RateBeer
overall
82
100
style
Brewed by Brauerei Heller
Style: Dortmunder/Helles
Bamberg, Germany
Serve in Lager glass

bottled
common

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

Add Distribution Data
RATINGS: 888   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.38   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 129   ABV: 4.3%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
“Schlenkerla Helles” is brewed with fine Bavarian aroma hops from the area around the city of Nürnberg. It’s lagered in century old caves underneath the historic Schlenkerla brewery and maltings. Schlenkerla Helles is boiled in the same copper kettles and bottom fermented by the same yeast as the historic Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Its subtle smokiness without using smoke malt makes “Helles Schlenkerla Lager” a unique representative of the classic lager beer style “Bavarian Helles”. Editor’s note: Since this is not intended as a smoked beer, and is not billed as such, it has been classed here as a Helles, despite some samples having residual smoke character.


3.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
NobleSquirrel (3438) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 5, 2007
Tap. Very quaint and refreshing helles, though not quite what one would expect from Schlenkerla, nor a helles, if that makes sense. A bit of off bitterness, but a very clean finish, quite quaffable. Pleasant.

3.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jcr (2346) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - MAY 25, 2007
Pale yellow-golden pour with small white head that diminishes quickly. Combination of light smoke and bready grain in the aroma. Bitter finish after a slightly sweet start. Subtle flavors of bacon, dough. Crisp mouthfeel and the finish is moderately long. Medium body. Very nice.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
chriso (7482) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAY 25, 2007
Draught at Reading Beer Festival, April 2006. Gold colour with a light sparkle. Despite the absence of "Rauch" in the name, this has the signature Schlenkera smoky bacon profile in abundance, especially in the aroma. There are spicy hop notes in the flavour that do not clash with the smoke, but compliment it. Fantastic stuff.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
3fourths (8593) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 24, 2007
UPDATED: JUN 5, 2013 Perfectly clear deep gold color, sizeable white head with large bubbles popping and leaving a spider web of lacing on the glass. Nose is a bit stenchy, with some assertive buttered biscuit malt scents and some more subtle dough, creame and even lemons or oranges... with the smoke character coming out as it warms. Grassy, vegetal hops as well, and a small hint of charred and smoked corn when cold, more full in the nose when warm. Slick and oily up front, then drying and almost peppery on the back of the tongue. Dried out quickly into the finish. The smoke I think works well with the more light and oily biscuit malt flavors. It certainly stands out from both regular rauchbier and from helles.

3.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jimhilt (2469) - Bow, New Hampshire, USA - MAY 21, 2007
Pours a two-finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Smoky nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is smoky sausage, way more than "a hint of smokiness". Clean finish. $3.30 for a 500ml bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

3.3
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
BeerBelcher (972) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 19, 2007
I would suggest that, contrary to the commercial description listed on this page, that this beer has more than a hint of smoke, although this is definitely not the smokiest beer I’ve had (that would be the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen). To my palate, this beer tastes meaty, which is not entirely a bad thing but does make the beer a bit less drinkable than some other styles. This beer tasted a bit like summer sausage, in contrast to the Rauchbier Marzen by this same brewer which tasted very bacon-y. Definitely worth a try, but not something you’re going to drink more than one of! Also, if there was ever a thread on this site for "worst lawnmower beer," this might be in contention. Oddly (at least to me) is that this beer really does look lager-like. it is golden with nice amounts of head. Aroma is very smokey. Mouthfeel is actually fairly pleasant. Recommended.

3.4
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Theis (14464) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - MAY 16, 2007
Bottle at home - while typing the festivalratings. Clear golden - white head. Corn, crisp, straw, grains, nice light hoppy, grape, citrus, lime, very dry, light smoked, dusty. It gives me a fury feeling on my teeth !!

4.2
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - MAY 15, 2007
Clear pale yellow body with small white head. The aroma is dense hickory smoke, light herbal hops and a touch of biscuit underneath. The flavor is lightly smoky, herbal, lightly grassy with some bread and honey. Medium/light body is softly carbonated with a nice bitter finish. Superb.

3.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Carl99Fan (187) - Suwanee, Georgia, USA - MAY 12, 2007
Pours pale gold with medium carbonation. One finger head that dissolves quickly. Never had a smoked beer before. Not bad, but the flavor isn’t for me. Drinkable, but probably my last...

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DrBayern (1139) - Morehead City, North Carolina, USA - MAY 10, 2007
Crystal clear yellow/gold with a small white head. Distinct smokiness is right up front, almost masking altogether a grainy, bready aroma. Light, clean palate with only moderate carbonation. A hint of light malty sweetness lurks in the background, but the flavor here is dominated by a pleasing smoky bitterness. Lengthy dry refreshing finish. This is unlike any other smoked beer that I’ve had, and certainly not typical of the beers of Bamberg, which I have had first hand. It is much lighter, and although apparently no smoked malt is used, the smokiness resident in the brewery certainly characterizes this beer. It is actually quite refreshing, an adjective normally not used in describing rauchbier. Not for everyone, but I like smoked beers.


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