Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier MärzenAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
Liked This Beer
4.06 w/ 2,334 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,334 |  Reviews: 1,138
Photo of MoreThanWine
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the beer that saved smoke beer for me. Instead of smelling just like a lit fireworks punk like the first sample in this case the smoke balances with other smells and flavors. Taste-wise I'm getting bacon and smoked cheeses. Although I wouldn't want this every night I pretty much enjoyed the Marzen. A unique and quality product.

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Photo of infi
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic pint.

Deep and dark mahogany color with generous amounts of carbonation activity. Beautiful frothy tan head with great timing on the retention. Leaves a moderate amount of sudsy-looking lacing. The mental image I get from just smelling this beer is a rotisserie smoker full of cured meats with charcoal burning and some rolling tobacco thrown in. The smokiness is just immense and engulfs your olfactories. One of the most novel smelling beers I've ever experienced, hands down.

Taste is just straight-up smoked pork with some maltiness at the finish. Ham and bacon- WTF, amazing. The smokiness is incredibly profuse in the liquid and gives off just an amazing sensory experience. Much more than I had originally expected, especially with the bad experiences I've had with other smoked beers. This beer is so substantial in flavor, you just can't help but keep drinking this liquid smoke.

Mouthfeel is very creamy and medium-bodied. Basically almost finished with my pint as I complete this review. What an example of the rauchbier style, especially as my first. Officially my new favorite German beer. Gonna keep this beer in mind for any upcoming bbq's- damn.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've been in a German lager kinda mood lately, always liked smoke in beers, picked this up to try my first real rauchbier. 500ml into a glass boot. Awesome.

Pours see-through dark brown. Nice creamy tan head retains well, strands of lacing up and down the boot.

Great smell! Smoky campfire logs instantly come to mind, completely authentic. Maple and bacon very apparent as well. Reminds me of a big smoky breakfast.

Taste isn't about smoke as much it is grilled meat to me, reminds me of grilled hot dogs and salmon which maintains well throughout. There is a light almost vanilla sweetness and caramel malt that balances things out. The smoke disappears more and more as it goes down which is disappointing.

Body to me seems thin and under-carbonated, more of both would've made a huge difference.

The smell was great, taste was good, I wish it was more smoky, harsh and thick, but it is what it is. I question the freshness coming from the dusty ol import shelves. On the expensive side for a German import, still stoked to try the other ones.

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Photo of Strix
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear reddish-brown, big frothy head.

Smoky malt in the smell.

Holy smoked flavor batman. Tastes like, bacon, ham, smoked fish, with a sweet malty finish. Very interesting. Probably an acquired taste.

Medium-light mouthfeel.

I guess this is what rauchbiers are like. I generally like smoked things, but the combination of the smoked meats with the sweetness got to be too much for me quickly. Very interesting, but I didn't find it very drinkable.

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Photo of cwc
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Watching the Michael Jackson Beer Hunter episode on Germany the other night I immediately became intrigued with smoked beers. The idea was appealing and as it's cooled down a bit here in Tokyo, I thought it was a good time to see if my local specialty shop had one - naturally, they came through!

The appearance is nice - a solid dark color, but slightly transparent.

The smell is what blows you away. I took a quick spin through some of the other reviews and have to agree: a wonderful smoky wood fire smell with hints of bacon. This powerful smell, as others suggest, might not be conducive to drinking more than a couple of these in a sitting.

The taste is good - a bit sweet with hints of that woodsy smell, but definitely not overwhelming.

A very intriguing beer and one I'd like to try again, and/or other examples of this unique style. I think I'll be revisiting this beer as the colder months approach.

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Photo of cpanossian
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

0.5L glass served from barrel on the bar at Schlenkerla - my first visit to Bamberg.
Smoky bacon aroma from fresh light brown head that leaves light lacing.
Cola brown color.
Deep smoked wood jerky taste but smooth and cool on the pallate.
A amazing challenge that fans of stouts and porters will enjoy.
Thoroughly enjoyed with the Hausgemachte Schlenkerla bratwurste (possibly the best I have ever tasted in Germany yet) und Frankissch Dampfkraut (they season it with bay leaves and cloves!).

I really didin't think I could drink this smoked stuff but when consumed in the context of this ancient restuarant in this really neat medieval town, I was hooked.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a Pint Bottle into a german pint glass.

Pours mahogany and brown with a light one finger head that fades quickly. Sticky puzzle piece lacing.

Smell is of rich smoky wet wood, "beech wood" is the claim, and the smell supports it.

The taste at first is an attack of smoked beech wood and smoked ham. Gives a Marzen malts caramel ride later on. The smoke backs away the further you get into this beer as dark un-sweet currants appear.

