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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 800   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.37   IBU: 30   EST. CALORIES: 129   ABV: 4.3%
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“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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
fiulijn (13533) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 29, 2006
UPDATED: APR 3, 2012
2012-04-03, draught at Ølbaren, Copenhagen, 7-3-6-3-13=32
Blond color, compact head. It has a mild aroma of cereals and malt, biscuity but light. Malt flavor, mild, with a smooth mouthfeel, and traces of smoke; correct bitterness.
Well drinkable, but I had more incisive and aromatic versions in the bottle; this one has a more fat body and it’s half boring.

2011-05-31, bottle, 7-3-7-3-15=35
Pale blond color; medium-sized creamy head. Delicate, elegant malt aroma, with a mild biscuity touch. Good body, moderate malt flavor, with a light hint of smoke; correct bitterness. Very pleasant.

2006-05-27, bottle, 5-2-6-3-10=26
Hazy blond color. The aroma is very ordinary, with a light touch of smoke; the smoke is just more evident in the taste, and there is some also in the aftertaste; the base is a simple beer, quite dry. Absolutely to drink not too cold!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - MAY 26, 2006
Crystal clear, straw-colored, with a good-sized but quickly disappearing white head. Amazing nose of crisp, grassy noble hops, followed by a light hardwood smokiness. Quite smoky flavor, with a funny mtallic twinge. Seems even to be a hint of that vegetal DME flavor you get in cheaper lagers. Smoke covers that pretty well, but this is not on a par with Schlenkerla’s other offerings.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
argo0 (11181) - Washington DC, USA - MAY 25, 2006
(50cl bottle) Pale straw body topped by medium white head. Aroma is medium sweet, smoked sausage. Taste is medium sweet, apple, some grassy, light smoke, caramel. Crisp light body.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
redlight (2303) - Orlando, Florida, USA - MAY 23, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2008 Apparently they don’t use smoked malts in this one, smoke flavor comes just from being made in the same equipment. Pours a light blonde, with a hint of smoke in the nose. Its definitely light, you get smoke up front, but its weak. I think its a great starter if you’ve never had one of their beers. Very refreshing, great at a BBQ.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
Cletus (6329) - Connecticut, USA - MAY 22, 2006
Pours yellow. Reminds me of a kolsch, but with smoked malts thrown in. Taste is on the light side. Interesting, but not as rich as their other smoked beers.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Fantomas23 (463) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAY 21, 2006
Just a hint of smokiness, somewhat residual. Clear and pale yellow. Markedly different from the other Schlenkerlas. I highly doubt that this would make a good Radler, but it is light and refreshing and made for drinking by the liter-full.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 18/20
austinpowers (2826) - New York, New York, USA - MAY 19, 2006
I don’t much care for the Helles style, but a pork/bacon flavored Helles is much more to my liking. This beer had the typical aroma and flavor of a Schlerkerla, though maybe a tad more muted than their other beers. In short, an ordinary helles with LOTS of smokiness.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Sammy (8094) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 19, 2006
Substantive creamy head. Medium body, with cream and grain, smokey and hops in finish as well as metallic. Drinkable, but I thought the smoke was more than I would want next time.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrnkMcDermott (2748) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - MAY 17, 2006
Taster at Binn’y, Orland Park. A representative was there to explain that does not use smoked malt, but is made using the same equipment that’s used for the brewer’s smoked beers, and this is just picking up the residuals. So yes, it does have a lighter smoke flavor, which seems to be in proportion to its lighter lager malt color. Not half bad, kinda like the Tinkoff rauchbeer I had in Russia (also a lightly smoked pale beer). Gets in a few vanilla notes toward the end. Admittedly, you still have to be ready for smoked beer before you’ll enjoy this, but it works for me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAY 15, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 13, 2006 1 PINT .9 FL. OZ. bottle: extraordinarily clear, pale yellow with a very thin white film. Sweet, lemony hops mixed with light smoke and ham hocks move through a very surprising, complex aroma. The freshness of the hops fits soberly besides the smoked meat. The smokiness and charred wood comes out even more nicely on the smooth, lightly carbonated lagered palate. The flavours of this smoked-helles is the most complex see-through beer I have sampled…rich, smoky, sweet, bitter and fresh. Great.

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