I have admitted that I am a bit smoke skittish. I never took up the horrid habit of cigarettes (thankfully!). I like a peaty malt, but not too peaty. I rarely turn to rauchbier (smoked beer) for a pint because I either find them mis-named or too smoky. However, I fully admit to holding a deep apprecation of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, from what may be one of the most traditional smoked beer brewers on the planet (I have written about it here).
Does that suggest maybe I am a bigger fan of smoke than I proclaim? I am not sure. What draws me to the Schlenkerla is a marvelous balance between bready, sweet malt and pungent wood smoke – they complement each other well. I will leave it to others to suggest whether I dost protest too much when it comes to rauchbier.
I bring this up again because my Vue Weekly column this week is a review of said classic German rauchbier. I won’t re-hash the review (but you can read it here if you wish), as it doesn’t tread much new ground for regular readers of this website. However, its appearance is more evidence of my growing fascination with this beer, and rauchbier in general. Further damning my protestations is the fact that at a tasting I am hosting next weekend, the Schlenkerla will be one of the 5 German and German-inspired beer I will be sampling. Clearly I keep coming back for me.
Maybe one day I will be a bona fide Rauch-head. Not yet, I don’t think, but clearly my palate is warming to the smoky stuff. Someone hand me a glass of Lagavulin will ya?