Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Shiner Smokehaus Review

Brewery: Spoetzl Brewery | Beer: Shiner Smokehaus
Style: Rauchbier | ABV: 4.9% | IBUs: 16
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into Pilsener glass

Shiner SmokehausA couple of months ago, while searching for a Rauchbier (smoked beers especially popular around Bamberg, Germany) to review here on PintLog, I learned how absolutely impossible it is to find smoked beer here in Texas. Eventually, on a trip to the Southern Star brewery, brewmaster Dave Fougeron tapped a keg of his renowned Rauchbier and I got my first sip of the style. My wife and I were totally blown away with how delicious it was. While Dave jokingly described the beer as "ham in a glass," this was an amazingly well crafted and tasty beer. Unfortunately, that one brilliant pint at the brewery was still my only encounter with smoked beers. Until now.

I was incredibly excited when I heard that the brewers behind the Shiner line of beers announced that they would be producing a smoked Lager for the Summer. Named Smokehaus, the beer is essentially a Helles-style Lager built with malt smoked with local mesquite at the brewery in Shiner. The beer has finally started to show up on shelves here in Houston, just in time for the oppressive Texas heatwave, and I can't wait to give it a try.

Appearance: A crystal-clear golden-amber body with a generous bubbly white head that burns out rather quickly leaving only the barest patches of lacing.

Aroma: A rather typical pale malt Lager body with some definite notes of mesquite smoke. No hops to speak of. I was really hoping for more smoke here...

Taste: The familiar taste of a light Shiner Lager accented with a splash of tasty smokiness in the finish. Unfortunately, the smoke flavor is not very intense and comes off as a bit of an afterthought after the first couple of sips. The aftertaste is composed of a quick flash of smoke and grain that fades quickly.

Mouthfeel: A slightly lighter than medium body with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Built as a very drinkable and refreshing beer, with the smoke flavor light enough to not slow it down whatsoever. A great beer for grilling in the Texas heat.

Verdict: Lots of credit to Shiner for trying something new here, I just wish they had been a bit more bold with the smoke intensity. If you've never tried a smoked beer, this is a nice gentle introduction. I hope this helps pave the way to a new crop of Rauchbiers on the market here in Texas.

Grade: B

8 comments:

Jim Miculka said...

I tried my first bottle of Smokehaus yesterday here in Weimar, TX, not too far from the brewery. I thought it was great for a smoked Helles style beer. I am not a fan of intense smoke flavours and so this one is right on and will fill my fridge and travel cooler for the summer. I give it an A+.

Kenneth said...

Perfect for the Texas summer. Enjoying my first six pack while grilling my Father's Day burgers.

Love it! A+

kg

Chris said...

I'm glad everyone seems to be loving it so far! Hopefully it will be a hot seller and convince more brewers around here to try smoked beers.

Eustace said...

I'm up in northeast Texas and haven't seen it in a store yet. Do I need to go on a scavenger hunt? I wish I could get some consistency in what they carry at the county line . . .

Mistascott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jimmy said...

I get a six-pack of this stuff every time we grill. It is very flavorful, but like what has been said before, needs a little more smoke flavor to kick it up a notch.

Anthony said...

I was actually just looking for a Helles style lager and found out Shiner makes this baby right here in TX! Was skeptical about the smoke flavor but it is just enough to make it unique and flavorful! I will be drinking it this summer while grillin! Grade A

Collin Leon said...

I get enough smoke flavor from my BBQ, I don't need to extreme of a smoke flavor in my beer.