Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer)
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer)Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer)
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Lager - Rauchbier
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,246
4.27 | pDev: 7.73%
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer)Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer)
Notes: 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).
Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 433 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by thebeers:
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty amber with a finger of white head. Smoked meat (bacon slabs, ham) dominates the aroma. Thin mouthfeel, not a lot of malt, but tons of smoke. Rauchbiers are not my thing. Somehow the label sucked me in to trying it anyhow. High ratings based on comparison to the few others I've had of this style.

Apr 15, 2015
More User Reviews:
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
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 came twice a year. (It's good to fast. Cleansing.)
This is now my fifth of Schlenkerla's smoked beers. This may the best per my ratings and the BA average.

All five seem similar in their initial attack to the nose. But if I really studied them (as I hope to), I suspect the differences become more apparent in each's malt bill and what gets roasted by how much. Yeasts vary little and water none.

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.

4/19/19 Had the first of a 4 pack of cans on Good Friday. A great pairing with red sauce pasta and pizza.

Feb 28, 2016
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ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Mar 28, 2016
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Jun 07, 2016
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tzieser from New Jersey

4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Aug 19, 2016
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TheSSG from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Oct 04, 2016
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doktorhops from Australia

4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hooray! Another brew from Doc’s favourite Bamberg brewery (well probably everyone's favourite Bamberg brewery – Bamberg isn’t a big place): Schlenkerla! I’m surprised I hadn’t crossed this one off of my list earlier as anything from Schlenkerla is a must buy for me. For the uninitiated Schlenkerla almost solely produces Smoke Beer, or ‘Rauchbier’ as it is known in German. They smoke barley in their Bamberg based brewhouse, which I’ve been told makes everything (including your clothes) smell of smoked beechwood. This brewery has been perfecting their Rauchbiers now since 1405 when they used to be known as “Zum Blauen Löwen”. Their Rauchbiers are without a doubt in my mind the best in the world [Saturn makes a better Smoke Beer but it’s a hassle to catch a rocket there on a Friday night].

Poured from a 500ml bottle into my trusty Löwenbräu stein.

A: Hazed light caramel-brown body with a proud 2 centimetre tan head that retains rather well and leaves lattice-work lace inside the glass as it goes down. Another great looking beer from Bamberg’s best! Bit lighter than Doc’s fav: the Urbock. 8/10.

S: Liquid bacon, my old friend! From the off this nose is heavy with smoke, as with most of the Schlenkerla brews – they don’t hold back on anything. Apart from the obvious and foreboding smoke there’s a touch of earthiness and a hint of bread-like tones, this is a dark Lager that promises much on the nose [good!]. 8/10.

T: By far one of Schlenkerla’s most approachable beers, or I’ve really gotten used to smoky flavours, because this beer goes down far too smooth and easily for a Rauch. Flavours include: smoked ham, hint of earthiness and peat, big bread-like malt centre, towards the finish a dash of herbal hop character ending with a mild bitterness that cuts through the smoke. This is definitely the Schlenkerla beer for those who are unsure if they’ll even like a Rauchbier. 9/10.

M: Almost medium-bodied with a carbonation that is less Weizen/more Helles (less creamy/more fizzy). There was a ham sandwich burp or two with Fastenbier. 8/10.

D: More gold from Schlenkerla, and a great point of difference from Urbock. Whereas as Urbock was like a dying star of bacon collapsing on itself, Fastenbier is a jovial relaxing ham sandwich of brown Lager by the pool. Although I do love Urbock with all my heart, I feel like I could drink Fastenbier on a more regular basis (Urbock is just too big at times). In any case Schlenkerla have hit the Rauchbier nail on its smoky head, prost wieder meine freunde! 9/10.

Food match: I think I covered this above with: “relaxing ham sandwich by the pool”.

Sep 20, 2018
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logicalparadox from New York

4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Aug 13, 2016
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Magnapinna from Connecticut

4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Apr 28, 2019
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PGVG from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Apr 04, 2014
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mitchellaneous from New York

4.75/5  rDev +11.2%

Mar 31, 2012
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RichD from Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 09, 2015
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tectactoe from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Apr 23, 2014
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egrace84 from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Apr 26, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Apr 06, 2013
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hopsputin from New Jersey

