Charkoota Rye | New Holland Brewing Company

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Charkoota RyeCharkoota Rye
240 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 240 |  Reviews: 132
Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock glass.

Pours a deep, mostly clear dark brown, with ruby tints evident when light is present. The soapy head dissipates rather quickly, leaving a weak bit of lacing. The nose showcases a battle between smokiness and sweetness (sorta syrupy). The taste shows that smokiness has the upper hand, giving a campfire-side impression for the tongue. That sweetness, though, remains in the back, keeping that initial conflict alive on the tongue. The moderate body slickly passes through the body, allowing for a fairly high drinkability (especially if, if you're like me, you enjoy a good smoky beer).

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.06/5  rDev -13.8%
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 prototypic
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Charkoota Rye is a cherry stained brown color. It's mostly clear and has a nice burgundy tint with backlighting. A modest off-white head covers the top. It doesn't quite rise to a finger deep and disappears very quickly. Lacing was very light. Not bad, but not great.

The nose is rather weak and uninspiring. It's simply not very aromatic. There's a bit of a light smoky scent that's noted throughout. It smells nice and malty. I was expecting it to have a spicy edge, but I'm not getting that. I'm hopeful that rye has a stronger impact on the flavor. Alcohol is blended well and isn't noticeable. Overall, it smells very average. Perhaps more strength would help.

The flavor is better than the nose suggests. It has a nice, sweet malty base. There is a slight sugary flavor. The smoked flavor is the driving force of the flavor. It complements the malts nicely. A slight spicy flavor is present from the rye. It's somewhat subtle, and frankly, doesn't work very well with the smoked flavor. They don't gel well together. It tastes a little yeasty on the tail. Alcohol never is much of a factor. It's mildly noticeable in flavor on the finish. It's above average, but a far cry from great.

Charkoota Rye has a light medium body. It's too light and never has a smooth or plush feel to it. Carbonation is very light. I wouldn't complain if a few more bubbles were present. Pretty average. Drinkability is rather average, as well. The flavor's alright, but doesn't do much for me. I'll probably finish the bomber, but I wouldn't pick up another.

New Holland is one brewery that's been hit and miss for me. Charkoota Rye belongs with the latter. The nose is weak, the flavor's jumbled and never comes together, and it's too thin. Despite all that, it's still not terrible beer. It's just not very good either. If you're big into smoke flavored beers, then this may be for you. Otherwise, take a pass.

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Photo of Jameyd33
4.47/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown in color; very appealing. Smell is amazing: distinct smoke smells with a hint of bacon. Tastes great. Smoke flavor, subtle chocolate. I love Rye. This wouldbe great with a burger, steak, chicken, anything off the grill. Would definitely get more of this and other brews.

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Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep caramel red. Very nice complex color. Very little head, no retention, and no lacing. But I really like the color.

Big, smoky nose. Molasses, caramel, brown sugar, and smokehouse bacon are all there. Very nice, if you are a smoke fan.

Tad sweet, even sugary, on the hit. Smoke quickly takes over and dominates the rest of the way through. Nice dry hops creep into the finish, but the sweetness from the molasses and smoke overpower their attempt at bitterness. Again, if you like smoke then this is a good presentation.

Feel is actually a tad thin for all of the flavors that accompany this drink. Slightly syrupy at times. Surprisingly easy to drink, for 8%, for this smoke-fiend.

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Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Love rye, love New Holland, so this one sounds like a winner before the cap is popped...

Pours out a tame, almost headless burgundy with some great highlights around the edges. The lack of head is clearly not due to missing carbonation, which is readily in evidence bubbling up continuously through the brew. Smell is wild, the sweet malts of the doppel clashing mightily with the smooth rye, with a clear piggy tone underneath.

Charkoota is one messed up doppelbock, & I mean that kindly. In this corner we have the smoked malts, which gain the upper hand upon the first sip. Subsequent shots are necessary to discern anything else, but the second reveals that the other malts are offsetting the smokiness to some degree, the sweetness tamping it down nicely. The rye is a distant player, present but scarcely accounted for.

