Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen - Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

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2,026 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,026
Reviews: 1,041
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 15.06%
Wants: 134
Gots: 184 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,026 | Reviews: 1,041
Photo of cwc
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Watching the Michael Jackson Beer Hunter episode on Germany the other night I immediately became intrigued with smoked beers. The idea was appealing and as it's cooled down a bit here in Tokyo, I thought it was a good time to see if my local specialty shop had one - naturally, they came through!

The appearance is nice - a solid dark color, but slightly transparent.

The smell is what blows you away. I took a quick spin through some of the other reviews and have to agree: a wonderful smoky wood fire smell with hints of bacon. This powerful smell, as others suggest, might not be conducive to drinking more than a couple of these in a sitting.

The taste is good - a bit sweet with hints of that woodsy smell, but definitely not overwhelming.

A very intriguing beer and one I'd like to try again, and/or other examples of this unique style. I think I'll be revisiting this beer as the colder months approach.

Photo of akokandy
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dark brown with a small head which left minimal lacing.

S-Smelled of burnt wood, reminiscent of mesquite barbecue.

T-More smoky barbecue flavor. Like smoked sausage. Aftertaste is pleasant, but due to the strength of the smoke flavor, it's hard to detect nuances in the finish.

M-Average medium body with light carbonation.

D-Not too alcoholic, and very light on the palate. After the first couple, smoke taste stops being so overwhelming and the taste is not quite as enjoyable, but still definitely drinkable.

Photo of ElviraS
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Koht ( Tallinn, Estonia)

Photo of Reanimator
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like your average dark lager, minimal head, nothing too spec....whoa! Yep, definitely smells like the bottle is filled with bacon grease, with some Marzen undertones of course. Definitely tastes smoked, but not in the bacon-grease way that the nose let on, and not as overpowering as I was expecting. It's actually quite a pleasant smokiness, lending a sweetness to the already unique malt character. All of this is built on the solid Marzen base, which is surprisingly bitter on the finish.

As a big fan of dark German-style lagers I found the mouthfeel to be maybe a bit light for my taste. But overall this is a brilliant rauchbier; an enjoyable sipper!

Photo of Darkhorse09
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark copper, but leans to the red side when held to light. The head is foamy, dark tan and disappears pretty quickly. Even on a very hard pour, only an inch or two of head.

You smell this beer the minute you crack open the bottle. Big meaty, smokey aroma. Once I put my nose to it though, I couldnt help but get split pea soup. I don't know if anyone else has smelled that on the nose, but it was uncanny to me. Bacon, smoked meat and a slight malt background as well.

Taste follows suit. A lighter smokiness in the flavor, reminscent of campfire and wet leaves. Nice malty marzen underneath.

Mouthfeel is a little light, in my opinion. Obvious smoke could have been bulstered up with a touch more beer flavor. Drinks fast due to this point. Otherwise, it has a pretty good balance.

The nose and flavor is so unique, I'd stick to one of these, unless I had a real taste for another.

This is a unique beer that every BA should try at least once.

Photo of loubar
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle from Cost Plus. Big white head on a ruby brown body. Nose of yeast with a hint of smoke. Mellow smoked wood flavor supported by a pleasant caramel malt body. Flavorful. Incredibly smooth and drinkable - no astringency despite the smoke. The almost dry finish is somewhat crisp and leaves a touch of biscuit like sweetness and a lingering smokiness. Excellent!

Photo of jayb
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a root beer brown color with a hint of amber. vigorous pour doesn't produce much more than a thin film of head. clear.

hint of grainy sweetness, almost undetectable dark fruit character. smoky wood chips.

Smoky! smoked sausages! Interesting. The more i consume, the less apparent the smoke becomes, it is subtle enough that i am allowed to acclimate. Mild hop bitterness apparent.

Light-medium body. clean and smooth.

Easily consumed. the smoke could be overwhelming, but i think that this offering does a good job of poking its head out at first and moving to the background as i continue. very interesting. I enjoy this.


