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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

555 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 36
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website
Germany

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 344 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured clear golden yellow color lager with a medium white foamy head with average retention and limited lacing. Aroma of floral malt with some sweetness also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some floral malt with some sweet notes but I could not distinguish any some at all. Body is quite full and slightly oily with some medium carbonation. Interesting but not really smokey.

Photo of HopGoblin
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours golden and extremely clear. Nice white two finger head that does not linger. Nose is subtle with hints of yeast, spice and fruit. The taste is bright and sharp, with apple and pear flavors. Clean spicy finish, that leaves a bit of a funky taste on the roof of the mouth. A great beer for a hot summer day or a cold rainy night like this while waiting for dinner.

Photo of phisig137
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Slight hazy thin gold color, with a 1/2 finger head. Lacing is minimal, but there is a thin cap of foam left on top of the glass.

S- Surprisingly light smoke aroma, most of the smell is of clean raw grains, with a hint of pear like fruit aroma

F- Great bready and biscuit like notes, backed by only a hint of smoke. Oddly mild flavor considering their other beers, but well made and balanced.

M- On the thin side, light, well carbonated.

D- quite good.

Overall, pretty good, but a little on the boring side honestly. It may be a good beer to introduce new advocates into the world of smoke, seeing as how it is MUCH more tame than their other beers. Its definitely worth a try, but I wouldn't lose any sleep searching for it.

Photo of jwc215
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light straw yellow with a thin white head.

The smell is of sweet grain and some smoke.

The taste is of sweet grain and smoke. Other than a slight metallic tinge, not much else is going on here.

Light-bodied, pretty smooth with lingering smokiness.

Easy to drink for a smoky beer. Still, if I wanted a smoky beer, I would choose something else from this brewery. This is pretty much a run-of-the-mill Munich Helles Lager with this brewery's Rauchbier characteristic.

Photo of russpowell
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours an effervescent golden/bronze with 1+ finger of eggshell white head. Stays effervescent throughout, above average lacing & below average head retention

S: Breadyness, hay, & a whisper of smokeyness

T: Grassy notes, some bready notes & then a bit of smokey ham up front. Crackery, plus lemon hop notes as this warms. Finishes with honey sweetness, a little bit of grainyness, lemony notes & laid back smokeyness

MF: Light/medium bodied, with lively carbonation & super balance

Drinks very easy, I was really impressed at how low the abv was, but this didn't show any thinness & still packed flavor. One I could easily pound through a football double-header or drink one or 2 & just enjoy its subtleties

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

A: Pours a transparent, pale golden hue, producing three fingers of bubbly head that actually sticks around for a while leaving some lace behind on its way down (which is quite the opposite of the American/Euro macro lager category). This beer looks damn good.

S: A clean and grainy smell, the pale malt and subtle hopping is very enticing. Even though the style is known to have a much more subdued bouquet, this one is still quite assertive.

T: Starts off with a smooth pale malt introduction, semisweet and a good base for the hops that enter the picture. Very well-hopped, as it straddles the line between too much and not enough... perfectly in the middle for a great bittering flavor. At first, I didn't actually notice the smokiness, as its quite subtle, but I definitely picked up on it in the aftertaste after a few sips.

M: Carbonation is great, and the beer has a wee bit of a heavier body to it than expected, but keeping in mind this is in reference to the helles lager style. I actually enjoy that fact, and furthermore, the hops provide a bit of slickness with a slightly creamy aspect from the carbonation. Great in this category as well.

D: Overall, an insanely drinkable beer. With only 4.3% abv, a light (but not ultra-light) body, and enough hops to keep the palate interested, this would make a great session beer. Fans of German lagers, especially the Helles style, will definitely appreciate this one. Very well done.

Photo of Domingo
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been looking for this for a long time. I'm not a big rauchbier fan, but Schlenkerla makes some high quality brews regardless of style. I *am* a big helles fan, so I had to grab this one.

Pours a standard light yellow color with a large fluffy white head. Nothing new, but a spot on perfect helles visually.
Smell is of grain and hops. It's a little sweeter smelling than some, but it's typical. No smoke scent at all...which is unusual for this brewer.
Tastes starts off like a sweet helles. Along the line of an expert in terms of flavor, but without the alcohol. Hops come into the middle...and then there's the Schlenkerla smoke flavor on the back end. It's mild, but great! I really like this. It's mild and just one element of a larger flavor profile. This isn't a rauchbier, or a helles, but it's a blend of both. It's like 8/10 helles and 2/10 rauchbier.
I only had one bottle, but I want more...now!
It's not a helles in the traditional sense, but it's cool to see a German brewer playing with styles a little. Excellent brew!
Highly recommended.

