Review: Devil May Care The Rauch is Strong With This One (Imperial Rauch Schwarzbier)

I would do a whole spiel about the first time I ever had a smoked beer, but instead - here's a link to the review of the first smoked beer I ever had.

I've been wanting to review this beer every weekend for the past three or four weeks now but every time I get around to wanting to review it, I'm exhausted and would rather just wind down instead. With a Star Wars theme to it and with it being my first smoked beer in a while (and tops out at a whopping 9% ABV), it's no surprise that Devil May Care's The Rauch is Strong With This One Imperial Schwarzbier took a while to get to review.

From the label: Keep Cold. Drink Fresh. A long time ago at a beer festival far away… Two young Padawan brewers blended the best qualities from two German styles that haven’t been seen i a very long time, hoping that others would join the cause. They combined the darkness of Schwarzbier with the smoke of Rauchbier and made their brew strong enough to warm the coldest Hot night. Judge this not by its size, should you. While in a small package, it packs an Imperial punch. Smoky, toasty, and malty, this beverage is not for just ay scruffy looking nerf herder. If a light lager is what you seek, this is not the beer you are looking for. Are you ready to give yourself to the Dark Size. Good. Good. Let the smoke flow through you.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a kind of porter-like appearance to it, bit of a cherry cola hue to it. Good amount of yellowish beige head on top that diminishes gradually to leave behind a sprinkle of bubbles mostly touching the glass or a faintly in the middle.

Aroma: Moderately smoky! It was a mild winter/spring so far but surprisingly I haven't gone to any bonfires yet but this is definitely the first things it reminds me of. It's sweet with a nice caramel presence to it, roasted malt, tad spiced. The very first time I tried this beer in 2019 I reckoned that it smelled like BBQed brisket - definitely not so much this time around, it's more subtle this time around.

Taste: The smoke is there but not overpowering in any way - it tickles your entire mouth for a moment but then subdues. It's quite sweet and caramel and raisin forward, reminding me of a doppelbock to a good extent. Boozy. Dry on mouthfeel and the aftertaste is a hint of smoke with raisins.

Overall Thoughts: If you're looking to try something out of the ordinary, this is something I'd recommend trying as you don't see smoked beers every day and this one isn't overly aggressive in the smoke department at all, doesn't taste like you're drinking a brisket. Most of the times I've sampled this in previous weeks were straight out of the can so I did get more smoke and less caramel doppelbock-like notes then rather than in a glass.. I'm not saying to drink this out of a can but it can be interesting to see the differences I guess. 

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