Drinkability is the weakest point of the brew, because really, I can't think of many folks that would want much of a smoky doppelbock. I mean, it's good, & I'm enjoying it, but half the bomber will be plenty, thank you.

Very good, very odd, very original. This was an experiment that could have gone horribly wrong, but the balance here is good & leaves one wondering whether this is a smoked doppelbock or doppelbock with a bit of smoke. Nicely done.

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Photo of meatyard
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a clear, dark, ruby/brown with a small whitish head that falls quickly to a cover, that eventually vanishes, leaving no lacing. It's amply carbonated though.
The smell is BBQ smoked, that's about all.
The taste is smoky and malty, in the finish there is a taste thay may be some rye. There is a bit of sweetness but not overly so.
Mouthfeel seems light at first sip but rounds out more in the medium range. Carbonation level stays actively high throughout the bottle.
Drinkability is like a lot of strong or unusual beers in that 1 bottle, this at 22 oz., is plenty. I think it hid the ABV level quite nicely.

This DB doesn't conform all that exactly to style, yet is interesting as a smoked DB, especially if smoky beers interest you which they do me. I think it would suit many as a dinner pairing with particular foods more than a straight up drinking beer.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown/ruby slightly translucent with a very thin lacing and no head. Nose is so smoke with hints of bacon.

Taste is smooth and crisp... then bam! Smoked bacon all over your palate! Really cool beer and if you like bacon, you'll love it!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.41/5  rDev -32.1%
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 gordavidson
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
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 BMoney575
3.05/5  rDev -14.1%
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 sweemzander
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
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 techfed87
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came from a 22 oz. bottle from the local specialty store. Poured into an English style pint glass. Poured a very dark brown/amber red. A thin level of head came up for a few seconds, then dissipated quickly thereafter. With no head, almost impossible to gather a real scent from it.

Has a very full body flavor to it, can definitely pick up on big roast flavors with the first sip. Charcoally in a very nice way. Has a pretty nice body below the major flavor.

Rye is all over the body of the beer, however what makes it special is what they did with that rye. Compared to other Rye beers that are out on the market. This gives a twist to the style that makes it all worth while.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.12/5  rDev -12.1%
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 Bighuge
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear dark cherrywood appearance. Bubbly beige head caps it off. Loods very inviting...Aroma is quite nice. Just what I was malt mixed with some thick smoke. Smoke and malt enter the mouth side by side with a lot of authority. They work together quite nicely. The malts are fairly rich. The smokiness is really the main player. The rye doesn't contribute much to the flavor in my opinion. The mouthfeel is nice and round. Full body. Low carbonation, which is good. Quality stuff here. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of tipnsip
2.01/5  rDev -43.4%
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 Mcculler
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a beautiful, bubbly, creamy head that quickly dissipates over an opaque, maroon body with ruby highlights. Little to no lacing.

Smells of cold smoke, smoked, dried (porcini?) mushrooms, smoked meat.

Tastes the same - with some dark fruits - cherry, plumb for instance - peeking out. Very dry, herbal, dried mushroomy finish.

Good mouthfeel, a little sweet and heavy, not cloying though, and with just enough carbonation to clean off the malt, though this is more of a sipping beer.

This beer has very little drinkability - a bomber is far too much without food or friends :(

I love this beer - one of the strangest, more interesting I've had recently. I think I agree with the reviewers who found this like a camping trip. Maybe better with friends. But its not one to finish the evening with, alone on a Saturday night.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.45/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bomber(no freshness or expiration date evident) into a standard pint glass
Dark ruby/amber in color, with a thin, quickly dissapating head of foam
Aroma-Malt, some subtle smokiness
Taste-Sweet BBQ ,spicy rye,a tingly, smoky, warming finish-Almost porter-like in mouthfeel.
Complex flavor cries out for food pairing. Tangy, sweet-hot BBQ ribs would be a great match.
A must try for smoke-beer lovers, and certainly worth a try for a unique taste experience

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.4/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a tulip glass, a translucent black (huh?) with some amber highlights, a thin dusting of head, no lace to speak of.

