Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
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Lager - Helles
Ranked #8
Ranked #7,793
3.98 | pDev: 11.56%
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Very Good
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
Notes: “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”.
Reviews: 439 | Ratings: 812 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear golden yellow color. A dense two finger white head forms with excellent retention. Rings of lace left down the glass.
S: Nose is grains, crackers, and baked bread. There is a grassy hop character, rustic hay and just a hint of smoke in the background.
T: Wonderful baked bread, that is slightly sweet sourdough. Grassy hops, that becomes a little herbal. There is just enough bitterness here. Mixed with a smokiness lingering, which is very subtle. As this warms the smoke comes out a bit more, but never gets up to the levels of their other offerings.
M/O: A light body that has very fine carbonation. With that perfect carbonated bite. Almost delicate and ultra smooth. This is like silk, and goes down just as easily. Incredibly easy to drink and come back to.

I'm actually pretty surprised at how subtle the smoke is here, while I know its because they are not actually using smoked malt, just the branding alone is enough to play mind tricks. It just adds that extra depth to a wonderfully made lager. I very much enjoy this.

May 24, 2020
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Greywulfken from New York

3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Yellow beer, clear, with a coupla fingers of white head to start... Decent enough lager - lots of woody and dry notes - along with some biscuit, an herbal nose, and a light body... Not a fave but passable...

May 22, 2020
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mikeinportc from New York

4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Barely-hazy deep gold, with light white head and a tiny bit of lacing.

Smell is sweet grain (warm bread with a touch of honey) , light floral hop aroma (goldenrod) , freshly-baled hay, a tiny bit of lemon, and,of course, some light smokiness. Very inviting.

Taste is more-or-less the same as aroma, but the smoke is a bit more noticeable. Less so than their other beers that I've had, but still readily apparent.

Feel is smooth ,and on the light side, but not watery. Gentle carbonation tingle, of a typical helles.

Overall , very enjoyable, and will get this again. Think of a typical helles + about the smoke level of smoked sausage. Seems just the right amount of smoke. Dialed-back, compared to most smoky beers that I've had. Probably don't have to be a rauchbier afficionado to enjoy this one. :)

Apr 28, 2020
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Eapressocycle from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber. Maybe a hint of smoke, but mainly just a really well balanced flavor. Biscuit malt offset with crisp, neutral hops. It's a slightly funkier take on those classic perfectly balanced German beers, making it a little more memorable. Overall this may be my favorite German beer.

Apr 26, 2020
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Nass from Florida

3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

There is no date on the bottle. The pour is straw colored but I expected a more bubbly carbonation. The smokiness does not help to benefit the beer, I agree that would fit better with a darker beer style. Moreover, I prefer their rauchbier marzen over this beer. Overall, this beer is okay but nothing to write home about. Cheers! B-

Dec 24, 2019
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eppCOS from Colorado

4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - amber/copper, looks unfiltered. Thin head/lacing given the 4.3%. Enticing
S - YES YES YES YES - a light smoky beer that smells like malted forest fire. Wonderful aroma.
T - Also Yes X 4 - excellent, grassy, herbal, smoky, def good malted lager tones. Awesome stuff.
F - Nothing hyperbolic here; just well made.
O - An exceptional beer given its ABV. MORE MORE MORE.
Feed me this sheisse, Seymour!

Nov 07, 2019
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puck1225 from Texas

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just happened to be at a local grocery.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Clear yellow color with nice foamy head and good lacing. Smokey, grassy smell and taste. A bit of lemon, rustic and enjoyable.

Sep 30, 2019
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kylesobrien from Canada

4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Have had this a few times since initially discovering it in cans while in Waterbury, VT. In appearance, about what you'd expect from a Helles lager -- this one has a deep golden hue -- faintly orange in colour. Aroma is traditional German lager, with a whiff of smoked malt underneath. Head is short-lived, with just a raft of bubbles remaining after the first few minutes.

The mouthfeel is full, round, and remarkable for a brew of just over 4% ABV. The flavour is a perfect balance of noble hops, crisp lager, and pleasantly smoky, malty goodness. This is as sessionable as a smoked beer gets in my book. Excellent by itself, with food, would be outstanding with the right cheeses. Highly recommended in the canned format; these are apparently unfiltered.

