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!

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: 10
Gots: 2 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hautacam
Hautacam

Connecticut

3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark cloudy amber...foamy head..drops to 1/8".
Smells yeasty..bread dough ..malt...only a hint of smoke.?
Tastes pretty mild...malty, slightly sweet, bread dough again... hint of hops and ,damn... only a hint of smoke.
Kind of disappointed...this is an OK tasting lager, but I wanted more smoke....there's so little smoke , it almost seems like what smoke is there , is a mistake...an afterthought. Watery.
Mouthfeel is light to almost medium....slightly sticky, salty finish.
This might be too toned down...I might have to try a more intense Rauchbier before deciding if I like this style.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2006 01:00:09 | More by Hautacam
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out light amber and sits bright amber-brown in the glass with a large, soft and thin off-white head fading to a thin lace around the sides.

Smells crisp and toasty with mild smokiness all-around. Grassy hops are solid and back the grahm-crackery malts.

Tastes mildly sweet up front and builds with a rush of toasted malts. Smokiness emerges, soft, damp and sweet. Hops present clean, grassy flavors with hints of walnuts coming in. Finish is malt-focused with enough smoke flavor to run into the next taste.

Crisp, clean and refreshing in the mouth. Bold, moderate carbonation and medium bodied.

This is rather enjoyable. Not the most exuberant of the Bamberg rauchbiers I've had, but that may be due, in fact, to freshness. Yet another reason to return to one of the most unique beer-producing cities on the planet.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 03:29:18 | More by Skidz
Photo of Padron4KM
Padron4KM

Arizona

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

22 oz brown bottle. Bottled on code says 5030. not sure what that means.

Pours clear amber with lots of minute particles in suspension

Two finger tan head hangs around a bit and leaves a bit of lace.

Aroma is only mildly smokey, and malty.

Much more smoke in the flavor. Campfire, tobacco, smoked meat.

Finishes dry and slightly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 07:07:26 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of Sephiroth
Sephiroth

Indiana

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

Dated 5030, which I think means it was bottled Jan. 30 of 2005. Pours a light, clear orange with decent head. Smells smoky, with medium-sweet malt.

Not as smoky as I expected. Smoky, sweet malt is the profile, and the beer itself is refreshing. Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation. Very drinkable, maybe not smoky enough for some.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 06:46:30 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

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

1pt. 9 Fl.oz bottle with a nice brown label (like the one pictured) that has german written on it and with a bottled on date label of 5030 on the back. I'm still not certain of the date of this beer. It also had a neck label that stated that the alcohol content was 4.6%.

Appearance: Poured a golden orange color with a small head of white bubbly foam that dissipated fast into some rings around the mug.

Smell: It had the typical Rauchbier smoky/smoked meats, malts, and sweet smell, but it was little lighter than most, but still good though.

Taste: Up front I noticed plenty of hops and after that, the typical Rauchbier taste of smoke/smoked meats, and malts. And like the smell, the smoke/smoked meats taste was lighter than most. This all ended with a slight sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: I thought the mouthfeel was kind of weak. It was light, not too watery, sweet, and with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall this made for a very nice light beer that could be used for a Rauchbier session beer. Maybe not the best Rauchbier, but a good one none the less.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 21:12:27 | More by AltBock
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.03/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This Rauchbier pours a mostly clear amber, with little active carbonation and no head to speak of. There is some floating sediment throughout the glass. The smell is nutty, and of smoked wood, with some some faint hops coming though also. The taste is much of the same, smokey, with a light caramelly sweetness. The finish is not as bitter as I would have expected. The smoke flavor dominates this one as the malt and hop flavors don't come out very strong. The mouthfell is thin, and the lower carbonation makes it taste a bit watered down. Not bad if you prefer smokier beers, but it could use a better presentation and more robust flavor...

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 04:47:31 | More by bennetj17
Photo of JISurfer
JISurfer

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Defiantely not as good as the Aecht, but it's still farily decent. It's one of the first smoked beers I've found here in SC in a while, so I wanted to give it a shot.

A - Clean copper color, with a big foamy white head. Head dies out kind of quickly, then goes into a thick, spotty lace.
S - Nice smokey smell. Something of a cedar, mixed with bacon thing going on too. A little bit of a hop tinge in the finish as well. I thought this was nicely done.
T - Very similar to the smell, but not so strong on the smoke. I do like the stronger smokey tastes, so that lost a little bit IMO. You could also get a taste of the hops a little more than the smell as well.
D - Very good beer to have on a wet, cold night such as this one. Reminds me of living up in the mountains and having the fireplace around. Can't argue with that!

