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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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1,133 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,133
Reviews: 644
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 82
Gots: 57 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: taez555 on 08-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,133 | Reviews: 644 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marcpal
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a 12oz mug.

All I have to say is WOW. This one was bizarre. Warned by bartenders that it was intense and most wouldnt like, but I have to say I think I enjoyed it.

A: Crimson colored with a fluffy dark head that stayed there for the full beer. Great lacing.

S: Pulled BBQ pork straight off the spicket. Out of control.

T: Were back to the BBQ here, didnt let you down. As advertised. Couldnt believe how much I liked it. This is really like having a liquid meal.

M: Good enough. Did I mentioned this had BBQ characteristics.

D: Obviously, this would be perfect with some good BBQ but also good on its own. Couldnt drink every day but a nice treat.

Photo of Beaver13
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz bottle. Pours a dark ruby brown with a creamy light tan head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is liquid smoke and BBQ pork with some metallic and DMS notes.

The flavor is vegetal malts and some sugary sweetness with a lot of burnt smokiness. It has a crisp bitter smoky finish that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium with velvety carbonation.

Overall, I love the smokiness that comes through. I don't like the off notes in the nose and taste. I'll have to try this one again sometime.

Photo of Trueant1
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have never had this style beer before. So here is a descripti0on of Rauchbier from the Beeradvocate website:

The Rauchbier style is an old German beer style, its origins go back to the 1500's and to the district of Franconia and the town of Bamberg. It's typically of dark colour and has similarities of the Oktoberfestbier. Green malts are literally dried over an open fire of beech wood, imparting a unique smokiness ("rauch" is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste. Imagine a smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat.

Ok. Now for the review

Pours dark brown to even black in color. A nice foamy white head that leaves chunks on the side of the glass.

Smells upfront of roasted pig. I have had above ground (baboy) pig roasts from the Philippines. This beer smells wonderfully of that memory. Very very smoky. I have never imagined a beer even smelling any thing like this. Unusual but yet incredible.

Taste. Wow. I do not know what to think. Smokey, bitter chocolates, roasted pork taste, peppery, again...smokey.

Mouthfeel is very chewey to me. Sweet and thick. They suggest pairing this with bbq meats...but this beer is so thick I think IT would fill you up without food.

I had a hard time drinking more than 8 oz of this. Do not get me wrong..I liked it...but plan to buy this one for a bbq....and serve small amounts in a snifter glass to everyone.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into my Great Taste of the Midwest Glass because it's the only cylinder shaped glass I have and I don't want to pour this into a 2 liter mug. Pours a dark brown color with a thick light brown head. The lacing is strong. Smell is sweet burnt wood that reminds me of pork. There is also a small background of sweet dark malts. The taste is smokey burnt flavors with a slight roasty maltiness. Really reminds me of smoked pork. Mouthfeel is good and smooth. Overall, this is a great beer and I will have this again...I've loved making BBQ sauce with it.

Photo of jwc215
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Old Bay, in New Brunswick, NJ:

Pours dark brown with a large head that descends to a thin cover.

The smell is of smoked meat with Scotch-like undertones.

The taste is of smoked meat with Scotch-like undertones as well. Very robust/rich.

It is smooth and full-bodied. Very long finish.

A nice one to pair with the obvious - smoked meats. My favorite of the three Rauchbiers I've had from this brewery. Drinkable for style, though still a "special occassion" brew.

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

Poured a very dark brown, almost black with a thin head. The nose is of smokey sausage up front, but it is maltier on the back end, even slightly winey. Taste is similar. Slightly spicy and nicely smokey up front without being overpowering, then a hit of dry malt with a touch of sweetness, and a deep smokiness on the finish. Complex interplay of the malt and smoke make this beer delicious and intriguing. Very smooth mouthfeel, medium bodied. Very nice example of a Rauchbier, and although smokey, it is kept nicely balnced so that the tastebuds aren't quickly worn out. A killer food beer.

Photo of cabsandking
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with amber highlights and a dense, creamy one-finger head. The nose is dominated by a campfire smokiness and just beyond is some floral and fruity notes here and there, and a little alcohol ester. Smoked malts really cover the regular malt characters initially but some sweetness comes through as it warms. Tartness in the background, light anise notes, earthy, and bitter hops ate the end. Burnt sugar to molasses sweetness becomes more evident. The finish is primarily smokey flavors, chary, and bitter. Nice full mouthfeel with a creamy build and a crispness just before its gone.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours dark with ruby hues when held to light. Nice off-white head that sticks around.

Smell - SMOKY, campfire, charcoal, wood-oven, ...you get the point.

Taste - Sweet malts, ending semi-dry and smoky. Flavors of meat cooked over an open woodfire. So good.

Mouthfeel - Great body, good carbonation, dry finish

Drinkability - Definitely a good pairer. About to have some chili with this. I would love this by the campfire or any BBQ.

