Scarlet Fire Rauchbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
66 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by goindownsouth on 04-19-2003

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 151
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
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.

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Photo of gabeerfan
2.37/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a rusty, dark amber with a white head that completely disappeared. No lacing.
Smelled of smoked summer sausage and gouda cheese. No hops detected.
Tasted like smoked summer sausage and gouda cheese. No real complexity.
Oily mouthfeel with good carbonation. The smokiness really lingers though.
I had a hard time finishing one of these, so I don't find this very drinkable.
I love BBQ (real BBQ, slow smoked pork), but had a real hard time with this beer. Too smoky, no complexity. If you like smoked beers, you will like this one. But, I'm not liking smoked beers, so I don't like this one.

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Photo of ljbrisson
2.54/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip from a growler obtained yesterday and kept in the fridge. Pours a dark caramel red/amber with a finger-width head with substantial retention. Aroma is caramel, toffee, some bready malt and a suggestion of smokiness from the smoked malt. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation, not too heavy, in anticipation of watching some AFC/NFC championship football. The taste, however, is a different story. Taste is caramel, toffee, whole-grain bread, toast, light charcoal, and a light astringent smokiness. I expected a dark, roasty smokiness from this beer, but the smoke is merely a background note. No hop presence to speak of. Overall this beer is not one I would try again. I saw "smoked malt" on the Victory brewpub menu, and after trying Stone's smoked porter, I have to try any smoked beer. Next time I will be more discerning.

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Photo of corby112
2.55/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving type: on tap at Grey Lodge, Philadelphia, PA

Pours a clear golden amber color with thin white head. Aroma was kind of week, not as smokey as I would like. Flavor was also weak, watered down with only a faint hint of smoked malt. Very disappointing.

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Photo of hopking311
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.

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Photo of beerfishkitedog
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.

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Photo of oneeyedhoolie
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.

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Photo of palma
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.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tried this on tap at Tria. Pours a hazy rust like color. Had a slight smell of burnt wood chip soaked in chick pea brine. The taste was that of a four day old italian hoagie covered in liquid smoke. Not for me at all. It was tought to get down but good for the style. I just don't like Rauchbier.

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Photo of FickleBeast
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...

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a becher.

This guy's been a Want since I learned it existed. Luckily for me ChurchKey's draft list is badass. The pour results in a clear copper/amber with about half a finger of white foam on top. Good start, right? Well, the honeymoon ends when I smell the thing. Whatever is there is very faint, unlike any rauch or smoked beer I've had before. There's a tinge of smokiness, as though the grill wasn't working properly. There's also an intimation of wheat. That's about it. The taste comes off similarly. There's a light smoked ham flavor, along with some wheat bread and a vague dull bitterness. Frankly, according to my tongue, this is one of the weakest smoky beers I've ever had. That said, it's not bad-tasting, just not what it claims to be. The body is pretty light, with moderate carbonation and a smooth and moist feel. Honestly, not a bad brew overall, but I expected better from Victory.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Glass had in Philly at the Varga.

A: dark amber; no head, no threads, no lacing--you might think it dead!
S: jerky! jerky! jerky! Pungent; a thing of beauty
T: tastes as if a brown ale forms the base of the smoking; it is rather simple in flavor once you get past the jerky flavor (did I say jerky? jerky!)
M: a bit watery
D: not really engrossing enough for me to revisit, mainly because of its simplicity and watery character

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

@ The Indie, Somerville MA.

Thin tan/white head (not sure, it was dark) over an amber beer. Head gets stage fright and vanishes quickly. Leaves not so much as a thin skim.

Mesquite smoke aroma. Taste is similar smoke with a Carolina tang/Memphis sweet hybrid BBQ sauce mish mash sweetness. Underlying fruit which seems out of place. Pharmaceutical huskiness with swallow. Mouthfeel is a little juicy.

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Photo of garuda
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass produces a one finger thick head with good persistence. Color is a clear orange/amber, slightly darker at the top.

