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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
142 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
142
Ratings:
323
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
12%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
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Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany | website

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is an unfiltered smokebeer, brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Bottom-fermenting yeast gives the reddish brown lentbeer a natural cloudiness. Its smokey aroma is already noticeable in the smell, combined with a fine hoppy note. In the drink the fullbodied, highly drinkable lentbeer shows its strong malty flavour, rounded up with the smokey taste and a light bitterness. Due to the nourishing yeast, the Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer has the "Brotzeit already included" (German word for afternoon snack).

Added by Bierman9 on 03-25-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 142 | Ratings: 323
Photo of Beginner2
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer to fast with !
I saved this one for Lent and, frankly, it might be a good thing if Lent ca twice a year.
This is now my fifth of Schlenkerla's smoked beers. This may the best and the ratings support that.

All five seem similar. But if I really studied them (as I hope to), the differences will become more apparent.

I find it interesting that so many brewers have tried to copy/improve Schlenkerla's process; particularly the smoking of the malts... and that none of the ratings come close to the masters of the style.

Much I have read about this one-of-a-kind, another-planet brew. But the most interesting comes from Garrett Oliver's "Brewmasters' Table": "Once you get over the initial shock of the flavor of smoked beer, you may find the strangest thing happening. Suddenly, almost everything seems to go with smoked beer. I'm not kidding. I've had smoked beer with Chinese food.. and with Thai food... I've even had this beer with Mexican food..."

Tonight, I am glad to add to the list. My wife made a Middle Eastern lentil soup with cumin. It is beyond my understanding how all these different spices are drawn out by a brew that basically twists the German lager process by smoking the malt.

In answering my limited understanding, Garrett's brilliance comes to the rescue: ""it may be a stretch, but we almost have a prehistoric memory from when much of our food came into direct contact with fire... But I decided to stop trying to explain. I bought a case of Schlenkerla."

Good advice !

Had again on 5/1/16, Orthodox Easter.
I didn't change a word after reading through my review.
Nailed that one... and more important, so did Schlenkerla.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours clear, copper with an huge, three finger high, beige headthat leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Smoke, campfire, sausage, leather, meat, bread, bacon, cured meats and wood. Absolutely wonderful!
Taste: Caramel malt, ash, smoke, wood, burnt firewood, sweetness, bacon, sausage and ham.
Mouthfeel: Smooth! Madium body and light to medium carbonation. Did I say smooth?

Wow! This is so beautiful! I'm just sad I haven't started my Kamado Joe with a big Sirloin Steak that would pair perfectly!
It's smokey, tasty, smooth... Well you just GOT to try this!
In Sweden it sells at a great price: 28:90 SEK (3.4 USD, 3.05 EUR) for 500 ml (16.9 oz)

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Photo of bark
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The colour is red-brown (60 EBC), the liquid is somewhat hazy. The four finger beige head is compact; it sinks very slowly leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is fresh and smoky with lots of delicatessen and some forest fire. Tar and asphalt in the background. Sweet bread a touch of floral hops and iron.

The first taste is bitterer than the Märzen of the same brewery, it is also dryer and a bit lighter. The smoke isn’t as fat and overwhelming as that beer. This makes the Fastenbier more drinkable and refreshing. It is, of course, mostly about the well-integrated smoked malt but also about the floral-grassy hops. Some brown bread and rye crispbread. Medium to light body. The aftertaste got semi-sweet notes of brown sugar and molasses, smoked salami (with a pitch of salt) and sticky golden syrup sweetness. The surprisingly smooth finish is caramel-sweet and a bit smoked.

The carbonation is medium strong, the many mid-sized bubbles are fresh and long-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth and a bit sticky.

Compared to the Märzen Rauchbier, this one got more hops and a lighter smoke flavour making it booth more accessible and drinkable. Very pleasant.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 PINT 0.9 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a dimpled mug

This beer pours a deep rust color with copper highlights. It is topped with about four inches of tan head that subsides and leaves some lacing.

It has a great smoky nose. The sweetness of the malt compliments the smokiness. I even get a little floral hops. At times I swear I can smell bacon or ham.

It begins sweet and smoky. Through the middle and into the finish creeps a mild hops bitterness which scrubs the sweetness leaving a smoky, candied bacon finish.

Moderate to thin mouthfeel

I have yet to dislike a beer from Schlenkerla. It's like barbecue in a bottle.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Maybe because of my unfamiliarity with these smoky beers but the ones I've had just seem like hot dog flavored lagers. Which sounds disgusting on the surface. However, I have enjoyed the smoked beers I've had and this may be the best so far. Again, I'm not familiar with these enough to give a substantial review. This one has a nice candied sweetness on the finish I liked. Not a style I would go to regularly but I like them well enough to revisit from time to time.

