Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
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Lager - Rauchbier
Ranked #3
Ranked #3,051
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: 1,212 | Ratings: 2,527 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by brewerburgundy:
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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
More User Reviews:
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Redneckwine from Washington

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%

Cold bomber into tulip, 5.1% ABV

Appearance - Opaque dark brown, but shows good clarity towards the bottom of the glass, head is only 1 finger worth, but sticks around a long time and leaves epic lacing

Aroma - As expected, very smoky, but not overly so. Pleasant and lightly sweet malts in the background

Feel/Taste - Very gentle, smooth, minimal carb, lighter body than expected, crisp, comes off as medium-light. Taste is nice and smoky up front: smoked salmon without the fishiness, smoked bacon without the porkiness! Smoke prevalent, but pleasantly light and woodsy. Mid palate the smoke comes together nicely with lightly sweet, faintly fruity malts. Faint grassy/spicy hop notes in the finish with little bitterness.

Overall - Really pleasantly surprised with this one. I wouldn't say it's "sessionable" unless you really love smoke, as swigging a smoked liquid is pretty odd to me. One was good, maybe I'd do 2, but I don't think I'd want to knock 3-4 of these back. However, it's actually quite light feeling and the smoke never gets overwhelming. This is a masterfully crafted, delicious beer; I truly enjoyed it.

Sep 18, 2014
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doktorhops from Australia

4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Schlenkerla, what can we say about them that hasn’t already been said? They are the undisputed kings of the Rauchbier genre... well they may be a little disputed, HaandBryggeriet’s Norwegian Wood for example is a really good Rauch... anyway, it’s time to finally review the Märzen, which was actually the first Rauchbier I tried, lost my Rauch-ginity to Schlenkerla, and TBH I did not like it the first time. Now that I’m a seasoned Rauch drinker Schlenkerla Urbock is my go to glass of liquid bacon, let’s see if this revisit to the Märzen is as good.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Stein.

A: Presents a deep slight-hazed Bole brown body with a tight-packed 2cm beige head that settles to half a centimetre. Looks a real dark smoky treat, wunderbar! 8/10.

S: Bacon, yes you’ve been expected, probably the biggest difference between this and the Urbock is this one trends towards sweetness in the aroma with an almost icing sugar/cake frosting sweetness lingering in the background. Apart from that it is Beechwood FTW. 8/10.

T: Not as bold as the Urbock... actually I’m surprised by how shocked I recall being when I first tried this many moons ago - yes it is smoky, but not quite as smoky as the Urbock, and this is well balanced with notes of Bacon, sweet honey malt and a twist of lemon. This is the Märzen cousin of Urbock (remember that Märzens are bottom-fermented, in other words; a Lager, even though they don’t often come across as Lagers). Finish is Dry Munich Helles dry with a touch of yeast sourness. 8/10.

M: Mid to light bodied (a bit watery compared to the Urbock) with a light but dense carbonation - fits the Märzen bill well, not great. 7/10.

D: Overall this is wunderbar compared to the Urbock’s ehrfürchtige. A class act of a Rauch that is overshadowed by THE best Rauchbier in the world (Schlenkerla’s own Urbock). If I had to pick a cured meat to compare this Märzen to (as is my tradition for all Schlenkerla beer reviews) I would say this is: Smoked honey ham. If you like smoked honey ham you will like this offering from Bamberg (the unofficial home of sexual relations). Bam. 9/10.

Food match: Who needs food when you have a glass of this glorious smoked honey ham delight? Seriously though: Bavarian pork knuckle with fried potato and onions and sauerkraut... damn I’m hungry now.

Jun 22, 2015
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NicholasRakestraw from Michigan

4.87/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The only bad parts of this beer is that it must be drank cold. And it has an after taste. To which it must be understood that this is one of the strongest smoke tasting beers out there. Also... smoky beers in general have an after taste.

It is important to hydrate thoroughly before drinking this Bamberg beer in quantity.

The brewery is beautiful. The locals are generally very nice. Great place to hang out and wait in line for the next beer. Served cold from a tap coming from the basement. The food at the brewery is also very good.

Mar 07, 2019
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JTuomi from Finland

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

50 cl bottle (bb 11/2014) into a tulip glass. Clear ruby brown body, medium tan head that settles down quickly, little lacing. The smell is subtle smoke and sweet malt. The taste starts off with smooth toasted malt, followed by gentle smoke with a hint of coffee, finishing dry with a grassy hop bitterness, leaving an aftertaste of coffee-like bitterness and pleasant smoke. Medium body and carbonation. Overall a pleasant beer specialty, just the right amount of smoke in the taste. Easily drinkable, would have this one again.

