1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Andechser Spezial Hell - Klosterbrauerei Andechs

Not Rated.
Andechser Spezial HellAndechser Spezial Hell

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

89 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 89
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 8
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Klosterbrauerei Andechs visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 89 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FreshHawk
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of jmhart
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of smanders
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of californiakulak
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Photo of czfreeman
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of Bierfreund
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Domingo
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Photo of dasenebler
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of Absumaster
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of dherling
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of jeffaz02t
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: dark yellow, but clear, not hazy in the least.

S: Malty, malty, malty. Bread, biscuits. Nothing really special.

T: Has a sweetness, with undertones obread. Slight bitterness, then finishes clean. Not a terrible taste, but not what I prefer from this style.

M: Slight carbination, not too much not too little. Actually the strongest part of this beer. Thin feel to it.

D: Not something I would seek out. I like other beers from this brewery. Compared to their other beers, this is in no way impressive at all.

Photo of wl0307
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of JohnW
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
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!!

cheers

JohnW
B'ham UK

Photo of greebsnarf
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of paterlodie
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of davidchollar
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
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 ...

Photo of PatYoda
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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(.

Photo of Sigmund
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Andechser Spezial Hell from Klosterbrauerei Andechs
87 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.