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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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1,111 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: 1,111 | Ratings: 2,258
Photo of Jetulio
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a 500 ml Stange glass (Lowenbrau glass).

App- dark brown . 1'5 fingers head off-white colour
A- rich, smokey malt, wood
T- absolutely smoked but with a refreshing bitternes, well balanced in my opinion
M- long taste in mouth, smoked malt predominance but with a good presence of hop too
O- medium body and carbonation. A favourite for me, because it is drinkable and unique.

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

.5L served in Pint glass.

Paired with the Bamberger Zweibel and a Schweinhaxen, this was a good choice.

A- Deep Black, One finger head, not a lot of retention, no lacing.

S- Lots of smoke, toasted malts.

T- Bready with lots of smoke. Has a touch of watered down liquid smoke aftertaste.

M- Full bodied with medium carbonation.

D- I've had these beer on several occasions on-tap and in the bottle but have never rated it. Among Rauchbeers this is the leader of the pack in terms of originality and taste. The beer however is relatively heavy and hard to drink more than a few without feeling weighed-down.

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Photo of jakon
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt. 09 oz. bottle purchased for $4.29 on 6-24-07 at Whole Foods Portland. Contrary to what's listed here on the site, my bottle informs me that this beer contains 5.1 abv. Recipe change?

Pours a very dark reddish hue. Looks black until you hold it up to the light. Solid 2 inch off-white head leaves free form lacing while making a hasty exit. The aroma is almost exclusively of smoked meats. Like jerky and smoked salmon. More powerful than I had anticipated. But I like it. The taste is the same. Very smoky, and all I can think about is how much I love smoked salmon. This beer brings back memories that have nothing to do with beer. I like that. There is some definite hop bitterness in the middle, and I don't get any sweetness until the very end. Very interesting brew. Love the smoke, but there is something in the aftertaste that I wish would just leave me alone. Something in there just doesn't belong, imo. There is also a slight abrasiveness on the tongue. But this is still a very good beer, and I'd definitely purchase it again if my smoke-tooth starts harassing me again. Can't help but wonder what a touch of this could do for a nice homemade bbq sauce. Or maybe a marinade. Overall, I'm impressed.

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Photo of coder
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Definitely worth a try. Smells like the inside of my Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Smoke smell and flavor is NOT subtle at all. I should be drinking it while eating smoked ribs, a pulled pork sandwich or a bbq chicken pizza. Note to self: this needs to be the liquid added in 3 2 1 ribs

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Photo of byrd
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this along with a mild smoked sausage for dinner. What a great pairing! Although I made sure to write my review before the dinner.

Pours out of the bottle with quit a bit of sweet malt aroma. Once in the glass, the distinctive smokiness is very apparent and backed by malt undertones. Clear dark brown in color with a nice full, light tan head the recedes to a long lasting lace. The mouthfeel is medium-full and is incredibly smooth. After reading about Rauchbiers, I thought that the smokiness would be too overwhelming for me, but I was wrong. The smoke flavors meld wonderfully with the malt sweetness of this brew making it go down so much more easily then I would have imagined. And to balance out the smoke and malt flavors, there’s a nice mild hop bitterness in the finish to close things out. The hops linger along with a lot of the smokiness in the aftertaste.

What a pleasant surprise this brew was. Very drinkable brew. Probably not a session beer, but a great change of pace that I’ll definitely look for again in the future. With this review, I've now made it half way through the BA list of official beer styles.

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Photo of Mancer
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a slightly clear dark brown color with a two finger high off-white head. The initial smell of the beer was smoked wood, malts, and of course, BACON. The initial taste of the beer was the bacon flavoring of the smoked beech wood, followed by a light woodiness and malts. This is a very well balanced beer, everything works together to make the flavor pop. The beer has a medium to full body and medium carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent beer. I recently read about this beer and its history in Brew magazine and read of this bacon flavor. I just figured, "sure it's maybe a hint of bacon." But no, this is more of a dominant characteristic of the beer. As much as I enjoyed this, I can't say this will be a frequented beer by me. This might be something saved for special occasions during the winter time. Overall, I highly recommend trying this one.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

crystal clear. nice deep brown color with an amber tinge.

smells smokey. slightly malty.

tastes smokey, and malty with a slight bitterness in the finish.

medium body. very effervescent. finish is dry but the smoke flavor still lingers long after the finish.

this was the first smoked beer i have ever drank so it holds a special spot in my heart, but i think i have had better smoked beer. and the smoke flavor seems to be more that of a hardwood rather than a fruit wood.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep ruby brown with a big frothy white head. This beer smells like a midsummer pig roast; like a well seasoned brisket; bacon frying, Easter ham! The smoke is overwhelming, not even a hint of anything else. Magnificent. I didn't even want to drink this beer, just swirl it in the snifter for hours. Tastes just like the nose, all smoke with just a little sweetness and a subtle sort of metallic tang. Medium body fits this beer to a "T". Highly drinkable in vast quantities.

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Photo of EricVonStein
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a dark brown cola colour that lights up a rich ruby wine red under the light. Quite clear and typical lager carbonation. A nice bubbly tan head of sizeable hight puffs up quickly and fades to a more modest covering pretty quickly.

