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Spezial Rauchbier Lager - Brauerei Spezial

Not Rated.
Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

272 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.82%
Wants: 11
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Spezial visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Unser Lagerbier ist die bekannteste Rauchbiersorte aus unserem Spezialitätenangebot. Das bernsteinfarbige Bier mit seinem feinem, mildem Rauchgeschmack lässt auch Skeptiker zum überzeugten Rauchbierfan werden. Der Stammwürzgehalt dieses Bieres beträgt ca.12% - daraus resultiert der Alkoholgehalt mit ca.4,7%

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by beeragent:
Photo of beeragent
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass from a bottle.

A - Pours a light copper, forming a 1 inch off-white head that quickly faded. No lace on the glass.

S - Aroma is dominated by the smoked malt, but not overpowering.

T - Smoked malt along with a bit of pale malt/bready flavor towards the end.

M - Light bodied with low carboantion. Very clean and smooth.

D - Good flavor and aroma, clean body, but less than impressive appearance. The flavor is not as robust IMO as other rauchbiers from Bamberg.

beeragent, Mar 13, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of shapudding
2.65/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 02/09/2004. Honey gold and semi unclear. Can see sediment throughout it. Just the slightest bit of a white ring of dusty head. Only a touch of liquid smoke in the scent, but not much else, did catch an almost honey scent as it warmed. Fairly thin bodied with a bit of carbonation -not too much. Not as smokey as the other rauchs I have tried before, but there is a decent amount of liquid smoke in the background, it just is not too intense in the flavors. The smoke seems to be more in the aroma, and lingers in your mouth after the sip, you smell it on your breath heavily too. Seems funny to say the aroma lingers on your mouth... Mild flavors, mainly just malty with a touch of smoke, and a bit of darkened toast left in the back of the mouth. Interesting one to try.

shapudding, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of moderndrunkard
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown/light amber color, very clear, with lots of bubbles. A moderate amount of head, but little head retention.

The beer gives off just the absolute slightest bit of smoky aroma, and a stronger hint of maltiness, but not much else.

The first thing I taste is lots of carbonation. Displays a great, LIGHT smoky flavor that's prominent towards the back of the tongue. This smokiness yields to a slight maltiness. Just a little bit of hoppiness at the end with a lingering smoke feel. Overall taste is very crisp and very smoothe.

This is much lighter than the märzen in both color and flavor. A little thin, but overall, a fantastically mild rauchbier.

This is definitely the most drinkable rauchbier I've ever had. I feel like I could drink it all night, and if I had a couple more, I just might...

moderndrunkard, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy amber body with a cream colored, one finger head that retains quite well. Plenty of sheet and patch lace.

Aroma is wood smoked bacon, with a hint of hops and malt underneath.

Mouthfeel has a peppery hops bite, medium carbonation, and immediate sensation of smoky wood.

Taste is wood smoked bacon with a distant hops background. The beechwood smoked barley malt really dominates here.

Not as complex as it could be, but this is an interesting and historical style that I really enjoy. This oozes charcoaled beechwood malt, from start to finish. Very pleasant to sip.

merlin48, May 31, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle, has some sort of numbers for bottling date info, but it made no sense...oh well they tried...pours dark, dull honey, cloudy and lowish carbonation after initially being fairly active...tan head quickly goes bye bye...musty, slightly sweet and smokey nose. This is a pretty middle of the road little smoke beer. Smoke notes quite moderate. Some orangy sweetness continues to flow across the palate. Nothing special, but this would do in a pinch for a summer BBQ.

