Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier - Weizen & Urbock

Time for a two-for one review of a couple of smoked beers from Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany!  This town is apparently the birthplace of the 'smoked beer' and these are named the 'Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier' which translates to Originial Schlenkerla Smokebeer.  I picked up two of their brews a while back, the Urbock and Weizen, both brewed in traditional German manner but smoked in the Rauchbier style.  Maybe someday soon I'll get back to beers that are named in English... but hey, there is a lot of good beer from around the world to be found even in a place like Baton Rouge!

I'll start with the weizen... the head is HUGE... it took a few pours and a little patience to get even 12 oz. into the mug. The beer itself is a dark brown, hazy, looks like there's some sediment in there.

The smell is definitely smoky... pork if there is any one flavor in there, but there are also some cooler malt flavors in the aroma.

The taste is a lot of the same... thinner than expected based on the smell, but tastes of smoky malty pork, like a thick slab of bacon turned into a quality beer. I'm glad it's a little less smoky than the smell, but there's not enough other flavor coming through in its place.

All in all, a solid beer, leaves a little to be desired but still one I'd drink again and recommend to friends. I think this bottle might be a little past its prime... I'll have to remember to try this one again sometime.  Now I'm looking forward to the stronger urbock!

I poured the urbock from the 16.9 oz. bottle into an Austrian glass mug... about time I put that souvenir to good use! It has a dark brown, slightly red-tinged color to it with a nice tan head. A lot more clear than the Weizen, but I guess that makes some sense considering the relative sub-styles.

Smells like smoked pork... spicy, meaty, substance... I like it.

The taste is really nice... malty and crisp up front, with smoky meaty flavors on the end. A lot more balance to the taste of this one than the weizen variety, the malts come out much more.

I'm a fan, time to look out for more rauchbiers from this brewery.  If you want to try something a little different, one of these beers might be the way to go!  About as close as you can get to a bacon beer.  mmmmmm, bacon.

Weizen:
My rating: B+

Urbock:
My rating: A-

Apparently I was right in line with the consensus on these two beers!  Go figure...