Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

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53 Ratings

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 02-26-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 44
Reviews by UMNbeerhunter:
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Russian River glass on 8/24/11.

Pours a dark brown with deep reddish amber hues when held to the light. Nice bubbly light colored head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. I would like to have seen a little lacing on this but otherwise very nice.

Smell is of some roasted malts and... Camp fire! really nice subtle smoky campfire aroma. Some sweet malt hits as well.

Taste is again a nice touch of smoke and some carmel malting. A little sweetness but not much. Interesting. I would like some more sweet to the flavor but its really nice.

Mouthfeel is moderate to medium but moves smoothly through the pallet with a nice tingle. Almost like a smoky, malty, lager feel to it.

Overall I am really surprised and impressed with this offering from Schells. I wish I could have this every fall around a Minnesota campfire in late October. Delicious.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Flat Earth pint glass (at least it's a Minnesota brewery). Best by date of July 17, 2011.

Appearance: Fairly dark amber-red that appears halfway between Cherry wood & Mahogany. Thin off-white head.

Smell: Smoke, char, toast, caramel and cherry.

Taste: Initial blast of smoke and charbroiled meat, but then deepens to include great semi-sweet malts with an emphasis on caramel and cherry. Some light toast and biscuit are almost hidden under the smoke, before ending with light spicy hops, and another blast of lingering smoke.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body that is fairly smooth and crisp.

Drinkability: Pretty damn good Rauchbier. This is one of Schell's best beers, and since this is also an underrepresented style, they should make this part of their regular line-up. And add the Weihnachtbier and Baltic Porter while you're at it.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. L: Pours brilliant chestnut under a thin white foam cap.
S: Has all of the smoky malt aromas you would expect from a Rauchbier
T: The smoky malt tastes include dark bready malt and dark caramel flavors with just a touch of hops, which is appropriate for the style.
F: Medium body and medium carbonation.
O: Smoky malt flavors fall midrange making a drinkable beer that is not as challenging as some Rauchbiers.

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Photo of Sammy
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This met the characteristics of the style, but was making me feel a little off. I was fine with the beers before and after. Decent head on a brown body. So-so, not too drinkable. Too carbonated, otehrwise average mouthfeel.Thanks John.Needs more better malting.

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Photo of plfahey
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber, with bright ruby red highlights. Brilliantly clear. Pillowy beige head with moderately high retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Smells a little bit rougher than tranditional smoked lagers (Schlenkerla), but still pretty darn good-wood fire, slightly hammy/bacony, and a certain, fruity wood aroma like old furniture, I believe from the cherry wood.

Flavor-The flavor is just alright after the aroma-somewhat watery smoke flavors, with notes of cherry wood and light char, similar to the wood flavors imparted by plank smoking fish or meat. A bit sweet, though rather dry in the finish. Dissipates too quickly, and lacks a depth of smokiness.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth with no harsh edges.

Pretty good attempt at a classic rauchbier, but this one falls a little flat on the flavor for me.

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Photo of dbossman
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark copper hue with a thick, bubbly head that dissipates rather quickly to a thin head; looks pretty bubbly; not the greatest lacing

S: Obviously a lot of smoke here but also some caramel and bready malts with a touch of lemon

T: Really smokey up front and the smoke flavor is really meaty--ham and salt; it thins out a bit in the end but a bready sweet caramel with a touch of dark fruits finish out the flavors

F: A bit too thin overall for my liking though a decent amount does stick to the back of the tongue

O: Quite smokey and bready, which is a nice combination; but I just wish it had a little more body which would help out the appearance and mouth feel

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Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper color with one finger of dense head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Mostly smoke in the aroma. I do not get any smoked meat smell but just a pure smoke. I also pick up some pale malt.

The flavor reminds me a lot of the Rauchbiers from Bamberg. Smokey with just a hint of sweet malt underneath. The level of smoke is high but not overwhelming. A faithful example of the style.

Body has enough heft to support the smoke and the carbonation is spot on.

Not a beer that I would drink more than one in a sitting. Not because of any defects in the beer, but do to the smokey nature that does not invite continuous consumption.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to brewseum for the local! Love smoked beers!

Pours a very nice dark mahogany color, with a light tan head consisting of big bubbles. Nice smoky, campfire aroma with some supporting malt sweetness. Again, nice smoky notes on the taste. Not huge, but it's assertive and well balanced. The lightly sweet, caramel malt background adds to that balance. It's a little be on the light bodied side, lacking a little desired creaminess, but nothing too detracting.

Overall, a very well-balance, tasty Rauchbier! Very glad to have tried it!

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another huge thanks for the dominating large selection of midwest beers i have had lately. first beer i ha after returning home this one was poured into a pint glass.

