Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
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German Rauchbier
3.44 | pDev: 23.26%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 578 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Raime
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Was working up in Troy and elected to grab some gas on the way home. They had a small singles section where I found three of these. The owner said they had been sitting awhile and he'd give me all three bottles for $2. Rauchs are a tough style to find so I figured why the hell not.

Pours a darker shade of golden with a nice clarity. Finger and foamy head which disappears rather quickly.

Smell is that classic Rauch beer smoke you'd come to expect though I has noticeably faded quite a bit. Touch of adjunct oddly enough.

Taste follows suit but the smoke is more prominent. Some more hop comes forward though it's over shadowed and hard to pinpoint.

Feel is rather creamy though the carbonation is pretty flat. Flavors retain and it swallow with a nice smokiness in the throat.

Overall I now notice that this beer is retired so it was last brewed at least a year ago. Three bottles for $2 was still a pretty solid deal and I'll have no problem topping them off. This will be the third Rauch I've had and probably my least favorite but that isn't saying a lot considering the other two were pretty great. This is quite nice as well.

EDIT : Having a pretty hearty laugh at the past few reviews complaining of the smoke. Apparently they don't know kindergarten level German.

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Photo of David_Shrortish
1.23/5  rDev -64.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Oh Lord... Slinky to smooth, hoppy or saison, I drink 'em all. But this may have been a beer too far. When I cracked the cap, I thought "wait, is this some novelty 'Bacon Beer?' No. It was a beer that someone left work proud of calling their own... "Honey, I did it! A real gosh dignity Sam Adams beer!" "What does it taste like?" "Oh, it's your classic Stella Artois meets Beggin' Strips"

This beer was... Bad. Bad, bad.

That said, my dog loved it, but only after I cut it with a cup of tap water. Loki knows best...

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Photo of Foxzhu
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Just tastes like they put a drop of liquid smoke in a normal sam adams. Kinda tastes like I'm drinking a literal bonfire or a grill cleaning brush. I expected a toasted taste instead.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown, thin mild head, off white. Restrained smoke character.

Smooth, easy drinking rauch. Doesn't come off super smokey or meaty. I guess its not meant for people way down the rabbit hole into this kind of thing, but I think for someone like me, the nice touch and minimalism works out nicely.

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Photo of Eando35
2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

When I first heard about this beer, I went crazy with excitement. I love the fall and the smell of bonfires. I drank this beer out of a pint glass: it has a deep amber color with a strong head but when put against the light you can see the lightness to it. A very cool color. The smell was amazing: i felt like I was sitting next to a bonfire! However, after finishing half my glass, I was about done. The after taste of burning wood overwhelmed the overal positive taste of the beer, which was moderate at first but then got way too strong. A huge fan of Samuel Adams and their autumn harvest beers, I was disappinted by this. Will be sticking to Octoberfest and Harvest Pumpkin for the fall season from SA.

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Photo of CDGoin
1.42/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bonfire is the right name.. their is smoky beer and then there is this.

If you want your beer to taste like it was filtered through BURNT bacon drippings this is the beer for you. Simply undrinkable.

BTW I like bacon.. but this was somethign else.

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Photo of KeithVan
1.37/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.25

Tasted and smelt exaclty like buring firewood....Sam Adams Bonfire, no kidding. From the sam adams winter variety pack. Usually the variety packs are hit and miss. The winter pack was a great success. With the exception of "firewood Beer". I guess if you have this beer and take the name literially, you will not be dissapointed, especially if you happen to be a termite.

-Although it's been well over a year since I last tasted this "Gem", The taste is one that will not be forgotton.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's been a long time since I've done a review of a bottle. This marks the final bottle of Samuel Adams' Harvest Collection 2011, a style I have not tried yet, so I'll try to approach this with an open mind. I always appreciate Samuel Adams' effort of taking on such diverse and unique styles. Date on bottle is Mid-February 2012, so this bottle is about 2 months out-of-date.

Served in the Samuel Adams Sensory Pint Glass at 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Beer pours a light tan soda-quality head that dissipates almost immediately, leaving nothing but a very busy carbonated surface stream and a slight thin ring around the edges. Color is a glorious shade of deep ruby red through the light, thinning to a deep shade of mahogany orange as the light reflects off the bottom of the glass. Beer is transparent despite being a darker shade of red-orange. There is a very busy level of carbonation arriving in the center of the surface. Appearance is nice for color but certainly lackluster for the head quality, which may be due to age, but is one of the most sorry appearances I have seen to date in just about any craft beer. No lacing either, what gives? 2

(Smell) Aroma is potent, heavy malt aroma with a distinct smoke flavor in the foreground and background. Aroma is most interesting, flavors of dark toasted caramel malts and a medium toffee emphasis would make it seem sweeter than it really is, but it keeps subtle enough on the nose. Smoke also remains a key participant in the aroma but avoids being domineering, lending itself well to the character of the aroma. Hops are subdued if at all present. The smell is actually quite enjoyable if you like smoke aromatics in your beer. 4.5

