Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

707 Reviews
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
First tapping every first Thursday of October. A bitter Smokebock for the strongbeer-season (October through December). Matured for weeks in the deep rock-cellar and tapped freshly from the oakwood cask.

Added by taez555 on 08-23-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 707 | Ratings: 1,373
Photo of sjccmd
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown with ruby highlights. Quite attractive. Small light tan head that recedes quickly leaving a ring of bubbles around the glass.

Aroma is initially ham. Very meaty smoke. Campfire as well, but mostly salty smoked meat. Sweet dark fruit from the malts follow. Clean lager character. Little hop aroma. Perhaps some typical herbal noble hops.

Dark fruit mingles with meaty smoke in the flavor. Surprisingly balanced as compared to the smoke heavy nose. Raisiny and toasty malts. Burnt sugar as well. Smoke delivers more woody, campfire notes in the flavor. Bitterness is firm but with little distinctive hop flavor.

Rich and full mouthfeel with medium-low carbonation. Finish is long. Sweet malts, hop bitterness, and smoke linger on the palate.

Smokey, but balanced. As I drink it, different aspects come in and out of focus, smoke vs. dark lager character. Very nice.

 885 characters

Photo of dwagner003
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I mean.. It's the strangest beer ever. It's pure smoked meat on the nose, and the taste is salty, smokey dark German ale. Other tasters mentioned smoked salmon. Very odd.

 170 characters

Photo of timontheroad
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish-brown color with a one-inch light tan head. The head faded after a few minutes to about an eighth inch film that left some great lacing.
Smell: The aroma is heavy smoke, with some light roasty sweet malt smells.
Taste: The smoke flavor is right up front, but there's a very nice sweet flavor in the background. It's like taking a nice big bite of sugar cured and smoked ham- wow! There's also some nice caramel and raisin like flavors that sneak up on you
Mouthfeel: Nice body to this beer, it really goes down nice even considering the smokiness. Superb!
Overall: What a great beer, gotta try this one with some good BBQ- can't imagine it could get much better than that.

 705 characters

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

No bottle date

Look - Pours a deep garnet with tan head. Excellent retention and distribution. 4.25 paws.

Smell - Delicious aromas of burnt meat, smoky wood, and the faintest bit of burnt caramel. Cereal malt is present, smells like crispix. 4.5 paws.

Taste - I love this beer, tastes like a wonderfully seared slab of beef. At one point in my life I would have thought that sounded disgusting in a beer, but it is so rich robust and delicious. 4.75 paws.

Feel - Perfect amount of body and carbonation for the flavor profile. 4.75 paws.

Overall - I used to think all rauchbiers tasted like campfires, but my palate has shifted and I must say I love this beer. 4.5 paws.

 682 characters

Photo of Ian_B
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown, almost black in colour sporting a very thin frothy head that dissipates to a ring around the edges of the glass.

Nose is like catching the faint scent of a campfire in the distance while munching on a dark-fruit granola bar.

Taste is very similar to the way I described the nose, with a little more fruity/raisin notes. Smokiness is strong but subtle at the same time and provides a little bitter dry feeling on the finish. Very well-balanced.

Smooth almost creamy mouthfeel with thin carbonation but just enough dryness at the end.

 547 characters

Photo of twosheds
4.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark drown with a thick tan head.

Smells like fire, smoke, and wood with a touch of malty sweetness

Taste is initially sweeter than I expected it to be, but the smokiness is definitely there in the aftertaste and nose. Really great balance of flavors for a beer with such a strong smoke character. It's not necessarily complex, but very unique and delicious.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth, but full bodied.

This beer is very good and one of my favorite smoked beers, but one of myfavorites in general.

 504 characters

Photo of Das_Reh
4.71/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a chalice and served alongside smoked ribs!

A = Very dark, almost black beer with mahogany tones. 1 finger of rich tan head.

S = I kid you not, the first thing I get is smoked pork. Smoked meats, charred wood, dark fruit, earthy and roasty.

T = Sweet fire-roasted malts, plums, smoked meats and a charred woodiness. Touch of salt. Hop bitterness is practically nonexistent, but there is a charred, almost ashy charcoal-like bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the malts in this bock-styled beer. I'm not picking up any cheese-like qualities as some other reviews have stated.

M = Full bodied and robust, like liquid BBQ. Very easy to drink. I was expecting this to be a rough style to get used to, but this has blown me away.

O = I like to imagine myself having one of these in a wooden stein as I sit in front of a roaring fireplace in an old world tavern. Rich, decadent and meaty, this is the perfect cold weather beer, and a perfect companion for BBQ and smoked meat. My first example of a rauchbier, I will be searching out more examples of the style in the future.

 1,103 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yum! Smokey and a little sweeter than their usual release. Best enjoyed in the hallway at the Schlenkerla while sitting at a table and watching the tourists come and go in a great rush!

 187 characters

Photo of Chris_Burton
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I should preface by saying I really don't know much about German beer in general and even less about Rauchbier in particular.

