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 Knapp85
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
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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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Part of the new Sam Adams mixed 12 pack. An odd style, but one I actually really like so looking forward to this one. Pours a nice deep brown, small tannish-brown head to it. Nice toasted smell to it. Taste is medium bodied, the smokiness really shines through. Reminds me of drinking a nice beer by a campfire and feeling the ashiness (in a good way) of being near the open flame. Good use a tad more flavor, but the mouthfeel and creaminess of it are perfect. Spot on Sam Adams, another solid stab at a rare style, too bad there's only 2 in the pack.

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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 oberon
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice to see SA make a foray into the style,to bad the results were not better.Poured into a becker a clear bronze with almost no head at all to speak of,very uninspiring pour here.Aromas mainly of caramel malt with faint smoke,sweet on the palate with caramel flavors and a tinge of fruit,the smoke is subdued and relegated to a minor role.Eh just very average and uninspired in my opinion.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear, deep mahogany body with crimson highlights. Good sized head of frothy tan. Better than average retention and lacing.

S: Beechwood smoke, caramel, and a subtle bit of yeasty fruitiness.

T: Beechwood smoke and burnt brown sugar. Dark caramel. Yeasty fruitiness.

M: Medium-bodied and crisp with a standard carbonation.

Overall: Pretty impressive. It doesn't match the best from Bamberg, but it'll do.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Samuel Adams Harvest Collection Pack - $14.99 at the nearby Publix grocery store in Canton, Georgia. Enjoy Before: Jan 2012.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany-hued body with great clarity and capped with an inch of light beige suds.

Smell: Sweetish, caramel-accented, invitingly bready malts and a slight fruitiness underneath a sullen shroud of beechwood smoke.

Taste: It's bready, toasty and with some noted albeit faint roasted hints. Fair amount of caramelly sweetness present throughout. There's a small nibble of smoked brisket as the smoked malt quickly enter the picture. Slightly raisin-flavored fruitiness. Trifling of herbal hops, near nil bitterness. Malty close, still a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Not great, but a suitable, approachable smoked beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazelnut brown liquid with ample reddish highlights shining through immediately noticeable. A puffy little tan head of foam then came up over the top and settled down to a broken crown that clung to the outside of the glass. Very nice carbonation could be seen streaking up towards the top throughout the session, really letting you know that this thing was definitely lively.

The aroma was classic for the style. Rich notes of smoke and peat were dominating the aroma. Lots of roasted malts and a slight touch of caramel as well as a bit of a green bitterness mixed in throughout. The flavor was much more of the same. Rich notes of peat and smoked tones were riddled throughout. Nice malted grain, with a roasted flavor in the middle as well.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I've been waiting for the Harvest Pack to come out, just so I could try this one. Let's do it: It pours a clear copper topped by a finger of relatively short-lived dirty tan foam. The nose comprises mild hickory-smoked ham, caramel, and a touch of maple syrup and molasses. The taste amps up the smokiness of the ham, whilst still keeping the sweetness of the caramel and maple syrup around in good measures. The smoke becomes darker, more pronounced the further you indulge in this liquid. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a rather lightly syrupy feel. Overall, a nice little rauchbier, not up to the levels of the Germans, but still a generally enjoyable experience.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer, I really enjoyed the sampler from Sam Adams the fall sampler is bringing their A game. Black Lager, Pumpkin, Boston Lager, Irish Red, Bonfire, Oktoberfest. Not a bad beer in the variety pack, this just happens to be the new release, pours a deep mahogany ruby tinted brown color with light beige head forming thick and leaving behind intricate lacing. Aroma has a nice air of smoked malts, a bit of charred wood, smoked meat but really compared to some of the German Rauchbiers out their this comes of mild with the smokiness the other elements that come to play included a nice caramel roasted toffee darker malt profile and light herbal hops. Flavor wise this beer is nice especially with smoked meats enough sweetness to balance but rich with smoked malts to add another level of complexity to whatever you're eating. Medium bodied big fall seasonal definitely wouldn't mind pairing this with a bonfire, perfect cooler weather beer too bad it's still August and balmy. I have a feeling we will be seeing this around until late fall, again great drinkable version of a classic German style.

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Photo of tdm168
3.94/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with 1/4" of bubbly head that quickly fades to nothing. Smell has obvious smokey malt notes. Taste is sweet caramel and toffee malts up front mixed with a woody smokiness that dominates the finish; there is also a fruity sweetness that I detect in the finish, though faint it's noticeable. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp.

The smokiness takes away from the drinkability here, but this is still a drinkable beer, and a welcomed addition to the fall mixed pack.

