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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles LagerbierAecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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

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Reviews: 370 | Ratings: 655
Photo of jonb5
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half litre bottle, golden colour, clear, large head which soon disappeared. Aroma had notes of apple, Saaz hop and a hint of smoke. Tasted apple and a hint of smoke, had the spicy sweetness of Oktoberfest beers. Smooth texture, medium body, light carbonation. Overall a very refreshing beer, the smoke was understated but really gave it some depth that defied the 4.3abv.

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Photo of stevoj
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 2012: Tasted this alongside other rauchbiers at a work sponsored bierprobe. Although it is a helles, the smokiness known by Schlenkerla was present. A very unique helles, and not out of place if tasting rauchs....

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Photo of nickfl
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with an ample, two and a half finger head of foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lace on the glass.

S - A grainy aroma of pilsner malt with notes of bread and honey as well as herbal hops and a touch of smoke.

T - Dry malt, honey and a touch of woody character up front. Some herbal character in the middle with more honey and smoke beginning to come out. Finishes with dry malt, light bitterness and wispy, lingering smoke.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry, but balanced finish.

D - A balanced and drinkable Bavarian lager, but with a very subtle touch of smoke that takes it to another level of complexity. Really nice, up there with the best of Schlenkerla.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Served in a pilsener glass, the beer pours a clear straw gold color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The brew smells like grain/bready malt, apples, bananas, smoke, pears, and a bit of herbs. The taste is just like the aroma from what I can tell, I don't notice anything different between them. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit slick and smooth and easy enough to drink. I think it's a good overall beer, although I do prefer their smoked brews. But I'd buy this one again, I liked it.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.33/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased from Plonk in Canberra.

Pours a very clear golden yellow colour, with a mildly forming head of white film. Some veiny lace forms when tilted. Lots of fine carbonation. Stylistically, it's pretty much spot on.

Nose is grainy and slightly thin, with a faint hint of banana skin and a touch of smoke, but less than I expected, even though they state it's not brewed with the classic rauchmalz. It's more like a slightly tweaked Helles Lager than a beer from Schlenkerla.

Taste is extremely light, with some grainy pilsner malt through the centre leaving a hay-like vegetative or rustic note. It mingles again with a very faint suggestion of smoke, but this leaves a medicinal aspect when mingled with the slightly earthy hop bite on the finish. Feel is light and crisp; quite suitable.

Overall, I found this a little disappointing, even though it's a decent beer overall. It's a reasonable example of a classic style, but there are slight fractures to it which don't really move it off-kilter enough to be interesting.

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

500 ml bottle into pilsener glass, no bottle dating. Pours slightly cloudy golden straw color with a nice 2 finger dense white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a thick cap that lingers. Some nice lacing on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up retaining a dense head. Aromas of big pepper, bread, light smoke, apple, pear, herbal spiciness, floral, and a light metallic off note. Some pretty nice and balanced aromas with decent strength. Taste of pear, pepper, apricot, apple, grass, biscuit, floral, cracker, toasted grain, and herbal spiciness. Fairly dry on the finish; with some lingering notes of pear, apricot, grass, toasted grain, earth, and herbal spiciness on the finish for a short bit. Very nice and well balanced flavors. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a slightly creamy and very smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol presence is essentially non existent as expected of 4.3%. Overall this is a really nice, smooth, and balanced Munich Helles lager. It probably wasn’t very fresh, but it was still very enjoyable.

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Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a Stella chalice.

A- Pours a light golden with a 2 finger white head. Minimal lacing remains on the glass.

S- Some smoke like all Schlenkerla beers. Sweet malts with some citrus.

T- Crisp apple followed by sweet malts and smoke.

M- Light body, medium carbonation. Nice warm weather beer.

O- Nice lager with some smoke. Smoke not as prevelant as other Schlenkerla beers.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is crystal clear and pale yellow hued with a small, but lasting, white head that leaves sparse lacing on the glass.

The aroma is classic Aecht Schlenkerla campfire, albeit a more subtle scent than in other beers from this brewery. In addition to the smokey notes is a pleasant German lager scent.

