Heller (Schlenkerla) Eiche

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Brewery:  Heller (Schlenkerla)
Town: Bamberg

Style: Rauch Dopplebock (Smoke Dopplebock)
Color: dark amber, ruby highlights
Head: off-white, ample
Nose: subtle smoke
Body: full, low carbonation, soft
Palate: soft smokiness, rich malt, some hops
Finish: long, dryish
Served: gravity dispense from wooden barrels at the brewpub

Impression: I’ve had this beer a lot over the years, almost always at the famed brewpub in Bamberg. It’s a relatively new beer by Schlenkerla standards and I remember the first time I saw it advertised on the table on my birthday quite a few moons ago. There was no way I wasn’t going to give it a go, especially since it was my birthday despite its high (for Bamberg) price.  It came out looking quite majestic in a snifter but a full size .5 liter one even though it was 8%. It’s a dark amber beer with an off-white head. There’s a much subtler smoky nose than their signature Märzen or even smokier Ur-Bock. The palate is much softer, too. It’s unmistakably a smoke beer but it’s more subdued due to the use of oak chips rather than the beechwood used for the rest of their beers. It’s also a rich malty beer as you may expect of a Dopplebock but has fair bitterness in the long dry finish. This is not a brewery to skimp on ingredients and the Eiche is extremely full-flavored due to that. While not my favorite of their brews, it’s yet another classic in the Heller line-up.

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