Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock
1,430 Ratings
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrbockAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Style: German 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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Ratings: 1,430 |  Reviews: 731
Photo of Afterburner
4.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark ruby brown with smallish head that retires quickly, leaving no lacework.

Smell: Mmmmm. Strong smoky aroma, of course. Many describe it similar to bacon, but I don't get that myself. It has more of a campfire smell to me. Also some pungent malt. And some phenolic medicinal notes, like camphor.

Taste: The smoke dominates the flavor profile, particularly during the finish. Mid-palate sees hints of malt coughing its way out from behind the clouds of smoke, but they're quickly obscured. The finish is smoke and hops. The smoke character is, again, not like bacon (not salty enough). It's what I imagine smoked maple syrup would taste like, if someone were to bother smoking maple syrup.

Mouthfeel: Thickish, but not full-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I love these beers. If I were the sort of person who could settle down and drink just one type of beer regularly, it would be this one.

Overall: This is the King of Smoked Beer, and with good reason. The only smoke beer I've ever had that was better was the peat-smoked Adelscott, from Fischer. I love smoke beers with a passion, and you should too.

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Photo of merlin48
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I suggest visiting this brewery's excellent website before sampling this Franconian treasure. This review is based on a 1 pint, .09 oz brown bottle, with the label mostly written in old German script. The body is a magnificent, ruby mahogany color, mostly clear. Not much of a head on my sample, but there is a lasting, beige collar and very attractive, sheet lacing.

Aroma is fascinating. Maplewood smoked bacon from Vermont? Or, is it salt cured country ham from Kentucky, or Virginia? In any event, the aroma has led me to crave a smoked side of pork.

Mouthfeel reveals a tingly carbonation, medium body, and a mild hops bite.

Taste mirrors the aroma, with maplewood smoked bacon. The malt is, actually, smoked over beechwood from the forests near Bamberg. The wood smoke is so pervasive here, that it's impossible to identify the bittering hops. This is brewed according to the Reinheitsgebot Purity Code, so there ARE hops in here. At room temperature, some doppelbock flavors of molasses and dark fruits try to emerge, but are smoked into a faint echo by the omnipotent beechwood charring. It is my opinion that this is an exceptional taste for a beer. Very unique, certainly, and the extraordinary craftsmanship behind this brew is obvious.

Not an everyday "beer", but WOW!, what an experience! Their website is <>

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Photo of tjd25
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A redish color. The head is decent. the carbonation level is relatively high.

The smell is unique: smoky, I get an impression of smoked bacon and roasted nuts. Also some sweet floral aspects that weren't present in the other smoked beers brewed by Heller-Tum. Very interesting.

The taste is enjoyably smoky but the smoke is not overwhelming and is nicely balanced with the other aspects of the brew. The roasted malts flavor is more noticeable than the smoke thing. The first impression is of red fruits and reminds me of some of the characteristics of wine or liquor. The smoke nicely hides the usually disappointing dirty aftertaste of liquorish beers. The complex hops then leave a thick and chewy mouthfeel, but in which the bitterness is weak, enjoyable, and amazingly balanced with the persistence of the smoke in the smell and the taste.

This beer really combines the smell and the taste, and the result is great.

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Photo of Crosling
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gadzooks! This was tasty!

The color was a reddish brown. Healthy head with some lacing.

Staggering aroma. The smokiness from the beechwood smoked barley and the sweetness from the traditional bock malts (Don't know what they are) made this honestly smell like barbeque ribs. Very smoky in the aroma with underlying notes of cherry, chocolate, caramel and grapes.

Previously I have had the weizen from this brewery and the smokiness is much milder in the bock. Very juicy. Very smoky. Ripe fruits and smoked bacon dominate the palate.

This beer was awesome.

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Photo of oggg
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 1pint9oz bottle from Plumbjack in San Francisco's slightly light exposed beer display. The bottle has a thick layer of dust and some foreign junk stuck to the outside bottom of the bottle.

Poured hard into my imperial pint glass and it fit perfectly with a tall but short lived tan, big-bubbled head. I already can smell smoke from a distance. It smells awful sweet and smoky. Actually I get chocolate in the nose too. The beer itself is a dark brown with brown tints at the edges. As you bring the beer to your lips, you're nose is forced to inhale the smoky aroma. It's not cigarette smoke thank goodness, but more like some kind of aromatic wood. I don't get floral hops. It's a real gorgeous smell I can't quite make out. It's really quite intoxicating. I finally looked it up, and Michael Jackson says it's beechwood... Whatever. The taste is actually sweet and syrupy, balanced with more of the same smokiness, which really comes off as a roasted flavor except there is almost no astringency. My tongue met the smoke and said, ok now give me some burnt astringency and it never came. At first I missed that burnt taste but after more sips, it really works. The smokiness lasts a long time and comes to a medium dry finish -- enough to clear out the sweet but no puckering. Compared to porters and stouts it's on the thin side, light to medium bodied. But I think they must make it that way because the smokiness isn't bitter/astringent enough to fight too much malt. I felt the alcohol in my head before I felt it on my tongue.

