Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

Liked This Beer
4.01 w/ 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.

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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of I2uss
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of MNPostal
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was at a local liqour store and mentioned my love of smoke style beers and they suggested I grab their last 6 pack of this. I am so glad they did. I am very impressed with this beer. While it is a smoke with that wonderful bacon taste, it seems to taste lighter than most smoke beers. It was chilled a little more than I would normally have it at, but what a treat on a warm summer day.

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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 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 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 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 aliving1
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

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

A-Dark copper color...nice clarity.

S-Nice strong smoked meats aroma (salami, pepperoni)..some toasty maltiness as well.

T-The smoke is stronger on the aroma than on the taste but it is still the dominant element although it takes on a more balanced role. It is still the first thing impression I notice, but the toasted maltiness is there too.

M-Clean....smooth...lagerish..reminds me of a Vienna Lager backbone with a nice smoky element.

O-Very well done. Nice strong smoked meat characteristics...I'm not a huge fan of the style but appreciate a good one when I get one and this is a good one and then some.

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Photo of jera1350
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber/copper color with a sandy colored sudsy head that shrinks to a ring pretty quickly. No lacing on the glass.

The nose is full of the smoked malt. Picking up notes of firewood and bacon as well.

Wow, this is so tasty. Tons of campfire taste with smoked meat and woody notes. A nice malty sweetness compliments all of the smoke. The finish is surprisingly clean with just a hint of the smoke that preceded it.

Medium bodied and very smooth with a slight chewiness to it.

Spot on for the style and I would say this gives Schlenkerla a run for its money. This is an outstanding smoked beer that drinks really well. Personally, I could drink a couple of these easily. This will pair very nicely with some BBQ for sure. I'm asking already: Schell's, PLEASE make this a year-round or at the very least a yearly seasonal!

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Photo of AmericanGothic
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint. Label says this is Batch #3.

A: Pours a clear, dark copper with one finger of pale tan head. Good retention and lace.

S: Good dose of smoke with a bit of caramel malt underneath.

T: Good smoky flavor up front yields a bit to some sweet malt in the middle, but then the smoke comes back on the finish. Good stuff.

M: Fairly light and a bit creamy.

O: This is a very nice rauchbier. The smoke is assertive but never gets out of line. Glad to see such a nice example of the style from an American brewer. Another win for Schell.

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Photo of Mdog
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear reddish-brown, good head.

Smell: A mix of chimney smoke and smoked meats.

Taste: Smoked meats-summer sausage, some mild underlying sweetness and maybe even a little hop bite at the end.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, but you can tell it has some weight behind it.

Drinkability: Very tasty, not too expensive, I'd say very good.

Stag series #3 is a winner in my book, not overpowering with smoke but definitely the main flavor. Going to have to pick up some more before it's gone!

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Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper with a 2 finger light tan head with good retention and some lacing. The aroma has smoke malt, cherry wood, caramel malt, and hops.

The taste has smoked malt, (much like smoky bacon or ham), caramel, and hops. The flavor is sweet and smoky, balanced by some bitter hops. Nicely done.

Medium bodied, above average carbonation, has a sweet and smoky aftertaste.

I like this beer quite a bit, and can see this paring nicely with some barbecued pork or brisket.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous dark coppery rust color, quite clear bodied with a healthy glow and good carbonation within. A firm beige crown of about a finger high sits well before settling to a hefty skim with a few spots of lace.

Aroma is pretty solid with a bold waft to the smoked malt which brings to mind smoked fish or bacon that's tenderly sweetened and a touch peppery with a smoldering campfire in the distance.

Great smokey flavor thats mildly set in overall tone and length with a clean finish. Again, slightly meaty, sausage or hard salami come to mind on the taste with a bit of smoked trout.

Clean, round, crisp, and just under a medium body with a simple yet firm grab of smokey tones to it.

A swell Schells! A very solid little Rauchbier.

 739 characters

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 psykosis
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep malty molasses colors. Beautiful. Dark and mysterious.

S-clean yet smokey if that makes sense. It's intriguing. Kinda smells burnt, but in a good way.

T-a lot of smoke up front, followed quickly by an sweetness, much like maple syrup. Back of the palate has a little bit of hops. Looking back on the flavor, it really was like mellow hickory smoked maple syrup propped up by a solid but subtle hop backbone.

M-looks, smells, and tastes like it should be rich and thick, but it's not. It's simple, smooth and light. Goes down smooth and easy.

O-complex, unique, and unexpected. Great blend of flavors, and very satisfying. Could be a great beer all year long. Even in the summer, the lightness of the mouthfeel makes this a very enjoyable beer. I got this beer as a gift, and opened it with no preconceived notions, and was happily surprised with the results. Great beer, and it would be fantastic with some good bbq.

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Photo of armock
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chixdighops for hooking this bottle up in the Good People Farm System BIF

A - Poured a mahogany color with a thin tan head that quickly fades to a ring

S - Has a very nice meaty smoked malt nose

T - Like the nose the flavor is all smoked malt with some meatiness to it

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

O - I really like this beer to me you can never have too much smoke and a lot of Rauchbiers fall short to me but this one here has a very nice smoke flavor that I love if you like Rauchbiers this is a good one to get your hands on

 576 characters

Photo of jjanega08
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Stag Series #3 Stamp on neck of bottle reads

A= Pours a dark amber color with a nice thick finger of head on it with some steady retention and solid lacing on the glass. Lighter than most other smoked beers I've had but this would be my first Rauchbier.

S= First thing I notice when I crack the glass is the smoke wafting through the room. Bacony soapy smoke. Smells like delicious pork fat. What you know about meat? Not much else is making it out of the glass just deep smokey deliciousness. Maybe a little leathery.

T= The taste is just as amazing. Leathery porky bacony and most of all tasty. Maybe a little bit of soap in the taste but not much. This is like a summer BBQ in a glass. One of the smokiest beers I've ever had but I know they can get much much more smokey. A tasty treat indeed.

M= Maybe the vigerous pour lead me to this but I got a a nice creamy smooth mouth with low to medium carbonationn.

D= This is a smoked beer they way a smoked beer should be. Nice work schells. I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can crack a few of these around a fire of with some BBQ. What you know abuot meat?

 1,138 characters

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.

 771 characters

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 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.

 1,107 characters

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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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 tewaris
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6-7% ABV
30 IBUs
OG: 15.0 Plato
22 SRM
12 oz. bottle with a freshness date of 07.17.11 poured into a pint glass on 04.14.11.

Stag # 3 pours clear and dark amber, almost like a lighter brown ale; a good light tan head forms quickly and recedes just as quick to a thin but present sheet of foam on the surface. Not much of lacing either.

This is a smoked beer alright! With strong but not overwhelming notes of smoke and present malt base, this one smells quite meaty. Tastes even better with the right sweetness and an almost burnt character that I didn't see coming in the aroma or appearance: I am sure it can be attributed to the malt bill.

Finishes bitter, roasty-astringent, and dry. Carbonation is felt on the higher side given the light body, and the flavors are clean. An easy drinking beer that will compliment many foods nicely.

Scores: Appearance 4/5; Aroma 3.5/5; Taste 4.5/5; Mouthfeel 4/5; Overall 4/5

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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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Rauchbier from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 77.4% out of 100 with 53 ratings
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