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

Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
Liked This Beer
3.35 w/ 576 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 576 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of tvv375ia
4.17/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pilsner glass

A-nice light copper color with about a finger of head that disappeared quickly

S-lots of hardwood smoke followed by some sweet carmel

T-smoke comes out here too maybe like the dark outside(the bark) of a piece of smoke pork with maybe a little bacon and carmel

M-good carbonation

O-I like to use my smoker so whats not to love with smoked beer I wish this came in 6 packs and not just in the fall sampler

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Photo of Fulky
3.1/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 16 oz taste activator shaker.

I'll just say I was anticipating this, along with the Harvest Pumpkin, to be impressive, unique, and complex beers that were enjoyable to drink even in large quantities. Especially so for this one, that is not the case.

It has a good medium to dark brown pour that has a nice head with good retention and nice lacing throughout.

It smells promising. It has a nice smokey hint that is accompanied by sweet and caramel malts.

Unique is certainly a word you could use to describe this beers flavor. It is completely overwhelmed by the taste of smoke. Like taking a big bite out of a piece of burnt firewood. There are some of those sweet undertones in there somewhere. And with each drink, the smoke flavor becomes less intense. When you burp, and you assuredly will, it'll taste as though you'd been drinking a Budweiser around a camp fire.

It has a good full body with quite a bit of carbonation.

Overall certainly not my favorite beer, and not all I cracked it up to be. I think maybe if I had gone into it without the presumption that this would be great, I would actually be a bit more impressed. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't great either.

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Photo of MadCat
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber in color, short white head, leaves little lacing

Smell: Lots of sweet smokey malts

Taste: A very peaty, smokey, sweet malty flavor. Nothing like the Triumph Rauchbier I've had. The peaty part of the flavor is unexpected. Not very balanced. I have to say, I don't like it as much as I thought I would.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with full carbonation

Overall: They were putting themselves out there with this one, and unfortunately it falls flat. I wanted to like it too.

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Photo of Jeymac
2.02/5  rDev -39.7%
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 MrOH
3.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber, single finger of white head.

Smoke, malt. I don't know how else to put it. Smells really good, but it smells like smoked malt. I can't really go to much further in depth, without giving it attributes it doesn't have. Needless to say, I enjoy the aroma.

Smoked meats, malt. A slight tang that I've gotten out of every beer in this variety pack so far, that I don't remember from Sam Adams in the past. I'll have to check previous reviews. Balanced and not overpowering with the smoke. A light spicyness at the end. Quite complex.

The mouthfeel says, this can go down easy if you let it.

Possibly the best US made traditional rauchbier I've had?

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Amber in color, clear, thick, long lasting white head.

Smell: Smoked malt, caramel, toffee

Taste: Smokey, malty, caramel, toffee

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, good carbonation.

Overall: A good, very drinkable rauchbier. No overpowering elements, smoked element is not overly assertive.

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Photo of mnrider
3.72/5  rDev +11%
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.


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Photo of elNopalero
4.12/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’ve been on a rauchbier kick lately, as I’ve made note of in previous reviews. Dunno what sparked it but anytime I see a smoked beer I have a burning desire to try it out. But enough lame puns! On to the beer!

This pours a nice, smoky auburn. A shade lighter than the bottle it came in, a tinge of ruddy reddish-brown. There’s a muted whiff of smoke on the nose, very subtle. Not anywhere as dominant or overpowering as some of the other, bolder smoked beers I’ve tried. But don’t be fooled, on the first sip you’ll definitely catch the smoked presence. This one finishes dry—and sharp. Very enjoyable. Pleasing. Even as it warms. I’d buy a sixer of this, especially for the price that SA beers go for. Overall another solid brew from these guys. I’d love to see Sam Adams introduce the masses to rauchbiers by promoting this guy.

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Photo of KajII
3.12/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled mug]

The pour was a clear light to medium brown with a slight amber hue and had an average size (1-2 finger) off white rocky head that quickly dissipated and produced fair lacing.

