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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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681 Reviews

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Reviews: 681
Hads: 1,284
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 106
Gots: 97 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock Alström Bros
Reviews: 681 | Hads: 1,284
Photo of doktorhops
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recently I found that the quantity of my German bruviews was lacking and as such I decided it was time to give that tasty (denoting I've had it before) Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum a go... and if that isn't a mouthful of a name wait until I review Dem Bayerischen Reinheitsgebot entsprechend gebrautes Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock von Heller-Trum, gefährliches zeug! [I added that last "gefährliches zeug!" purely for emphasis]

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Stein.

A: A nice deep brown, almost cola like body presents a stark antithesis to the creamy 2cm ecru head. Looks delicious and thought out and no doubt tastes the same.

S: As Darth Vader once proclaimed "The rauch is strong with this one.", in the case of this Rauchbier (or "smoke beer" to non-German tongues) this is indeed a peat-smoke infused brew, with some well-added smoked salami for effect. There is nary another ingredient to be whiffed behind the veil of hickory, much to the delight of Rauchbier drinkers everywhere.

T: Quintessentially brilliant - a rauch schinkenspeck sandwich in a bottle. The flavour is a taste of every glorious thing that has ever been smoked in a beer with notes of the above plus more; roasted caramel, touch of salt, with an earthy hop finish. Balance between malt and hops is spot on and whilst the smoke can be overpowering for some if you get used to it - power to you.

M: Medium bodied with that classic creamy Weizen carbonation.

D: You know the last time I had this beer was before I began reviewing and I was taken aback by the smoke "too much!" I thought, but now (in my finite tasting wisdom) I can't stop drinking this amazing Ale. It is only a brew I would recommend for people who have tried other odd flavoured beers like Lambics or Sahtis and nodded their head in silent approval - it is not a beer for the craft-novice let me make that clear. For a non-smoker like myself (I have had an occasional Cuban cigar) it was a bit of a struggle acclimatasting [a new word for the Doktorhops lexicon] to smoke flavours but now I am there, oh yes.

Food match: I couldn't help but think that the entire menu of a Bavarian pub would work with this, especially anything pork related - if you see "schinken" on the menu: Get it.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle poured into tulip 20/7/14

A looks fairly dark until held to the light, has a clear maroon glow, big short lived tan foam leaves lots of random lace

S its smokey no doubt, smells like campfire clothing, smoked meat, faint coco and hard toffee, earthy notes, salty brine, smells like it should

T less smoke then the nose but that still leaves plenty, more chocolate, earthy notes are strong, similar to the nose but not quite the same levels of smoke

M lighter side of medium, stops just short of foam, intense smokey aftertaste just keeps going

O it is what it claims, lots of smoke, super easy to drink, I'm wishing I had some BBQ to eat with this

I bought this one to make some sauce the ribs I'm making and I think I'll need to grab another bottle to eat with them.

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Photo of stevoj
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Of all of the Schlenkerla’s, this is my favorite, closest to the "bacon" experience. Smoked malts rule in this beer, dark and nutty, lots of the cured meat, smoky taste of hickory bacon. An acquired taste for sure, but a must try

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Photo of EGreen
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

THE quintessential rauchbier!! Mild smoke in the nose with a nice malty character. Starts off with a nice toffee flavor that is quickly usurped by the smokiness... And man is it smoky. Mild hops bitterness on the finish... Barely noticeable through the smoke. Very nice!

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm a little embarrassed that I've never written a full review for a lager. So many ales. Figured I'd write about one of my Old World favorites:

A - Lovely amber brown twinkles a hazy red against the light. Sudsy cappuccino head. Looks more like a brown ale than what I imagine when I think German lager

S - Nose is roasted and smoky. Packed with allspice, cured meat, caramel, molasses, chicory, sawdust and fired peat.

T - I find some smoked beers can push beyond toasted and into the medicine-y. Not so this. It’s a magnificent amalgam of buttery toast, woodsmoke, and bacon, with a zesty peppery sharpness from the hops that prevent its being out-and-out sweet.

M - Medium to light-bodied, and extremely refreshing for something this full and flavorful

O - Balance and drinkability. This is the benefit of a beer whose recipe has been refined over centuries. I love the imperialized, bourbon-aged, dry-hopped, coffee-infused craft scene as much as anyone, but hell if this doesn't make you appreciate the unadorned craftsmanship of old Europe.


