badgerben (5180) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - APR 15, 2011
Copper color with a medium head. Smokey aroma. Strong smoke flavor, very ham-like. Strong malt character, with light, buttery Munich malt notes. GT (10000) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 30, 2011
355mL courtesy of tytoanderso. The pour is a clear, deep cherry red to black tea color. A massive, yellowish head erupts but not a hell of a lot of lace. Nice retention. Aroma is really on the spot: huge bacon, peated malt, lavender, grease, caramel. Taste is heavy bacon, giant smoked malt, caramel, molasses, a little soapy. Palate is rich, oily, on the spot for smoked. Gets a little soapy and thinnish, powdery. Really the start of something special.
kbutler1 (1381) - North Carolina, USA - MAR 30, 2011
Draft. On tap at Firkin Fest 2011. Pours a clear orange apricot color with a slight tan head. Bacon and smoke right off the bat in the nose. It’s really all I smell in this one. Reminds meof a pan full of bacon that is starting to burn. Smoke, malt, and caramle in the flavor. The smoke is more mild than other smoke beers I have had but still stays with you after you finish your drink. Medium mouthfeel. Guerde (1297) - Leuven, BELGIUM - MAR 5, 2011
(bottle poured in Surly pint glass) Pours a dark chestnut brown with nary a head, but when swirling the head is white. Aroma is nice and all things smokey, particularly what comes to mind is lapsang souchong tea, baked ham, smoked gouda, and also bacon. Not too bad, but there is something just a little off about it, and the only descriptor that comes to mind is "medicinal." The flavor thankfully lacks this quality, but it also lacks much complexity. Naturally there is abundant smoke which yields an effect similar to the finish of smoked salmon (sans the oiliness and salt), and there are some malty qualities as well, which subtly remind me of an O-fest as they are vaguely doughy and caramel-like. Little bit of dark rye bread on the finish. I think this beer would be great with food, particularly those that I’ve mentioned earlier along with grilled steak or bratwurst. I say this because it doesn’t possess the complexity that requires it to be drank alone without the interruption of other flavors, and also because it possesses enough food-like qualities which would pair with and even accent certain meals. With that said, it’s yet another solid beer from Schell, and it’s good to see they’re somewhat (aside from the Pinot bomber) adhering to a business model quite similar to New Glarus. As long as they stick with this model, and continue to churn out impressive seasonal as well as regular (see the improved Pils) beers, they’ll continue to have my business. pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 5, 2011
12oz bottle courtesy of tyto for passing this along as a bonus.... pours a transparent yet dark caramel toffee reddish brown with a thin soapy white head that quickly dissapears leaving a thin soapy film... aroma includes toasted caramel malts upfront with a semi-sweat graininess while keeping balance with the lighter smoked aspect which isn’t overwhelmingly assertive in anyway but rather present in an equal manner... flavors follow suit with sweeter grains upfront and then quickly balanced by a lightly salted smoke influence. remains sweeter through the middle and finish. medium bodied consistency with an average level of carbonation. not too bad of an offering and a pleasant surprise.
Trev (2023) - Lakeville, Minnesota, USA - MAR 4, 2011
amber/brown pour with a quick thin head.
aroma is smoke up front. Woody smoke, some fruitiness and caramel sweetness as well.
Flavour is well, smoky of course. Some malty sweetness gives it a decent body. Getting a bit of black pepper spice as well and some nuttiness.
13mikey (503) - New Hope, Minnesota, USA - MAR 3, 2011
12 oz bottle from the Four Firkins. Reddish brown pour with a light tan head. Fantastic smokey aroma and flavor with a great malty balance. Sweet smokey finish. I think it’s my new favorite rauchbier.