Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
577 Ratings
Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HoustonTX on 08-06-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 577 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of aorloski
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beautiful dark amber to withered rust, pours a half finger head in a tulip which disappears quickly and sticks to the glass

Smell - If you have ever smelled beef jerky this is what it smells like, sorry if that is a little crude but it is what comes to mind first. Big yet smooth smoke characteristics and hidden in them are peat, malts and spice

Taste - definitely on this one follows the nose. Beef jerky, smoke, peat, wood, salt, cured meats. "bonfire" is an apt name for this brew

Mouthfeel - moderate carbonation, true to style

Overall - This came in a mixed pack i bought on a whim and is the only one i cared to rate, the only one that stuck out really. A pretty in the middle of the road rauchbier that is pretty enjoyable and of course great to crak on an october night. cheers!

 804 characters

Photo of Redrover
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

 623 characters

Photo of mnrider
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown Bottle. 12 oz, Fresh to Date.

A: Pours a cloudy dark amber with a
large forming short lasting head. Nice
amount of carbonation.

S: Smells like a died out fire the next
morning. With toffee and other burnt

T/M: Tastes like it smells. Smokey semi-
sweet with hints of caramel and hops.
Finish is sweet with that lingering
smokiness. Medium bodied.

O: Never had this style before, so I have
nothing to base this beer on. Still it's good
and I like the smokey campfire theme.
I could never have more than a few, as
the smokiness does start to get a little old.


 586 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.72/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle. Freshness date etched on label.
Served in a tall cylindrical mug. It pours an orange-hued amber with a real fast-fading off-white head and not but a few specks of lacing.
The distant smell of smoke over a dry maltiness. A little citrusy and a bit of metallic hop aroma along with cut hay follows.
The smokiness is at first subdued, but as it warms becomes more influential to the overall taste. Sweet malt and a lightly citrusy hop inch forward. It is very similar the the Oktoberfest, except for the smoked barley malt.
This is a very easy-drinking Rauchbier, and one I'm sure will bring more brewers into the mix. Coming soon, Imperial Rauch!

 664 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier last week in a mixed twelve pack for $12.99 at Meijers. I was looking for a nice mixed twelve pack at the store and when I saw that their was a Raunchbier in Samuel Adam's fall pack, it sealed the deal, so lets see how it goes. It's fresh and is notched on January. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label, it fits this beer nicely with a picture of some people sitting by a bonfire. It poured a dark and slightly hazy copper color with two fingers worth of off white head that died down to a very thin layer that stayed the rest of the time.

S- At first I pick up a good amount of moderately sweet caramel malts. After that I get a little bit of smoke but not as much as I would expect from a Rauchbier. I didn't pick up any hops in the aroma. All in all a pretty light and subdued aroma for a Rauchbier, it could use more smoke.

T- Thankfully the flavor is much more robust and smokier then the aroma lead me to believe. At the start I get a little bit of those caramel malts but they are soon taken over by a nice amount of smoke that has that bonfire like taste to it along with some ham flavor and maybe a slight a bit of bacon. At the end the caramel malts come back into focus and carry over to the after taste, I like that because it provides good balance and helps make the smoke not so overpowering.

M- Smooth, light bodied and it had a light amount of medium carbonation. The body should be a little thicker if it was bumped up to medium body it would be truer to the style.

Overall I thought that this a good beer and pretty drinkable and balanced Rauchbier. I haven't had a lot of this style but this seems to be the most user friendly Rauchbier I have had and it would make a good introduction to the style, if this is too smokey for you, then Rauchbier's might not be your style. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor, it was smokey, but not overly so, and the aftertaste was full of caramel malts instead of having that smoke linger in your mouth like I find with most Rauchbiers. What I liked least about this beer was the aroma, it needed more smoke to it, just by a aroma alone it would be hard to pin point that this is a Rauchbier, most Rauchbier let you know what your in for just by the aroma, this one didn't. I will be buying this beer again, I wish I could get it in six packs, but I guess I will have to deal with only being able to get two at a time in the fall mixed pack. I recommend this beer to anyone who wants to give this style a shot, the Rachbier veterans may want a more robust and smokey beer, but if you are just starting off then this is the beer for you. I had no clue what Samuel Adams could do with this style of beer, but I have to say that I am pretty impressed with their effort and I think that this beer will open a lot of people eyes to the wonderful world of Rauchbiers, it would be awesome if they make this available in six packs next year, I know I would keep some in the fridge all fall if I could.

 3,035 characters

Photo of BeefyMee
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Rich coppery orange. I'm liking the color. Head is ok. No real lacing.

S: Smoke isn't too strong here. It definitely comes through but never dominates. Instead, the nose is defined by sweet, husky malts and a curious metallic odor.

