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

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100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen
Very Good
87 Ratings
100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen100 Barrel Series #25 - Rauchfetzen

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

Style: German 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 82
Reviews by MaineBirdMan:
Photo of MaineBirdMan
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from big bottle into pint glass. There wasn't much of a head (could have been my pouring skills)

Color- golden with a touch of red
smell- hops roasting over a wood fire. Fruit and flowers.
taste- smoke/hops
m-good amount of carbonation,nice hoppy aftertaste.
d-easy to drink, started to get a little sweet towards the end of the bottle. 6.3% alcohol made it easy to have more than one. Didn't notice much of the alcohol content.
This was my favorite of the 100 barrel series.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JasonA
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Know viretually nothing about the style. Dont want to get too strict here.

Spice, earth. No real hop character, German medium malt. Looking for the smoke smell referred in style.

There it is ... the smoke that is. Certainly an acquired taste. Not bad, just different. Not very complex tasting. Medium character. Some Some Oktober spice.

Sits well. Different, yet basic ale. Nice change up. High carbonation for an ale IMO.

Slow drinker. Prolly can have only one at a time. Very rich flavor for a beer.

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

An easy, fun beer to drink. Golden color with a medium-sized white head. Malt and faint smoke aroma. Sweet malt taste first, then some smokiness, and hops at the finish. The smokiness was noticeable without being intrusive. Would gladly drink more of these.

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

22 ouncer, gold foil, the usual 100 Barrel presentation. Pours clear darker, golden amber, light khaki head, that leaves moderate sheeting and lace. Malt and a hint of salami smoke in the nose. Nothing special going on here, the beers in this series continually disappoint me. Nice choices on doing interesting and varied styles, but they never seem to "hit the note" in the execution. This one is lacking in the malt department, so its a bit thin and uninteresting. The smoke does come in late, and at about the level that I enjoy. Barely worth a try if you are looking for a beginner friendly, middle of the road Rauchbier.

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Photo of tigg924
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 1 cm head, /dark gold, clear, high carbonation

Smell: wheat, smoke, and hops

Taste: hops, light but not overpowering smoke, grass, and a little malt

Mouthfeel: smooth, light, sweet middle, and a slightly bitter aftertaste

Drinkability: I will search for this on tap, but will probably not get another bomber. To me this beer tastes great for the first few sips, then slowly drops to being average...I will grade it on those first impressions, but think the bomber should be split...not quite rauch for smokiness, but good none the less

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Photo of far333
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light copper colored, very clear with fine bubbles streaming from bottom to top. A three inch frothy white head sits atop and very slowly recedes.

Fine aroma of doughey malt, just a hint of smoke.

Flavor is malty upfront, fine and restrained, a little doughey and sweetish. Smoke is subtle at first and then builds up stronger in the finish and leaves a slightly tannic linger.

Round and full mouthfeel. Creamy and satisfying.

Very drinkable, but I expected more assertive smokiness.

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

This has the look of medium maple syrup with a bright but rusty appearance. Carbonation is wild and active at first but becomes mild and mellow with a decent all-white foamy head, dissipates in moderate fashion and sticks around a while.

The aroma is Very, very subtle until it warms up slightly from fridge temp, once it warms up you can smell the classic smokiness in the malt, it's a very campfire-esque smoke scent with a slight herbal edge underneath that. slight wheat and earthy notes are detected.

The flavor is a medium-bodied malt complexity that is very clean (a Harpoon tradmark),with a nice current of sweetness, slightly thin with plenty of smokey malt flavor's. The balance from the very spicey, herbal hops provides an earthy, bitterness right at the end. Good balance overall.

This is actually one of the best 100 Bl series brews in a while, keep 'em coming.

