Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

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664 Reviews

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Reviews: 664
Hads: 1,227
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 12.38%
Wants: 96
Gots: 80 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 664 | Hads: 1,227
Photo of numenor1
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark garnet brown. Head subsides to a very sticky collar. The smell is tremendous. Smoked gouda, summer sausage and wondrous barbecued pork all rolled into one. More deserving of a 5 in this category than any other beer (except their Maerzen). Great malty richness, similar to a doppelbock, but smoke all over the place. Starts off a bit sweet with some hop jabs then smoke takes over, and then malty breadiness begins to balance the smoke through the finish. Hops support just enough to balance. Truly fantastic. Mouthfeel is medium, yet full and creamy with medium low carbonation. Truly a thing of beauty. Extremely drinkable. A tremendous beer.

I still think i prefer the Maerzen over this, as the smokiness is not quite as dominant in this one. Also the maerzen seemed to have a stronger hop profile than this, though I last had it ultrafresh at the Tavern in Bamberg, so my opinion may be skewed there. (925 characters)

Photo of reddomino
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking forward to this one for a while...

Pours a pleasing chestnut brown with ruby highlights and a nice tan head that (unfortunately) doesn't stick around for to long. The smell reminded me of a nice Islay Sotch, like Ardbeg or Laphroaig. Pungently smokey, I like it. The taste is fantastic! Smoked pork, nutty cheeses, a slight fruitiness, followed by a slight alcohol warmth. Love that smokey aftertaste. Lightly carbonated with smooth mouthfeel and a medium body that is on par for the style. I'm going back tomorrow for a rack! (540 characters)

Photo of jfromnj
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
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. (283 characters)

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

appearance; very dark brown but not cloudy, frothy tan head, the contrast of the beer color with the foam is just beautiful

smell; some malts but mostly very smokey and strong, like smoked deer with blunt juniper cured ham undertones, this might be hop florals trying to come through the smoke but it's a stretch to say this.

taste; very, very smokey malts, might have some rounded sweetness but mostly smoke. This is exactly what this style should be. Very rich, the robust notes of a Bock pair perfect with the smooth smoke. Very strong flavor but remains pleasant.

mouthfeel; frothy, massaging, and thick on the palate. Ridiculously nice!

drinkability; heavy but tasty enough for one to drink this in quantity but it will lose some of its richness, best to enjoy only a few at a time. (791 characters)

Photo of GMB
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
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. (1,746 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into stein.

Pours deep ruby brown, very dark, though with ruby highlights around the edges showing the true clarity of the beer. Head is two-fingers when poured, khaki-coloured and fluffy. As it settles in, it leaves some nice clingy lacing down the sides of the glass.

Nose is intense and pure, sausages roasting over an open campfire. There's just enough sweetness from the malt to keep that big smokiness from becoming completely one dimensional, but there's no mistaking the nose for anything but a full-on, balls-to-the-wall rauchbier.

Taste is almost an exact replica of the nose. Massive smokiness is dry, again with the feel of sausages over an open campfire. Richness of the malt comes through a bit more clearly here, lending a bit of underlying caramel to really bring the sausage effect out, and with a bit of a crisp bitterness on the finish. Amazing balance and clarity between all three aspects - the massive smoke, the underlying malt, and the finish light bitterness from the hops. Can't imagine a better example.

Mouthfeel is dry, medium-full bodied, full carbonation that isn't too sharp. Again, beautiful and near perfect.

