Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen | Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

1,116 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: 1,116 | Ratings: 2,279
Photo of DrJay
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown and clear with reddish and burnt orange highlights. Fine beige foam settled quickly to a thick ring and thin layer of bubbles. Sticky, fine lacing. Smells like a combination of a camp fire and smoked meat. Really burnt and smokey. Mild bitterness with plenty of sweet malt, notes of caramel and brown sugar before the smokey flavour kicks in at the finish. Lightish body with moderate carbonation, solid mouthfeel. Although the smoke is strong in the aroma, it's really balanced nicely in the flavour. Rauchbiers really aren't my thing, but this one has a nice balance that I like without sacrificing the smoke. Still, it smells like smoked bacon. Maybe next time I should try it with Sunday brunch?

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

My first of the style.

Poured into a pint glass. Nice dark copper with a fairly thin but lasting head. Lacings coat fairly well for me.

Just to be different, I get some smoke on the nose. Comes across as cured meat, a nice smoked salami or maybe even some good smoked jerky.

Little bit of malty sweetness in the aroma that comes through in the taste, cutting through the smoke nicely. It makes it much more quenching than I ever would have thought the style would be. A great mouth feel, carbonation is just right and manages to be smooth without being thin. Finish is much more open wood fire than smoked sausage and it combines nicely with a long lasting bitterness.

Drinkability is higher than I would have thought. I can see drinking a few of these on a winter night in Bamberg. Nice beer, nice style.

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Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This will only be the second smoked beer I have ever tried. So bear with me if my palette seems juvenile.

A: Looks darker in the glass than it did going in. A rich brown body that is fairly translucent. No real head or any lacing.

S: Smoke. I could leave it at that, but I'll keep sniffing to be thorough. Woody, campfire smoke. Maybe my nose will pick up something more is it warms.

T: Once in the mouth, the smoke actually takes a back seat until the aftertaste. A sweet bready character is balanced with an earthy hop backbone. The smoke comes back as soon as I open my mouth after the swallow. Not as obtrusively smokey as it smells, but rather surprisingly clean.

M: A little thin for me. The sparse carbonation can be expected with the lack of head.

D: Obviously a true smoked beer is going to suffer at least a little on drinkability. But, for the style, its unexpectedly smooth.

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

Appearance is a rich dark brown with a thin head that dissapates quickly. Aroma has a lot of definate smoke, reminds me of smoked ham. Tastes like it smells, woody and smoky. Mouthfeel is more on the lighter side with good body. A good one to try if you like smoked meats or just to experience a good German smoked beer.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Second or third rauchbier I've had and this is the first German, therefore I assume more traditional. It pours an opaque brown near black with some ruby red coloring. Tan head leaves occasional lacing.

Smells of smoke and caramel almost syrupy. Although the smoke smell is at the forefront it remains gentle and enjoyable. Far from overdone or fake like liquid smoke.

Smokey taste surrounds gentle malts and sweet caramel flavors. Its fairly dry and the hops are there, but not a feature of this brew. Hints of grain peak through as well. Creamy mouthfeel, which seems oddly pleasing paired with the smoke taste.

This is a great representationn of a smoke flavor in its proper place that enhances a beer's flavor rather than act as a cheap gimmick. Would pair well with some salmon, but would have difficulty holding up against most BBQ sauces. Definetly worth a try especially if you've never given a rauchbier a go.

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

My first smokebeer or rauchbier to taste or review

A- The beer pours a very dark almost opaque brown or dark amber. There was almost no head (possibly because the bottle it came in was cold?)

S- Very smoky and woody smell.

T- Has a dark smoky taste that stays in your mouth for a while after taking a sip. It is not overwhelming though and even though it is smoky it is still somewhat lighter than I would have expected.

M- A lighter body than I would have though and little bits of carbonation as well.

D- If you like smoky flavors this is a good beer. It's not too heavy and the smoke flavors aren't too overwhelming.

