Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier has a distinctively smoky aroma and flavor that is consistently present amongst the three varieties: urbock, märzen and weizen. The brewery also makes a helles which, while the grain used is unsmoked, is still smoky in flavor because the same kettles and yeast are used to produce it and the Rauchbier. A schnapps made from Rauchbier is also available in Schlenkerla's pub and restaurant.
Schlenkerla roughly translates as "Dangling". Schlenkern is a German verb meaning to swing or to dangle. The -lasuffix is typical of the East Franconian dialect. The name reportedly comes from a brewer with a hobbling gait whose image can be seen on the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier bottle. The brewery's legal name is HellerBräu Trum KG, after the Trum family that has owned and run it for six generations.