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The Raven Special Lager - B.W. Beer Works USA

Not Rated.
The Raven Special LagerThe Raven Special Lager

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BA SCORE
78
okay

163 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.2%
Wants: 5
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
B.W. Beer Works USA visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RBorsato on 04-28-2003

The Raven Special Lager is a perfect balanced lager beer that goes well with any kind of food, but particularly with spicy food or when you just want to sit down and enjoy a beer with friends. With a shot of Woodford Reserve chased with chilled Raven is a near perfect combination. The rich golden colored beer is an exceptionally smooth Southern German lager, somewhat malty but well balanced between the hops and malt. Experiencing the clean finish and pleasant lingering aftertaste of The Raven Special Lager, one can truly say that The Taste Is Poetic.

18 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 71
Photo of MorganMessersmith
5/5  rDev +47.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites. Aside from IPAs and Oktoberfests, this is one of my favorites.

Photo of JamieDuncan
2.98/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Wish I would have checked reviews before buying

Photo of gammeldansk
3.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: foamy, doesn't stay long. Nice color, changing between lemon yellow and amber. A little bit cloudy,
S: complex, flowers and grass, old wooden furniture.
T: nice balance between sweet and bitter, not as complex as one would expect from the smell.
M: well carbonated, full-bodied.

Photo of BuzzLitebier
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 12/27/13 with Arithmeticus
Appearance: The color was a caramel with an orangish/reddish hue, decent carb, nice lacing and creamy head.
Smell: Not much there, and what we did smell was that of apples and metal
Taste: Compared to the other lagers we tried during the session, this had more of a toffee taste and more spices. It was definitely more complex. It had a soft finish too.
Mouthfeel: creamy mouthfeel with light, decent carbonation
Overall: One of the better lagers we had during our session. Would I have it again? Yep.

Photo of Theheroguy
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Malty but not sweet, it is well balanced. Soft citrus noble hop character. Carbonated enough to be crisp yet still highly drinkable. You could put these down one after another really easily. Weak aroma smells mostly like stereotypical lager malt. The hops are most prevalent at the tale end where they linger on the tongue.

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

I had this on tap at Federal Taphouse in Lancaster PA, served chilled in a shaker pint.

The color is golden with a good clarity and white cap with tiny bead.
the aroma has a malty sweet ester with light yeast breadiness and mild nutty accent. The feel is good with creamy effect from carbonation with mild sweetness and light toasted texture.

The taste is good with clean overall flavor with bready and mild malt with toastiness in the taste and a mild yeast taste which has a gentle fruitiness and slight hop spice adds to the taste. Overall this is a good lager, but not overly complex -pretty average for the style w/ good drinkabliity.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.88/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber color - this is darker than I anticipated. The head is one fingers high, and barely off-white in shading. Not much in the way of either retention or lacing.

S: The primary notes are toasted malts and a hint of noble hops. Some fleeting caramel sweetness also invades the nose ever-so-slightly. Pretty basic, but not bad.

T: Plenty of caramel and toffee to start, which turns slightly nutty and toasty near the middle...and also slightly metallic on the finish. Faint hoppy hints also appear on the back end; I want more of this to appear. If nothing else, the flavors seem to improve slightly as the carbonation slows down.

M: This has too much of a rough, coarse feel for me going down. The high carbonation is welcoming, but the way it cuts through the otherwise sweet texture isn't. Should be more drinkable, as well.

O: This should be reclassified as an amber, or perhaps even a Vienna lager. At the very least, it's an acceptably mediocre amber/Vienna. Not bad, but I don't see much reason to pick this up over SA Boston Lager, which is cleaner, crisper, easier to drink, and available everywhere.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Kings Row Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, spice, and scented baby wipe aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with an odd smell but the taste is decent enough.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

If only I'd brought an extra bottle or two of this home with me for when I was watching the Super Bowl or John Cusack's performance in The Raven... Regardless, this stuff pours a clear pale sunset brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild biscuit and very light flowers. I think I get some hard water, but that may be from the glass (my apartment's water is harder than bricks). The taste brings in more of the same, along with a few drops of honey-like sweetness peeking through from time to time. The body straddles the line between hefty light and light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a nice, if nondescript, little beer, nothing worth sneezing at, and nothing bad enough to wipe your nose on. Worth a go, at least.

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A: Pours a dark golden color. Nice clarity throughout. Lackluster white head eventually fades down to almost nothing. Little to no lacing left behind.

