Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

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BA SCORE
89
very good

351 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 351
Hads: 585
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 41
Gots: 23 | 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

“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: 351 | Hads: 585
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a clear straw color with a thin white head, leaves a good amount of lacing down the glass.

The aroma is toasty and bready with a malty sweetness and a faint smokiness in the background.

The flavor is toasty and bready like in the nose, crisp and clean with a slight malt sweetness and a more pronounced smokiness than there was in the aroma.

Light in body and quite easy drinking. A nice drinker. Thanks cuz. (427 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A wonderfully drinkable Lager/Rauchbier. Pours out to a bright gold color with a small head of white foam. The head calms quickly to a thin layer of bubbles over the surface of the beer, and leaves minimal amounts of lace on the interior of the glass. Aromas of smoke and malt dance into the nose, with some fresh herbal characters mixed into the background. Taste is great; smoke and wood notes combine with full maltiness and grain and a touch of hoppy bite. Some grassy elements as well. Very nice. Mouthfeel is rich, yet not overpowering or thick. Drinkability? It's got it. By far, the lager style of this brew adds highly to the ability to have more than one. If it weren't so expensive, i'd keep them on hand at all times. Highly Recommended drinking. (758 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear pale yellow. Decent amounts of carbonation surface quickly. Thin, bubbly whitish head. Minimal lace. Biscuity and bready malts on the nose reminiscent of fine dortmunders. Faded smokiness and light caramel accent. Fairly crisp mouthfeel with that prickly kind of carbonation. Light to medium in body. Decent all around taste. Biscuity and grain malts form a subdued backbone. Campfire smoke accents...way in the distance. Sweet center. Very slight hop dryness. Good taster. Goes down with no problem. (506 characters)

Photo of OldSock
3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 16.9 oz bottle picked up at Stateline, never seen this one before. I'm hoping this will make up for me missing Fastenbier this year. The bottle is a bit cheesy with a single color label that looks rather shoddily glued on. Poured into my mug... swear to god if I didn't know better I'd say it was bud light, perfectly clear yellow with a stark white head the quickly falls.

Smell – Light smoke compared to the other beers I've had from Heller-Trum not the smoked ham character that I was expecting at all, that being said spicy smoke is still the predominate aroma. There is also a mellow toasted malt aroma. Its hard to tell what is spicy smoke and what is spicy hops, but I think this has a bit of noble hop zing mingling in with the smoke.

Taste – No questioning whether or not this is a smoked beer, but it is no where near as pungent as the Urbock or Marzen. The base beer is solid and crisp, but only seeps around the edges of the smoke. I don't taste any hop flavor aside from the bitterness. While the smoke is milder than the other Rauchbiers in the line, the base beer actually shows through less than in the other beers.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light body with slightly prickly carbonation.

Drinkability & Notes – I can see this beer being perfect for a summer bbq, good smoke character, but still easy drinking. Its hard to call this beer refreshing, but I guess it falls closer to that than savory. It seems like this is a fresh sample, but I still like my smoked beers dark and meaty. (1,523 characters)

Photo of ultralarry2006
1.2/5  rDev -69.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from a bottle. Left a pure white head that quickly receded to surface skim, no lacing. Body was a crystal clear gold with crazy carbonation.

Smell - some pale malts, spicy yeast, and some weird smoky smell.

Taste - doughy malt with a spicy yeast that was unexpected for the style, but that was alright until I got this crazy smoke flavor. Yuck. And I mean smoke like the way a burned down building smells, not like hickory or bbq. Smoke that seems toxic and scary, not a good smoke as related to food. It quite frankly concrened me to be drinking it. Bad, toxic, acrid.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, highly carbonated.

Drinkabilty - I forced myself to try to finish this bottle, it did not happen. (712 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear pale straw with a white and frothy head which fell slowly and laced the glass.

The aroma was lightly smoky and earthy with a smoked sausage character. Some light malt character was present, but no perceptible hops.

The flavor was light with a mild smoke presence and a tinny, metallic and spicy hop bittering. The bittering was substantial and just a bit harsh. Some malt flavor was present but it was overpowered by bittering and smoke.

The finish was dry with lasting smoke into the aftertaste. The body was medium light. A nice beer, but the bittering seemed just a bit high.

16.9 ounce bottle. (654 characters)

Photo of silver0rlead
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful straw yellow with nice carbonation rising to the top and a nice white head that doesnt retain that well. The aroma is excellent, with typical helles scents of biscuit and spicy hops, along with a subtle smokiness (after all they pretty much only brew smoked beer at schlenkerla) that adds another level of complexity to this beer. The flavor is similar to the aroma with normal helles characteristics; biscuit, grainy malt, spicy noble hops, subtle smokiness (resembles bacon), and a slight sweetness (likely residual sugars). The mouthfeel is light and moderately carbonated, with a clean finish and excellent drinkability. This was an excellent beer, seems the perfect marriage of styles (rauchbier and helles lager)...the subtle smokiness is perfect. (771 characters)

Photo of TongoRad
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served at 52F

A squeaky clean white head, at least two fingers, sits atop the brightest clear yellow liquid. A steady stream of bubbles constantly rises from below. The head lasts a minute or two before settling down to a 1/4" layer.

