Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen | Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #25 - RauchfetzenHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen
Very Good
87 Ratings
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #25 - RauchfetzenHarpoon 100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen

Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Harpoon Rauchfetzen is the 25th offering from our 100 Barrel Series. We used beechwood smoked malt from Bamberg, Germany to craft this copper-colored ale that evokes Rauchfetzen, a poetic German word meaning “wisp of smoke.” While many smoked beers are heavy on the pallet, this beer allows the character of the smoked malt to play off the herbal bitterness of Hallertau hops and the fresh, bread-like quality of Munich and Pilsner malts. Enjoy this beer with a variety of cheeses and sausages.

33 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-01-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 82
Photo of costanzo_mike
4.36/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of rab53
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of ElGallo
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of tzieser
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22oz bomber into a glass. taken from notes.

a: pours a shade darker than amber, crystal clear. fluffy white head settles into a very thin lacing.

s: malt-forward aroma with notes of smoke. pleasant.

t: sweet malty flavor at first, then the smoke hits. smoked malt does not overpower the rest of the flavor. grassy hops are very mulled but slightly noticeable. finishes slightly dry.

m: smooth mouthfeel.

excellent beer. i wish they would make a year-round rauchbier.

 485 characters

Photo of atigerlife
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown, semi-cloudy. Small creamy white head. Decent retention and lacing.

Aroma of malts, light hops, light smoke, something sweet. Hard to place the aroma.

Taste is malt driven. Some caramel, lightly burnt wood and some hops. Very nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. Very good BBQ beer.

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Photo of Durge
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a sandy brown color, cloudy with a slight off-white head and decent lacing. The aroma is a beautiful mellow sweet malt with smoky edges with yeasty candy apple caramel. Really nice and pretty unique. The mouth meets piney malt with clove hints and gentle smoke. It's deep and mellow with hop bite in a medium bodied brew with smooth carbonation and plenty drinkable. Good stuff.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a tulip glass. Pours a pretty light color for the style--just a moderate golden color with a light head and a touch of lacing. The nose is pretty nice without going too far in one direction. Typical of the style, this is smoky and meaty and reminds me a bit of a summer barbeque. Taste is just a bit too one dimensional to justify moving up the score much, though I will say it's pretty decent. it doesn't have much beyond light smoke, though. Feel is nice and the smokey meat takes over. Drinks fairly well, but I prefer the German versions of the style.

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Photo of kegger22
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Harpoon Rauchfetzen 100 Barrel Series #25 was a copper color with a light beige head showing good retention; and some floating particles.

The aroma is not nearly as smoky as the only other rauch that I've had, but there is a subtle smokiness. This nose was a little maltier though.

The taste is fairly malt sweet, it dominates anyway, smoke was muted and there was little sense of saltiness.

The mouth feel was medium bodied with appropriately low carbonation.

Drinkability was very good, tasty with low ABV and a decent price.

After only two different rauchbiers sampled, it has become one of my favorite styles.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle. OG 15.5 degrees Plato, brewed with Munich, pilsner and beech-smoked malt, hopped to 33 IBUs with Hallertau and Brewer's Gold. Packaged 10/31/08, sampled November '08. Pours a crystal-clear amber, with lots of carbonation and an inch of fluffy white head that leaves decent lacing. In the nose it's sweet Bamberg malt, some graininess and a light metallic twang. Similar flavor, with a bit of hops, Harpoon house yeast, some spicy/peppery notes, and a touch too much bitterness for the style. It is pretty light on the palate, with medium carbonation and a bone-dry finish. Compared to a classic rauchbier, this one simply falls flat. The house yeast just isn't clean enough for this beer, as it is competing with the smoke flavor for dominance when it should just step aside completely. It's also a bit too strong for the style - I can taste fruity and isopropyl notes from some higher alcohols. While not a true rauchbier, it's really not that bad, but it probably needs a few months to develop into a decent smoked ale.

 1,036 characters

Photo of Lars3
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From Notes. 6/9/09

Bomber to dimpled .5 liter masskrug.

This is my first American rauchbier. It is a fairly solid example, but it doesn't really hold up to the classics of Germany. The freshness definitely played in its favor.

I think the beer's greatest weakness was that it wasn't smoky enough for a smoked beer.

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Photo of mikel52588
3.82/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: a golden brown, about a finger and a half head, streams of carbonation from the yeast
Smell: kind of like pops cereal or rice crispys, its got that rice scent. Smokey in the back.

Taste: Tastes like straight-up beef jerky, kind of interesting in a beer. It's a smokey bbq like flavor almost has like dry cheese, there are a lot of flavors in there.

Mouthfeel: tingles the tongue, soft aftertaste that lingers, smooth and malty

Drinkability: well this beer is interesting, I'm new to Rauchfetzen's, it's a complex beer for sure. I'm not sure what to think really I don't think I would drink this that often, its an occasional beer, but it would be interesting to try while eating beef jerky or steak.

