Z Lager | The Fort Collins Brewery

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81
good
322 Ratings
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Z LagerZ Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States
fortcollinsbrewery.com

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Crosling on 12-06-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
322
Reviews:
216
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
16.34%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 322 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of corby112
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden amber color with orange hues and a one finger white head that quickly settles into a thin lasting ring. Sporadic spots of lacing left behind.

Toasted malt aroma that is only faintly smokey with hints of sweet malt and wintry spices. Very subtle smoke character with hints of charcoal, caramel and biscuit.

Medium bodied with a prominent spice character up front that takes away from what little smokiness is underneath. Hints of cinnamon and brown sugar along with faint bitter hops that are slowly countered by a sweet malt backbone. Very faint smokiness but it is completely overpowered by the other characteristics. Lots of sweet caramel along with some biscuit and toffee. As it warms the smokey elements become more evident but are still considerably weak.

 784 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear copper color with a small light tan head. Smell is of caramel and dry. Can't pick up much smoke in the nose. Taste is upfront sweet and thick. Subtle smokey notes really compliment the taste. The smokey notes remind me of smoked pork or jerky, not over the top smokey like some other smoked brews. The body is pretty hefty for a lager.

 350 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: amber in color, 1/4 inch head, clear, small carbonation

Smell: toasted malt, smoke, bacon, and caramel

Taste: The malt here seems a bit more burnt than toasted. There is a bacon taste and the smoke while there is not as dominate as in other rauchs.

Mouthfeel: sweet startwith a bitter finish, medium bodied, medium high carbonation

Drinkability: While not a bad beer, this one was a bit of a disappointment. The smoky taste is there, but the finish is harsh. I may have this again, but I think there are way better in the style.

 544 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

(Served in a dimple mug)
A- This beer has a slightly dense dark copper body with a yellowish antique white head that last for a good bid. There is a good carbonation of big bubbles that glide to the surface.
S- The rich caramel malt aroma has some Munich malt note in the finish.
T- The nice caramel sweet malt is quickly overpowered by plastic band-aid that wrap up my tongue and the full flavor of latex gloves finishes the beer and lingers.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a flat texture and a soft fizz finish.
D- This beer is undrinkable with a great nose, and a nice malt flavor buried under the awful peat smoke/chlorine phenol quality. I love rauchbiers and this is not one. It is to harsh to drink.

 721 characters

Photo of pathman
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of DrDemento456
4.3/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Man I can't believe I forgot to review this! Got this in my FC variety case.

A - Medium copper color with white head and lacing.

S - Mostly of burnt grain and slight wheat. Smoky.

T - Wow. I expected more of a bitterness but it quickly rounds to a smoky grain flavor that finishes sweet. Pretty memorable!

M - Very light and drinkable.

D - Well I got two and they are sadly gone but I have to agree with everyone if you never had a Rauchbier this was a pretty darn good one.

 479 characters

Photo of WDJersey
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of jmdrpi
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of scruffwhor
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a smokey, dark amber hue with just a little bubbling. OK lacing, with a quick ring of foam. Smokey, bready mlats ad a little bit of toasted oak and a little campfire. Caramel and bready malts with a dash of funky hops. Toasted barrel hits the middle, but fades away to the finish bringing back some dark caramel. The palate is very smooth and a touch of smoke. Since the smokiness is on the lighter side, this is a pretty sessionable rauchbier.

 450 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Jwale73
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a nonic. Poured a translucent amber with a half inch off-white head embedded with tiny ringlets. Eventually formed a broken skim of foam; some strands of lacing during the session. No smoke evident in the nose; picked up primarily malt and a hint of caramel. Smokey flavor dominates in the mouth; picked up some peat and hickory on this one, as well as a little hops towards the end. Light and lively mouthfeel with a fairly dry finish with not much of an aftertaste. Decent drinkability, but not quite sure of the style as this is my first smoked beer.

 563 characters

Photo of crobinso
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Bung
3.98/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Orange/amber pour, good size white head. Strong malty aroma with hints of some smoke. Tastes reminds me more of a dopplebock, malty raisin and peat. Smoke is really just an accent here. Finishes some smoke and hops. Very drinkable, good example.

 252 characters

Photo of n2185
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper with two fingers of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with a little lacing.

S: Some light biscuity aromas with a hint of sweetness followed by a strong smoke aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma, slightly sweet bread and biscuit flavors up front. The smoke flavors follow without overwhelming.

M: Light body with medium carbonation, this beer is fairly crisp but the smoke gives it a slightly heavier feel.

O: A nice smoked beer for those who don't really want to drink liquid bacon. It's not too heavy like many rauchbiers and isn't overwhelmingly smoky.

 589 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.22/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange color....nice smoked malt aroma...relatively subtle but noticable....Body is about medium but firm...nice smoked malt flavor...a bit of caramel as well....clean tasting...excellent drinker...well done..This would be an excellent summer BBQ beer.

 258 characters

Photo of Hellpop65
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of mynie
2.78/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a rich APA orange amber color with a nice white head.

Smells like plums, apircots, smoke, and salami. A surprisingly decent mixture, although the fruit does outshine the the smoke and meat a bit too much.

