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

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Reviews: 707 | Ratings: 1,376
Photo of mjc410
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Spaten becker glass from a 50 cL bottle with no freshness date. Paired with Penn State Creamery smoked cheddar.

A: Pours a deep garnet with a rocky 3 finger head. Lots of lacing before I even take a sip as the head recedes a bit. The head eventually settles to less than half a finger. The garnet color is quite striking.

S: Actually, this doesn't smell nearly as "meaty" as other Aecht beers I've had. It smells like a mildly smoky, very malty bock. Grows smokier as the beer warms.

T: Wow! The smokiness comes along with a very sweet malt flavor, no traces of bitterness to be found. The smoke really builds in the aftertaste. Alcohol is in no way a standout, just shows up soon in belly warming.

M: Very smooth with a medium body - I'll attribute the smoothness to the very low carbonation. Fits well with the taste characteristics.

D: Eminently drinkable, more because of the smokey smoothness than in spite of it. I'd very much like to make this a regular with smoked foods and grilled meats.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
2.82/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer has a nice, rich brown color. The head on it is pretty low, with small watery bubbles. There is little to no carbonation.

Smell: This beer has a strange combination of smoked and sweet - the urbock's sweetness is really coming through more than I thought from a smoked beer. Still the nose of smoked cheese is present.

Taste: This is a strange beer on the palette. It seems to really focus a ton of its flavor on alcohol and smoke - even though the ABV is not that high. It is almost a bit curious how this beer can showcase this much alcohol. Still, the flavor seems a little one dimensional - needs more to round it off.

Mouthfeel: This is a very thick beer - like combining a barley wine with flour. Its definately for sipping. One taste does fine to fill up the mouth.

Drinkability: I'm going to say that this is not one I'll often return to. It doesn't work as a session beer, and I don't think that is its aim.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well here goes . . .
500ml (16.9 ounce) bottle purchased at Wilbur's in Fort Collins for $4.49. I've been strongly urged to try this and strongly warned not to ("tastes like an ashtray" someone told me.) The beer guy at Wilburs said he loves it.

Lovely deep mahogany with a smallish fully lasting head. Clear liquid, no bubbles rising.

Smell -- the smoke is there, but not like I thought. Reminds me of smoked Edam cheese, or smoked salami. Very pleasant. Not a lot of hops, but nice maltiness. Smells salty and sweet at the same time. Fascinating. Am I gonna like this? I like the smell.

The taste is not so smoky up front. Wow. Bitey, more than smokey. The smoke flavor comes up in the aftertaste. Really nice. Very deep and complex. A lot is going on here. Fig and prune malty sweetness up front, followed by a mellow hop pine note and smoked ham. It's like a meal.

Mouthfeel is what you might expect from a bock: nice and thick, round and not quite chewy. Nice.

Drinkability -- well, I can't tell. I only have one -- wasn't gonna spend $4.49 on more than one, in case I hated it! -- so I'm not sure. I think the limiting factor here is the cost more than the alcohol or the intensity of flavor.

Overall -- this is a whole lot of beer. Intensely flavorful, rich, and complex. Not an every day beer, but it might be great for special occasions. Next time I have one of these, I will have it with smoked ham on dark rye with some nutty swiss and good spicey German mustard. Mmmm. I was pleasantly surpised.

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Photo of whynot44
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich deep mahogany color with a decent creamy tan head that persists through the glass.

The aroma is fantastic, like concentrated smoked ham and sausage.

The taste is similar. A nice sweet malt base with a tremendous smoked sausage taste that lingers. Smooth and easy to drink in spite of the smoke. Great with smoky barbecued pork or beef.

Should be a great addition to a marinade. If this is beechwood flavor, i need to get some to grill with.

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Photo of nickss
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep rich ruby red in color with a monumental (I'm talking 2 inches at least) head that is raucously loud with its activity.

Smells strongly of smoke.... almost like a smoked meat (ham perhaps?)... almost a peat-like fragrance.... little else is discernable.

