Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

2,299 Ratings
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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Ratings: 2,299 |  Reviews: 1,123
Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a brown color, there was a decent head at first but went away quickly. The smell of the beer is a super smokey, It was like being near a fire or something. The taste brought the same smoked strength onto the tongue for a salty bacon-like experience. The mouthfeel was pretty smooth though and was drinkable enough to finish my glass. The beer overall isn't really my favorite style. I think sometimes the smoke is too much and it hinders the brew. I try to give each of these a fair chance.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Christmas gift from my Girlfriend I'd been sitting on for a bit. From notes.

A - Poured a really dark brown with no visible carbonation. One finger beige sorta head with soapy retention and no lace.

S - Smoke, wood, bacon. Smells like a burnt bbq or something. Cool.

T - Less smoke and more wood. Very different. Finishes smokey. Charred chicken breasts on the BBQ come to mind.

M - Medium carbonation and a medium body. Well suited.

O/D - Smoother than you'd think. Not exactly a warm summer patio beer but it has its place and for such a rare style, it seems well put together.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep, ruby brown; slightly opaque, though not cloudy. About a finger of reddish-tan, foamy head which soon dissipates to a thin ring and leaves spotty lacing.

S: Loads of beech smoke in the nose, but with lots of subtleties: scents of bonfires, bacon, smoked ham, and general undertones of charcuterie. Understated Helles and Munich malts come through, with some roasted malt notes.

T: More or less follows the nose. Beech smoke and bacon up front, mingling with slightly sweet, slightly bready Helles and toasted malts; although rich as expected from a Maerzen, the malt definitely follows and complements the predominant smoke flavours. Hints of noble hops come through in the finish, actually doing quite a bit to round out the taste profile.

M: Medium-bodied with medium carbonation; initially crisp followed by smoothness. The finish is fairly clean, leaving a gentle but persistent, bitter aftertaste of ash, black coffee, and floral hops.

D: It's hard to gauge how easy this is to drink. On one hand, it's a bit of an acquired taste as is usual for the style; on the other, it's superbly balanced with a nuanced flavour profile. With that said, it's unquestionably worth buying if only for the experience, and an excellent Rauchbier altogether.

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

a- ruby red with thin off white head

a- smokehouse campfire, bacon bits primarily smells of bacon bits

t-full bodied with medium dry finish lots of smoke in the aftertaste begs for food pairing

overall quite fine, an excellent beer with interesting and delicious smoke flavor

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Photo of techfed87
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very nice-sized head. Color is quite dark and opaque. Smell is almost bacon-like in just how roasty it comes off as.

First sip is quite tasty and refreshing. I guess what I meant by refreshing is that the aftertaste almost cleans off your pallet so the flavors never get very old. You can definitely tell that this beer has had some time over some kind of fire, as a big part of the flavor comes from the effects that has on the malt of the beer.

This by far is the best Rauchbeer I've ever had. A true example of brewing finness.

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Photo of aficionado
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brilliant dark amber translucent body with a 2 finger light cream head.

Smells like the air would if you woke up next to a campfire that was still burning since last night and a grill right next to it bunch of bacon.

Tastes of applewood-smoked bacon, lightly smoked oaky firewood, charred homemade bread, and ripe apples.

The mouthfeel and high carbonation tames the taste of this lager in a good way. Instead of being heavy and syrupy, it's thin and highly drinkable.

This is a man's beer.

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

( 38/50, 5.1% alc/vol, Home) Beautiful red with a slight hue of brownish orange at the bottom. Deep and somewhat clouded by suspended sediment. Traces of yeast still in the glass. Head is sticky, brown and laces nicely. No carbonation to be seen though. For a beer that has been sitting in my fridge for a year, it smells awesome. No trace of the dreaded cardboard oxydation. Then again, it smells so powerfully of smoked ham, riverbed rocks, some oak and firewood that even age cannot surely harm it. The flavours of firewood last forever. You drink this and immediately remember those camping nights, the hot rock stoves of scandinavian baths and the warm plates of bavarian ham. Smoked flavours, oak, finesse. The age has served this beer extremely well. Taken down a notch, this smoked beer is actually very easy to drink. Not too complex, but still very nuanced. Cold, somewhat inactive drink. Not too sure about this one as a winter beer. Glides very well and does not linger too long. Apart, of course, of the burnt firewood, ashes on rock texture that lingers forever. Medium to thick ashen body. Mostly lifeless though. As far as rauchbier goes, this aged version of schlenkerla's marzen is impossibly beautiful, fine, nuanced and full of rock-smokey firewood. Not too harsh nor lasting, it dies nicely, and timely due to age. Not meant to be this soft, but I love it even more this way.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into a Spaten Optimator dimpled mug. Poured a deep reddish brown with a half finger off-white that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, smoke, ham, and pork. The flavor was of roasted malt, smoke, ham, pork, and slight bacon. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Definitely had a great smoked meat flavor aspect going on in this one. I really needed to have BBQ with this brew. It would have made me appreciate it soooo much more. Seems like all of the Rauchbiers I've had lately make me want BBQ. Maybe it is a sign... Great flavor and aroma going on here. A definite must try for any Rauchbier fan or smoked meat fan out there without a doubt!