Wow this beer is unlike anything I've ever had. And I like it alot. If you like beers with roasted flavor and aroma, but you don't like the atringency that burnt grains bring, you must try this one.

Hmmm... as I get to the bottom of the glass, it does seem a little more astringent. The smoke seems to get stronger with every taste. I can see why this isn't such a good everyday beer.

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Photo of necoadam
2.98/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was quite mixed on this beer. Considering it's my first time having a rauchbier, I was expecting a smoke beer. But this was pure smoke. I think Todd said it right, you either like this type or you don't. Sorry, but I for one don't. Poured out a dark brown color with very little carbonation. Smell. Yikes, all smoke, very little malt. Taste. Like eating a big fat sausage. Call me crazy, but the smoke flavor is a little too big. This beer isn't for my liking.

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Photo of DESTRO
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my first true rauch. yea im hyped. this glugs out a deep ruby red with a decent plump head (with come coaxing in the pour). HUGE aroma of bbq. smoked ham all over the place with not much else. nothing holds a candle to the smokiness running wild here. somewhat light in the mouth yet crisp and refreshing, your taste buds get attacked just like your nose did. big smoke, grilled ham, bbq...think campfire. i never believed a beer could taste like this. i love it. more drinkable than one might think as it is chock full of flavor but never becomes too much. sadly i drank my stash so im S.O.L. right now. maybe ill light a match, blow it out and smells the fumes. maybe not.

$2.99 a bottle

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Photo of ybnorml
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a great thick light tan head when I poured it. Dark amber brown color ( smokey?). Couldn't get much to tie down on a specific aroma out side of the smoke. I'm sorry I can't help but but describe this as smoked sausage beer. there was some hop bitterness on the finish but I kept looking for bacon floating in the the beer the smokyness is that strong. I guess if you like that flavor in a beer ( very strong ) you might not mind drinking a few. But not I.

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Photo of Shaw
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first time I tried a rauchbier (Rogue's) I thought it was the worst beer I'd ever had. But upon trying it again much later, I found that I was beginning to enjoy the style. I guess once you know what to expect, it grows on you.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock pours a deep brown with almost no head. And that mini head vanishes quickly.

Its aroma is (surprise!) mostly smoky with a small bit of malt. No hops detected.

The taste starts out nice and smoky. This reminds me of nothing more than smoked sausage. The smoke flavor very well controlled. It doesn't overpower the senses. After a few sips I find that the smoke flavor subsides (probably my palate getting used to it) and I can note a bit of malt flavor. I don't taste any bitterness at all. Nor are there any herbal hop notes. The aftertaste leaves a light smoke flavor in my mouth.

The mouthfeel is quite light. The beer doesn't have a heavy body.

You might think that a little smoke beer goes a long way, but Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock skillfully manages the smoke. Add its light body to that and you have a beer with a good drinkability.

This is a good rauchbier.

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Photo of nomad
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A dark brownish but very deep red color, popping up a beauty of a thick head aided by good carbonation underneath. Settles to show wisps of stain all over, and a coating lace that is a treat to see on each quaff. This beer just looks right in my stein.

Barbecue!! This beer smells like a sweet onslaught of pork barbecue, like smoking sausages or some ribs. Caramel/toffee behind the delectable smoke turning to more fruit-type notes with time. Hard-pressed to think of a smoked beer as alluring and individual as this.

Taste is peppery, salty, with a great amount of chewy and full flavored smoked meat, but balanced by a smooth malt backbone, most closely of Munich and caramel malts. The Body has a roasty flavor like hard-toasted pork rind covered in touches of plum-like, fruity toffee. Toast and potato chips finish, I swear, but still very beer-like thanks to the bock base.

Full of flavor but with lager ease and drinkability. In fact, the high drinkability of this beer was the most impressive, especially given its highly unique take on smoked malts. A perfect example of a "wow" beer. A must try with food - mine was with juicy pork fillets, collard greens, and green beans. Be sure to let it warm up a little before you open it and some more while in the glass, thus this deep beer can grow on you. In great shape, too, for an imported bottled beer; its seasonal status probably helps with that.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

.5 L bottle served chilled in a Guinness pint glass (similar shape to the glass on their website)

Appearance: Dark crimson-twinged brown topped by a tiny offwhite head. Beer appeared to be slightly undercarbonated compared to most beers I've seen. The head faded away to a frothy film and ring pretty quickly and left faint specks of lace.

Smell: Very aromatic. Hearty campfire smell is evident from a few feet away. Hickory smoked jerky and caramelized sugars tempt your olfactory senses.