Rauchbiers might be the one type of beer where I look forward to the smell even more than the taste. Beautiful woody smoke pours from the glass like a campfire. Roasted pig, smoked bacon, smoked trout, salty leather, sweet honey glaze. This aroma makes you hungry more than thirsty. There is a nice sweetness present thanks to the malts and it rounds out the smokiness nicely. A beast in the nose i just want to keep sniffing at the glass. Scent is highly associated with memory the dejavu phenomenon - smelling Schlenkerla is like immediately being transported to a roaring fire in an 18th century library amongst the dank air, centuries old leather couches and tomes of literature reeking age and character. I swear this aroma is going to influence my dreams tonight!

It gets better when you drink though, as you'd swear this is a marvel of modern gastronomic chemistry where they managed to convert smoked sausage and smoked salmon with honey glaze into alcoholic liquid beer form, too good to be true!!! The smoke is omnipresent but rich and rounded, not ashy or drying, and well complemented by the malt backbone that lends a foundation and sweet balance. Never overpowering, just intoxicating. Drinks like a typical lager with some extra viscosity.

Some beers are "an experience" without being all that enjoyable or something you would go back to again and again. Thats not this. The Aecht Schlenkerla is a peoples beer, a commoner, a local, an old regular, your grandfather with a thousand stories to tell. Its making me damn near poetic its that good!

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Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle and poured into a stemmed Pilsner glass.

Appearance: brown and clear with hints of red. Head formed and laced as it settled.

Aroma: briny smoke dominates, reminds of hickory smoke (brewery actually smokes its malt with beechwood).

Taste: exceptional, again a briny smoked flavor which reminds me quite a bit of smoked salmon. The smoke dominates the palate and overwhelms the marzen character, but a fantastic pairing with smoked foods or barbecue.

Mouthfeel: on par with a marzen, not heavy or light.

Overall drinkability: this is one of my favorite beers. Most people either love it or hate it. If you enjoy smoked foods and don't mind this flavor in your beer then this is one to try. Typically I will have no more than one in an evening as any more seems like too much of a good thing...

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Photo of tvljr
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 ounce bottle poured into a German pint glass.

A: Dark red color with a deep reddish brown head that remains long after the pour.

S: Deep smoky aroma that's almost overpowering but alerts the senses that you're about to drink something special.

T: Full-bodied German beer. Smoother than you'd expect after witnessing the dark color and powerful aroma.

M: Medium body with low carbonation. One of my favorite combinations.

One of a kind beer that is well worth the high price. Makes me remember why I so enjoyed living in Germany for four years.

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Photo of gabe23
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep ruby red color that looks black until held up to a bright light. No real head or lacing to speak of - only a tiny ring of bubbles.

S - Of course the smokiness dominates the aroma, but some grainy malt comes through as well. Very rich and pleasant smell if you are one who loves bacon, smoked cheese, or barbecued meat.

T - Again you are met with the smoky goodness, reminiscent of smoked gouda and bacon. But the smoke isn't overpowering, and there is some real complexity to the flavor. Some spicy and nutty notes are detectable once the initial blast of smoke subsides. There really isn't much malt sweetness there, but the finish does have a bit of hops bite to it.

M - Medium body but I'd like a bit more carbonation.

D - I'm still developing a palate for this style, but I really liked this beer. I can't say that I'd be able to put away several pints at a sitting, but paired with the right smoky/spicy foods, this beer provides a unique drinking experience.

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Photo of FRANKIE65
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured with a beautiful light brown head. Gorgeous beer.
The aroma hits you like a smoker full of salmon.
The taste, amazing smokiness.
Makes me want to fire up my smoker.
Amazing beer!!!!

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Photo of canadianbarman
2.33/5  rDev -42.6%
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.

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Photo of jhu1995
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stein from a 1 pint 9 oz. brown bottle. Color is a very rich, dark brown. Head was an off-white cream color that quickly dissipates. I thought the appearance was okay, but nothing special. Ahhh, the smell. A delicious, smokiness with a totally unexpected sweetness to it. The taste was even better. The smoke taste of some rauchbiers could be overwhelming, but this beer had an excellent, smooth taste with some sweetness. Small hints of the hops come through as the beer warms. The beer was very pleasing on the palate and makes you want to take another sip. I typically would recommend a rauchbier as a change of pace or something different to try, but this one makes you want to have another. Very delicious and highly recommend.

I paired this with some smoked salmon and avocado over field greens with a chinese style dressing and it was very satisfying.

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Photo of RodBurg
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cool looking brown bottle with a tan label into a pint glass. Dark brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that slowly dissipates.

As soon as I opened the cap the heavy smoke scent hit me. Reminded me of smoked turkey or ham. Theres also chocolate and roasted malt, and dark coffee.

The smoke brings everything together on the palate quite nicely. First taste is smoke mingling with the roasted malt and chocolate then it finishes with the smoky flavor riding out with a small hop bitterness.