Aroma is a sweet caramel smokey scent with a hint of smoked ham.

Mouthfeel is a medium body with medium to low carbonation.

Taste is of smoked ham with very subtle hops.

The smoked ham aftertaste really lingers in my mouth and makes it salivate, and because of this dominating taste, does not get high marks from me for drinkability. I was intrigued to try it when I read the description of this brew, but probably wouldn't get it again unless it was paired well with a meal.

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

Served in a standard pint glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a nice clear orange amber color with about ½" light tan head that head recedes fairly soon with some light lacing left on sipping. Towards the end of the beer the ring of foam and lacing are minimal.

Smell: The faint smoky aroma is as much like smoked ham as it is the bacon I expected. There is also some sweet toasted caramel malt but no real hop presence here.

Taste: As expected from the nose, the flavor is almost like bacon or smoked ham but with some sweet caramel to in the flavor to balance and mellow the smokiness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is light to medium-bodied with minimal carbonation about midway through the beer. The finish semi dry with the smokiness persisting almost to the end.

Drinkability: As for drinkability, this is a fine beer but more of a curiosity for me. I don't mind the smoky flavor and would drink it again if offered, but I don't think this is a preferred style for me so I won't go out of my way to have it again. I think for me this a good representative of an unusual style but not something I feel the need to seek out and have again.

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Photo of Chico1985
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.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on the growler station at Charleston Beer Exchange in normally beautiful but currently oppresively hot and humid Charleston, SC.

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head. The foam recedes into a small amount of lace.

Aroma was a bit lacking on the smoke front. Speaking to the brewmaster at CBX, he intimated this would be "in your face smoke". Sadly, it isnt. There is a delicate smoke aroma and flavor that will fit most palates without overdoing things. However, I was expecting more smokiness. Perhaps my expectations are flawed; perhaps not.

Good mouthfeel with good drinkability. Glad I tried this one but I would not actively seek this one out in the future. Barely above average overall.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very attractive brew from this Eastern Pennsylvania staple, Victory Brewing Company. Quite German in many ways, the maltiness of this brew comes out almost instantly. A very earthy and hearty brew, the color is a welcoming brownish-red, and is quickly missing its thin head. This one is relatively new, but well worth the try.


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Photo of HopHeavy
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Victory Brewery, on tap.

I first learned about this offering on the Victory website. I have to admit the Grateful Dead type graffic made me want to try this beer.

Beautiful amber color, and clear. The aroma initially was malty, with a hint of smoke.

I was not sure what to expect from this beer, since this was my first experience with a Rauchbier. Although the smoke taste was overpowering in my opinion, the beer was not hard to drink. I will have to try this one again with a careful pairing of food.

I applaud Victory for keeping things new and exciting, and also going Smoke Free as of this past week.

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Photo of Sammy
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.

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Photo of nezelrac
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

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Victory

A-darker clear golden orange with a pure white head.

S-smokey up front, notes of charcoal followed by dry hay. caramel malt underneath with a light note of grassy hops and a touch of lemon.

T-the taste is smokey up front with a caramel malt backbone. notes of lemon with grassy hops and a touch of citrus. grainy hay lies in the finish and seems to linger a bit.

M-this is smooth and soft on the palate, the carbonation is a little low letting the medium body leave something to be desired.

D-this has a nice smokey presence toit with a good balance of sweetness from the malts and hops in the back.. has some good stuff going on here.

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Photo of AgentZero
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.

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

Very clear, reddish beer. Not as smokey as one might expect. The taste seems to mostly come from the hops. Sort of a Hop Devil Lite. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Nuanced. From what I have observed, it's a crowd pleaser. Maybe it's the name but lots of people are attracted to trying it, and they like it, a lot.

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Photo of smakawhat
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.

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Scarlet Fire Rauchbier from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
3.79 out of 5 based on 151 ratings.
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