Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

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1,027 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,027
Hads: 2,033
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.81%
Wants: 140
Gots: 189 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla visit their website

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 07-11-2001

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,027 | Hads: 2,033
Photo of titvs
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 22A). Bottle 50 cl - Batch LTK. AROMA: very present smoked aroma reminiscent of burnt wood. Very faint malt aroma with no esters and no hop aromas. APPEARANCE: dark ruby color and translucid. rich and creamy tanned head with medium-low retention. TASTE: smoky flavour balanced with a slight sweet malty background. clean lager profile. very low bitterness. finishes medium-dry. PALATE: medium-low body with low carbonation. OVERALL: a nice example of a Bamberg speciality. (519 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%

The bacon-like beechwood smoke comes right through in the aroma; some bready sweetness is present just beneath the surface, complemented by a touch of prune-like fruitiness. The body is a brilliantly clear deep copper; the head is light tan and bubbly; plenty of lacing sticks around. The flavor, particularly at first, is intense and complex—the smoke is not quite as prominent as in the nose, but it does add depth to the sweet, bready malt. The intensity of the flavors soon subsides, as the taste becomes more sweet and spicy with a touch of hop bitterness and alcohol. Some savory smoke lingers in the finish. The body seems to be in the mid-range, and the carbonation provides a nice, crisp bite.

Overall, very delicious, characterful, and refreshing. The aroma is especially intriguing, though the flavor is more subtle, particularly after a few sips. On the whole however, I must say that this is a very satisfying and memorable beverage. (950 characters)

Photo of Redneckwine
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Cold bomber into tulip, 5.1% ABV

Appearance - Opaque dark brown, but shows good clarity towards the bottom of the glass, head is only 1 finger worth, but sticks around a long time and leaves epic lacing

Aroma - As expected, very smoky, but not overly so. Pleasant and lightly sweet malts in the background

Feel/Taste - Very gentle, smooth, minimal carb, lighter body than expected, crisp, comes off as medium-light. Taste is nice and smoky up front: smoked salmon without the fishiness, smoked bacon without the porkiness! Smoke prevalent, but pleasantly light and woodsy. Mid palate the smoke comes together nicely with lightly sweet, faintly fruity malts. Faint grassy/spicy hop notes in the finish with little bitterness.

Overall - Really pleasantly surprised with this one. I wouldn't say it's "sessionable" unless you really love smoke, as swigging a smoked liquid is pretty odd to me. One was good, maybe I'd do 2, but I don't think I'd want to knock 3-4 of these back. However, it's actually quite light feeling and the smoke never gets overwhelming. This is a masterfully crafted, delicious beer; I truly enjoyed it. (1,128 characters)

Photo of sommersb
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Tasted On: 09-06-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Single from Liquor Barn, Bowling Green KY

A: Dark amber/brown clear beer, with a big tan head. Lacing is good and head retention is very nice.

S: Aromas are what I expected from having other Rauchbiers -- smoke and wood smells dominate. A campfire in a bottle!

T: I get some initial malty sweetness, followed by an explosion of smokiness. The taste reminds me of eating smoked meats. Other flavors are of earthy hops.

M: Meaty in body, with average carbonation. The finish is a mix of sweet malts and smoked flavors.

O: A real gem among Rauchbiers! (679 characters)

Photo of Bear1964
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Poured a great deep reddish brown into a Pint glass, half finger white head and nice lace. Aroma showed the smoked hops right away with a somewhat malted background, taste was malty sweetness followed by a flow of smokey rich bitterness with each sip. Mouthfeel is medium/light and makes for an easy drink, the smokey waves mellow as it warms and some hops begin to show through with a slight bitterness. Overall this is a very solid beer and one that I'm very glad I picked up! (478 characters)

Photo of admiral
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow - what a beer! Like drinking an artisanal smoky cheese - delicious.

aroma: rich smoked creamy cheese with slight seafood

taste: rich smoked creamy cheese with caramel, seafood and bacon with slight smoked wood

beautiful flavours, great and lingering mouthfeel and a tradition that I hope stays for good. The definition of craft/artisanal beer (349 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of BA's new-ish features is allowing you to see if you have rated any beers in a particular style. I noticed that I didn't have anything in this style and decided to give it a try. I didn't have a short mug or a strange so I did the best I could and put it in a slender packers mug I have. Bought at Little Wine and Liquor. About 5 bucks.

A&S: Extremely big head even when poured slowly down the side. The head is fizzy and tan colored, it retains pretty well for being so big and fizzy. The beer is a dark brown color lively with carbonation and translucent. Well it is as it is advertised. Smells like smoked salami. Smoky but not ash-tray smokey like some beer that have smokey qualities, it is more of a camp fire.

