Total Score: 7.8/10
Schlenkerla are, for me at least, the definitive brewers of Rauchbier – or ‘Smoke Beer’, and their Urbock is one of my all-time favourite beers. Now that is. When I first tried Rauchbiers it was a Schlenkerla Marzen (about 3 years back) and I thought “WTF is going on?!”: You see I didn’t know I was buying a Rauchbier; I thought I was buying a Marzen, which was a style I had become enamoured with at the time… little did I know then that today I would take a Schlenkerla Urbock over any Marzen any day of the week. How tastes have changed indeed. Moral to the story: Schlenkerla Urbock is an awesome beer, get it… now!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Stein.
A: Deep hazy seal brown body with a 1.5 inch light-beige head that slowly drops back leaving a hearty lace on the glass. This is where IT is at. Bring it Schlenkerla! 9/10.
S: Even though Schlenkerla only smoke the barley malt the aroma of smoke still dominates the aroma like nothing else. This is their Rauch-Weizen but you’ll be hard pressed to pick up anything other than that smoky bacon fragrance that I love the Urbock for… Hmmm, I take that back: a second deeper whiff reveals hints of sweet malt and spicy clove Phenols. 9/10.
T: Nah, get the Urbock. This tastes similar, although with a clove spiced ham to Urbock’s rauch schinkenspeck (smoked bacon) sandwich. However the Urbock has quite a bit more going on in the flavour (and the mouthfeel as we will soon [spoiler alert] find out). The wheat in this also makes it drier in the finish and consequentially less enjoyable than the Urbock. All the above said – even Schlenkerla’s average brews are still world class. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation and a hint of creaminess. 8/10.
D: This was alright, I think the Weizen aspect of this could be a lot more pronounced – i.e. more banana and cloves to compliment the smoke, but I do still like this brew, tis a solid Rauch. Overall as a famous philosopher once said [this is someone from the future, in the future, talking about me] “If you can get Urbock: Get Urbock! If not, this is still decent… GET URBOCK!”. 8/10.
Food match: Christmas ham dinner or cheese and nut platter, decisions decisions.