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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

204 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 204
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 59
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 03-25-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 204 | Reviews: 101
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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

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5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Gutes_Bier
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of corby112
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been searching for this beer for years and actually had a chance to try it last year during Philly Beer Week. It was on tap at the Yards brewery during the Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em festival. I arrived an hour after the event began and it was already gone. Curses! I heard that this was on at Bierkraft in Brooklyn so I drove there today to pick up a couple of growlers. I love this brewery and this is the only beer they brew that I haven't had yet. I'm very excited to finally get to try it.

Pours a cloudy, dark copper/mahogany color with dark, golden ruby/orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger soapy, light yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Sporadic chunks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Another amazing smelling beer from Schlenkerla. Lots of smokey toasted malt with hints of campfire, earthy oak, barbecue and bacon. Although the rauch/smoke notes dominate the nose, it is not one dimensional at all. There are hints of earthy oak, caramel malt, bready yeast and faint hops. Of these later characteristics, the oak and caramel are most prevalent. It's a nice change of pace to be able to smell something other than butane in this style of beer. Don't get me wrong I love smoke bombs but the nose on this beer is very complex and unlike any other beer of the style that I've come across before.

Full bodied which is not surprising for a lent beer but I still wasn't expecting the mouthfeel to be so dense. Nice and smokey yet still well balanced by other flavors making it extremely complex and drinkable. Slightly nutty with lots of toasty malt and bready yeast notes contributing to the full body with a surprisingly strong oak presence and some nice crisp hop bitterness. The hop presence was much more prominent that I had expected and it was a very pleasant surprise. Although these other flavors are present, this beer is still dominated by smoked malt. Lots of smokey campfire flavor with hints of bacon, barbecue, charcoal and burnt toast. As in the nose, there are a lot of different elements contributing to the complexity of this beer. In one sip you get smoke, oak, nut, caramel and bitter dry hops all complimenting each other without anything becoming to overpowering, even the smokiness. Incredibly quaffable and absolutely delicious. Highly recommended!

Photo of rgriffin
4.96/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of Damayor
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL. An incredible smoked beer available for a very short tIme during lent. If you are a smoked beer fan this is a must try. This is so drinkable that even if you are just thinking of trying a smoked beer this is the one to try, you will be hooked as this version is a "gateway" smoked beer. Don't fear the smoke and enjoy!

Photo of wnh
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at The Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL. I almost passed, because I was underwhelmed by the smoked marzen, but my wonderful wife reasoned with me and convinced me to order it. According to both the restaurant menu and the Schlenkerla website, Fastenbier is available only on tap, only during Lent, and at less than a dozen locations stateside. A once in a lifetime opportunity, it very well could be.

The brew came to me in a large Schlenkerla glass. Held up to the light, it's a deep, clear mahogany with what I can best describe as an incredibly 'crisp' look to it. Two fingers' worth of lightly foamy off-white head, which subsides to a thin film in due course.

The nose is big and smoky, with hints of bacon and other smoked meat. Not unlike sniffing a campfire, or perhaps thick country bacon fried in a cast iron skillet over a campfire. There's some sweet malt that eventually pokes its way through to temper the smoke, but this is most definitely a smoke-forward beer, and a great one at that.

Fastenbier tastes largely like it smells. Wonderfully smoky up-front, but fascinatingly minimal enough. I was dreading a beer that tasted liked liquid smoke, but I was pleasantly surprised by how subtle the smoke was. The smoke is big and flavorful, don't get me wrong, but it manages to be just enough, to stop just short of being overwhelming. Like the nose, there is a great malty backbone that tempers the smoke. This is pleasantly and even surprisingly well balanced, increasingly so as I get to the bottom of the glass.

A pleasingly mouth-coating thickness is cut by the carbonation so that the overall feel is of medium body. Smooth to drink, which I appreciated in a rauchbier. I was really caught off guard by just how drinkable this was. Sipping and tasting while taking notes, and before I knew it it was half gone. The pour was somewhere in the vicinity of 22 oz, and I would gladly have had another if there weren't other beers to try. If I ever again find myself in an establishment with this available, I won't think twice about ordering it.

Photo of jbsteiny
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I’d heard that Schlenkerla is legendary for their Rauchbiers – now I know why. I’ve always liked the style, but this beer took it to the next level. Cloudy red-brown in the pint glass with an off-white head and good retention. The smell absolutely blew me away – like hickory barbecue, like a bonfire, it made me feel I was in a cabin on a snowy night. Thank you Blind Tiger and Schlenkerla!

Is it possible that it tasted even better than it smelled? This is what I wrote down last night before I put my notebook away: “Awesome. Heavy malts balanced by big smoke and slight hop bitterness. Dry finish. Spectacular.”

Photo of jimspivey8
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Dilly Deli in Mariemont, OH.

Appearance: Deep clear amber, tending towards reddish, with a light tan, creamy, short-lived head.

Smell: Dominated by a most delicious smoky aroma. Seemed mellower and more restrained than most rauchbiers. Sweet caramelized malt notes underneath. Hops subdued.

Taste: This was a shocker! Having tried their Marzen and Urbock before, I was expecting a beer dominated by smoky flavors. This is not the case at all though. The hops are huge in this beer, both in bitterness and flavor. The aroma does not prepare you for it at all. The spicy taste of the hops blends beautifully with the mildly sweet maltiness and the smoky undertones. This is a beautifully balanced beer, which I never thought was possible for a Rauchbier.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth, and perfectly carbonated. The hops and smoke leave a tingly feeling that is wonderful, like fresh ground pepper.

