Style: Rauchbier/ Smoked Marzen
From: Bamberg, Germany
Brewer’s Note: “The original and Bamberg specialty for centuries. A dark, bottom fermented beer made exclusively with Schlenkerla smoked malt from our own malt house and the old tradition from the Schlenkerla Oak barrel tapped.”
The beer’s label is nice and old timey looking. I like the old scroll look of the label, but it is a little crowded with text, and though the font is cool, it is a little hard to read, and that just makes the complicated German words that much more difficult for my stupid American mind to read. This label is on the cusp of being worthy of scrapbooking, mostly because of its old world “classic-ability.” It is not worth putting on a shelf.
The beer pours a very dark orangey brown with a slight off-white head of tight knit, small bubbles. The beer’s body is dark but seems clean except for a slight malty haze. On the nose, the beer smells of big bacon and smoked pork, mixed with notes of smoked hickory. On the tongue, the beer tastes of savory smoky malt, faint bitters from the roasted malt, and slight sweet malt. Flavors begin with smoky malts that move quickly into bacon and smoked salmon with a touch of smoky wood. As it warms, some slight dark fruit notes can be detected in the malts. The finish moves into notes of canned cat food mixed with more notes of big bacon. The aftertaste is light salty bacon on the tongue. In the mouth, the beer feels medium to heavy in body, with a smooth carbonation the slips over the tongue, leaving the mouth a little thick with a dry bacon feel with some slight saliva running from the tongue from acidity. Overall, I like this beer. It is a classic rauchbier and fills all the requirements of the style while giving some nice thickness from the Marzen style and subtle Marzen flavor notes. It does leave a slight cat food flavor in the mouth, which is a little odd as I notice it more and more, but it is still tasty and displays the smoked malts well.