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Special Amber | Sprecher Brewing Company

174 Reviews
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Special AmberSpecial Amber

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-13-1998

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Reviews: 174 | Ratings: 344
Photo of jmdrpi
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz bottle, poured into nonic pint glass. bright amber in color, with white head. the smell is very sweet, butterscotch?
the taste is very sweet and malty. no hops detected, which conflicts with the notes on the label. mabye this is an old bottle, but no dating on the label so no way of knowing.
medium body and carbonation. good drinkability

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Photo of tapman
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Head not too big and just off white in color, a lot of carbonation keeps on churning... sediment? Is this beer actually some 'real ale'? No kidding! At least I hope that that is what it is at any rate. Body color is a delicate orange blossom honey color.

Super malty! Smells of malt powder (like milkshake, not malted barley) with hints of light raisin/dark grape. I guess that the big hope nose that the bottle boasts are still pretty subtle, noble type hops. Also toffee.

Metallic and thin. Malt taste is very thin and not close to the nose. Maybe a little victory malt or something, but pretty bland. Hop taste is also thin and is mostly apparent in the bitterness at the end which comes off as sharp and not clean. I almost feel like I can taste the carbonation more than the ingredients.

Thin and super carbonated.

I was ready to enjoy this beer after the nose, but unfortunately it was very disappointing. 1. Flavor is really light, like
'lite' beer . 2. This is such a rare style that to not make it special and use the style for marketing to craft drinkers is just wrong. 3. I would rather have a Dos Equis amber lager. I have a soft place in my heart for the rare vienna lager and this one was a big letdown. They make good rootbeer, though.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

16 ounce bottle from Total Wine, on to the beer:

This is a light amber colore dbeer, topped by decent head with a little retention, but no lacing id left in the glass. It's very sweet in the nose, and also husky. Big aroma of raisins, smaller notes of husky grain and sweet malt. A little uneven.

Special Amber does not have a very smooth flavor. There is toasted sweetness, which I like, and there's raisin, which I also like, but the unfermented malt creates a reality check. However, the long lasting, unpleasant bitterness left on the palate makes this beer difficult to drink on. It's rough....please smoothen it out please. Or is the bottle a little old?

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Photo of hu5om
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

split 16oz in 2 tasters with newk340
a-golden/bronze, quite clear. white foam ring fairly bubbly

s-light sweet malts, i didn't get too much here

t-nicely balanced. sweet til the hops cut in. almost a caramel after taste with a slight hoppy bitterness.

m-super smooth. too easy to drink! slippery and slick, gentle effervescence.

d-awesome session beer. nothing too spectacular, but it'd be easy to drink 5-6 pints. solid.

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Photo of newk340
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: golden amber/bronze, no head with little visible carbonation.

S: sweet malts? very difficult to distinguish particular scents.

T: sweet malts are highly evident (as with the smell), faint hops coat the tongue and dissipate as quickly as you figure out what your tastebuds are sensing. there is a slight caramel/nut aftertaste.

MF/D: pretty smooth, rise of bubbles in back of the throat makes for a little excitement in a rather bland beer.

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Photo of steveh
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Haven't gone out of my way for one of these in a long time. Got a gift from the local store owner, via a distro giving out samples. This was probably the first micro-brewed beer I ever tried (if you don't count Annchor).

A -- Deep, amber-orange with a thick, light tan head.

S -- Yeasty, bready characters -- even some mild toffee. Not great to style, but I'm not sure who labeled this a Vienna.

T -- More of the same from above -- yeasty and bready with a mild toffee follow through. It's more Amber Ale than Vienna Lager, and I seem to remember that from history with the beer. Some mild bitterness in the finish. While it's not as clean as a lager should be, it's not crammed with esters and aftertaste as you'd expect from an ale.

D -- Trying to refrain from sentimentality, and trying not to stick too close to a Vienna, because this beer isn't, I'd still say it's a good drinker. Nice when you're looking for that in-between from very light to very heavy.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big full head, amber brightness in the appearance, falls quickly. Great sweet floral aroma.