(Taste) The taste is even more unique. My first impressions are here as if I just took a bite out of a sweetly marinated and smoked slice of meat, simply a robust combination of flavors. The malt character is the front and the smoke flavor lends itself well, segueing to the dominating flavor on the finish, resting with a drop of toffee on the tongue. Despite all the flavor that comes from the malt and smoke character, the beer manages to feel light in flavor, with a lighter body than one would expect. Nothing is overdone here, and the overall product is far more accessible than I had anticipated it would be going in. It has an impressive flavor and one I wouldn't mind trying again very soon. 4

(Mouthfeel) Mostly smooth with a touch of air on the tongue, a well-done pairing of flavor and texture. Alcohol presence is low, and body is slightly below medium, short of the little more body that it needs to be ideal. Overall it has spot-on texture, manages to be subtle enough to savor the smoke and malt but lively enough to remind me that I'm not drinking a flat beer. Great. 4

(Overall) I really love the small niche styles like this. It's a well done interpretation of what I hope the Rauchbier style is all about. My biggest critique is on the pathetic head which took away from an extraordinary appearance as well as the body which could have been amped up a bit for an even fuller flavor. I will cross my fingers and hope that this is included in next Fall's variety pack (Which at this point is only about 3 months out!). I would certainly recommend trying this wherever it can be found. 3.5

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier

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Photo of jkeeney2010
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Low overall due to the absolute uniquieness of the beer.

A seasonal beer for a very good reason, this beer would not taste good any other season except for when your picturing yourself around a campfire

This beer is smokey and taste like you are drinking a campfire I had it in a Octoberfest Collection from Sam Adams and drinking more one of these the taste might get bad but one is excellent.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
2.77/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A style I'm trying to familiarize myself with and really can't drink a whole bottle quite yet. I do enjoy the first half and then after that it is too overwhelming for me. Dark orange almost brown pour, nice head. Aroma of smoke is dominant. Flavor is smokey with a bit of sweetness to round it out.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a clear copper gold with a dirty white head of half a finger at most. Not much resilience but good stick with the lace.

Aroma - starts off with a moderate but appealing smokiness. As it sets up, it takes on some olive-Orval aroma. I prefer just the smoke.

Taste - good maltiness, a hint of roast. The smoke comes on right after, but not in a rush. Tasty rauchbier, a wise move to not go as intense as Schlenkerla. This level is excellent and allow the beer flavor to co-exist. Finishes with a trace of balancing hops and the smoke of course.

Mouthfeel - average body, maybe a little bigger. Crisp and refreshing. Good levels.

Drinkability - the style could wear me out after a bottle. I could drink a few of these, though, nice balance given the sometimes overbearing nature of the smoke for this style. A fine way to end the night as the smoke clears on the men's college hoops. Congrats to both Kentucky and Kansas for an excellent game.

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Photo of Mumps
2.06/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle

Sadly, one of the few from Samuel Adams that I was not a fan of.

Color was a decent copper, good for the fall.

Unfortunately, the smell immediately put me off. Like smelling artificial smoke.

Again, unfortunately the taste was just as bad. Like drinking artificial smoke. Almost as if they were trying to give the beer too much smoke flavor.

The mouth feel wasn't too bad. Thick and smooth enough to make its presence known and to be pleasant to drink.

Unfortunately this brew was a sad let down. I have friends to loved it, but for myself I do not intend to have a repeat.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best Sam Adams I have had the pleasure of trying recently. The aroma has a very nice smoky scent with hints of caramel and the flavor is much the same.

A nice amount of malts that don't overpower with a big smoky taste that is slightly sweet with caramel, toffee and a hint of coffee. Very easy to drink too.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.04/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From memory. This was was rather smokey and pleasant, very much resembling the Bonfire name. Flavor was heavy heavy smoke, relatively light and easy to drink, and an interestingly smoky crisp finish. Not fantastic, but on of the more memorable from SA I had back in college. I imagine this is an awesome camping beer.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pint glass.

A: Rustic bronze color with a finger of tan head.

S: Smoky malts, toffee, caramel, and some oak.

T: Smoked spam, some sweet fruitiness, toffee, and butterscotch.

M: Rather light body with pretty low carbonation.

O: Sam Adams has continued to impress with their seasonals this year.

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Photo of Redrover
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ox brown bottle poured into a SA perfect pint. The beer is mahogany with amber highlights. There is just a skim of a beige head.

There is wood smoke, malts and a hint of band aids on the nose.

The taste leads with smoke, kind of reminds me of a smoked landsjager or other hard sausage. There is a trace of sweetness and some bready malts. The bandaid thing is way in the back ground thank goodness. The smoke is the thing here but the base beer is not lost in the mix.

