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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

1,084 Reviews
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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany | website

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV may vary slightly year to year.

Bamberg's speciality, a dark, bottom fermented smokebeer, brewed with Original Schlenkerla Smokemalt from the Schlenkerla maltings and tapped according to old tradition directly from the gravity-fed oakwood cask in the historical brewery tavern.

Added by taez555 on 07-11-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,084 | Ratings: 2,197
Photo of funkengruven
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This has to be the most fascinating things i've ever had. Being the first Rauchbier i've had, i'm very very fascinated. This looks good, dark brown with a nice amount of lacing. Smell is like, campfire. With hints of a smoked sausage, totally delicious. Taste is absolutely phenomenal. This would go so so well with a side of summer sausage. carbonation is just right and delivers the aromas just perfectly. Drinkability is pretty good, but for some the aftertaste might be a bit too much. Personally this ranks among the best i've ever tasted. Very unique and quite flavorful. I'm getting some of these next time I have a barbecue.

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Photo of johnniemarg
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a burnt brown color with a modest white head.

The aroma is an intense meaty smoky smell.

This is tasty. The smoke is very rich in the flavor. There is an iron flavor that combined with the smoke makes me think of beef jerkey as another reviewer said. The flavors are all in balance. Finishes with little aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is full and chewy.

I am really happy that my friend put this in my cart at the beer store. This is a fantastic brew. I love BBQ and think this would pair fantastically with some good slow smoked BBQ pork ribs. But the beer tastes like a meal in itself though too. I wish they carried this at Dinosaur BBQ. I will definitely seek out more beers of this style.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep redbrown color with nice even carbonation feeding a off white, almost light brown , creamy head which holds on for a while and leces very nice.
The smell prepares for exceptional smokehouse aromas, yet has still some fruitiness in it.
The taste is phaenomenal. From fruit to smoked ham, nice caramel undertones and a smooth finish.
Mouthfeel is very smooth yet has great carbonation in the beginning and finishes smooth in the back.
I want more, fantastic beer which rarely gets better.

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Photo of jp62099
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: gorgeous deep scarlet, nice head and lacing.

Smell: Wow! that's different, is your first thought, very pronounced smokiness. Salmon, cured meat smell, some charred wet wood also.

Taste: at first sip you're cautious given the intense smell, but it is very smooth. The taste is very much like the smell, but with a nice malt sweetness. Slight hop bitterness makes for a balanced finish.

My first German rauchbier, and I'm hooked. As for drinkability, you feel like you have gotten your protein for the day with just one, but it goes down very easy. Would drink lots if I could afford it.

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Photo of StevieW
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big 16 oz. European bottle. Label depicts an old tyme scroll of faded parchment paper.
Deep brown to mahogoney in color. When held to the light a faint ruby glow emerges. Tan bubbly head, tight. Laces the glass somewhat. Smell is full on wood smokehouse. From first whiff to last drop, smokehouse flavors ease into your nose. Not harsh at all, but very pleasant. Taste is equally striking at first. Reminded me of smoked beef jerkey or perfectly smoked bbq ribs. Creamy sweet malt is also noticed. As you drink, the shock of the smoke wears out a bit, and more full rich malty beer flavors emerge. Toasted toffee sweetness. Nothing really lingers. Medium bodied, rich creamy feel. A striking and unique beer, would get a 5 for originality. Highly suggested, I can see where you either love these or hate these. I will try it again with a smoked bbq ribs or smoked German Sausage and saurkraut. Yea ! Definitley worth a try.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep ruby brown with a big frothy white head. This beer smells like a midsummer pig roast; like a well seasoned brisket; bacon frying, Easter ham! The smoke is overwhelming, not even a hint of anything else. Magnificent. I didn't even want to drink this beer, just swirl it in the snifter for hours. Tastes just like the nose, all smoke with just a little sweetness and a subtle sort of metallic tang. Medium body fits this beer to a "T". Highly drinkable in vast quantities.

