Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
237 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 575
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.92/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a ruby red/mahogany color with almost no head that fades quite quickly

S: Some big malts, definite smokiness, and a touch of sweetness

T: Starts out big and malty with a good amount of smoke. A tad on the salty side, sort of like bacon. Not too sweet, but the sweetness that is present helps to hold up the smoke quite a bit

M: Medium bodied with light-moderate carbonation. A touch on the cloying side after a single beer

O: This beer lets the smoke be well known for sure. Like I said though, it gets a tad too much after one beer so the drinkability isn't very high at all. Definitely enjoyable, though. And, as the name suggests, this would probably be best around a campfire or something with s'mores to help balance out that smoky sweetness/saltiness a little bit more

 787 characters

Photo of buffettfan
4.35/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a globe style glass.

Looked a nice brown, slytly reddish color. Little head, that left quicly.

Smelled very smokey, with a sweet maltiness, and a little spice, the smoke was by far the most prevalant.

Tasted the smoke right away. There was a nice balance of a carmelly sweetness however. The more into the glass I got, the beer warmed, and the smoke really took control of the flavor.

Overall it was a very enjoyable beer. Not one I would have more then one of at a time, but I enjoyed this beer a great deal.

 541 characters

Photo of AutumnBeerLove
3.66/5  rDev +3.7%
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 BeerResearcher
3.72/5  rDev +5.4%
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 WMEugene
4.02/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (harvest collection mix pack) into a pint glass.

A - Dark ruby-brownish color. Decent head at first, but it dissipates after a minute or two.

S - Some malt and smoke smells. Noticeable, but nothing overpowers.

T - Once again tastes of malt and smoke; however, the smoke flavor seems to linger in the background of the taste profile a little bit more than I expected. It's definitely a milder form of rauchbier (which honestly isn't a bad thing)

M - Carbonation level is great. Medium-bodied with a smooth taste.

O - An enjoyable beer that I will definitely enjoy the next time I see it. It does well for the style, if maybe a little too moderate for such an out-there style of beer. This is a great rauchbier to give people who have never had rauchbier before. I'm glad that despite their size and profile that Sam Adams is still doing interesting things with their beers and making styles that may not appeal to a mass market.

 959 characters

Photo of EricMichael
3.82/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into stein.

appearance - Roasted chestnut with a finger of cream head. Head didn't last long - light lacing that quickly falls.

smell - Very smokey bacon with a hint of maple poured on sausage. Some lingering ash on your clothes from hanging out at a bonfire.

taste & mouthfeel - Tastes like a smokey bacon malt. I imagine it's toned down from the rest of the rauchbier genre. Medium weight and very smooth. Great balance of sweetness and bitterness.

overall - Not overly complex, but carries a relatively unique flavor when it comes to beer. Very reminicent of hanging out by a bonfire and walking away and still smelling/feeling the smokeyness on you.

 676 characters

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.

 458 characters

Photo of BuxMontBeerLover
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this with my BA buddy, BeerConnoiseur. Thanks, Pat for sharing the brews!

Enjoyed in an authentic German Beer Mug.

A - Beer pours a translucent, deep amber color. A small, half to one finger head on the initial pour. Decent lacing.

S - Wow! An overwhelming smell of smokiness or burnt wood.

T - A decent tasting beer if you're really into smoke! A strong smoke presence with a taste of bacon? Yup, I'm getting a spicy, almost meaty smokiness while I drink this. The beer has a slight sweetness from the malts and some hops give it a bitter aftertaste. A beer that lives up to it's style. Tastes like I just inhaled a hit of bonfire smoke! The alcohol is not noticeable.

M - A slight tingle from the carbonation. On the thin side for consistency.

O - A beer that is truly a rauchbier! Not what I call a refreshing beer but it is not bad. This beer was rated on how close I would imagine it is to being correct for the style. Not a beer I'd drink on a regular basis but I enjoyed giving it a try. Thanks again, Pat for sharing the brews!


 1,058 characters

Photo of Jesse13713
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in the harvest sampler pack and poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearence - Pours a translucent brown color with little to no head. Appears red and slightly purple under the light.

Smell - immediately noticeable smoke and hot pepper. These notes overpower any malt or fruit that's inside the beer.

Taste - Very smokey with chipotle pepper spice. Unique and very malty. The heavy smoke sticks with the roof of your mouth for quite some time. Some of the darker fruits that were hidden in the smell come out in the taste.

Mouth feel and overall - Tingles and simmers on the tongue. The smokiness is tasty and one of a kind, but can get a little strong and repetitive since it lingers strongly on your tongue between sips. I reccomene sipping this to get the most out of the flavor. Drinking it too quickly turned me off for a bit. A bit carbonated.

