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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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BA SCORE
94
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:
93
Gots:
21
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 149 | Ratings: 343
Photo of charlieg
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have enjoyed this brewer's other products from the bottle, and had heard about this variant, but never dreamed of trying it until it shocked me by its appearance on tap at The Publick House in Brookline, appropriately enough on a Saturday during Lent.

Poured in a big wine glass, it had a strong aroma of sweet smoke. Not bitter smoke, or woody smoke, but sweet. One of the best smelling beers I have ever encountered. The head was moderate and somewhat grayish in color, the beer fairly dark in the glass. A milder taste than other rauchbiers I've had, sweeter, hoppier, gentler, but still undeniably smoky and strong. Another poster mentioned being reminded of toasting marshmallows by the fire and that is the perfect way of describing the blend of flavors. Very drinkable and not too strong, it would have been easy to down the whole glass, but it was worth a slow drink.

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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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 0.5L bottle into a pint glass, dark red brown with a short tan head that dissipates leaving little lacing, clear

S: smells like smoked ham hocks, country ham, bacon

T: tastes like liquid smoked meat, think deep south collard greens with way too much smoked pork added in for flavor, in essence delicious

M: lighter with low carbonation

O: barbecue a beer with a huge amount of hickory smoke

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to find this on tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. I got a pint and slowly immersed myself in the smoky goodness that is this beer. It was dark reddish copper colored, mostly clear, with a thick off-white foam. The aroma is nearly intoxicating in smokiness, possibly the most appetizing rauchbier presence I've yet smelled. The taste was sublime, sweet and malty with a perfect smoky wood flavor, I think this is my favorite rauchbier (out of the maybe 8 I've tried...). If you see this give it a chance. It's a treat.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark amber with a small contrasting white head that lingers for a while, soon to become just a bit of froth.
Awesome smokey smell, my mind going straight to fresh smoked sausage, pastrami, wow, like getting into an Italian smokehouse. Rich, really salty, meaty-sweet, faint caramel and a light burnt wood note.
Everything on the nose shows up in the taste, and how! Rich meaty smokiness, pork sausages and pastrami, bacon, sweet-ish, sprinkled with burnt sugar, but also salty, and a great roasted edge. Creamy malts, with lots of smoked woody notes showing up. A rougher roast towards the finish, some spiciness and even a tiny bit of hop, if you really look for it.
Smokey, meaty aftertaste, a bit of roasted malt, a bit of burnt bread crust and some burnt sugar (still). Medium body, creamy, with a smooth carbonation.
Probably the most bacony rauchbier i ever had, deep, balanced (sweet-salty-slightly bitter), intense. I'm not even hungry anymore.

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Photo of dar482
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It pours in a dark brown color with a light white head.

It smells of a rauchbier, but has a lighter flavor. It has a great carbonation and has a lighter and easier to drink smokey flavor than Schlenkerla Rauchbier. It has bacon, breadiness, a good roasted malt, and wonderful smokiness.

This beer continues to prove how good Schlenkerla's smoke beer line up is. None of them have failed me and this is possibly their best.

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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.

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Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Waterfront Ale House, Brooklyn.

Poured a murky dark copper hue with a two finger creamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured an all encompassing and clean hardwood smokiness.

The taste was upfront hardwood smoke with some caramel. Again, the delicious smokiness dominated.

The mouthfeel was full for the style.

Overall a delicious and highly drinkable smokey delight.

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

Fuller mouthfeel than the maerzen. Rounder, softer, and a touch sweeter. The smoke isn't nearly as intense, and the lighter malts come through, with a good a little hop flavor in the aftertaste.
Great beer, and a great change of pace from the standard maerzen.

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

Tappity tap at Maxs in B'Mo. Marzeny amber/bock with a nice aroma of SMOKY malts and a bit of the ole' German hops in the background. Taste is smoky and the smoke/rauch notes mix well with the big bolshy bread malts, and the faint spicy floral hops in the background. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and drinkability is good for this smoky treat. One of the best from Heller-Trum. I wish we saw this one out in SF more often. I've only seen it at Toronado once or twice and maybe that German place in Hayes Valley once or twice as well.