Photo of sbauer
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: amber brown, light lacing

S: smoked peat, campfire

T: nutty malt at first with bright bitter hop flavor, some citrus balanced with gain flavor, smoke coming out the long aftertaste

M: medium bodied, crisp

O: not a beer to be taken lightly, definitely pair with a strong flavored food. amazing late night beer with ass-kicking (but well balanced) smoke flavor.

Photo of krunchie
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chimay glass at 13.3°C

A: Very dark red. Almost like red wine around the edges. Looks very elegant! Tan head, doesn't last for long - fine lacing though.

S: Coffee and tobacco. Smoked malt (no shit), smoked ham and dark meat dishes. A bit salty nose.

T: Woah! I'm usually not a big fan of smoked beers (my Nils Oscar Rökporter review, for example, were among my worst reviews), but this one is...just wow. Once again coffee and smoked ham. Salty roastiness and very subtle bittering hops. Outstanding to say the least

M: Thick, but mild despite the saltiness. Usually I think the smoke flavor takes too much space in rauchbiers, but it never does with this beer imho.

D: Very good for this style, but you can't drink too many in one sitting

Conclusion: Great rauchbier! It's beers like Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier that make beer tasting so exciting, inspiring and fascinating! Dark red liquid with tan lacing and coffee and tobacco smell. Smokey overall smell/aroma/flavor, but not overwhelming compared to other brews in the style. Smoked ham, salty meat dishes and coffee are the greatest characteristics of the taste. Would work great with (obviously) smoked dishes, pork and fish (smoked mackerel comes to mind) or even ye ole' BBQ.

Photo of dirtyskunk
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first review, and also my first taste of this style beer, so take it with a grain of salt. Poured from a bottle into a 1 pint beer stein.

Very dark mahogany-brown color with a thick yellow/tan head. The head hangs around for maybe three minutes before receding and leaving some decent lacing.

The smell is strong and smokey. It actually smells like some kind of smoked cheese, which is offputting at first, but it grows on me.

It has a very strong smokey/chickory flavor which is almost too much at first, but it mellows. The aftertaste is slightly sweet and malty and is very nice.

Just the right amount of carbonation, not too blatant but gives it a nice little sharpness. It's got a nice smooth texture which is almost buttery, but I know that's not quite the right word.

Fairly easygoing and drinkable with a low ABV at 5.1%, although the beer is not something I would pick for a session. I would drink this again, and would be curious to see how it pairs with food.

Photo of ditch
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a black cola color with a thick tan head that fades relatively quickly to leave but a bit of lacing on the side of the glass. A bit of head hangs around for the duration.

The aroma is great! Smoke up front, a sweet malt comes through, but only slightly.

The taste is almost a duplicate of the aroma. Smokey. Nearly tastes of a freshly extinguished log in the fireplace. Light sweet malt pulls through. After taste of an over cooked steak from the grill (in a good way!)

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for this amount of flavor.

Drinkability is good, also for this much flavor. I could drink a few of these no problem. Though not something I'll be in the mood to drink a lot.

This is an amazing beer. A whole new world of flavor for me. A definite gouda cheese accompaniment. Might also consider using this in a chili or black bean dish. Great experience!

Photo of charliedvrs
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark copper amber with a small, bubbling white head.

S - Smells not just of smoked malts, but of smoked meat. Think smoked bacon or salmon.

T - Comes pretty close to drinking a nice, well done strip of bacon. A bit of a charred taste, almost like the burnt skin of a ham roast. There's an oak element, as well as some caramel flavor coming through in a more traditional marzen sense.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth drinking. A dry finish which goes well the the flavor.

D - Goes down pretty easy, but the flavor is so overpowering and strong that I can't see myself wanting a second. Not a bad thing, just don't let the 5% ABV make you think you're going to session this. A great example of the style and an enjoyable beer all around.

Photo of loving44
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one wild style!!

I have been going on a smoked beer kick for a while and this one was recommended by Jason at Naja's.

Pours dark, almost like a porter or a darker than usual English Brown Ale.