Photo of rudyarmand
4.95/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This past weekend, I attended a German beer festival at Atlantic Station in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Over a dozen other German brewers were represented including many of the top selling brands. I had heard about the smoked beer from Bamberg, Germany, and was very excited to finally try some.

Fortunately I arrived early enough to get my official beer glass and the lines were not too long. It was almost 100 degrees that day and everyone was suffering from the hot summer. I was almost cooking myself, so the smoked beer seemed appropriate. Wow! the smoked Aecht Urbock Rauchbier was sensational! It did indeed smell like meat that had been cooked to perfection over seasoned wood. The taste was wonderful--unlike any beer I had ever tasted. To my surprise, the taste was not overwhelming where you were satiated and wanted only a small taste. The pleasure of the beer continued glass after glass.

I went to Green's package store on Buford Highway the other day and bought a dozen bottles for myself and to introduce to my beer drinking

I plan to always keep this beer around and plan to visit Bamberg on my annual spring beer tour.

Highly recommended!

Photo of maddogruss
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a pretty solid Rauchbier. Poured a dark amber color with a small, tan head. Unfortunately, there was very small retention and no real lacing worth mentioning. The smell was very nice and smoky, reminding me of wooden embers being snuffed out at the end of a big bonfire. The taste was equally as smoky, reminding me a little bit of burnt bacon and again, the taste of the embers. The mouthfeel was nice and full-bodied and it went down pretty smooth. While I am usually a fan of Rauchbiers, halfway through this one I was not really enjoying it so much anymore. It did not really have me asking the bartender for another one. I would definitely give it a go, especially when I was out camping.

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

This beer is very dark when poured into the glass. I used the side of the glass and ended up with about a 1/2-inch head, which I liked. It smelled smoky, and I was expecting a bit of smoke flavor, but I didn't realize how strong it was. Instantly I felt like I was by a campfire. This beer has a fairly alcoholic undertone, but it can be ignored easily. The mouthfeel is very thick and grainy, making this beer slightly harder to drink than something less flavorful.

All in all, the only problem is that it's such a treat that I couldn't see myself drinking a whole lot of it.

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

Appearance: Pours a clear deep dark ruby red color with a small 1/8" head of tan bubbles that were small, but seemed like they wanted to be there for a while. After about a minute, the head receded to a small ring around the top of the beer at the glass. Already there is a little lacing being left behind on the glass.

Aroma: Very clean and noticeable smoke aroma that is really earthy. There is a slight roast in there, but the smoke aroma is the key player here. I don't get any hops or anything else for that matter. There is a good bit more toastiness coming out as the beer warms up some.

Taste: The flavor is sweet and malty with a defined smoke flavor that is overpowering, but not to the point of making the beer undrinkable. The malt is there and gives you a sweet dark caramel malt backbone with some toasty flavors and a little bit of dry bread crusts to wash it down. The beer is a solid medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. The finish is malt balanced with the smoke flavor staying with you long into the finish. I can't pick up the 6+% ABV in the beer at any time...I would put it more as a ~5% beer by the flavor.

Opinion: This beer is a nice experience. It is not one that I would drink all the time...not even if I lived in Bamberg, but it has a unique flavor that I would certainly like to try somewhat frequently to keep my palate in check. It is not for the faint of palate, but it is a stamp in history that everyone should at least try once to see if they either love it or hate it.

Photo of Andbrew
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first rauchbier so from what I read I got almost exactly what I was expecting.

Poured a nice dark clear brown with a good head which lasted quite a while and was good and thick - not flimsy.

Smelled like cheese and smoky meats with a nice malt tone.

Smooth roast taste that is almost like a liquid turkey leg, nice and full bodied. The smoke is very strong and almost drying to the palate - very dense flavoring.

It definitely was a new flavor for me and I loved it, especially with the sausages we were eating at the time. This one is a great addition to my beer collection and flavors I can add to the list.

Photo of Grundle20
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer is brown, but clear, in color. There's a good sized tawny head to the beer that displays respectable retention and some patchy lacing.

Smoke, straight up. The scent is basically an interplay of various smoked food smells like gouda and meat.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The smoke comes through again but less pronounced than in the smell. There's actually a surprising amount of German hop character that lends a nice crisp, and refreshing touch to an other wise smooth and medium bodied beer. A bit of caramel and Munich malt peaks through the haze as well. The finish has warm presence of smoke which carries on in to the aftertaste.

The beer really isn't that bad for drinking, but I'm almost positive nobody would want to drink more than one of these without food to go with it.

Bottom Line:
Definition of a rauchbier in my opinion, if you're interested in the style this is the one to get.

Photo of 3Vandoo
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby brownish beer, limpid with a a great head that let a nice lacish throught the course.

