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Rauch | Valkyrie Brewing

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30 Ratings

Brewed by:
Valkyrie Brewing
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-29-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of harpus
2.69/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of CWhite
4/5  rDev +44.9%

Photo of deanis30
2.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of SykDoc
3.07/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a minimally hazy straw color. A 1/2 inch light tan head forms leaving very little lacing. Modest carbonation visible.

The aroma was the best part with an earthy hops blend mixed with a very light caramel malt background giving it a bready aroma. Minimal smoke in the aroma.

The taste is primarily a smoked malty flavor with some graininess. Reminds me of a lager with some smoke added.

The mouthfeel showed a medium body with light carbonation that does not highlight the flavor. It goes down clean leaving minimal aftertaste.

This beer is drinkable and can definitely enjoyed when the weather warms. However, there are multiple areas for improvement, starting with the intensity of each component.

 752 characters

Photo of Soneast
2.04/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a hazy amber color, with a 1/4 inch thick, watery, off-white colored head that dissipates quite rapidly to a bubbly ring.

Hidden somewhere behind all the faux smokiness there are some subtle malt aroma, mostly a tad bready and somewhat sweet.

The smokiness is relatively subdued in the flavor, but i don't think that helps at all, as it seems like a badly concocted oktoberfest, with the slight breadiness and slightly sweet malt flavors, but it is fairly ruined by an over abundance of yeasty esters, leading to a sort of smoked lemon flavor, leaving an acrid aftertaste on the palate.

Pretty lackluster, watery body and very thin carbonation, this just doesn't feel that good in the mouth, the smokiness does little to help, only succeeding in making the beer feel greasy. I was really looking forward to trying this "rauchbier" since I am still new to the style and have never tried any made by an American brewer. All in all, this was a big letdown unfortunately.

 976 characters

Photo of Wisconsin
3.15/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 ounce bomber into a pint glass

This one has been tucked away in my refrigerator for over a year now. I should also note this is my first review and taste of a rauchbier.

A - Pours a quarter inch head that fades a lace within five minutes. The beer is a reddish, brown color that is quite hazy. In the instance of my beer, there are flakes of malts and grains floating around, but that is probably because it has been sitting for so long.

S - Smokey malts and grains first hit my nose. A stronger whiff brings about sweet, spiced apples comparable to hot apple cider with a stick of cinnamon.

T - Smoked malts and grains are present along with a bit of a wood taste. There is also a decent blend of apples and cinnamon in this beer. Light on carbonation and a medium body.

M - Smokey, wood taste along with the malts and grains up front. Weak amount of carbonation transitions okay, not great to an cinnamon spiced apple finish.

D - This is an interesting style of brew, something that I would like to try more of, but I feel I could only have a few of these in a sitting.

Overall I think the beer lacked the necessary carbonation and fullness of the cinnamon spiced apple to make this a good beer. If those two elements were improved I think this could be a much better beer.

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Photo of brewbucker
1.83/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Tasted on Nov 7, 2007. A pretty clear yellow gold with a faint head. Aroma and flavor was not good. Seemed sour and burnt plastic. Body was thin and it seemed as though they put a couple drops of liquid smoke in it and called it a day. Time to have a Big Swede.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.65/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Orange, sediment particles throughout. Short layer of creamy bubbles. Smells clean, vaguely malty. Thin, almost watery taste. A little pilsner malt flavor. Non-aggressive smoky flavor....a lot like a watered down Schrelenka (sp.) light bodied, kind of flat mouthfeel. Drinks easily, but it's a one note song, and a watery one at that.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

More orange than amber, with a shaken snow globe's worth of fine yeast and hardly any head. The pathetic 'pffft' on cap cracking and the paltry amount of foam formation don't bode well for the mouthfeel. On the good side, the head doesn't immediately fade and manages to deposit a decent looking rim of lace.

Viking describes Rauch as 'an Oktoberfest beer made with beechwood smoked malt'. Due to a lack of.... well, pretty much everything... there aren't any characteristics of a marzen and smoke is barely noted. Must be the lack of aerosolization from the less than adequate carbonation.

Rauch is drinkable, but it's an amateurish stab at a rauchbier. It could use more malt, more smoke and more bubbles. I'm still not getting the whole Oktoberfest vibe. Not at all. In the search for a silver lining, at least there are no off-flavors. The silver is slightly tarnished by the fact that the beer is more bitter than it should be.

This is basically an amber lager with a small puff of smoke. I use my hefe weizen banan-o-meter fairly often, but have never bothered to acquire a rauchbier smoke-o-meter. This one would earn a less than impressive 2.0/5.0. Enough to identify the style, but not enough to matter.

The mouthfeel is improving just enough to get an average score. It comes dangerously close to flat, but it has a decent heft for a lager and doesn't lose its way on the finish. Better too little carbonation than too much (in most cases).

