Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla EicheAecht Schlenkerla Eiche

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

385 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 385
Hads: 822
Avg: 4.08
pDev: 19.36%
Wants: 75
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany | website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock | 8.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 12-13-2009

Facts on Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche:

*brewed with 100% Schlenkerla Oak Smoke Malt
*8% alcohol
*40 bitter units from finest aroma hops
*Bernstein (amber) color
Schlenkerla Oak Smoke will be available during Christmas time 2009 at our historic brewery tavern in Bamberg (first tapping Dec. 18th), and on draft as special import in the USA - please contact our US importer for availability.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 385 | Hads: 822
Photo of teromous
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark transparent bronze and brown colored body with a fluffy off-white eggshell colored head that stands up pretty good.

Aroma: Smells like smoked sausages, a bit of rosemary, and a spicy clove scent. I feel it is important to note that the label does state "Schlenkerla Oak Smoke" and the back explains that the malt is kilned with oak wood, which would explain the smoked sausage aroma...so it's not a bad thing. It reminds me of summer campfires and cookouts. It's hard to explain why the aroma is so unique and pleasant...it just is.

Taste: Wow there is this caramel sweetness mixed with a hint of smokey flavor. It's not as rich as I would expect from a Doppelbock...a bit thin, but still tasty. Most of the flavor comes from the smokey presence.

Mouthfeel: Despite the smokiness it is not bitter or acrid which is a plus. It does feel rather thin for a Doppelbock, but it is smooth.

Overall: It's a very nice and unique beer especially if you consider the smoke flavor and aroma. For this reason alone I would say give it a shot. It's not the malty sweet caramel Doppelbock you are probably used to, but it is its own beast. The spicy quality of the beer wins a merit on their own. This is a great beer to pair with food. Have fun with it.

 1,261 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a somewhat cloudy amber with a subtle garnet hue. Normal head volume and retention, outstanding lacing.

Rich nose of bacon cooking over an oak campfire. Underneath is a subtle caramel sweetness. The aroma is less intense than the Marzen and Urbock variants.

Almost full bodied with a rich texture that is oily and creamy. Below normal carbonation level with almost no effervescence in the finish.

The flavor profile is near World Class. It is reasonably intense, a bit complex and exceptionally well balanced. It begins with a burst of oak smokiness that lacks the meaty aspects of the nose, that slowly blends, rather than fades, with a rich underlying sweetness. Both caramel and biscuit notes are present. Here is where the rich malts of a doppelbock kick in. In the middle, a balancing mild bitterness emerges over a vanilla note. The finish is a slow fade of oak smoke and sweetness with a slight note of alcohol.

 937 characters

Photo of breadwinner
3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Oak smoke can be a harsh mistress, and so it is here, imparting all of the medicinal astringency it's so capable of giving. Love the different spins Schlenkerla tries to put on their smoked offerings, but I still find myself coming back to the classic marzen as the best. This, sadly, was a misfire, pun intended.

 313 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.51/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

1 pint .9 oz bottle, poured into a mug at approximately 40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden red, almost orange-tinted, and forms quite a thick pale beige head that leaves crazy amounts of lacing as it slowly recedes. Bubbles line the bottom of the glass, and rocket upwards sporadically rather than in columns.

Smell: Dark, dank smoke swirls out of the glass, redolent with scents that remind me of a pork shoulder going in my smoker on a spring afternoon. There's a sweetness underlying the smoke, like caramel. The smoke scent itself, while allegedly oak, reminds me more of burning a mix of peat and hickory.

Taste: Oh my, that is a smooth-drinking beverage. The taste opens with a sweet caramel malt that seems to have been aged in oak barrels, which is suddenly overtaken in the middle by the taste of fire-blackened pork still dripping with fat. As it progresses, the meaty essence gives way first to charred and ashy wood, and by the finish, to a peaty soot. While there are allegedly Hallertau hops present, I can find no hop character to this beer (which is a plus for me), beyond the slight earthy-peaty tone to some of the smoke. There is no indication at all that this contains alcohol, just sweetness and smoke.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite drinkable, this feels like silk along the palate.

