramel presence.

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Photo of dman1969
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark red, mahgoany more so. Tan head that disappeared almost immediately.
S: Smoke and charcoal overpowered. Smelled like lighting the grill.
T: Again, smoke was the predominant flavor, giving out some as it warmed in the glass.
M: Medium, low carbination but that was fine. Alcohol covered but you could see it hanging to the glass.
D: It was a little to smokey for my taste, but as it warmed up, it reminded me more of a barleywine.
Overall, I was impressed. I am not much on smoked beers, but it grew on me. I would buy this again.

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Photo of Pencible
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: This poured a clear black cherry with quickly dissipating tan head.
S: It smelled like smoke and bacon and charcoal, with some copper hops and a bit of molasses and coffee.
T: It tasted like tons of smoke, with some dark roasted coffee and a bit of copper hops, toffee, and more smoke. It had a relatively smooth smoky aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with a little carbonation. Not bad, but not great.
D: This beer was overpowered by the smoke character, ruining an otherwise very good beer. Moderation and balance could really benefit this, but instead the rye wasn't even discernible. The body was alright, and the alcohol was well hidden. But the beer still wasn't easy to drink because it was just overly smoky.

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Photo of Beejay
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark red in the glass with a very nice tan head.

S: Big smoke flavor right off the bat. Sweet cherry wood, and bbq with a bit of malt in the finish.

T: Nice and smoky throughout. Some strong malts, but they are a covered up by the smoke. There is a lovely clean finish.

M: Fairly thick, the carbonation seems a little low, but I think it works with the style.

D: By far one of the best beers I have had with cherry smoked malt. Sometimes they become a little too cloying, but this one is strong, and beautiful. Well crafted, clean and delicious.

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Photo of billab914
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark brown, cola like color. It started with a thin tan head but it quickly retreated and remained around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a lot of earthy smoke to it. It's enough to know that this is going to be one smoky beer. A bit of the malty, caramel, dark fruit, doppelbock characteristics come through as well and some sweetness.

The smoke flavor really comes through throughout the flavor. It adds a strong earthy, burnt, camp fire like flavor to it. A little bit of the malty, caramel flavors come through to add some sweetness. I'm getting some cherry fruitiness to it as well. I'd like to think it's the cherry wood coming through but it's probably more of the malts. The rye seems to come through in the finish giving it a bit of a spicy, breadiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate, to low. Drinkability is good, I really liked the smoky flavors to it. It's definitely a smoke centered beer and probably fits more in the rauchbier category. I really liked the malty and fruit flavors this had as well, and they made a great base for the smoke. Everything came together very nicely and made for a very flavorful beer overall. If you don't like smoked beers though, this one isn't for you.

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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 Proteus93
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was intrigued by the idea of a smoked doppelbock, and considering I tend to enjoy both rauchs and bocks, it seemed within reason that this would be a good buy.

A: Pours a deep brown with some rusty red highlights. I wasn't able to get much head out of it, in contrast to others here, though the Celebrator glass it was poured into may have gone through the wash and been subjected to a drying solution.

S: The aroma is a strong highlight, I find. Sweet caramel and hints of toffee with just enough smoke to be certainly noticed, but not to mask out the other aromas that were to be taken in as well.

T: Flavour follows rather closely behind the aroma, really... sweet and smoky. There are some chocolaty flavours that might be just a little out of place, but otherwise, the balance here is pretty nice. I do not really pick up on rye as much as I could, but that doesn't really play into the experience, because it's quite pleasant either way... I don't think a little more rye spiciness would have hurt, though! The bottle suggests pairing it with "all things pork," and I can honestly see this alongside a tangy barbecue on a toasted roll. Great, now I'm hungry.

M + D: Mouthfeel is a little fuller, though still rather smooth and semi-creamy. Carbonation is moderate, and suitable for the style. I think New Holland has put out a quality offering with this one, and I look forward to returning to it from time to time... especially when the fall chill starts to settle in!

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Photo of Tone
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown. 1/3 inch head of an pale tan color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong smoke, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, hint of hops, and slight yeast. Fits the style of a Doppelbock. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong smoke, sweet malt, roasted malt, slight yeast, and slight hops. Overall, the smoke dominates; more reminiscent of a rauchbier, than a doppelbock.

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Photo of Gyle41386
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a mug. Can't say I've tried a smoked doppelbock lager before.

The pour is a dark reddish-brown, with about half a finger of creamy light tan foam. Retention is pretty good, but there's not much stickage.

Aroma is sweet and smoky. Lots of caramel, brown sugar, and molasses...and smoke. It's got that smoked meat/bacon kind of vibe to it, but it's not overwhelming. Sadly, I'm not smelling a whole lot of spicy rye.

The flavor follows, though the rye stands out in the finish. Good sweet and smoky balance. Any time I read "smoked" in any beer's description, I begin to worry, as I'm not at all a fan of hugely smoky beers. Charkoota Rye has what seems to be the perfect amount of smoke - enough to give you the woody, smoky, meaty flavor without the char. Little dryness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Not much going on the carbonation department, which makes for a very slick, smooth body. Plenty of heft, and no real noticeable alcohol. Good lasting flavor.

All in all, a very interesting drinking experience from New Holland. An enjoyable brew for sure, but a bomber is probably more than enough.

