Rauch Porter
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
American Porter
3.8 | pDev: 10.79%
Sep 27, 2014
Mar 04, 2009
Very Good
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 2.5 by schmitter from Pennsylvania

Sep 27, 2014
Rated: 3 by gloveman from Pennsylvania

Mar 02, 2012
Rated: 4 by ShemRahBoo from New Jersey

Dec 23, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
Reviewed by Rifugium from North Dakota

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
First had: on tap at Victory, Downingtown, PA

Poured a dark cola color with amber highlights, and a thin, wispy beige head. Dark roasty malts, pumpernickel, and a slight smokey quality. More of the same in the taste, with dark roasted malts, pumpernickel bread, mild earthy hops, and just a hint of smoke...I didn't really get much on the smoke scale. Medium-bodied and pretty drinkable, though not overly amazing.
Sep 02, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On tap at The Dawson Street Pub in Philly.

Appearance: Black-brown body beneath a short head of thinly-creamy foam that receeds fairly shortly but leaves some nice lace behind.

Smell: Gently roasty, dark caramel, dark chocolate, and a mild touch of smoke.

Taste: Bready with a bit of burnt crust, gently roasty, smokey, nutty, cheesy like Gouda (well, smoked Gouda anyway!). It's not overly flavored (it's a porter and they've kept it where it should be), but there are some interesting flavors going on. A firm bitterness balances it, and it finishes dry with a dollop of dark chocolate that fades, leaving behind only the most subtle suggestion of smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkablility: Putting aside attraction or aversion to the smokiness, it's a solid, drinkable porter that's well rounded and balanced. That said, if you already enjoy porter, the smokiness just adds another component - although that's usually a fairly strong preference. But, keep in mind, it's not really that smokey, and even people who've turned away from smokey beers before might like this one.
Sep 26, 2009
Photo of scottbrew4u
Reviewed by scottbrew4u from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Tried this at the brewery for the first time and was excited they offered it.

A: Chestnut colored with good clarity. Decent tan head for a porter and it did not fizzle out to nothing.

S: You get the peaty smoke in there just like a scottish style ale but there is also a nuttiness to give that bitter edge. Some sweet molasses and toffee go with the heavily roasted malt that also ads to the bitter nose. Hops are pretty much under the radar.

T: Coffee,brown sugar, molasses, burnt malt and smoked malt flavors really go well together. For those that do not like smoky beers do not shy away from this. Hops are there just adding a bit of depth and some bitterness.

M: this one was creamy smooth and pretty full body for a porter which I like.

D: Ohh so drinkable without a heavy filling feel and not too much alcohol one could get into this and not be overwhelmed by the smokiness. Those who have never tried a smoke porter they should try this one as a great representation of the style. I could get a growler of this easily.
Sep 12, 2009
Photo of Seanibus
Reviewed by Seanibus from California

3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I was surprised and pleased to find this on tap at the brewery - it wasn't even listed on the menu board - I just happened to be sitting and the bar and I noticed a tiny, hand-scrawled label on one of the taps. Glad I looked closely.

Pours deep opaque brown with dense, thick white head that lingers and hangs. Aroma is deep smoke, like the inside of a smokehouse. Flavor is rich, chocolatey and smokey, like a rich mole sauce. Woody, carmelly, luscious. Mouthfeel is unexpectedly thin, leaving a smokey bitterness on the finish.

The nice thing about this beer is that the smoke is strong, but well balanced. I know people are afraid of smoky beers sometimes, but this one will make you a convert.
Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Jayli
Reviewed by Jayli from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Had on tap 7/18 at The Dirty Truth
This beer poured a deep dark clear brown, some ruby hues when held to the light. A 1/4 inch tan head sits on top and sticks around leaving tons of wispy lacing to it. Nose is dark roasted toasty malts with a strong smokey air to it, some mild earthy hops to it. Taste is of roasted malts intermingled with a smokiness that isn't overpowering at the beginning, bitter chocolate and some coffee hit the palate in the middle and finishes with a hint of smoke aftertaste to it. Lighter side of medium body with moderate to high carbonation, light feel on the tongue with a dry finish to it. I expected more girth to this beer, but the lighter mouthfeel definitely makes it go down more smoothly, nice beer that I could sit with for a good deal of time.
Jul 25, 2009
Photo of AltBock
Reviewed by AltBock from Ohio

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Victory's Rauch Porter was on tap at Victory around 6/20/2009, but I decided to take this one home with me in one of their 64 oz. growlers. I went and poured this beer into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass.

