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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

496 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 496
Reviews: 331
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 30
Gots: 11 | 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: 496 | Reviews: 331 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gfreed


3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As helles lagers go, this was was so-so. The lager character was there, with noticeable honey and lemon somewhat mellowed by a light smoke flavor. But really, the smoke was so distant as to be difficult to detect. So in the end the smokiness was not a factor in either aroma or taste. That leaves the helles part, and I'd say that was pretty distant, too, when compared to something like a Weihenstephan helles. The Schlenkerla was dull yellow in color, with a thin body, light carbonation and a bite that was rather toothless. I love Schlenkerla's rauchbiers, but this particular beer could be a pass.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2008 22:29:06 | More by gfreed
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a straw golden color with medium white head and some spots of lacing down the glass. Smell is just excellent. More of a smoked presence than from the bottle, that's for sure. It is just as prominent as anything else in the nose. Taste carries on in that fashion. For such a light brew, there is a lot going on. Biscuity, cereal like malt. Faint fruit and earthy, grassy hops. A touch of honey. Nice light mouth with a crisp snap in the finish. Just an all around excellent and memorable beer. One of my favorites of any style.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2008 03:16:57 | More by ncvbc
Photo of klewis


4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light golden with a modest, frothy head. Modeate lacing.

S: Honey, freshly baked bread, and a light, fruity aroma contribute to a very nice bouquet.

T: A taste of honey with a strong ginger flavor. Malty with just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish for a perfect balance. A very unique taste.

M: Light-bodied with soft carbonation for a lager. Nice and smooth.

D: This beer is pretty much awesome all around, and I would have no problem spending a day drinking nothing but this. Outstanding.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 01:18:58 | More by klewis
Photo of ThirstyBird


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

Poured from a 500ml bottle into an imperial pint glass
A - Pours a light honey color with a 1/2 inch white head that falls away quickly to a partial skim coating.
S - Lager sweetness with a touch of smokiness.
T - Subtle smoke taste right up front followed by a full lager toasted grain flavor followed by some smoky bitterness at the back end.
MF - A really pleasant mouthfeel. Smooth and rather full feeling even th0ough it's really a light/medium bodied beer.
D - A no brainer as far as a beer that I would like to have a couple of. I will seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 22:53:02 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of Bankrobber77


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16.9oz bottle into .5 liter glass stein.

A - light straw color. Not impressive. Looked like miller lite, except for the head, which was snow-white, slightly frothy, sitting atop a good amount of carbonation.

S - Interesting. Smelled like something on fire...like the guy from down the block burning leaves in early fall. Also got notes of thick-sliced white toast with lots of butter, like the kind I have on Sunday morning before watching football.

T - Lightly smoky - less like the guy burning leaves, more like a the campfire your pals built down the path while you were getting in one last cast. Slightly bitter/hoppy start, then the smoke flavor, with a crisp but malty finish. Wow.

M - Slight film in the back of the mouth, reinforcing the smoke flavor.

D - Well, I'm totally biased - I'm a bit of a helles bier fanboy, I could pound this stuff all day. The smoke flavor could get a little old for the average guy or gal after the third or fourth half-liter of this, but I could (and would, and should) treat this as a late-summer/early fall session beer.

Overall, this is a great introduction to Aecht Shlenkerla - I've had their rauchbier, which is *much* smokier. The smoke flavor is there in the helles, but it's more of a 'come-hither wink & smile' rather the 'two-by-four upside the head' of the rauchbier marzen, which I also enjoy.

This beer would be GREAT with any sort of slow-cooked barbecue beef (texas ribs, beef brisket, sausage) or grilled/smoked bbq chicken. I don't know that I'd pair this with pulled pork or memphis/st. louis ribs, but you never know.

I look forward to drinking this again!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 04:37:46 | More by Bankrobber77
Photo of hopdog


3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired in trade with The_Beer_God.

Nice aromas of strong smoked meat, pepperoni, pork, beef jerky and had a refried bean aroma. The tastes were thin and almost non-existent with tastes of light smoke and a generic light sweetness. The tastes did not live up to the aromas.

Notes from 9/2/06

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 16:13:50 | More by hopdog
Photo of tmoneyba


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


Poured clear pale color with a large frothy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Moderate smoke grassy aroma. Medium body with soft carbonation. Medium sweet smoke flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration.

Good cigar brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 23:45:15 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of Matty1918


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with no freshness date.

Pours a nice light, golden amber with a nice foamy white head. The head settles down to a 1/4 inch head. Lots of little bubbles floating to the top. Good amount of lacing.

