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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Ratings: 576 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of mmmbeerNY
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jman892
3.26/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark ruby color, off white 1 finger head after a fairly aggressive pour.

S - Picking up some malt, but really no smokiness that you would expect. Not really all that much to discern here to be honest

T - Reminiscent of beef jerky, which is somewhat understandable in this style. There's also a tangy sweetness, so it is more like barbeque beef jerky. I dont find that the smokiness is overwhelming

M - Medium body, good amount of carbonation

O - Another out of the fall mix pack. Not too familiar with the style, but seems to be a pretty solid offering.

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Photo of stevehagy
3.27/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of zdk9
3.28/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours light orange, a little cloudy. With barely any head, and no lacing in sight.

S- My first impression... bologna, there's some wood smoke, and a lot of meat- smoked turkey, maybe a little bacon. Too meaty for me.

T- Tastes like a standard amber ale with some added meat smoke. I get the taste of bologna again, as well as the meaty presence.

M- Fine in this department. There's a sweetness that sticks around, but I think any more carbonation wouldn't really work with the smoke.

O- Too many weird meat flavors for me.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the recent fall 12 pack. Poured a nice dark red color, with a bit of creamy white head. Pretty standard all around, both on the nose and on the palate. Some smokiness, sweet malt, a little caramel and an easy drinking medium body. Not bad but not much more.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear and amber into my Stone IPA tulip glass. Zero lacing.

Sour smoke with a hint of malty sweetness on the nose.

This honestly tastes like a salty smoked almond. Could use a little more malt backbone to support the smoke.

Aside from the sour smoke that lingers, i'd rate the mouthfeel as light-medium.

Overall, this is a slightly above offering from BBC. It was interesting to taste, but I think I'd reach for a Schlenkerla if I wanted a rauchbier.

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Photo of PintOHops
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Glass - Sam Adams Official

A - A mahogany colored brew with decent clarity and a 2-finger head that fizzled down quickly. I can see moderate-high C02, and there wasn't any lacing left on my glass.

S - I get smoke, charcoal and a bit of wood characteristic. I also pick up some brown sugar. Pretty simple, and although the smoke characteristic is the dominant aroma, it isn't real strong. In fact it competes with the sweet brown sugar notes.

T - Smokey, charcoal, and brown sugar flavors are upfront and throughout the flavor profile. Bitterness is very very mild, and just like the aroma, the smokey flavors compete with the sweetness, and the brown sugar flavor. As it warmed I got a touch of dark chocolate on the finish.

M - Thin, moderate-high crispness and lite bodied.

O - Not bad, I would drink it again for sure but I don't think I'd buy it again. I like that it's extremely easy to drink, and that it's well balanced. I don't like how thin the mouthfeel is, and I would like a stronger smoke flavor. Worth a try though. Cheers!

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Photo of Rschis16
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogoney hue with a big ivory head on top. Smells smoky and slightly medicinal. Possibly some notes of smoky caramel malts. Something not sitting well with me here, but its okay.

Smoky malts are the main character of this beer, but that medicinal flavor distracts from some very nice caramel flavors. I can taste some of the toffee flavors noted on the bottle, but there is a cloying quality to the beer that throws the balance off. I see what they were going for with the smoked malts and they nearly succeeded and would have if not for the off flavors. They did create a very rich, malty beverage though, and for that its not all that bad. Overall, this isn't my favorite from BBC, but its good to see them doing interpretations of different styles regardless.

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Photo of haywire77
3.34/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured a medium shade of cloudy brown with orange tints here and there when held up to the light. About 1" of khaki colored head that quickly faded to a very thin cap with little to no lacing.

In the smell, I got the smoke and brown sugary sweetness right away with sourdough bread and the smell of a filter tipped cigarello coming in late. Interesting.

The taste is very smoky and has maybe a beer/bacon grease flavor to it. Definitely smoked pork of some sort. Hard for me to describe maybe because this is my first of this style.

Mouthfeel is not very impressive. Kind of creamy feeling, but very thin at the same time.medium carbonation and lingering smoke.

Overall this brew was average to decent for me. I couldn't see myself drinking more than one of these at a sitting, but if it were all that were available I probably wouldn't turn it down.

