Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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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: 696 | Ratings: 1,331
Photo of GMB
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A standard pour of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier's Urbock yields a beautiful deep brown-nose colored brew. The body seems opaque at first , but turns out iridescent when viewed against a light source, revealing ruby and burnt umber highlights. The ecru head rises to a picture-perfect inch-and-a-half, and shows no sign of receding at first. It takes its time as it slowly drops, leaving behind some sticky foam around the edges of the top of the brew, and an island of foam atop the body worthy of an italian cappuccino. Carbonation is gentle. I expect a rich, full mouthfeel with lots of viscosity.

The beer offers two distinct olfactory experiences. First, there is the light, slightly smokey aroma that fills the room as soon as the cap is popped. Then there is the complex bouquet of aromas that assert themselves when the brew is held close to one's nose. Roasted smokey aromas in the center, surrounded by molasses, burnt-butter-braised prunes and raisins, and toasted pumpernickel bread.

The brew is full and rich on the palate. It took me about 15 seconds to swallow my first sip. The aromas of the nose are converted to flavors on the palate, and are accompanied by iris flowers, toasted almonds, and a hint of dried tobacco leaf.

What's especially impressive about Urbock is that, despite its dominant smoke flavors, it doesn't send me into "smokey bacon and barbecued meats" land. Sure, those flavors are present, but there's a sophistication in this beer's flavor profile that is absent from any of the other smoked beers I've tasted in this style. I think that the malty backbone of the duppelbock style deserves some of the credit. But most of it goes to the brewers at Aecht Schlenkerla, who have produced something special here.

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Photo of atomicbeer
4.94/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Been looking forward to this beer for a long time! Pours a bark root beer brown with a big foamy tan head that recedes to a 1/4 inch cap. Aroma is alder smoke big time over a mild beery underpinning. Smooth going down, the adler smoke is not as evident in the taste as the aroma but very very nice indeed mixed perfectly with a caramelly malt and tiny grassy hop flavor. Eminently drinkable. The 16.9 oz is disappearing quickly! Spectacular with pork.

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Photo of BradC
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown from pint sized bottle.

Smells of smoke, smoked malt, meat cooking over a campfire.

Smoke is dominant, but there is a nice malty backbone. Tastes of bacon, ham with a hint of sweetness.

A little thicker than the Marzen

Love a good Rauchbier and this one is up there with the best.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out cola brown and fills the glass with darkness. The body gives way to ruby highlights in the light. Fluffy lightly tanned head. Plenty of good looking lace.

Intoxicating smoky aroma emanates from the glass and comes through wonderfully in the taste with smoked meat/Gouda like flavor.

Brown sugar and caramel sweetness sticks in behind the smoke bomb that is the Urbock and sticks on the lips. Heavy medium body but fairly effervescent. Drinks nicely.

While heavily smoked there is still some finesse. Love Schlenkerla bier!

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Photo of biboergosum
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, one very similar to the Märzen, except of course now with the Urbock designation. A picky 6.5% ABV on this offering, at that.

This beer pours a clear, dark caramel-tinted brown hue, with two fingers of lazily puffy, mildly creamy, and mostly bubbly true beige head, which leaves a bit of streaky remote islet lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of gamey smoked meat, bready smoked caramel malt, gritty smoked Gouda, generic campfire ash, and more isolated, well, smoke (the thesaurus having duly failed me here). The taste is still big and over the top smoky, sure, but now at least one can discern the caramel malt backbone and singed leafy hops amongst the still heady simmering bacon and infused cheese acridity. My mouth silently cries out for an ashtray.

The carbonation is agreeably involved, but just enough to keep things lively and on the go, the body a somewhat tacky medium weight, and much more smooth than I might have proffered had I been asked at the onset of this affair. It finishes strangely off-dry, the now biscuity caramelized (and smoked, don't ever be forgettin' the smoke!) malt hanging tough, as does the lingering assaulted noble hops, all still under the yoke of the moderately overbearing smoky notes.

Uber alles, this does seem to have a bit of a lighter, booze-lifted essence, that is at once reminiscent of Bocks and actively burning beechwood fires. Still, one hell of a sturdy, gritty, and of course eye and palate-watering smoky deal. Veritable truth in advertising, that cannot be denied, and if there was any homeland beer that Rammstein should hold close to heart, it would be this.