The mouth is decent and maybe slightly over carbonated.

I think this one is pretty tasty and may be a great beer to introduce folks to the style.

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Photo of dananabanana
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Chestnut brown. Translucent, but just barely. A small bit of white foam when I first pour it, but it doesn't last.

S: Malt and a very little bit of sweetness-- perhaps chocolate? The smoke is definitely there, but it's not the heavy bacon-y scent I've picked up from other rauchbiers.

T: Smoke is the first flavor, passing over my tastebuds like a tidal wave and then receding. Not as in-your-face on subsequent sips. A little bit watery.

M: Bubbly, but not overwhelmingly effervescent. Very smooth finish.

O: Not as strong as other rauchbier's I've enjoyed. A solid intro to the style for those who might be put off by a more typical rauchbier.

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Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness date of January notched on the label:

Pours slightly hazed orange amber with a thin head that becomes a thin cover. Strands of dotted lacing stick.

The smell is of bacon-like smokiness with a Boston Lager base. Smokiness is prominent but not overbearing.

The taste is of a meat-smoked Boston Lager that lasts through a long finish.

The body is medium to full. It is pretty creamy and smooth. This is a rauchbier for Sam Adams lovers. Smokiness stands out without overwhelming the palate.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a perfect pint glass, it has a nice rich brown, reddish color body with a nice 1"foamy white head. The smell is smokey and with some malts. The taste is very smoke flavored up front with some carmel malts. A little bit of hops comes through. The mouth feel is really good. Overall this beer is really good.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of smoke along with caramelized malts, lager yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise very smoky up front accompanied by flavors of caramel, spices and some fruit that bring some sweetness. Then some breadiness comes in from lager yeast and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a good balance. The after-taste is smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are better smoked beers available.

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Photo of cradke
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Wonderful copper and amber. Clean with mild carbonation.

Smell: Smoke and malt. A clean smoke but one that is not too overpowering.

Taste: Much more intense smoke flavors than the nose would indicate. Some malt but an overpowering taste of smoke penetrates. Easy to drink but something was left out. Not polished enough.

Mouthfeel: Clean and pleasant. Nothing overwhelming or insulting.

Overall: The smoke is in tune with the style but not as well rounded as some of the more traditional german examples.

Serving: Bottle poured into Sam Adams Lager Pint

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Photo of soulfly1492
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Very bold as expected. Smoke, licorice & anise, mild coffee, bitter chocolate, wood. Alcohol is very mild. Slightly more sweet than bitter. Should have a nice bold sweetness.

Appearance: Dark amber, towards the dark edge of the spectrum for the style. High clarity. Pours a tall light brown head. Good retention, moderate lacing.

Flavor: Sweet as expected, also very smoky. Mild bitterness, must be a small dose of hops in the mix. Similar in it's drying qualities to a Marzen. Strong smoky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. On the oily side. Some slight drying toward the end.

Overall: Nice winter seasonal beer. Very pleasant yet bold, almost comparable to a fine cigar. Very similar with the strong smoky aftertaste.

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Photo of Jparker37
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pilsner glass, Best by Date of January

A - Poured a thick rocky light tan head with tiny bubbles. A little reddish hue but on the lighter side of the Rauchbier spectrum. Good clarity and left some minor lacing down the glass.

S - There is a noticeable amount of smoke but far from overpowering. Other lightly caramelized, toffee malts join to round it out.

T - The smell gave great forewarning to the taste. Here is where the smokiness begins to fight back, but again not overpowering. A nice and quick, in your face, BBQ grill with great, mild caramel malts that complement each other extremely well. Finished with just enough bitterness to balance it and your left with a slight smokey aftertaste.

M - Medium, semi-sweet bodied with moderate to high carbonation.

O - This beer was near its best by date and therefor leads me to believe it lost a little bit of its fresh smokiness and began to mellow out. Nevertheless the beer was complex enough in flavor and surprisingly refreshing.

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Photo of jeffress
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if they repitch the yeast to effect the smoke nature but this is overall a touch thinner than I anticipated for a rauchbier. I didn't sample the Sam's retired rauch bier so I have no basis to compare there. Rauchbier is a marzen or March beer and can be a bit higher in alcohol content.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a brown color with a fizzy cream colored head on top that had a pretty good retention. The lacing was very minimal. The smell of the beer was lightly smoked with I liked. There was enough smoke in there to tell you it's a Rauch but not too much that it makes me wanna gag. The taste was good too I though. Nicely balanced flavors of the malts and the smoke. The flavors weren't salty like some beers in this style. The mouthfeel was pretty typical of Sam Adams, it's a drinkable brew for sure. Overall I liked it, I thought it was a pretty good attempt at what they set out to do and I can see myself drinking this one again.

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Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 578 ratings