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Photo of alovesupreme
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A yellow color with a good head that chooses to stick around for a while.
A yeasty character is the dominating trait with a more subtle smoked character than other Rauchbiers I have had.
Bready flavor with a smoked flavor to it. Hop character playing a smaller role to the malt. This beer makes me think of smoked gouda or jerky, although much more subtle than others in style.
A full mouthfeel is present with enough carbonation to hold the beer together.
All in all a smoked beer that is much more accessible than other beers in its style.

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Photo of hreb
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cold 22oz bottle poured into half liter nonic glass. Beer pours brown, though very light, and crystal clear, and with a huge head which is just on the tan side of white. Very oily head, which looks very pretty when held under light. Later it will yield a consistent white lacing on the glass.

Intriguing aroma of smoke, and a faint smell that reminds me of unskunked pilsner. The smokiness isn't like the normal sausagey smoke of a rauchbier...this is more like...ham?

The first thing I notice as I sip the beer is that it's very light in the mouth. The usual heaviness I'd associate with smoke doesn't weigh down this beer.

There are some roasty flavors in here, like a German dunkel. Otherwise, strictly based on the hopping, I'd say this is mid way between a German and an English style ale.

Purists may not appreciate the way the hop bitterness plays off the smoke: it's very unconventional, and they do clash a little bit. The flavors DO something to each other, and though not perfect, it's interesting, and still balanced. The beer is neither sweet nor dry. What the beer lacks in drinkability is entirely due to its oddity, not any single overpowering flavor.

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

Pours a clear copper color with a nice puffy white head. The aroma is of wet hay, grainy with a touch of honey and smoke. The taste is of lightly toasted grains, a floral sweetness, spicy hop and a mild smoke presence. The mingling of the spicy hops and smoke give this brew a unique flavor, kind of reminds me of metal. The feel is fairly light and crisp and finishes with an earthy bitterness. I prefer my rouchbiers to be more malty and more smokey but the light malt and smoke work well here as this is a fairly easy drinking brew.

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Photo of bum732
3.41/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an nice amber glow, small head leaving sparse lacing. Smells of faint smoke, a little vanilla and earthiness in the background. Has a caramal sweetness that is quickly pushed aside my the smoky malt. The smokiness is very mild compared to other rauch biers. The malt backbone is pretty thin, a fairly light beer. Finishes quite sweet like BBQ sauce. Nice carbonation for a lighter beer.

I was surprised how light this beer was. I personally feel the smoky malt is better reflected in a more malty beer. The smokiness is pretty faint as well, not sure if this was what the brewer was after. Not a bad beer, but not a great beer.

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Photo of HopEnthusiast
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brightorange color, with a fairly large white head. Hint of smoke in the smell. Taste was just OK, it didn't blow me away. I would have liked to have seen more smoke in the taste. While it was indeed there, it was way off in the background and barely noticeable. I am not asking for a campfire in my mouth, but it would have been nice to have been able to taste it a bit more. While this is a decent lager with some smokiness to it, fans of rauchbiers might be a bit let down. Drinkable, but nothing makes this one stand out.

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Photo of Celt44
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one first on-tap then I bought the large bottle at a local Craft Brew Store.

Appearance is a smokey amber. Foamy head at first and thin lace on tap lasts throughout.

Aroma - Definitely smoke and malt. Beef-jerkyish. Hints of alcohol. Different!

Taste - Smokiness up front - Sweet malt presence in the middle and finishes with a bitter hop bite.

Mouthfeel is very smooth.

Overall a very unique and satisfying beer. I enjoyed it on tap and was happy to see it on the shelf of my local Wegman's. Definitely will do this one again!

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

Big thanks again to a very kind BA who sent me the most recent collection of 100 barrel beers. This was the last one I tried for the night. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/05/2008.

The pour was decent enough with a medium amber color and a good bit of clarity to it. Some nice carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass, forming a nice head of about two inches on top that was slow to receded. Some lacing evident ofn the sides of the glass.