Taste: The smoke and underlying beer tastes are in great balance, moreso than the märzen. An initial splace of a damn fine bock (sweet caramel malt, buttery notes, light noble hops) that slowly evolves into a robust campfire smoke taste. Jerky-like meat aftertastes.

Mouthfeel: Watery and a bit flat, but I don't believe the bottle was bad at all (though maybe not at 100%). Pleasant and oddly refreshing.

Drinkability: Not as powerful as the märzen, but I still loved this so. This first sip is the hardest and the rest are pure heaven. I can see why sentimental value kept this brewery alive. Grilling season commences soon.. I best get some more of this stuff.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16.9oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep ruby red color with one finger of head. There is just a little lace left on the glass. The smell is almost exactly like the Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen: very pungent smokey aroma, with just a little bit of caramel sweetness. The taste is also fairly smoky, and a little maltier than the marzen. A little bit of hops on the finish, but overall the smoke dominates. The mouthfeel is just a little light on the tongue. The drinkability is fairly good as well. A darn good Rauchbier!

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Photo of ark57
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can see where many would not like this beer. I enjoy it a lot and yet I don't think I could have more than 1 or 2 at any one time. It is dark ruby in color with a huge smokey aroma. The aroma is the first thing you notice from the time you open the bottle until you have cleaned your glass. It reminds me of a smoked ham and bacon. A friend suggested that it smleed like beef jerky. It is very malty with some caramel sweetness that explodes into smokey taste. It finishes fairly clean and does not linger. I could not tell if there was much hop character or bitterness to the beer because all I get is smoke.

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Photo of WaltTrombone
2.46/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Wow, this is definitely an acquired taste! (One that I don't think I'll want to acquire...) If you like hanging out in smokehouses, you might like this beer, but for me, it was like being beaten over the head with the predominant smoke flavor.

It poured a clear dark maroon, with a tan head. Smoke was the main aroma, with a touch of malt sweetness. Tastes were SMOKE, kielbasa, and a wee bit of malt. Mouthfeel was thin and watery. Finish was (surprise, surprise) SMOKE!

Next time I want a smoked beer, I'll go for the Stone Smoked Porter. This one is more like a liquified smoked sausage, or drinking the water you just put out the campfire with...

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Photo of hollicetales
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

if brown little smoked sausage tied up with string are a few of your favorite things than you probably will really enjoy this beer. This is not everyone's beer, but for fans of smoked beer, this one has it down to a perfection. This dark brown beer pours pretty smooth with a nice little head that dosen't stick around. The smell is like standing in a smoke house at a bar-b-q. I really enjoyed this beer, it drinks like a meal, slow sipping smoked brautwurst beer. The smoke flavor is perfect, meaty and not in any way mediciny or like fake smoke in a bottle taste like a lot of smoked beers sadly taste like. For those who don't like beers this smokey...i bet it would be great for marinating...this would make beer brauts even tastier...Still I enjoyed drinking this probably will put hair on your chest...

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

This beer is one that you will either love or hate. I loved it. The beer is a mysterious dark brown/black that pours with a slight head. The nose is full of smokiness, and the taste is one of smoked ham/bacon with a big malty underpinning. The smoke becomes less shocking as I made my way through the beer, or perhaps my palette was just overwhelmed. I don't know if I could have more than one of these beers at a sitting, but I wouldn't need to - it really is a meal in itself.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear mahogany with a foamy beige head. Nice wood smoked bacon/ham and malt aroma.
Sweet and smoky flavors of malt, jerky, hardwood smoked pork, tangy carmelized b-b-q sauce and a hint of charcoal. Light hop presence and a lingering smoky oiliness on the finish. Nicely balanced.
Medium bodied, full mouthfeel with good carbonation.
My favorite of the smoked beers. A style I'm learning to appreciate.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.55/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clearish dark reddish brown color with a small beige foamy head that fades out quickly leaving some good sticky sheets and strings of lace. Aroma is quite unique with a smokey twinge rendering some hints of bacon, bar-b-que sweetness, and wet ashes. Not much else really comes through but the smokened senses which isn't all that bad but would have liked to seen some more complexity within the aroma with some malts or something. Taste is sweet and tangy with a smokey character that adds subdued salty meats, touches of bar-b-que or mustard sauces, charcoal, and jerky. Overall its not really coming across as anything else but smoke for character, which is fine, but I'd like to see an already good beer then add touches of smoke then take a subpar beer and add lots of smoke to cover up the fact that its really not all that good to begin with. And thats what I'm perceiving with this. Feel is lightly creamy with tangyness and quite smooth and close to medium bodied but has some slight watery notions late in the finish. An OK beer to have an occasion but more or less I think I'll use it to marinate and cook up some porkchops or steak with. I think it'll work very well in that department.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me start off by saying that I never really loved smoked beers before. Well, this one almost changed my mind. This is a murky dark brown liquid with a short-lived tan head of bubbles. The aromas are pure smoke, caramel and chocolate malts, and other roasty bock-like notes. The taste is smoky, but remains very bock-like and malty with a lot of complexities in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is creamy, but a bit too chewy and the drinkability is good as well. This is a good beer all across the beer, and now I can appreciate smoked beers more. They are still not my favorite, but this one was damn good.