T&M: Not a super complex beer, similar to the aroma lots of smoked meat taste I getting more of a beef jerky and salami mix instead of the just salami in the aroma. A little spicy in the finish, a little on the bitter side but not much. The faintest bit of dryness in the finish. On the thin side of body, pretty smooth and not that sharp from all the carbonation like the look would suggest.

Overall: For sure one of the most unique beers I have ever tasted, not a huge fan of the style, but from reading the description it really seems to nails it. I think the rating are all over the place for this beer because the style is pretty different and maybe not the most palatable for everyone. I could see this being a very good cheese paring beer though. (1,481 characters)

Photo of TruePerception
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aecht Schlenkerla (although, I swear that k looks like an f!) Rauchbier. 5.1% ABV.

A: About a finger and a half of head. Deep red/dark plum in color. Some slight lacing; most slides off.

S: Oh, wow! I can smell the smokiness right away! It's akin to that of the smoked Gouda (Holland) I got from my work. Meaty/bacon. Black pepper.

T/MF: Fairly smooth on the palate. Has an off peppered bologna/sausage flavor, with a light rye taste on the back. Again, reminiscent of the skin on smoked Gouda.

This is quite weird, to me. The aroma is quite nice, but the taste is not something I would want in a beer. Very likely needs a food pairing. Maybe some heavy German breads...

Poured from a 16.9 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass. (734 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle poured into a lager glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color; much darker than I remember and much darker than your average marzen these days. Head retention is ungodly. A huge rocky beige head retains at a solid three fingers for as long as there is beer in the glass. Lacing sticks in stubborn clumps.

S: Campfire and jerky waft out of the glass. Hints of carob, chewy dark caramel, brown molasses, and brown bread. Very smoky.

T: Campfire, smoke, and jerky wrap around a core of nutty cocoa and carob. Burnt toast. Chewy brown caramel. Oily and herbal hop bitterness. Clean. Lingering campfire and woody smoke on the drying finish.

M: Medium-thick body. Weighty but very silky. It glides across the tongue. Moderately stiff carbonation. A very substantial and sustaining feel, as 'meal in a glass'.

O: Oh God, what an excellent beer. One of the more full and complex lagers out there. Glad to see that a few of the Bamberg breweries are still cranking out traditional smoked beers, and doing a world-class job of it. This is world-beating stuff. An absolute must-try for any serious beer aficionado. (1,118 characters)

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into stange; dark brown, showing dark ruby in the light.
Smells like sweet smoke and not much else. Hint of sweet malt.
Taste is smokey mixed evenly with lighter sweet malt.
Mouthfeel is medium light and smooth.
Overall I think I prefer the urbock but this is tasty. (277 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with two fingers of beige head.

Smell - camp fire smoke, roasted malts, smoked meat, hint of dark fruit, light earthy hop.

Taste - Starts with the roasted malts then goes into a nice balance of smoke, hint of dark fruit, and light earthy hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry.

Overall - A well executed Rauchbier with a smoke profile followed by a supporting roasted malt backbone. Would definitely recommend to give this one a go if you are a fan of the style. (536 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear very dark brownish amber in color with light to moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and a moderate amount of cola brown and garnet highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a large patch of thick film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of smoked malts, specifically a smoke that is similar to what I would expect when smoking sausages or bacon.

T: Upfront there are light flavors of roasted and caramel malts with a moderate to strong flavor of smoked malts. Light notes of leather and just a hint of iodine flavors from the smoking of the malts. Light bitterness in the finish which fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: Very interesting smoke aromas and flavors in this beer without being overwhelming. Very enjoyable, especially for someone that enjoys smoke and pretty easy to drink. Pairs well with smoked sausages. (1,084 characters)

Photo of chickenflea
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first smoked beer. Chestnut in color with a small fizzy white head that disappears quickly. Smokey and meaty in aroma with some freshly tanned leather. Taste is malty with a lingering flavor like bark and grain. Mild bitterness finishes very dry. Mouthfeel is light and watery with medium-low carbonation. An interesting beer. The quality seems fine, but it may take a few of these to develop my palate for them. My first one was not that enjoyable and I have tried most styles. (481 characters)

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

While wandering the aisles of his 'happy place', Bucky spotted a German smokebeer, and never having sampled this style picked up a bottle. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier ("ASR") came in a brown 500 ml bottle with a best before date of October 2013 stamped on the reverse label, and was 5.1% alcohol by volume. ASR is produced by Brauerei Heller in Bamberg, Germany. A little historical beer trivia for you...the roots of the word Schlenkerla in the beer's name lie in the Frankish vernacular, in which "schlenkern" is an expression for walking not straight.

