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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

515 Ratings
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

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 Mcculler
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Needed a more vigorous pour so I'm being conservative on the appearance, but the colour was nothing truly exceptional - clear golden.

Smell - molasses, smoke, and autumn leaves.

Taste - tea, teaberry, smoke, dry autumn leaves, herbal finish.

Nicely carbonated.

At 4.5 or thereabouts very drinkable.

Beautiful, intriguing beer.

Mcculler, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier. On tap @ DBGB

Honey golden in color with a 1" frothy snow white head and little bubbles from carbonation perpetually streaming up the side of the glass. Inviting but not remarkable.

Some smokey, oaky notes to begin with. There's definitely light malt in the nose as well.

Oh wow! This is where it really shines and outperforms my wildest expectations. The sommelier at DBGB informed me that the beer is stored in wood casks and produced with machinery that imparts the smokiness. The initial flavor of biscuity malts and fruity esters in not immediately impressive. But the addition of the very slight woody taste makes all the difference and brings it into perfect balance. It tasted fresh, refreshing, but also soft and inviting.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Medium-bodied, decent amount of carbonation (I'm glad this one wasn't too carbonated as it would have overpowered the woody, smokey flavor). Very much a session beer at 4.3%, and the woody flavor in conjunction with its solid Munich helles lager attributes make this one a pleasure to consume in scalable quantities.

BeerNemesis, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of Slatetank
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Downeast Beverage in Portland ME, poured chilled in a pils glass shared with brew partner Tim Diener.

A - A very clear straw golden w/ visible carbonation and tiny beading. The lager creates spotty laced and the retention is very good

S - A slight smokiness is noted which is sweet w/ light hints of malt aroma

M- A light grainy feel w/ subtle smokey accent. The lager is mildly sweet with a moderatly low level of carbonation and mild spice. The lager finishe w/ a light toasted note

T - A subtle pilsner taste w/ slight sweet grainy flavor and mild cereal note and toasted flavor. The lager has a mild slight smoke but is married well and lets the malt stand on its own - no need to overwhelm with smoke as it still has a gental touch of herbal hop flavor in the finish

D - I love the complexity of the lager and the smoke compliments in every way and really addss to the Helles - Excellent drinkability!

Slatetank, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of meeekyh
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 16.9oz bottle into a belled flute. I will note that the label is a bit different than the one pictured. I believe it is a new label, as I found it behind a bottle with a label that did match the one pictured as of this review. Basically there is additional red ink.

The pour reveals a very light straw colored, very clear beer wearing a pure white fluffy head with a bit of lacing.

Nose is tame but slightly smoky. There is a bit of grain and that is about it. Interesting, I just read the label and it notes the smokiness comes 'without using smoke malt', OK.

Taste carries that same smokiness, really interesting and somehow more refreshing than I imagined. It has a peat-smoked notion that reminds me of Scotch. There is tartness and a profile much like a German pils but that is swallowed by the smoke as the finish comes on. It ends spicy.

The feel is light and sparkly but heavily carbonated. The smoke and spice add to the dryness and make this a ridiculously drinkable beer.

I have never had this style before but for the overall tastiness, the novelty of the non-smoked-smokyness, and the uber-quaffability I give it very high marks. It was a bit on the pricey side though...

meeekyh, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of froghop
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a semi-hazy pale yellow with a thin white head, and not much lacing.

smell is faint, malt, grain, a touch of smoke, and a little corn.

taste is of corn, malt, a little sweet in back, a little smoke, and well hidden hops, ends dry and a little bitter.

froghop, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of david131
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- A clear, golden color with a quick to rise and fall white head. There is not much head retention at all.

S- Fruit and sweet malt. Unique enough to stand out. Intriguing.

T- Sweet malt with just a hint of smoke. The fruit aspect is very nice but not out of control. The sweetness is rather mild.

M- Enough carbonation for a decent bite. Very clean and smooth on the finish.

