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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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697 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

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Reviews: 697 | Ratings: 1,341
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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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%

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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.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Recently I found that the quantity of my German bruviews was lacking and as such I decided it was time to give that tasty (denoting I've had it before) Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum a go... and if that isn't a mouthful of a name wait until I review Dem Bayerischen Reinheitsgebot entsprechend gebrautes Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock von Heller-Trum, gefährliches zeug! [I added that last "gefährliches zeug!" purely for emphasis]

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Stein.

A: A nice deep brown, almost cola like body presents a stark antithesis to the creamy 2cm ecru head. Looks delicious and thought out and no doubt tastes the same.

S: As Darth Vader once proclaimed "The rauch is strong with this one.", in the case of this Rauchbier (or "smoke beer" to non-German tongues) this is indeed a peat-smoke infused brew, with some well-added smoked salami for effect. There is nary another ingredient to be whiffed behind the veil of hickory, much to the delight of Rauchbier drinkers everywhere.

T: Quintessentially brilliant - a rauch schinkenspeck sandwich in a bottle. The flavour is a taste of every glorious thing that has ever been smoked in a beer with notes of the above plus more; roasted caramel, touch of salt, with an earthy hop finish. Balance between malt and hops is spot on and whilst the smoke can be overpowering for some if you get used to it - power to you.

M: Medium bodied with that classic creamy Weizen carbonation.

D: You know the last time I had this beer was before I began reviewing and I was taken aback by the smoke "too much!" I thought, but now (in my finite tasting wisdom) I can't stop drinking this amazing Ale. It is only a brew I would recommend for people who have tried other odd flavoured beers like Lambics or Sahtis and nodded their head in silent approval - it is not a beer for the craft-novice let me make that clear. For a non-smoker like myself (I have had an occasional Cuban cigar) it was a bit of a struggle acclimatasting [a new word for the Doktorhops lexicon] to smoke flavours but now I am there, oh yes.

Food match: I couldn't help but think that the entire menu of a Bavarian pub would work with this, especially anything pork related - if you see "schinken" on the menu: Get it.

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

500ml bottle poured into tulip 20/7/14

A looks fairly dark until held to the light, has a clear maroon glow, big short lived tan foam leaves lots of random lace

S its smokey no doubt, smells like campfire clothing, smoked meat, faint coco and hard toffee, earthy notes, salty brine, smells like it should

T less smoke then the nose but that still leaves plenty, more chocolate, earthy notes are strong, similar to the nose but not quite the same levels of smoke

M lighter side of medium, stops just short of foam, intense smokey aftertaste just keeps going

O it is what it claims, lots of smoke, super easy to drink, I'm wishing I had some BBQ to eat with this

I bought this one to make some sauce the ribs I'm making and I think I'll need to grab another bottle to eat with them.

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Photo of stevoj
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Of all of the Schlenkerla’s, this is my favorite, closest to the "bacon" experience. Smoked malts rule in this beer, dark and nutty, lots of the cured meat, smoky taste of hickory bacon. An acquired taste for sure, but a must try

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Photo of EGreen
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

THE quintessential rauchbier!! Mild smoke in the nose with a nice malty character. Starts off with a nice toffee flavor that is quickly usurped by the smokiness... And man is it smoky. Mild hops bitterness on the finish... Barely noticeable through the smoke. Very nice!

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Photo of TheCuriograph
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm a little embarrassed that I've never written a full review for a lager. So many ales. Figured I'd write about one of my Old World favorites:

A - Lovely amber brown twinkles a hazy red against the light. Sudsy cappuccino head. Looks more like a brown ale than what I imagine when I think German lager

S - Nose is roasted and smoky. Packed with allspice, cured meat, caramel, molasses, chicory, sawdust and fired peat.

T - I find some smoked beers can push beyond toasted and into the medicine-y. Not so this. It’s a magnificent amalgam of buttery toast, woodsmoke, and bacon, with a zesty peppery sharpness from the hops that prevent its being out-and-out sweet.

M - Medium to light-bodied, and extremely refreshing for something this full and flavorful

O - Balance and drinkability. This is the benefit of a beer whose recipe has been refined over centuries. I love the imperialized, bourbon-aged, dry-hopped, coffee-infused craft scene as much as anyone, but hell if this doesn't make you appreciate the unadorned craftsmanship of old Europe.


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Photo of QueerBeer
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked this up with hesitation, as I had yet not had a rauchbier I liked. This was the gamechanger. Pours a deep, rich mahogany with a one-finger or so head. Deep smokiness in the nose, which corresponds to the flavor. Like delicious slow-smoked pork, with just a hint of malty sweetness. A bit effervescent on the tongue, almost overwhelming the taste profile. But overall, very very good.

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Photo of Beric
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 17 April 2014

Appearance: Pours a rich amber-brown with a dirty white one finger head. Crystal clear beer with strong amber accents- this one really looks pretty. The head is froathy but not creamy. Great lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells of soft smokiness and malt sweetness. The smokiness is rather subdued in the nose.

Taste: A magnificently complex blend of sweet malts and dark smoke. The smoke in this one compliments the malt backbone and does not overpower it entirely, though it is certainly the dominant flavor in this beer. The malt backbone really carries the smoke softly and smoothly over the palate in the entire duration of a sip- you get a nice pop of somewhat harsh smokiness up front which really mellows out in the middle and then leaves a nice sweet finish at the end. Marvelous.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied.

Overall: This is a magnificent beer. I was truly impressed with how the malts and smoke complimented each other in this beer. Rather than the smoke being overpowering or playing second fiddle to a sweet Bock beer, both flavor elements combined in a truly masterful brew. The ABV on this one isn't too high at only 6.6%, but if you LIKE a Rauchbier, this one will really sneak up on you since it is so smooth and easy to drink. A must try.

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Photo of mactrail
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Color is dark golden brown with a thick tawny-tinted head. Massive nose that we associate with smoked meat, a peaty savory smell. Pleasantly foamy in the mouth in the German style.

Sweet with malt which helps mellow the billows of smokiness. After the initial smoke-out, the flavor does remind me of the common smoked Gouda cheese. Body is not exactly thin, but it's more on the lighter side. A persistent candy taste. A whiff of pepperoni.

This is hard to describe, but it's well worth tasting. The intense smoked malt is ever-present, but it's a good example of how a crazy flavor can work in a beer. Not expensive. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at Bottleworks in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.

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Photo of JC333
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The smell of this beer is worth the purchase price....a price that is very reasonable.

The smell is campfire slash smoked sausage and the taste is smoked sausage coated in hops. An extremely complex beer that deserves to be sipped and savored.

The uniqueness factor wouldn't have me drinking this often, but when I do....it will easily be enjoyed.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,341 ratings.
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