Tasting: December 29, 2012
Style: Rauchbier (smoked)
Heller-Trum Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen
(C) 2012 popsonhops
Our first Pops on Hops “meeting” took place at the Cloverleaf Tavern about two years ago. There were two beers that night that made a negative impression on me — first was a Belgian-sour by Rodenbach and the other was this beer. The sour was my first wild ale and the vinegar flavor just didn’t seem to belong. I still haven’t found an appreciation for that style. This rauchbier was interesting – at least it was at first. It started as a wonderful wood-smoked char flavor over what tasted like bacon. I remember that it wore out its welcome rapidly and the taste became ash and charred wood from the bottom of a bonfire. A few weeks ago, I had a smoked porter from The Bruery called Smoked Wood. It was outstanding and made me want to give this one another try.
Rauchbier — or “smoked beer” gets its name and smoked flavor by using malted barley that has been dried over an open flame. It’s a German-style of beer that dates back centuries. This one is a Marzen (March), which would have similar “base” as an Oktoberfest beer. I’ll also note that there is a weizen (wheat) varietiy that comes the same brewery in a green/gold label. The ABV is a modest 5.4%.
Heller-Trum Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen oour is dark as cola and you can smell the smokey aroma from a foot away. Just like the first time, the flavor is rich with charcoal and meat. Also like the first time, it wears out its welcome. This time about half way through the bottle – but I perservered. On the whole I’d give it 80 points.