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Andechser Spezial Hell - Klosterbrauerei Andechs

Not Rated.
Andechser Spezial HellAndechser Spezial Hell

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 112
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 12
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Klosterbrauerei Andechs visit their website

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-18-2002

Its clear gleaming look and firm, fine pored head goes hand in hand with its fresh and pure aroma. Malty nuances are the first impressions.

Spezial Hell is pleasantly tangy with a full, round malt body that cannot fail to fascinate. The soft flavour carries a distinctive balance of sweet accents and bitter hoppiness.

It concludes on equally soft malty nuances – a classical festival beer in the tradition of old Bavarian brewing.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 60 | Hads: 112
Photo of greebsnarf
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On my father's recommendation from his time in Munich many years ago, I visited the Andechs monastary and biergarten with a friend during a month-long tour of Europe this summer, and brought back a few half-liter bottles as a present for dad. He generously split this one with me.

It pours a straw yellow with an interesting mossy green tint, but the very small white head lasts only a few seconds and leaves behind hardly a trace. Warm and inviting, the sweet, hoppy, slightly sour aroma is evocative of pressed apples, oak, and cut grass. An uncomplicated taste of sour cider with a hint of malts refreshes perfectly, with a rich, satisfyingly hoppy finish and an ever-present fizz that never overpowers. It's all pretty subtle so make sure to drink it fairly warm if you want to catch any of the details.

An unassuming, really nice helles to relax with, if you can get your hands on it. I hope I can find another bottle before too long.

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Photo of Forb
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured on-tap at the Kloster Andechs...

Appearance: Pours a beautiful light and lively golden hue with a mouth wateringly inviting head.

Smell: Fairly middle-ground with a neutral kick of grassy, grainy, hoppy deliciousness. It leaves you to be surprised by it's delicious taste.

Taste: Utter beauty. This is by far the most drinkable and delicious of helles lagers I have tasted. My all-time favorite for this category. Worth a trip back just to get this beer alone.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation livens the palate along with the smooth highly drinkable consistency that is this oh so special beer.

Overall: A must have with a trip to the Holy Mountain! Alongside the plethora of beer that this monastery pumps out this is a good base for the magnificence that this place will bestow upon your taste buds. Gogogogo!!

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Photo of czfreeman
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the monastery last week.
Pours out a light,golden color, light active carbonation, makes a very nice effervescent head.
Smells a bit weak, but after warming, clear dicernable biscuty malts, light bitter hoppiness, unsmoked tobacco, the high mineral content of the water here comes through in the sharp tartness of the aroma. Light musty grains, citrusy lemon aromas, finishes with a hoppy-pilsner refreshing quality.
Flavors are clean, light, and another exibition of the perfectionistic execution and restrain´ment of a well made German beer. Begins light, bitter, malty, and ends with a lightly pungent hoppiness married with a citrusy malt note. light, highly drinkable, and clean, it is easy to see why this is such a popular summer beer. the overall bittering hop quality sets the flavor apart into a clarly dicernable catergory than a Pils. Would pair great with light seafood, or grainy bread. tasted pretty good with the monastery's cheese and freshly baked pretzels.
--As an edit: after several months, this beer truly is the best of the Munich Helles. Augustiner Pulls a close second, but the Andechs holds a slightly spicer peppery edge that really puts it out on top. The sweetness is in perfect check, and now after drinking a perfectly fresh bottle made 2 days ago, Im editing the review for top place.

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Photo of Skidz
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pale straw and sits bright light gold in the glass with a large creamy white head. Fades to a faint skim, some lacings present.

Crisp, crackery aroma with hints of caramel and diced almonds. Solid backing of grassy hops.

Tastes lightly sweet up front, maltiness portioned into saltine doses. Slightest protrusions of alcohol paired with mildly spicy, grassy hops. Finishes with a cleansing, low bitterness.

Crisp to to tongue, but immensly smooth beneath. Solid carbonation, and a light body.

Superb quality, second best helles sampled while in Germany (Augustiner on cask wins out). This bottle, brought back, conjures up many fond memories.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Very clear, crisp golden color with plenty of bubbles. Fairly large, thick, light, rocky, foamy white head with decent retention and a thin layer of bubbly lace.

