Classic Style Smoked Beer


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Intended for smoked versions of Classic Style beers, except if the Classic Style beer has smoke as an inherent part of its definition (of course, that beer should be entered in its base style, such as Rauchbier).

Overall Impression: A well-balanced fusion of the malt and hops of the base beer style with a pleasant and agreeable smoke character.

Aroma: A pleasant balance between the expected aroma of the base beer and smoked malt. The smoke character ranges from low to assertive, and may show varietal wood smoke character (e.g., alder, oak, beechwood). The balance between the smoke and beer can vary – they do not need to be equal in intensity. However, the resulting mix should be appealing. Sharp, phenolic, harsh, rubbery, or burnt smoke-derived aromatics are inappropriate.

Appearance: Variable. The appearance should reflect the base beer style, although the color is often a bit darker than expected for the plain base style.

Flavor: Similar to the aroma, with a balance between the base beer and low to assertive smoked malt. Varietal woods can produce different flavor profiles. The balance between smoke and beer can vary, but the resulting blend should be enjoyable. Smoke can add some additional dryness to the finish. Harsh, bitter, burnt, charred, rubbery, sulfury, medicinal, or phenolic smoke-derived flavors are inappropriate.

Mouthfeel: Varies with the base beer style. Significant astringent, phenolic, smoke-derived harshness is a fault.

Comments: Use this style for beers other than Bamberg-style Rauchbier (i.e., beechwood-smoked Märzen), which has its own style. 

History: The process of using smoked malts has been adapted by craft brewers to many styles. German brewers have traditionally used smoked malts in Bock, Doppelbock, Weissbier, Munich Dunkel, Schwarzbier, Munich Helles, Pils, and other specialty styles.

Commercial Examples: Alaskan Smoked Porter, Schlenkerla Oak Smoke Doppelbock, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen, Schlenkerla Rauchbier Ur-Bock, O’Fallon Smoked Porter, Spezial Rauchbier Lagerbier


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