Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

271 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 121
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 8.22%
Wants: 61
Gots: 19 | FT: 1
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: 271 | Reviews: 121
Photo of Sammy
3.54/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bullfrog brewery, the guest tap. This smoked lager/helles had a yellow body,w hisp of white head, and some lace lines. Bit of smoke, light mouthfeel. Smoked flavour was decent. Minerally, balanced with a bit of malt for drinkability, hits the mark.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thick 2 finger head with excellent retention on a clear deep amber body. Aroma is like a meat dominated breakfast with ham and bacon combined with mesquite and BBQ aromas. Flavor is mild which is good for the style with a very smooth toasted malt and mesquite flavor finishing smokey with BBQ notes. Medium body and lighter side of moderate carbonation. This is a very highly drinkable smoked beer with an excellent chocolate and caramel sweetness. Definitely the most drinkable rauchbeir and one of the best tasting of the style I have had. Very well balanced.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico - Alexandria. Served in a stange.

Pours a moderate brown color with some copper highlights. Off-white head forms at a few fingers and lingers for a bit before falling into a thin cap. A bit of lacing. The nose carries a light amount of oak as well as what is reminiscent of oak. Light malt with a bit of toast. Smoke is not overwhelming. Smoke hits the palate really well in the flavor--not overpowering, but definitely the dominant character. Light woody and earthy characteristics and a bit of toasted malt. The mouthfeel is really nice--a bit of smoke as well as an almost-creamy texture. Really, really well done. One of the best smoked beers I've come across.

Photo of Knapp85
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This poured out as a reddish looking brown color with a very thin white colored head on top. The head settles quickly and leaves no lacing... The smell of the beer is smoked, there is no doubt about it. The aroma of this beer though it not quite as smokey as some of the other brews from this brewery. The taste of thee beer was pretty good, mostly smokey malts with a light saltiness and a bit of toasted flavors in there too. The mouthfeel was a little watery I thought. Overall this brew was pretty good, I liked it as it was but can't say that I thought it was the best out of all of them.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap: Poured a clear light maple color ale with a small foamy head with average retention. Aroma consists of smoked malt with light woody notes and floral undertones. Taste is dominated by easy drinking notes of smoked malt with light wood notes and floral undertones. Body is full with somewhat of a fat mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Great mix between complexity and drinkability.

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt. Clear mahogany brown with a lasting off-white cap. Smells like a ham sandwich: smoked meat, saltiness and dark crusty bread are all covered. There's a little bit of sweetness, too. Light on the tongue, less sweet than Schlenkerla's marzen or ur-bock, this is sort of like a session rauchbier. Unlike their helles, the meaty, woody smoke character doesn't hold any punches here; it's the dominant flavor, with a bready, toasted malt backbone rounding out the flavor. I really enjoyed this one on the whole, possibly my favorite from this brewery behind their excellent helles.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler courtesy of EriktheRed. I had been in search of this one for a while so needless to say I was thrilled to finally land it. Served chilled and poured into a 24 ounce pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 05/16/2009.

The pour was dark brown, caramel in color with a minimal head on top of it. Smooth look with a nice bit of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass. Rich aroma, shit this was the most intense smelling smoked beer I had ever run across. Rich smoked malts, like smoked beef just overtake everything. Like a campfire in my living room, insane. As it warms some nice touches of peat are all over. Carries over well into the flavor as every taste is rich, smokier, and more pronounced then the one before. Huge flavor here as the smooth, light, and even body of it made it soo damn sessionable I threw down my first glass and was turning around looking for more.

Overall outstanding. This was the definition of the smoked beer I was looking for. Super drinkable and a near perfect example of the style.

Photo of emerge077
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at Map Room...

PInt served in a curvy Schlenkerla glass, rings of webby lace, a hazy deep unfiltered brown-amber.

Mild smoke in the nose, even and not too heavy.