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Photo of BVukelich
2.66/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Sorry beer peeps, I just don't get the smoke beer-thing. Looked nice, a dark brown with a small head. Aroma was a sweet and potent smokiness. I gave it the benefit of the doubt as I really like smoked meats in general. Unfortunately, the smoke flavor was just too much for me. I definitely don't want it as part of my beer. I get that a lot of people might enjoy these, not me. Looked like a decent beer, mouthfeel was pleasant but that overpowering smokiness was just a killer.

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Photo of mmmbirra
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep red, full head.
That full smoky Schlenkerla nose with a little deep malt and sugar and alcohol.
The sweetness of this one overpowers the smoke and the malt flavors a bit. Certainly bigger than the Maerzen, but tastes less smoky and has less defined flavors. A little too sticky for me.
Silky smooth. I opened another bottle one night when I had a cold. I couldn't smell it and couldn't taste much of it either, but the smoothness of this beer made up for it.

Good smoke beer, but to me it doesn't stand up to the Maerzen. Now patiently awaiting the 1 December release of the Oak smoke.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.66/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a very umber to coppery color with a rich tan head that leaves faint traces of lacing down the glass.

The nose is definitely smokey, sweet malt with a hop undertones that is dominated by the smokiness.

The flavor is outstanding! the smoke is very strong and works exceptionally well with the maltiness and the fine hops present. The taste is a balanced contrasts of deliciousness.

The mouthfeel is effervescent and pleasantly matches my expectations.

Overall this is a damned fine beer and I just loved it. I will definitely be buying more of this one.

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Photo of Poulan
3.55/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark red varnish look

S: Intense smoke with malty alcohol notes.

T: Intense smoke, salty bacon taste. You might need some water after drinking this.

M: Not as rich as I thought it would be.

O: I like this beer. I would drink it again. This is a must try if you like smoked rauchbier.

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Photo of jfromnj
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

unbelievably spectacular. This beer has a wonderful "smokiness" that is truly unique. The taste hits you with hints of wood, caramel, and bacon. This is a medium bodies beer that has a smooth feel and is very easy to drink. I loved this beer and it has become a new favorite of mine.

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: None on bottle, but as I doubt this year's has reached shelves yet, probably 2012
Glass: Ayinger willi glass

Schlenkerla's Urbock is an excellent, rich, yet quite drinkable (for me) beer that's quite possibly the pinnacle of the style (Spezial's and Schlenkerla's Marzen are also quite good...). Intensely rich, smoked malts with caramel sweetness undertones, joined to a bit of complexity from possible specialty malts and hops. An excellent beer for fall through spring, wish this was available in the states at German prices (<1euro/bottle), but instead it's a luxury at $5 per bottle.

Pours a 3cm head of off-white foam, made up of small, densely packed bubbles, giving a very frothy appearance. Retention is excellent, the foam lasting several minutes in a slow decline to a thin, spotty film lingering atop the body of the beer and a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is excellent, with heavy patterns and marbling clinging to all sides of the glass. The body is a very dark brown-amber color, with light revealing full amber hues around the perimeter of the body. Carbonation not visible through the nearly opaque (80% opacity) beer.

Aroma of heavy campfire smoke with smoked ham, notable caramel-like characters, and some slight cellar mustiness. Rich and intense, an excellently expressive version of the style.

The overall flavor palette is of heavy smokiness resembling campfire and smoked ham, caramel-like sweetness, modest dry leaf-like characters, and a hint of underlying cocoa. Front of palate experiences rich caramel sweetness with lighter smoke, as from a light grass fire, a bit of leaf-like dryness, and faint basement mustiness. Mid-palate of heavy campfire smoke with smoked ham, notably heavy caramel-like sweetness, and some dried leaf-like characters. Back of palate finds heavy smoked malt (campfire and smoked ham), with heavy caramel sweetness, slight cocoa, and some continued drief leaf characters. Aftertaste of pleasant, heavy caramel-like sweetness with moderate campfire smoke and smoked ham, dried leaves, and some mineral-like qualities.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is lightly foamy (1/3) and smooth (2/3), a bit more carbonation would be ideal, but this is still quite good for the smooth, smoky flavors embodied in this particular lager and the style in general. Closes dry, with heavy stickiness lingering on the palate and lips.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A very clear, dark copper with a smooth, moderate, beige head.

