Scarlet Fire Rauchbier | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

very good
66 Reviews
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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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 151
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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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!

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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


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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 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!

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