Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

BA SCORE
88
very good
691 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Ratings:
691
Reviews:
386
Avg:
3.96
pDev:
11.87%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
49
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 691 |  Reviews: 386
Photo of akorsak
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Farmers' Cabinet. For no rauch, pretty damned rauchy.

A: The lager is a golden yellow color, hazed a bit but still translucent. A white head, right in line with the lightness of the ale, leaves a few strands of lace behind.

S: The lagerbier has a sturdy smokiness ingrained in it, even if it doesn't include the normal Bamberger smoked malts. The helles lager drips of the Bamberger scent, even with no smoked malts included. A tribute to subtlety.

T: The lager is a light, chewy beer, one that picks up more smokiness by accident that most can muster up intentionally. The biscuity grains are bready; hops are an afterthought. Between the start and finish, the lager's smoked body takes hold. That smoke, meaty as it is, is significantly lighter than Schlenkerla's other offerings. That reduced flavor makes the lager much more palatable, more enjoyable to sip through.

M: The smoke makes the beer, a full flavor that doesn't scorch the earth. A beer that paired nicely with several of the cheeses throughout the night.

 1,038 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dirty Truth.

A- Gold body with a small foamy white head. Good retention. Sticky suds but a lack of lace.

S- Smoky light malt with a noble hop backdrop, floral and earthy.

T- Nice and smoky but the malt is nice and light, allowing a good drinkable smoked beer. Some hop notes and spice.

MF- Light body with a nice creamy feel.

Light body and smoke makes for a refreshing beer, not usually what I get in smoked beers.

 420 characters

Photo of JizackFH
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a nice clear golden yellow. It has a nice fluffy 2-finger white head on it. The head had good retention, and it left a nice sheet of lacing behind.

S - It smells of Pilsner malts and some sweetness up front. There is an earthiness aroma to it, and some hop character as well. Also, I am getting a tad bit of smokiness.

T - The taste is very malty, and there is some sweetness and a bit of smoke. There is an earthiness to it, as well as some notes of caramel, hops, and bread. The finish is pretty clean, it just leaves a bit of lingering bitterness behind.

M - It has a medium body and average carbonation. It goes down smooth and is quite refreshing. Good feel for the style.

O - This beer has pretty good drinkability. It has a nice flavor and goes down easy. I think this would be a nice beer to have while sitting outside on a hot day. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would pick it up again.

 918 characters

Photo of lionchow
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear pale straw yellow. with a nice white head that recedes quickly.

Aroma is richly malty with a hint of smoke. Some sweetness and straw as well.

Flavor is beautiful sweet munich malt, and again dry straw flavor. Smokiness is subtle and comes across as a slightly meaty flavor. There is a mellow but well balanced and clean hop bitterness that follows the other flavors.

Mouthfeel is nice, with a slight weight from the malt and slight brightness from the carbonation.

Overall very good. Easy drinking but still with enough unique points of interest to make me want another some time.

 596 characters

Photo of foogerd
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- Light golden yellow clear body with a small white head.

S- Light grainy smoke, hay , light grassy hops.

T- Very drinkable tasty lightly toasted and smoked malts with a light touch of hops that lend a touch of spice.

M- Nice tickling carbonation light body.

O- Very quaffable brew.

 287 characters

Photo of Amalak
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had out of a 25 ounce bottle.
A-this has a crystal clear gold color to it. Good head and lacing.no real bubbles.
s-smells like a crisp pilsner, no bacon scent.
t-despite lack of a Smokey scent it, it has a Smokey taste. Crisp and refreshing. Kind of a mix between bitberger and schlenkerla smokey.

 299 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a crystal clear yellow with a medium white head, great retention and lace.

S: Sweet malt, grassy hops, no real smoke here.

T: Great bready malt flavour with a hint of smoke. Some good minerality, complex and interesting flavour. Has a keller sensibility.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, and very drinkable. Smooth, soft but biting carbonation.

O: A fantastic lagerbier. The smoke is definitely toned down from the regular Marzen, but this is just as fantastic in its own right, a definite pick up.

