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Spezial Rauchbier Lager - Brauerei Spezial

Not Rated.
Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

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272 Ratings
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

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 foles


4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at Brauerei Spezial in Bamberg - on an especially rainy day. A lovely dark looking lager colour in the glass. Smoked flavour is more prominent in the smell than in the taste. Very drinkable - beer is very smooth rather like a helles. Its a better bet to try this rauch beer first as its a good introduction to the style without being overpowered with smoke.

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2007 16:51:27 | More by foles
Photo of kgotcher


3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a very bubbly head. Very light amber color. Lots of suspended yeast.

Aroma is a pilsner lager with a subtle smokyness. Mouthfeel is light with a fairly week body. A bit watery. Also can feel a lot of those little chunkys in the back of my throat.

Flavor is very smoky, more than I expected. Kind of over powers any of the light pilsner flavor. Nothing is really bad tasting just not balanced at all.

I've had smoked beers before but always as a darker, fuller beer so the smoke flavor is not the only thing you can taste. With this weaker beer the smoke flavor is just a bit too much.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 05:03:41 | More by kgotcher
Photo of dmarch


2.93/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-copper in appearance with a nice size head. A bit of caramel in the aroma, smokiness is very mild. Smoke is a little more prevalent in the taste, but still very mild. A slight metallic taste as well. Although this is a lager, it reminds me of an amber ale. I was looking for a more intense smokey flavor. A somewhat enjoyable beer, but it doesn't compare to some of the other rauchbiers i've had.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2003 19:21:10 | More by dmarch
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.

Serving type: cask

05-17-2010 13:37:18 | More by jmhart
Photo of MillRat


4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2010 22:12:21 | More by MillRat
Photo of 100floods


4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

While the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen will always be my favorite german beer, Spezial puts up a great fight. medium dark amber color with a smokey sweet, honey after taste. this 'lager' as the label claims is refreshing, especially after a hot day at work. It has a lasting flavor i that i never get from lagers (i also don't drink many so I can't boast). Perfect for BBQs, to drink, and for marinades (why the hell not). I have only been able to find the 'bigger' bottles at bevmo and once at Toronado. I hope to see more of this. I'm not a huge fan of lagers, but this baby, only at 4.6 % will keep me coming back.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 00:02:43 | More by 100floods
Photo of selecter70


4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2010 20:26:19 | More by selecter70
Photo of breakingbland


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

02-20-2014 01:39:04 | More by breakingbland
Photo of aanth


3/5  rDev -18.7%

11-18-2011 03:50:16 | More by aanth
Photo of apintofknowledge

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Holy moley! This just hit the spot. The aroma alone is mouthwatering... sweet and smokey. Pours a beautiful crystal clear light mahogany with a big frothy white head that disappates rather quickly. Now for the taste... initial cereal sweetness is followed by a tangy and smokey middle. Not overly smokey, but clearly distinctive. The smoke lingers as the bubbles of carbonation dance on my tongue providing a lightness to the finish. The more I drink, notes of tobacco, toffee, clove and cumin come through.

Initially excellent, it seems to get a little watery and thin as I get past the halfway point in my glass. Still, quite a tasty and smokey brew. Looking forward to trying it again when it gets warm enough to fire up the charcoal grill.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 00:43:04 | More by apintofknowledge
Photo of kurgan3


4/5  rDev +8.4%

11-22-2012 19:21:26 | More by kurgan3
Photo of thryn


3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this a little too vigorously. Once the OMGhead! settled, I had a clear, coppery beer with about a finger of head left.

Smell is sweet grass, with a hint of smoke and something reminiscent of licking tin foil. Um. Metallic beer? I hope not.

Fortunately, the metallic scent isn't there much in the taste. Still, this isn't impressing me very much. There's a lagery sweetness and a balancing hoppiness. The smoke is barely there. I smelled the smoke more when I first poured it. Maybe it drifted off in a cloud of head. Tastewise, this is basically just an OK lager. I like my rauchbiers rauch-ier.

Mouthfeel's just right, though, with weight and carbonation both pretty middle-of-the-road.

I am finding it easy enough to drink and I'd not turn down another if it was free. I think I'll drop my dime elsewhere next time this one's on the shelf, though.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 08:42:09 | More by thryn
Photo of Chambic


3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2010 20:59:54 | More by Chambic
Photo of yeagerbm


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

Pours dark copper with a thin white head. Dense sediment particles. Smells pleasantly smokey. Tastes like a typical lager but with a thorough yet not overpowering smokiness. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but surprisingly drinkable for a smoked beverage.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2004 01:43:48 | More by yeagerbm
Photo of skypup


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 TKempe


4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper to dark orange in color, with a dense white head, perfectly distributed carbonation and some good sticky lacing.

The aroma is very malty/grainy and toffee-like, supported by a fruity, ale-like note and a mild but very sophisticated touch of smoke. Hops are slightly noticeable.

