Andechser Spezial Hell - Klosterbrauerei Andechs

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Andechser Spezial HellAndechser Spezial Hell

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BA SCORE
86
very good

59 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 102
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 7.83%
Wants: 12
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Klosterbrauerei Andechs visit their website
Germany

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: 59 | Hads: 102
Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Color is a light golden color with a slight amount of haze, though there is still plenty of visible carbonation. Two-finger white head eventually falls down and leaves some nice bubbles around the edges. Really nice lacing around the edge of the glass. Nose is a bit of grain with a very mild fruit presence. Some light pear.

The taste is mostly just grain with some faint white bread. A bit of very light fruit. Feel is a bit light and creamy with low-ish carbonation. Some nice flavors throughout, but fairly plain without much to really draw me in. (583 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for bringing back all these hard-to-find Andechs brews. Best before February 18th, 2010 - served in a Pilsner Urquell flute-style glass.

A - Transparent golden straw body with no visible bubbles. Three fingers of off-white foam that dissipates slowly to a nice half-finger cap. Excellent retention and attractive splotchy lace rings.

S - Pretty generic lager smell - very clean, with obvious grain/barley malt, and a bit of fruity esters. There's also a bit of spice, which I'm guessing is from the noble hops, but it felt kind of faded.

T - A little better in this department - more light fruitiness and biscuit and less overt graininess. Very clean finish and aftertaste.

M - Slight carbonation tingle, medium body, very smooth, slightly dry finish. Clean and refreshing.

D - Very easy to drink, due to the light flavor profile. The excellent feel helps the drinkability quite a bit, as it goes down easy and without any unpleasant side effects (aftertaste, bloat, etc.). Still - it's a little too bland for me to use as a lawnmower beer. (1,060 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +7%
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! (910 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Kostrizer stein. Beer is yellow and clear with moderate carbonation and a big white head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma sweet and grainy with a mild to moderate level.

Beer is light in body and pretty bitter from the grains on the back end. Its mildly sweet up front. This is the least favorite of the three lagers from Andechs I've had recently. It lacks a little bit of something, its too thin, too bitter, finishes too dry. Still a good helles though. (483 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 0.5 litre bottle with 4 months life left, poured into a schultheiss 0.5 litre glass. This is the forth and last beer in my German reviewing Evening.

Almost as pale as the normal Andechs Helles and with the same white head. So a golden, bright, straw coloured beer.

No aroma at all, gets my standard 3 for lager/pilsner/helles. I do wish I could pontificate about the smell of a light lager style beer one day.

A little sweetness hits the palate, the alcohol is also noticeable from the first sip. There is very little else to mention, no hoppy feel, malts and yeast presence is minimal.

Clean and refreshing it is, interesting and exciting it isn't. (659 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled, bought and consumed at the Pembury Tavern, Hackney, N. London. BB 02/03/2007, served lightly-chilled in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark yellowish hue, crystal clear, a thick and puffy off-white froth dissipates very slowly to a thin cap; fine and constant fizziness.
S: brilliant quality of sour-doughy maltiness upfront, with a faint touch of fruity yeasts, bread, etc... Overall it's malt-dominated, giving out a lovely touch of crushed water biscuits.
T: bitter-sweet bready malts upfront... soothing and tasty; a crisp texture of sour dough helps balance the biscuity sweetness... hops creep up in time, rendering a subtle but utterly pleasant bitterness in the end... at the back of the palate a touch of sour fruitiness also reveals itself, but finished rather clean.
M&D: full-bodied and brilliantly-textured, with ever so soft carbonation to caress the tongue while remaining refreshing and lively... not at all like a 5.9%abv. beer. This is easily the best strong pale lager I've encountered for a long while (apart from its Czech counterparts which I still prefer). A fine and solid product, yet it could be even better (to me) if only the overall malt sweetness softens a little bit. (1,217 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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. (963 characters)

Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The typical lager/pils color a sparkling gold as it sets in my glass, the head majestic in its presence, the color a brilliant white as it deflates, leaving behind a delicate coating of lace on the glass. Crisp clean “Lager” nose with the malt dominate, but also present an underlying musty aroma. As you sample, the semi-sweet front is the precedent to the middling top and the bitingly carbonated finish that combined with the purposeful hop spiciness makes this a “Top Notch” lager. Dry as a bone aftertaste, and quite a pleasure to quaff and that is high praise from this loyal Ale fan. (594 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (938 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Full golden color, with some rising bubbles. Beautiful creamy, very creamy head. 1 inch thick, medium persistence.
The smell is very light in the beginning, essentially malt.
The taste is more resolute, with a good and full malt. A lot of malt. Behind, some light hop hint.
Medium body, malty, round.
A lot of malt in the aftertaste too; after some while, it comes back a light hop.
Good hell, not exceptional. Good drinkability. (429 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a bright, light yellow color with a nice-sized white head.

Sweet malt aroma with some floral and grassy hops.

Sweet malt taste, bready. Late floral hoppiness.

This beer was a perfect beer to start my evening. Light, crisp, very drinkable. It paired well with some almonds I was eating. (302 characters)

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

Listed as 5.9%ABV on this fresh German bottle. This is a classic Helles lager that pours out a very light golden colour with a small white head of foam. The aromas are classic munich malts, light floral hops, and that zesty German spice. The taste is spicy and malty, classic for a German lager. The mouthfeel is spritzy, dry, and clean. The drinkability is great. A great beer from this brewery that sadly does not import their beers to the USA :-( (449 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

500-mL bottle, capped, purchased in Germany.