Nov 15, 2014
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tectactoe from Michigan

4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had and enjoyed the Urbock rauchbier, don't know why it has taken me so long to finally pick this one up. The store I went to was out of the Urbock at the time, or else I would've gotten them both and tried them side by side. The Marzen is a bit lighter in color; deep-ish brown with more clarity and a wispy off-white head that clings to the glass just a bit at the top.

The aroma is stupendous; a brigade of smoked malts just engulf your senses for a moment and it's heavenly. What I love about the aroma is the pure and varied nature of the smoke - I'm picking up charred wood, light charcoal, campfire roast, and even a bit of smoked sausage and bacon. It's not just a straightforward, ashtray-like smoke that oftentimes is the downfall of many other beers of this style.

Very similar follow-through with the taste, although a bit more light than the Urbock - slightly less creamy and thick, but acceptable given the lower (and sessionable) ABV level. Smoked malts work the palate; light char, mesquite wood chips, hints of smoked meat, liquid smoke. Once again, I'm most taken back by Schlenkerla's ability to make the smoke so dominant and heavy while at the same time making sure it's not burning, ashy, or off-putting. Very well done. Medium carbonation, medium body.

I believe I liked the Urbock a little bit more, although I'd really have to try them back to back just to be sure, and I think I might do that soon. I remember loving the thick and creamy body of the Urbock, and the flavors popped a bit more. This one might have a better nose, though. Either way, both are quintessential examples of the rauchbier style.

Mar 22, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

5.1% ABV per label on the bottle.

Pours a clear dark brown with a 1 inch light tan head that fades to a thin cap. Thin rings of lace and random splotches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smells of smoked meats, campfire, and band-aids. Taste is of smoked sausages, liquid smoke, band-aids, and roasted malts on the finish. The bitter smoke flavors fade quickly after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very interesting beer. This is the first of the style that I have had and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I would try other rauchbiers in the future.

Jun 25, 2011
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NorbertB1974 from Germany

4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mar 28, 2020
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canadianbarman from Canada (AB)

2.33/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

--Regular 1 pint brown bottle, no freshness date to be found.
--Poured a dark ruby like in color. Started out with a nice head that quickly dissipated to almost nothing.
--Smelled a smell I have never had before. Obviously a smoky smell that was comparable to smoked salmon.

This was my first foray into a rauchbier and, as one of the brothers stated, either you like it or you don't. Unfortunataly I am not quite ready for this taste yet. It tasted like it smelled and was almost overpowering to me. Maybe I am naive but I have tried smoked beers and that is the taste that I expected. This was just too much for me as the smell and taste still lingered long after I had finished the beer. Later on, as my skills progress, I would like to try another one.

Oct 03, 2003
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Mindsquall from Canada (ON)

4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This has to be the most fascinating things i've ever had. Being the first Rauchbier i've had, i'm very very fascinated. This looks good, dark brown with a nice amount of lacing. Smell is like, campfire. With hints of a smoked sausage, totally delicious. Taste is absolutely phenomenal. This would go so so well with a side of summer sausage. carbonation is just right and delivers the aromas just perfectly. Drinkability is pretty good, but for some the aftertaste might be a bit too much. Personally this ranks among the best i've ever tasted. Very unique and quite flavorful. I'm getting some of these next time I have a barbecue.

Jan 13, 2006
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Pauly2X from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark ruby brown with a one and a half finger head.

S- The same aroma one gets from smoked fish or ham with some underlying malt sweetness.

T- Altough the smoke flavor stays in the forefront it is not overpowering as I would have suspected. Otherwise a pretty soild malt / hop balance.

M- A little on the thin side otherwise good.

D- I would look to pair this with food rather than to drink solo.

Even though not everybody is going to like this bier, the style is worth a try.

Mar 08, 2008
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titvs from Portugal

3.6/5  rDev -12.8%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 22A). Bottle 50 cl - Batch LTK. AROMA: very present smoked aroma reminiscent of burnt wood. Very faint malt aroma with no esters and no hop aromas. APPEARANCE: dark ruby color and translucid. rich and creamy tanned head with medium-low retention. TASTE: smoky flavour balanced with a slight sweet malty background. clean lager profile. very low bitterness. finishes medium-dry. PALATE: medium-low body with low carbonation. OVERALL: a nice example of a Bamberg speciality.

