I have a soft spot in my heart for the rauch bier. I have only brewed one smoked beer and it was great, a maple flavored smoked amber ale. It was not the loveliness that is a straight up rauchbier though.
I had not had much rauch bier for a while until my local package store got in some Schlenkerla Marzen. I have been eagerly consuming it and it got me wishing I had my own stash.
Here is the idea. I am not too big on lagers and certainly not really equipped enough to "do it right" in the lager department. However, I do make a mean California common and a lovely malty Scottish ale. Both fermented in the mid to high 50's F. Let me state right here before anyone gets a wrong idea. I do NOT believe Scottish ales should have any reak (smoke) to them. That is just an incorrect urban legend! So do not go there!
Okay, got that off my chest... What I am thinking is my Scottish shilling ale recipe would be a good malty base line to use for a smooth rauch ALE as opposed to a lager. It is a pretty simple recipe. Mainly Marris Otter, a bit of aromatic malt to approximate older amber malts and a touch of roast barley. A thick mash and some caramelization of the first runnings. I would then use either wyeast 1728 which is my Scottish ale yeast of choice, or WLP810 San fran. lager which I also have on hand, and ferment in the high 50's F to keep it smooth and lager like, not too fruity.
Probably hop with mild noble hops. Maybe hallertau?