Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen
Reviewed by Brady White on March 6, 2015 in Spring Guide
- Brewery: Heller-Bräu Trum GmbH
- Origin: Bamberg, Germany
- Rated On: March 5, 2015
- Best Before: end of July 2015
- ABV: 5.1%
- Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature
- Style: Rauchbier
- Rating: WORLD-CLASS !!!
This 500ml bottle pours a crystal clear, dark copper-amber hue, with two fingers of foamy, rocky beige head, which leaves some cumulus cloud lace around the glass as it slowly seeps away.
It smells of roasted caramel malt, a tad bready, and then a huge dose of smoked meat, a bit of sausage grease, peat, and some soft, almost fresh-seeming tobacco. The taste is quite a lot less smoky, and gamey than the aroma, which comes as a not so surprising relief – there is still a roasted character to the grainy, bready malt, and a fading porcine meatiness, but the effect is mostly moderated, letting some of the inherent sweetness come out of the shadows, as well as the latent earthy hops. The carbonation is a bit peppy, in a low-fi simmering manner, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, the lingering puffs of smoke not really detracting from things. It finishes off-dry, the meaty wisps holding steady, and the grainy malt rising from the ashes more or less unscathed.
A neat shape-shifter of a beer, this one is – the initial aromatics are so pungent, that I could see lesser mortals turning away at this point. However, if one persists, a more agreeably smoky, malty offering emerges, one that is actually rather drinkable, and even enjoyable. Great for a time when the predictability of the weather forecast is kind of all over the place.