Schlenkerla Weichsel

Review Date 6/22/2024 By John Staradumsky


Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Rotbier! Where have you been all my life? Or, where have I been all your life? As far as I know, you’ve only been around about a year, and all I could do was drool over you last year. You were nowhere to be found anywhere I buy beer, including at Helen’s Alpine Bottle Shop, where they usually have just about every Schlenkerla beer. Just about.

I saw others posting photos and raving about Weichsel Rotbier. I did manage to score some Schlenkerla Erle, their new smoked Schwarzbier, and had to content myself with that. Still, I kept on the prowl for the Weichsel. As you can tell, I eventually found some.

It was a week before Father’s Day when my wife gave me a gift card to Half Time Beverage. I went shopping there, and what did hey have but Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Rotbier (and, to boot, the Lentbeer I had also never tried). Two cans of each went into my cart. I kept my fingers crossed they did not sell oput before packing my box, and you know, they didn’t! My prizes arrived the Friday before Father’s Day.

Rotbier is German red lager. It’s a specialty of Nurnberg, and I had not long ago scored some of the delightful Tucher Rotbier. A smoked Rotbier sounded divine!

Schlenkerla offers a little background on their website:

Rotbiere waren früher in Franken häufiger anzutreffen. Vor allem die Stadt Nürnberg war bekannt für ihr Rotbier. Da seine Herstellung extrem aufwändig war, wurde das Rotbier im 19. Jahrhundert durch das mit modernen, einfacheren Brauverfahren hergestellten Braunbier verdrängt und verschwand. Erst 1997 wurde der Bierstil wiederbelebt.

Which means if you don’t speak German:

Red beers were once more common in Franconia. The city of Nuremberg in particular was known for its red beer. Since its production was extremely complex, red beer was replaced in the 19th century by brown beer, which was produced using modern, simpler brewing processes, and disappeared. It was not until 1997 that the beer style was revived.

They also say:

Für unser Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Rotbier trocknen wir das Malz über einem Feuer mit hochwertigem Kirschholz und nicht wie beim klassischen Rauchbier über Buchenholzfeuer. Im Gegensatz zum würzigen Buchenrauchmalz hat das Kirschrauchmalz ein fruchtiges, fast süßliches Raucharoma und sorgt für eine kupferrote Farbe im Glas. Feinster Aromahopfen ergänzt den vielschichtigen Rauchgeschmack um eine beerige Note.

Which means if you don’t speak German:

For our Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Red Beer, we dry the malt over a fire with high-quality cherry wood and not over beech wood fires as with classic smoked beer. In contrast to the spicy beech smoked malt, the cherry smoked malt has a fruity, almost sweet smoky aroma and provides a copper-red color in the glass. The finest aroma hops add a berry note to the multi-layered smoky taste.

I spent Father’s Day at Der Biergarten in Atlanta, and was mindful there to “save room” if you will for my two new Schlenkerla beers when I got home. I enjoyed a full liter of Paulaner Salvator and a half liter of Weihenstephaner Vitus, both accompanying a delicious Schweinshaxen with Der Biergarten’s legendary Sauerkraut. Upon arriving home, I leisurely enjoyed my two Rauchbiers, though I didn’t take tasting notes. I waited until the following Thursday for that, popped my Weichsel, and took notes then on a fresh palate. I must metion I took those notes before reading Schlenkerla’s description of the beer. I got much the same notes and flavors they promised.

Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Rotbier has an alcohol content of 4.6% by volume and I paid $6.99 for my half liter bottle from Half Time. Total Wine sells it for $20.99 the four=pack of half liter cans in Henderson, Nevada.

Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Rotbier pours to a brilliant ruby red color with a thick fluffy eggshell head and a nose of thick campfire smoke. Taking a sip, the beer is richly malty up front with stewed malt goodness. It’s nutty and gently tart, and hints at berry and wood. It’s smoky with bacon and hickory and the cherry wood adds a subtle fruitiness. It finishes with a pungent, but not acrid smokiness and truly is a delicious beer, permeated with pungent campfire smoke.

I’m so glad I found you Aecht Schlenkerla Weichsel Rotbier. I hope to see you in Helen this year.

 Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


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

(B)=Bottled, Canned