1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,171 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,171
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 86
Gots: 64 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,171 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Estarrio
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, clear brown with a big, frothy tan head. The head and its persistent, sticky lacings retain quite well.

Wow, there is that big smoke flavor that I loved about Schlenkerla's Weizen. The two actually smell somewhat indistinguishable. There is some subtle sweetness mixed with smoked pork shoulder and freshly doused campfire.

What a flavor! There is a big, sweet, roasted malt character with hints of chocolate and caramel. This quickly mingles with a charred wood and smoke goodness. The mingling of the flavors reminds me of eating a burned marshmallow off a charred stick at a campfire. Amazingly this is extremely smooth and well balanced. There is a suggestion of hop bitterness in the end that mixes perfectly with the acidic smokiness.

Thick and well carbonated, this brew has a delightfully, creamy mouthfeel.

What an amazing beer. I was blown away by the Weizen but that did not prepare me for this wonderful flavor. I can't wait to try the Marzen!

Photo of tcfishler
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deepest, darkest mahogany, with a very long-lasting two-finger tan head.

Spicy-sweet-smoky nose that strongly suggests sausage. Faint roastedness behind that.

Rich in the mouth, and quite dry but not really bitter, with more of the sausage notes but also the roastedness coming to the fore as well. Finish is chewy with slight bitterness.

A big, distinctive brew that nevertheless seems well balanced. Not too sweet and not too bitter, but still full in body and flavor. A beer that really delivers loads of flavor without slamming you on the head with big sweet malt or bitter hops.

Photo of jdoolin
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9oz bottle with a pretty badass looking label, poured into a mug.

Appearance: Clear, dark brown with a very nice, frothy, 2 finger head that receded very slowly and never really went away.

Aroma: Incredible! Has a nice caramel and toasted malt flavor in the background, but it blends SO well with a prominent smoke aroma. It doesn't smell quite like roasted meat, but more like a real chipotle pepper. If you like smoke, you have to at least smell this beer. Definitely one of my favorite aromas in the beer world. I kept smelling the bottle after I had emptied it and finished the beer. ;-)

Taste and Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth mouthfeel, with just enough carbonation. Just enough hops for balance a tad on the sweet side, although I do detect a faint hop flavor. A caramel malt sweetness accompanied by a bit of toastiness hits up front and never leaves, but an absolutely delicious smoke flavor, but not like bacon or smoked meat like some people say. Similar, but not quite. It's more like a wood charcoal smokiness. Like a chipotle without the pepper. Simply delicious.

Notes: Rauchbiers certainly aren't for everybody, but they sure are for me. At the time of this review, I've had this one and the Schlenkerla Marzen Rauchbier, and I have to say I like this one a lot more. I just love the flavor and the combination of the maltiness and smokiness. It goes together like peanut butter and chocolate. Drinkability does suffer a bit because as good as it is, I wouldn't want very many at once. But I do think I'll have to have one of these onhand all the time.

It also paired very well with my homemade barbeque ribs. Hell yeah!

Photo of CWiggins
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I really did not know what I was getting into when I purchased this beer. While browsing at Sam's in Durham, I looked through the German section in hopes of locating a new Bock style to taste. Seeing Urbock on this label, I purchased the beer and took it home. Then I did a little BeerAdvocate research and discovered the characteristics of the rauchbier style. Surprise, suprise! Here are my thoughts on this beer and style (of which I've tried only one).

Nice color; it's a deep dark red with a nice head and lacing that hangs around throughout the session. The aroma is intense: typical Bock elements (sugary and malty) obscured by a heavy hickory smoke. It's hard to get past the smokiness. I find it difficult to discern anything behind the smoke!

The flavor is intensely smokey, with some traditional Bock characteristics. Again, it's difficult for me to get past the smoke, but I can detect sweet, bready malts with some caramel. Very interesting.

This is probably not for me. Perhaps it's just that I don't find smokey things particularly attractive. I'm sure, with some experience and practice, I could learn to feign interest in it, but I doubt I'll give this style much of a chance.

Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.37/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a familiar one like the marzen brewed by the same people. This one pours out dark ruby, with low head, that does leave lacing

Aroma of smoke with some citrus and some not much of a fruitiness character.

Flavors of smoke with some of what seems to be a bock but it is masked heavily by the smoke. It is clean with some fruitiness and some citrus character. Yet it is hard to distinguish from the smoke.Which is not a bad thing.

Mouthfeel is low carbonation and body, with some lingering smoke character in the aftertaste.