A nice earthy aroma with traces of spicey hops.

The first sip is very different from what I expected from the aroma. There is a hint of pilsner up front but then that settles down to a nice malt flavor that gives way to a nice smokey ending. The malts are whatt make this beer. Very nice and enjoyable

This was my first Helles Lager and I like the style. Very light and crisp. Well worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 18:59:52 | More by Matty1918
Photo of hustlesworth


4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- bright shiny clear golden body with a rather picturesque cap of white meringue foam that coats the inside of my pils glass. foam settles the a thin dense membrane floating atop tiny rising bubbles. a real beauty.

S- different, but oddly familiar. pale malt then all at once a soft, dried wood, meaty, savory, campfire smoke eases its way in along with a distinct lightly toasted cereal aroma. a light grassiness is the only indication of hops although the light residual burning paper smokiness of this un-smoked beer creates an interesting profile all on its own.

T- i see how this may be an acquired taste, in a good way. my body tells me "toxic" but my brain knows its not so the first swaller definitely hosted a little apprehension. over that hump however, i can appreciate the lent smokiness in a much different way than something darker like a smoked porter. this is a mild flavored beer, but the smoke flavor matches up to the beer flavor all the way. at first its akin to burning paper or leaves but then its breaks itself down into something woodsy and organic, like burning tree bark on a campfire, and an odd comparison, but it tastes like an early american log cabin on a sunny snow covered morning. aside from all that, the pale malt is crisp and natural, some lemony hops, clean yeast flavor, and woodsy with some lingering smoke. difficult to rate this along other helles, it is unlike anything i've ever tasted.

MF- pretty standard here, nearly light body, medium carbonation, with a filmy smoke coated effect which may or may not be all in my head.

D- after the initial shock of experiencing this unique taste, i found this beer to be thoroughly delicious as well as refreshing on this presidential election morning, and most interesting breakfast i've had in a long while. they say it only picks up smoke flavor from being brewed in the same vessels as the rauchbiers. no doubt that fact characterizes its friendly drinkable nature. i heard someone say BBQ.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 13:39:56 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm filled with nothing but regret and utter compunction for never having reviewed anything at all from the Schlenkerla Smoke Inhalation Series. I'll get right on that. Let's start off with the Helles Lagerbier!

Appearance: Lightly hazy, pale copper body with a foamy, frothy, white head.

Smell: Sweetish honey and toffee maltiness with only a background, though still obviously present note of smoke.

Taste: Sweet maltiness, perhaps a pinch of crisp pilsner malt, along with flavors of toffee and clover honey. Hint of biscuits, maybe a bit of ripe peach fruitiness. Mild, spicy hops and bitterness along with the very restrained smoke character assist to balance the sweetness. Finishes crisp with a remaining light blend of smoke and sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, that really was a breath of fresh air! Schlenkerla lite, I dare say. Overall, highly drinkable and a very good way to casually introduce yourself to Schlenkerla's wares.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 00:22:42 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of AltBock


2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle with a dirt simple blue and white label with the name of the beer and some German in blue old fashioned letters. The back label only contains the mandatory US information. The cap is the most interesting thing on the bottle. It shows a wobbling man with a mug of beer in one hand and a cane in the other. He could be wobbly over the leg injury or it's because he had too much to drink.

I poured this German beer into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass. What came out of the bottle was a beer that was clear, bubbly, slightly hazy, and almost straw yellow in color.I did a slow pour on this beer and all I got was a tiny skim of white foam. This tiny skim of foam quickly dissipated into a handful of white rings and no lace whatsoever.

The aroma of this beer was lightly smoky and sweet with yeast, a splash of lemon peel, a faint whiff of toasted malts, and then this aroma ends with a mixture of butter and caramel popcorn. I like popcorn as much as the next person, but not when it's coming off of my beer.

The taste was lightly crispy and smoky with toasted malts, a splash of lemon peel, a hint of sweet yeast, and then finishes up on a light bitter note with a pinch of crispy citrus hops. I enjoyed how the taste was crispy and smoky at the same time and that it didn't contain any popcorn in it.

This was a light bodied beer with crispy carbonation and with a slight toasted aftertaste of malts, citrus fruits, and a hint of citrus hops.

Not the best light beer I've had and not my favorite beer from Schlenkerla. It you like crispy pale Lagers with a touch of smoke added to it, then I could see this as some kind of session beer. For me, one of these was good enough.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 17:27:46 | More by AltBock
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2008 18:35:20 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of PatrickJR

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A - Golden and clear in color. A nice two finger head hangs around for a minute or two before falling to a thin cap. Minimal lacing.

