Rauchbier | August Schell Brewing Company

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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 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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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.

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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.

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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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Rauchbier from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 53 ratings
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