Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
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Style:
Lager - Helles
Ranked #15
ABV:
4.3%
Score:
89
Ranked #8,863
Avg:
3.98 | pDev: 11.81%
Reviews:
452
Ratings:
839
From:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  61
Gots
  63
SCORE
89
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: 452 | Ratings: 839 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of AElfwine_Nerevar
AElfwine_Nerevar from Connecticut

4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a can purchased at OEC brewing which says it is from the "Tank Container Canning Project" which is a collaboration between Heller-Trum and B. United International. This beer was brewed in Bamberg, Germany and canned in Connecticut on 01/12/21.

L: Pours a pale gold color with good clarity. A gentle pour results in two fingers of creamy, white head with great retention. As the beer goes down is leaves a fine webbed and ringed lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is dominated by smoke with a touch of woody aromatics and grainy malt character playing a supporting role.

T: On the palate I get bready malt sweetness, fresh cut grass, a touch of citrus, and a smoke.

F: This one has a medium-light body with medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and slippery with a nice drying finish.

O: Not your typical helles but I like it. The nose has a bit too much smokiness, but luckily on the palate the smoke is fairly restrained and balanced nicely with the bready malts and noble hops. As I drink it this one grows on me and by the bottom of the glass I am eagerly anticipating another can. Recommended!

May 01, 2021
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle poured into a mug

A- A clear golden straw with a small white head.

S- Sweet biscuits, touch of honey, smoky, some peat, earthy, slightly floral.

T- Sweet biscuits, smoky (very campfire like), touch of honey sweetness, earth, floral.

M- Smooth, crisp, light body.

O- A wonderful balance between a well made Helles and some smokiness.

May 01, 2021
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TheBigBoy from Pennsylvania

3.02/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Quality & Sophisticated European Helles Lager, just can't get past the dominant smoke flavor undertone which taints this smooth and mature brew for me.

Apr 27, 2021
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Blind-tasted except for the beer's name/style and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Bright/clear mid-gold. Pours with 3mm creamy looking head. ps 10mins later, holds well, forms lacing on the way down.
S- Interesting! It's mild but my thinking went: 'Grainy malts > is that a leather-note? > or hang on is it mild smoke (in a Helles!?)'.
T- Quite dry on the front. I DO taste that mild leather/smoke note! Some malts come through in the middle and hops are back into the finish.
F- It has both a decent richness and hopping, they seem to balance each other well. I took a look at the ABV%, 4.3%, and that surprises me, it feels more, like maybe 4.8%
O- The smoke note that I'm getting right through writing this is mysterious, never had that in a Helles before. I like it, it's sessionable too, though perhaps only at local/German prices. I don't think it's doing enough for me at £3.15/bottle to repeat buy.
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the bottle lables to see what I missed! ===> Haha! smoke seemed left-field to me but it seems it's correct. Lable refers to 'subtle smokiness' and says this beer is unique in being a Helles with a smoke note to it.
500ml bottle BB: 07/2021 Bought from BeerMerchants, Kent/UK as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.

Mar 03, 2021
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laquebrada from California

4.54/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange color, small, tight, white head, smokey but subtle aroma, lots of smoke in the flavor, but quite pleasant. Silky, viscous mouthfeel, bit for such a smallish beer. Finish is long, with bitter and smoke.

Feb 08, 2021
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argock from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No canned on date. Poured into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Brilliantly clear light gold with 1-2 finger off-white frothy head with good retention and lacing.

S: Smoky ham right off the bat that dissipates to a degree to more of a woody character. The rest of the aroma is overwhelmed by the smoke.

T: The flavor is also dominated by the smoke character but there is a little more complexity there which includes herbal hop character and a woody, light aspirin aftertaste. Low bitterness and clean form ester standpoint.

M: Light bodied with medium-high carbonation and crisp dry finish.

O: A unique beer that is a good one to try for the novelty but I probably won’t go for again in the future. I would much rather go all-in on the smoke if I am going in that direction rather than this very light smoke character.

Jan 25, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle, from MENY Grønland Torg, Oslo. ABV is 4.3%. Pale yellow colour, large white head. Moderate aroma of smoked sausage. Ordinary helles flavour with a little smoke added. Moderate hops in the finish. Nice enough to drink, but did not blow my socks off.

Jan 20, 2021
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HoppyBastard from Nebraska

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 1 pint 0.9 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, there is no date on the bottle that I can find.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear copper color with less than one-finger, off-white head, the head quickly dissipated until a ring of small bubbles remained around the glass, light carbonation, no lacing on the glass.