The beer is light and smooth, with a balance of smoke and German lager flavors. Exactly what I would expect from this brewery.

I could easily drink a liter or more of this. Refreshing and flavorful. Well done.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Emptied slowly into my Guinness pint. Bright and clear marigold body with a rocky egghell head with great retention. Fills a glass nicely. 4.5

Mild smoke atop clean aromatic grains. Slight suggestion of musty snap could be a Saaz hop character. Bready and toasty. Very pleasing nose. 4.5

There's more beefy smoke pouring through, a perfect complement to this German lager. Grassy hops are more apparent now. However, setting it back is an unmistakable iron taste, like rust or blood. Metallic and off-putting. Love the smoky character, crisp bready grains, and noticeable hop; dislike the metallic middle and subsequent ruined finish. 3.5

Drinks just fine. A little light on carb, perhaps, but smooth at sail. Very sessionable. 4.0

That off-flavor killed it for me. I really wanted to love this beer as much as their rauchbier. Don't get me wrong, I'd drink this again. I enjoy it enough to seek out every once in awhile. I mean, it's still just a helles lager. I love both big and little smoked malt qualities, and this one satisfies that thirst of mine, but it's not without its own big flaw. Have to give it a 3.5

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a 2 inch puffy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and slight smoke aromas. Taste is of malt with a slight smoke flavor and some herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good lager that retains some of the traditional smoke aromas and flavors without being in your face.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming out of the 500 ml format, on to the beer:

This beer has a dark golden hue, head retention that is good, and leaves several rings of lacing around the glass. The nose says helles, but if you sniff a little closer, you can also catch a soft smokiness arising. In addition to the smoke, notes of honey and grassy hops arise.

I enjoy a quality helles lager, and Schlenkerla shows that they can do that. There's a subtle smoke flavor, no surprise that this is coming out off Schlenkerla. Honey, grass/hay flavors, also some bread.The flavors are nicely balanced, which helps make it easy to drink. The body is light, and the carbonation has a bit of a jumpy sensation.

Quality helles lager here. If you enjoy a subtle twist on this traditional Munich style, then grab a bottle of this.

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – A light transparent golden color with a beautiful white head.

Smell – Smell is surprisingly nice for a lager. A mild smokiness, malt, and a touch of honey.

Taste – The best lager I’ve had (although I haven’t yet tried the Augustiner Bräu Lagerbier Hell or the Thomas Hooker Munich Style Lager as of this review). It has a pleasant sweet/smokey taste that sticks around a while, but it’s a nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Perfectly carbonated for a lager.

Drinkability – Lagers typically go down easy. Since this is the best lager I’ve tried, it goes down that much easier. My local beer store sells this by the keg; this could be a dangerous drink for a big party.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip pint: Hazy but transparent golden-straw under two fingers of soft, glistening off-white head with some suspended solids throughout the body. Head drops to a lumpy, uneven covering.

Smell is a very crisp grape jelly, a little tea-like, even very slightly minty. Light bread crust pops up. Pretty pilsner-like smell, actually.

Crisp lager taste up front of mildly lemony hops, some biscuity character, then a softly savory smokiness shows up in the finish & turns to a kind of doughy, almost buttery sweetness in the aftertaste. The smoke is subtle, but provides a really nice twist & kind of recedes.

Crisp & tangy mouthfeel at first, then smooth & mellow in the finish, kind of rolls on down the throat. Very nice.

Pretty cool little number here: smooth, velvety lager with some restrained flavors & just a little twist there.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a pilsener. Beautiful clear golden color with a visible effervescence and a half a finger head, which dissipated quickly and left some nice lacing.

Smells definitely of lager yeast with a little bit of smokey overtone, some pale malt sweetness but not too much.

Taste is surprisingly complex for such a clear, bright lager. All the same kind of stuff as the nose, pale malt, lager yeast, a little smoky towards the end. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, a little tingly, very light body and very drinkable. Unfortunately I've already finished the bottle : (. At such a low alcohol content and such high flavor content, you'll want to drink a lot of this brew.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.11/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean pale yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, lemon citrus and a small smoke presence. In the taste, a light lager with notes of lemon citrus and a nice smoke. A small smoke bite and a lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry smoke in the aftertaste. A bit thin and the smokiness is a bit faint.

