Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
“Schlenkerla Helles” is brewed with fine Bavarian aroma hops from the area around the city of Nürnberg. It's lagered in century old caves underneath the historic Schlenkerla brewery and maltings. Schlenkerla Helles is boiled in the same copper kettles and bottom fermented by the same yeast as the historic Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Its subtle smokiness without using smoke malt makes “Helles Schlenkerla Lager” a unique representative of the classic lager beer style “Bavarian Helles”.

Added by rastaman on 09-29-2003

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Reviews: 383 | Ratings: 683
Photo of fscottkey
3.29/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.50] The bottle lists the ABV (4.3%) but I can't find a date. The beer is a golden lager color and has 1 finger of chunky white head.

S: [3.25] Rust, smoke (rauch beer style) and spiciness.

T: [3.25] The flavors are muted versions of the nose. Light rust, rauch/bacon/smoke

M: [3.50] The body is mild and crisp.

O: [3.25] Overall she is disappointing. The smoke is interesting but not helpful. This is just a miss overall. Since there is no date it is possible that age is a factor.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.05/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Golden blonde, small head.

Aroma of smoked ham.

Flavor is mostly bitter Helles with a faint undertone of liquid smoke and mesquite chips. Mostly bitter hop and pale helles flavor. It's ok.

Feel is crisp and clean with a little starch on the finish.

Overall, eh. Least favorite Aecht?

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light golden color. The head is white, frothy, 1 finger. Noce carbonation in the beer. The nose is got a nice smoke aroma, but it isn't overpowering. The taste is smoke, then a bit of sweetness, then more smoke. Somewhat watery feeling. Overall, ok, but of all I've had from them, the weakest of the bunch.

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
4.19/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 500ml bottle with no freshness date poured into a mug.

Look: Golden yellow with a white 2.5 finger head. Head is maintained about 0.5 finger by a continuous cascade of rising bubbles.

Smell: Mostly malts, almost reminiscent of an adjunct lager, with a very faint trail of smoke hiding in the background.

Taste: Smoke flavor is almost entirely obscured by a thick veil of malts.

Feel: Medium body with ample carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This robust, full flavored Helles lager is an excellent beer.

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Photo of Premo88
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle poured into pilsener

L: clear yellow, slight haziness to it but just enough to keep it from being "crystal clear" ... it's otherwise quite clear and easy to see through; color is light with only a hint of gold to it; pushes up small one-finger head of white foam that sticks only a little; keeps thin but noticeable collar of white foam and thin skin; no lacing (and the little bit that wanted to stick is gone)

S: bacon, smoked ham, bready malt sweetness underneath; grain, sour grain

T: earthy and smokey at first, almost off-putting, but then the palate adjusts and it's a mix of light malt flavors (bread, biscuits, lightly sweet) and some smoked deer sausage or lightly smoked wood ... like eating the air off a good barbecue pit

F: very ale-like to start off with, soft, medium weight with a slight slickness; as the palate adjusts, it gets a bit crisper, but if I had to blindly guess "ale" or "lager" based off the mouthfeel, I might guess ale; overall pleasant and easy to handle ... there's more carbonation to it than it first seems

O: very different from most of the smoked beers I've tried and almost awkward as it tries to mix notes that don't seem to want to play together; the light malt aroma and flavor of a good helles is trying hard to shine, and those notes don't marry perfectly with the smoked aromas and flavors -- like it's a smoked dessert, a cheesecake put on the BBQ pit or smoked ice cream; still, the awkwardness is not unpleasant ... nothing here is offensive or unsavory ... in fact, as it warms a little and I get into the glass, the good bit of smoked flavor is really taking on a baconlike quality that is quite tasty, and with a relatively light body and 4.3% ABV, I'm able to take a decent-sized gulp and enjoy it without experiencing alcohol burn; it's interesting and tasty in the end and I wouldn't mind trying it more often -- I could see this being a fantastic summer-weather brew, and if nothing else, it's a cool twist by our leaders in the smoked beer world

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Photo of VoxRationis
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Started with half pour into a conical pint glass to get the aroma, then full. Rather dark, almost brown yellow. Nose full of bacon and honey notes; taste of pepperoni with a mildly avocado/kiwi finish. Light bodied and very refreshing given the flavor characteristics. I am not typically a fan of the rauchbier style, but this beer's lightness complemented the flavor nicely.

