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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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1,106 Reviews
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

Brewed by:
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV may vary slightly year to year.

Bamberg's speciality, a dark, bottom fermented smokebeer, brewed with Original Schlenkerla Smokemalt from the Schlenkerla maltings and tapped according to old tradition directly from the gravity-fed oakwood cask in the historical brewery tavern.

Added by taez555 on 07-11-2001

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Reviews: 1,106 | Ratings: 2,249
Photo of Wasatch
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice two finger creamy head which lasts a long time, nice sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is malty, smoked big time, toffee, and caramel. The taste is malty, smokey, with nice touch of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, the taste reminds me of sardines, so because of this I would not buy again.

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Photo of tone77
2.21/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of smoked meats. Taste is unlike anything I have had before. Smoke, bacon, meaty, I can see where it would appeal to some but I was unable to finish it. Feels medium bodied and unpleasant in the mouth and overall I did not enjoy it at all.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very dark beer for a Marzen, a dark amber in color. This one is quite dry tasting, with a very pronounced smokiness to it. The dryness seems to accentuate and focus your tastebuds upon the smoke flavor. This beer has quite a good amount of Body, a certain fullness that comes through even though it is quite dry tasting. There is not much in the way of hop flavor, which is good, as it allows the subdued malt and, of course, the smoke to come through.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Rastal Teku from a 500 ml bottle. Look is dark brown with a thick creamy tan head and lingering lacing. Smell and taste is smoke and creamy dark roasted malts. Feel is light to medium in body with a clean dry finish. Goes great with smoked meats.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Poured from a 500 ml bottle. A dark brown brew with a sizable head and some lace sticking to the glass. Aroma of most delicious bbq meat and smoke, obviously from the beechwood smoked malts. A lush caramel underbody is a great palate for the smoke to dance on. Malty, roasty, smokey, fantastic. Kind of tastes like how a dying fire smells. There is a subtle malt sweetness that works with the smoke. Malt comes off roasted, a seperate flavor from the smoke. Hops are lightly bitter, but barely percievable until the finish. There is a lingering smoked meat flavor that sticks with you as it sticks to the beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, carbonation is about right, moderate. Overall, a great Rauch, epitomizes the style. Went well with grilled steak quesadillas and smoked poblano salsa.

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Photo of plaid75
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger rocky white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a meaty smoke that seemingly hovered over the rim if the glass like an autumn fog.

The taste was also smoke driven with the same thick chewy smoke leaping from the glass. Secondary grainy malts were detected along with a touch of caramel.

The mouthfeel was full with a fine tingling sensation added from the smoke.

Overall a superior rauchbier.

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Photo of biegaman
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ahhh the most hated or loved of all styles: Rauchbier.

Aecht Schlenkerla Märzen has a polished, dark mahogany coloured body and chestnut highlights. At angles it reflects shades of burgundy. Very classy looking. It also has a thick outlaying head that, after a good swirl, reveals a tanned, marble looking cream which crowds the sides of the glass but leaves the center bare.

The aroma is an aggression of wood and beechwood smoke; it smells like a sauna filled with bratwurst caught fire. It strongly resemble smoke meats and reminds me of kielbasas in particular, but also salami, bacon, and sausage. Applewood smoked cheddar in a big way too. It is certainly something you need to both acquire a taste for and be in the mood for.

The mouthfeel is a well balanced medley of smoke and malts. It drinks well although is far too acquired of a taste to claim as widely 'agreeable' or 'approachable'. Carbonation is on the lower end. This should pair wonderfully with any meal featuring red or game meat.

The flavour isn't as aggressive with the smoke as the aroma. Make no mistake, it's still very much tasted, but is better integrated with malt on the palate; it is equally as malty as it is smoky. While the grain base is strong, the beer still tastes overwhelmingly like smoked bacon and also, I imagine, a bit like a fire log would.

The beer is recognizably well crafted and skillfully balanced... still, it can be a little overwhelming - off-putting even - on first try. It is perhaps the most acquired taste of all beer styles. It took me a bit of time to appreciate Rauchbiers, but I love them now. And those brewed by Brauerei Schlenkerla are unquestionably the best out there. Whether you end up loving or hate it, trying Rauchbier promises to be a unique experience.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours a dark red almost black looking, with a full white head, great retention and good lacing. Seen this beer out of the olde wooden cask too, looks phenomenal.

