1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Spezial Rauchbier Lager - Brauerei Spezial

Not Rated.
Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

279 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 279
Reviews: 232
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 9
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Spezial visit their website

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 279 | Reviews: 232 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a decent amount of head. Aroma is nice and smoky and not too overpowering in that department. Sweet as well. Taste is light and smoky with the clean lines of a lager showing through. Aftertaste is decent and the beer goes down really smooth. A nice and drinkable

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Old Forge restaurant in Massachusetts. It was presented in a goblet, and had a clear amber brown color with a wisp of a head. The aroma was malty and smoky, but not as aggressive as I expected for an authentic German rauchbier. A little less of a campfire smell than I've seen from several others. The taste was also a little more neutral than other rauchbiers, but definitely had some smoky flavor in it. In my opinion, this is a good gateway rauchbier, to bring someone into the fold.

Photo of avalon07
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. This beer had a brownish-red color and a good half inch of long-lasting head. Okay lacing.

S: Very malty aroma, along with a smoky quality as well.

T: Malt more than anything else in the flavor. Also, the aforementioned smokiness and a slight nuttiness. Not bad, but not overly complex.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: I'm not so familiar with the rauchbier style, but this was an OK beer. It didn't blow me away, but still, pretty well done.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. The beer pours a nice amber color, with a nice head and a good bit of initial carbonation.

S. The smell is a little bit smoky, but not quite as much as I anticipated. There's also a hint of caramel too.

T. It's smoky, and also a little bit hoppy as well. Not a strong tasting beer, but that's not a bad thing either.

M. It's not overly carbonated and is pretty light.

D. This is a very drinkable beer, it goes down easy and there isn't much of an aftertaste.

This is the first smoked/rauchbier that I've tried, so unfortunately I haven't tried any other beers in the style to compare it to. Overall, I think that it's good and I'd definitely try it again.

Photo of cjgator3
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle. Pours a brownish amber color with a nice white head. The aroma smells like smoked meats. The taste is a little more subdued than I was expecting but it features some of the delicious smoky flavors that are present in the aroma. Overall, this is a highly drinkable and enjoyable rauchbier that is recommended. In fact, this is actually a pretty good beer for those who are looking to ease into the enjoyable world of smoked beers.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL brown bottle with a freshness code of 18.11.08. Pours a fairly hazy, dark orange/amber color with a large-bubbled tan foam. Dissipates rapidly and does not leave much lacing.

Smell is like smoked black olives. Little bit of burnt wood and grainy malt. Dunkel lager? I can see that. Slight roast and a touch of sweet malt.

Taste is surprisingly not overly smoky. There is a bit here and there, but the flavor profile overall is very much in line with a Munich dunkel...a good dunkel at that and the hints of smoke make it that much more enjoyable. Good beer, but needs more smoke - of course that is coming from someone who could use more smoke in the Skerlenka Urbock! This would be a good intro into the world of Bamburg produced rauchbiers.

Photo of stcules
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear amber colour,foam not so compact, and a with a little persistence. Smell of smoked (soot?), of a warm fireside... particular, but very pleasant (family, home, and stuff like that...).
Taste clean, smoked, grilled wurstel, but maybe too marked and invedent; you can only feel a light note of malt and hops. Light body, too, but with a great drinkability.

Photo of OWSLEY069
1.79/5  rDev -51.5%
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.

3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of champ103
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of RBorsato
4.46/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden with amber hues, lots of suspended sediment, and light carbonation with a low filmed light tan head. Nice smoky nose; not overdone. Nice smoke-malt balance. Medium bodied and smooth but a bit light compared to the Aecht Schlenkerla; most likely due to the Lager base.

A nice subtle nicely balanced intro to the style.

