Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

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very good

543 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 543
Reviews: 341
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 33
Gots: 21 | 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: 543 | Reviews: 341 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kellyst
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark gold in color with a thin white lace. Carbonation is fairly low. There's a lot of sediment in the glass. Aroma is light smoke with no malt or hop aroma noticeable. Flavor is delicious, on its on it's a well-made helles with a light, slightly bready malt flavor. Then there is the added layer of smokiness that melds perfectly with the malt flavor. The smokiness is present, but subdued compared to other rauchbiers. Drinkability is fantastic.

Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of EwaldEichstaett
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: I was very surprised by this beer's appearance. It was a light straw golden color with a white head and big carbonation bubbles coming up. In effect, it looked like a regular Helles.

S: Bready malts, hops and some bacon flavored smoke. Apparently, the brewery does not use any smoked malts in this beer, it is just absorbed from the brewing process. Because of this, the smoke smell was a lot more delicate than the other Schlenkerla beers.

T: Smooth delicious malts mixed in with a light smoke flavor. I was expecting more smoke than this(I thought it was brewed with smoked malts), but it was really delicious. Light hop bite at the end. Nails the Helles style!

M: Feels great in the mouth. Good thick body that only German lagers deliver mixed with great smooth carbonation.

D: This is a Helles, naturally it will be about as drinkable as can be. That being said, it is also the most drinkable smoke flavored beer I have ever had. 5 Stars!

Photo of ritzkiss
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle shared with bobsy, thanks man!

Pours a light hay-like golden, massive chunks floating in the bottle, light tight white head.

First whiff gives off a surprisingly strong smoke character but as it warms and the nose adjusts it integrates much better. Joined by a clean biscuity malt and a hint of pepper.

At first the smoke is also not integrated into the beer - hit of smoke and then the clean lager, seemed like two beers in one. As it warms, it grows together with a light bitterness, hint of fruits, a rounded grain sweetness. Sharp carb that I wish was tamed down a bit.

Really an unusual beer that works through, not something I would drink pints of but it is a nicely crafted, full flavored lager.

Photo of bobsy
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden pour with a tight white cap that laced well. Even in the bottle there were evident floaties. Slight bandai aroma married to smoke. Supposedly no smoked malt is used in this, but you'd never know. Plastic and mild fruit is okay.

Flavour sets it apart. Smoke leads off and adds the complexity lacking in many helles. Beyond that its soft lager malts. Still some light plastic, but less noticeable and more fruity as it warms. Pleasant soft mouthfeel hits the spot.

Nice beer and an interesting helles. Immenesely flavourable for 4.3% and highly recommended.

Photo of flagmantho
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of jera1350
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Blue Nile.

Champagne like appearance. Light golden color with a miniscule highly head.

Light sweet and wheaty smell. Bit of Belgian yeast scent.

Complex for the style. Lightly sweet and fruity. Nice smoke presence with a grainy, musty taste.

Some prickly carbonation with a lighter body.

Easy to drink and a unique beer for the style. Glad I tried it.

Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pale straw with lots of streamers of bubbles and a cottony head that puckers and laces. Nose has light smoke - more like ham than sausage - that doesn't mask sweet grain and dried hay hops. Cream cracker malts and mild grass and cumin hops with the same light smoke from the nose overlaying the whole thing. Light, soft, clean, some oil.

(But why isn't this a rauchbier?)

Nice balance with the smoked malts, but I'm not sure it's a great Helles underlying the whole affair. Still, probably the best entry into smoked beers for the uninitiated.

Photo of buschbeer
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured into my glass to two fingers of white head. It is a clear golden yellow. The aroma is sweet, bready malt with a hint of their famous smoke. The taste is sweet malt and crisp. There is a slight smoke finish. This is an easy drinking beer and the smoke just makes it better.

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.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml. bottle with no freshness date.

Very light yellow color with a good stream of bubbles leading to a dusting of a white head.

The aroma is yeasty and dough-bready, with a very small hint of smoke. Overall, it doesn't seem "clean", and the yeast profile didn't pick up much from the smoke beer.

The flavor is moderatley malty and sweet, with more yeast flavor than I'd prefer. It reminded me of the beer version of taffy candy. Again, not clean, and not very smokey.

The mouthfeel is a standout in this beer, with a gentle carbonation and a sweet finish. Overall, the "smoke yeast" both took away from the cleaness of the lager, and didn't add enough of a twist to make it great.

Photo of evanackerman
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a nice golden color with frothy head that dissipated fairly fast.

Aroma is smoky malt, hints of caramel.

Taste is very malty and a bit smoky, very interesting and different than any other Helles lager I've tasted.

Mouthfeel is quite viscous for a Helles, very nice.

Overall, a very unique Helles lager, the smokiness adds a pleasant touch, definitely worth a try at least once, I would gladly drink again.

Photo of BogleHill
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a hazy golden color in appearance. Frothy head dissappears fast. Stagnant particles remain. The aroma is of slightly sweet smoke. The flavor is very roasty caramel with a slight smoke finish. A quite drinkable brew - I would get this again.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the South Philly Tap Room. Poured a cloudy yellow/straw with two fingers of white head, and good retention. Picked up smoke in the nose, but less so than in some of the other Schlenkerla styles. Tasted very smokey initially, then more malty, and then a nice hoppy/malty finish, with smoke/malt in the aftertaste. Nicely carbonated medium/thin feel. Very sessionable.

Photo of beeragent
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass from a bottle.

A - Light gold forming a 1/2 inch white head which quickly faded. Light spots of lace on the glass.

