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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

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BA SCORE
89
very good

515 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 515
Reviews: 337
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 31
Gots: 15 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 03-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 515 | Reviews: 337 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

Sammy, May 19, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.3%

t0rin0, Sep 01, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a 2 inch puffy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and slight smoke aromas. Taste is of malt with a slight smoke flavor and some herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good lager that retains some of the traditional smoke aromas and flavors without being in your face.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

djrn2, May 04, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at Chevy Chase in DC. Served in a tulip.

Pours a light straw color with a thin white head and not too much lacing, even after a good swirl to raise the head back up. The nose brings a good amount of smoke along with mild lager characteristics lingering in the background. The smoke definitely overwhelms the lager, which which basically just means a lightly-smoked carbonated beverage. This creates problems for both the nose and the taste. The feel is redeemed is the Helles' crispness is still there and fits well with the smoke. Fairly good, but not my favorite of theirs.

Thorpe429, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +1.3%

nmann08, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear and golden yellow in color and has a light to moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin head that quickly died down.
S: The aroma has an interesting resemblance to bacon and contains notes of smoke and bready malts.
T: Smoky flavors are immediately apparent in the initial taste; these aren't very strong but stand out from the flavors of bready malts and a mild amount of bitterness from the hops in the finish. There are also some notes of malty sweetness in the initial taste.
M: The beer feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. It has a clean finish.
D: I definitely want to try this beer again because its subtle smoky flavor is rather unique and makes both the smell and taste rather interesting. You would never expect the smoke from the appearance of this beer.

metter98, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a rocky white head that sticks nicely and leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Grainy lager aroma with subtle hints of smoked bacon

Taste: Opens bready, with undertones of grain and a developing smoked bacon flavor that offsets the lager twang; after the swallow, the expected crispness is conjoined with the smokey flavor, such that the smoked meat aspect lingers at the expense of the malt

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As I generally don't care for the style, it is hard to get excited about this; it does drink nicely, however, and the smoke adds an interesting dimension

brentk56, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic amber with a flawless interior disturbed only by a slow parade of superfine bubbles seeking higher ground. Those bubbles contribute to a cap that is a shade or two darker than bright white and has a quality look about it. A wide ring of delicate lace completes the picture of a fine looking German lager.

Like all the Brauerei Heller-Trum beers, this one features smoke to the near exclusion of all else (In fact, it's difficult to tell what style they are by the nose alone because beechwood smoke is all one is treated to on the sniff. They only differ in the intensity of the smokiness). That's more than fine with me since smoke, given its dominant nature, would have to be too laid back for anything else to be evident.

Helles Lagerbier is a helluva good lager beer. I love how each one of this brewery's offerings shares an obvious similarity, yet each one is also distinctly different. They wouldn't work nearly as well as they do if the brewers relied on the fragrant, woodsy smoke to paper over inferior beer. These guys are true craftsmen who just happen to love rauchbier and have decided to share it with the world. Good for us.

The key, of course, to this beer's success, and to the success of the entire lineup, is the balancing act between malt, hops, yeast and smoke. The hops provide a modest bitterness and the lager yeast doesn't provide much of anything at all in terms of flavor; nor should it. That leaves lightly sweet golden malt and beautiful beechwood smoke. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is right where it needs to be in terms of size and in the amount and character of the carbonation. While nothing about it stands out as exceptional, it's perfectly calibrated to the task at hand, that of delivering the devilishly good flavor to the expectant taste buds, while refreshing the drinker at the same time.

I've been looking for this offering for quite some time now and I'm glad that I finally found a bottle. It's a great addition to the Aecht Schlekerla series of beers and is easily the equal of my other favorites of the Munich Helles Lager style, the versions from Brauereien Aying and Weihenstephaner. Helles Lagerbier is a light, smoky treat and should be on the 'must try' list of all who consider themselves connoisseurs of smoked beer.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 10, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured clear golden yellow color lager with a medium white foamy head with average retention and limited lacing. Aroma of floral malt with some sweetness also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some floral malt with some sweet notes but I could not distinguish any some at all. Body is quite full and slightly oily with some medium carbonation. Interesting but not really smokey.

Phyl21ca, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up on my last trip through Ohio. I had not seen it around before so I figured I would grab one to try it out. Been sitting in the fridge and grabbed it tonight to compliment some nice chicken. Served chilled in a tall pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 09/14/2008.