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2005 03:44:48 | More by JISurfer
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yeast-riddled ripe orange with apricot edges. Full, rich and creamy, the head is somewhere between polished ivory and pale almond in color. The surface bubbles that popped with such a furious intensity immediately after the pour have now settled down to a more sedate rate of poppage. A few thick streaks of froth end up on the glass. Although short on lace, the 'yeast blizzard' intensifies as I get into the bottom of the bottle.

The nose belongs to a rauchbier, that much is clear. That said, it's one of the tamer versions that I've smelled. Given the less than potent beechwood smokiness, I'm amazed that there's little else going on. I don't fault the beer though. In my limited experience with this style, the smoke tends to smother any other aromas that may be present. You either like it or you don't. I like it.

Rauchbier Lager is a little more smoky on the palate, but is still on the tame side compared to the leaders of the style pack. It reminds me a great deal of the 'wheat rauch' from Brauerei Heller-Trum (Schlenkerla). There are no smoked meat or bacon grease comparisons here, just a lightly smoky, refreshing brew.

The beer also has an understated sweetness that fits the flavor profile well. Bitter smoke is rarely a good thing, while sweet smoke can be mouth-wateringly delicious (Bar-B-Q contains sugar for a reason). Even though I much prefer the big, full, smoked-to-the-gills versions of the style, that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the more subtle qualities of this beer. I'm enjoying it more and more with each and every mouthful. If there's such a thing as a session rauchbier, this one and Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen are the best that I've had.

I want a bigger body (I always want a bigger body), although in this case that probably wouldn't be advisable. The mouthfeel is perfect for the task at hand. There's an abundant amount of fine-gauged carbonation that keeps things hopping and makes what is probably a medium-bodied beer seem a shade lighter than that. In any case, my mouth approves.

Spezial Rauchbier Lager is good beer. If you like smoke, you'll probably enjoy it. If you don't, you probably won't. How's that for a brilliant analysis? I like it just fine. Even though I don't crave rauchbiers very often, I plan to buy this one whenever I happen to run across it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 16:42:02 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

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

Pint bottle with a bottled on date of 5.03.0, poured into an imperial pint glass.

Clear, light amber with a good finger of white foam. The head falls in a couple of minutes leaving a thin layer of foam with layered lace.

The nose is, as expected, smokey with sweet malt underneath. Mouthwatering.

It doesn't taste as smoked as it smells. The lager flavors come through very crisp with a pinch of hop bitterness. The smoke shows up more in the aftertaste. Light lager mouthfeel.

The light body and moderate smoke flavors make for a Rauch less interesting then some of the Schlenkerla, but this could make for a better dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 04:40:10 | More by ypsifly
Photo of whynot44
whynot44

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium hazy bronze gold color with a foamy off white head that retreats to only a ring almost immediately but still manages to leave a bit of lace.

The aroma is mild smoky pork with a light malt base and a hint of herbal hops.

The taste is also smoky, sausage, ham, ribs with a mild lager undertone and a moderately dry finish with a touch of hops and lingering smoke .

Light/medium bodied, fairly easy to drink. Should work well with barbecue or wild game..

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2005 02:29:58 | More by whynot44
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Putnam for letting me know about this one. Pours out to a orange copper color with a head of about 1/8 inch. Minor notes of lacing, and a medium level of carbonation. Aroma is quite good, but doesn't quite stack up to the power and intensity of Aecht Schlenkerla's Urbock or Marzen. This is very much a Lager and Rauchbier, not one or the other. Smells like bacon, smoke and cured ham. Nice, but could've been a bit stronger. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with some lager characteristics mixed in for good measure; smoke, spice, applewood, malts and some light hops toward the finish blend rather well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly smooth. Good drinkability; I could have this everyday, unlike Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock or Marzen. Probably a good starting point for those looking to try the Rauchbier Style. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 00:14:14 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of putnam
putnam

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old bourbon colored.
Smells of apple and applewood smoke, like someone is drinking Pommeau de Normandie in a log cabin, with only fruit wood for light and fuel. Truly an inspiring image. The taste attacks sweet but is quickly overcome by smoldering tannins. Calvados barrels are here, carelessly enflamed, to yield their perfumes indiscriminately and finally. Steaming hearth bread, exhausting the ripest dough fumes of its lifecycle, provide exquisite chewing material in body and supple texture. This is another great import, great not because it is imported, but great because it is packed with premium ingredients and *dry* rather than syrupy sweet.
.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 23:27:01 | More by putnam
Photo of MarineHokie
MarineHokie

Connecticut

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

A- Bright, clear, pale golden color. Thin white head. Decent retention leaves a little lacing.

