Aecht Schlenkerla Kräusen
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla

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German Rauchbier
Ranked #10
Ranked #9,245
4.05 | pDev: 11.11%
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Very Good
Notes: Also known as Helles Märzen Kräusen Blend.

In the world of German brewing, Kräusen refers to the intense proliferation of bubbles and foam formed during fermentation of a young or “green” beer. And Aufkräusen (literally to kräusen it up), refers to a historic brewing technique in which some green beer is added to a fully-matured lager. This is a very old and very typically German tradition, and today even English-speaking brewers refer to this technique as krausening. Krausening brings the vibrant freshness of young beer to the more refined, austere flavors of a fully-matured lager.

Aecht Schlenkerla Kräusen starts out as normal Helles Schlenkerla Lager and matures for months in the old rock cellars underneath the brewery. Just before filling it is blended using the before mentioned "Kräusen" technique with classic Märzen Rauchbier. The result is an unfiltered, bottom fermented and amber color Märzen Lager hybrid with a vibrant and slightly smoky flavor.

IBU: 30
Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 51 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of drmeto
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

-pours a hazy amber with a big,frothy,offwhite head
-medium to high carbonation visible
-sweet BBQ,bacon,nutty,malty
-bready,spicy,smoky,malty,herbs with a clean finish
-medium carbonation
-light to medium body
Less smokey than the Märzen with a cleaner finish.
Really good stuff, as usual from Schlenkerla

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Photo of emerge077
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Last can on the random shelf, labeled Helles Märzen.
Saturated golden orange with suspended floaties, frothy foam.
Soft woodsmoke aroma, mellow maltiness.
Full bodied initially but light on the finish, mild lingering smoke and low level bitterness. Smoked malt is present but not overwhelming. Slightly chewy.

Overall this was interesting to try, i’ll try to catch it fresher next time.

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Photo of jonb5
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half litre bottle, poured into pint shaker. Beer number 200 from Bavaria.

A: Very dark shade of amber, slightly hazy, small head which stayed for a bit, left some lacing.

S: Obviously it was a bit smokey but it wasn't as pronounced as with other Schlenkerla beers.

T: Not bursting with meat, finished with charcoal.

M: Heavy body for the lower abv, low carbonation.

O: Well made, lower alcohol alternative to other Frankonian smoked beers.

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Photo of cbutova
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Tallboy pour into a snifter with a deep golden-copper body that is just slightly hazy. The cap rises to a finger high with a creamy and frothy consistency and decent retention. Not much in the way of lacing.

S- That smoke that Schlenkerla is well known for penetrates the nostrils immediately upon opening the can. Roasted brown sugar coated ham, caramel, firewood smoke and grains of the amber toasted variety come to mind. Simple but effective with a ton of depth and massive strength to that smokiness.

T- The smoke and the burnt wood opens things up and as expected the smoked grains dominate the flavor profile up front. With more time some yeast character and other malty notes come out. Slight pale fruits from the fermentation as well as hints of toast, caramel, brown sugar, roast ham, bread and cereal. Just a ton of wood and smoke from those grains.

MF- Light-medium bodied with a high level of carbonation. The texture is puffy and crisp with some foamy consistency when agitated. Ends with smoke coating the entire mouth.

It is hard to turn down any beer from this brewery. The last beer I have to review from them is the Fastenbier and I hope I get the pleasure to someday. This one is chock full of wood smoke with notes of ham, toast and caramel to compliment that.

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Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a classic beauty, rich amber hue, crystal clear, healthy white head persisting on top. Quite lovely
Nose is lightly cracker-y with a nice bite of hardwood smoke. Very smooth.
Taste has a bit of smoke around behind the whole thing. The bulk of the flavor is a vaguely caramely, malty, apple ish flavor with a light hop bite near the back end. Very well put together, very smooth. Also notice that the smoke bite I got when the cans were very fresh is greatly reduced.
Mouthfeel is super light and smooth. In what appears to be the german traditions this is a beer that would likely go down easily liter and liter, especially in warm weather or at night or in the winter or while riding a bike or in a box with a fox in socks. Smooth and crisp to the bone.
Quite an amazing beer if you ask me, definitely one to lend credence to the notion of german brewing superiority. Wish we got them at a more affordable rate around here (6$ a can for a pint of 4.5% beer isn't sustainable for me) but will definitely keep my eyes out for it and slip it into the rotation every now and again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Deep Ellum in Boston, MA.

This one pours a slightly hazy golden orange color, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like warm woodsy smoke, smoked ham, caramel, and crusty bread.

This is easily more smokey than the Helles alone. These guys do the best smoked beers in the world, it never diverges into pure BBQ or pure bandaid. There's smoky and fruity bitterness here, slightly woody, with a great dark bready backbone, and a touch of sweet caramel. It's so well composed. I could drink this all day.

