Name: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Brewery: Brauerei Schlenkerla
Country of Origin: Germany
City & State: Bamberg, Germany
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.2%
First Brewed: 1678
Bright ruby-chestnut color, dense beige foam. A strong smoky nose: peat, leather, ashes, and earthy aromas. The palate offers a solid ground of roasted flavors with hints of chocolate and caramel balanced by bitterness. Velvet mouthfeel, medium body, dry, smoky-bitter finish.
Boy, it has been a while since we have reviewed a beer. But I am stuck on the couch this weekend and wanted to make sure a review got up. Plus, we are running out of beers… So the list reviews will be harder to come by. But nevertheless, today we are reviewing a smoky beer from Germany.
I’ve had this beer before, and loved it. Excited to drink it with intent. We drank a ton of beers last night, but this is for research. So it’s different. That, and we are headed to Germany later this year for Oktoberfest. Not sure this beer will be easy to find, but I bet we try some smoky beers on our journey.
Okay, enough about me… Let’s drink. Cheers!
Nose: Whoa… That smells insane. SO much smoke. If I didn’t know any better, and my eyes were closed, I would think someone next to me was smoking a cigar. Man, even cold there is so much smoke on this.
Flavor: I bet it tastes like smoke… Let’s see. Yep! It is too cold, but there is so much smoke in there. Especially as it sits on my palate. I want a growler of this stuff! Maybe one of the smokiest beers I’ve ever had.
Mouthfeel: It is thin, but I want to hurry and swallow so I can get to the flavor… The smoke! When it comes to scotch, I prefer scotches from the Islay region. Those are smoky and peaty… Sort of smell and taste like a wet rock. I am getting a lot of that here. I hope, when we are in Germany later this year, we can find more smoked beers like this.
Aftertaste: Here comes the smoke. The finish is by far the best part of this beer. It is low ABV, too, so I could drink a ton of it. But like I said, I hope we can find more smoked beers when we are in Germany this September. Okay, going back for more!
Make sure you read Sheryl’s thoughts… She was telling more about the brewery, the other beers they brew, and the guy on the label. Look closely. He’s there. Neat!!!
Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier – The bottle says: “Aecht Original Schlenkerla Maerzen Smokebeer, considered the classic example of its category, has been brewed for centuries in the baroque town of Bamberg in Franconia (Bavaria/Germany). Following the most ancient malting traditions, all its select barley malts and kilned over a fire of beech wood logs at the Schlenkerla maltings. Brewed in classic copper vessels and matured for months in historic cellars, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier is a truly unique smoky beer experience.
I haven’t read any of Ricky’s introduction to this beer yet, but I did some googling because I was curious about it and wanted to have something to start my review off with. The brewery is Schenkerla, in Germany. They are known for their smoked beers. They make a few, and the one we are trying today is the märzen. According to Wikipedia, the brewery name, Schlenkerla, translates to “dangling”. The name of the brewery comes from a brewer with a hobbling gait whose image is on the beer label. Interesting. Ok, let’s talk more about the beer.
It looks pretty dark in the glass. It’s not quite black, but a very dark brown. It’s somewhat thick, it looks like. I actually love smoked beers, so I’m excited to try this one. It smells amazing. Like a campfire. I remember the first rauchbier that I tried and fell in love with. It was when I was just starting to get into craft beer. Sam Adams released it as part of a fall multipack. I bought several of those multipacks that year just to have more of their rauchbier. I’m hoping this tastes at least as good as that. Let’s find out.
Ricky and I were just talking before I took a sip. He remembers that Sam Adams rauchbier and how much I loved it too. I just took a drink. This one does remind me a lot of that, but it’s not quite the same. I can taste the märzen style with this one. It’s an interesting combination. I’d actually be curious to try some of their other styles as well, maybe even drink them all in the same sitting to compare.
The smokiness is definitely present, but like I said, the style pokes through too… it’s not JUST smoke. It’s definitely an unusual combination of flavors. It’s almost a bit of maltiness with the smokiness. Ricky said the beer gets even better as it warms up, so we’ll let it sit for a while and see. It’s pretty good right now, though. I’d definitely pick this one up again. It’d make a good fall beer.