 715 characters

Photo of craftaholic
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 22oz bomber into a tasting glass, light golden/orange color, with a head that doesn't have much retention or legs.

Smell: Smells like a box of pops, it has a sweet grainy scent with a tiny bit of malt, i mean the cereal is sugar and corn so why not. The smoke picks up after aeration and leaves a tiny trace of malt.

Taste: The smokiness is there, not overpoweringly so and combines nice with the german hops. Never had a rauch beer but from the title I would expect this is the intent to have some smoke. Almost has a smoked flavor like a stick of beef jerky or a pig ear. Its not terrible but somewhat surprising. It doesn't taste like roasted malts but rather spicy and smokey like a campfire. A barbecue in a bottle really with a hint of almost barbecue sauce mixed with the smokey meat and cheese.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat rough at the first taste but has a distinct lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: Surprisingly I think this would go great with a heavy red meat dish or even barbecue cuisine since it has such prevalent tastes.

Overall: Like the cereal aroma i'll have to play off the common slogan "gotta have my rauch". A surely welcomed unique taste in my book.

 1,199 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Copper/orange in color with a lasting head and retention.

S. Bready and biscuity nose. Sweet malt is also noted.

T. Bitter hops on the forefront, falls back to a malty body with just a hint of smoke. As it warms this smoky aspect lingers longer. Piney hops are still apparent in the flavor. A hint of cured meat, this would pair perfectly with bbq style cuisine.

M. Medium bodied with a healthy carbonation. Smoked malt sticks with me as I drink away.

D. This Rauchbier tastes pretty good, drinks pretty good, but is not overly memorable. Would have liked a bigger smoke factor, but its still a good brew.

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Photo of stegmakk
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a light copper bordering on deep gold. Head was smooth white with lots of tiny bubbles.

S - Hint of smoke, slightly sweet, tiny malt aroma.

T - This was a very underpowered yet very balanced Rauch beer. The taste wasn't of a bad liquid smoke (good thing). It wasn't overly smoky, but you definately knew it was there. There was some sweetness as in the aroma, and also a touch of spiciness (yeast?). Clean crisp aftertaste (a touch of smoke lingers, but not much and nothing too long)

M - Smooth & slick

D - Excellent! Definately the mellow balance of flavors and that kiss of smoke, make this go down well. Too well. Not overly filling, and very clean.

Overall very good. While I like my Rauch beers a little more smoky, this has great balance, and I'll be picking up alot more.

 795 characters

Photo of SaucyA
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Sniftered. The body is a deep copper with a nice amount of bubbles rolling through it. The head is a creamy cap of foam, about 1 and a half fingers thick. Genuinely appetizing. Decent lacing.

S - A decent heap of smoked malts, german hops. Smell is much of a Rauch-light, almost. Understated, yet refined. Big yeast notes as it warms.

T - Well, it's interesting. It's got a very distinct smokiness, without bashing you over the head, and it has a very long aftertaste. While it's not liquid bacon, it definitely has it's moments of campfire and pig ear. Most of the smoked beers I've had were using roastier malts and this is a different change of pace. It comes off as a smoky pale ale. Definite spicy and herbal notes on the back end.

M - I'm pleased with the carbonation, as it's big, but doesn't seem overdone. The body as well is rather thin, but it works.

D - It's easy to get down, just not terribly exciting, or standout. I won't miss it when my glass is empty.

Notes: I'm not that into Rauchbiers to begin with, so you can discount this review to your liking. However, this beer, as a one-off, is quite worth a try. It's not necessarily my thing, but it very well might be yours.

For some reason it reminds me of a bad Kuhnhenn experiment.

 1,258 characters

Photo of taez555
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured an orange body with a thick white head. There were some small chunks in the body as it poured out that looked like remittents of pellet hops.

Nose was very clean and malty with a very mild, but extremely distinct, mild smoked rauch malt smell. Just very faint hints of smoke, but equally present as the malt. A session rauch smell if you will.

Taste is light to medium bodied. At very you get some nice carmel and bready malts, but it's quickly followed by a nice subtle, yet very present meaty smokey flavor. Smoked gouda cheese, ham, very mild bacon fat, touches of BBQ sauce. I don't want to give the wrong impression, this is very much a mild session rauch. In no way is the aecht schlekerla over the top meat taste. Hops and bitterness are kept to a bare minimum only giving a mild touch of earth bitterness to balance against the smoked malt. In all honesty it's so perfectly balanced you barely notice anything, but if you took it away it'd leave a huge hole. Ends with a very simply lingering bitterness and subtle smoke.

Overall, a surprisingly good Rauch. Like I've mentioned it's not one of those over the top German ones we're used to. A nice American Session take on a German classic.