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Photo of QueerBeer
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up with hesitation, as I had yet not had a rauchbier I liked. This was the gamechanger. Pours a deep, rich mahogany with a one-finger or so head. Deep smokiness in the nose, which corresponds to the flavor. Like delicious slow-smoked pork, with just a hint of malty sweetness. A bit effervescent on the tongue, almost overwhelming the taste profile. But overall, very very good.

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

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 17 April 2014

Appearance: Pours a rich amber-brown with a dirty white one finger head. Crystal clear beer with strong amber accents- this one really looks pretty. The head is froathy but not creamy. Great lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of soft smokiness and malt sweetness. The smokiness is rather subdued in the nose.

Taste: A magnificently complex blend of sweet malts and dark smoke. The smoke in this one compliments the malt backbone and does not overpower it entirely, though it is certainly the dominant flavor in this beer. The malt backbone really carries the smoke softly and smoothly over the palate in the entire duration of a sip- you get a nice pop of somewhat harsh smokiness up front which really mellows out in the middle and then leaves a nice sweet finish at the end. Marvelous.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied.

Overall: This is a magnificent beer. I was truly impressed with how the malts and smoke complimented each other in this beer. Rather than the smoke being overpowering or playing second fiddle to a sweet Bock beer, both flavor elements combined in a truly masterful brew. The ABV on this one isn't too high at only 6.6%, but if you LIKE a Rauchbier, this one will really sneak up on you since it is so smooth and easy to drink. A must try.

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Photo of mactrail
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Color is dark golden brown with a thick tawny-tinted head. Massive nose that we associate with smoked meat, a peaty savory smell. Pleasantly foamy in the mouth in the German style.

Sweet with malt which helps mellow the billows of smokiness. After the initial smoke-out, the flavor does remind me of the common smoked Gouda cheese. Body is not exactly thin, but it's more on the lighter side. A persistent candy taste. A whiff of pepperoni.

This is hard to describe, but it's well worth tasting. The intense smoked malt is ever-present, but it's a good example of how a crazy flavor can work in a beer. Not expensive. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Bottleworks in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.

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Photo of JC333
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The smell of this beer is worth the purchase price....a price that is very reasonable.

The smell is campfire slash smoked sausage and the taste is smoked sausage coated in hops. An extremely complex beer that deserves to be sipped and savored.

The uniqueness factor wouldn't have me drinking this often, but when I do....it will easily be enjoyed.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a stein.

German bier. Always tasty, always a pleasure to look at. The beer is foamy, with a pillow-like head a finger and a half thick. The head is cream colored. Beneath is a dark brown liquid with lighter blonde hues at the base. It's a simple appearance, but flawless and attractive.

When I put this beer to my nose, I'm immediately stuck by the similarity between this beer and a smoked ham. It's dead on. It's also very much like a campfire, smoky, woody, and with sweet hints of malt.

The taste doesn't deviate much from what the nose led me to expect. There's more smoked ham, sweet malt, campfire and woody notes, as well as a slight saltiness and some caramel notes. There are some lighter malt notes at the finish.

Like many a good german beer, this beer is complex, creamy with low to medium carbonation, a smooth finish, and very clean. The beer is like a camping trip or a Thanksgiving ham in a bottle.

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Photo of GMB
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A standard pour of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier's Urbock yields a beautiful deep brown-nose colored brew. The body seems opaque at first , but turns out iridescent when viewed against a light source, revealing ruby and burnt umber highlights. The ecru head rises to a picture-perfect inch-and-a-half, and shows no sign of receding at first. It takes its time as it slowly drops, leaving behind some sticky foam around the edges of the top of the brew, and an island of foam atop the body worthy of an italian cappuccino. Carbonation is gentle. I expect a rich, full mouthfeel with lots of viscosity.

The beer offers two distinct olfactory experiences. First, there is the light, slightly smokey aroma that fills the room as soon as the cap is popped. Then there is the complex bouquet of aromas that assert themselves when the brew is held close to one's nose. Roasted smokey aromas in the center, surrounded by molasses, burnt-butter-braised prunes and raisins, and toasted pumpernickel bread.

The brew is full and rich on the palate. It took me about 15 seconds to swallow my first sip. The aromas of the nose are converted to flavors on the palate, and are accompanied by iris flowers, toasted almonds, and a hint of dried tobacco leaf.

What's especially impressive about Urbock is that, despite its dominant smoke flavors, it doesn't send me into "smokey bacon and barbecued meats" land. Sure, those flavors are present, but there's a sophistication in this beer's flavor profile that is absent from any of the other smoked beers I've tasted in this style. I think that the malty backbone of the duppelbock style deserves some of the credit. But most of it goes to the brewers at Aecht Schlenkerla, who have produced something special here.

