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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

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BA SCORE
89
very good

550 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 550
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 35
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: BeerBeing on 03-20-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 550 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of biegaman
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I curiously anticipate this one, thanks again harry!
Neat retro 70's looking looking 500ml bottle. Neat.
Pours an apple golden, head would form somewhat. A little cloudy. Aroma of a peaty cider. Plenty of fireplace like peat, with notes of apple and pear. The smoke takes over the in the taste department, setting it apart from other Munich Helles, giving it much more character. Really distinctive peat smoke. A lot of ripe apple in the taste. A bold malt bill too. Distinct (especially within its style) and quite filling, drinks heavier than a standard German lager. Happy to try!

Photo of tastybeer
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is light gold and clear. To be expected. Head is froathy to an appropriate degree and retention is nice. Lacing makes an appearance as well. Nose is sweet with dry peppered hickory, beachwood smoke, buttery bready malt and some spicy czech hop. Taste has all of the above smoothed together nicely. Creamy coating mouthfeel but carbonation could be a little more energetic for this type of beer. Especially to stand up to the array of spice and smoke flavors. Moderate bitterness fits well. There's a nice push/pull between the hop dryness and lager clarity. Very easy to drink and very enjoyable. I like that distinct hickory flavor that I found previously in the rauchbier marzen.

Good lager and great fall back if you don't know what you want, but prefer something that is highly dirnkable.

Photo of wedge
4.24/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Clean, pale gold with sparse carbonation. The head quickly falls to a whispy, creamy white ring. Sweet grainy malt aroma is very smooth. The smokey side is great...a mild charred, meaty smokiness that doesn't overrun the other smells and produces a bready quality. The taste follows suit with more of a grain bite and less of an obvious smoke presence. Medium-light mouthfeel with low carbonation and a little dry.

Its hard not to like this beer. Its a tasty, super-drinkable lager that I could consume all day long.

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

Classic amber with a flawless interior disturbed only by a slow parade of superfine bubbles seeking higher ground. Those bubbles contribute to a cap that is a shade or two darker than bright white and has a quality look about it. A wide ring of delicate lace completes the picture of a fine looking German lager.

Like all the Brauerei Heller-Trum beers, this one features smoke to the near exclusion of all else (In fact, it's difficult to tell what style they are by the nose alone because beechwood smoke is all one is treated to on the sniff. They only differ in the intensity of the smokiness). That's more than fine with me since smoke, given its dominant nature, would have to be too laid back for anything else to be evident.

Helles Lagerbier is a helluva good lager beer. I love how each one of this brewery's offerings shares an obvious similarity, yet each one is also distinctly different. They wouldn't work nearly as well as they do if the brewers relied on the fragrant, woodsy smoke to paper over inferior beer. These guys are true craftsmen who just happen to love rauchbier and have decided to share it with the world. Good for us.

The key, of course, to this beer's success, and to the success of the entire lineup, is the balancing act between malt, hops, yeast and smoke. The hops provide a modest bitterness and the lager yeast doesn't provide much of anything at all in terms of flavor; nor should it. That leaves lightly sweet golden malt and beautiful beechwood smoke. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is right where it needs to be in terms of size and in the amount and character of the carbonation. While nothing about it stands out as exceptional, it's perfectly calibrated to the task at hand, that of delivering the devilishly good flavor to the expectant taste buds, while refreshing the drinker at the same time.

I've been looking for this offering for quite some time now and I'm glad that I finally found a bottle. It's a great addition to the Aecht Schlekerla series of beers and is easily the equal of my other favorites of the Munich Helles Lager style, the versions from Brauereien Aying and Weihenstephaner. Helles Lagerbier is a light, smoky treat and should be on the 'must try' list of all who consider themselves connoisseurs of smoked beer.

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

Not a bad beer, though I prefer it's more intense and smokier big brothers.

The pairing of a basic, though quite solid Helles Lager with a slight smokiness is quite nice.

The beer upon the pour is pale yellow with a moderate, though shortly lived head. The beer leaves a little bit of lacing, though nothing overly significant.

The smell is slightly smoky and otherwise atypical to what you would expect from the style. Nothing too intense, but classic all the same.

The taste is quite delicious really and the slight smoky aspect really enhances things. Slightly spicy feel and a nice balance between the hop and malt. The smokiness never overpowering things, but letting itself be known.

Another quality brew from these guys.

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
89 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.