Overall if you do not like smoke beer this is a try, to say you have had, otherwise. If you like smoke beer this is a nice interpretation of one a must have.

Photo of Litterbean
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm a sucker for the smokey stuff.

This one has a brown body that's tinged with mahogany. A white head sits atop which settles down quick.

The smell, as would be expected, is full of smoke. The malts are sweet behind it but are easily masked and lost behind the veil of hickory goodness.

The flavor is a blend of the traditional bock characteristics which are tasty on their own (bready malts, some spice, alcohol) plus a full blown hickory smoke flavor. Very assertive and powerful. As a one-shot, this is great. Any more than one, however, and you may become sick, both of the flavor and to your stomach. Still, it tastes awesome and is a really unique and great brew.

Photo of RedHaze
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a dense one finger head. The foam settles very slowly to thin cap that leaves behind a nice sheeting of lace.

Smell; there's a definite woody, smoky aroma going on, but not quite as strong as the marzen. I'm not really able to pick out any other aromas out of this one, but I'm not really all that surprised. Even so it smells pretty good.

Taste; those smoked flavors are definitely the frst to hit you as expected, but there's also some sweet caramel malts, with a little bit of caramel as well. Finishes a touch bitter, with some nice, but not overwhelming smoked meat flavors, with some hints of rye bread. This seems a bit more balanced than the marzen was, and a beer will have to buy again. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a mild carbonation, and a much better drinkability than I was expecting.

I have been putting this one of for a while in fear of how it would taste. Turns out, it's pretty darn good. I think I will have to get more of this during the summer time while I'm grilling meat.

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

500ml bottle poured into mug of the same size. Pours very dark brown with a slight reddish hue and a frothy light beige head that settles at about a quarter of a finger.

This is my first experience with a Rauchbier. I was expecting smoky, but this is much more than I had in mind. It smells just like smoked sausage or even possibly a black forest ham. It's so overpowering there's no other aromas that make themselves known, but I guess that's the point of the style.

Flavor is luckily much more complex than the aroma. Still very smoky, but a nice maltiness as well. Sweet caramel and lightly toasted malts along with even a little touch of chocolate and minimal hops.

Warm, chewy mouthfeel..but then it tastes like I'm eating a piece of meat, so why shouldn't it feel like it too? Definitely an acquired taste as the description states. Decent drinkability, but I doubt I could drink more than one on a night.

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

Appearance is similar to other Heller-Trum rauchbiers, golden brown, with a tan head that dissiaptes quickly leaving good lacing.
Smell is just terrific - I know a lot of people hates this, but I find it stimulating, and matches perfect with most meats, if smoked even better. Woodburning fireplace, salami, bacon, roasted sausages.
Taste is also impressive: malted, roasted meats, hints of alcohol, sausages.
Mouthfeel is what I expect from rauchbier, medium-bodied.
Very easy to drink with smoked sausages, the prototypical smoked beer.

Photo of aforbes10
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Map Room in Chicago, and its the beer i remember the best because of how interesting and delicious it was. Poured very dark into a Schlenkerla glass with big lacing and a large white head. Odor was of smoke, hickory wood and malts. Taste is fantastically jerk-o-licious. super beefy smokiness. Nice malt underneath makes it so its not just a one-trick pony. Im always amazed when i have a good rauchbier about how you can make a beer taste like this. Very full and excellent drinakability. Makes me think i'm sitting by a fire. mmmm.

Photo of jtell
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darkish brown/red without much head. Lacing shows up down the glass. Smell is of smoky meat. Extra smokey bacon was my first thought. Tastes of smoke and a little malt. Has a slight peaty flavor. Really quite smokey. Slight bitter finish. This is my first Rauchbier and boy is it like nothing else. Still not sure if it is a style for me. Drinkability is limited because of the strong smoke. If you like real smokey flavors, I think you would really enjoy this. It was a little too extreme in the smokiness for me but I am glad I tried it.

Photo of bruachan
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i was lucky enough to spend some time in bamberg this summer, where i sampled this guy's little brother, the maerzen. i was super excited to see this at chuck's in chagrin falls. the aroma is absolute heaven. i wish i knew what kind of wood is used to produce this smoke; i'd love to make an attempt at reproducing it. smoke is the dominant characteristic, but i'm totally okay with that

it looks like a dark brown ale or schwarzbier. the head on it sustains itself nicely

it's fairly bitter, actually, and there's a good amount of malty sweetness floating around under the smoke flavors. the smoke is prevelent enough that i can't really imagine what the beer would taste like without it, but i doubt it is meant to be a beer with a smokey hint. it's a smoke beast and i love it!

