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

The Raven Special LagerThe Raven Special Lager

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123 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 13.06%

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:
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

(Beer added by: RBorsato on 04-28-2003)
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 69 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Nice clear light amber color, this head does not last long. I blame the glass that was supplied to me by this restaurant.

Nice caramel malt in the nose, somewhat grainy with a bit of hops as well. Really promising though. Taste is a nice malty smoothness, I dig the caramel notes. This is a nice drinkable medium bodied beer.

I was surprised to see this classified as a Euro Pale Lager. Seems to be more of a Vienna Lager to me and even reminds me in may was of Sam Adams Boston Lager.

Oh well, try it if you get a change, it's worth it.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 10:33:04 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of drabmuh


3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is yellow and clear. Not much head carbonation is moderate with large bubbles and there is no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is slightly grainy and sweet, like vienna malt. Smells fine.

Highly drinkable, medium bodied beer. Overall its really nice, sweet slightly and finishes nice. I think its OK.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 01:52:29 | More by drabmuh
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.2/5  rDev -5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2010 18:47:30 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of tatoodkelt


3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 3/13/2010- from notes.

12oz brown bottle as pictured poured into a shaker glass.

A- A very clear, brassy color topped off with a soapy white head about one finger thick. Eventually settled to a patchy skim. Steady carbiniation bubbles.

S- Not much other than sweet malt and a faint grassy/metallic note.

T- The same grassy sweetness as the smell but with a little hop presence at the end.

M- Light to medium bodied and crisp. Not too much tingle from the carbination.

D- I could see this being a session beer if nothing else was available.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 12:31:13 | More by tatoodkelt
Photo of FlyingRabbit


3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 22:22:34 | More by FlyingRabbit
Photo of WakeandBake


3.6/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear copper color pour with a small white head , medium to light carbonation . Aroma is light with a touch of grass some sweet clean malt garin, very faint floral hop notes. Flavor is very balanced slightly bready malt with just a bit of hops to even things out. Very clean crisp mouthfeel , light body . A very sessionable brew, with no huge flavors or aromas yet pretty darn good .

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 21:07:21 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.78/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2009 00:48:29 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of BarrelO


3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Light amber body. A rather modest head.

S: Mostly hops, a bit of bready malt.

T: Exceedingly bland. There's really nothing here worth describing it in much detail. The best I can do is liken it to a watered-down Sam Adams.

M: Decently light and crisp.

D: I view this as the Dave Matthews Band of beers: competent but boring. I wouldn't be upset if I never drank it again for the rest of my life, but I wouldn't have a problem drinking it if I went somewhere where it was the only beer available.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 01:31:56 | More by BarrelO
Photo of PerzentRizen


4.2/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from BZero007 - thank you much! This is a wonderful beer.

Poured into a Duvel glass this beer has a wonderful pale golden color and sits sparkling clear in the glass. The head quickly dissapates to nothing but still looks great.

The aromas are mild but there is a lot of sweet malt character in this one. I like the toffee-esk overtones with sweet almost caramel-like smells.

The taste is crisp clean and refreshing. The sip begs another and I must say this is an extremely enjoyable beer. I reach for another only to notice I don't have but this one! Damn I really like it too. If I see it again I'll definately buy them up.

The mouthfeel is very light but not to the point of distraction - in fact its perfect for the style. I really enjoyed this one.

The drinkability is extremely high. I would love to have more of this beer. That's a great sign that it's drinkable! If you see this one buy a sixer and send me at least 2.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 02:00:42 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of therica


3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap this time, in Baltimore, and for a session. Better than the bottles I'd had previously.

A= standard yellow-brown lager with a modest head in a glass.

S= suitable hops, malts, some corn.

T= a standard drinkable lager, nothing special. The tap version didn't have the noteable tangerine-hints nor the flat city-water detractors. Nothing special but a fairly good standard-fare house-standard for the night.

M= clean, with some carbonation tingles, mild hops and malts remnants.

D= I had about 6 and wasn't excitd, just satisfied with an acceptable lager.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2009 06:42:30 | More by therica
Photo of jyeast101


3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A clear golden in color with no real head. No real smell. Very neutral in taste. Not a bad beer, just nothing that exciting. Easy drinking. I don't know that I would have it again, for I know many more lagers that have more taste. This is well balanced and no real negatives to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 03:00:05 | More by jyeast101
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 23:13:29 | More by soupyman10
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 00:08:37 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of auxiliary

Rhode Island

3.9/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2008 23:24:16 | More by auxiliary
Photo of tempest


3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 16:43:09 | More by tempest
Photo of clayrock81


3.03/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Is this just a microbeer in Balty, or is it actually made only for The Raven in Va Beach? That's how that restaurant sells the beer (at least on the menu). A dark orange, seethru body with one finger head that died quickyl. A slightly hoppy smell with some citric and flower notes, along with hints of sweet malt. A bit of malt taste along with light floral hops in the taste, mixed OK and rather faint. Has some crispness in the medium body too, like sour apple, and a semi-dry backbite. Tasted like any other Euro macro lager, maybe a bit better, and when I'm at the Raven again I'll stick to their "world famous" mudslide.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 23:09:31 | More by clayrock81
Photo of BeerSox


3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 21:11:34 | More by BeerSox
Photo of imaguitargod


3.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these at The Raven (restaurant in Virginia Beach, VA) and drank it out of a Pilsner glass. Poured to a small head that quickly dissipated (no lacing) and has a very pleasing golden-amber color. Decently carbonated and a little champagne like in that fact. This is an extremely drinkable beer and is gone before you know it. Slight sweetness of caramel first hits you palate followed by a small hint of hops. This is a very good beer for people that want to make the jump into craft beer. Very smooth!

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 20:30:21 | More by imaguitargod
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.1/5  rDev -8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2008 22:59:10 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Asher1982


3.98/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2008 04:16:04 | More by Asher1982
Photo of Traquairlover


3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 00:23:13 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of matty


3.13/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange colored lager with a head that fades to nothing very quickly.Smell is sweet and citrusy,taste is citrus and malt.I can't really say if I would recommend this or not,there is nothing that springs out at you that would make me want to try another.Incredibly average lager!!

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 07:26:39 | More by matty
Photo of robatlu


3.8/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up at the Wine Specialist in DC. I'm a sucker for local brews, so I grabbed a six pack.

It pours a clear amber color, very nice appearance.

There are hints of citrus in the flavor, and overall the malty taste is very solid.

This is a very drinkable brew. Some brews make me glad I only bought a single, this one makes me glad I bought a sixpack.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 03:06:36 | More by robatlu
Photo of daliandragon

North Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2007 06:24:29 | More by daliandragon
Photo of L4t3rg4t3r


3.93/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours an Amber-golden Color.

Smell: Malty, biscuity, and a hint of sweetness.

Taste: Tastes like it smells, bisuit, malt, and a little bit of sweetness on the end.

Mouthfeel: Good, but a little light and a tad overly carbonated.

Drinkability: I think that this is my favorite of the style so far, IMO it has more character and depth then most other examples of this style.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2007 03:32:14 | More by L4t3rg4t3r
The Raven Special Lager from B.W. Beer Works USA
77 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.