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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: 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
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 231 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Koralin
Koralin

Colorado

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

06-12-2012 20:16:09 | More by Koralin
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

09-01-2012 22:46:45 | More by t0rin0
Photo of DrewHodges
DrewHodges

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
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...

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 21:13:00 | More by DrewHodges
Photo of fitzy84
fitzy84

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Moan and Dove. Really, wicked good dark amber appearance with a slowly thinned head. The smell was the key; it was a little hard to discern at first. Yes, it definitely had a "smoked" texture to it, but the real flavors of both malt and grain were deliciously discovered through the nostrils. Those same flavors were bittersweetly shown in the taste of the beverage. A pretty good medium body saved it from being too watery. Overall, this is definitely a drink to check out.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2008 03:20:55 | More by fitzy84
Photo of beveragecaptain
beveragecaptain

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle. This beer has a somewhat cloudy copper color topped with a small head. Malty aroma with a light smokiness. Toasted malt flavor with noticable smokiness throughout. No hop flavor. The malt is balanced by the smokiness. There's a little bit of apple cider flavor. Crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is not noticable. This beer has a great drinkability. It's a great choice either paired with a meal or on its own.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 17:27:31 | More by beveragecaptain
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 Stimack
Stimack

New York

4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to give this brew a try on tap and I must say what a delight as I am a big fan of Rauchbier but rarely get them and even more rare to see them on tap. Was presented with an amber color with orange highlights. Had a good sized slightly off (hedging to tan) white head that had nice retention and left a good amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma is very pleasant as the smokiness shows through along with what I perceive as a nice malt scent. The taste is really where the smokiness comes out, seems to have the flavors that would go along with smoked meats minus the meats, kind of like a smoker before food is added. I know that there are other beers out there that have a more smoke filled profile but I think that this one has the balance that is needed for this type of brew. Besides the smoke flavors I am able to pick up the malts that seem to give a sweet taste while having a nice dry finish. Overall this is a very easy drinking brew, this would easily be a great session brew in my book if you like this type.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2007 15:05:16 | More by Stimack
Photo of blakesell
blakesell

Ohio

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

Poured from .5L bottle into a huge 1L Beer mug.

Appearance- Pours thick and caramel coloured with a huge head of froth that is just a bit larger than the beer content itself. 55% head roughly. Quickly dissapates to thin bubbles on the top.

Smell- Smoke and malt. There is no mistaking this is a rauchbier. Smoke is not overpowering as the malt is detectible and I would guess that Munich malt is what I'm smelling.

Taste- Smoke comes thru on the taste as well, balanced with the flavor of the lager. I would like to try a standard lager from this brewery to tell the difference without the smoke.

Mouthfeel- Well balanced and smooth. Finishes a bit watery, but still goes down nicely like a lager.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. Of all the rauchbiers I have had, I would say that this one is one of the most drinkable in the bunch. And at 5%, that could easily be very drinkable for a session.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2007 01:09:19 | More by blakesell
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

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

0.5 L bottle. Pours a solid copper color with a 2 finger head that falls very quickly to a light coat over top. There is a lot of chunky lace on the glass as the head recedes. Clarity is as good as it gets, and carbonation is not apparent in the glass. Nose brings a moderate smokeyness, with a moderate toastyness and bready sweetness behind it. The base and the smoke are both nicely sweet. Flavor initally hits with a nice sweet smokeyness. Not big and bold like other German rauchbiers, but enough to let me know what I'm drinking. This fades and lets a very nice and mild bready and toasty malt character shine through, finishing with a revisit of smokeyness after the maltyness fades. Mouthfeel is a light moderate with a solid moderate carbonation. This one is nice. It's not a smoke bomb that brings about the images of jerkey or chops, but I think it makes it more drinkable. This could be a session rauchbier, whereas others are only something I can do a bottle at a time. Good show.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2006 04:48:01 | More by kmpitz2
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Natural510

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half-liter bottle, produced 18-11-08.

Pours an opaque, light amber with lagerish head which leaves a decent lacing on the glass.
Smells like a lager; sweet malts with zesty yeast and a noticeable hop note. Somewhat fruity, and not what I expected.
Sweet malts to the forefront; apple and honey mix with a subtle smokiness. The meaty-bacon quality of a rauchbier is apparent, but subdued and the fruit note balances it quite well. Dryness from the yeast makes its way toward the end and the hops, while not very noticeable in the flavor, reverberate well in the mouth at the finish.

This one surprised me. The smoked quality was balanced well by the sweet notes, and none of the ingredients outshined the other.
Not an everyday beer, but if you're interested in the style, this is what I recommend.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 00:20:04 | More by Natural510
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 01:40:34 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2004 20:57:33 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 03:18:21 | More by largadeer
Photo of marc77
marc77

California

4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bronze hue w/ copious flecks of yeast aggregates. Thick, slowly disappating off - white head. Beechwood smoke aroma is surprisingly mild compared to other rauchbiers and is well integrated in the aroma-- toasty Vienna and /or Munich malt is discernible & light crystal malt sweetness is there as well. Although expectedly smoky in flavor, the smoke is well calculated & isn't overbearing. Rich, nutty, perhaps decocted malt aren't hidden and since the body is light this rauchbier is quite drinkable. The smokiness almost seems to dissapate, and malt flavors become more assertive as I drink this brew. Hop bitterness is moderate and pleasant, while the hop flavor is herbal Hallertauer. Finishes, clean and crisp, w/ a mellow and fading smokiness. This is the most drinkable rauchbier I've had-- it wet my appetite for smoked food. I will now comb the pantry.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2002 07:00:21 | More by marc77
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this from a wooden cask when we stayed at the brewery gasthof. They have a take-out window: You ring the buzzer, they fill your stein for 0.90 euro. Incredible!