SMELL: a very unique smoke smell, it really dominates the nose in a pleasantly interesting way.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, it's like drinking smoke, never had anything like this, very interesting, the smoke really dominates so there is nothing else that comes through for me.

PALATE: full body and lightly carbonated.

OVERALL: this is a vey unique beer, never had anything like it before, not something I would seek out but glad I tried it, it's a one dimensional beer as the smoke flavor overpowers everything else and it was under carbonated for my taste, but you have to try this once.

Nov 24, 2020
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mactrail from Washington

3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just a little haze on the amber brew and a fine pile of foam in the narrow Kölsch glass. A surprise that it smells and tastes smoky, though not as strongly as their signature Rauchbier. Still, not a bad flavor when the hops are so subtle. Spritzy mouthfeel with a tang of smoke lingering long.

This is a very decent fuller-bodied Lager and highly drinkable. The smoke and residual bitterness do detract somewhat. Still, it's quite interesting. From the 500 ml can purchased on the West Coast.

Sep 24, 2020
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Edzona from Wisconsin

3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As this a different Hell, using the Schlenkerla yeast, the review as a Helles Lager is more difficult. First, it pours a bit more golden than straw, deduct, malt forward/low hop/balanced bitter per style, deduct, as the smoke is overpowering. Let's say smoke fish. I love smoked fish, but I don't really enjoy drinking one. The low, even bitter finish that makes you want the next sip is gone, covered by the smoke on the palate. You need a lot of time for that to dissipate. Then the tongue is taxed by all the different flavors in separate sections, leaving a less than satisfying mouthfeel. The beer is clear, good head decanted half way and mid pour to finish. Head dissipates quickly and leaves a pond scum around the sides and 1/3 of the top of the beer. Allowing this beer to warm a little only exacerbates the smoke dominance. Hard to get past it to judge the rest of the beer. I like a Rauchbier, just not in my glass of helles. I will finish this and give it another chance another day. . . Well, 2 days, another pour. Still the same as my previous thoughts. Now I'm thinking when would be an appropriate time to finish the other two bottles. What pairing would be best for this? Chili? BBQ? Smoke Fish? . . .Yes.

Sep 11, 2020
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Kevyleftovers from Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE - LIGHT GOLDEN COLOR. SLIGHTLY HAZY. SMALL/MEDIUM HEAD
SMELL - SMOKE, BEEF JERKY GET A LITTLE BIT OF MALTYNESS ON THE BACKED. HONESTLY THE SMELL IS MAKING ME HUNGRY
TASTE - CITRUS FLAVORS UPFRONT SLIGHTLY HOPPY WITH A NICELY BALANCED SMOKY FINISH. NOT OVERWHELMING SMOKY NEVER HAD A BEER QUIET LIKE THIS TO BE HONEST..
MOUTHFEEL - LOW CARB, MEDIUM BODY.
OVERALL - VERY UNIQUE SMOKY HELLES. HAS A TON OF FLAVOR AND IS BALANCED WELL AGAINST THE SMOKINESS. UNIQUE BEER PULLED OF WELL.

Sep 04, 2020
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snaotheus from Washington

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2020-08-01
500ml bottle served in a nonic pint glass. Don't see a date on it. Haven't seen a date on any Schlenkerlas, actually. Bought it at Malt & Vine a couple weeks ago.

Pours a clear light golden with a big white head that fades fairly slowly, moderate carbonation. Smell is honey, lager yeast, a hint of smoke, lots of grain. Maybe a little bit of grass.

Taste is undeniably smoky, almost masks the honey/grain sweetness. Little bit of grass. Interestingly crisp finish along with the smokiness.

Mouthfeel is not too heavy, not too light, somehow comes across as chewy. Overall...I'm confused but attracted.

Aug 01, 2020
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bsp77 from Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brilliant but slightly burnished gold with decent head and nice lacing. Aroma is mostly of fresh sourdough, with hints of spicy hops and smoke. The smoke is more obvious in the taste, which apparently is solely from using the same equipment and yeast as their true Rauchbiers. In addition to smoke are notes of sourdough, straw, and pepper. Fairly dry, crisp and light overall. Seems like this would be a good enough Helles, but the light to moderate smokiness makes this a very unique (and tasty) offering.

Note: this is the canned version, which is brewed in Germany and then transported to the US via a climate controlled tank and then canned in Connecticut. Pretty cool process and this one is less than 2 months. Incredible and I wish more imports did this to improve freshness. Of course, this was a $16 4-pack, so I guess I paid for this process.

Jul 29, 2020
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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 (QC)

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

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | 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
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 839 ratings