S: Smoke, maple syrup and bacon.

T: Munich malt, very much marzen like of course with is the main backbone, has some sweetness. Smoke is prominent, but not as over the top as I remember when I first had it, perhaps it was just so new back then. Smoky tasty lager, not much more to say, quite good.

M: Not as robust maybe as I would like, could make the beer extraordinary, medium-bodied, smoky aftertaste, you'll taste the beer for a long time.

D: The classic of the style and the beer to have if you want to now what rauchbier is all about. A throwback to the early lagers and one of the most traditional flavours you're going to get.

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Photo of Zorro
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a dark clear coca cola brown beer with a good light brown head.

Well the one defining characteristic of beers of this type is the heavy smokiness and you do not have to get very close to smell the smoke coming of this one. Hardwood smoke and the smell of calamine lotion are the major scents in this one. Having said that this one is quite restrained for a Rauchbier unlike the much stronger Urbock this company makes.

Taste is sweetish and quite smoky from the start tasting like beer bacon. Stoutly bitter aftertaste in this one and the smoke doesn't completely takeover, but it is still smokier than any smoked porter is. There is a little medicine after taste here but it is less than a lot of German Hefeweizens have.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is quite good and this is the one Rauchbier I would suggest for someone new to them or even for a BMC drinker. Probably a perfect Barbecue beer; cook with the Urbock and drink this one.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped into a local pub last night because they were having a two week Octoberfest type thing: pleased I did because there were bottles of this for £3.20.

Sadly they didn't have any of the correct glasses or steins, so I poured it into a Beck's Vier glass which actually suited it well. It showed off the body and head nicely and allowed the smoky aromas to waft out.

Really is an acquired taste and my wife hates this beer (we've been to Bamberg a few times). I am not a smoked bacon guy, nor do I smoke or eat much smoked ham or cheeses, but I do like this beer.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always really liked the beer from this brewery, and I think they set the standards for Rauchbier for everyone else. These beers are international treasures and should be appreciated for what they are. Pours a slightly reddish dark brown with a very loosely beaded head that fades to a ring. Absolutely scrumptious aroma of ethereal woodsmoke and tangy malt. The taste has plenty of that same woodsmoke as well as a slightly sour graininess and a long bitter, almost tannic finish. At mid taste the malts are smooth and creamy. Quite lovely, and very firm. Great by itself, but a wonderful food beer. Try it with somke roast pork and potatos or with some sharp cheddar cheese.

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

Poured from 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: deep, rich brown color with a clear body and three fingers of compact tan foam. A very good looking beer.

Smell: malty aroma with a healthy dose of smoke. The smoke is not overpowering by any means, though it is pretty strong. I rather like it.

Taste: rich malt flavor with hints of caramel. Smoke is particularly big toward the end; this complements the sweetness like in a barbecue sauce. There is some bitterness toward the end, but I can't really discern much in the way of hops through all the smoke. Still, I'm enjoying this beer.

Mouthfeel: medium body with good carbonation and a pretty creamy mouthfeel. Works for me!

Drinkability: this beer is good, but it's a bit much to consume a lot of. I'm going to enjoy this bottle, but I don't think I'm likely to ever have two in a sitting.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at The Rheinblick in Canandaigua, NY.

Pours a clear dark-ish brown, with a quarter inch head, and a lot of lacing.

Smells like warm liquid smoke, with caramel and toffee underneath.

This is probably the best, most pleasant rauchbier I've ever had. The smoke is definitely pleasant, but it's warm, slightly nutty, and gives off the impression of a nice campfire. The Marzen underneath is still present, I get some sweet caramel malt like flavors. I don't really get the smoked meat feel from this, it's more of a smoked wood/liquid smoke feel for me.

This is medium bodied, with a lower amount of carbonation, and a crisp mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

There's a reason this is the classic smoked beer. Utterly delicious.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pour is very dark with hints of red. The off-white head is really large and creamy. Dissipation is slow and uneven, but the lacings are great.

S: Smoked ham and fried bacon are what dominates.

T: Like the smell, bacon and smoked ham. A bit sweet.