The smell is WONDERFUL!! There is no mistaking the smoke, as a previous reviewer had stated, it's just like a campfire ( not a weird hobo palet-burning campfire, but a campfire you would want to eat hahaha).

This beer tastes like smoked meat... strange but also very nice! This would go great with some bbq, or strong cheese.

Mouthfeel was light and slightly creamy.

I'm going to give this a little above average on drinkability... I could have had another one... but the flavors are so strong and unique I had to stop myself at just one!

Give this one a try!!

Photo of greg202stewart
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First smokebeer. Pours a deep red. Smells much like a camp fire and smoked sausage. The taste is actually much more subtle, you can taste the malts and the smoke taste is much more mild on the palate. It leaves a pretty great taste in your mouth like chewing on a beef jerky. Great for certain occasions and probably only have one of these each time.

Photo of FloppyDog
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass. The appearance is a crystal clear deep amber with glimmers of brown. A half inch head comprised of tiny bubbles has lingered since I poured it a few minutes ago.

Smoked meat in the aroma along with a hint of chocolate. Nothing in terms of hops that I can tell. A slight woodiness intermingled with the smoked meat as well.

Upfront in the taste, I get chocolate malt that then mingles with the smoke in the middle and finishes all smoky on the way down. The smoke even lingers after the sip is done. I am also getting some caramel sweetish notes in the middle, but much more of an after thought in comparison to the chocolate and smoke.

Very light bodied and smooth. The smoke decreases drinkability for me, but I understand that this is the style, so I won't let it affect my scoring too much.

Overall, an interesting and complex beer that I think every beer fan should try at least once to see if they like it. I would drink another if given the opportunity.

Photo of chimaylvr
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in nonic at Track 84

App: reddish brown, two finger foam, almost nitro-like

Smell: amazing aroma of peaty roasted husk, hickory beef jerky, smoked bacon or pulled pork bbq

Taste: smoked meat, subtle hop undertones, caramel malt twang, not too buttery, good balance overall

Mouthfeel: medium carb level, somewhat syrupy malt, not as clean as ales, not bad though

Overall: Though the friend I'm with doesn't like this beer, since his palate cannot wrap itself around this bold style, I really like it. I will admit that I've only tried Sam Adams' version but as a beer, on itself, it holds up very well

Photo of dansteino
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoke . . . lots of smoke.

I felt like I was heating smoked sausage.

I guess this is a good beer . . . if you like smoked beers and cheeses . . . which I really do not.

Still . . . strangely . . . I found this beer very drinkable. I think this is a testament to the craftmanship.

Photo of likestoswallow
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle from Bevmo. This beer pours a very dark bark brown, with a cream colored head that slowly dissipates. The aroma is very strong with smoke and roasted malts. Flavor is very smoke forward, there is a character of smoked kielbasa, bacon, coffee and some earthy notes. Hops are well integrated and barely noticeable(no surprise considering the strong smoke flavor). The mouthfeel is silky but thin, carbonation is light but adequate. Finishes long with more smoke flavor. Overall I really like this beer, it has big bold flavors. Recommended

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This will only be the second smoked beer I have ever tried. So bear with me if my palette seems juvenile.

A: Looks darker in the glass than it did going in. A rich brown body that is fairly translucent. No real head or any lacing.

S: Smoke. I could leave it at that, but I'll keep sniffing to be thorough. Woody, campfire smoke. Maybe my nose will pick up something more is it warms.

T: Once in the mouth, the smoke actually takes a back seat until the aftertaste. A sweet bready character is balanced with an earthy hop backbone. The smoke comes back as soon as I open my mouth after the swallow. Not as obtrusively smokey as it smells, but rather surprisingly clean.

M: A little thin for me. The sparse carbonation can be expected with the lack of head.

D: Obviously a true smoked beer is going to suffer at least a little on drinkability. But, for the style, its unexpectedly smooth.

Photo of Ochsenblut
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Rauchbier style is one of my favorites and Schlenkerla defines it. The style seemingly complies with the Reinheitsgebot, but through its unique manufacturing process it adds another level of complexity.

