Lemony hop spritz dovetails meat-cured beechwood kilning of kellerbier-inspired rauchbier (with floating yeast clumps). Cereal-grained citrus spicing of lagered yeast kellerbier blends fairly well with campfire-doused rauchbier styling. In the midst, brown-sugared smoked ham and bacon sweetness picks up boggy peat mossing.
The American craft beer market may be thriving, but rarely has any brewer been able to replicate the meat-cured, kiln-smoked rauchbier style the Germans invented. And this quaint “maple caramel bacon beer” is no exception. Its initial beechwood-smoked grain soiling dissipates as the syrupy maple malting gains cloying nature that contrasts an unwelcomed lemon wedge souring. Unbalanced and underdeveloped.
There’s simply not enough peaty beechwood smoke, meat-charred nuttiness or campfire embers to satisfy any true German rauchbier fanatic. Band-aid-like beechwood sear stays tepid as misplaced lemon spritz and pasty pale malting deplete smoky maple bacon wisp.
Desirable merger pits rauchbier-like kilned barley malts and wood-singed peated Scotch dryness against brown-sugared molasses sweetness for 9.6% ABV limited edition 2017 release. Oaken vanilla seeps into kiln-smoked Scotch continuance, dampening its campfire setting while Band-Aid-wafted cured salami, seared bacon and glazed ham undertones emerge.
On tap at Ambulance, offbeat collaboration with Cologne’s Freigeist Brewery blends rustic farmhouse ale with beechwood-smoked rauchbier. Damp campfire setting receives sweet maple syruping to contrast smoked salami salience as well as saison-related barnyard acridity and sour lemon snip.
On tap at Beef Trust, delightful cornucopia of flavors blend well as peaty beechwood-smoked malts usurp sugary maple syruping and sweet bacon overtures. An unusual springtime prospect German rauchbier fans will enjoy.
On tap at Shepherd & Knucklehead – Haledon, well-done rauchbier/ IPA hybrid (in collaboration with local Colorado brewers, Ska) brings smoky campfire, beechwood and mesquite tones to crisply clean citrus fruiting. Barley-smoked cured meat pleasantry keeps rauchbier likeness lingering longer and stronger than casual orange, grapefruit, peach and apricot illusions.
On tap at Ambulance, rounded smoked helles lager (named after Young Frankenstein character) contrasts beechwood-seared cedar and hickory tones with sweet barley-roasted chocolate malting and cured meat accessory above earthen peat base. Light Band-aid astringency provides proper stylistic profile to glazed ham, briny pastrami and smoked salami dalliances.
Trying to succeed as a uniquely hybridized curiosity and doing so for the most part, this ambitious German smoked beer combines its stylish beechwood sear with sweet chocolate malts and dark-toasted wheat sugaring. Hints of cured meat such as salami, sausage and spiced bacon ride alongside ashen campfire wisps. May lack body, but very sessionable as crossover fodder for dunkelweizen fans.
On tap at Pony Bar, approachable beechwood-smoked German moderation needs thicker malt smokiness and better cured meat spicing. Stylish Band-Aid astringency almost forsakes fading peat-smoked beechwood influence and damp campfire aromatics. Glazed ham and candied apple sweeten its soft-toned core.
Reclusive, loosely defined, wheat-smoked German lightweight goes for subtler stylistic approach and nearly works as a crossover. But its unspecific peat-smoked cedar char and seared meat niche succumb to wavering flavor profile. Warbled chocolate-spiced malting and nutty fruit sprucing hit a snag, never fully penetrating the surface. Sputtering pecan-buttered almond and chestnut undertones never fully integrate with dried-fruited stewed prune, pureed raisin and dried fig sedation (or tangy red cherry, red apple, navel orange and berry notions). Distant honey-glazed ham and banana nut cake nuances dry up.
Elaborate kiln-fired cherrywood and beechwood smokiness inundates outstanding grain-charred bock lager. Damp wood-burnt campfire aromatics surround brown-sugared chocolate malt roast, cured meat glaze and lemon Seltzer twist. Maple-sapped barbecued bacon sweetness and cedar-singed peat mossing deepen heavily smoked mocha finish. One of America’s best rauchbiers.