Smell is smoked, cheese flavours, bbq smell, malt and yeast

Taste is quite unique and special, I think I am drinking a bbq smoked liquid or something. Of course you feel the smoked malt presence of the beers, followed by some spices and shy hops. Everything is surrounded by a shy but warming alcohol flavours.

Photo of Damian
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 1 pt. 09 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits, Somerville, MA

Poured a dark mahogany with a huge, fluffy, light tan, four-finger head that slowly faded to a thick, lasting film. Sporadic patches of lacing clung to the sides of the glass.

The aroma was intensely smoky (yet not overwhelming) initially but seemed to settle as the beer warmed. The smokiness was very mesquite-like and campfire-ish with hints of beef jerky. A rich maltiness also managed to fight its way through.

The taste was also smoky (yet not as smoky as the nose), full-flavored and complex. Sweet, caramel-like malts were noticeable up front before the malts turned deep, smoky and meaty mid-palate. A pronounced hoppiness appeared on the back end and carried into the dry, lingering, smoky finish. There was also a noticeable roasted veggie flavor present (green peppers, squash, zucchini), akin to that found in Mexican cuisine. By mid-bottle, the smokiness mellowed out, allowing the more subtle flavor nuances to come through.

The beer was full-bodied with a rich, creamy, pillowy mouthfeel.

As for drinkablity, I was quite surprised at how easy I was able to finish the bottle. This is not an "everyday drinking" type of beer, but it is a rather interesting and unique offering worth seeking out.

I would recommend pairing this with a plate of smoked salmon or meats, smoked cheeses and dark bread.

Photo of oelergud
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany Semi transparent body. Tan head with great retention and lace. Tiny to medium bubbles.
Strong traditional rauchbier scent of smoked salmon, eel and fresh campfire.
Delicious smoked malty flavor with just enough hops to impart a nice balance. Some caramel and vanilla notes. Good strong aftertaste of smoked hops. This one hangs around for a while.
Medium to full mouthfeel. Abit of coating is present quickly followed by a moderately dry finish.
Pretty good drinkability.


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

Deep leathery brown with some sediment. Small, yet thick, bubbly head. Heavily smoked wood aroma blended beautifully with meaty ham and sweet malts. Rich malty taste with a lingering sweetness as a little char hits the back of the throat. No lack of flavor at all...smoky, but in a multidimensional way. Medium bodied and slick, finishing dry.

Less smoky in the flavor, as, I believe, is usually the case...but this is a good thing. There is an amazing balance between the smoke and the rich malty qualities that makes this really remarkable.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a light? The pour was a darker brown color with amber highlights. A good pour left a foamy head that had limited retention. The nose is interesting with a grainy malt presence that mixes with the smokiness of the beer. The smoke is unique with more of a meaty or jerky like aroma to it. The taste is different from what the nose would indicate. There is a sweet malt flavor upfront with some almost molasses like tastes to it. The smokiness is still there with a more meaty flavor but balances well with the beer overall. A light roasty finish only accentuates the meaty presence. The body is full with a under attenuated feel. The carbonation is light but does leave a smoke finish that is great for a BBQ afternoon in the backyard.

Photo of kajerm
2.58/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Pours thick and brown with a little bit of clarity; the head is small to nonexistent. As soon as this beer was opened, the entire apartment started to smell like smoked sausage, smoked ham, smoked bacon, and pretty much every other smoked meat in existence. If I really stick my nose in the glass (and God, is that a horrible thought), I can make out some roasted malts.

Tastes exactly like it smells, massive, overwhelming smokiness with some roasted malt character. German hops show up late-palate as a lingering bitterness that balances out the smokiness. Mouthfeel is comparable to road tar.

I actually liked this beer-- for the first four sips. I could even imagine it pairing reasonably well with a (non-smoked) meat.

Somewhere there is probably an old German man who puts away six of these with dinner. He is a much, much bigger man than me.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled March 2007
I am definitely looking forward to this brew, unfortunately this beer was not available while I was actually in Bamberg. This beer pours with a brilliantly clear body, but you can hardly tell that as it is so dark. When held up directly to a bright light it shows beautiful dark ruby hues, but otherwise sits in the glass a very dark, deeply burnt amber color. It is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, dirty tan, to pale brownish head. As I pour this brew it is immediately quite apparent that this is a smoked brew. Beech smoke, yet with out the sharp acrid notes of actual smoke, is the dominant characteristic of this beers nose. Really reminds me of the smell my jacket takes on after a cold evening spent round a campfire.