This is light bodied, crisp and very clean, despite the smoke. I'm a big rauchbier fan, so it's very drinkable for me.

I love the idea and execution behind this beer. It was so well done.

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Photo of keithmurray
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - hazy orange/amber colour with white head

Smell - ham, burnt firewood

Taste - ham, burnt firewood, baked bread, hint of caramel

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium plus carbonation, baked bread upfront, ham and smoke dominate, dry finish

Overall - tasty beer here, slightly more aggressive than the Helles in terms of smokiness, but still enjoyable

Price Point - $4.99/16.9 oz can

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Photo of Jacobier10
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pint can @ Würstbar in Jersey City, NJ.

This is basically a rebranded version of the "Kräusen" that it is being imported to the US by B. United as part of their Tank Container Project under the name "Helles Märzen Kräusen Blend."

Deep amber color with great clarity. Moderate rocky white head. Patchy lacing left behind on the glass.

Pure bacon aroma and flavor. Smokier than the Helles (both the filtered bottles/draught and unfiltered cans) but less than all of the other Schlenkerla offerings. Definitely noticed a good amount of bitterness in the finish. Very clean but the bitterness prevents it from being as smooth as something like the Helles.

The best way I can describe this beer is if you take the crisp/refreshing quality of the Helles and combine it with some of the smokiness from the Märzen and some of the bitterness of the Fastenbier. Lovely stuff.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can from The Beermongers.

A clear copper with a thin beige head that falls off rapidly leaving little lacing this looks solid. The nose is reminiscent of the helles lager with a delicate smoke note, wet, earthy, mildly grassy, but also with some of the bread and toast notes from the Marzen. Moderately hoppy as well. The palate opens with a smoky bitterness, a blend of earth, wet mint, smoldering wood and wet smoke. The mid palate has a mild but distinctive sweetness with wheat toast and pumpernickel bread. Mild smoked meat notes are present. Drying on the finish with a long, smoky and mildly bitter flavor, this beer is light in body and moderately carbonated. Smokier than the Helles but significantly less so than the Marzen, this beer is a good stepping stone to the Schlenkerla core lineup.

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Photo of Snowcrash000
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy, deep golden coloration with a large, foamy/creamy head. Smell has a noteable smoke aroma to it, but also notes of sweet'ish malts and herbal hops. Taste does have that typical Schlenkerla campfire/smoked bacon smokiness to it, although it is a lot more mellow than with most of their other brews, backed up by sweet, doughy malts and grassy, herbal, almost spicy hops. Finishes with a light bitterness and some herbal, smokey notes lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and carbonation.

I'm not sure if I enjoy this or the Märzen better, but I really don't know why anyone would prefer the Lager over this unless they really don't like Rauchbiers anyway. This does have a certain mellow balance going on that is rather enjoyable for sure.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From bottle. Almost clear golden color with off-white head. Aroma has light smoked notes, toasted malts and dark bread crust. Taste has toasted malt, earthy background bitterness from start to finish and some light smoked ham notes. Medium body and carbonation. Easy drinking with a good kick of bitterness.

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Photo of tigg924
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the brewery in Bamberg. Pours hazy, golden copper in color with one inch head. Taste is big smoke, wheat, and toasted malt. Light bodied, smoky, sweet with moderate carbonation. Amazing. Best beer all trip. Please send this to the states.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Try it at the brewery, in the hallway, sitting quietly and watching the tourists. .....heaven!... Smokey to the nose, smokey to mouth and a bit like bacon as well. Yum!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.26/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught into a .5L glass at Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Franconia, Germany, where it's labelled "Aecht Schlenkerla Krausen Hefetrub". Reviewed from notes taken June 2011. Expectations were pretty high given the brewery.

A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream, decent thickness, and nice retention. Colour is a hazy nontransparent gold. Appealing.

Sm: Slight roast bacon notes. Some barley. A mild strength aroma.

T: Slight roast with very light bacon hints. Hoppy, with a nice barley foundation. Complex but less so than the marzen. Still pleasant though unrefreshing and lacking subtlety.

Mf: Thick, nicely coarse, and dry enough to match the style (which I define not as a Munich Helles Lager, but rather a Bamberg Rauch lager).

Dr: Hides its low ABV and is easy to drink (except perhaps or unpracticed drinkers). Very affordable by German standards. I might get it again, but the Marzen is a much better choice.


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Photo of Smakawhat
3.41/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a tumbler at ChurchKey DC.

A nice semi creamy like head off white in color, resting on a pale yellow/orange body. There is some semi lacing on the glass which seems to creamy coat the edges. Pretty good looking and some small rising carbonation.

Nose brings light malts, typical faint smoke, but almost toasty and crisp. Unfortunately there is a large medicinal novocaine and band aid presence, even almost dare I say.. wild yeast smelling.

Taste is a very sharp bitter with a light malt body, gives a little toasty crispness on the palate. Once again lots of numbing novocaine character.

