Brewery: Aecht Schlenkerla
The smoked beer genre is a strange old group of beers. It is so easy to do a bad smoked beer. If it’s done right it can balance the peaty nature of the smoke with the sweet and maltiness of the beer perfectly. If done badly though, it can taste like licking an ashtray after an all night party that someone has spilt some old stale beer into. I have unfortunately taste some smoked beers that tasted like the latter and they are not to be recommended (unless you’re into that kind of thing I guess).
Luckily for me Aecht Schlenkerla know their stuff when it comes to smoked beers. They are in my humble opinion the world leader of the genre. They use beechwood to smoke their malt and give it a nice deep richness that accentuates but never overpower the beers other qualities. I tried the fastenbier, which is a beer produced for Lent every year.
It had a dark cedar colour with an off white head that stayed quite consistent. The nice beechword smoke was of course in the forefront of the aroma along with smoked meat and a glaze sweetness, with a small metallic tang bringing up the rear. It was basically like a barbecue in a glass. It was quite thin in body with a dark maltiness that combined well with slight bacon and salt hint that devolved into a long peaty aftertaste on the back of the tongue. It was rather drying on the palate but kept me wanting to drink more.
If you are after a beer that would pair lovely with some big bits of smoked meat or cheese you can’t go wrong with this. Its well priced too at just 29kr for a 50cl bottle. It’s not a beer to drink over a long session but definitely worth trying one on a night out for a taste of something completely different.