Overall: My first encounter with a Schlenkerla, and assuredly not my last. I'd call this more of a rauchbier than a doppelbock, as the primary characteristic is the smoke - there's nowhere near the level of bready, toffee, caramel, nutty, or dark fruit flavors I would associate with a doppelbock, nor the sticky mouthfeel. I greatly enjoy this beer, but I am forced to rate it as a doppelbock because that's how it's classified, and therefore that's the style-specific ranking it will appear in. Were this lumped in as a rauchbier, use of oak instead of beech notwithstanding, my rating would be far higher - easily over a 4 in every category.

 1,970 characters

Photo of Beric
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 24 Jan 2015

Appearance: Pours a standard, almost mud-colored brown with minimal head. Little to no lacing, but this is not surprising given the alcohol content. Some faint streams of carbonation from the bottom leaving splotchy tannish spots on the top of the beer.

Aroma: Soft pure smokiness with an underlying sweetness. Much less smoke in the nose than the Märzen.

Taste: Really smooth steady smokiness, reminiscent of the lingering scent of a campfire on a crisp fall day. Silky sweetness from the Doppelbock malts, but little to no assertion of the prototypical caramel flavors. Despite the smoke, the beer does not taste burnt.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with medium-high body and medium-low carbonation.

Overall: A magnificent beer, and one of the best from Schlenkerla that I've reviewed so far. The smoke character in this one is much similar to the one in the Urbock-- it is not 'meaty' like the Märzen. A great beer and one that I found is very approachable for the style. Looking forward to trying the rest of the Schlenkerla repertoire.

 1,087 characters

Photo of mattbk
3.44/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Copper, not much head or carbonation, suspended solids. Not a great start.
S: Super bacon. Maybe slight hop aroma, not much else. Smells nice, slightly one-dimensional?
T: Smoke, phenol, subtle malt character which is prune. Some bitter alcohol. As it warms, smoke subsides to malt character, sweetness. Not incredibly lagerlike. Just ok.
M: Thicker than I'd like. Fairly light in carbonation.
O: It's not the smoke I mind, it's the alcohol bitterness and the heavy mouthfeel. It's pretty rough, not very smooth. Will take some effort to finish.

 562 characters

Photo of mobrado
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Oak, smoked sausage, leather, tobacco. The smoke is what it is. I'm not the biggest fan, but I can appreciate that this beer is well done. The Doppelbock underneath is a bit too sweet and one-dimensional and cannot fully stand up to the smoke. Needs food to pair it with, something that's very big and savory, but not too sweet in itself.

 338 characters

Photo of fscottkey
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: [3.50] Mid to light amber color. Produced a nice 1 1/2 finger head. The head was creamy and tight. The head dissipated pretty quickly. The bottle had a bit of sediment - but I think that is expected for the style. Beer is listed at 8% ABV. No dating on the bottle.

S: [3.75] Smoke. More specifically bacon. There is a distinct charred hardwood (like what bacon is cured over). Maybe some other hints of sweetness and caramel underneath.

T: [4.25] The taste follows the nose - but it is reversed. I get caramel and malty sweetness up front and then the smoked wood on the finish. There are no hops (or none that I can taste). I get no sense of the 8% alcohol - it is well hidden.

M: [4.50] Nice mouthfeel. Nothing cloying or drying at all.

O: [4.00] I have had one other smoked beer, from Germany, and it was over the top. This one is nicely balanced with more malt character. I really enjoyed this one. Very crisp and refreshing. No sense of alcohol burn, no drying or bittering. I think you could session a few of these.

 1,046 characters

Photo of Tone
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%

Pours a cloudy brown color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong smoke, sweet malt, hint of pale malt, and a hint of wheat. Fits the style of a Doppelbock. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of slight alcohol, strong smoke, sweet malt, slight wood, hint of pale malt, and a hint of wheat. Overall, good appearance, simple aroma that is mostly smoke, great feel, and good body.

