Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
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Lager - Rauchbier
Ranked #3
Ranked #3,038
4.13 | pDev: 14.29%
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
Notes: ABV may vary slightly year to year.

Aecht Original Schlenkerla Maerzen Smokebeer, considered the classic example in its category, has been brewed for centuries in the baroque town of Bamberg in Franconia (Bavaria/Germany). Following the most ancient malting traditions, all its select barley malts are kilned over a fire of beech wood logs at the Schlenkerla maltings. Brewed in classic copper vessels and matured for months in 14th century cellars, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier is a truly unique smoky beer experience.
Reviews: 1,210 | Ratings: 2,523 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Shanex
Shanex from France

4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A big 500ml bottle with a very nice vintage label, you’d think you’re back in the movie “The name of the Rose” and enjoying a monks beer…

5,1% ABV. Pours a dark amber color and leaves a two inches brownish head.

On the nose, the beer smells like smoked malt or even meat, no different than other smoked beer but has something unique about it. Chestnut and brown sugar.

On the palate and following the nose, an incredibly tasty balance of smoked malt, chestnut, salty ham, sweet caramel and some herbal notes. Super tasty.

This is a thick bodied smoked beer, going down smoothly with moderate carbonation.

Overall, by far the best German bier I’ve ever had in my life. We aren’t so lucky regarding distribution of German beers here despite the proximity of Germany. This one was found at the beer store for 7€ price is a bit too much but I’m not complaining at all. Money well spent and I think I should purchase more smoked beer, and German ones particularly when I’ll get the chance again.


Jun 05, 2021
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dpc166 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Came in a 16oz can. Canned in Connecticut (shipped in tanks from Germany). Crystal clear with a light tan head. Excellent smoky flavor, like smoked bacon. Smooth malt flavor with a light smoke acidy on the tongue. Perfect carbonation and creamy. Glad to have finally enjoyed the classic example of the style as I've brewed this style a few times.

May 29, 2021
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Blind-tasted except for the beer's name and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Super-deep chestnut red-brown, clear, pours with a 3mm mid-tan head. [[email protected]+5mins = the head doesn't linger].
S- Distinct wood-smoke. Like cleaning the ashes out of a log fireplace the morning after a good fire. No other aspects of smell seem to get past that smoke.
T- Seriously smokey, reminds me of the pungency of smoked+dry-cured Bavarian ham.. Again not much else gets past the smoke for me.
F- The character is in the taste, the body is quite light and unremarkable in comaprison.
O- Arguably pretty much everything begins and ends with the major smoke aspect. That said as long as you're ok with that then it's a different and pleasant beer. I'm unlikely to wish to buy such a beer again but would happily drink one out and about now and again.
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the lables to see what I missed! ABV 5.1% vs 5.4% in the headers, but it states above also that the ABV% varies year to year...
500ml bottle BB: 01/2022. £3 Bought from TremblingMadness, York/UK as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.

May 23, 2021
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DanfromVan from Canada (BC)

3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

I'm in Canada and I still have close neighbours who burn firewood to keep warm in the winter. Don't know why I picked it up except for an experiment.
You can tell the beer is well crafted. Silky rich mouthfeel, bright light bitterness, nice colour, and a big smoke taste. Reminds me of my neighbours smoky chimneys in the winter,
But , there are days when I can't take the smoke anymore, and with this beer, it was at about the 60% consumed point. so I salute the makers, but unlikely to try again. Too bad as the underlying beer seems like a great brew. A little lime dessert washed the lingering flavour away.

May 15, 2021
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KRug from Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of many beers in their line that I've wanted to try for a very long time. It's always nice to find Rauchbiers as they're pretty much a dying style, so to find one that's the 3rd highest ranked of the style is really awesome. LEt's see what this one is all about

Pours a very dark brown with 2 fingers of tan head than quickly fades to a thin cap and leaves decent lacing

The nose is typical for a general smoked beer, but it has a nice depth to it. I'm picking up on aromas of smoked meat, chocolate malt, lightly acidic coffee, toasted brown bread, and brown sugar

For as smoke driven as this in aroma, this is wonderfully balanced in taste. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting caramel malt, salty ham, smoked wood, and lightly earthy hops. The swallow brings notes of smoked malt, brown bread, salty ham, caramel sweetness, herbal hops, and a touch of coffee

A light medium body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a smooth and rich beer. Finishes dry and smoky with a great balance

Awesome beer right here. Insanely sessionable for the flavor, I could drink a lot of this in the cold weather