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

16.9 oz bottle

Pours a clear dark chestnut brown with ruby highlights. Has a small tan head that recedes. Spotty lacing on the glass.

Smell is smoke dominated, but a little less powerful than in the marzen. Also, unlike the marzen, there is a slight hop presence in the aroma.

Bold smokey flavor with a light sweetness and just a slight amount of hops. Finishes mildly sweet with a lingering smokiness.

Medium body, mild carbonation.

Another great smoked beer from this brewery. Quite similar to the marzen - with a little less overall smokiness (if that's possible), a slight notion of hops, and a bit sweeter at the finish. Quite enjoyable and drinkable.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.73/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

A - A deep brown color with a one finger head that lingers for about a minute before vanishing. No lacing.

S - Burnt hickory. Heavily smoked jerky. Caramel malt. A lot of campfire. This actually smells . . . nostalgic. I kind of like the smell, but it certainly difficult to rate because it is something so bizarre that whatever opinion I will be wrong on account of there being nothing fundamentally right about the concept of this beer. After a few sips the smell is no longer inviting. The nostalgia is replaced by painful memories . . . memories of the last time I sipped the beer.

T - Burnt hickory. A bit of a caramel malt in the foretaste. Mostly campfire in the aftertaste. As in gnawing on blacken logs. There is also some faint hop bitterness. It is strange to say the least. After a few sips it is horrendously univiting. This isn't even an acquired taste, drinking this is like eating campfire ash. It just goes against the natural order.

M - Smooth, thick, somewhat refreshing, although the flavor makes me believe otherwise.

D - Not good. It is worth trying, especially if you are a masochist. I tried to have this with some food (teriyaki pork loin, tortillas with black bean and corn salsa and jalapeno foccaccia) and nothing worked well (the salsa wasn't too terrible, but it was better without the beer). I imagine that the only successful pairings with this would be meat so heavily smoked that the beer's smokiness is overshadowed, but at that point, why not just have different beer? I was scared of this one, I really wanted to enjoy it, but it proved too repulsive. I have to give this to the drain. This is one style that I am glad not to see many breweries imitating in the states.

Note: Everything here, save the drinkability, was reviewed "to style." It's taste was not a "pleasant" smokiness, unlike the aroma.

Photo of jeffjfindley
3.54/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Great, dark reddish-brown. Rich head stays with you for the duration of the beverage.

Smell: Smokin' mocha, little beef jerky... Really rich, and more than a little bit odd. Little hoppy at the back end. Believe it or not, this actually works.

Taste: Good... Not a brew I would want to indulge in more than a couple of times a year, but I will enjoy those couple of times. One thing, though... Don't savor this one for too long or she'll start to turn on you. Seriously, don't let this get above 45 degrees. Eat some crackers or something afterwards too, because if you don't cleanse the fuck out of your palate you're gonna be carrying around an aftertaste of tri-tip for the next few hours.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth without sacrificing refreshment value. Malty throughout, with a nice dry finish.

Drinkability: I'm gonna do this again, but not terribly often. This is a very interesting libation that will be reserved for special, and smoky occasions here at Chez Jeff.

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

This is by far the hardest beer review I've ever tried to write. I'm a quarter of the way into this and I don't even know if I like it or hate it.

Well, I can do the appearance now. It looks good. Dark amber, slowly fading off-white head.

I'll go through the aromas and flavors now and I'll reveal my verdict afterwards, once I make it. The nose is dominated by smoky cured meat with a dash of caramel malts. The taste has overcooked smoked ham/sausage (I don't eat pork, but this tastes like smoked ham and smoked sausage smells) as well as sea salts, caramel malts, and a tiny bit of spicy noble hops topped off by a hint of warming alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and chewy. The smokiness sticks around forever.

Drinkability? Even if this tastes good, I wouldn't want another one of these for at least a couple of months.

What a stupid concept for a beer style. "Let's make a beer that tastes like burnt meat." I like it though. It works... somehow.

