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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

694 Reviews
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany | website

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

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Reviews: 694 | Ratings: 1,329
Photo of KYGunner
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep dark brown, root beer like coloring yields a thick masculine head that disappears quickly.

The scent is sweet smokiness. Tanned leather, BBQ ribs, sweet molasses, camp fire coals and ash all make a wondrous appearance.

The taste follows the nose both in smoke and sweetness. The sweetness blends into smoked meats. The smokiness blends into sweet grains. A well blended and tasty array, there's a robustness but its countered with a ease of drink. Love it!

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Photo of tviz33
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle in to a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark brown with some ruby hues and no head even with an aggressive pour.

S- Tons of smokiness and everything you can associate with smoke. Beef jerky, campfires, chimneys, and all that. But in a good way.

T- Smoked hickory and brisket with a faint sweetness to pull the whole thing together. Balances the saltiness of the smoke

M- Medium feel, but thinner than I expected. Lightly carbonated.

O- I had no clue what I was getting in to with this beer but its surely worth your money.

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Photo of danieelol
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black (amber when held up to light) with reasonable but not amazing head and lacing. Note: does die down fairly rapidly, but this isn't going to affect the nose. It's potent regardless ;)

Smell is beef jerky, Scotch, and smoky ham (and/or salmon). Get quite a lot of alcohol from the Scotch but also do get some malt conveying the Bock element.

Taste is definitely smoky but not overbearing. Has a mounting "twiggy" character which I really enjoy.

Big on ash and just smoke in general, but all seems in balance to me.

Having previously had some overbearing beers from Aecht Schlenkerla I've worked my way up to dealing with their smoke and now I feel I've earned my stripes and this definitely seems a lot easier to handle. It almost makes me want to take on the next tier of Rauch-y goodness.

Still have to get over the mind @^#! of consuming smoke in a liquid rather than solid (meat) format. The smoke flavour is oddly tied up with protein for me.

Would do again, and keen to continue exploring their other beers.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock has a thin, off-white head and minimal lacing. The appearance is reddish-brown, and it would be clear, but for all of the pretty big gray chunks floating throughout. The aroma is of wood smoke, but maybe some underneath sweetness can be picked up. Taste is of smokey sweetness, maybe some dark fruit, and just a shade of alcohol. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock finishes not too dry and smokey. It all comes down to whether you enjoy smokey things or not.


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Photo of sommersb
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 02-18-2013
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Willi Becher
Purchased: Single from The Bottle Shop, Franklin

Pours as a clear and dark brown beer, topped with a modest off-white head. Shows a fair amount of head retention and decent lacing.

Strong aromas of smoke hit me just after I open the bottle, much more so when in the glass, with reminders of an outdoor fire, smoked meat such as bacon, and even smoked cheese. Very aromatic and interesting

The tastes is much what you'd anticipate based on the smell -- smoked meats and smoked wood. A malty beer, but the earthy hops and heavily smoked malts balance it out so it is not sweet at all.

Mouthfeel is clean and true to the lager yeast profile, with a medium body and low carbonation. I might even say this bottle seemed under-carbonated, but I don't have a lot of experience with the style. Finishes with roasted malt bitterness and smoke.

Overall a very unique and tasty beer. An acquired taste and not an everyday beer, but an amazing melding of smoke and beer. I'd love to try this in its hometown of Bamberg one day!

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Photo of takemetothelion
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Recommended by my brother as a true beer off the beaten path, so I picked up a small bottle for $5 at Bootleggers with a few other ales. This was definitely a huge highlight of the night. Pour into a regular glass.

A- Dark Amber, 1.5 finger head that didn't stick around, almost no visual carbonation with some good lacing going on.

S- Good god this is special. My first smoked beer and certainly not my last. What a relaxing and euphoric experience as smoked ham and gouda filled my nostrils. What an exciting sensation.

T- Very smooth bacon and gouda, though not ashy. Not as strong of a smoke taste as the intense smell suggests, while offering a good yeast component.

MF- Fat and full, no sizzle from carbonation, but very smooth and drinkable.

Overall, high marks for this one. Not something I would buy super often but when I am looking for something weird and relaxing I'll snag one. Or if I'm trying to throw someone a curveball I'll recommend it.

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Photo of AmitC
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

So this is my first Rauchbier bought on the spot at the recommendation of a fellow customer at my favorite beer shop.