Hops aren't big, but they let you know they're there, floral and spicy. Sweet malt feel that is very light on the palate. This is one of my favorite examples of this style. The warmer it is outside, the better. Enjoyable throughout, and at an amazing price, you can't beat this.

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Photo of corby112
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with a thin half finger fizzy head that quickly fades away into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Sweet malt aroma with hints of caramel along with some subtle hops. Smells kind of bland really.

Thin bodied with some slight crisp hop bitterness up front that balances out the sweet caramel malt flavor. Subtle nut presence and a dry finish. Easy to drink but pretty boring.

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Photo of weatherdog
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass

I pours a brilliantly clear light copper with a one finger head that quickly dies to just the most minimal cap on top of the beer.

The aroma has the typical crispness of a nice lager with just a light crystal malt smell. There isn't too much here and kind of one dimensional.

The taste is a nice balance of a light ready malt with just a touch of grassy hops. On the back end I'm picking up some fruit esters which may be a fermentation byproduct. The flavor isn't stand out string or bold but rather a traditional take on the style.

The carbonation is medium to high with medium body and the classic crispness of a well made lager. The flavor of this beer is light in most ways but that translates to a good drinkability as I had no problem drinking several in the course of an hour over dinner.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw into a pint glass from a 16 oz. twistoff bottle. Half an inch of off white foam settles to a light cap atop this slightly hazy brew, keeping a cap throughout the glass.

Slightly sweet malty nose with a notable vinegary sense. Opens up to some spicy hops and an odd hop character, alternation between cinnamon and a slight rancid note. More air helps to eliminate the negative notes. Seems odd as the beer isn't exactly fresh but is well under a year old.

Biscuity malt flavor with a dry and almost smoky finish. Has a full and creamy feel for the style and a moderately lingering sweetness. Good drinkability, just give it some air.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. The beer is a light redish brown. About one finger of off white head settles leaving no lace.

The aroma is fairly weak. Light carmel malt with just a hint of hops. Light grassy note. Not much going on here.

The flavor is pretty mundane as well. Malt is the main focus with a touch of hops. Some earthy tones seem to linger in the finish. Nothing real pronounced at all.

Medium to light body. Above average carbonation.

Overall a drinkable average beer. If only since the flavors wouldn't upset even a BMC drinker.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, orange-brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: toffee and toasted malt

Taste: toffee, toasted malt, touch of cinnamon, and some hops

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, high carbonation, sweet start, bitter middle--sweeter end

Drinkability: Above average for the style. I like the sweet and bitter combination. I will have this again.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a frothy amber, sweet carmel smell. Taste was carbonated, as usual for sprecher, middle had a nice balance of malts and hops, finish was actually a bit dry and refreshing. I have had a few of these and the age has always been a question, but this was pretty good and very drinkable.

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Photo of manahansf
2.87/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden yellow color topped with a thin white head which dissipates quickly. The aroma is very grainy and has estery hints of tomato. The flavor is also grainy and oddly sweet with a touch of tartness. The body is very light and watery with high levels of carbonation.

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Photo of tippebrewcrew2
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher special amber ale

Drank out of a pilsner glass. Pours a golden amber orange with an average white head. It has a floral, earthy nose. The body is creamy with mild tastes of straw which slowly comes to the mouth and lasts after the swallow. Sweet malt is the major flavor. I found the beer to be decent. you could probably drink a lot of it but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

A= 3.0

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Photo of dstc
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a big, frothy white head. Falls slow to a minimal one. Decent sticky lace.

Has a malt smell to it with a nice herbal character.

Malt taste up front followed by a herbal hop taste. A bit tangy.

Average mouthfeel, a bit thin maybe. Bit of a bite.

Decent brew. Nothing earth shattering but decently done.

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Photo of lester619
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear deep amber with three inches of creamy, sticky tan head. Smell is bready with some sweet malts and floral hops in the background. Taste is very nice. Smooth, sweet malty up front. Dries out with hoppy goodnes and a yeasty biscuity finsih. Nothing earth-shattering about it's taste, it's just good. Straight forward, crisp, clean well balanced lager that is full of flavor. If you like beer, you will like this beer.

