Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock



Review Date 6/17/2013   Last Updated 10/27/2019   By John Staradumsky

So there I was at the growler shop looking to buy some draft beer. Growler shops are a recent phenomenon in Georgia, and they seem to be popping up everywhere. The cool things is that they can sell more than draft beer to go, and in this case, the one I was at (Beer Growler in Alpharetta) sells bottled beer, too. Now, I didn’t go there to buy bottled beer, but I couldn’t help looking at their selection, and when I saw bottles of Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock, well, that was a better find than anything they had on tap that day.

You see, I love smoked beers, and I love doppelbocks. So a smoked doppelbock, especially one from Schlenkerla, the masters of rauchbier, was a given. I would tell you that the beer was new, and would not ring up when presented to the cashier with my growler fill, so he sold it to me for $2, but I won’t, because that would just be rubbing it in.

“Eiche” is German for oak, and I’ll let the brewery explain to you why the beer carries this name. Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock is sold as a Christmas specialty beer in Germany, and according to the brewery only distributed to the United States in small lots of kegs and bottles. Now I’ll shut up and let them tell you more. From the label:

While for the classic “Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier” traditionally beech has been-and still is- used, the malt for “Schlenkerla Oak Smoke” is kilned with oak wood. The resulting Schlenkerla Oak Smoke Malt has a smoother and more malt layered smokey note than the intensely aromatic Beech Smoke Malt. The hence complex smokiness in “Schlenkerla Oak Smoke” is paired with the multifaceted of finest Hallertau aroma hops. With 8% alcohol and amber color it matures for months in the deep brewery cellars underneath Bamberg into a special treat for smoke beer lovers. 

Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche Doppelbock pours to a deep ruby red color with a minimal wispy head formation and an absolutely divine nose of soft, dark sweet malt and gentle oak wood smoke. Taking a sip, the beer is a bit thinner than the average doppelbock, but has layers of dark sweet nutty malt that just bathe the palate in sensual delights. A subtler smokiness than beechwood-smoked Marzen as the label suggests, but still pronounced. The soft sweet fresh malt flavors are packed with dark nutty melanoidins and soft molasses., and a subtler but still robust smokiness is pervasive. I am really loving the fresh malt flavors here, it's like sweet wort fresh from the brew kettle, but smoky. Not much hop bitterness, but the smoke helps to dry.

Simply an amazing beer, and one I wish I could find regularly. Don’t miss it!

Update 10/27/2019: I picked up a few bottles of Aecht Schlenkerla Eiche at Alpine Brew Package Store in Helen, Georgia. The beer screams oaky, woody, hickory smoke in the nose and the palate. The malt is firm and full bodied, but yields quickly to the intense smokiness. Much smokier than I recall it, it loses the doppelbock character but it so wonderful all the same. Woody and smoky and toasty, it is amazing, well worth the $5.29 per bottle price of admission.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned