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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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outstanding
149 Reviews
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Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany
schlenkerla.de

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer is an unfiltered smokebeer, brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516. Bottom-fermenting yeast gives the reddish brown lentbeer a natural cloudiness. Its smokey aroma is already noticeable in the smell, combined with a fine hoppy note. In the drink the fullbodied, highly drinkable lentbeer shows its strong malty flavour, rounded up with the smokey taste and a light bitterness. Due to the nourishing yeast, the Original Schlenkerla Lentbeer has the "Brotzeit already included" (German word for afternoon snack).

Added by Bierman9 on 03-25-2005

BEER STATS
Reviews:
149
Ratings:
343
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
94
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 343
Reviews by jimspivey8:
Photo of jimspivey8
4.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Dilly Deli in Mariemont, OH.

Appearance: Deep clear amber, tending towards reddish, with a light tan, creamy, short-lived head.

Smell: Dominated by a most delicious smoky aroma. Seemed mellower and more restrained than most rauchbiers. Sweet caramelized malt notes underneath. Hops subdued.

Taste: This was a shocker! Having tried their Marzen and Urbock before, I was expecting a beer dominated by smoky flavors. This is not the case at all though. The hops are huge in this beer, both in bitterness and flavor. The aroma does not prepare you for it at all. The spicy taste of the hops blends beautifully with the mildly sweet maltiness and the smoky undertones. This is a beautifully balanced beer, which I never thought was possible for a Rauchbier.

Mouthfeel: Thick, smooth, and perfectly carbonated. The hops and smoke leave a tingly feeling that is wonderful, like fresh ground pepper.

Drinkability: This is by far the most drinkable Rauchbier I've ever tasted. Usually the smoke gets old halfway through a pint, but after two 12 oz glasses with dinner (a cheddar cheeseburger with onions), I still would have gladly drank more.

Many thanks to the Dilly Deli for procuring one of only 2 kegs brought into Ohio. This was a rare treat that really exceeded my expectations.

 1,312 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500mL bottle poured into a seidel.

Okay, I probably shouldn't have given it the vigorous straight pour that I often do with other beers when using an oversized tulip. Bad idea here. Haha. This thing's got head on it. Tons. Sudsy like a kitchen sink with half a bottle of dish sap and frothy like a root beer float. Deep caramel body with lighter brown hues at the base of the glass. 5

Schlenkerla does an aroma like no other. If you take a whiff of their brews and don't think smoked ham, bacon and campfire, then you're probably a vegan that's never left the city and that's still no excuse. This fastenbier is no exception. All types of smoked sensations reach the nostrils. It's aggressive and I'm always a fan. Love it. One thing I note here aside from the smoky characteristics is an earthy, lightly floral hop aroma. Love that too. 4.5

The flavor is a departure of sorts from the nose in that it's not as unapologetically smoky as the nose. Caramel malt flavor, sweet bread and even some dark fruit notes and hints of ark chocolate. The finish lingers with smoke and bitter earthy and grassy hop notes. A little warmth really opens up the malt flavors. 4.25

As I've found with all of the Schlenkerla beers I drink, the feel is full, rich, creamy and yet still very satisfying and refreshing. Where some might be taken aback by the smoky feel on this that is slightly accentuated by the bitter hops, this is the appeal for me. But don't be mistaken, the smokiness isn't overwhelming or egregious, it's as measured and thoughtful as one can expect from German beers. 4.5

This beer just does it on all levels. Rich, full, dare I say aggressive flavors that would and should satisfy the current American palate. But as I drink this, it occurs to me that while this beer is everything an outstanding, distinct, memorable and highly sought after beer should be, it lacks in one department and that's the rarity/hard-to-obtain area. That's fine with me.

 1,958 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer to fast with !
I saved this one for Lent and, frankly, it might be a good thing if Lent ca twice a year.
This is now my fifth of Schlenkerla's smoked beers. This may the best and the ratings support that.

All five seem similar. But if I really studied them (as I hope to), the differences will become more apparent.

I find it interesting that so many brewers have tried to copy/improve Schlenkerla's process; particularly the smoking of the malts... and that none of the ratings come close to the masters of the style.

Much I have read about this one-of-a-kind, another-planet brew. But the most interesting comes from Garrett Oliver's "Brewmasters' Table": "Once you get over the initial shock of the flavor of smoked beer, you may find the strangest thing happening. Suddenly, almost everything seems to go with smoked beer. I'm not kidding. I've had smoked beer with Chinese food.. and with Thai food... I've even had this beer with Mexican food..."

Tonight, I am glad to add to the list. My wife made a Middle Eastern lentil soup with cumin. It is beyond my understanding how all these different spices are drawn out by a brew that basically twists the German lager process by smoking the malt.

In answering my limited understanding, Garrett's brilliance comes to the rescue: ""it may be a stretch, but we almost have a prehistoric memory from when much of our food came into direct contact with fire... But I decided to stop trying to explain. I bought a case of Schlenkerla."

Good advice !

Had again on 5/1/16, Orthodox Easter.
I didn't change a word after reading through my review.
Nailed that one... and more important, so did Schlenkerla.

 1,677 characters

Photo of logicalparadox
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the perfect rauchbier!

Dark, heady, with a lingering crown. Hazy brow, but not at all cloudy

Aromas of smoke a strong, but not overpowering. The lager aromas are there, too and are beautifully framed, even enhanced, by the smoke, the way good barbeque is! Malts and grains present for sure, with very slight caramel tones, toast, and cracker. Pulled pork on a toasted bun, but without the pork and spices.

The flavors follow the nose, dead on. Lots of olfaction on the pallette. The smoke is no so much in front, souch as deeply integrated and all embracing. It's like a warm hug of smokiness that surrounds a deep, but subtle lager character. A kind of umami throughout. Meaty almost. The smoke lingers in the mouth for a long finish. Drink a great lager, perhaps a marine, beside a vampire and that is pretty much the experience.

Mouth feel is at once light, but chewy. Like a smokey soft pretzel, crunchy on the outside and warm and doughy in the middle, this is a balance that comes from a contradiction in terms. Just beautiful.

I could throw quite a few of these back and that's saying a lot considering the style and how prevalent and unapologetic the smoke is. But this is a truly great beer nd easily my new favorite rauchbier.

 1,250 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at Oliver's Beverage in Albany, NY.

This pours a clear dark brown, with a towering white head, and a bit of lacing.

Smells like sweet rich smoke, surprisingly heavy grassy hops, sausage, indeterminate spicing, and bread.

This is yet another stupidly delicious beer from this brewery. The smoke is sweet and authentic, like a good spiced sausage, with some grassy hop bitterness, and caramelized breadiness. This is super drinkable and goes down very easily.

This is medium bodied, with a good level of carbonation, and a rich fill mouthfeel.

I've been waiting to try this one for a while and it does not disappoint.

 637 characters

Photo of tzieser
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 500ml Boggs into a mug. Dark brown in color with a fair amount of haze. Good head retention. Lots of smoked malt in the nose with a fair amount of malt sweetness. Flavor is spectacular; lots of smoked malt but it's more layered than some the other Schlenkerla beers. Has the hoppy flavor that their helles has and a bit of that sweet malty flavor that their marzen offers. It's almost like a smoked pilsner. Really excellent stuff...not surprising from a brewery that clearly knows what it's doing. Recommends

 521 characters

Photo of TheSSG
4.59/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a huge, soapy tan head that collapses quickly. Deep, rich, assertive smokiness. A light burnt umber color. Starts with a surprisingly soft smokiness (for a Schlenkerla); acidic and bitter in the front. The smokiness lingers throughout, and the malt starts to show in the middle. Right after, the acidity of the smoke peaks and breaks, leaving a delightful smokiness on top of malt.

This is excellent, as expected. It's not as assertive as other Schlenkerla offerings, but this would make a great gateway into their products for the unfamiliar drinker.

 560 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 25 cl Aecht Fastenbier glass (looks like a mini imperial pint glass) on tap at Maduro in Madison, WI. Medium dirty orange brown body. Hazy with frothy head the color of aged white wallpaper in a smoker’s home. Sweet smoky aroma with a subtle bitter hoppness. Very mellow and light bodied, and yet it tasted like a mesquite grilled steak. Really, after one gets past the initial blast of prairie fire smoke, this beer tastes just like a nice hunk of beef. Finishes with a nice caramel sweetness. Very easy to drink. Overall, I’m not really sure if this is my thing. I don’t know a lot about rauchbiers but this one seems pretty damn great for the style to me. It’s less intimidating then some of the others out there, smoke wise, but the chewy meatiness is just great. What a unique mouthfeel!

 808 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of weatherdog
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge served in a 16oz tumbler glass

It poured a clear dark cola color with a nice 3 finger head that lasted several minutes.

I've had a nice handfull of smoked beers in my life and this one smelled the most like how I would want my smoked beers. Notes of bacon and baked beans hit me first. It was a great aroma without much bitterness, roastiness, or astringency that some other had. I knew I had found a winner.

The taste really delivered on that promise. Right away a smooth smokiness overwhelmed me and memories of grilling meats came to my head. A touch of bitterness then came forward but was really dominated by the malt. A little sweet malt flavor matched the smoke to bring back those baked bean flavors. I really enjoyed this beer as the flavor put the smoke first and foremost and didn't leave much of anything else.

The mouthfeel was crisp and on the thin side but I think it complimented the beer well and enhanced drinkability. As with other smoke beers I've had if they are too dominating and full bodied the pint seems to be a challenge about halfway through. This beer was light on the tougne and the smoke didn't leave a harsh aftertaste. My first smoke beer from this well known brewery and I will be seeking out their other offerings.

 1,278 characters

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tigg924
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: tan, with a big head, medium carbonation, clear

Smell: pork, light spice, smoke, and small malt

Taste: same as the smell, with the smoke being more pronounced, but not overpowering

Mouthfeel: on the sweet side due to the malt, medium bodied, with a hoppy finish

Drinkability: This is my second favorite offering from the brewery and well worth a try. The smoke is not overpowering and the flavor is incredible. While I will not drive the hour to taste this again this year, I will happily order this again come next Lent.

