Beer Review: Boston Beer’s Sam Adams Bonfire Rauchbier, Is A Should Try

image of Sam Adams' Bonfire Rauchbier courtesy of our Flickr page Despite the fact that the calendar says October, there are some pockets of the United States that feel more like Summer than Fall. But Fall is what is upon us, whether we like it or not. But it's not all bad as Fall has historically inspired many to seek out more traditional colors like orange, brown, red, green, and of course yellow.

So with that said we couldn't resist the opportunity to remind you about Boston Beer's Sam Adams Bonfire Rauchbier.

Brewery Description

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

First brewed in 2011, Samuel Adams Bonfire Rauchbier first appeared in our Harvest Collection Variety Pack along with other fall favorites such as OctoberFest, Black Lager, Irish Red, Harvest Pumpkin and Boston Lager

Flavor: Rich malt flavors of toffee and caramel, balanced with a smokiness that is ever present but not over powering.

Color: Dark amber, 39 SRM

Original Gravity: 15.57

Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 5.7%ABV – 4.5% ABW

Calories/12 oz.: 213

IBUs: 19

Malt Varieties: Two-row Harrington, Special B, Caramel 60, and Weyermann Smoked Malt

Hop Variety: Spalt Spalter Noble Hops

Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams lager yeast

Availability: Seasonal (Aug. – Oct.) in the Harvest Collection Variety Pack

First Brewed: 2011

Suggested Style Guideline from the Brewers Association

Bamberg-style Weiss Rauchbier should have smoky characters that range from detectable to prevalent in the aroma and flavor. Smoke character is not harshly phenolic, but rather very smooth, almost rendering a perception of mild sweetness to this style of beer. The aroma and flavor of a Weissbier with yeast is decidedly fruity and phenolic. The phenolic characteristics are often described as clove- or nutmeg-like and can be smoky or even vanilla-like. Banana-like esters are often present. These beers are made with at least 50 percent malted wheat, and hop rates are quite low. Hop flavor and aroma are absent. Weissbier is well attenuated and very highly carbonated and a medium- to full-bodied beer. The color is very pale to very dark amber. Darker (dunkel) styles should have a detectable degree of roast malt in the balance without being robust in overall character. Because yeast is present, the beer will have yeast flavor and a characteristically fuller mouthfeel and may be appropriately very cloudy. No diacetyl should be perceived

image of Sam Adams' Bonfire Rauchbier courtesy of our Flickr page Brewed in the Rauch-style (traditionally brewed in Germanic regions like Bamberg) Rauch Bier appears caramel brown and clear as it settles in the glass. When poured straight down into the our Samuel Adams signature 16 ounce pint glass, Rauch Bier produces an initial strong off-white foamy head that doesn't stick around very long. It's not all bad though as a wreath of lace sticks around, reminding you of what was.

Continued analysis through smell reveals slight phenolic (burnt-plastic-like), toasted toffee, and a definite wet smokiness.

Sipping one is greeted by subtle dark fruit, slight citrus, and a bread-like finish. Overall Sam Adams Rauch Bier has a mild weight to it as it coarses across the tongue.

Out Thoughts
You Should Try It. With a name like Rauch Bier the expected balance does not appear there. However this isn't to say Rauch Bier wouldn't work well with pork brats, schnitzel, or even some pulled pork.

Thoughts by your Colleagues


In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.

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