73 / 100
500ml brown bottle purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.
Pours a very clear, light wooden brown colour, with an off-white head of coarse bubbles that manage to persist as a fairly solid head. Very light body, with minor, swift carbonation. Minimal lacing. It looks about what you want from a rauchbier, but not immediately impressive.
Nose is pleasant. Schlenkerla beechwood smokiness is at the forefront, of course, with a pleasant firm maltiness providing some backing. Slight peppery notes come through as well, giving an overall impression of well-seasoned steak. It's not overly complicated—it just does what it sets out to do.
Taste is actually a bit of a step up. Here, there's a definite savoury character, that almost adds a mineral, iodine, salt note to the mix. This isn't a headline flavour in and of itself, but it colours the other notes. The malt is pleasantly rounded and firm through the centre, but the smoke and salt give it a nuttiness like freshly roasted peanuts in their skin. Smoke persists towards the back giving a slight wood-ash note with a touch of bitterness and soil in the finish.
Feel is very light. It's about what you expect for a festbier at least.
Overall, it's pretty decent. It's not a special, outstanding counterpart to the rest of the range, but it's nice to find a new entry in what's a set of classics.
73 / 100
Pours a bronzey gold colour, kinda clear. Head is off-white, slight yellow tinge. Nice texture, sparsely webbed and dissipates to a medium crown. Specks of lace. Pretty decent.
Smells big and smokey. Quite meaty, with a smouldery, peaty kind of aroma to it. Hint of spice as well, but yeah not much. It's mono-thematic but many-noted.
Taste is fairly smokey too, yeah big, with a fair caramel malt upfront that gets toffee on there, then midway gets quite smouldery with some ashy notes and some beefy savoury notes as well. Burnt bitter on the back, that could use a bit more sweetness just to bulk it up. Pretty tasty though.
Smooth, fair body, quite dry at the back. Not bad.
Yeah, big smouldery notes. Again, lots of complexity but it's all in the same style. Tasty beer though.
79 / 100
650ml brown bottle purchased from K&L Wine Merchants in Redwood City, CA. Shared with Sam.
Pours a moderate golden amber with some slight hazing. Head os off-white tending to a pale orange cream. Decent streaky lace. Carbonation is very fine through a reasonably weighted body. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is deliciously smoky, but with depth and sweetness, possibly from the bourbon barrel aging. Slight minerally or salty notes come through as well, giving a hint of seaweed and peat. It is really rather pleasant.
Flavour is very similar. There's a real sweet, richness around the back, giving a smooth layer of vanilla on which everything else is based. The flavour has plenty of smoke to it, but it trends towards a rather pleasant peaty quality, with a savoury mineral note. It lacks the medicinal bite, but that's actually rather good—instead it peters out leaving that vanilla note lingering on the finish.
Feel is very smooth, but with a fine effervescence of powdery carbonation.
Overall, I really like it. It has a very pleasant complexity to it, over a really smooth, rich and very drinkable base. I like it a very good deal.
77 / 100
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a brownish amber hue, quite clear in the body and lightweight for the most part. Head is off-white, and forms a nice solid crest that leaves swoops of lace. Looks good.
Nose is smoky and a little sweet, with a slight touch of rubber which isn't unpleasant. It gives it a fatty quality like smoky salami dripping onto hot coals. Some eucalyptus comes through as well. I like it.
Light, mild faint smoke on the front, with a touch of biting medicinal spice, perhaps that same eucalyptus character from the nose. Middle is meaty, however, with a nice fatty, chewy salami and pepper note that works perfectly with the smoke. Back has a long linger turning more herbal and spicy again, while the aftertaste clings to that fatty smoky meat note. Yum.
Feel is disappointingly light for everything else that's going on. I think it's really the only bad part about an otherwise very interesting brew.
Overall though, it's really tasty and interesting. I liked it a great deal.
Tried on-tap at GABS 2015 in Melbourne.
Pours a nice amber hue, tending to red certainly and quite clear with a fairly fluid body. Head is yellowish, forming a fine but thin crest of head. Nice fine rings of lace as it goes down. Loose carbonation when tilted. Looks pretty decent.