Aroma is a delicate weave of gentle smokiness, bready malt and a touch of herbal/grassy hops. The smoke is more prominent on the super smooth, impeccably balanced palate. Bitterness is clean, carbonation is at just the right level, and the finish is a wonderfully lingering toasty smokiness.

Ultimately you just have to judge this beer for what it is- a 'one-of'. It is truly neither a smoked beer nor a helles, but on its own merits is quite well made and damned enjoyable. After my sixth one (no, not in a row) it became very clear to me that I had found a new favorite thing that I simply must revisit from time to time- it rewards contemplation for sure, but is even better as a quaffer and leaves you thirsting for more when it is gone. (984 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as a crystal clear yellow color with a suitable foamy white head. The aroma is centered on a subtle smoke character. The smoke doesn’t jump out of the glass, like other Schlenkerla beers, but it is omni-present, and very appealing. In addition to the smoke, there’s a bit of grain and a light malt character. I couldn’t get any hop aroma through the smoke. The taste, like the smell, is pinned to the smokiness. There’s also a soft and round malt quality. Finishes with just a touch of bitterness for balance. The beer is semi-dry, with a soft, lingering finish. With the smoke providing a flourish of flavor, and not being overbearing, this brew would be a great accompaniment to lots of food. I wish I had some horseradish cheese. (742 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (688 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL German bottle. The guy at Wine Warehouse told me they brew this as a regular Helles lager, but because they use the same equipment to package the beer, some of the smoky qualities of their rauchbiers inadvertently end up in this beer. Not sure if it's true, but it would make sense. Anyway, it pours into the pilsner glass a clear yellow/gold with a 1 finger head that reduces to a thick and creamy layer of foam that sticks quite well. The aroma consists of toasty, pale malts with a faint smokiness and a mild dose of spicy hops. It is initially quite crisp with a medium body, but the carbonation evens out and the flavor follows what the scent hinted at. It's pretty tasty and the faint smoke adds an interesting twist to this German lager. (751 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
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. (269 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another offering from the Schlenkerla line, and surprise surprise, another stubby bottle adorned with a label in Fraktur German. After the beer was poured, the body looked clear, pale, and well carbonated. The head was one finger thick, and left scant lacing. The smell was only faintly smoky, and would have been hard to place if I did not know the origin. The taste was more pronounced in terms of smoked flavor, although the pale sweet Pilsner malt and the hint of lemon in the taste were more the primary tastes here. Unlike other beers from this brewery, the hops were also clearly evident. Like all the other offerings from this brewery, there was a beer made true to the style under the smoked malt here. This would have been a good pale lager even if it wasn’t faintly smoky. (784 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was purchased at Jungle Jims for $2.89. The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a straw yellow coloration. The head is white and fluffy. The head quickly resolves itself into a thin ring of foam. The beer leaves rings of lacing going down the glass.

Smell: There is a faint hickory smoky smell coming from my glass. The beer has the expected pleasant grainy smells.

Taste: The beer has a toasted biscuity grainyness. The smokyness makes a visit in the flavor. The hops bring a bit of earthness to the beer.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is light bodied. The beer has nice a nice crisp carbonation. This is just an outstanding beer treat. This is definately a proverbial session beer. The beer is easy to consume. I wish that I had more. (786 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased this surprising (for me, at least) find while back in CT a couple weeks back. Came in a big ol' fat half liter bottle and I duly poured it into a big ol' fat mug.
Once decanted, I observed a clear golden beer topped by a bubbly white head that was about a half inch thick. Sporadic carbonation made the head fade fairly quickly and resulted in ghostly lace.
The smell was a train wreck of meaty, sausage-y smokiness and spicey hops notes. Trying to play referee in this was a lighter pale malt aroma that was in danger of taking a knockout blow to the chin.
Not all that surprising that the taste came off as a collision between the irresistable smoked meat taste and the immovable spicey, herbal hops flavor. Daring to get in the mix, at least at the start, was a mild sweet malty taste that was quickly overwhelmed by the smoke-and-meat taste. However, like the big fish getting eaten by the bigger fish, the smokiness could not hold out against the push of the Saaz hops which resulted in a pretty substantial bitterness in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied and crisp with a dry finish.
Overall, I wasn't as impressed by this offering from Heller-Trum as I am with their rauchbier Ur-Bock or Marzen. I think it had to do mainly with the way the hops bitterness clashed with the smokey taste. Rather than working together, it was like two weasels fighting in a burlap bag. Still, it's good and worth a try. (1,427 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.18/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked this one up in Atlanta.

Interesting baby-blue label minimalism. The color of the beer itself is a refractive white-gold. Thin retention, noticable lace trail.

Nose is prototypical helles but buried beneath a distinct rauch characteristic. Reminds me of younger days drinking german beers near campfires. Malt pokes through after your nose acclimates to smoke.