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Photo of DemoniChris
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Effervescent, lightly amber. Nice head. Brilliant spectacle.

S - CANDIED BACON!

T - Nice and smokey. The bacon delivers in full force but is not cloying or overbearingly sweet. Such a fucking phenomenal balance with the malt bill here. WOW.

M - Smooth like butter. Drinks so easy. Very appropriate for the style.

O - WOW. This is easily the best rauchbier I've had. Their Urbock is so close, yet so far from the level of this brew. I wish this was more easily accessible; I'd buy it all the time!

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Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - murky copper brown colored body with tan head

Smell - smoke, ham, smoked meat, burnt firewood, hint of cinnamon

Taste - similar notes to the aroma, smoke, ham, smoked meat, burnt firewood, caramel, hint of cinnamon

Mouthfeel - medium bodied,medium carbonation, smoked meat/burnt firewood upfront, slight caramel sweetness in the back end

Overall - not a style that I drink frequently, but this wasnt a bad beer. The smoke takes a lot of getting used to, but at the same time, the smoke isn't overwhelming.

Price Point - $4.79/16.9 oz bottle

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Photo of ordybill
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500ML bottle into a pint glass.
This is a nice smoky beer that pours a muddy brown color with a medium sized off-white head
The flavor is really enjoyable with a fruity / smoke flavor.

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Photo of Chaz
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark cola brown in color. Adequate carbonation and is topped with a big, billowing pale-tan head. Good duration and good lacing. Hazey...

Nose is smoke and "band-aids", if you can dig that. Iodine.

Pretty easy-drinking on the first sip. Smoke an ioditic compounds, a fairly baletic interplay of very light, bready malt and much stronger smoked malt characters. It's not at all for the faint of heart, I suppose, but is a very hearty "food beer'.

Mouthfeel is almost light and refreshing all things considered, but it is in the "medium bodied" range as far as most styles are concerned.

It is a flavor profile (and treatment overall) which may be off-putting to many who reach for a beer as a simple thirst-quencher, but for what it is this one is a complex but also very easy-drinking lagerbier, and a GREAT 'food beer' for those who have developed a taste for smoked beer styles. It is definitely recommended for those with a taste for the unusual.

This is probably a tough one to rate whether it is fresh or aged a bit (as this one is), but it is very good, and perhaps even approachable to those with novice palate (for such a style) -or- those individuals who find the stronger and more assertive (Eiche!) brand too overbearing.

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Photo of metter98
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is somewhat hazy dark amber in color (brown when viewed from afar) and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a inger high off white head that died down, leaving a short head covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of iodine are present in the nose along with notes of smoked malts. The smell is somewhat reminiscent of Band-Aids.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has strong flavors of iodine along with notes of smoked malts. Little if any bitterness is present, but there are enough underlying hops to prevent any malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't nearly as smoky compared the original Schlenkerla and has a lot more iodine in the smell and taste. It's also quite drinkable considering the fuller body mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Glowing amber tan with film of beige. 3.75
Campfire nose. 4
Pomegranate and caramel, some sweet BBS sauce, delicate toffee and the smoke comes in late. 4.25
Smooth, round, crisp. 4

Sweet and smoke, but with hints of applely brightness. The fruitiness of theirs I’ve had, and wrapped in lagery lightness. Delicate and expert. 4.25

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Photo of cjgiant
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle:
Pours a nice deeper brown, with billowing head on an aggressive pour. Head retention is awesome.
Nose is mostly smoke, burnt wood, with just a feel of malty sweetness.

Taste is like the nose, burnt wood providing the backbone for some earthiness, a bit of spice bite, and a light caramel sweetness. Some dark fruit comes out really late into the pour. The feel is surprisingly a bit flat, but not distracting my so.

Need to do a side-by-side(-by side?) of this brewery's beers at some point.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 0.5L bottle into a pint glass, dark red brown with a short tan head that dissipates leaving little lacing, clear

S: smells like smoked ham hocks, country ham, bacon

T: tastes like liquid smoked meat, think deep south collard greens with way too much smoked pork added in for flavor, in essence delicious

M: lighter with low carbonation

O: barbecue a beer with a huge amount of hickory smoke

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Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a muddy amber brown in the glass, with light foaming.
It’s lightly smoked, with a gentle wisp of burnt wood. The beer itself is pleasantly approachable, with a faint smoke note atop a light caramel malt body. I found this wonderfully enjoyable. Loved every sip.

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Photo of wedge
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful dark copper color with a small, nicely creamy looking head. Smell is smokey, as expected, with ham, campfire, peppery spice, grassy hops, and a little yeast. Fresh smokey flavor with a balancing caramel sweetness. Tobacco, leather, wood fire, and nuts. On the lighter side of medium and very easy to drink. Despite some sweetness, the finish is dry and light. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of tastybeer
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly reddish brown beer with a white smooth looking head. Aroma is smokey camp fire, burnt wood, meaty seasonings, tobacco, and other things like that. Taste follows with more smokey meat and wood/bark and maybe a little vanilla. Good texture and easy to drink.

