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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

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1,147 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,147
Reviews: 648
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 81
Gots: 61 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 08-23-2001

First tapping every first Thursday of October. A bitter Smokebock for the strongbeer-season (October through December). Matured for weeks in the deep rock-cellar and tapped freshly from the oakwood cask.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,147 | Reviews: 648 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of redwolf1
2.93/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I must say the mere mention of smoke in the description of this one was what drew me in. Very intriguing at first until I took a whiff of it. Extremely strong smell of liquid smoke, which for some may make it unbearable. Very dark brown/almost black in color with very little foam or lacing albeit the glass given to me was much too small for the 0.5 liter bottle. As for taste and mouthfeel, this was my first smokebeer, so I was taken aback by the flavors a bit. If you can get past the intense burnt wood smell, you will notice that the beer itself is rather smooth, malty, and quite crisp. Very light on the tongue yet chewy at the same time if you can believe that. As for drinkability, this is definitely not a session beer, and it should definitely be paired with something grilled on the backyard BBQ. The smokiness would go well with steaks and ribs; its crispness and levity would go well with chicken and pork. Overall though, at $8 a bottle, once and done is enough for me.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a huge three finger creamy tan head that receded within minutes to a very thin lace. Color is black and it's almost purple when held up to the light.

Smells like a campfire with hints of beef jerky, sausage,barbeque sauce and smoked pork. The wet-campfire smell reminds me of how my dad (a firefighter) smelled when he came home from work when I was a little kid.

Tastes very barbeque-like, also quite salty. Initial taste is almost like soy or terrryaki, but the aftertaste is more of a woody mesquite flavor. Decent carbination, and the alcohol is almost undetectable. Somewhat sweet, but yeah, definitly salty. Smells and tastes like autumn weather when people are BBQing and burning leaves. It makes me think of football and hooded sweatshirts.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and actually very light considering this beer's intense flavor.

This is a very meaty, salty beer! As I kept drinking, the salty soy sauce flavor was a little overwhelming. With this beer, a little goes a long way. Not a session beer. I liked it at first, but after the first half it became almost undrinkable (hence the low drinkability score).

This is my first rauchbier, and although I enjoyed the novelty of the smoke flavor, this one was maybe a little too powerful for my taste. I should have tried the Marzen first. If you are drinking this, check out the website for Schlenkerla....it's very interesting. This beer has alot of history behind it.
The first time I reviewed this beer (above), I was not ready for or expecting the intense smokey flavor of a rauchbier. I recently revisited this one, and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. I am starting to develop a taste for rauchbiers...as long as you know ahead of time what to excpect, Schlenkerla's Urbock is a damn fine brew. I have re-evaluated my scoring (originaly I gave this 3.5,4.5,3.0,3.0, and 1.5 respectively for a score of 3.25.

Photo of expatsteve
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ruby brown porter color. Thin head, low/medium viscosity. Low/medium clarity.

Aroma: Smoky bacon aroma, which covers most of the nose. Some toffee and brown sugar notes.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and raisin flavor, definitely appropriate for the bock style. Malts are mediated by smoky bitterness, that is reminiscent of roasted soybeans. Raisins across the whole palate, with some sugars in the finish. A well-constructed bock that is augmented and improved by the smoked character.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with the smokiness being almost counterintuitively refreshing. Low/medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinkable both as a bock and as a smokebeer. Malts and smoke balance each other well, and neither overwhelms the palate. Slightly lighter body supports the complex cross of flavors. Sessionable for smoke beer fans

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle split with expatsteve during World Cup final pre-game.

Pours a dark, rusty amber with a short creamy tan head that revives well with a bit of a swirl and exhibits a nice viscosity.

Nose is dominated by smoke obviously, as notes of dark fruit and copper struggle through.

Taste is again mostly smoke, with some bock-y sweet maltiness and fruit. Finish is clean as most of the smoke is overtaken by the sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is much lighter than anticipated with creamy-light carbonation.

Overall a pretty tasty smoked bock. I think I prefer New Glarus' Smoked Rye Bock with its complexity but this is tasty nonetheless. A bottle or two would probably be it for me though.

Photo of NEhophead
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1pt 09fl oz brown bottle.

Pours a dark maple; almost opaque in spots. Creamy white head that settles to a whispy sheet. Little to no lacing.

Intensely smokey aroma; a touch of rubber and leather. Mesquite peppered spice. Aged cheddar. Very complex and unique.

Mild molasses-like sweetness covered by the smokey flavor: cream, green chiles, and crushed black pepper. The finish is smooth, creamy, and a touch vaporous. Roasted malts, creamy caramel and mesquite barbecue fill the aftertaste. Not as smokey in terms of flavor as the aroma promises.

