Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

124 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 278
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 5.65%
Wants: 70
Gots: 18 | 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

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 124 | Hads: 278
Photo of Soneast
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Man I'm I happy to have tried this one. One of the best rauchbiers to ever touch my lips. I do enjoy the intense bacony-smoke flavors of the likes of Urbock and Marzen, but this beer really brings all that intense smokiness down a level making it incredibly well balanced and easily the most drinkable rauchbier I've ever had. (1,073 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Geeks, 14 Jun 2011. Served in a stemmed glass.

Large foamy beige head is long lasting. Clear reddish brown in color. Lightly carbonated. Aroma is of smoked ham or bacon. Starts with some malty sweetness, quickly moving to a moderate smokiness, but less than the aroma would suggest. Slight bit of bitterness in the middle. Moderate bittersweet smoky finish. Med creamy body, light alcohol.

Decent but didn't like this as much as their other offerings. (468 characters)

Photo of atis
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear reddish dark amber with slightly off white head with good retention, patchy downsliding lacing. Aroma is smoked ham and sausage with hints of caramel malt; it is interesting that this beer I bought in Latvia has much more intense aroma than the beer I had in Schlenkerla Tavern in Bamberg a few months ago.

Taste is rich with intricate combination of rich smoked malt that clearly dominates, but is not overpowering other flavours, ham and oak with semi-dry finish and faint smoky aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium with less than moderate carbonation and subtle alcohol warming.

Amazing beer with excellent drinkability. (632 characters)

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

On-tap at Local Option. Excited to finally try this famed brew.

A - It pours a clear pumpernickel brown and is capped with a scant smattering of off-white bubbles; looks potent. Given the total package, the menacing appearance is quite appropriate.

S/T - The taste and aroma are strongly flavored with hardwood smoke, and complemented by notes of smoked meat, forest-fire, and dark rye bread. It is really hearty, and has complexity beyond the smoke in the form of a slight charred molasses sweetness which is underlying, as well as some (non-smoky) woody bitterness. I enjoy.

M - The feel is just about medium, silky, softly carbonated and quite enhancing.

O - Really good; this is probably my new favorite Schlenkerla. (724 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: served in a cylinder glass, Fastenbier is a deep, purely clear maple syrup brown in color, with a low bone-white head

s: aromas of fantastic pure hardwood smoke, heavily aromatic without any "meaty" notes, backed by a supportive malt spine that provides some toasted sugar and dark fruit while staying mostly out of the way

m: carbonation around low-moderate, body medium

t: genuine hardwood smoke, strong but sinking into a balanced state with a body of lightly toasty malts, some dark fruit sugars - but hardly sweet with plenty of cleaner lager malts present to thin things out, leather, totally drying with a very mild, grassy hop flavor

o: maybe there were some external factors, but this one didn't really stand out in relation to other Aecht rauchbiers I've had - a superb example just the same, but not more special than any other from the brewery

draft at ChurchKey, DC (886 characters)

Photo of philosobeer
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Local Option (Chicago)

A \\ Nice stained wood brown with a generous cream head. Clarity is where it should be and obscured somewhat by the darker color.

S \\ Beechwood smoked delicious. A little roastiness in there, but it is behind the screen of smoke, so to speak.

T \\ Nice bit of caramel, maybe even toffee, in just enough opening sweetness. Has some nice clean German lager yeast flavor that offers depth without off flavors. Very drinkable. There is pork and fireplace heavily at the finish.

M \\ Nice fairly hefty body without being too thick as the doppelbock perhaps was. This was carbonated perhaps more than needed to or perhaps more than was proper on this tap, but that's an adjustment it bore well.

Schlenkerla just isn't going to disappoint me. (778 characters)

Photo of fear025
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a cask at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL, on 5/5/11.

Aroma:There's just smoke in the aroma, with maybe a little malt hiding.

Appearance:Deep amber with very nice white head. Head has tiny bubbles and is long lasting. Moderate lasting.

Taste:On the foretaste, there is a little smokey flavor with a great malt sweetness, but in the midtaste it changes to a much more mature smokey deeper smokey flavor. On the aftertaste there's a small alcohol bite and a great nutty malt flavor.

Mouthfeel:Light to medium mouthfeel with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall:This is a wonderfully balanced rauchbeer with a lot of complexity. (635 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (606 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Schlenkerla brewpub in Bamberg, April 2011. From notes.

Pours a rich, "Bernstein" hue, with a modest but creamy one-finger head.

The aroma is excellent and typical Schlenkerla. Like being outside someone's house in the winter and smelling the smoke coming out of the chimney.

The flavor is rich, malty and meaty. Like most of the Rauchbiere from this brewery, it is intensely smokey. Notes of smoked pork, ham, fireplace smoke and (maybe) bacon. Sweet, toasted malts are an afterthought, but there. Mouthfeel is medium-full and barely carbonated, as this beer is served from a gravity cask.