Drinkability - wow. When a beer is this intense, for the drinkability to be this high is a true achievement, taking near-perfect balance. Just a phenomenal beer, and like pretty much everything they put out, an absolute benchmark of the style. (1,401 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a treat! A friend surprised me with this bottle, knowing that this beer is brewed not far from my birthplace.
It pours a deep clear mahogany brown with a off white head building about one and a half fingers high. It dissipates fast, but leaves good lacing.
The smell is naturally full of rich smokey flavors. Almost like smoked ham, or of a smokehouse.
Tasting the beer those smokehouse notes will greet you up front, but not as strong as the smell of the beer announced. They will be balanced immediately by sweet malty flavors in the middle. I can also detect brown sugar, honey and some plum in there.
The finish combines all the flavors with the help of some mild flowery hops and ends in a mild bittersweet linger.
A great medium bodied delicacy which I highly recommend as a must try for any beer advocate. (817 characters)

Photo of Das_Reh
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a chalice and served alongside smoked ribs!

A = Very dark, almost black beer with mahogany tones. 1 finger of rich tan head.

S = I kid you not, the first thing I get is smoked pork. Smoked meats, charred wood, dark fruit, earthy and roasty.

T = Sweet fire-roasted malts, plums, smoked meats and a charred woodiness. Touch of salt. Hop bitterness is practically nonexistent, but there is a charred, almost ashy charcoal-like bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the malts in this bock-styled beer. I'm not picking up any cheese-like qualities as some other reviews have stated.

M = Full bodied and robust, like liquid BBQ. Very easy to drink. I was expecting this to be a rough style to get used to, but this has blown me away.

O = I like to imagine myself having one of these in a wooden stein as I sit in front of a roaring fireplace in an old world tavern. Rich, decadent and meaty, this is the perfect cold weather beer, and a perfect companion for BBQ and smoked meat. My first example of a rauchbier, I will be searching out more examples of the style in the future. (1,103 characters)

Photo of CuteZombieDoll
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a very dark amber with a good full head.

S- Smells like smoked ham or bacon, with a bit of sweetness

T- Again, tastes like smoked meat, but also a little like a sweet bread.

M- Full and not terribly carbonated.

O- This is definitely a beer to seek out. I love smoke and smoked foods, so I had been hunting this one down for a long time. If you love smoke and you love beers with complexity and a lot of flavor, this is your beer! (468 characters)

Photo of Amalak
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What a high quality beer. I had out of a 25 oz. bottle, deep brown in color, mostly opaque, thick foamy brown head.

The scent is incredible. Thick and smokey with a strong bacon smell to it.

Sure enough, it has a bacon-like taste to it. Nice bitter aftertaste. Great beer. (275 characters)

Photo of Jemonster
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Nice murky brown with some redness to it. Tight beige head that leaves a little bit of lacing. Tiny bubble carbonation that looks to be pretty light.

S: Smoke! Definitely new to me. Reminds me of smoked gouda cheese, with the smoke and oak (or beech apparently?) scent.

T: Smoked meaty taste, slight hoppy character. Cheesy. I don't know if it was because I thought of smoked gouda before or not. A mild sweetness cuts through in the middle, then there is a drying finish. Bitterness grows and the complexity builds on itself over the course of drinking. A lot of malt flavor.

M: Rich and stout. Higher carbonation than it appears to have, but it is superfine. Just the right amount of tingle.

O: This is great! It's a new taste experience for me. Would probably be wonderful with BBQ pork. (798 characters)

Photo of Portertime
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

We got a shipment of the Marzen at my store and people always give me a strange look when I say the beer tastes like smoked sausage. So I was very excited to try the Urbock because the Marzen was so delicious. I enjoyed it slightly chilled in my Warstiener mug. Poured a thick reddish brown color. The nose was delightful with wonderful smokey malts and a bit of an earthy quality. The taste was heavenly with sweet smoke and peat staying silky smooth on the tongue with a clean finish. One hell of a beer! (506 characters)

Photo of hmf05
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A beautiful ruby red/brown color

S - Oh man, the smokiness is ever so dominant. I get some nice smoked pork/sausage. It literally smells like smoked meat.

T - A ton of smoked meat. It sort of tastes like bacon or ham. Extremely smooth and very little bitterness. Some have said they get sweet notes and chocolate, but i just get delicious smoked meat.