S - Good grainy base with plenty of grassy, herbal, and floral hops. Slight sweet and bready malt is well balanced with that hop aroma. Hint of mineral aroma on the finish.

T - Similar to the nose. A nice grainy and bready malt base. Mid sip to the finish there is a nice floral and herbal hop flavor. Not too strong or overly bitter, but it provides a nice counter to the malt. A nice balance between the two, the malt is stronger, but the hops provide a nice little kick. A touch of mineral and spice flavors toward the end.

M - Medium body with a healthy amount of carbonation. Pretty smooth and refreshing with a bit of a spritzy feel. Quite refreshing.

D - Very easy to drink beer with a good amount of hops and carbonation to give it a bit of a kick with the malt. An easy and enjoyable drink.

Notes: Best before 18/10/10. A very nice, easy to drink beer. Well balanced with a good amount of flavor. Made for a great beer to sip on a sunny and warm day. Refreshing and has just the right amount of hops to keep it interesting. Definitely worth a try if you can get it.

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Photo of JCBears
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

appearance: crystal clear, a pleasant rich head but not doughy, effervescent without being over bubbly

smell: straw smell with a bit of fruit on the sides, nice mix

taste: nice where can I start. First its smooth flavor of great rich malty sweetness. On the end is a nice bight but not too much. Really loving this flavor.

mouthfeel: bit weak wish it hung out a bit longer, but it is more of just a bitter flavor not the full Monty

overall: A good brew they made this one so you would want one after another. I like it definitely recommend to anyone

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Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird for bringing this one back from Germany. 500ml bottle served at 48 degrees in a pilsener glass. 12 09 12 indicated on the back label. Pours a translucent gold with a loose, two inch, off-white head that sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes. Tiny bubbles effervesce from the base of the glass to the underside of the cap. Nose expresses cereal grains and a light grassiness - fairly clean. Taste consistent with nose - very clean and refreshing with a light, lingering German yeast character at the back without the skunk. There's also just a kiss of noble hops to keep it from coming off as overly sweet. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a fairly clean finish. Overall - wow. I'm not too familiar with the style but this beer really hits the spot. Light and refreshing with a great balance. Really easy drinking and although not really a session beer per se, I could see myself having a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of PatYoda
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle bought from the monastery about a month and a half ago. This review may not be accurate because I am a little choked up when drinking this. The Andechs monastery is a beautiful place and I miss it.

Appearance is perfect. Golden with a stunning white head that blankets the beer the whole way down in my pilsner glass. Smell is very hoppy. Grassy hops dominate and are backed up by a strong bready smell - this is a doughy, freshly baked bread smell. Taste is more of the same. Malt is pleasantly sweeter than you would expect but is balanced very well by the grassy hops which are a little bit spicy at the end. Mouthfeel is outstanding as with the other Andechs beers. Crisp and refreshing, yet velvety at the same time. At least until close to the end of the glass, when the carbonation fails, which makes it a bit too watery.

I'm drinking by bottle too quickly :o(.

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Photo of John
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Klosterbrauerei Andechs Bräustüberl. A visit here is indeed a special occasion worthy of the Spezial Hell. Yellow/gold colored clear brew, frothy off-white head. Malty, hints at sweetness...hopped gently. Balances back and forth between the two expertly. A refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable helles...one of the best.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ahh, Andechs! I was thrilled to see this appear on tap in a previously unremarkable German restaurant. Served in a logo glass better designed for a wheat beer, this pearl came out clear vibrant gold under a two finger white head with great retention and very nice lacing action. The aroma was nice and hoppy, with sweet malt to balance. The mouth was mildly carbonated and slightly cloying. The taste is what it should be: nice smooth sweet malt, chased by a mild but distinct hoppy bitterness. The aftertaste is pure Goldilocks: not too bitter, not too sweet. This is a good beer!

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours rich white head at first, then the liquid rises as the head settles. Clear golden color. Rich lacings. after a really long time.

S: Malt and bitterhops - nothing else, but a very nice balance. Modest but still rich. This is like "don't mend what's not broken".

T: Again this is a very "simple" beer - but man they've made the most of bitterhops (eventhough rather mild) and malt. No other tastes are present - and that makes me grateful!