Nose is smoky and a little peppery. There's a slight vegetative hop note that makes its way through the rauch, but mostly it's soft, smoky and meaty. Pretty decent.
Slight smoke on the front with a bit of bitey savoury grain. Lots of sweet caramel malts in the centre though which cloys a little and obscures the smoke. Back has a slight bite and a touch of booze. A mild bitterness mingles with the smoke to make it seem ashy, and leaves a lingering mineral character in the aftertaste.
Feel is very light. It's okay for this style of beer but it does make the booze feel a little sharp though.
Overall, it's decent, and pretty drinkable, with some well-worked smoke. It's not an absolute standout at GABS, although I'd probably enjoy it in isolation.
They call this a 'rauchbock'. Brewed for GABS 2015.
Pours an amber colour, slight sedimenty hints throughout. Head is beige, large bubbles but a bit thin. More head and it would be great.
Mild smoke on the nose, but not much else. Slight malty grain with a touch of smoke. Eh.
Taste is better. Nice big savoury smoke hit. Nutty malt upfront with a touch of walnut and a hint of banana, develops smoke midway with a slight herbal note. Hit of booze on the finish. Quite a foody tasting beer; savoury. Pleasant.
Body is thin which allows alcohol to seep through a bit. Not bad though.
Decent beer, but could use a bit more smoke and a bit less booze.
60 / 100
Pours an amber-brownish colour, clear with foamy off-white head. Sticks around a bit. Not bad; pretty par.
Smells lightly of smoke but not as heavily as others I've had. Notes of cereal grain and some nuttiness, plus a touch of spice on the back mingling with that smoke. Not a lot to it.
Taste is somewhat lacking in smoke. It's there, but it's not strong. A touch meaty perhaps with some grain characters upfront and then a very light smoky touch but mingling with spice characters with a distinct clove note. Could have upped the smoke ante a fair bit.
Decent body, glides down nice and smooth. Typical for Mornington.
Drinkable beer, but it just disappoints me on the smoke front.
A 6% sour rauchbier brewed with souchong smoked tea. Tried on-tap at Erzbierschof Punkt in Winterthur, Switzerland.
Pours a clear, deep amber hue that colour of dark maple syrup. Head forms coarse-bubbled foam, but it's fairly solid for a while, and off-white in colour. Lacing is good. Body is a bit light, with low carbonation running in fine streams. Looks good.
Nose is overpowered by the sour character—but it's not a refined acidity. It's slightly funky, and quite vinous, with a warm smoke behind it that lends some odd woody characters. Slight plastic notes come through as well, along with a little tannic grapeskin. It doesn't work all that well.
Taste is mostly just weak. Not really sour, although I blame the acidity for the thinness in the body. Some tannic, vinous notes provide a bit of bite in the back. There's not a lot of smoke, just a slightly ashy finish. It's weird, and certainly not very good.
Feel is thin, and those astringent tannins make it uncomfortable.
Quite unimpressed. I am very dubious about the concept of souring a smoked beer in any case—worse is the fact that this tastes so weak and neither element can stand up to the other. It's just not a good combination.
84 / 100
Tried on-tap at Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà in Rome. Hard to go past a 9.8% rauchbier.
Pours a deep, ruby-red colour, very clear. Body is fairly light, but linguid. Head forms an orange-white creast, very frothy but ephemeral. It leaves clumpy lace as it collapses. Carbonation forms in fine streams. Looks pretty good.
Nose is wonderful: big smoky and sweet, like a juicy beef BBQ. Smoky and spicy ribs with plum sauce and pepper. Really hefty sweetness helps it a lot. It's not like your regular Bamburg rauchbier, but it's pulling it into a completely new direction.
Light spicy entry on the palate, fairly clean but with some sweetness right from the start. The meatiness comes in quickly, smoky, savoury with some brusque tobacco characters. Back has a linger of smoke but supported by a long plummy sweetness and more of that meaty, savoury note. Lingering BBQ ribs on the finish with a little ashy smoke to finish it off. Feel is very solid and rich.