Sep 29, 2019
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pilsener glass. A hazy golden color with a one-finger white head that slowly retreated, leaving a long-lasting cap of foam. Cracking the can open for the pour brought a fleeting rush of smoked malt aroma. Closer inspection in the glass was more Helles-like: a bit of subtle floral hop flavor and some bready malt. The smokiness was there but it was understated. The smoke was more prominent on the palate. It reminded me of smoked sausage, but again not as potent as in their Rauchbier. Underneath was a nicely constructed Helles - clean malt, floral hop character, and flavorful for a 4.3% beer. Medium bodied and carbonated. Highly recommended.

Sep 22, 2019
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VABA from Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a light amber golden color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has very slight smoke hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a minuscule smoke flavor
M-A light bodied well carbonated beer
O-A decent Helles

Sep 03, 2019
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clayrock81 from Florida

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a seethru copper-tinted gold body with one-finger head that leaves a lace ring around the glass. Smells like a typical German rauchbier: meaty (this one is like beef jerky). Smooth, clean, easy to drink, minimal lager dryness and a mild smoked meat feel. Finish is clean and this beer is enjoyable and easy to drink.

Aug 26, 2019
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officerbill from New York

3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: clear straw with a moderate white head that clung to the glass and dissolved to a lace
S: grass, straw, yeast, some lemon, and background smoke
T: smooth and clean, balanced between malt upfront and hops on the follow through. The mild secondary smoke complements the flavors and smooths them out
F: mild carbonation that tingles the mouth as it goes down your throat. Very mild, slightly smoky aftertaste
O: an excellent beer. A very good smooth, crisp, clean, drinkable helles with a slight smoky taste. Like drinking your beer downwind from a campfire.

Aug 18, 2019
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; medium gold in color; 1+ finger finely pored ivory head that receded to a wispy cap; no lacing;

S: mild smoke;

T: moderate smoke character that dominates any helles character; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: light to medium bodied ;moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: this is an awesome beer; no comparison with a traditional helles - this is in a category all it's own;

Jul 16, 2019
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detgfrsh from Texas

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a half liter bottle. Pale golden color with a layer of fluffy white head. Smells of straw and grassy hops. Light feel with moderate carbonation. Crisp taste with light malt, grassy hops, and a light smokiness. Excellent brew from one of my favorite breweries.

Jun 24, 2019
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a small foamy white head. Okay retention. Some spotty lacing.
The aroma is campfire smoke, grainy sweetness, and hay.
The taste is campfire smoke, burnt ham, honey, cracker malt, cracked grains, green apple zest, hay, and grass. Crisp with a touch of lingering smokiness and subtle sweetness.
Medium-light mouthfeel with a nice medium carbonation.
Fantastic beer! I love this stuff.

May 25, 2019
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium golden amber with a one finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of grainy, slightly biscuit malt, light grassy hops and light smoke. Flavor is husky, grainy malt with a little crackery biscuit, light grassy hops, lemon and light smoke. Light to medium bodied with slight creaminess. I was curious how this great brewery would do with a simple helles lager and was not expecting any smoke until I read the description on the BA page (it's boiled in the same vats as the smoked beer, but does not use smoked malts). The classic Aecht Schlenkerla smoke is obvious, although muted, largely due to the mild malt. Although this is a pleasant, lightly smoked lager, the flavors are tame enough that it just made me want an urbock from these guys. Nicely done and delivers what it promises, but mild compared to their big smoked malt beers.

May 07, 2019
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Mdog from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can:

Appearance: Clear gold, good head.

Smell: Smoked ham.

Taste: Sweet at first then the smoked ham hits. Light in feel, very easy drinking.

Overall: First can sighting of Scherlenkerla, but it was in Arizona. Just what I want in a smoked beer, good smoked flavor and light enough to have more than one. Great stuff!

Mar 31, 2019
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hokieguy95 from Virginia

2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

I tried to like this beer. It is not a good idea to take a delicate beer style and smoke it. Overpowering smoke smell and flavor in the profile. Smells like a campfire got in my beer. The process might benefit in a heavier style such as a Porter or Stout. Not my thing.