Huge smokey flavour. This is my first rauchbier, so I thought it would take some getting used to... however, while I do not find it to be my favorite style, I find it enjoyable.... paired with BBQ or some smoked cheddar, this would be perfect. Quite interesting to say the least. Unfortunately (and perhaps this is due to my inexperience with the style), there's simply not much complexity in the flavour. The underlying smokiness crushes anything else that might be in there.

Moderately thick mouthfeel.... much less carbonation than I thought would be present, which is good in my opinion.

The drinkability is really my only complaint with this beer. However, once again, let me state that I am not entirely used to this style, and would most likely rank it higher after I have had a few more of these under my belt.

All in all, far and away the most interesting beer I have ever tasted... the style is utterly unique and a distinct slap to the palate. I will endeavour to seek out more of this style.

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Photo of Terp96
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A great change of pace beer.

Pours a deep mahogany color with very nice hear retention throughout. Looked very inviting in my .5 liter tumbler.

Smells fantastic. Deep smoked aroma much like the summer grill or smoked sausage/turkey. Burnt peat and wood undertones as well. Very inviting.

Though it smells like a summer barbeque, to me this is no warm weather beer. The smoked flavor is very malty sweet up front but the beer is balanced nicely with a slight hop finish. The smoked flavor stays with you throughout. The smokiness only adds to the nice alcohol warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is solid. Syrupy up front with a lingering dry finish. Balanced.

Drinkability is the only drawback. This is an acquired taste. Fortunately, I am one who loves this style but even I can only have so much. This is a very welcome departure from some of the most prevalent beer styles. Every beer lover should try this at least once.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep crimson-bronze with a bright tangerine border. The 'pffft' on crown cracking wasn't all that loud and the smallish cap is further evidence of a relative lack of carbonation. The head is the color of oatmeal and is dense and persistent despite its diminutive size. Beautiful beer, acceptable head.

I have a feeling that I'll be using the word smoke a lot during this review since I'll be damned if I can think of many adequate synonyms. The aroma abounds with... uh... smoke. Incredibly so. I knew this beer would be a smoke bomb and it is. Roasted malt soaked in and dripping with bacon grease just about covers it. Oh yeah, I love it! Despite my relative lack of rauchbier experience, I proclaim this one to be definitive.

The flavor is simply outstanding. I was expecting wall-to-wall smokiness that steamrolled everything in its path, but that isn't what this beer is all about. At least as much as the rest of the Schlenkerla line, Urbock retains its beerness in the face of a withering, permeating, all-encompassing smokiness. As befits the style, it's heavily malty, sweet and solid as a rock.

The beechwood-charred, sooty, just short of ashy, smokiness isn't over the top, it's simply at the top. Aficionados of rauchbiers would be hard-pressed to find one this pungent, yet this drinkable. Interestingly enough, bacon grease comparisons don't come readily to mind. It's simply smoke, smoke and more smoke. I almost expect to see puffs and plumes rising off the surface of the beer.

The aftertaste is, go figure, sweetly smoky. It's permeating my mouth in the same way that cigarette smoke permeates my clothes after a night in a brewpub. Only in this case, it's more than welcome. Despite my worries that the carbonation would be inadequate, it's actually pleasantly subdued and enlivening at the same time. Although the mouthfeel isn't as bacon greasy as expected, on reflection, that's a good thing. It is plenty full, though, and makes the beer a joy to drink.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock is the Big Kahuna, the Head Honcho, the Top Dog; not only of the Brauerei Heller-Trum lineup, but of all rauchbiers the world over. It manages to combine an eye-watering, palate-flooding amount of smokiness with a superbly crafted urbock, the result of which is a transcendant drinking experience that one is unlikely to find anywhere else.

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Photo of Hagbard
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice tan head forms on top of a very dark brown beer. Light barely penetrates on the edges. As with all of Schlenkerla's beers, the aroma explodes out of your glass. Filled with an intense smokiness that dominates and imparts a meaty aroma as a result. In the background is a definite malt background holding everything together. The taste is more of the same delivered on a wave of startlingly strong carbonation. An intense smokiness...let's call it bacon. The malt base comes through in the finish with a slight sweetness and seems to hold everything together. After the swallow, these tastes wrap around your tongue like a blanket, ensuring their enjoyment for a long time. If you enjoy rauchbiers, this one goes down very easily. My preference is for their Marzen because it seems to have a more complex malt element, but this is a great beer in its own right. That said, this beer is more drinkable than the marzen. The all important question is not nature vs nurture, it's savour vs session!