Other than Big Swede, I haven't been blown away by anything from Viking. Rauch is one of the simplest and most tame rauchbiers to have ever entered my glass. With a better base beer and with more beechwood smokiness, it might be something worth buying.

 1,708 characters

Photo of dirtylou
2.92/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz single, burning a hole in my cellar fridge

appearance: due to the horrible reviews i have delayed opening this and now serve it in a great taste taster glass....pour is a clear pale copper tone with a light beige cap and no retention

smell: burnt rubber? it sure as shit isnt a rauchbier but its heavy on the smoke, smoked sausage, smoked cheddar...this may sound good, but its not

taste: more of that burnt rubber...huge smoke traits dominate anything else... apple, pear and other light fruits. interesting, misnamed, but interesting

mouthfeel: smoked

drinkability: ehh

 582 characters

Photo of happygnome
3.82/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a pale copper color with about a half inch of beige head that dissapears rather quickly leaving very little lacing towards the center of the glass
s: bready/earthy (maybe a little honey aroma) malts dominate the aroma with hints of smokiness
t: nice malty bready aroma, hints of smokiness and light hop presence that balances this out
m: medium bodied beer with almost a creamy feeling, little carbonation

overall, i enjoyed this beer but i dont think that its vikings best

 484 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.25/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Once I tasted this, in my mind it instantly registered as being related to smoked Gouda and Swiss cheeses.

Label states this lager uses Beechwood smoked malts.

It poured a light hazy golden color, with 1/2 finger of bubbly foam. Smoked Gouda aroma, not to campfire intensity, more the soft residual smoke in the brown rind of a smoked cheese. Ring of lacing, and tiny particles of suspended sediment.

Light apple and astringent herbal note, vague smoke in the aftertaste. Not heavy like Schlenkerla, more like a lesser version of their Helles. Medium-bodied due to being unfiltered, but with a somewhat watery finish. This seems to be a common characteristic from Viking. In the body and taste, it falls a little short. Points for creativity here, since there aren't that many Smoked Helles out there.

 807 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.81/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a golden yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, small smoke and a sweet maltiness. In the taste, a dry maltiness and a small presence of smoke. A smooth mouthfeel and a small dry smoke in the aftertaste. Needs more smoke, yet smooth and OK.

 253 characters

Photo of brdc
1.88/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was very hopeful for this beer, since I love rauchbeers.
What a disappointment!
Hazy golden with a thin white head, there is none of that great, powerful smell I learned to associate with rauchbiers. It smells like whiskey, corn and just plain alcohol.
It is a little hoppier on the palate than expected, with a very faint smoked taste deep down below (or am I looking too hard??).
This is uncharacteristic of the style, and very poor as a beer anyway.

 458 characters

Photo of Mdog
3.8/5  rDev +37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold with millions of suspended particles, a fading head.

Smell: Light smoky smell.

Taste: Starts with a generic lager breadiness, but then transitions into a nice smoked flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light, with lasting smokiness.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, maybe even one to give to the macro drinkers.

I picked this up without reading any reviews. After I brought it home I checked the site and thought "This is not going to be good." However, I was pleasantly surprised, it's no Alaskan Smoked Porter or anything, but I definitely got a nice smoked taste out of it that is not overbearing but definitely present. I don't know if I got one of the good bottles and everyone else got bad ones, but I'd definitely have this again.

 748 characters

Photo of objectivemonkey
2.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Into a pint glass, pours a much lighter than expected golden orange, little white head and some lacing. Aroma is vague, kind of sour but a little smoky, slight citrus. Taste is a let down, the 'rauch' coming out more as a cameo than anything, but mostly sour and cardboard fill the gaps, with a somewhat sweet malt filling the rest out. Not so much boring as blech, its just another from Viking that signals "Chaange coourse, ye fookin skar bookets! Soomthin hars goon askeuu!"

 477 characters

Photo of marcobrau
3.79/5  rDev +37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer looks beautiful in my stemmed tasting glass: a bright white head falls slowly, leaving lace down the sides of the glass in the shape of a crown.
The nose is full fresh woody smokiness, which is very inviting at first, but the delicate aroma fades and I'm a bit disappointed. There's not so much smokiness to taste in this beer; so much as woody accent to the crisp malt flavors. Hops and malt are in balance, with the hops being favored in a fairly spicy finish.
This certainly isn't Aecht Schlenkerla; it's a tasty lager with beech wood smokiness adding some complexity and an interesting aroma. This a very enjoyable and tasty lager with a peculier complexity, but nothing as smoky as a true rauch bier.

 717 characters

Photo of AlexJ
2.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pale copper with a fleeting head of light beige that dissipates rather quickly and leaves no lace.

