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 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.

 261 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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.

 663 characters

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 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).

 2,574 characters

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.

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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 KAF
3/5  rDev -25.2%

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

 656 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.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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 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 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.

 888 characters

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