Smells of sweet smoke, like caramelized onion or smoked salmon, dark caramel flavors, burnt marshmellow. Love the smell.

Taste follows through with the smells, thick with smoky sweetness. Like taking some bacon & maple syrup, throwing them in a blender & adding some Scotch (sans the disgusting texture that would produce). Some dark fruits there as well, just a little though.

The mouthfeel is smooth & cool, not hot despite the higher ABV, a little on the thick side but not syrupy.

Drinkability = delicious. There's a lot of flavor to this, & I didn't catch much of a buzz from it. Smoked beers are a rarity for me, & I really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Shumista
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my beer mug.

A- Charkoota Rye pours a dark reddish brown with a very small off white head despite a fairly aggressive pour.
S- Honestly at first I was a bit turned off by the smell, but the more I adjusted to it, the better it became. There is burnt brown sugar, a charred smell, smoke and an earthy element in the aroma. Very intriguing, it reminds me of Rogue's Chipotle Ale without the chipotle.
T- Hmmm, very different. Charred and smoky flavor along with burnt brown sugar from the aroma. Tastes like funky bacon.
M- Medium to full bodied, thick and kind of chewy.
D- Pretty average, a bomber would be good to split during dinner.

I really wish I would have had the patience to save this until I had something good for dinner to pair it with. Pairing this one with any kind of homecooked comfort food seems like it would work nicely.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice chestnut color. Very clean looking. Not a lot of carbonation evident. Huge smoke aroma up front-in fact that's all there is here. Somewhat of a wet canvas odor. Reminds me of a boy scout camping trip in a glass! While the odor dominates, the flavor is much of the same-a deep and woodsy smoke taste. Very malty but the smoke tends to dominate even that. Lingering, somewhat fruity sweetness. Hops are nowhere to be found. While nowhere near balanced it seems to work. I can imagine this with a pulled pork sandwich or some juicy ribs. Body is appropriate for style. While I almost want to dis this for being overbearing smoke wise I cannot. To hell with any sort of style. The blend of smoke and somewhat sweet woodsy flavor, along with a damp mustiness is really well done. It is like camping in your living room without your eyes burning. I love it in it's own weird way.

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Photo of CRichardsMN
2.06/5  rDev -42%
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 tigg924
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: ruby brownish in color, small head, clear

Smell: toasted malt and a touch of smoke

Taste: toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, smoke in the middle, and touch of rye towards the end.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium/light bodied, minimal carbonation, sweet

Drinkability: I like all of the different flavor combos in this unusually complex beer. The alcohol is well hidden. Most of the flavors are subtle and do not hit right away. This is a beer to savor and one I will look for again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark ruby color with a quick beige head and pretty good bubbling too. The aroma is of heavy smoke, meat, campfire, and some smoked apricots. The taste is super smokey of charred meet up front. The a more woody iddle with some carameled candy and camfire. The finish is of faint caramelized apricots and cherries, hint of burnt sugar and smoked oak barrels. The palate is smokey, rich and warm, but not hot or boozey. Don't really pick up any rye notes with this RYE dopplebock, bu its still pretty good.

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Photo of botham
4.07/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Sugar Maple in Milwaukee. Pours a deep chocolate brown with a single finger of off white head that has moderate retention and leaves no lacings.

Aroma is of light smoke and a subtle malty base. Almost a brown ale with a smokey front. Nicely composed in the nose, with a smoked character that is most prevalent, but does not take away from an existing malt character. Very well proportioned in the nose.

Taste is more of the same with a smokey front end and a very light malt and roasted note in the middle, along with a finish of smooth smoke that leaves the palate wanting more.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and mildly sticky with a solid smoked quality that carries through to the aftertaste.

Drinkability is great. For a smoked beer, this is a solid example. The smoke is the focus but it is not overdone. Cheers!

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Charkoota Rye from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 240 ratings