Taste is a mixture of the robust smoky malt, and a bock-like lager. Beefy but not over the top. Easy enough to session, i'm eating my words about the sessionable Brazilian Rauchbier that was reviewed yesterday. Earthy malt and a very mild hop define the middle and end of the brew, with the ever present smoke.

Balanced with a good level of carbonation, this is second only to the Helles for sessionability.

Photo of TMoney2591
2.93/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lexington Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

Finishing the night with a beer I've always had a knack for missing while it's temporarily on tap. Luckily, I found some bottles. It pours a deep topaz topped by plenty of cream foam. The nose comprises slightly muted beech and hickory smoke hanging over some sweet caramel. The taste holds notes of caramel, gauze, light roasted malts, and some dry wood smoke palling the aftertaste. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, this was a decided disappointment for me. The smoke is overly phenolic, the aftertaste is disconcerting, and the overall atmosphere is just a downer. Not at all up to Schlenkerla's usual standards.

Photo of nickfl
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured with a small, one finger head of off-white foam that dissipates quickly and leaves moderate lace. The body is a hazy, dark amber color.

S - A subtle and smoky aroma that melds with the caramel of the malt. The smoke has a smooth hickory quality to it that reminds me of an old BBQ joint.

T - Lightly sweet caramel malt up front with some brown chicory flavors that are produced by the interaction of the bready caramel malt and the smoke. Some spicy notes of cinnamon and smoke come out in the middle and fade to a smooth finish of brown sugary malt, spicy hops, and creamy smoke. Lingering notes of pulled pork and smoldering wood.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Excellent smooth smoke character with a perfectly balanced malt profile. Obviously smoked beers tend to be something that most people either love or hate, but I have always thought that a few bad examples have given the whole style a bad name. This beer, even more than the rest of the Schlenkerla lineup proves that theory with its balanced and masterful use of smoke in the beer's flavor profile. It blends so well with the malt and turns a pretty standard lager into something truly extraordinary. Very drinkable, this is something that any open minded beer drinker could enjoy.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 1/13/2010 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of smoked ham, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is very smoky with a strong meaty flavor to it. There's a mild caramel sweetness in the background and a hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but exactly where it should be for this type of beer. As you continue do drink the beer the ham-like flavor fades but the smokiness remains. The after-taste is likewise smoky.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, the smokiness was a little too strong for me but it's a good beer overall.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a friend pick out my last beer of the night at Max's and was presented with this. Smells like a straight up campfire.. the smokiness in the aroma was as pungent as I've ever smelt in a beer. Was a bit worried about how the taste would be, but man was I blown away... it tastes like a campfire, but it's also delicious. Smoked meat and bacon flavors come through and it's flavorful and incredibly well balanced. Goes down smoothly with a great finish. By far one of the best smoked beers I've had and would order another one the next chance I get, worth seeking out for sure!

Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Bar on Buena. Poured in an 50cl Aecht Schlenkerla glass that looked halfway between a stange and a pint glass.

A - Two fingers of tan foam with excellent retention and glass-coating lacing. Lovely transparent cherry brown color, with lots of small bubbles rising to the top. Terrific looking brew.

S - While most smoke beers imply bacon through hickory, smoke, and sweet caramel malts this one really smells like bacon. Tons of all the aforementioned smells with a heft dose of meatiness. There's also the faintest hint of floral hops. Really potent nose on this one. I can't in good conscience give a rauchbier a perfect score in smell, as it's a pretty polarizing bouquet. If you love bacon and smoke though, this is probably as close to perfect as it gets.

T - The taste is less smokey and bacon-y and decidedly maltier, with some breadiness to it as well. The smoke leaves a lingering aftertaste of mild sour wood, but the body is all sweetness with a hint of the floral hops again. Not quite as impressive as the smell, but still pretty good.

M - Medium body, incredibly smooth and creamy with a light carbonation tingle that matches the smoky character. The residual feel is sticky but with a grittiness that comes with smoked/charred foods. Could be a tiny more viscous.