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Photo of CDAtkinson
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It was a welcome treat after I biked home in the winter cold: a single bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen. Or, in English, an “Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer Pale-Lager.” According to Schlenkerla, for one of their smokebeers (rauchbier) to earn the name and achieve the taste, the malt is exposed “to the intense, aromatic smoke of burning beech-wood logs.” It was exactly the taste for capping a day’s work and a nippy bike ride. This drink got pretty damn close to actualizing the phrase “it warms the cockles of your heart.”

The rauchbier had toasty, camp-fire, tobacco tastes and surprisingly medium-body smoothness and it deliciously complemented the smoky fish chowder and salty crackers I ate for dinner.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amazing beer. Poured out to a dark brown colour, with a medium brownish white head. Medium low carbonation. Amazing smell; inital odor of sweet smoke is followed by hints of earth, malt and roasted hops. Flavor was like no other beer I have ever had. Strong flavor of smoke, with earthy overtones, with the nuances of bacon. Yum. When they say smoked beer, they mean it. Full mouthfeel is not a turn off, as it doesn't go down heavy or make you feel like there is a brick in your stomach. Maybe not an everyday beer, but nevertheless one of the greatest beers I think I have ever had. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on a rauchbier. I saw their lager at the store and woulda bought it as well if I had known that so few people had reviewed it. Anyway, from a big German bottle into a German mug, it pours a rich, deep copper with very active carbonation and an inch of khaki head that consists mostly of small bubbles and retains a quarter inch throughout, leaving some nice patches/rings of lace. The aroma is very smoky from the beginning - I can smell the wood they used, and the aroma reminds me of a good smoked meat or cheese. By the end there are notes of faint hops and clean malts, and the smoke seems to be sweeter, if that makes sense. The first sip kickstarts my bacon craving, which by end becomes a smoked salmon craving. The taste is highly smoky at the start with notes of spices, but I soon find notes of faint coffee and green, almost citric hops with a mild to medium bitterness that intensifies as I progress, as does a tobacco flavor which leaves the taste of chaw in my mouth. The mouthfeel is medium to full, and incredibly smooth and creamy for a lager, leaving a long finish that makes me want another bottle. It is surprisingly drinkable, as I was a bit hesitant of the style, but it is a wonderful beer that is totally unique to my palate. I must try their other offerings. A great deal at under $4 a bottle.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a pint bottle into a Weizen Glass.
A - reddish brown with a rapidly fading head of about a fingers height.
S - wow, smoked sausage. Hickory smoke. Forest fire from a distance, it actually reminded me of driving through Yellowstone when they had the massive fire in the late 80's. Incredible barbeque smoke that you can taste in the air.
T - the smoke is slightly subdued in the taste versus the smell. Oh it is there without denial but not as overwhelming as the nose. Smoky, lightly malty, and with a touch of sweetness. It reminds me of sampling powdered smoke aditives when cooking.
M - smooth, light carbonation, moderately oily feel.
O - awesome smell, great taste

I seriously need to grill some sausage to go with this beer.

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Photo of Takahiro
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: clear, ruby brown with an a almost white head.

S: smoky and leathery. reminds me of camp fire, and smoked ham. Smoke is dominating and almost intimidating at first.

T: nice maltiness that is very smooth and rounded. very clean finish. It's so much better than majority of lagers out there.

M: good body, smooth and very tender. very silky texture.

D: Highly drinkable.

Based on the smell, i was expecting more "in your face" smoky flavor, but was I WRONG. There is no smokiness at all in the flavor, and it is surprisingly very smooth and clean. a beautiful beer.

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Photo of karst
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pint & 0.9 oz from Chef's Pantry (as were the wonderful steaks, chocolate, and cheese). Served @ 45°F and sipped slowly warming through about 55°F.So aromatic from beechwood smoked malts, each taste was total pleasure and full of rich complex taste with mouthfeel that invited you to never swallow.

"Schlenkern" is an old German expression for walking not straight (just like a drunk person does). Allegedly one of the former brewers had a funny way of walking due to an accident (or maybe due to the beer), and so he was called the "Schlenkerla" This name was assigned to the tavern also and ultimately the beer.

