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

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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.

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 576
Photo of David_Shrortish
1.23/5  rDev -65.2%
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...

 520 characters

Photo of KeithVan
1.37/5  rDev -61.2%
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 BeerKangaroo
1.4/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.75

In a pint glass and a stange at different times:

A: dark amber hazy body, no head, no lacing

S: smokey meaty coming through in a dull bland way

T: exactly the same as the smell

M: medium, not exactly sessionable (at IMO), bland sticky aftertaste pounding all around my tongue, assault by carbonation, bland meaty finish

O: however I guess this still fits the style, but I'm not a fan of this whatsoever

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Photo of jeaton
1.42/5  rDev -59.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Bottle poured into a standard conical pint glass.

A: Darkish amber. Head dissipated quickly, leaving a minimal amount of lacing.

S: Like a cheap cigar. Slighly sweet and acrid.

T: Worse than it smells. Like licking an ashtray. My wife describes it as 'being mouthraped by a hobo.

M: After the taste, I just wanted to forget that even tried this.

O: Horrible. I would rather not drink beer than ever drink this again.

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Photo of CDGoin
1.42/5  rDev -59.8%
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 Kooz
1.81/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours brownish-orange, with a light orange head that dissipates quickly.

Smells smokey; not appetizing at all.

Tastes... like hotdogs. Actually pretty gross.

This is the shortest review I've written. This beer completely rubbed me the wrong way. The fact that it probably won't rate as the worst beer I've reviewed is a testament to how bad some other beers can be, but this is in no way good. It tastes like campfire hotdogs. Good for hotdogs, bad for beer.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
2/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Wei-zen 14oz. glass

Appearance: Very dark amber, not cloudy at all. Has a 1/4inch light amber head.

Smell: Yes it smells, if you think it has an aroma you must be hungry this beer smells of shish-kebabs and steaks. Super-smoked and hardcore meats on top of a wooden-chipped BBQ.

Taste: I am being real with you I try all beers before I judge them but this beer does not taste like your normal "beer". It hints of smoked meat over a fire just like the name of it and an after taste which doesn't leave till after time or after a meal to water it down.

Mouth: Medium to heavy carbonation, sticks to your mouth unfortunately...Sam Adams must have been running the experiment of a lifetime to massively distribute this beer.

Overall: This beer does have a purpose besides making your face squirm, I would definitely use it in a marinade which it probably would excel in. I have had worse beers in my life but with the label of Sam Adams this is by far at the bottom of the list. If I had a slogan it would be "looks good taste morbid"

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Photo of Jeymac
2.02/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I must disclaim my inexperience with smoked beers-- in fact, this is the first that I've sampled. I'm normally a fan of IPAs, American Pales, and Hefeweizens, so this is new to me.

That said, I had a distinct dislike for this beer. It has some of the typical Sam Adams flavor notes and feel about it, but I couldn't acclimate to the smokiness. I love the outdoors and campfires, though, so I was tempted to give it a shot.

App: Nice dark copper-amber color with a soft tan head of moderate duration. Not a bad looking beer.

Smell: Distinctively smokey, damp next-morning campfire smell. Honestly, I hesitated a bit before taking a sip.

Taste: Toasted smokey malts, mild caramel. Dominated by the smoke flavor. Some have said this is complex, but to me the only prevalent flavor is smoke. If you don't like smokey beers, you won't likely care for this.

MF: Moderate carbonation typical of the brand, a tad thin for such strong flavors.

Overall: Again, I'm neither accustomed to nor apparently a fan of this style. The bottle was difficult for me to finish, and I'm glad there are only two in the sampler. If you're a fan of smokey beers, though, give it a try.

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Photo of Mumps
2.06/5  rDev -41.6%
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 palma
2.43/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Got this one out of the fall sampler. Looks nice and smells like your typical rauchbier however the taste was way too smokey and artificial. Too much for me. I think sam adams went over the top with this beer. Almost like they used that fake liquid smoke stuff as an additive to the beer. I wont be drinking this one again.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.48/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a three finger head of very slight cream, okay thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a transparent copper.

