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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
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is crystal clear and pale yellow hued with a small, but lasting, white head that leaves sparse lacing on the glass.

The aroma is classic Aecht Schlenkerla campfire, albeit a more subtle scent than in other beers from this brewery. In addition to the smokey notes is a pleasant German lager scent.

The beer is light and smooth, with a balance of smoke and German lager flavors. Exactly what I would expect from this brewery.

I could easily drink a liter or more of this. Refreshing and flavorful. Well done.

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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 smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large 4 finger white head is created that falls normally. Body is a real buttery fourteen carat gold. Much noticeable carbonation from the bottom. Some head retention but not much. Manages to leave a small puck and minimal lacing while drinking.

Smell is light malt, no smoke. Just smells like a good simple lager.

Taste is slight smoke, a bit sweet though. Smoke hits more on the finish. There's a real decent malt body in this for such a low abv, the head bubbles actually feel quite nice in the palate strangely enough.

Overall not bad, but I prefer this breweries other offerings.

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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 Gavage
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear pale yellow color with a short 1/2" head. The head falls slowly to a surface foam.

Smell: light smokiness and grass are easily detectable and is enjoyable.

Taste: slightly grainy maltiness here with a grass overtone and nice spicy bitterness. Mild smoke tones wrap around the flavor components.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start, leaning towards smooth at the finish. Dry throughout. Mild smoke laced flavors lingers briefly into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: I did not expect the smoky tones with this beer when I picked it up compared to other beers produced here, but it was a pleasant surprise. Nice overall character - worth seeking out.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming out of the 500 ml format, on to the beer:

This beer has a dark golden hue, head retention that is good, and leaves several rings of lacing around the glass. The nose says helles, but if you sniff a little closer, you can also catch a soft smokiness arising. In addition to the smoke, notes of honey and grassy hops arise.

I enjoy a quality helles lager, and Schlenkerla shows that they can do that. There's a subtle smoke flavor, no surprise that this is coming out off Schlenkerla. Honey, grass/hay flavors, also some bread.The flavors are nicely balanced, which helps make it easy to drink. The body is light, and the carbonation has a bit of a jumpy sensation.

Quality helles lager here. If you enjoy a subtle twist on this traditional Munich style, then grab a bottle of this.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.49/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Redstone
Pours a fairly clear medium golden color with a decent sized bubbly white head that slowly dissipates to a ring on top. Rich sweet caramelized pilsner malt dominates the aroma. Rich dried fruit, prunes and raisins come to mind. Non existent hop aroma. Lightly spicy and almost smokey component shows up in the aroma as well. The flavor is rich with lots of caramelized sugary maltiness and plenty of dark dried fruits. There is a hint of herbal hop flavor and a bit of sweet cardboard. Medium body with a fairly dry finish. Moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. Love the aroma here, but the flavor suggests this bottle my be less than fresh. One day I will make it over the ocean to try some great lagers the way they were meant to be drunk!

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Photo of dcmchew
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale golden with a white one finger head in an Austrian mug, lots of fizziness.
Grainy smell, some faint wood, smoke.
Smoked biscuity malts, lots of grain. A little too lemon zesty, aside for some nice acidic apple. Grass towards the finish, then some unwanted metallic hops.
Light body, almost watery, crisp, almost refreshing.
Never had a smoked helles before, it was interesting, although with a few off notes. I guess Schlenkerla are really great at crafting dark liquid bacon, but this helles was a bit of a let down.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a crystal clear yellow with a medium white head, great retention and lace.

S: Sweet malt, grassy hops, no real smoke here.

T: Great bready malt flavour with a hint of smoke. Some good minerality, complex and interesting flavour. Has a keller sensibility.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, and very drinkable. Smooth, soft but biting carbonation.

O: A fantastic lagerbier. The smoke is definitely toned down from the regular Marzen, but this is just as fantastic in its own right, a definite pick up.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aecht Sclenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Appearance: Pours a semi clear unfiltered straw with some small particles of yeast sediment. Soapy white head forms and recedes in time.

Smell: Upfront the aroma is ashy and smokey. Some euro hops and bready malts are there as well. Meaty smoke.

