1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

555 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 35
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 03-20-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 344 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cvstrickland
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The 500 ml bullet-shaped bottle pours a sparkling-clear straw-golden brew into my Kolsch stange and two fingers of soft sudsy foam rush surfaceward to cap off the drink. The bubbles recede in due time, retaining at a filmy sheet, but leave drippy webs of lacing scattered about the glass.

The smell is sweet and grainy with a spicy bite of herbal hops and perhaps just a wee twist of citrus. A toasted malt note adds richness and a bit of depth, but unlike Schlenkerla's other offerings, the smokiness of the malt base is relatively subtle.

The taste is crisp and mostly dry, but a persistent tang of mild toasted malts adds a touch of sweetness. Spicy hops do their work at balancing the drink, but the net effect they provide is more of an earthy, dusty dryness than any sort of real bitterness.

Light-bodied, well-carbonated, completely inoffensive and quaffable.

Photo of adamette
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Purchased yesterday at Lina's Beverage in Painseville, Ohio for $3.99. Seems like a good deal to me.

A Pours a classic straw with short lived bubbly head. True to the style. Not that inspring but there was visible sediment in the bottom of the bottle.

S Love to smell a subtle smoke that I was hoping for from this brewery so well known for its Rauchbiers but the predominent smell is that of a Lager, grainy with barley. The smoke smell carries a bit of sweetness with it. Smells very inviting.

T The smoke that I had hoped for has carried over into the taste. Carrying nowhere near the intensity of smoke of the Rauchbiers the sweet smoke taste is certainly there in a much more muted way. The sweet syrupy smoky taste is a great backdrop to a great lager taste. Sweetnes lingers well into the aftertaste, some 5 minutes after my last sip. Great taste.

M Light with carbonation, very appropriate to the style.

D Very high, maybe the highest rating I can give it since the nice subtle smoky sweetness is a great deal maker for a low ABV munich lager from Bamberg.

Notes: Loved it and the Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla again demonstrates their mastery of the styles that they brew. Highly recommended.

Photo of Nascartailgatefa
3.51/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Whole Foods Market NYC. Poured into a Pilsner glass - golden yellow. Nice solid head which dissapates rather quickly. Good lacing and lasting carbonation. Have to agree with previous reviewers in the doughy odor to it. Heavy malt taste initially, mouthfeel is unremarkable. Finishes with a smoked flavor, slightly bitter, not bad. A fairly drinkable beer, would probably make an excellent acoompanying beer for brats or smoked sausages.

Photo of Naugled
3.22/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into an imperial pint glass
A - Light straw color with an unimpressive 1/2 inch white head that falls away quickly to a partial skim coating.
S - Lager sweetness in background with a light scent of smokiness.
T - An overdose of an unpleasant smokey taste right up front followed by a sweet lager flavor followed by even more smokey bitterness at the end.
MF - A pleasant mouthfeel. Smooth and rather full.
D - I did not desire a second. This is a 'specialty' beer to me. Not a drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of Gmann
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden straw color with a small pure white head. The aroma is of a bready/doughy malt and a nice spicy hop. The taste is of the doughy munich malt and spicy nobel hops. More of a hop profile than your typical munich helles. There is also a tin like flavor as well. The feel is moderate, nice malty chewiness, fizzy carbonation; finishes sweet and spicy. An easy drinking brew, the spicy hops neutralize the munich malt so this brew doesn't have the typical munich helles flavor. Worth a go.

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

500 ml bottle purchased from Surdyk's in Minneapolis. I've heard good things about this and have been meaning to try it.

A - Pours a clear golden color with an off-white head that leaves minimal lace.

S - Grains. Also a smokey or roasted smell.

T & M - Starts grainy and biscuity. Roasted malts and a smokey taste. Light body with medium carbonation. Its not overly impressive, but it works well.

D - I didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with my findings. A great brew at a reasonable price. Will have again.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.44/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/21/08. Bottle. Pours a clear golden yellow with hardly any head. Aroma is a bit skunky (which faded only slightly as the beer warmed) with some sweet malt notes. Flavor of more sweet malts (bready), some light fruits as the beer warms. I was surprised to learn this is classified as a "smoked", I guess I would say there are some smoky notes in this beer, but only if you look hard enough for them. Just ok.
5/4/7/4/13 (3.3/5)

Photo of brentk56
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a rocky white head that sticks nicely and leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Grainy lager aroma with subtle hints of smoked bacon

Taste: Opens bready, with undertones of grain and a developing smoked bacon flavor that offsets the lager twang; after the swallow, the expected crispness is conjoined with the smokey flavor, such that the smoked meat aspect lingers at the expense of the malt

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: As I generally don't care for the style, it is hard to get excited about this; it does drink nicely, however, and the smoke adds an interesting dimension

Photo of corby112
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale golden yellow color with a lot of visible carbonation and a thin white head. Aroma is dominated by a smokey woodsy maltiness with very slight golden fuit notes. Golden pilsner altiness with a subtle hop character and a very smokey, characoal wood chip flavor. Dry finish.

Photo of gfreed
3.2/5  rDev -19%
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.

Photo of ncvbc
4.89/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

Photo of klewis
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

Photo of ThirstyBird
3.99/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Bankrobber77
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Photo of hopdog
3.33/5  rDev -15.7%
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

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.

Photo of Matty1918
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of AltBock
2.86/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

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.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.48/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Photo of nasty15108
2.63/5  rDev -33.4%
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.

Photo of drpimento
3.24/5  rDev -18%
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.

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.