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Review of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock produced by Brauerie Heller-Trum/Schlenkerla located in Bamber, Germany.I’ve tried both the Marzen and the Weizen from Schlenkerla and really enjoyed them, so I’m betting this brew falls along the same lines as those two.

Here’s the description from the website, schlenkerla.de, concerning the Urbock.

A Smokebock for the strongbeer-season (October through December). Matured for months in ancient rock-cellars underneath Bamberg and tapped freshly from the oakwood cask.

Well, it’s a little past December, but no matter… I’m gonna drink it anyway.

This brew comes in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 6.5%.

It poured a deep brown to ox blood color with some ruby highlights at the bottom and around the edges of the glass.  It also appeared quite clear for the most part.  The collar was khaki in color and of good size.  It was smooth and creamy with some small, tightly compacted bubbles.  The retention time was above average and the lacing was adequate as well.

The nose was very similar to the other Schlenkerla brews that I’ve tried.  It smelled of smoked country ham and bacon grease with hints of peat and earthiness.  Some very pleasing “woody” aromas conjured up familiarities of a summer campfire.  Very well balanced and delightful.

The taste was more of the same.  Big and smokey with a nearly identical profile to the aroma.  Salty country ham and sugar cured bacon.  Roasty malt and grain.  Very earthy and woody.  It, literally, tasted like liquid smoke.  The overall flavor wasn’t that complicated to tell the truth, however the uniqueness and differential aspect just begs for appreciation.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/full bodied.  Smooth, dry, chewy and somewhat filling.  The carbonation was good and it left an agreeable amount of flavor behind on the palate after each sip.

As with all of the Schlenkerla products that I’ve tried, the Urbock is very distinctive and very good.  Although, it doesn’t lend itself to a high drinkability rating.  One or two would be all that I could handle during one setting for the simple fact that I think the “smokiness” could become a tad overbearing after a while.  It’s still rather tasty though and would be worth a try for those looking to experiment with something a wee bit different and out of the ordinary from the traditional styles that we see everyday.  Of all the “smoked” beers out there, these guys know how to do it best.

Thanks for reading and commenting guys.  Be sure to look me up on Twitter (@BeerApprentice) and Google+ (Beer Apprentice) if you would like.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Country: Germany, Schlenkerla

 

Review of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen

For today’s craft beer review I want to share with you my tasting experience of the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen.  This beer is brewed by Brauerie Heller-Trum/Schlenkerla in Bamber, Germany. 

I reviewed the “Marzen” a few months ago and really liked it, so I figured I would give this one a go also. 

Let’s see if we can find some information on the Weizen from the website, schlenkerla.de.

Schlenkerla Smokebeer Wheat is an ale with a light smoky aroma.  As Bavarian wheat beers, it is being brewed with a mixture of both barley malt and wheat malt.  The portion of barley malt is hereby a classic Schlenkerla smokemalt, while the wheat malt remains unsmoked.  Served unfiltered with its natural haziness, Schlenkerla Wheat reaches its full aroma through bottle fermentation with fine top fermenting yeast. 

Here we go.

This Weizen has an ABV of 5.2% and comes in a 16.9 oz. bottle.

Once poured, this brew had a hazy brown to deep burgundy color with a combination of both burnt orange and burnt yellow highlights.  A very full, fluffy, soft, somewhat creamy and rocky head was formed from a relatively easy pour.  The retention time was very good and as it dissipated it sounded like it was sizzling.  The lacing was ok, but I was hoping that it would be much better. 

The aroma started with the ever present “smokey” aspect.  Maybe some smoked bacon or smoked ham rubbed with brown sugar.  Minor hints of cloves as well as a noticeable tone of yeast.  The smoke is, without question, the star of the show however.  This beer is very aromatic and bold, yet pleasant and concise.  I like this fragrance.

As I had the first taste, I noticed that the smoke was still accounted for, but it was much more relaxed and balanced.  It was much easier to discern the yeast and cloves too.  I also noticed a slight hint of pepper, which made the taste very similar to spiced beef jerky, but I still gained a redolence of bacon and ham.  Very tasty and unique I thought.

The mouthfeel was medium, dry, crisp, smooth and soft.  It didn’t leave a whole lot of flavor on the palate though, which was surprising considering the flavors involved.

Well, like the Marzen, the Weizen is a very good beer.  Also like the Marzen, I would probably have to limit myself to one or two of these at a time.  I doubt it’s something that I could have everyday either.  It’s quite an interesting, enjoyable and relatively easy beer to drink, but it does become a bit too much after a while.  It’s most definitely worth a try if you have not had it.  If you favor “smoked” brews, these guys really know how to produce them.

Do you guys enjoy “smoked” beers?  If so, what is your favorite?

Thanks for reading folks.  Until next time.

Cheers.

Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+      

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Country: Germany, Schlenkerla

 

Review of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

For today’s review I have a very unique beer to share with you.  It’s called the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Smokebeer) Marzen from the Brauerie Heller-Trum/Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany.
I have never had this brew and I’ve read mixed reviews, so I’m a little skeptical in trying it.  Some love it and some absolutely hate it.
The website, schlenkerla.de, has a very extensive write-up concerning this Rauchbier, so I’m just going to post a small excerpt.
Smokebeer from Schlenkerla is a dark, aromatic, bottom fermented beer with 13.5 percent original extract, which is equivalent to an alcohol content of 5.1 percent.  No doubt:  there are stronger beers, but nevertheless, one should not underestimate Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier…. it can make you “schlenker” quite a bit.  
Well, here we go.
      
This beer came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 5.1%.
It poured a very deep burgundy color that teeters on brown.  It’s pretty clear in that I can see through it when held directly toward a light source.  It has some ruby highlights through the middle with some burnt orange highlights at the bottom.  The crown was very large, creamy, mostly smooth and light tan in color.  It had wonderful retention, but the lacing was hit and miss.  Rather patchy all along the sides.
As I stuck my nose in I was greeted with a very pungent, but wonderful aroma of smokiness.  It smells like salty, smoked country ham and fried bacon fat.  I love that smell!!!  It completely dominated the nose so much that I had a hard time distinguishing anything else.  I could kind of detect a hint of “earthiness” underlying the malt.  Very nice aroma here.
The taste definitely bring out the smoke, but it doesn’t seem as strong as the aroma.  Don’t get me wrong it’s still very potent, but easily bearable.  I found that it had a “woody” taste mixed in with the salty ham flavorings.  Some minute hints of bread.  It had little-to-no bitterness or sweetness.  Again, I like what I’m experiencing here.  
The mouthfeel was medium, however it leans ever so slightly to the light/thin side without ever being light or thin.  Does that even make sense???  It’s super smooth, very creamy, somewhat chewy and very dry.  Not much flavor was left on the palate after the swallow.  I was expecting quite a bit more to tell the truth. 
Overall, this was one smokey son-of-a-gun!!!!  I have to say that I liked it.  I could easily see how some would not find this too agreeable however.  With that being said, I, myself, would probably only want 1 or 2 during a sitting.  I don’t think I could make this my primary beer for the evening.  It may become a bit distracting after a while.  It’s still a very good brew and it’s a welcome change for me.  A very unique beer that is not stumbled upon everyday.  It reminds me of being around a campfire while roasting a hog or something.  Good times!!!  
Have any of you guys ever tried the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen?  Did you find it enjoyable or maybe not so much?  I would love to hear about your experience with it.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  Have a great and safe weekend.
Cheers!!!
Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+  
 
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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Country: Germany, Schlenkerla

 
 
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