Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

very good
44 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 53
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 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

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Photo of birchstick
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a brownish copper color without much of a head

S - smells a little fruity with hints of smoked malts & meat

T - caramel malts up front and fade to more of a toasted grain malt bill in the middle. The meat/bacon/ham/smoked flavor comes through in the finish, but not as strong as I expected (which is good).

M - higher than average amounts of carbonation give this a sharp feel with a medium body

D - pretty solid rauchbier. This can be a very inapproachable style if the beer is too amped up on the smoke flavors. This had a nice balance going on amongst smoked and non-smoked malts, which increases its drinkability. Definitely worth a shot.

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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 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 Pintofbrown
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A honey – brown appearance with nice carbonation. A thin egg white cap covers the beer, maybe half a finger width. As the beer is rotated around the glass, it leaves a film that dissipates slowly. It’s a very bubbly head, not very thick, more lacey.

Smell- The smoke is noticeable, it reminds me very much of bacon. Not the maple variety however, just that nice smoked bacon flavor on the nose, a little bit of woodiness also. It’s not pine, definitely more like camp fire. It’s a nice addition to pick up here.

The hop profile is non-existent, but that’s just fine for this style. Overall, this rauchbier gives off a gentle smokiness that isn’t overwhelming, and that’s a big plus.

Taste – Yeah, that’s good. The smokiness on the palate leans more towards the camp fire than the smoked bacon flavor. As it recedes, the smokiness changes to roasted malt profile. The bitterness is there, but only slightly. Not much snap to it, but this means there is more time to focus on the smoked flavor. It’s not really a “big” smoked profile, this is more of an ease you in offering.

It’s light and swiftly changes to a roasted malt taste you might find in a porter. The smoked wood / sauna taste is there and gone.

Mouth feel - What is an appropriate mouth feel for a smoked beer? It doesn’t need to be big and chewy, this is more medium and smooth, which fits the profile very well. It’s not caustic, and the smoke taste doesn’t lend itself to an overly dry finish. It’s very neutral.

Maybe falls a little farther on the ale side of the spectrum. Still, what to take away overall is that it is a fairly smooth finish, and definitely drinkable.

Overall: So far, this smoked offering is one of the easiest to drink if one is new to the style. The smoke is not overly done, as in it’s not trying to go really big. So it won’t scare new smoked beer drinkers off. And it finishes with a relatively generic roasted malt flavor.

This familiarity will also help ease in the smoke beer drinker. Add to that the fact that it’s an easy drink, and there’s no reason why the Schell’s Rauchbier shouldn’t at least be tried by those that come across it.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 argock
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass mug. Freshness date 071711 on bottleneck. Part of a prodigious haul of upper Midwest beers from my bro Greg.

A: Light brown-amber hue with 1-figner of off-white, oatmeal colored head with good retention and a few lace streamers down the glass.

S: Huge meaty smoked aroma with nice caramel backing -- this one really shows off the complex smokiness and peatiness from multiple wood-smoked malts.

T: The flavor comes on a little too strong for me with the meaty, smoked flavor overtaking any other malt components. There is no hops contribution to speak of.

M: Pretty mouth-filling with an even crisp edge that reminds you its a lager.

O: A nice beer, especially if you love rauchbiers, the smokier the better.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.21/5  rDev -20%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Chris... light copper, clearish, light tan head, not much to look at... smoked malts, ash, a hint of salty pork, a bit of a skunk generic finish... taste is a bit watery and generic, a boring smoked lager, some interesting notes but not knocking me over

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Photo of MasterSki
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Chris (spycow). Served in a Russian River tulip.

A - A finger of light orange-pink tan foam settles to a thick ring. Transparent fiery coppery body.

S - Smoky and meaty - honey-glazed ham campfire, and a lightly fruity and toasty malt character in the background. Pretty convincing - I could be tricked into believing this is a German-made beer.

T - Taste is watery and nowhere near as flavorful as the aroma. Lightly smoked, with some bready malts. Just kind of bland.

M - Zesty carbonation, medium-light body, and a fairly clean finish.

D - A solid take on the style, but I'd reach for a Schlenkerla offering or Ham on Rye instead. No problem drinking a 12oz bottle of this one, but a style that I don't generally want multiple glasses of in any case.

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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 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 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 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 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 budgood1
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

review #900.

pours out a deep auburn colour with a thinnish light tan head with poor retention. little to no lace. smokey aroma, very sweet smelling. hard to pick out any other characteristics through the smokey haze. i like it. taste follows suit with a good deal of wood and smoke in the flavour profile, some maltiness peaks through. can't really pick up any hopping but there must be some because there is a hint of bitterness...otherwise it finishes really dry. strange mouthfeel...it certainly has a lagerish feeling body but the prickly carbonation plays tricks on the tongue. not sure what to think. alright i guess. pretty drinkable. a nice treat, as i've little experience with rauchbiers.

overall a pretty nice tasting beer from Schell's. would pair well with some good cheese and crackers. i could definitley drink a few of these. recommended.

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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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Rauchbier from August Schell Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 53 ratings.
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