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Barrier Frau Blucher

December 4, 2013

I’ve talked about Barrier brewing before, and I still find them to be one of the more interesting breweries in the New York area. They use a system that produces a limited amount of barrels and are constantly putting out new and different products, experimenting with various styles and revisiting those they find interesting or successful. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I caught sight of a beer they had made named Frau Blucher of Young Frankenstein fame.

Now I have long expressed my love of German style brewing, and German beer. However, there are some German styles that I don’t think will ever sit right with me. And not just the poison that isn’t covered under the Reinheitsgebot. Rauchbiers are one such style, that despite often finding them disgusting I always return to them like a man stricken by dementia. I am certain that somewhere in my memory, I have had a rauchbier I enjoyed and this is what propels me to try them but I am also always punished for this curiosity.

The Frau Blucher looks like a completely normal beer when you see it; golden in color with a bright white. Its light in body and very smooth, making it surprisingly easy to quaff down. The scent is one of smoked sausage, not necessarily pleasant but it calls to mind barbecues and beer halls in a way that is definitely pleasant. The flavor follows the nose but like other rauchbiers I’ve had, the meat taste is off putting at best. The best way I have to describe the Frau Blucher is that it is like someone took a fatty link of soppresetta and tossed it on a fire giving it a deep smokey flavor.

Personally, I found it repulsing but I was far from unbiased. If you’ve never had a rauchbier, this one is certainly well worth it for the novelty alone, and if you like rauchbiers I’m sure you’ll enjoy its smoothness and smoked sausage flavor. It’s just not for me.

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