Special Amber | Sprecher Brewing Company

178 Reviews
Special AmberSpecial Amber

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-13-1998

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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 352
Photo of JDV
1.5/5  rDev -58.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Cloudy honey colored pour with short lived head. Smell is kind of a funky sweet malt. Not particularly inviting and perhaps on its way downhill. Taste is same funky off-flavored malt. Kind of like a pint of gauzy butterscotch goodness. I can't get past the smell enough to take more than a couple sips of this, but I can see how some might like it...

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Photo of mactrail
2.26/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Nice foam-up in the Stella glass, and decently carbonated. However, the perfumey flavor is just plain peculiar. A musty flavor with a sweet base. Candy and Karo syrup flavors. Slight bitterness but no hint of hop flavor. Vanilla ice cream with browned pie crust? Cardboard scent with a whiff of the clothes dryer. Flat and dishwatery aftertaste.

I had been impressed by several Sprecher's beers a few years ago on trips to the Midwest, but I have not had any good ones recently. Maybe the distributor strew some of their beers around the country a couple years ago and left them for the unwary beer adventurer.

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Photo of CopperMtnPlowboy
2.28/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Weird - this tastes almost exactly like the previous beer I drank (Big Wood Bad Axe).

Less head (this one almost looks flat when poured) and more yellow than orange. Less hazy.

Smells less pungent - but has same over-ripe nectarine with subtle hints of pineapple but no grapefruit.

Tastes almost identical to Bad Axe. I wonder if recipes were shared?

M - Less syrupy but still somewhat 'thick' for a beer.

O - As with Bad axe, glad I bought only one. Not one of my favorites.

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Photo of tapman
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Head not too big and just off white in color, a lot of carbonation keeps on churning... sediment? Is this beer actually some 'real ale'? No kidding! At least I hope that that is what it is at any rate. Body color is a delicate orange blossom honey color.

Super malty! Smells of malt powder (like milkshake, not malted barley) with hints of light raisin/dark grape. I guess that the big hope nose that the bottle boasts are still pretty subtle, noble type hops. Also toffee.

Metallic and thin. Malt taste is very thin and not close to the nose. Maybe a little victory malt or something, but pretty bland. Hop taste is also thin and is mostly apparent in the bitterness at the end which comes off as sharp and not clean. I almost feel like I can taste the carbonation more than the ingredients.

Thin and super carbonated.

I was ready to enjoy this beer after the nose, but unfortunately it was very disappointing. 1. Flavor is really light, like
'lite' beer . 2. This is such a rare style that to not make it special and use the style for marketing to craft drinkers is just wrong. 3. I would rather have a Dos Equis amber lager. I have a soft place in my heart for the rare vienna lager and this one was a big letdown. They make good rootbeer, though.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.55/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

16 ounce bottle from Total Wine, on to the beer:

This is a light amber colore dbeer, topped by decent head with a little retention, but no lacing id left in the glass. It's very sweet in the nose, and also husky. Big aroma of raisins, smaller notes of husky grain and sweet malt. A little uneven.

Special Amber does not have a very smooth flavor. There is toasted sweetness, which I like, and there's raisin, which I also like, but the unfermented malt creates a reality check. However, the long lasting, unpleasant bitterness left on the palate makes this beer difficult to drink on. It's rough....please smoothen it out please. Or is the bottle a little old?

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Photo of captenaj
2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this beer ice cold. It had a nice one inch, pale head that quickly dissipated.

Appearance: Nice light amber color.

Smell: Malty and slightly hoppy. No spices discernible.

Taste: Malt, slightly hoppy but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Thin and felt slightly acidic.

Drinkability: OK to have one but I would get tired of it quickly.

Over all and OK beer if nothing else is around.

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Photo of socon67
2.63/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Slight amber color with some carbonation.

S - Scent of malt, vanilla, and a bit of a flowery smell.

T - Just didn't like this. Had a bit of a yeasty feel in the finish that totally put me off.

M - I couldn't fiish this, and passing it off to a buddy didn't help either. A waste of money. Had a grainy, soapy mouthfeel.

O - Maybe having Eliot Ness earlier on this trip set the bar high for a Vienna lager, but this was essentially a drainpour. I'll pass; Wisonsin has many other good choices.

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Photo of donnebaby
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Honey thick light amber color, still in the glass, with almost no lasting head. Nose is pungent malts, syrupy and rough. Taste is big in the mouth--big carbonation, caramel malts and bitter hop lining--but drops off immediately, with little aftertaste besides some phantom malts and something nasty. Heavy, syrupy body. Didn't really enjoy this beer at all.

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Photo of corby112
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden amber color with a thin half finger fizzy head that quickly fades away into a thin ring. Not much in the way of lacing.

Sweet malt aroma with hints of caramel along with some subtle hops. Smells kind of bland really.

Thin bodied with some slight crisp hop bitterness up front that balances out the sweet caramel malt flavor. Subtle nut presence and a dry finish. Easy to drink but pretty boring.

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Photo of Sammy
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Fresh bottle from the brewery. A little cheesy aroma. Much head that resulted in a small retained head, on light yellow body. Not very drinkable,grassy, herbal, light caramel, medium body. A Vienna, just not so tasty.A little sweet, no significant bitterness.

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Photo of manahansf
2.87/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden yellow color topped with a thin white head which dissipates quickly. The aroma is very grainy and has estery hints of tomato. The flavor is also grainy and oddly sweet with a touch of tartness. The body is very light and watery with high levels of carbonation.

