This is one of the original smokebeers; Aecht Schlenkerla is based in Bamberg, Germany, and smokes their malt over open fires. They’ve been doing this for hundreds of years and their Rauchbier is, simply, some of the best there is.
This was another purchase from John’s Marketplace in Portland… I swear, that place has everything. I must go back.
Appearance: Light cola brown in color, a tiny bit of head but fairly low in carbonation. Clear with amber highlights.
Smell: Amazingly subtle in its smokiness… smells like bacon or a smoked ham—sweet and a tad oily. Very nice and mouth-watering… not too strong at all.
Taste: Smoked ham/bacon is in the flavor too—very nice, still subtle. The background is a nice, somewhat malty amber lager… tough to call out how Märzen-y it is with the smoke, but that’s okay. Smoked meat and beechwood, a bit dry (but without feeling like a mouthful of ash).
Mouthfeel: Drying, smooth, a little oily(?) from the smoke… mouth feels a bit coated by it, but not greasy.
On BeerAdvocate, it’s the number 3 overall result for Rauchbier… following 2 other Schlenkerla brews. It scores 87 out of 100 with 95% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.62 out of 5 and is in their 90th percentile.