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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

127 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 127
Hads: 286
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 75
Gots: 15 | 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: 127 | Hads: 286
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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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tappity tap at Maxs in B'Mo. Marzeny amber/bock with a nice aroma of SMOKY malts and a bit of the ole' German hops in the background. Taste is smoky and the smoke/rauch notes mix well with the big bolshy bread malts, and the faint spicy floral hops in the background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is good for this smoky treat. One of the best from Heller-Trum. I wish we saw this one out in SF more often. I've only seen it at Toronado once or twice and maybe that German place in Hayes Valley once or twice as well.

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Photo of klewis
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at The Buckeye Beer Engine, Lakewood, OH - 7/14/08

A: Pours a cloudy brown with a thick, creamy head. Light lacing.

S: Not as intense as other Schlenkerla rauchbiers. A light aroma with a smell burnt biscuits.

T: A very pleasant roasted almond with a bit of mesquite smoke. A noticeable but non-obtrusive hop bitterness rounds out the flavor. Again, not quite as intense as other offerings from this brewery.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation and a soft texture. Very nice.

D: Outstanding. Plenty of smoked character, but with a kind of balance that makes this one endlessly drinkable.

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Photo of gford217
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brickstore recently in appropriate Aecht glass (of course).

Pours dark brown with mahogany tints with very little head and a little lacing. Wowzers, this one smells like smoked sausage up front with the roasted malts in the background. The taste follows the aroma with a huge smoked bacon and sausage flavor but the sweet malt base comes through a little more in the taste and balance the brew very well. The body is medium with the smoky malt lingering on the palate for ages. I've only had a few rauchbiers, but this one is the best by a mile. Highly recommended.

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

I was lucky enough to find this on tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. I got a pint and slowly immersed myself in the smoky goodness that is this beer. It was dark reddish copper colored, mostly clear, with a thick off-white foam. The aroma is nearly intoxicating in smokiness, possibly the most appetizing rauchbier presence I've yet smelled. The taste was sublime, sweet and malty with a perfect smoky wood flavor, I think this is my favorite rauchbier (out of the maybe 8 I've tried...). If you see this give it a chance. It's a treat.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of dnichols
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received this brew in a trade with goodbyohio. I poured from the growler into a glass.

A: It poured a light mahogany (almost cola) colored body with a modes, soft, tan head. The head receded fast to a steady ring around the collar. There were clumps of lacing that held to the side of the glass before disappearing.

S: The aroma was dominated by the smell of smoke. There where whiffs of toasted malts cirtrusy hops, and a woody, earthy aroma.

T: It had a well balanced flavor of smoked malts up front followed by lemony citrusy hop flavors and a back end that reminded me of black pepper and tobacco. As the beer rested that carbonation decreased and the low ABV resulted in an aftertaste of smoky oak. The flavors were well balanced and the alcohol was well hidden.

M: It was light bodied with a smoky front, tangy middle and tobacco back . There was a lingering smoky after taste that did not go away until long after I was done with the beer.

D: It was a well blended brew that was unique and well worth sampling. The light body and low ABV make it very drinkable but the bite of spices and bold smoky flavor make it a beer I could enjoy occasionally but not in a session.

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

Schlenkerla lent

A_Pours a dark brown with hints of red, slightly murky. Smallish off white head and virtually no lacing though this seems to be from the glass

S_woodsy campfire and not much else. This is what a rauch should smell like

T_applewood smoked bacon mixed with a caramel malt. Nice smoke aftertaste that really lingers like a properly smoked piece of meat. Touch of acidity in the middle and a pleasant spice near the end. Mild grassy hoppiness.

M_medium lager like in body with a good carbonation to spread the smoke about.

D_This is a rauchbier for true smoke lovers. Really fantastic with no holds barred.

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

On tap recently at BSP

A - a lovely white head with a nice amber for body

S - smoked malt...and smoked gouda honestly, what a smell!

T - very similar to the smell, but a bit of hop bitterness which eluded my nose comes through delightfully. A serious aftertaste!

M - meduim bodied with good carbonation

D - wow this beer is something else and it really is quite unique. My gf and I both enjoyed a bit, and I'd certainly do another sometime if it were available

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

Served in a .5l Aecht Schlenkerla glass at Map Room 3/8/08

A: Served the color of a tarnished old penny with a very creamy, light tan, two-finger head.

S: I could immediately smell a mixture of smoke, lightly toasted malt, lemon-y hops, and smoked ham.

T: Bold flavors of smoke, charred campfire, dirty ashtray, smoked ham, and burnt coffee. I love how all of that burnt smokiness tastes so right!

M: Prickly on the tongue yet quite creamy and full.

D: A blend of delicious smokiness and low abv make for a very drinkable experience. An excellent beer!

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Photo of aforbes10
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Surprized to find this on tap at Fiddler's Hearth in South Bend (they've had some excellent stuff lately though). Poured into a glass with the brewery's name on it. Looked good...tawny brown, short tan head disappeared after a minute or two. Smelled smokey and clean, hint of hops. Taste starts out a little smokey, with solid malts and an unidentifiable bitterness. Hops and smoke flavors become more pronounced as i drink, resting on a firm, but light, malt backbone. Finish is like a good cigar, with leafy, spicy hops and a ghostly smoke presence. Extremely satisfying, and very tasty. I'd have had a few more, but it was lunchtime.

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

Had this on tap at Fidler's Hearth. Was $8 for a 20 oz glass, served in a Aecht Schlenkerla glass. Was very dark copper in color. At first smell, it feels like youve been at a bonfire for hours. Rediculous smoke. Tastes alot milder than anticipated. You def. can tell its a rauchbier, but its alot hoppier than I expected. 20oz was alot, however the more I drank, the better it was. Very drinkable, given its flavor.

I can def. imagine drinking this with a smoked ham, or smoked gouda. Simply awesome brew that has to be enjoyed slowly. Its my first Rauchbier, but it was fantastic.

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Photo of jbsteiny
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
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.”

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Town Hall for this guest tap...

Clear mahogany body. Nice one finger sized head. Nicotine stained white. Very creamy. The aroma is everything a rauchbier should be: Bacony, greasy, smoked sausage.... This is the real deal. The flavor is not quite as greasy as the aroma leads you to believe. There is some of that good smokiness to the flavor, but also some nice caramel and toffee malt tones. This beer is light bodied, maybe medium-light. It seems to be very well attenuated. Very easy to drink.

The one thing that surprises me a little bit is that this is apparantly a rauchbier based on a "dopplebock" recipe. As for the dopplebock part, I'd expect more thick maltiness in the flavor, more heft in the body and a higher alcohol percent. But in any case, this is a damn good rauchbier.

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

Had this on tap over at Max's on Broadway the other evening. I've had this beer previously in bottle format, but this was the first time I'd ever seen it on draft.

The beer pours a very nice looking amber color into the Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier glass. There is impresive foam retention, albeit without much lacing. Not surprisingly, there is an intense aroma of smoke and bacon, with some roasty malt underneath. On the palate, again there is a very pungent flavor of smoke and bacon, with considerable underlying hops. The beer is fairly dry, but with a hint of sweetness from the malt. The beer finishes very well, albeit again with a lot of smoke and a hint of malt.

Very interesting beer to drink, though I can see where it might not be for everyone. While I quite liked it, I can't see myself putting down more then one or two of these at a sitting.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
94 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.