T: Ah, there's the smoke. Still a little subdued in terms of sheer smokiness, but it's the unmistakable centerpiece here. Very rich like smoked salmon. Good malty body and a kiss of bitter hops in the finish that transition to an interesting lemony aftertaste. Unfortunately, that metallic element is still present.

A good, almost great rauchbier. Could use a bit of a cleanup on some of the rogue flavors. Glad to see them tackle the style though.

 686 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color. Off-white head. 1/4 inch head.

Complex malt aroma. A little smoke aroma.

Smoke and malt flavors dominate. The smoke is reminiscent of a smoked sausage.

Medium bodied. Over carbonated (for my taste) with a dry, gritty finish.

Overall, this is an unusual beer for me. And, although I don't absolutely love it, I'm not completely turned off of smoked beers. I'm glad I tried it.

 399 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid caramel and roasted malt scent along with a powerful smoked malt aroma. It's dry with significant smoke character. The taste is decent. It has an aggressive smoked malt flavor with a touch of roasted and caramel balance. It lacks adequate malt complexity and is a bit one sided. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a tasty beer that isn't afraid to showcase the rauchbier smokiness, however it's lacking the caramel malt sweetness to round out the taste.

 635 characters

Photo of tito42
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Fall weather is here, and so is the Samuel Adams seasonal sampler. This is one of SA's I haven't tried yet. Poured from a bottle to an imperial pint. Best by Jan. 2012 notched on label.

A: Amber with a foamy, tan head that is sticking around quite nicely and leaving good lacing. A bit lighter in color than I expected from this style. Very actively carbonated.

S: Malt, toffee, and a sweet and salty smoky aroma, like turkey summer sausage.

T: Nice malt profile, smoked barley, caramel and toffee notes. A bit of a metallic aftertaste. The smokiness lingers a bit, but is not as dominant as I'd like. This seems like a rauchbier dumbed down just a bit for more mass appeal.

M: Standard SA lager mouthfeel. Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy, just a touch of hops bitterness at the finish.

O: I have to ding this one a bit because I wanted more smoke flavor out of this. It's essentially a Boston Lager with lightly smoked barley. A welcome addition to their fall sampler, however, and hopefully this gives rise to more examples of this style in the U.S.

 1,059 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Like last year with their pumpkin beer, I pretty much bought the fall variety pack for this one beer.

Pours a medium amber with a nice foamy head in my tulip glass. The head quickly reduces to a quarter-inch layer.

A smoky aroma, but one that's under control. Smells like a fire.

The taste, like the aroma, is smoky, with hints of spice that I'm guessing come from the smoked malts instead of actual spices.

A nice creamy body, no watery beer here.

Overall this is an above-average Rauchbier. It's smokier than others I've tried while not being overwhelming.

 563 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer pours a chestnut brown coloring that carries a big, puffy, fluffy, chunky yellow-ish head that weighs in around an inch and a half. The nose is sweet and rich, with meat like characters, and a hint of charcoal. The beer has a very unique flavor, and it can best be described (by me, at least) as an all beef hotdog freshly cooked over fire. Wow, very unique. The meaty flavor also coincides with a slightly greasy and slick feel in mouth, which completes the palate picture in my mind. The aftertaste is semisweet and slightly smokey, and the beer finishes quickly, with a slight tangy sweet linger at the back of the tongue. Interesting.

 687 characters

Photo of gpogo
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Large cream colored head that dissipated to a nice foam cap with light lacing. Clear dark brown body.

A- Meaty smokey aroma with sweet caramel aroma. The smokiness was a bit light.

T- Light sweet caramel malt. Smokey backing throughout. Clean finish with a light toastiness.

M- Smooth medium body with moderate carbonation.

D- I was quite impressed for a Sam Adams Rauchbier. I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised. I would have liked a bit more smokiness.

 477 characters

Photo of Zylod
3.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Duhast500
3.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

The color is a dark and is a deep maroon when held to the light. It has finger of foamy brownish/tan head and some nice lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little toasty with some dark malt aroma with a porter like nose.

The taste is bready with a brown bread like flavor. There is a malt backbone with some slight chocolate with some prune like flavor. There is some smokey flavor that is decent but still seems to leave some space for improvement.

The feel of this beer is medium bodied and has somewhat of an interesting character. This would make for a good beer to have while sitting by a fire. It has a good drinkable feel and goes down easy.

 704 characters

Photo of AutumnBeerLove
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in the Sam Adams variety pack. A new beer, so I was excited.

S- The scent is nothing to write home about. Kind of bland and not much more.

T- I enjoy the beer. The beer is very drinkable. At the same time though, the taste disappears very quickly.