 518 characters

Photo of ksimons
2.96/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-clear golden with about an inch of white head that disappears quickly and leaves some lacing around the top

S-slightly sweet and malty, subtle smoke,

T-picking up more hops than anything, lightly malted, spicy finish, picking up a little smoke towards the end but not much. Tastes more like a pilsner than anything else

M-light to medium body, very light and refreshing, moderate carbonation

A nice light beer, but I was expecting more, more taste, more smoke, something to make the taste different from a pilsner.

 521 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large 4 finger white head is created that falls normally. Body is a real buttery fourteen carat gold. Much noticeable carbonation from the bottom. Some head retention but not much. Manages to leave a small puck and minimal lacing while drinking.

Smell is light malt, no smoke. Just smells like a good simple lager.

Taste is slight smoke, a bit sweet though. Smoke hits more on the finish. There's a real decent malt body in this for such a low abv, the head bubbles actually feel quite nice in the palate strangely enough.

Overall not bad, but I prefer this breweries other offerings.

 643 characters

Photo of DaveHS
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours straw yellow with over an inch of fluffy white head. It reduces slowly, leaving spotty lacing.

S-Pale sweet malts, cereal grains, smoke.

T/M-Tastes like a well made helles with smoked malts! They've pulled back on the smoke on this one, compared to their other beers. It's appropriately integrated into the base beer, but it's a little bit of a tease.

O-Would've preferred this to be smokier, but it's a well made beer.

 431 characters

Photo of macpapi
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a .5 liter bottle.

Pours a light copper to straw-like color with a full and fluffy white head. The clarity of this brew offers a good medium for rising bubble activity throughout the glass.

Smells of smoked malt. This smokiness reminds me of bacon or treated ham. There is also a bit of straw on the nose.

Taste, like the smell, is dominated by smoked malt. There is also a bit of bitterness, just a touch, and a slight touch of bacon--though not as prominent as some of the other beers Schlenkerla brews. Finishes a bit dry.

Moderate carbonation, sharp bitterness, and a nice and full flavor define the mouthfeel.

On the whole, this beer packs a good deal of smoky flavor, and is well-balanced. It is a nice and pretty drinkable brew.

 752 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at Chevy Chase in DC. Served in a tulip.

Pours a light straw color with a thin white head and not too much lacing, even after a good swirl to raise the head back up. The nose brings a good amount of smoke along with mild lager characteristics lingering in the background. The smoke definitely overwhelms the lager, which which basically just means a lightly-smoked carbonated beverage. This creates problems for both the nose and the taste. The feel is redeemed is the Helles' crispness is still there and fits well with the smoke. Fairly good, but not my favorite of theirs.

 593 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle purchased at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City. No discernible freshness date on the bottle.

The beer is a pale effervescent gold, crowned by half an inch of resolute pure white foam.

There's a reserved smokiness to the nose, which I understand is the result of the beer being brewed on the same equipment as the brewery's rauchbiers rather than the actual addition of rauch malt. The combination of faint smoke and lightly sulfuric lager yeast makes me think of matches - it's more pleasant than it sounds. There's a crisp breadiness from the malt; overall it's a very gentle and clean aroma.

The palate, like the nose, features a pleasantly subdued smoke character that's very complementary to the crisp breadiness of the malt. Light in body, quite balanced in all respects and very clean, this is one of the most quaffable beers I can recall having in recent memory. The mouthfeel is soft, and there's little bitterness or bite to the finish, but it's a thoroughly enjoyable and flavorful beer, especially given the modest ABV.

 1,048 characters

Photo of BeerNinja007
4.63/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up this 500mL bottle back in September for $4.50 at The Wine Thief in downtown New Haven CT. No date or code noted. Served at 50F in a pisner glass at the same temperature.

A: Thick sediment at the bottom of the bottle had already started to move, but I was able to pour slowly and avoided getting any in the first half. Clear bright yellow brew of medium color density (halfway between pale and solid yellow). A steady stream of medium-sized bubbles rockets upward, suggesting low viscosity. Thin off-white head settles to a single sticky layer that likes the glass.

