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Notes on beers in the style

Rauchbier
Aecht Schlenkerla Erle

Aecht Schlenkerla
Erle

The beer made with the alder wood smoke. and not the beech wood malt, and the brewery says that imparts a slightly less strong and aggressive smoke element, and I would be inclined to agree. Pour is as expected for a "normal" Schwarz, with that blackish, dark, dark chestnut body and a lovely tan colored head. Retention and lace are both great. Nose and tastes are definitely sweeter than the other Aecht beers. More subtle smoke, and definitely gentler than what we are used to from the brewery....

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weichsel Rotbier

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Weichsel Rotbier

Excited to find this at Navare Res Bier Cafe in Portland, ME and even a little surprised. I think it had only been in the US for a short time when I drank it, and it was in relatively limited supply. The light, copper body is under a nicely formed, equally light and fluffy whiteish head with some good lace. Retention also good. There's a lot of fruity notes in the nose and in the tastes here. It's very drinkable and the initial smoke is definitely nowhere near as prominent as several of...

Lips of Faith Grätzer Ale

Lips of Faith Grätzer Ale

Guinness like in the pour with a similar head and color. Nose offers some malt. Malts that are both very lightly smoked and very lightly sour greet the palate but pass over quickly. Very light smoke in the aftertaste with some residual burping that are a little smoky. Of the characteristics boasted on the bottle I think that the lacto slightly sour feel wins, but they are all present. A little coinage metal bitterness an some earthy smoke finish the beer. It's a little light in terms of depth,...

Cinder Bock Rauch Bock

Cinder Bock Rauch Bock

In a nutshell, I think it's worth saying that if a hybrid beer should taste like a combination of the styles, then this beer absolutely nails it. In that regard I am pleased by Cinder Bock. It's also true that thinking about it for a moment, a mixture of a rauch and a (double) bock are potentially interesting bedfellows, but we all know that things that look good on paper don't always work out so well in practice. When I looked at the other three beers in the series available to me, I thought...

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche

The usual Schlenkerla bottle shape, purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta, GA, USA. The pour is a particularly attractive, gold color with a moderate, white head. It looks really nice in terms of the color, but I would much prefer a bigger and better retained head. It lacks a little in that department, but the color is really superb. Very nice carbonation. The nose delivers the usual Schlenkerla bacon smoke, but it seems more complex and layered than some of the other Schlenkerla beers....

Z Lager

Z Lager

12 oz single from Total Wine, Perimeter, Atlanta, GA, USA. Nice copper clarity in the body and some decent head and lace form in the pint glass. Looks nice. Carbonation is constant if not huge, but at the same time it is adequate. Nose has a tiny bit of smoke but this is not a large presence. The main component seems to be a solid malt base. The smoke is slightly more pronounced in the taste but it still remains fairly mild. The depth of smoke does not require food in the way that some other...

Z Lager

Eisenbahn Rauchbier

12 oz, $1.99 single from Green's, Atlanta, GA, USA. This is the Defumada, blue labeled, "Smoked Lager" presentation. Pour is quite frankly a beautifully colored, deep mahoghany color. The head, lace and retention are not good, but the color is very attractive. Nose surprisingly does not reveal any smoke. It just gives a light alcohol and some really dense, malty sweetness. The taste gives away the first hint of smoke. It's very subtle and to be honest the beer drinks more like a Doppelbock...

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock

Additional notes 05/02/2022 Such a pretty beer (the 2022 version is pictured). Luscious smoke permeates every part of the beer, and induces a gulping motion in me. The sweetness is there as I noted back in 2008, and I always find this so tremendously satisfying. One 500 mL bottle is all I ever want, but the way that this beer fills a singular void that no other can is, well, uncanny. Original notes 07/27/2008 Took a long time to get around to formally reviewing this - I don't know why. 500 mL...

Z Lager

Terrapin RoggenRauchBier

22oz bomber, $5.99 from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. Good clarity on the pour with a chestnut colored hue, an initial large, off-white head then a thin film and very little lace. Nose has a hint of smoke but it is not substantial. Similarly in the taste there is a little smoke, not much rye and a rather lackluster feel to the whole thing. Slight bitterness in the finish, but it's not much at all. Has the feel of a rather weak, poor Brown Ale with a light body. I opened this purposely...

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

Additional notes 06/13/24 Pictured. My attitude toward, and my understanding of this beer has changed a lot in 16 years. I now regard it as a highly drinkable, unique example of the style which changes things up, and offers a bright, interesting distraction to the palate and senses. Go figure, things change. Clarity and color still astonishing. Original notes 05/11/08 500mL bottle, $3.99 from Arbor Place Beverage, Douglasville, GA, USA. Been meaning to try this for a long time, finally got...

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen

500 mL bottle, Tower, Piedmont, Atlanta, GA, USA. Nice looking with a decent darkish amber body and some attractive head. Very light lacing, decent carbonation. In typical Heller-Trum style, the aroma is a basically a side of smoked ham in a glass! A great beer to enjoy with your grilled or BBQ'd meats. Unlike some of the other beers in the style, I found that the smoke here did not really overpower the beer. In other examples I found the smoke to dominate to such an extent that other...

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen

Additional Notes: 05/03/2022 This is the bottle pictured. Reading my original notes (below) from 17 years ago I’m a little surprised, since now I really enjoy this beer. To be honest, much more than a couple in any 12 month period is about all that I need, and I still find it best paired with food, but the words, “simply isn’t to my liking” is now just no longer true. I really enjoy it. Original Notes: 06/29/2005 Well, it's obviously an acquired taste, and it's going to take some people by...