Medium bodied; creamy, gaseous. Smooth and wonderfully unobtrusive on the palate.

Delicious maltiness and unique mesquite, smokey character. A nice full-flavored bock on its own, but the smoked barbecue quality makes this one quite dynamic.

Photo of kimcgolf
1.15/5  rDev -72.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Let’s see, where do I begin?
....Appearance... Nice chocolate brown with tan head and good lacing
...Aroma..like the time a house burned in our neighborhood, and the wet, damp, smoky smell afterward
...Flavor...drinking the runoff from that fire
...Palate...cook a steak extremely well done, throw out steak, eat charcoal..that’s it

Try as I might, I could not finish this.


Photo of geexploitation
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pleasing appearance, with ruby red highlights in the midst of coffee-dark brown, with a wheat-colored head that sticks around in the form of a substantial ring. Huge smoke aroma, like smoked gouda cheese dominates, but there's a discernable sweet malt backing typical of any German bock. On the palate, the smoke is there and up front, but the initial taste of this beer is quite sweet, with bock-y malts (molasses, big time) showing through. The smoke mixes well with those malts in the mid-palate, while the finish switches with a snap over to pure smoke. The finish holds on for a while. Pretty smooth mouthfeel, owing to the huge malt component, but drinkability, without a food to match this with, is pretty low. Without that, the smoke is a bit much for me to down a whole 500 ml bottle.

Photo of blackie
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour gives a 0.6" khaki head that soon recedes to a thin layer and ring around the glass, and soon thereafter becomes placid. The beer is a medium-dark reddish brown in color.

smell: German pale and toasted malts bring with them a dark tree fruit like sweetness with some hints of date and plum. The smoke is there, but not too bold...I'd almost like a touch more of it. Smells subtly like an old fashioned smokehouse filled with hanging meats and fish. Light noble hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a high medium, and the body medium or so.

taste: Nice blend of toasted caramel and German pale malts and smoke. The smoke is easily noticeable, with a flavor not unlike smoked meats...absolutely delicious. Sweet and smoky...would go great with a dry rubbed meat on the smoker. Not much hop flavor, which is good as it would kill the smoke. A moderate, crisp bitterness is found.

drinkability: damn good

Photo of TheBungyo
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first beer of this style so hopefully I come close enough to reviewing within the style.
The pour is dark brown, almost black. For some reason, I was thinking this would be like a maibock .... yes I was very suprised when I smelled what reminded me of a smokehouse. Surprised, but very pleased. I love smoked beers. Initial taste reminds me of the skin on a burnt sausage. I get raw unsweetened caramel as well, and maybe a hint of burnt sugar. Mouth is medium. I could certainly see myself buying this again from time to time. I greatly enjoyed this beer.

Photo of andrewmartin
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No bottled on date

A: Deep copper with a nice tan head
S: Strong smoked smell, hints of sausage or smoked pork. Smells like your clothes after sitting around the camp fire.

T: Starts off quite malty, smoke mixes with some lingering bitterness at the end. Smoke flavor evident, but definately not overpowering.

M: Fairly acidic

D: Nice flavor, not overpowering; I could enjoy more than one of these.

A very nice beer, the smoke does not dominate the taste. This is suprisingly accessible.

Photo of RBorsato
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown with a nice full creamy tan/light brown head; nice carbonation and lace but a bit less active than the Marzen version. Very pronounced burnt wood smoked aroma. A taste comparable to licking a stick out of a campfire or eating a burnt marshmallow. Very similar to the ASR - Marzen to the point that I would have a hard time telling them apart side by side other than color. Medium-full bodied and very creamy with a dry smoky burnt finish and aftertaste.

Very smoky ! A classic example ! Very good but not far off the original ASR - Marzen so don't sweat it if you can't find this seasonal - grab an original.

Per bottle: 6.5% ABV

Per BH website: Oct-Dec, OG: 17.5%, Alcohol: 6.5%, Bitterness: 40

($3.59 / 16.9 oz. wider brown Euro style bottle)

Photo of JMD71
2.48/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Deep, rich, dark brown. Very little head apparent when poured. Slight light penetrates the galss & gives a reddish apearance. Medium carbonation.

Aroma: Very smoky with slight hints of malt. More smoky than I was expecting. You can smell it from a few feet away like your glass was just on fire! Slightly sweet smell detected too...

Taste: Very sweet with slight smokiness. The smoky flavor is not as apparent in the flavor as in the aroma. Very solid malt palette. Rich caramel & burnt toast. Clean finish with ever so slight hop balance.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low carbonation (although looked more carbonated when poured). Slightly cloying but finishes fairly clean. Quite thick....