S:Not much to the nose on this one, that I could pick up. Slightly bready with some grains. Light hints of sweetness and flowery hops.

T: The taste matches the nose pretty well, except the sweetness is a bit more profound throughout. A light spark of hop bitterness in the finish to balance out that initial sweetness. The most surprising factor here is that this beer actually warms up gracefully and doesn't become undrinkable like other lagers.

M: Crisp and clean with a decent, well-rounded carbonation. Relatively average in this department and overall quite drinkable.

O: This is essentially a run-of-the-mill lager. While it's nothing special, I will admit that this one boasts more flavor and goes down easier than most of the mass-produced lagers. For me, this is nothing more than something I'd bring a six-pack or two to a party full of people that don't really go for the crafts. It's nothing I'd recommend to anyone unless they were looking for a decent replacement for the mass-produced lagers and light beers.

Photo of ckollias
3/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Beligan Tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark copper hue with a white, 2-finger, frothy head that quickly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid lace.

S: Biscuity malt aroma with a slight caramel scent.

T: Similar to the smell there is a biscuity malt flavor with an overall sweetness that finishes sort of dry.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Just a typical lager – nothing I would grab again.

Photo of Arithmeticus
2.64/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured chilled in ale glass in Rollingside tavern.

A: nice dark orange, little head, no lacing; relatively clear
S: malty, not much else going on
T: metallic aftertaste, almost a Euro-strong, but without the ABV; barley is of a darker roast that I would have expected.

Photo of mempath
2.58/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

cool bottle! looks ok when poured. typical euro pale lager...nose is too close to the bad adjunct world...taste is a bit sweet...malty with not enough hop balance. flows down the gullet fine. past the palate...nothing special. actually less. i prefer the gusto Schlitz. or, speaking of baltimore, Natty Boh...

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a taster glass.

Pours a clear golden color with a nice white head and just a touch of lacing on the edges. The nose has a bit of light grain, faint hops, and just a touch of sweetness. The flavor is a really nice balance between light malt and very mild sweetness. Just a touch of grain flavor as well. Light body with good carbonation and just a bit of chewiness. Altogether, really a nice lager.

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

Pours a clea amber color with light head.

Nose has some toasty malts, light lager fruits, doesn't get much of a crisp lager aroma, slightest hint of syrup.

Taste brings more toasty malts, light amber malt flavors, sweet lager, light reddish copper malts, light dme, hint of lager fruit like flavor, just a slight metallic taste.

Mouth is fairly lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall not bad, I was expecting worse, just a slight metallic flavor otherwise no real off flavors but no crisp or clean lager flavors either.

Photo of bamojr
3.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with white fluffy head about one finger that dissipates quickly. very floral nose with a hint of some roasted malts in the background but very faint on those. Bitter flavor with some malt backgrounds. no real detection of the floral aromas I was getting in the taste. Defiantly lingers on the palette with a pungent flavor. This is a good strong lager but doesn't have any thing too interesting about it other than the box it comes in. Not a bad little beer but a little to pricey for the novelty when it is a pretty standard brew.

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

First had: at Philly Craft Beer Fest '07

Poured a clear burnt umber with a small off-white head that dissipated quickly. Grains and toasted malts in the aroma. Toasty malts in the taste, grainy, woody, with some caramel sweetness. Some hop bitterness comes in towards the end, leaving a dry and somewhat bland aftertaste. Still an overall ok brew; light-medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable. Though after the fest, I never saw the stuff again.

Photo of patreely12
3.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours crystal clear golden color with a half inch of fluffy white foam. a small amount of visible carbonation.

S - strong bready pale malts. grassy, hay like aroma. some nice sweetness, some fruity notes. faint earthy hops.

T/M - very grainy pale malts up front. the malts make up the majority of the flavor. a little bit of nuttiness and grassy flavor help transition into a very mild hoppy back end where there's also a nice honey note to give the beer some sweetness. really crisp, clean finish. light bodied almost like water, mild carbonation.

Overall is isn't a bad brew. nice, clean flavors, really refreshing and sessionable. I would drink this again for sure.

Photo of Jimmys
2.55/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: deep gold, a little bit of orange hue as well. white bubbly head diminishes to a thin rim. large carbonation bubbles can be seen. clear.

S: a minor fruitiness. maybe green apple. the sweetness slightly resembles candy corn. struggling to find a hop component.

T: a really subtle graininess. the malt actually seems less obvious here than in the nose. a little similar to cooked white rice.

