Spezial Rauchbier Lager - Brauerei Spezial

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Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

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BA SCORE
83
good

233 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 233
Hads: 283
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.26%
Wants: 10
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Spezial visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 233 | Hads: 283
Photo of Suds
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
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. (445 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  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. (554 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a let down, great beer garden and view, but all the locals said this was the beer.

appearance: golden lackig had retention

smell: sublte smoke

taste: standard lager, tad of smoke

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: well balanced, equally drinkable lager. (262 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance on this beer was pretty nice. Looks like just about any other lager. The color was a yellowish gold with a white head on top. The aroma had a light smokiness to it, nothing overpowering. The lager aroma was there too, there were malts and some grassy notes in there as well. The taste was also lightly smoked, kind of nice that it was on the lighter side. This allowed the lager flavors to remain there as well. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly much like most German Lagers. Overall this was a decent brew. (522 characters)

Photo of zaphodchak
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of hardy008
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light amber with a 3 finger off white head with decent retention and spotty lacing. The aroma has smoke, caramel malt, grassy hops, along with some green apple. Not as smoky in the aroma as I had expected.

The taste is just like the aroma. Smoke, caramel malt, grassy hops, and a little green apple. Sweet, and smoky, with some slight hop bitterness.

Light bodied, too light and thin in my opinion. Lightly carbonated. A decent beer, but not one of the better Rauchbiers I have had. Somewhat disappointing. I wish this would have been smokier. (546 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Church key into a 10oz tumbler.

Appears as a real nice amber color, copper like and clear. Head has a nice off white tiny bubble head that goes nowhere of about one finger. Foamy and gives decent lacing on the glass.

Smell is a muted typical beechwood, smoke etc.. for this style muted, but also a strange starchy vegetable potato like smell also. I still dig it.

Taste is a light smoke, and a carbonated soft finish combination. Strangely for this style a little soda cola sweet on the finish, and even perhaps a little spritzy.

I still dig it overall, seem to push the right Rauchbier buttons for me, so I still dig it. (642 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a two finger high off white head that slowly died down and left a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of smoke in the nose.
T: Light to moderate flavors of smoke stand out in the overall taste. There are some hints of toasted malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink, but the smokiness is a bit more subtle compared to other rauchbiers. This beer could serve as a good introduction to the style for a novice because the smoke doesn't overpower the taste. (712 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight nut, slight earthy malt, smoke, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of a Rauchbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of pale malt, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, a good session beer. Smoke essence isn't as strong as I would like, but still well done. (489 characters)

Photo of beeragent
3.67/5  rDev 0%
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. (486 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a snifter, on draft. Beer is yellow and mostly clear with a soft white head, low carbonation minimal lacing, looks good.

Beer definitely has a hickory / smoke aroma. There is a slightly off putting vegetal aroma.

Beer is light in body and minimally flavored until the smoke comes up on the second half of the palate and finishes oddly bitter and dry. Overall, it's not my favorite rauchbier but I'm glad I had it, I doubt I would return to it though. (467 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer appears slightly hazy and a rusty orange hue, with a thick inch and a half of head that resides atop the beer for several minutes, gradually diminishing to a quarter inch.

S: The aroma is rauchbier all the way, with the expected scents of smoke, fire, and malt.

T: The flavor has more of a peat character than some other rauchbiers I have had, akin to an Islay scotch. Pleasant smoke notes and a very enjoyable malt character make this a fine example of the style. The flavor is not over the top; this is a lighter, well balanced, highly drinkable rauchbier.

M: Light in body and very smooth.

D: While perhaps the mouthfeel could be thicker, the drinkability is high. I inadvertently drained my glass in short time, and wished I had more. I'll be having this again. (783 characters)

Photo of Mdog
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark gold, lots of particles, big head.

Smell: Smoky, salty.

Taste: Big smoky charcoal throughout. A little bit of sweetness is in there, but lots of dry charcoal.

Drinkability: A little too much "burned to the crisp on the grill" type flavor to have more than one.

Rauchbiers are an interesting set of tastes. This one goes a little too far into the carbon for me, like picking something out of the charcoal and giving it a taste. (447 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Rauchbier, and smoked beers in general. It's a style I honestly enjoy as long as the smoke is allowed to dominate everything else. The Schlenkerla versions are a bit much for me, let's see how this one fares.
Pours a medium to tannish brown. Fluffy white head, good carbonation and clarity.
The nose is smoky, but not the infamous "BBQ sauce" scent some can have. There's a malty note in there and even a hint of clover-honey from the lager yeast.
The flavor is similar. Smoke's there in full-force, but it's really only a 50/50 pairing with the malt, which seems to be more of an amber in terms of flavor/color rather than the "dunkel" listed on the bottle. That might be a Bamberg thing as I've never been and am not as familiar with their traditions. Trace noble hops pop up here and there, but are more of a balancer than flavor component. It's easy to keep drinking this and the flavor never loses impact and the smoke never overpowers. If anything, the malt note comes out more as it warms a bit.
I've love to have more of this and I definitely think Spezial will be on my visit list whenever I make it to Bamberg. I'd imagine a pairing with pork or a stew would be great.
If all Rauchbiers were like this, I'd be more than happy.

EDIT: Had this in Bamberg and it's just as good if not better. Great pairing with some jagerschnitzel, too. I prefer it to the ones from Schlenkerla and would say it's definitely among the top beers in town. In fact, I'd say everything they had was top notch. (1,501 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
1.79/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with a white head. In the aroma, a small hint of smoke and a smell of sweet tea. In the taste, small dry smoke and a hint of sweet tea maltiness. A small bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry tea like aftertaste. Light smoke and a big presence of sweet tea malt and a hint of lemon. (345 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark orange with an off-white bubbly head that reduces to a skim and a ring. No lacing, some rising bubbles.