 468 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: 4.0 - Clear reddish copper with a small but dense white head.
S: 4.0 - Loads of smokiness, even sitting on my table while I type. Like sniffing liquid smoke.
T: 4.25 - Very smokey flavor of course, but it's also got really good bock-ish malt, bready, slightly toasted. Hop bitterness is very low, leaving it pretty sweet, but the smoke makes an excellent balancer for that.
M: 4.25 - Big bodied, as befits a strong dopplebock.
O: 4.5 - This would be a very good beer without the smoke. With it, it's great.

 510 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.79/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this 500ml bottle chilled in a pilsner glass.

The color is deep amber with light haze and some suspended floating matter with ecru head and very fine bead with thick ringlets off lace left holding. The smell is smokey and woody at first with mild sweet nutty scent and slightly spice with some wood araomatics adding earthiness with yeast which augments the mild caramel type malt smell. The feel is full with thick malt body with medium carbonation and slight smokey dry texture and semi-dry finish which carries a light spice and almost no alcohol in the finish witth residual smoke on the palate.

The flavor is rich with malt flavors with slight smoke on entry and sweet nutty flavor with light hop in the taste balancing some toffee in the middle with caramel and mild brown sugar with a slight fruitiness in the yeast with a slight dried apricot and mild bready toasted flavor adding to a slight cinnamon and vanilla accent with slight golden raisin type sweet and earthy flavor. There is a mild aromatic smoke in the dark fruity and woody finish which is not downplayed at all and compliments the layers of malt with slight taste of alcohol in the mostly dry finish. Overall this is wonderful and I think the oak smoke in the dopplebock fits very well with truly delicious results. A great example of how smoke can enhance and already great example of the dopplebock style -enjoyable in its subtlety yet fully flavored and rich w/ out any alcohol in the flavor which makes it deceptively drinkable and the smoke perfectly implemented in the aroma and flavor. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys smoked beer, strong lager or a dopplebock fan

 1,669 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
3.89/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

November 4, 2014

500 ml bottle, weizen glass

A – A very dark amber, not quite turning to brown, all the way through. Fairly clear, with some dark gold highlights. Mildly frothy, light tan head, low to moderate retention.

S – Smoked light wood, oak or beech. Some light hop bitterness. Otherwise pretty malty, a bit juicy. Smoke is really so prominent as to mask the rest.

T – Smoke, very mild, really more on the nose. Caramel, toffee, warm toasted bread, actually a lot of dark sugar-type sweetness. Some very mild to moderate bitterness, almost all on the finish. For all the sweetness, the smoke provides a nice counterbalance.

M – Low carbonation, a fairly juicy backbone, with a touch of dryness on the finish.

O – The smoke really defies the doppelbock category, but otherwise is a great example of the base style. Smoke is mild enough to allow its inclusion, but it’s a unique entry. Very good beer, seems to accomplish its intended goal very well.

 985 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with two fingers of frothy cream coloured head.

Smell - smoked meat, sausage spices, caramel malts, dark fruits (plum), leafy hop, and hint of toffee

Taste - Hit away with the smoke meat and sausage spices followed the caramel malts, touch of dark fruits, toffee sweetness, and hint of leafy hops

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with a pleasant sweetness.

Overall - A nice malty doppelbock with the twist of adding the smoked meat and sausage spices to the brew. This one is definitely an interesting brew for those wanting to venture off the beaten path from your standard doppelbock.

 653 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass, this beer is a beautiful, dark amber with a light tan head that rapidly dissipates and leaves no noticeable lacing.
The aroma is quite remarkable: Sweet malt and biscuit and baking bread and that underlying smoked char. Lovely.
Amazing taste this beer. I keep thinking it's a liquid Pixies song; instead of soft-loud-soft, it's bitter-sweet-bitter. Lots of bitter, dark fruit and spice right off, then sweet caramel and toffee and then a spicy and dry bitter. And beneath it all, that wonderful lingering oak char with hints of vanilla thrown in.
Moutfeel is medium-thin and a bit sticky.
Overall, this is just a great beer.