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Photo of numenor1
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark garnet brown. Head subsides to a very sticky collar. The smell is tremendous. Smoked gouda, summer sausage and wondrous barbecued pork all rolled into one. More deserving of a 5 in this category than any other beer (except their Maerzen). Great malty richness, similar to a doppelbock, but smoke all over the place. Starts off a bit sweet with some hop jabs then smoke takes over, and then malty breadiness begins to balance the smoke through the finish. Hops support just enough to balance. Truly fantastic. Mouthfeel is medium, yet full and creamy with medium low carbonation. Truly a thing of beauty. Extremely drinkable. A tremendous beer.

I still think i prefer the Maerzen over this, as the smokiness is not quite as dominant in this one. Also the maerzen seemed to have a stronger hop profile than this, though I last had it ultrafresh at the Tavern in Bamberg, so my opinion may be skewed there.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Through the surprising and intense aromas of smoke, I try to descern the character of smoke, malt, hops, and other nuances of the beer. But alas, the culmination becomes the essence of smoked salmon.... and I make no qualms about it.

Aroams are intensely of that signature smoke salmon scent- not that it's fishy, but that it's the juicy smokey, meaty aroma that only the phenolics of smoked beachwood and the unami flavor can combine to produce. Sweet with malt, the caramelized starches give the impression of molassas and charred meats.

Flavors however digress from the meat and smoke but don't forego them alltogether. Those subtle notes allow the malty rich toffee flavor, deep bread crust/toast and buttery richness to round out into a combined flavor that begs for bar-b-que. But there's that savory/soy sauce component that won't be ignored. Hops, fruitiness, nor esters have any place in this savory brew.

With the intensity of the flavors and aromas, the beer takes on a lighter body that I expected. Reaching only a moderate apex in creaminess early, the carbonation is quickly disipated and the beer takes on more of an oily-rich texture that leads to a long spicy-smokey flavor that reminds me of rye/cardimon seed/mustard seed.

Obviously unique, but also classy in its advertisement and execution. This is the beer that defines its style much like Urquell and Guiness- no other explanation is needed.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.98/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip (the glass of choice this evening). Pours a dark mohogany, deep brown with little light seeping through. smelled like I was stuck in a smoked salmon shack, dark charred wood flavour, smokey. Each drink I cringe a bit but its also somewhat enjoyable. This is not for the faint of heart and should be paired with some hearty rich food. Smoked malts dominate and if there are hops I have yet to find them. Bakers chocolate or similair lace the background. Finishes biting and takes some time to recover.

Its one of those beers to me thats well crafted and well put together but it just doesn't completely work. It's like trying to make smoked cherries. Good beer for the style just not sure this style is good.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A-This beer pours a deep shoe-polish brown with a crystal clear body and rocky light tan head. Gentle carbonation.

S- The smoke flavor is woody with a faint bacon note. Hints of sweet toasted malt play a supporting role with not real hop smell.

T- This beer has a big smoked salmon flavor with a long lasting but not over powering smokiness. The smoke is however the main flavor with faint toasted malt flavors in the background. It has a pretty dry finish with a slight tanginess.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol warmth or astringency.

D- This is a very interesting beer. It think this is one of the most intense smoked beers I've had. The bock characteristics are missing or at least overshadowed by the smoke. Nice to sip but not a session beer.

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Photo of Denali
4.95/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 16.9 fl oz bottle - no freshness date

Appearance: Dark brown but not opaque with thick tan head that laced nicely.

Smell: Wow is the aroma smoky. Malt aroma tries to come through as well but is dominated by the smoke.

Taste: Right away the smoky flavor comes through. Smoky flavor is meaty, charcoal and wood like. A little malt sweetness peeks its way through as well.