Sep 19, 2014
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BranfordBound from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Overall an amazing beer that is pure meaty smoke. Like bacon. The problem is that it is so flavorful and aggressive that the big bottle is simply too much. Other than that, everyone needs to try this beer at least once.

Jun 16, 2015
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BigKrall from Illinois

5/5  rDev +21.1%

Jun 09, 2014
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spoony from Colorado

4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 500 ml bottle into a nonic glass. Bottle says 5.1% ABV.

A-A normal pour produces two fingers of milky-tan head. The retention is good with more than two-minutes having passed and a cap remaining. The brew is dark, walnut brown with ruby highlights. No real lacing.

S-The smell is...wait for it...smokey. The smoke is a pleasing mixture of charcoal, light peat, and roasted barley. There is also a bit of toffee caramel sweetness. No hops.

T-The taste is less smokey than the smell, but smoke is certainly the most prominent flavor. There is just a hint of sweetness underneath, as well as a bit of grain. Nice balance.

M-The feel is medium body with a soft to moderate carbonation. The brew is drinkable despite the smokiness and heft.

O-This is a really tasty example of the style. The smoke is strong, but it never overpowers things, and provides a nice complex flavor. The flavors are balanced and smooth. Even though the feel is a little soft and heavy, drinkability is high, as well.

Oct 08, 2013
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jim_carignan from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

May 19, 2014
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yinz11 from Georgia

5/5  rDev +21.1%

Aug 11, 2014
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Captain68 from Russian Federation

4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


May 28, 2017
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IPA17 from New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Awesome. Not for everybody but a unique and enjoyable beer for many of those willing to give it a try.

Sep 23, 2016
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Absumaster from Netherlands

3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer with a thin head.

Smell of smoked sausages with a woody, timberlike smell. This gives me an association with smoked fish, but this has nothing to do with it off course. Also a faint maltiness that is also a bit caramellic.

Taste of smoked sausage and smoked fatty fish. A light bitter combined with a maltbitterness on top of a light maltbase. The smoke sets the character of this beer and although the smoke is not sharp or burned, it lays a small layer of smoke in my mouth. Body is quite thin and carbonation is low. Aftertaste is lingering smoke.

Oct 22, 2007
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BigJim5021 from Indiana

4/5  rDev -3.1%

Jul 26, 2013
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AleWatcher from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was pan frying some pork schnitzel and decided this would be a perfect beer to go with dinner-- also serving German potato salad and sour kraut.

A deep red-- classic marzen color. Almost white head-- nice lacing.

Wow. This is smokey. Like bacon. I love it. This is miles ahead of a standard marzen. The taste has a light sweetness, a slight cola flavor, big roastiness, and a fried bacon/pork fat flavor. This is quite interesting.

Finish is nice and smokey. Full and robust... Good carbonation.

Wow I really like this. Awesome beer for the style. Much smokies and bacon-like than Mikeller Beer Geek Bacon.

Nov 21, 2010
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Groulxsome from Canada (ON)

4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle -> Tulip. Best Before January 2013.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black with a white, cream coloured head. Some reddish hints when held to the light.

Smell: Smoke, like campfire smoke made of pine and birch and maple. A little caramel sweetness. This might be a bit crass, but the sweetness is almost like burn marshmallows in a camp fire. It's making me nostalgic! I'm also getting the kind of smoke that might be on a good smoked ham or the way that a good pulled pork restaurant might smell.

Taste: Much more malty the the smell would indicate. I'm getting some toasted malt, caramel, and then that smoke which is much like the way I've described it in the smell. It's a got a little bitterness, but wow, that smoke. Maybe almost salty? In the aftertaste it's dry (like a Marzen) but there is almost a salt taste in there too.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, medium body, and a little carbonation. A little numbing almost from the flavour. A very, very crisp clean finish. Hits the that Marzen mark for me!

Overall: This beer is a classic for a reason. On its own it's a fun beer to drink and as a beer drinker it is really in the top 20 beers you really -have- to try, but it'd be really great skillfully paired with food or use in preparing BBQ (not with BBQ, but, like in a preparation). For some reason I want pan-seared scallops paired with this to give an overall smokiness to the dish or something like that, where the beer could add that smoke flavour to the food. It's really versatile and if you haven't had it, you really ought to.

May 16, 2012
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Ajlvt from Washington

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

Feb 27, 2019
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thommo_nk from Scotland

4.5/5  rDev +9%

Oct 24, 2014
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 2527 ratings