May 12, 2021
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Before any other sensation is felt, the nose picks up a smokey aroma. That was just from popping the cap of a brown 16.9 ounce bottle. Now that most of the brew is snugly inside a clear Imperial pint glass, the visual can be observed. It's a beer deep dark brown with a reddish hue. For the depth of color, there is some transparency. The proper head is biege and quite enduring. The "smoke" becomes even more noticeable. Like an overly peaty Scottish Whiskey, the sensation is unique, but somewhat overwhelming. One is delightfully unique, but the one-trick aspect becomes almost annoying by the end of the serving. What else is there? Some nice glass lacing. The body is malty, but not too sweet. There may be hops in there, too, as there's some slight bitterness. Even with the maltiness, it's a bit light on the tongue, except for the smoke. The carbonation seemed just about perfect.

Apr 20, 2021
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Sigmund from Norway

2.86/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Old rating. (500 ml bottle). Well, any idiot can recognize that this beer has MORE aroma than (nearly) any other beer, and MORE flavour than a lot of beers. But to make a 100% honest rating, I have to ask myself: Do I actually LIKE the overpowering smell of smoked meat? Sadly, the answer is NO. I'm a beer drinker, not a goddamn sausage maker! The flavour is not quite as overpowering smoky as the aroma - at least you get a notion that you're drinking a beer and not just liquid smoked meat. Still, it tastes like something that has just been saved out of the burnt-out ruins of a brewery. Like any Marzen, it is quite light bodied (when you try to ignore the smokiness, of course). I probably have to admit that Rauchbiers are not my cup of tea - sorry, beer - but would still like to sample the Urbock as I imagine that a heavier beer would carry the smokiness better than a Marzen. Did I mention that this beer at least LOOKS good? - good head, beautiful dark copper colour.

Jan 20, 2021
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Peach63 from New York

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep copper with a 1 inch thick, foamy cream-colored head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma is smoked ham, wood, ash, peat.

Taste is smoky, nutty, spicy, woody, ham.

Medium to full bodied, light carbonation. Dry, smoky finish.

This is one fine smoky marzen.

Dec 27, 2020
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Beershaker from Canada (ON)

4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Brown and ruby red. It looks like a red wine if you see it through a light. Long-lasting brown head.

Smell: Smoky, nutty, malty.

Taste: Smoky flavour is very dominant. That smoky flavour actually doesn’t go away from your mouth for a long time. It’s like drinking smoked bread. But it lacks some other aroma in my opinion. A little bit sour.

Feel: light-body. Just enough carbonation. Smoky feeling doesn’t go away.

Overall: It’s an interesting beer, considering it’s made of smoked malts.

Dec 23, 2020
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Sheppard from Virginia

4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with frothy light tan head. Straight campfire smoke on the nose. There's a lot of smokeyness to digest, as you'd expect. A touch of bacony, hammy meat, some campfire. I don't feel like the amount of smoked has enough malt to stand up to it. Like I think a little biscuity body to handle all of this smoked malt would be positively wonderful. Also, I am not getting any Marzen characteristics in the slightest, not that I was expecting any. This is good, as you'd expect from a standard setter, but it isn't without improvements based on my preferences ;).

Nov 27, 2020
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BubbleBobble from New York

4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, just a tinge of ruby red when held up to the light; ample fluffy tan head that slow recedes leaving thick lacing. Nose is predominantly beechwood smoke, but underneath there are sweeter notes of roasted malt. The smoke flavor comes forward on the palate, but it's not as savory and intense as with their Festenbier. The smoke flavor is subtly balanced by the roasted malts and some hop bitterness, and the finish is surprisingly dry. Mouthfeel is excellent - full, moderate carbonation, but extremely refreshing. Could drink this all day.

Nov 01, 2020
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Gordono from Nevada

4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wow, Smokey! That is my first impression of this style that I’m not very familiar with.
The first thing that hits you is the aroma, smoookie and maybe it’s just me but I also get a hint of licorice. I am impressed with a good aroma.
The look is great, nice dark color, great head.
The flavor follows the aroma, like smoked licorice, if that’s a thing.
But for me, the smokiness is overwhelming. It never backs down. I found it to be acrid and and bitter and it also has an off putting medicinal taste. This beer gets points for being different, in my limited experience, but I don’t think I could finish more than one.