Mouth Feel: Moderate carbonation and slightly syrupy.

Drinkability: Perfect. Its like, I can't believe these flavors, let me have another, and another.

Comments: I am totally blown away by this beer. Totally bold, over the top, and it doesn't pull its punches. The flavors are incredible. I do not want to have this with food because I don't want to disturb the flavors. Heck, this IS food. I can drink this all day and night.

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

The beer pours a deep burgandy color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is awesome. It has an intense smokey aroma that is complimented with crystal and roasted malts. The taste is awesome as well. It has a smooth creamy flavor that boasts of crystal, chocolate, and peated malts. This is one tastey beer. It goes down easy and finishes slightly sweet with that dry smokiness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. I love the aroma and the taste; a great sessions beer.

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Photo of ADR
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nicely, a dark garnet highlighted color, clear, with a fluffy cloud-like head of over an inch. Nice laces, fairly thick on one side of the glass. Whew, meaty, salty aromas, slight fruitwood. Mouthfeel is airy and fluffy, light with restrained carbonation. A brief sense of caramel maltiness and a bit of nuttiness, and then comes the overpowering rich fireplace of smoked sensations, tangy and beefy, pickled antelope sausage, jerky with leather and oak chips. Scorched earth bitter finish. Just well-done, I really like the monster flavors with the cotton candy light-bodied mouthfeel -- its a cool-as-friggin'-hell combination that floats like the smoke from a mid summer fire pit at the campground. These Schlenkeria beers are hellaciously smoked beers! As usual with Rauchbiers, I do have a problem drinking more than one.

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Photo of GClarkage
1.82/5  rDev -55.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

07/16/05- Purchased at a Sonoma wine shop in Sonoma, CA

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle with no dating. Poured into a 24oz glass mug.

Appearance- Black pour with a small 1/2 inch head and minor lacing.

Smell- Cured bacon. Make that burnt cured bacon. Very undesireable scent for me.

Taste- The scent does not lie. Basically a cocktail of liquid smoke, charcoal and bacon that has been marinated in sea salt and salt in a frying pan on high for a whole day.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel was perfectly fine. Lower carbonation and an easy swallow.

Drinkability- Well, this was my last attempt ever I think at a Rauchbier. I wanted to go out in good fashion by trying a highly rated one. This proves that Rauchbiers or smoked beers are not my cup of tea. I wanted to give it good makrs, because you are supposed to rate accoring to style, which this one hits dead on. But I just can't. If you like smoked beers, go for it, it's all yours. An aquired taste to be sure.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cola colored when poured, with some garnet highlights. Frothy head yields some pleasant smoke shed aromas. I enjoyed the full chewy mouthfeel. Smooth cool malt ends in tingly smokiness. At 6.6 abv, this is one to not go bonkers on, but if you do, it wasn't so hot that you be in pain later. The style is one that grows on you. I think for me though , one glass or half is enough.

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

Mid sized bottle w/o freshness dating. Pours a deep, rich shade of dark honey maple, tan head, minimal lacing observed from my sample. Nose is clearly and boldly the expected and yearned for smoke. Big and flavorful brew. Smokey, oily, greasy- ahhh, all the best qualities in a beer! I'm sure this style is not for everybody, but I enjoyed a bottle, with some BBQ chicken, would be great with most types of BBQ fare. Fine quality brew, great with meats and hearty foods.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: rich black walnut, very thin dingey white head

Smell: meaty smoked malts, some tangy copper metallic notes, and just a little sweetness at the end of the whiff

Taste: smoked malts take center stage, very meaty with a little burnt, acrid flavor in the finish; some malty sweetness and a little hop presence that adds a bit of spice

Mouthfeel: very thin with very little noticeable carbonation

Although the smoke is the dominant character, it is a little more subdued than the marzen. This actually falls somewhere between the marzen and weizen.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer kicks ass. The Germans know how to brew a mean ass Rauchbier. Pours out to a dark amber color with a nice dense cloud like tan/cream head. Aroma is very smoke-like, as can be expected. Also noted were elements of rich, roasted malts and an earthy overtone. One can tell that this is a serious brew, for the true beer lover. Flavor is badass, with tones of smoke, herbs, and a slight sweetness. Nearly perfectly balanced. Finished with an almost tangy note of smoke that seemed slighly salty. A truely amazing beer. Very drinkable as well. Highly recommended.