Very dark brown but not quite jet black. Not much head, which goes away fairly quickly. Smokiness is definitely the main event here, both in smell and taste. The nose has some fruit in it, cherry perhaps? Not much fruitiness in the taste, more hints of chocolate one may expect from a dark beer, although the predominant flavour is plenty of salty meat that I presume is unique to this style. But still, loads of smoke from every angle! Mouthfeel is fairly light and crisp.

As a sidenote, I gave a 1/3 to my friend who doesn't usually venture away from pale lager. His first reaction was "wow, it tastes of bacon!" He seemed to like it though, so take from that what you will. Personally I really enjoyed it, although the powerful flavour would make it difficult to get through much more than half a pint in one sitting.

 949 characters

Photo of wiscokid920
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brown with a nice ruby red highlights. Crystal clear with a 2 finger foamy tan head that fades to a lacey film which sticks to the side with every sip.

S: Imagine a smoked candied ham and that gets you in the ball park. From the aroma alone, I can tell that this will have less smoke, and more sweet malt compared to this Marzen.

T: My first impressions from the nose seem to vindicate my assumptions on the taste profile. Definitely more subdued on the smoke front and higher on the sweet malt department compared to the Marzen. Lots of different layers of smokey qualities are featured in this brew. Starts out with a nice woody smoke, and fades into a lingering charcoal like flavors. A brilliant sweet malt balances everything nicely. Malt features caramel, toasted grain, and roasted malt. To sum it up: sweet malt and subtle smoke.

M: Lots of crisp carbonation with a chewiness bringing this brew to closing in a full bodied.

O: This is a very complex brew. Not a lot of hop character, but a ton of malt sweetness that plays well off of the layers of smokey components. For someone who is new to the Rauchbier style, this is one I would suggest trying first. The smokiness is definitely present, but the sweet malt helps make this more approachable for this style of brew that often times requires an acquired taste.

Paired with Wisconsin Extra Sharp Cheddar and Garlic Salami

 1,406 characters

Photo of magpieken
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

0.5l 06/2015. Pours a bright, dark, ruby brown with a creamy tan head which lasted well and left some excellent lacing. Aroma of smoked bacon and charred wood. Medium sweetness and lots of different smoky flavours. Medium full body. Smooth texture. It was like drinking a packet of 'Cheese & Bacon Ball' which I found quite off putting initially but quite enjoyable by the end. 8.

 380 characters

Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into pine glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of huge wood smoke, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, oak, light chocolate, light char, herbal, and oak/smokey earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, smoke, and earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big wood smoke, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, oak, light chocolate, light char, herbal, and toast/smokey earthiness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of wood smoke, caramel, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, oak, light chocolate, light char, and herbal/smoke earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of dark/bready malt and smoke flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean on lager flavors as well with zero estery notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible rauchbier style. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, smoke, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,563 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my first rauchbier and overall it was an enjoyable taste bud opening experience. I had it with Chinese food (sesame chicken) and I believe it was a good pairing. I want to try it again with grilled meats or BBQ. This does not seem like a beer to have alone.
It poured a dark but clear copper/brown with a massive foamy head. The pungent smell of bacon, beef jerky and smoked Gouda hits your nose! I can understand how it would be a turn off, but for me it worked. The taste was surprisingly malty and sweet. However, the finish has a bitter, dry and smoky finish which lingers in your taste buds. A very robust, full bodied and filling beer; one is quite enough. Overall, I would have this one once in a while and with a hearty meaty meal. I'm glad I tried it and I hope to get to know more of this style.

 814 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bottle, no obvious date:
Pours a nice deep brown, but with a bit of clarity. Large bubble soapy head forms a thin layer on the top, perhaps just off white. The nose is dried sausage-like smokiness, burnt wood, but perhaps a bit of dark fruit.

Taste is subdued smoke that adds a mild salty note to what is the more prevalent molasses-like dark malt flavor. There is also a woodiness as well, like a barrel aged beer. The body is a bit heavier than I expected, I'd say medium tending towards medium heavy. Carbonation is not very strong. As the beer warmed a bit, the smoked wood flavors strengthened slightly, to the benefit of the overall flavor.

A pretty straightforward beer. Simple and flavorful. If you like a lot of smoke in your rauchbier, this might not work for you. For me the muted smoke works, and the beer behind it has a richness to it that I can't explain well. Definitely will not shy away from this beer in the future.

Edit: had on tap 12/28 - smoke more pronounced in taste, but I am not sure how old the keg is (likely not a popular beer at the location I was having it). Will keep my review as is.

 1,130 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a small tan head that leaves lacing on the side of the glass.
Aroma is of smoky sausage.
Flavor is smoky and sweet.
This is a great smoky beer. Very drinkable. Beers like this remind me that I need more imports.

 232 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.64/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Beautiful solid black beer, topped with a beige/tan head. Very fluffy, nice retention, and big chunks of lacing. Clear upon closer inspection, with garnet highlights.