Oct 07, 2020
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

So classic!
I needed this after a number of iffy IPAs I tasted lately.
Cola color with a 4F head in Brooklyn Brewery Embossed glass,
similar to the Schlenkerla glass.

Major smoke! Smoke gets in your eyes! If you don’t like smoky beers pass on this one.


Aug 28, 2020
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BorisVavilov from Minnesota

4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pint bottle poured into tulip. Appears black in color away from the light. When held to the light, only a slightly purple glow diffuses through. Head is thin. Finger width before dissipating fairly rapidly, although the carbonation remains persistent. Smell does not indicate what is in store flavorwise necessarily. Fairly mellow aroma of smokiness emitted from the glass. Very subdued smell. Flavor is remarkable, but not very complex. Very straightforward flavor by my estimation. The malty sweetness subtly rings through the more prevalent smoky flavor at first. The flavor eludes concise description, but evokes a lot of fine memories. I guess I would classify it like a charred pork chop flavor. It almost tricks your brain into tasting salt. Finishes with a hint of black cavendish tobacco. Aftertaste is like you just smoked a puff of a cigar or pipe. I think what makes this particularly enjoyable is the sensory experience reminds you of a lot things you've enjoyed that were smoky. A pork chop at the state fair. Morning bacon with your dad. A camp fire with friends. Maybe the sentimentality clouds the actual quality of the beer. I can't really say, but all I know is I love drinking this beer. It just makes you feel incredibly decadent and at the same time "zuhause" as the Germans would say.

6 dollars is a lot to pay for this pint, but I have yet to regret it.

Aug 21, 2020
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Beersnake1 from California

4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a nice dark brown with a good amount of tan head. Sticks around for a while. Nose is insanely awesome. Smoked ham! Leather, licorice, malts, and some oak. The taste follows the nose, although I was honestly expected more smoke. Definitely has the nice smoked meat flavor - even a bit of sweetness likely a honey smoked ham. Some dark dried fruit, leather, hay, earth, dark bread, and a bit of burnt toffee. A woody taste lingers on the after taste. Really interesting beer.

Aug 11, 2020
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snaotheus from Washington

3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle served in a big crystal mug. Can't find a date on it. Bought it at Malt & Vine on Monday.

Pours a dark brown, moderately translucent, with a big light tan head. Smell is smoke, barley tea, toffee.

Taste is smokey in the aftertaste, toffee or burnt caramel in front. Moderate barley sweetness. Little bit of a brown ale vibe to it - kind of nutty or tea like. I get more smoke in subsequent sips.

Mouthfeel is not too heavy, but a little sticky. Overall, it's pretty good.

Jul 25, 2020
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monkist from Hungary

4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I haven’t had a smoked beer before but I must admit that I like smoked things, barbecue, smoked meat, smoked cheese cetera. I just like the smell of burnt wood, just like incense.
This one struck me, it reminded me of Austria or Germany, those places back in Europe, in the mountains where they burn wood to smoke meat. This one had a very similar scent to it, I guess it must have been smoked with birch.
The aroma is just totally smoked, I could very faintly sense any beer in there but the smoke was tremendous, I loved it. Actually, I did smell malts in there, roasted I guess, made me feel ever so slightly like a stout but it was much more than that. The smoke was overwhelming and I really loved it. It was like German smoked meat, pork or beef? Nostalgic.
The taste was even more surprising, as I didn’t expect the smoke to be this intensive - but it was, and besides being a beer, it was really “smoked” as in food is. It was sunken into the taste deeper than just the surface, it was a part of the whole thing. And the smoke had such a boquet that I love so I just couldn’t get enough of it.
The beer, although being a marzen, the mouthfeel reminded me of it and the underlying taste had more body than a lager but not as much as a bock, not even as much as a dark lager, nor an alt, it was definitely a marzen - and when in Germany, you have to be thinking in German beers so... This came in different varieties but I came marzen because I like this style best and I believe I made a good choice. Would be great to try a few others too!

Jun 05, 2020
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Greywulfken from New York

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown-colored with red hues, clear; finger or two of tan foam off a measured pour into a stange... Dry smoke and wood with an undertone of caramel and anise - earthy, smoky, woody, mild bitterness, mild sweetness - medium-light-bodied, low-carbonated feel - maybe a little bit of stickiness in the corners of the mouth on the finish, but pales in comparison to that dry smoke that lingers after... Super-fine drinking experience - a must try for beer advocates...

May 21, 2020
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mothman from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Tan head. Lace. Dark brown color.

