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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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1,171 Ratings

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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
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Ratings: 1,171 | Reviews: 653 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beeragent
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass from a bottle.

A - Poured a medium amber, forming a 1 inch tan head. Light lacing sticks to the glass.

S - Very smokey aroma, along with a noticeable sweet malt smell.

T - Wonderful flavor of smoked meat and spices, along with a decent malt backbone. This tastes just like an outdoor bar-b-que smells.

M - Medium bodied. Very full mouthfeel that coats the palate completely and sticks to it. Smooth finish.

D - Very full unique flavor with this beer. If you want something different, this is it. While I dont think I would drink more than one of these at a time, I would definitely keep this in the rotation. I've been wanting to try a Rauchbier for a while, and I have to say I wasnt the least bit disappointed. Highly recommended!!!!

Photo of pojo41
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured a very dark brown with a creamy, off-white head that dissipated quickly but, left extensive lacing on the glass. Intense aroma of smoke when poured. Good flavor of malt with smoke flavor intense but, not so it overpowers the malt flavor. Clean and not too heavy on the palate. Excellent.

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

Poured into Delirium Trimens snifter.

Appearance- dark, dark brown. Very clear, with amber highlights. Head is tan, but falls to a faint rim quickly.

Smell- very thick, warm, wood smoke scent. Some malt notes, as well, but layered under and behind the smoke smell.

Taste- malt first, then a very dry, nearly sour flavor comes in. The swallow releases the smoke, which drifts up the throat and into the sinuses, where it settles as an aftertaste of sorts. Not as sweet by half as the Weizen, but instead very nicely tart.

Mouthfeel- this is only my second smoke beer, but neither one was heavy like I thought they would be. This is heavier than the Weizen, and smoker, and less sweet, but it isn't heavy, or unbalanced.

Drinkability- not sessionable, imo, but I find myself wanting to try these beers with a wide range of food types, to see what works and what doesn't.

Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Rauchbier poured darkly into my tulip glass, settling with a minimal light head. The aroma wafting from the glass was amazing, beaming with richly layered alder-smoky cherry malt with a cola-tinged edge and dark fruit esters. Powerful and sublime. The taste matched the aroma but was less sweet than expected. Well balanced delicious cola-tinged alder-smoked malts, again with dark fruit notes and now some bacon undertones. Nice levels of hoppiness and cola lingered in satisfying finish. Carbonation and a medium smooth body rounded out the flavors perfectly. Excellent!

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this while in Helen, GA for the 2008 Oktoberfest festivities.

Poured from a half-liter brown bottle into a personalized lager glass.

Pours deep mahogany, with an almost Coca-Cola-like dark caramel hue. Even the most vigorous pour produces only a thin layer of tan bubbles, which disappears abruptly and covers its tracks, leaving no trace of its ever having existed behind on the walls of the glass.

The nose is a delightful mix of smokehouse and confectionary, with a thick smokiness wrapping itself around a nice underlying aroma of toffee and chocolate.

Body is medium, and somewhat lighter than expected for a dark Bockbier, and a flat mouthfeel lacking carbonation does nothing to help the matter (though I suspect that the lack of carbonation is due to a prolonged shelf life, as experience from other examples of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier produce more lively levels of carbonation). Odd yet pleasurable flavors of smoke and sweet caramel and chocolate malts lay themselves over the palate, with a sweet and smoky finish rounding things out.

As with all of Brauerei Heller-Trum's Rauchbiers, this one is a delicious, unique experience, both palatable and quaffable. The Urbock mixes remarkably well with some smooth, milky German Schokolade, and would also pair well with about any smoked entree under the sun.

One day I'll make my pilgrimage to the Brauerei in Bamberg to sample Franconia's famous specialty fresh vom Fass, but until then, the bottled imports continue to serve as a reminder to mark that one on the calendar.

Photo of Greggy
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a 1 finger head over a brown/ruby body. A light amount of sediment is present. Decent lacing clings to the glass.

S- Big smoked meats, bacon, campfire, sweet malt profile.

T- Starts off very smokey, even salty with a big sweet malt. Additional notes of smoke, meat, bacon, campfire. The finish is sweet and a bit salty.

M- Very thick and smokey finish.

D- This was quite good but I found it to be a bit less drinkable compared to the Aecht Maerzen. I will definitely have this again, though.

Photo of tangentrider
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- medium brown beer with a small offwhite head and nice lacing

S- beautiful fireplace aroma, somewhat restrained in the nose

T- smoke flavor is very present, with a slight sweetness underneath; finishes smokey and bitter. lovely.