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Photo of dananabanana
3.35/5  rDev -5.1%
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 HeavyMetalBrew
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber color. Lacing along time. Transparent. Signs of carbonation.

S: Smoky scents. Malts.

T: Smoky, burnt malt, salted meat/bbq, light prune flavors, some chocolate notes.

M: Very carbonated. A sipping beer.

Overall: Bought the Samuel Adams' sampler pack, and this was one of the beers in it. It's a good beer, though personally I am not the biggest fan of the smokier flavors.

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Photo of cradke
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
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 Brittmb29
3.37/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pokal glass:

A- Transparent, filtered, light mahogany brown with thin rim and cover of off white head. no lacing.

S- Reminiscent of smoked gouda in smokiness and earthy scent. also finish of some hop bite in back.

T- earthy smoked flavor throughout and also somewhat lingering after. malted body gives depth to the flavor while still tasting some appreciated hop bitter to compliment the smoke. smokey cheese and meat (bacon especially) come to mind.

M- My least favorite of it. fights between creamy and crisp from the carbonation. ends up with tingly carbonation mid sip. light smoke flavor lingers and sip is moderately dry.

O- Its too bad they don't sell this in 6-packs, defintely worthy of it for me since i enjoy unique smokiness to my beer. not too alcoholic and the flavors aren't too strong that they fatigue the palate.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App- One finger of sudsy and sandy head that disappears pretty quickly, like most Sam Adams I've tried. It is a dark brown body with ruby characteristics. There is almost no carbonation.

Smell- There are definite malt notes, although any smokiness is way too subtle. It's more of a smokey meat than a smokey and woody scent. There are moments of toffee and caramel malt. Not near as much smoke that should be here.

Taste- Okay, there is a little bit of smokey char that lasts into the finish, but the back bone is undoubtedly sweet caramel malt. It is almost too sweet for a rauchbier. It works, but just barely. If you crank it any further toward sweet caramel malts and this wouldn't really be a rauchbier anymore. Also a slight metallic tinge in the finish.

Mouth feel- It is medium bodied and slightly bubbly. It could be a little more slick for the style.

Overall- It is a pretty good beer, it just doesn't go near far enough to even really be called a rauchbier. There are better rauchbiers out there definitely, but I guess for the curious drinker it would be an okay introduction to the style.

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Photo of scratch69
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Samuel Adams glass

Appearance - Amber colored with a small amount head that disappears fairly quickly. Almost no lacing.

Smell - Smoky malt aroma

Taste - Moderate smoke flavor with a sweet malt finish. Hardly any bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and very crisp. Very well carbonated.

Overall - Not bad. This is my first rauchbier so I don't know how it compares with others in this style. One or two of these are enjoyable but I think more than that would be too much.

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a brown amber color with an off-white head that lingers.

The aroma is of peat and malt, which certainly goes well together.

At the first sip the beer is tastes sweet and like caramel malt, almost like an Irish red or a low hopped amber ale. The taste changes dramatically as a smoky taste is left on the palate followed by a curious bacon like aftertaste.

The beer is medium bodied and a little cloying.

Overall it is an okay beer. This is the only rauchbier I have ever tasted so it is hard to know if this is a good representation of the style or not.

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Photo of martymc
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Heavy caramel, average carb., thin, quickly fading head with sticky lacing apparent
S: Freshly tanned leather and over-ripened fruits
T: Toasted marshmallow and roasted hot dog. Anonymous Roasty and Toasty notes dominate.
M: Medium-thick, like a good southern sweet tea.
Aftertaste: Marmalade on burnt toast

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Photo of GarrettMD
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Color is a deep ruby that you can just barely see through. Almost dark enough to be opaque but not quite. Head is half a finger of off white tiny bubbles that fade to a thin layer rather quickly.

S - Roasted malts, some chocolate, slight nuttiness, and of course the smoke. I am having this a little on the cold side, so the smoke might be more pronounced as I let it heat up, but for now, it's not to prominent in the aroma.

T - But that changes in the taste. Smoke, smoke, smoke. Tastes more like meat than beer. The rest of the malts do a good job to balance it as much as they can. I can only imagine if smokiness was the only flavor here. The chocolate fades, but caramel and nuts stay around as well as that signature Sam Adams taste that I can only assume comes from their water and yeast strain. I'm relatively surprised how well balanced the flavor is, considering I had tried this once before and it was a drain pour.