D - Definitely the most drinkable of the rauch/smoke beers I've tried. The slightly lower ABV than the regular Aecht offerings, and the mild aftertaste and residual feel make this surprisingly sessionable. Wish this was a year-round offering and not only for Lent. Worth seeking out, especially for lovers of the style.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Town Hall Brewery, $5 for 10 oz....never even seen it in bottles, so I had to try it out!

Clear, reddish/amber-y hue, firm cushion of cottony, off-white head holds court above.

Aroma: sausage, pepporoni, ham sammiches...smo-KEY! Boisterous smoked malt aroma, meaty, beaty, big, & bouncy, with light noble hops accompanying.

Taste: smooth & malty, but fully flavorful, juicy malt entertains the tastebuds, fruity flavors bump in for a bit, hops are light, body is medium, and the finish is long and malty.

Smokey feel persists, but remains mellow in the mouth. Long lasting, malt has a marzen feel to it...not sure what style "fastenbier" is supposed to be...a Lenten fasting beer? It would suit me, if were ever inclined towards self-discipline. I thought a bock, which they already do, would cover that category for those who aren't so severe in their austerity.

Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light amber color. Relatively clear. Appropriate head with spotty lace.

This is one helluva smoky beer. If you like, you'll love. If you don't, avoid.

Smoke is the predominate flavor but it's more mellow than the smell suggests. Still, this beer is about experiencing the smoke. Good body. Short aftertaste.

Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was quite excited to get this on tap at Churchkey the other night. #1 Rauchbier, how could I resist. This also means I have had all the beers from this brewery that are currently indexed on this site or on the brewery's website. That's a little exciting.

Beer is served in a snifter, beer is cloudy and reddish brown and forms a huge, obnoxious head that falls away quickly leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is like bacon, definite smoke character. Not as strong as their other offerings but it smells like salty, roasty, wood and meat.

Beer is a little thin on the palate, much thinner than their other offerings. Its surprisingly smooth. The flavors are as the smells were, bacon, roast, smoke, wood, it tastes pretty good. Mouthfeel is good, carbonation carries it well and there really isn't an aftertaste. Its not dry and pretty well balanced. All that said, its OK for drinkability but I don't think I'd drink much of it in a sitting. Would likely zap my palate.

I have to say that I've come around on these rauchbiers in the last year a lot. Its been a rough road but I understand them now and semi-look forward to trying additional examples.

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into pine glass; no bottle dating, but is a recent release. Pours lightly cloudy deep ruby red color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of huge wood smoke, caramel, toast, brown bread, brown sugar, light char, herbal, pepper, light pine, and herbal/smokey earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready/smoked malt and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big wood smoke, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light char, herbal, pepper, light pine, and herbal/smokey earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of wood smoke, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, light char, herbal, pepper, light pine, and herbal/smokey earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/smoked malt and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavor with zero yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome hoppy Rauchbier style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/smoked malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap April 2010 @ ChurchKey, Washington DC
This beer arrives from the tap with a huge head (at least for a tap beer), it is two-fingers in height, quite structurally solid looking, leaves lots of lacing as it subsides and is a light tan color. Big smoke aromatics are noticeable from the get go. The beer itself is an almost brilliantly clear when held up to the light where it shows a deep red-amber color; as it sits on the table it is a dark plum color. Rich smoke aromatics that leans towards almost salty / brine-like in character, while some of the malt character seems to soften the smokiness in the finish.

All the carbonation seems to have been knocked out of this beer during its service from the tap, so it is quite smooth feeling, but it still has some viscous heft to it. The smoke flavors are more subtle than the aroma would have suggested, but it is still the dominant note (especially in the finish). Up front there is a nice, sweet maltiness that helps to balance the smoke. There are almost some berry like flavors to this beer; perhaps from the maillard maltiness that is not really caramel, but definitely rich. Flavors of umami and peat-smoke (even though this is beechwood smoked malt) are also noticeable here. This is definitely a beer that has a big smoke character to it, but I am a sucker for beers like this so it definitely hits the spot.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

A: Cloudy, reddish orange hues. Small to medium head with little lacing.