S: Nice bit of that characteristic beechwood smoke gives it a modest air of well-worn leather. Mild backbone of light sweet malt, and also some lemon/ grassy hop detected as well. Overall not hugely aromatic, but what's there is a diverse and pleasing bouquet.

T: Everything in the nose comes through just as expected with the intensity turned up a few notches. Super tasty leather/tobacco backbone from the smoked malt, just a hint of honey sweetness comes through, and a moderate bit of lemon herb hop blends seamlessly into the mix.

M: Crisp, light, bubbly... just as it should be. Finishes with lingering leather and bitter herb hop.

D: This is a very tasty and classy brew. The smoked malt gives it a big added twist that levels a huge impact on this lighter style. It is a lighter helles, not as malty as most, but the smoke makes up the difference nicely. I feel like I should be sitting in a classy leather chair in front of a fireplace in a library full of old books with a warm dog at my feet. A great balance of cozy and elegant. "Alfred, kindly bring me another, and put another long on the fire." "Yes sir, right away, sir."

Swirled the yeast in at the end and it didn't have much effect; it blended almost imperceptibly with what was there before. Though it did help the head stand up quite a bit better.

 1,902 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Will for sharing the bottle.

Pours a clear golden body with a white head.

Bready aromas are sweet and subdued. No sign of smoke here.

The palate starts bready, grainy, and toasty with hints of honey. On the finish a mild but unmistakable smoke flavor creeps in. Very balanced overall. Hop flavor is low with just enough bitterness for balance.

Medium body. medium carbonation.

Cool beer, glad I finally got to try one. As interesting as the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbiers are, I might actually want more than one glass of this offering. Its hard to believe a beer with such restrained smoke flavor is made by same brewery that makes those smoke bombs.

This is the perfect way to introduce people to smoked beer without scaring them. Its also the perfect beer for a Summer BBQ. Smoke flavor is great for food pairing and the beer is still mild enough to provide refreshment.

 887 characters

Photo of nanertak
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours very clear pale straw, very little head or retention.

Smell - smells like pale sweet malts, very very floral.

Taste - clean. Sweet at first, fades to a subtle floral maltiness, then to a subtle smoky flavor that lingers. Finishes very dry.

Mouthfeel - very thin, but appropriate. Would like a little more body personally, but nothing to complain about. Carbonation is on point for a lager.

Drinkability - very interesting style. I'd like it on occasion, perhaps as a segue to getting someone to try a rauchbier. Overall, good beer.

 556 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/13/11

Thanks Chris!

A: Hard pour into a snifter reveals a bright pellucid straw golden body with a two finger frothy white head. Retention is pretty good and lacing is scattered.

S: Displays a grainy malt profile with a notable sweetness. Noble hops are lightly spicy with grassy notes, and a touch of DMS is present. Aroma is clean and balanced, with a mild sulfuric quality. The smoke character is restrained and well integrated, adding depth to an already nice aroma.

T: Lower moderate bitterness with a pleasing and harmonious lower moderate smoky quality, a very interesting addition to the traditional Munich Helles Lager characteristics. Malt is grainy and lightly sweet. The finish is clean with notes of smoke.

M: Upper light body with moderate carbonation and a soft, smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Good stuff. The smoke character is pleasant and an interesting addition, but I think I prefer the style without it.

 929 characters

Photo of rootbeerman
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes 12/18/10

A: pours clear golden yellow with a strong white lacing head.
S: compared to others from this brew house, it is much less smoky, yet is still smoky with a little grainy malt.
T: lighter smoke, more noticeable malt profile, and is lightly grainy. hops and smoke combine in the aftertaste.
M: smooth and crisp. carbonation is good.
D: would make for a good starter into the rauchbier style.

 413 characters

Photo of steveh
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snapped up a bottle of this at a local Binny's. I've had it in Bamberg proper, and in the past few years at the Map Room in Chicago, but it's been a long while. Love all the Schlenkerla Ruchbier, this one being just a little different with it's smokiness coming as a lingering after effect of the actual smoked malts used in their other beers.

