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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

563 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 563
Reviews: 347
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 37
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:
Beer added by: rastaman on 09-29-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 563 | Reviews: 347
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.

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.

Photo of aerozeppl
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of wschumac
3.83/5  rDev -3%
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

Photo of Vancer
4.07/5  rDev +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.

Photo of dmamiano
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of ryrust5301
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of ShrLSU
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Deep Ellum, served in a pilsner glass (why?). I loved this beer, it makes me feel like I'm in a Munich beer hall, with smoke. The beer was clear and straw colored, with a good amount of foam. The smell is malty with a hint of smoke (not near as much as the other Brauerei Heller-Trum beers, but just enough of a hint to make it meaningful). I know "German" isn't a good decription of aroma or flavor but it really comes to mind when drinking this beer, it has the feel of authenticity. The taste is nearly perfect for a Helles Lager, malty and sweet but not overly flavored, and spiced up by a touch of smoked wood. Absolutely delicious. The mouthfeel is medium as the style should be, and this is very easy to drink quickly. I want a liter instead of the pilsner glass Deep Ellum gave me.

I recommend this beer strongly to any lover of Helles Lagers or Rauchbiers. It's not a true rauchbier of course, but has just enough to satisfy for this style.

Photo of RomanW70
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very pale gold with a frothy white head. Aroma of yeast, smoke, and spice. Light, highly carbonated body. Initial taste is crisp and clean, pilsner like hops...lagerlike. Finish is nicely (and not overwhlelmingly) smoked which definitely elevates this otherwise unexciting beer. Not my favorite of the Aecht Schlenkerla line, but a clean, crisp, refreshing beer.

Photo of eberkman
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Deep Ellum in Allston.

Presented in a tall, handled stange. Clear pale gold with a substantial white head that had decent staying power for the style.

A bacon-like smokiness in the nose blended with an otherwise typical lager combination of grassiness, tartness and bitterness.

Taste was very similar -- grassy with a bitter tinge, but with a smoked pork essence at the front and back end. Fairly clean in the middle.

Nice crisp mouthfeel, especially considering that it was coming from a tap.

Drinkability is slightly above average -- at 4.30, you can put away a bunch of these. But the novelty of the smoke gets a little old. Also a little nagging, since they're not going all out like a rauchbier.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very pale golden, like straw with very little head. I was motivated to try this beer by recent threads on BA about how this beer had picked up some of the smoke characteristics from being made in the same brewery as the Rauchbiers though merely incidental contact with the smoke. Sure enough, there is indeed smoke in the nose and taste. It is relatively subtle, but definitely there and part of the overall flavor profile. Beside that the beer is a light but pleasant Helles with moderate bitterness and is quite clean and a bit of a sweet light malt tang. Smooth and crisp and the smoke really blends beautifully. In this case, you get less of the smoked meat and more subtle woodsmoke (alder?) scent. Nice.

Photo of fitzy84
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was on tap at the Moan and Dove. Settled with a clear gold appearance and an excellent, frosty head that thinned out. The smells were rich in grassy and toasty hops. While in the flavor category, it had a sour-bitter citrus balance going on wrapped around the grainy and dry, toasty texture. In the mouthfeel department, the beer was light and smooth, probably thanks to the smokiness. Overall, pretty good.

Photo of Bierfreund
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got a portion to try while in a bar meeting other beer afficionados for a beer trade.

Light coloured, white head.

I found the taste very surprising: a very slight (really tiny) hint of smoke came with it!

I would like to have a full bottle of this, but I have not figured out where to get this in Pennsylvania. The guy giving me the portion bought it in New York state.

This is very drinkable, feels light. Medium carbonation gives a prickly mouthfeel.

Photo of oberon
3.42/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a .5 liter stein a dull lemon yellow with a bit of chill haze a very thin wispy head atop,lighter aromas I picked up faint smoke and toasted grain with light iron/mineral.Taste is sweeter than expected some defienent honey malt and a touch of spice with the smoke coming thru but not overbearing not much hop presence.A light to medium mouthfeel and a low ABV makes it very drinkable but its a little dull on the palate and a little sweeter than expected.

Photo of marcpal
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle poured into wide pint glass for a good Sunday Yankee game.

A: Cloudy gold with a thin white head- medium lacing.

S: Light aroma with some malty sweetness. Mild smokiness from the malt as well.

T: During the first half of the beer I was really let down by the level of the smokiness I had come to expect. During the later part of this beer (maybe as it warmed), the smoky roastiness came through much more. My expectations were in the wrong place given the style. The hops come through very smoothly and was great alongside some garlic bread and gnocchi.

M: Something of a bitter smoky finish. Definitely clean on the tongue.

D: Good summer drinker and not overpowering on the smoke but was hoping for a bit more of that bacon background Ive come to love from AS beers.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 563 ratings.