OK, it's not really proper amber: it's a deep treacly ruby red-brown, but the title was irresistible. I've been waiting for this one for a long time. My only previous experience of smoked beer (rauchbier in German) was in the Craft brewpub in Athens and I was smitten. So I'd been keeping an eye out for proper German rauchbier, a speciality of Bamberg in Franconia, for some time. This week I gleefully brought home a bottle of Schlenkerla Märzen. It certainly has the smoke character in spades, with roast smoked ham being the closest parallel. However, I found the underlying beer to be a little watery. I expect märzen to be quite a full smooth lager, but this one just didn't cut it. However, you don't buy Schlenkerla for its lager-like qualities. You buy it for the smoke, and I could very happily neck a couple of these with gusto.
There are other beers in the range, and I'll definitely be keeping my beadies peeled for them. That, and putting Bamberg firmly on the travel agenda, preferably in Urbock season.