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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

567 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 567
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 39
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 09-29-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 567 | Reviews: 349
Reviews by PhillyStyle:
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint .9 oz. bottle

Poured a clear golden color with a thick but light white head, 2+ finger pour with good head retention that settled into a thin cap that lasted through the beer. Carbonation was noticeably constantly rising to the top.

Very nice malted barley aroma with a hint of smoke.

The taste follows the nose, but perhaps a bit more smokey.

The beer had a light feel to it, exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. Overall, this is a simple beer that is exceptionally well done. This one will be in my beer fridge more often.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Givemebeer
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Clear golden yellow with a huge frothy head with sticky lacing. Pretty beautiful.

S: grainy and grassy with a hint of smoke.

T: Biscuity, bready, grassy, grainy. Taste starts with the biscuity grass then switches to being a touch smokey before going back to a bready grainy grassy taste. complex and wonderful.

M: Light bodied, crisp, refreshing.

O: Its amazing that this beer isn't talked about more. It has great balance, it's refreshing, crisp, packed with flavor, and 4.3% abv. Doesn't get much better.

Photo of oberon
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a .5 liter stein a dull lemon yellow with a bit of chill haze a very thin wispy head atop,lighter aromas I picked up faint smoke and toasted grain with light iron/mineral.Taste is sweeter than expected some defienent honey malt and a touch of spice with the smoke coming thru but not overbearing not much hop presence.A light to medium mouthfeel and a low ABV makes it very drinkable but its a little dull on the palate and a little sweeter than expected.

Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This beauty poured a gorgeous, clear, almost shiny yellow in color with just the smallest hint of orange. The head came up huge and was white as the driven snow. It looked light and floaty like a cloud in the sky.

Smell – Well, it doesn’t say “Rauchbier” on the label, but the folks at Heller-Trum brewery just couldn’t resist. It’s not a big smoky aroma, but there is definitely some pork roast going on in here. Otherwise there is a nice German grainy smell and pretty much nothing else.

Taste – The flavorful grain takes on a larger presence at the taste. The porky smoke is still there but not as big. The bier ends with a light, classy tange of corny sweetness.

Mouthfeel – This is light-bodied and very crisp in the mouth with some excellent carbonation.

Drinkability – If you don’t like the Rauchbier style I would stay away from this one, even though the smoke here is quite subdued. If you like or even don’t mind some good smoke in your Helles Lager then be sure to pick up a few bottles of this.

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was at the beer store purchasing a dimpled German beer mug when I thought it would only be fitting to buy a German lager to dump into it for its first usage. I picked up a Schlenkerla Helles Lager based on a few suggestions and the fact that I generally enjoy their rauchbiers; I figured I'd try one of their non-smoked malt beers.

This one pours a color halfway between yellow and straw with a mild chill haze that settles in the middle and eventually fades once the beer approaches slightly warmer temps to reveal a decent amount of clarity. A puffy and cloudy white head pillows up and shows excellent retention, not to mention the huge amounts of chunky lace it leaves behind. Very nice looking beer, especially in this dimpled German mug. All I need now is a warm pretzel.

Schlenkerla Helles Lager has one of the best aromas in lager-town. Humongous bread and grain filled framework upon which an excellently fresh, crisp, and pure display of aromas is laid out. Barley, thick yeast, mildly musky hops, and an uplifting dose of smokiness. The smoke in this is more akin to a sweet, subtle, liquid smoke aroma as opposed to the heavier, full-force meatiness provided by Schlenkerla's rauchbiers. This beer does not actually use smoked malt, however due to the use of the same brewing equipment between this and the rauchbiers, some of the residual smokiness makes it's way into the helles lager.

The taste follows right along with the aroma as a nice wave a bread-like malts and softly toasted grains wash over my palate. The smokiness is perhaps even a bit lighter on the palate, but still very much an integral part of what makes this beer so great; a nice, light sweet smoke flavor that sets this lager apart from others. Light citrus zest in the finish along with heavy grains and fresh, lager-type yeast. Each sip that goes down leaves your mouth begging for more. Lighter bodied with a tight and crisp mouth feel thanks to a plentiful amount of carbonation.

This beer is so fundamentally simple yet executed so admirably. Drinkability is insanely high - I couldn't get enough of this beer. You can bet that I'll be picking this one up from now on, every time I'm looking for something to sit back and relax with. Definitely one of the best lagers I've had to date, especially considering the helles style. It opened my eyes to what helles lagers could taste like.

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear straw hued body has a small and fleeting white head. Aroma has some subtle smokiness but mostly sweetish malt and spicy hop. Crisp medium body supports a light body and medium carbonation. Clean feel. Taste has some sweet gariny malt that is expertly balanced by a clean spicy hoppiness. The smoked malt is present but not obtrusive, most noticeable as an aftertaste. Very sessionable. The brewery's most accessible smoked bier that I've sampled. This one doesn't come across like liquid smoke.

Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this one at the always worth a visit DeCicco martket in Pelham, NY. Squat German style bottle, w/o freshness indication (seems the Germans are slow to embrace this consumer friendly innovation) this one pour, clear, dull, yellowy, with an initially loose white fluffy head, evolving into a thick loose film and leaving pleanty of scattered drying lacing. Nose here is softly of grass and a hint of smoke. Pleanty of crisp, dry and snappy hops cary the freight here, also more hints of smoke, lime and then the expected bone dry spicy hop finish. Nice, refreshing lager, bring on the smoked meats, creamy cheese and bread.

Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: orange/yellow, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation, clear

Smell: pork, smoke, and grass

Taste: grass, bigger than expected hops, somewhat smoky finish

Mouthfeel: I can feel the moderate carbonation. This beer has a weakish semi-sweet start with a moderately bitter finish and medium body.

Drinkability: This is the least smoky of the Scherlenkerla offerings and only has a touch of smoke on the aftertaste. A decent lager, I could have two but would no desire for a third.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of bready malt with some grassy hops. A nice, clean smelling German lager. The flavor is mainly bready and biscuit malt with some grassy hops mixed in. I also get a little bit of light grape notes but they are pretty faint. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Another good beer from a great brewery.

Photo of richago1
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tall German mug.

Poured a golden color with a foamy white head dissipating to a thin cap and lasting lacing. Smells of smoke with some hops. Tastes of smoke malt and hops in a nice combination. Mouthfeel is creamy smoth and carbonated. Drinkability is great I could drink these all night, although I like the smoked ham on wheat taste of their "Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer - Wheat" a little better, this has a nice clean finish that would be easy to drink in quantity.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although the beer itself doesn't use any smoked malts, it's brewed using the same yeast and in the same equipment as their other smoked beers. Pretty interesting beer pours a pale light golden delicate biscuit malt character with a nice spritzy carbonation level. Nice fluffy white head leaves intricate banded lacing. Aroma has a subtle smoke character with hints of smoked meats and a light biscuit malt grain character. Flavor has an interesting smoked nuttiness to it adds great complexity to a light classic well executed German helles. Kind of a one note flavor but a very interesting and tasty one note, makes me wish I had another bottle or two. Mouthfeel is evenly carbonated with a light but not watery body. Overall impression this beer rates high with on my likeability skill, would I consider sharing this with other friends into beer? Absolutely a very interesting take on a German Helles a classic style that doesn't get a whole lotta love around these parts.

Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a crystal-clear straw color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light pilsner malts with hints of breadiness. Also present are mild amounts of sulfur and earthy hops. As it warms the sulfur aromas fade and good amounts of smokiness waft out.

Tastes good. Smooth pilsner malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by moderate amounts of bready flavors. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of muted smoked malt flavors and hints of earthy hops that temper the smokiness. The combination of the aforementioned flavors carries through to a crisp and moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I wasn't expecting a whole lot after getting a whiff of this beer but the complexity added in the flavor profile more than made up for it. A very interesting and subtle beer that's well worth a shot.

Photo of rastaman
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nobbad, quite enjoyed it. Lightly smoked, bacon flavour, dry-ish, slightly herbal hops finish, a bit salty aswell. Not as heavily smoky as there other beers, which on one hand makes it easier to drink, but on the other hand its less flavourfull and less complex. I think i prefer the Marzen a lot more.(Draught- GBBF 03')

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden yellow body with a perfectly creamy snow white head that sticks to the glass and last for the full beer. There is a sea of microbubbles supporting the head.

S- The smell of perfumy yeast gives way to a slightly smoky note and a sweet sulfury hint. There is a light buttery note that increases just a bit as the beer warms. The smoke is very pleasant and balance in with the other aromas.

T- This beer starts with a full clean smokey note that has a slight malt sweetness to it followed by a hint of dry pale malt. There is a very faint peat smoke quality that increases as the beer warms. The finish is a nice noble green hop flavor with a faint lemon hint.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel due to the everlasting head and a full fizz note at the finish.

D- This beer has a great balance of light smoke noble hops and yeasty malt notes. I never though smoke in a helles would work but this beer really has all the flavors working together.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.29/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schlenkerla- Helles

A- Light clear golden yellow with a good thick white head. No lacing but heavy carbonation.
S- Buttery sweet corn, liquid smoke, and a doughy bready malt.
T Sweet corn, butter, and smokey doughy biscuity bread. Slight peppery spiciness with light grainy malt and an even lighter dry straw/ hay hop finish.
M- Sweet and buttery with a dry smoke and earthy grassy feel.

Overall- Wasn't too impressed with the corn smell but drank easy with a crisp smokiness.