Perfect carbonation on the tongue, light and creamy and smoothe. Yes a dry finish.

Yes it is drinkable, but the excitement would be gone as the flavors disappear the further you get into it as it is difficult for the palate to keep up the characteristic identification of your initial sips. I would recommend 1 at a time.

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Photo of Swill5786
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brownish red with one finger head, quickly fading. Aroma is malty with overtone of smoked meats. Opens with sweet, caramel maltiness; spicy hops bitterness at the back; smoke on the edges of the aftertaste. Medium body, decent carbonation. Easy to drink.

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Photo of irishking1977
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep copper/amber hue with a pretty ample head that recedes, leaving decent lacing.

S: Hints of smoked wood, and charred malt. What one would expect.

T: Mildly malty, surprisingly light with a smoky, burnt wood finish. I think I expected this to be a bit more robust, but it's still solid nonetheless.

M: Good carbonation; it's right where it should be. Thicker and creamier than I would have expected, but that's a good thing, of course.

D: Good drinkability, though I might personally be worn out by the burnt malt/wood finish after a few. Still, a solid, well made beer.

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

Pours dark brown with a slowly fading off-white head.
Nose shows smoked almonds, charcoal and smoked pork. Hard to pick up much underneath, unlike the urbock which had lots of malt. Still, quite nice.
Flavours are less smoky at first, with some soft caramel malt and mild bitterness, before that smoked almonds/ham note come back in force for a lingering finish.
Creamy carbonation could be upped a little.

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Photo of cooch69
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours into the mini Schlenkerla glass a medium semi transparent brown. It pours with a nice compact fluffy off white head that slowly fades as it clings to the glass.
This beers smoke is pretty aparent in the nose. It is unmistakably smoky without risking being overly smoky. I also detect a bit a caramel notes in the nose.
The taste is predominantly smoke but I also taste the hops kick in. Just a little but they're there. Could'nt really tell it was an Octoberfest at first because of the other flavours covering the base beer. I think the easiest one to detect the style is the Weizen.
I must say that if your in the mood for smoke nothing hits the spot like a Schlenkerla.

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Photo of charliedvrs
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark copper amber with a small, bubbling white head.

S - Smells not just of smoked malts, but of smoked meat. Think smoked bacon or salmon.

T - Comes pretty close to drinking a nice, well done strip of bacon. A bit of a charred taste, almost like the burnt skin of a ham roast. There's an oak element, as well as some caramel flavor coming through in a more traditional marzen sense.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth drinking. A dry finish which goes well the the flavor.

D - Goes down pretty easy, but the flavor is so overpowering and strong that I can't see myself wanting a second. Not a bad thing, just don't let the 5% ABV make you think you're going to session this. A great example of the style and an enjoyable beer all around.

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Photo of Franz4
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark walnut color with a creamy 3 finger head that hung around for a bit. Looked the part of an excellent beer.

S- smoked flavoring comes out strong, not so much like bacon, more like a smoked almond. In this one I noticed a touch of rawness that wasn't present in Schlenkerlas's weizen

T- Taste followed the smell nicely, although the rawness left something a little off, raw bacon sitting out for a couple hours is what comes to mind, but that sounds worse than what it tasted like.

M- lightly carbonated, the taste stayed with you, and it paired great with a pretzel and cheese combination I had going.

D- I definitely want to try this one again, as I previously tried their weizen and I was a big fan. Not sure I'd do multiple smoked beers in an evening as the flavor profile is pretty strong and I'd be satisfied with 1.

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

500 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 5.1% ABV, no date.

A - Clear dark mahogany brown, almost black in the glass with a tall light tan head. Low retention but good lace left over on the glass.

S - Smokey campfire and cooked apple wood bacon comes from the peet-smoked malts that are powerful but don't overwhelm the nose. It's really one-dimensional but still fantastic smelling.

T - The smoke is nowhere near as potent as the aroma lets on but would you even want it stronger? Probably not. I really like the smoke accent to the Märzen malts.

M - Medium-light bodied and smokey obviously, with a dry finish and moderate carbonation level.

D - Really not that hard to drink, it makes for a great marinade as well as pairing with grilled food. I like it a lot for what it is but again, it's pretty one-dimensional.

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

Pours an excellently clear garnet with a thin beige head. Visible carbonation fairy vigorous.

The smell is very reminiscent of smoke/chimneys/even bacon. Sweet grainy note.

The sweet malty backbone and clean finish make this a very pleasant-tasting brew.

Medium-bodied and very drinkable.

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Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Hold the bacon with my eggs, I'll have a Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen!!!

Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and a thick tan head that leaves nice lacing.

Aromas of a Slim Jim over campfire with background hints of berries.