S - The nose is definetly dominated by the smoked malts however there is a slight hop presence, giving a light hop floral aroma.

T - Again, the smoked malts dominate the palate, but not overpowering. The hops appear towards the finish before the malts dominate in the aftertaste. Not really complex but extremely delicious.

M - Light and crisp. Good carbonation level and smooth finish.

D - This is definitely not the norm for a Helles lager, but if this is what they all tasted like, I would be drinking them alot more often. Great flavor and aroma. The smoked malts add a unique twist to the flavor while not being overpowering. Full flavor without being too heavy, and retaining that crisp lager mouthfeel.

Photo of wcintula
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the Schnitzel Haus in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Nice choice of German, Austrian, and Belgian beers.

I didn't get to watch the pour but it was served to me in a weizen glass. Nice golden, straw colored body with lots of carbonation contributing to the two-finger, off-white, foamy head. My nose is picking up smoke only. It's more than the predominant smell here. The taste is a different story. Contrary to what I remember about the Marzen, the smokiness sits back a little and though, while ever present, lets the malts do more talking. There's a fine carbonation to this beer with medium body, it's excellent. I wish I weren't on a budget, because I'd order another. I enjoyed this beer with snails and venison.

Photo of DerBayer
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best schlenkerla yet other than maybe the urbock but this really is amazing.

A perfect helles with a slight smokey punch. not faint but slight it is definitely present with a surprising faint honey aroma as well

i had this both from bottle and on tap and it s always superb. if you get a chance a definite must.

Photo of dbossman
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice white, foamy head with steady retention and good lacing

S: A combination of lemon/citrus and an eathy hay quality; pleasant but quite subtle

T: A smoky meatiness is most prevalent and that blends nicely with the earthy guality and subtle citrus from the hops

F: Very even balanced

D: A great beer for grilling; this is a nice, slightly smokey lager

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear straw-yellow hue with nice white head and spots of lace.

S - Sweet floral, honey-ish and grassy lager aromas, surprisingly no real smoke.

T - Okay. Here's the smoke. And also a clean mineral taste with a ton of hop flavor (for a lager) on the finish. A very nice brew, subtle and understated.

M - Real smooth, lighter-bodied and softly carbonated.

D - Very enjoyable. I prefer this to most lagers.

Photo of Errto
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear pale gold color with very active - even audible carbonation, and a loose head that settles to a thin layer.

Smell starts off with a distinctive German-style maltiness but later a very distinctive smoke comes through. It overpowers the other smells only because they're quite subtle - it's not nearly as thickly smoky as I was expecting (compared to, say, an island Scotch).

The flavor is more like what I'd expect from a Munich Helles. Light, crisp, refreshing, a delicate balance of malt with a small punch of hops. As with the smell, the smoke comes through only later and makes an interesting contrast. A little alcohol in the finish.

Very dry, but it does coat the tongue a bit. Overall, a really interesting mix of flavors that imho comes out just right.

Photo of udubdawg
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold color capped by a thin head. It doesn't look as bright as I expected so I take a closer glance. I see a fine haze of tiny particles in the glass, though I only poured in half the bottle. I wonder briefly about the age of the bottle and move on.

Very nice aroma, malt surprising me at first as I expected overwhelming smoke. Smoke is there but if I didn't know the brewer it wouldn't have been in my first impression. Very well done...perhaps wish the overall aroma was just a little bigger.

A balanced well-done lager. Tasty, doesn't seem very bitter but it does seem a proper level. Quite drying, just enough to demand another sip but not quite to actually make my mouth parched. faintly sweet lingering malt flavor in the aftertaste. Smoke grows on my palate but never overwhelms.

Soft carbonation could be slightly higher, but there is little to quibble with here. Nice balance of sweet/bitter/dry without high alcohol makes this extremely drinkable. Even many of those who try to avoid the harshness of some smoked beers need to give this a try.

Photo of turkob
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first review! Studying for the BJCP so here goes

A: Very translucent and absolutely filled with bubbles. Pours a thick, cloudy white head that subsides slowly and looks beautiful. Golden with a hint of amber.

S: Little smell at all. A little sweet, I can pick up a hint of malt and even less noble hops, but really almost completely without aroma.

T: Very crisp. A mild but distinct malt profile with a hint of hops on the finish. Grainy but mostly sweet.

M: Finishes dry. Lots of carbonation makes the beer tingle in your mouth. Not a lot of body, but not thin either.

O: A refreshing and light beer with plenty of flavor to keep you wanting more. I'd like a little more hops on the finish, but you can definitely drink a couple of these without blinking.

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great start to the head--nearly pure white. Some spotty lace. Pale gold color and nearly clear (slight haze). The head does settle to nearly nothing.

Slightly skunked...otherwise a grainy, malty aroma. There's a mild touch of hop in the background.

Slightly sour from the skunkiness. Mostly malty with a mild hop spot in the swallow. Creamy finish. Good body for the style. Not the best light malted lager, but it holds its own.

Photo of Greggy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a thin bright white head with little lacing. The body is a hazy straw color.

S- Some graininess, light fruity hops and some honey notes, and a tiny suggestion of smokiness.

T- Starts out with a big malty whack with notes of honey, minerals, cereal grains, and some drying hops at the end, with again, a tiny bit of smoke.

M- What a nice full body for a beer of 4.3%. Carbonation is light and almost spritzy.

D- A pretty drinkable brew. I thought this was a smoked beer but from what I understand, it is not. At almost $5 for the bottle, I probably won't buy again.

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.