Tastes like fruit and liquid smoke with no distinct stages and little complexity. More like a red ale with smoke flavoring than a good smoked beer--no meat/cheese complexity, far too sweet.

A bit of a let down from a usually solid brewery.

 459 characters

Photo of glid02
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a mixed 12-pack purchased at Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly dark amber color with a 1.5-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of mild smoked malts with a good bit of caramel malt sweetness. As the beer warms the caramel malt aromas intensify.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smoked malt flavors up front segue into sweet caramel malts with just a hint of nondescript fruits. The ending is mildly bitter and the sweetness lingers more than the smoke.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the glass although I'm not so sure about another.

Overall this was definitely in the bottom half of rauchbiers I've had however it may be a good gateway beer for those not so sure about smoked malt.

 871 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean copper color with a thin tan head of suds that create a bit of lacing around the glass.

Not a lot of smoke to be had in the nose. If I didn't know this was a smoked beer, I wouldn't be able to pick it out. There is a nice caramel and lightly roasted grain scent however. A bit of cracker.

Toasted cracker, light woodiness, bit of caramel sweetness, but not much. Ah, there comes the smoke in the aftertaste. Not very strong but leaves a nice campfire char in the mouth. It is a bit like a smoked jerky as it warms. Quite enjoyable.

Clean and almost crisp. Carbonation is mostly soft and smooth. Between light and medium bodied with a dry finish.

This is a nice beer. Not great, but it does drink well and I feel it would work nicely as a fall beer, especially around a campfire. This would pair awesomely with any grilled fare.

 837 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of StoutHunter
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Fort Collins Brewing's Z Lager last week for $1.89 at The Lager Mill. It's been a while since I've have a Raunchbier, and I have never seen or heard of this beer, so I thought I would give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but the store just got it in so I assume it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice and it's pretty well done, it also sticks out a little. It poured a nice amber color that took some burnt orange color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded to nothing and left hardly any lacing. This was a pretty average looking Amber Ale, the color was ok but the head and lacing were disappointing.

S- The aroma starts off with a lighter amount of medium smoke that impart a very woody aroma that resembles a campfire, after that comes the malts which have a higher amount of medium sweetness to them and impart some grainy, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, toasted malts and a light amount of coffee. Towards the end I get a light amount of citrus hops that add some nice complexity. The aroma is nice, but I feel like the smokey aromas don't blend that well with the dark fruit aromas.

T- The taste is a little similar to the aroma and it starts off with some medium sweet malts that impart some nice toasted, grainy, caramel malts, and slightly nutty flavors. Up next comes the Smoke which is on the lighter side but still noticeable and imparts a nice smokey and woody aroma. On the finish there is a light amount earthy hops that give this beer a lighter amount of bitterness, and a toasted malt and lightly smokey aftertaste. I liked the taste of this beer, it was nice and balanced, but the smoked didn't shine through as much as I would have liked.

M- Smooth, dry, on the light side of being medium bodied, with a higher amount of medium carbonation that made it a little prickly. The mouthfeel is ok, but the higher amount of carbonation makes it pretty average.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer, not true to style enough to be called a Rauchbier, but for an Amber Ale I would say it was a little above average. This beer was pretty drinkable, it was really smooth, and the flavor did an ok job at holding my attention, I could drink two of these but I think that would be my limit. What I liked most about this beer was the flavor and aroma, they were the highlights of this beer and were both pretty balanced. What I liked least about this beer was the lightness of the smoke and the higher carbonation, I needed more smoke and less carbonation. I would be buy this beer again when looking for a lightly smokey beer, but I wouldn't buy it often, I recommend giving this beer a try, it might make for a good gateway Rauchbier. All in all this was a lightly smokey amber, what it lacked in intensity it made up for in drinkability. This was the second beer I have had from this brewery and it was better then their Chocolate stout, I thought it was a pretty solid beer and I wouldn't mind trying some more beers from this brewery.

 3,158 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear red color. The head is none existent. The aroma is smoke with a hint of caramel malt. It is a rather simple aroma. The taste is like the aroma. I like that there is a lot of smoke, but there isn't nothing else. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and a smooth texture. Overall, this is a decent beer that could be a lot better if it had a more complex malt bill. I could drink it again, but there are better smoked beers out there.

 477 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.87/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear coppery amber with a decent, if not persistent, off-white head. Aroma is strong and malty with smoky, fruity and caramel hints. Mouth-filling flavor is malty and slightly fruity with a hint of caramel and a whisper of sweetness. Texture is very smooth and minimally tingly.

 292 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale copper color with very little white foam. No retention or lacing.

Salty, smoked pork nose. I am pleasantly surprised by the bold smokiness I am getting. I was worried it would be a dumbed down American version of a rauchbier.

Unfortunately, the smokiness in the flavor is a bit more tame, but still tasty. Has a heavy caramely malt base that brings forth a sweetness that does not match really well with smoky and salty flavors. Overall though, it is a pretty impressive offering from FCB, probably the first I have had that I would actually buy a sixer of.

 572 characters

Z Lager from The Fort Collins Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 322 ratings.
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