D- Would make a great session beer if it was significantly cheaper.

david131, Feb 09, 2010
Photo of tzieser
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 500ml bottle into a weihenstephan glass.

a: crystal clear, bright golden color with a thick white head that dissipates into a small lacing. decent retention. nice.

s: nice smokey malt aroma, with undertones of hops. smells like a good helles, but with a subtly smokey background.

t: nice smoked malt flavor up front, with a touch of noble hops in the back to give it that pilsner-inspired flavor. finishes a tad dry, as it should. really good stuff. i love how the smoked malts give this beer a whole other dimension of flavor. basically tastes like a good authentic helles (like weihenstephan), generously smoked over hardwood. excellent stuff.

m&d: nice mouthfeel. drinkability is great. probably the most drinkable/sessionable smoked beer i've ever had.

i was ecstatic when i saw this at the store. i'm really glad it lived up to my expectations.

tzieser, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of mikeborglum
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 500ml Bottle in pint glass at room temp - Clear, pilsener-golden beer with a small, white head. Faint smoked aromas and some sweet malt in the flavour. Good smokey notes that are very exciting. Fresh and easy to drink. Great pilsner beer and great flavor!

mikeborglum, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of 1fastz28
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a light golden color with hardly any foam at all, it looks pretty boring really. smell is ok, some light hops and sweet malt flavor are pretty prevalent. taste is pretty similar, has a nice sweet malt flavor as its base, with a light hop flavor to it, mouthfeel and drinkability are decent, its a nice helles, but i really think there are betters out

1fastz28, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of animal69
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a slightly cloudy med. golden yellow w/ a decent sized white head which quickly dissipates leaving little lace in my mug (dirty glass?)

S- smell is mostly steely cereal grain w/ some smokey and floral/grassy hops

T- taste is much smokier than smell, comes out in front of everything & finishes w/ just as much, in between are some cereal grains and muted noble hops, an even bitterness goes well with it all to leave a smokey light bitter finish on the palate

M- a fairly dry, light body, yet a bit fuller than one would think a 4.3% beer would be, good amount of co2

D- a very drinkable brew, a nice session beer w/ lots of flavor

animal69, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of jsh420
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

pours straw yellow with a 1 finger head that fades fast and left no lacing

smell has smoked malt/salmon notes to it that i have never picked up in other helles lagers

taste - the smokey notes are not as present but a good amount of bitter grassy hops - also i get some chalky peppermint tums flavors??? - what ever it is i am digging it

mouthfeel is light but not as crisp and carbonated as some helles lagers

drinkability is great - a beer @ only 4.3% and this flavorful - forget about it!!

jsh420, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of RedBrewer83
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sierra N. Pint glass....

A: Crisp clear golden yellow with a very nice two finger frothy creamy head. Decent lacing and beautiful bubbles rising from the middle of the glass.

S: Light dry, slightly fruity as in faint white grape with just a hint of smokiness...

T: Follows the nose....a little more fruit and a little more smoke, almost reminiscent of smoked salmon but ever so faint.

M: Light body with crisp carbonation and a nice dry finish.

D: Smooth and drinkable, at this low abv it goes down easy...Overall this is a great helles lager. Very nice!

RedBrewer83, Dec 30, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Deep Ellum, Allston MA.

Clear, pale straw color. Fluffy white head with decent retention and lace for a Helles. Smells like smoked salmon and dry, light grain. Taste is again, smoked salmon, with mild fruit and light grain. Well attenuated. Good camping beer.

A helles for smoked salmon lovers?

donkeyrunner, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of bob3701
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a weisse glass. Has a big beautiful white head and clear very light straw color. Great lacing. Nice clean yeasty aroma. And a great light but flavorful taste. I enjoyed this alot. Was not expecting to like it as much as I did. I could drink this all day if it was not so expensive. A wonderful helles style brew.

bob3701, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saw this beer on draft at a local beer bar and couldn't resist. I am not a rauchbier fan and I have tried the other beers from this brewery. I was excited that they made a non-Rauch beer but in hindsight, what exactly was I expecting?

Beer is yellowish and has a slight haze to it. White head and good lacing on the glass.

The aroma of this beer put me off of it almost immediately. It smelled acidic and terrible. Like spoilage. I swirled the beer and smelled it again and this time it was greatly improved. Could pick up on some sweetness and the malt. I'm still penalizing it for the first whiff.

This beer has (SURPRISE!) a slight aftertaste of smoke. Seriously, what did I expect? The brewery responsible for making 5 beers, 4 of them are the world's best Rauchbiers and this one, they couldn't escape it. I wonder if the smoke flavor is intentional or just ingrained in everything they produce. Like they will never be able to make a beer without a slight bit of smoke in it, just because their equipment is coated with it.

Overall the beer was smooth and kind fo bland. The smokey aftertaste was unnecessary and abbreviated my pleasure of this beer. Sorry Schlenkerla. Not interested.

drabmuh, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of nicnut45
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

nicnut45, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of albern
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Helles Lager is unique, and it isn't often that the words unique and lager are put together. This has a very interesting, and I think quite nice, smoky flavor that is typical in their Rauchbiers, but in a lager? That's definitely new. The beer pours a straw pale color, clear as crystal, and very light looking. The beer does lace fairly well, and if you dump the bottle over you can get a pretty nice white creamy head, with a touch of foam. The nose is very typical for the style, although there are some interesting grassy notes, some lemon, some fruit flavors not often found in a lager. The fruitiness, if that is what it is, is very hard to pin down, but it is oddly unique for a lager. It could also be an aromatic left over from the smokiness. This beer is already in a class by itself.