[ serving type: bottle ]

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

Into a pint glass, pours a dark woody brown bordering on copper, a nice inch thick off-white head shrinking to a thickish film, with some pretty nice lacing. The aroma is meaty, mostly bacon, burnt and smoky oak... its right on for the style but still a bit shocking, in that its almost not like beer. In fact, it reminds me a bit of smoking cigars, for some reason.

The taste I can enjoy more, and regains some beery qualities. Starts off quite smoky and lots of woodiness, turns more malty with toffee and they malty base is most evident. And then it turns right back to the smoke, a bit drawn out finish that ends dry and again reminds me of smoking a fine cigar.

The mouths is around medium, decent carbonation, drying toward the end, pretty decent. What I really needed while drinking this is a bid, meaty heap of a sandwich. That would've been quality. But alone, it still stands tall.

The rauchbier is the style that could easily be horrible if ill-tuned, but this one is right on the money.

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Photo of kimcgolf
1.65/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I tried this beer’s Urbock cousin last year, and thought it was the worst crap I have ever had. However, I drank it without food on a cool afternoon, so I decided to try again.

This time, I had the Marzen with grilled brats on a hot summer’s eve, complete with spicy mustard and kraut. If I’m ever going to like it, now’s the time, I figured.

Unfortunately, the intense smoky aspect totally dominated the aroma, flavor and finish, to the point where I was alternating bites of Brat with sips of beer, just to get it down.

I have somewhat enjoyed beers with a smoky tint (Great Lakes Engine 20 comes to mind), but the smoke is much too dominant in this Aecht Schlenkerla line for me.

I REALLY tried on this one, but it can best be summed up like this:

Set a pile of old clothes on fire, extinguish it with a bucket of water and drink the runoff.

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Photo of MarkSCCOT
2.02/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This was my first smoked beer to review and I must say that is not a favorite class for me. The poor review is more a reflection of the dislike of the class than the quality of beer itself.

A. A deep amber color with a healthy head. The head dissipates while leaving good lacing.

S. Like liquid smoke. Burnt malt.

T. Wow, hard to handle. like licking a smoked porkchop.

M. Except for the taste not bad.

D. Not great. However, over in Germany is was often said that you must have more than one. Follow the first with a shot of schnapps and then it gets better.

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

Pours a very deep amber in color with lots of bubbles and a light brown head that sticks around.

The smell, of course, is woody and smoky.

The taste is smoky and malty, with light caramel, coffee and roasted flavors.

The body is light and crisp and just right.

Another excellent rauchbier from the masters of smoked beer. There's not much more to write, other than drink some!

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

The Rauchbier (German for smoke beer) is one very unique beer and I have to admit I simply
LOVE IT! It is a completely novel experience and this was in my expectation after reading
a lot of what the folks who tried it had to say. I have to admit it was better than I
expected. I tried this beer at Brauhaus, United Square, Novena; I believe that's the only
place in Singapore where you can find this hard-to-get beer. So on to the tasting; the beer
it had a slightly burned smell (which I expected). The Rauchbier poured out coffee black
with very little head which dissipated in an instant. It has a taste of smoked ham or
smoked sausages along with the beery feel. For the Chinese folks out there, I would say
you may relate this taste to some of those dark chinese teas or some herbal teas; that
burned-like taste. The after taste was also a nice soothing taste of mildly smoked ham or
sausages. The beer is very smooth and extremely drinkable; I love the unique taste and
after taste and before trying it, I expected that I would probably give it a 7 or 8 but
it was really good and deserving a 9. I would love to drink this again; check out more on
smoke beers here: and also the company's official website:; truly one-of-a-kind and a class of it's own.

I tried this a second time on 14 June 07 and felt that it tasted pretty bitter. The smell
and taste is the same except for this bitterness. The difference is I had a pork knuckle
to go with the Rauchbier the last time. Shrug...

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

I was very happy to get a hold of this beer. Let's see how this goes.

A- The beer pours a dark caramel brown. There is a very small layer of head with some mild lacing.

S- Wow. I'm not really new to the style but this beer has intense aromas. The first thing I get is smokiness. I'm also getting a faint liquor smell and mild florals scents. Smoky is really an understatement here.