This is the Urbock version in the classic 1 pint .9 fl oz German bottling style.

Poured into a traditional Weihenstephan hefe glass. Very easy pour so did not create a lot of head. Deep brown color with copper and ruby hues. Clear with very fine suspensions. A lot of bubbles rising up in the glass. Head is clearly tan colored about two fingers thick. Excellent lacing on the sides by the receding head.

Not so much of smoke as the person above had described. A subtle but still comparatively strong smoke and wooden aroma. Malts are very faint if at all there. Aroma is almost all smoke dominated. Nothing else going on to be significant. Some faint lager character.

Taste is smoke bitter. Dominated by smoke, creepy smoke. Leaves a rather peculiar feel on the tongue afterwards. Very brazen and bold flavored. Almost like ashes put into your mouth.Some wooden character as well. A little bit of roasted malts. Finish is a mix of malt and smoke. Very subtle and good.

Mouth feel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Astringency is almost non existent except for too much smoke in the taste.

Style Rate: 4.25
Personal Rate: 4

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

Poured into a pint glass

A- Pours a very dark amber with a good full head.

S- Smells like smoked ham or bacon, with a bit of sweetness

T- Again, tastes like smoked meat, but also a little like a sweet bread.

M- Full and not terribly carbonated.

O- This is definitely a beer to seek out. I love smoke and smoked foods, so I had been hunting this one down for a long time. If you love smoke and you love beers with complexity and a lot of flavor, this is your beer!

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Photo of Murrhey
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A- Finger and a half khaki head. Long retention and nice lacing. Walnut color with decent clarity.

S- Bacon. Classic rauchbier, clean and smoky...almost paradoxically.

T- Smoky malts, bacon flavor. Smooth and smoky.

M- Velvety and wet. Great feel.

O- Best beer I've had in the style. Tasty, smooth and smells like heaven...er...bacon.

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Photo of garuda
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby, clear, gets a small head that has little retention and lacing.

S/T - A little weak on the nose. Oak smokiness is prevalent, with a moderate pine bitterness in the finish. Some toasted bread sweetness.

M - Medium/full body, with delicate, cask-like carbonation. Finishes mostly dry with a touch of astringency.

O - I couldn't help but compare this one to their marzen. I didn't get the depth of flavor out of this one that I found in the marzen, although the taste is still good and well balanced. It's impressive how they get that much smoke presence while still maintaing depth and complexity. This one also finishes with a much stronger hop bitterness than the marzen which some might like.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a dimpled pint mug.

Pours a dark brown colour with a decent off-white head.

Smells strongly smokey, possibly one of my favourite smells ever.

Tastes smokey and boozey, leading it to have a sweet, peppery heat as well as the smoked malts.

Overall a brilliant beer.

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Photo of cocojoe
4.89/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Dark dark brown. Creamy tan head.

S: Clean, oaky bacon smoke. Dark toasty quality. Sweet and creamy.

T: Creamy, nutty, toasty front. Smoke is still present and delicious. Finishes a little more dry, and slightly roasty.

M: Creamy, clean medium body.

O: Really delicious. Not as sweet as I recall the Marzen being. Incredible smoked beer. Really gives smoked beer an incredible name. Really warming without being to sweet/high in alcohol. Love this.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stange glass.

Deep, dark brown with red highlights. Has 2-3 fingers of tan head that dissipates slowly. Excellent clarity and moderate carbonation.

Campfire smoke, bacon and wood.

Campfire smoke and smoked cherrywood. Smoked beef sausage and lesser notes of bacon. Underneath are notes of caramel, bread, brown sugar and cocoa.

Medium-full bodied, silky, smooth and refreshing.

I’m really surprised at how much I enjoyed this. The smoke wasn’t as intense as I anticipated and tasted just right. Nice to MEAT you, Rauchbier.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle poured into an Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6.5% ABV, no date.

A - The beer is a totally clean deep mahogany brown color with a well-formed ivory head that consists of densely packed creamy bubbles. A sudsy pile is left with spotty lacing caked to the glass.

S - Very sweet malts falls behind a bold aroma of delicately smoked wood chips that's not overpowering or overwhelming to me at all. In fact, it's got really specific complexities of bacon bits, maple syrup boiled over an open flame, and faint charcoal, not just "smoke."

