This golden lager from Elysian may look docile but looks are deceiving. This is a SMOKY mother! Ed equated this to chewing Skoal, the same intensity and lasting finish. The Elysian Specialty Beer Menu calls this “The beer to end all beers”
It takes some courage to make a smoked lager like this one. Most smoked beers are made by smoking barley over beechwood, the traditional rauchbier style of Germany. The smoked barley is usually utilized in porters where the sweetness balances the intense smokiness. The clean and crispness of a lager serves as a sharp contrast to the smoke. In the Elysian Ragnarok Smoked Lager, Briess malt is cherry smoked, giving it a big and assertive profile. I like smoked beers. I am a big fan of Rauchbier and smoked porters but they are big beers in terms of flavor. It may only be 5% ABV but it is not a session beer. I thorough enjoyed my taste glass but when it came to ordering a schooner, I chose a different brew. I had two tasting events to cover that night and a pint of this Ragnarok Smoked Palate would have wiped out my palate for the night. This is a niche beer, it won’t be for everyone but if you want a beer bursting with assertive flavors, give it a try.
I need to go back when the Elysian is the only thing on my schedule and try this smoked lager with the Hot Babe, slow-braised pulled BBQ pork and slaw on toasted kaiser roll. I have a real soft spot for smoked beers with BBQ pork.