T- The beer tastes much like it smells; like smoke. I'd say it's somewhat like mesquite but not quite the same. It was perhaps a bit overcarbonated. I also get a caramel flavor. The beer actually tasted a bit better as it warmed. I may have served it too cold.

M- The beer has a moderate body and feels great in the mouth. After a while, it can be a drain on your taste buds though.

D- This is the ultimate beer to enjoy with barbeque. As with the style, I think it should be enjoyed sparingly and correctly. Highly recommended.

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

1pt .9oz brown bottle

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen was a mahogany in color with an off-white head. The head had decent retention and left some lacing. The aroma was dominated by smoke. The taste was sweet malt with plenty of smoke with some bitterness towards the long, smoky, dry finish. It was medium bodied with fairly mild carbonation. Drinkability was good. It's a nice beer with a good smoke flavor. It's definately worth a try.

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Photo of oelergud
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear ruby mahogany body. Tan tiny to medium bubbled head, decent retention and lace.
Heavy smoke and wood scents, peat and earth notes.
Smokey flavor, lots of peat and earth. Abit of a sour note. Earthy hops and burnt rye aftertaste.
Medium body, somewhat hydrating and abit of coating.
Good drinkability.


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

What an interesting experience.

A= Poured a nice dark caramel-brown, small head without much foam but yet still somehow mustered to grow a modest foamy creamy head that left some mild lacing.

S= Smoke, at first. A touch of liquor-smell but not the potent kind which melts nostril-hair. Some mild florals scents, and reminiscences of being in an old furniture store with wooden floors and a lingering odor of furniture polish. More smoky wood.

T= At first, it's just pure smoke. My wife says mesquite-smoke and nearly choked on her obligatory test-sip. She said she'd rather go lick out our barbeque grill. Me-- I thought it was great, although a bit too much carbonation at the start, which only seemed to accentuate the smoky taste. After the beer settles for a few minutes, the other nice qualities of caramel and florals begin to appear. Not much hoppiness or bite. After it sat for half an hour or more, it was actually at its best-- very nicely blended, no carbonation in the way of the flavor, and the smokiness gently blended into the overall experience.

M= After it sat for a while, a delightful mouthfeel of mild sweetness but not syrupy, very nice caramel and its own uniqueness.

D= Depending on one's desire to let this go a bit flat for a while and then drink it slightly warmed down, it's super and could even be a nice session-beer if one could afford it.

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

It pours a clear mahogany with deep amber flashes along the edges. A finger of soft off-white head sinks away to little if anything at all. And yet, filigrees of lacing adorn the inside of the glass. Go figure.

The aroma is every bit what is expected, and that's the edgy, wood-fire bite of well and duly smoked malt. Like a burned building, it keeps on giving off that aura. But in no way is it bothersome or overdone, because a touch of maltiness keeps it grounded and centered.

Upon tasting, that smoke plumes forth yet again with a tongue-engulfing, salty earthiness, like that of cured meet, but underneath is a sweet, charred caramel notion. A quick mention of hops gives a light spice coating to the continuing sugary barbecue tang. The finish is a lingering melding of the woodsy smoke and a general dry crispness. If this is your thing, as it is mine, this is a very tasty and artful specimen.

Light bodied, it fills the mouth as though it's bigger, with a round creaminess that keeps the smokey earthful malt on the palate some time.

I've had smoked beers, not even rauchbiers, that smell all too much of spent wood or ashcans. Not here though, as the smoke is deep, rich, and woody, delivering the notable edge of controlled combustion. On it's own, it's fairly drinkable, but with virtually any assertively savory food, it becomes a luscious companion. So I'll split the difference and say it's plenty good. And the whole time, it's like you're drinking a pint of brewing history.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.59/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I believe this brew is true to its style.

The aroma is of course smokey. Kind of camp fire-ish. Reminds me of summer BBQ's with smoked meat.

It looks ok. Head was ok size. Head retention was average compared to other smoked Beers that I've had. Colour was darkish brown.

Flavour was just like smoked ham! I thought I tasted a bit of hickory, but my friends disagree.

Mouthfeel was nothing special. If anything the carbonation was too strong, or crisp.

