1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

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

Not Rated.
The Raven Special LagerThe Raven Special Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

163 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 71
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.2%
Wants: 6
Gots: 16 | 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
View: Beers (6) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 71
Reviews by Burkbom23:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.17/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007

Poetic themes surround this beer; Edgar Allen Poe and The Raven to be exact. We're always wary when a specific theme is slapped on a beer. Is it a dedication or is some- one just trying to cash in? We'll let quality dictate this one.

Quick to foam and just as quick to dissipate into a thin ring of lace; poor head-retention for this Lager, though the clarity is fine. Hints of malty caramel and light floral and herbal hops in the aroma; a relatively clean nose. Creamy, slick mouthfeel, with a moderate body. Crispness struggles, but then just bows out. Bready to start, with a touch of caramel and toasted grain. A small spike of hop bitterness balances this beer out well. Semi-clean aftertaste is on the dry side.

Just a basic, no-frills Lager here, but easy to drink. We expected more from the head and mouthfeel, both of which suffered all around, but balance and con- sistent flavor made up for that. Not a bad pick if you're into middle-of-the-road Lagers. For the pairing, throw this one at a pulled-pork sandwich with pickles and slaw.

Photo of FlyingRabbit
3.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought as part of a "Sixer Mixer"

Always like supporting local beers

A: Great golden/reddish color. A bit darker than I expected when I first opened the bottle. Nice head that lasted for about an average period of time.

S: Agree with other reviewers that this doesn't have any discernible smells other than malts and corn.

T: A little bit hoppy at first, but it had strains of citrus.

M: Despite its initial hoppiness, there is a nice even feel that is not heavy.

D: Highly drinkable. Would be great for many an excursion on a fall day. This isn't a tailgate beer.

Really dug this, and will probably invest in an actual sixer of this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

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 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 NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is contract brewed at the Clipper City Brewing Company in Baltimore. It pours a clear, deep-amber body with an orange cast. Steadily rising bubbles can clearly be seen adding to the foamy white cap that holds well and maintains a thin surface covering throughout the first half of the glass. The nose delivers a sweetish caramel malt that's infused with lightly floral hops. The body is medium and it's smooth in the mouth with a very fine, moderate carbonation that gently tingles the tongue. The flavor offers a rich, sweetish malt that indicates the use of Munich, and perhap crystal, malts. It's balanced by a firm bitterness and infused with lightly floral hops; and finishes soft and smooth with some residual malt and a light touch of hop flavor.

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 tempest
3.51/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from the fridge at Abe's Six-Pack Shop.

For starters, and I think this is what makes the difference between average and good pale lagers, there's absolutely nothing offensive about this beer. It reminded me of a blander version of Full Sail's Session. The aroma is faint, but it's the same as the taste with smooth, sweet bready malts with just the slightest toasted note. No hops, just a balanced lager. We're talking throw-back lager here. Great for the style.

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 beerthulhu
3.12/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a hazy golden amber with a thin white head.

S: a noticeable malt sweetness. The nose was soft with sweet grains and a light noble flowery hop presence.

T: The flavor was sweet malt, bready, and some toasted malt. Overall the flavor was very clean per style.

M: fell a little short and was a touch watery, but very smooth texture wise on the tongue with a crisp finish.

D: Ones enough, a good tweener (intro) beer into the micro world, but really falls short in satisfying the more experienced palate per style.

Photo of BeerSox
3.28/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Crystal clear honey amber hue with a thin off white head that settles to a rim along the glass.

Light musty malts with a little bit of caramel. Very sweet.

The flavor is similar to the aroma, but with a little bit of flavor and bitterness from the hops. Medium bodied with good carbonation.

A decent lager, nothing special but good if you're looking for something quaffable.

Photo of tugdriver7
4.35/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The local stores had huge displays of "The Raven" this week, offering great deals on 6-ers and cases. It was evident that everyone was capitalizing on the big Baltimore Raven game today against the INDIANAPOLIS Colts (not to be confused with the Baltimore Colts who ceased to exist in 1984). So, though I had tried it on tap before at Maryland's Oktoberfest, I had to support the local team and buy some.

It was better than I remember. Nice amber color in the glass with a decent, fluffy head that stayed half-way through and then laced the glass nicely. Smell was all malt, with a very nice, moderate mouthfeel. The taste was solid malt, with a touch of hops for balance. Extremely smooth and drinkable. A bit of sweet on the tongue at first, but definitely not cloying and the pleasant flavor becomes quite refreshing as the glass empties. Very very drinkable. I'm enjoying it with BBQ (from a local chain establishment) and it is the perfect balance of flavor.

More than one review says The Raven is what an adjunct (macro) lager should taste like. This is definitely no "macro," but it is easily one of the easiest drinking beers out there. Definitely worth trying.

November 2011

Tasted again for the first time. Something I've tried before, but hadn't had it in a long time. A friend said he tried it at the Firkin Festival and it was one of his favorites--even among all the dozens of others available on tap. So I bought some again. Poured nice amber/gold in the glass with a hint of haze and a short head of foam that dissipated quickly. Definitely smooth and slick with a moderate body and light carbonation (nailed the "lager" profile right on the head). Hint of sweet malt in the nose with a rich German-style pale roundness. Not much in the way of off flavors and just a hint of hops (offering a nice balanced bitterness on the back of the tongue) so extremely drinkable. Very nice indeed. And very fresh tasting (since it's made locally). Glad I tried it. I'll have to take some to tailgate at the Ravens game next week!