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Photo of EPseja
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass at cellar temperature.

A: 1-2" pillowy head is vaguely reminiscent of a Guinness in the way it settles. Dark cola in color. Beautiful structure in the head's tiny bubbles. This is a sharp looking beer.

S: Hello campfire! I love camping, so this is a great thing... also reminiscent of Seltzer's Lebanon Baloney (check out if you are unfamiliar). Smells like the burnt end of a rack of ribs. Dark black strap molasses minus the sweetness (which rears its head in the taste).

T: First thing in the mouth is a molasses-like sweetness that you'd get from taking some hickory barbecue sauce and leaving it over an open fire until it completely caramelizes into a sweet, dark, thick residue. In the middle you get that taste of a just-extinguished pinewood fire and Lebanon Bologna, but not powerful enough to overtake the aforementioned sweetness. The finish leaves you with remnants of the smoke. This is a full-tilt beer that's not afraid to be what it is.

M: Nothing overly exciting, but a nice mouthfeel.

D: Definitely not a beer for session drinking due to it's nature, but for the style, it drinks nicely.

Having this beer is an experience, not simply having a drink, and it definitely is not for everyone. As for me? Well, I think it's a very nicely crafted brew.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9oz with no dates into a mug.

Dark brown that is slightly red around the edges. Decent tan head that leaves some lace as it goes down.

A slightly tangy smoke dominates the nose. Smells like my neighbors mini smoke house. Meaty and mouth watering.

Smoked malts make up most of the taste. There's a slight hop note in the middle, but its all smoke into a smoky lingering finish that has a dryness from the hops. While the smoke dominates the nose and taste, its not unbalanced or in any way over the line.

The mouthfeel is medium which helps make this a good food beer. Does a great job of washing down the smoked salmon and cheeses I'm pairing this one with.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nearly clear mahogany appearance, sturdy, lasting, creamy foam on top.
Aroma wafts around the atmosphere on first cracking the crown and pouring the brew...smoke and meat, and all those associations...smoked salmon and sausage...a beefy nose, yes, indeed. Rich and invigorating.
Taste: full, massive, drinking meat! Weird, eh? But, a refreshing change of pace on the palate... the smoke never abates, and I can remember the tinfoil around the fish, from when my dad smoked his salmon...brings back and tangy on the tongue...the bock that lies underneath adds to the tastiness of this brew, which cannot be denied.
Extraordinarily unique...a malty thing, dominated by the smoke and it's tenacious associations....

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.82/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first Rauchbier and all I can say is WOW! This is one interesting beer. When poured it appears a dark murky brown. Very much like a dark doppelbock. It's tan head quickly dissipates and leaves a sticky rim that leaves a lot of lace on my glass. The aroma is very rich and malty and the smoke... I love the smoky aroma. The taste is smooth an malty and dominated by the smoky malt. When I say smoky I mean a smokiness that is almost mind blowing. I am in love with this brew and consider it a must to have around.

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

Pours the color of newly varnished mahogany and smells like a freshly opened can of Blue Diamond almonds...the BBQ style. The nose is communicated through a tight, almost creamy full-finger collar of foam which leaves a dense lace in its wake.

Entry consists of a snoot full of soot as the smoky aroma attacks the olfactory. Mid-taste, if concentrated upon, sports a doppel-like dose of roasted malt centered on the rear of the tongue supported by low-lying carbonation. I found this taste by exhaling as I siped in an effort to keep my sense of taste from being blown away by this German version of Liquid Smoke™.

Continuing to exhale as I sipped provided a glimpse of hop bitterness before I became overcome (again) by smoke as this delectable Urbock fades away like a campfire slowly dying out in the wee hours of the morning. The residual taste in my mouth is almonds...the BBQ ones...I swear.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.13 out of 5 based on 1,376 ratings.
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