M: super light body with a pretty hard carbonation.

D: pretty boring beer, fitting right in with the style. probably has one of the coolest bottle caps with a pic of edgar allen poe on it.

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.35/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear, rust color with half-inch head that fades quickly. The aroma has a balance of dough, maple, and grass. It's flavor begins with caramel followed by maple, honey, and orange notes. It has just enough hops to give a good balance. The mouthfeel is slightly thin but smooth providing for a high drinkability. Recommended!

Photo of alleykatking
1.68/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a golden orange with hints of amberish hues. Half finger white head shows poor retention. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Very grainy in the front of the beer. Light fried veggie aroma to this beer. Some grassy hops in the backend with light alcohol also lingering around in the nose. Most dominate smell is fried veggies and grain though.

T- Very grainy upfront with a horrid blast of fried veggies. This overtakes the beer for at least the front half of it. This dies down a little bit showcasing a faint grassy hop before taking lead flavor toward the ending with a light metallic flavor and alcohol. A horrid flavor overall.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is crisp and a little light for the beer I think. Fried veggies and grain left on the palate. Aftertaste is light alcohol and grain. Flavors were not anywhere close to being balanced. This has a metallic off flavor that doesn't help with the flavor to it. Also the fried veggie flavor really is a huge off flavor as it seems to be the showcased flavor. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer should be called "Never more". I think this beer has to be older which is why I am not digging it. The ABV is low to have a great many pints of this but then again why would you if this is how it was suppose to taste. Oh well you win some and lose some.

Photo of thekanna
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear yellow body bordering on orange. About 1/2 an inch of head after pour into a chilled beer mug.

S: Slight citrus aroma with a bit of nuttiness.

T/M: Nutty lager with subdued carbonation and a hint of toasted rice. Slightly slick as it coats the tongue and there is even a fainter hint of sweetness. Mouthfeel is a bit watery at times.

D: Decently complements any meal, as long as the meal itself is much more flavorful and can hold its own.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A bonus bottle from fine BA drabmuh; 12 oz. & brown, poured to a pint glass.

Label: An awkwardly mediocre drawing of a raven perched upon Poe's tombstone against a buttery-pale backdrop. Nice Poe-on-red bottlecap... a keeper.
"The Taste is Poetic".
We shall see...

A: Golden-straw with more than a hint of orange. So close to being clear, it's painful to find the scantest suspended dust. Modest carbonation; what there is moves slowly, drunkenly. Starts with a decent 1/2 finger of whitish foam; head breaks down quickly to a splotchy film, slight ring, fragmented lace.

S: Sweet aroma, mild fruit and tons of malty sugars. Doesn't smell all that special, but does smell strongly of 'nothing special'. Worthy of a '3.5'? Ah, sure it is...

T: Not a bad taste at all. Very malty, sugar sweet and caramel-laden... with fruity notes of apple and pear abounding. Modest spiciness, very little notable hops. Skews waaay toward the malty ('malt liquor'-tasting) side.

M: Kinda oily. No REALLY oily, a viscous and off-putting sort of slickness. No carbonation prickle at all, just silky yet dull all at once. Light-medium body, with a lasting starchy/gummy stickiness.

D: 'Average' about sums it up... nothing to bring you back. Despite flaws, not a bad-tasting beer (at least for a malt-lover like me), but, well, why? Not to rule things out, but to 'quoth the Raven': Nevermore.

Photo of tehawful
2.97/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light-amber body with little head. Smells of grain and a bit of sweet malt. Some grassy hop tones come across as well. A somewhat disappointing start considering the Poe branding.

Heavy grain taste, with a small hint of corn. Finishes dry with some bitter grassy hops. Both the initial taste and the finish stop before they really get a chance to develop. The body is light enough, and carbonation sticks out a bit at the end.

All in all, I was a little disappointed with The Raven. Perhaps living near Baltimore I hoped that they would do more of a service to Edgar Allan Poe. Certainly a drinkable lager, but nothing really sticks out.

Photo of vandemonian
3.42/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with a nice amber colour but mine ran out of head in about 10 seconds and had very little carbonation. It had a weak but nice smell of honey on toast. It has a decent taste, but nothing stands out: slightly hoppy and bitter. My bottle was very flat in the mouth. It's a very drinkable beer, but there is nothing noteworthy about it, except the branding.

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The Raven Special Lager from B.W. Beer Works USA
78 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.