 668 characters

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

A: Hazy dark amber and not much of a head.

S: Smoke and malt.

T: Wow. This is really weird and awesome at the same time. It tastes like smoked BBQ ribs. Notes of popcorn, butter, oak wood, burnt bread, and spices are prominent. There is a nice background taste of sugar sweetness.

M: Fairly thick and syrupy, but on the light side as well.

O: Really awesome and original. Never had a beer like this at all, and wasn't disappointed.

 439 characters

Photo of Dentist666
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear copper/amber beer with golden 2-finger head. Moderate retention.
Smell of smoked malts, peculiar and pleasant.
Taste is malty, full of smoke, slight bitterness in the finish.
Syrupy, full-bodied, utterly balanced.

 225 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.01/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Liquor Shed.

A clear copper pour, small head of foam, not much lacing.

The smoke sure does dominate the nose. I get a hint of malty sweet notes from the DB base beer but not much.

More of the DB style shines through in the taste. Bready, sweet, and of course, the smoke.

Medium body, light to medium co2.

A brewery famous for their rauchbiers, this did not disappoint.

 386 characters

Photo of pat61
4.65/5  rDev +14%

Wood smoked malt dominates the nose.
Pours deep ruby tinted amber with a rich 2" off-white persistent head.
The big smoky caramelly malty rich palate reminds me of wood roast pork chops or fall off the bone smoked pork shoulder. It is very rich and wonderful but it is very hard to drink more than one at a sitting.
Creamy smooth, a little oily, medium full body, medium low carbonation.
A unique classic.

 406 characters

Photo of Dave_Palmer
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Love the oak smoke malt flavor. Great cloudy color and awesome nose. Would be perfect wish some smokey pulled pork with a nice South Carolina vinegar dipping sauce.

 165 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
5/5  rDev +22.5%

This one pours a nice cloudy umber color that has golden undertones. The head is a nice tan that is shallow but rich and leaves little to no lacing down the glass.

The nose is an interesting contrast of sweet malt, smoked malt and , spices and bread with citrus and a floral note that blends nicely.

The flavors are very pleasant and drier than I expected with the nose. The smoke is very prevalent and nicely balanced with the malt and hops. there is a contest of fruit, smoke and tartness that blends exceptionally well. It is as if a rauchbier and a sour are battling for dominance and yet settling on a divine concoction that is complex and superb. IF one thing were off this would not be a good beer. T Hat is why is is a great beer.

The mouthfeel is nicely balanced for the style allowing the complexity of this beer to bathe the palate without lingering to long.

Overall this is a fantastic beer and well worth drinking. I cannot recommend it enough. I will definitely be drinking this one again.

 1,014 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish colour, head is sparse and bubbly. Beige colour, thin lace, not much head. Looks pretty meh.

Wooo-o-o-ah. Bacon. So smokey. So meaty. Almost smells like pepperoni. Huge peaty character with a lot of peppery spice, sour green pepper and even garlic notes. Woah. Such a complex smokey, meaty aroma. Love it.

Taste starts off sweeter, then gets more smokey, but there's also a subdued, background character like it's all smothered by something else. Maybe a bit too sweet - there's notes of bacon, black pudding and charry wood, but there's a veil of brown sugar and malt over the top as well, which sort of muffles the smoke without adding too much. Feel like it should just tone down the sweetness a bit. The smoke complexities should own this more.

Fairly fluid, to the point of being watery. Bit of spicy texture. Not bad.

Had so much promise on the nose; lots of character but it just feels muffled. Still a fascinating palate, I have to give kudos for the complexity.

 990 characters

Photo of doktorhops
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brauerei Heller-Trum have really gone out of their way to make Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock, brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot or "German Beer Purity Law" with 100% oak smoke and matured in vats deep underground during weihnachtszeit or the yuletide season, perfect. Now I will judge it. Taste buds have been activated and are set for launch.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Friendly yeast particles float around in this cloudy copper bodied brew with a minimal cream lace ring on top.

