Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
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Lager - Helles
Ranked #18
Ranked #9,423
3.98 | pDev: 11.81%
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: 456 | Ratings: 850 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BeerBuilder:
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BeerBuilder from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a clear straw color with a thin white head, leaves a good amount of lacing down the glass.

The aroma is toasty and bready with a malty sweetness and a faint smokiness in the background.

The flavor is toasty and bready like in the nose, crisp and clean with a slight malt sweetness and a more pronounced smokiness than there was in the aroma.

Light in body and quite easy drinking. A nice drinker. Thanks cuz.

Jun 16, 2006
More User Reviews:
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bobv from Vermont

4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz. can.
Canned 4/16/18.
Moderate pour yields an almost two inch white head over a bright body with scant lacing. Nose of slight smoke and toast. Flavors mirror aromas exactly, but that slight smoke is what gets me. With no smoked malt used in this brew (as others think), it is amazingly smoky. I need to visit! Nice lager feel and overall a fantastic brew right here. Cheers to Bamberg!

May 12, 2018
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Givemebeer from Vermont

4.65/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Clear golden yellow with a huge frothy head with sticky lacing. Pretty beautiful.

S: grainy and grassy with a hint of smoke.

T: Biscuity, bready, grassy, grainy. Taste starts with the biscuity grass then switches to being a touch smokey before going back to a bready grainy grassy taste. complex and wonderful.

M: Light bodied, crisp, refreshing.

O: Its amazing that this beer isn't talked about more. It has great balance, it's refreshing, crisp, packed with flavor, and 4.3% abv. Doesn't get much better.

Mar 08, 2014
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.49/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, beautiful beer: big, fluffy white head from a fairly modestly paced pour; great retention and tons of nice lacing; perfectly clear and vibrantly golden-hued straw body; transparent with tons of action.

There is, perhaps, a touch of smoke in the aroma, but the dominant scent is that of a floral, spicy bread. Peppery, sweet. Really phenomenal aroma for a Helles: bright, deep, complex, and perfectly balanced.

Quite sweet on the palate, with just a bit of herbal hoppy bite to keep it fairly balanced. Malt driven but very drinkable. Very nice hit of smoke on the back-end, just enough to remind you who brewed this beer, but not enough to overwhelm or change the quality of the brew from a Helles.

Slight smoke character is more woody (and less meaty), on both the nose and palate. Flavor is just a touch too sweet, being slightly less balanced than the aroma, which is near perfect.

Smooth, lively, incredibly easy drinking, slick.

This is a fantastic overall brew. It's not going to be a huge hit with many of the IPA-and-stout-obsessed craft segment, but its near-perfect balance and true depth of character are superb.

Dec 06, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: brilliant yellow under a 3" blanket of white foam with fair to good retention

S: light smokiness in the aroma along with rich malt, cracker, bread crumb and traces of earthy, spicy hops

T: rich and malty and lightly sweet with a subtle smokiness that pokes out most in the finish

F: body is medium and the carbonation is medium minus

O: a flavorful, interesting classic beer with just a light touch of smoke

Aug 12, 2018
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NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

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

L-The beer pours golden with a slight haze. The head is a full two fingers of fluffy whiteness. This recedes to a thin film leaving spotty lacing behind.
S- I'm reminded of a delicious smoked ham, which is appropriate with Easter a week away. That's all I'm getting though.
T- The nose had me prepared to be overwhelmed with smoke on the palate, but that isn't the case. I'm very nicely getting the malt flavor up front which is a pleasant surprise. There is a touch of smoke here, stronger on the first sip than subsequent ones, but it is in the backround for the most part.
F- Mouthfeel overall is on the lighter side. Carbonation is light. There is a bit of slickness which is enhanced by the lighter carbonation.
O- I only purchased a single of this for fear of the smoke factor. That appears was a mistake. This beer is a really pleasing helles with a light smoke element which gives it a bit of personality. Recommended.

Mar 25, 2018
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yemenmocha from Arizona

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

Interesting find on tap at The Other Side Cafe in Boston. Pours pale golden with off-white head. Aroma has some fruit and a perfumy quality, along with smoke. On the palate the perfume quality is present and the beer is overall very crisp and refreshing. Good accompaniment to the pub fare.

Oct 17, 2009
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nmann08 from Virginia

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Dec 14, 2011
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Taphouse_Traveler from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Jan 17, 2014
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bamberg is known for its smoked beers, and Schlenkerla has been keeping that tradition going for over five-hundred years with some of the smokiest around.

There are five styles now (a new "oak" beer is coming in December 2009). The Fastenbier is a seasonal, and less well-known. And although the Ur-bock is also a seasonal, along with the Weizen and Maerzen, it's better known. All get a fair amount of play - although the Maerzen is probably their best known. But what of the Helles? It seems to get passed by? (At least here in America). Is it that it's just a basic style? Or is it that the smokiness is just too much within such a simple malt base?