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Photo of terrabyte
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber that isn't very dark, with a short off-white head fed by carbonation.

The aroma has a very faint, sweet floral and caramel smell, followed by toasted malts. Very faint, however.

Flavor was was muted due to the temperature it was served at. Way too cold at this bar. What I could pick up was a slightly bitter beer sweetened by caramel and a hint of orange citrus.

I wasn't too impressed by this beer, but it was simply served too cold. Not sure if I'd pick it up for home, but I'm sure it'd be a better experience.

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Photo of tippebrewcrew2
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher special amber ale

Drank out of a pilsner glass. Pours a golden amber orange with an average white head. It has a floral, earthy nose. The body is creamy with mild tastes of straw which slowly comes to the mouth and lasts after the swallow. Sweet malt is the major flavor. I found the beer to be decent. you could probably drink a lot of it but I didn't particularly enjoy it.

A= 3.0

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a light clear amber body with a soapy off-white head that last a bit. There is a carbonation of tiny bubbles that keeps the little head going.

S- The smell of pale malt has a faint dried corn hint and a green noble hop aroma. Over all the smell is pretty faint.

T- The faint taste of malt has a light toasted note with a finish that was a lot like tonic water. There was a bitter hop flavor in the finish. As it warmed a bit the malt had a hint of dry honey, which was nice, and the hops in the finish had a faint grape fruit note.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel that was odd but it might have been from the carbonation. It was a pretty tight fizz in the finish.

D- The nice flavors of malt and hops didn't come out until after the beer had warmed a bid and even then they were very faint and hidden. The tonic flavor was a bit off and washed out the hop flavor.

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Photo of germaniac
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Out of nowhere, this beer and two of it's labelmates(Hefe and Tripel) can now be found at the Fresno BevMo, a buck sixty nine for a cool looking 16oz bottle.

Nice clear, light amber, with a tightly bubbled white head.

Smells faintly hops and fruity citrus, maybe just a hint of malt.

Lightly bittered, crisp hop bite. Just a bit of sweet malt, enough to give this brew a little character without it becoming too cloying.

This bottle went down pretty easy, and has me craving more lagers all of a sudden, but I think I'll pass on buying another of this "Special Amber".

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Photo of Jammies
2.95/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a golden orange with minimal foam. no retention as the foam immediately dissipates.

S- sweet and piney. Pretty balanced smell.

T- deep malty and piney taste. Doesn't "wow" me

M- light body slides across the palate. Maltiness remains

O- Drinkable, but I wouldn't buy this beer. If I had anymore I would probably give them away to make room for some other stuff.

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Photo of stephendr
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy dark orange color - thin white head – nose of banana , vanilla bean , and slight skunk – taste has some skunk , banana , lemon peel / lemon , and sour honey quality - dry creamy sparkly body – aftertaste light banana , acidic – tastes more like a Hefe-Weiss

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Photo of JBogan
2.97/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy mud color with a small head and minimal lacing. Not a great start.

Smelled of sweet malts and a hint of alcohol.

Tasted of sweet malts with a buttery edge to it. The alcohol was also present but not intrusive.

Mouthfeel was very good. Smooth and slippery with a solid carbonation bite. Nice.

Not a great beer by any means but worth a try.

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Photo of Winter
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a golden orange in color with a light tan head. Aroma consisted of hops, biscuit and a fruity citrus scent. Mouthfeel seemed a little watered down. Hops are present throughout, but more apparent in the finish, which seemed too bitter and citric for my liking. Sprecher brews some great beers, but as far comparing it to other Vienna-Style lagers, the Special Amber seems to fall a little short. I wish this one was a little more smoother and creamier, rather than the over-riding hoppy citrus taste to the finish.

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Photo of TheDM
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brew poured a large head of fine to medium sized white bubbles and a lively transparent amber body. It had a malt hop aroma and a mild bitter hop start and finish.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Vienna poured a large off-white creamy head that contained small sized bubbles that mostly diminished. The body was clear with an orange hue. It had a light malty aroma and the flavor was lightly bitter that lasted from the start to the finish of this brew.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A hazy amber brown with a light pour only got a 1/4 of sticky sweet head in a lace.

S - Very faint if anything I get faint caramel and toffee (very faint) and some biscuit malts.

T - Yuengling lager only slightly sweeter with more biscuit malts. It's not terrible it's just not that great.

M - Light to medium like Yuengling it's easy to finish.

Overall it's been hit or miss with this brewery but I just don't see any reason to revisit this one.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sprecher Special Amber Lager pours out a nice fat head over a clear light amber brew.
Carbonation is moderate, and the nose is malt. The flavor is malt up front with a bit of
grassy hop in the finish. Subdued hop aftertaste. Nothing fancy here, just a really well
made, inexpensive brew.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a four-finger head that goes quickly and leaves only traces of lace. Medium carbonation. Clear amber color. Nose is bready. Starts and finishes with a balance of hops and malts. Slightly hoppy aftertaste. Does not work with spicey foods. $1.95 for a 16oz bottle.

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Photo of ZAP
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I'm not as high on this as others...for a lager it is awful cloudy...it is an orangish amber in color....the nose is toasty and nutty....body is relatively thinish...taste has some nuttiness and toastiness, along with a Pilsner like hop finish....easy to drink, but not a special beer in my opinion....pretty average...I liked it a lot better on tap in Green Bay so maybe this 4-pack I got is no good, but that is what I am rating it on...

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Special Amber from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 352 ratings.
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