Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I’ve been pretty psyched for a while on the concept of rauchbiers, the German old-style "smoke beers" that have set themselves apart as an atavistic rarity, a throwback to a time of craft brewing from long, long ago. Most Rauchbiers are barley-based lagers. They are darkish-amber and somewhat opaque, with an ABV ranging from 4.8 to 6.5%. The primo example of this style is the AECHT SCHLENKERLA RAUCHBIER, and up until two weeks ago, I’d never actually tried one. Sure, I’ve had the ALASKAN SMOKED PORTER and the O’FALLON SMOKE, but a true, living, breathing classic rauchbier? Well, now I have, and I totally dig it. We busted one of these out at the City Beer Store two weeks ago, and it was great watching the reaction of everyone as we passed a glass around the table for everyone to sniff at: “it smells like bacon” was the typical comment. “Meat”, or “bacon bomb”, was a common reaction. Then those of us who actually drank the thing were even more effusive. I had a glass of this out of a tap a week later, and loved it. AECHT SCHLENKERLA RAUCHBIER is a medium-bodied, super-dark, deeply roasted beer, plumb full of smoked malts. It has a distinct tinge of hops as well, which I understand are brewed into the mix to help balance out the smoky taste. It’s exceptionally drinkable, and man, if you love the smell of smoked meats, and can imagine a malty beer that employs that smell and taste as a secret weapon, then this is the one for you. The Germans have been drinking it for decades upon decades – now it’s your turn. 8.5/10.


sean said...

Tried this last night. It was ok. I am going to try the smoked hefeweizen next

Vince said...

Bought two of these earlier in the week and couldn't wait to get the first one open with a little beef stew. Excellent! The other one is patiently waiting in my beer fridge for the next meat extravaganza.