Photo of tastybeer
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is light gold and clear. To be expected. Head is froathy to an appropriate degree and retention is nice. Lacing makes an appearance as well. Nose is sweet with dry peppered hickory, beachwood smoke, buttery bready malt and some spicy czech hop. Taste has all of the above smoothed together nicely. Creamy coating mouthfeel but carbonation could be a little more energetic for this type of beer. Especially to stand up to the array of spice and smoke flavors. Moderate bitterness fits well. There's a nice push/pull between the hop dryness and lager clarity. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable. I like that distinct hickory flavor that I found previously in the rauchbier marzen.

Good lager and great fall back if you don't know what you want, but prefer something that is highly dirnkable.

Photo of nicnut45
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark straw color, minimal foam, nice tiny bright white head.

S-Smells like a smokehouse. Smoked corn beef, bacon, charred wood. In the background I get the unmistakable pilsner scent that blends nicely with the smokiness.

T-Nice, clean, and smokey. But not too smokey. Just the right amount to compliment this beer. Im not too familiar with the helles style but I dont think this smokiness is a normal characteristic. But it is pleasing nonetheless.

M-This beer is not watered down. Great carbonation.

D-I would drink this all the time if it came in 12 packs. The price is kind of high too for a 16 ounce. But I will get this again.

Photo of RomanW70
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very pale gold with a frothy white head. Aroma of yeast, smoke, and spice. Light, highly carbonated body. Initial taste is crisp and clean, pilsner like hops...lagerlike. Finish is nicely (and not overwhlelmingly) smoked which definitely elevates this otherwise unexciting beer. Not my favorite of the Aecht Schlenkerla line, but a clean, crisp, refreshing beer.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale yellow with a nice stark white head that retains well for the style leaving ok lacing.

Nose has slight smoke, and mostly german lager malt profile, with some slight euro hop grassiness.

Mmm. Despite being a lager, this still has that classic Aecht rauch smoke. Its not as intense as the other, darker selections, but a beautiful rauch kiss on the end of this one.

Mouthfeel is ideal, maybe a tiny touch thick. Carbonation is fine.

Drinkability is good, but after one the smoke would get in the way with sessionability.

Overall a very nice smoked lager. Quite tasty and very accurate to the style. Excellent.

Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Substantive creamy head. Medium body, with cream and grain, smokey and hops in finish as well as metallic. Drinkable, but I thought the smoke was more than I would want next time. suitable carbonation. Surprisingly decent find , Court Liquor, near the New Jersey ocean.

Photo of secondtooth
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear straw yellow, with a thick fizzy head of white carbonation. Thin, but attractive lace.

Nose is grainy and malty like most lagers, but with a hint of wood-smokiness. Definitely appealing.

Taste is crisp and light, but with that hint of smoky malts again. This is not from the malts being actually smoked (as in Schlenkerla's other noteworthy beers), but simply from this lager being boiled in the same copper kettles as the smoked beers, and perhaps from sharing the same yeasts as the aforementioned rauchbiers.

A delightful lager, full of flavor and with a unique and subtle flavor twist. Wonderful!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bamberg is known for its smoked beers, and Schlenkerla has been keeping that tradition going for over five-hundred years.

There are five styles now (a new "oak" beer is coming in December 2009). The Fastenbier is a seasonal, and less well-known. And although the Ur-bock is also a seasonal, along with the Weizen and Maerzen, it's better known. All get a fair amount of play - although the Maerzen is probably their best known. But what of the Helles? It seems to get passed by? (At least here in America). Is it that it's just a basic style? Or is it that the smokiness is just too much within such a simple malt base?

Based on my experience, that answer may never be known. I've had people tell me, "Oh, and it's not smoky like the others", while others have pushed it back across the bar.

I find it malty, and hoppy, and smoky, with the smoke building on the palate, as does the solid bitterness. It may be a helles, but it's not a helles for those with an inexperienced palate.

And with that said, unless you go to Bamberg to sample the wares, there's not a lot of other examples to try in the U.S.

Photo of zaphodchak
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden clear body, single finger white head. Minimal lacing.

Honey on the nose, not much else.

Dryish honey lager... trace of smoke. (Schlenkerla, go figure)

Standard mouthfeel, not over-carbed.

Decent lager, but pales in comparison to the rauchs.

Photo of cjgator3
4.57/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap

A- On-tap at Redlight Redlight in Orlando. Poured into a .5L mug. Pours a golden yellow color with a large off-white head.

S- The aroma like all beers from this brewery has a very pleasant smoked malt smell. I can't get enough of this aroma!

T- The taste like the aroma features delicious pale smoked malts with a finish that leaves you craving more.
 
M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This beer is the definition of a session beer for me, very tasty and extremely drinkable.

Photo of dbossman
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice white, foamy head with steady retention and good lacing

S: A combination of lemon/citrus and an eathy hay quality; pleasant but quite subtle

T: A smoky meatiness is most prevalent and that blends nicely with the earthy guality and subtle citrus from the hops

F: Very even balanced

D: A great beer for grilling; this is a nice, slightly smokey lager

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.