Style Details

Clas­sic Style Smo­ked Beer
Smo­ked Beer
BJCP Style Code
32 A
Varia­ble. The appearan­ce should reflect the base beer style, alt­hough the color of the beer is often a bit dar­ker than the plain base style.
The aro­ma should be a plea­sant balan­ce bet­ween the expec­ted aro­ma of the base beer and the smo­ki­ness impar­ted by the use of smo­ked mal­ts. The inten­si­ty and cha­rac­ter of the smo­ke and base beer style can vary, with eit­her being pro­mi­nent in the balan­ce. Smo­ki­ness may vary from low to asser­ti­ve; howe­ver, balan­ce in the over­all pre­sen­ta­ti­on is the key to well-made examp­les. The qua­li­ty and secon­da­ry cha­rac­te­ris­tics of the smo­ke are reflec­ti­ve of the source of the smo­ke (e.g., alder, oak, beech­wood). Sharp, phe­n­o­lic, har­sh, rub­be­ry, or burnt smo­ke-deri­ved aro­ma­tics are inappropriate.
As with aro­ma, the­re should be a balan­ce bet­ween smo­ki­ness and the expec­ted fla­vor cha­rac­te­ris­tics of the base beer style. Smo­ki­ness may vary from low to asser­ti­ve. Smo­ky fla­vors may ran­ge from woo­dy to some­what bacon-like depen­ding on the type of mal­ts used. The balan­ce of under­ly­ing beer cha­rac­te­ris­tics and smo­ke can vary, alt­hough the resul­ting blend should be some­what balan­ced and enjoya­ble. Smo­ke can add some dry­ness to the finish. Har­sh, bit­ter, burnt, char­red, rub­be­ry, sul­fu­ry, medi­ci­nal, or phe­n­o­lic smo­ky cha­rac­te­ris­tics are gene­ral­ly inap­pro­pria­te (alt­hough some of the­se cha­rac­te­ris­tics may be pre­sent in some base styles; howe­ver, the smo­ked malt shouldn’t con­tri­bu­te the­se flavors).
Varies with the base beer style. Signi­fi­cant astrin­gent, phe­n­o­lic smo­ke-deri­ved har­sh­ness is inappropriate.
Over­all Impression
A smo­ke-enhan­ced beer showing good balan­ce bet­ween the smo­ke and beer cha­rac­ter, while remai­ning plea­sant to drink. Balan­ce in the use of smo­ke, hops and malt cha­rac­ter is exhi­bi­ted by the bet­ter examples.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Dif­fe­rent mate­ri­als used to smo­ke malt result in uni­que fla­vor and aro­ma cha­rac­te­ris­tics. Beech­wood, or other hard­wood (oak, map­le, mes­qui­te, alder, pecan, apple, cher­ry, other fruit­woods) smo­ked mal­ts may be used. The various woods may remind one of cer­tain smo­ked pro­ducts due to their food asso­cia­ti­on (e.g., hick­ory with ribs, map­le with bacon or sau­sa­ge, and alder with sal­mon). Ever­green wood should never be used sin­ce it adds a medi­ci­nal, piney fla­vor to the malt. Noti­ce­ab­le peat-smo­ked malt is uni­ver­sal­ly unde­s­i­ra­ble due to its sharp, pier­cing phe­n­o­lics and dirt-like eart­hi­ness. The remai­ning ingre­dients vary with the base style. If smo­ked mal­ts are com­bi­ned with other unusu­al ingre­dients (fruits, vege­ta­bles, spi­ces, honey, etc.) in noti­ce­ab­le quan­ti­ties, the resul­ting beer should be ent­e­red in the Spe­cial­ty Smo­ked Beer.
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, dun­kel, schwarz­bier, hel­les, Pils, and other spe­cial­ty styles.
This style is for any beer that exhi­bits smo­ke as a princi­pal fla­vor and aro­ma cha­rac­te­ris­tic other than the Bam­berg-style Rauch­bier (i.e., beech­wood-smo­ked Mär­z­en), which has its own style. Any style of beer can be smo­ked; the goal is to reach a plea­sant balan­ce bet­ween the smo­ke cha­rac­ter and the base beer style. Ent­ries should be jud­ged on how well that style is repre­sen­ted, and how well it is balan­ced with the smo­ke cha­rac­ter. Ent­ries with a spe­ci­fic type or types of smo­ke cited will be jud­ged on how well that type of smo­ke is reco­gniz­ab­le and mar­ries with the base style. Jud­ges should eva­lua­te the beers most­ly on the over­all balan­ce, and how well the smo­ke cha­rac­ter enhan­ces the base beer.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Alas­kan Smo­ked Por­ter, Schlen­ker­la Wei­zen Rauch­bier and Ur-Bock Rauch­bier, Spe­zi­al Lager­bier, Weiss­bier and Bock­bier, Stone Smo­ked Porter
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
0.000 - 0.000 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
0.000 - 0.000 SG
0 - 0 SRM
0.0 - 0.0 %vol
0 - 0 IBU