Billolick, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, orange-brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked malt

Taste: smoked malt, grass, small hops, and honey

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, semi-sweet with small bitter stretches, boozy, high carbonation

Drinkability: This one drinks like a smoked amber. It is super easy to drink even with the high carbonation. The smoke is strong and pleasant. I could have several.

tigg924, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. As a fan of smoked beers, the aroma is great. I get a ton of heavy, meaty smoke with not too much else coming through. The flavor is a little bit more complex. There is still a ton of meaty smoke, as well as a little bit of sweetness from the toffee malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Jul 19, 2012
Photo of magictrokini
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear and darker gold with a short white head. Lovely smoke and sweet malt aroma. Too bad it turns out to be false advertising. Taste is very lagery; lots of saaz and sweet malt, but only a subtle smoked finish. I want more out of my smoked beer. This is like a Czechvar with a drop of liquid smoke.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of wattoclone
4/5  rDev +8.4%

wattoclone, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

chickenm, Nov 06, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clouded amber tone with no visible chunks accumulating anywhere, nice sized cream colored head leaves scattered specks of lacing. Aroma: Great kilned malts, awesome air of smoked meat like a jar of beef jerky good stuff in my opinion. Taste: Mild compared to the other famous Rauchbier of Bamberg, but so tasty at the same time. Great crisp lager with nice malt character finishes nice and smokey but doesn't overwelm the palate, nice mixture of flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body solid carbonation, good stuff overall. Drinkability: Can't complain I could picture being in Bamber at the brewery located on the river drinking this on tap, would be such a treat.

WVbeergeek, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.7/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A nice clean copper color and a big foamy white head.

Smell: An aroma of smoked sausages.

Taste: A splash of hops hits first then you got some smoked sausages and malts.

Mouthfeel: Light on the mouth. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: This was my first rauchbier and it definitely is a particular taste. This doesn't really seem like my type of beer but I plan on trying some more at some point.

stereosforgeeks, Mar 18, 2007
Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

550ml bottle, served in a standard pint glass

A - pale golden in color and crystal clear. aggressive pour yields an inch or so of frothy white foam which falls to a thin layer within a few minutes.

S - lightly smoked meats with a thin sweet undertone of caramel and slightly bready malts for balance.

T - starts off with some grainy and lightly toasted malts, also a kiss of caramel before the smoke sets in in a very delicate controlled manner. reminiscent of smoked ham or incense - not overpowering at all and quite pleasant.

M - thinnish body and carbonation could stand to be just a touch hotter for an extra "oomph". lingering lightly sweet smokiness.

D - overall pretty enjoyable - went very nicely with my salmon + avocado panini. looking forward to trying more of the style.

Stigs, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of cokes
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appropriately smoky honey-golden. The head is white and dies in moderation.
The rauchiness of the beechwood cured malt is evident, but not so forceful as, say, A-S. It smells like lager as well, not just smoke. Toasty, clean, with ham notations.
Tastes as it smells. Again, the lager pedigree is not lost. Dortmunder Export backing. Lightly sweetened bread dough. Hints of nuts. Traces of honey. Ever-so-slightly toasty.
Smoke is here, and full of dried wood and meat, just as one would expect. It's not dominating, however.
Hops mix pleasantly into the fray. Like a burn-barrel of fallen leaves in late October. Grassy, herbal, and dry. Not persuasively bitter, but sufficient.
A medium body that demands large pulls.

I entered this beer wanting to get smoked out. Instead, I got a well-crafted, clean, authentic German lager with enough rauch traits to make me endear it.
Recommended for fans and novices alike.

cokes, Dec 13, 2003
Photo of Sammy
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

smoke aroma, on-tap at the Moan and Dove in Mass., no. 1 ranked bar in the country. Attractive significant Bubblly head. Light creamy mouthfeel,taste of smoke and some caramel and malt behind it moderating the smoke flavour, but otherwise nothing special. ABove average carbonation.

Sammy, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rusty dark orange and hazy brew with a short-lived 1 finger foamy head and tons of peppery specks floating in suspension. Has an almost greenish hue at times. Some thick lacing coats the glass.

S - LIghtly woody and smokey like an old wooden cabin. Very appropriate scent since we are snowed in our apartment during this horrible midwestern ice storm. A little bit sausagey but much less meaty than Aecht Schelnkerla's Urbock.

T - Woodsmoke and glazed honeyed ham with little touches of caramel. Very slight bitterness and worchestercier sauce flavors. Again, not as assertive as Aecht Schlenkerla's rauchies.

