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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

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1,046 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,046
Hads: 2,086
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 20.94%
Wants: 158
Gots: 216 | 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: 1,046 | Hads: 2,086
Photo of jokelahoma
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely dark ruby red with a good two inch, rocky off-white head. The head lasts a good long while before finally settling into a creamy layer that lasts all the way down the glass.

Aroma is ham. That's it. Just ham. Smoked, candied ham, to be exact. Ah, wait.. there is a very, very faint hop aroma in here too, as well as a small bit of roses (?), but it's all but buried under the smoky candied ham smell.

With the aroma, you might expect this to taste like a smoke bomb. It doesn't. The taste is nowhere near as smoky as one might expect. There *is* smoke, mind you, just not as overwhelming as you may anticipate. Oddly, the ham is present in the taste, not just in the aroma. Were the beer saltier, I'd swear it was ham juice. As the beer warms, however, the ham taste and aroma disappear, leaving a nice malty sweetness that begins to smell more like barbecue sauce, believe it or not. The taste also takes on a little bbq sauce spiciness, especially in the finish. I can't taste any hops in here whatsoever. They have to be there, or else the beer would be cloying, and it most certainly isn't that sweet. The smoky, hammy, barbecue taste doesn't linger in the aftertaste. There's just the sweet malt and enough bitterness to keep the sweetness from being over the top.

The mouthfeel is rather on the light side, with no oiliness or filmy feeling one might get from smoked foods. Very clean.

Overall, this is a very interesting beer. I don't know that I'd order it if other favorites of mine were available, but within the style, well, this seems to be a very, very good rauchbier. AN excellent place to start if you want to explore the style.

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Photo of cracgor
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Really one of the best looking beers I have ever seen. It pours a deep immensley dark brown to black. The head is formed of tiny, tiny bubbles. The head is light brown, creamy and has excellent retention and leaves a sheet on the glass.

Smell: Bacon, hickory smoked maybe. Smells sweet too. Like honey crusted. Man this is gonna be good.

Taste: similar to the smell. It tastes like beef jerkey. Very dominating flavor. Almost like sucking on a stick of wood. A little salty, and an unexpected but delicious hard to place flavor. I realize it tastes a little charred, a little like bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel: grainy and a little dry finish. I feel like I am actually with chewed meat in my mouth (an exaggeration to some degree but how I feel).

Drinkability: Not a style I could expect even existing, but oh so good. I'd definitely try another smoked beer, so it was an overall pleasant experience. Really I can't believe how much this beer tastes like meat. I had been told, but I didn't truly believe. Well this beer will definitely put hair on your chest.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB 24-6-05. This is how a rauchbier should be. Good presentation with yellowbrown head and darkdarkbrown beercolor. Nose is very smokey and with that maltycaramellic. Taste is as smokey as beer can be also and with that a fullness of taste. Sweetmalty, caramellic, citrussyfruity and roast all in one. After a while you think you were near a fireplase cause the smokey taste just stays forever. Great brew having also fine carbonation to make mouthfeel great and can't leave it by one so drinkability is also more then ok!

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Photo of soper2000
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this to pair up with some Memorial Day weekend ribs and it sstood up pretty nicely.

Pours a deep red with an off white head with some staying power. Aroma is smoky but not quite as smoky as expected. A little note of sweet malt is present as well, but pork bbq definitely dominates the nose. Taste is nicely balanced with some sweetness melding well with the smoke. Although this is not a smoke bomb like Lafayette Brewing Co's Smokehouse Porter, it does hit the spot when you're craving that campfire taste.

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

Poured a Dark Ruby colow with just a touch of white head.

Smelled like a fresh smoked porkchop, Made me incredibly hungry.

Taste is suprisingly mild, A very smooth and suprisingly balanced mixture of Maltyness and that great Smoke flavored finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a medium amount of body to it.

Drinkability is very good, I had no trouble at all polishing off the 16ouncer in no time. Was very tasty paired with one of my favorite snacks - Triskets, Horseradish, and sharp chedder.

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Photo of Higravity
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

As a smoker this beer was not that good. It looked like a dark beer, but lurking inside was smoked meat and sweet breads. Seriously, I had some smoked sweet breads down in Argentina and this beer reminded my of what they tasted like. It had a strong smoked smell of campfire clothes, odd but enticing. It had a bitter charcoal hit to it as well that was not pleasing and a little bracing. There is some underlying sweetness but you can only taste them after your buds are readjusted to the smoke. Not bad enjoyable at times but have some cheese or something to gnosh on to make it more enjoyable as I found out half way through the galss.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen pours from the elegant 500ml bottle a deep shimmering brown with red highlights that explode out of the glass when held up to the light. A creamy, bubbly bright off white head rises up with large bubbles in the mix. A huge, crisp smoky aroma wafts up into my nose and nearly makes me do a double take. Reminds me of smoked beef jerky, gouda and a dying campfire in the midst of summer. Underneath the smoke lies some caramel tones and a hint of nutty sweetness. An intriguing beer that keeps me coming back for another sniff.

