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

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Samuel Adams Bonfire RauchbierSamuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier
578 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 578 |  Reviews: 238
Photo of stckhndlr
3.49/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very little head which is very dissapointing coming from the company that prides itself on those thick heads. absolutely no retention to it. But the color is nice. Dark amber color.

S- it reminds me of the smoke rising out of a back woods fire. Mixes in with a malty scent that's light and crisp.

T- Heavier malts with a honey flavor. but the honey is more like a wild flower honey that's more raw and less sweet than everyday honey. Mellow flavor with a bit of a smokey finish.

M- Actually has a good medium body to it. Not too thick not thin.

O- Not too bad. Not my top pick of the Sam Adams beers but I think this one would be a great one to drink on a night when the air gets that first chill of fall in it. Since that time is almost here I look forward to trying this one again.

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Photo of bnes09
3.79/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber to copper in color. Weak head with poor retention and little lacing. Descent clarity.

Big smokey aroma rises up from the brew with smoked sausage and wheat bran notes.

Heavy whole wheat flavored malt backbone forms the base. Massive smokey flavors flood your mouth and make you think you're eating a Polish sausage. A touch of almond. Mild caramel sweetness which is well overpowered. Smokey through and through.

Lighter to medium-bodied, slightly watery in my opinion. Well carbonated and drying.

Pretty good stuff if you are in the mood. The smokiness is in-your-face from the get-go. Looking forward to trying more beers of this style.

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Photo of riversider76
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber orange with a fluffy head. Decent retention and really nice lacing. Aroma is sweet and malty. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is sweet and malty.Nice and crisp,with somke through out,but espically in the finish. Very good stuff.

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Photo of fsvan
3.62/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe. Best by of 1/2012.

A- Amber, translucent, finger of slightly lingering off white head. Looks like an amber ale.

S- Meaty smoke, like deeply cooked, unseasoned pork. Smokey wood notes beneath the meat.

T- Following the smell. Big meaty smokiness completely dominates. A sipper for sure.

M- A little light of medium.

O- Not a bad rauchbier. This isn't a style that I would go back to often, but this is pretty good.

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Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
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 TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +13.4%
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 scratch69
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
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 DovaliHops
4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost-clear, amber color with a small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is smokey, like smoked ham...with a bit of toasty malt aromas. Taste initially tastes like a slab of delicious smoke breakfast ham. Once you get used to the smokiness, the malt flavors really kick in. Finishes fairly sweet. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very tasty. Overall, this is a very tasty Rauchbier. Love the smokiness and drinkability.

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

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A- A dark copper, I'd say almost leaning toward bronze. Fairly gentle pour, but no real head to speak of. Not much lacing either, but what's there has some staying power.

S- Of course the smoke is there, but I get a lot of sweetness from the malts.

T- Again, the smoke is there, but I get a lot of sweetness with toffee and some baker's chocolate. Minimal bitterness, I find it understated and well balanced.

M- On the lighter side of medium, soft carbonation.

O- I really enjoy this beer. It's the only rauchbier I've tried, and honestly I'm looking for more smoke. Now I grew up in Southeast Texas and have eaten heavily smoked barbecue all my life, so maybe that's why. I enjoy the smoke, love the style and look for to expanding my rauchbier experience. Cheers!

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, best by January '12, cool label

Appearance: Bright, medium copper orange beer with a nice ivory cap which fades to a medium film a bit too fast

Smell: Definitely some nice meaty/smokey aromas, though less intense than those from Schlenkerla or the other traditional German brewers. Where the aforementioned examples smell more like straight-up bacon, this is more like a nicely smoked Thanksgiving ham or turkey.

Taste: A good deal more smoke in the flavors than in the aromas. Though there is a bit of meaty smokiness, this is more about dry, very mildly astringent, woodsy smoke. It's a bit like the name, actually, bonfire-like. Clean lager finish, but a bit of the astringency hangs on.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, on the light side

Overall: While something of an Americanized take on the style (slightly different smoke character, less malt depth/intensity) this is actually a pretty ballsy little number from BBC. Definitely a nice addition to the fall variety pack!