It's really heavy to drink, but really nicely intense, so I don't really care. I probably wouldn't drink an entire pint of it, but it is without a doubt worth trying for the experience.
75 / 100
33cl brown bottle purchased from Cave à Bulles in Paris. "Tourbée" is French for "peated" or "peaty", and this beer doesn't disappoint on that front.
Pours an oily brown colour, rather thin and light in the body, with a fine ring of beige foam that doesn't really form anything greater. Carbonation is indeed extremely minimal. Looks decent without being outstanding.
Nose is a different story. Robust and pleasantly realised peat smoke from the start, deep and earthy with salty, mineral hints. Sweetness is quite minimal, but there is a rather pleasant dark cacao chocolate note underneath everything. The peat is the main event though, and it's very aromatic.
Taste is lighter than the nose, but still rather pleasant. Clean, slightly toasty basis allows the smokiness to waft above and create the interest of the beer. Islay malts, a touch of ash, some green appleskin and a lingering iodine finish. Feel is pretty light: a bit more weight, and a touch more sweetness and the complexities would express themselves a bit more fully.
Still, this is a good beer, and a very pleasant use of peat-smoked malt. There's a lovely whisky character that sings throughout. I've had better peated beers, but they're always a treat when they're well-made like this one is.
75 / 100
Tried on-tap at Dejavu in Melbourne during Good Beer Week 2013. This is something like a Canadian Rauchbier, done with maple syrup and plenty of smokiness.
Pours a reddish-brown colour, quite hazed in the body, and quite light with the suggestion of stickiness. Head is a solid crest of ecru. Big, sweeping streaks and sheets down the glass. Carbonation is very fine. Looks good.
Smoky sweet on the nose, but not as much smoke as there may have been. Instead, it has quite a chocolatey tone, along with some maple syrup character giving the memory of fake waffle batter. Still smells pretty good.
The syrup is front and centre on the palate, giving maple sweetness and light crispy waffle notes on the entry. Beyond this is a meaty, smoky bacon flavour that permeates through the the back. Dry lingering syrup, pancakes with a suggestion of char to wrap it up. Nice stuff.
Feel is smooth but fairly airy and light. It works with the smoke well.
Really freaking interesting beer. It's smoky and sweet with body and richness. It's hard not to compare it to the Rogue/Voodoo Maple Bacon Doughnut Ale, but this is significantly better: it feels real, and as though it was done with purpose and strength. Really good stuff.
70 / 100
22oz bottle purchased from Ledgers Liquors in Berkeley, CA. No freshness date on the label itself, but the Ledger's sticker notes delivery was taken 4-13.
Pours a pleasantly hazed, but bright golden yellow colour. Head forms a fizzling, rather unpersistent crown of white, that eventually burns out to almost nothing. Carbonation is fine, and there's some weight to the body, despite its relatively low ABV. Looks decent enough: the lack of head is slightly disappointing.
Nose is extremely pleasant. It's a subtle use of rauchmalz here, providing a slightly sweet smokiness to an otherwise solid basis of crisp German malt. There's a good lager basis to the beer: slightly grainy, crisp, light and slightly fragrant, and it's set off nicely by the Bamburg beechwood smoke. It provides a little campfire wood, some sweet, bacon notes and an earthy wholesomeness. Lovely stuff.
The taste is a lot more subtle, especially from the smokiness side, but it's much like the Schlenkerla Helles Lager in this regard, which is not heavily smoked. Indeed, this has more smoke aroma on the nose than it did. On the palate, this is light, slightly crisp, but slightly fuller bodied than it needs to be. Weak malt provides the basis, while a slight medicinal character provides a dull counterpoint over the top. Some smoke comes from the aroma, and the finish is a little empty, but not particularly crisp.
Overall, this is nice stuff. I like the dose of smoke on the nose: it provides a pleasant quirk to an otherwise solid beer, and does so in a meaningful and well-integrated manner. It ends up being clean, light and easy to drink, and despite some little kinks, it ends up being a pretty compelling package.
