Saturday, April 13, 2013

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Review

Name: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Style: Smoked Beer
ABV: 5.4%

I'm a fan of Smoked Beers (or Rauchbier in German), and not just because it tastes like ham. I've always enjoyed the uniqueness of the flavor and the cycle as to how it's made. It's also considered to be an authentic German-Style beer and one of the reasons why I want my upcoming honeymoon to be in Germany though my fiance insists we go to France.

When I first wanted to get into Smoked Beers, I was unsure where to start so one of the clerks recommended I try out the (Aecht) Schlenkerla Rauchbier  for starters mainly because of it's price and popularity.

According to what I have found out, Schlenkerla is a brewpub based out of Bamberg, Germany, which itself is a UNESCO World Hertiage Site. According to the brewery's website, Schlenkerla has been around since the 15th Century.

So I took this home and a couple days later I tried it out. Needless to say I fell in love with it and the Rauchbier style, so this is more or less a re-review.

To start out, it pours a dark brown color with a foamy, but fizzy head. Really doesn't leave behind anything in terms of lacing and it's dark appearance makes it hard to see any sorts of carbonation save for a few bubbles climbing up the sides

The smell is a outdoorsman's dream. You got an aroma of Smoked Ham/Bacon, Oak and Roasted Malts. There is also an aroma of Bonfire that reminds me of going up to our family's cabin in the middle of the summer. We'd cook smoked ham, pancakes and eggs over an open bonfire pit before heading out fishing for the day.

The flavor is just like the smell....but better! It has some very strong ham notes and some equally strong smoke notes on the back of the palate, which gives way to the oak/wood flavor. The roasted malts also give the flavor a dimension of sweetness that keeps the beer from tasting too woodsy/smokey. I've forgotten how awesome this flavor is until now!

The body is light and the carbonation is rather mild as well, which feels very smooth when drinking. Despite the fact this is an easy drinker, you'll want to savor this beer as much as you possibly can.

Since I've first had Schlenkerla Rauchbier, I've had many different variations of the Smoked Beer Style from different breweries. While all of them were good in their own respects, Schlenkerla always leaves the biggest impression on me.With that said, this beer (and style) is not for everyone, mainly the causal drinker and those who don't like "unusual" flavors in their beer. However, if you're feeling slightly adventurous, like the smell of bacon, and looking for a truly authentic German Beer, then this one if for you!

Schlenkerla Rauchbier : 9.5/10

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