 1,217 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber bottle this beer was a hazy copper color with some tangerine highlights. The one-finger of off-white head retained well and left good lacing. The aroma was semi-sweet and fresh with floral hops, crystal malt and hints of apples. The flavors were interesting, light caramel malt and sweet malt followed by bitter and peppery/spicy hops. The spice was distinct and almost intrusive. The long finish had some lingering smoke notes. The mouthfeel was a bit rough, the body medium and the carbonation prickly which added to the spicy notes. Not bad, but weird.

 571 characters

Photo of dananabanana
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first time I'd ever had a rauchbier, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

A: The first thing I noticed was its viscosity-- the bubbles rise *very* slowly. Light orange in color. Thin layer of bright white foam which clings to the side of the glass. Hazy.

S: Vague, sweet malt. A whiff of smoky barbecue.

T: Intensely smoky. Lots of malt, with just enough hops to balance it out. The aftertaste really lingers.

M: Slightly carbonated. Bubbles tickle your tongue. The smoke leaves a nice heat in the back of the throat.

D: Delicious. Complex, yet goes down fairly easy.

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Photo of chris19571978
5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am extremely pleased with this beer. Great head retention with lacing. Great whiffs of hops some sweet malt and a little bit of smokiness. Reminiscence of talisker scotch but not as pungent. The hops were outstanding with some beautiful mouthfulls of green tea. The malt was slightly sweet like caramel. The bitterness was kept in check. A exceptionally balanced beer! Definitely worth seeking out. A great effort by the brewer. Looking forward to more of these!!

 465 characters

Photo of Jayli
4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first of a Rauchbier that I've tried and I am quite ready for more!
This beer pours a clear lighter copper color with a 2 finger white rocky head to it. Decent head retention though not much lacing to speak of. Nose has a fantastic smokiness dominates (but not overpowering) and mingles nicely with the spiced hops, and bready malts that are in the background. Taste follows suit with the nose - the smokiness dominates but enhances the bready malts, and hops which still come shining through and are mixed nicely with the smoked flavoring. This is a lighter to medium bodied beer, crisp feel and clean finish, not filling at all. If you like smoked beers, this is one that you can sit with for a long time.

 719 characters

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear pale copper color. light off white head. great retention level with good lacing.

S: sweet malty aroma. a touch of smoke. some sweet corn notes.

T: a good attempt for an American rauchbier. good corn malt flavors, mild hop characteristics as well. no real smokiness in the taste. good spicy quality.

M: low to medium bodied. very clean and crisp.

 365 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale tangelo with buttercup borders. A handful of slow bubble streams can be seen rising to a wonderful looking crown that resembles vanilla mousse. There's enough stickiness to result in some pretty good looking lace on the upper reaches of the glass.

Harpoon Brewery went to the trouble of acquiring beechwood-smoked malt from Bamberg, Germany. That doesn't necessarily mean the nose is authentically rauchbier-like... but it is. Smoke is on the subtle side, which will please some and disappoint others. This is shaping up to be a finesse rauch rather than a raunchy rauch.

The flavor proves that point. Rauchfetzen will not cause smoke to roll out of the drinker's mouth and nose, like the Aecht Schlenkerla beers. In terms of smokiness, it's more in line with that brewery's weizen than with the two bigger, smokier offerings. There will be no comparison to 'liquid bacon' where this ale is concerned.

There can't be much Munich malt present, since toasted-earthy-nutty notes are few and far between. There's probably more hop flavor and bitterness (Hallertau, Brewer's Gold) than is proper for the style, but this hophead definitely approves. In the final reckoning, the words that keep entering my head are 'balance' and 'classy'. 100 Barrel Series #25 is one well-brewed beer.

The body/mouthfeel holds up its end of the bargain. It's at least light-medium, has plenty of hang-on, and is nicely carbonated. There's a sparkly quality that, due to well-buried bubbles, doesn't even approach fizzy.

Rauchfetzen (German for 'wisp of smoke') contains exactly that. It's gentle enough for the uninitiated and is smoky enough for fans of the style... as long as they don't expect to be bombarded. This is a delicious, drinkable rauchbier and is one of Harpoon's finest releases to date.

 1,791 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz brown bottle with a foil top covering the cap and neck of the bottle. No freshness date to be found.

Clear amber color with a thick crowing of white lace on the glass. Substantial amount of smoke in the nose, loving it as well. A bit of bready malt and spicy herbal hop in the aroma as well. Crisp carbonation unfold a quick smoothness within the medium body, snappy. Bit of carbonate or salt on the tip of the tongue with smoke blanketing the palate. Dry malt character has a lot to show even if it is slightly masked by the smoke, from bready to very grainy. Hops are not shy with a quick sharpness that cuts right through, smoke dimms in the dry finish but still holds on.

If you are not heading to Bamberg in the near future this is a fresh glimse, American rendition, of what some of the smoke beers taste like from that region of Germany. Great job here.

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Harpoon 100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 87 ratings
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