83 / 100
Pale straw colour, with a huge haze throughout making it almost opaque. Head is white, consisting of large bubbles and retains a medium-thick crown. Great weizen look.
Smells beautiful. Masses of smoke of course, with a good woody character to it, but weizen notes come through strongly as well. Spicy, fruity, with phenolic clove, banana. It's almost a tale of two aromas, but there is a bridge between them which is the spice, coming through in the smoke as well. Lovely complexity, just lovely nose. So enticing.
Smoke is huge on the palate as well, very meaty and bacony. Fruit and weizeny notes are less noticeable here, but still there with slight banana character coming through and a bit of dry phenol towards the back. Smoke is the star here though, and it's a little too meaty for me, would like a bit more of a woody bent. Still a very nice balance struck and lots of pleasant characters.
Nice mouthfeel; lots of sediment giving a bitty character, but it's also nicely full and nicely dry.
Great beer by Temple. Pleasant smoky character but the balance is struck so it's not overwhelming. The weizen base is great and provides a great complement to the bacony notes.
81 / 100
Classified this as a Rauchbier, rather than a Hefeweizen, but could easily see the other way around. I chose Rauchbier to match with the classification of Schlenkerla's Rauchbier Weizen which this rather resembles. Had on-tap at GABS in Melbourne.
Pours with the appearance of cloudy apple juice, a fine haze yellow hue, with full body, and yet with a firm white head and sheeting lace. Carbonation is minimal, but that's ok. Overall, it's a great looking beer.
Nose is beautifully done. Subtle smoke characters layer over the top of what is clearly a hefeweizen, with banana esters rising prominently, and the spice mingling and intertwining with the smokeâit's like you through a few cloves into the campfire. Lovely stuff. I love that both beer styles are balanced.
Taste is similar, although surprisingly less complex than the aroma. Here the effect is more blocky: on the front there are classic banana and bubblegum characters, which are quickly replaced by tantalising smoky notes which crescendo on the mid-palate and weirdly end up doing the cleaning up on the back. It's a comforting finish, like an open fire.
Feel is light, but solid enough, and does an admirable job supporting everything else.
Very clean and deliciously drinkable. This is a really great brewâflavoursome but subtle and balanced to perfection, which I can't imagine was easy. Really, this does a great job matching Schlenkerla's Weizen, which happens to be my favourite of theirs.
Really great work, Temple.
Pours a shiny, pale golden colour with mild haze. Head is off-white, decently small bubbles but retaining a decent crown of lace. Slow trail of bead; looks OK.
Smells quite sweet with puffy grain notes leaking a hint of bubblegum at first. More decent herbal notes follow with a touch of wood smoke and a hint of cherry-tinged phenol. Not bad, could lessen that initial sweetness though.
Taste starts fairly tangy with some sweet grain and hints of lemon cordial. Develops some nice smokey notes midway with a touch of dry wood, lemon thyme and parsley. More citric on the back, and gets some of that unfortunate bubblegum note which I'd put down to age, if this beer hadn't been brewed locally, and kept in the fridge for as long as I've known. It's not quite as meaty as I'd have liked, and is more sweet than anything else.
Full-bodied for a lager, maybe a touch too much. Could use more fizz to cut through the stickiness.
Not a bad brew, with some interesting elements. Will see how well it goes with my jambalaya.
(Edit: not that well; would have needed more complementary smokiness)
56 / 100
Had on-tap at the Monk on a recent trip to Perth. I loved the location, sitting out in the open, next to the street in Fremantle on the big wooden bench-style tables. Gorgeous evening.
Had this one to match with my steak.
Pours a reddish brown colour, with a creamy-coloured fine film. Lacing is intricate. Looks a little flat overall, but solid enough.
Grainy, rugged and smoky on the nose, but with a slight sweetness which is a little overblown. I like the smoke character, but I feel like it needed a bit more support.
Taste is smooth, but the sweetness comes in here again. Some smoky flavours, but the main event is a buttery sweetness. Finish is dry and chalky, which would be a fine finale, but it comes a little too late, after the sweetness has won the day.