The pour was decent with a very clear, and highly carbonated light golden amber lager shaping up before my eyes. A small, maybe a half an inch of white head came up over the top and settled down quickly into a light veil across the top.

The aroma was light. Some small amount of smoked in it, with lots of grain and bready malts, though I have to admit, not much here to really pick up on. The flavor was a bit better. Lots of campfire like smokiness in it, with a subtle, yet easily definable bready malt base. Some sweetness, caramel maybe and a light peach flavor when cold that quickly gets burnt out by the smoked and roasted malts. Way too light of a feel, almost makes the flavor get lost as it comes across a bit watered down. Easy to session though as it goes down pretty much like water.

Overall I would have to give this one an average. Definitly not the best thing I have ever had by a long shot, but nowhere near the worst. I would try it again if nothing else were around, but not at the 2.99 I paid for it.

mikesgroove, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -24.1%

GRG1313, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

ygtbsm94, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

spycow, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm filled with nothing but regret and utter compunction for never having reviewed anything at all from the Schlenkerla Smoke Inhalation Series. I'll get right on that. Let's start off with the Helles Lagerbier!

Appearance: Lightly hazy, pale copper body with a foamy, frothy, white head.

Smell: Sweetish honey and toffee maltiness with only a background, though still obviously present note of smoke.

Taste: Sweet maltiness, perhaps a pinch of crisp pilsner malt, along with flavors of toffee and clover honey. Hint of biscuits, maybe a bit of ripe peach fruitiness. Mild, spicy hops and bitterness along with the very restrained smoke character assist to balance the sweetness. Finishes crisp with a remaining light blend of smoke and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, that really was a breath of fresh air! Schlenkerla lite, I dare say. Overall, highly drinkable and a very good way to casually introduce yourself to Schlenkerla's wares.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Knapp85, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

oberon, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After multiple drafts at Map Room, i've only had a bottle of this once before. There's a newer label now with red & black accents to the lettering. If you still have a blue label, you can be sure its old.

Bright gold, lazy ascending bubbles, creamy cap of foam becomes a delicate skim after some time. Concentric, drippy rings of lace are left after each sip. Looks good for a Helles.

Aroma is clean, and lightly sweet and malty. A bare trace of smoke, really only apparent as it warms. Slightly husky and earthy. Fairly delicate and subtle.

Gentle apple bread sweetness at first, becoming very dry and slightly bitter with noble hops in the end. A very light smoky element is there in the aftertaste, lingering in the background. It's simple, yet has an understated elegance with the smoke traces. There is some weight to it, but it falls just around medium on the mouthfeel scale.

A fine Bavarian lager to usher in the Spring and it's warming weather...

emerge077, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle purchased at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City. No discernible freshness date on the bottle.

The beer is a pale effervescent gold, crowned by half an inch of resolute pure white foam.

There's a reserved smokiness to the nose, which I understand is the result of the beer being brewed on the same equipment as the brewery's rauchbiers rather than the actual addition of rauch malt. The combination of faint smoke and lightly sulfuric lager yeast makes me think of matches - it's more pleasant than it sounds. There's a crisp breadiness from the malt; overall it's a very gentle and clean aroma.

The palate, like the nose, features a pleasantly subdued smoke character that's very complementary to the crisp breadiness of the malt. Light in body, quite balanced in all respects and very clean, this is one of the most quaffable beers I can recall having in recent memory. The mouthfeel is soft, and there's little bitterness or bite to the finish, but it's a thoroughly enjoyable and flavorful beer, especially given the modest ABV.

largadeer, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 20, 2011
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.

NeroFiddled, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 8/3/09 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep yellow color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lager yeast, light malts and some hops.

T: The taste is bready up front with flavors of grain and lager yeast. The malt character is hearty but not heavy at all. There's a good hops presence for the style that brings a nice balance. There's a touch of spice in the background. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a really nice simple beer that is worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

WVbeergeek, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of nickfl
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with an ample, two and a half finger head of foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - A grainy aroma of pilsner malt with notes of bread and honey as well as herbal hops and a touch of smoke.

T - Dry malt, honey and a touch of woody character up front. Some herbal character in the middle with more honey and smoke beginning to come out. Finishes with dry malt, light bitterness and wispy, lingering smoke.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry, but balanced finish.

D - A balanced and drinkable Bavarian lager, but with a very subtle touch of smoke that takes it to another level of complexity. Really nice, up there with the best of Schlenkerla.

nickfl, Jun 27, 2012
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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.