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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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very good

522 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 522
Reviews: 338
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 32
Gots: 16 | 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: 522 | Reviews: 338 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

turkob, May 14, 2010
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.

smcolw, May 01, 2010
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.

Greggy, Apr 27, 2010
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 maltlikker
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden straw color with a substantial fluffy white head which leaves thick lacing as it retreats.

Aroma is floral and light citrus with a hint of fresh bread and a wisp of smoke.

Flavor is mildly sweet biscuit and light smoke finishing with clean citrus and cleansing carbonation.

A really delightful beer - this would be a good brew for those who are put off by a rauchbier (many seem to be) but are intrigued by the idea of a smoked beer.

maltlikker, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of coachdonovan
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this is a nice yellow gold, but it is definitely not crystal clear, as others have experienced. it's not at all the haze you might find in a double IPA, but there are some fine particulates suspended throughout. i'm not entirely sure that they're supposed to be there, but let's keep moving.

there is a hint of smoke in the nose, but obviously much less than the rest Schlenkerla's offerings. otherwise it's all malt and no hops - cereal grains mostly. taste is equally malty. the style description for Helles Lager talks about more subdued spicy hop notes than Pils, and in this case i would say "absent" rather than "subdued" when it comes to spicy hop notes.

lately i've been all about lagers, but this one just doesn't do it for me. there's nothing wrong with it, but at the same time, i can't pick out anything about it that i love.

coachdonovan, Mar 27, 2010
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
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 522 ratings.