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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1099   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.43/5   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.

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shadey (2135) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 22, 2009
Bottle from Beers of the World in Henrietta. Pours a clear deep gold with a head of tight white bubbles. Aroma is slightly smokey and also sweet. The flavors reveal more of the smoke, but only enough to make this sweet lager interesting. Not spectacular, but a lighter offering from a brewery that makes a lot of impressive beers.

JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - SEP 11, 2009
Bottle from Sam’s, Durham. Very pale golden pour with moderate carbonation. Malts and yeast in the nose, with a hint of light fruit and a healthy bit of smoke (though nothing compared to other Schlenkerla beers - awesome that the brewery is so smokelicious that they didn’t even need to add smoked malts to this). The beer isn’t especially convincing as a Helles, with not quite enough liveliness or body, nor even a particularly flavorful quality to it. But the quirkiness of smoke in this style is enough to merit a decent rating.

Beershine (5224) - VANCOUVER, British Columbia, CANADA - SEP 4, 2009
Bottle, bought at brewery. Bright gold, clear. The head disappears pretty fast. Disappointing aroma is bland sweet malts, light caramel, even a hint of honey. Thin, fizzy palate. Some bitterness in the finish has good character but is otherwise bland. Drier than it smells, and has burnt wood flavors and decent hopping. Bland and I don’t get any smoke. Tastes like the brewery runoff, which all things considered, could be worse! Still, I’m left with the impression, "Why bother?"

stobbe74 (3789) - DENMARK - SEP 2, 2009
Sampled at DØE Beerfestival 2009, Valby. Pours a clear yellow beer with a white head. The aroma is weak. The flavor is weak smoke. The palate is thin, and overall the beer needs character.

fidelis83 (2437) - Clinton, Iowa, USA - AUG 27, 2009
Pours pale peachy gold with a 1 finger creamy white head. Aroma is smoke, grass, lemon, sweet grain, lightly toasted grain, a little soured malt and a touch of floury bread rolls. Flavor is like smoked granola, or something right away-smokey, slightly sweet and grainy-very nice, lightly roasted nuts, some biscuit and bread notes, grilled vegetables - in a good way - definite mineral notes and apple peel near the finish. Finish is campfire biscuits, grass and lightly bitter hops, with a crisp mineral fade that cleans the palate of smoke notes before they become stagnate. Palate is light bodied with a light yet slightly sharp carbonation and a dry that borders beween dry and slightly oily. I hate to see this bottle go, I really need to buy more of this the next time I can. I’d imagine that this would be a fantastic beer to pair with just about any meat or veggie dish, sushi would probably work extremely well too, mmmm... salmon.

topherh (1928) - Kearney, Missouri, USA - AUG 26, 2009
Pours golden with a white head. Aroma is light sweet malt, grassy hops, and light smoke. Flavor is lightly sweet with a bit of graininess, and a little biitterness in the finish. I am disappointed as I expected this to be like their other beers. Not horrible , but not a smoked beer.

corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 25, 2009
Pours a very pale golden yellow color with a lot of visible carbonation and a thin white head. Aroma is dominated by a smokey woodsy maltiness with very slight golden fuit notes. Golden pilsner altiness with a subtle hop character and a very smokey, characoal wood chip flavor. Dry finish.

MoDog (927) - Griffith, Indiana, USA - AUG 17, 2009
500ml bottle served in a dimpled mug. Clear golden pour with a two-finger thick head of slowly fading off-white foam. A decent amount of thin, spider-web lacing was left around the glass. The aroma had grass, lightly toasted grain, and an unintrusive note of moderate smoke. The flavor was clean and crisp with a light campfire smokiness. Lightly grassy with a decent amount of sweet, toasted malt. Nice body for such a low ABV drink. Light carbonation. Pretty good stuff.

BillKismet (4057) - Seattle, Washington, USA - AUG 16, 2009
Blonde colored with creamed head. Light graininess in the nose, full of smoke, but supported by a crisp backbone. Light grainy maltiness of flavor of which airy smokiness plays. Nice.

tmoreau (4365) - Lombard, Illinois, USA - AUG 14, 2009
On tap at the Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL. and poured to a logo-ed lager glass, a clear, golden color with tight bubbled, white foam and streaks of lacing. The aroma was light grain and smoked sausage. The flavor carried on the light smokiness along with a low intensity of hop bitterness but a pleasantly dry finish.

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