M- medium carbonation, medium feel

D- very drinkable; I love rauchbier.

Photo of timmay41
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Light, foamy head and a dark brown color that's lighter at the top and bottom of the pint glass. But any notable elements from the appearance are overshadowed by the...

Smell: Overwhelming. This beer is the liquid form of kielbasa. Crazy strong smoky, sausage-y roasted malt sweetness. I laugh when I think of the ads touting Budweiser as being beech wood aged; THIS is beach wood smoked, baby.

Taste: Again, liquid form of a kielbasa boiled dinner. Balanced smoky and rich sweetness, almost juicy.

Mouthfeel: It's like the beech wood smoking continues in one's mouth. The body of the rauchbier is pretty light, actually. But very nice.

Drinkability: Hmm, not so much a session beer. But seriously, when I first had this beer I thought it was a love-hate situation: I'm genetically predisposed to this kind smoky delight while I can appreciate people loathing it. But it's a really rewarding taste for those who can acquire the taste, and I think it's possible. But a must drink for fellow Polish folks.

Oh, and forewarn your significant other about the particular strain that is the rauchbier fart.

Photo of Cresant
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this 1 pint .09 oz. brown bottle into a .5L Spaten mug. No date. It was a perfect pour and filled the mug exactly. The body was clear and dark cola colored. The cream hued head faded to a light ring.

Smell was not surprisingly - smoke. It was like the Liquid Smoke I use in cooking. Maybe hints of bread but primarily smoke.

Taste was lightly metal. Smoked wood chips. Some caramel and nuts. Sweet linger from the malts. There was a light roasted bitterness. More complex than the aroma would lead one to believe.

Mouthfeel was smooth up front but ends with some zippy carbonation, not too much though.

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

After having the Marzen I decided I needed to give this one a try. Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

The appearance is dark brown mahogany in color with a one inch light tan head. A little bit of lacing is left on the sides.

The aroma is nearly identical to the Marzen, exploding with smoked ham, beef jerky, and campfire smoke.

The taste is not quite as heavy on the meat and smokiness but it shows up instantly. Towards the end of the swallow the Bock characteristics start to come out and there is a slight raisiny dark fruit taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very nice creamy texture in the mouth.

Hard to choose between this and the Marzen, both are great. Got to love the Rauch.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The sturdy-looking 500 ml bottle opens with a hiss, shooting an invisible jet of succulently sweet smoke-cured pork aroma my way, causing violent neural excitement in my brain's barbecued-hog-meat-loving center. Mmmm-Hmmm!!! Whoa, there, Hoss!!! Let us get it in the glass, dude... you can't just snort it right out of the bottle!

Restraining myself (only barely), I pour the drink into my Reissdorf stange glass, where its actively-carbonated body glows a clear brownish garnet-tinted bronze. A finger-thick cap of soft off-white foam recedes to a thick sheet that soon drops into a thin ring that leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is sweet and penetrating, with dark toasted caramel, distinctive beech-nut oiliness and a piquant, lightly fruity note of cherrywood charcoal. All the notes are smoky, smoke-clad, smoked, or simply those of swirling, individual aromas of smoke itself-- the clean, crisp beech sweetness standing tall amidst all the smoldering.

The taste follows the nose into the smoky wildfire ashes, liberating partially-burnt sweet green maple saplings from mildly acrid charred caramel. Dusty, earthy hops ground the penetrating smoky sweetness a bit, but not much, and it's hard to tell if a mild bitterness is hop- or smoke-related. The smokiness accumulates on the palate as the drink progresses, blotting out the finer receptors and threatening to water my eyes or stuff my nose in some oddball, psychosomatic smoke-related episode.

The drink is light-bodied, very well-carbonated, and a superb drinker if you can stand all the smoke. I love it, and could drink the Aecht Schlenkerla family of rauchbiers all day, any day.

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

Pours a very dark brown. Decent creamy head, dissipates to film and ring. Though not the same style, this Urbock Rauchbier looks a lot like a doppelbock, but once you smell it you'll notice the difference: pretty tart and hoppy smelling compared to their other Rauchbier but it has that quintessential smokey, meaty, bacon-like aroma.

As far as flavor goes, I prefer this one to the other Schlenkerla offerings. Has a more normal, lager-like taste compared to the brewery's other beers. The Rauchbier flavor is there though, and I love it: liquid bacon and smoked meat. Some great coffee and subtle chocolate notes as well, like the Märzen. Solid malt presence, with a slightly higher ABV than the Märzen and Weizen. Delicious and unique all around.