Taste reminds me of the finest scotches in the sense that the smoke is just the icing on the cake. Long, lasting bite of earthy german hops and grain. Smoke is all but forgotten by the end of the pint.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are downright huge. This floats into your mouth and the bottle's gone before you know it. This could be a nice introduction to the general properties of Rauchbier before going balls to the wall with this brewery's other (much more intense) offerings. (858 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of gosurfobx
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle with no freshness date. Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a clear straw color with a white lacy head. Smoked smell is evident, smells like bacon, but does not dominate the smell of the beer. Also has the sweet malt smell. Taste like someone took a nice helles lager and put a couple slices of bacon in it. Very interesting. Would go great with some smoked tenderloin. Has pretty good mouthfeel. This beer isnt for everyone but I like it and will look for it again. (486 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Undated 16.9 oz purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a pilsner.

Clear gold under a couple centimeters of white that hold their ground. Faint lace as it goes down. After a few sips the head is reduced to a fat ring.

The nose has some of the characteristic smokey bacon aromas that are associated with this brewery's other labels. A bit odd for a normal Helles, but I love smoked beers and foods so I'm enjoying it. Smoked Helles? Light malts and some grains underneath.

The malts are more assertive in the taste as they seem to be paired with the smoke and the grains take a back seat. Lightly dry with lingering smoke in the finish. Very nice "light" beer.

The mouth is light with crisp carbonation. This is one hell of a session beer as it perfectly balances flavor with low alcohol and damn near perfect drinkability. I am buying more next week. This would be a great one to sip in front of a camp fire. (932 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The latest smoked beer from Bamberg to hit our shores pours very pale yellow and crystal clear, with a decent white head that quickly fades. The dominant smell here is that characteristic smoked-meat aroma, although there is some pale malt in there. It's not a very distinct aroma, but it's not as bludgeoning as some the other Schlenkerla offerings.

The taste of this beer is considerably more complex. First off on the palate is smokiness, but that soon gives way to a typical helles bitterness, then a bready malt note, and finally a slightly hoppy, bitter, pin-prick finish. Through all this, this beer slips over the tongue unsubstantially with great smoothness. The smoke flavor doesn't get in the way at all; this beer remains highly drinkable, albeit with a smokey twist that increases its element of interest and/or mystery. Very interesting beer. (859 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,043 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
4.37/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this at Oak Tree Buy Rite in South Plainfield... last one, I couldn't resist.

Served in a nonic at fridge temperature, alongside a nice meatball parmesian. No freshness date.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear straw, the palest of yellows... with a nice three finger soapy head. Craggy lacing is left behind, looks pure.

Smell- Schlenkerla's signature bacony smoke aroma, just a hell of a lot lighter than their other offerings. Great malts and a whiff of hops, becoming richer and bolder as the beer opens up.

Taste- Great, smooth, tasty brew incorporating the smoked malts into an easy drinking lager. Pleasantly different, and refreshing. A sweet, lush hop character unfurls beneath the malts with terrific balance. Mild smoke and bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Light to medium in the mouth, and effortless to drink. What a great alternative for this summer. (901 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

stubby, single-serve bottle with striking blue-on-white label imprinted with gothic lettering.. the r-word figures prominently as a testament to german quality.

pours a familiar lighter shade of school bus yellow and absolutely crystal clear. speedracing fat bubbles rise perfectly vertically. the head is slight and lacing is present. looks drinkable.

and by gosh it is!

smells like salted crackers, slightly meaty with hints of a richer yet subdued marzen style maltiness. clean and not much in the way of dominant aromas.

drinks like a toasty lager. clean finish preceded by a smooth and rich semi-sweet malt peppered with charred rauch smoke. didn't think this element of schenkerla would show up so prominently in this beer but it does.. perhaps its the lightness to the beer that allows it to shine. however, in no way does it dominate like in the yellow-label rauchbiers of this brand. this is drinkable, and would be recommended for those who like lagers but can't take the extreme bacon qualities in other offerings.

drinkable through the roof and like jcalbi said, an awesome session brew. anyone who finds this on tap would benefit karmically from letting me know where they found it. (1,210 characters)

Photo of tjd25
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smooth, thick, compact and lasting head, on a transparent pale golden color. Quite desirable.
The smell is essentially malty, with light roasted notes, a bit like roasted corn. Sweet with some burnt caramel. The taste gets quite enjoyable: a good lager, showing a round and smooth maltiness, combined with interesting notes of smoke. Some sweet fruitiness too, citrus, some orange peel, hints of lemon, with a light dry hoppy grapefruity finish. Well balanced, a more than decent brew by Schlenkerla. (502 characters)

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a golden orange color with a fuzzy head of small bubbles on the top.

Smell: It has a very mild smell - a delicately refreshing blend of yeast/pretzel smells.

Taste: It begins very refreshing and brisk with bitters. Then it turns into a smokey rich flavor at the end. A very smooth transition between the two.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a big body to it - very round in the mouth. The body is not highly carbonated and is very smooth going down.

Drinkability: Although very rich, I could see myself drinking several of these in a row. (562 characters)

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.