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

22 oz counter-pressure filled growler from Bierkraft. Sitting in the fridge unmoved since purchase a couple of months ago; let's see how we've fared. Served at 50 degrees or so and up.

Pour is dark chocolaty brown with a dense, pillowy off-white head and stickage that comes in solid sheets.

Nose is pure smoke - sausagey campfire, that signature Schlenkerla nose.

Taste is superb. Instead of being steamrolled by the smoke like I expected, up front you get (obviously) smoke complemented by some great caramel and even chocolate notes. Oh yeah, more smoke. But more of a peaty, dry smoke rather than the thick sausage of the nose - perfect. Finish is clean-ish, some lingering notes of smoke and even cocoa.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, lush, with a crisp but light underlying carbonation. Nice.

Drinkability is phenomenal for what it is. This is one of the first true rauchbiers I've had a whole serving of, and drinking this one is much, much easier than I expected. So much balance for such an intense smokebomb.

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Photo of gford217
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brickstore recently in appropriate Aecht glass (of course).

Pours dark brown with mahogany tints with very little head and a little lacing. Wowzers, this one smells like smoked sausage up front with the roasted malts in the background. The taste follows the aroma with a huge smoked bacon and sausage flavor but the sweet malt base comes through a little more in the taste and balance the brew very well. The body is medium with the smoky malt lingering on the palate for ages. I've only had a few rauchbiers, but this one is the best by a mile. Highly recommended.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a becher Aecht Schlenkerla pint glass. Vintage 2015.

Fluffy booming but easily controlled head top, three fingers on the punch with creamy and fluffy big retention and a cream dark brown color to almost dark vanilla white. Body color is deep copper up to the light, chestnut brown overall with deep red notes in the center of the glass. Still a classic looker.

Aroma can't be beat. Sweet malts, moderate smoke, and salivating salty sausage and meat jerky with a great balance. Soft bacon, campfires and greatness.

Palate hits all the right notes. SLight creamy character, but not as big as on tap, and even some very playful prickly carbonation, but doesn't take away from the feel. Chewy malt density and softness with light smoke character and even a touch of sweet brown sugar but oh so slightly. Sweet leaf tobacco finish just ever so slightly as well.

Looks like Schlenkerla can do no wrong.

-----------------
Old previous review April 2011

Poured on tap into a tumbler at Pizza Paradiso DC.

In appearance a light off cream white head is present that slowly falls. A real gorgeous red cherry wood like body that is clear as well. Some small lacing while drinking. Love the color on this real nice.

Nose is good but more subdued than other Aecht smoke offerings. Mild smell of classic Rauchbier smoke, but there is a hint of bitterness smelling almost behind this as well.

Taste is at first very malty and less smokey than what seems on the nose. There is a real nice mellow hop finish it seems but also a bit of carbonation too. Almost herbal tea like.

Overall pretty solid, glad I had it and would have again at the drop of a hat.

Look 4.5 | Smell 4 | Taste 4.5 | Feel 4 | Overall 4

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Photo of adamette
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. On tap at Beer Engine in Lakewood. Poured into clean, clear glass.

A Great fluffy head spills over the top of the glass over a brown with yellow edges body which looks very good indeed. Excellent lacing brings this to the point of not being able to improve it. 5.0

S That great smoked ham, cookout smell that I simply love from this brewery, it is one of my favorite beer smells. 4.5

T Great smoky taste (this is one of the best smoked ale tastes that you will find) with a nice malt background and then a kick of bitterness, possibly from hops, possibly from a big barley presence. A classic, woodsy taste that lingers, welcomly, well into the aftertaste. 4.5

M Nice and thick with a long aftertaste, this feel matches the greatness of the beer nicely. 4.0

D Really good for me with a welcoming ABV at 5.5% according to the display board at the Beer Engine but also a great, interesting, full taste. 4.5

Notes: The final beer listed here on BA from this brewery, all of them are excellent.

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Photo of liamt07
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Three Floyds, of all places. Served in a stein.