A -- Slightly hazy, straw gold color with a slow-settling, sudsy, eggshell white head.

S -- Aroma of spicy noble hops and light smokiness -- some soft bready malts eeking through too.

T -- Interesting light smokiness up front, blends into a mild, bready -- Pils malt, character, finishes dry and spicy with a crisp hop bitterness. I'm rating this good because I like the smokiness. It's not definitively correct for a Helles, unless that Helles is from Bamberg!

M -- Body is light-medium with a soft, smooth mouthfeel.

D -- I'm a bit iffy on the drinkability of this beer from the bottle. I think the smokiness could become fatiguing after a while, it's just not as good as fresh draft. On the other hand, it does go down nicely -- and it's easy to session at 4.3.

 1,113 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

A - Pours a clear pale straw color with slight golden hints. The head is about half and inch and has some nice dense bubbles and some bigger ones mixed around. There is some nice retention and nice carbonation racing up the side of the glass.

S - Sweet grainy malt up front with nice grassy and earthy tones coming through from all directions. Nice slight noble hop aromas round out a very nice smelling beer.

T & M - Starts off with some nice malt and bread notes. Grain, grain and more grain and actually has some of the smoke that characterizes some of this breweries Rauchbiers. Very nice bready notes are accompanied with this smoke almost like freshly baked toasty bread. The hop character is there and gives a nice grassy finish to the beer. The grain notes in this beer is what makes it such a delicious lager. Great light mouthfeel with good carbonation. The smoky notes in this beer really bring it all together. Delicious.

D - Very enjoyable and refreshing lager. I would definitely have many of these beers.

 1,074 characters

Photo of JoePat
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a hazy golden sraw color with a fluffy white head.

The aroma is very buscuity with a pilsner malt sweetness. I get very subtle hint of smoke but it is more like a wood smell that is hard to place.

I get the smoke a little more in the flavor but it is still hard to place as smoke. I also get a lot of buiscuty flavor and kind of hop twange.

This is a very light smooth beer with an interesting flavor.

 420 characters

Photo of dasenebler
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

.5L, Germany, best by 2/11.

Beautiful, rich and clear gold with a big, fluffy head. Retention and lacing are average.

Aroma is decidedly smokey, but not nearly as much as this brewery's other beers. Touch of bready malt as well.

Flavor is more Helles than Rauchbier, even though the smoke is still apparent. This beer is not brewed with smoked malts, but it still acquires a touch of Rauch from the brewery's equipment and environment. Grainy, bready malts come through along with a tangy hop flavor. Bitterness hits the back of palate and lingers, as do the woody notes of beechwood. Mouthfeel is supple and light, with creamy medium-low carbonation.

When you think about all of the flavor that is packed into this 4.3% ABV beer, it becomes apparent that this is an awesome session beer. Though it won't knock off Augustiner as my fave for the style, the Schlenkerla is still an excellent Helles.

 902 characters

Photo of hansgruber
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear yellow that's a touch darker than a standard pils. Small head with no lacing or retention. 

Smoky, slightly sweet aroma.

Same as nose. The smokiness is just there enough to make it interesting. There's a nice spicy bite from the hops with a pretty good flavor too. 

Pretty crisp semi-dry finish. 

Nice easy drinker. I love their festenbier and this can hold me over until it's available each spring. 

 414 characters

Photo of scottakelly
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark gold in color with a thin white lace. Carbonation is fairly low. There's a lot of sediment in the glass. Aroma is light smoke with no malt or hop aroma noticeable. Flavor is delicious, on its on it's a well-made helles with a light, slightly bready malt flavor. Then there is the added layer of smokiness that melds perfectly with the malt flavor. The smokiness is present, but subdued compared to other rauchbiers. Drinkability is fantastic.

 447 characters

Photo of Tone
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, smoke, hint of citrus, hint of hops, hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Munich Helles Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, slight metallic (only initially, fades very quickly), slight hops, hint of wheat, and hint of yeast. Overall, good appearance, smell, mouth feel, body, and blend.

 500 characters

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
3.96 out of 5 based on 691 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More