Drinkability: Medium-low. A bit thick for more than 1 small serving. A good experience, but not overly drinakable after one.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark cola-brown. Fine bubbles form a fine off-white head. Retention isn't great.

Smell: Beef jerky or grilled hot dogs. Peat. Toasted marshmallows. Faint coffee grounds. Reminds me of a campfire.

Taste: Heavy smoky flavor with a sweet foundation. Acidic hop-like bitterness, although I am not certain hops are even used in this style.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied, but creamy enough. Moderately chewable.

Drinkability: I don't like this quite as much as I liked the Aecht Schlenkerla Marzen, which I feel was a little bit more complex. Still, this isn't bad and is great for cooking (thanks to pixel for the awesome barbecue sauce recipe!).

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear deep brownish amber with a tan and long lasting head which laced the glass.

The aroma was smoky with a strong smoked meat inspiration. The smoke was prevalent and led the charge with a summer sausage aromatic. Behind that was some malt complexity but it was difficult to dicern and more difficult to describe.

The flavor was malty with a light tinny and metallic flavor. The hops were present and were a bit grassy and lightly spicy. The flavor was once again smoke, but not at an overdone level. The malt could shine through and the flavor was definitely that of a bock with some dark fruits pulling their weight.

The finish was dry with a lasting hop impression and smoke long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation level was moderate with an awesome creamy texture. A great beer!

16.9 ounce bottle. Bottle says 6.5% ABV.

Photo of ryanms3030
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer many, many times on tap and in the bottle. The only way to really describe it is as an "aquired taste". I've heard the bouquet and taste be described as a distanct bacon aroma and flavor. I don't get many pork undertones from it but it's definately smoky.

From what I understand, most American breweries that attempt rauchbiers smoke the barley they use to brew the beer with but Aecht Schlenkerla actually drop burning ambers into the beer while it's fermenting to give it that very strong and distinct smoky flavor. I would say that the flavor is closer to burnt wood then bacon so that makes sense.

This is a great beer to go along with stews, chilis, BBQ and cigars. Whenever I'm at a good beer bar, I can't leave without having one.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big half liter German bottle with no freshness date. It pours an amber/copper color with some hefty carbonation that builds up to a finger of tan head that is creamy and leaves a nice thin layer of foam. The aromas are beechwood smoke, smoked salmon and bacon, along with some pale malts and faint hops. It leaves lots of smoke on the palate, along with a big malt sweetness, sweet smoke, toasted malts, and faint spicy/leafy/green hops that contribute a mild bitterness. The body is medium to full and quite smooth, with the taste leaving a long finish. My second offering from this brewery and I must say I prefer their Märzen over this one. However, any rauchbier is a welcome change of pace, especially from Heller-Trum.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear deep rich amber with a fluffy quite sticky two finger white head,whoo the smoke is huge on the nose like black forest ham smokey with hints of brown sugar but man Iam tellin ya its like smoked ham unbelievable.Now Iam the first one to say Iam not a big fan of smoked beers....yet they still intrigue me,drinking this was like drinking a smoked ham hock with an underlying brown sugar-like sweetness but not overly sweet a nice almost salty finish.This woud have to be the perfect pair with hickory smoked pork I mean what could be better I could see basting a shoulder with this,unique and I enjoyed this beer....somewhat.

Photo of TongoRad
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Into a .25l Schlenkerla tulip it poured a crystal clear ruby-brown with ebony undertones and a dense tan long-lasting two-finger head. The reflected light in the bottom of the glass really shows off this beer's color beautifully.

Aroma is amazing- very straightforward and taughtly composed at first glance yet underneath is a sumptuous complexity. The smoke hits you first and it is definitely omnipresent but that soon gives way to spicy elements (black pepper, nutmeg), creamy malt, dark caramel, figs, sawdust, cheese and stone ground mustard. So complex and multi-faceted at its core. This aroma is both wonderfully evocative and timeless .

Now, take the palate of the perfect bock beer- residual maltiness, alcohol, bitterness, and toasted malt all in perfect harmony- and add that evocative smokiness and spiciness to add up to this experience. It is almost too good to be true. The finish is long lasting smoke and malt, gently fading away.

I could drink a ton of these.

