Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier


Well, this has been a good week for beer, but the most surprisingly satisfying beer was Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock from Brauerei Heller Bamberg. Starting with a label that brings you back a few hundred years, the whole Rauchbier experience is good.  It pours Pepsi brown and sports a good, rich head that laces the way that lets one enjoy the patterns left behind for the duration.   Not much carbonation is visible,  but it’s there.  There’s a pronounced smokiness in the bouquet, like smoked meat, and it’s not that odd plastic bandaid/shoe leather scent that comes from some smoked products.  This smell reminds me of a wool uniform after a night by a campfire in the deep woods.  No, I mean that in a good way!  There’s smoke in the flavor as well, but it is more subdued.  Not mild, but subdued taken in tandem with the sweet, malty flavor and texture that this bock beer possesses.  Surprisingly, it is not a heavy brew, and some bitterness in the finish balances the maltiness.  My good friend and local beer drinking legend Montague Montego recommended the Oak Smoked version from Heller, but I was not able to find it at this time.  I am not disappointed.  I love Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock.  It’s not for everyone, but its contradictory nature pitting complexity against subtlety makes it a winner.


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