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Photo of avalon07
2.84/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsener glass. Had a pale yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: An almost undetectable aroma of malt, hops and not much else.

T: Tasted of mild hops, some malt, and a little bit of the smoky quality you get with Aecht beers. Mainly, this is a thin, watery flavor. Even the smokiness wasn't really noticeable.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is an average and forgettable beer. Not very interesting.

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Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden colour with a big, fluffy white head. Fair head retention and even a bit of lacing.

Very lightly smoky and almost herbal. Sweet malt as well. This really is an interesting approach to the Helles lager with the smoky brewhouse at Schlenkerla adding some really interesting aromas.

Just as in the aroma the sweet malt plays out as in a standard Helles lager but the subtle smokiness continues. It adds just a touch of complexity and depth to the beer which I find delightful.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Excellent.

A truly unique and interesting beer. i could see myself drinking a lot of this if I lived in Bamberg.

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Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Churchkey in Washington, D.C.

Poured a hazy gold with a soapy white head. Aromas of smoke, light, crisp malt, and some grassy hops. Taste is similar to the nose, slightly meaty smoke, crisp malt, honey, and toasted grain. Finish is long-lasing and bitter, and smacks nicely of smoke. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, very drinkable despite the advertised 6.5% ABV (BA says 4.3%, not sure which is correct). Overall a nice intro to Schlenkerla, but give me the Marzen or Urbock any day!

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Gage roads tulip.

A - Pours a clear Golden colour with a white fluffy head that retains well and laces.

S - Some smokeyness on the nose with some sweet grains.

T - Little smokey, with some grassy hay and grains. Very well balanced.

M - Light body and medium carbonation.

O - A solid beer with hint of the classic smoke. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of curasowa
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, golden color with one finger of white head that fades to a ring.

Aroma: Typical dry, mildly husky German malt aroma with notes of rye bread, faint chocolate and smoked meat.

Taste: Dry, crisp malt upfront, then pretty astringent with some smokiness and a little chalk. Some faint herbal hops finish things off before a pretty fast finish with some lingering graininess.

The Rest: Medium bodied; A pretty tasty Helles with some additional character from the smokiness.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pale gold brew with a ton of carbonation and a small, but continually replenishing, head. Thin streaks of lacing on the glass.

S - Hay and a bit of well cooked corn.

T - Slightly smoky, hay, a bit peppery, hint of paraffin, lots light malt and a hint of corn. After taste is a bit of corn, smoke, but mostly a grassy bitterness.

M - Carbonation extremely high, watery, thin, pretty refreshing.

D - Piecewise, I'm not impressed, but all together this beer is pretty nice.

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a first for me and it pours a slightly hazy honey hue which leaves a two finger head that stays and a nice rim of lacing,the smell is honeydew,the slightest tinge of smoke but its there and cold meats,the mouthfeel is just over lightbodied,dry and thirst satisfying the taste has the honeydew and slight smoked malts along with a touch of rockmelon and a everpresent herbal hop grassiness without the bitterness and overall its no standout beer but a bloody great session beer and could see this as one of my session staple beers for the Summer cheers.

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Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beers Of The World in Rochester, NY

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of pale malt with a bit of that good old smoked malt

T - Is slightly sweet upfront then the smoked malt comes through to give that wonderful smoke flavor

M - This beer has a lighter body with medium carbonation to it

O - While this is a decent Rauchbier this is like the Bud Light of Schlenkerla's lineup definitely a gateway to the bolder Rauchbiers out there so I think just about anyone could drink this worth picking up to try if you see it around

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 pint .9 oz. bottle

Poured a clear golden color with a thick but light white head, 2+ finger pour with good head retention that settled into a thin cap that lasted through the beer. Carbonation was noticeably constantly rising to the top.

Very nice malted barley aroma with a hint of smoke.

The taste follows the nose, but perhaps a bit more smokey.

The beer had a light feel to it, exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. Overall, this is a simple beer that is exceptionally well done. This one will be in my beer fridge more often.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
3.96 out of 5 based on 655 ratings.
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