Aecht is old German for "genuine" and Rauch is German for "smoke". wonderful illustrations of the beechwood fires used to dry the malts are on the website.

Acclaimed in Michael Jacksons Great Beer Guide it is said to pair well with smoked ham or sausages. If I could live my life over the one thing I would surely change was having Schlenkerla in place of the Lonestar with the succulant pig we roasted in S. Texas earlier this month. We followed this with Stone Smoked Porter - never thought I would find a Stone lacking in the flavor catagory. Never say never.

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Photo of acevenom
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass mug. Pours fairly clear dark caramel brown with an off-white head. I can see plenty of bubbles in the beer and along the side of the glass. The head retreats slowly. This beer definitely smells smokey and earthy on the nose. The smokiness in the nose is not overpowering in the flavor. I pick up some of those sweet malts. It's a little earthy. The body is light to medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is fairly clean and the drinkability is high. This is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had to give one of the original smoked beers a try, seeing how much I like smoked porters. This brew turned out to be no exception. Released from its bottle, this brew had a uniform dark brown hue I could almost see through. A large light tan head flared and quickly collapsed to a thin ring, leaving no lace.
The nose was quite complex and compelling; a potent meaty smoke aroma dominated with a light malty sweetness and hint of caramel. There was a meatiness to the nose and taste, like a smoked sausage or ham, that kept me coming back for more. I finally had to find out what wood was used to impart the smokiness into the malt. Turns out it's beechwood. While the smokiness is easily the most noticeable, it's the blending in of the sweetness of a marzen that really made this a taste treat. The sweet caramel-laced malts on the palate melded perfectly with the smokiness for a medium feel that was smooth and dry.
This beer is awesome! So easy to drink, it's like a meal in and of itself. I can't wait to get hold of their Urbock and Weizen. Delicious!

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Photo of buschbeer
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured into a pint glass to a couple fingers of tan head. The aroma is smokey bacon with sweet caramel malt in the background. On the taste I get the caramel malt upfront. The smokiness is subdued in the background but grows as I consume this wonderful beverage. The more I drink the more dark malt flavor comes through as well. The taste of this beer just reminds me of bacon or ham, salty pork.

This is just a fantastic all around beer. I can't help but think of firing up the grill while I'm drinking this. It's too bad there's two feet of snow on the ground with more coming down. I will actively seek out this beer to pair with my cookouts this year. Maybe it's the carnivore in me, but this beer makes me want to consume some lower inhabitants of the food chain!

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Photo of Dodt
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

ran into a fellow beer geek when he recommended this wonderful beer to me. popped off the cap and the smokey aroma that reminds me of pork or smoked bacon. deep amber hue with a fluffy head and lacing around the glass .

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Photo of rye726
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Nose has beige head. Nose has big smoke presence over crisp malts, toffee and caramel. Taste also quite smokey yet still well balanced. Clean body is quite refreshing. I'm really starting to enjoy this style and these guys do a great job.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a standard pint glass
Dark tea/cola in color with a big off-white, tannish head of foam
Aroma-Wow! You get the aroma as soon as you open the bottle. Wonderful smell of hickory smoked bacon and burnt malt
Taste-Another wow! Woodmoked malts and smoked bacon/ham and subtle sweetness throughout, without being overpowering. Clean, smooth finish.
This beer begs for a food pairing: Sausage, smoked ham, smoked turkey, even a BLT or a landjager would be a fine match.
Truly a unique, delicious, must-try beer experience!

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Photo of blackie
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Produces a short lived off white or tan head when poured. Color is a dark mahogany with some tinges of red coming through.

The first thing that pops into my head upon inhaling the vapors of this beer is smoked salmon. Mmmm, that smoked malt smells delicious. No hops evident. Nuances of soy sauce and smoked woods are present, with a moderate sweetness coming through.

Carbonation is low to medium low, body is medium low.

Taste is, again, smoked salmon, and some smoked ham in there too. Also flavors of smoking woods, with some malt sweetness still showing through. Hops sneak in with a tiny hint of bitterness. There is something I love about the way this beer finishes so crisply, yet so flavorful at the same time.