Drinkability: This is by far the most drinkable Rauchbier I've ever tasted. Usually the smoke gets old halfway through a pint, but after two 12 oz glasses with dinner (a cheddar cheeseburger with onions), I still would have gladly drank more.

Many thanks to the Dilly Deli for procuring one of only 2 kegs brought into Ohio. This was a rare treat that really exceeded my expectations.

Photo of Longstaff
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sample from a growler that was procured from Max's in Baltimore by one fantastic BA. Growler was filled to the rim on Easter Sunday and carefully driven up the east coast during a driving rain storm, carefully packed on ice, sealed with electrical tape, and enjoyed on Easter Monday.

Poured out with a creamy dark tan head that sat ontop of a dark garnet, fading to black body. Initial aromas of classic Schlenkerla beechwood smoke. When it warmed, I dectected slightly fruity aromas peeking through with earthy/spicy hops trying helplessly to be noticed through the cloud of smoke. Creamy mouthfeel exploded with smoke flavors reminiscent of sitting around the campfire roasting marshmellows which lead to sweet caramel and pils malt flavors. Clean middle quickly turns bitter and clean, almost flavorless hop resins coat the tounge, throat, and lips. Each sip loads your mouth with smoke, sugary sweet malt, and squeeky clean hop bitterness in succession that keeps you begging for another sip.

An unbelievable smoked session beer that could replace any food and leave you satisfied. Although it goes great with smoked ham and radishes. I was deeply dissapointed when the growler was finished. Guess I'll have to wait until next year - or brew my own.

Photo of Ralphs66
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of mattsmith413
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of alalvarez75
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of mmmbirra
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Fuller mouthfeel than the maerzen. Rounder, softer, and a touch sweeter. The smoke isn't nearly as intense, and the lighter malts come through, with a good a little hop flavor in the aftertaste.
Great beer, and a great change of pace from the standard maerzen.

Photo of mitchellaneous
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of decay_of_mind
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of jpcool9
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of Derek
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this from a wooden cask at the brewery on March 23, 2006. This fastenbier is similar to a doppelbock... the alcohol content must be higher than indicated.

A: Mohoganny, off-white head, great retention and lace.

S: Smokey and spicey like a sausage!

T: Dark bread, caramel, spice, raisin, warming alcohol. It starts sweet, bitterness comes through the middle, finishes with a somewhat spicey aftertaste. Truly exceptional!

M: Moderate to full body is creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Easier (more well-rounded) than their other Rauchbiers (and even some doppelbocks!).

One of the most incredible tasting beers I've tasted!

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Brick Store a bit ago, served in the appropriate Aecht glass. This is awonderful beer, and especially good on tap. IMO, this is definitely the best of their rauchbiers. It's the most balanced and there is a whole lot more than just smoke going on here.

A perfect pour for this style. Great head that leaves excellent lacing throughout the session and sticks around. Slightly hazy chestnut in color. Balanced malt and smoke aromas- this doesn't seem like ham in a glass, but much more subtle and interesting than that. There is quite abit of bitterness in the mix as well that adds to the intrigue, the bitterness especially makes this far from one dimensional. The taste is similar with a great herbal bitterness that nicely balances the smoke. Very complex with all sorts of things changing moment by moment- bitter, sweet, smokey, herbal, woody. Mouthfeel is a bit woody and tannic which also plays well with the smoke and cuts through the big flavors. Extremely enjoyable. I must have had six of these over the week it was on. Very special- don't make a final judgement about Rauchbier until you try this one.

Photo of Soneast
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wooden cask tapped at the Malt House in Madison. Pours a deep amber to red/brown color, develops a huge, pillowy, mesa-like, light brown colored head that remains on the beer through the entire glass.

Aroma starts out with the expected smokiness, but the grainy-like malt aromatics are not lost. The aroma really brings to mind that old world, mashed/brewed over a wood fire, character.

The flavor has a nice up-front typical German lager malt presence with some nice grainy bread/cracker flavors that jumps right into a smooth smokey character. Very well balanced with pilsner malt and rauchmalt flavors. And quite delicious! Despite being pulled from a cask the carbonation is pretty decent, lending an overall creamy mouthfeel to the beer.

Man I'm I happy to have tried this one. One of the best rauchbiers to ever touch my lips. I do enjoy the intense bacony-smoke flavors of the likes of Urbock and Marzen, but this beer really brings all that intense smokiness down a level making it incredibly well balanced and easily the most drinkable rauchbier I've ever had.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at deep ellum, in allston, MA. tasted in mid-late march 2009.

served in branded .5L seidel

gemstone clear, brownish dark amber. large head is foamy and puffy, slowly fading to a constant thin layer. great curtains of lace all down the glass!

great smokey aroma of meaty bacon and ham. hint of freshly cured leather, moving into a subtle grassy hop note, all on top of a solid caramel malt foundation.

taste: a blast of flavor! dark caramel sweetness is immediately accompanied by the bacon smokiness, and bitterness from both the grassy noble hop and roasted malt. hint of apple esters. smokey, hoppy finish with more light malty caramel notes.

light body, but surprisingly smooth, with a pleasant, faint astringent texture flashing in the finish. mild to moderate carbonation is actually quite creamy.

wow! what a find! a complete revelation!

that said, it's probably hard to drink more than one big seidel of this unless you're really thirsty and/or have a bunch of well-matched food to eat along with it. the smokiness and robustness of flavor actually does not provide for infinite drinkability.

Photo of jfcaa193
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
94 out of 100 based on 204 ratings.