Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer. Following time-honoured malting and brewing traditions, the strong smoky flavour of Original Schlenkerla Smokebeer is achieved by exposing the malt to the intense, aromatic smoke of burning beechwood logs at the Schlenkerla malthouse. After the brew in classic copper kettles, it matures in the historic cellars deep underneath Bamberg to become a unique smoky beer experience.
Being a lover of fine single-malt Scotch whiskey, I am quite familiar with the practice of smoking barley with peat prior to brewing and distilling good Scotch, but why would anyone try this with beer? Would it prove to be a unique, tasty beverage, or another nightmare to be sinked? Nervously, I uncapped it and poured it into two glasses. The dark ale was clear and smelled like beef jerky, which gave rise to Rob's cry of "ach, das schtinkant!" Pushing through the smoky aroma, we raised our glasses and drank. This stuff literally tasted like beef jerky soaked in Guinness, with a very long smoky finish. Aside from the novelty of being smoky and "beefy", the taste was extremely one-dimensional, and was reminscent of a smoky OXO cube dissolved in water. The hardest part about drinking this was the smell. While smoky Islay Scotch has a pleasant smoky scent, this stuff reeks like the shell of a burned-out Flint, Michigan housing project. If you can get past the strong smell, it is an interesting novelty but not one I would like to experience again soon. Fans of beef jerky might actually enjoy this, but in my experience this is more suited to daring your friends to chug at drunken frat parties.