Posted May 30, 2013 by Crafted Pours in Blog Posts

Top Rated Smoked Beers

schlenkerla smoked urbock
schlenkerla smoked urbock

The Best Smoked Beers

Smoked beer – the style goes back to when barley was dried over open wood fires and absorbed a smoky flavor. The invention of coal ovens allowed for heating malt without smoky flavors. Most pre-coal oven beers probably had smoky notes in them. Today most beers have no smoke flavors at all. There are some though that focus on smoke flavors, from moderate to intense. Many craft beer drinkers enjoy smoked beers, as they add another flavor profile to the arsenal of bitter, malty, and sour beer styles.

The classic smoked beer style, which has been brewed for centuries, is a smoked amber colored (Marzen-Style) German Lager, or Rauchbier. The beer style originated in Bamberg, Germany and is still brewed there today. Classic Rauchbiers use 100% Beechwood smoked malt, and have intense smoky aromas and flavors. They are medium-bodied with crisp malt flavors form long periods of cold-aging.

In America, Alaskan Brewing was a pioneer with their Smoked Porter. The brewery started production of the beer in 1998,and it still remains very popular today. The beer is brewed with Alder-smoked malt, and the smokiness blends well with the rich roasty flavors of the beer. Many craft brewers now brew their own version of a Smoked Porter, and it is probably the most popular smoked beer style produced by American craft brewers.

Scottish ales, particularly Strong Scotch Ales are known for touches of smoky flavors. Many of these beers are brewed with a portion of Peat-Smoked malt. Peat moss is smoked over hot coals giving an intense smoke flavor to the malt, and it tends to be stronger than most wood-smoked malts. Peat-smoked malt is used in moderation, adding a subtle touch of smoke to Scottish style ales.


Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen (5.1%, 30 IBUs)

Deep-reddish brown in color with intense smoky aromas and flavors. Brewed with 100% Beechwood smoked malt in the style of a German Marzen Lager. Brewery is in Bamburg, Germany. View Ratings

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock (6.5%, 40 IBUs)

Dark brown in color and full-bodied with intense smoky aromas and flavors. Brewed with a high amount of Beechwood smoked malt in the style of a German Bock Lager. Cold-aged in caves for months. Brewery is in Bamburg, Germany. View Ratings

Alaskan Smoked Porter (6.5%, 45 IBUs)

A Robust Porter brewed with a portion of Alder-Smoked malt. Moderate smoky aromas and flavors. Rich and roasty. View Ratings

Left Hand Smokejumper (8.8%)

A Smoked Imperial Porter brewed with a portion of Beechwood smoked malt. Rich and smoky. View Ratings

Jester King Pecan Wood Smoked Saison (6.7%, 22 IBUs)

A Smoked Farmhouse Saison brewed with pecan wood house-smoked malt. Complex smoky and tart flavors. View Ratings

Surly Smoke (8.3%, 50 IBUs)

An Oak-Aged Smoked Baltic Porter. Brewed with a portion of beechwood smoked malt. Woody smoke and dark malt flavors. View Ratings

Burnside Brewing Gratzer Smoked Wheat Beer (5.4%, 9 IBUs)

A Polish smoked wheat beer style. Brewed with hand smoked apple and mesquite smoked woods. Woody smoke and toasted malt flavors. View Ratings

Jester King Gotlandsdricka (6.6%)

A Swedish smoked farmhouse ale style from the island of Gotland. Brewed with birchwood smoked pilsner malt, beechwood smoked malt, and oak smoked wheat. Juniper berries and sweet gale are also used to flavor the beer. Complex smoky notes. View Ratings

Base Camp Brewing Rauch the Boat (5.1%, 16 IBUs)

A classic German-Style Rauchbier smoked lager. Smoky with a crisp and clean finish. View Ratings

Chuckanut Rauch Marzen Lager (5.5%, 28 IBUs)

A classic German-Style Rauchbier smoked lager. Smoky with a crisp and clean finish. Brewed with beechwood smoked malt. View Ratings

Hill Farmstead Barrel-Aged Smoked Baltic Porter (9.3%)

Brewed with maple wood smoked malt. Aged in French Oak Cabernet barrels. Complex flavor profile. View Ratings

Silver City Brewery Fat Scotch Ale (9.2, 30 IBUs%)

A Scottish Strong Scotch Ale brewed with a small portion of peat-smoked malt. Modest touch of smokiness. View Ratings

Smoked Porter Recipe