Scarlet Fire Rauchbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

BA SCORE
85
very good
151 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
victorybeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
151
Reviews:
66
Avg:
3.79
pDev:
14.78%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
4
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 151 |  Reviews: 66
Photo of blackie
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: medium nutshell amber in color and capped with a layer of khaki carbonation, good retention and lace

s: great marzen base - leafy/autumnal munich and vienna malts give a dry but satisfyingly aromatic backbone that supports the smooth beechwood smoked malt aroma, perfectly integrated into the base beer

m: carbonation on the higher side of medium, body a light-medium, very crisp finish

t: flavorful marzen base of toasty munich and other lager malts provides a great substrate for the woody,moderately smoky beechwood flavors, densely smoked bacon combined with nutty malt flavors, rustic yam, complex and unique, displaying superb balance, crisp and cleanly bitter finish

d: just a great marzen lager, maintaining a high drinkability without sacrificing any flavor, the only beer I've had that can compete with Aecht Schlenkerla in the substyle, which is a huge compliment

0.4 litre glass at the brewpub

 913 characters

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.

 257 characters

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden color with a slight redness to it. The carbonation was too much and resulted in a nice enough head but nothing really note worthy. The aroma had a smokiness that couldn't be missed and a sweet maltiness that pretty much dominated any real hop complexity. The taste was a very upfront smokiness that I thought was more aggressive than the Sly Fox Rauch. Still a very well balanced beer.

 411 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent me this growler in the most recent growlin at the moon BIF. I was thrilled to get this one as not only is it one of my favorite styles, the name is just tight as hell! Big flip top growler was served cold right out of the fridge and poured into several large pint glasses. Consumed on 09/27/2008.

The pour was very nice with a reddish tinted, light amber coming through on this one right away. Nice bit of haze at first, though it settled out to produce a mostly clear liquid that showed off very nice carbonation throughout the session. Very light head on this one, maybe a half an inch in all and that faded to nothing almost immediatly.

The aroma was different then any rauchbier I have had in the past, this was almost spicey and peppery at times. Rich, with a slightly smoked aroma, but more peppery and grainy then anything else. The flavor was more of the same, grain base, with a spicey, almost tingling taste to it, that was not bad at all, far from it, just different and not at all what I was expecting. Light body was decently carbonated and light abv lended itself well to be decently sessioned.

Overall this was an odd one for me. Not bad at all, just very different. The spiciness of the profile really took me off guard on here. I would have no issue with trying this one again, it was just a bit weird is all.

 1,374 characters

Photo of marcpal
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ive been seeking this one for a while in the Philly area and behold, I found it in my travels while in Boston at Sunset Tap.

Poured from draft into pint glass.

A: Golden color, middle of the road carbonation and bubbling.

S: Mild in the smoked meat department, but the woody smoke is surely there. Not much hops and ample sweetness. A bacon bite.

T: Not Aecht caliber, but enjoyable indeeed. Balance is terrific even though it doesnt have the potent smoked meat flavors of the German greats. This is ridiculously smooth and the aftertaste of the smoked bark is fantastic.

M: Smooth as can be, fairly substantial mouthfeel with a cooked finish.

D: The most enjoyable and drinkable rauchbier to date, in terms of not being overly smoky, yet tasty and enjoyable.

Leave it to Victory to nail another German style-awesome, just awesome take on this one.

 855 characters

Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange-amber color with a small puffy head and a decent lace.The aroma was of smoke and malts.

The taste is spicy,sweet and malty.Smoky notes that are just mild. Also,do not forget the light alcohol burn.

The feel is medium body,moderate carbonation with a nice creamy finish.It was so smooth with a well balanced touch.

Notes:Great balance and a really good beer. I liked it and I really did not detect any sausage flavor or meat taste.I don't think I would have minded though. Overall,I will have this again.

 522 characters

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

Pours a clear amber. Fairly mild smoked nose. Flavor is a nice meaty smoked thing. Nice pronounced flavor. Nice ride for the tongue. Well balanced on the smoke. Feel is good. Drinkability is high. This is a rauch that more than the average person could go on. There's no abrasive smoke on it and it's well balanced enough that you can quickly go through it.

 357 characters

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

Thanks, BSP.