Taste has a frontal assault of smokiness, but has a lot of nice subtle notes, including sweet caramel, berry sweet and light malts. Campfire smokiness lingers and lingers...

Mouthfeel is medium with nice carbonation, with a dry finish.

This is a situational brew to the tee! Very nice if you are ready for it but I could see a terrible review if you popped this at the wrong time. The immense smokiness in the nose and flavor leaves this as a situational brew at best.

This one needs a second review!

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Photo of xrdsci
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1pt 0.9oz bottle.

A: Deep brown color with a light tan head.

S: Smells like smoked pork.

T: The strong smokey flavor dominates here, although it's not overwhelming. A fair amount of sweetness up front. It's hard to pick up through the smoke, but I can taste some faint caramel and dark fruits.

M: Moderate mouthfeel, not as thick as expected. Very smooth. Light carbonation

D: Thoroughly enjoyed this, but it isn't something I could drink in any situation.

This is probably the most interesting beer I've ever had. To be honest, I didn't care for it much the first time around (mostly because of poor food-pairing). The second and subsequent tastings have been more rewarding. Give it a chance.

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Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into dimpled mug.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany-brown with frothy grayish-tan head.

Smell: Smoke, ash and grilled meat. Interesting.

Taste: Very, very smoky with char-grilled meat, burnt toast, molasses and some semi-sweet fruitiness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, lighter body than expected (but fits the beer), very smooth.

Drinkability: Strangely alluring. Wasn't completely sure about this beer for the first half, but then I just wanted more and more.

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

Six generations of the Trum family have run the Schlenkerla Brewery Tavern in Bamberg Germany since 1405. Something very special lives here, and has done so epically since day one; the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen is a smokebeer of unparalleled quality and distinction. Banberg is the original home of the rich and powerful smokebeer, and Schlenkerla may be the most visited and traditional brewer of them all.

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier translates to English as Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer, and since I first tried it, it has held a special place in my heart. It is undeniably unique with flavors that would drive some mad, and others mad with utter pleasure. The rich and penetrating smoky flavor is achieved by exposing barley to the intense aromatic smoke of burning beech wood during malting. Before kilning was mastered, this was really common practice, and most beers at one time were somewhat 'smoked'.

Really, the Schlenkerla is definitely not everyones bag, and as you read on you will see why. But those who do like this beer love it!

The Marzen comes in a 500ml bottle at 5.1% abv and is widely available at the LCBO. It is actually a lager, not an ale, contrary to what you may first perceive. But Schlenkerla does used bottom fermenting yeasts and ages it in oak in 700 year old cellars. The power of this beer comes not from its yeasts, but rather from the smoke, as you will soon find out.

In fact, you will find out the second you open this bottle. Immediately, before you even pour it, smoky bacon and charred wood will pour into the air engulfing your senses. While you could serve this beer at cellar, or even room temperature, I think it is best cool around 12C (54F). All the rich aromas and flavors are extremely potent when closer to warm, but it is still a lager and shows great refreshing characteristics and smooth crispness when cooler. Also, this way you get the best of both worlds; but pour at your own discretion.

Poured into a tall deep pint glass similar to Schlenkerla's own, it builds a richly brown mahogany beer with deep reds, amber and a golden haze. Carbonation is noticeable in the beer but not out of the ordinary. The head stood fluffy and dense a good two inches above the beer - creamy and off white in color, it is filled with air and also much power. Retention is excellent, and even by the end of the beer I was accompanied by a reasonable foam - not film, foam.

The nose is just crazy. The name Smoke Beer almost doesn't do it justice, it should be called crazy smoky sausage beer! But this is also what will ruin it for some people right away. But don't be timid. Forget about any prior conceptions of what beer can or should be. Just let your self go and focus solely on your senses, they will guide you to the light. The nose is wide and open with huge smoke flavors, hickory, smoked sausage, bacon and toffee. It is supremely rich, but absorb it and you will find caramel malts, biscuit, more toffee, a touch of earth and hayfield, then always the reminicent scent of campfire.

Don't prepare yourself for drinking this beer. Don't contemplate it, don't worry about it, don't over think it. Just let your mind relax and let the Schlenkerla sooth you. It enters your palate powerfully, but at first with softly rich and warming malts. Caramel and dark toffee mix with brown sugar and molasses for a moment as waves of smoky layers begin to make their way in. They are not pounding or aggressive; the beer is 5.1%, so you should not expect to be mutilated by its strength.

The first smoke I get is smoked sausage. It is powerful, with earth, herbs and some warm spice, maybe pepper. Next comes pure smoke and charred wood with hints of oak and malt. You can almost feel the smoke; it is very smooth and elegant. Yes, elegant. Even as potent as it is, it seamlessly orchestrates its way over your palate tickling all the right senses in all the right places. Some bitterness is detectable to add a touch of balance, but this beer by definition is unbalanced, and I love it for it. It is bold and beautiful in every way; it is very deserving of its rich heritage and loyal following.