An off-white two finger head sits atop a dark brown/red body. The head retention is excellent, subsiding to a bubbly ring that plays around the inside of the glass for the whole experience.

The smell is, you guessed it, smoky. It reminds me of how a jacket would smell after a camping trip, or a roasted Bavarian ham hock (Schweinshaxe).

The taste starts out slightly acidic. Soon after it punches you with smoke, then a grainy/husky malt. Bittering hops punctuate this beer quite nicely. A mellow smokiness and citrusy hops aftertaste to leave you wanting more... forever.

The mouthfeel is superior. It's creamy without being overly carbonated.

Given the circumstances, I would happily drink a boatload.

Photo of Kiwano
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first smokebeer or rauchbier to taste or review

A- The beer pours a very dark almost opaque brown or dark amber. There was almost no head (possibly because the bottle it came in was cold?)

S- Very smoky and woody smell.

T- Has a dark smoky taste that stays in your mouth for a while after taking a sip. It is not overwhelming though and even though it is smoky it is still somewhat lighter than I would have expected.

M- A lighter body than I would have though and little bits of carbonation as well.

D- If you like smoky flavors this is a good beer. It's not too heavy and the smoke flavors aren't too overwhelming.

[ serving type: bottle ]

Photo of willjansen
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from the wooden casks at the Heller-Trum Wirtshaus Zum Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany.

Appearance: Big, fluffy whitish-head, dark amber color, without strong carbonation obvious. Even has a hazy, smoky look, if you will.

Smell: Smoked meats, savory, porky smell. Much like a smoked ham hock... almost salty. Fresh smell.

Tastes: Smoked malt kick to the face... though smokiness becomes less pronounced as you drink (presumably through numbing of the tastebuds. Cleaner and fresher than the bottle, with an aftertaste of ashy wood. Similar smoked, salted, spiced meaty flavor throughout from beginning to end. Finish is not dry, but slightly warming and certainly smoky.

Mouthfeel: From the wooden cask, so the carbonation is rather restrained. Smooth, silky-bodied with somewhat watery mouthfeel... akin to a nice, fresh lager.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable, with somewhate less smokiness than the bottled version, and a great balance of smoke with the hops. Beautiful beer fresh from the casks and a world class experience at Heller Trum in Bamberg...

Photo of Roser
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- nice big frothy (light) mocha colored head that lasted a good bit with (surprisingly) minimal lacing. Medium dark mahogany brown. Fairly clear.

S- holy smoke!!! The nose was overwhelming immediately after pouring. All I can think of is the aromas experienced while waiting to be seated in a BBQ joint.

T- bacon/pork, jerky.

M- medium body. Smooth and creamy.

O- good, different. Would have again but only with the right food/meal. Recommend for no other reason than to experience this unique brew.


Photo of Albinoh
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smoke all the way, from the moment you open the bottle you can really feel the smoke hit you. The beer guy at whole foods that recommended this beet said, "some people said it tasted like drinking an ashtray but i disagree". By just smelling the beer I thought of smoked bacon, dunno I even felt weird about drinking something that smelled like bacon. The looks are ok, thin lace over a ruby colored body. Taste is good, it definitely does not taste like meat or an ashtray, it does taste like an oktoberfest covered in smoke. Some sweet malts. Medium body. Good overall, not my favorite style but fits the style perfectly.

Photo of fightingwords
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

S--smells like a campfire or a burnt out oak tree. Really could not distinguish any of the bready malts that would be in a standard marzen. Smoke is just such a powerful profile to have much complexity.

A--deep walnut stained color. Tan head. Fluffy with okay retention.

T-- smoked salted ham. Some type of raw nuttiness was present.

M--smooth and dry not unlike a scotch, but not quite as intense.

D--it's a slower sipper for me.

To be honest I hate this style and didn't like this beer, but I did it because it's always good to be open. Based on the reviews and comments on other rauchbiers this is exactly what they taste like and is a good reproduction.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
91 out of 100 based on 2,026 ratings.