Smell: Holy smokes. Umami to the point of straight-up smoked salmon was all I could detect at first. A toasted malt background and some crisp hop aromas made their way through later on. No defects, but it was obvious that this would be the smokiest of old smokies.

Taste: True to style in that it was very similar to the bouquet. Dark roast, smoked salmon, and a bit of earthy spice. Definitely tastes like you're drinking lox by a roaring campfire. Sounds wacky? Well, you gotta be in the mood for it, is how I'd sum it up. Personally, I'd turn down the smoke just a bit to let the malt come through and balance things out.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium-high carbonation. Smooth and silky, but not slick. Excellent mouthfeel for the style.

Overall: An extremely smoky rauchbier that is bound to turn off many, but should be experienced just for the experience. If I were on a liquid diet and was craving barbecue, I'd stock up on this stuff.

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Photo of dar482
4.46/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a Coca Cola dark brown color with some tan around the glass, but basically no head.

The aroma is classic Schlenkerla rauchbier. There’s a wonderful fatty and salty bacon smokiness, meaty smoked ham, leather, ash, and just woody smoke.

The flavor starts off with that smokiness in the front and then there’s a wonderful brown sugar and caramel sweetness that cuts it off. The two really play wonderfully with each other. The finish then gets into an herbal and woody bitterness on the end.

The beer is light medium and drinks quite easily, despite being so big on the flavor and complexity.

The best Schlenkerla, and also the last one that I needed to try.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark malt, caramel, smoked bacon

T-caramel, dark roasted malt, smoke,earthy, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a really well-done Rauchbier, great blend of flavors

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Photo of Jwale73
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle served in a willibecker. Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights around the base when backlit. Head is half an inch, loose and cream-colored and dissipates into a sudsy slick that coalesces around the edges. Nose reveals smoked meat and a suggestion of raisins or prunes in the background. Taste is much more rounded and pleasantly subdued than suggested by the nose, with the smokey quality not so tied to the meat character. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an easy carbonation and a creamy texture. Overall, not my favorite Schlenkerla beer, but age could be a factor here.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark brown with a huge collar. Head is puffy and khaki in color. Looks rich and beautiful.

Smoked summer sausage, sweet smoked malts, caramel, roasted grain, vanilla, and bacon. Unreal meaty. So aromatic. The nose is pouring off of this beer.

Meaty smoke, bitter roasted malts, earthy hops, and a long bacon finish. So woody and smoky that I feel like I'm falling in love with pork rinds all over again. Dry smoke with a hearty bitterness, but the tailend is sweeter and smokier. How about I get this is a smoked strong bock? I get that it's a doppelbock. So weird how this amazes. A straight balls-to-the-wall Rauchbier. Well carbonated. Lots of action in the mouth.

I love this brewery. Because it kicks ass. Another am amazing rauchbier.

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

A - almost pitch black.
S - as many have commented there is a strong smokey aroma almost reminiscent of a campfire or charcoal. That alone give quite a bit of character
T - similar to the smell, you get a very robust smokey and meaty flavor.
M - finishes well and despite the robust flavor, the beer is smooth.
O - overall a very unique flavor is what is so impressive. It is a very bold attempt and though not really a session able brew, serves as a great reminder of different stylistic approaches.

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

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head that has some head retention. Most of it dissipates quickly put that last finger seems to want to stay. The head is an off-white/very light beige while the body is a chestnut brown/very dark maroon that shows lots of maroon when held up to the light. Scant lacing at the beginning but it leaves about a centimeter of sheeting around the rim.

Nose- Smoke, smoke, and more smoke. It's wonderful but it is pretty much a one trick pony- not that I mind. It reminds me of real Southern BBQ and who can hate that? Some roasted malt notes hide in the background but who cares about them?

Taste- Very reflective of the nose- this is also smoke, smoke, and more smoke. Once again, reminiscent of real BBQ. Some roasted notes, a little bit of a woody finish. Sweet malts that hint at citrus and maybe raisins but nothing really defined as of yet. Not terribly complex but what can you expect from a Rauchbier. Very dry finish. Hints of spice, cinnamon, and mild licorice. Hints of caramel as the smoke dominance mellows. This is necessary because if this beer were only characterized by its smokiness, it would soon become boring. Not a beer I could drink all the time but I understand why it is the second highest rated beer in its style. As it opens up, the smoke on the main part of the palate starts fade while you are treated with smoked wood on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Close to medium bodied with hints of syrup and low carbonation. This texture works well in combination with the forwardness of the flavor profile.