From a distance, sweet, overripe dark fruit are the dominant aroma, carrying along yeasty banana notes. Up close, the smoke really comes through: a strong, oak-fire (actually beechwood) aroma that reminds one of a fireplace up close (and only slightly of bacon).

The smoke aroma is dominant up close, but then the first sip touches your tongue and lips, greeting you immediately with a sweet, bready malt profile reminiscent of a Doppelbock. Grapes, prunes, and fruitbread. Then, the smoke enters on mid-palate and finishes strong, giving it a lovely, pronounced, but not overpowering smokey feel. The wood is quite powerful.

Smooth, incredibly easy to drink, with a long smokey - and yet somehow wet and juicy - finish. Impeccable balance.

A perfectly integrated Rauchbier. This is truly how the masters of the style integrate such pronounced flavors into an almost delicate, and certainly delectable beer. Really, really fantastic. If I rated this only to style, it might earn 5.0s across the board.

 1,177 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500 mL bottle poured into a stein.

Dark brown in color with a small, bubbly off-white head that diminishes fairly quickly. The aroma and flavor is all smoked malt. No hops or yeast present. Just think about biting into smoked meat. Full bodied with long lasting flavor.

I prefer the Märzen over this without question. It's lighter on the palate and more drinkable. My least favorite so far from a brewery with otherwise world class beers.

 441 characters

Photo of safaricook
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%

This beer pours a beige fine thick stable foam and a dark brown body. Smell is smoke. Taste is smoke as well but with a great malty backbone. It is like eating smoked pork on a slice of bread. Even better if you combine with pork. If you dig smoke in your beer and like malt, it doesn't get better than this one

 311 characters

Photo of Viaduck
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown, cola color with a minimal & short lived head. Smells like hickory smoke, makes me think bacon. Tastes like ham, salty, hickory flavor. Great with cheese!

 175 characters

Photo of Andrew041180
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Wow. The appearance isn't particularly special, but everything else is. The smoky aroma fills my nose, with subtly sweet accents. The smoke isn't overpowering, but it is very present. The flavor is led by the wonderful liquid smoke, which just seeps into my mouth. Layered throughout is that subtle sweetness, which is mostly present on the back end. Very low bitterness. Given the flavors it is also incredibly clean and drinkable. Silky smooth and delicious. Not quite sure what this beer is lacking to make it a "5".

 528 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into slightly fluted stange
Aroma of smoke
Head large (6 cm), light brown, frothy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – a few islands and archipelagoes of tiny to medium bubbles
Body dark amber, clear, continually rising bubbles
Flavor begins with smoke followed by roasted malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4.75, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5
Not quite as tasty for me as the marzen, but still quite enjoyable.

 534 characters

Photo of aleigator
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Huge head, lasting long, almost black color, hints of ember.

Aromas of smoked ham, campfire, malt, bread with hints of salt.

Taste is defined by its huge, warm smokiness. This goes along with burned malts, also toffee and pine. Even more intensive and sweeter than the "Schlenkerla Märzen", but all in all quite similar, which is, in this case, not a bad thing. Smoked maltiness lingers on the tongue for a while, but not too intensive. Carbonation is well in balance with the overall medium-body, not too notable, adding up to a slightly too sweet and otherwise smooth mouthfeel.

 585 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely dark amber with a distinct dark ruby cast that is slightly darker than their Marzen variant . Good head, lacing and retention. Outstanding nose of meaty bacon like smoke against an underlying dark fruit (plum, fig) note over a slightly sweet base. Medium body with a creamy slick texture. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence on the finish. Compared to their Marzen variant, Urbock has slightly less head characteristics, slightly more carbonation and more body and texture. The superb flavor profile is even more outstanding in that it obtains a higher degree of balance by being slightly sweeter and coats the tongue with a slick layer of bacon like smoke. The flavor profile is a masterpiece of intensity, balance and complexity. The delicious smoke character is always present, but never overpowering. It begins with a campfire bacon like smoke over a moderately sweet background that has dark fruit characteristics. The middle allows the hops to impart a low level bitterness that has a citric note as it effervesces. The finish is less dry than the Marzen, somewhat crisp, slightly sweet and leaves you with a touch of dark fruit and a lingering smokiness as if you've sitting around a campfire. World Class and ever so slightly better than the Marzen variant.

 1,295 characters

Photo of Druncle_C
4.5/5  rDev +9%

German efficiency strikes again...
Why would one eat a rack of ribs and attempt to drink a beer with saucey fingers?
Solution: put the smoked ribs in a blender and add beer. No mess @ 6%

 188 characters

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Nose: big wood fire smoky malt dominates.
Pours dark brown under a thick, rocky off-white foam cap.
Big wood smoke flavors weave around the typical bock spicy malt flavors suggest bacon.
Very smooth and creamy with medium to medium high body and medium to medium low carbonation
The perfect beer to drink with a BLT.

 317 characters

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,373 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.