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Photo of Schoeni
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Super cool bottle. 0.5 Euro bottle. Nice Logo!classIc.... golden colour in the glass. GooD Filtration. Smells smokey and malty. Some grilled Salmon in there. The smoke is very descent and light. Yeah cool! Its drinkable compared to other smoke beers (even some of them are from this brewery!!!)The beer tastes Malty and full bodied with a rusty flavour. nice floral hops in the aftertaste..... real good beer!

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Photo of ordybill
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16 OZ bottle into a pint glass at the World of Beer in Pooler, GA. The appearance is a clear golden yellow with a large white head. The aroma is grass and grains with some smokey notes. The taste is grass, grains and some bread. An average beer.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml traditional bottle from Capital Market in Salem OR $4.99 Pours a darker golden colour with a lovely frothy/bubbly 3/4 inch off white head. Aromas of slight smoked cheese/ meats..some hops discernable .and crackerish malting. Very smooth creamy drinking beer..with that hint of smoked meat in the back ground but forever present. Slight bitter hop/smoke end. Great. Excellent smooth mouth feel..great stuff. Just a wonderful example of a Helles lager..and the hunts of smoke only add to the pleasure for me.

 512 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.36/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I didn't know what to expect from this one but it turns out that it's a great beer, not just because of the smoky aroma flavors, but also with regard to everything else. The smoky aroma and flavor were very faint at first (when the beer was cold) but as they became more and more prominent (without ever becoming overwhelming) the more you drank it.

 349 characters

Photo of theskjoung
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has a golden orange color and with a firm, latte-like top.
The taste is dry, and has a little bitterness from smokiness.
It smells skunky and smoky. I would say the carbonation is between low and medium.

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Photo of AndrewMichael
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I finally tried a beer from the smoke brewery out of Germany, and it was a great, clean, crisp, smoky lager. Golden, clear color, but the smokiness really comes through nicely in the flavor. It paired well with BBQ. You have to like smoky flavors to really enjoy beers from Schlenkerla.

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Photo of weareallfalafel
5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a pint sized bottle into a tall thin cylindrical glass. Pours clear gold with a finger and a half of head that dissipates slowly and leaves ample lacing. Smell caught me off guard! The first thing you get is the smokey aroma, followed by a crisp noble, earthy hop aroma. A bouquet of smells that is immediately inviting. Taste is bold, but balanced and everything is kept in check. Flavor starts with a light malt character, transitioning to earthy noble hops, and then the smoke creeps up and gives you a soft and loving punch, and it lingers on the palate for ages! Stellar flavor that I didn't expect at all, but I'm absolutely adoring and goes perfectly with a November evening! Feel is light and drinkable, but not restrained. Overall, a very well balanced and layered beer that for the price (around 3 bucks for the pint), I find unparalleled. For me, a rare perfect pint!

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Photo of aleigator
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear, bright golden color, with a huge, stable white head.

Smells of wet straw, soft hay and a light herbal whiff. A cakey malt profile gets recognizable among the more pronounced garden herb qualities.

Has a light, well nuanced mouthfeel with a medium carbonation, slighly bubbly during the mid palate, with a calmer, malt focussed finish and a herbal dryness prevailing.

Tastes of sun dried straw, gently accompanied by garden herbs and a lingering, subtle dough malt profile. A pleasant leaf dryness comes up during the mid palate, finishing with an aqueous softness, guided by slighty sweeter toffee malts.

Wow, this is masterfully balanced with a very enjoyable, well nuanced hop presence, making this very refreshing. For me, ligher beers' most important quality is their balance, since its got to be clean brewed or it becomes a mess, and this one is a winner.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.62/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

How this doesn't have a higher rating is beyond me. This beer is amazing. Rauchbiers are clearly not for the faint of heart, but this could be a perfect gateway for the nay-sayers. Wonderful campfire aroma upon opening, with a well rounded flavor showcasing smoke with the sweetness you'd expect of a classic Helles coming through. Absolutely wonderful. Prost!

 365 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smoked lager. What more to say? Very balanced and drinkable. The smoke is fine and brings some roundness to the lager crispness. History in a bottle. Classic

 157 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Chill-hazed, dark amber topped with a strong and craggy off-white froth. Aroma of peat, malt, straw, light fruit and smouldering wood. On the palate fruit and grain are enveloped by a certain smokiness and a slight bitterness. Light in body. An eccentric lager that does what it does unapologetic and does it well.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a clear gold with over a finger of foam.