Smoke, smoke, and more smoke. Bacon, pulled pork, BBQ sauce. Is this a beer or a Texas grill out? Absolutely amazing flavors. A true rauch!

May 08, 2020
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark for a Märzen. Good head production and body clarity; decent retention.

Aroma is all wood, smoke, and pork; a delicious campfire for the nose.

On the palate, this brew doesn't come across as well as the darker A-S Rauchbiere (nor, surprisingly, as well as their Helles). The smoke is pleasant, and the overall presentation is nice, but the malt base doesn't bring a lot to the party. Moderately bitter.

Smooth, perhaps a touch too oily, lively. Very pleasant drinker.

Mar 14, 2020
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InspectorHound from Canada (ON)

2.68/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Look: Dark chestnut brown, clear, Holding it up to the light reveals the red's which bring in the chestnut colour. Pours with a tawny 2 fingers of foam. The foam gives way slowly leaving plenty of lacing.

Smell: Smokey, not in the peaty sense but reminiscent of the cooled embers left behind the morning after your campfires burnt out.

Taste: Light woods, green wood, salty ham, olives. At the start, I didn't find the smokiness pleasant like a live campfire, the smokiness was stale like last nights embers. By the middle this was even more pronounced.

Feel: Surprisingly watery and thin for a beer that's smell and taste offers the gravity of so much smoke. Left my mouth with an after taste like from a cheap cigar.

I haven't drank a lot of smoky beers to compare too, but I prefer a more peaty smoke flavour (which I found in certain smoked porters and smoked reds) than what this delivered. This was my first Rachbier, it will likely be my last.
This beer earns a D-. Obviously this is in a lot of folks wheelhouse given the generally high ratings. Not in mine though. Drinking this beer was unpleasant, and I couldn't finish.

Mar 14, 2020
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octortus from Canada (ON)

4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL Bottle. ABV 5.1%.
Appearance: Dark red, Clear (When held up to light), Medium-High carbonation, Under a finger of creamy beige head, Fantastic retention.
Aroma: Peat smoke, Smoked meats (bacon, ham), Earthy.
Mouthfeel: Above medium body, Smooth, Slightly creamy.
Flavour: Peat smoke, Smoked meats (bacon, ham), Brown sugar.
Overall: Quite easy drinking. I thought it would be too smoky, but it's actually very well balanced. Fantastic example and great introduction to German Rauchbier.

Review: 140

Feb 23, 2020
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Bamberg89 from Germany

4.71/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: At first glimpse, it looks dark brown, almost black. If you held it against light, you can also see some shades of red. Quite clear, no cloudiness to be seen.
Smell: Very strong smell of smoke, although not overwhelming.
Taste: At the very first moment, there is a little taste of malt, immediately afterwards a lot of smoke. Some bitterness, but mostly smoky and tasty. In the end the smoky flavor is more predominant. Little hints of hops are also tasted.
Feel: Very smooth sensation; the sensation of smoke is staying for a longer time.
Overall: You get what you expect- a beer where you can surely taste the smokiness. Although the taste of smoke is very strong, it is not unpleasant, as it is balanced with the taste of roasted malts and a tiny little bit of fruity bitterness from the hops. Compared to other smoked beer I know coming directly from Bamberg, this is the one tasting most like smoke. In my opinion, this beer defines the category of smoked beer.

Feb 19, 2020
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brewerburgundy from California

4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle, tulip, 4/2020 on the bottle.

The color is brown garnet, with an initially frothy fawn head that rivals some stouts. It settles to a solid ring that leaves some lace.

Aromas of a camp fire burning damp or green wood and too many leaves. There’s a serious salty brined olive component. The smokiness is deep, meaty, and satisfying.

It’s a savory beer with rich smoked meat and wood flavors, even some vanilla.

Full, medium body with medium-low carbonation. It’s almost creamy, which adds to the richness.

While the smoke is voluminous, which is the point, things are beautifully in balance otherwise. Bitterness and malt in harmony.

Feb 02, 2020
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

4.71/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark coca cola looker with all the carbonation and a fairly thin head. Good lacing. An unbelievable smell. The smoked malt is food grade aroma. Heavenly. The taste is malty, smoky, bacon and smoked meats. Truly a meal in a glass. Very satisfying. Righteous. The mouthfeel is fabulous too as it's 5.1% ABV is easy drinking, chewing and overall just a simple pleasure. I should keep these around. Use them in some Drunken Beans or something.

Jan 16, 2020
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2523 ratings