The pour was very nice, with a 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. Nice and light with a even and smooth carbonation profile, and a quick finish that left a lasting roasted malt flavor and a nice sense of smokiness on the palate.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of bwiechmann
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Around $10-11 for a six pack of 12oz bottles. Poured into a pint glass

Pours a gorgeous amber color with a small head of white foam which disappears almost instantly- very very few carbonation bubbles noticed but still an attractive beer.

Smell is primarily smoke of course but this is supported by bready caramel malt- smoke doesn't punch in the face but is assertive.

Taste is great. Smoke up front announces its presence and then lets the sweet caramel malt notes take center stage- then the smoke reappears at the end. Great balance.

Weaker mouthfeel. Excessively low carbonation- not sure if something was wrong with this bottle but the beer was nearly dead flat by the end which does not match up with what I've heard others say about this brew. Didn't detract hugely from the overall impression but hopefully the others in the 6er are better.

Drinkability is high due to deliciousness. Goes down easy but after 1 or 2, one may be overloaded with smoky goodness. Worth a try- a great beer in a style which doesn't get the attention it deserves. I'll adjust my score if carbonation is better with the next bottle.

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Photo of LoadedSchells
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I see a dark crystal clear mahogany hue with a light parchment head that retains for only a few minutes with a wee bit of lacing. It wreaks of smoked meats and bonfire. I must say for a rauch this one tastes really close to the classic Bamburg Slench rauch. Of all of the rachbiers I have had this is by far closest to the authentic German variety. Heavy smoke and heavy malt makes it a delightful rauch variety. Doesn't quite have the same mouth as a German a bit light. Overall I'd say the little German town of New Ulm does a great job of representing the style. This is my favorite stag of the bunch.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A decent off-white head atop a dark brown, iced tea colored body. Nice clarity.

S: Heavy wood smoke, with light brown malt underneath.

T: Smokey flavors are as heavy as the smell suggests, but the malts show more complexity here, adding some caramel and toasted aspects along with a touch of sweetness. Not light on the smoke, but not overly one-dimensional either and the secondary flavors really started to show up for me about half way through a pint.

M: Impressively soft and smooth feel with light carbonation.

For its style, this is easily the best of the few Schell’s beers I’ve tried, though one or two rauchbiers is plenty for me.

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Photo of mdwalsh
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Lighter brown with a three finger beige head. Lots of active carbonation make for a very tightly bubbled head with a nice creamy smooth top. Carbonation bubbles are actually pretty crazy. A little lighter than I would have expected, but amazing clarity.

S: Smoke. Dominated by a peaty, woody, scotch-like smoke. I think maybe a little maltiness would be ok, though I suppose "scotch-like" means that is what I'm smelling. But there is no other word that can describe this than smoky. There's some mineral, sine earth, but it's all just a part of the smoke.

T: Still extremely smoky, but there's a bit more of a roast that comes through, somewhat chocolatey. The smoke is there, it's intense, but it isn't overwhelming. I love it.

M: Nice carbonation and body help this beer from becoming overwhelming.

D: Good beer to drink, great beer to drink with food.

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Photo of beachscrat
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sixer of 12oz bottles. Cool classic old school labels title "Stag Series" Limited Release Batch no. 3

Deep mahogany with brilliant clarity, about a finger of foam. Sophisticated.

Initially intense maybe fruit wood smoke aroma that fades into roasted malt and bready lager yeast.

Clean, very green wet wood smoke, does not linger or distract. Moves into toasted bittersweet malt and bread with a clean finish.

Pair this with slow braised pork on the bone. Think sweet rich pork fat! BBQ might be over doing it though, too much smoke. A softer gouda would be another good choice.
Actually some buckwheat flapjacks with some Grade A maple syrup would be a killer pairing as well.

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Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from 12 oz bottle into pint glass BB 071711

A- pours a a clear dark mahogany color with beautiful garnet hues a nice 1 finger khaki color head leaves lacing and a fresh collar thru out

S- smoked malts up front with sweet caramel and baked bread a hint of beef jerky

T- smoked malts hit the palate first with a sweet caramel baked bread middle followed by some dark fruits like blackberry or elderberry, some fig a nice light smoke finish of dried meats play out nice

M- robust with smoke and meat taste but not overpowering,has some creamy texture to it,lots of malts and caramel/fruit

O- a great representation of the style.. well made tasty

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Photo of woodychandler
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big ups and major props to Chaz for sending this as an extra (among others) in a recent CANTrade! Second only to Kvass, Rauchbier is my second favorite style (or maybe first and I am a congenital liar). It is part of their "Stag Series", "Limited Release Batch # 3" and I am honored to be a part of it!

From the bottle: "Stag Series # 3 was brewed with a blend of beechwood and cherrywood smoked malts to create a twist on our interpretation of a traditional Franconian Rauchbier".