The taste follows the nose. After a sweet malty phase, the beer finishes pretty clean with a touch of hops, some salty malt flavors and a nuanced smoky note shining through. Quite a delicate and friendly taste, with the element of smoke integrated perfectly (just like in a good single malt Scotch).

Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy -- perfectly right!

Don't expect the intensity of Schlenkerla, expect a lovely beer with a pyrotechnic hint.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 22:57:28 | More by TKempe
Photo of joeysmokedporter


3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500 mL bottle into a sam adams glass.

A: pours orange brown with a slight offwhite head, about 1 finger, that dissipates fairly quickly. noticeably murky and appears that it may be bottle conditioned, but cannot determine this as I did not see a layer of yeast at the bottom (perhaps I poured it all into the beer?).

S: slight amount of beechwood smoke w/ malt, toffee-like aroma, as expected from a German lager.

T: Up front there is definitely a hint of smoke, which serves more as a background character to the lager flavors that take center stage. Malt flavors are toffee and honey-like, rich like a German lager, but this ends with an acidic-like finish, perhaps a contribution of the smoke. As the beer is consumed, the smoke flavors become less and less prominent and the malt more dominant on the palate.

M: carbonation on the low side, about medium feel in body.

D: This is a very easy drinker; although I typically like more smoke character out of a beer, I feel like I could have a few of these, whereas one is usually enough with other smoked beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 14:58:15 | More by joeysmokedporter
Photo of vegasmac99


4.5/5  rDev +22%

06-10-2012 15:50:52 | More by vegasmac99
Photo of beerking1


4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice gold-orange color, with a small but tight head that leaves huge lace all the way down the glass. It is a little hazy. Aroma is softly smoky, grainy, and toasty, very nice and sweet. Flavor is grainy and smoky, malty sweet with a very restrained noble hop. Smoke comes through the most in a soft aftertaste. Very pleasant beer with a great but restrained smoke character.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 02:34:58 | More by beerking1
Photo of brc


3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served from the barrel in their taproom. I think it's a real cask and not a tap ornament.

Clear amber with a white head. The taste is malty, grainy, bready, with some smoke in the aftertaste. The smokiness is very subdued, like sitting a few tables away from the beef jerky instead of having it shoved in your face. Great beer, if not the best in town. The mouthfeel and taste were lighter than I expected, quite drinkable.

Serving type: cask

03-28-2009 16:45:54 | More by brc
Photo of DPMomutant


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 swid


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4.6% ABV listed; bottled on code 5030.

Spezial Rauchbier pours a golden brown color into my pint glass. Atop the hazy liquid sits a 3/4", off-white head the slowly dissipates. Moderate carbonation and lacing. The smell of this beer is a mixture of yeasty bread/grass aromas, waftings of smoked meat, and a faint herbal hoppiness. The smoky/meat aromas are surprisingly weak for a rauchbier.

The taste is precisely what the smell promises: sweet and malty, with a touch of smokiness. If it wasn't for the smoked malt presence, this would be a märzen; the bready flavor and the light touch of herbal hops are just as you'd expect around Oktoberfest. The mouthfeel is surprisingly watery and is slightly "wet" overall. Finishes with a mild sweet and smoky aftertaste.

As other reviews have noted, this beer is a bit lacking in being, well, smoky; other rauchbiers I've sampled have much more of a smoky/meaty smell and flavor to them. However, this is the only bottled rauchbier I've ever ran across here in Lincoln; paired correctly, this would make a great dining beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2006 02:30:00 | More by swid
Photo of wyllder


2.1/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at the Moan & Dove, Amherst MA.

Poured a slightly cloudy bronze-copper with a weak beige head that fades away to nothing.

Smell was an unpleasant hay/horseblanket/manure. This is the first time I've truly understood the barnyard description I've seen for other beers. Another scent confused in there is the medicinal smell of a fresh package of band-aids.

Taste was, unfortunately for me, tied to the smell. There's some malt character in there, but I couldn't get away from the medicinal and barnyard qualities that took up residence in the back of my throat.

Mouthfeel was average. Drinkability suffered purely as a result of the taste.

Comments: Of the 6 people I had sip this, 4 agreed with me and 2 others thought it was really good. Of the two who liked it, one was smoking regularly that night and the other was drinking a Stone Russian Imperial Stout. For fun, I had a sip of the Stone Imp Russian and then tried some more of the Rauchbier: much better. The Stone killed the foul taste. Too bad the effect only lasted for about 3-4 sips. Maybe this is one of those beers/styles I'll have to try several times before finding out I actually love it. It will have to wait, though, as I won't be revisiting it anytime soon.


Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2004 15:28:46 | More by wyllder
Photo of Atricapilla


2.75/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a thick head that dissipates to a thin one rather quickly. Is a light smokey amber in color. The aroma is heavy in grain with strong smokey (surprise!) overtones. Flavor is light, with smoke & grains dominating. It leaves me desiring something a bit thicker and heavier to accompany the smoke.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 02:26:52 | More by Atricapilla
Photo of GhostPants


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

01-02-2013 19:11:20 | More by GhostPants
Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.