4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a: murky, dark ruby red color with some hints of light brown in there. 2 finger rocky & think tan head. real nice looking beer

s: a nice mix of smoke right in your nose. it's a meaty/bacon smoke upfront, which gives way to a nice aroma of charred wood. deep, sweet malt & caramel behind that, with a touch of floral earthy hops which give some balance at the end of the aroma

t: sweet caramel malts immediately followed by smoked bacon, which gives way to a beautiful flavor of charred wood & burnt meat. behind that is a subtle herbal hop kick of bitterness which, as in the aroma, gives some counterbalance to the sweet & smokey. behind all that is a huge bready malt backbone. like a meal in a grass

m: solid, medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. it's like liquid bread

o: fantastic Rauchbier. the smoke is definitely the protagonist in here, but it's well balance and very well-harmonized with the malts, hops, and smoke

Feb 17, 2019
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oberon from North Carolina

4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours into a half liter stein a deep rich bronze with a half finger lighter khaki colored head atop.As to be expected hardwood smoke over top of brown sugar and mild nutty malts.A nice almost creamy feel in the mouth,is coating and glides down.Not alot of sweetness upfront on the palate,smokey and somewhat earthy,there is a sweet brown sugar, and pizza dough-like quality in the finish.The top notch Rauchbier brewers of the world there in Bamberg really are great at getting different nuances from their different wares,great job here.

May 12, 2019
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Bighuge from Minnesota

4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Town Hall for this guest tap...

Clear mahogany body. Nice one finger sized head. Nicotine stained white. Very creamy. The aroma is everything a rauchbier should be: Bacony, greasy, smoked sausage.... This is the real deal. The flavor is not quite as greasy as the aroma leads you to believe. There is some of that good smokiness to the flavor, but also some nice caramel and toffee malt tones. This beer is light bodied, maybe medium-light. It seems to be very well attenuated. Very easy to drink.

The one thing that surprises me a little bit is that this is apparantly a rauchbier based on a "dopplebock" recipe. As for the dopplebock part, I'd expect more thick maltiness in the flavor, more heft in the body and a higher alcohol percent. But in any case, this is a damn good rauchbier.

Apr 18, 2007
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MarkyMOD from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nov 01, 2016
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bubseymour from Maryland

5/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far the most incredible of the Schlenkeria Rauchbier lineup they make. It is one of the best beers in the world of any beer style. Everything about this beer is dialed in to perfection. The smoke, malts, hops, richness, sweetness, carbonation...everything just at a perfection level of craftsmenship. Pefert score for a perfect beer.

Mar 13, 2020
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Chaz from Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark cola brown in color. Adequate carbonation and is topped with a big, billowing pale-tan head. Good duration and good lacing. Hazey...

Nose is smoke and "band-aids", if you can dig that. Iodine.

Pretty easy-drinking on the first sip. Smoke an ioditic compounds, a fairly baletic interplay of very light, bready malt and much stronger smoked malt characters. It's not at all for the faint of heart, I suppose, but is a very hearty "food beer'.

Mouthfeel is almost light and refreshing all things considered, but it is in the "medium bodied" range as far as most styles are concerned.

It is a flavor profile (and treatment overall) which may be off-putting to many who reach for a beer as a simple thirst-quencher, but for what it is this one is a complex but also very easy-drinking lagerbier, and a GREAT 'food beer' for those who have developed a taste for smoked beer styles. It is definitely recommended for those with a taste for the unusual.

This is probably a tough one to rate whether it is fresh or aged a bit (as this one is), but it is very good, and perhaps even approachable to those with novice palate (for such a style) -or- those individuals who find the stronger and more assertive (Eiche!) brand too overbearing.

Jul 27, 2015
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aztraz from Sweden

3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

May 29, 2015
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htomsirveaux from Texas

3.74/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beer Geeks, 14 Jun 2011. Served in a stemmed glass.

Large foamy beige head is long lasting. Clear reddish brown in color. Lightly carbonated. Aroma is of smoked ham or bacon. Starts with some malty sweetness, quickly moving to a moderate smokiness, but less than the aroma would suggest. Slight bit of bitterness in the middle. Moderate bittersweet smoky finish. Med creamy body, light alcohol.

Decent but didn't like this as much as their other offerings.

Jun 15, 2011
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smartassboiler from Illinois

4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mar 02, 2017
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stevoj from Idaho

4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can from Brewers Haven. What a find! Dark, clear brown with one finger off white head. Smoky, woody aroma. Taste brings more smoky notes, nutty, peat, roast. Super smooth with a nice lasting bitterness. Perfect all around.

Nov 05, 2019
Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier (Lentbeer) from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 433 ratings