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Photo of jsprain1
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep deep copper, maybe brown even. Head is tan, with good retention at a quarter finger and some notes of lacing.
S- The first few smells all I was getting was like a smoke salami aroma. Now I'm picking up more toasted malts, a bit of grassyness, and a bit of a metallic presence.
T- Actually not too smoky at first, pretty much just a toasted malt presence. Smoke is very heavy in the finish though. Really is like a smoked ham type flavor. Slight metallic note here too.
M- Found it a bit underweighted and low carbed, rendering it a bit like smoke water.
O- You know, it's just not my thing, but I've graded this one with style in mind as I feel like this is a pretty good example, if you read up on what the style is about. If rauchbiers are your thing, this one probably ranks up there. Good for the style (other than the mouthfeel was a letdown), and a good enough experience I guess.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A=First off, this is one sweet looking bottle. Pours a pretty dark reddish brown with a one finger head, gobs of lacing as well.
S=Smoked meat, charred wood, and a strong aroma reminiscent of bread when it comes off of a wood grill.
T=Holy barbecue in a bottle, this is great. The smoke smell is very strong and absolutely delicious, but yet it does not overwhelm the palate, it is at the perfect strength.
M=Medium bodied and a little watery
O=This is great, I'm glad it is readily available where I live

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Photo of jerryjeff
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice smokiness in the aroma, as expected. I may be getting more used to rauchbier, but I think this is more muted than I remember the first time I was exposed to it. Also believe there's a light grassy scent from the hops.

Medium to higher levels of carbonation, not much presence on the palette with a slight watery feel.

Deep mahogany red in an imperial pint glass with a nice initial head with medium large carbonation bubbles which are hanging around and lacing the glass nicely.

Not sure if b/c of travel but getting some coppery hints in taste. Grassy bitterness in finish in the back of the mouth, smoky flavor lingers. I like this, not as good as Aecht's weizen though.

If used to smoky flavor seems as if 4-5 pints would be easy enough, I'm gradually liking rauchbier more and look forward to more.

Could be the difference in my preference b/w weizen and marzen (I like weizen beers better and liked it better overall). Good taste and aroma, I'm a bit bothered by the lingering hop grassy taste at the finish.

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

A - This beer pours a very dark copper color, and it has a nice 2-finger creamy looking off-white head. The head has great retention and leaves nice lacing behind.

S - It smells of smoked meats and campfire. There are notes of smoke, bacon, ham, toasted malts, some hops, and it has a bit of an earthy character to it.

T - It starts off with flavors of toasted malts and a prominent smokiness. I am definitely getting the smoked meat flavors that were suggested by the nose. There are also notes of caramel, nuts, and a touch of hops. There is good balance between the smokiness and the toasted malt flavors. The finish is clean, and it leaves behind just a bit of lingering smokiness.

M - This has a medium body and average carbonation. There is a smooth creamy feel to it, and it goes down very smoothly.

O - This has good drinkability. This is my first rauchbier, and I have to admit, I was a little nervous to try it. It is definitely a very interesting beer. It has a nice smokiness that I thought worked really well with the toasted malt background. I could definitely see this one pairing really well with food. I am looking forward to trying more beers of this style, and I would definitely drink this one again.

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

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, nice smokey aromas

Taste: wow, nice and smokey,and prefectly balanced. This is the best smoked related beer I have had by far

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body.

Drinkability: awesome and great for pairing with foods

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark maple red with a good inch of creamy, off-white head.

S- Lots of meat, smells like jerky, salt, spices and woodsmoke, it smells like a big slab of meat, it's really outstanding.

