Brewed by Brauerei Heller
Style: Dortmunder/Helles
Bamberg, Germany
Serve in Lager glass


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 890   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.38   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 129   ABV: 4.3%
“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.

   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.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
notalush (5360) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 5, 2007
Nearly clear golden pour, with many tiny suspended particles - fairly smokey aroma, considering there is no smoked malt, with touches of honey and floral hops - smokey up front in the flavor, followed by flavors of butter, bread, honey - grassy, herbal hops arrive late, drying out the beer somewhat - the smoke doesn’t quite work in such a light beer, but this is still pretty nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - MAY 5, 2007
Very strong, smokey aroma - it is very much like apple-wood smoked bacon, and very full. The flavor is not quite as full as the aroma, but it retains its pleasant smokiness, now paired with a good dose of malts and a crsip hoppiness. I would have actually guess that the alcohol content was more due to its full flavor. Clean, slightly hoppy finish.Decent.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerguy101 (5338) - Newark, California, USA - MAY 5, 2007
This smoked beer pours a yellow gold color from a 50cl bottle. Medium to large sized white foamy head. Aroma is slightly smoky, grainy and some hops. A medium bodied smoked helles. Malts are grain and cereal. Hops are spicy and earthy. There is just a hint of smoke in this one, subtle but prevalent. This is a fairly decent helles with that touch of smoke. Big bold carbonation. Very drinkable beer. Light and refreshing, yet it has a lot of flavor, with that dash of smoke in the background. Nice. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is crisp and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
golubj (1377) - San Mateo, California, USA - MAY 3, 2007
Bottle. Aroma is smokey, slightly funky, with a hint of grain. Flavor is kind of nasty. I have never had this style before, so I have no idea what to compare it to. I think it tastes like medicine.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thornecb (4826) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - MAY 3, 2007
Pours bright gold into an English pint. Fluffy white micro head with good retention slowly recedes to skim surface. Smoky malt aromas. Crisp smoke with a lasting slight bitter smoke finish. Very light on the smoke and very refreshing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
mctous (131) - Herndon, Virginia, USA - APR 29, 2007
A mild smokiness emerges from the pint bottle, but nothing like the smoked Marzen. Unlike most Helles, the nose has a fair amount of hops. It pours like classic Helles, clear and light gold. The flavor is light, bready barley malt, light smoke, and firm hops, which do not quite blend together. Still, this is an interesting Helles, well worth trying even if not one’s first choice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopscotch (10082) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - APR 29, 2007
Bottle... Barely hazed, light yellow lager with a small, creamy, white head. Decent retention. Subtle, smoked bacon aroma with a hint of menthol. Generously hopped for a helles; pulls up just shy of being heavily bitter. Flavors of lightly kilned barley with sweet, smoky undertones. Medium-bodied and mildly creamy with super fizzy carbonation. Bitter, smoky, dry finish. My new favorite helles! Thanks, boboski, for the bottle!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - APR 27, 2007
On tap at Town hall brewery. Pours a rich honey yellow color with lots of carbonation and a half inch of foamy white head. Mild hops and malt on the nose. Mild hop bitterness with a balancing malt flavor. Dry mid palate with a surprisingly refreshing finish. I didn’t know this was supposed to be smoked when I ordered it, though I should have figured it given that it was from this brewery. Not a lot of smoked character compared to their other beers but an excellent beer nonetheless.

   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...

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