Taste: The base is euro pale malt, laced with a smoke flavor. Mellow tea like hops, grassy, earth tones, smokey and bready. Like drinking a german lager after eating a crispy piece of applewood smoked bacon.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied, smooth, almost creamy texture. Not the cleanest of beers, chalky yeast and a lingering smoke flavor on the palate, but is enjoyable and well suited.

Overall: Though not containing any smoked malts, the tanks holding this beer also are used to ferment all of the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauch line. Being a smoked beer fan, I find this a very fine lighter option, with a more delicate, but still prominent smoke flavor.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very pale golden, like straw with very little head. I was motivated to try this beer by recent threads on BA about how this beer had picked up some of the smoke characteristics from being made in the same brewery as the Rauchbiers though merely incidental contact with the smoke. Sure enough, there is indeed smoke in the nose and taste. It is relatively subtle, but definitely there and part of the overall flavor profile. Beside that the beer is a light but pleasant Helles with moderate bitterness and is quite clean and a bit of a sweet light malt tang. Smooth and crisp and the smoke really blends beautifully. In this case, you get less of the smoked meat and more subtle woodsmoke (alder?) scent. Nice.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Thanks Chris!

A: Hard pour into a snifter reveals a bright pellucid straw golden body with a two finger frothy white head. Retention is pretty good and lacing is scattered.

S: Displays a grainy malt profile with a notable sweetness. Noble hops are lightly spicy with grassy notes, and a touch of DMS is present. Aroma is clean and balanced, with a mild sulfuric quality. The smoke character is restrained and well integrated, adding depth to an already nice aroma.

T: Lower moderate bitterness with a pleasing and harmonious lower moderate smoky quality, a very interesting addition to the traditional Munich Helles Lager characteristics. Malt is grainy and lightly sweet. The finish is clean with notes of smoke.

M: Upper light body with moderate carbonation and a soft, smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Good stuff. The smoke character is pleasant and an interesting addition, but I think I prefer the style without it.

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Photo of biegaman
3.59/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I curiously anticipate this one, thanks again harry!
Neat retro 70's looking looking 500ml bottle. Neat.
Pours an apple golden, head would form somewhat. A little cloudy. Aroma of a peaty cider. Plenty of fireplace like peat, with notes of apple and pear. The smoke takes over the in the taste department, setting it apart from other Munich Helles, giving it much more character. Really distinctive peat smoke. A lot of ripe apple in the taste. A bold malt bill too. Distinct (especially within its style) and quite filling, drinks heavier than a standard German lager. Happy to try!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra.

Pours a very clear golden yellow colour, with a mildly forming head of white film. Some veiny lace forms when tilted. Lots of fine carbonation. Stylistically, it's pretty much spot on.

Nose is grainy and slightly thin, with a faint hint of banana skin and a touch of smoke, but less than I expected, even though they state it's not brewed with the classic rauchmalz. It's more like a slightly tweaked Helles Lager than a beer from Schlenkerla.

Taste is extremely light, with some grainy pilsner malt through the centre leaving a hay-like vegetative or rustic note. It mingles again with a very faint suggestion of smoke, but this leaves a medicinal aspect when mingled with the slightly earthy hop bite on the finish. Feel is light and crisp; quite suitable.

Overall, I found this a little disappointing, even though it's a decent beer overall. It's a reasonable example of a classic style, but there are slight fractures to it which don't really move it off-kilter enough to be interesting.

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Photo of plaid75
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light straw hue, with a one finger foamy head There was little head retention but some decent lacing.

The smell was dominated by a smoky element. The aroma was very similar to that of kielbasa. Since I love kielbasa, I liked the smell.

The taste is less dominated by this smoked kielbasa character, as it is decently hopped and finishes dry. A nice smoky aftertaste.

The mouthfeel was average. Certainly easier to chew than kielbasa.

A pretty drinkable lager. The kielbasa element made this very interesting to drink.

An excellent pairing with smoked meats.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Smoky nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is smoky sausage, way more than "a hint of smokiness". Clean finish. $3.30 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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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 akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Farmers' Cabinet. For no rauch, pretty damned rauchy.

A: The lager is a golden yellow color, hazed a bit but still translucent. A white head, right in line with the lightness of the ale, leaves a few strands of lace behind.

S: The lagerbier has a sturdy smokiness ingrained in it, even if it doesn't include the normal Bamberger smoked malts. The helles lager drips of the Bamberger scent, even with no smoked malts included. A tribute to subtlety.