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Photo of Wisconsin
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a clear amber body with a thin half inch off white head. Plenty of carbonation rising to the top. The head dissipates to a lace after a couple of minutes.

S - Roasted malts and some faint hops standout along with some earthy notes.

T - Much like the smell. Roasted malts are the strong aspect of this beer with the hops and earthy notes not quite as pronounced. Carbonation is provides a good balance between the malts and hops.

M - Roasted malts standout initially with a slight blast of carbonation which finishes up nicely with the hops and earthy notes.

D - This is a pretty good beer. Aside from hot days during the summer I could see myself having a few of these rather easily. Definitely a good beer to have aside a fall bonfire.

I don't understand why this beer is rated so low, maybe the style just doesn't appeal as much as others. However, for the style I think this a pretty solid brew.

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Photo of blackearth
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Sprecher Brewery gift shop in Glendale, WI. Poured a bright golden amber body with a thick white head. Aroma was of fruity esters. Medium bodied with a nice bready maltiness and good carbonation. It also has a nice little hop bite in the finish. A very drinkable beer.

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Photo of AmberMan22
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap, though sadly poured into a plastic glass. Gotta love economies of scale.

Appearance: Burnt (as in slightly darker) amber color, The lacing was clearly somewhat present, but stood no chance of sticking to the plastic cup.

Smell: Smells of caramelly malt, light hops, and some strange sweetness.

Taste: Tastes of rich caramel malts, maybe slightly hoppier than other vienna/amber lagers I've had before. The fact that sprecher brews root beer definitely shines through, as it is a very sweet tasting beer.

Mouthfeel: A nice closer-to-medium bodied lager, slightly heavier than other ambers I've had before.

Drinkability: Definitely enjoyable during a summer/fall night, not too heavy on the alcohol, nor on body. A nice beer to savor with warm apple pie, I feel.

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Photo of RickS95
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark honey color, with a thin white head. Just dark enough to be opaque.

Hops dominate the nose, with malt playing second fiddle in the background.

The taste is a bit unique. The hops again are in the forefront, but the malt does a nice job of balancing out the bitter, give it almost a sweetness before the hoppy bitter prevails in the finish.

A lot of carbonation on the palate. A medium-bodied beer that would suit most occasions.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz. bottle poured into a dimple mug. Bottled sometime in February 2009.

(A)- Pours a clear perfect amber. Huge head that simply did not go away. Super fluffy white stuff that has some serious lacing to it.

(S)- Some caramel maltiness combined with some earthy yeast, hay, and wheat nuances. Some honey in there.

(T)- An interesting combination of a slight bitter hoppiness at the beginning, but then smoothes out to a light malty sweetness of honey, lemon, and muted maple syrup.

(M)- Its crisp and a refreshing combination of sweet malts, lightly hopped, and good carbonation; overall balanced well.

(D)- Its refreshing, balanced, and an all around good beer! Would gladly enjoy this over any american adjunct lager any day of the week.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a stubby 16 ounce bottle into my nonic pint glass. The lager appears a clear medium apricot color with about a finger of off white foam. Nose and flavor are of biscuit malts, a touch of caramel, earthy grassy hops, somewhat fruity. A bit light bodied with barely adequate carbonation. About average for the style overall.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper to light amber in color with very active prickle and a head that dissipates rather quickly. The nose is malty with tones like passion fruit or plantain. Very interesting nose. Soft smooth attack with a malt heavy flavor. Some maltiness lingers in the mouth upon the finish. Pretty simple and straightforward aside from the nose.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

Clear, medium amber color with creamy off white head that quickly dissipates to a film leaving thick rings of lacing. Aroma is of biscuity malt and light hops. Sweet biscuit and caramel malt body, relatively light with moderate carbonation finishes with a light hop bite. Very crisp and refreshing, almost pilsner like. Nothing extraordinary, just remarkably drinkable and refreshing with a nice hop presence.

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Special Amber from Sprecher Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.