Thursday, October 8, 2009

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier means: "Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer" in german. And Schlenkerla is the historic brewery located in Bamberg, Germany in the northern region of Bavaria. Now looking more into this brewery, it would seem that it was first opened in 1405 and has been brewing smokebeer since 1678. Now that's a long time. Bamberg germany specializes in this unique style of beer known as smokebeer and as german law mandates, this brewery follows the Reinheitsgebot (german purity laws).

But what exactly is smokebeer? And what is the Reinheitsgebot? Good questions. In a nutshell, Smokebeer is a lager (bottom fermented beer) which contains smoked malt. The brewery achieves this by smoking the barley with beechwood logs at the time of malting and the result is the smokey flavor found in the beer.

Now, what is this Reinheitsgebot? The Reinheitsgebot is a set of laws first enacted in 1516 by King Ludwig. The law stated that the brewers of beer were only allowed to use barley, water, and hops. The law is no longer in use, but many breweries still claim to follow these purity laws. It is definitely a matter of pride. Look for this on the bottles of many german (bavarian more specifically) beers.

This will be my first taste of a true german brewed rauchbier so as you can guess, I am pretty excited! So let's do it!

Category: Rauchbier
ABV: 5.1%
IBU: Unknown
OG: Unknown
Malt Types: Unknown
Hop Types: Unknown

The Pour: Very dark amber, a slight orange-crimson hue. The head is off-white, minimal retention, and so far the lacing is weak.

The Nose: As expected, the nose in bombarded immediately with a smokiness reminscent of campfires. Smoked meat aromas arise when the glass is swirled. I am also getting some dark roasted coffee hints as well. It will be interesting to taste this.

The Taste: The carbonation is initially strong but recedes and is of medium-to-low carb. Perhaps this bottle is abit flat? Smoke is everywhere in this...initially, midway through, and on the finish. Definite hints of smokey campfires, and smoked meats, perhaps bacon or bologna. Lingering on the palette the beer is slightly sweet and smokey. The roasted malts and coffee are apparent near the finish. The mouthfeel is not heavy and it's very drinkable. A lovely beer and much better than my first rauchbier experience!

The Verdict: This beer is definitely unique. I have had several other kinds of smoked beers (smoked porters, a chipotle ale, and an american brewed rauchbier) and my experience with them has been intriguing. It definitely is something you should try at least once. I picked this bottle up at the Cost Plus World Market in Bellevue across from Bellevue Square. If you weren't already aware of it, the World Market has a very nice beer selection offering many different types from all over the world. Now go out and buy a bottle of this. I don't think you'll be disappointed if you're looking for something different than the average everyday beer.


schultzie51 said...

What the heck dude, no talk of brewing or new beers? Lame...

Zach Hoyopatubbi said...

haha yeah im plannin on posting my photos of my first brew experience, just havent had much time for it lately! i just posted a new beer though. just sit tight and i'll post up the homebrew experience soon enough!