S - Biscuity aroma strikes initially, but there is an ever-present smoky aroma as well. Something like fresh baked biscuits and bacon cooking? Very nice.

T - Same bready flavor from the nose, with a slight buttery twinge. Smokiness kicks in as well. Slightly spicy hops hit near the finish; very clean aftertaste.

M - Moderate to high carbonation with a light, borderline medium mouthfeel. Pretty good for a lager, not to mention a helles!

D - The best helles I've had, though it's obvious this has some rauchbier tendencies; not really sure how to classify this guy. All in all, a very good brew with much more character than the average helles.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 05:11:35 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up on my last trip through Ohio. I had not seen it around before so I figured I would grab one to try it out. Been sitting in the fridge and grabbed it tonight to compliment some nice chicken. Served chilled in a tall pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 09/14/2008.

The pour was decent with a very clear, and highly carbonated light golden amber lager shaping up before my eyes. A small, maybe a half an inch of white head came up over the top and settled down quickly into a light veil across the top.

The aroma was light. Some small amount of smoked in it, with lots of grain and bready malts, though I have to admit, not much here to really pick up on. The flavor was a bit better. Lots of campfire like smokiness in it, with a subtle, yet easily definable bready malt base. Some sweetness, caramel maybe and a light peach flavor when cold that quickly gets burnt out by the smoked and roasted malts. Way too light of a feel, almost makes the flavor get lost as it comes across a bit watered down. Easy to session though as it goes down pretty much like water.

Overall I would have to give this one an average. Definitly not the best thing I have ever had by a long shot, but nowhere near the worst. I would try it again if nothing else were around, but not at the 2.99 I paid for it.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 23:39:00 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of nasty15108

New York

2.6/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 1pt .9oz bottle into a pilsener glass.

A - Hazy yellow color with a head of white foam. Decent carbonation and lacing.

S - Smokey and slightly herbal.

T - Tasted like drinking a pilsener with a piece of applewood smoked bacon in the glass.

MF&D - Needless to say this was not my cup of tea, or beer in this case. I guess its a good representation of the Schlenkerla style, but being a Hells lager I didn't expect such a smokey smell/taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 19:33:09 | More by nasty15108
Photo of drpimento


3.28/5  rDev -17%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy pale yellow. There was a very slight head that quickly dissipated and no lace. There's nothing on the label except the name that indicates the smokey quality of the beer. And I'd forgotten that about the name. Not bad though. Balanced considering the smoke. Of course a smokey finish. Slight smoke in the nose. Be fun to cook with.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 01:07:24 | More by drpimento
Photo of msubulldog25


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

A 16.9 oz/500ml bottle, poured to a tall pilsner glass. First tried this beer on draught at the 2008 Portland International Beerfest. Picked one up at By the Bottle (Vancouver, WA).

Generic blue-on-white label, straightforward. "Dem Bayerischen Reinheitsgebot entsprechend gebrautes...Helles Lagerbier...Seit 1678...Brauerei Heller...Bamberg". Jawohl.

A: Golden yellow with a trace of haziness; good carbonation rises steadily. Tight, fizzy head builds to two fingers, drops to a thin covering within a couple minutes with spotty bumps where bubble streams rise.

S: Love the bold smokiness in the Schlenkerla beers; this one is much more subtle, the result (I've read) of latent smoke that permeates the brewery. The result is sweet, a little like an artisan nut bread.

T: Malty, a husky bread dough with a gentle smokiness - really you could miss it is you're not seeking it out. Some roasted nut, a mild earthy tang that seems a little like sesame and soy sauce. Even becomes a little salty? Seems simple at first, but worth mulling over and finding those subtleties.

M: Expectedly crisp, yet fairly smooth (not prickly). Light and airy. A slight gummy stickiness on the lips and lingering on the front of the tongue.

D: Remarkably drinkable, this came very close to a '5' for me. Light 'sessionable' ABV (only 4.3%), nice aroma, intriguing flavor. One I'll definitely seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 04:14:18 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Fairly clear golden color that poured with a finger of white head that quickly dissipated.

S: Awesome biscuit malt up front with a hint of smoke. I love this breweries Rauchbiers so maybe I am smelling what I want to. It as that lager smell behind it all but it is muted.

T: Sweetness and some smoke up front. Finishes very clean. Not insanely complex but for a beer of 4.3 abv they packed a ton of flavor in.

M: Medium body. Very nice mouthfeel.

