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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla FastenbierAecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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

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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 336
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap April 2010 @ ChurchKey, Washington DC
This beer arrives from the tap with a huge head (at least for a tap beer), it is two-fingers in height, quite structurally solid looking, leaves lots of lacing as it subsides and is a light tan color. Big smoke aromatics are noticeable from the get go. The beer itself is an almost brilliantly clear when held up to the light where it shows a deep red-amber color; as it sits on the table it is a dark plum color. Rich smoke aromatics that leans towards almost salty / brine-like in character, while some of the malt character seems to soften the smokiness in the finish.

All the carbonation seems to have been knocked out of this beer during its service from the tap, so it is quite smooth feeling, but it still has some viscous heft to it. The smoke flavors are more subtle than the aroma would have suggested, but it is still the dominant note (especially in the finish). Up front there is a nice, sweet maltiness that helps to balance the smoke. There are almost some berry like flavors to this beer; perhaps from the maillard maltiness that is not really caramel, but definitely rich. Flavors of umami and peat-smoke (even though this is beechwood smoked malt) are also noticeable here. This is definitely a beer that has a big smoke character to it, but I am a sucker for beers like this so it definitely hits the spot.

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Photo of plaid75
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 yourefragile
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4 oz sample at Rustico served in a mini snifter.

Pours a clear ruby amber with a finger of creamy tab head that fades to a collar and thick sheets of lace. Bacon and smokey aroma, roast malt and mild sweetness in the finish. Flavor is very smooth and balanced. Fairly light body with fine, soft carbonation and a clean finish. Slightly sweet malt presence throughout, much less meaty or abrasive than some rauchs with a pleasant smokiness throughout that gracefully fades out through the finish.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a soft cloudy white head, average retention, light lace.

S: Smoke all the way, wood, nice smell, if a bit one-dimensional.

T: Very much a smoke dominated flavour, if not as robust as the classic Marzen. Full malt flavour, well made, not very complex, but a fan of this style will be pleased.

M: Fairly light-boided, soft carbonation with a thin finish.

O: Certainly an enjoyable beer that would go great with some BBQ. Think of this as Schlenkerla Light and enjoy it for what it is.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Brick Store a bit ago, served in the appropriate Aecht glass. This is awonderful beer, and especially good on tap. IMO, this is definitely the best of their rauchbiers. It's the most balanced and there is a whole lot more than just smoke going on here.

A perfect pour for this style. Great head that leaves excellent lacing throughout the session and sticks around. Slightly hazy chestnut in color. Balanced malt and smoke aromas- this doesn't seem like ham in a glass, but much more subtle and interesting than that. There is quite abit of bitterness in the mix as well that adds to the intrigue, the bitterness especially makes this far from one dimensional. The taste is similar with a great herbal bitterness that nicely balances the smoke. Very complex with all sorts of things changing moment by moment- bitter, sweet, smokey, herbal, woody. Mouthfeel is a bit woody and tannic which also plays well with the smoke and cuts through the big flavors. Extremely enjoyable. I must have had six of these over the week it was on. Very special- don't make a final judgement about Rauchbier until you try this one.

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Photo of John_M
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap over at Max's on Broadway the other evening. I've had this beer previously in bottle format, but this was the first time I'd ever seen it on draft.

The beer pours a very nice looking amber color into the Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier glass. There is impresive foam retention, albeit without much lacing. Not surprisingly, there is an intense aroma of smoke and bacon, with some roasty malt underneath. On the palate, again there is a very pungent flavor of smoke and bacon, with considerable underlying hops. The beer is fairly dry, but with a hint of sweetness from the malt. The beer finishes very well, albeit again with a lot of smoke and a hint of malt.

Very interesting beer to drink, though I can see where it might not be for everyone. While I quite liked it, I can't see myself putting down more then one or two of these at a sitting.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 Derek
4.73/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this from a wooden cask at the brewery on March 23, 2006. This fastenbier is similar to a doppelbock... the alcohol content must be higher than indicated.

A: Mohoganny, off-white head, great retention and lace.

