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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

126 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 284
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 75
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

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

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).
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 284
Photo of jrallen34
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this on tap at the Map Room into a Schlenkerla glass.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a nice head and retention.

The aroma is nice with the typical smoke and pork and at the end a little wood and bread.

The taste is super nice and easy to drink. Lots of smoke and bacon.

The feel is nice and totally easy to drink.

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Photo of y2j2280
3.61/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - A fairly dark inviting amber hue with a thick foamy head

S - Upon initial nosing one can easily be confused by what can only be described as what would be the result of smoking fish wrapped in bacon in a fireplace.. and then attempting to eat the bacon-fat soaked embers

T - Every year in Memphis there is an international barbeque festival in which hundreds of lucky pigs are bless to be a party to, which for a pig would be tantamount to nirvana. The oversized smokers employed by the pitmasters accrue a healthy amount of grease in the traps underneath which are not much more than residue of charred wood and rendered flesh of some of the luckiest pigs in the world. If you were to empty the collective contents of every smoker at the festival into a single vat, and then decant a single portion into a pint glass, the result would be indistinguishable from Schlenkerla Fastenbier.

M - Medium feel, well-carbonated. I find that this works rather well with the taste and profile of this beverage.

D - Though this is a highly interesting style and expression of a rauchbier, it is not something that I would want to partake in more than once or so in a given month, and only in the winter months at that.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm really not a fan of Rauchbier but this one is a little more standable than most. Someone told me it was like bacon beer and although I agree that bacon makes everything better that doesn't mean that being bacon like makes something better. Basically, if you take a number of gulps, the smokiness starts to fade and the maltiness, which is quite impressive, comes through and you see why some people like this beer.

If you like Rauchbier, I think this might be a very good one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
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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Photo of jampics2
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Winking Lizard. One of the 100 beers on my World Beer Tour this year, already lost count ;)

A dark copper liquid in the goblet.

Smells of pork, campfire, hot peppers, smoked meat.

Amazing smoked taste. Really enjoyable for a rauch beer, I thought the deep smokey taste would be great with barbecue, a cigar, or something to break up the taste.

Thick enough and satisfying - nice carb.

On a curve due to it's powerful taste, this was very drinkable. I am happy to have gotten to try this.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of adamette
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. On tap at Beer Engine in Lakewood. Poured into clean, clear glass.

A Great fluffy head spills over the top of the glass over a brown with yellow edges body which looks very good indeed. Excellent lacing brings this to the point of not being able to improve it. 5.0

S That great smoked ham, cookout smell that I simply love from this brewery, it is one of my favorite beer smells. 4.5

T Great smoky taste (this is one of the best smoked ale tastes that you will find) with a nice malt background and then a kick of bitterness, possibly from hops, possibly from a big barley presence. A classic, woodsy taste that lingers, welcomly, well into the aftertaste. 4.5

M Nice and thick with a long aftertaste, this feel matches the greatness of the beer nicely. 4.0

D Really good for me with a welcoming ABV at 5.5% according to the display board at the Beer Engine but also a great, interesting, full taste. 4.5

Notes: The final beer listed here on BA from this brewery, all of them are excellent.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz counter-pressure filled growler from Bierkraft. Sitting in the fridge unmoved since purchase a couple of months ago; let's see how we've fared. Served at 50 degrees or so and up.

Pour is dark chocolaty brown with a dense, pillowy off-white head and stickage that comes in solid sheets.

Nose is pure smoke - sausagey campfire, that signature Schlenkerla nose.

Taste is superb. Instead of being steamrolled by the smoke like I expected, up front you get (obviously) smoke complemented by some great caramel and even chocolate notes. Oh yeah, more smoke. But more of a peaty, dry smoke rather than the thick sausage of the nose - perfect. Finish is clean-ish, some lingering notes of smoke and even cocoa.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, lush, with a crisp but light underlying carbonation. Nice.

Drinkability is phenomenal for what it is. This is one of the first true rauchbiers I've had a whole serving of, and drinking this one is much, much easier than I expected. So much balance for such an intense smokebomb.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of kenito799
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

10 oz pour at Memphis Tap Room, Fishington, Philly.

Medium brown with small head. Fantastic rauchbier aroma of sweet smoked meat and bacon. The thrid I have had from this brewery adn I have never been disappointed. The flavor is full on smokiness but surprisingly light. By memory I can't detect a lot of differemce from their Marzen. As with other rauchbiers from this brewery, amazingly drinkable...I don't get tired of this intense, wonderful smoky flavor. More!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from BA EriktheRed, thanks bro!

Pours hazy amber with a one inch head of stark white. Nice ringed lacework throughout the glass along with a solid skimcoat.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of smoked ham, ripe malt, caramel, and smoldering embers. Mild fruit way in the back follows through.

Medium bodied with a creamy, crisp mouthfeel. A bit tacky and clingy.

Plummy malts, toffee, and smokey overtones start the palate. Shades of sweet apples and cherries follow through along with smoked ham and lingering char.

Finishes with building smoke, ripe fruit, and toffee-dusted caramel.

This is one tasty Rauchbier and it never gets old. Bye bye growler!