At first glance, it looks like this Smoked Porter pours a solid coal black color, but when held it into the light; it's more of a dark cola brown with a dark cranberry red center. As soon as the sweet liquid touched the glass, up raises a 2+ inch fluffy light tan colored head of foam. This creamy head of foam had really good retention that left behind a rocky tan skim of foam and quite a few streaks of lace around the glass. I should also mention that this skim of foam was so rocky that it looked like the surface of the moon was in my glass.

It was in the aroma where this beer put the Rauch into rauch Porter. The aroma was filled to the brim with smoked goodness. In the aroma, I got the scent of smoked malts, liquid smoke, and smoked meats like hickory smoked bacon. Who knew that a beer that smells like bacon would smell so damn good? As you can tell, I like my Smoked beers filled with smoky aromas and this one was truly smoky. A joy to smell!

I wish I could say that all the smoky aromas that were found in the aroma transferred over to the taste, but I can't. It was smoky, but it tasted like they watered it down a bit. It started off with a mild taste of smoked malts, but as soon as the liquid smoke and smoked meats showed up, in comes some spring water to stop them from reaching their smoky peak. It was still a good Smoked Porter, but it was sad to see that the smoky flavors were never allowed to reach their peak.

This was a light to medium bodied Porter with a good level of carbonation and a smoky aftertaste. This smoky aftertaste contained the taste of some lightly watered down smoked malts, a touch of liquid smoke, and just a subtle taste of smoked meats. This smoky aftertaste will linger on for a good couple of minutes until all the smoke is done smoking up all of your taste buds.

Victory does a great with their beers and this one is up there with the rest of them. I liked the color, I enjoyed the smell, but it's just too bad that the smoked flavors weren't allowed to reach their full smoky potential. Smoke'em if you got'em!
Jun 27, 2009
Photo of hopdog
Reviewed by hopdog from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
On tap at the Victory Brew Pub.

Poured a medium brown color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of some smokiness, roast, and ligthly earthy. Tastes of the same smokiness, nuttiness, lighter coffee, and lighter caramel.

The smoke was present but not overpowering.
Jun 22, 2009
Photo of SPRichard
Reviewed by SPRichard from New Jersey

3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
transparent cola colored with minimal carbonation...has a burgundy hue when held up to light...1/2 a finger of beige head which then settled down to a slim ring leaving thin lacing down the glass

smoke aroma up front...dark roasted malt character....earthy hops

smokey flavor isn't overpowering....dark roasted malt...hints of coffee and bitter chocolate...sweet caramel malt

carbonation pricks at your tongue after each mouthful...medium body

smoked beers aren't around too much in my area but the ones that i do come across i've enjoyed more and more....very nice representation and not overboard with the smoke which keeps the drinkability very high for me
Jun 20, 2009
Photo of ljbrisson
Reviewed by ljbrisson from Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5
Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a finger-wide, frothy white head that simmers down to a cap and leaves wispy lacing throughout the drink. Aroma is wood, blueberries, smoke, oak, earth. Mouthfeel is a little slick but light and appropriate for the style, with medium carbonation even two days after the growler fill. Taste is heavy with smoke, chocolate, a bit of vanilla, roasted malt character, and a little sourness at the end. Delicious. Drinkability is high; I could drink this all day.