Stag Series, eh? It's Stag Night at the Woodman's and the strippers are here in bounteous abundance! A sheet has been stretched across the living room wall and my buddy, Larry, is screening 8mm films for everyone not otherwise engaged. A poker game (or two) (or more) is going on the basement and some of the guys have gone up to the attic with some muggles they scored at a jazz club earlier in the week. Dig this crazy groove, baby!

Hey, I dig the style descriptor, but its origins in the 1500s should be made clearer. I though that it was earlier, but that may just be me. We are talking the Middle Ages, though, a time of plague and pestilence and fear of death was rampant. The worst thing that could happen to a brewster was the presence of rodents, which would mean that the malt would have to be destroyed. Think of the first few lines of the nursery rhyme, "This Is the House That Jack Built" - the cat killed the rat that ate the malt that sat in the house that Jack built. Larry Bell is still solvent because he scored some malt on the cheap, showing its value even today. They knew that smoking meats and cheeses not only preserved them, but it also detracted rodents, since the smell of smoke was one of fire and danger to them. They began smoking malt to ward off rodents, only to find that the smokiness of the malt was imparted to the beer. Thus, a style was born.

My pour resulted in two rocky fingers of light-tan head with moderate retention. Color was a deep-ruby with NE-quality clarity. F'in' beautiful! Nose was pungent with cedar wood smoke, very evocative of a campfire, lovely. Mouthfeel was medium, but the taste was heavenly. If you have had smoked Gouda cheese, you will be able to conjure the taste of this beer. I began to look around to make sure that nothing was actually on fire. My sinuses were filled with a smoky woodiness and my taste buds were tying to cope with the smokiness inherent in this beer. The finish tasted like dragon's breath - raw, smoky, fiery, just as it should be. Limited!?! Shame on you! This should be a Fall seasonal (at least).

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Photo of AgentZero
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to Chris.

A - Copper colored beer with an off-white head that faded to a ring with minor sick on the sides.

S - Sweet caramel malts, reminds me a little bit of a bock beer in some ways. There's a lot of smoke in there, but the flavors aren't blending very well, and it gives the impression that somehow it's watered down.

T - Rauchbiers have a tendency to taste watered down, and this one doesn't seem to be an exception. Lots of smoke, sweet caramel walts, with kind of a watered down taste.

M - Moderate carbonation, lighter side of medium bodied.

O - Style this is hard to impress me with, and I found this a little bland and boring. Nothing I'd go for again.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A body that is about the color of strong iced tea. Just a shade of head on the pour, leaves a thin cream-colored skin. Deep smokiness in the nose, sharp and pungent. The underlying beer is a sweet, malty lager. The smokiness of the beer is done as well as any other. It is pungent and assertive, without being obnoxious or seeming like it doesn't fit in the beer. Overall, this beer is well made start to finish, a great representative of the style. This is the best non-stout smoked beer I have had the privilege of tasting.

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Photo of aliving1
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Greggy
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark amber color with hints of brown. The very light tan head is rather quick to dissipate leaving no lacing.

S- Deep caramel, prunes, raisins and smoke! Minnesota butcher shops comes to mind with smoked venison. A little bit of campfire comes through as well.

T- Starts out very malty with some dark fruit notes, nice bits of smoke and a slightly dry finish.

M- Very round bock-like feel. Appropriate carbonation.

D- Schell Brewery lists this as 6-7% abv. Overall it's very drinkable and a great beer, especially with food. I hope to find more!

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Photo of doucmehu
2/5  rDev -50.1%

Photo of KarlHungus
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark ruby color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of smoked meats, bacon, campfire, caramel, and hint of English toffee. It is a very assertive, and complex aroma. The taste is less smokey and more malty than the aroma. The caramel and toffee flavors up front make me think I am drinking a bock for a second then the smoke kicks in on the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation, and a sticky texture. Too sticky, in fact, for my taste. Overall, I really like the flavor and aroma of this beer, but the more of it I drink the more I have a problem with the mouthfeel.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Yea! Another in the Stag Series.
Experience starts with a lovely tame smoke aroma. Never overbearing or too intense, holding the quality of smoked meat.
Head is tan and rather short-lived, although it never completely disappears. Body is brilliantly clear in browns and red.
Oh boy is this nicely smoked. As with aroma, apparent but never too much. Soft bitterness towards the end. Seems like a real soft fruit flavor intermixed with a tad of hops.
Lager quality with a lighter cleaner body and feel. My one "complaint" is the bite of the carbonation that holds a particularly sharp feel.
This would/will go great with food. Enjoying this one with small pieces of cheese. Very nice. Drinkabiltiy is very good. My son downed two very quickly, as he enjoyed this a lot too.

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Rauchbier from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 53 ratings