M - Meaty would be an understatement. While the body isn't heavy, more on the medium side, the feel you naturally get because of the smoke flavor is as if you have a hunk of meat in your mouth. Finish is sweet and keeps the smoke lingering for a while. That's the last taste to leave your mouth.

O - I haven't tried too many smoked beers, most have actually been homebrews, but this one isn't bad. I'm not sure how well it fits the style because of my limited tastes of the style, but it seems good to me.

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Photo of jeffress
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
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 JohnnyChicago
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint.

A: Pours with a brown body and a full tan head.

S: Nice smokey aroma with caramel, BBQ, brisk hops and some salt.

T: Taste kinda falls off. All the caramel and smoke flavours are there, but they don't mix well. They actually clash a bit.

D: Well, the booze is pretty hidden and I wouldn't mind having another, but I'm glad that this comes in a party pack instead of a sixer.

Overall: Its a decent enough brew, but this is a really tough style to pull off and it demands some bravado. Sam Adams, with its tendency to make 'safe' beers, couldn't quite pull it off with this one.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a fluted pint glass: color is darker amber, very crisp with nice effervescence; head is tan that lingers and laces nicely.

Smell is more sweet caramel malt than a smoky flavor, there is a hint of light smoke coming through as it warms.

Taste is nice and relatively mild for a smoked brew, caramel sweetness hits first then is covered by the light wood smoke flavors. the sweetness actually lingers more than the smoke.

Mouthfeel is pretty well balanced with more lingering flavors on the tongue, but good carbonation with a touch on the sweet side for a finish.

Overall, a nicely easily drinkable smokey brew, i like a bit more smoke and less sweetness is my smoked brews.

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Photo of tjacobs610
3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark amber color, cream colored head that last quite awhile. Once it starts to dissipate it leaves a good amount of lacing

Smell: Very malty smell with caramel tones. Also has a roasted smoky odor

Taste: Very malty taste. Also very sweet beginning with the smoky hints in the flavor. Ends with a bitter hoppy taste

Mouthfeel: Pretty medium bodied. Not much carbonation to speak of

Overall: This is a pretty good Rauchbier. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted. I would like to see this one more mass produced.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish color, not much head to it. Smell was lightly smokey, nice not over the top. I'm a noob for rauchbier, can't take that gallon of liquid smoke type beer.

Relatively smooth, tail end of a campfire taste, relatively easy to drink for the style. No off tastes, hops or big challenges with this one, stays away from any meaty flavors. Mildly enjoyable, this is my kind of rauchbier.

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Photo of mocktm
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one out of the fall variety pack. If there's been one underlying theme to these beers so far, its been simplicity. Not that they are bad, but just very straightforward, lacking any real complexities. Let's see if their Rauchbier follows suit.

Pour is light brown, crystal clear and clean. Short off-white head quickly dissipates to nothing, no lace, no film, nadda.

Nose is smoky, freshly cooked bacon, light hop presence as well, but not much else.

This is probably the tamest Rauchbier I've ever had. As with the nose, mild smoke and meat, malty, not much of a hop presence.

Rather light bodied, medium carbonation, I'm not sure I know anyone who would want to session a Rauch, but I guess this could do the trick because of its timid flavor profile.

Overall, this fits in perfectly with the rest of the fall pack, a pretty toned down version of a traditional style. Faint hints without really blowing your hair pack, simplistic, but good. Cheers!

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Photo of danmcg62
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a rather transparent reddish brown color with a decent size heads that doesn't stay around too long. Not too bad looking.

S-A real smokey flavor comes through first. Smells like a camp fire. Wood and spice come to mind as well. Pine needles come to mind as well. Interesting stuff.

T-Majorly smokey. Just like with the smell it's literally like you're drinking a camp fire. Maybe some roasted malt and very mild hops. I'm also getting some caramel and chocolate as well.

M-Real smokey and spicy. Decent fell inside the mouth. Somewhat drinkable.

O-This is a solid offering from the fall mix pack. Just like with every mix pack there is a stand out and I think this is the one from this particular mix pack. It definitely feels like a nice fall night in front of the fire.

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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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