T - A touch of toasted Vienna and bready Munich malts add light sweetness to the beer, giving the smoked malt a really good base to expand on. Smoke is much less potent in taste than flavor, subtly adding applewood smoked bacon and smoked meat notes to the beer.

M - A wonderful lack of excessive carbonation allows this medium bodied, malty beer to be as smooth as it can be; almost creamy feeling, with a subtly sweet dry smoked finish.

O - From Bamberg, known for their Rauchbier, comes this iconic brew, expertly blending bold and complex smoke aromas with malty sweetness for a pleasing and unique pint. While balanced to me, it remains polarizing to some, but always worth a try. If unfit for consumption for some, it remains a wonderful beer to cook with!

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with almost no head to speak of

S: Starts off with the signature smokiness as well as some wood and a salty maltiness

T: Follows the nose. Plenty of smoky goodness with woody notes and quite a bit of maltiness. Smoke fades away towards the end, leaving more wood and malts than anything else

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little too watery

O: Another winner from the guys over in Bamberg. A little light in the feel, but plenty of smoky, woody goodness. Not cloying in the least bit. Excellent

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Photo of SmashPants
1.73/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: solid brown 500mL bottle, nice German label.

Appearance: nice, almost jet black with chocolate brown highlights. I can't even see the carbonation through the thick body.

Aroma: woah, that's different. Before I judge this beer, I'd like to say that I haven't had a proper rauchbier before. Smells of off meat, smoke and rot.

Taste: flavour across the palate follows the nose - tastes of rotting meat, smoke, rancid bacon and cigarette stubs.

Aftertaste: all of the flavours linger for a quite a time, which was... pleasant.

Mouth feel: though I don't like the beer (I think purely because I am not used to the style), I will admit that the thick body and low carbonation works beautifully well to carry the flavour across enormously.

Overall: I think that once I get used to Rauchbiers and smoked beers in general, I would have to admit this is a good one. I'll have to try a few less intense ones first and try this one again some day.

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Photo of cbeer88
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed off 500ml bottle poured into imperial pint glass, but I also recently drank a lot of this at the annual brewery tapping party.

Appearance: Very dark brown in body color, head looks like coffee foam but no more than a finger and a half, even with an aggressive pour.

Smell: Smoke and wood dominate anything else that is there.

Taste: More smoke and more oak, but the malt flavors are much more balanced in the taste. Burnt caramel is in there, some caramelized brown sugar, and a faint bit of spice to cap things off.

Mouthfeel: Beautifully full bodied and low carbed. Exquisite.

Drinkability: Yes please. Too strong for a session beer, but if you like a good rauchbier, you can throw these down all night.

Overall: I love rauchbiers, and I've had a lot of them, including everything from Schlenkerla numerous times. This is my favorite, and IMHO, THE best rauchbier out there. Rating to style, I just don't know where I would knock it down. It knows what it is and it does it perfectly. It deserves a 5.

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Photo of Motorcharge
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark brown with very little foam, though may have been due to how I poured it. Low carbonation.

S: Excellent pork BBQ smoky smell. Smells is if someone filtered it through charcoal from a pig smoker after smoking pork all day.

T: Tastes exactly how it smells. Stronger taste than I expected but that was a pleasant surprise. Awesome finish, slightly bitter, though bitter is a stronger word than I'd like.

M: Very smooth and easy to drink. Slight bitterness that twists the mouth a little, but it just makes you want to drink more. Very little carbonation made drinking it quickly quite easy.

O: I'm lucky enough to have 3 craft been bars here that have thousands of beers between their coolers and taps and a beer store with several hundred beers as well. I've tried countless beers over the years and come to love a handful that I'd recommend to anyone, but this is leaps and bounds better than anything I've had before. It was a little pricey at $5 a beer (retail store, not a bar) but well worth it. My only complaint is how fast it goes haha.

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Photo of beergoot
4.84/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, dark reddish-brown body with a nice head. Heavenly aroma (for a smoked beer): charred wood; charcoal; deeply smoked sausage. Outstanding oily smoked flavors infused with a richly roasted malt character; nice bitterness and sweetness throughout, too. Medium-heavy body; rich and chewy.

I'm a big fan of smoked beers, and this beer is one of the premier examples of what a strongly smoked beer can be. The beauty of this particular beer is that the undeniably smokey flavor and smell can be so well-tamed and balanced with the other malt and hop notes (primarily the malt). Yes, it is definitely about the "rauch", but there is so much more with this beer, and so you get some honest balance and complexity with the style. A deservedly prime example of the best of this type of beer and well-worth the experience.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 fl oz bottle poured into a straight glass.

