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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Not Rated.
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,063 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,063
Hads: 2,147
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 21.18%
Wants: 170
Gots: 249 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany | 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: 1,063 | Hads: 2,147
Photo of shirfan
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear and dark brown, with a foamy, lasting layer of white suds.

Aroma of bacon, leaf fires, dry herbs.

Taste is a bit of a letdown compared to the bock version; this has a thin leafy taste with less smoke flavor than the aroma promises.

Not heavy enough on malt; what does exist here is light, toasty, and fairly dry. Burning leaves and a hint of sweetness appear in the finish.

Very easy drinking and a nice rauchbier aroma, but the taste is lacking oomph.

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

One big beautiful Marzen, pouring an almost ruby amber color. The head was thin but had some staying power. The aroma reminded me almost of a barbecue. The smokiness is very strong but really lovely. It reminds me of the hickory-smoked ham aroma.

The taste was all about smoky, malty goodness. The roasted malt was carried to what my friends consider an extreme, but I think tastes great. Again, this is sort of like drinking a beer that sat next to the barbecue and picked up the smoky flavor, but with the sweetness that comes with all the malt. There was very little bitterness, but the smoke balances the sweetness.

The mouthfeel was thinner than I expected but otherwise enjoyable. I couldn't make this a session beer without overdosing on the smoke, but I love the occasional journey into the rauchbier realm.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark for a marzen, with low head retention.

Aroma: Very strong smoky aroma, with a touch of toasty malt.

Flavor: A little sweet malt followed by strong smokiness that just fills the mouth, but doesn't completely overwhelm the tastebuds. Decent body, though slightly watery, medium-low carbonation, and a very smooth texture/mouthfeel. Smoke hangs around long after the finish.

By far my favorite of the Schlenkerla line. The Urbock is overwhelmingly smoky, and the Weizen is just light smoke with few hefeweizen notes. This is the most balanced of the beers.

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Photo of markman
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen:

Deep garnet pour with virtually no head…not what I expected. Sweet smoky nose. A mild smoky flavor hovers over a nice malty sweetness. I really like this, and I think it would be a good introduction for anyone new to the style (unlike it’s big brother Urbock). No lacing but who cares…very drinkable and I find myself just staring into it’s smoky abyss and contemplating it’s layers of flavor. This brew is a nice surprise and I suspect I will find it in my cellar on a regular basis. Highly recommended.


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Photo of GreenWBush
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'll admit it. I've hid with fear from rauchbier. Rogue's Smoke ale was way too much for me at the time. But the time of denial has passed - time to take a fair evaluation. There was just no more avoiding this classic in the liquor store cooler.

The appearance surprises me; much lighter in both color and viscosity, something akin to a brown ale with a wonderous lacing.

The nose is what I expected diving in, tons of simmering smokiness. And yes, the first sip is truly akin to biting into some sort of smoked meat. Like a wickedly hoppy beer, this is huge at first and subsides before the beer is half gone. Unlike most of those beers, when your tongue gets aquainted with the possibly unsettling flavor of peatiness there's a beautifully crafted, complex-as-hell beer lingering underneath there.

Why I was ever afraid perplexes me.

Try everything.

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

The beer poured crystal clear deep amber with a white long lasting head which lasted to lace the glass.

The aroma was beechwood smoked malt, deeply ashtray with maltiness in the background.

The flavor was the taste of smoked sausage then malty with Vienna malt and Munich but smoke still dominated the malty flavors.

The finish was dry with lasting smoke and the body was medium.

16.9 ounce bottle.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25oz bottle obtained as part of BIF 13 from Qarre. Thanks for the opportunity, I think...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, where it formed a 1" tan head over the dark reddish amber brew. Head is dense, and hangs around after half has dissipated, with good lacing. Aroma is all about da smoke. Smells like something well-smoked off the grill, which is cool, since it's always nice to get what the name advertises. Taste is surprisingly of sweet malts initially, and then the smoke aroma/taste comes on in. A pleasant turn of events, there's more to this one than meets the eye, err, nose. The main observation I am presented with is "watery". Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great for the style, which can sometimes take things a bit too far, and forget the whole idea is a drinkable end product. I am pleased to say this is one smoked beer I could revisit over and over.

