Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

1,120 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 2,291
Photo of Magno48
4.97/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantastic rauchbier. The smell is so intense that capture you. You can feel the smell of burning wood. If you know italian kitchen tradition you can feel "scamorza affumicata" smell. The taste mantain the same characteristics and explodes in tour mouth. This beer is zone of my favourite.

 288 characters

Photo of vinicole
3.07/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


..........but not for me. More like creosote and badly burnt toast.

My first smoked beer and I'm going to keep away from them from now onwards.

 156 characters

Photo of Brenden
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This beer displays a body that isn't heavy, shining a light-medium brown with a bit of orange and not heavier than translucent. The head is a tan one, small but tight and creamy. Lacing sticks nicely to the glass as the beer recedes.
This fantastic rauch smells like smoked meats without being heavy or overly meaty, emphasizing the smoke with no char or acridity. It just has a strong but even smell that doesn't overpower the nose but balances well, displaying what it should and making me want to both smell it longer and drink it immediately. The malty base is built upon very nicely, and there's a definite savory note.
The taste follows suit, beautifully and deliciously. There's a very gentle spiciness to the smoke, which is the main component but followed through with some very light fruity and extremely gentle acidity that complements almost perfectly and a sort of dark cocoa / nutty taste underlying. Smoke, though. Smooth, peaty, delicious smoke from beginning to end, combined with all its elements and balanced so well, makes this one of the best Rauchbiers in the world.
Appropriately, the body doesn't verge past medium, if even very far into it. It's smooth, slightly mineral, and a touch tangy with a twang in the back but building up no harshness at all. It ends dry as it picks up a bit of ash into the end.

 1,341 characters

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!!!!

 188 characters

Photo of jmasher85
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours, with almost no head, a deep, luscious brown, almost black. One whiff and you know what you're in for - Smoke City, USA...or Germany, rather. Smells like bacon, smoked turkey, with just a hint of bitterness and some sweet malts.

Tastes like liquid smoke, in the best way possible. Less meaty in flavor than scent, but I'm also tasting a lot barley malts, caramel, and still just a hint of hops to counter the rich, sweet flavor. It's also remarkably smooth with only a little bit of fizz and a fairly low ABV content. Yeah, this one is really well balanced, and really good. And not too strong that I couldn't see myself having more than one - well, aside the from the $8 price tag on the bottle.

 709 characters

Photo of majorbase2
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish brown color with a good sized light brown head. Recedes quickly, leaving a thin head and a small ring of lacing around the edges, but nothing sticks to the glass.

Aroma is great. Smoked sausage and bacon, fired wood, smoke, and some roasted malts, with the slightest hint of roasted coffee.

Some very sweet, earthy and caramel malts lead it off. A surprising amount of bitterness. Notes of molasses peak through. Followed by some woody flavors (what I imagine a smoked wood chip would taste like, though not in a bad way). The smoked bacon and sausage are still present, leaning a bit more towards bacon. A slight metallic taste. Finishes with a moderate amount of hop bitterness, which pairs nicely with the sweet malts.

Medium bodied. Smooth. Crazy easy to drink. FInished a pint of this in no time.

This was a fantastic beer. FIrst rauchbier. Looking forward to trying more. They totally nailed all the flavors with this beer.

 949 characters

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle poured into a 2 Gingers stange glass.

Pours a clear, dark brown with a creamy, two-finger head that dissipates to a thin ring, leaving lots of lacing in its passing. The smell is of smoked ham and treacle, roasted malt and caramel. The flavor reflects the aromas in perfect harmony. Moderate carbonation and silken mouth feel round out this classic Marzen based rauchsbier. A very enjoyable experience to be repeated before too long, especially with Surly Smoke now on the shelves.

 496 characters

Photo of founddrama
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Whoa. Smokey; a touch of leather? Dark in the glass and aromatic.

LOOK: Poured into a 16 oz. shaker. Dark brown, with reddish hues throughout. Pretty clarified. Nice foamy head, though it doesn't stick around. And/but it almost looks like a cola in the glass?

SMELL: wood smoke and leather.

TASTE: sweet malts at the start, but smoke and leather dominate. Mild hop bitterness in the finish. Slightly metallic. (But mostly it's smoke smoke smoke.)