M: A mild sour but more bitter aftertaste stays for a surprisingly long time - me like! Body is light while carbonation is rich but still modest.

O: A question comes to mind; can the brewer at Andechs brew a product that isn't top notch? In my opinoin; NO, not even in his sleep. Yet another fantastic Bavarian beer.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold, with an okay head that disappeared eventually. Unassuming appearance overall. Some woody malts in the nose, along with euro hop funk aroma.

Flavor is very good, much fuller than an average helles beer. There's a pronounced hop presence and bitter aftertaste as well. Sweeter and fuller than a pils, similar bitterness as well, but more complex I'd say. Good subtle carbonation and a smooth drink. Overall an enjoyable brew at nearly 6%; something I'd have again.

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Photo of JonnoWillsteed
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer.

A - Pale Helles style beer
S - very little, to my nose
T - Fantastic. Slighty rich from the 5.9%, complimented very well by some solid hops.
M - In a way it's almost creamy smooth.
O - I'm very impressed, it is a lovely beer. I doubt I'd ever get tired of a couple of these a week!

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Photo of washingtonydc
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Germans are known for many things, but surely chief among them is an exacting, disciplined focus on technical pursuits, whether it's Bauhaus or automobiles. But BMW can't claim a monopoly on such successes--one needs look only a half an hour west of the ultimate driving machine's distinct headquarters to find a band of monks doing the lord's work by marrying German precision with beer.

The Andechs special helles is poured from the tap into a half-liter stein. It's a pale straw, crystal clear with a healthy head. Grains and honey, with just a hint of flowers, waft from the mug. A deep pull of the beer offers a slightly spicy (by German standards) bitterness and a crisp, sweet finish. It rolls in the mouth lightly and refreshingly--this is a beer you can spend a summer day drinking by the maß.

But in a Gestaltian sense, it's more than the mere components--it's perfectly balanced, expertly tuned, and a paragon of craftsmanship. It's simply one of the best beers in a country skilled in the art of brewing. It's as German as apple pie is American--and no less delicious

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Photo of californiakulak
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer at the Monastery in Germany. A very cool place.

A. Large white head. The beer was golden and clear.

S. It had a nutty malt aroma. Very pleasing. It almost smelled sweet.

T. A very good representation of the style. A sweat malt flavor. It had a bready flavor. Very good.

M. This beer was very refreshing. Good carbonation and aftertaste. Not much hop bitterness.

D. Very drinkable. My wife and I polished off a few in a short time.

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Photo of paterlodie
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BB 04-04-06. Normal white head and a nice golden beercolor. Nose is as malty as a helles should be with some sweetness and litle alcohol. Good nose overal without too much yeastinfluence and very clean without paper or any off tastes found. Litle fine hops also reminding me of perle and halletau. Great taste also being just slight stronger then most helles. Overwelming malts with sweet caracter and further just alcohol, fine hops and cleanest taste. Fine carbonisation makes mouthfeel good. Drinkability is probably best of the beer.... just fine.

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Photo of smanders
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - clear golden body with a white, thin head.

Smell - sweet malt with the smell of grain in the background.

Taste - mellow bitterness with a slight sweetnessl.

Mouthfeel - very light and crisp.

Drinkability - Very high. Like everything else from this kloster, enjoy whenever available.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal-clear, bright yellow, typical lager apprearance, with a generous, ebullient, snow-white head, gracefully gliding down into a modest ring.
Aroma is clean, yet citric, honeyish, sweet and kind, very nice for a lager.
Taste: huge malt impact on the palate, thick and a touch buttery, little hops tasted, very delicate, and very smooth.
Light in body, but not lacking in the least in taste, light finish, but all in all this acheives a fine objective among lagers in that it's tasty and goes down smooth. That's all that counts in this category, right?
Yum, actually, ...the more this sits in the mouth, the more I have to conclude that it's one of the finest lagers that's ever been there. Just nice, very, very nice. Always that honey/lemon flavor, however mild, but always noticable, and just an eternal reward. Yum, again..thanks, you German monks! I hope to taste your brew again, some sweet day!