M - Light to medium bodied with low carbonation but a high level of acidity that provides some tingle on the tongue.

D - Decently drinkable, but not the best or most unique rauchbier.

pmcadamis, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Spezial is one of Bamberg's oldest breweries, with records dating back to 1536. The name is derived from the word "Spezeln" (local dialect), and means "a gathering of friends". It's been owned by the same family since 1898; and they have their own, small malting facility. They supply a few accounts in the area and have their own beergarden (Spezi Kellar); and ship a small amount of beer for export. They've recently introduced a kellar lager that's available in the spring and fall, but other than that their beers are all smoked.
Poured into a tall pilsner glass from the 25 oz bottle, it delivers a clear, deep-amber/copper body with an orangeish glow and some golden highlights at the base of the glass. Plumes of very tiny, somewhat effervescent bubbles stream upwards towards its creamy ivory head. The head retention is very good and it holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. The aroma displays a distinct, but nicely restrained, Beechwood smoke over a grainy maltiness. Very nicely done! There are some examples that push the limits, and there are some that hold back a bit too much, but like the finest examples of the style this one is right on. The body is medium; and combines with a very fine-bubbled, median carbonation it gives a lightly crisp and then smooth mouthfeel. In the flavor, the Beechwood smokiness is wrapped within a blanket of distinctly grainy, lightly toffee-ish malt. It's very well balanced between the two; and backed by a firm bitterness that becomes more solid at the swallow, leaving it to finish dry with some rising, spicy hops and just a mild touch of lingering smoke. Although some tasters might believe that this is a bit restrained for the style, that's far from the truth. Not all Bamberg rauchbiers are as bold as the best known examples; and in fact, this is a perfect example of the very drinkable and balanced dunkle lager that you might find at a tavern, hotel, or keller in the area. Its smokiness does not build on the palate after a few litres, and it retains its lightly sweet and grainy maltiness. Very nice! An excellent example of an authentic Bamberg-style rauchbier that's absolutely worth trying!

NeroFiddled, Jul 24, 2004
Photo of zaphodchak
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1.5 fingers of off-white foamy head over a ruddy amber (clear) body. Retains head and laces decently.

Smoky, bacony nose. Nice, and obvious considering it's a rauchbier.

Flavor is interesting. It's got some hop bitterness to clean up the finish, but it falls slightly short of my ideal for the style. There's some oaky, smoky malt, but it comes across as slightly watery.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth and almost creamy.

Overall fine, but no reason to prefer over another smoky beer.

zaphodchak, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of cjgator3
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle. Pours a brownish amber color with a nice white head. The aroma smells like smoked meats. The taste is a little more subdued than I was expecting but it features some of the delicious smoky flavors that are present in the aroma. Overall, this is a highly drinkable and enjoyable rauchbier that is recommended. In fact, this is actually a pretty good beer for those who are looking to ease into the enjoyable world of smoked beers.

cjgator3, Aug 09, 2007
Photo of Jon
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful golden orange color with a foamy, bubbly white head. Smell is of a distinct smokiness most akin to smoked salmon with some caramel thrown in for good measure. Only moderate smokiness penetrates through the palate, leaving notes of bready malt, caramel, lightly spicy hops, and smoked meat. Medium-bodied, lightly carbonated with a smooth, round mouthfeel. Drinkability is good for the style, but this beer is still a little much for me to regularly drink. Nonetheless, an attractive rauchbier with lots of character that would be perfect with your next barbecue.

Jon, Nov 29, 2003
Photo of jmhart
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From cask at the brewery.

A- Color is Orange-gold with hits of copper, with a firm head with good retention. Head subsides after a minute and leaves a rich lace on the side of the glass. Beer has a slight haze to it. No apparent sediment, just a little hazy.

S- Caramal malts hit first, with some non-citrus fruits mixed in. Afterwards the familiar aroma of the rachbier appears...smoke. However, this smoke is more subdued, more balanced. The combination of all the aromas is very pleasant and enticing.