ASR poured an attractive chestnut brown colour with a large, slightly off-white head that lasted for several minutes before fading to a 1/8" cap of foam, leaving some modest lacing and spotting down the glass. Its aroma was strong and made up of wood smoke and back bacon. The beer's flavour was distinct but somewhat more subtle than its aroma, beginning, continuing and ending with wood smoke, with a mild bitterness noticeable at the finish. Both the smokiness and slight bitterness continued as a long lasting aftertaste. I found the carbonation to be quite moderate but well suited to the beer, and would describe ASR as medium bodied. Though I was a bit nervous at the start due to past experience with a couple of overpowering smoky beers, this was a refreshing change of pace. Not a style that I would drink every week, but a bit of a flashback to a bygone age when all malt for brewing in Germany was dried over a wood fire, and quite reasonably priced at $3.15 per bottle. (1,539 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 500 ml bottle to a pint glass.

A: pours a chestnut brown with a two finger head that breaks quickly but leaves fantastic lacing.

S: beautiful smoke smell along with some malts and a perception of smoked meats.

T: the smoke carries over from the nose but is more subtle. Caramels, light roasts and a slight saltiness.

M: medium carbonation and body.

O: my first experience with the rauchbier style, though not my first smoked beer. That being said, I have had better smoked beers but overall this was an enjoyable drink. More of a winter or early spring beer than any other time I would think. (609 characters)

Photo of Richardbeerlover
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark brownish red with a decent head that dissipated fairly quickly. Smells smokey of course and the taste is a bit smokey but not nearly as strong it smells. Was a fairly easy beer for me too drink. It's got a lot going on but not so much that it feels too complex. Was a simple beer IMO. I enjoyed it very much but it does take a little getting used to. (368 characters)

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up as a recommendation from my local beer store. First time trying a smoked brew.

Advice: take your time and don't drink it cold! The flavors really come out when it's at room temp

Appearance: pours a dark brown with 3 finger head
Smell: musty, reminds me of a stout; the most unexciting part of this beer
Taste: gets better after each sip; aftertaste of campfire/bacon/cigar smoke
Mouthfeel: smoother than expected; the smoky bacon flavor lingered for a few hours
Overall: very good, but not something I will drink often... prefer to share this pint with a friend in the winter months (599 characters)

Photo of TheOneCleanHippy
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Quite literally the best beer I've ever tasted. Smooth, but very very full and rich taste without being overwhelming. The smokey tones really make this beer unique. For those of us that like dark and complex beers, this is an absolutely wonderful experience. (258 characters)

Photo of tviz33
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle in to a snifter.

A- Pours a clear dark brown body with some red around the edges. Head consists of a frothy gray cap which disappears in just seconds.

S- Smokey! Smoked, salty meats. Bacon. Pancetta. Brown sugar ham. A little campfire-like smoke, but it's mostly meat-like.

T- You guessed it... smoked meat all the way. Lighter flavor than the Urbock if I remember correctly. I can easily drink the whole bottle to myself without the flavor raping my taste buds.

M- Light body and medium-light carbonation. I wish it was a little chewier.

O- Pretty tasty overall. I'll definitely be having this and the Urbock sometime in the future. (669 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla's Rauchbier Marzen a month ago for $4.59 at The Lager Mill. I Like Rauchbier's but I don't drink them very often and I thought it's about time I finally give this beer a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 16.9oz bottle into a German style mug.

A- The label looks ok, it's got an old look to it like they haven't ever changed the label which isn't a bad thing but it's not that eye catching. It poured a nice slightly ruby brown color that took on more of a ruby hue when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of slightly darker tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with medium amount of sweetness with the smoke being the first to show up and it pretty much dominates this beer with a huge smokey aroma, there's a little bit of campfire smokiness to it, but it's the smoked meat and ham like aromas that seem to stick out the most. Up next comes a noticeable herbal aroma but other than that it's pretty much a smoke bomb. The aroma is pretty good and I like the smoked meat aspect.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart a nice grainy, toasted malt, caramel malt, and a slight nutty flavor. Up next comes the smoke which still sticks out the most and imparts a nice 50/50 mixture of campfire and smoked meat like flavors. On the finish comes some of the herbal aspects that I picked up in the aroma and it's followed by a lower amount of bitterness with a pretty smokey aftertaste that lingers just for a little bit. This was a pretty good tasting beer, It was much more balanced than the aroma and I liked that.