T- Lots of smokiness and meat flavors. Bitter hops and some sweet, bready malts work perfectly together on the tail end. It's really like drinking a big smoky, peppery steak in a glass.

M- Medium to full-bodied, very very smooth and creamy, finishes on the dry side.

O- Highly drinkable and absolutely delicious. Drinking this beer really puts you in the mood for a barbecue. This beer is all about the smoke and it's always nice to see a beer really focus on one simple characteristic and do it perfectly

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Photo of thespaceman
4.84/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a tulip

Appearance: Very deep ruby/amber in color, agressive pour yields a nice white two finger head with excellent retention. Sticky lacing on the glass as I continued to drink this one.

Smell: SMOKE, SMOKE & more SMOKE! I love smoked beers, and this one takes the cake. Smoked meat, almost bacon-esque pops you in the face, a solid malt spice detectible here as well with bits of vanilla. The beechwood logs used in the brewing process are very detectible, giving off a very woodsy aroma. Probably the best beer I've ever had the pleasure of smelling.

Taste: Just like the smell, loads of smoke fill up the palate, I get some smoked meat flavors, vanilla and a touch of toffee in the backdrop. The earth like wood aroma really kicks in towards the finish without strecthing the taste buds too much. This is like taking a smoked beef brisket and shoving it in a lager beer and drinking it. Absoloutley amazing!

Mouthfeel: Decent amount of carbonation, it's a lighter beer so it's not going to kill you when it sits on the tongue. A nice bittering effect from the german hops is just what the doctor ordered.

Drinkability: One amazing beer that must be had by all beer lovers. I know alot of people don't like smoke beers but this may be the one that turns there opinion around. Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier is the most authentic of any Rauchbier's I've ever had. It's smooth, smokey, and easy to sip. I've yet to try this with some smoked BBQ but I can imagine it is amazing. Very glad I tried this and look forward to trying many more beers from the cellars of Schlenkerla in Bamberg.

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Photo of hmf05
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber/ruby, clear, slightly with a beautiful 3 finger head that really sticks

S: Smoked ham is most dominant but i also get other smoked meats like bacon. There is some nice bready malts also in the mix but the aroma is mostly smoked ham

T: Delicious smoked ham and pork. Some caramel, but mostly smoked ham.

M: Medium viscosity with some creaminess

D: One of these is all you need. Too intense for more

O: Probably my favorite from the brewery.

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Photo of Dlish
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pretty dark, good amount of head. Smells malty and pretty smoky. Tasting it tastes like a bonfire in my mouth, its very smokey no joke. Not bad either but its kind of boring its just a TON of smoke with some malts and it feels like it could use some other kick. Otherwise glad I bought this beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is very dark brown in color with an off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S: This is one damn smokey beer. Intense char, smoke, and burnt wood. There's a definite salty and meaty character to the nose. Sort of sweet underneath with a little bit of toffee.

T: More of the same smoke on the palate. Intensely smokey with lots of char, salt, and meat flavors. A bit like campfire. Luckily there is a bit of sweetness of bread and toffee hiding in the background.

M: Medium in body with a somewhat low level of carbonation.

O: This wasn't as bad as I had remembered it being, but I still wouldn't drink more than a few ounces of it.

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Photo of Pahn
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a three inch, rocky offwhite head that dissipates slowly leaving thick lacing. Pours a dark brown and leaves a few lines of short-lasting lacing.

Smell: Some smoke and toast. Subtle, mild smell. Some bland maltiness underneath the smoke.

Taste: Follows the nose. Smooth bland lager then tons of campfire / wood burning stove smoke that's savory and complex, lasting into a long, surprisingly dry finish. The smoke is bold but not palate wrecking or mouthcoating or anything; for such a strong flavor, it's quite delicate.

While the non-smoke flavors unfortunately don't get past bland, white-bread maltiness, the smoke develops quite a bit; there's charcoal, ash, burnt bacon, and more. The other aspects of the beer don't "fail to stand up to the smoke," but rather are just 1-dimensional to begin with. White bread and a hint of lager-y tartness. Some bitterness would really set this beer off.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied, but with some creaminess. Unexpectedly (and unwelcomely) dry finish. Too low carbonation.

Overall: Nice flavor. While on its own there's a lot of things that leave me a bit unsatisfied, the beer earns an extra point in "Overall" for how well it pairs with food. If this were "Pairing-food-with-beer-advocate," this one would get an easy 5.

