Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

very good
53 Ratings
no score
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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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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 44
Photo of doucmehu
2/5  rDev -50.1%

Photo of KAF
3/5  rDev -25.2%

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 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 kbutler1
3.26/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Draft. On tap at Firkin Fest 2011. Pours a clear orange apricot color with a slight tan head. Bacon and smoke right off the bat in the nose. It's really all I smell in this one. Reminds meof a pan full of bacon that is starting to burn. Smoke, malt, and caramle in the flavor. The smoke is more mild than other smoke beers I have had but still stays with you after you finish your drink. Medium mouthfeel.

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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 whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of zeledonia
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep amber brown, quite clear, with a one-finger off-white head that's not very dense, and fairly quickly drops to a layer of foam, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Initially very strong smoked wood and smoked meats (like a smokehouse), with a bit of caramel malt sweetness. After the head dies down, I catch what smells like some light hops and lager yeast.

T: Strong on the smoke initially, followed by a bit of malt and some hops that remind me of a light lager (having a hard time describing them better). This tastes strangely like a light lager with nice smoke overtones. I'm surprised by the lack of malt sweetness given the color.

M: Medium-light, with decent carbonation. It departs the mouth rather quickly.

D: This is my first rauchbier, so I'm trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and be conservative with my opinions. That said, I don't think I'll seek it out again soon. The presence of the smoke is pronounced, quite nice, and not overpowering as I find many smoked beers, but the flavors behind the smoke don't wow me. It needs something more to fill out the flavor.

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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 mothman
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a chalice.

Pours 1 finger of beige head. No lace left. Color is an amber copper. Kind of dark.

Aroma: Bacon and smoke. Pretty straight forward. It has a little bit of caramel and chocolate malt showing, but mainly smokey flavors.

Taste: Again, the smoke flavors come out here. The cherry oak kind of shows. There are some grassy hops. Bacon. Caramel and some cocoa/chocolate malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smokey and a little dry. Medium bodied with a little bit higher amount of carbonation. Ends with smoke.

Overall, a decent beer in the series. It was kind of a sipper, because of all the smoke. But, it was still pretty drinkable. I enjoyed this one.

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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 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 NilocRellim
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Chaz
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, brilliant brown-amber in color, topped with creamy a brownish-tan head. Exhibits excellent lacing throughout

Nose is pretty much what I'd expected in this type, but a little sweeter and also some traces of tannic, fusel and vegetal characteristics (not "off" as such, just). Actually smells a little bit 'meaty', and indeed this is much as I remember certain examples from e.g. Spezial and other commercial bottles from Germany. Light note of 'iodine' in the nose as well, and it's always there in the style, and also sometimes in other beers with smoked and roasted malts.

Sweet, tangy, and smokey all at once! A light saltiness and less tangy through the middle of the palate, and a dry, light roasted characteristic really lingers. Lightly bitter. Light note of alcohol in the aromatic portion here, but unobtrusive. There's a very easy-going sweetness throughout, along with a plum and raisin-like fruit character which is very nice and a little surprising. Finally, there's a spiciness here that is so subtle as to be almost un-noticeable. It's almost like the spiciness you get from 'Mexican cocoa', only much more subtle, and not at all hot.

Altogether there's a good mouthfeel and very good drinkability here, and it invites a second bottle (or pint) in short order.

This is not a style that appeals to everyone, but is instead a rather rare treat even for people with an experienced palate. Still, I'd love to see the brewer's take on a Rauch Bock!

 1,475 characters

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 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.

 1,126 characters

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 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 MinnesotaRIS
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From bottle. Amber color with a head that dissipates a bit quickly. Strong smoke aroma reminiscent if salmon or jerky. Very flavorful of smoked malt and mild hopping. Smooth mouthfeel and very pleasant aftertaste. I recommend trying this beer. Good craft of a rauchbier.

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

Schell's Stag Series #3: Rauchbier

Clear, dark amber coloring, under a slim beige head.

Big smokey aromatics. Bring on the bacon. Pale and caramel malt aromas below it.

Taste: Beefy bite of smoke smothers the palate at first sip, then fades back and mellows. Brisk and sprightly at first, then soft, smooth. Medium bodied, sweet malty flavors, fading smokey finish.

Tasty stuff, easy drinking, ...yeah, I'll have another. Maybe not two, though.

 449 characters

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.

 680 characters

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

 647 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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