Photo of xthemystic
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of bottle.

A: Very clear orange-tinged yellow. No real head to speak of. Strong carbonation activity.

S: Effervescent, light. A sweet grain aroma.

T: Sweet, light. Ghostly hint of smoke in the middle, strengthens on the palate as one progresses.

M: Smooth. Round. Light. Tongue-scrubbing.

D: Very easy to drink. Could easily find myself through a bottle without really thinking about it if i wasn't paying attention.

A good summer beer on a hot day. When foolish people open their cans of Budweiser swill, this would be a tasty, respectable alternative. Very light, but with some nice smoky flavor. Perfect for late summer as airy taste and smell fit with the season, but the underlying smoke lingers as if to remind the palate and the person that cool autumn will soon be on its way.

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear straw hued body has a small and fleeting white head. Aroma has some subtle smokiness but mostly sweetish malt and spicy hop. Crisp medium body supports a light body and medium carbonation. Clean feel. Taste has some sweet gariny malt that is expertly balanced by a clean spicy hoppiness. The smoked malt is present but not obtrusive, most noticeable as an aftertaste. Very sessionable. The brewery's most accessible smoked bier that I've sampled. This one doesn't come across like liquid smoke.

Photo of Irrigate
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Colored golden like a typical lager, and the head dissipates quickly. The smell is crisp and slightly smoky. This would be a great "gateway beer" into rauchbier like the Schlenkerla Marzen. Personally, I think the smokiness is so slight that it teases rather than fulfills. But then again, this isn't labeled a "rauchbier". Still very interesting.

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

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Medium yellow hue with brilliant clarity. Visibly effervescent. Pours with a creamy white head with sticky lacing.

S: A very full aroma for a light lager. Sweet grainy aroma with a good smattering of smoke - but not overpowering. Besides that very crisp and clean.

T: Sweet and malty. Grainy. Smokey character pervades throughout adding a unique twist. A little hop bitterness on the back end with a malty sweet finish. Quite nice overall.

MF: I can say that I have never been more impressed by a beer's mouthfeel - outstanding. Creamy and full without being cloying or heavy. Medium carbonation.

D: A very good beer. Good nose and flavor and an outstanding mouthfeel. What a light lager can taste like. Supremely drinkable.

Photo of Drew966
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Laberbier pours a golden color with a tinge of orange and a minimal white head from a brown half liter bottle. A little bit of malt and perhaps a bit of smoke are noticeable in the nose. This is a very pleasant tasting lager with a strong tinge of smoke that is more noticeable at some points than others. Very drinkable.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a .5L bottle to a big mug. The liquid is dark gold with good carbonation. The heat is 2 fingers, very rocky and leaves some lace.

The Smell is sweet and mild smoky like a good BBQ, but no tomato products. LOL

The taste is great, mild smoky flavor rides in after the bready malt makes the first play. This one is clean and fresh. The mild smoke really works well with this style brew.

The mouthfeel is right on, great body good carbonation.

The drinkability is extremely high for a smoked beer. This is a top choice winner for one who wants to try there first smoked beer or a vet that wants to make a night of it.
Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a half-liter bottle into a pint glass.

A: This helles has a substantial looking body, especially considering the style. Would almost be perfect, except for the lack of lacing it left on the glass.

S: Smells just like a very, nice clean helles lager with a good dose of smoke throughout. Ironically, the clean flavors blend very well with the smoke smell.

T & M: Starts off with a classic helles malt sweetness and is quickly blended with the smoke flavor, which is a little too strong in my opinion. Towards the end, the hops kick in and are nearly perfect in terms of bitterness, but the smoke flavor holds on for a bit too long. Mouthfeel is great, as the beer feels like it has plenty of body.

D: During the first several sips, the smokiness is overwhelming. However, as you sip it further, it seems to start to blend more with the beer. That said, this is my first beer from Bamberg (the inventors of "smoke beer"), so I think this is very good for a "smoke flavored helles". Not something I would normally drink, but I think this would be a great beer for any beer geek to try, as it's very interesting.

Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a two-finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Smoky nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is smoky sausage, way more than "a hint of smokiness". Clean finish. $3.30 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

I would suggest that, contrary to what I've read about this beer, that this beer has more than a hint of smoke, although this is definitely not the smokiest beer I've had (that would be the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen). To my palate, this beer tastes meaty, which is not entirely a bad thing but does make the beer a bit less drinkable than some other styles. This beer tasted a bit like summer sausage, in contrast to the Rauchbier Marzen by this same brewer which tasted very bacon-y. Definitely worth a try, but not something you're going to drink more than one of! Also, if there was ever a thread on this site for "worst lawnmower beer," this might be in contention.

Oddly (at least to me) is that this beer really does look lager-like. it is golden with nice amounts of head. Aroma is very smokey. Mouthfeel is actually fairly pleasant. Recommended.

Photo of jbsteiny
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After trying the awesome Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (a smoked beer that supposedly was created for the monks who would perform liquid fasts during Lent, currently the beer with the highest rating I've ever given) the last time I was at the Blind Tiger, I saw this on tap at the same Ale House, and had to give it a try.

It poured like your average Euro lager, fairly clear gold, with a thin white head that dissipated quickly. It smelled of light toasted grains, apple, and grassy hops, but the whole thing was enhanced by the smoky Schlenkerla flavor that I now love. Tastes pretty good -- it would be a typical decent German lager, but for the hints of smoke which make it an intriguing take on the Helles style. I was surprised to read on the website that there is actually no smoked malt in this beer, but it's fermented in the same vessels in which they make their Marzenbiers, which gives it that smoky infusion. Yum. It's decently crisp, and for an extra-tasty 4.3% lager, I'd say an excellent session beer. Man, I've got to make it out to Bamberg sooner than later.

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

$3,08 at Green's on Buford Hwy, Atlanta, Ga. USA. Quite possibly the best German lager I have had in a very long time, perhaps ever. Poured up very average looking with a golden straw colour and snow white head. Foamy top faded away in about 45 seconds. Smell was a little grassy and smelled like 1000's of other German lagers. So far, pretty average, but average ends here. Taste was actually a bit sweet and reminded me a little bit of honey. Very little bit, but honey none the less. An illusion, I'm sure, as I see no mention of honey anywhere on the bottle. Finish was mildly bitter. Drink was very gentle, smooth, and pleasant all the way through. Mouthfeel was very smooth with just the right level of CO2. A very impressive lager, indeed. I wish I had a case.

Photo of snafui
4.72/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass. Chilled to about 59 degrees, next time I will serve colder.
Very clear gold appearance. Nice big white head, lacing the glass as it dissipated.
I had a difficult time placing the smell. I wanted to say peppery but not, and something like old wood but not in a bad way. I read a few other reviews and immediately identified it as the beech smoke that others suggested. It's intoxicating.
The taste is very clean with a light smoky flavor. I was very surprised by how easy drinking this beer is. The mouthfeel is nice and full with a lingering smokiness.
As I drink through the glass I feel like I keep getting more smoke in the smell, likely from the lacing of the head on the glass. It's much more identifiable as smoke now.
At 4.3% I think this is a fantastic session beer. I raise my glass to taking a chance on a label I've never heard or read about before. What a home run!

Photo of bobarito
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've really been looking forward to trying this one. Purchased in Seattle and shipped to Alaska.

Pours a clear light golden color with white foam that clings to the glass. Smells awesome. A bready malt aroma with just a hint of hops and that signature beechwood smoke lingering way in the background. There is a definite DMS note in there as well.

The smoky flavor just kind of clouds over all aspects of the flavor, but is never over the top. I read that they don't use any smoked malt in their helles, and the smoke is just characteristic of the yeast and the brewing/fermentation vessels. The malt flavor is perfect for the style: strong, sweet and clean. The noble hop flavor is hardly noticable but the bitterness comes in about mid swallow and balances the malt into the finish.

The Schlenkerla malty flavor and smoke combination has got to be one of the most addicting flavor combinations out there in my opinion. Whenever I open any of their beers, it's tough to make it last five minutes. Awesome brew...

Photo of biergeniesser
4.19/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This .5l bottle of Schenkerla Helles Lagerbier poured brilliantly clear yellow-gold and had a fluffy white head that lingered, lacing itself on the glass as the beer was consumed.