Overall, I like it, I think it would go well with some game meat. Stronger flavoured cheeses like an aged white chedar too. Or with kielbasa.

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Photo of jp62099
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: gorgeous deep scarlet, nice head and lacing.

Smell: Wow! that's different, is your first thought, very pronounced smokiness. Salmon, cured meat smell, some charred wet wood also.

Taste: at first sip you're cautious given the intense smell, but it is very smooth. The taste is very much like the smell, but with a nice malt sweetness. Slight hop bitterness makes for a balanced finish.

My first German rauchbier, and I'm hooked. As for drinkability, you feel like you have gotten your protein for the day with just one, but it goes down very easy. Would drink lots if I could afford it.

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Photo of jameaterblues
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So this is my second rauchbier(I haven't typed the first ones notes out), but I instantly have more respect for them than the american smoke beers....with those I am always left wondering where is the smoke...but with these it is easily tasted and smelled....

A- This beer poured a very dark amber brown with hints of orange coming in with the light...the head was about an inch tall and left a sticky lace all around the glass.
S- I'm a vegetarian so this(and the urbock) taste and smell like meat(to me at least.) Thick rich malts, smokey, meaty bacony beefjerky like smell...spicy and savory...light caramel malts, but not in a sweet way.
T/M/D- This a really unique mouth feel....big round and smooth malts....the beer is extremely easy to drink, medium bodied and filling...smokey and meaty almost a liquid beef jerky feel...It is really unique and wonderful....if you don't like it on first taste you will appreciate it when you finish the bottle. Not something for everyday, but definitively something I will return too.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz (500ml) bottle to a wine goblet - a $3 bottle from Stumptown in Portland, OR. Listed ABV on the bottle is 5.1%.

A: Rather mundane mahogany-brown. Deep and dark but lacking in carbonation and head - just a thin and soapy film covering less than half the glass.

S: So smoky. Reminiscent of a campfire, roasting hot dogs over charred embers. On-dimensional (all smoke), but it's a good smell...

T: Wow, tastes even more intense than the smell. This is not a beer that will please most people but I find it pretty wonderful. Sweet smokiness, hints of BBQ meat, molasses, charcoal. Intrinsic woody-flavor, charred malts.

M: Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, but lacks carbonation. Smoke is ever-present, but clings lightly to the palate, on the back of the tongue and down the throat.

D: If I want a smoky-tasting beer, i'm going for this one. Really, it's like no other beer I've had; even smoked malt porters come nowhere near this. I wouldn't have this all the time, but would definite recommend it for a try (under the premise that it's S-M-O-K-Y).

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.86/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was the smokiest rauchbier I've ever had, and that isn't necessarily a good thing! It is very substantial, and has a flavor remiscent of eating fresh bacon inside a smokehouse, but not enough beer character for me. Not very drinkable, but very interesting.

It boured a sparkling red color with a medium amount of head from a mini-keg. It had a salty, smokey, meaty smell. It was downright bacon-like in flavor, but I wish had more beer character. I felt the beer-flavor in this beer was totally overwhelmed by this bacon flavor. It had a salty mouthfeel, like a mouthful of seawater. Not very drinkable.

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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 mithrascruor
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16.9 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours an extremely dark red colour, rather clear. Head is relatively dense and foamy -- not too big, but a nice tan colour that laces the glass.

Aroma: Has a truly unusual smokey -- yet somewhat sweet -- aroma. Like a smoked ham with a sugar glaze -- not something I would ask for in a beer, but it smells really appetizing.

Taste: Initially tastes quite malty, and that separates into the smoked ham flavor, with a quite noticable sweeter malt undertone.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth. Very light carbonation.

Drinkability: Alcohol-wise no problem. Flavor-wise this can become a bit too much too soon.

The smell is very interesting and unique, but it doesn't translate as well into the flavor. Still nice and enjoyable, but a bit excessive at times. (I'd rather be eating that smoked ham right now!) Nevertheless, I still think that this is definitely a beer worth trying. And I'd consider having it again, especially when I had some discerning friends over.

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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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Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
4.06 out of 5 based on 2,279 ratings.
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