FEEL: medium-bodied, a little chewy. Really coats the mouth. Highly carbonated. Brightens up on the tongue a bit, brings out those smoke flavors.


 621 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown, semi-transparent. Tan head, very robust, that laces extravagantly all the way down.

S - Malts, in the form of slightly roasted grains, toast, as well as char, and a smokehouse quality that reminds me of smoked sausage.

T - Subdued smoked meat qualities, sweetness in the form of bread and caramel, and a slight bitter bite in the close. As you might expect, not the typical beer, with strong savory notes.

M - Clean, which is remarkable given the heavy smoke notes. Slight rounding in the finish, a slightly oily feel.

O - Not my cup of tea, but an extraordinarily well executed beer, which hits exactly the notes it promises. Surprisingly restrained, all told. Strikes me as having interesting potential for use with a cheese plate or accompanying BBQ.

 779 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It was Veterans' Day 2013 and my buddy, Justin Chlan had off due to working for a DoD contractor and knew that I take the day off because I feel that I should have it off as a USN veteran. He invited me along on an excursion to State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD where I came across this in a 5L mini-keg, or CAN, according to this site, since it is not pressurized. A CAN?!? I was really excited, even when they told me its cost. I put it in my basement, inverted, per the directions on the side and yesterday, SU, 15 March 2015, I brought it over to The Fridge for another of Bro. Woody's Pop-Up B&G episodes.

From the CAN: "Brewed according to the Bavarian Purity Law"; "<ges. gesch>"; "Brauhaus for Schlenkerla with Dominifanerflaue [sic?] <1310>"; "During transport and storage, please this side up. (Turn for tapping)"; "For optimal pouring please tap at 40F."; "Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer Specialty since 1678"; "Aecht Original Schenkerla 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 historic cellars, Aecht Schlenkerla is a truly unique smoky beer experience."

Once I had it vented and the tap pulled out and ready to engage, I tried to hold the glasses three-to-four inches away to try and create some head. We were seeing about a finger of soapy, light-tan head that pretty quickly fell to wisps. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) with a dense cloudiness that made it look like a cup of mess decks mud (coffee). Clarity? None. Zero. Zilch. Nose had a sweet, smoky scent like cured bacon or sweet Lebanon bologna, if that means anything to people outside of my hometown area in central PA. Mouthfeel was surprisingly light, given the turbidity that was visible. Light as in medium, but not what I was expecting. As to the taste, it was smoky, but not as smoky as their Ur-Bock or some other famous commercial examples, like Alaskan Smoked Porter. It was really kind of cool to go around and turn people onto this style and get their reactions. Most people were pleasantly surprised and wanted to try other iterations of either Aecht Shlenkerla's Rauchbiers or other rauchbiers in general. The finish had a smoky sweetness that was very evocative of sweet Lebanon bologna, which if you have never tried it, you should because it is hard to explain otherwise. I am glad that I CAN add it to The CANQuest (tm), but I prefer a bit more smokiness, thank you.

 2,689 characters

Photo of Kampfar
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, clear beer with a heavy smoky aroma. It’s taste is malty with a light hoppy bitterness. The smoke dominates the aroma. Light brown and long lasting head. Light bitter flavor with a long smoky finish. Texture and mouthful is OK and not too watery.

 260 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What can I say? I have enjoyed this in the summer, winter and fall. Smokey and enjoyable. I recommend at least three half liter servings before condeming the nasty smokiness.

 177 characters

Photo of interzen
4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass

Look: Dark brown with ruby highlights. Light tan head, slightly soapy looking with big bubbles. Decent retention with some lacing, but nothing major.

Smell: Smoked meats, barbeque and peat. Imagine something like an Islay single malt whisky without the alcohol and you may not be too far off the mark - amazingly, it manages not to smell burnt, just very, very smoky. If there's anything else hiding in there it isn't able to get its way past the smoke. The smell could be divisive to some - personally, I love it.

Taste: Like it smells, but with added dark fruits - the fruit smells don't make it past the smoke but you can definitely pick them up in the taste. There's a stewed plum or raisin taste backed up with a malty sweetness. This isn't a beer for hop-heads - sure, there's a bit of hop character there but it's overwhelmed by the malt and smoke. Quite simply, delicious.