The first sip of my first true Rauchbier brings a large dose of smokehouse flavor upfront. The smoke is prominent, however it doesn't overshadow the underlying nutty caramel tones that the brew has to offer. I get a hint of light fruit flavors on the way down. Truly a well crafted Rauchbier that has a sublte complexity that keeps me coming back for that next sip.

Smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel flows over the palate so easily I almost forget I'm drinking it. An intensly drinkable brew that is refreshing and a nice change of pace. If you enjoy smoked beers this one should be on your list!

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one In the Delirium Café. First time I had one of these and it hasn’t let me down.
It was served to me in a Paulaner Weizen glass. The beer has a very nice misty caramel-amber colour and the head has a grey-brown colour. The head does stay but it is quite small.
It has a very soft dried smoked Schwarzwald ham smell.
And it tastes just the same basically. A very strong smoked and spiced ham taste with some bitter tones. The ham taste is so convincing that you would almost forget that is beer you are drinking and not ham you are eating.
The aftertaste is identical: salted bacon with tones of bitterness. It reminds me a little bit of a Guinness Draught on tap.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

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

Dark, clear, coppery color, the perfect hue for a marzen, with abundant foam atop, creamy, and leaving lace. Beautiful looking glass of beer.
Aroma: bacon. Big malt, sweetness, but mostly smoke, cured ham, smoked salmon, memories of meat.
This continues into the taste, and joins the palate most pleasantly. Crowds the mouth with sensation. Juicy malt, a fine marzen lies underneath, and is treated well with the smoking.
Much milder than other rauchbiers, the smoke playing gently, it's at the fore, but never too much.
Medium bodied, but fully flavored, with a mild, malty finish. Tasty.
A remarkable experience, and unforgettable beer.

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Photo of walleye
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured a nice ruby with light tan head that didn’t last to long, but did have some lacing. smokey aroma and flavor. finish mouthfeel got dryness that I didn't care for to much.I am not much into smoke flavor of anything. so I did not enjoy this beer that much

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Photo of fisherman34
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in colour with a medium amount of carbonation. The aroma is a full on blast of malt and woodsmoke. The tastes are of smoked meats and grainy malts. The body is fairly full, and there's just the slightest amount of bitterness to keep things in check. Perhaps not to everyone's tastes, but I love this stuff. It's one of my regular purchases (or at least "will be", as I hear it is being de-listed by the liquor marts here in Manitoba).

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is really dark, with absolutely no light penetration. The smell is very original, almost like BBQ pork... The taste is the same way. I have never tried a beer like this, and it's amazing. It is almost like BBQ sauce with meat. You can tell the smoke that went into this beer. Thats about all I can say about the taste, its that if you have never had a Rauchbier before, this will be a real treat.

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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 Longstaff
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Had to re-review this since I've had it so many times since the original review and my views have changed drastically. What can I say but this is the difinitive rauchbier that is the smokiest it gets. Nice strong beechwood smoke flavor upfront reminiscent of smoked fish or meat that may be overwhelming at first, but then dissapates the more you drink. The malt is very sweet and sugary like a marzen but is has a substantial enough bitterness on the back end to make it more balanced than a marzen. Smoke flavors are strong at first, but after a few pints, only slightly noticeable. Creamy mouthfeel makes this feel slick going down. I can't get enough of this magical elixer.

Who put sardines in my beer? The oily, smoked fish aroma is much stronger than it tastes and is quite pleasant after a few sips. After my first sip I wondered how I was going to finish the bottle, after my last, I wanted another bottle. Went great with a hunk of Jarlsberg cheese.

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Photo of stopmakingsteve
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this on a whim at Selfridge's in London because the description they had posted sounded interesting. It's a 500 mL bottle, with all the labels in German, and some sort of freshness dating on the back that is either not legibly filled out or is too complicated for me to understand. It pours a dark reddish brown, with not too much head, into a normal pint glass.

The smell immediately reminds me of bacon or smoked ham. The sign at the store said it would, and it recommended drinking with smoked meat or barbeque. I don't have a grill or any meat, but I perservere onward.

It's creamy and smooth, very easy to drink, and the smokiness is readily apparent. It reminds me of eating jerky. It's a bit fruity, but not very sweet, and it's reminiscent of the less bitter bitters I've had. I like it a lot. At this point I really wish I were eating barbeque.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany tone. Bubbly beige head. Lace is sparse. Bigtime smoke hits the nostrils up front. Like a smoldering campfire. It's huge. But I like it. And there's sweet malt tones on the nose as well. Sweet, sugary malt backbone. Smoke is placed everywhere you look. Thick cigar tar. Pipe residue. Oh yeah, there's a presence. This marzen base doesn't quite work as well as their bock base, but it's still good. The body is big and full. Carbonation seems appropriate and on the light side. Enjoyable.

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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 ypsifly
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle with no dates into a mug.

Amber brown with a tan, sticky head that has good retention.

The nose is dominated, pleasantly, by a meaty smoke but there is a slight sweetness underneath. For someone who enjoys smoked meats and cheeses, this is very mouth watering.