Too sweet, and not enough raw smoky power. It's drinkable enough, but not overly enjoyable. It felt a little thin and pedestrian after a while. Worth trying, but I wish I had have picked another from their roster to try.
81 / 100
Purchased from Sackville Cellars in Rozelle. Presented in the classic Mad Brewer's stylised 640ml bottle. It's a size I'm not that comfortable with, even though it reminds me of bombers of lovely US craft beer.
Pours a bright and hazed golden colour, with a fine and full head of beaten egg-white. Body is pleasantly heavy; lacing is sudsy, but solid. Looks nice.
Nose is odd, but pleasantly so. Lovely slightly meaty smoked characters, that also bring to mind the buttery notes of Belgian yeasts. A little sweetness, perhaps. With this, there's also clean and sharp organic notes which (I do agree with the label) give some hint of the Aussie bush. Foliage, eucalyptus, some floral characters, always laced with that glorious haze of lingering smoke. Delicious.
On the palate, everything is pared back to the smoke-laden characters which permeated but never dominated on the nose. Big meaty barbeque characters of smoky fats, only slightly shot through with the organic bite. It's a nice match, and the smokiness is only a part of the whole experience.
Feel is very smooth--the extra body and alcohol in the beer helps to cushion the complexity.
A really good brew, and probably the best of the Mad Brewers series I've had. This gives a really beautiful complexity of smoke, organics and spice to make a fascinating brew. I think, based on the description on the label, that they've really hit on what they were trying to do here. I'm a bit sad that it hasn't been so well received by others here.
Pours a Hellish red colour, with minimal head. Slight cloud in the body but not enough to stop light passing through, minimal bead. Looks minimalist, kinda meh.
Lots of smoke on the nose, very cedary and fairly dark with a caramel malt base. Decent rauch smell, yeah.
Taste is lacking on the assault, has hints of that caramel malt flavour but not a lot else. Smoke comes through midway but still seems kind of weak and subdued. Flat, in a way, without that rise and lilt of a strong German rauch. Lots of meaty bacon that does dominate the palate without ever seeming particularly flavoursome.
Could use more body, I think. There is a baseless quality to this beer and it needs something more for that smoke flavour to float on.
I'm not a big fan of rauchs in general as far as drinking goes, and the weakness of the smoke in this gives it a quite sour, almost rancid quality, and overall it's a bit flat, so I wouldn't order another.
56 / 100
Pale, slightly cloudy orange-straw colour, with a white, fluffy head of dissipating filmy bubbles. Looks pretty nice.
Great smoky characters on the nose. Wood smoke, bacon and a little pine-resin giving a woody note. Very nice. It's not huge and robust, but the characters are very good.
Taste, however, is surprisingly weak. A little burnt character, almost a little bit of charred rubber, then just an unpleasant coppery-sour note on the back. Mouthfeel is very flat. On the palate as a whole, it's a real shame.
Overall, it has some pleasant characters, but it's a pretty weak example of a rauch. As much as the initial characters are promising, it just falls flat, and ends up pretty bland.
Pours a murky red colour, brown-red really. Head is beige and pretty damned impressive, foamy and sudsy, sinking unevenly on top, leaving some thin but nice, sticky lace. Slight haze to it, pretty hot beer.
Nose is quite sour-roasty. A lot of coffee-grounds bitterness to it with some soapy notes, a lot of smoke and some almost raspberry character to it. There is definitely a fresh sweetness with a touch of tart. Kind of vinous notes and a touch of coconut as well. Pleasant, could use more fragrance though, have to sniff pretty hard to get that.
Taste is similar, a lot of smokiness to it, very sour and roasty - dark though. Has a berry character midway, giving slight tart acidity, while finish has good elements of oak and cedar wood, actually fresh and not a huge smokiness although it is there. Yeah, a very tart mid-palate, certainly not puckering. Hint of vinegar and some crisp apple. Nice finish too, I quite like that.
Very foamy texture in the mouth, very smooth as it goes down. Maybe a touch thin, but I like it.