Feel: So very smooth - there's not a massive amount of carbonation to begin with, and left for a while it looks pretty flat. That said, the combination of sweet malt, smoke and fruit flavours makes this easy to drink without being excessively heavy.

Overall: This could be a 'Marmite' beer - you either love it or hate it. Me? I love it - I like smoky things, and whilst I have beers with smoky elements to the flavour profile (think stouts and so forth) none are as 'complete' as this. It's very much malt (and smoke) driven, so there's nothing much for the hop-heads but even so, it's different enough to be worth a try for anyone.

 1,558 characters

Photo of Premo88
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16.9 oz. bottle poured into "craft beer glass" (wide-mouthed stick)

L: dark ... this is no marzen ... dark brown with burnt-orange/dark-amber highlights around edges up to light; it's clear ... hard to tell it's so dark, but light is passing all the way through; very lackluster head -- off a hard pour only 1/2-inch of tan, soapy foam pops up then disappears quickly; some decent stick off the top of the head, no major lacing

S: barbecue pit ... wow ... there's no mistaken this is smoked; the smoke aroma is a bit peaty, but i've smelled this aroma growing up around Texas barbecue pits hundreds of times -- oak smoke, mesquite smoke, pecan smoke ... it's all there; hard to pick up anything else around the smokiness

T: holy crap! that's wild, man -- it's like a smoked-out dark-fruit bonanza ... just a pinch of fig/date sweetness in there among a ton of smoke flavor; it's surprisingly not overly burnt like so many American browns/stouts/porters -- it is peaty, but the smoke again follows oak/mesquite/pecan/wood-burning notes, only it doesn't taste like the burnt wood: it literally tastes like the smoke, which is more peaty, less burnt and more of toasted flavor

F: very solid ... it looks and pours a bit flat, but there's just enough leftover carbonation in there to help it go down; a softer pour makes sense here for the drinker who prefers more carbonation because this one doesn't have a ton

O: again -- wild. it's got some of that peaty scotch ale thing happening, and the smoke is ever-present, but there's nothing over the top here, either. the malt offers just enough sweetness to keep it from tasting like a burnt oak log. a different experience but one worth having.

 1,703 characters

Photo of loubar
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz. bottle from Cost Plus. Big white head on a ruby brown body. Nose of yeast with a hint of smoke. Mellow smoked wood flavor supported by a pleasant caramel malt body. Flavorful. Incredibly smooth and drinkable - no astringency despite the smoke. The almost dry finish is somewhat crisp and leaves a touch of biscuit like sweetness and a lingering smokiness. Excellent!

 375 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a dark, clear brown color. Thin tan head. Aroma is thick, smoky and rich. A very sincere peaty aroma combined with a campfire and smoked meatiness. The flavor isn't as intense, and I am appreciative. The peat, campfire and smoky bacon give way to some slight malt and general beer flavor. The body feels fuller because of the scent and flavor intensity. Not much of a Rauchbier lover. This one falls right in line with the rest of them for me. Hey, at least this brewery go full bore and christens you with smokey meat and peat. Don't love it but I suppose I respect it.

 584 characters

Photo of Roser
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A- nice big frothy (light) mocha colored head that lasted a good bit with (surprisingly) minimal lacing. Medium dark mahogany brown. Fairly clear.

S- holy smoke!!! The nose was overwhelming immediately after pouring. All I can think of is the aromas experienced while waiting to be seated in a BBQ joint.

T- bacon/pork, jerky.

M- medium body. Smooth and creamy.

O- good, different. Would have again but only with the right food/meal. Recommend for no other reason than to experience this unique brew.


 515 characters

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampling right now on 1/22/15. Comes in a single 500ml (16.9 ounce) bottle for like $3.50. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a .5L "HB-MUNCHEN" thumb-print glass stein.

Pours a pretty deep reddish-mahogany in color with a good 2 finger foamy off-white head. Finally settles down to just along the sides of the glass after a good 30 minutes. Some spotty sticky lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of smoked roasted malts for the most part. The taste is pretty much the same with a very light hint of caramel malts in the mix also. The smoke is not over done though but it is there. Really no bitter or harsh aftertaste to speak of. Medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall it was different but OK.