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Photo of atomicbeer
4.94/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been looking forward to this beer for a long time! Pours a bark root beer brown with a big foamy tan head that recedes to a 1/4 inch cap. Aroma is alder smoke big time over a mild beery underpinning. Smooth going down, the adler smoke is not as evident in the taste as the aroma but very very nice indeed mixed perfectly with a caramelly malt and tiny grassy hop flavor. Eminently drinkable. The 16.9 oz is disappearing quickly! Spectacular with pork.

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Photo of BradC
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown from pint sized bottle.

Smells of smoke, smoked malt, meat cooking over a campfire.

Smoke is dominant, but there is a nice malty backbone. Tastes of bacon, ham with a hint of sweetness.

A little thicker than the Marzen

Love a good Rauchbier and this one is up there with the best.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out cola brown and fills the glass with darkness. The body gives way to ruby highlights in the light. Fluffy lightly tanned head. Plenty of good looking lace.

Intoxicating smoky aroma emanates from the glass and comes through wonderfully in the taste with smoked meat/Gouda like flavor.

Brown sugar and caramel sweetness sticks in behind the smoke bomb that is the Urbock and sticks on the lips. Heavy medium body but fairly effervescent. Drinks nicely.

While heavily smoked there is still some finesse. Love Schlenkerla bier!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, one very similar to the Märzen, except of course now with the Urbock designation. A picky 6.5% ABV on this offering, at that.

This beer pours a clear, dark caramel-tinted brown hue, with two fingers of lazily puffy, mildly creamy, and mostly bubbly true beige head, which leaves a bit of streaky remote islet lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of gamey smoked meat, bready smoked caramel malt, gritty smoked Gouda, generic campfire ash, and more isolated, well, smoke (the thesaurus having duly failed me here). The taste is still big and over the top smoky, sure, but now at least one can discern the caramel malt backbone and singed leafy hops amongst the still heady simmering bacon and infused cheese acridity. My mouth silently cries out for an ashtray.

The carbonation is agreeably involved, but just enough to keep things lively and on the go, the body a somewhat tacky medium weight, and much more smooth than I might have proffered had I been asked at the onset of this affair. It finishes strangely off-dry, the now biscuity caramelized (and smoked, don't ever be forgettin' the smoke!) malt hanging tough, as does the lingering assaulted noble hops, all still under the yoke of the moderately overbearing smoky notes.

Uber alles, this does seem to have a bit of a lighter, booze-lifted essence, that is at once reminiscent of Bocks and actively burning beechwood fires. Still, one hell of a sturdy, gritty, and of course eye and palate-watering smoky deal. Veritable truth in advertising, that cannot be denied, and if there was any homeland beer that Rammstein should hold close to heart, it would be this.

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Photo of BVukelich
2.66/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Sorry beer peeps, I just don't get the smoke beer-thing. Looked nice, a dark brown with a small head. Aroma was a sweet and potent smokiness. I gave it the benefit of the doubt as I really like smoked meats in general. Unfortunately, the smoke flavor was just too much for me. I definitely don't want it as part of my beer. I get that a lot of people might enjoy these, not me. Looked like a decent beer, mouthfeel was pleasant but that overpowering smokiness was just a killer.

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Photo of mmmbirra
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep red, full head.
That full smoky Schlenkerla nose with a little deep malt and sugar and alcohol.
The sweetness of this one overpowers the smoke and the malt flavors a bit. Certainly bigger than the Maerzen, but tastes less smoky and has less defined flavors. A little too sticky for me.
Silky smooth. I opened another bottle one night when I had a cold. I couldn't smell it and couldn't taste much of it either, but the smoothness of this beer made up for it.

Good smoke beer, but to me it doesn't stand up to the Maerzen. Now patiently awaiting the 1 December release of the Oak smoke.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a very umber to coppery color with a rich tan head that leaves faint traces of lacing down the glass.

The nose is definitely smokey, sweet malt with a hop undertones that is dominated by the smokiness.

The flavor is outstanding! the smoke is very strong and works exceptionally well with the maltiness and the fine hops present. The taste is a balanced contrasts of deliciousness.

The mouthfeel is effervescent and pleasantly matches my expectations.

Overall this is a damned fine beer and I just loved it. I will definitely be buying more of this one.

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Photo of Poulan
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red varnish look

S: Intense smoke with malty alcohol notes.

T: Intense smoke, salty bacon taste. You might need some water after drinking this.

M: Not as rich as I thought it would be.

O: I like this beer. I would drink it again. This is a must try if you like smoked rauchbier.

