Z Lager | The Fort Collins Brewery

BA SCORE
81
good
322 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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 WDJersey
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of tjk0207
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of BeerCon5
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with maybe one finger of fluffy off-white head that leaves decent retention.

The scent is that of smokey malts, caramel, and some spice notes.

The taste is of slight sweet, smokey malt, some notes of earthy hops, and some caramel.

Light bodied, smooth and crisp, moderate carbonation.

I thought this was a nice, more mild version of the style, the smokiness isn't so dominant that you don't have a difficult time tasting what else is here.

 473 characters

Photo of bzach
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of jmo2k1
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
4/5  rDev +12.7%

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 DruC4
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of michisrad
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of freshtojeff
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of CWhite
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Jeckel
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear reddish copper with a half finger tan head that fades pretty quickly. Ok lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma moderate smoke, light coffee, caramel, and toasted malt. Not really any hops detectable.

The taste has a pleasing smoke mixed with a healthy dose of toasted malt. Kind of tastes like an amber with a little smoke added. Some toffee and caramel. A slight tartness on the tip of the tongue along with a moderate bitterness finishing slightly sticky. Mouthfeel terrible though being extremely thin and watery.

Overall, an ok rauchbier but far from the top in the style. I would drink it again, though, purely for the ease of accessibility and lack of rauchbiers on the market.

 734 characters

Photo of EigenBeer
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of akttr
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of mrbill57
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of wilfonzo
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of stampfler07
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of abcramer
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Rymish
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of divineaudio
3.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pint glass

a - pours amber in color with a thin cap of tan head. after calming i get a thin film and a few thin legs of lacing here and there.

s - molasses, campfire, dark fruits.

t - carmel malt with a bit of char and an odd, tangy sort of bitterness that lingers for quite a while. not entirely sure what's going on here.

m - heavier side of medium, adequate carbonation, finer co2 profile.

o - pretty good beer, but there are much better examples of the style that are easy enough to come by. wouldn't turn it down if someone offered me one though.

 556 characters

Photo of BeerOps
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.