Photo of Suds
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wouldn’t say that I’ve become obsessed with smoked beers, but I have recently become utterly fascinated with them. I’ve had the Schlenkerla Marzen dozens of times, but this was my first taste of the Urbock. The aroma is welcomingly smoky. Fresh and intense (my wife said that she could smell it from several feet away when I opened the bottle). Wonderful. The intensity, however, isn’t great enough to overwhelm a rich malty aroma that’s hidden underneath. The color is a deep amber-brown with a sticky tan head. Similar to the aroma, there’s smoke at the center of the taste (it’s got a peppery tingle on the tongue), but it doesn’t completely eclipse the malt. Good sweetness and a notable malt flavor. Bitterness is in the finish, but you can’t really taste the hops through the smoke. I love these beers.

Photo of Brian700
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

These smoke beers simply amaze me. This one pours a deep brown with a light tan head. Great lacing going on.

The aroma is heavy smoke but there are hints of scotch here as well.

The flavor has a mysterious relation to fine single malt scotch with heavy smoke flavor. Very delicous. This beer will satisfy those who are after big flavors. I firmly believe that these smoke beers would go great with the right cigar. The flavor is big enough to hold its own for sure.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a beer with good drinkability especially if you are into this style of beer. Truly a treat.

Photo of HardTarget
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Fatty bacon smoke and a truck load of it. Some sweet malt serves as a silent partner to the wonderful, rich smoke.

Appearance: No head at the pour, so no lace. Deep brown glass with good clarity.

Flavor: Smoke, but not as intense as the aroma would lead me to believe. More of the sweet, fairly light malt flavor comes through, well balanced but no hops noted.

Mouthfeel: Thin, but again, compared to what the smell prepares you for. Low carbonation, makes me think I might have gotten an off bottle but no flavor errors noted.

Overall Impression: Wow, what a smell! I just wish it translated over to taste. Maybe it does in a fresh local beer. Almost worth the plane ride to find out. Recommended.

Thanks to Rick for popping the bottle.

Photo of Domingo
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Solid brew that's more flavorful than their Marzen...but still one of those beers that I can't handle much of.
Pours a dark brown color. Just looking at it, there's not a huge difference between this and a porter or stout, however the head is solid white and doesn't retain the color of the beer.
Smell is very complex. Smoke is the immediate and strongest smell, but you can pick out some maltiness and yeast flavor.
Flavor is solid. Because of the extra malt (I'm making a comparison to the Marzen, which I tried earlier) the body is more in-depth. Initially you'll just be thinking..."I'm drinking BBQ sauce," but if you let it linger a little in your mouth, other flavors emerge. Smokiness is still the predominant flavor, but you can taste the beer beneath the smoke. Malty sweetness definfitely helps create a stronger backbone. AS the beer warmed, I was able to pick out oak, cherry, alcohol, and even what I'd describe as worcestershire. Hops are a no-show, but I think it's just because of the overwhealming smokiness.
Mouthfeel actually feels thinner than I'd imagine. I think it's just because with such a bold smokiness, I'd expect something akin to an irish stout.
Drinkability for me is unfortunately low. I like the beer very much, but it's just one of those items I'd like 10oz of, rather than 20oz. It's one of those beers that would make a good one to split at the end of the night, but this is the opposite of a session beer, IMO.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent brown with a nice tan head. The aroma is intense, with big roasted malt, smoked bacon, floral hops and some slight sweetness. The flavor is also initially roasty, followed by some big smoked meats (bacon, beef jerky), some coffee, caramel, floral hops and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is on the light side but appropriate for the style, with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good for a beer with a huge malt profile. This is my first rauchbier, but it was excellent...nothing gimmicky about this beer.

Photo of mcallister
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If Jesus were a ham or piece of bacon he'd want to be as far away as possible from this brew.

Pours a delectable deep brown with very little head and what is there laces slightly. Smells of liquid smoke, bacon, black pepper, and cured meats. This beers nose can really take you aghast if your first time trying.

Taste is quite smokey in the mouth although less than the nose, but very smooth and drinkable. A liquid burnt bacon per sey. Actually quite satisfying with complex flavors of cured meat, grilled fruits and vegetables, caramelized molasses, and did I mention smoke.

Probably could not drink more than one of these in a night but what a great ingredient for many dishes. I've used this in chili with huge success and made a homeade barbecue sauce tonight with this that was fabulous.

All of these Rauchbier's by Schlenkerla are worth trying, yes similar in taste in style but very pecuilar in their own right.

Photo of afordney
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish brown with an thick off-white head, a pleasure to look at.

Smells, like bacon and campfire.

First sip is malty, salty bacon finishing with smoky bitterness. Good balance between the smoke and bitterness.

A good beer, almost tastes like a stout but feels alot lighter and looks like a brown ale. I'd love to drink this beer again.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
92 out of 100 based on 1,147 ratings.