This one was interesting. I'd never had anything like it before. Very tasty and a perfect pairing with sweet BBQ or a smoked turkey sandwich.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.21/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a rich, creamy, off-white head that dissipates gradually; fair degree of stickiness before sliding back into the beer. Beer is a chestnut brown color with great clarity and a few swift streamers. Transparent and bright when held to light, with slightly orangish highlights. Aroma is of smoke--not tobacco, but food smoke. There's also a subtle salinity, suggesting smoked seafood (especially oysters) and further back, the heat of freshly sawn wood (cedar). Taste is more smoke but stunningly light upon the roof of the mouth, along with what I originally thought was cedar, until I read that the wood for the fire is beechwood--yes, beechwood is more accurate. Beef or venison jerky, liquid smoke, and very salty. I am new to the style, but I just don't see much diversity here and presently I got tired of the flavor. Mouthfeel is light and wet with a minerally finish and really not much aftertaste. As far as drinkability, I'm sure this goes great with smoked food, sharp cheese, etc. but on its own? I don't need another.

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Photo of rembrant
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark drown with ruby highlights and a 1 finger head

Aroma- Bacon and toast. Only is missing a fried egg

Taste Bacon

There's some lurking grain and malt but a VERY forward smokiness that's got a bacon quality...perhaps you could say sausage. Pretty over the top...yet it's tasty. Would go well with a lettuce and tomato sandwich Would be great on a campout where a campfire is not allowed. I can detect some bittering hops in the finish but that's minor.

Bacon in a bottle is what the main impression is,and the marvel is that it's really quite good though so much of it's basic beer qualities are left in the shadows.

Mouthfeel....I think my mouth is confused,thinks this is thick,oily,like a hunk of heavily smoked pork,rather than beer. I can't figure the viscosity and density in this...which strangely works. Drinkability....Maybe with enough eggs and hashbrowns I could do a long brunch,but as intense as this,I doubt many folks drink 2 a day unless they are from Bamberg and were weaned on it.

I am fond of Smoked beers. This one is a treat as a once in a while thing but too Bacon heavy for regular drinking....that and I like to find the BEER in my glass so going TOO Bacon or Coffee,or Grapefruit, or Bourbon,and losing the beerness,is not ideal

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Photo of MerkinMan
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rauchbier is a love-it-or-hate-it drink. Don't be discouraged by bad reviews since this is not for everyone. For the adventurous awaits a truly unique beer.

The Marzen is my favorite, but the Urbock is quite good too.

Even someone who is turned off at the smokey smell or first taste is encouraged to keep at it. This beer gets better as you drink it.

This is coming from someone who loves black licorice, so take that as you will. If you don't like Schlenkerla, that just means more for ME!

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Photo of Takahiro
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: clear, ruby brown with an a almost white head.

S: smoky and leathery. reminds me of camp fire, and smoked ham. Smoke is dominating and almost intimidating at first.

T: nice maltiness that is very smooth and rounded. very clean finish. It's so much better than majority of lagers out there.

M: good body, smooth and very tender. very silky texture.

D: Highly drinkable.

Based on the smell, i was expecting more "in your face" smoky flavor, but was I WRONG. There is no smokiness at all in the flavor, and it is surprisingly very smooth and clean. a beautiful beer.

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Photo of Jdiddy
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the time I first tried this beer I was totally impressed. So unique and so rewarding. Very complex. Taste is a great toasted malt flavor and with the mixture of the smoke flavor, you have an exceptional beer. This is great alone or with very robust meal such as beef stew. The first thing that hits you is the instant smell of smoke. God I would love to tour this brewery!!!!!

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Photo of WMBierguy
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was my first-ever rauchbier. I had no idea what to expect when I opened the bottle. Poured a chocolate brown. A slight head bubbled up, disappearing after a few seconds. It smelled like a smokehouse, and had a slight taste of bacon. I'd imagine that this would be great with a quality piece of gouda cheese. Not something that I'd like to drink every day, but it's worth trying.

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Photo of Guinness4me
2.63/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I thought I'd at least try this without reviewing, but I feel compelled after tasting. It looks like a decent dark beer, but the the description of the smell is not easily broken down into the choices given. It's anything but average, but to some I'm sure it's wonderful As aromas go, I'm sure this is a very good smell for smoked beers. It just happens to be my first and I'm a bit shocked.

The taste is that of the liquid at the bottom of the pan from when you've baked a nice, juicy smoked ham. I'm not sure if I'm appalled or intrigued. I keep trying it again to see if it really tastes as it does.

It's a non-offensive mouthfeel. It tastes like my hair smells when I've sat around a camp fire for hours.

Drinkability? I'll drink it. But I feel like I should be eating beef jerky, too. Maybe it would be nice with a full country breakfast.

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

Brauerei Heller-Trum is of course the worlds leading Rauchbier macher. This style originates there in Bamburg Germany and is an amazing brew for those of you who have never had it.

I've heard people say "It smells like a ham!" upon their first encounter. And I must say "they're right". As bad as that sounds, one soon realizes that the smell is powerful, but the smokey taste is much smoother than one would expect.

This smoked bier is original and delicious.

Don't miss it. I highly recommend it.


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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,258 ratings.
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