Drinkability- Unless you want smoke in a bottle for the rest of the night, this isn't very sessionable. Or maybe I'm wrong on that. The smokiness does mellow out while the other flavor notes come out. Honestly, the five bucks a bottle is the biggest factor in its lack of sessionability.

Overall- Damn fine beer and a good introduction to the style. I will be trying Brauerei Heller-Trum's variations on this particular beer.

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

Appearance: Dark Chestnut

Aroma: Smoky malt

Taste: Very smokey aroma; smokey, malty, hoppy flavor; slightly bitter

Remarks: One of my early attempts at ratings. Bought at Heinrich's Supergetrânkemarkt in Kornwestheim.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of beerluvr
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Pours with a nearly white creamy head over dark amber liquid with slight hints of garnet red. Nose is intensely much so that I can smell the smoke emanating from the glass 1&1/2 feet away from me as I jot down the tasting notes! The taste is wonderfully smoky, sweet & pungent with excellent mouthfeel, not much in the way of hoppiness here, but when there's this much flavor packed into a beer like this it's hardly missed! Finishes long with huge notes of smokiness with sweet malts coming in behind. Just a fantastic example of the Brewers art here! For the novice: try it, if you don't like it...try it again. It may take 3 or 4 bottles, but once you acquire the taste it's nothing short of one of the greatest drinking experiences you'll ever have!

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into stange. Deep ruby brown with a medium fizzy white head that lasts. Smells of smoked ham with an after-smell of sweet dark malts. Taste is not as smoky as the smell at all; the sweet malts start out in the beginning, sort of like a schwarzbier, and then the smoky flavors come in and blend quite well.

After seeing countless "ugh, rauchbiers" posted in "beers you can't stomach" threads, I was a bit apprehensive to try this, but I knew I had to, and I'm glad I did. This is a great and unique style, and I'll definitely be trying more.
For anyone else who is apprehensive about them, this is an excellent one to try the style with.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a color brownish copper color with some light ruby highlights seen shinning through. Upon pouring there is a two finger tan colored head that has a about a 3 min retention time before fading and leaving some light lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – Big on the smoke and the char with some undertones of brown bread and caramel. There are also aromas of char and some meaty smells mixed within giving it a nice campfire like aroma.

Taste – The taste of some darker malts as well as a nice strong smokiness are initially present upfront. Some lighter dark fruit flavors mix with these giving it a moderately taste. The sweetness intensifies a bit as some flavors of caramel come to the tongue. A salty flavor joins the mix more toward the end while the beadier and malty flavors begin to fade. IN the end with the smokiness increasing slightly, a cured but moderately sweet smoked taste is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to just above average side in terms of its thickness with a carbonation level that is overall rather average, both suiting well the blend of smoky and sweet.

Overall – Lightly sweetened BBQ taste in a glass here. Roasted, smoked with a bit of char, sweet and delicious.

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

Pours a translucent, clear mahogany color with a voluminous bone colored head. Excellent lacing through out the drinking left on the sides of the glass. For the aroma, I picked up some fruit esters underneath the wonderful charred wood scents. After a taste I found it to be similar to that of smoked Gouda cheese, meat, some hoppiness, with a soft bready finish. Very complex. Something about the mouth feel reminded me of a menthol cigarette. Nice and light bodied, for the seasoned connoisseur of smoked beer.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Half-litre bottle opened on its BBD (late Apr 2013) and poured (twice) into my Westmalle chalice.

You know what you are going to get from these guys, or at least you should.

This was everything I expected anyway: smokey and malty, with enough body and alcohol to sit back and enjoy, which I did.

Plenty of others have already pontificated long and hard about this fine brew, I agree with most of them (that scored it high and liked it).

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

Appearance: dark caramel with a light beige head. The strong smell bacon hits you immediately; like fat-back bacon frying over an open campfire with hickory smoke in the air. Taste follows the smell but surprisingly not as strong, like liquid smoke; smooth for such a complex beer. Full bodied with medium carbonation. This is an intense beer that takes you to the edge without going over. I'll definitely try this again but next time with a nice serving of BBQ'd baby back ribs!

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
92 out of 100 based on 696 ratings.
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