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Spezial Rauchbier Lager - Brauerei Spezial

Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

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

271 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 231
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.82%


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: 271 | Reviews: 231 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cozzatoad
Cozzatoad

Italy

3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on tap

A- Dark caramel colour, quite hazy, not very attractive. Big, healty white head, showing nice retention and lacing

S- A touch of smoke upfront is the first thing that comes to notice, but there is strong sweet malt base underneath which eventually takes the main stage

T- As the smell suggested a bit of smoked ham and woody flavours were easily noticed, but the beer main character is definitely that of a plain sweet dunkel and smoked notes get lower and lower in profile and complexity as you drink

M- Medium to light body, average carbonation. Smooth and easy going

O- Was not impressed. I understand a classic rauchbier is not meant to be an in your face beer, but i was comparing it on schlenkerla's offerings, and this is definitely subdued and lacking complexity by comparison

Serving type: on-tap

12-24-2013 11:48:34 | More by Cozzatoad
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

1.18/5  rDev -68%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

500ml Bottle (Good Spirits Co, Glasgow - £2.80):
Clear, mild looking amber with a thin white lacing on top that is about two millimetres tall before turning patchy.

A disgusting combination to smoked wood and an overpowering cured ham aroma that isn't unlike smoky bacon crisps. There was a few malts coming through but it smelts truly appalling, probably the worst I've ever smelt.

Smoky wood and some lingering malts with some spice but again the overriding taste was a cured ham one that was disgusting and pretty much undrinkable. Not quite as bad as the smell but awful none the less.

Smooth & medium bodied with some spice. Very had to be unbiased here as the taste was so bad that the mouthfeel was never going to turn around the beers fortunes.

Definitely the worst tasting beer I've ever tried although perhaps not the absolute worst overall. About five different people at a party tried a sip of this and all formed similar opinions, this one was drain pour pure and simple.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 22:22:58 | More by flyingpig
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
JeffreyJDavis

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours mid caramel color with a finger or two of well defined but quickly dissipating head. Minimal lacing.

N: You get the waft of old campfire smoke immediately upon opening and nose is apparent on the pour. Mixture of smokey charred wood and sweet maltiness.

T: As a lager rather than a bock, the smoke is much less pronounced than many of the Aecht Schlenkerla rauchbiers (which are Gold Standard for the style for me.) Taste is sugared ham, smoke, and again sweet malts.

MF: Much lighter body than the AS's with relatively crisp mouthfeel and as the rauch is more subdued, I could actually imagine myself sessioning a few of these in a row.

All in all a nice Rauchbier starter beer, less aggressively over the top than others.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2013 20:40:28 | More by JeffreyJDavis
Photo of MattSweatshirt
MattSweatshirt

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I didn't study the breweries too well before going to Bamberg apparently. I was expecting more rauchbier everywhere. The only ones I encountered were at Schlenkerla. After a few more stops I hit Spezial and after a reassurance about the lager from a random Brit next to me I ordered the lager on tap.
Turns out this is a rauchlager! Wasn't expecting that. The taste was quite hammy and smoky. The nose didn't indicate too much smoke and was a lot less dull than the beers I had at Schlenkerla. Still a wonderful brew. Had a couple while chatting with this new found Brit beer enthusiast. and the night went downhill from there.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2012 07:10:53 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Glen Ellyn, IL
Date: Best by 6/26/12
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

A good overall rauchbier, which does not seem as intense as the Schlenkerla brews I've had. This is a somewhat out-of-date beer, and it was good enough to make me want to try a fresher bottle, or have it on tap.

Pours a 1cm head of fairly clean, pale white foam that has average retention. Leaves modest lacing, a few lines and splotches along sie of the glass. Head reduces to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass along with an island of wispy foam capping the center-top of the body. Body is a deep reddish-tinged brown, quite hazy, but not opaque. Carbonation is visible and active.

Aroma of smoked malts and meats, moderate in intensity, with a trace of light cocoa.

Front palate features toasted malts and slightly smoked malts and meats. Mid-palate brings in smoky malts, meaty, with toasted and chocolate malt undertones. Back features toasted malt flavors along with some smoked malt: a bit flat. Aftertaste is of residual, light smokiness with modest sweetness.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body with medium to medium-high carbonation levels. This results in a semi-fizzy mouthfeel that is well-matched by the weight of the beer. Does not close dryly.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 07:10:24 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

50cl serving in a seidel at Spezial, Bamberg

A - Amber/gold body with excellent clarity. 3 finger creamy white head produces average retention/lacing

S - Notes of Stornoway black pudding,bacon and light caramel malt

T - Light biscuit malt with smoke/black pudding coming in with hint of toasted malts in a clean full finish.

M - Medium carbonation/body

D - For me by far the best rauchbier in Bamberg. This bacon/black pudding note is awesome with the kiss of biscuit malts. It goes down far too easy. Excellent.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2012 18:39:57 | More by seanyfo
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman

California

3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark copper colored body with a nice bit of off-white head on top. Light whiffs of smoke overlay a nice grainy and bready malt base. Not as in-your-face smokey as the Schlenkerla rauchbiers but a nice balance of sweet and smokey.

