Schlenkerla Weichsel (Rotbier) bottle

red beer in logo glass with bottle
Schlenkerla Weichsel (Rotbier)

Brewery: Heller (Schlenkerla)
Town: Bamberg
Style: smoke Rotbier 4.6%
Color: deep red
Head: off-white, creamy, ample
Nose: light smoke
, fruity
Body: medium
balanced, light smoke, yeasty, fruity, quite dry
Finish: lingering, semi-dry, semi-bitter

Served: from a bottle bought at the brewery tap

Impression: I quite liked this unusual Rotbier from both gravity dispense barrel and regular keg so picked up some bottles to inspect more closely at home. Named after the Weichsel River in Poland, an area ripe in sour cherries, this ground-breaking brew utilizes malt kilned over cherry wood rather than the traditional beech wood. The result is a subdued fruity smokiness. While Schlenkerla Märzen is much sharper than from the barrel, I’ve found their seasonal beers to hold their weight, with the Kräusen perhaps better from the bottle. The Weichsel falls a bit in between with the fruit seemingly more up front and the smoke somehow simultaneously more pronounced. As with all Schlenkerla beers, there’s no shortage of hops and while a tad less dry than on tap, it’s certainly more than dry enough. That said, I find it a one or two beer from the bottle whereas I easily sessioned on it at the pub from both regular keg and from the barrel. Though Schlenkerla could easily rest on the laurels of their flagship Märzen and formidable seasons line-up, they continue to push the button with new creations like this, and have yet to fall on their face in the least. Rumors abound of a Rauchschwarzbier come autumn.

Next beer or back to the beer list.

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