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer originally about a year ago when visiting Bamberg, Germany. It came straight out of the wooden barrel. It was just superb. I'm sure part of it was the experience of it all -- a cold, cloudy afternoon outside a busy exciting place inside.

This one came out of a brown bottle. It was quite enjoyable, but couldn't match the original draft.

The beer poured a clear dark amber with a tan head. The smokiness was very apparent and even assertive, but not overwhelming. Enough to remind you of beef jerky or smoked sausage. The flavor follows along with the aroma. Smokiness throughout, yet it is not harsh and remains an easy drinking rauchbier.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One inch of noisy, tan foam condenses. A clear, dark, red-brown beer: pretty. Smoked ham in the nose with sweet malt underneath. Smells just like winter nights growing up. Wow. The front is tangy and charcoaly. Middle is full with a little chocolate in the malt. Finish is smoky, meaty, grainsy, hoppy with a little sugar. Wow again. Delicious. The smoke is strong, but not intrusive. The malt is very nice (though it could be even more assertive, I think). I really enjoyed this one.

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

A dude in Germany once said “I prefer to eat my ham.”
A brown/gray color with a full tan head and sticky lace. Aroma is smoky sweet and earthy. Flavor is sweet, smoky and roasted. Palate is light bodied, with low effervescence and a dry and slightly acerbic finish. An interesting style with a decent balance of sweet, smoke and hops.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has a dark purple/brown body, with a good sized foam, tan head. The scent is mostly campfire. The taste of this brew has sweet malts in front, clean caramel. Light hop bitterness. Everywhere yet excellently blended is the subtle smoke influence, but after the first sip it blends in so well that it doesnt stick out. Creamy mouth.

This brew turns aroound my opinion about smokey beers. The ones ive had before were not as well done as this, great brew.

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

Pours a dark amber color, nice head that lasted for just a few seconds with very little lacing.

Scent is smokey with rich dark malts.

Taste follows the nose smokey malty. It reminds me of the smoked sausages I grilled the other day. Meaty is a good way to describe this.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied smooth and a bit too much carbination.

Drinkability is good. The expense is more than I would have expected so it puts this one a bit less drinkable for me.

Interesting to say the least, and this beer exceeded my expectations. That's the reason for the high rating, cause I really don't like rouchbier.

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Photo of finepaws
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper dark brown clear color, with a quick tan head. Smells like mesquite chips. This is a great german beer that would go well with BBQ ribs or smoked turkey legs. Good smoked meaty smell. If you don't like the smell, go no further. I on the other hand love a good smoked meat, the taste of this beer did not let me down. Sweet, mesquite wood flavor. Slightly coffee aftertaste. Somewhat watery in texture, I thought it would be more like a stout. Makes me think of camping or burning leaves. Wouldn't just drink this beer alone. This is definetly a food beer. I hope this one or one similar is at the next german food tasting that I attend.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a big 1 pt. 9 oz. odd shaped bottle and plenty of cryptic German caligraphy, that stumps me cold.

A dark yet clear narrowly opaque ruby ruddy pour into me Duvel glass. There exists a razor thin head cap that settles to halo ring.

Scents are a perfection of smoky hickory and cheddar cheese plume that is unstoppable. There is no better scent than this. If you've ever cleaned out a fireplace from a night of burning pine, this is it.

Flavors of smoked salmon that make me want to quit smoking, but I never started. A stunning example of smoked turkey and fireplace goodness. Tobacco leaf, welcoming hearty hearth goodness.

At first a wee bit too cold, but as warmed, more inviting. Just an overall sipping treat. Medium bodied, easily carbonated.

Last swigs: Liquid smoked turkey all the way. A must try. M.J. ranks this as a top 500 in the world. Rauchbier is a new style to me. More smokey and meaty than Orkney Skull Splitter. 5.4 % ABV makes it a beer that is ok to bring home to Mom. Special thanks to fellow BA Shapudding for the bottle, or two!

Beer is good. Happy smokey beering.