The aroma was a nice mix of toasted grain malts, a light spruce hop and a cheesy yeast with a strong smoky note.

It tasted a little sweet and malty with a hint of caramel at first then became slightly bitter with a moderate smoky note at the end with the flavor lasting a decent amount of time after the swallow.

Mouthfeel was just a tad under medium in body and had a dry texture with a nice mild carbonation.

Overall it was kind of what I expected from a Rauchbier, a strong smoke characteristic which basically took over in the flavor department at the finish.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.9/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby tints with a thin slightly off-white compacted fizzy head. Settles to a slight surface layer with a slight haze in the glass.

Right away, beechwood and campfire hit my nose. A bit of burnt caramel and even a bit of floral hops also comes through just a bit. Very nice nose!

Sipping reveals a slight caramel taste along with a punch of toasted malt and beechwood flavors. (I'm not the biggest fan of this style but I must say I am rather enjoying this one) Slight hops on the finish along with the campfire flavors that rauchbiers typically offer.

Great body, great feel overall. Nothing to report that is out of the ordinary, but the fact that it's great.

Overall, again, not the biggest fan of this style, but this is really good for the style in my opinion. My wife is usually the smoked beer person in the house, but she's had to fight me over these.

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Photo of Star80
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New in the variety pack, let's give it a try. Pours out a dark, copperish color with a tan head. The smell is mighty smokey, with some faintly detectable spicey hops in the background. The taste is a very smokey, then slightly sweet, malty, with a slight dry aftertaste. I have to admit this is my first Rauchbier. This beer would go great at a an autumn campfire, or with some good hickory smoked BBQ brisket or pork sausage. The mouthfeel is adequate and full, slightly prickly and carbonated, but still smooth. Overall I like this beer as it is a nice change of pace but I could never imagine drinking very many of these. But I am glad they packaged a few for the variety pack.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.27/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown, slightly transparent. thin cream colored head

S-smells like campfire and autumn spices...a really decent mix. good strength.

T-comes in with a taste of campfire and dark malts. its a really decent taste. the after-taste is matching but shows some great autumn spices as well. i'm surprised at how well put together and balanced this is. the flavors seem to be of pretty high quality too, which i don't find too often in Samuel Adams beers.

M-medium and creamy carbonation with a semi dry finish

O-i've had a few rauchbiers at this point, and this is by far the best that i've had...and that is saying a lot because i happen to be a fan of the style. i don't know why, but i love the smokey taste of bonfire, and this beer captures it very well, while adding a bit more to the table. i'm down right impressed with Samuel Adams on this one, it might be one of my favorites from them!

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Photo of jbertsch
3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. It's a dark mahogany/amber in color. The head is not too significant, but a nice foamy cap hangs around until the end.

Aroma is charcoal, smoked meat, molasses.

Taste follows aroma with smoked malts being prominent along with notes of salty/cured sausage, molasses, caramel. Earthy overall. A Bonfire definitely comes to mind when drinking....whether that's because it's in the name or coincidence, I can't tell.

Mouthfeel is smooth along with the mild carbonation typical from Sam Adams.

Overall this was enjoyable. It's malty goodness, yet not as smokey as other rauchbiers. It's consistent in being a solid-yet-not-astounding brew from Sam Adams. Just like they always make. I wouldn't turn down another.

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Photo of Brunite
3.53/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A brownish and clear brew.

S: Subtle smoke...Not as strong as most.

T: Exactly the same as the Smell

M: Medium mouthfeel

O: If forced to pick one of this style.,...this gets the nod. That said. Not a style I enjoy. Part of the Fall pack. I respect the effort.

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Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A clear dark, dark amber color with a thin line of bubbles on top.

S: A smoke and earth aroma.

T: A nice sweet, smoked malt flavor with some earthy hop. Very nice balanced flavor.

M: medium-light feel with good carbonation.