Overall this is a fantastic brew. I may be biased towards smoked beers but this makes for a great pint. I chose this over Hop Wallop (also amazing) for my growler fill after having a taster of both.
Jun 09, 2009
Photo of Bierman9
Reviewed by Bierman9 from New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Had one last small glass of bier before getting to the 0.5l offerings of St Boisterous. Enjoyed on 06JUN09, at Victory, accompanied by Caitlin.

Color of this one was a clear, deep chestnut. Head was thin, and light tan in hue, and left nice lacework in its wake. Aroma is mild, with caramel present, plus a solid whiff of smoke. Passed fairly smoothly over the tongue, but was leaning a bit to the thinnish side of medium, unfortunately.

Tastes of caramel and toffee hit the palate. It's a dry bier, and the level of "rauchiness" is quite good. Easily noticeable without being "bacon in a glass". Did I say dry? Finish is very much so, like some powdered cocoa. Hopping level was quite low here, imo. Not a complex bier at all, but decently drinkable. That being said, there are many more here at the pub I'd opt for before another of this. Prosit!!

look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 3.5

Jun 09, 2009
Photo of EarlNobdy
Reviewed by EarlNobdy from New York

3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
Back during my year's leave of absence from college, I lived at home with my parents and worked six months in a barbecue joint. And every night on the way home from a double shift I'd stop off at the last gas station before home and buy a box of cigarettes and a six pack of beer. This was before the brew boom hit my small town, but miraculously this place kept Sam Adams Cream Stout in stock, and the only other option being advertised as "The Coldest Bud Tallboys in the South," I'll give you one guess which option I opted for.

This was in the summer, and I can remember those hot, close dog nights sitting out on my parents' porch with an ashtray and an opener, popping the top off one bottle after another and kicking back beneath starry skies. All around me were the night sounds of the Smoky Mountains and a fecund lush overgrowth of leaf and trees dripping with sweat in the still heat--the smoke from my cig seeming to pull up a chair and linger there on the porch with me, no breath to disturb it.

Twelve years ago, was this really all that life had to offer? Not that I was complaining, but Christ, I had once had such big plans and noble aspirations. Once I was going to be a writer and live utterly the Life of the Mind. Now, here I sat reeking of barbecue and liquid smoke, that day labor tang oozing from my pores as if my whole world could spin away in a single gray exhalation, washed down with the bitter contents of a brown bottle. Oh, Lord, the desperate longing of those days.

Yeah, that's it. That's what this beer is to me. The taste I was looking for.
Jun 06, 2009
Photo of brentk56
Reviewed by brentk56 from North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Appearance: Arrives with a chocolate color and a modest head that leaves a few traces of lace

Smell: Black bread, chocolate and a hint of smoke

Taste: Black bread with a bit of smoked almond flavor; after the swallow, the smoke becomes slightly more pronouced but still remains subtle; a hint of cocoa on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting hybrid that is easy to drink
May 28, 2009
Photo of mhatters
Reviewed by mhatters from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Served on-tap at Victory in a straight-sided pint glass

Pours an aged oak brown with some ruby notes, a very nice looking beer, slightly lighter
edder than a traditional porter. The head is off-white and fairly thick but dissipates quickly.

Lots of roast in the nose, malt - with smokiness as well.

The roasted malt dominates the flavor, the smokiness comes through in the finish. A bit sweet, rather than dry.

A good beer, the smoke is pronounced but not overwhelming.
May 17, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
Reviewed by ClockworkOrange from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
On tap at the Craft Ale House and served in a standard shaker glass. Appears a deep crimson / bronze color with about a finger of quickly fading light tan foam. Smells of nutty, lightly smoked malts, and medium roasted grains. Tastes as though it was steeped with a bunch of Blue Diamond smoked almonds, of which I'm a huge fan. But the smoke is rather light. This would be a great rauch for someone looking to get into the style. This porter has a medium body with ample carbonation. Worth seeking out if you dig smoked beers.
May 06, 2009
Photo of Chinon01
Reviewed by Chinon01 from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
Appearance - Cola appearance with solid but quickly dissapating head. Virtually no lacing.

