Z Lager | The Fort Collins Brewery

Z LagerZ Lager
322 Ratings
Z LagerZ Lager

Brewed by:
The Fort Collins Brewery
Colorado, United States

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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 322 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of SonOfOdin
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of DerwinWentworth
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of odom6
4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

Photo of CuteZombieDoll
4.32/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Coppery red hue, not the best head formation

S- Smells like malt with a touch of smoke, very lovely but hard to really describe.

T- Malty and lightly sweet to start, followed by a smokey, bacon-like quality.

M- Full bodied, but still refreshing.

O- This is the first rauchbeir I have ever had, but it was a style I longed to try since I like other smokey things, so I can't tell you if it's a good example of it's style. However, it's well balanced, and come on it tastes a little like bacon. Who wouldn't like that? I was always told rauchbeirs were overbearing, so I don't know if they toned down the smoke, or if it's simply that I like smokey things.

 661 characters

Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of EgadBananas
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, dark amber color. A finger of dark off-white head adorns and dissipates to a nice foamy ring.

The aroma isn't huge an in your face, but what's there is quite pleasant. There's an initial smoky, woody aroma, with a fairly rich, sweet caramel. There's also some faint chocolate notes that were unexpected, but not unwelcomed.

The taste has a pretty upfront caramel maltiness, with some touches of woody smoke. It's balanced pretty nicely by some bittering hops.

It's fairly light bodied, easy to consume.

I went into this thinking it was going to be meh, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's not a very in your face rauchbier, but it's a well put together beer and tasty, despite being on the mild side for the style.

 739 characters

Photo of buckyp
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of dgeebs07
2/5  rDev -43.3%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of SLeffler27
3.55/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light copper with a slight head and no lacing.

Light woody smoke with hints of citrus hops. This is pleasant, however, there is little stimulant.

There is not much going on as the flavors follow the nose. While not significant, bitterness is the primary player. Malts are reserved to a wheat bread found in a long finish.

Z Lager has a medium body with no alcohol. It has light carbonation and is on the drier side.

A fine beer that could be sessionable, however, it lacks inspiration.

 494 characters

Photo of kynap55
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Ouroborus
1/5  rDev -71.7%

Photo of FungusBrewer
3.42/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Delicate. Not complicated. But Delicate. Normally I'm used to being inundated with an overpowering campfire taste in Rauchbier's. Fort Collins does it right with imparting a very slight (albeit noticeable) smoke flavor and aroma. Hops are almost non-existent, but it tastes right. Why roast a grapefruit anyway? You get a little bit of sweetness from the malt, but again, nothing dominating. My only gripe is it tastes so light, giving it a watery mouth-feel.

I'd buy it again.

 479 characters

Photo of BellsFan
4.5/5  rDev +27.5%

Photo of jjholt
5/5  rDev +41.6%

Photo of Mitchster
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$16.99 for a mixed 12 pack. Newly available to our area. 30 IBU's per the website, 5.4% ABV. No ingredients listed other than beechwood smoked malt.

Pours out to a sparingly clear amber, forming a modest light yellow head with good retention and adequate lacing. Slightly less than moderate carbonation. The aroma when first cracked is overwhelmingly biscuit malt, smelling like a dead ringer for fat tire, however it is followed by a touch of caramelized malt. I know and love rauchbiers and I am not picking up on any smoke whatsoever. The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium body, fuller than one might expect from a 5.4% ABV lager. There is a husky graininess akin to GLBC Eliot Ness Vienna Lager. This tastes very similar to it. Again, I'm not getting any smoke in the taste either. Bitterness is herbal and medium in intensity, nicely balanced, with little to no hop or flavor.

This is a really nice easy to drink everyday amber lager. I certainly would not call it a rauchbier by any stretch of the imagination, but I would buy it again. Seeing as how it's a nice blend between two of my favorite beers (Eliot Ness and Fat Tire), this is a nice addition to our distribution.

 1,181 characters

Photo of LJWalker
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of tclapper
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of bonbini26
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the better fort collins brews. has a fantastic nose of smoked malt and dried pitted fruit. described as a lager, there is nothing lager about what i taste here. smokey like a grill fire, slightly sweet like caramelized malts, and quite refreshing despite its heavy flavors. this beer is in excellent balance and the mouthfeel is just right. fuller bodied for a lager, and well carbonated. i could easily down a sixpack of these in a session any time of year. not as smokey as some of the traditional rauchbiers, but in that vein. this is great

 550 characters

Photo of litheum94
3.56/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bronze body, clear, with a very scant, tannish head. Leaves a ghost of a covering.

Sweet, smokey aromas, very peaty, and reminds me of hickory. Roasted almonds and some caramel.

Sweet hickory firewood taste. Nutty malts provide a backbone. Some caramel sweetness and another touch of smoke on the finish. There is a lingering sweetness that coats the mouth like sugar. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy.

Very interesting smoked beer. I like the flavors, but the lingering sweetness gets a little sickly after a couple glasses. Still, this is easily the best beer I've had from this brewery so far.

 598 characters

Photo of IPAylor
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Grebdioz
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Dmart1223
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Definitely an interesting beer.

Z pours a dark cherry amber with a thin almond head that fades to a dusting. Very cool color for an amber. It smells like toasted malts, and a little bit like sawdust, but in a good way.

The taste kind of threw me for a loop though. On one hand it has this rich smokiness that I'd expect out of an ale, but it finishes smooth like a lager. There's not a lot of mouth feel, but the flavor is unique. It finishes with more of that smoke and a dash of charry hops.

I can't tell what to think about this beer. Is it an ale? Is it a lager? Do I even like it? I'm not really sure, but it's definitely worth a try. I might not buy it for myself, but I wouldn't turn it away if someone offered it to me.

 733 characters

Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Z Lager from The Fort Collins Brewery
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 322 ratings
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