Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

very good
44 Reviews
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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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 53
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 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!

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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 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 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 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.

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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 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.

 270 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 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 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 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 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?

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