M - Medium thickness and moderate carbonation

D - I could drink 2 of these, but not really sessionable. I would imagine that it tastes great with a barbecue pairing. (525 characters)

Photo of EGreen
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
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! (270 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A dark brownish but very deep red color, popping up a beauty of a thick head aided by good carbonation underneath. Settles to show wisps of stain all over, and a coating lace that is a treat to see on each quaff. This beer just looks right in my stein.

Barbecue!! This beer smells like a sweet onslaught of pork barbecue, like smoking sausages or some ribs. Caramel/toffee behind the delectable smoke turning to more fruit-type notes with time. Hard-pressed to think of a smoked beer as alluring and individual as this.

Taste is peppery, salty, with a great amount of chewy and full flavored smoked meat, but balanced by a smooth malt backbone, most closely of Munich and caramel malts. The Body has a roasty flavor like hard-toasted pork rind covered in touches of plum-like, fruity toffee. Toast and potato chips finish, I swear, but still very beer-like thanks to the bock base.

Full of flavor but with lager ease and drinkability. In fact, the high drinkability of this beer was the most impressive, especially given its highly unique take on smoked malts. A perfect example of a "wow" beer. A must try with food - mine was with juicy pork fillets, collard greens, and green beans. Be sure to let it warm up a little before you open it and some more while in the glass, thus this deep beer can grow on you. In great shape, too, for an imported bottled beer; its seasonal status probably helps with that. (1,416 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Westmalle Chalice.

A - Wow this beer pours a deep mahognay colour with a thick off white head that stays the distance and laces the glass

S - Heavy smoked wood from the bottle. Once poured has some smoked cheese aromas about it.

T - Such beautiful smokey malts that turn to smoked bacon and schenken speck, a hint of sweetness, but this beer is awesome

M - Full body and low carbonation, absoulte work of art.

D - What an experience this beer is. A+ all the way. (481 characters)

Photo of teromous
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown body with a white head with a pinkish light brown head that fades very quickly into a minimal ring.

Aroma: It smells like wood mesquite wood chips. If I was blindfolded I would swear this was a barbeque sauce. It smells fantastic.

Taste: It has this nice sweet caramel flavor right up front but it isn't thick feeling or strong. In the middle to end of the drink the smoke comes out but again it is just enough to give it flavor without being overpowering. The end has this nice bitter slightly herbal bite. This is great. It is a lot like what a nice wood grilled steak would taste like if it was a drink (without the meat flavor). I'm especially impressed with how good this tastes given that it is an import, and that I've waited so long to drink this.

Feel: As I mentioned it has a nice sweetness to the beer but it isn't thick or sticky. It has a medium mouthfeel but edges closer towards the lighter side.

Overall: It's a really fantastic beer. This would be great any time of the year. Even though this is a winter availability, I'm drinking this in the summer and it's light enough that it can be enjoyable when it's hot outside. I highly recommend it, whether you are a fan of smoked beers or not. This just has a great flavor overall. It is a fantastic drinking experience and I will be buying it again. (1,340 characters)

Photo of bruachan
4.74/5  rDev +15%
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! (786 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mahogany with a deep, burnt orange hue. Active carbonation. Loose tan head with fair retention. Collar throughout. No lace.

Smell: Booming, massive, amazing aroma of wood smoke and cured meat. Thick, sweet, slightly tangy malt comes to the fore as the smoke clears. If everything smelled like this, the world would be a better place.

Taste/Mouthfeel: In a word, fantastic. The mouthfeel is pretty light, but still manages to be a bit chewy. Starts with a sweet mouthful of malt, with perhaps a hint of unsweetened chocolate. This, not surprisingly, is soon overtaken by a dee-licious flavor of smoked meat and fragrant, sweet wood smoke. Finish intermingles flavors into a mouthwatering mouthful of Carolina honey-smoked ribmeat. Slight bitterness lingers.