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.

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 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 cubedbee
3.36/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled this at a festival, which is the only place I ever see this beer. Pours a clear golden orange with a good bit of carbonation visible and a full finger of head. Nose is weak and uninteresting, malty with the unpleasant corn aroma of an adjunct lager. Taste was simple but good--strong malts with hints of caramel and just the faintest bit of hops bitterness, which surprised me. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and it finishes with a light malty aftertaste. As someone who swore off beer for years because I had only tasted American lagers and despised the taste, I must say that this is far and away the best of the style I've ever had a taste of. That being said, there are still a lot better, more flavorful beers, out there and I won't be buying this any time soon.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Medium amber, nice big off white head with good retention, medium lacing left on glass as it slowly recedes. Marked off for fine particulate matter suspended in liquid that causes slight haze instead of good clarity, otherwise would have been above average.

S = Very light smells as the style should be. There is a light smell of fresh grains, freshly toasted white bread, some undertones of cream, light floral aromas of hops.

T = Creamy malty flavors at the front of the tongue and into the mid-palate, bready flavors like an English muffin only lightly toasted, very light balance of bitterness in the finish but with creaminess remaining in the rest of the mouth.

M = On the medium side of light to medium body, creamy texture, fresh lager feel, but still full mouthcoating and soft frothy carbonation. Pretty good.

D = This is a decent relatively light lager. It's not the one I would pick if I were looking for a very fresh refreshing beer, but if I wanted just a little more character than that (but not quite as much as say a typical Vienna lager), this would be a good choice.

Photo of auxiliary
3.87/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Golden amber color, poured a small white head, but then left a ring around the glass. (Now that I have finished my review this thing looks flat)

smell - Nice sweet malt smell. Enjoyed the smell of this one.

taste- Sweet malt up front with some bread. SLight bit of hops at the end, but very faint.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Easy drinking beer. Enjoyed this one for this style.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.47/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt flesh orange in color with no head at all. Plenty of carbonation running up the glass. Smell is slightly malty and openly fresh. Not as bad as I expected. Flavor is clean and slightly floral. A bit of black pepper spice in the taste. Very light and clean in the mouthfeel. I think this is slightly better than what I was expecting.

Photo of Asher1982
3.95/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer on draft on two seperate occasions. It is definitely not going to knock your socks off, but it drinks very nicely, and way to easily. The color was a pale orange amber with a cream head. You could pick up on a nice balance of hops and malts like a pale lager should have. This is very drinkable. Probably a good 4th of July or Memorial Day beer. Something you could drink most of the day with some pacing.

Photo of daliandragon
3.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer yesterday at Trader Joe's in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. The packaging, especially the bottlecaps, are original and fun, especially if you're a fan of the author.

Pours an orange tinted golden colorwith a nice two fingers of snow white head that lasts maybe forty five sconds. Nose is sweet and heavily malty with a biscuity tone.

The taste is similar to the smell, featuring a heavy bread texture and a sweet malty finish. The texture is even and full bodied for a lager. The aftertaste has a surprisingly strong touch of alcohol for a 5.5 abv but it's not overpowering.

I don't love this beer but for a run of the mill lager it's quite good and distinct. I'm glad the brewery didn't sully the name of such a famous author (and drinker) with a crap beer. Worth a shot.

Photo of jwc215
3.3/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed amber with a thin head that soome becomes a thin patch that disappears, but briefly reappears with gentle swirling.

The smell if of soft caramel - some graininess - sweet.

The taste is of sweet graininess and light caramel. A late touch of woody, (earthy?) continental-type hops give it some balance, though it remains malty sweet, esp. in the rather abrupt finish.

It's light bodied - a bit watery. Some sweetness lingers.

Not a bad choice for an easy-drinking, sweeter, "no-brainer" beer, but nothing exciting or memorable by any means, IMO.

Photo of soupyman10
3.48/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well I'm not sure if I'm board in calling this a "Euro Pale Lager." Definitely seems to be closer to a marzen or Oktoberfest to me, given the fairly deep amber color and strong malty flavors. In any case, got it cause it was cheap and I hadn't tried it before (although quite honestly I should have gone with the SN Celebration for a dollar more). Pours an amber color with a smallish big bubbled head that dissolves fast. Nose is mild malt, a touch of graininess. Flavor is much better, if still fairly mild. Sweet and slightly spicy malt, graininess, and a bit earthy. Some light fruity flavors. Body is light with fairly sprightly carbonation. Overall, not terrible, although definitely nothing too exciting. Either a weak marzen or a good Euro pale lager. In any case, a fairly mediocre beer that's highly drinkable.

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 Clydesdale
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear amber-bronze color. The head is moderately large, off-white, and densely frothy. Retention is above average. Some irregular rings of frothy lace.

S: A somewhat sweet nose. Equal parts pale and caramel malt. Grainy and aggressively herbal for the style. Rather perfumy as well.

T: Still primarily sweet. Caramel and pale malts are considerable for the style. Hops are herbal and floral, providing decent flavor and some medium bitterness. A slight metallic aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied. Somewhat crisply carbonated. On the dry side into the finish.

D: For a relatively basic lager, there's a lot going on here. Most of it good, some of it not so much. A touch metallic and vegetal at times, but it's got some character. Solid and respectable.

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.

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