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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
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 105
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 12
Gots: 7 | 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: 105
Photo of tugdriver7
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I get the Reinheitsgebot. I really do. And this was proof to me that there's something to it besides economic success for grain growers in 16th Century Germany. 500 ml bottle hand-carried just a day ago from Germany by C,N & E (Thanks!!). Part of a multi-pack souvenir selection. They got to go to the Andechs Monastery, but this was the next best thing for those of us that didn't go to Oktoberfest. The bottle had a May 2012 freshness date. Yeah, that fresh. Deep gold in the glass with a nice frothy lemon-tinged head. Taste was rich, slick malt with a hint of fruity hops and a nice, rounded lager flavor that ended with just a touch of bitterness. Exactly the kind of beer you'd expect from a legendary German brewery. That said, there was a hint of residual oxidation (cardboard-like) flavor that surprised me because the bottles are so fresh. A common "off flavor" in bottled Germans, it's almost unheard-of in kegged beers. But the bottom line was that this one was fantastic; rich mouthfeel (much more so than their regular lager) and my favorite from this multi-pack. Made me wish I could taste it on tap myself someday. (1,130 characters)

Photo of gameface23
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light, golden yellow with a fizzy white head. Amazingly clear. This is probably the cleanest looking beer I have ever seen.

S: Rustic bread crust and herbal hop notes. Again, it's a very clean beer.

T: There's a nice noble hop character that is balanced with pils malt graininess.

M: It's light-bodied and finishes bone dry, but there it is smooth.

D: A very nice beer. I mention the fact that I don't generally like lagers on every lager review I have ever done, but I have respect for this one. It's clean and flavorful. (530 characters)

Photo of jonb5
4/5  rDev +4.4%

0.4 Litre, served in handled mug.

A: Very pale straw colour, clear, two finger head, kept a lid of foam
on top, also had some lacing.

S: Not overly pronounced, but a bit of subtle orangy Bavarian malt.

T: Hint of sharpness added to the south Bavarian malts, notes of orange.

M: Minimal carbonation, light body, went down OK.

O: More export than Helles, very drinkable. (378 characters)

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

Uh Oh, I did all 4s again...

This is another one from my Andechs stash brought back from D-land.

Clear golden color, pours just like it should with that head right at the line on my Andechs glass. Not an ounce of lace, however. Not an overwhelming smell, but typical for this type of beer. Fairly crisp drinking, a bit more body than the regular helles, it's spicey just like a typical German lager.

A very good beer, although not the most outstanding. Could have an even crisper mouthfeel, imo.

pat (511 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 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 Bierfreund
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My german wife's birthday came, and shortly afterwards (late as usual) the parcel from Germany arrove, where her sister had compiled a nice bundle of goodies we cannot buy here. of course the main things were for my wife, but there was a gift for me, too: this beer!!!

I had Andechser quite often while in Germany, you could buy it even in the smallest small-town beverage store or supermarket. But I usually went for their outstanding Doppelbock. I never had this one before, and now I am glad that I had the chance to try it.

It poured very light-yellow ("hell" means just that, and the ending "-es" is just a grammtical bending due to the subject!), and its thick foam was almost white (not quite though).

The foam desolved very quickly, leaving just a tiny lacing on the glass.

The nose was promising, very fresh. But no tartness. Hm, shouldn't that be tart?

The fist taste was indeed very refreshing, a bit on the hoppy side.

Not much carbonation, that made it of course very smooth in the mouthfeel.

My wife and I shared this bottle, so each of us had a small glass of it. We both felt that, while this was a great beer compared to the american crap like BMC, this was not Andechser's best.

We've had their "crown", the Doppelbock, and after the winter holidays we had received a Bergbock Hell. THAT latter one was indeed outstanding and absolutely in the same league as its famous "brother", the Doppelbock.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about this Munich Helles.

Of course it is a very good beer, and there was nothing wrong with it. We just expect more from an Andechser, that's it. (1,612 characters)

Photo of davidchollar
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i've had a couple of andechser beers, and they are awesome. for this one i cant be style specific, never even heard of this style.
looks pretty normal, maybe just a touch darker or more yellow pale golden than a typical lager. light carbonation, decent head.
smells good, a nice bouquet here with lots to appreciate, spicy and sweet.
tastes pretty yummy, balanced, kind of bitter finish. I'm still not sure about this style, but for a lager, this is definitely better than the macros. tasty, but i'd prefer a doppelbock ... (526 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 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 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 jmhart
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this from the barrell at Kloster Andechs.

Deep golden in color with a creamy head that remained for just the right amount of time. Zero sediment.

Highly malty with a strong aroma of typical german hops. Minor elements of straw and yeast are present, as well as other earthy aromas. Very crisp on the nose.

Maltier than expected in taste. The hops that were present on the nose are balanced nicely with the sweetness of the taste creating a surprisingly mild lager. Acid is high creating a bite that isn't altogether pleasant.

Mouthful is rich and creamy with a bite.

Overall, an average lager. I'm glad I had it but would choose other brews from Andechs before selecting this one again. (696 characters)

Photo of dherling
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a bright straw yellow clear color crowned by a big bubbly bone white head. The nose has mild straw, hopping, and malt. The taste is like a light Belgian, something like watered down mollasses, light malt, some Belgian candi, and mild hopping. Well balanced, easy drinking, and uncomplicated. Not a terribly complex beer. Finishes with a bitter crisp bite. Very refreshing, nicely carbonated mouthfeel, and extremely drinkable. (437 characters)

Photo of Sheldon
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This German brew is a deep golden clear color with a decent white head that vanished after about four drinks, lace was kind of thin. The aroma is of hops and malt. The taste is hops, malt and a bit grassy with a slightly bitter aftertaste. The mouth feel, I like-seems to be of good body with easy drinkability.

A pretty good beer overall, one that I can’t wait to get straight from the source. (398 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 Sigmund
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought in Germany. ABV is 5.9%. Pale golden colour, large and lingering white head. Fruity and grassy aroma, some malty sweetness too. Soft mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, moderate but decent hops well balanced with the pale malts. I am rarely "swept away" by a helles (nor by any other type of pale lagers, for that matter), not by this one either - but the Andechser Spezial is a well made and very drinkable helles, as far as helles go. Kloster Andechs is probably one of Germany’s best breweries overall. (525 characters)

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the monastery, May 31. Reviewed by my wife.

Large white head, that lasted for a while, with good lacing over a clear light yellow body.

Floral yeasty aroma, with a slight back note of citrus.

Moderately bitter taste, and average finish.

Ligh,t soft palate with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a pretty good lager.

Not one of us is a lager fan, however, so coming from this family, this rating is way above average. (444 characters)

Photo of drmeto
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:
-pours a clear straw-golden with a big,foamy,white head
-medium carbonation visible
S:
-honey,apples,sulfur,lemons,spices,cracker malt,grassy
T:
-honey,spices,alcohol sweetness,spice,grass
F:
-light body,medium carbonation
O:
Pretty good Dortmunder/Export (258 characters)

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 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 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 Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was fairly unimpressed by this Munchner Helles.

While on a train from Koeln to Brussels, we popped this open with a friend. The pour was rather clear and not too fizzy, golden toned. the smell was weak but rather malty, although not aiming to be too sweet. some floral hop feel could be felt, but it wasn't too elaborate.

The taste was not too impressive, but it was ok. rather weak lager feel, although fairly dense to the mouth. a very good balance between sweet and grainy, the bitterness only felt at the end and not in abundance.

I must say it's not a bad helles, even so, probably the only thing that enhanced its personality was the scenario I tasted it in- not the beer itself. (697 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 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.