This beer has a positively intoxicating aroma; a delicate balance of freshly baked bread, noble hops and wood smoke. This beer smells amazing!

The flavor of this beer is certainly dominated by the beech wood smoked malt character that is the signature of all of the different Schenkerla beers that I have tried. Also present in the flavor profile are the traditional helles sweet, bready malt character and spicy German noble hop character; clean and well balanced.

A surprisingly light body with a pretty full mouth coat. Somewhat low degree of carbonation is present. This beer has a nice finish: a slight lingering sweetness with a spicy smoky hang.

Although no mention of “Rauch” (smoke) is made on the label, I suppose the Schenkerla beers are a product of a Bamberg Rauchbierbrauerei, thus a smoke character could have been expected. As with the other Schenkerla beers this Helles was quite good, and highly recommended if you enjoy the more delicate smoky flavors of German Rauchmalz.

Photo of Beertracker
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles (Lagerbier) is best served at cooler cellar (40-45°F) temperatures from a house hour shaped glass or Willibecher. This Hellesbier pours up with a subtle carbonation that creates a lacy, white head that prominently sits atop a superb bright, straw-golden body. The alluring aroma displays some honeyish maltiness that's reminiscent of freshly baked European sweetbread. In addition, there's a noticeable spiciness from the noble Hallertauer hops, as well as the impression of smokiness (phenols) as the beer warms in the glass... although this may be completely psychosomatic? The smooth, easy going flavor starts off with a simply lovely, grainy-sweet maltiness that is marked a perfect amount of spicy bitterness to balance. This finely engineered medium bodied lager finishes gently crisp & extremely smooth with a definite hint of smokiness. Highly recommended and extremely drinkable! Suggested food pairings include Franconian beernuckles with fried potatoes or some Butterkäse cheese with herb crusted crackers. Here's to the Heller-Trum brewery, the famous Schlenkerla tavern and their traditional beers!

PROST! Beertracker

Photo of Viggo
3.87/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Harry for this one!

Pours a clear yellow/goldish, thin white head, nice lacing, and good retention. Smell is sweet, smokey, some apples, caramel, quite nice, right touch of smoke. Taste is caramel, smokey notes, apples, very smooth, nice flavours. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and refreshing. I liked this, thought the smoke character was perfect and gave it that extra complexity, great change during this tasting. Thanks Harry!

Photo of neonbrown82
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is my favorite of the Aecht Schlenkerla smoked beers. The beechwood smoke is not over the top to the point where it tastes like smoked ham. It is definitely there, however. Not a beer for the feint of heart, even though it is a light lager. I can't wait to be evil to the next retarded customer that comes into my store claiming that they don't like "dark beer." Eh... on second thought, I'm not THAT big of a dick.

The beer pours to a clear golden color with only a feint hint of an amber hue. Nice apparent carbonation supports a thick and creamy white head. Retention is pretty good, and lacing forms a beautiful lattice reminiscent of a bee hive.

The smell is good. Plenty of beechwood smoked malt, though beneath lies a typical German lager vegetal aroma. Has a hint of spicy, maple and hickory smoked bacon, but not to the point of disgust such as the other beers from Aecht Schlenkerla. Rauchbier just isn't my thing (though I do like smoked porter), but this one isn't bad.

The taste is crisp and clean up front with a light sweetness and some vegetal lager flavors. The smoke doesn't hit until the finish, and it seems to come in waves. At first, just pure smoky goodness, but later on in the finish it begins to pick up some more smoked ham flavors. The aftertaste brings it all together and actually makes me appreciate what the beechwood smoked malt has to offer.

The body is fairly thin, as expected, though I thought it would be a little more crisp. A little more cleaner than I expected as well, given the smoke. Good overall. I probably won't drink it again, but at least it has helped me to gain a little more appreciation for rauchbier, which is one of the few German styles I have yet to truly adore.

Photo of marcobrau
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light lager that is pretty (bright, white, rocky head of foam) with spicy, hoppy aroma and a hint of smoke. A very nicely balanced helles lager, so light in fact, that you can taste the minerals (sort of salty?) with a bit more hop bite in the finish than expected. The unusual phenolics (from smoke I'm told) add a funky dimension to this beer that I can enjoy. Love the smoked beers and this one is pretty darn good, too.

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