The mouthfeel is easy and Soothing. Regardless of all the smoke, it still feels fresh and quenching, especially at the cooler temperature. Maybe quenching isn't right, but it is extremely satisfying and pleasurable to drink.

It can be hard to pair this marzen with food, but it can also be easy. Richly smoked cheeses, roast beef, ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, fried potatoes, and absolutely anything barbecued is a natural match for this magnificent beer. No doubt, it is one of my favorites, and will always have a place in my fridge.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Redlight Redlight in Orlando, FL. Pours a dark brownish color with a light tan head. The aroma is fantastic! A lot of smoked malts dominate the nose. The taste like the aroma is deliciously smokey! This beer is great in the bottle and even better on-tap!

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jeremy for sharing heals all...F U La Folie 05!

A-pours a transparent dark reddish brown, fluffy creamy yellowish head with a huge lace left behind.

S-the nose has a ton of smoke and campfire to it, smoked ham is quite strong in the nose, caramel malts there to balance that malt profile and a faint grassy hop aroma in the back.

T-tons of smokey campfire in the taste, again smoked meats, lots of smokey glazed ham, sturdy malt base and notes of malt sweetness with caramel and toffee, a light earthy and grassy hop presence in the finish.

M-smooth and creamy feel to it with a medium to light body and clean soft finish, low carbonation but enough to balance.

D-very interesting beer, quite smoked and meaty but enough balance to it that is seems to work very well together and be enjoyable. Plus, after the onslought of acidity and vinegar of La Folie 05 there was a need for malt!

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. I don't have a mug (the suggested beerware), which is shameful, so the pint will have to do. The color is a dark brown with a ruby red tint. It is close to opaque, but light still passes through. My pour produced three fingers of thick, cappuccino colored head, which hung around for a few minutes before dissipating to leave a foamy lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Bacon. Thick and peppery bacon. Even after all these years as a vegetarian, the aroma is unmistakable. It is definitely unique and stands out prominently. It also has an autumn leaf burn pile or campfire smell to it. There's really no getting past the bacon and smoked aromas. My eyes are almost burning. Yet, it is very enticing.

Taste: Follows the smell, but the smokiness is thankfully not as intense. It has a prominent smoked bacon or ham (I'm thinking smoked ham with bacon bits on it) flavor which gives way to, surprisingly, toasted coffee malts. It finishes very much like a dry stout in that sense.

Drinkability: This is damn good stuff. Very unique and very tasty. I was unsure how I would react to the smoky qualities and the bacon (and not because I'm a vegetarian), and I'm pleased to say I thoroughly enjoyed both.

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Photo of generallee
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1 pint 0.9oz bottle into a pint glass. The label has no freshness date but it does have the abv (5.1%) and a description of the beer on the back.

Appearance: The body has a deep copper body with clear reddish highlights. On top it has a tall, light tan head that makes spotty and slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its aroma is very smoky, like hardwood BBQ smoke, roasted malt and those imitation bacon bits that go on salads.

Taste/Palate: There is a deep smoky wood character with grainy malt with hints of bacon. It has some mild sweetness underneath that is balanced buy some light mineral (salty metallic) notes and leafy hop bitterness. The palate has a slightly slick smooth feel with a medium body and carbonation. It finishes with a slow deep smoky fade off the tongue.

Notes: Overall it's an interesting beer but its not one that I could see myself drinking much of.

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Photo of rootbeerman
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: pours into my duvel tulip, clear brown with a hint on red in the light, a nice finger and a half head falling to thin layer.
S: as expected with style, smoky, i was expecting it to be over powering but it is not, there is a little bit of malt hiding but it is mostly smoke.
T: first taste is smoke which leads to a lightly sweet bready malt, and a strange sort of hop and smoke aftertaste that i cant exactly describe, though it is good. smoke lingers a long time
M: flavors are coating so it seem a bit thicker than it is. carbonation is medium to light.
D: overall marzen style is very drinkable, strong smoke makes for a good grilling brew

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Photo of wcintula
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This was poured into a Weihenstephan glass with about two and a half fingers of light tan head atop a black body. It smells very strongly of smoke with some malts seeping through. Upon tasting, I find the smoke very bacon-like but it's all I can taste! I nice moderate-bodied beer with low-med carbonation I can't drink one after another. Quite tasty though. I like Schlenkerla's helles lagerbier better, because of the lighter smoked flavour, I can taste other parts of the beer better.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 82.5% out of 100 with 2,334 ratings
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