Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
BA SCORE
77.7%
Liked This Beer
3.95 w/ 698 ratings
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Germany
schlenkerla.de

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#5,010
Reviews:
390
Ratings:
698
Liked:
542
Avg:
3.95/5
pDev:
11.9%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
49
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 698 |  Reviews: 390
Photo of weareallfalafel
5/5  rDev +26.6%
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 MatthewFletcher
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of ghwolf
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bkoch81
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of alalvarez75
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of banjofred101
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of Sachsenfreude
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of navinsula
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of jrmurph
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of psoriasaurus
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of pixieskid
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of RBCIPA
4.95/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is a fantastic beer. Poured into a pilsner 0.5L glass, drinking on my back porch in the warm sun

A: clear golden. thick white head

S: malty, slight smoke but hard to tell if I can actually smell it or if it's power of persuasion knowing how this beer is brewers (see edit)

T: super clean, crisp, good carbonation, again slight smoke but see above(see edit), great malt taste

MF: full of flavor but light bodied

F: bubbly maybe slightly dry maybe

O: fantastic beer I'm very much enjoying this


Edit: halfway through this beer and smoke is for real. Very faint but it's there

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Photo of ncvbc
4.89/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a straw golden color with medium white head and some spots of lacing down the glass. Smell is just excellent. More of a smoked presence than from the bottle, that's for sure. It is just as prominent as anything else in the nose. Taste carries on in that fashion. For such a light brew, there is a lot going on. Biscuity, cereal like malt. Faint fruit and earthy, grassy hops. A touch of honey. Nice light mouth with a crisp snap in the finish. Just an all around excellent and memorable beer. One of my favorites of any style.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.88/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Deep Ellum in Boston, MA.

This one pours a light golden yellow, with a half inch head, and not a whole lot lacing.

This one smells like grassy hops, a bit of biscuity malt, and some light pleasant smoke.

This is a beer that probably could not be duplicated anywhere else in the world, as it gets its smokiness from simply being brewed in the same place as many intensely smoky beers. The lager yeast character is not very noticeable. There's a bit of light honey sweetness, some bready, biscuity malt, and some lightly herbal grassy hop flavor. This is a really cool and interesting beer, and definitely the best Helles I've ever had.

This is light bodied, with a crisp, and slightly smoky mouthfeel, along with a moderate level of carbonation. It's so drinkable and so tasty, and goes down really easily.

This is one of the best lagers I've ever had. It's so unique and tasty.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Original review of 4.51 on 8/24/2014:

Clear gold in color with a large, frothy, white head. Excellent retention and a fair amount of lacing. Clean looking lager. Subtle but pleasant aroma of bready malts and just the slightest hint of smoke. Medium bodied with low bitterness. Perfectly carbonated.

If you are a fan of lagers but are avoiding this beer because you don't enjoy the flavor of smoked malts, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle immediately. There are no smoked malts used in this beer. The hint of smoke is delivered via the yeast and is barely noticeable. If anything, it rounds out the flavor profile and adds a bit of body.

Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable beers I have had in a long time. No longer will I keep walking past it and passing it up in the store. This might be the perfect BBQ beer to pair with grilled foods.

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Edited on 2/10/2015:

I have had this beer several times now since my original review and I'm consistently impressed by it. Each time I pop one open it's like having it for the first time. A beer I could just drink endlessly. I'm increasing my ratings for taste, feel and overall for each as I really can't see this beer improving in those aspects.

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Edited on 6/24/2016:

Well, I guess it's time for what is becoming my annual Schlenkerla Helles update. This latest edit comes after having it on-tap at As Is in NYC. This was my first time having the Helles on-tap (I have had the Marzen before) and it was outstanding. I'm increasing my ratings yet again for smell and feel. It's becoming apparent that this is my favorite beer in the world at the moment. Nothing beats it for me. It's so clean and the flavors are right on point. Easy to drink, yet complex and packed with flavor at the same time. Wow, wow, wow!

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Photo of MellowDia
4.85/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The best of both worlds - a lager with a wonderfully light and smoky flavor. This is the real deal.

99 characters

Photo of crossovert
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After having the Rauchbier and thinking it was ok but not something I would buy again, this one intrigued me, perhaps it would be the right balance of smokiness, here it goes.

Poured into a 0.4 liter mug/Stange hybrid for export lager, it will do until I get a good Bavarian crystal mug. It has a nice white one finger head. The color is amazing, it is nice darker helles color with a tiny bit of haze, almost like a Dortmunder, with a nice amount of bubbles. Very nice lacing as well.

Alot of people got bacon scent in the original Rauchbier Maerzen, but all I smelt was burnt wood, this one smells a bit more like bacon, especially when I popped it open and i got a huge bacon whiff. After the pour the smokiness/bacon dies down and it is a nice malty sweet smell with some breadiness. I am also getting a slight bit of hops that blends with the smoke scent.