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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 CAMRAhardliner
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours an enchanting mahogany color, with a billowy off white head and very good lacing. The aroma is exactly like biltong (a smoked meat I used to eat in south africa, I think its actually wildebeast) with a shade of sweet malt as well. The tase is also like smoked meat, but much more complex. Theres a nice malty element that mingles so well with the smokiness. Theres also some detectable hops.

The mouthfeel is very smooth in this full bodied beer. The finish is of subtle smoked meat, which is actually really good. Who would have thought that a lager could be made to taste so full flavored? Such an interesting beer, and a refreshing change from the regular malt/hop ales. Ill get it again for sure. It goes great with beef jerky, which is what I ate with it.

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Photo of Guinness4me
2.63/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I thought I'd at least try this without reviewing, but I feel compelled after tasting. It looks like a decent dark beer, but the the description of the smell is not easily broken down into the choices given. It's anything but average, but to some I'm sure it's wonderful As aromas go, I'm sure this is a very good smell for smoked beers. It just happens to be my first and I'm a bit shocked.

The taste is that of the liquid at the bottom of the pan from when you've baked a nice, juicy smoked ham. I'm not sure if I'm appalled or intrigued. I keep trying it again to see if it really tastes as it does.

It's a non-offensive mouthfeel. It tastes like my hair smells when I've sat around a camp fire for hours.

Drinkability? I'll drink it. But I feel like I should be eating beef jerky, too. Maybe it would be nice with a full country breakfast.

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Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with heavy ruby influences, when held to a light it keeps its depth of color in the middle but it became shiny-ruby around the edges. The head was foamy and bubbly; at the apex it was a modest finger in height. The head retention was decent; it faded to a soapy collar, foamy in the middle with naked pockets, thicker on the outside. This collar lasted a very long time but the subsequent lacing was nonexistent. The first time I took a sniff of a Rauchbier I thought it was awful. Now, my mouth waters and I find the smoky aromas so damn inviting. The Marzen has some potent smells of smoked ham and bacon, charred fat, beechwood campfire smoke. Damn it is lovely, the complexities all fall into some general categories but it is undeniably complex. I swear at the very back is a suggestion of malt. Inviting. While the nose is loud, the palate is quit the conversationalist! The beer is perfectly balanced and so wonderfully constructed that it is a sin. The true smoky qualities are really only found in the aftertaste, it is like exhaling a fine cigar. Upfront is some ample maltiness, juicy. In the middle come the bacon, ham, and fatty flavors. I don’t think they are quite as bold as they are in their Urbock, still if you’re not use to the style it will still be a bit much for you, IMO. Somewhere after the meat and before the smoke is a fleeting moment of true Marzen maltiness. I am impressed with the bitterness in the finish, it seems more than just astringency from the roast maybe there are some hops (but most likely not). Regardless the palate is damn yummy. The mouthfeel is okay, I wish there was a little more bulk on the tongue and some more carbonation. Still with a medium body and moderately low carbonation I am not complaining. I purchased a bottle in Burnsville, MN. I will buy more in Iowa City or KC as I have learned to love the style. Wonderful. Bring on the BBQ!

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Photo of BierManVA
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brauerei Heller-Trum is of course the worlds leading Rauchbier macher. This style originates there in Bamburg Germany and is an amazing brew for those of you who have never had it.

I've heard people say "It smells like a ham!" upon their first encounter. And I must say "they're right". As bad as that sounds, one soon realizes that the smell is powerful, but the smokey taste is much smoother than one would expect.

This smoked bier is original and delicious.

Don't miss it. I highly recommend it.


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

Mmmm... this smells like a Christmas ham roasting in front of an old fireplace, or the old smoker (a hollowed-out 1950s refrigerator) my grandfather used to use to cure salmon. Yeah, it's smoky.

Really dark copper-black with a frothy and short-lived light tan head. Extra-smoky malt flavor, a bit of hoppiness underneath, predominant meaty, woody flavors. A tiny molasses finish. Chewy but mellow mouthfeel, you feel like you forgot to open the flue for the woodstove by the time you're done though.