There is really nothing else like this in the world. Awesome.

Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock pours a dark brown with a thin off white head from a brown half liter bottle. The aroma is very smoky with a touch of sweet malt. The taste is very smoky with a touch of sweet malt as well. Worth a try, but won't be to everyone's taste.

Photo of magictrokini
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As smoked beers go, this is one of the best. Deep brown pour with a lighter brown head that dissipates into a constant ring. Great lacing. Aroma is exactly the same as the smell of a charcoal barbeque grill when you first open it to light it. Bacon, malt, and oak are mixed nicely in the flavor. Not as overpowering as the Marzen version. I only wish this one was easier to find.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Body is a completely transparent mahogany color that pours with a minimal off-white head that fizzes away immediately and leaves a very thin collar. Tiny traces of lacing left on the edges of the glass.

S- Wow. Very strong smoky aromas. Smells liked smoked meat. My dog hasn't left me alone since I popped open the bottle.

T- Upfront is some mild smoke bitterness with a faint malt background. The flavors really come out for the finish which is all smoked meat. A little bit of spiciness emerges as well. Minimal smokey bitterness lingers.

M-Medium to high carbonation and light drinkable lager body. Body almost feels a bit charred.

D- This is my very first rauchbier. Smells and tastes great but this is more of a novelty drink to me than something that I could enjoy regularly. Not as drinkable as most lagers... I like it though and would buy it again.

Photo of MasterSki
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stein - no discernible date on the bottle.

A - Dark brown color, almost the same as my wooden desk. One-fingered white head that dissipates quickly to a patchy lace. Nothing fancy, but looks like a solid brew.

S - Hickory, smoked meat, charcoal - also some malty sweetness in there as well. Some sort of sweet cured ham, perhaps? I'm not sure how to evaluate this, as it depends on your predisposition to this kind of smell in the first place (my wife would hate it, as she's a vegetarian). I suppose I will evaluate based on the potency and complexity of the smell - in which case it's excellent. Give it a perfect score if you love smoked pig products.

T - Less smoky, more meaty. There's also some malty sweetness and apple glaze flavor. There's a little bit of hop bitterness in the back end. Considering I don't like ham/pork/sausage all that much it's quite a feat that this brew is appealing to me. Again, bump it up a notch if you're into this sort of thing.

M - This is the weakest part of the brew - way too watery for something this hearty tasting. Has the consistency of flat soda. with only the slightest carbonation. I'd like to give it a shot on-tap to see if this element improves.

D - The first one drinks fine, but the smoky aftertaste leaves me happy to stop at that point. To be honest though, I can't really imagine a sessionable rauchbier.

Supposedly the gold standard of rauchbiers, but I prefer Surly Smoke.

Photo of rye726
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice mahogany color, but not much of a head. The nose has a huge smoked malt presence over sweet malts. Taste is a nice balance of smoke and dark malts. Medium body matches style well. A good exampel of the style. Huge smoke presence. Nice example of the style.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Ruby to brown. Pretty big head on this one that leaves some decent stringy lacing. Smell and taste are all straight woody smoke. Literally a burning campfire in a bottle that completely overtakes anything else that might be in there. Interesting at first but pretty one-dimensional. This is a taste I only want so much of. Smooth chewy mouthfeel though. Drank with my Thanksgiving turkey. I feel like this really needs to be paired with some big pungent cheeses or charred meat.

Photo of biggmike
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice brown color with hints of ruby and a small tan head that dissipated quickly. The aroma was pure smokiness. Flavor is dominated by the woody smoke flavor, but a bit of grain and caramel maltiness are detectable. Mouthfeel is of a medium-bodied beer. I found it very drinkable and enjoyed it immensely.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schlenkerla Urbock (bottle)
A: snifter. Rich mahogany color, rubyesque. Nice tan head. Good retention and light lacing.

S: wonderful aromas of smoked bacon and some apples.

T: great smoked cured pork, with the sweet urbock apple and pear notes.

M: medium mouthfeel. Great body. Mild carbonation level.

D: all I need is a platter of pulled pork and some sweet BBQ sauce

Photo of tmoneyba
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured clear dark brown with a large light brown frothy head that was mostly lasting with very good lacing. Moderate woody smoke malt aroma. Medium body. Medium sweet smoke flavor with a medium bitter finish of moderate duration.

Complex standout beer.

Photo of adamette
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle just like the one pictured here into clean, clear pint glass. $3.99 per bottle at Beverage Warehouse on Mayfield.