Nothing really stands out on the palate but you get a nice array of smoked meat and camp fire flavors with the sweet caramel and bready malts. Rather light on the body and crisp making for quite an enjoyable but more delicate rauchbeer. Overall, a solid tasty brew and a nice alternative when you want just a bit of smoke as opposed to the wonderful onslaught you get from Schlenkerla.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2012 23:18:09 | More by Kinsman
Photo of jonb5
jonb5

United Kingdom (England)

3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half litre bottle. Golden colour, clear, small poorly retained head. Aroma was like a smokery, as was the case with the other Rauchbiers I've sampled. Smoke was understated, tasted malty with hints of apple, smoke gave the beer more character than expected for a beer of 4.6% abv. Crisp body, smooth texture with more carbonation than expected. Overall a very well balanced beer, where the smoke is present but not over powering.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 13:48:02 | More by jonb5
Photo of rangerred
rangerred

Tennessee

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with a half finger white head that settles to a nice cap over the beer.

Aroma of bacon and campfire along with a healthy dose of toffee and burnt caramel. There is av overall sweetness and creamyness to the aroma.

The flavor has moderate smoke and lot of burnt caramel but it is not acrid or tannic in any way. Some dark fruit mixed with the smoke is a nice touch. Hops are virtually nonexistent with only a very light bitterness bringing up the finish. Creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a very solid rauchbier although not quite in the same league as the Schlenkerla series. Something I would pick up again if I ever saw it, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 01:03:48 | More by rangerred
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 04:20:41 | More by Mora2000
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice rauchbier, not as smokey as some, but still plenty of that campfire essence to it. pours rich copper in color with a slender tan head that doesnt last too long. smells like smoke, dark german malts, and even a touch of wheat malt. flavor is smokey up front, a little woody in the middle before the semisweet malt finish draws on. feel is good, mellow carbonation and a lighter body than the color would indicate. very drinkable in the summer season, particularly moving into fall. overall a nice beer, lighter on the smoke than some other rauchbiers, and rather affordable.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 17:12:29 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 3/22/11.

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a 1 inch puffy light tan head that settles to a foamy film on top of the beer. Chunky rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain/malt and some subtle smoke aromas. Taste is of smoked malt up front with a light fruity flavor on the finish. The smoke in the taste is also pretty subtle and doesn't stick around on the palate very long. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smoke in the aroma and flavor is pretty mild.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 02:48:42 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
BerkeleyBeerMan

California

3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber one finger white head. Clear clean and transparent.

Smell: Munich malts. Smoke, bacon and meat. Caramel. Ripe fruits.

Taste: Nice roasted malts, fruity, juicy. Not very bitter.

Mouthfeel: Clean, light refreshing. Smokiness wears off. A good refreshing rauch.

Overall: A little low in character for the style but very clean and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 09:28:37 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

.5L into mug at 40 degrees. 6/28/12 exp date.

Pours with a decent 2-3F of soapy off-white head that fades quickly to a ring. Body is a fairly clear amber-orange color with no visible carbonation.

Aromas come across pretty well - smoked, cured beef brisket and sweet malts.

Flavor and mouthfeel disappoint a little, until I realized it was only 4.6% ABV... in which case, now I'm impressed. Clean/juicy drinking for the style. Not overdone on the smoke. Light citrus quality - mostly of lime. Light on the palate and goes down easy... could use a bit more carbonation though.

This one would be great with some Mexican food.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 21:30:13 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.15/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber/orange color. A two finger egg white head forms with good retention. Light lace.
S: Smoked meat, mineral water, and slightly metallic.
T: Again, plenty of smoked meat flavors. Which in itself is a bit overwhelming. A little to much of a metallic twang for my liking as well.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. On the watery side. Easy enough to drink...for the style that is.

Not bad, but the metallic flavor on top of the heavy smoked meat makes this more of a one and done for me. I am not a huge fan of the style, but even so, Aecht Schlenkerla blows this out of the water.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 02:33:08 | More by champ103
Photo of bs870621345
bs870621345

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 1 of 3 on the 3 half liters of rauchbier on the night.

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber color with a nice head and nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like bread with smoke mixed in. Not as smoked as I was expecting, but a good way to warm up.

Taste is lightly smoked, heavy bread, slight metallic twang. Very clean.

Mouthfeel is moderate and not very carbonated.

Overall, its okay...nothing more.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 00:05:44 | More by bs870621345
Photo of jsanford
jsanford

Georgia

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy dark amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly, leaving just the slightest ring around the edge.
S - Sweet and smoky aromas of caramel malt, honey, and a roasted ham or pork character. Reminds me of barbecued ribs smothered with a smoky BBQ sauce.
T - Pretty similar to the nose. Definitely on the sweeter side of the style, with a nice smokiness that balances the malt nicely. Still getting a good roasted pork thing in here. Very smooth and drinkable, especially at under 5% ABV.
M - Crisp and quenching, with a medium-thin body and decent carbonation. Perhaps just a tad watery, but I could drink a lot of it.
O - Really nice Rauchbier. Not in the same league as Schlenkerla, but a nice diversion nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 05:12:59 | More by jsanford
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Paulaner krug.

