Review: Bonfire Rauchbier, Samuel Adams


Bonfire Rauchbier

Stats:
  • Style:  Rauchbier (Lager)
  • Bitterness:  19 IBU
  • ABV: 5.7% ABV
  • 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?


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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I don't know what you tasted, but I thought the smoke flavor was way too strong. Malts were good, but the smoke flavor tasted like someone poured too much fake smoke juice in the brew. I gacked through the first one thinking a Sam Adams can't be this bad. The second one went down the drain.

Sanjay said...

Sorry to hear you didn't like it. I've only tasted two Rauchbiers and this one was, believe it or not, less smokey than the other. Hope you liked some of the other beers in the pack better.

Joseph salamone said...

At first I was taken back by the blast of smoke flavor but I started to like the strange taste in my mouth good beer will have again.

Sanjay said...

Joseph, that's exactly how I felt about the first Rauchbier I tastes (Smoke Lager) from TAPS.

Mr. Rauch said...

Well, my last name is Rauch, so I'd love to have a bunch of these to give to friends when they come over. I wish I could buy a pack of 'em by themselves. I like it; but, of course, I'm biased.

Sanjay said...

Have you ever thought about homebrewing? You could brew up a few cases of Rauchbier!

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