Again, smoky notes are first in line upon tasting, but there is some sweet malt in the background, with some dry hops joining the smoke in a lingering finish. Very nice.

The medium mouthfeel and carbonation make this a very drinkable brew, especially when paired with smoked salmon.

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Photo of gbontrag
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange, large froth the color of sun-dried bone collapses to a light, airy, fluffy meringue. I love the smoke my friends! Smells like country smoked ham and whole wheat bread.
Tastes meaty. Thin, but not lacking in flavor. Some buttery feeling. The smoke wafts across the scene: I'm sitting on the porch munching the last of the wrinkled apples that over-wintered in a barrel down cellar. The missus is frying up some early dandelion greens with bacon. I could till some compost into the garden plot, or I could sit back and relax with a good beer -- this beer. Tasty. Earthy. Mellow.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a few of these to go with a BBQ, to accompany some ribs specifically. It is a dark, chestnut colored brown with an unexpectedly rich and foamy head of light brown.

The aroma is as smoky as you would expect, but in no way unappetising. It definately has an oily, cured meat thing going on, very meaty smelling. There's just enough malty aromas to balance the smoke a bit. I smell a bit of tasty chocolate caramel as well.

A very tasty blend of sweet smokey flavors , charred dark malts, and a nice hop addition to remind you that you're drinking beer. There's an unexpected appearance of chocolatey flavors that remind me of a good porter, weird. It's simply wonderful with the BBQ meal we're having.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, with a medium body. I would like to try this beer on it's own, without food to see if it still tastes as good. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have seen this beer many times and very purchased it. Pours out a dark, reddish-brown color. Very clear with a good size off white head. The smell is exactly as I expected, smoky. Smoky like cured meet or partially burnt wood. The taste is actually very similar to the smell at the beginning and end. Sweet smoked salami with a solid malt background. I also pick up something a bit metalic in the middle.

The taste is actually much smoother than I expected. Drinks very easily and is refreshing. I really expected a beer that I could chew on. Some day I will go to Bamberg and try this on tap.

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Photo of cro250klr
1.82/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Saw the bottle in the cooler and had to try it. A good looking bottle has to have good beer in it. Not at all what I had expected. I love Stone Smoked Porter. I figured since this was a German offering it had to be as good if not better. Alas, there are some things the Germans aren't good at. The pour looked real good, deep dark with a light head. The carbonation seemed nice. I'm not a fan of high carbed brews like Saisons. Then came the nose. Wow! I've thrown wet newspapers on a fire that had a better smell. A cross between Kipper snacks and smoked oysters. While I love both of those, that kind of smoke flavor doesn't work here. The taste, the same, that same nauceous smoke is on the tongue now. The mouth was extremely light. I had a hard time with this one so, needless to say, drinkability didn't impress me at all. I've had other smoke brews since, always going at them a little gun shy after this. However, none have been this bad. I'll stick to a Stone from now on.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a ruby and brown color with a sticky thick velvety head.

Smell: Smoked smell is immediate and most prominant throughout. Reminds me of smoked Gouda cheese and extinguished campfires. There is a sweetness burried in there too.

Taste: This is really fantastic in flavor...very bold and full. The smokey, wood flavors have a richness that reminds me of meat and cheese. Its very filling in this way - your tongue can only handle so much. The aftertaste is brief - especially considering how much flavor is in the there.

Mouthfeel: The body is very nice - smooth, thick with a few peppered bubbles here and there.

Drinkability: This is not a beer. It is a snack. Treat it with caution and enjoy.

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Photo of SaunaKing
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a few of these when I was in Toronto after trying one at Beer Bistro. Its deep brown with ruby tints. Nice creamy beige head that is quite dense.
Aroma of black licorice and smoked dried sausage. Makes me think of Polish sausages hanging from my Mom's kitchen cuboards. One of the most unique, memorable aromas of any beer I have experienced.

Head gives way to a thin layer leaving lacing from the receded head but no lacing as you drink the beer.

Taste is pleasant, but disapointing. After the look and the aroma its kind of a letdown. Malty but a hint of burnt malt - i guess thats the idea of smoking the malt. I can't really detect the tastes that I am smelling. Really doesn't wow me. Very mild hop presence and a bit of a salty aftertaste.

Thin mouthfeel, just washes around in your mouth - i was hoping for big and beefy, but at least it makes for good drinkablity, this could be a session beer.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark ruby red/light brown in color; the aroma hits you like a vapor-rub. Dark roasted malts, chocolate are the undertones, a massive smoky-charcoal smell; invigorating and enjoyable, reminder of smoked salami or smoked ham. A clinging murky white head with some round patches also should be noted. Color me happy and ready. Malt based, yet nearly chewy, has some sweetness that is easily detectable. Smoky – unique flavors that leave you scratching – bacon, ham-like flavorings and even some caramel flavorings. The body becomes a bit spicy and sweeter towards the bottom of the pint glass. Medium bodied with yet more offerings – some dark, dark roasted malts and coffee beans as it warms to near room temperature. Enjoy at just below room temperature; complex, tasty and very enjoyable!

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
91 out of 100 based on 1,046 ratings.