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Photo of Beric
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: Holy Saturday 2015

Can't believe I forgot to review this one, but here goes:

Appearance: This beer looks like shit. Massive floaties in the beer moving slowly around like I chewed up a cracker and backwashed a hundred times. The color is brown with a nice amber tint to it when held up to the light. Floaties accumulated on bottom of glass.

Smell: Lots of smoke in the nose as one would suspect. The smoke is a nice in-between from the meatier smoke of the Märzen and the more woodsy smoke of the Eiche- this one is like a campfire with a slab of ribs on it. Through the smoke, a nice dark-bread like sweetness.

Taste: Malts provide notes of dark, whole grain bread, pumpernickel, and dark molasses, while the smoked malt provides similar smoke characteristics as the nose. Substantial hop bitterness compared to other Schlenkerla options, in addition to an herbal hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high body with medium carbonation makes this one fuzzy in the mouth. The floaties also increase the body substantially.

Overall: If it weren't for the fact that the floaties in this beer makes it look awful, this would be an absolute gem of a beer. Pour softly if you don't want to floaties, but I believe the yeast adds to the body and character of the beer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.93/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2015. Purchased recently from Cotteridge Wines in Birmingham. This is Schlenkerla's Lent bier - a type that might in the past have been consumed by monks for Lent.

A: Poured into a dimpled pint mug. Bottle conditioned. A hazy reddish-brown hue with fine sediment and intense carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam with superb retention; this settles as a thick surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of rich smoky malt with hints of smoked bacon/ham, sweet caramel, mild grain, barley sugar, subtle yeast esters, a touch of kippers and faint stewed leaves. It really does call to mind a smoked ham. Fantastically balanced.

T: Tastes of smoky caramel malt with a restrained bitter finish. Notes of smoky grain, caramel, smoked ham, subtle barley sugar, earthy yeast, stewed leaves and a hint of kippers. Slightly sweet, followed by a subdued leafy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly with well-judged carbonation and excellent body. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of smoky caramel malt, mild sugar, faint yeast esters and leafy bitterness.

O: Superb - a world-class brew. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour possess a wonderful balance of smokiness and rich caramel malt, underpinned by an understated bitterness. Lovely body. Top-notch; the result of centuries of brewing and refinement. While I appreciate that smoked beers aren't for everyone, this should definitely be on your must-try list.

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Photo of thebeers
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty amber with a finger of white head. Smoked meat (bacon slabs, ham) dominates the aroma. Thin mouthfeel, not a lot of malt, but tons of smoke. Rauchbiers are not my thing. Somehow the label sucked me in to trying it anyhow. High ratings based on comparison to the few others I've had of this style.

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Photo of Cannybrew
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first rauchbier and I'm worried that I have started at the top and there is no bettering this delicious brew. Colour is a deep rusty brown with a nice head. Smell is smoke and spice. Taste is smoke and smooth sweetness. I'm in love!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with 2 fingers of head that lasts for a long while and leaves some nice sticky lacing

S: Very smoky up front, with notes of meat, wood, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Very much like a campfire

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the smoke and brings in notes of smoked meat, wood, caramel maltiness, and a hint of earthy hops. Almost salty smokey mid-way. Finishes with more smoke and light sweetness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: An amazing rauchbier that brings together smoke, meat, and wood (campfire!!) with just a touch of sweet maltiness and earthy hops. A must-try if you're a fan of the rauch!

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Photo of barczar
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Notes of tar, burnt crust, and smoke in aroma, with nutty malt sweetness providing contrast. Reminds me of smoked salmon, due to the saline character. Notes of raisins emerge late.

Flavor reveals a lightly sweet caramel malt backbone, with a fairly dry, nutty, surprisingly bitter finish. Smoke waves throughout, combining with hops to create a sensation of char. Fairly complex, this seems to be less smoky than their other beers, from what I recall...in flavor, anyway. A little more bitter than I'd prefer. Becomes herbal as it warms.

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Photo of JayQue
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good smoked beer. Poured into an Amstel pint mug. Muddy brown color with a lot of light coming through. Big, antique white head with slightly better than average retention and broken bands of lacing on the mug. Aroma is great. Smoky with some sweet malt underneath. Taste is exceptional as well. The smoke is the dominant flavor but it does not overpower the senses. Behind the smokiness is a fairly light crisp lager that is slightly sweet. Very drinkable. Mouthfeel is light like a lager should be and crisp. The smokiness is not overdone, you could drink a few of these. An outstanding beer.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
94 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.