Description:"Light amber in color, this beer has a unique blend of hop flavor with medium full body and exhibits smoke taste reflective from the use of specialty beechwood smoked malt." — TAPs Brewery
Random thoughts: This is my first review of an import. I received Smoke Lager as part of my Beer of the Month Club gift subscription. TAPs opened as Turkey's first brewpub in 2002. They make over twenty full-time and seasonal beers. This is a German-style rauchbier (which means "smoke beer").
The tasting: Golden straw in color (hazy) with a white head that dissipated slowly. Aroma of wet smoky firewood (think campfire doused in water), and light bready malt. Flavor is very smoky and woody—maybe oak? Light bodied with a crisp mouth feel. It finishes with smoky malt, but doesn't leave a burnt or bitter aftertaste. I have to admit, the smoky flavor made the first few sips challenging. But towards the middle of the drink, it started to grow on me.
I usually don't pair beer with food, but since we're doing the smoked thing here, I think this would pair beautifully with smoked salmon. Add goat cheese and a crostini, and voila! Barbecue or other smoked meats would be great, as well.
Rating: 3 star. Good. I would drink this if someone gave it to me. I read about rauchbiers a few months ago, and was excited to see it included as part of my Beer of the Month Club shipment. I haven't found this style in my local bottle shops and am glad I had the chance to sample this unique style.
Have you tried TAPs Smoke Lager or any other rauchbiers?