Based on my experience, that answer may never be known. I've had people tell me, "Oh, it's not smoky like the others", while others have pushed it back across the bar.

I find it malty, and hoppy, and smoky, with the smoke building on the palate, as does the solid bitterness. It may be a helles, but it's not a helles for those with an inexperienced palate.

And with that said, unless you go to Bamberg to sample the wares, there's not a lot of other examples to try in the U.S.

Sep 25, 2009
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bobsy from Canada (ON)

3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden pour with a tight white cap that laced well. Even in the bottle there were evident floaties. Slight bandai aroma married to smoke. Supposedly no smoked malt is used in this, but you'd never know. Plastic and mild fruit is okay.

Flavour sets it apart. Smoke leads off and adds the complexity lacking in many helles. Beyond that its soft lager malts. Still some light plastic, but less noticeable and more fruity as it warms. Pleasant soft mouthfeel hits the spot.

Nice beer and an interesting helles. Immenesely flavourable for 4.3% and highly recommended.

Sep 29, 2010
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jfcaa193 from Canada (QC)

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Feb 19, 2012
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UncleJimbo from Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500-mL bottle, purchased in the US.

This lagerbier poured a clear, golden color with white foam that persisted a while then dissipated almost completely, though clinging a bit on the glass. There was a good stream of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The smell was lightly malty with a touch of sweetness. There was perhaps the faintest touch of smoke, but perhaps it was my imagination? The taste was nicely mildly malty with a slight "lager tanginess". The hoppiness was very mild but well balanced with the malt. As with the aroma, there was perhaps the faintest touch of smoke in the flavor. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium body and modest carbonation. There was a mildly hoppy finish. This was a very nice, mild helles lager.

Oct 07, 2006
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a light clear pale orange color.

S: Nice aroma with a slight roasted chocolate nose with a touch of light smokiness sneaking through.

T: Palate is light pale malt, cereal grains with a nice smoked woody character, and earthy hops. Probably one of the better if not best helles style lagers I've had. Theres a light roasted fade of burnt chocolate and a lingering smokiness against the malt to give it a much fuller flavor then others per style along with a decent amount of earthy noble hoppiness. Finishes very nicely making you want more and would go great with a brick oven pizza with sausage.

M: crisp, smoky, and lightly carbonated

D: Drinkability is very good especially within style.

Feb 07, 2008
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ZethOfTheNorth from Louisiana

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

May 06, 2012
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Jun 17, 2016
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RomanW70 from Rhode Island

3.37/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours very pale gold with a frothy white head. Aroma of yeast, smoke, and spice. Light, highly carbonated body. Initial taste is crisp and clean, pilsner like hops...lagerlike. Finish is nicely (and not overwhlelmingly) smoked which definitely elevates this otherwise unexciting beer. Not my favorite of the Aecht Schlenkerla line, but a clean, crisp, refreshing beer.

May 31, 2008
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shigg85 from Japan

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 05, 2013
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iftcoach from Germany

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

Jun 10, 2021
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WVbeergeek from West Virginia

4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although the beer itself doesn't use any smoked malts, it's brewed using the same yeast and in the same equipment as their other smoked beers. Pretty interesting beer pours a pale light golden delicate biscuit malt character with a nice spritzy carbonation level. Nice fluffy white head leaves intricate banded lacing. Aroma has a subtle smoke character with hints of smoked meats and a light biscuit malt grain character. Flavor has an interesting smoked nuttiness to it adds great complexity to a light classic well executed German helles. Kind of a one note flavor but a very interesting and tasty one note, makes me wish I had another bottle or two. Mouthfeel is evenly carbonated with a light but not watery body. Overall impression this beer rates high with on my likeability skill, would I consider sharing this with other friends into beer? Absolutely a very interesting take on a German Helles a classic style that doesn't get a whole lotta love around these parts.

Apr 23, 2012
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Lawnboy33 from Massachusetts

3.25/5  rDev -18.3%

May 10, 2012
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LJWalker from Indiana

4/5  rDev +0.5%

Feb 06, 2012
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jason_nwx from Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aug 30, 2021
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IPAlot from New York

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Jul 08, 2012
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nasty15108 from New York

2.63/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 1pt .9oz bottle into a pilsener glass.

A - Hazy yellow color with a head of white foam. Decent carbonation and lacing.

S - Smokey and slightly herbal.

T - Tasted like drinking a pilsener with a piece of applewood smoked bacon in the glass.

MF&D - Needless to say this was not my cup of tea, or beer in this case. I guess its a good representation of the Schlenkerla style, but being a Hells lager I didn't expect such a smokey smell/taste.

Sep 14, 2008
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 850 ratings