 746 characters

Photo of Beric
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into pint
Served: 17 Jan 2015

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, much darker than a standard Märzen for sure, with a dishwater head that collapses slowly and leaves some acceptable lacing.

Smell: Smoke smoke and more smoke. More of a beef jerky kind of smoke than campfire smoke.

Taste: I'm less thrilled about how this one tastes compared to the Urbock. This beer has a much meatier flavor than the Urbock, and it's one that I'm not as keen on. The smoke is like beef jerky or BBQ, and there's just a touch of caramel flavor on the very back end. The smoke is very intense in this one though and dominates much of the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Big body and medium carbonation makes this one silky smooth.

Overall: Another great beer from Schlenkerla, but not as good as the Urbock in my experience. I really enjoy the more pure campfire smoke in the Urbock than the meaty smoke in this one.

 903 characters

4.95/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

May be my favorite beer overall. Surprising since the first time I drank it (at the brewery) I found it, actually, kind of gross. The smoke is delicious, but not overwhelming. It has a nice smooth almost creamy feel with a medium body. This is great paired with German fare, preferably something pork with strong fllavors. Priceless experience if you can enjoy a liter of it at its source.

 394 characters

Photo of ssmack
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark dark brown with reddish honey highlights. One inch of beige head. Fine carbonation visible at the top. Some lacing with some retention.

Sweet smoke aroma. Oaky and brown sugar.

Surprising sweet taste up front. Smoky oat. Sweet prunes with brown sugar. Wild herby bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

Medium feel.

Delicious. The smoke is well balanced with the sweetness and hops. I was hestitant to try this after other mediocre smoked beers. Back to back with Beau's Rauchstack.

 495 characters

Photo of desint
2.79/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

My first smokebeer.

L: Dark brown with a reddish hue. Small head,disappeared quickly.

S: Extreme smoke,overwhelming. Bacon?

T: Extremely smokey, hard to taste anything else through the overpowering smoke.

F: Surprisingly nice. Hard to believe the abv is this low.

O: Not what I expected, all smoke and nothing else. Not balanced at all

I like smoked food, but I can't handle this.

 386 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear, deep dark brown with a thick head that settles to a 1/2" tan cap.
S - The aroma is malty and smoky.
F - The flavor follows the aroma. Not terribly complex, just a nice smoky flavor.
M - Medium mouth feel, mild carbonation.
O - A great place to start for anyone wanting to taste a mildly smoky beer. While this is good, I prefer it's stronger cousin, the Rauchbier Urbock.

 390 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

January 1, 2015

500 ml bottle, tulip

A – Very deep amber to brown with a high level of clarity. Less than an inch of off-white to tan head, medium sized foam bubbles.

S – The smoked malts are high in the mix, with an impression of mesquite or pecan, other hardwood. There’s some reminiscence of bacon, but more the smoked aroma of bacon rather than the bacon itself. Some mild caramel malt sweetness. Hop aroma is not discernible, hiding behind the smoke.

T – Smoke flavor is prominent, not as harsh as mesquite but still a hardwood (I know it’s beechwood, but trying to equivocate to something more common.) Some bready/crusty caramel sweetness, perhaps Maillard product. Hops are very light, and I would think say floral, Hallertau-type.

M – Very well-carbonated, moderately-high, and full bodied. Not much dryness, mostly slightly sweet throughout. Only light bitterness in the background.

O – I have a very hard time with smoked beers / rauchbiers, usually because the smoke component is way too strong and in your face. However, this actually is very balanced, and you can still tell there was a base beer in there somewhere with the caramel sweetness of the marzen. An excellent version of rauchbier.

 1,233 characters

Photo of Svingjo
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This poured a nice clear dark liquid with a dime sized tan head. The nose is smoke, bbq ribs smoke with a hint of malt. The taste is surprisingly less smoky with an earthy quality to it. There is a bit of sweetness that comes through as you let the beer linger. The carbonation also lingers a bit on back of the tongue helping to balance the beverage out. I was expecting a little more smoke but am I happily surprised with how balanced and tasty it is.

 453 characters

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,291 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.