M- Smooth, clean, fairly crisp, on the light side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty good beer and a pretty good example of the style, I haven't gotten that Smoked meat flavor in many smoked beersand I thought that it worked well with the campfire smoke aspect and it helped the smoke not wear on the palate. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was smooth, clean, fairly crisp, not filling, and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I thought the smoke would start to wear on me, but it doesn't and I think I could drink a couple pints of this but that may be my limit. For some reason I think this would be a nice fall time beer, maybe because of the smokey aspect. What I liked the most about this beer was the balance in the taste, the smoke really showed up, but it wasn't too overpowering and it let some of the nice Marzen flavors come through. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there isn't anything that I can of think that would improve this beer, it's good just the way it is. I would buy this beer again when I'm in the mood for the style and I would recommend it to anyone who likes smoked beers. I like the style but in my experience some of them wear on me quickly with the harsher smoke flavor, but this beer kept all aspects pretty balanced and it was more drinkable than i thought it would. This beer made a good first impression for Aecht Schlenkerla, I'll be looking for more of their beer and so far this is my favorite traditional German Rauchbier, Nice job guys, this is one tasty and drinkable Rauchbier, keep up the good work. (3,611 characters)

Photo of psm90
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Although there is a decent malt backbone to somewhat counteract the smokiness here, I find the smoke far too overpowering. It dulls the taste of everything and really kills any hop character. I like it slightly more than the Weizen version because of the more robust malts, but neither are particularly to my taste. (315 characters)

Photo of Demhoppz
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked this up on a whim. Not too familiar with german beers and was rated phenomenally so I gave it a shot.

Picked up a bottle for 5.99, which I thought would be fair for how great this thing appeared to be.

The appearance after the pour is great. Heavy, dark, brownish head, just looks like a man's beer that's waiting to be sipped on and slowly enjoyed. Just a fine specimen.

After the poor I took a great big wiff, and my god. It smells like someone brewed this through their armpit hair. The "smoke" scent was horrid. Had I spoke or been able to read german I probably would have known this was a smoked beer and expected a smoke scent..but its forever in my brain as what BO smells like.

The taste was much better than the smell...but the smell still kills it and it lingers with the taste. I'm afraid to hold it in my mouth for more than a few seconds but when I do I don't regret it. I can taste the charred wood and the piss smell starts to dissipate...its not bad whatsoever until the aftertaste kicks in at least.

The mouth feel is phenomenal. Heavy, thick, but smooth and feel good. Much comfort in my gums and underside of my tongue. I almost don't want to swallow.

Overall this brew is overhyped in my opinion. Its a work of art, but the scent just destroys it. It smells like piss, I'm sorry but it does. I'm going to try and finish it though, we'll see where my opinion takes me towards the end of it. (1,429 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which has okay retention. The head is a very dull, almost dirty, light beige while the body is a chestnut to chocolate brown that appears as a mix of burgundy and garnet when held up to the light.

Nose- Definitely cannot regard the nose as boring. Definitely, lots of smoke and very reminiscent of barbecue. Big fruity esters that range from citrus (lots of orange) to white grapes to even slight raisins notes. The interaction between the smoke and the esters seem to indicate tomatoes and barbecue sauce. Some cloves and some burnt qualities, toast. Some woodiness as well from the beech wood. Very nice. Interestingly enough, swirling seems to diminish most of these notes.

Taste- Starts off with smoke over a big base of fruity and juicy esters. Very reflective of the nose in that citrus and raisins appear to suggest tomato that in combination with the smoke suggests barbecue sauce. Some woodiness but this is a pretty sweet beer. Not overly sweet by any means; the smoke definitely keeps that in check but it does have its vinous qualities. I think the sweeter malts associated with the Marzen might have some play in this. Some caramel sits under the fruitier sweetness. Some cloves on the finish which match very well with the smoke and the wood. Slight melanoidin flavors. Mostly good in regard to presence, complexity, and balance. No note overreaches and nothing dazzles but everything works together to make a really good beer.

Mouthfeel- Almost medium bodied with a good amount of syrup to the texture. Carbonation is appropriate and there's definitely some zing to it but it works well with the flavor profile.

Drinkability- Very sessionable if you choose not to think about it but also very interesting if you do. Pretty much the best of two worlds. It is a little pricy for a session beer though. 4.49 for a 500 mL is a good price nonetheless and I could see myself buying this again.

Overall- Pretty good beer that is a very good example of the style. Aecht Schlenkerla is definitely where it is at for rauchbiers. Definitely worth a try even if you don't like smoky beers. This is sweet and fruity enough that it might just change your mind. (2,214 characters)

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. (737 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
2.39/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Purchased this 500ml bottle at the LCBO for just under $4.00.

A- Excellent! Opened very well, poured high with head with a very dark rich looking foam

S- Very good. Hints of smoke shine through along with herbs

T- Absolutely horrible. Worst beer by far I have had. I tried but ended up pouring down the sink after 5 sips. This one is smoky in a fake flavor sort of way

M- Pretty good but it just doesn't help the taste factor

O- The taste dragged this one down badly. Just a personal choice

Food Pairing

I didn't even want to have a 6th sip let alone eat something. (573 characters)

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
91 out of 100 based on 1,027 ratings.