Photo of russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours caramel/mahogony with a 4 fingers+ light tan head. Very good head retention& good lacing

S: Like walking into a smokehouse with hints of caramel

T: Smoked ham with a strong side of caramel & hint of hops. Maltyness sneaks in as it warms, along with some faint treacle/molasees. Finishes dry, with more caramel & smokyness

MF: Rich, bordering on thick bodied, perfect carbonation & super balance style-wise, loads of malt to counter the smoke

this drinks a lot easier with some BBQ or some other complimentry food. & add another ,5-1 point when you drink this in Bamberg on draft/outta the barrel. Drinking a half liter at the source with a nice schweinhaxen & some other Franconian goodies takes it to a straight across the boards 5. This the gold stanard for rauch biers IMO, although they have serveral respectable rivals in Bamberg. Had this bottled many times in Germany & this bottle was as good as any I had there! A world classic

Photo of gosurfobx
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a large off-white head. Smells strongly of smoke, reminds me of bacon. Like the smell the taste is dominated by the smoke flavor. A friend once said the beer reminded him of liquid bacon. The mouth is pretty good, with good carbination. A good introduction to smoked beer but not for everyone.

Photo of phisig137
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep bourbon, ruby brown color, and a vigarous pour results in a 1/2 finger head. Foam slowly falls, leaving only traces behind.

Aroma is positively smokey. Overtones of charcoal, oak, hazelnuts, hickory, and pork come through. Quite intense, but somewhat one sided.

Flavor on the other hand is rather intricate and delicate, considering the "volume" of flavor here. Smoke obviously dominates, along with the charictaristic "bacon" flavor. Also hidden in there are leather, tobacco, mustiness, slight malt sugars, and a slight hint of hops on the finish. Quite enjoyable if you know what you're getting into. Mouthfeel is very heavy and creamy. Drinkability is good for the style.

I love this beer with brats, or any grilled meat. Also try it as a turkey marinade/basting liquid.... works quite well. Great beer from an old-world style. This one beer makes me wish that there were more Rauchbiers available.

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

Wow I'ts been a long time since I've noted a beer, I'm sure I need to refine my senses again, this may not be the best, also is my first attempt with a Rauchbier and an Urbock.

Very dark carmel brown with a nice creamy head. Slightly translucent. The head lasts for quite awhile and leaves a bit of lacing. Can't complain too much.
As one would expect there is a strong smoke overtone to the brew. under the smoke is a very roasty malt smell.
Initially very roasty and smokey, after a little more rolling, the beer is surprisingly balanced, a little malt sweetness, and a spice note from the alcohol and hops. In the finish the hops drys it up nicely.
Smooth but possibly a little thin
I am enjoying this one, but I don't think I could do more than 1 or 2, the smoke flavours can get a little old.
Overall I am surprised and might have to try this style again sometime

Photo of Pegasus
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear deep copper color, with a modest white head, small carbonation, and slight lacing.

Aroma: Massive aroma of smoked sausage, fantastically over-the-top.

Taste: Strong smoky malt flavor at the open, with a mildly sweet malt undercurrent beneath, slightly sweet at the finish, but the smoked malt remains omnipresent.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, full, and pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Quite excellent, although not a session beer. Would likely pair exceptionally well with barbecue or smoked meats, and strong cheeses.

Photo of hero27
3.23/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16.9 oz bottle.
6.5% abv.

Glugs out from the bottle a mostly clear ruby-brown. A good sized off-white head sits atop and lasts for quite some time.
Beef jerky, campfire smoke, and charcoal...man, this stuff is smoky...
Like liquid beef jerky, really...very meaty. I'm a red meat guy, through and through, and even worked as a butcher for a stint in high school & college..but this isn't exactly my cup of tea. I enjoyed it, but smoke beers just don't do much for me. Certainly an acquired taste, but I've yet to "get" this style. Maybe someday I'll come around.
As far as the style goes, I would say this is one of the better smoke brews I've had.

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in Michigan (thanks Eric!).

A: Dark brown, cola colour, off-white head, some retention, good lace.

S: Sausage? Smokey, spicy, bready, with a little nut & caramel.

T: Spicy, bready, a little nut & caramel, dark raisin, pleasant bittersweet balance. It's smokey, but not as much as the aroma seemed to indicate.

M: Fairly full body is creamy, with a little syrupy sweetness in the finish. Carbonation is moderate.

D: It's fairly bold, but the drinkability is decent.

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

Poured from a big bottle to a big glass mug. The liquid is a bold looking dark rust color, quite striking. A big 3 finger dark tan head is very surprising coming from this thick and heavy looking beer.

The smell is of very smoke malt. Kind of like that camp fire smothered in water smell, woody & burnt.

The taste is.. well smoky, but complex, other things going on. Big bock malt taste and some hops to add some balance.

Mouthfeel is a of a lighter body then expected. great carbonation, all-around very well done.

Drinkability is not bad, great for the style. Prosit, MK

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.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
92 out of 100 based on 1,171 ratings.