A - a very amber (almost reddish) clear body with a tiny white head

S - very smokey and malty, not a lot of hop action going on

T - again, incredibly smokey and malty, but very enjoyable

M - medium bodied with some good carbonation

D - this is a good beer, but the smokiness sort of limits its drinkability/sessionability. Still, I enjoyed it and would order again. It's just not something I could drink a lot of.

 432 characters

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.

 597 characters

Photo of cichief
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on draft at the Frisco Grille, Columbia, MD.

A- Pours a nice amber-gold with a decent off white head.

S- Smells of smoky ham, some sweet malt, no hops noted.

T- Smoky, not too sweet, well balanced, not as smoky as the Schlenkerla from Bamberg, more like the Spezial Rauchbier.

M- Well carbonated, far from fizzy, but not flat.

D- I have been drinking this beer since it went on draft at Frisco's, won't quit until its gone.

 432 characters

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

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a clear, dark amber with a thin, white head into a pint glass. A slightly sweet smell of yeast, with no discernable smoky aroma. A very nice smoke flavor, not overpowering, with a very smooth finish with a very low hop profile. Very refreshing and drinkable. An accurate representation of the Rauchbier style, in my opinion.

 391 characters

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.

 296 characters

Photo of Seanibus
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this on tap at Tria in Philly. I approached it with some nervousness - a smoked beer? Strange. And the staff at the bar were warning people "this is very smoky." But I tried it. And I liked it.

It has an almost unearthly red color, vibrant and, well, red. Quite unlike anything I have seen before. It has a good, solid, if moderate head.

The taste is, frankly, difficult to describe. Smoky? Yes, but not like what one would expect. It is not in the least like a smoky stout, or a scottish ale of some sort. It is the kind of smoke one experiences in a long, slow night in front of a warm fire. It's the kind of smoke your grandfather made with his pipe. It's the smoke of a campfire on a crisp mountain night in the late summer.

The beer is remarkably light, almost like a light amber lager of some sort, but with that lovely smoke rising across it. The taste is dry yet slightly sweet, fruity, perhaps. A bit of cherry, but ever so light.

The taste haunts me, just beyond accurate description. I am eager for another.

 1,031 characters

Photo of Biscuit033
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear golden-orange like an Oktoberfest with huge head that recedes to about a finger with moderate lacing and good retention.

S: Nice maltines with the smokey and pork like nose secondary.

T: Smoked pork and dried/cured/salted meats in the forefront with a touch of sweet maltiness coming through and a finish of campfire ash.

M: Creamy witha crisp smoky finish.

D: This is a good alternativfe to a marzen style especially coming out of the winter months. It remind you that BBQ weather is around the corner. Alway a good style with grilled sausage and the like and this is spot on. This is an easy drinking rauch with a well blended smoke flavor.

 655 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OMFG, I dreamt about this beer and on my first visit following said dream, it made a triumphant return following a three-year hiatus. I will now begin dreaming about becoming Croesus-rich and having a knock-out girlfriend.

It arrived with a big, off-white head that slowly reduced to a light coating of wisps. The color was a hazy, light-orange. The nose had a great smoky sweetness to it, not unlike hickory-smoked bacon, if that is your thing. It's definitely mine. The mouthfeel was on the thin side, but it still had a nice effervescence. I really got a jolt of smoke on the tongue and the lingering smokiness on the finish was just what I had dreamt about. Smoke 'em if you've got 'em, boys and girls!

 710 characters

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.

 630 characters

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

A growler purchased at Victory on 11/9.

A: The ale is an amber-orange color with a thick head on pour. As the ale warms and sits, the head all but disappears, leaving no lace or hint of carbonation.

S: The aroma is a fresh smokehouse, thick and dense with a cured ham element. The malts are biscuity and provide a nice complement to the smokiness. I don't detect much of a hop presence in the nose.

T: The ale has a smoky malt flavor that is both chewy and sweet. The smoked malts are so strong that they dominate the flavor. Any other malts and hops are a second thought, allowing the smokiness to really shine through. This is the kind of beer that goes perfectly with a smoked Christmas ham.

M: Oh, the smoky malts! Give me more of this delicious depth.

D: Very drinkable with a low abv. Check this out while it lasts and enjoy a bit of Bamberg in Pennsylvania Dutch country.