Smells like a hoppy Lager with a touch of smoke.

Malty and lightly smoked taste up front with a bit of hop bitterness for balance.

Medium body, light carbonation.
The smoke intensifies as the session goes on but never reaches over done. A real joy to drink.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I got this beer from the brewery and it is their one beer that I have never seen anywhere else, so I’m looking forward to trying it out even though a smoked hell seems a little weird to me. This hell pours a medium yellow color with a slight orange tint, a quite thin white head, and some large carbonation bubbles that consistently evolve. The smell is fairly mild and is of grains. The flavor is heavily of malts for a light beer. Roasted grains is for sure the dominant flavor with this beer with a subtle smokiness that makes an appearance. The low smokiness sets this beer apart from the other offerings of this brewery, but in this case I think it might be a good thing. I don’t think heavy smokiness would really work with a beer this light. The finish is extremely dry, akin to a kolsch. There is also a little hop bitterness in the finish. The body is medium, which is heavier than you would guess based on the color. This is a nice well rounded light lager beer and more interesting than most I have tried from this category. For me it’s not as life changing as other beers from this brewery, but it might be a good introductory beer for those not used to beers with smoked or roasted flavors.

 1,209 characters

Photo of FBarber
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pors a crisp clear straw yellow. Tons of bubbles race up the beer initially, but eventually subside. Three finger white head dissipates

Smell is initially kind of skunky, but it quickly is overridden by a pungent aroma of smoked malts, smoked wood sort of like a BBQ smoker scent.

Taste is smoky. Everything about this beer is smoky. Its rather unique and kind of odd. There are also flavors of straw, smoked malts, smoked wood.

Feel is crisp, thin, light. Medium carbonation provides a slight tingle.

Overall this is a really unique beer. As some people have said, I think is best paired with food. I found it hard to get through.

 637 characters

Photo of Groenebeor
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a bright golden, with small white head. Somewhat darker than the southern Bavarian Helles.

The nose is certainly rich smoke, reminds me of BBQ that's been smoked with far too much straight up wood.

The taste is certainly unique. This is a real food beer. Light breadiness with smoke int he finish, it's just dying to be served with some pork or any smoked meat.

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Photo of JayQue
3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear gold color with a good sized foamy white head. Head retention is good and there are bands of foamy lacing on the glass. Aroma is mostly grassy hops and a very faint smokiness. Taste is mostly grassy hops but there is a malty presence too as the beer seems much more solid than a typical lager. The smoke is light but still noticeable. Mouthfeel is crisp and soft. I describe most helles lagers as "pillowy" softness. More solid and less light than a lot of lagers. A little hops bitterness keeps it interesting. A good lager.

 543 characters

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.68/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This pours a beautiful golden straw color with a thin white head and much carbonation. Great yeast and hop smell with your usuall German twang smell. This may be the best tastin Helles I have ever had. Makes me want to go there and have fresh. Simply awesome!

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Photo of dd43
4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice finger of white foam greets the drinker upon the initial pour. Brilliant clarity, beautiful gold in appearance making my glass look like a golden chalice. The smell is divine. Big grassy notes and a subtle smokiness are the first things I notice. There's also a bit of some BO here I'm not going to sugar coat things. But that isn't a complaint, for some styles it's appropriate in measured quantities. The flavors are more of that field grass and a definite earthy sort of rye like vegetal thing. I just love the bready qualities of a good lager, and this is a great one. There is a vague spicy quality here, shy of black pepper but headed in that direction. The mouthfeel is quite crisp. I really enjoy how refreshing and thirst quenching this is. Equally adept on a hot day or on a cool day when something more robust than a watery session beer is warranted. I'm hard pressed to name many other sub 5% beers that have this level of clean maltiness and noble hop bite. Fantastic.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent pale straw, minimal head, but it is white. Aroma of beachwood smoke. The smoke isn't as pronounced, it tastes mostly like your typical helles. The smoke is subdued and not overwhelming. I'm getting some cooked sausage in it. It is very drinkable but the smoke lingers and I wonder whether I'd want this to be a little weightier or chewier. Like an actual meal. Regardless, I really enjoy this beer.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
3.96 out of 5 based on 683 ratings.
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