Yeah, there's definitely a boldness to this flavour which doesn't quite charm me. It's good, not necessarily very drinkable.
39 / 100
Pours a bronze colour, quite clear with minimal head, sinks to a thin ring of off-white bubbles. Leaves some unimpressive lace. Hmmmm... not very impressed, a bit blah.
Nose is quite amber-malty with some dark characters as well and hints of currants and cherry, then emerges this slight dark wood smoke, a lot of smouldered oaky notes, with a hint of cola lurking behind. Slightly subdued smoke-wise, but not bad, has a bit too much sweetness though.
Taste is sadly a let-down, very malty and sweet with brown sugar and some weak citric notes, then gets a slight smokey flavour at the back but dominated by a medicinal overtone and the smoke comes through as more of an afterthought. It may well just be diminished from being old though, it does retain a shadow of its woody, smokey past but it's a pale imitation of what it could be and what other Rauchs are.
Thin and untextured mostly, a bit syrupy as it goes down, actually quite unpleasant texture.
Fairly unimpressed with this but will happily give this a second chance with a fresh bottle if anyone from Oz wants to import another batch.
Pours a clear amber colour, looking rather flat and limp, with a mildly filmy, fine-bubbled white head. Some lacing in nice curtains as the glass empties.
Light sweetness on the nose, with a very subdued but definitely noticeable smoke character. Very much merely a slight woodsmoke note; none of the big smoked meat characters. Even a little pine resin creeping in. Not bad though.
I do like the fact that there is a very noticeable smoky character on the palate. Round enough on the front, and not very full-bodied, which is rather suitable, before a smoky-sweet flavour permeates and stays till the end. It's again rather muted, but I love the effective smoke here.
Mouthfeel is thin, which again, is perhaps suited to the style, but it feels a little disappointing.
Gets slightly cloying after a while, with the sweetness raising its head once too often. It doesn't strike me as a particularly good rauch, but it has its moments.
Pours a viscous dark red brown, with a hint of suspended sediment. Head is reasonably thick but a little loose-bubbled. Good lacing, and the body looks good. Overall a very nice looking beer.
Decent smoke notes on the nose, bit of woodfire, but with a lot of roasted malt notes as well - dark chocolate mocha and coffee. A little freshness comes from a whiff of carbonic acidity, and to be honest detracts a little. Otherwise a pretty decent rauch nose.
Slickness in the mouth with a roasty, smoky burnt character. Absolutely no sweetness to it, which personally I find a bit disappointing, only a light hint of chalky carob on the very back. The smoky character is not as dominant as many of the most robust rauchs, and I really would like a little more body and fullness on the palate, but otherwise it's pretty good.
I'm not convinced there is a better Rauchbier brewed in Australia - this makes a very decent stab at the style. It really lacks fullness and sweetness on the palate, but otherwise very decent.
74 / 100
Pours a dark brown with red tinge and clear. A bit of beige head, thins out quickly. Not all that much lacing but decent. Look, it looks like a bock, inside-out and upside-down. I'll give it good marks for that.
Intense, delicious dark wood smoke. Meaty, dark and delectable, like burnt chops or something. But still with a good maltiness behind it, and not even a roasted maltiness but rather a syrupy, amber malt character. Truly excellent aroma.
Taste is again with the exquisite smoke flavours with a strong mesquite BBQ character infiltrating on all sides. Meaty, potent and attention-grabbing, but this too is sweet and malty. Mouthfeel though lets it down, it's incredibly thin.
Drinking though this is probably the smoothest of the Schlenkerla Rauchs - although it's been a long time since I drank the Marzen, and really you'd have to have them all lined up in a row to really compare them because the smoke is always the dominant factor. This one though is pretty well-balanced and very drinkable.
Dark red brown, definite hints of ruby when held to the light. A filmy head of pure white foam. Decent enough.
Huge and intense smoke aromas on the nose. It's like sticking your nose into the remnants of a recently deceased campfire. Something dark and jammy in there as well, but not particularly sweet. Like crisped, honey roasted beef. Amazing. What a powerful and rich rauch nose. Man I love rauchs.