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Photo of doppelbockrob
4.8/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown appearance that is standard of a good doppelbock. Little head that dissipated rather quickly.

The aroma of the smoky malt was rather pungent and I could not smell much else. It smelled delightful.

The taste was wonderful. First, a rush of roasted malts, followed by toffee, a very subtle taste of hops and a smooth smoky finish.
Not too smoky and rather balanced.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous garnet red with topaz accents. An increasingly high-altitude pour produced a thick slice of sand colored suds that doesn't have much interesting surface topography and doesn't leave much lace. Oh well, the color of the beer more than makes up for it.

Since the brewery calls this offering a Smoked Doppelbock Lager, then that's what it is. On the other hand, there's easily enough pungent smokiness for rauchbier to be a style consideration. An underlying dark maltiness is appreciated as well.

To state the obvious, Charkoota Rye is good beer if you enjoy doppelbocks, smoked malt and rye malt. I'm not always 100% thrilled with the first, but those last two... definitely onboard. The beer benefits by being on the sweet side, while stopping well short of cloying.

Specifics include darkest caramel, pumpernickel toast, a dollop of molasses, and an ideal amount of sweet wood smoke. I'm reminded of Islay Scotch, but it's probably the fact that that spirit contains peat-smoked barley. A certain earthy tanginess brings the comparison home to an even greater extent.

NHBC did a commendable job using cherry wood smoke as an accent (a heavy accent) rather than making it the 800 lb. gorilla of the flavor profile. This is a well put together large lager that hides all (or at least most) evidence of its ABV on the taste buds. The central nervous system is another matter.

Even though there isn't much carbonation, the mouthfeel easily keeps pace. It's silky smooth and has a light lip stickiness that is enjoyable to anyone who loves bigger beer.

In lesser hands, a smoked rye doppelbock with rye malt might have been a mess. New Holland has the chops to carry it off and has a winner with this multi-faceted lager. If they haven't already, the brewery needs to give serious consideration to seasonal release. Crisp afternoons, burning autumn leaves, college football games... and a bomber of Charkoota Rye.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: dark brown, fluffy haad, nice lacing

smell: loads of smoke, BBQ, bacon aroma

taste: nice, not smoke dominant. it's pungent, but balanced with the beer.

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: decent selection. would try again, probably one of the best smoked beers I have had.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pouts a deep brown, almost black color with a thin tan head that retains OK. The aroma has a nice bacon scent upfront, along with some rye, dark fruits, caramel and licorice, soy sauce and a bit of alcohol. The taste has a more subdued smoke character than the aroma, along with some caramel and toffee sweetness, some fig and date, licorice, a rye sharpness and a little soy sauce. The mouthfeel is a little ligher than expected but no unpleasant, and drinkability is good for a high alcohol smoked beer. Pretty solid smoked beer here, nothing mind blowing but worth a purchase.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very sweet, malty, and smokey beer that evokes the pairing of great Bar-B-Que.

The pour brings a rustic brown color with moderate haze, great lightly tanned head formatioh, great lacing and retention. This is one handsome looking beer.

Aromas of smoke and molassas hit the nose immediately. Rich malt sweetness allows for deep caramels, toast, molassas, and brown sugars to thrive in flavor and smell. Rye grains begin with a richly robust malt character and a sharp spiciness leading directly to the hop additions. At mid-palate, the malts waiver just a bit allowing for the spicy rye to linger along with the citrucy and piney hop flavors and bitterness. You don't see that in many Dopplebocks.

The beer starts off sweet, and remains sweet because of the low hop character. Residual sweetness lingers on the mouth surfaces and keeps the beer from the malty-drying finish that classic Dopplebocks do. Still, a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of SykDoc
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a pleasant brown color that looks ruby when held to the light. A 1/8 inch tan head forms and reduces quickly to a uniquely active lacing around the edges with carbonation readiliy visible.

The aroma is primarily a caramel malt sweetness combined with smoke. Not complex, but good.

The taste is a quick sweetness followed immediately by smoky goodness that slowly fades to another caramel malt sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. The carbonation is a bit high and may detract slightly. It seems to go down cleanly and leaves a uniquely smoky aftertaste, which almost has a texture.

Overall, this beer is definitely drinkable but the flavor and smokiness may be too much for the palate if I had more than 1. Definitely worth getting again for a good change of pace.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark, brownish-red with a cream colored head. The aroma is smoky and smells somewhat like burnt plastic. The flavor is roasted malt, meaty BBQ smoke and some chocolate. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. An interesting doppelbock that I hope to try again.

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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 brewdlyhooked13
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a dark amber, burgundy hues in the glass. A thin, light mocha head on top, any lacing slides down the glass.

Aroma - huge smoky nose, wow. Maybe a hint of malt, good luck finding it with any regularity though. Rauchbier intensity smoke here.

Taste - sweet, malty grain has more impact here than on the nose. Still, this is very smoky stuff, a definite Liquid Smoke angle going on. A tasty woodiness in there too. Swallow and aftertaste are clean.

Mouthfeel - smooth, evenly carbonated, solid body for a doppel.

Drinkability - a definite rauch-doppel hybrid. Good beer, but limited appeal despite. I would like to try this with some smoked pulled pork or even brisket.

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