 867 characters

Photo of mjw2808
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer for the first time while camping around a fire. It poured a nice copper color with a solid head. The smell is mostly od of roasted malt, you can tell they roasted it. The taste is very very smokey and pleasant. Mostly of roasted malt and caramel. the mouthfeel is very creamy. This beer is good, perfect for fall or around a fire.

 344 characters

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

 384 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.62/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from the Fall Mix Pack. Pours a clear copper color with a dense cap of tan head. Lacing is minimal and retention decent.

The smoke is pretty delicate on the nose and the caramely malt aroma is certainly noticeable in the background.

Id say the smoke level is right at about medium, maybe a little under. Toast and caramel make up a healthy malt backbone...Im guessing it would be an Amber Ale if the smoke was removed. Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but not too much to complain about. Its fairly pleasant, I wouldnt mind a heavier smoke flavor but it is a pretty solid effort from BBC.

 597 characters

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 DrDemento456
4.22/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A very nice dark brown with Head of a nice half inch and it looks kind of creamy.

S - First smells were smoke and ash with a bit of sweetness but as it warms I can almost smell candied bacon with a slight ashy malt. My friend put it in my head that it had a "salami" tone to the nose.

T - Smokey for sure but not to the point of ash more like overcooked bacon. Smokey then bacon then a sweet finish like brown sugar goodness.

M - Light to medium I enjoyed sipping this one.

Overall I am quite impressed with this offering and even though I haven't had many of the style I can say this one is the best so far.

 617 characters

Photo of JMad
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a pint glass...

Pours a brown color with dark red hues and a filmy tan head. The smell is mostly smoky wood with some sweet malt and a hint of bacon. It tastes of burnt bacon, there is a slight tang to it and it has a bitter smoky finish. This beer is very smooth with a medium body, moderate carbonation and a dry finish. I thought this was a good beer, the smoke isn't too powerful and it has a nice balance between sweet and bitter.

 454 characters

Photo of mattkoon
4.03/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tend to like beer with smoked hops a lot and this bonfire from sam adams is another good one. The color is a rich brown. The smell almost reminds me of a smokey cheese (but in a good way). The flavor is a miriad of malt and smokey hops all swirled together.there is also a rich sweetness on the rear end. This rauchbier is also very smooth and drinkable. I got this beer is avariety pack- I've never seen it on it's own- but if I did I'd def. Buy it.

 452 characters

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.

 1,120 characters

Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SA's Rauchbier, finally in bottles included in the Harvest Collection. I have to say that SA's Fall pack is ALWAYS my favorite, even over the Winter pack and god knows I love my Holiday and Old Fezzi. On the the review!

Pours a dark ruby with a 1/2" light tan head that simmers down into a fizzy light cap. Smell of the Caramel and Pale 2 row dominate the nose, along with a mild hop presence and a soft touch from the smoked peat malt.

Taste is phenominal. I think this is one of the better SA offerings, and should be put into 6... wait, no 12.... errrmmm, I mean 30pk cases! Sweet Caramel and pale malts up front with the bit of smoke riding on top, finished with a slight bitterness from a noble I would imagine. The mouthfeel is alot thicker than most Rauch's, but makes me feel warm and toasty even in this god damn 90*+ temp here in Georgia. A spot on hit for SA in the Rauchbier Cat.

Overall, I want MORE MORE MORE!!!! I really want a Imp version of this, cranked up to 7% and loaded with smoke! Do yourself a favor, if your reading this and you haven't tried it, go get it immediately! If you like smoked beers and foods, you'll be glad you did! Cheers!

 1,165 characters

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.

 411 characters

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 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.

 484 characters

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.

 265 characters

Photo of tzieser
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a sam adams perfect pint glass. part of the harvest collection 12 pack.

a: pours a clear dark brown color with a thin, one finger head that quickly settles into a very thin lacing around the glass. i expected a bit darker, closer to black but it still looks good.

s: malty aroma with strong notes of smoke and malt breadyness.

t: sweet caramel malts are quickly subdued by a blanket of smoke. layers of smoke flavor make up most of the flavor. finishes nice and sweet with notes of toffee and darkened ripe smoked fruits. very nice.

m: smooth mouthfeel;

fantastic rauchbier. certainly the greatest mass-produced rauchbier on the market. i would still take an aecht schlenkerla or a rogue smoke ale over this any day, but this definitely fixes my smoke craving.

 796 characters

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).

 775 characters

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An amber/caramel color with a nice head that quickly dissapates. The flavor is indeed smoky but not overwhelming. A little like beef jerky or smoked turkey made liquid! (Nice) This would be better in the colder months, since it leaves a nice warming feel.

 255 characters

Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.53 out of 5 based on 575 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!