Wow great taste woweee. Starts off quite sweet with the malts, and they last quite a bit, its a long flavor. Hops come in with a smoky bite, some spice, and some citrus flavors. The lingering flavor is smoke and hops, it has a slightly dry finish. A very complex and satisfying taste. The carbonation is perfect, has a nice bite on the tongue. This almost reminds me of a Dortumunder Export with smokiness and some Bavarian Helles charm, I guess I picked the right glass too then hah.

As it warms the smokiness on the palate intensifies but it never gets to the slightly offensive levels the Maerzen got too. The drinkablity is pretty high but I probably couldn't down more than 2 of these big bottles. The 4.30% abv make's me think a couple of liters of this would be feasible, if only this were in the mini-kegs they sell here and not the Maerzen.

This was a lovely surprise, this beer is just packed with flavor, but it isn't a big, bulky brew just light and flavorful. They ave succeed in creating a whopper of a low abv beer that I would stack up against many big beers. If you want a reprieve from your everyday Bavarian Helles this is the way to go.

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Photo of meeekyh
4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 16.9oz bottle into a belled flute. I will note that the label is a bit different than the one pictured. I believe it is a new label, as I found it behind a bottle with a label that did match the one pictured as of this review. Basically there is additional red ink.

The pour reveals a very light straw colored, very clear beer wearing a pure white fluffy head with a bit of lacing.

Nose is tame but slightly smoky. There is a bit of grain and that is about it. Interesting, I just read the label and it notes the smokiness comes 'without using smoke malt', OK.

Taste carries that same smokiness, really interesting and somehow more refreshing than I imagined. It has a peat-smoked notion that reminds me of Scotch. There is tartness and a profile much like a German pils but that is swallowed by the smoke as the finish comes on. It ends spicy.

The feel is light and sparkly but heavily carbonated. The smoke and spice add to the dryness and make this a ridiculously drinkable beer.

I have never had this style before but for the overall tastiness, the novelty of the non-smoked-smokyness, and the uber-quaffability I give it very high marks. It was a bit on the pricey side though...
Prosit!

 1,213 characters

Photo of DerBayer
4.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Best schlenkerla yet other than maybe the urbock but this really is amazing.

A perfect helles with a slight smokey punch. not faint but slight it is definitely present with a surprising faint honey aroma as well

i had this both from bottle and on tap and it s always superb. if you get a chance a definite must.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.82/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

$3.49 for a 1pt 0.9 flu oz bottle at Merchants. Pours out to a sparkingly clear pale blond, forming a small white head with zero retention or lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Despite the lack of head, this is still an interesting looking beer due to it's crystalline sparkle. The nose is gorgeous. It's a very well balanced combination of delicate smoke mixed with a very cleanly fermented Europils, complete with grassy hop notes and pale malts. Wonderful nose. The mouthfeel is lively and clean with a brisk wellwater crispness and light body. Taste begins with grassy hops, followed by a delicate whiff of smoke, light pale malts, and mild grassy bitterness. All of this is expertly crafted to form a cohesive whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Minerals tickle the tongue in the semidry clean aftertaste. Belches of Hallertau. The bitterness is just perfect, making this soooo easy to drink.

It's interesting that reviewers say they love it and then give it a 3.5. I think it has to do with the uniqueness of the style and our non-German taste buds. You love rauchbier or you don't. I'm completely floored. This is the best of both worlds when it comes to an awesome Europils/Helles and a rauchbier. Heaven sent. There is something magical about this beer, infusing one with the spirit of old Bamberg. Schlenkerla is an experience beyond the beer. Try it!

 1,376 characters

Photo of Rennpferd
4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It poured pale yellow and crystal clear. It had a two finger head. Moderate carbonation was present.

I could smell a great balance of malt and hops.

It had a mild malt and hop flavor. It was lite bodied and very smooth. It had a very lite dry malt and hop finish.

Very drinkable. A great example of this style of beer.

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Photo of lambpasty
4.78/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of keilerdunkel
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love this beer.

pours a very pale yellow with a small 1/4-1/2" head. Aroma and taste is classic munich helles. Malty with good noble hop (Saaz?) backbone. BUT in addition there is smoke both in the aroma and taste. This is not an in-your-face smokiness (think campfire) but more subtle - think a nicely balanced smoked cheese.

-Perfect. I could drink these all night. If you are looking for a gentle introduction to the obsession that is rauchbiers - this is it.

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Photo of klewis
4.77/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a light golden with a modest, frothy head. Modeate lacing.

S: Honey, freshly baked bread, and a light, fruity aroma contribute to a very nice bouquet.

T: A taste of honey with a strong ginger flavor. Malty with just a touch of hop bitterness in the finish for a perfect balance. A very unique taste.

M: Light-bodied with soft carbonation for a lager. Nice and smooth.

D: This beer is pretty much awesome all around, and I would have no problem spending a day drinking nothing but this. Outstanding.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 77.7% out of 100 with 698 ratings
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