Flavorful stuff, though I don't see how remarkable this Fastenbier is compared to the rest of Schlenkerla's lineup. Basically like a slightly stronger version of the Rauch-Märzen. (789 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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. (683 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown color with a two-finger head that died quickly and left some lace. Mostly a meaty smell with that hint of pils-like malt and grassiness I always get from Aecht biers. This one isn't as smoky/meaty as the others; they've turned down the smoke/charrness to let the hops peek through as this beer is light, smooth, and there's a touch of sticky sweetness all in there - but yes, mainly a smoky beer with a dry finish. Prickly due to carbonation, this beer is crisp and bitter and a real sipper; I find that I like this but not as much as other beers from this brewery. (586 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
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 (1,735 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,290 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, nice smokey aromas

Taste: wow, nice and smokey,and prefectly balanced. This is the best smoked related beer I have had by far

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body.

Drinkability: awesome and great for pairing with foods (319 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap at Kickbacks Gastropub in Jax. Poured into a Unibroue tulip. Mild head atop a ruby/ruddy brown body. Lacing is sticky and almost leaves sand like bubbles on the glass, then leaves a creamy swirl in the body of the liquid. Aroma is certainly smoky and toasted. Campfire and beef jerky, both peppered and kippered come to mind. Taste is backed by a bit of malt sweetness but the smoked flavor dominates. No my favorite style, really hard to review a beer in a style I don't love but I can't imagine drinking more than one of these in a sitting even if this style is your favorite. (585 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (1,379 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.4/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a mini wine glass (no other way to describe it).

Dirty soot brown with a creamy tan head that lasted about a minute. Their website describes it as "reddish brown" and I'm wondering if, given the petite serving, that that would explain why it was darker than the picture.

Smelled of the unmistakable, incomparable Schlenkerla char - medium-gage acidic pungency. Mineral rich.

Moderately malty, hints of chocolate and noble hops. Not as smoky as I anticipated from the aroma. Real biting bitterness.

Medium-light body. The bitterness stings a bit on the tongue, and, with each sip, my mouth increasingly dry. The smokiness lingered in the back. The crazy amount of carbonation probably redirected attention away from the flavors.

I don't know... It started off alright, but was a little work trying to finish. Not the best Aecht has to offer. (855 characters)

Photo of weatherdog
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge served in a 16oz tumbler glass

It poured a clear dark cola color with a nice 3 finger head that lasted several minutes.

I've had a nice handfull of smoked beers in my life and this one smelled the most like how I would want my smoked beers. Notes of bacon and baked beans hit me first. It was a great aroma without much bitterness, roastiness, or astringency that some other had. I knew I had found a winner.

The taste really delivered on that promise. Right away a smooth smokiness overwhelmed me and memories of grilling meats came to my head. A touch of bitterness then came forward but was really dominated by the malt. A little sweet malt flavor matched the smoke to bring back those baked bean flavors. I really enjoyed this beer as the flavor put the smoke first and foremost and didn't leave much of anything else.

The mouthfeel was crisp and on the thin side but I think it complimented the beer well and enhanced drinkability. As with other smoke beers I've had if they are too dominating and full bodied the pint seems to be a challenge about halfway through. This beer was light on the tougne and the smoke didn't leave a harsh aftertaste. My first smoke beer from this well known brewery and I will be seeking out their other offerings. (1,278 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (1,191 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of smoke, slight roasted malt, yeast, and hint of pale malt. Fits the style of a Rauchbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, yeast, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of hop. Wow, the best Rauch I've ever had. (374 characters)

Photo of JonB1958
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a half pint on tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle. Sitting at the bar, you'll have lots of opportunities to talk about beer with the people around you, and even the more knowledgeable folks are always a little surprised and impressed with a rauchbier.

Pours with a nice thick, creamy head into the glass. The color is like a porter: Very dark brown, almost black.

The aroma is a little frightening, I'll admit, but also very inviting. Smoky...think of your clothes the morning after a campfire.

The smoke is the first thing you notice on the taste, too, but after the first surprising sip, its very subtle and almost sublime. Smooth yet creamy mouthfeel. It goes down very well.

This is substantial enough to drink slowly and enjoy, and the flavor is remarkably stable as it warms. An extraordinarily nice experience. (826 characters)

Photo of thequeen711
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This smoked lager from Germany poured amber brown into the pint glass, leaving a beige thick head. Nose of smokey goodness!!! Just an exquisite smokey brew, not bacon smokey, but oaky smokey, easy drinking brew! The smokieness combines well with the lager flavours, making for a great drink. The low alcohol content makes the beer more easy to drink and enjoy! (360 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.5L pour at The Map Room.

Nose is a little more subdued than their Marzen; it smells more like wood smoke than bacon. The palate is crisper than I'd imagine a rauchbier to be. Still deep and brooding, smokey and woody and mossy, but not heavy. Full flavored but not rich, it maintains a sense of it's lager-ness. The finish is long, but not intrusive. It took me a little longer to drink this than most beers, but not as long as I expected. A nice sipper and I never got bored with it.

Somewhat like a magical cross between their Helles (non-smoked) and the Marzen. A must-try! (579 characters)

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. (335 characters)

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. (1,214 characters)

Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
94 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.