T: The lager is a light, chewy beer, one that picks up more smokiness by accident that most can muster up intentionally. The biscuity grains are bready; hops are an afterthought. Between the start and finish, the lager's smoked body takes hold. That smoke, meaty as it is, is significantly lighter than Schlenkerla's other offerings. That reduced flavor makes the lager much more palatable, more enjoyable to sip through.

M: The smoke makes the beer, a full flavor that doesn't scorch the earth. A beer that paired nicely with several of the cheeses throughout the night.

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Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, smoke, hint of citrus, hint of hops, hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight metallic (only initially, fades very quickly), slight hops, hint of wheat, and hint of yeast. Overall, good appearance, smell, mouth feel, body, and blend.

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Photo of aasher
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light bodied and very clear bright gold in color with a two finger bright white head. The nose is trademarked pale German malt with a touch of smoke. Hey oh! I've had all of Aecht Schlemkerlas other beers but didn't expect any smoke from their Helles for some reason. The touch of smoke is a nice surprise. The flavors are crisp and clean. It features typical pale Munich malt and again has that touch f smoked malt. It definitely makes this one unique. It drinks light in body and is very easy to sit down and drink. I like it a lot. For anyone who is a fan of German lagers this s a must try.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL bottle into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: medium-pale golden hue with three fingers of frothy foam and lots of apparent effervescence. Head has good retention and sticks to the glass pretty nicely.

Smell: when I first cracked this bottle there was a big whiff of skunk. It's packaged in a brown bottle, but a fairly light brown bottle, so maybe that's the culprit. After letting the skunk dissipate a bit, this beer has a pretty well-rounded dry malt and grain aroma. Perhaps it's just the power of suggestion, but I feel like I can also smell just the smallest hints of smoke; perhaps centuries of Schlenkerla rauchbiers have rubbed off some of their goodness on the brewhouse equipment over there in Bamberg.

Taste: dry but not at all over-attenuated; a nice malt flavor with just a touch of grain and no sourness. Hops are minimal but there is a little earthiness and a fair bitterness at the end. Actually, the more I drink, the more the lingering bitterness builds on the palate. This is turning into a solidly tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: medium density body -- damn fine for such a light lager -- combines with a very good carbonation to result in a creamy, though not too heavy, mouthfeel. I dig it a lot.

Drinkability: a lack of too much sweetness helps here; this is a nice dry lager. Mouthfeel is good and flavor is good, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say the drinkability is good too.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

draft at sams in Durham, into a duck rabbit pint glass.

pours a crisp yellowish gold with a nice inch thick head. the smell is very pronounced with malts and hops and even a bit of smoke, though this isn't one of their smoked beers. the taste is very flavorful with typical lager characteristics and tastes ALMOST smoked, but not quite. I very much dig it. light bodied, mild carbonation.

overall one of the better lagers out there. recommended.

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Photo of corby112
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale golden yellow color with a lot of visible carbonation and a thin white head. Aroma is dominated by a smokey woodsy maltiness with very slight golden fuit notes. Golden pilsner altiness with a subtle hop character and a very smokey, characoal wood chip flavor. Dry finish.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light clear pale orange color.

S: Nice aroma with a slight roasted chocolate nose with a touch of light smokiness sneaking through.

T: Palate is light pale malt, cereal grains with a nice smoked woody character, and earthy hops. Probably one of the better if not best helles style lagers I've had. Theres a light roasted fade of burnt chocolate and a lingering smokiness against the malt to give it a much fuller flavor then others per style along with a decent amount of earthy noble hoppiness. Finishes very nicely making you want more and would go great with a brick oven pizza with sausage.

M: crisp, smoky, and lightly carbonated

D: Drinkability is very good especially within style.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" bright white head over the clear light golden brew. Head fades down relatively quickly to white film, with prevalent sticky lace. Aroma is light sweetness with the ever-present Schlenkerla smokiness, although a bit controlled here. Taste is excellently balanced, with the maltiness countered by the moderate hoppiness, and wisps of smoke throughout it all. Mouthfeel and drinkability are excellent. This one's got the best of both worlds, some smokiness, but still easily approachable. This is the Schlenkerla to start someone new with.

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