So, last night I drank and reviewed both Auerbach’s Rauchbier from Mystic Brewing Company in Chelsea, Massachusetts and Aect Shlenkerla Rauchbier Mazen from Bamberg, Germany, as you can see by the two previous posts on this here blog. I also did a side by side comparison of the two beers and found some interesting differences between them. Overall, I tended to like Mystic’s a touch more because of its drinkability and its different flavors while my girlfriend was definitely more in favor of the Schlenkerla with its big bacon flavor. In comparison, Mystic’s beer is lighter in its smoked malts, but displays other nuances in the malt with caramel and smooth smoke notes. Mystic’s beer is also thinner in the mouth, which makes it easier to drink. The Schlenkerla, on the other hand is slightly thick and flavored with big smoked malts and meaty notes. It has far more smoked malt character, and even gives some slight dark fruit notes, though only after it is drank after the other beer. Side by side, the Schlenkerla definitely displayed more of its odd cat food flavors though, which wasn’t really off-putting, but was not the most desirable thing for me to be tasting.
These beers are at two different sides of the rauchbier spectrum. If you want big heavy, meaty smoked malts then the Schlenkerla is certainly for you, but if you are looking for a sessionable smoke beer with some great character then I would certainly advise Mystic’s superb beer. I suspect that the marzen aspects of the Schlenkerla helped to give more thickness to the beer, but overall, in my rauchbier drinking experiences (which is not very vast so if I am wrong please speak up and tell me so as I would love to learn more) I have found the American made rauchbiers to be thinner and far more drinkable while the German rauchbiers are thicker and much more meaty in their smoke character. Is this a difference in style or have I just not tasted enough rauchbiers yet? I don’t have the answers, but I can assure you I will be tasting more rauchbiers on this blog, especially since my girlfriend seems to be a rauchbier girl! Of the three rauchbiers she has tasted, she said that she like the Schlenkerla more than Mystic’s because it displayed more bacon flavors, but that she preferred Jack’s Abby’s Fire in the Ham more than both of them. In the end, I would just advise you, the reader, to go out and taste these beers for yourself as they are both excellent brews. Cheers and Beers.