Mild smoky aroma, some light toasted malt and country ham-like scents. Where's the malt?

More of the same. Decent smoked malt flavor, but the malt never fights thru. Watery, but crisp, with a long smoke finish. Bitter toasted bread is there, but in a later wave of flavor. A refreshing rauchbier? Clean flavors, just too weak. This is borderline 3.0.

Thinner mouthfeel than expected. Some astringent pucker.

I'm a bit disappointed. The malt character needs some depth. It is a lager, but this seems to be a decision of smoke over all other beer elements. And there it fails a bit. The smoke isn't overpowering. The liquid bacon factor doesn't come into play -- it just lacks a bit more depth. (819 characters)

Photo of Chambic
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Andres picked this for me, and you always have to try the bartender's suggestion.

A: clear yellow, with an oddly amber tint, and a big, fluffy head

S: not much going on except for that bit of smoke

T: same as the smell in that there wasn't too much flavor to detect, but the finish was slightly smoky

M: nice and cold, making it an odd choice for a Swedish winter night, but it was light and smooth

D: not too bad, I wouldn't object to having it again

Notes from 02.16.10 at Akkurat in Stockholm. (502 characters)

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Herbal hops, smoke, pepper, BBQ, and leather,
A pour expressing deep amber to light brown hues.
A finger of white head that was soft like a feather,
Smoke and fruitiness did fuse.

Flavor, a light and smoky sweetness with hints of BBQ together,
med carbonation, light body, and a refreshing quality does infuse.
An overall sweeter than hoppy brew perfect for the weather,
If you want a crisp, smoked beer this is the one to choose.

While not exemplary, average quality it does exceed,
if camping and honey is what you like this is what you need! (546 characters)

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light orange in color, with a thin white head that gradually fades, becoming patchy. Decent lacing.
Smell is crackery, smokey malts, with hints of barbeque and a touch of sausage.
Taste is malts with some ample, smokey notes, as well as some hints of barbeque and brown sugar. Very subtle notes of sausage.
Mouthfeel is crisp yet slightly smooth. Fairly dry on the finish. Medium-light body.
Drinkability is good. Pretty good take on the rauchbier. (448 characters)

Photo of Stigs
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (791 characters)

Photo of DrewHodges
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 4/8/10 tasting; .5L bottle poured to ceramic Spezial beer krug.

A--can't see color well in the ceramic mug, but a light bubbly head that settled to very thin, some sediment floating

S--wonderful smoky ham smell and the signature roast malts of rauchbiers

T--excellent flavor, a light smokiness, balanced flavor compared to Schlenkerla

M--this bottle might be a tiny bit old based on the flattish watery mouthfeel, but still pleasant

D--very drinkable beer, one of the few rauchbiers you can enjoy several in a row

Drank this beer numerous times living in Bamberg, and the export bottles in the US just aren't nearly on par with what you can get in the Spezial brew pub, but still nice to have it once in awhile to bring back the memories... (757 characters)

Photo of MillRat
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at the brauerei in Bamberg.

A rich coppery color with a white head that faded to ring that left plenty of lacing behind. A nice malty aroma that mingled with a subtle beechwood smoke. The flavor delivered on the aroma's promise, with a more mild rauch flavor than that from the brewery on the other side of the river. The solid medium-weight malt body balanced the rauch, plus a touch of hop bitterness, too. Nothing out of place, everything where it needs to be, by far the most sessionable smoked beer I've had.

When in Bamberg join the locals at the long tables and drink the smoked beer Bambergers drink. (617 characters)

Photo of jmhart
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,185 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.11/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

0.5L with a best by date of 06.04.10 purchased at Gourmet Haus Staudt. Poured into an Andechs tumbler, Spezial's rauchbier lager is a bright, stunningly clear auburn color. Small champagne-like bubbles sustain slightly off-white head, two fingers height at first and then ultimately a half-inch cap.

It's got a reserved, almost delicate aroma. There's a bit of toast, a bit of sweet pilsner malt with a subtle, well-integrated smokiness. This seems to be the antithesis of Schlenkerla's massively smoke-infused rauchbiers.

The first sip seems almost void of smoke, subsequent sipping reveals it more and more. The smoke character is present at a beautifully balanced level, matched by rich flavors of toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit. It's lacking the strong meaty character I get from some rauchbiers, instead presenting more of a woodsmoke quality. The flavors are rather intense and the body surprisingly robust for the meager 4.6% ABV, which I'm a bit ambivalent about; it's not entirely quaffable, though it's impressively flavorful given the low alcohol. It finishes on a clean, lightly toasted note with the faintest metallic twang.

I enjoyed this thoroughly on the whole. The subtle smoke, complex malt profile and low alcohol made it a pleasure to drink. (1,267 characters)

Photo of selecter70
4.24/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not at all what I expected, but no misgivings here. As i saddled up to the Other Side bar on a cold, wet Spring day, I decided on the rauchbier, much maligned sadly. It seemed like the perfect day for a deep, smoky rich beer, instead of a porter, as I had some great lamb meatloaf awaiting me. Instead, a bright coppery pour to dark honey lager looking 0.5l stein came my way with a fluffy white 1 finger head on board. The white lace stuck about in small pockets and minimized on top as I drank. I thought that the aroma would be smoky as well, but only in a subtle "if you were looking for it, you'd notice it" kind of way. Likewise with the flavor; only a subtle smokiness that rounded off the malt flavors in this exceptional near dunkel lager. Fresh, crisp and a bit bubbly to the mouth, this is one you could drink & drink & drink...and watch your smile grow. A damn fine surprise! (887 characters)

Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.