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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.
very good

356 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 356
Hads: 603
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 12.12%
Wants: 47
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

“Schlenkerla Helles” is brewed with fine Bavarian aroma hops from the area around the city of Nürnberg. It's lagered in century old caves underneath the historic Schlenkerla brewery and maltings. Schlenkerla Helles is boiled in the same copper kettles and bottom fermented by the same yeast as the historic Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Its subtle smokiness without using smoke malt makes “Helles Schlenkerla Lager” a unique representative of the classic lager beer style “Bavarian Helles”.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 356 | Hads: 603
Reviews by jsisko01:
Photo of jsisko01
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a clear straw color with a half inch thick, soapy white head. Leaves a very nice, creamy lacing.

Smell - Has a slight spicy aroma, like a typical helles lager. Along with a weird funk and sourdough bread.

Taste - Lightly spiced. I can detect coriander for sure. There is a strong smoky flavor as well, with a light mustiness/funk. It has a subtle sweetness throughout. Sourdough bread and a light bitterness come out in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall - This is a great beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Givemebeer
4.65/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.57/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of innominat
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of juicebox
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Hairrrrrrrr
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of richago1
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of HoppySeb
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of rastaman
3.42/5  rDev -13.6%
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')

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of lambpasty
4.78/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of biboergosum
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle - so not actually made with smoked malt, but created in the same vessels and with the same yeast as their other products, so this should be interesting.

This beer pours a clear, bright pale golden yellow colour, with a thin cap of generally just loosely bubbly dirty white head, which leaves some splattered mitochondrial lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of meaty campfire smoke, grainy, doughy pale malt, wet saltine crackers, a subtle earthy honey sweetness, and leafy, weedy, and mildly floral hops. The taste is bready, grainy pale malt, a lessened (relatively) smoked porcine meatiness, singed dark honey, a wavering crackery pithiness, and more earthy, leafy, and weedy noble hop bitterness.

The carbonation is soft and understated, but adequate for the supportive and tingly job at hand, the body a mostly solid medium weight for the style, and surprisingly smooth, the wafting cinders not really all that threatening, somehow. It finishes off-dry, the underlying malt still having to parry the lingering ashiness making time with my various palates.

I know that this is a whole lot less smoky than its full-on, charred beechwood fire brethren, but even dumbed-down in that respect, it still resonates. The underlying Helles lager at least has some more wiggle room in this offering, which can be used as a teaching aid, to remind us all of what not torching your input ingredients has done for the world of beer over the past century or so.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 356 ratings.