Sm: Light smoke, and lightly roasted malt. No bacon or real roast notes here, which is troubling considering this is meant to be a rauchbier. As someone who's been all around Bamberg, this is (so far) a damned disappointment.

T: Bland light roasted malt. This is clearly a rauchbier meant for the hoi polloi, and in adjusting to commercial aims it betrays the style. I understand why they built it this way, but as a loyal fan of the style the way it's brewed in Bamberg, I have to say this is garbage.

Mf: Smooth and wet, and far too thin for the style. Where's the beef?

Dr: A lackluster attempt at a specific style that fails to embody its best aspects. Avoid this one if you're a true fan of rauchbiers. It doesn't even serve as a good introduction to the style for people who haven't ever had it.

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Photo of clint1019
2.51/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep amber in color with a cream colored head.

S - Slight malty aroma with a faint smokyness.

T - Roasted malt flavor with a light smokyness.

M - light bodied.

O - Not really buying this as a rauchbier. The intense smoky flavors & aroma's that are normally present in a rauchbier are just not there. I get a little bit of smokyness, but not a lot. It's kind of a mainstream, toned down, version of a rauchbier. Not sure if I would buy this one again.

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Photo of BDIMike
2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a good looking light brown color with a good amount of haziness to it. A thin tan head is created that has fairly good retention.
Smell is fairly subdued. A bit of a smokey, roasty smell. Good malt smells too though.
Taste is really smoky. Really really smoky. Smoke overbears almost any other taste in this beer.
Mouthfeel is okay. Good thickness, a little too sharp for my liking.
Drinkability is very low. THe taste is so overpowering I can't taste anything else. I couldn't even finish this beer, and that does not happen very often with me.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass, the beer was a copper color with a tinted head. The beer gave a mildly smokey aroma that was more malt than smoke. With a smoke beer, I anticipate a potent smokey flavor. Why else would you call it a smoke beer? Bonfire Rauchbier produces a watery fruity taste with disguised hints of the smoke flavor. The mild aftertaste produces the greatest sense of the smokey flavor, but still fails to live up to the standards of other smoke beers. There is a greatest sense of tart fruits than anything else in the flavor. For a rather robust beer style, this is far too mild.

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Photo of Eando35
2.63/5  rDev -25.5%
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 kflorence
2.66/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a deep, brown and cherry red with plenty of tan head and lots of lacing. Carbonation is good.

S: Smells of roasted malt, smoked salmon, tart fruits and alcohol. A bit sour, overall, and very smokey.

T: Much like the aroma; smoked salmon is very dominant with some tart fruit and bitterness. Definitely an acquired taste, a bit overwhelmingly unidirectional for me with lots of smoke and not much else. Will probably please if you are seeking out this style. As I don't have anything to compare this to (this is my first delve into the style), I would venture to guess this is pretty honest to the style.

M: A medium bodied brew with a good amount of carbonation and a bit of substance. Goes down smooth and easy with a bit of cream. Pretty drinkable, though acidic.

O: Meh. Another mediocre offering in this seasonal variety pack. Perhaps I am just not keen to these styles. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of dkoehler42
2.69/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Let me start by saying Sam Adam's Rauchbier is a smoked ale. That being said, it should turn a few people off right away. I'm generally not a fan, but it was in the Fall Harvest pack, and I won't turn away new beer. It's a darker color, not anywhere near porter, but still darker than your usual ale. The first sip tastes of smoked wood immediately followed by heavy malt. The mouthfeel reflects this flavor; very heavy and coats your entire mouth. If you are a fan of the smoke variety, I do expect you will like this, but if you're like me you should let this one ride.

 571 characters

Photo of Reaper16
2.71/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a clean, translucent maple-syrup brown color. The body doesn't look to be all that viscous. Pretty thin. Nearly one finger's worth of beige head bubbles up but quickly recedes to a thin ring.

You get the smoke right up front in the nose, but something is off. This beer doesn't so much smell like smoked malts as it does a brown ale that had liquid smoke added to it. Browned malt sweetness is present; some bread crusts too. The light smoke seems like it is coming from a different place than the malt aromas. Together, they make for an average sort of Rauchbier nose, but their dischoate nature hurts the beer.