Thick and chewy & I mean chewy; it coats the mouth quite well and the flavors really linger on the palate. This beer is actually chewy enough that I perceive it as being much warm than the actual 50ºF (10ºC) serving temperature would suggest. Of course the smoke flavors are dominant, but there is some much malt packed into this brew that it is quite noticeable as well. Sweet notes of caramelized grain, toffee, lightly charred bread crust (though not the astringent burnt character but the smoke character one get in that char) and other malt flavors play a significant, yet clearly supporting role here. This at times makes me think that I am eating a nice, hearty, chewy, crusty bread that has been cooked over a smoky fire. While fairly thick, it still goes down so smooth, with a perfectly creamy mouthfeel to it.

The alcohol is only at 6.5%, yet this beer drinks much bigger than that; it has really captured what in my mind is a chewy Bock like character. I have been semi-regularly brewing a Rauch Märzen because of sampling this and Spezial's beer fresh at the source. I have been toying with brewing a Bock version for the last couple years and this has sealed the deal; I definitely need to brew a couple kegs of this up. This is just so damn tasty and wonderful.

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

9 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Brown in color with ruby red hues. Dense tan head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Sticky spider web like lacing crawls all over the glass.

S: Rich malts. Fresh baked bread. Smoked ham.

T: Rich roasted malts dominate the front end of this beer. Huge wave of smoke billows above everything else. Smokey tastes of charred wood and charchol add complexity. Sweet toasted caramel malts make their presence known but only for an instant as a smoked ham flavor takes over and won't let go.

M: Smooth and creamy. Minimal carbonation. Warm and dry.

D: This is what a smoked ale is all about. Big on flavor and big on smoke. I love this style and this is the standard for all others to build upon. Recommeded.

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

Pours a nice mahogany red brown.
The nose is slight yet portrays the profile of smoked meats. It’s a tiny herald of the flavor that awaits.
The head was a short lived somewhat dirty white-tan. In it’s dispersion, the head left its legacy along the walls of my tasting glass.
I find the flavor not particularly robust or complex but quite congenial. I find the smoke element part of the character of this beer and yet somewhat “offbeat”.
The smoke content is quite noticeable and is this beer’s defining element.. Coupled with the “smokiness” is a mild hops bitterness with perhaps a squeak undertone of malt.
All through my Aecht experience is the current of the smoked house .
I have decided that this is this beer’s signature. Otherwise I can’t find the “Urbock” in it, and w/o the smoke it’s a ho-hum experience.
Nevertheless the entire flavor experience is such that I find this beer quite enjoyable and I’d gladly order another bottle. But I wouldn’t walk a mile for it.

Photo of instrumentality
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer style I never expected to enjoy, but even in my first rauchbier experience several months back at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena, CA, I was pleasantly surprised. I tried this particular rauchbier at the "Strange Brew" tasting at Vin de Pays Wines in Long Beach, CA. I enjoyed it, but the sampling was too small to get the full effect.

I poured this brew into my Stone IRS tulip glass. No real head appeared beyond a foamy halo and a light lace. The body itself appeared to be black, but holding it up to the light made it seem like a very dark mahogany. Nothing terribly exciting here.

The odor is where the fun really begins. It isn't too intense, but it's definitely distinct (although characteristic of the style): a smoky, almost burnt odor with a very meatlike odor of bacon or perhaps beef jerky underneath. This may sound very odd for a beverage, but to me, it's quite appealing--and this is coming from someone who won't eat bacon.

I can taste the smoky bacon before the liquid even touches my lips. The alcohol burns faintly up front before the smokiness really kicks in, and when the meat flavor emerges, it's almost as if bacon grease coats the roof of my mouth, only without the disgusting, slick feel of actual grease. The finish is a bit charcoaly with just a hint of meat.

If I had to describe this beer on terms that are more familiar to the average beer drinker, I'd say it's like a mesquite smoked porter.

The flavor doesn't change a whole lot through the remainder of consumption, but that's a good thing.

Granted, it is a bit heavy, and I have to be in the right mood for it to drink it at all and have to nurse it a bit as it is, but the same goes for heavy stouts, and I really think I could see myself drinking this style more regularly than stouts if it were more readily available.

I bet this beer would be bad ass with some smoked pork product. I don't eat pork, but I might try pairing and/or marinating it with some beef sausage one of these days.

Photo of budgood1
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours out of the half litre bottle a deep garnet colour, with a thick but fine head. very little laciness. intense smoke aroma. not overpowering but definitely the star of this brew. some underlying maltiness; sweet notes of caramel and chocolate. the charred flavours and smokiness in the taste profile intermingle quite nicely with a neatly balanced malt bill. sweet toffee and caramel...some choco and coffee flavours on display...all accompanied by the all ever present delicious smokiness that makes this bock beer outstanding. it's layered and complex. mouthfeel is about perfect, and the body is about perfect for a bock style. finishes dry. drinkability is very good, although one might want to pair this with some sort of cured meats and bold cheeses. on it's own, a half litre or maybe a full litre might be enough at one time. i like this beer and will revisit it again under the right circumstances. yummy stuff.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
93 out of 100 based on 1,133 ratings.