S: This is where all Aecht Schlenkerla beers excel. This beer smells like a beautiful late summer campfire. Charred meat, heavy smoke, summer sausage, and burnt malt.

T: The taste falls directly in line with the aroma. This isn't necessarily a complex brew, but it has amazing, unique flavors that make this beer a must try. It has similarities to a fine Islay scotch, like Lagavulin. It's like drinking in a campfire. Really tasty, and pairs very well with strong cheeses and meat.

M: Thin feel, moderately low carbonation.

D: It's really easy to drink this beer. However, one is plenty for me, as the smokiness, while done expertly, and mouthfeel lower the rate of consumption.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a soft cloudy white head, average retention, light lace.

S: Smoke all the way, wood, nice smell, if a bit one-dimensional.

T: Very much a smoke dominated flavour, if not as robust as the classic Marzen. Full malt flavour, well made, not very complex, but a fan of this style will be pleased.

M: Fairly light-boided, soft carbonation with a thin finish.

O: Certainly an enjoyable beer that would go great with some BBQ. Think of this as Schlenkerla Light and enjoy it for what it is.

Photo of yourefragile
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4 oz sample at Rustico served in a mini snifter.

Pours a clear ruby amber with a finger of creamy tab head that fades to a collar and thick sheets of lace. Bacon and smokey aroma, roast malt and mild sweetness in the finish. Flavor is very smooth and balanced. Fairly light body with fine, soft carbonation and a clean finish. Slightly sweet malt presence throughout, much less meaty or abrasive than some rauchs with a pleasant smokiness throughout that gracefully fades out through the finish.

Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a tulip of fastenbier at Crescent & Vine in Astoria. Honestly, it's pretty similar to the rest of Schlenkerla's rauchbiers. Aside from the dark amber color, it's also a crisper and a touch lighter. The smoked malts are cleaner. As in, this beer doesn't just taste like bacon, it has a dusty flour and bready malt undertone to is. The dark malts are hard to pull out, but there's a slight hit of smooth caramel malt. I think it's my favorite of the brewery's many smoked beers.

Photo of smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a becher Aecht Schlenkerla pint glass. Vintage 2015.

Fluffy booming but easily controlled head top, three fingers on the punch with creamy and fluffy big retention and a cream dark brown color to almost dark vanilla white. Body color is deep copper up to the light, chestnut brown overall with deep red notes in the center of the glass. Still a classic looker.

Aroma can't be beat. Sweet malts, moderate smoke, and salivating salty sausage and meat jerky with a great balance. Soft bacon, campfires and greatness.

Palate hits all the right notes. SLight creamy character, but not as big as on tap, and even some very playful prickly carbonation, but doesn't take away from the feel. Chewy malt density and softness with light smoke character and even a touch of sweet brown sugar but oh so slightly. Sweet leaf tobacco finish just ever so slightly as well.

Looks like Schlenkerla can do no wrong.

-----------------
Old previous review April 2011

Poured on tap into a tumbler at Pizza Paradiso DC.

In appearance a light off cream white head is present that slowly falls. A real gorgeous red cherry wood like body that is clear as well. Some small lacing while drinking. Love the color on this real nice.

Nose is good but more subdued than other Aecht smoke offerings. Mild smell of classic Rauchbier smoke, but there is a hint of bitterness smelling almost behind this as well.

Taste is at first very malty and less smokey than what seems on the nose. There is a real nice mellow hop finish it seems but also a bit of carbonation too. Almost herbal tea like.

Overall pretty solid, glad I had it and would have again at the drop of a hat.

Look 4.5 | Smell 4 | Taste 4.5 | Feel 4 | Overall 4

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 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!

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
94 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.