M: Medium body and moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is lingering and holds obvious smoke and also some bitterness.

D: A very smoked Rauchbier. Either you'll love it or hate it. I had my first one a couple of years back - then I hated it. This time it's a lot better.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 1 pt. 09 fl. oz. bottle with no date or lot number available. Sampled on April 27, 2009. Outside temperature of 70-degrees Farenheit. The pour is a slightly cloudy brown with a tremendous amount of foamy tan head that bubbles until the end and never really goes away. The aroma is spectacular like nothing else I have smelled. It is like smoked cheddar cheese. Malts and hops play second fiddle to the amazing smoky aroma. The mouthfeel is medoium to bold and kind of creamy. The taste is an intricate balance of smoked malts and wheat. This is probably the best wheat beer I have ever had.

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Photo of Derek
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I once purchased this in Canada and absolutely hated it. I couldn't finish the last third!

This one purchased in Bamberg was CONSIDERABLY better.

A: Dark caramel, off-white head, very little retention or lace.

S: Smoked, spicy sausage!

T: Very smokey, spicy, with a little caramel sweetness.

M: Moderate body is a little chalky. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Still VERY smokey. A little overwhelming. I couldn't drink many of these.

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Photo of dar482
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a ruby brown color.

The aroma offers rich woody smoke with smoked tuna, smoked BBQ, bacon, toasty bready malts, woody hops.

The flavor follows with campfire, smoking wood chips, toasty bready sweetness with a medium to medium plus mouthfeel with lingering toast qualities and woody bitterness on the finish.

A wonderful food pairing brew.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark amber/ruby colour, slightly cloudy with nice languous fine-bubbled carbonation. Excellent body, and a firm head of light brown foam. Superb lacing. A wonderful looking beer.

Amazing, overpowering smell of woodsmoke - reminds me of camping out in the forest. It almost dominates everything, but there is, hidden in there, a slight spiciness, like rum-soaked raisins or Christmas pudding. Pretty intense.

There is smokiness on the palate too, but it's tempered by a very welcome roasted bitterness. This, with the scent of smoke still spiralling around my sinuses, almost throws me into sensory overload. Mouthfeel is quite light, but much more would have been overkill. Lots of subtle complexity to explore behind the brash, overzealous smoked character. The beer is the more drinkable for this complexity.

A powerful beer, not something for everybody, but something that's worth seeking out. I will definitely be drinking this again.

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Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dar brown with white head. Aroma of roasted malts but dmoinated by a smokey charcoal bbq scent. This beer has a very complex taste that is dominated by a smoked charcoal taste. Burnt malt accompanied by hickory bbq. Very unique and original but not for everyone.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't think that a smoked flavor would mix well with beer but I am somewhat surprised here. This beer does an excellent job of being what it's supposed to be.Poured a nice dark reddish/gold appearance with thick off-white/dark yellow head and lots of lacing. The hints of smoked meat, ham??? are very present but not over powering. Unique is the word and thats goood.

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Photo of wl0307
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving at the GBBF BSF bar for a few years has given me the immense pleasure of tasting this legendary beer when it is fresh and served on gravity straight from the cask~~ Maybe this privilege has pitched me a bit biased, preventing me from trying the bottled version more often than I can get hold of it. Unfortunately, this bottle is consumed past its expiry date again, by two months only this time! BB 09/2008, served chilled in a straight glass.

A: pours an elegant, deeply-infused-black-tea colour with a bright mahogany glows; the dark beige fluffy head dissipates slowly, on top of a moderately carbonated body.
S: salty-sweet smokiness like kipper, smoked black prunes, and a light touch of brown malts all come in one sniff, leaving a mild touch of leafy-herbs lingering in the air.
T: the foretaste comes smoky but not terribly rich, more like a smoked longan-fruit tea sprinkled with some chopped tobacco leaves; turning lightly peppery, spicy, tobacco-ish, before the almost tea-ish chewy bitterness as well as smoked malts expand and take over the aftertaste. A decent level of floral hop bitterness manages to outlive almost all other elements, adding to the drinkability considerably. The finish is clean, slightly bitter-ashy, tea-leafy as well as slightly sour-fruity.
M&D: lightly carbonated, light-bodied, easy-to-drink... All in all, like a diluted Rauch Urbock with an attenuated smoked profile but retaining a good level of hop bitterness as a balancer. Despite being not as great as the cask version served on gravity, this bottle has proved itself to be a thirst-quencher for sure~~