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Photo of jfromnj
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

unbelievably spectacular. This beer has a wonderful "smokiness" that is truly unique. The taste hits you with hints of wood, caramel, and bacon. This is a medium bodies beer that has a smooth feel and is very easy to drink. I loved this beer and it has become a new favorite of mine.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, but as I doubt this year's has reached shelves yet, probably 2012
Glass: Ayinger willi glass

Schlenkerla's Urbock is an excellent, rich, yet quite drinkable (for me) beer that's quite possibly the pinnacle of the style (Spezial's and Schlenkerla's Marzen are also quite good...). Intensely rich, smoked malts with caramel sweetness undertones, joined to a bit of complexity from possible specialty malts and hops. An excellent beer for fall through spring, wish this was available in the states at German prices (<1euro/bottle), but instead it's a luxury at $5 per bottle.

Pours a 3cm head of off-white foam, made up of small, densely packed bubbles, giving a very frothy appearance. Retention is excellent, the foam lasting several minutes in a slow decline to a thin, spotty film lingering atop the body of the beer and a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is excellent, with heavy patterns and marbling clinging to all sides of the glass. The body is a very dark brown-amber color, with light revealing full amber hues around the perimeter of the body. Carbonation not visible through the nearly opaque (80% opacity) beer.

Aroma of heavy campfire smoke with smoked ham, notable caramel-like characters, and some slight cellar mustiness. Rich and intense, an excellently expressive version of the style.

The overall flavor palette is of heavy smokiness resembling campfire and smoked ham, caramel-like sweetness, modest dry leaf-like characters, and a hint of underlying cocoa. Front of palate experiences rich caramel sweetness with lighter smoke, as from a light grass fire, a bit of leaf-like dryness, and faint basement mustiness. Mid-palate of heavy campfire smoke with smoked ham, notably heavy caramel-like sweetness, and some dried leaf-like characters. Back of palate finds heavy smoked malt (campfire and smoked ham), with heavy caramel sweetness, slight cocoa, and some continued drief leaf characters. Aftertaste of pleasant, heavy caramel-like sweetness with moderate campfire smoke and smoked ham, dried leaves, and some mineral-like qualities.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is lightly foamy (1/3) and smooth (2/3), a bit more carbonation would be ideal, but this is still quite good for the smooth, smoky flavors embodied in this particular lager and the style in general. Closes dry, with heavy stickiness lingering on the palate and lips.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A very clear, dark copper with a smooth, moderate, beige head.

Smell: Holy smokes. Umami to the point of straight-up smoked salmon was all I could detect at first. A toasted malt background and some crisp hop aromas made their way through later on. No defects, but it was obvious that this would be the smokiest of old smokies.

Taste: True to style in that it was very similar to the bouquet. Dark roast, smoked salmon, and a bit of earthy spice. Definitely tastes like you're drinking lox by a roaring campfire. Sounds wacky? Well, you gotta be in the mood for it, is how I'd sum it up. Personally, I'd turn down the smoke just a bit to let the malt come through and balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Smooth and silky, but not slick. Excellent mouthfeel for the style.

Overall: An extremely smoky rauchbier that is bound to turn off many, but should be experienced just for the experience. If I were on a liquid diet and was craving barbecue, I'd stock up on this stuff.

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Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a Coca Cola dark brown color with some tan around the glass, but basically no head.

The aroma is classic Schlenkerla rauchbier. There’s a wonderful fatty and salty bacon smokiness, meaty smoked ham, leather, ash, and just woody smoke.

The flavor starts off with that smokiness in the front and then there’s a wonderful brown sugar and caramel sweetness that cuts it off. The two really play wonderfully with each other. The finish then gets into an herbal and woody bitterness on the end.

The beer is light medium and drinks quite easily, despite being so big on the flavor and complexity.

The best Schlenkerla, and also the last one that I needed to try.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark malt, caramel, smoked bacon

T-caramel, dark roasted malt, smoke,earthy, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a really well-done Rauchbier, great blend of flavors

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Photo of Jwale73
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle served in a willibecker. Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights around the base when backlit. Head is half an inch, loose and cream-colored and dissipates into a sudsy slick that coalesces around the edges. Nose reveals smoked meat and a suggestion of raisins or prunes in the background. Taste is much more rounded and pleasantly subdued than suggested by the nose, with the smokey quality not so tied to the meat character. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an easy carbonation and a creamy texture. Overall, not my favorite Schlenkerla beer, but age could be a factor here.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
92 out of 100 based on 681 ratings.