A: Pours a dark burgundy color with nice clarity. It looks a little thin pouring down into the glass. The head is a two finger mocha color with moderate retention. There's a lot of spiderweb lacing left down the glass.

S: Very strong smokiness - not just in a woody motif, but reminiscent of ham when taking its mild sweetness into consideration. There is a caramel backbone behind it all, but it takes a bit of hard work to discern it through the smoke. It's a damn good aroma - one that permutes into something slightly more chocolaty as further whiffs are taken - with the only real detractor being a slight note of plastic.

T: As expected, smoky meat opens the flavor profile, before turning into vaguely sweet caramel maltiness after the midtaste. The plastic in the aroma is nearly nonexistent in the taste, thankfully. I kind of expected this to be a little more heavy handed than the marzen version, but it's actually just as subtly flavored, if not more so. The main difference here is a slightly chocolaty finish. It's not too sweet nor too bitter, just balanced to near-perfection. Like their marzen, it's one of the most complex lagers I've ever savored, with multiple layers of flavor - like dried fruit and grassy hops - revealing themselves behind the main show of smoked malts.

M: Smooth and a little syrupy, but easy to drink. Very creamy up until the wet, almost decadent finish. Actually, it isn't that easy to drink, if only because it's something that should be savored rather than chugged.

O: I am convinced that Schlenkerla is starting to spoil me with their rauchbiers. Take it from a man who normally dislikes bacon - this is excellent.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours looking a bit thin. Medium tan head that dissipates rapidly. Some good lacing left. Color is a mid brown.

S: Smells like a sausage. Very smoky. Some malt. Light hops.

T: Like the smell a huge smoke note. Lighter than the Marzen version. Good bitter note and alcohol comes through a bit.

M: Carbonation is a bit agressive and the alcohol seems to cut through more than it should.

Overall a fun beer with some interesting charachteristics. The Marzen version was similar but I thought it was better. The urbock seemed a little light overall which let some more agressive notes comes through in the taste and finish. Certainly unique.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had all three smoke variations at a recent testing and this is the one that stood out the most. As with all three Schlenkerla smoke beers, the rich smokey aroma is something close to heaven. The dark color gives us Americans visions of barbecue, but that is not where the taste goes. Smooth milk chocolate and caramel set off this urbock. If you search, the smoothness may even tell your brain that vanilla is present. With the smoke as its backbone, it creates an interesting mix. A smokey caramel taste continues into the aftertaste which lingers because of a mildly thick mouthfeel. Smoke beers are not for everybody, but there is little doubt who makes the best. This is their best offering.

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Photo of Gatch
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep ruby red with shades of brown. A big, foamy, frothy light-brown head leaving behind good lace and decent retention.

S: Perfect nose. Wood smoke, roasted malt, earth.

T: I'm going to be straight with this one...the best tasting Rauchbier on the market. Incredible. Less smoky than the Marzen, which in my opinion is great because it allows the other flavors to come through. Extremely balanced with delicious malt and wood flavor. The finish is exquisite.

M: Super smooth, the easiest drinking Rauchbier I've tasted, and tons of flavor with the right amount of carbonation.

O: Simply the top Rauchbier in the world. When you see this, no matter if you like the style or not, buy it!

Note: Pairs very well with a robust, high-quality cigar.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a half-liter bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark tea/cola color, with big, blooming, bone-white head of foam.
Aroma-Intriguing boquet of woodsmoke, burning leaves, and smoked bacon.
Taste-Smoked malt, liquid smoke, caramel, honey ham, charred beechwood. A bit of a dry finish and all wonderfully balanced strong flavors. Not for everyone, but classically crafted and a great match for smoked or BBQ'd meats, or just to sip slowly on a cool night by a warm fire.

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Photo of acevenom
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a glass mug. Pours dark brown with a light tan head. There is some visible ruby colored light visible along the edges of the glass. The head retains very well. The smoked malt hits the nose right up front and it's quite prominent. It's that nice campfire smell and it's bready. The smoked malt hits the nose right up front and it's quite prominent. It's that nice campfire smell and it's bready. The body is medium to full with adequate carbonation. The beer is smooth and creamy. The drinkability is very high. This is a most excellent beer.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
92 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.
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