This Helles Lager poured a clear, golden color with tall, creamy, bright white foam that persisted and clinged to the glass, leaving lace. There was good carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The smell was mildly hoppy with some floral hops notes. The taste was dry malt with some biscuity malt flavor, and balance with a good, moderate hoppiness. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp with medium body and good carbonation. The hops came through in the finish and lingered, fading to leave a nice maltiness in the aftertaste. This was a very nice, easy to drink German lager. As with all Helles Lagers, you really have to drink them fresh to fully appreciate them. (714 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale golden in color, very clear, a small white head, which fades quickly, leaving scattered foam, and slight carbonation.

Aroma: Light, sweet honey aroma, with slight pepper and spice notes, quite appealing.

Taste: Open with slightly tart malt, an underlying caramel note, and a mild clove note. Midway through the taste turns quite peppery. Finishes with a late wave of maltiness, noble hop notes, and lingering metallic bitterness.

Mouth feel: Fairly full with somewhat harsh carbonation, and a dry finish.

Drinkability/notes: Nicely done, overall a bit heavy-handed with the hops and the mouth feel is a bit rough.

Many thanks to Bill and Marlis for hand carrying this from Germany. (713 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the monastery.

Pale.

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 (329 characters)

Photo of rastaman
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very pale yellow colour. Sweet malts at the start, with some herbal hops towards the finish, medium bitter finish. A bit uninspiring, but not bad, quite quaffable, i guess i was expecting more, given the other fine beers this brewer is responsible for, but not bad as i said. (275 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks again to Christine’s parents for hand carrying some bottles back from Germany, and to Pegasus for sharing.
Bottle marked 30 12 05

Aroma: Grainy, slightly floral with notes of apple

Appearance: Very clear glass of light gold, nice white fluffy head that collared and lasted

Flavor: A bit harsh in my opinion. Late bittering hops a bit too heavy? A real peppery note that assaults, it’s probably a blend of Saaz and a touch of harsh alcohol. As it warmed a bit the harshness faded and the beer improved.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a bit puckering from bitter, grainy texture and a lingering finish

Overall Impression: Not my cup of tea. Good quality, but the hop/bitterness was over the top to me. The late malt presence helped. (750 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
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. (1,245 characters)

Photo of Absumaster
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (464 characters)

Photo of Globetrotter
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
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! (581 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
4.1/5  rDev +7%
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. (551 characters)

Photo of CwrwAmByth
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a light, clear golden colour with a small white head.

Smells quite lagery and malty.

Tastes ok, no very strong flavours except alcohol except for some vague malts and yeast.

Overall an ok beer but not strongly recommended. (278 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Worldwide Spirits
Best before 19.06.12 (just made it)
Poured into an Ayinger willi glass

Andechser's Spezial Hell is a fine helles lager, bringing in balanced malt and hop components for an at-once sweet, spicy, and slightly bitter beer that hits all the right notes for someone who enjoys lagers. The only component to be worked on would be the aroma, which I found to be a bit less expressive than desired.

Pours a clean white head of 2-3cm that gradually fades to a thin (0.2cm?) cap atop the body, leaving very modest amounts of lacing as it does so. Body is a golden orange color, light bringing out a pale yellow-gold throughout. Carbonation is substantial and noticeable in its never-ending rise to the top.

Aroma features strong, sweet maltiness, with a bit of a yeast and bread-like tint. As the beer warms, there's a bit of flowers-with-pollen scent, likely from hops, as well. Not bad, but could be more upfront and robust with its bouquet (of course, this could be an age thing, since the bottle is best by today).

First flavor across the tongue is some light grain (like hot cereal) and sweetness. Front of the palate continues the sweetness and adds a bit of honey and gentle noble hop character. Mid-palate continues in bolder strokes of grain and bread-like malt components, honey, and noble hop components that are both a bit floral and spicy. Back of palate is sweet and bread-like malts well-balanced with bitter and slightly spicy hop characters. Aftertaste has a nice balance between malty, bready flavors and spicy hop characters.

Beer is medium to medium-light bodied, with active, refreshing carbonation that is slightly prickly on the tongue, but pleasing and effective with the beer's nature. Overall mouthfeel is crisp and smooth, with a dry finish that makes taking another sip pleasant. As to be expected, no ethanol warmth. (1,870 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While they serve the normal helles in town during the summer, this is what's typically at the Monastery.
This is a deep golden color with a pretty big fluffy head. Straight from a large wooden keg. It always amazes me how they can give you what looks like such a rush-job pour, but 2 seconds later you see that the beer is at the exact line on the glass and the head's perfect. Practice makes perfect!
Smells normal for the style. Toasted grain, mild hops, lager yeast.
The flavor's pretty much the same thing. No real booziness present, but it also lacks the hop overtones that make their helles unique. Not bad, but nothing special.
In general, the export/spezial beers can be either wonderful (Edelstoff) or boring. This one's not quite boring, but it's headed in that direction.
The normal Andechser hell is pretty damned good, and I'd honestly rather see that beer than this one. This one isn't bad, but with so many better options at the Monastery, it's at the bottom of my personal list.

EDIT: This holds true for the bottled spezial hell as well. Not bad, but a little bit "meh." In a lot of ways, I think the spezial/export style might just be a little too straightforward (boring?) with only a few exceptions. It just feels like the hops are lost in most examples and the malty sweetness seems 1-dimensional. I'd love if there were more dunkel exports, though.

EDIT 2: On my visit during 6/11 I had the opposite reaction. I definitely preferred this one to the normal hell and enjoyed it quite a bit. Maybe this time I'd had more pilsners and wasn't burt out on helles beers, but I found this to be outstanding. (1,624 characters)

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Andechser Spezial Hell from Klosterbrauerei Andechs
86 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.