S: Smokey and spicey like a sausage!

T: Dark bread, caramel, spice, raisin, warming alcohol. It starts sweet, bitterness comes through the middle, finishes with a somewhat spicey aftertaste. Truly exceptional!

M: Moderate to full body is creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Easier (more well-rounded) than their other Rauchbiers (and even some doppelbocks!).

One of the most incredible tasting beers I've tasted!

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Photo of dar482
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
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 corby112
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been searching for this beer for years and actually had a chance to try it last year during Philly Beer Week. It was on tap at the Yards brewery during the Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em festival. I arrived an hour after the event began and it was already gone. Curses! I heard that this was on at Bierkraft in Brooklyn so I drove there today to pick up a couple of growlers. I love this brewery and this is the only beer they brew that I haven't had yet. I'm very excited to finally get to try it.

Pours a cloudy, dark copper/mahogany color with dark, golden ruby/orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger soapy, light yellowish-beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Sporadic chunks of soapy lacing are left behind.

Another amazing smelling beer from Schlenkerla. Lots of smokey toasted malt with hints of campfire, earthy oak, barbecue and bacon. Although the rauch/smoke notes dominate the nose, it is not one dimensional at all. There are hints of earthy oak, caramel malt, bready yeast and faint hops. Of these later characteristics, the oak and caramel are most prevalent. It's a nice change of pace to be able to smell something other than butane in this style of beer. Don't get me wrong I love smoke bombs but the nose on this beer is very complex and unlike any other beer of the style that I've come across before.

Full bodied which is not surprising for a lent beer but I still wasn't expecting the mouthfeel to be so dense. Nice and smokey yet still well balanced by other flavors making it extremely complex and drinkable. Slightly nutty with lots of toasty malt and bready yeast notes contributing to the full body with a surprisingly strong oak presence and some nice crisp hop bitterness. The hop presence was much more prominent that I had expected and it was a very pleasant surprise. Although these other flavors are present, this beer is still dominated by smoked malt. Lots of smokey campfire flavor with hints of bacon, barbecue, charcoal and burnt toast. As in the nose, there are a lot of different elements contributing to the complexity of this beer. In one sip you get smoke, oak, nut, caramel and bitter dry hops all complimenting each other without anything becoming to overpowering, even the smokiness. Incredibly quaffable and absolutely delicious. Highly recommended!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown color with a two-finger head that died quickly and left some lace. Mostly a meaty smell with that hint of pils-like malt and grassiness I always get from Aecht biers. This one isn't as smoky/meaty as the others; they've turned down the smoke/charrness to let the hops peek through as this beer is light, smooth, and there's a touch of sticky sweetness all in there - but yes, mainly a smoky beer with a dry finish. Prickly due to carbonation, this beer is crisp and bitter and a real sipper; I find that I like this but not as much as other beers from this brewery.

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Photo of barczar
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Notes of tar, burnt crust, and smoke in aroma, with nutty malt sweetness providing contrast. Reminds me of smoked salmon, due to the saline character. Notes of raisins emerge late.

Flavor reveals a lightly sweet caramel malt backbone, with a fairly dry, nutty, surprisingly bitter finish. Smoke waves throughout, combining with hops to create a sensation of char. Fairly complex, this seems to be less smoky than their other beers, from what I recall...in flavor, anyway. A little more bitter than I'd prefer. Becomes herbal as it warms.

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Photo of bark
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The colour is red-brown (60 EBC), the liquid is somewhat hazy. The four finger beige head is compact; it sinks very slowly leaving lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell is fresh and smoky with lots of delicatessen and some forest fire. Tar and asphalt in the background. Sweet bread a touch of floral hops and iron.

The first taste is bitterer than the Märzen of the same brewery, it is also dryer and a bit lighter. The smoke isn’t as fat and overwhelming as that beer. This makes the Fastenbier more drinkable and refreshing. It is, of course, mostly about the well-integrated smoked malt but also about the floral-grassy hops. Some brown bread and rye crispbread. Medium to light body. The aftertaste got semi-sweet notes of brown sugar and molasses, smoked salami (with a pitch of salt) and sticky golden syrup sweetness. The surprisingly smooth finish is caramel-sweet and a bit smoked.