S: Not nearly as smoky as their Urbock, with notes of oak-charred vanilla, sweet caramel, plum, bread yeast and all-spice. It certainly hits that Christmas spot [you know that spot on your body between the elbow and the... argh, forget it].

T: Smooth, so smooth, makes that Urbock seem like a brash young whipper-snapper! The profile is as expected vanilla, sweet caramel, plum, bread yeast and all-spice. There is a mellowness to the smoke that belies the ABV and makes you sit back and ponder things like doing your tax return with each sip. Then you slip back into reality and realise that you hate doing your tax returns, then you take another sip... ahhh, tax returns. It is a subtle mistress this Doppelbock.

M: Here is where it under-performs its Urbock cousin/brother/sister/relative-in-law; medium bodied with a watery light carbonation (lacking in body).

D: Craftier than its Urbock sibling with a tastier, less aggressive smoke and hardly a hint of booze, this is one Brauerei Heller-Trum Aecht Schlenkerla brew that really slides under the radar and would make you blind without you knowing it if you should be foolish enough to drink more than a few. Ultimately though I have really gravitated more towards more fulsome brews and the Urbock, despite being lighter in ABV and bolder in smoke, wins my affections.

Food match: Triamisu [if you haven't figured this out by now I am totally making this shit up].

 1,945 characters

Photo of barczar
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy copper with a foamy cream head that dissipates fairly quickly to almost nothing.

Smoke and meaty goodness comes to the forefront of the aroma. There's a slightly sweet underlying malt character that accompanies the phenolic smoke.

Flavor reveals a sweet melanoidin and toasted malt backbone, which is nicely contrasted by the smoke that kicks in most palate. The finish is lightly dry and floral. Herbal hop notes lend a tea-like impression.

Body is moderate, with carbonation on the lower side. Alcohol warmth is subtle.

Smoke is far more prevalent in the aroma than the flavor, which is actually fairly balanced. Would be a little sweet for a doppelbock, but the smoky notes prevent that from being noticed.

 735 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle. Made with smoked oak, rather than smoked beechwood - hmmmm, I wonder if Anheuser Busch has tried that out?

This beer pours a hazy, medium copper amber hue, with two beefy (the aroma is already infiltrating my consciousness) fingers of puffy, tightly foamy, and almost caked dirty white head, which leaves a few swaths of paint splatter lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of woodsmoke-infused dried meat, semi-sweet caramel malt, a twinge of hard toffee, wet brown toast, campfire-melted funky cheese, scorched rubber-like phenols, twisted vanilla, and faint earthy, singed leafy hops. The taste is actually less smoky than I was expecting (lots of room to move in that particular direction), with the same glowing log effluent character moved to the, ahem, near back burner, allowing a strongly caramelized malt to arise, with a touch of biscuity toffee, dark, reduced orchard fruit, edgy warming alcohol, and some still stunned weedy, leafy hops.

The bubbles are fairly prominent, a bit surprisingly, the swirling frothiness doing well to distribute the flavours, the body a solid medium-full weight, and nicely smooth, once you sublimate all that lurking smoky acridity, which is apparently not all that hard of a thing to do. It finishes on the sweet side, the complex and complicated smoke starting to blow off, leaving us with but a boozy, caramel-heavy, and bready maltiness.

A pretty deft application of the rauchbier treatment to a big doppelbock, the German version of overt style blending, I guess. Everything comes off well enough, the smoke having its way with my palate, before ceding the floor to the equally sturdy, strong like bull, base lager. Once again, a tad scary at first contact, but by the end, it's got me wondering about the times when all beer tasted at least a bit like this.

 1,841 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another excellent addition to the Schlenkerla lineup. Sweet malt accented with the deep smoked malts, reminiscent of smoked meats. Copper body with small creamy head, fine carbonation and lots of suspended particulates. Aroma of wood smoke (from a fire), taste comes in with sweet malt and smoked meats. Abrupt finish with some lingering smokiness. Rauchbiers are an acquired taste, but this is a fine example.

 410 characters

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
91 out of 100 based on 385 ratings.