Per label: "ABV 4.6%" & "Since 1536" & "Barley Malt cured by Natural Beechwood Smoke" & "Lager" & "Dunkel Lagern"

($4.04 / 16.9 oz. tall brown sleek Euro style bottle)

Photo of Jwale73
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Courtesy of ThirstyBird. Served in a tulip. Poured a hazy burnt orange with a thin swirl of foam. Nose was prunes, malt and a smoky character. Taste was smokey, roasty and a faint aroma of prunes. Mouthfeel was watery with a light effervescence forming the backdrop. Easy drinking and interesting, but not a beer I would seek out.

Photo of mrfrancis
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
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.


Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. Bright copper-amber liquid, crystal clear, with a fizzy, white, dissipating head. The aroma is milder and more refined than other rauchbier that I've tried, mostly Schlenkerla. Spezial's Lager tends more toward rich caramel and fruity malt. The smoke doesn't make the beer feel old or hammy. It's more like a fresh, mesquite-ish accent to a nice malty lager. The flavor is relatively sweet but also much bigger than its abv would suggest, a bit like a good mild. It's a great malty lager flavor, nutty and yeasty. Soft feel. Very good lager.

Photo of cokes
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.

Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy iced tea color, with a smallish off white head. The aroma is very doughy, like a helles lager, sweet with honey. I can't really pick up much smoke in the nose. The taste is of munich malt, doughy and sweet. There is a very light metal flavor as well as a meaty smoke flavor. The smoke is subtle and not over the top. Picture a helles dunkel with a touch of smoke. The feel is light with prickly carbonation, sweet overall, a bit of a meaty aftertaste. A fairly easy drinking brew, nice munich malt flavor with a touch of smoke. Everything is kept in check.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, orange-brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked malt

Taste: smoked malt, grass, small hops, and honey

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, semi-sweet with small bitter stretches, boozy, high carbonation

Drinkability: This one drinks like a smoked amber. It is super easy to drink even with the high carbonation. The smoke is strong and pleasant. I could have several.

Photo of jfcaa193
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've actually enjoyed some of the smoked beers that I've had so I thought it was time to try one of the versions from Germany. It was pretty good, but I didn't find the smoke notes as pronounced as much as some of those from the US. (Left Hand & Rogue)

Poured with a scant slightly off white head that seemed to fade rather quickly. A nice Amber color that was straight down the middle. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma was of an amber with some typical caramel notes and of sweet malt. Only the slightest smoke hint in the aroma.

The flavor was nice and again had lots of light caramel malt flavors. Very toasty and just slightly sweet. There was only a hint again of the smoke flavor. I was expecting a bit more punch here. Nice, just not as complex as I had hoped.

Medium Light body with a tingle of carbonation.

Nicely drinkable and did go well with some food. (Pork) It just wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. Frankly, I'd reach for a Rogue Smoke Beer long before trying this again.

Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly clear, deep golden copper body with a few flecks of yeast (I tried to keep them out!). Foamy inch or so of dirty, off-white head. Spicy smoked meat, vegetal malt, a whiff of honey, wet campfire. Not as meaty and strong as Aecht, with more of a wet, slightly cardboardy edge. Taste starts out smoky and good. Bready malts fill-in under a smoky haze. Again, reminds me of a wet campfire. Light sweetness detectable, like a honey glaze on a smoked ham. Moderate hop bitterness in the mostly sweet smoky finish. Nice. Moderate body with a slightly soapy feel. Would love to see more examples of this style (I'm developing a "thing" for rauchbiers).

Photo of Suds
2.95/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Photo of Bierman9
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had quite a few of these when staying in Bamberg... from one of the oldest Brauerei's in Bamberg.... from my room at their Inn I can see (and smell!) their bier brewing! This one has a decent medium bronze-copper color, with a thin, tan head, which fades quickly to almost nothing, with minimal lace. Nose is faintly smoky, with mild malt present, too. Body just under medium, as is the smoothness on the tongue. There's just a touch of malty sweetness to start; the underlying smokiness is evident, but not overpowering. Finishes on the dry side. Improves as it warms; Easy to quaff! (Original review from samples from Sep 2001, and updated Oct 2002).

overall: 3.5
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


Photo of deapokid
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
83 out of 100 based on 279 ratings.