T-First hits a bready flavor, followed by some sweet/carmel notes. Non citrus fruits like grapes/pears appear halfway through the taste. The finish leaves only the slightest hit of smoke. If you didn't know this was rachbier, you probably wouldn't notice the smoke in the taste.

M-Farily medium-full bodied, slightly chewy, with an oily finish. The oily finish is a little off-putting, but it encourages you to take the next sip.

D-A good beer, but not highly drinkable. It's thickness and residual oil don't invite you back for another one immediately.

Overall, this was good and definitely in my top 3 beers from Bamberg. I'll drink it again, but only one per sitting.

jmhart, May 17, 2010
Photo of russpowell
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Bruisin Ales in Asheville in late July

Poured an effervescent orange/copper with 3+ fingers of fluffed up eggshell white head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Smoked ham & that's it

T: Sweet caramel with a hint of smokeyness up front. Slight hop bitterness follows as this warms along with some butter diathechyl notes. Finishes sweet, grainy & dry

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, skews too sweet balance-wise

Drank too slow because of the cloying sweetness. Don't recall this being that sweet in Bamberg. Perhaps an old bottle?

russpowell, Oct 03, 2007
Photo of bditty187
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber in hue with noticeable highlights of copper and maybe a splash of bronze. A foamy white head of a half finger formed but failed to hold long. It quickly faded to a bubbly collar. Subsequent lacing never transpired. Honestly I was expecting a darker, more mysterious looking beer. I like surprises. The smokiness of the nose was obvious but light, the aromatics from the malts displayed a soft smoked meat/beef jerky/campfire baked beans with lots of bacon characteristics. Behind these smells laid a suggestion of lager airiness, maybe a hint of hops too. The potency is modest. The invitation is clear enough. Lets drink! Upfront on the palate the smoky qualities of the beer are found. Cured bacon/ham notes, a beechwood campfire off in the distant, and a hint of wet wood. These qualities are all pleasant. None of them are loud, maybe I am being greedy but I was looking for more, still no complaints. In the middle and especially at the finish this beer nearly sheds its smoky start and becomes a lager like a Pils or a smaller Helles. The hops really slice through the heavy malty qualities, that seems Pils like but there is also a faint suggestion of non-cured malt that lends itself to resemble a Helles. The main point is the smoky flavors fade away. This beer would work wonders with many meaty, BBQ dishes. The start of the beer matches the flavors of fire-cooked food but the end of the beer is crisp enough to lift away the residual heft, this allows for consumption of “new” flavors. The aftertaste grows more hammy and smoky. Tacky too, in the mouthfeel, I wonder if a bit more carbonation would help. Regardless the mouthfeel is good. This is plenty drinkable but not too challenging, i.e., smoky. I liked it, I’m glad I tried it; I now know what to expect. If you want to get smoked-out, skip this and go for an Aecht Schlenkerla, if I want a clean German lager with a Rachbier background I would select this. I purchased a 500 ml bottle in Iowa City. Worth trying.

bditty187, May 25, 2004
Photo of benmiliron
3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $3.29 for a 1pt 9oz bottle.

Looks a bit musty brown. Decent carbonation, big bubble but not frothy. Decent. Smells of campfire and beer, in that order. This is my first Bamburg Rauchbier. I enjoy the smoke, but would prefer not to drink it solo. Better paired with something else smoky I imagine.

benmiliron, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy iced tea color, with a smallish off white head. The aroma is very doughy, like a helles lager, sweet with honey. I can't really pick up much smoke in the nose. The taste is of munich malt, doughy and sweet. There is a very light metal flavor as well as a meaty smoke flavor. The smoke is subtle and not over the top. Picture a helles dunkel with a touch of smoke. The feel is light with prickly carbonation, sweet overall, a bit of a meaty aftertaste. A fairly easy drinking brew, nice munich malt flavor with a touch of smoke. Everything is kept in check.

Gmann, Apr 05, 2009
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Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.