Smell - Earth, chalky-minerality, meat, smoke amd warm toasty malts.

Taste - Similar to smell with delicate dark milk chocolate in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Thin but with lingering finish.

Drinkability - High. The smoke and other flavors are restrained enough to be highly drinkable while at the same time noticeable enough to be savored. Very well balanced. Would love to try this on cask.
May 02, 2009
Photo of sholland119
Reviewed by sholland119 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On tap at the brewpub.

A-A hazy maple brown with amber highlights at the bottom with a thin tan head and good lacing.

S-Nice moderate smoked malts blend well with roasted malts.

T-Starts off sweet with roasted malts kicking in and smokiness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied and clean.

D-Nice, especially for the style. I am not a huge fan of smoky beers but this one has a nice light touch.

Apr 20, 2009
Photo of Deuane
Reviewed by Deuane from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
A-Deep, dark, clear brown tinted copper with a thin light tan head that holds on strong and leaves spotty lace.

S-Light smokiness, touches of roasted malt and coffee. Not overly aromatic but certainly present.

T-Wood smoked malt up front with a healthy base of roasted malt. Light hints of coffee. This is quite nice, a lighter smoked beer good as an introductory rauch beer. While light the smokiness comes through nicely.

M-Medium body with good lingering woody notes and an earthy bitterness.

D-Solid, a nicely done light smoked porter. Nothing over the top but certainly flavourful and worthy of attention. I am a big smoked beer fan and this one, while mild, is not disappointing.
Apr 20, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
Reviewed by ffejherb from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
On tap at Victory on 4/19/09.

A - Clear, sparsely carbonated cola-colored body with deep reddish/burgundy hues and half a finger of beige head that settled into a slim ring of retention and left thin, wispy lacing around the glass.

S - Obvious smokey aroma with a dark roasted malt character. Earthy hop notes and a mild astringency round out the nose.

T - Tasty subtle to moderate smoked character with a touch of meatiness, but mostly dark roasted malt with a hint of coffee and bitter chocolate notes. Earthy bitter finish with leafy hop notes and a touch of sweet caramel malt.

M - Medium body with a prickly mouthfeel and watery/syrupy mix. Touch of earthy bitterness on the palate with a mild astringent character.

D - Seems as though I've developed a palate for smoked beers after enjoying Weyerbacher's Fireside. This is a nice representation of the style that is not over-the-top in its smoked flavor, thus keeping the drinkability of this ale rather high.
Apr 19, 2009
Photo of JoePoc17
Reviewed by JoePoc17 from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
I am a regular drinker at Victory and I would consider the porter style one of my favorites, but I feel like Victory dropped the ball on this brew. It smells and looks great, with a deep brown tone and potent nutty aroma. Unfortunately, the taste is not conducive to the smell and look. A lack of body creates an almost watered down feel.
Mar 11, 2009
Photo of Kegatron
Reviewed by Kegatron from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Served on tap at the VBC on 3/1/09. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark amber with a thin covering of creamy off-white head. Retains with some thick bunching around the edges that leaves a solid cascade of lacing that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The smoke and tang of the malts introduce themselves immediately in the aroma, but they don't smell overpowering and meld well with the addtional Porter notes of roast, nuts, and caramel, with a touch of floral, earthy hops in the back.

The smoke is much more subtle in the taste, with the Porter character coming out much more. Notes of roasted and caramel pop out the most, along with a firm hop bitterness in towards the backend of the profile. The smokey textures kind of come and go at times, naturally attaching itself mostly to the roasted malts and lingering slightly in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice, tight firmness to the carbonation. The type that I really like in my Porters, helping bring out the more roasted and bitter textures in the flavor.

While this could have probably used a touch more of the smoked malts in the flavor, I still found this to be tasty and very easy to drink. This was a solidly crafted take on the Porter style and I'm very glad to see Victory experimenting a bit more with it.
Mar 04, 2009
Rauch Porter from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 23 ratings