It's one of my favorite styles of beers, and it's from a brewery I absolutely adore, but this isn't really doing it for me. I am glad though I had a chance to try it, I didn't think I would, but I'll probably never order it again.

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Photo of kylehay2004
2.28/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Single finger head, no lace on a clear golden body. Aroma is mostly malt and breads. The aroma doesn't forbids the flavor which is smokey and burnt toast like. Otherwise typical lager yeast in the background. Light body and moderate to high carbonation. Very unique beer. More like a rauchibair but not as drinkable as a typical helles lager

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Photo of rudzud
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this on tap at the Lion's Pride.

A - Served in a pilsner glass a super light amber hue with a nice creamy, thick blanket one finger head that left solid side lacing.

S - Wow, smokey smokey smokey. This is like meat in a glass. Like brisket fresh from a smoker! Behind the smoke is a light hay like aroma.

T - Unlike the nose, the smoke on the pallete is very light. With it is a nice buttery, bready flavor. Very german on the taste, with that sweat cream butter and bread being nicely prominant.

M - Super clean and lighter carbonation with a good crisp finish.

O - This beer was a huge surprise. I would LOVE to have been eating some smoked meats with this. It was a bbq in the glass.

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Photo of Jayli
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Track 84 10/28
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a hazy light copper color with a two finger of white sudsy head that recedes at a decent pace. Nice wispy lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is light smoke, lots of grain, and a leafy, hay character.

T: Taste is lots of light smoke, then a good deal of grain and some more light smoke. The smoke flavoring is actually nicely blended with grain and earthy, leafy notes.

M: Lighter bodied, medium to high carbonation, crisp, dry body.

O: Goes down easily, tasty, not too filling, mild kick, nice representation of style. I love smokey beers, so this was right up my alley...however, far lighter smoked than other offerings from Schlenkerla.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delightfully sampled this rarity on tap at ChurchKey DC. Review from notes:

A hazed copper starts with an off-white head. Decent retention. Smells like pork belly. I love it already. Maybe some kettle corn too. Grain and smoke in an all-out battle. So rich. Meaty. Reminds me of a breakfast I had while traveling in London of the smokey bacon paired with baked beans. Flavor keeps dabbling between smoked pig products and a rich graininess. The smoke takes over as more sips go down the gullet. Neat mix of 2 good brews from Schlenkerla. Great way for a consumer to take baby steps through the ranks of smoke.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/28/2011 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light malts, lager yeast and a touch of smokiness.

T: The taste starts with a mild malt sweetness followed by some breadiness from the lager yeast. Then some smokiness comes in but it’s not over-powering. The hops presence is mild but complementary and creates a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a nice lighter smoky beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico's OktoBEERfest 2011. Served in a plastic pint. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly-clear medium copper color with a good off-white head and some nice lacing. The nose brings some light bread and toast plus just a touch of smoke. Much, much better than Schlenkerla's other beers, which tend to be far too smokey, in my opinion. Flavor is a good blend of Helles and rauch, definitely leaning heavily toward the former. Light body and nice smokey dryness to the finish. This would be a fantastic summer beer.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Publican. Served in a pilsener glass.

A - A big off-white foam settles to a thin cap and thicker collar, leaving behind minimal lacing. Transparent dark bronze body.

S - Very smokey - char, hickory, campfire, and perhaps a hint of the underlying malt imparting a bit of sweetness. Seems more smoked than the regular Helles actually.

T - Again, tons of smoke, hickory, and some bread and cereal grain malt to back things up. Finishes with dry smokiness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, and a tannic, dry, and roasty texture. Obviously no alcohol.

D - Easy enough to drink - the smoke flavors never become overly ashy or astringent. If you like this type of beer it has great session potential. Didn't seem super different from the regular Helles, but perhaps an A/B comparison would reveal some differences. I'll probably have this again down the road.

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Photo of MTNboy
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ll be honest there is not much difference in flavor with this one and the Helles. The body is gold color with lots of carbonation bubbles. The head and lace were both average. The aroma is a deep smoke, wood scent with some earthiness. The flavor was like smoke, meat and grass.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served on draft, a new beer from Schlenkerla? Yes please. Beer is yellow with a mild haze, a thin white head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, head is lazy.

Aroma is sweet, smoky, malty, mild.

Beer is medium to light in body, sweet and smokey up front with a relatively dry finish, lots of smoke on the backend, there is a sort of bitterness from the whole thing that pushes from the back to the front of the palate, the smokiness grows with every sip.

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Photo of gory4d
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a two-finger white head - not too much lacing. Smell is light smoke, lots of grain, some herbs. Taste is mild smokiness, clean grains, some grassy notes and bitterness in the finish. It's light, highly carbonated. Another fine beer from these folks - not on the level of the Fastenbier, but easy to drink and quite enjoyable.

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Aecht Schlenkerla Kräusen from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 51 ratings