The taste follows the nose. Light brown ale malt flavors with a pinch of fakey smoke flavor.The smoke is strongest right up front. It diminishes rapidly and by the time you swallow the smoke is pretty much gone.

This thin, insubstantial, fake-tasting Rauchbier isn't exactly terrible. It is quite drinkable and serves as a sort of entry-level Rauchbier. A sessionable Rauchbier, if you will. I won't seek it out again, but it isn't thoroughly bad.

 1,109 characters

Photo of BeerBuckeye
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a bold amber color with a large, puffy white head that dissipates quickly down the glass.

S - A definite smokyness persists here, some toffee and caramel, a bit of fried bacon. A decent bready malt backbone.

T - A lot of smokeyness follows through, it's not entirely pleasant. There's a tinge of apple in there, but it's very faint. Some of the toffee and caramel come through to give a bit of sweetness to the balance, but it's not very good.

M - It's decent. Smooth at least.

Overall - I wasn't a big fan of this one. I see where they were going with this rauchbier, but the balance is a bit out of whack. I'd pass on this in the future.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
2.77/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

 299 characters

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.8/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review # 60
Served On: 9/9/2011
Glassware: Pint Glass

From the fall 2011 Sam Adams Harvest mixed 12 pack.

Look: Poured a little too aggressive and got around 6 fingers of creamy tan head of a milkshake consistency. The beer was a super clear brown. Zero carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Beef jerky - burnt umbers from a camp fire. Also some type of chemical smell. It could almost remind you of smelling a telephone pole. Creosote maybe???

Taste: Ok, this beer tasted like liquid Lebanon bologna. If I were to purée a Lebanon bologna sandwich and try to drink it, this is what it would taste like. And yes, the usual Sam Adams twang was definitely coming through. The after taste was that same bland diet soda flavor that you get with the Sam Adams Light and a couple of their summer seasonals.

Ok, I admit – this is my very first Rauchbier ever. My palate was certainly not prepared for this one. But hey, I guess that would make this a totally unbiased review then.

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Photo of stickynotes
2.85/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into oversized wine glass

Pours a brown amber with a slightly off-white head which bubbles down quickly, leaving a ring clinging to the edge of glass. I wasn't so sure about including "bonfire" in the name but after a wiff and a taste I think it fits. Smells like wood smoke, on second wiff it smells more like cheap smoked meat, not off putting but not super appetizing. The smoke smell is found in the taste as well, it dominates a mild hop and medium malt body. Drinks well. Mild carbonation boils finely off of back of tongue, some of the smoke taste makes its way through my nose. Overall an interesting because I am not familiar in the style. As I find with Sam's this brew is OK but not full, it lacks robustness. Glad to have it as part of Sam's fall variety pack.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
2.86/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep amber brown with a decent enough head.
Smells malty with the expected smokiness.
Flavor is malty with less of a smoked meat/campfire taste than expected. Actually it tastes more like Band Aid than wood smoke. Light hop presence helps to balance and gives a slight dryness in the finish. Would be better if the smoke tasted more woody and less plastic-like. Still it's not undrinkable.
Decent mouthfeel typical of a SA product.
Not awful, but could be much better with a few tweaks.

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Photo of Foxzhu
2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
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 BrewCrew2010
2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear, dark brown with red highlights with a 1-finger off-white head; spotty lacing.

S: Moderate toffee malt characteristics off put by some intense smoke in the nose. Hop aroma is very low, but has an earthy quality to it.

T: The smoke flavor is extremely high and harsh which tends to overpower the sweet toasted malts. Tastes like caramel dipped in liquid smoke. Some earthy hop bitterness in the finish balanced with some fruity notes (a bit off for the style), and finishes moderately dry.

M: Medium body; medium-high carbonation; slightly creamy texture, but very much a lager feel.

O: I like smokey beers, but this tasted like liquid smoke. It was almost too much. I know some people said they didn't get anything, but as soon as you opened the bottle it smelled like a campfire. If it was a little more balanced, and the smokey notes were so harsh, it would be better in my opinion. I don't see myself drinking this again.

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Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.53 out of 5 based on 576 ratings.
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