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Photo of Smixam
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a sam glass.

A - Copper and clear, yellowish head that fades quickly. No real lacing.

S - Hickory smoke and malt, soft floral or some sort of fruit, almost like a weis.

T - Really unexpected. Moderate 'smokiness,' that's really more easily related to a meat flavor in a way; not that it tastes like pulled pork, but it has that kind of finish. Nice soft malt and a little caramel touch. No bitterness at all.

M - Very clean, lingers for a while but not in an unpleasant way.

This was kind of a shock for me, I didn't expect Sam to take a chance at a relatively limited style like this. Definitely a solid offering - I'd definitely keep an eye out for this on tap!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.82/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of Tee76
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber color with little head that faded quickly

S: Smoke! it's very predominate, some malts are present but the smell mainly reminds me of smoked meat or a bonfire.

T: Smoked meat like bacon or beef jerky. Much like the smell the smoke flavor is predominate.

M: Kind of thin bodied, Carbonation is minimal

D: Not bad, the smoke is really "in your face" but not off putting. Wouldn't be able to drink more than 1 or 2 of these in a sitting though.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12. oz bottle from a Harvest Mixpack poured into a short hexagonal glass:

A - Good dark amber with little carbonation and a decently creamy head that quickly dissipates into a tight lace.

S - Oaky, woody, smoky aromas up front give the smell a scotch whiskey like characteristic. Roasted malts give an almost coffee like sense to things with almost some subtle fruit somewhere in the background.

T - Very approachable for the style. The flavor is consistent, smoky, malty, but the smoke is not overpowering like in a Schlenkerla. There is a subtle tartness to the brew that provides a good complement to the smoke and malt. Not much bitter but it is noticeable in the finish which is relatively dry with lingering hints of smoke.

M - Clean drinking with a good carbonation and an even mouthfeel followed by some residual tannic bitterness.

O - A very nice Rauchbier. Probably the most approachable and sessionable of the style that I've had. It has that Sam Adams character but is complemented well by a prominent but not overpowering smokiness. A good seasonal outing for a company who has some less than stellar brews they throw in to these seasonal mixpacks.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Second bottle was poured into a pot and used to boil cheese brats.

A: Dark, dark brown with charcoal highlights. Poured with 1-finger of tan head.

S: Smokey with dark malts and spices.

T: Meat spiced and smoked and seasoned with a sort of salty soy sauce quality. Smoke flavor almost entirely drowns out the dark malt and bittering hops.

M: Medium and kinda sticky. Carbonation is minimal.

O: Not awful, but the smoke is really overpowering and it's hard to drink more than a half glass of this stuff. The brats turned out great though.

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

A - light amber color, decent head fairly decent retention, but settles a bit into a lace

S - smoky malts, hard to discern to a degree but I would suspect both beechwood and cherrywood

T - smoky slightly sweet malt with strong smoky character, balanced hop bitterness on finish so that the beer isn't sweet but fairly dry

M - medium high carbonation, medium body

O - This is surprisingly a good beer to style. I'm quite impressed. I think there is a blend of cherry and beechwood smoked malts here, which makes for an interesting combination. It retains the authentic Bamburg taste with a bit of the American edge. Very well done - cheers!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.92/5  rDev +17%
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

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Photo of buffettfan
4.35/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

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Photo of AutumnBeerLove
3.66/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.72/5  rDev +11%
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!

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Photo of WMEugene
4.02/5  rDev +20%
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.

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Photo of EricMichael
3.82/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of clint1019
2.51/5  rDev -25.1%
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 BuxMontBeerLover
3.95/5  rDev +17.9%
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!


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Photo of Jesse13713
3.06/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 578 ratings