The carbonation is medium strong, the many mid-sized bubbles are fresh and long-lived. The liquid is semi-smooth and a bit sticky.

Compared to the Märzen Rauchbier, this one got more hops and a lighter smoke flavour making it booth more accessible and drinkable. Very pleasant.

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Photo of tigg924
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was hugely surprised to find this on tap at Max's. So happy, in fact, that I passed on multiple pints of cask Nugget Nectar to drink this beauty

Fastenbier pours a deep amber with good clarity and a gorgeous, fluffy head with excellent retention that leaves some lace as I drink it. On the nose, this beer opens up with a mellow (for Aecht) smoky character with toasted wood, a little bit of smoked meat and wet burning leaves (yeah). On the palate, it's the same, along with a grainy, cereal character. Soft, creamy and a drying smoky finish, this beer really is a treat. And the drinkability? Through the roof. I drank 3 pints of it in a session.

The final word: This is kinda like a cross between the Aecht Helles and Urbock.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this on tap at the Map Room into a Schlenkerla glass.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a nice head and retention.

The aroma is nice with the typical smoke and pork and at the end a little wood and bread.

The taste is super nice and easy to drink. Lots of smoke and bacon.

The feel is nice and totally easy to drink.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served in .5l willibecker at Track 84. Pours a deep mahogany with a dense, quarter inch, off-white head. Nose is smokey with some caramel notes - definitely a smoked meat quality, but not as apparent as in some of the other Schlenkerla beers that I've had. Taste expresses smoked pork, some earthy char at the back and some caramel which is a bit more toasty than sweet in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a crisp carbonation and a touch of dryness at the finish. Overall, a bit more subdued than the Marzen and drinks easier, somewhat akin to a smokey brown ale; however, I have to say that if I'm going for a Rauchbier, I'd have to go with the Marzen.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge - Lisle, IL
A - thin ivory head caps a copper colored ale
S - smoke, caramel, grain, spicy hops
T - intense smoke, nutty grain, caramel, bread crust, earthy & spicy noble hops
M - medium body, ample carbonation, very modestly bitter on the finish
O - as expected, another excellent smoked bier from this brewery! They're all good.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
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 StJamesGate
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Glowing amber tan with film of beige. 3.75
Campfire nose. 4
Pomegranate and caramel, some sweet BBS sauce, delicate toffee and the smoke comes in late. 4.25
Smooth, round, crisp. 4

Sweet and smoke, but with hints of applely brightness. The fruitiness of theirs I’ve had, and wrapped in lagery lightness. Delicate and expert. 4.25

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Photo of gford217
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
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 francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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 blackie
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: served in a cylinder glass, Fastenbier is a deep, purely clear maple syrup brown in color, with a low bone-white head

s: aromas of fantastic pure hardwood smoke, heavily aromatic without any "meaty" notes, backed by a supportive malt spine that provides some toasted sugar and dark fruit while staying mostly out of the way

m: carbonation around low-moderate, body medium

t: genuine hardwood smoke, strong but sinking into a balanced state with a body of lightly toasty malts, some dark fruit sugars - but hardly sweet with plenty of cleaner lager malts present to thin things out, leather, totally drying with a very mild, grassy hop flavor

o: maybe there were some external factors, but this one didn't really stand out in relation to other Aecht rauchbiers I've had - a superb example just the same, but not more special than any other from the brewery

draft at ChurchKey, DC

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Photo of wedge
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful dark copper color with a small, nicely creamy looking head. Smell is smokey, as expected, with ham, campfire, peppery spice, grassy hops, and a little yeast. Fresh smokey flavor with a balancing caramel sweetness. Tobacco, leather, wood fire, and nuts. On the lighter side of medium and very easy to drink. Despite some sweetness, the finish is dry and light. Very enjoyable!

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Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.26 out of 5 based on 336 ratings.
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