The taste is quite smooth, slightly lemony, with that undefined fruitiness emerging in the taste as well. The real definitive element in the beer is the smoked flavors. This is really good. A smoked lager, that's a first. The beer is very light, moderately refreshing, with just a touch of dry tartness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is pretty undefined and light. This is a must try for its uniqueness. L'Chaim.

albern, Nov 14, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nonic pint glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright, clear, golden yellow color with a 1/3" white head that recedes soon, leaving a small ring of foam around the glass. Sipping leaves sparse lacing for most of the beer.

Smell: The aroma is fresh and bready from the malt. There are traces of smoke and some light caramel, but the smoky character is clearly there even though not overpoweringly so.

Taste: The flavors are fresh and crisp with the bready light sweet malt and some lightly smokiness from the beechwood smoke used by the brewery in malting their other beers. There is also a nice crisp bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium-bodied and soft with moderate carbonation. The finish begins with light caramel sweetness and trails off into a light dry bitterness with the smoky character pervasive throughout.

Drinkability: This is a very refreshing and nicely drinkable beer that I enjoyed a great deal. I could easily have several in an evening and I won't hesitate to have this one again and I certainly will look for it in the future. Even thought the malts in this one are not smoked it is amazing just how much smoke this beer picks up just from being brewed in the same brewery on the same equipment. This smoky character definitely sets it apart from the field of Helles lagers and does so in a good way, to my tastes.

drtth, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of HeroJH
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really great way to do a smoked beer. According to the label, the yeast used from a previous batch of a fully smoked beer, is used on this lager, which would probably be great on it's own anyway.

A - Rich yellow. Bits of flavor floating around

S - hint of apple, clean. Touch malt, barely a hint of smoke, but I might not have noticed it if I wasn't looking for it.

T - Full and delicious lager start. Hint of apple, dry malt. Then, a full surprising smokiness that tastes like it came from a very dry beach wood or something. Very pleasant.

M - Dry, smoke, clean

D - Great. Would really love to try this with some smoked seafood. Like smoked fish, muscles, cheeses... A nice treat.

HeroJH, Nov 05, 2009
Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle.

Bright, clean, light golden body with a big, fluffy, frothy, off-white head. Biscuity malt aroma with light touches of honey and grain. Big funky, Euro wall of hops. Light smokiness. Slightly soapy, toasted biscuit malt up front. Snappy Euro-hop bitterness provides some nice funk and herbal goodness. Subtle smokiness beneath it all lends that Schlenkerla signature. I wouldn't mind more smoke though... Light honey sweetness lingers in the finish. Moderate body with a crisp, lively mouthfeel. A nice session lager, with a hint of smoke makes for a good beer!

alexgash, Nov 04, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

NJpadreFan, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of richago1
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

richago1, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of trbergman
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Pale straw-gold with two fingers of soft, pillowy white head.

S - Dry, cracker-like malt with the faintest hint of smoke, with freshly cut grass and floral hop aroma.

T - Light and bready, with slight vinous and woody qualities. Dry, with moderate hop bitterness. White pepper spiciness lingers on the tongue, with just a bit of smoke in the aftertaste.

M - Very light body, good carbonation.

D - A good beer - probably the closest I've come to being wowed by a helles. Smoke was much less than I was expecting. I think this would be overwhelmed by ribs, but something like pulled chicken could make a pretty good pairing. I would drink this again.

trbergman, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting find on tap at The Other Side Cafe in Boston. Pours pale golden with off-white head. Aroma has some fruit and a perfumy quality, along with smoke. On the palate the perfume quality is present and the beer is overall very crisp and refreshing. Good accompaniment to the pub fare.

yemenmocha, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear yellow with a thin white head fades rapidly.

S - Bready, grainy malts with light smoke and a touch of spicy hops.

T - A decent amount of smoke, more than the version I had on tap, spicy hops, slightly mineral flavor, bready with some lemon.

M - Light body and refreshing. The carbonation seems a tad low. A dry lingering mineral finish.

D - I really don't remember this much smoke when I had it on tap but it is still a refreshing, interesting beer.

brewcrew76, Oct 16, 2009
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.