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Photo of beergeek279
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 500 mL bottle. The color is a dark amber, with a bubbly white head. The smell is basically like beef jerky. The taste is a very meaty smokiness. Mouthfeel is slightly thin. Drinkabilty-wise, could have one or two.

Definitely a unique beer. This is like drinking pureed beef jerky; now I love jerky (though my beer habit kills my funds for jerky), so this is a definite treat. Quite good, and I'd certainly have this one with barbeque or other such smoked meat.

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Photo of shirfan
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an clear, dark brown with sticky white lace.

The aroma: oh my. My first rauchbier, this was a surprise. Strongly pungent of old ashes and wet, organic-laden smoky fires; brought back memories of childhood, when we used to burn off driftwood and other flotsam on the shore of Lake Erie. A strong hint of bacon as well; as a vegetarian I had to visit the website to make sure they weren't pitching hogs instead of yeast in the brewing process.

Taste is smooth, slightly bitter, not especially sweet. Bacon grease and more smoke, conjured up memories of camp breakfasts, cast-iron stoves, and the dead of winter. Finishes with a mildly malty, bock-ish zing.

An amazingly bizarre yet interesting style; who knew beer could jog such a vivid blast from the past? Maybe it's my German heritage, but I could definitely sit around sipping this all night and reminiscing with good friends and family.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear burnt caramel. Head is khaki colored and foamy.
Aroma is of landjager, malt, charcoal, and burnt brown sugar.

Taste is of pork fat and charcoal smoke. Very reminiscent of spiced German sausage. Malt is relevant but not aggressive, creating a slightly thinner than desired mouthfeel, but supporting the smoky flavors.

This does not have a high drinkability due to the true potency of the intense smoked meat flavor, (drinkable, but not a session beer or anything), but I've gone back several times to buy more, so it certainly is a beer that makes you want to return to it again and again. Gets extra drinkability points for this. Also, this would be awesome with some grilled hot brats.

For the style, and excellent example -- good to have every once in a while when you're in the mood.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice crystal clear amber to light brown color with a soapy beige head. Nose of a pot belly stove in a cabin. Salami, smoke, and malt dominates the aroma profile. Rather malty tasting despite the big smoky nose. Rather crisp and refreshing. Nice malty bock base in this beer, I'd expect that even if it wasn't smoked, it'd be a world class bock on its own. I could think of a thousand food items that would accompany this beer beautifully. Effervescent and clean. I'd seek this one out again (with some smoked venison jerky and gouda next time though :))

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Photo of Mustard
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9oz. brown bottle; no "best by" or "bottled on" date; no ABV %; purchased for $3.99 from the WIne Expo on Santa Monica and Yale; "brewed according to the Bavarian purity-law" written in Gothic style script on the label.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown with ruby highlights; rocky, mocha-hued head; a good b-cup's worth of lace, but not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Delightfully sweet and smoky with hints of molasses, mesquite and, yes, barbecued meat.

Taste: Decidedly likes its nose; tangy and sweet with huge notes of smoky, meaty (sic!) goodness; creamy, almost silky, mouthfeel; medium bodied.

Notes: I never imagined a beer could taste meaty...

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Photo of taez555
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a rather clear dark ruby red brown with a samll but thick white/tan head.

The nose was simply amazing. Smoke, meat, molases, wood, some slight hints of spice. Basically the best way to describe it is that it smells like a cross between a beefstick and smoked gouda.

The taste is even more interesting. You'd think with the nose it'd knock you over with the meat taste. But... it actually starts off very malty instead. Roasted malt, slight chocolate, dark sugar, molases, and a nice even bitterness. Light carbonation. Medium bodied. Simply a nice even dark beer taste. But then as the beer continues across the tongue the meat and smoke flavors hit you. Meaty and smokey. Just like the nose. Smoked gouda or a beefstick. Very unique.

It ends with a very smooth hop bitterness complimented by the smoked meat flavor.

You either love this beer or hate it. Maybe not the most vegatarian friendly tasting beer. Simply though, it is the best of it's style. A perfect balance of all the flavors, with a nice sepperation too. Almost as you're drinking a fine french bordeaux, but of smoke and malt.
A must try if you like smokey beers.

Be careful, a good burp might bring the flavor back for up to a few hours after trying this beer. ;-)

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,430 ratings