Malts: Two-row Harrington, Special B, Caramel 60, and Weyermann Smoked Malt
Hops: Spalt Spalter Noble Hops
Calories: 213 per 12 oz.
Sampled: 12 oz. bottle
Description: "Prior to the practice of kiln drying, barley was dried either by sunlight or over a flame. When fire dried, the grains were suspended high enough for the heat and smoke to pass through without burning the malt. As a result, this imparted smoky characteristics to the malt. Bold, smoky character with a smooth malty finish. The first thing one notices about a Samuel Adams® Bonfire Rauchbier is the deep smoky flavor which is balanced by a blend of malts that provide hints of caramel & toffee sweetness.” — Samuel Adams
Random thoughts: I love the label on this beer. Bonfire Rauchbier is a brand new and is being released for the first time in the Samuel Adams Fall Harvest Collection. The style is also known as smoke beer. Why, you might ask? Well, they taste like smoke... I tasted my first rauchbier, TAPS Smoke Lager earlier this year.
The tasting: Deep copper in color, clear, with lots of effervescence floating through the glass. Its off-white head is made up of fine bubbles that dissipate slowly. It has a very strong aroma of smoke—woodsy, wet campfire. It dominates the aroma and I don't smell much of anything else. The smoke also comes though in flavor. This time it reminds me of smoked meat. There's also a bit of caramel malt in there, but that's about it. Bonfire Rauchbier is light to medium bodied and has a crisp mouth feel. It finishes dry with a touch of bitterness and—care to take a guess? Smoke!
Rating: 4 star. Really Good! I want this again! If you haven't figured it out, this beer is all about the smoke. It's not for everyone, nor is it an "every day" beer for me. However, it's very unique and memorable. While the smoke flavor was strong, it wasn't overpowering. If you're planning to stand next to a roaring bonfire (or eat a lot of beef jerky) this fall, this is the beer for you.
Have you tried Bonfire Rauchbier or any other smoke beers?