I generally don't like to drink beer while I eat, but I had a hunch that this would pair well with a veggie burger (w/ onions, mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, tomatoes, garlic powder) and vegetable soup (lots of salt, herbs, freshly cracked black pepper). My hunch was right. If you're looking for a beer to drink with burgers and/or aggressively seasoned soups, look no further. The delicate flavors in this beer don't just stand up to salt and spices, they beautifully compliment them while themselves getting more intense.

I can't think of a better beer for a barbecue. Pairs amazingly.

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

Poured from the bottle into a wide-mouth glass, slightly chilled.

A: Dark amber, clear, slightly effervescent. Thick, retained head.

S: Smoke! (Duh.) Malty, bready. This is my first rauchbier, so I'm having trouble identifying the more subtle scents.

T: More smoke, some caramel, slight sweetness. Initial aggressiveness on the palate (the smokiness being the main culprit), light through the middle, dry and slightly bitter finish.

M: Somewhat light and thin for such a flavor-forward beer. Waterier than I was expecting, some creaminess. Could have a fuller body.

O: A very interesting and unique beer. Much more palatable than anticipated. Successfully fills both roles as a rauchbier and a marzen. Probably not a favorite, but would have again.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
2.83/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- Reddish brown appearance almost raison prune like. Slight clearness, head dissipates quickly, little carbonation.
S- Very Smokey, hints of caramel and bacon as well as wood.
T- Very unusual, first smoked beer I've tried. Very Smokey, like eating bacon. Hints of sweetness as well.
M- Medium mouth feel, light carbonation.
O- Overall it was not very enjoyable to drink at least for me. Felt like I was drinking bacon juice.

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Photo of VMWhelan
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin off white head.

Smoke is very prominent. You can smell it as soon as you uncap and pour it. Smells of smoked meats, not much else.

Smoke again dominates the flavor. Taste is akin to that of smoked pork salami. Some sweet malt characteristics balance it out better than the nose does, adding a nice bready taste to it. One of the more interesting beers I've had.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium-bodied with average carbonation.

Drinkability is ok. Based on the smell alone, I thought this was going to be much worse, but the smokiness in the flavor, although powerful, is well-balanced with the rest of the flavors.

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

This chubby bottle (500ml) came when I was trying something new. I had a rauchbeer once before at a German restaurant in Queens, and I looked forward to trying something new.

I poured the bottle into a pint glass. There was a one finger head.

I could smell the smoke coming from the beer right off the pour. The smell was very strong, but it wasn't unpleasant. I took a sniff shortly after the pour, and I smelled campfire. It reminded me of when I used to go camping. All I could smell was the smoke. Having been warned that this was coming, the smell was not over whelming.

Took a first drink, surprisingly thin body. I expected a little heavier than that, but the thinner body balances out the very strong flavor. The smoke comes through each drink. I also taste pork/bacon in the flavors, which comes from the smoke and other ingredients... at least I hope I didn't just have meat during lent on a Friday.

I liked the beer, and I want to try it again with some German sausage or roast saurbraaten. I just don't want a splinter from all the charred wook making this (just a joke, that isn't possible).

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Photo of smakawhat
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Church Key into a tumbler.

Having had this in the bottle the biggest difference is the appearance and smell. This beer's retention and head staying power is insane. Super sheets of lacing and the head doesn't go anywhere. The head even on tilt sticks to the glass in chunks so much that this beer looks like a freak show.

The smell is intensely more smokey and bacony than from the bottle. But it has all the great qualities (smoke, bacon, jerky, some mild salt) out of the bottle also but a little more dense body.

Overall on tap or in the bottle this beer just delivers in spades. Super drinkable and just meets expectations in feel all around.

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Photo of KajII
2.72/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

[Best served in a Lager glass]

Poured a clear medium brown with an average sized off-white creamy head that was mostly lasting and had fair lacing. The aroma was of smoked malts a moldy yeast with a heavy note of smoke and meat (Like a smoked ham). It tasted a little acidic that had a mild malt flavor and an intense smokey flavor from start to finish with the flavor lingering on the taste buds for a long while. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and watery yet creamy in texture with a soft carbonation. Overall a very different brew than what I am used to, kind of like drinking liquid smoke. Not all beers are for everyone and this one is definitely not for me!!

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,299 ratings.
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