* Tasting Date: 17/04/2005
This is my first time to try German smoked beer, so I placed great expectation on it. Had it at home on 16 April 2005 but the Best Before Date is September 2004...
3.5 A: dark-brown colour, with a thin but lasting head.
4 S: smoky (apparently!), "black-prune juice" (as in Chinese refreshing summer drink!) and a hint of mellow "longan-fruit tea" (again, as in Chinese drink...) smell...
3.5 T: nothing special to write home about... round, soft, but quite thin in terms of depth... The aftertaste shows surprisingly lingering smokiness (or is it the way Rauchbier should be anyway?), slightly sweet and felt like chewing beech-wood chips in the mouth!
4 M&3.5 D: a very pleasant drink overall, but I must say that if drinking it alone, it could become boring after just one pint... Or, is it because the beer has expired after all when I tasted it?? Gotta revisit this bottle version.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark cranberry-amber color with a 1 finger macro-bubbly head that dissipated quickly. Visible carbonation was light.

S: rich smokiness with smoked meat and spicy slim jim notes.

T: a beautiful smoked meat flavor from the huge amounts of weyermann smoked malt. There was light scorched malt and along with bacon hints as well. There was a fresh smokiness with a rich, dark dry scorched caramel that was smooth with light earthy mineral notes in the finish. There was as well a light scorced malt residual lacing and fade but was rather quick in nature.

M: light, oily, with a light smokiness and charred woodiness on the swallow. Carbonation was very soft.

D: Very good drinkability making for a great smoky treat. The first time I had this I was literally shocked by the pronounced huge flavor. Now having and enjoying this beer and style several times it is perhaps one of the finest and smoothest by nature and a prime example. Extremely smooth and easy to consume once you are accustomed to its unique and straightforward flavor and only gets easy and better after every tasting.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a leather brown body with two-finger tan head with minimal lacings. One of the strongest smells ever from a beer; incredible smokiness. I took a few big whiffs and ended up with stuff like smoked meat (think Slim Jims), mints, roasted malts mixed with spices, just a beer you have to smell to believe. So is the taste, to be honest. It is real smooth and creamy, almost full-bodied, yet there is this smokey, dry, almost processed meat taste to it (and I mean that in a good way). THere are hints of sweet and roasted malts and dark fruits, but the smokiness really comes through on this beer but it is reasonable; the backbite is dry but not overly dry and your pallete is killed like this is a DIPA or anything. I wouldn't mind this beer again, but one is enough for me. It took a little getting used to.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an imperial strange)

A- This beer has a clear but dense warm brown glow to the body with a rocky beige head which is supported by a gentle carbonation.

S- The raw white beechwood aroma has a very light cloth band-aid hint that turns more to smoked bacon when it warms. There was a faint brown malt quality to the beer but it was pretty clean and subtle.

T- The faint taste of salty smoked bacon had more of a raw beechwood flavor that meld into a smooth dry brown malt flavor with some soft smoke quality. This finish had a light bitterness to it that didn't really have much hop characteristic and a faint cold cigar smoke quality.

M- This beer had a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat and no peaty smoke astringency.

D- This is a very nice full flavored beer with some nice depth and smoke was only one flavor of many. The band-aid notes were very soft and pleasant much more so than beers with to much peat smoked malt. I would be interested in trying to pair this beer with food.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500 mL bottle.

A: The beer is a deep brown color with ruby red highlights when held to light. The head is a thick white mess that laces extensively though the glass.

S: The aroma reminds me of a nice smokehouse, full of bacon and ham and other wonderful pork products all slowly curing. This aroma is big and delicious with a strong malt base.

T: The flavor is dominated by the smoky deliciousness. Underlying that meaty, thick flavor is a malty sweet marzen base. There is little hop presence, but the malty sweetness really brings out the intensity of the smoke.

M: The mouthfeel is warm and chewy without tasting like liquid smoke.

D: An easy-to-drink beer, the smoke is a nice finish that does not overpower the tastebuds.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,249 ratings.
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