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Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE - ruby color with not much of a head but some slight lacing

SMELL - bottled smoke almost smells articial

TASTE - smokiness dominates tastes like a brown ale with liquid smoke added in

MOUTHFEEL - light bodied nothing offensive unless you don't like smoke

OVERALL - not one of my favorite styles but brings to mind sitting around a campfire which is always a good thing

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

TGIF....first beer to celebrate the weekend is Sammy As Bonfire Rauchbier. I think Samuel Adams did another fine creation with this beer. Definitely has a great smoke aroma and flavor. The appearance is a nice clear amber with good carbonation that is giving a 1/2 finger thick head ...slightly off-white....and is lacing. The aroma has sweet malt and smoke. The taste start fairly mild almost seemingly light bodied. Then the sweet malt and smoke take over to finish the beer. Bonfire is easy on the pallet and does not linger. Thelower ABV helps to make the beer enjoyable and session worthy. Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.22/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Good till Jan 2012 we are good to go!

Out of the bottle bonfire pours amber grown gold, hitting the glass to make a medium to brown dark amber almost red body. Clear with some tiny rising carbonation. Head is soapy and doesn't have much staying power, is quite small, and appears off white. Virtually no lacing or stickiness for the head which I am use to seeing with this style. The beer looks flat.

Bouquet is a camp fire wood and beech, but small. Fells alright but not very powerful.

Taste is overcarbonated, a bit weak and very dry finish. Mild malt presence but mixes with a good smoke character. Texture is wet but also a bit too gaseous and fizzy.

Overall, it's ok but it's rauchbier light. Or perhaps lite (wink).

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Photo of jwc215
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
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 GarthDanielson
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and poor lacing. Smells of smoke, sweet malt, pale malt, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Rauchbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, good feel and blend. Appearance is lacking and the body could be stronger and more complex, but still a decent rauchbier.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
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 Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love smoke beers and am looking forward to see what Boston Beer can do with the style.

The beer pours dark brown with red highlights and an off-white head. The aroma is pretty nice. I get some meaty smoke as well as some ash and a little bit of heavily roasted malts.

The flavor is more of the same. The ashy, meaty smoke is very strong and is the first thing you notice. I also get a little bit of roasted malt and chocolate in the flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Overall, I am impressed.

 513 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier

12oz bottle. Pours an amber brown in color with a large yellowish head that soon disappears. Fairly strong aroma of smoked malts, birch wood, and a little caramel. In the flavor, a meaty smoke taste, undertones of caramelized malt and brown sugar. Even balance, mild tea like hops are on the outskirts of flavor town. Not intense, but for those not used to the style I can see it being so. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and thin. Overall, a nice little Rauchbier and a testament to the Samuel Adams brewery's prowess.

 546 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnt orange colored ale with a small tan colored head. Brilliantly orange if you hold it up and back light it.

Smells sweet and very malty with a little smoke, wonder if the used a Scottish ale recipe as a stating point for this beer? Strong caramel and vanilla scent almost candy like.

Starts out malty and smoky and frankly tastes like a good Scottish ale. Not as sweet as it smells. Good smoky flavor not over the top like some versions that are damn close to drinking a bottle of liquid smoke. Smoky yet mild.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a nicely balanced smoked beer; honestly this is really a tasty Scottish ale.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.89/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a clear amber with a light white head, average retention, no lace.

S: Toffee malt and smoke, classic rauchbier.

T: Sweet caramel, fairly malty with a hint of grassy hops. The smoke is prominent, but never takes over the beer, like the icing on the cake.

M: Medium-bodied, a little frothy, smooth.

O: A quite good example of the style. This will not give you the sheer intensity and power of Schlenkerla, but it's clearly well made.

 460 characters

Photo of corby112
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber/copper color with bright golden orange edges and a one finger white foam head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Smokey, meaty aroma with some nice rauch characteristics. Hints of charcoal, smoke, campfire, bacon and BBQ but it's actually pretty tame and not overpowering. Balanced by other sweet malt notes that give off hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee and rye.

On the fuller end of medium bodied with a balance of smoke and sweet malt notes. Spicy and sweet up front with the smokiness lingering in the finish. Hints of sweet rye, caramel and hazelnut followed by some smokey character. Some BBQ, charcoal and bacon but the rauchbier characteristics are weaker than I prefer. They just kind of linger in the finish instead of dominating the beer.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best before Feb notched on the label.

The pour is a dark red and brown, 1" head of foam that leaves nice lacing.

I poured this cold from the store so the smell is nice and smokey with some malty goodness that's tough to pick up but I *should* get more once the beer warms up.

First few sips in and I find the smokey aspect of this beer to be on the mild side. I get some caramel malt sweetness mixed in there and an earthy overall flavour and I see as it is warming up, the smoke gives a better showing. Don't think Alaskan Smoked Porter kind of smokiness or you'll be disappointed. In its own right, it's doing okay for the style.

It has a pretty big and bold body with medium carbonation and has a great mouthfeel. Good drinkability as well. A nice brew included in the Harvest Collection.

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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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