O: Not overly smoked, nice flavor, balanced and light. Pretty good beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.92/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Slightly hazy amber, with a copper hue. Off-white head disappears after a few minutes, leaving a nice ring.

Smoke in the nose, with a campfire smell. Some caramel malt, and a few slightly fruity notes.

Caramel malt up front, without much sweetness. Smoke comes in, more than subtle but also not overwhelming. Dry finish.

A bit on the lighter body side, with a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol is hidden. Enjoyable.

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Photo of Sweetmambyjamby
3.65/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Deep copper with fine clarity despite some chilled haze beneath a slightly creamy head of white foam that leaves some weak lacing. A bit too light though if you ask me.

S: Liquid smoke, stamped out ashes, peat moss, wet bark and a ham-like quality with some maple syrup notes.

T: Sweet toffee and caramel malts at first met with a very smoky flavor that imparts open-pit BBQ and pork. It also introduces some flavors of feet and Spanish olives which I found a bit repulsive. Very little bitterness except a slight herbal pull in the finish that breaks down the smoke-screen.

M: Medium bodied ale with a little weak, grainy feel in the finish, but a rich smoky aftertaste bolsters this a tad.

O: I haven't had many rauchbiers in my day because there just aren't enough people out there making them or distributing to CT anyway. Sam has managed to homogenize a unique style with its typically bland yeast but all told, its not a bad idea as a niche fall beer.

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Photo of JamesS
4.52/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice coppery-brown color with good head and decent lacing. Wonderful thick and hearty scent with some nice sweetness and a wonderful smokiness in the nose. Great flavor, a nice malty thickness with some nutty attributes and a wonderful hearty smoky flavor that goes great on a cool and rainy night on the back porch. Went down quite well, given the smokiness.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the fall variety pack.

It pours a very murky, dark mahogany with ruby notes when held to the light. A light tan head starts out about two fingers and fades pretty fast into a sudsy film. Creamy walls of lace.

The aroma has a faint smoky scent with a dark, burnt toast and caramel in the backbone. Enticing and interesting, but very subtle. Most SA stuff tends toward the subtle carefulness, but that is their style.

Sweet porter-like front with a nice smoky, salty finish. Some cocoa undertones with some burnt, roasty notes too. A touch of dark fruit. Beechwood, bacon and toast. Herbal hops makes presence in bittering and smoky finish. Very approachable.

Interesting, but I couldn't drink many of these. Slight watery finish, but great job on getting the smoke to come through. Stronger smoke than I expected, but very nice.

Dry, salty finish, medium body but feels thinner than a porter. I guess it is a black ale. Better than expected, but I couldn't do a lot.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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 haywire77
3.34/5  rDev -0.3%
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 ElmerBruisery
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany with off white thick head that slowly falls leaving decent lacing. I don't think I've ever seen a bee this dark brownish red, it looks pretty good.

It smells sweet, notes of cherry and wood with smoke becoming significantly more noticeable as it warms. 

Taste is sweet and smokey. Notes of bacon and smoked meat. Think sweet unsalted beef jerky. There is noticeable sweet malt in there to remind you this smokey concoction is still beer.

Mouthfeel is smooth but full.

This is my first rauchbier (other than half of one a few years ago) so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but it's pretty good. After a few sips it really starts to grow on me. I like it, and I'm definitely going to seek out other rauchbiers soon.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
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 Arenbeer
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Mug

A- Pours a reddish brown with no head, tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

S- Campfire smoke, sweet and roasted caramel malts, earthy, and some grains. Nothing crazy but actually smells real nice.

T- Just like the aroma. Up front your hit with a strong smoked meat flavor that is followed by a sweetness from the caramel/toffee notes. Has some earthy characteristics from a slight hop presence that is pretty tasty.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a decently bitter finish.

Overall this is probably on of the best Sam Adams beers i've had in a while. The smoke is there but not in your face like most rauchbiers. Definitely a good beginner smoked beer.


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Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 38.9% out of 100 with 576 ratings
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