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Fort Collins Out of the Ashes #1: Rauchbier



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RATINGS: 21   MEAN: 3.4/5.0   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.33/5   SEASONAL: Series   EST. CALORIES: 180   ABV: 6%
Out of the Ashes is a series of limited release beers that showcase the varied and unique flavors and aromas delivered from malt smoked over wood-burning fires. The first member of the series, Rauchbier, features 100% smoked malt. The malt smoked over beechwood is intensely aromatic, and the malt smoked over oak imparts a smooth and rich sweetness. Gold medalist GABF 2012 smoke beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 14, 2015
Pours a slightly cloudy, pale golden straw color with a one finger foam head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind. Much paler in color than I expected. Delicate smoke aroma with rauchbier characteristics over pale pilsner-like malts. Some liquid smoke, charcoal, ashtray, burnt wood and barbecue followed by grassy hops, straw, hay and light fruit. Slightly acrid smelling but not a complete smoke bomb. Medium bodied with soft carbonation and a mild smoke presence lingering over pale malts, grassy hops and light fruit notes into a very dry finish. Pretty tame on the smoke front and not as interesting as the nose suggests. Smoke character is somewhat one dimensional with burnt wood, charcoal and ash. Dry and bitter but not acrid or too harsh. Grassy saaz-y hops with pilsner malt, bread, biscuit, hay, apple and pear. The light fruit sweetness that comes in on the back end provide some needed balance/relief from the bitter smokiness. No noticeable heat but the harshness if the smoke hurst drinkability. Overall, not an offensive beer but the smoke is too tame and one-dimensional for my preference.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
glennmastrange (2588) - hobe sound, Florida, USA - NOV 13, 2014
Bottle. Moderate malt note of light bread, light herbs for the hops, and the rest is smoke. Head is small, wispy, white with fair lacing and is almost fully diminishing. Color is clear medium amber. Flavor starts lightly sweet and moderately to heavily acidic, then finishes lightly sweet and acidic. Palate is light to medium, watery with a lively carbonation. Lots of smoke in the aroma and flavor of this Smoked Beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
jtclockwork (13289) - , New Jersey, USA - JUN 3, 2014
Bottle. Pours cloudy yellow with white head. Nose/taste of smoke, beechwood, smoked wheat, smoked lemon cake, bacon and smoked wood. Medium body.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
3fourths (8989) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - APR 29, 2014
From bottle. For me this sits as sort of a simpler version of Schlenkerla Helles. The Schlenkerla does not have smoked malt in the grain bill, rather it picks up the smoke character from equipment used for the Urbock and Maerzen, but the character of the smoked malt is similar here: quiet, mild and acting as a accompaniment to the pale malt, which itself lends a clean cracker and baguette malt character. While there’s no fermentation defects, the body remains a little too watery and flabby (I remember hearing that they decocted this but really there’s no perceptible presence of melanoidins to me), and the price point sits a bit too high to make it a regular purchase. Noble effort by Fort Collins, certainly better than I expect from them, and better than most attempts at Helles Rauchbier from outside of Germany.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Brouwerij (959) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 14, 2014
Bottle. Pours slightly hazy gold with thin white head. Settles quickly with almost no lacing. Aroma is smoky, bacon/ham, big, sweet beechwood. Flavor is smoky, huge beechwood finish, sweet smoke, ham. Slightest metallic, chemical hint in the aftertaste of some sips. Fairly one-dimensional, but that isn’t out of the ordinary for the style. Soft carbonation, medium body, and smooth texture.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
uhclem (417) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 10, 2014
22oz bomber. Nice hint of smoke in the aroma. Smoke carried over to the taste, but there was a metallic element that was unpleasant Also gave me heartburn.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
crajun (1143) - , Texas, USA - JAN 1, 2014
Bomber. Ok beer slight campground smoke in aroma. Taste is sweet with a slightly bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
arminjewell (9210) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 12, 2013
Pour on tap at the brewery, clear yellow pour with white head, aroma brought notes of slight biscuit, bread, hints of earth, nice smoky, meaty notes as well, hints of slight oak in there as well, this smells pretty good. Taste is a mix of biscuit, bread, and spice, slight grassy notes into a mix of smoke, meaty and oaky tones, finishing fairly smoky, slight earth.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
mar (5156) - Dallas, Texas, USA - NOV 8, 2013
Gold pour with no head. Nose is bbq, charred wood, light malts and smooth. Very easy on the palate, light bbq, wood, malts, and bitter finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
TAR (2599) - Marshall (Asheville area), North Carolina, USA - NOV 6, 2013
Pallid yellow. Foam retreats as swiftly as it fragments. Simple but clean aromas of grassy Pils malt, baguette, smoked crackers and lemony hops. Carbonation leans toward fuzzy with its soft prickles. Lemony Tettnang signature gives way to a multilayered, well-textured maltiness and clean, edgeless smoke. Not at all ashy or raspy, though a welcome coarseness does exude from the staunch rauch which ads another dimension as it coalesces with the sturdy malt. Hop oils commendably mirror the grassy, uncured hay malt aspects with a polished elegance. Faint mineral astringency cuts the slickness nicely. Moderate dose of appetizing hop acids beckon you for another sip with their ample brightness. Finishes with a lemony hop zing as fresh haylike malt lingers alongside ongoing smoky assertions. A surprisingly clean, skillfully balanced and audaciously smoky rauchbier from a brewery that’s been way more miss than hit these past few years. Hop character is sophisticated and quite lovely, sparkling with a lemony luster and plenty of complementary oils, to boot. Doesn’t come off as if it’s been decocted, though, which I would have loved to see. A bit soulless, perhaps, as it needs more minerals and melanoidin to appease the critic in me. But it does elicit an occasional glimpse of Franconia, so it’s got that going for it. I wanna say there’s some Spalt Select (!) in here with all the glorious lemon rock candy notes, but it’s anyone’s guess. Too expensive, but pretty solid.

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