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

80 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 80
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 7
Gots: 0 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 56 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2005 17:30:29 | More by paterlodie
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.85/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2012 23:28:46 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of klipper
klipper

Michigan

4/5  rDev +3.4%

06-04-2012 10:06:59 | More by klipper
Photo of samEBC
samEBC

Belgium

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

05-31-2014 19:53:03 | More by samEBC
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
ZombiesAteMyDog

Indiana

4/5  rDev +3.4%

07-09-2013 22:19:11 | More by ZombiesAteMyDog
Photo of CwrwAmByth
CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 22:42:12 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2009 14:35:40 | More by Domingo
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden body and thin pure white head. Tiny bubbles loosely rising.
Malty unexciting aroma. No hop aroma present.
Mild clean malty flavor with mild bitterness. Slightly sweet without being intrusive. Slightly spicy hoppiness, but you have to struggle to notice it.
Very mild carbonation.
Refreshing but not interesting.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2004 14:10:40 | More by Naerhu
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2006 15:54:42 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 19:01:31 | More by dasenebler
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund

Norway

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2005 14:06:10 | More by Sigmund
Photo of John
John

New York

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-18-2002 13:45:34 | More by John
Photo of millelacsmark
millelacsmark

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

08-20-2012 21:12:36 | More by millelacsmark
Photo of stevoj
stevoj

Germany

4/5  rDev +3.4%

11-21-2011 18:14:13 | More by stevoj
Photo of PatandDavid
PatandDavid

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2003 16:39:19 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of herrburgess
herrburgess

South Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.4%

05-28-2013 14:06:09 | More by herrburgess
Photo of Andreji
Andreji

Colombia

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2006 23:01:07 | More by Andreji
Photo of leitmotif
leitmotif

Romania

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

04-02-2014 21:02:14 | More by leitmotif
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2005 02:46:12 | More by Skidz
Photo of czfreeman
czfreeman

California

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-07-2009 15:50:36 | More by czfreeman
Photo of dherling
dherling

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2007 03:04:13 | More by dherling
Photo of tjd25
tjd25

France

3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head quickly fades into a thin white collar on a clear transparent golden color body. The smell is grainy with some skunkiness. The taste is very very grainy with a deep bitter and thick hoppiness. The mouthfeel is a bit more complex than in the Andechser Hell, but it's still not amazing. A veil of citrus, but it's mostly grainy and dry, and not really interesting. I got bored after two sips. Even considering the style is not one of my favorite, I can't find anything exceptional in this watery beer. A disappointment in comparison with the hefe weizen or the bergbock...

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2004 21:33:20 | More by tjd25
Photo of ColoradoBobs
ColoradoBobs

Colorado

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2005 01:52:43 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of cbnz
cbnz

British Columbia (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

04-18-2014 16:08:27 | More by cbnz
Photo of IchLiebeBier
IchLiebeBier

Virginia

3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden; clear; effervescent; medium head

Aroma: Malty; citrusy; honey-like

Taste: Juicy with a slightly bitter start and slightly dry, bitter finish

Remarks: A little too bitter for me

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 02:06:09 | More by IchLiebeBier
Andechser Spezial Hell from Klosterbrauerei Andechs
87 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.