Dark brown, chestnut at the edges. Light retention with a tan head that falls to a collar, minimal lacing. Nose has a characteristic Schlenkerla smoke, burnt and toasted wood, smoked meats,toasted dark bread and sweet malt notes. Caramel too. Sweet smoke on the palate, campfire-y intially and quite woody. More toasty bread and caramel flavour. Smoke carries well into the finish, hefty body with great balance. Exceptional flavour and another winner (as always) from Bamberg. Wish I had ordered this earlier in the evening to enjoy with the FFF pulled pork.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, 10 ounce sample at Maduro's in Madison WI, served in an Aecht Schlenkerla glass. This beer has a hazy brown color topped with a small head. As the beer was set in front of me, I immediately smelled smoked malt, fruit, and a hoppy aroma that I didn't expect from this beer. The hoppiness worked quite well, however. The flavor is a meaty smokiness with caramel, fruit, and hops. Malty, but not too sweet. The fruitiness and hoppiness made this beer quite different from the other beers made by this brewery. Mouthfeel is not too heavy. Drinkability is superb. My glass was finished much too quickly. This is mighty tasty stuff.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark copper color with 2 fingers of head that lasts for a long while and leaves some nice sticky lacing

S: Very smoky up front, with notes of meat, wood, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Very much like a campfire

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the smoke and brings in notes of smoked meat, wood, caramel maltiness, and a hint of earthy hops. Almost salty smokey mid-way. Finishes with more smoke and light sweetness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: An amazing rauchbier that brings together smoke, meat, and wood (campfire!!) with just a touch of sweet maltiness and earthy hops. A must-try if you're a fan of the rauch!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a friend pick out my last beer of the night at Max's and was presented with this. Smells like a straight up campfire.. the smokiness in the aroma was as pungent as I've ever smelt in a beer. Was a bit worried about how the taste would be, but man was I blown away... it tastes like a campfire, but it's also delicious. Smoked meat and bacon flavors come through and it's flavorful and incredibly well balanced. Goes down smoothly with a great finish. By far one of the best smoked beers I've had and would order another one the next chance I get, worth seeking out for sure!

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Photo of sleazo
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Schlenkerla lent

A_Pours a dark brown with hints of red, slightly murky. Smallish off white head and virtually no lacing though this seems to be from the glass

S_woodsy campfire and not much else. This is what a rauch should smell like

T_applewood smoked bacon mixed with a caramel malt. Nice smoke aftertaste that really lingers like a properly smoked piece of meat. Touch of acidity in the middle and a pleasant spice near the end. Mild grassy hoppiness.

M_medium lager like in body with a good carbonation to spread the smoke about.

D_This is a rauchbier for true smoke lovers. Really fantastic with no holds barred.

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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.

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

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, nice smokey aromas

Taste: wow, nice and smokey,and prefectly balanced. This is the best smoked related beer I have had by far

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body.

Drinkability: awesome and great for pairing with foods

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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.

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Photo of JToad
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Fidler's Hearth. Was $8 for a 20 oz glass, served in a Aecht Schlenkerla glass. Was very dark copper in color. At first smell, it feels like youve been at a bonfire for hours. Rediculous smoke. Tastes alot milder than anticipated. You def. can tell its a rauchbier, but its alot hoppier than I expected. 20oz was alot, however the more I drank, the better it was. Very drinkable, given its flavor.

I can def. imagine drinking this with a smoked ham, or smoked gouda. Simply awesome brew that has to be enjoyed slowly. Its my first Rauchbier, but it was fantastic.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.44/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

A: Cloudy, reddish orange hues. Small to medium head with little lacing.

S: This is where all Aecht Schlenkerla beers excel. This beer smells like a beautiful late summer campfire. Charred meat, heavy smoke, summer sausage, and burnt malt.

T: The taste falls directly in line with the aroma. This isn't necessarily a complex brew, but it has amazing, unique flavors that make this beer a must try. It has similarities to a fine Islay scotch, like Lagavulin. It's like drinking in a campfire. Really tasty, and pairs very well with strong cheeses and meat.

M: Thin feel, moderately low carbonation.

D: It's really easy to drink this beer. However, one is plenty for me, as the smokiness, while done expertly, and mouthfeel lower the rate of consumption.

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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!

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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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