Scarlet Fire Rauchbier
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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Lager - Rauchbier
3.79 | pDev: 14.78%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 151 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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Brian_R05 from Pennsylvania

4.89/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer. I know this is one of those "take it or leave it" beers. I have brought growlers of it to parties and people don't take to the smokey aftertaste of a rauchbier. I would love to see Victory brew this more regularly. I haven't had it in two years and I check the taplist regularly. This is one of the better rauchbier said I have had.

May 15, 2016
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palma from New York

2.84/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at victory brewing company. Nice golden hue body. Good lacing
Nose is way too medicinal. Taste is peaty, bitter, and medicinal. Finishes enjoyable with a good smokey aftertaste. I know this is a rauchbier but what the heck is with the medicine flavor.

Aug 19, 2013
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Rifugium from North Dakota

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Victory

The more I go to Victory, the more I like their beer fresh and on tap from the source. This one really hit the spot, and paired great with my fish and chips.

Clearish medium amber pour into a 33cl glass, with a small white head that retained as a small ringlet. Biscuity malt aroma with a nice scent of a fresh burning campfire. A nice smoky malt flavor here that wasn't too potent or overdone, making this an easy-drinking rauchbier; lesser notes of toasted bread and maybe a faint whisper of leafy hops. It wasn't a full-blown smoked ham like some rauchbiers, but I think that's a good thing. I have to kind of be in the mood for a smoked beer, and even then, one is usually enough. This one was light and palatable enough for me to want to go back for more.

Mar 01, 2013
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Oakenator from Pennsylvania

4.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber-brown color with an eggshell colored head and good carbonation. Good lacing through consumption. Smells smokey yet some sweetness is present via the nose. Taste reveals some caramel or candy up front and then finishes with a long smokey flavor. A definite favorite from Victory.

Dec 31, 2012
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oneeyedhoolie from Maryland

2.82/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drinking this from a tap at Good-Ta-Go in Chambersburg, Pa. Beer has a decent color. The taste is definitely a bit smoky and reminds me of hot dog / grill water but not in a bad way by any means. We dont have much experience with smoked beers but this is unusual but drinkable.

Dec 08, 2012
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TheBrewo from New York

3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew was served from the tap at Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY. The beer arrived in a Middle Ages Brewing Company pint glass and glowed a dark copper coloring. It held a one and a half finger tannish head, showing good retention. This left only wisps of lacing as it went. The beer was otherwise fully transparent, with no sediment or haze. Carbonation appeared light. The nose was strong with Band-Aid phenols, bright smoke, light berry freshness, and fresh citric hops. The malts were lighter and pale, and equally crisp to the hops. With warmth came that classic holiday meat vibe of many smoke beers. Our first impression was that the taste was very creamy, and full enough to suit the expectations of the nose. The beer opened with a huge, smoky malt backbone that was apparent from the start. This came with phenolic spice and bite, with light metals and adjuncty grain. The middle peaked with light clove, more heavy smoke, and that continued phenolic punch of plastic. Light white sugars worked their way in, with a deeper, almost autumnal spice. The finish was metallic and biting, with more depth to the malts in the way of raw coffee or burnt chocolates. Clean wood of hickory and a cleansing orange hop citrus marked the final flavoring on the palate. The aftertaste breathed of charcoal and blackened chocolate nubs, with bittering and puckering citrus. The body was medium to surprisingly full, and the carbonation was high and bubbly. Each sip afforded great creaminess that was soft, yet robustly coating. There was equally as fulfilling slurp, smack, and pop to the finish. The carbon smoke bomb was soothing, making for a comforting, homey feel. The abv was appropriate, and the beer sipped nicely.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the flavoring through the aftertaste, and the creamy feel. The smoke was pervasive throughout, adding depth to the flavoring and the nose, but it avoided becoming overwhelming, which we appreciated. The beer remains light and highly drinkable, and is rather comforting, but it does, at times, border on cheapness.

Nov 01, 2012
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hopking311 from Florida

2.65/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours medium copper golden orange, quarter finger head dissapates to thin bubbly layer along top. light on the lacing.

Immediately smelling heavy smoke almost mesquite. smell lightens up as beer sits for 5 minutes.

lightly carbonated, light body

I dont know what to say about the taste.. kinda astringent, kinda like charcoal or lighter fluid.

May be spot on for the style..I dont know.. I can only say for smoked beer its not great in my opinion.. I have used liquid smoke in cooking and thats what I taste.. It gets a little better as it sits.. but still tough to palate.

Sep 30, 2011
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear amber with a thin head and a little lace.

S: mesquite smokey aroma. Fairly intense.

T: this one took until it was halfway gone to get used to it. The major player is a zesty mesquite and bbq flavor. Anything else is hard to detect.