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Photo of JohnW
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this beer many times from bottles obtained at Beer Festivals in UK, but last sampling was on tap at the Andechs Brewery Bar within the Deutscher Kaiser Hotel in Nuremberg in September 2006. On tap, is clear clean and medium gold colour, though not with a great head, thought tight fine white crisp, but did not last too long. Aroma is grassy crisp and sharp but at the same time slightly sweet, typical of the Andech's pale beers. Taste starts very slightly sweet and malty, but the hop bitterness gets you as it slips down the throat. The texture is a little heavier than a normal pilsner type beer, more body, maybe from the hints of malty sweetness in the start. I like this beer very much, it has everything that I like, though maybe at 5.9% a shade too potent for me personally to consider it a session beer - though would be happy to try! It is too long ago for me to be able to compare the taste on tap to that in the bottle, but I know I like it however it comes, and rate it as one of my favourite German beers from Andechs!!


B'ham UK

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Photo of Cozzatoad
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle

A- Golden colour, perfectly transparent, some carbonation bubbles reaching the top. Nice white head, a couple of fingers, nice retention and lacing

S- Clean classic pale lager smell: grainy, a fresh herbal whiff, mild citric notes backfront

T- Again perfectly clean as the smell suggested. Very pleasant and natural feeling crackery crispness from the malts, quite bitter (for the style i mean) herbal/grassy notes on the back of the mouth and in aftertaste. A lemon note and the slightest hint of spiciness also present, bringing that very appreciated touch of complexity that still doesn't take away anything from the amazing drinkability. Perfectly dry finish leaves you longing for another sip

M- Body and carbonation are a bit more vivid than the usual helles (this is in fact what would be once called an export version). Can't really say why but crispness is somehow more pleasant than in most helles, still the beer is amazingly smooth and easy

O- A plain excellent beer in all what helles are supposed to be. Just very very good

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a short dense white head that fades slowly leaving a few whisps of lace. Clear golden-wheat colored beer is full of tiny rising bubbles. Spicy hops and crisp sweet malt aromas. Lightly sweet pale malt with and earthy bite of hops come together into a tea like flavor. Crisp, with a light fizz in the mouthfeel, and nice sharp bite in the end. A biting, juicy, pils-esque beer. A rereshing beer that isn't just for hot days.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500mL bottle purchased in Frankfurt 2 weeks ago, dated 13-06-11. So considered fresh per the monks' dating system.

I love Munich Helles lagers and this is one I've been wanting for a while. It pours a light golden color, clear, with a wet-looking layer of foam that never dissipates. In other words it looks like it should. The aroma is neutral, what comes through is light malt, mostly bread dough. Subsequent whifs bring in more of the same, plus some light grains.

It tastes a little sweet upfront, slightly bitter in the aftertaste, and mildly grainy throughout. Very good for the style, if a little subtle. Maybe harder to tell from others of the style, which is a shame, but still a very solid flavor for the style.

Decent carbonation, maybe a little less than usual, with a full mouthfeel, silkier than usual. Overall I like this but don't feel the need to search it out again, there are others I can find in the USA that scratch the itch just as well.

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Photo of ikats
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is bright yellow in color, clear and with nice fluffy white head that disappears without leaving much. Aroma is filled with clean malt sweetness with bright grassy hops. Taste is very similar to aroma - clean malt with some refreshing bitter hops. Very nicely balanced. Low to medium body with low carbonation. Very drinkable (surprisingly so given 5.9% abv).

I find this beer to be a very drinkable refreshing lager. I can see getting in trouble drinking too much of it (too drinkable for this higher alcohol beer).

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Photo of Absumaster
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden yellow beer with a big creamy head. Quite unussual for a German beer.

Smell is very malty with some husky notes, typical bottom fermented smells of sulfur.
A nice hoppy smell that is probably extract and has Hallertau notes.

Taste is very malty with some wort notes. There is a small sweetness which makes the beer mild. The hops are nicely balanced and balance the heavy malts. Drinkability is good. The yeast is clean and produces only minor sulfur.

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Photo of Crosling
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the monastery.


Mildly aromatic with notes of various herbs, spicy hops and trace maltiness.

Delicious. Smooth, coating and creamy mouthfeel and an excellent example of a style I usually don't enjoy. Throughout is a delicious light fruitiness and a buttery maltiness with lemon, honey, herbs and flowers

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Andechser Spezial Hell from Klosterbrauerei Andechs
86 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.