A: Clear gold, white head, no retention or lace.

S: Bready with some caramel and smoke. (More smoke and spice with a fresh cask).

T: Sweet caramel, with only a slight amount of smoke in the aftertaste. Very well balanced, and rounded, with plenty of depth (for such a light brew). With a fresh cask on Friday, it was meatier (smoked & spiced like a sausage). Score's between 4 & 4.5.

M: Light to moderate body is somewhat creamy. Light to moderate carbonation.

D: VERY, VERY drinkable.

Serving type: cask

04-07-2006 21:15:08 | More by Derek
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper with 3 fingers of slow falling ivory head that reduces to a ring and fine cap sustained by strong beading that leaves little lace on the 0.5 L SOHM Erdinger Weissbrau glass.

Aroma of beechwood smoke and slightly grainy Vienna/Munic malts is most inviting. Flavors evolve as the palate becomes anestised to the smoked malt. Faint sweetness from C-40 or a lighter crystal malt but not enough to require bitterness for drying. Body medium light but with help of the fine carbonation fill the mouth giving a rich nutty middle that is easy to hold on to. A nobel hop tries to outlast the smoke in the finish. A good introduction to Rauchbier that is well done but more restrained than Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2006 21:35:57 | More by karst
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2003 05:59:18 | More by cokes
Photo of philipquarles
philipquarles

Connecticut

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

Pours a nice honey orange with a tall taupe head. The foam doesn't have a lot of staying power, reducing to a small solid cap quite quickly, but it does leave a decent amount of lacing. Smells sweetly malty initially, but a light woody smoke aroma hits soon after. Surprising fruitiness that's I haven't found in many lagers. The taste is equally nice: quite malt concentrated, but not overly sweet. The smoke flavor is quite mild and works well to dry out the malt. Interesting slightly tart finish. Thickish feel. Overall, a very nice smokebeer that's quite easy to drink. Makes Schlenkerla (especially the Weizen) seem like liquid smoke.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2009 01:43:22 | More by philipquarles
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

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

Besides Schlenkerla & Rauchenfelser, this is the only other Bavarian Rauchbier i've tried. The richness and texture fall somewhere between Schlenkerla's Helles and Weizen. Being a lager, it's very smooth like a Helles, but more of a sipper due to the mildy rich smoke and malt flavor.

The body is a hazy auburn, looks like autumn in a blender. There are countless tiny particles in suspension. Smell is of spicy malt, with a pleasant level of smoke. Not overpowering at all. Taste is fairly sweet and smoky, barley malt and tobacco notes dominate. This is balanced by the tang of mild hops, and moderate carbonation. Raw honey lingers in the aftertaste.

It would be great to try this fresh in Bamberg...

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2006 03:39:28 | More by emerge077
Photo of bob3701
bob3701

New Jersey

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

Poured into an English style pint glass. Hazy gold/amber color with a big bubbled head that very slowly disapates into a thin film with almost no lacing. Slight smokey aroma. Very little smoke in taste but I thought this was a very good German lager. I like the stronge smokey beers which this is not yet I still enjoyed this beer. I have a friend that is not crazy about rauchbiers but I think he would enjoy this. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 23:57:00 | More by bob3701
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 Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

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

This beer pours with some viscosity. It creates small bubbly tan head above the slightly hazed light copper beer that literally vanishes before my very eyes. The aroma reminds me of camping in the Wisconsin northwoods. Damp and smoky...wet leaves. I like it a lot. The smoke is very subtle on the nose. On the buds this one hits the spot. The smoke is intertwined nicely with some slightly bitter hop tones a toasty vienna like malt foundation. No ashtray here...just a nice drinking rauchbier.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2003 06:04:28 | More by Bighuge
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 brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated "5080", whatever that means.
Pours light copper, clear, with a moderate, spongy, white head.
Medium to large bubbles mostly that fall back within 2-3 minutes, revealing some light dotted lacework. Pretty unimpressive.
Aromatics are laced with somewhat light but complex smoke (for a beer from Bamberg), and toasty malt.
Not a fresh example by any means, but some nice breadiness comes through, and is quite clean beyond the smoke.
Nose rounds out with a slight buttered toast note and a hint of pepper.
Mouthfeel is thinnish, crisp, and smooth.
Pallet is somewhat meager, but very quaffable.
Lightly malty and bready, with light smoke. A nice balance for pairing up with lighter food or in the heat of summer.
Medium bitterness takes the edge off some residuals, and the brew finishes quickly at first, with lingering smoke and warming pepper.
High marks for drinkability, but I prefer a bigger brew with more smoke.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 22:46:25 | More by brewandbbq
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
Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.