 537 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2015. Purchased recently from Cotteridge Wines in Birmingham. This is Schlenkerla's Lent bier - a type that might in the past have been consumed by monks for Lent.

A: Poured into a dimpled pint mug. Bottle conditioned. A hazy reddish-brown hue with fine sediment and intense carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam with superb retention; this settles as a thick surface layer. Some lacing.

S: Aroma of rich smoky malt with hints of smoked bacon/ham, sweet caramel, mild grain, barley sugar, subtle yeast esters, a touch of kippers and faint stewed leaves. It really does call to mind a smoked ham. Fantastically balanced.

T: Tastes of smoky caramel malt with a restrained bitter finish. Notes of smoky grain, caramel, smoked ham, subtle barley sugar, earthy yeast, stewed leaves and a hint of kippers. Slightly sweet, followed by a subdued leafy bitterness upon swallowing.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly with well-judged carbonation and excellent body. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of smoky caramel malt, mild sugar, faint yeast esters and leafy bitterness.

O: Superb - a world-class brew. Looks great, while the aroma and flavour possess a wonderful balance of smokiness and rich caramel malt, underpinned by an understated bitterness. Lovely body. Top-notch; the result of centuries of brewing and refinement. While I appreciate that smoked beers aren't for everyone, this should definitely be on your must-try list.

 1,499 characters

Photo of GOBLIN
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Maybe because of my unfamiliarity with these smoky beers but the ones I've had just seem like hot dog flavored lagers. Which sounds disgusting on the surface. However, I have enjoyed the smoked beers I've had and this may be the best so far. Again, I'm not familiar with these enough to give a substantial review. This one has a nice candied sweetness on the finish I liked. Not a style I would go to regularly but I like them well enough to revisit from time to time.

 468 characters

Photo of navband
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of biboergosum
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle - a bit late for Lent this year, but whatevs - more new stuff from this brewery is always an interesting prospect, at the very least.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick amber colour, with a near tower's worth of puffy, rocky, and chunky beige head, which leaves some broken webbed lace around the glass as it slowly sinks out of sight.

It smells of smoked pork, wet campfire, obfuscated grainy caramel malt, a faint black orchard fruitiness, hard minerals, and subtle earthy, leafy, and grassy noble hop bitters. The taste is much more rounded - gritty and grainy caramel/toffee malt, a softer, not so aggressive smoked meat acridity, smooth hickory-like wood, some berry-forward fruity notes, faint dry cocoa, and a growing (as the smoke recedes) earthy, spicy, and resinous green grassy hoppiness.

The bubbles are fairly laid-back in their very understated frothiness, the body a solid medium-heavy weight, and actually smooth, with a heavy dose of cognitive dissonance necessarily riding shotgun. It finishes off-dry, the malt holding tough, while the meaty smoke starts a very measured wafting retreat.

I'm not sure I could tell the difference among Schlenkerla's various Rauchbiers, without a direct, sit-down comparison. This one has all of the hallmarks - a huge smoky, nose-twitching intro, followed by a sudden switch to the sweet side in the flavour, and then a mixed trailing off into the hazy sunset together. Overall, it's very, very good, and yeah, I'm drinking it as an afternoon snack, of a kind.

 1,541 characters

Photo of tastybeer
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly reddish brown beer with a white smooth looking head. Aroma is smokey camp fire, burnt wood, meaty seasonings, tobacco, and other things like that. Taste follows with more smokey meat and wood/bark and maybe a little vanilla. Good texture and easy to drink.

 265 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.54/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bullfrog brewery, the guest tap. This smoked lager/helles had a yellow body,w hisp of white head, and some lace lines. Bit of smoke, light mouthfeel. Smoked flavour was decent. Minerally, balanced with a bit of malt for drinkability, hits the mark.

 258 characters

Photo of McMatt7
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zaphodchak
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Almost no head, ruby brown body, very dark.

Nose is full of rich, oaky smoke.

The rich malt of a brown ale (though I think this is a lager, right?), almost sweet. Dripping with smoke, and with enough body to back it up. Excellent.

Rich mouthfeel but not super thick.

An outstanding rauch. Worth the hype/limited availability? Maybe. Worth a try? Definitely.

 361 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very nice slightly frothy beige head, atop a clear caramel body. Head retention is excellent, leaving behind thick clumpy lacing.

Huge smoky aroma. There's a bit of caramel and brown sugar lurking beneath the smoke, but this nose is really all about the wood.

Palate is much more balanced: a bitter hop note, sweet caramel malt, and even a touch of sugar and spice from the yeast. Fruit and bread, nuts, and on the back-end, a very nice, building smokiness.

More bitter than its cousins, albeit perhaps not carrying quite the same depth of character, this brew is very easy to drink.

 594 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pastramionrye7
4/5  rDev -5.9%

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.25 out of 5 based on 343 ratings.
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