A Much like my memory of the Marzen, appearance of a dark brown but translucent body with minimal light colored head which dissapears in about 30 seconds.

S Awesome barbecue smell. I am told that "you either love it or hate it." Count me in as loving it! It really smells like a great glazed barbecued ham. I am sitting here trying to imagine how someone did this. There is some hops and malt there too but wow...the Great Smoky barbecue smell dominates. For that reason (the loss of the glazed ham sensation from the smell and since it is not quite as sweet as I'd hoped) I will not give it a "5.0" for taste but make no mistake...this is a very very good tasting beer. After a few minutes I even detect clove in the aftertaste...very cool.

T Great smoky taste carries over from the smell but the ham/glaze that I smelled did not so much. This is still a challenging and interesting beer but it is little more "campfire" than the Marzen and not as much to my liking.

M Full with that big, smoky taste.

D Really good for such a full tasting beer.

Notes: I can think of little better for a campout in front of a fire. I mean it would be a bit like drinking the campfire itself but I think that it would be great.

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

This is perhaps the most difficult beer I've ever had to review. So unique from any other beer out there that I've tried.

A - Poured from a 1 pint bottle into a mug. Transparent ruby red to brown with a one-finger offwhite head that dissipates in a few minutes to a nice lace on top. Nice lacing sticks to the sides of my mug.

S - The second you start pouring this one you smell it. It permeates the air immediately. Smells like salt cured pork. Very, very strong and covers any hope of hop smell. Smells very nice, but not like a beer... hence the difficulty in reviewing. For the style, I'm sure it's great.

T&M - Not nearly as smokey as the smell. A nice smooth and lightly sweet hop profile hits me first and then the smoke rolls in as I swallow. The smoke by no means is the main flavor, it simply complements the sweet caramel malt. Moderately hoppy aftertaste that melds well with the smokiness. Everything is so nicely balanced and in tune. So much flavor there, don't get distracted by the smoke. So interesting and unique, I love it! Smooth body with low carbonation.

D - This actually went down pretty well. At least better so than I expected. I could have drank another one for sure. This would go really well with sausage, kielbasa, burgers, or really anything grilled.

I really enjoyed this experience. I went in a little nervous and came out wanting more. Such a unique style.

Photo of botham
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pint bottle poured into a tulip. pours a rich copper brown color with garnet highlights and a half finger of tan head that takes a couple minutes to subside.

aroma is quite smokey, as would be expected, with notes of cured ham, a bit of charcoal, and a distant salted note that rounds out the profile. malt notes are minimal, but include a light presence of caramel and a distant base of bready malt.

taste is less smokey, which allows the malts to come through. smoke and a bit of charcoal are still present, with the salt note present as well, along with a malty backbone of caramel and a mild note of roasted malt upon finishing. the taste is much more balanced than the nose, but each works well in isolation.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth character from the smoked notes, along with a mildly spiced finish, reminiscent of faint steak seasoning.

drinkability is great. this is a very managable rauchbeer, without the harsh smokeyness that some can exhibit. for a BA who loves the smoked notes, this ones could have been a bit more assertive in taste, but in the end it pays off with a more balanced profile on the palate. a solid rauchbeer. cheers!

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

brought back a bottle with me to beijing. no dating.

clear, relatively dark amber brown. nice head fades to a thin but ever persistent layer. some lacing, but sparse and thin.

very smokey aroma. definitely a rich wood smoke. hints of leather and smoked bacon. otherwise "clean" of other aromas. maybe a whiff of fermentation.

flavor is definitely smokey too, but a solidly sweet, almost syrup-like, caramelized maltiness in the background lasts throughout. again some smokehouse bacon or ham. maybe smoked gouda. savory meatiness, with phenolic note in the backend. again a malty backbone underlies the whole thing. mild to moderate bitterness peaks at the middle and boldly lasts into the finish, but the focus is on the smokiness throughout.

not too thin or watery, but not as substantial as i'd hoped. still, quite smooth, with a lively, prickly carbonation. a trace of astringency in the finish.

i paired half the bottle with some chinese dishes utilizing mushrooms, soy sauce and bean paste. this was an interesting pairing recommendation from garret oliver's brewmaster's table. it was okay, but not spectacular. probably needed dishes with stronger mushrooms, or a less smokey rauchbier (the marzen version was milder and may have worked better here.)

i then had the second half with some generic smoked ham (pan-seared), mustard, and smoked gouda. a much better pairing.

this is definitely the more robust and smokey of the schlenkerlas, and more akin to what i was hoping for in a smoked beer. nice, but an acquired taste nonetheless.

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