 893 characters

Photo of RunawayJim
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this on tap at the brewery's brew pub. Not sure what it was, I asked the waitress. She didn't seem to be a "beer person" but she gave her best efforts at answering all our questions about the beers available. I give her 2 thumbs up. But onto the beer.

I tried several beers there, this was my favorite. It was a dark amber color. At first, I didn't even notice the smoky flavor, but as I drank more, the smokiness came out. I don't even really know how to describe the flavor. There wasn't much bitterness to it. It was basically like a smoky lager. This beer was very smooth and very drinkable. If only I could find it in a store.

For the record, this was the first time I've tried this style, and while many say it's an acquired taste, I must have acquired it right then and there. My fiancee, who isn't a huge beer drinker also found this to be quite enjoyable.

 874 characters

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

Enjoyed fresh from the tap at the brewpub.
Served as a hazy reddish beer with moderrate slightly off-white tannish head.
The smell was a bit difficult for me to place at first, but when I asked the server for the style, it all fell into place. The smokiness was pleasant, but seemed to be a bit strong for a beer.
The initial taste was very different, but as the glass was slowly consumed, the smokiness wwnt from being a bit undesirable to truly enjoyable. I guess thats why they say you need to acquire a taste for this beer.
At the end I found that I really liked the beer, but one was enough.
Did pair well with a buffalo chicken pizza and chicken cheese steak.

 671 characters

Photo of purplehops
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scarlet Fire poured a deep red chestnut color with a thin white head that left a nice lace pattern on the glass. The aroma was very malty with some earthy notes and a very faint smokiness. The taste started with a rich malty sweetness that quickly moved on to flavors of smoked malts and hints of spicy hops. The finish stays lightly smokey with a bit more citrus hop bitterness and flavor playing off the malt. The aftertaste was dry with a lingering smokey taste with a hint of sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium and very smooth for a beer made with smoked malts.
Overall a very drinkable brew. I would have liked a bit more smokiness in the aroma but flavors were right on the mark. Not over powering like a lot of the smoked beers. A nice soft balance with the hops in the role of complementing the malts. Another nice job from Victory of a little seen style in the States.

 874 characters

Photo of MissOrch
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing like a pint of liquid beef jerky on an empty stomach, I think to myself, as I now belch up some smoky goodness. It poured a dark copper/amber color, with a thin head, that was gone before I even started drinking. Granted, I let the beer sit for a while first. It smelled of malt and sticky caramel. The taste was surprisingly mild for the malty smell, and full of smoky flavor. It finished with a slight bitterness that only lasted a second. This beer was very light, and very drinkable. I could have easily had more, if only I had more to eat first. It would have gone great with smoked gouda.

 602 characters

Photo of rugbycritic
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although I will admit not to be a HUGE fan of this style, I was pleasantly surprised when one of our locals (Monty's Krown Lounge, Rochester, NY) wrangled a host of Victory offerings recently. A very nicely balanced smokiness that fades as the pint goes down. Altogether extremely pleasant quaffing experience. I've been told that authentic German rauches a much more smoky to the point of chewing on charcoal, which is probably why this is not a huge style category, even in the Fatherland. This little tipple is most likely a good entre into the style. I will probably seek out a few more for investigation and experimentation.

 629 characters

Photo of Bierman9
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scored a nice cup of this from the Victory gang while between sessions at the AOBF. I let it sit a bit to warm, hoping the flavors would become more pronounced.

Scarlet was a clear, medium-copper colored bier. Head was white, thin and fine, leaving decent lacing. Nose was malty and toasty, with a pleasant, mellow smoke aroma. It also suggested dryness. Medium for mouthfeel...as both body and smoothness were good.

A good-sized amount of smoky malt flavors persisted, especially as it warmed even more. Minimal hopping, as far as I could taste, and the finish was indeed dry and long-lasting. This is a decent example of a hard to make style. Not in the Schlenkerla class, but a good US-brewed version. Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

552

 804 characters

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.

 312 characters

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

Draught @ Victory's Brewpub. Light copper in color. Not much head. Taste may be a hair lighter than some of their other beers, but this still has a full maltiness, as well as a little smokiness to it. A fine session beer. Another beer to make the trip there worthwhile!

 269 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More