D: Awesome beer. Would love to have a keg of this at home. Tons of flavor without the hammer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 01:45:43 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of wschumac

New York

3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a flute

A - Straw coloring very clear with almost three fingered head. No lacing and very quick dissipation

S - Light on the fragrance corn comes to mind

T - Nothing which stands out, very light on flavoring. Low levels of hops and malt present, excellent balance

M - Smotth as can be

D - Can drink them all afternoon

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2008 22:42:01 | More by wschumac
Photo of Vancer


4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull orangy amber into my Corsendonk tulip, white head tries to appear, but disappears quickly. The low alcohol brew still tries to stick to the sides.

Surprising whiff of a light smoked peat, crisp with some lingering summer spices. Yep, the dash of smoke moves into the quaff gingerly, and nicely. A very nice treat that drinks easily in the summer heat - a good session brew with the 4.3% and only a bit over $3 for a 500ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 00:56:25 | More by Vancer
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very crispand clean looking golden yellow with ample carbonaton and a nice white head. Nice looking beer.
Smelled a bit spicy and sweet with hints of bannana and bazooka bubble come coming to mind.
Taste was very pleasing with ripe fruitiness more than likely from the yeast dominating.
Very nice on the palate with a pretty god feel and a nice tingle of carbonation. Nice balance of the hops made this a pretty pleasing beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 14:02:14 | More by dmamiano
Photo of ryrust5301


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - lite straw colored gold with a soft puffy marsh mellow looking head. Bubbles shoot straight up the center of this brew all the way to the top, where a fine thin white hallo floats around the glass.

Smell - Not much of one to speak of, but there is a smoke presence with a touch of sweet malts behind it.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Very lite, crisp and clean, very easy to sip on. Smoke is the dominant presence in this one, but not overly harsh, just a nice wrap around the tongue to coat the palate. Smooth malt and a peppery spice help turn it into something more. Some lite fruits help to subtly give it a feel as well.

Drinkability - Great example of the style! Getting better and better as it warms. So easily drinkable it would make a great paring with any kind of smoked food.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 06:18:29 | More by ryrust5301
Photo of ShrLSU


3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Straight out of the bottle to a pilsner glass

Appearence: Golden yellow color and almost no head except a slight whitefoam in the middle of the glass

Smell: Smokey grains. This is a very earthy beer. It smells like your traditional german lager but with a great tinge of smokiness to it.

Taste & Mouthfeel: A very smooth taste for a lager. Very crisp and refreshing. The smoke taste is the most dominant. It has a great earthy grain taste. A great blend of a rauchbier and a lager.

Drinkability: This was quite an interesting beer. I'm usually not a lager fan but this one was pretty intriguing. The smokiness added a lot to the beer. More complex than your normal lager. I could see drinking this with some bbq on a summer day.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 06:03:33 | More by ShrLSU
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Map Room and served in a Spaten glass.

A: Pours a clear and deep rich looking golden color with an inch of pure white head that melts into a quarter of an inch thick cap that lasts the entire glass but for some reason cant seem to leave much lacing at all, pretty standard looking helles.

S: This is where things get interesting. Not nearly as smokey as some of this brewery's other beers and that's not a bad thing. Crisp and clean with a slight smokey twang mixed with fresh baked bread. My only complaint is that the smoke becomes just the tiniest bit arcrid smelling the more and more I drink this.

T/MF: Like all of the beer from this brewery the mouthfeel stands head and shoulders above anything else. Its just clean and snappy, feels like its latching itself onto your tongue and does not want to let go. Full bodied mouthfeel but not in a thick or sticky way, fresh and crispy almost soda like mouthfeel. The taste is much the same as the aroma with a good balance struck between malts and bitter hops but that mild and salty smoke flavor really stands out and in a good way. My only complaint and what keeps it from scoring higher is a slight soapy taste that becomes more prevalent about halfway through this beer.

D: Again could have scored higher if it were not for that soapy kind of taste near the end. This beer is quite refreshing for a slightly smoked beer and the mouthfeel will always bring me back for more.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2008 18:42:06 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of MrMcGibblets


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

had this at chef paul's served in it's own glassware and i couldn't stop drinking it. appearance is your typical helles lager, very light straw in color with perfect clarity and a nice creamy white head and lacing that coats throughout. aroma is nice-some sweet doughy/bready malts, light grassy and spicy hops, and just a hint of light smoke providing an interesting twist. taste is nicely balanced with the sweet malts finishing clean with a light, smooth bitterness. creamy, frothy mouthfeel that feels a bit bigger than it's abv would suggest. very drinkable and a really nice session beer-interesting and with a low abv.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 19:38:29 | More by MrMcGibblets
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
88 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.