Mar 26, 2019
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a: crystal clear, deep grainy yellow color with a faint hint of amber. frothy, 2 finger white head that seems to fade pretty quickly

s: sweet grains, a touch of floral hops, grass upfront. then the smoke - it's a combination of bacon and campfire. a touch of sweetness at the end. an interest aroma progression on this one

t: those sweet grains and earthy, noble hops on the front of the tongue. a touch of lager spice and lemongrass behind that. the smoke follows that, though it is very mellow. it is mostly campfire charred wood, with a hint of smoked pork. the finish is more of the grains and lager spice

m: lighter side of medium mouthfeel, with pretty strong carbonation

o: this is a very approachable Rauchbier. the smoke is mild and not completely dominant in the flavor. Not the best from Schlenkerla, but this would be a good starter to the style

Feb 17, 2019
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Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, golden coloration with slightly visible carbonation and a medium, foamy head. Smell is a little unremarkable, with faint aromas of grainy malt, grassy hops and just a hint of smoke. Taste follows the nose, being a lot less expressive than all the other Schlenkerlas I've had so far. Taste is dominated by sweet'ish, grainy, crackery malt and grassy hops, with a touch of hay and just the merest hint of smoke coming through in the aftertaste. Finishes with a medium bitterness and very mild smoke coming through in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a light/medium body and medium/lively carbonation.

While I expected there to be less smoke to this than the Urbock or Märzen, I was quite surprised by how little smoke is coming through here. The smokey note really is incredibly subtle, making this almost seem like a Rauchbier for people who don't like Rauchbiers and would rather just have a normal Lager.

Dec 09, 2018
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cardfan212 from Minnesota

3.74/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a goblet.

Look - Pours a pale clear golden straw color with a soft fluffy white head.

Smell - Wet grass, sweet grains, and very light delicate herbal notes. Reminds me of an AAL.

Taste - The nose translates nearly identical to the taste. Tiny wisps of smoke hiding in the corners of this beer, but it's much lighter and easier than other Schlenkerla beers.

Feel - Medium-thin body with a healthy amount of carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

Overall - Everything about this beer makes me think of if Budweiser brewed with love and care. A very easy drink, and could easily be used to get less adventurous drinkers into more exotic beers.

Dec 09, 2018
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WesMantooth from Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

From a 16oz can

It is an unfiltered/cloudy pale gold. The thick, dirty white soapy head lasts forever.

It smells smoked ham with a sweet cracker or light bread and a touch of earthy hops.

The smoked ham and sausage flavor is up front, and a little stronger than the aroma, but still very mild. Underneath is a slightly sweet cracker like grain and some floral hops. A touch of grassy bitterness.

It is a fairly full body for a Helles. Fairly crisp, dry finish.

Scored to style, this isn’t going to be as high in each category because it is not a typical Helles. Overall, it is outstanding. I read that it is boiled in the same kettle as their Rauchbier and that makes sense because it strikes me as being comparable to cooking a ham in a seasoned smoker without using any wood. Very subtle and works real well for the style.

Dec 03, 2018
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy honey yellow producing 1 inch of slightly off-white, very short-lived head with almost no lacing left behind. Aroma is pale malt, grassy hops, yeast, some honey and grains, faint smoke detectable but very subliminal especially when compared to other beer by this brewery. Taste is lemony up front, pale pilsner malt, Noble hops, smoke (readily detectable in the mouth but much less so than their other offerings) and peppery in the middle and finish. Clean and crisp throughout, bitter and dry in the finish and aftertaste.

Nov 09, 2018
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle. Clear golden with an ample white head. Smells of smoke immediately, but has sweet bready notes behind it and a floral hop character. Tastes of doughy malt, light cracker, hammy smoke notes, and a light grassy bitterness with a hint of the floral notes I smelled. Long smokey finish that becomes medicinal as it warms. Medium light. Smoke makes it seem heavier. Amazing that this isn't actually smoked. It's a substantial "residual" smoke profile and really diverts the attention from the helles profile.

Oct 28, 2018
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TheDoctor from Canada

4.17/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle
No date

Pours a crystal clear pale straw with two fingers of bright white head that sticks around well. Good retention; big, gloppy waves of lacing. (4.25)

Very lightly smoky pale malt, sweet smoke, toast, grass. (4)

Dry, pale, faint herbal hop bite and an mellow wood-fire smokiness that is both sweet and bracing and lingers a little. (4.25)

Fairly light body with crisp carbonation and a dry, subtle, lingering finish. (4)

A very nice beer with an interesting character derived from a subtle smoke presence.
It is indeed helped like with a sweetly smoky compliment that calls to mind clothes after a night around a fire. It never gets in the way and helps the hops give it a nice "abruptness" (for lack of a better term). Beautiful in the glass. Aroma is nice. The flavor is great, with a solid beer to begin with enhanced with a pleasant smokiness. It is quite drinkable and more subtle than you might think at first glance.(4.25)

Oct 08, 2018
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 812 ratings