S- Tomato blossoms, grain, and light smoke.

T- Crisp light hoppiness finishes with smoke that goes on and on...and on. I could still taste a little smoke after the next beer, a bitter.

M- Crisp finish smoothed out by the lingering smoke. Not an everyday beer, but very drinkable on occasion.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2005 21:34:27 | More by MarineHokie
Photo of Citadel82
Citadel82

New Jersey

3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intersting Bamberg brew. Not nearly as assertively smoky as Schlenklera products, but tasty and refreshing. Light bodied with definite malt and fruity yeast in the palate as well you can taste the hops at thetail end as well. To be honest i was anticipating more smoke, and consequently was disappointed. But it was tasty, just not as tasty as the others.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2005 01:55:05 | More by Citadel82
Photo of pentathlete
pentathlete

Virginia

3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug a hazy tarnished brass, foam starts rocky and drops to a ring. Smell is a mellow smoked sausage making the saliva glands work in anticipation of the savory flavor. The taste is light lagerish with heavy smoke throughout. Malts are subdued and a low hop presence makes itself known. Mouthfeel is rather light, but the flavor makes up for any lack of character here. This beer disappears rather quickly. If you like smoke ales, then this lager based version is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2005 01:24:08 | More by pentathlete
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark gold/orange color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a typical lager scent with a slight light crystal malt and smokey aroma. The smoke is light, but noticable. The taste is good. It has a smooth lager taste with an earthy smokiness in the finish. It goes down easy and finishes dry and musty. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a decent beer. It has good taste, but it lacks mouthfeel. All in all, it still drinks well, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 23:21:52 | More by WesWes
Photo of JackTheRipper
JackTheRipper

Pennsylvania

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

A: Clear light brownish/amber. Head was about 1" initially, faded fast.

S: Smokiness is there but not overpowering, sort of like the smell on your hands after tending a good hardwood fire. It's different and very nice, actually. Also noted some sweet doughy aromas and just a whiff of fruitiness underneath it all.

T: Smoky, with an almost meaty character. There is a faint spicy taste. Nice malt base to build on. No real hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Alcohol warmth is low.

D&N: My first rauchbier! Thanks to the manager at Sharp Edge for pointing my towards this one. It's a different sort of beer than I'm usually drinking, and quite a pleasant diversion. I was worried that a "smoked" beer would be like drinking another Skullsplitter, so I was very wary of this one, but happily this one isn't like sucking on an ashtray. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2005 04:53:25 | More by JackTheRipper
Photo of shapudding
shapudding

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2005 02:44:37 | More by shapudding
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

2.8/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm, interesting. Glad I tried this, but I don't think I'll be going back to it, it's just not my style. That being said, pours a fairly average looking golden color with some white bubbly head on top. Smell is fairly nondescript but includes notes of spicy hops, dust, and smokeyness. The taste/aftertaste is way too smoky for me. I realized that it was supposed to be smoky but I didn't think it would be that overpowering. I enjoy a bit of the subtle smoke flavor of some porters but this flavor was right out front and was difficult to ignore in order to taste the rest of what the beer had to offer. As you drink this beer you kind of get used to the smokiness but was a challenge for me to finish a whole one, and I don't think I've ever said that in a review before... try this one at your own risk and know ahead of time that you're in for something weird. Weird isn't necessarily bad, but I didn't like this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2005 19:35:45 | More by twelvsies
Photo of Fish113d
Fish113d

Pennsylvania

1.98/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from a bottle, slightly chilled into a tulip glass.