A wonderful beer. The next time I have one of these, it will be paired with some home smoked meat.

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Photo of FRANKIE65
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured with a beautiful light brown head. Gorgeous beer.
The aroma hits you like a smoker full of salmon.
The taste, amazing smokiness.
Makes me want to fire up my smoker.
Amazing beer!!!!

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Photo of loren01
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark reddish color small head and slight lace down the glass.
S: Smell is very strong smokey scent. Smoked cheese/sausages and campfire
T: Taste is very much the same smoked cheddar cheese, a little bit of malty sweetness to balance things out a bit.
M: Medium bodies creamy finish going down...very nice.
D: I wasnt too excited about drinking this as its not really my favorite style however this really grew on me the more I drank of it...a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of leeaa01
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown (little turbidity) with about one inch of light tan head.
Smells of wonderful woodsy smoke with a little malt behind the smoke.
Tastes of full smoke like smoked ham or bacon. The taste is actually reminiscent of cured meat. The malty but fully attenuated character supports the full flavored wood smoke. While smoke is the predominant character here, however, there is a ton of depth behind the smoke.
The mouth feel is full and malty with out a lot of sweetness.
People seem to love or hate this style. I happen to love it. This beer one of (if not) the best in its style. This is the quintessential rauch beer. If you haven't had it, try it.
One quick note on pairing. I would NOT pair this beer with smoked foods (i.e., pulled pork, briscut or cheese)! It is impossible to appreciate the smoke character when paired with smoked foods. I was at the American Royal in KC last year and decided to bring both the Aecht Urbock and Marzen to taste with some smoked pork shoulder a buddy of mine was entering. The shoulder ran roughshod over the beer. The beers both tasted like above average dark German lagers. Just my two cents.

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Photo of nixhecks
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the store order this special as I have been aching to try a real rauchbier. Poured a dark soda brown color with a very large head with medium retention. The aroma was unlike any brew I have tried before this - so strong and pungent I can smell it while it sits on the desk in front of me. Aroma consisted of a chalky mesquite smoke, reminded me of smoked salmon. Taste was really something else. The smoke flavors were immense, the same smoked fish, with a sweetness like smoked sausage. Also a slight hoppiness, and roasted coffee. I am glad to have tried this, I would have to say this was one of my favorite beers so far to sit down and review.

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Photo of inebrius
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First sip: a suspicious glance. Second sip: A nod, a smile. Third sip: I'm out the back door scraping last years Salmon off my water smoker so I can brew my very own Rauchbier Marzen.

What a great beer!
Deep amber under nothing; the head was gone in seconds. Nose is smoky-sweet malt and a backyard in Autumn. A draught brings you toasty malts then a beautiful mix of bittering hops and lingering smoke that play off one another and compel another taste. Smooth and absolutely delectable.
What a great beer!

Cheers to VENOM for the sample!

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I will admit it- I have been afraid of this beer. I am of German extraction, and I love German food, German beer, etc., but the concept of a smoked beer has just scared me. Sometimes an idea can be scary- this is one of them. So I finally bit the bullet on this "best of class" beer, and bought two. Then I let one sit in my fridge for a couple of months while I got up the nerve. I am moving soon, and need to reduce bulk, so here goes.

Pours an unexciting brown with all of nothing for a head. Completely unremarkable.

Aroma- holy hell. This is the exact replica of the finest smoked hard salami & German sausage from when I worked in a deli many many years ago. Pepper and other spices mixed with smoked, cured beef. Wow. I can't believe it- I can do nothing but give this a perfect 5.

Flavor is a smoky, meaty wonderfulness like I haven't tasted in years. As a beer, I'm reluctant to give it 5, because it's so un-beer like. On second thought, it does have some beer qualities- wet, cold, and tasty. 5 it is.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin as most marzens are, so I guess it fits the style. And that's probably ok, because if it was as rich as the sausage it's pretending to be, one would be able to drink an ounce or two, and be done.

This is one incredible beer. Reminds me of my German heritage!

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
91 out of 100 based on 1,084 ratings.