The aroma was classic campfire smoked malts. Light with a nice framework of grain and soft hops. Smooth and delicate flavor with a long lasting smoked taste that lingered with me throughout the night. Near spot on carbonation, though I would have liked the body to be a little bit thicker, as it came off a touch light to me, but still very drinkable.

Overall this was very nice, but then again I am a big fan of the style. Very nicely done and something I would go for again.

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Photo of paigertx
2.46/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bomber poured into a tulip glass. Mediocre smell of malts and not much more. Tasted metallic and dry, disappointing for a 100 barrel series. Dry sawdust aftertaste and nothing making me want more. Not recommended unless it's a free taste test, possibly better with age or I got a bad bottle.

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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.

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Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured sweet malts and an estery yeast and not much smoke.

The taste was upfront estery and very spicy. Again, not much smoke element, but a nice robust malt nonetheless.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a tasty ale, ut not much of a rauchbier.

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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 erosier
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber-brown color with a tall and thick tan colored head that laces teh glass nicely as it fades.
S: Smells of smokey malts, really very smokey in flavor with hints of earthy hops at the end.
T: Very nice smokey taste up front, very reminiscent of a good smoked meat and would probably pair well with it, with a bit of an earthy hoppy end.
M: Very smooth, warming, and the right amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable as this was a very smokey one, but definately worth the try.

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Photo of Reiksguard
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a big fan of Harpoons 100 Barrel series. Its almost a throw back to the says when Harpoon was a small craft brewery - not the large brewery it has become.

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: Nice copper tone with an initial 1/2" white head, which resided and left a light lacing in the glass.

S: The nose of the beer was a little off in my opinion. It was malty and hoppy, but I was expecting more smoked tones. My expectations were a little put off by the smell.

T/M: Very nice - not what I expected from the smell. Good malt character balanced with the bitterness. There is a slight smoked flavor, but it is tucked in the background.

D: A good beer that I could certainly drink several in a sitting. Usually smoked beers are strong enough that only one or two a sitting is the limit, but this one was almost refreshing - the smoke without the strong tang.

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Photo of selecter70
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a bit not quite what I expected, although this is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people do not like rauchbiers in general; "oooh, tastes like ham" &c...but I for one, like them in the proper setting (good cheese, meat, maybe some pea-soup). This Rauchfetzen 100 Barrel Series poured thinner than I expected, but smooth, into a nice hazy, dark gold with off-white & decent head and lace. The aroma definitely had the smoked beer aroma, but milder than I thought, and also offered up a malt-yeast & wet potato smell, odd...The flavor was a more mild smoke, that lodged gently in your nose at the end of a sip. Otherwise, full malts & enough hops rounded out the taste. Lighter in body than i thought as well and more carbonated...definitely enjoyable alone or as several. Rauchbier fans may dismiss this as weak, but non-fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a bit of the rauch, and hopefully not fear the smoker.

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Photo of mtbbaboon
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I always like trying the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series beers, so when I saw this one I had to try it. Poured it into a standard pint glass. Pours a light clear copper color, with bubbly white head that hangs around for a little bit. Not a whole lot of lacing. The first thing I smell is malt. Not a real strong malt aroma, though. Smells a little smokey as well. Tastes lightly malty too. I didn't really smell any hops, but I can taste them. Tastes more like a lager than anything, which is fine by me. A hint of bitterness rounds out the taste. It's lightly bodied and drinks very easy. Mildly carbonated. Overall it's a decent beer and worth trying.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at GingerMan in NYC...
Copper, with a dense head... minimal lacing...
The taste was certainly more assertive than the aroma... Faint nuances of malts in the nose...
The smoke-essence was definitely present on the tongue...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel...
Drinkable enough for a rauchbier...
Not bad...

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/23/08 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains smoked malts and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is very smoky up front as you would expect. There's a good hops presence and some mild caramel sweetness that creates a good balance. The malt character is hearty but on the lighter side for the style. The after-taste is slightly smoky.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, not typically the type of beer that I go for but this one is very good and worth drinking for a long time.

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