You definitely have to like the Rauchbier style to like this one. Tastes really good, but not one I could slug back more than one of, it's just too smoky, especially in the finish, not very refreshing but a strong example of the style.

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Photo of vitesse
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

served in 500 mL brown bottle.

what a unique beer! very one-of-a-kind thing going on here. it's a pretty difficult beer to objectively rate because it all really comes down to whether or not you like the smoked flavor.
it's a basic marzen type beer. nice dark-red and brown color. tan head. medium body. the smokiness is akin to that of gouda cheese. i don't think it's necessarily "meaty," but you can definitely taste and smell the smoked malts that are used to make this beer.
little to no hop aroma or bitterness. slightly sweet german maltiness. very little in the way of fruity esters.
for me, it's a once-in-a-while beer. not something i'd drink every day but it was definitely an enjoyable drink.

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

Dark reddish copper with fine suspended particles that are only visible when the glass is backlit. The ecru-colored head is average in size, is semi-soft and is slightly sticky. It disappears a bit too quickly and doesn't leave much lace.

Rauchbier Marzen smells overwhelmingly of smoke and, in fact, reminds me of smoke-cured meat. It's a pleasant aroma, it's just that it's an odd one coming from a pint of beer. I can still tell that I'm smelling beer though because I do appreciate the malt that's underlying the smoke.

This is my first smoked beer (Stone Smoked Porter doesn't count) and I'll have to say that it's an interesting cocoction. I'm glad that the brewers didn't go overboard with the smokiness. They were *just* judicious enough with the flavor intensity in my opinion. In less subtle hands, this could have turned into a glass of Liquid Smoke and been ruined.

There's a nicely charred, sweetly malty base line and a pleasant, 'just-right' smokiness that comprises the middle and top notes. Again though, I can't escape the scent memory of smoke-cured meat. That's not a bad thing since I like smoke-cured meat. And now I like 'smoke-cured meat in a glass'.

I'm not sure how well ASRM would match up with really smoky BBQ. It seems to me that the powerful flavor of the food would render the somewhat more fragile flavor of the beer moot. Best to enjoy this one without accompaniment, as I'm doing now. I don't know yet if anyone makes a more impressive rauchbier, but I'm plenty satisfied with this one.

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Photo of slitherySOB
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

What a deep amber colour. Beautifully dark and red with a white cloud floating atop it. Lots of sticky lace on the glass. Mesmerising to see. Hmm, barbecue. Smells a bit like smoked meat, with even a bit of ham smell. Odd for a beer, but it's making me hungry. Smoky malt sweet smell. Very slight hop aroma behing the ham. First sip tastes like roasted pork. Second sip, and it tastes like a beer. A beer smoked inside a meathouse beside salmon and whole ham. Almost a meal drink. Aftertaste is a bit hoppy, with more smoked salmon than ham. Odd, but nice. I can understand why people would hate this beer. Hey, some people don't want roasted swine in their beer. Thick, full bodied mouthfeel leaves the stomach pleasantly plump. Not drinkable in a short period of time, but something that will be drunk again.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a lovely red color with a good head that lingered. It bore much promise.

The aroma was of light wood smoke, not too malty. It wasn't overpowering, but it let you know you were in for an experience.

The taste was more mild than I expected, with a rich depth of malt and the smokiness overlaying everything. Hints of maple in the aftertaste.

Definitely one to try.

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Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This rauchbier pours a deep copper body with a beige head that stays the course. Sticky lace sheets the glass.

Aroma is maple smoked bacon, as are the other Schlenkerla biers I've tried. This one features some molasses maltiness underneath the immense smokiness.

Mouthfeel has medium body, low carbonation, and...smoke.

Taste reminds me of Westphalia ham, smoky, sweet, and slightly salty. Some sweetish malt can be tasted underneath, and hop bitterness is present for balance. I keep wondering what these Bamberg rauchbiers would taste like when served with pancakes, maple syrup, and country ham. Finish and aftertaste feature a solid dose of smoke charred beechwood.

If you're not familiar with these Franconian rauchbiers, you owe it to yourself to try one. At least, enjoy reading this brewery's website for its informative and rewarding explanation of the style.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
91 out of 100 based on 1,063 ratings.