Schlenkerla Urbock – Bock beer in smoked version

Today I turn to smoked bock beer from Bambergian brewery Heller.
For the moment, I will release the content of the bottle of Schlenkerla Urbock.


The next meeting with the beer of brewery Heller from Bamberg – I have to present two more beers.
Today I tasting Bock beer, which full name is: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock.


Name of the style – Bock comes from the German word “Bock”, which means “goat”.

The beer from Schlenkerla is called Urbock, prefix -ur means: Original. So we have to deal with the “real Schlenkerla smoked beer – original Bock”.


Bock beer

Where did the name bock?
Let me a little explanation, especially that is the first beer in this style on my blog.

Starting from the XIII century in the town Einbeck, in Lower Saxony, was brewed top-fermented strong beer. The town belonged to the Hanseatic League and through their trade routes their beer began to rapidly gain popularity.
To withstand long transports, been increased appropriately content of extract and alcohol, so that was created ale – dark, strong and bodied.

Especially they began to like this beer in Bavaria, and soon ale from Einbeck became the most popular beverage in Munich. This was of course the reason for concern of local Bavarian brewers, breweries which began simply go bankrupt.
Because that beer additionally was quite expensive, and the proceeds from its sale streamed to north, the outflow of cash from Bavaria became more and more noticeable.

Bavarian Duke Wilhelm V, who was a lover of beer, but also the owner of the brewery, decided to remedy the growing problem.
In 1590 he founded the brewery in Landshut, where they had developed a recipe of beer effectively competing with ale from Einbeck.
Because Bavaria were brewed beers of bottom fermentation, this new beer was supposed to be a dark, strong lager.
A year later, in 1591, was opened a new brewery in Munich intended for production only this new beer.

The process of displacement of Saxon beer from Bavaria did not take place appropriately effective, therefore the successor of William V, Maximilian I, decided on a cunning move.
In 1612 he brought the brewer from Einbeck, Elias Pichler, who had to create a copy of the famous beer.
Pichler based on the original recipe, brewed dark, strong lager which Bavarians called Ainpöckisch Bier (‘beer from Einbeck”).
With time the name has been reduced to Ainpöck, and later he became “ein Bock“.

This beer was the prototype of today’s Bock, who gave birth to a new style, because it was different from beer from Einbock.
First of all, it was a bottom-fermented beer – lager.
Saxon beer was brewed with the addition of wheat malt, while the Bavarian Purity Law (Reinheitsgebot) forbade the use of wheat for brewing.

The fact is, however, that Bock, helped rebuild the tarnished brewing industry in Bavaria, which successfully re-flourished and created among others famous today smoked bock beer from brewery Heller – Schlenkerla Urbock.


Schlenkerla Urbock from Brauerei Heller - bottle

In summary: bock is a strong beer brewed from barley malt, using bottom-fermenting yeast.
It characterized by an increased content of extract and alcohol. Aged longer than other beers, often is brewed in the seasonal variations, eg. maibock (from May), autumnal (bock traditional), double bock (for Christmas).

There are also, of course, smoked bocks (Rauchbock), such as the hero of today’s post.
Its smoky flavour comes from the addition of smoked barley malt. Smoked over beech wood, like most beers from Schlenkerla, however, there is an exception – but more about that in the next review.
Before it goes on sale it matures several months in the cellars – the rock tunnels under Bamberg.
Since October you can enjoy it from the wooden oak barrels in the tavern Schlenkerla, and since December is sold in bottles.

Schlenkerla Urbock is the winner of many awards.
Is a multiple winner of the best winter beer in Finland, Best Smoked Bock 2007 in Amsterdam, awards in Australia and in United States, the top 50 best beers in the world, and more.


The time for the opening of the bottle.
Is again the room fills with smoky and smoked flavors, as in the case of Marzen beer?
Right away I’ll see about that.



(Smoked Bock, 6,5% ABV, ext. 17,5%, IBU 40)
Brewery: Brauerei Heller (Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany)

Expiration date: 07/2016 (bottle 500ml)

Schlenkerla Urbock from Brauerei Heller - beer 1
Schlenkerla Urbock from Brauerei Heller - labels


Schlenkerla Urbock from Brauerei Heller - beer 2


test-look-small Very dark ruby-brown, transparent.
Foam beige, quite high, fine. However, it falls relatively quickly, remains on the surface as a thin layer.
test-sniff-small Smoky aroma, smoked with notes of sweet-fruit.
test-drink-small Flavour. First of all I feel smoke, very crisp taste of smoke or something treated with smoke (not just smoked, but freshly smoky, if you know what I mean).
Only subsequently it comes typically smoked taste, which can be associated with smoked ham, but also with smoked cheese – and I prefer this second comparison.
Is present clearly the sweetness of caramel-malt, but also you can feel notes of chocolate.
There is bitterness, quite clearly, that spreads through the tongue and the back of the palate, going in bitter finish.
It has the nature of the smoke and smoked meat with a slightly fruity note, reminiscent of coffee or dark chocolate.
Medium carbonation. Medium-bodied towards high.


Schlenkerla Urbock from Brauerei Heller - beer 3



Schlenkerla Urbock – another extraordinary beer from Brauerei Heller.
Foreground here are obviously very expressive elements of smoky and smoked.
Personally, I find more smoky notes, aromas of bonfire, burnt wood, and later taste of smoked – smoked cheese or bacon.
Contrast with them the flavours of malt-caramel and chocolate notes, which give to beer a content. There are also fruity notes like for example smoked plums.
Bitterness is clear, although rather moderate – adds character to beer, and creates a counterbalance to the sweetness.
Aftertaste is a little tart bitterness, elements of smoky and smoked with hints of fruits, and coffee or dark chocolate (the finish is slightly like in stout).
It’s a great beer, exemplary indeed. For me: incredible!





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