Schlenkerla, what can we say about them that hasn’t already been said? They are the undisputed kings of the Rauchbier genre… well they may be a little disputed, HaandBryggeriet’s Norwegian Wood for example is a really good Rauch… anyway, it’s time to finally review the Märzen, which was actually the first Rauchbier I tried, lost my Rauch-ginity to Schlenkerla, and TBH I did not like it the first time. Now that I’m a seasoned Rauch drinker Schlenkerla Urbock is my go to glass of liquid bacon, let’s see if this revisit to the Märzen is as good.
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Stein.
A: Presents a deep slight-hazed Bole brown body with a tight-packed 2cm beige head that settles to half a centimetre. Looks a real dark smoky treat, wunderbar! 8/10.
S: Bacon, yes you’ve been expected, probably the biggest difference between this and the Urbock is this one trends towards sweetness in the aroma with an almost icing sugar/cake frosting sweetness lingering in the background. Apart from that it is Beechwood FTW. 8/10.
T: Not as bold as the Urbock… actually I’m surprised by how shocked I recall being when I first tried this many moons ago – yes it is smoky, but not quite as smoky as the Urbock, and this is well balanced with notes of Bacon, sweet honey malt and a twist of lemon. This is the Märzen cousin of Urbock (remember that Märzens are bottom-fermented, in other words; a Lager, even though they don’t often come across as Lagers). Finish is Dry Munich Helles dry with a touch of yeast sourness. 8/10.
M: Mid to light bodied (a bit watery compared to the Urbock) with a light but dense carbonation – fits the Märzen bill well, not great. 7/10.
D: Overall this is wunderbar compared to the Urbock’s ehrfürchtige. A class act of a Rauch that is overshadowed by THE best Rauchbier in the world (Schlenkerla’s own Urbock). If I had to pick a cured meat to compare this Märzen to (as is my tradition for all Schlenkerla beer reviews) I would say this is: Smoked honey ham. If you like smoked honey ham you will like this offering from Bamberg (the unofficial home of sexual relations). Bam. 9/10.
Food match: Who needs food when you have a glass of this glorious smoked honey ham delight? Seriously though: Bavarian pork knuckle with fried potato and onions and sauerkraut… damn I’m hungry now.