Aroma is mild bready and earthy malt with charcoal smoke and a hint of honey sweetness which is offset by an unpleasant astringancy.

Flavor ditto. Meager malt entry with almost corn adjunct notes and some decent beechwood smoke notes that reminds me of what I smell like after doing some smoking in the BBQ pit.

Body is on the lighter side with way too much carbonation and a slick, almost slippery mouthfeel.

 517 characters

Photo of Bighuge
1.74/5  rDev -37%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

When I open it, the noise lets me know this is gonna be way overcarbonated. Loud "Pffft" sound. I was right. On the pour, I get 3/4 worth of head and 1/4 worth of beer. Smells phenolic and a little sour. Just not right. Mouthfeel is very gassy. Not enjoyable at all. Taste is not as bad as everything else, but it's still below average. Sourness mixes with too many smoky phenols. This is drainpour.

 399 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
2.71/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: What's a Rauch supposed to look like? This beer isn't bad looking, hazy copper with a creamy white head.

Smell: Smells like woodsmoke, that's the only way I can put it. Slightly sweet, but earthy and sharp.

Taste: Not my favorite style, but comapred to Rogue Smoke, this beer is obviously lackluster and underpowered. Rogue gets bigger smoke flavors, hop and malt. This beer has an odd fruitiness in the background, though. As smoke beers go, it is good (mostly because it doesn't have comparatively as much smoke flavor, but if you are looking for a smoke beer, you might want to go something better. Still, I don't like it, the thought of smoke in a beer disagrees with my palate.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin, but that doesn't make it a bad beer.

Drinkability: Haven't acquired a taste for these yet, but I could handle this one better than i did Rogue Smoke. For what it is, ok.

 900 characters

Photo of weeare138
3.15/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to hopdog for this...
Appears a dark gold with streaky lacing left from the quickly fading off white cap.
Smell is sweet, fruit salad, smokey beechwood.
Taste is of the same aromas, although I'm not sure if that's good.
The mouthfeel is light and watery.

 265 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.02/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a darker orange brew, lots of tiny cabonation bubbles floating about, with no head, some bubbles on the top. There is a slight smoke scent to it. There is not much to the taste of this, some light smokiness, which is nice, but it ends there. Touch of light malt, not much in the hop department. It seems like they stopped adding ingredients just when it was getting good.

 379 characters

Photo of Skidz
2.8/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out foggy golden yellow and sits hazy copper/amber in the glass with a smallish creamy white head. Fades to a light skim.

Good malt base in the aroma, smokiness is mild and mysterious. Apples, birchwood and a yeasty, candilike aroma. Strange.

Tastes malty up front with a nice toasty base. Smokiness...hardly. Pears and canned peaches and a good amount of hop bitterness leaves your mouth confused searching wildly for any trace of smoke flavor. Only sign of smoked malt come from the light oily residue left in the mouth, like liking the inside of a cold pizza box from Dominos.

Somewhat creamy with crisp carbonation in a medium -full body. Carries itself well.

As far as beer drinking is concerned, it's pallatable. In the realm of smoked beers....this isn't even on the charts. I'm not impressed with this "Rauchbier."

 840 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy, orangish hue, smallish head, fizzy, though slight.
Aroma is mysterious...I'm not getting smoke, i'm getting citric fruit, maybe...candy, jolly ranchers...wait, here it comes, it's sneaking out, very subtle...I mean VERY...odd...VERY...
Taste...bleh...damp cardboard...more than blah, we're talking "blih". "bluh", "blaaargh"...damnit, I want to like it, but what is there to like?
It's a beer, you can drink it, but there's not much to enjoy, certainly nothing you'd expect if you were looking forward to the distinct pleasures that can be found in a nice rauchbier.
Wassup wi' dat, huh?
This fails in so many ways...oooh, wait, here's a trickle of smokey taste...whoops, it's gone...forget it...very bland..doesn't succeed as any other kind of brew, and withers and dies as a rauch.
(It does say "delicately beechwood smoked beer" on the label, but there's such a thing as too delicate!)

 910 characters

Photo of ADR
3.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thin pour, head generates as a handful of soapy bubbles on one side of the glass. Lighter amber appearance. Miraculously generated pretty nice lacing. "Delicately smoked" but a decided smokiness to the aroma, woody but less than ashy. Weakly carbonated with medium body, perhaps the release of all carbonation is the cause of this. Flavor is a little lacking, slight honey and a balancing smoke that's quite diminished compared to the smell. A leafy tanginess is somewhat confusing and asserts at the close, mixes with the missing carbonation and an almost "homebrew" sense of flat lifelessness to generate a feeling that the beer seems a little unfinished in some qualities.

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Rauch from Valkyrie Brewing
Beer rating: 2.76 out of 5 with 30 ratings
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