M: moderate to high carbonation. Medium body.

Overall: still trying to get into these smoked beers. This one is good once you start to get through it.

Sep 30, 2011
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nickfl from Florida

4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - It pours with a small head of white foam on a reasonably clear, golden brown body. The head dissipates quickly but leaves nice lace.

S - Very smoky aroma, hickory and maybe some peat.

T - Sweet, bready malt up front with a little toast. Smoke comes out in the middle, though it isn't quite as strong as in the aroma. Finishes with more sweet bready malt and light hop character with the lingering smoke.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Boldly smoky but surprisingly drinkable. The malty, Octoberfest like base works well with the smoke and softens it's slightly medicinal character.

Sep 30, 2011
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Chico1985 from Massachusetts

3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Sierra Grille.

Translucent copper with a small white head that quickly becomes a ring, a bit of lacing left.

Smell is unadulterated smoky malts, grilled ham, reminds me of a ham sandwich right off the bat.

Initially smoky/hammy malts/campfire are huge, a little overwhelming. But they are toned down with time, not alot going on otherwise, some pale/caramel malt and some hop bitterness.

Alright mouthfeel, a little high on the carbonation, a bit stinging at times but decent.

Definitely hits the sweet spot if big-time smoke is what you're looking for, but lacks the depth of the Aecht Schlenkerla rauchbiers. A pint was plenty here, not bad though.

Aug 26, 2011
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Smakawhat from Maryland

3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pizza Paradiso Dupont DC into a tumbler. Part of DC beer week Victory tap takeover!

A light off tan head with hints of caramel color kind of creamy, sits on a very crystal clear dark copper amber body. More copper red in appearance as the beer finishes. Very clear for a rauchbier and light.

Classic beechwood smoke, and sweet smelling malts, but very sweet smelling.

Once again from the taste comes a powerful liquid smoke, and beechwood flavor. Light bodied and slightly wet texture though however.

Overall, it's a bit too sweet for my tastes and it's light bodied, but it sure does feel true to style, and would certainly substitute for Schlenkerla nicely.

Aug 17, 2011
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AgentZero from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark amber colored beer with tan head that left a little bit of lacing on the sides.

S - Smells of smoke and smokey ham. There is a bit of caramel smell in there with some bready malts, but the rauch in this is the focus.

T - Smoke, smokey malts, little bit of caramel malts. There's no doubt that the smoke in this is the focus, but it's not so strong that it's too strong. Not bad.

M - Fairly hefty with some pretty active carbonation.

O - Enjoyable beer, wouldn't mind having it again. The flavor is a good example of the style and it's pretty easy to get down.

Jul 21, 2011
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AdamBear from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-slightly cloudy amber with a good cream colored head

S-smells like a campfire. strong aroma. black pepper.

T-you when you go camping and all your clothes have that scent of camp fire? that's exactly what this beer tastes like. in and out that's what it tastes like with out any other accompanying flavors. its actually a very good and comforting taste.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a good crisp finish

O-i don't know what it is but i really like this. its just such a unique taste, and its very full flavored. i definitely wouldn't mind having a lot of this. in fact, i might have to come back to this bar soon so i can get some more.

Jul 17, 2011
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On a guest tap at Fatheads Cleveland. A little disapointing, as I like anything smoked, but still drinkable. I was hoping to growler this. Very smoke,and a little too much like inhaling at a public BBQ, not getting much else complexity. Average mouthfeel, served at correct temperature.

Jul 10, 2011
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dragonWhale from New York

4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled responsibly..
After having a couple tastes, I felt the only reasonable thing to do would be to storm off with an entire growler. Ooh, the rauch pleasure! I twist the cap and pour into my tulip. The soft amber smacks the glass with some sexy. It's pretty clear, and the 2 finger head recedes after several minutes to a bit of a veneer floating above the liquid, swirling.
The whiff brings back fond memories of Wonderland, hauling ridiculous items to obscure places, bacon in the morning at a campsite, clothes still stinging with the rage of the fire the night before, laughter, and the best medicine. Friends and countrymen. The smokiness is strong, handsome. A little malt in the background, Munich, maybe?
It is delicious, starts with a burst of sweet toasty malt then fades into the strong but not overpowering smokiness that lingers like the memory of bacon on an otherwise dastardly morning. It just stays, telling a story. Medium bodied, a damn fine lager. I hope to see this around NY a bit more often.

May 21, 2011
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JizackFH from New York

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap the other day in Brooklyn, NY.

Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a nice dark amber color, that has some red tints around the edges. It has a nice 2-finger light tan head on it. The head has decent retention, and leaves behind some nice lacing on the glass.

