They say smoking is bad for you, but for centuries, brewers in the city of Bamberg have been smoking malts over beechwood. Technically, this creates a style all its own, called Rauchbier, but we threw this in the mix to see what smoking does to the base beer, a Marzen. To begin, as soon as the bottle is cracked open, the intense bacony smoke quality burst through the nose. Underneath, mild caramel notes are detectable, but it's clearly a smoky beer. The appearance is all Marzen, with deep golden color and great clarity beneath a creamy tan head. One sip further reveals its Marzen origins, with a soft, caramel sweetness that lasts through the taste. Additionally, gentle hop bitterness is apparent on the sides of the tongue. Through all this, the beer is intensely smoky -- incredible, really -- though the beer stays smooth. Aecht is medium-bodied, has a soft carbonation, and finishes with a mild alcohol note.