It pours an amber color with 2 fingers of fizzy lacey white head; very clean looking. Aroma is quite grainy w/ an almost lima bean aroma (yeah, really!), but not much aroma at all, and it reminded me almost of beef vegetable stew, and I HATE beef vegetable stew! Taste is a slight smoke flavor w/ a hickory meat taste (almost like beef jerky), some grainy malts, and very little hops...overall, i was not happy. Feel is tingly carbonation on the sip followed by a thinning feel by the swallow; not much else going on. This is quite possibly the worst beer I have ever had...honestly!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2005 02:38:26 | More by Fish113d
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

2.55/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well I am guessing I had the lager, since most everyone else has. I sampled a chilled 10 oz snifter at Kclingers on tap. I was excited for a rauchbier as I enjoy smokiness in my brew. I have to say I was let down.
The beer arrives with no head and is a cloudy orange color. Aroma is very mild with sweet fruit (apples and pears) dominant. No smoke that my nose can detect. No hops either. Much more mild than I expected and seems to be more of a belgian than a rauch.
Flavor is similar to nose, no smoke flavor is sweet and fruity apples pears and tangy yeast. I get some lemon and slightly spicy hops but again no smoke. DOnt get me wrong the beer is quite tasty, but I ordered what I thought was a smoke beer and it ended up tasting like a dubbel. ENjoyable beer but my marks are low due to lack of smoke.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2005 20:36:37 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of ybnorml
ybnorml

Rhode Island

3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark golden, amber beer. Has a very small white head that dissappers quickly. There is a light grainy lager aroma with some malty sweetness in the background and maybe a hint of smoke. Smokey flavor covers you tongue quickly with a light fruity sweetness in the background.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2005 11:44:57 | More by ybnorml
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron

Ohio

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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2004 00:03:32 | More by benmiliron
Photo of DPMomutant
DPMomutant

Missouri

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

Pours with a smallish head that sticks a little bit but not very long. The body is unexpectedly light copper.

I can smell the distinct smoked smell, but it is much subtler than others I have tried in this style. Can be nice that it doesn't reach the 'smoked ham' level but I really don't mind that quality either.

The smoked taste is much also much less prevelent than in most in the style but you can tell it's there, mostly in the aftertaste which is quite pleasant. A light sweetness is present as well.

The carbonation is quite light and the consistency quite watery. While the finish is quite smooth, the mouthfeel isn't terribly exciting.

This is more drinkable than others in the style mainly because it is more subtle in smell and taste than others I've tried but I myself would seek something more exciting before having too many.

This isn't bad, but I'm not head over heels for it either. Good enough to try and maybe like. I may even find myself revisiting it someday.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 06:10:52 | More by DPMomutant
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Exactly as per the BA Database picture, the cream colored label on this one is very Teutonic. The neck label identifies this as the Special Rauchbier ‘Lager Bier’ with a green stripe, the neck label also states that this is Alc. 4.6% Vol. (I note that this different to the that listed). Reverse label includes a Bottled On Date of 02-09-04. Imported by Shelton Brothers. The date of 1536 on the label is genuine and shows that this is one of Bamberg’s oldest Breweries that is still in family hands.

Appearance: Pours with a massive creamy off-white Teutonic Kopf that fills the Glass. The thick deep head soon rescinds to a rocky covering that laces well and leaves a floating broken rocky iceberg like appearance. The body is a beautiful copper color, perfectly clear with a lovely orange hue when back-lit. Gorgeously smooth carbonation, velvet like in character when lightly swirled.

Nose: Lightly smoked aromas, like a fresh cut cedar, the woody aspects mix extremely well with the more grainy malts. Refreshing nose that is very inviting.

Taste: Grainy malt start, woody, bitter and rather dry. Some creamy toffee in the middle rises as the smoked character builds. Crisp and very clean the lines are well put together. Finishes with a soft light smoked caramel feel that is delicate but firm.

Mouthfeel: Decent feel but the crisp clean lines can make it feel like it only has an average to above-medium feel. Nevertheless, the smoky finish assists in leaving you with a finish that is far from wanting.

Drinkability: One of the more restrained Rauchbiers that I have had, but I actually think that shows some class, it is nicely balanced and the lighter smoked character in this Rauchbier makes for a very drinkable offering. Usually I can only handle one Rauchbier, but I could easily manage several of these beauties with little problem or heartburn.

Overall: Perfect, I like Rauchbiers, but so often they are overkill. This one is absolutely spot on and just right, the smoke is just enough, not too much and not too little, but perfectly in balance. Extremely nice example of a Rauchbier.

Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2004 05:01:33 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.