Taste is disappointingly thin, compared to the aroma, but it has a nice ashy charcoal bitterness to it. A really like rauchs to have a bit of sweetness behind the smoke, and this one doesn't. But it continues the burning ashy character at least - certainly charcoal. Mouthfeel particularly thin.
Still, this is an impressively robust rauch. One that leaves everything up to the smoke character, and you have to appreciate it for that.
84 / 100
Quite cloudy brown amber, almost sludgey, with a filmy head of mocha brown to off-white foam. Reasonable lacing. Head isn't massive or solid, but the body looks good.
Huge smoky, rustic aroma on the nose, wood fire, bacon and charcoal. Smells delicious. However, it's also slightly sweet - as though the bacon has been honey glazed. Delicious. So powerful, but so beautiful. I swear it's the best rauch nose I've had.
Mouthfeel is quite smooth, very pleasantly and delicately coating the mouth with smoke. And the smoke is the dominant character on the palate. There's hints of bitterness and a slight underlying sweetness, perhaps toffee, but these are sub-elements to the very beautiful smoke flavours.
This is a great rauch, smoky and powerful, but with the edges just slightly rounded by the wheat. I think it has amazing balance, leaving it supremely drinkable. Probably the best rauch I've ever had. Top notch.
62 / 100
Pours a bronze colour, thin snowy head, dissipating quickly with a steady, firm bead that commands with authority. Very light-to-no lacing. Cute colour, but otherwise unastounding.
Delicious meaty smoke, deep and hearty with a juicy, fat richness to it, like a can of Thick and Chunky soup. Behind the smoke is a peep from some dark, plummy berries. But after a couple of sniffs the smoke just takes over. Very nice.
Very acrid smoke on the palate, kind of sour with an off-fruit aftertaste following the charcoaly flavour. Kind of fizzy mouthfeel which is a bit of a turn-off, but it's otherwise really nice with a lot of smokey meaty flavours. Actually the palate is a bit short, and the flavour isn't as powerful as the smell, which I can whiff from half a metre away. I'm not familiar enough with the rauch style to diagnose what's wrong with the palate, but I just think it errs a little too bit on the side of drinkability, instead of going for the knockout punch.
Nice dark redwood colour, considerable head upon pouring. Dissipates quickly to a thin film which does stick around, credit to it. Steady carbonation. Frankly, a damn fine-looking beer.
Smells like dark-wood smoke. It's intense but not repulsive. Like heavily smoked bacon but without the bacon smell. Mostly sour and pungent and it feels like I'm getting soot up my nostrils. I don't dislike it though.
Taste is not too bad but funny thing is the nose strangles the flavour. I can tell I'm drinking a particularly flavoured lager but then the smoke kicks into my nose and I lose the flavour. Maybe that's the point. I'm getting hints of that smokey bacon flavour on the front palate and a bit of toastiness. The back palate (which is disappointingly short) is where the hops lie, and it would be quite underwhelming in flavour if not for the fact that the back palate is where the aroma comes blundering in. Overall an interesting brew. I certainly couldn't drink masses of it but it's an experience, and not a bad one.
77 / 100
Nice dark amber/ruby colour, slightly cloudy with nice languous fine-bubbled carbonation. Excellent body, and a firm head of light brown foam. Superb lacing. A wonderful looking beer.
Amazing, overpowering smell of woodsmoke - reminds me of camping out in the forest. It almost dominates everything, but there is, hidden in there, a slight spiciness, like rum-soaked raisins or Christmas pudding. Pretty intense.
There is smokiness on the palate too, but it's tempered by a very welcome roasted bitterness. This, with the scent of smoke still spiralling around my sinuses, almost throws me into sensory overload. Mouthfeel is quite light, but much more would have been overkill. Lots of subtle complexity to explore behind the brash, overzealous smoked character. The beer is the more drinkable for this complexity.
A powerful beer, not something for everybody, but something that's worth seeking out. I will definitely be drinking this again.