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Photo of Damian
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank on-tap at Deep Ellum, Allston, MA
Served in a mug

The beer poured a deep, dark, chestnut-mahogany color with a two-finger, foamy, off-white head that faded to a clingy film. Copious amounts of lacing stuck along the glass.

The aroma was all smoke. Beechwood smoke, to be precise. Possibly some beef jerky too. A touch of sweetness appeared as the beer warmed.

The taste was quite smoky as well. Some caramel malt sweetness appeared up front before the woody, smoky flavor took over. A smooth, buttery, lager-ish quality appeared in the center. Slightly fruity. The lingering finish was again dominated by smoke. Super dry and woody. A touch of hops came through as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Somewhat creamy and slick on the palate.

Drinkability was rather good. Although this beer had an intense flavor profile, it was not as overwhelmingly smoky as the other Aecht Schlenkerla beers I have tried.

I was really glad to have had the opportunity to try this remarkably flavorful and rare Lenten beer. Although no one aspect really stood out as being remarkable, the beer was quite interesting nevertheless. This would pair perfectly with some German smoked sausages.

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Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Waterfront Ale House, Brooklyn.

Poured a murky dark copper hue with a two finger creamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an all encompassing and clean hardwood smokiness.

The taste was upfront hardwood smoke with some caramel. Again, the delicious smokiness dominated.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall a delicious and highly drinkable smokey delight.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was hugely surprised to find this on tap at Max's. So happy, in fact, that I passed on multiple pints of cask Nugget Nectar to drink this beauty

Fastenbier pours a deep amber with good clarity and a gorgeous, fluffy head with excellent retention that leaves some lace as I drink it. On the nose, this beer opens up with a mellow (for Aecht) smoky character with toasted wood, a little bit of smoked meat and wet burning leaves (yeah). On the palate, it's the same, along with a grainy, cereal character. Soft, creamy and a drying smoky finish, this beer really is a treat. And the drinkability? Through the roof. I drank 3 pints of it in a session.

The final word: This is kinda like a cross between the Aecht Helles and Urbock.

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Photo of ommegoose
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a .5L Schlenkerla willibecher at the Map Room. Dense head, delicate sheets of lacing. Brown amber color, with varying shades due to the willi glass.

Smoke aroma recalls canned sardines somehow. Oddly appropriate for Lent. Smells rather bright and fresh, unlike danker, meatier scent of the Urbock, perhaps. Something sweeter comes through. This is an incredibly fun beer to smell.

Refreshing. Definite trademark smoke flavor, but not super huge. Sweetness is more upfront. Malt profile like a Helles almost. Finishes malty with the lingering salty smoke, and mild bitterness.

Medium body and light carbonation give it a creamy feel.

I never find Schlenkerla beers to be super quaffable. The flavor is so bold to start with that I take small sips, and before I know it, I've had about a tenth of the glass after 10 minutes. Does start to go down easier after getting used to the flavor. Really could use a meal with this. All in all, no regrets in trying this, but I wouldn't lose sleep over missing it. Fans of the brewery won't be disappointed.

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Photo of coachdonovan
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed a glass on tap at Track 84 in RI. nice roasty brown with a cream-colored head/lacing. aroma is pure rauchbier: campfire, bacon, charcoal. this is one of those beers that tastes exactly as it smells. like drinking a liquid campfire, but somehow it works. having this alongside a Stone Smoked Porter really highlights the strong flavors. this smoky beast makes the Stone taste like a run of the mill porter. not sure that i would have more than one, but the experience was well worth it. truly a unique beer.

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Photo of brc
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

From the barrel in their taproom. Brown, almost black color with a persistent off white head. A bit of smoke and roasted malt in the aroma, though it was difficult to tell in the bar. Initially sweet taste like a milk stout, some roasted malt flavor and bread flavors. The smoked malt / beef jerky flavor is strong in the finish, and became increasingly noticeable as the beer warmed. Very filling mouthfeel. As it warmed, the smoked malt flavor became a bit overwhelming and the thickness of the beer became quite filling. Still, having this beer on tap at its home was an amazing experience.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of wnh
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: tan, with a big head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: pork, light spice, smoke, and small malt

Taste: same as the smell, with the smoke being more pronounced, but not overpowering

Mouthfeel: on the sweet side due to the malt, medium bodied, with a hoppy finish

Drinkability: This is my second favorite offering from the brewery and well worth a try. The smoke is not overpowering and the flavor is incredible. While I will not drive the hour to taste this again this year, I will happily order this again come next Lent.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap tonight at Deep Ellum. Served in a 0.5L mug. Dark brown color. Huge white head. The smell was like sticking your nose in a campfire. Smoke! Very nice outdoorsy smell. Taste was a bit more subdued, but the smoke flavor was there. Body was light enough to allow one to drink this in larger quantities. Not overpowering, so this beer remained drinkable even in a larger serving like the one I received. if you like rauchbiers, you can go wrong with the gold standard that is Aecht Schlenkerla.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Poured a clear dark amber color with small tan head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Aroma was strong pleasent smokey. The flavor had a medium smoke taste with a malty long finish of moderate to long duration.

As a cigar smoker, I found this brew very refreshing.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
94 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.