S - It smells very smokey. Its like campfire, smoked sausage, ham, and bacon. There is a toasted maltiness to it as well, and not much hop action at all.

T - There is a very strong smokiness up front. It is like campfire and an assortment of smoked meats, mostly bacon. There is some sweet toasted malt in the background. The finish leaves a lingering smokiness in the mouth.

M - This has good creamy carbonation, and the body is a little bit lighter than I would have liked. There is a strong smokiness that sticks to the mouth, and other than that it goes down very smooth.

O - I think this has good drinkability. I can see how a lot of people would not like this style of beer if you weren't expecting the smokiness, but I for one really enjoy it. Overall, I thought this was a really nice rauchbier, and I hop I get a chance to drink it again. Give it a shot if you come across it.

May 16, 2011
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scarlet Fire

Pours a clear copper, nice sized foam and lace stickage. Aroma of smoke cured meats and beechwood smoked malt. Follows through in the taste with a nice smoked profile, bbq meats, ham and charcoal. Beefy. Tasty. Medium bodied feel, good carbonation level. Overall, a tasty rauch but not for the faint palate.

Apr 29, 2011
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FickleBeast from New Jersey

3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

.3 liter on tap at the Victory Brewpub. Reviewed from notes.

Arrives a nice copper color with one finger of foam. Aroma is smoky, but not overpowering. Certainly not indicative of what is about to come...

There is a very strong smoke flavor - borderline overwhelming. The smoke overpowers any sweetness, all I taste is an ashy flavor. Honestly, I don't really get the appeal of rauchbiers...

Apr 16, 2011
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean yellow-ish color with a small off white head. In the aroma, bacon and smoke, with hints of a lager in there somewhere. In the taste, beef jerky and smoked pork. A smooth and light bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cabin fire and smoked pork kind of aftertaste. Still a lager but nice smoke, pretty damn nice.

Apr 05, 2011
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beerfishkitedog from Massachusetts

2.72/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is a beer with a real smoky taste and smell. The color was orange-gold, with a light foamy head. I feel it would be better consumed along with food (which I didn't have at the time), in order to balance the strong flavors. Probably would be good with BBQ, smoked salmon, or strong cheese. I could barely finish one pint and did not enjoy it. I'll always remember what a Rauchbier is after this pour.

Mar 16, 2011
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nezelrac from New York

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a style that I drink with any regularity, but I have enjoyed them in the past. This seemed to be a good example from a brewery that has my respect. I would have liked a little more complexity, but I am not that familiar with the style. That being said...

A - beautiful rusty amber with a white head that quickly vanishes

S - smoky, almost bacon-like, with clean sweet malt in the background

T - powerfully smoky with hints of malt peeking through - essentially one dimensional, but the malt notes do add some interest

M - taut frame of smoked malt and clean, sweet lager malt

D - eminently drinkable, but the smoke builds up on the palate - a sipper, for sure

Nov 19, 2010
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ToAzwethinkweizm from Maryland

2.23/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Reviewed on 6 November 2010, on tap at Tap at Mallet in Rochester, NY for the "Victory Total Tap Takeover."

I quickly looked his beer up on my phone and it appeared to be either new or on tap only. I sampled one ounce of this and was drinking liquid smoke. I could not drink a full one. My friend is bold and orders a tall goblet of Scarlet Fire and can't finish one on his own. so I help him out AND review it. Color is copper-orange, slighty cloudy, and the head and lacing are like that of wine, so none. Aroma: smoke. I can't smell anything but smoke, like jerky. The taste is only that of smoked malt. This beer is way overdone on smoked malt and needs to go back to formula. Sorry, Victory.

Nov 08, 2010
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metter98 from New York

3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a thin off-white head. No carbonation is visible in the form of rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of smoke in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the overall flavor is very smoky, but it isn't too heavy.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink because the smoky aroma and taste is not overpowering.

Nov 04, 2010
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glid02 from Georgia

4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Varga in Philadelphia.

Pours a clear amber color with a half-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of meaty smokiness.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by solid amounts of smoked malt flavors. Midway through the sip the smoked malt fades out just a bit and the flavor profile sweetens. The faint smokiness carries through to a moderately bitter ending where it lingers on the palate after the sip.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this wasn't as smooth as some of the better-known smoked beers but I still enjoyed it. Worth a shot.

Oct 23, 2010
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Thorpe429 from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a deep brown with a tan head and a bit of lacing. Nose brings a good dose of smoke and a little bit of earth. Taste is smoky but not overly so. Not a huge amount of other flavors and lacking in the leafy character of many beers of the style. Feel is fairly light and a bit dry. Drinks really well with great body and a not overpowering level of smoke.

Oct 14, 2010
Scarlet Fire Rauchbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 151 ratings