 265 characters

Photo of BennyL1
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drink by Feb '12 notched on the label. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Part of the Fall Harvest pack.

Brew pours a nice mahogany color with a very slim beige head.

Lots of roasted malt in the nose with definite notes of a nice smokiness. More of the same in the taste. Just a hint of smoked meat along with some caramel notes. Nice roasted malts in the flavor as well.

Medium body and carbonation.

My first go at a smoked beer, enjoyable but not sure if I'm digging the style to much.

 502 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a short soapy off-white head. Pretty color but the head is disappointing.

The aroma is of a light caramel malt with some metallic notes. The smoke isn't too strong but is noticable. It has a nice bacon aroma to it with a hint of char.

The flavor is dominated by the smoke. That being said, the smoke flavor isn't overwhelming. It is actually spot on for the amount of malt used. It is a light smoke flavor and doesn't bring the campfire, char, earthiness that others in the style do. The malt basically provides a base for the smoke. It has some light caramel sweetness and a touch of a metallic bitterness. Perhaps some tea flavors as well. I really like smoked beers so the flavor is a tad light for me but this is a good introduction beer.

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Fairly sweet on the palate with the smoke and some bitterness to balance out. Drinks very easy for a smoked beer and fairly clean. Some light sourness in the finish. Good balance.

A good drinkable introduction smoke brew. Enough smoke to enjoy but not enough to blow you away. Not sure if this will be a keeper.

 1,144 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

 843 characters

Photo of Sweetmambyjamby
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- It has a smoky haze. The color is that of a muddled straw color. not really a head but there is lacing from what is there.

S- peat moss and smoke. it truly is a smokey smelling beer.

T- a sweet taste upfront is followed by a salty flavor. The beer kind of tastes like ham. I really like it though. I have this paired with a hearty homemade steak soup and that is nice.

M- It's medium to lighter. The carbonation isn't great, but I am not super interested with that here.

O- I think you either like or hate smoked beer. So if you like them you will probably like this. Otherwise you'll hate it.

 600 characters

Photo of tbern007
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the Harvest 12 pack by Sam Adams.
A - ruby/light brown; one finger head, light lacing.
S - malt, earth, hop, and some yeast comes through which gives light fruitiness.
T - roasted malt, smoke/hickory, a little yeastiness at the end.
M - light considering darker in color. Kind of watery as well considering.
Overall ok. Not a bad smoked beer. The bottle talks about caramel and toffee and I didn't find much of either. Although roasty and smoked, kind of watered down.

 476 characters

Photo of jvillefan
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is a very dark red color. It had a two finger off white head upon pouring into a pint class. It has a very smokey and caramel like smell. Upon tasting the smokey flavor was very evident. If you do not like smoked things this beer is not for you. There is also the subtle flavor of malts if you can get past the smokey flavor. The hops and other grains they claim to be in the beer are not readily apparent. Overall, it is an ok beer provided you are ok with the smoked flavor.

 486 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is burnt orange with a small, off white head. The aroma is of smoke, malt, light peat, sweetness. Decent flavor. Smoke is there, but sweet malt overtakes it. This is a decent brew, but not on the same level as Aecht Schlenkerla's masterpieces. Worth a try.

 265 characters

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber brown with a two finger dirty white head that has good retention, no lacing left on the glass as the head resides. The aroma is full of roasted malts, clove and a nice smokiness. The taste puts the initial smoke in your mouth that fades quickly with a rich molasses and malty notes. A lighter mouthfeel then I would hope for but the carbonation feels good. This is a good beer, I wish there was a tad more smoke but it would be a very good way to introduce people to smoked beers.

 499 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was dark black. Probably an inch of head that dissipated rather quickly. Lacing on the top was minimal after that. Decent amount of film on the sides.

Smelled of very smoky malts. Reminded me of a campfire or a burnt marshmellow. Some chocolate in there, too, which kind of made it smell like a Smore.

Extremely smoky on the initial taste, probably the most smoky beer I’ve ever rated (maybe not had). I really couldn’t get anything else besides the smoky flavor. Eventually some roasty chocolate with a touch of sweetness.

Full body. Creamy texture that lingered in the throat. Average carbonation. Long finish.

I liked it in the beginning but it just didn’t go down well toward the end. Maybe it’s the style, but I don’t know.

 794 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours amber with an off-white, long lasting, foamy head. Aroma is of herbal hops in the beginning and than smoked malt comes through as the beer warms up. Medium, smoky body.
Some herbal hops and smoked wood dominate the palate with caramel provide good balance. Long, dry finish. I liked this brew after a second time.

 333 characters

Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 577 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.
  • Our Events

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

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