Thanks to YaKnowBrady for this bottle!

It's been over a year since I last tried this stuff, which means it's been too long. Right? It pours a mostly clear sunset rust topped by over a finger of thick dirty cream froth. The nose comprises light toffee being dominated by a strong (though still nowhere near o'erbearing) beech smoke, coming off almost like a mutedly honey-smoked ham. This one, though, is earthier than most German rauchbiers I've had, with a twinge of wet soil and dark greens seeping into the background. It's meek and doesn't hurt the overall smokiness much, but it is noticeable. The taste brings in more of the same, with this earthiness toned-down to a nice mild grassy quality. The smoke isn't exactly strong, but it's in no way subtle. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat slick feel. Overall, a damn fine rauchbier. It's not as good as the Schlenkerlas, but it definitely comes very close.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 21:28:50 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of skypup
skypup

Germany

3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4 Bottles purchased in Bamberg.

.5L bottle served in my Schlekerla glass.

A- Clear, Deep amber with a two finger head with good retnetion. some lacing.

S- Roasted malts, liquid smoke.

T- Roasted malts, smoked meats, not quite as heavy as other comparable Rauchbiers. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, medium cabonation. Crisp finish.

D- This is suprisingly refreshing and crisp. Pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 20:00:18 | More by skypup
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a .5L stein at Brauerei Spezial in Bamberg, Germany. Cost was 2.50 euro. Reviewed from notes. The menu displayed an ABV of 4.7%.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and poor retention. It's hard to judge the colour in the stein, but it's certainly dark.

Sm: Bacon and roast. A mild strength aroma.

T: Very baconey, smokey, and roasted. The finish is a bit like an ash tray, an effect that is not present in other rauchbiers I've tried, esp. schenkerla. Very full flavour. Nice complexity and balance, excepting the finish.

Mf: Nice coarseness and wetness. Smooth enough to keep the beer refreshing. Matches the flavours of the body perfectly.

Dr: Low ABV and good pricing, but limited drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 04:07:07 | More by kojevergas
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice copper color when poure into a glass. What foamy head is produced during the pour fades to nothing quite fast.

Aroma is lightly malts and weak smoke aroma.

A dry lager with a sutle but assertive smokiness.
Doesn't smell or taste like beech wood.

A thin mouthfeel with a dry finish.

Vey much different then Aecht Schlenkerla that I'm most familiar with but good too.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 19:13:43 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Ochsenblut
Ochsenblut

Italy

3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The dark copper body sits underneath a compact, one cm white head. The retention isn't awesome, but there is some stickage to make up for it.

The smell is barbecue pork smokiness but with a bit of malty sweetness.

The taste isn't as outright smoky as I would have thought. It starts out with a malty sweetness cut slightly by lemony hops. The tail end is a very subdued smokiness.

The mouthfeel is briefly active with carb, but fades to reveal the beer as a tad watery.

This Rauchbier is well-balanced, yet personally leaves me wanting more. When I think 'rauchbier,' I'm reminded of Schenkerla's powerful Märzen. If you've had it, you know what I mean.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 20:26:01 | More by Ochsenblut
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey.

Big fluffy head over the top of the mug, clear toasty orange golden brown color.

Nose great toasty malts, oktoberfest like toasty malts, munich malt, light smoked malts, some lager fruits.

Taste starts with some smoked malts, not really the smoke meat or cheese level but nice smoke flavor, some light toasty malts, definite lager yeast with fruit and a crisp flavor, light sweet syrupy reddish munich malts, finishes a bit drier but sticky, lingering lots of malts, hint of bitterness and some smoked malts.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, good carb, very crisp.

Overall great, nice smoke that isn't overpowering, great crisp lager flavors, nice malts, almost oktoberfest like.

Serving type: on-tap

07-05-2011 00:26:39 | More by jlindros
Photo of Suds
Suds

Pennsylvania

2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an average colored light-amber colored lager. The head is soapy, white, and firm, and the beer is sufficiently clear. The smell is smoky (like a good smoked salmon) and a bit grainy. Slightly astringent-smelling, with some wood and slight medicinal smell. The taste is light and dry. Smoke is prominent in the taste. The beer is light in mouthfeel, and sweeter than expected from the smell. Interesting, but not really a great brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 02:50:15 | More by Suds
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Becky for bringing this back from Germany. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderate golden-brown color with a thin off-white head. A bit of lacing. The nose is nice with a bit of bacon and smoked meats plus, actually, some normal malt. Slightly earthy as well. The flavor is really nice and balanced between the base malt and some smoke. The smoke is there, for sure, but it doesn't take over the entire beer, which is actually pretty nice. Really easy to drink without thinking about coughing. Medium body and good carbonation. Highly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 17:58:46 | More by Thorpe429
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Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.