Drinkability: Perfect--if you're in the mood for a smoky flavor. Probably a bit much as a session, but light, huge flavor, great mouthfeel and so, so satisfying. A meal and a drink beside a nice fire--in a glass.

Note: I also sampled their marzen. While slightly lighter and a bit less sweet overall, the two taste so similar I saw no reason to review it. Either will do nicely. (1,159 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out to a clear, very deep garnet, almost completely opaque, forming a soapy light-tan head with minimal retention and average lacing. Aroma is pure heaven...Schlenkerla smoke in perfect balance with caramel-tinged amber malts and fragrant German noble hops. Carbonation is mild and requires a hefty pour to form a head. Mouthfeel is oh so soft with a medium-dense body and lightly astringent, very woody and earthy finish. Taste is wonderful...these guys can pull off the style with their own unique twist...easy to tell that this is a Urbock...hefty malts with a well-balanced bitterness. This one has a metal twang in the middle, but there are other notes of prunes, maple, leather, chocolate and tobacco. The finish is exceptionally earthy, like drinking an EKU 28 in the damp Black Forest around a campfire. Heavenly.

Don't let the smoke scare you, this is a dangerously drinkable brew. This beer is truly transcendental. This brew and Coheed makes me wonderfully happy. I love the Marzen the best of the bunch, but any beer from Schlenkerla has been touched by god. Seek out, drink up, and be merry. Simply amazing. (1,129 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Nose: big wood fire smoky malt dominates.
Pours dark brown under a thick, rocky off-white foam cap.
Big wood smoke flavors weave around the typical bock spicy malt flavors suggest bacon.
Very smooth and creamy with medium to medium high body and medium to medium low carbonation
The perfect beer to drink with a BLT. (317 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a small tan head that leaves lacing on the side of the glass.
Aroma is of smoky sausage.
Flavor is smoky and sweet.
This is a great smoky beer. Very drinkable. Beers like this remind me that I need more imports. (232 characters)

Photo of Andrew041180
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Wow. The appearance isn't particularly special, but everything else is. The smoky aroma fills my nose, with subtly sweet accents. The smoke isn't overpowering, but it is very present. The flavor is led by the wonderful liquid smoke, which just seeps into my mouth. Layered throughout is that subtle sweetness, which is mostly present on the back end. Very low bitterness. Given the flavors it is also incredibly clean and drinkable. Silky smooth and delicious. Not quite sure what this beer is lacking to make it a "5". (528 characters)

Photo of Gatch
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep ruby red with shades of brown. A big, foamy, frothy light-brown head leaving behind good lace and decent retention.

S: Perfect nose. Wood smoke, roasted malt, earth.

T: I'm going to be straight with this one...the best tasting Rauchbier on the market. Incredible. Less smoky than the Marzen, which in my opinion is great because it allows the other flavors to come through. Extremely balanced with delicious malt and wood flavor. The finish is exquisite.

M: Super smooth, the easiest drinking Rauchbier I've tasted, and tons of flavor with the right amount of carbonation.

O: Simply the top Rauchbier in the world. When you see this, no matter if you like the style or not, buy it!

Note: Pairs very well with a robust, high-quality cigar. (751 characters)

Photo of PorterLambic
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is truly amazing! By far, the absolute best smoke beer I've had.
Pours a deep, dark reddish brown with a tan head, what little of it there is.
The smell is pure "beef cooking on a wood fire" smoky. A friend says it smells like beef jerky. An odd comment but very accurate.
The taste is exactly like it smells, rich and smooth, very well balanced, with a stong smoke flavor.
Not as creamy as expected, comparable to a Guinness (in many aspects), but goes down very smooth and easy.
Drinkability is a very high. Very obvious smoke flavor, which I truly enjoyed, repeatedly. This beer is absolutely fabulous with bratwurst or other smoky meats & strong flavored foods. A "must try" beer. (699 characters)

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
92 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.