Special Amber | Sprecher Brewing Company

BA SCORE
82
good
355 Ratings
Special AmberSpecial Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
sprecherbrewery.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
355
Reviews:
178
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
13.33%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 355 |  Reviews: 178
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.

 259 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of spycow
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of metter98
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear and light amber in color. It poured with just a few bubbles floating on the surface and no signs of visible carbonation.
S: The nose has light to moderate aromas of sweet toasted malts with notes of spicy hops.
T: The overall taste is rather malty and is both buttery and nutty. There is a slight amount of sweetness in the initial taste and some notes of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and a bit watery with a very light amount of carbonation. There is a slight amount of dryness in the finish.
D: Drinking this beer is a breeze; it goes down easily and is rather sessionable.

 633 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly orange color with hints of ruby. It had a thick, foamy, off-white head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled fruity and malty with a slightly floral nose.

T - It tasted smooth a malty, nice caramel taste with just enough hop presence.

M - This was smooth and crisp. A light to medium-bodied lager.

D - This is a really nice vienna lager. It is easy drinking and tasty.

 416 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle into lager glass, bottled on 6/28/2012. Pours lightly hazy deep golden amber color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, biscuit, toast, brown sugar, pear, apple, raisin, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of bready malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, biscuit, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, pear, apple, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, brown sugar, pear, apple, herbal, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Good balance and solid robustness of bready malts with fruity/earthy yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish, Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly bready mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice vienna lager. Good balance of bready malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,286 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'd never had any of the Sprecher beers before, and I wasn't really expecting much of a "Special Amber", but it turned out to be much better than I thought. It actually is amber in color, with a nice cream colored head that subsides to a light rim around the glass. The aroma is of malt and hops with little fermentation characteristic. The mouthfeel is fairly creamy and fuller than I'd expected. Taste is very well balanced between a firm malt and hops which are bright and crisp. Leaves a clean, refreshing hop aftertaste. A good beer, well worth trying, but not overly impressive.

 585 characters

Photo of oberon
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I love all the sprecher products I have tried,this is just a great malty,fruity beer!Poured great! great color,nice rich tasting lager but very drinkable!

 154 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle into a pint glass.

An aggressive pours yields a clear golden amber with 2+ fingers of creamy off-white head. A thin creamy layer of retention just skims the surface, leaving some decent looking swathes of lace behind. The aroma is not overly assertive at all but I can still pick up some notes of caramel, bread, some citrus, and a touch of floral hops on the back.

The taste is toasted bready malts, caramel, a splash of citrus, and a twinge of hops in the back add some balance. The mouthfeel has a light medium feel with good carbonation that goes down easy.

I didn't find anything too special from this Amber Ale but it offered just enough to keep me interested and the drinkibility was good for the style.

 729 characters

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.

 611 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of smcolw
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, light amber color. Small head that settles to rim bubbles--no lace.

Creamy and lightly toasted malt. Light hop.

The flavor is similar to the smell. Rich bodied with moderate carbonation. The hop is more present but has only a bittering effect. Relatively short aftertaste.

 287 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glassy clementine orange with butterscotch borders. A good looking cap of pale golden ecru fills the glass from the nonick bulge upwards. As the foam begins to melt, the upper reaches of the glass are covered with... not much. A few dribs and drabs of watery lace is the extent of things. What's in the glass looks fine. What's on it, not so fine.

Although Munich malt is the most noticeable grain (caramel and pale are the others), it isn't very forthcoming. Nothing much is. The nose is somewhat diacetyl buttery with no hop presence to speak of. Not a bad sniffer I guess, but I'm hoping that something more exciting happens once beer hits buds...

... and it kinda, sorta does. For some reason, Special Amber, despite its non-German hops, tastes German to me. Lightly toasted, surprisingly sweet malt is still the focal point. It's nice to see a little malt-derived complexity in such a (relatively) pale lager. The hops do what hops do, but there's no way that I would have guessed Cascade and Mt. Hood.

Special Amber's best feature is its delicate balancing act among sweet, bitter and sour. It's fun to turn one's attention to each of those flavor sensations in turn and to see how they interact with the other two strands of the flavor rope. There's a great deal of enjoyment to be had in this lager and more than a few facets if one has the patience to look for them.

The body/mouthfeel is light-medium and is as lagery smooth as the day is long. A near perfect amount of fine carbonation helps an already good mouthfeel. Drinkability finds no obstacles here.

I don't normally think of Sprecher when it comes time to name the best breweries in the Midwest. Maybe I should start giving them a little more credit because I'm almost always pleased by their beer. Although Special Amber can't be considered one of my very favorite Vienna lagers, it's a solid enough offering to deserve the first half of its name.

 1,932 characters

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Slightly hazed amber, awesome head

SMELL: Freshly toasted bread, hint of caramel, spicy hop, herbal, yeast, clean, lemony

TASTE: Sweet, very bready, balanced, somewhat clean, herbal, peppery hop, Portuguese sweet bread, hop oil, semi-dry finish.

Not as refined as I anticipated but that did not throw me back at all, fresh flavors and a bit of rawness really worked here for me.

 430 characters

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uh oh, I am the first to review this under "Serving Type - [CAN]" so I want to get in front of this before my detractors weigh in. It exists in a CAN, jagovs! A basic tenet of The CANQuest (TM) is NO lying. If it is not CANned or if I simply CANnot get one, I am not going to post a fictitious review for the sake of a Glug (because CANs don't tick, only Glug). Plus, I am VERY relieved to have another CAN. My first one was from the For Trade basket at Bella Vista and it was in a bag with four Sixpoint CANs purchased at Hawthorne's and while at a third (unnamed) establishment during PHL Beer Week, the bag disappeared. It was my fault for putting it down while grabbing a beer, but it did not make me happy, either.

From the CAN: "Milwaukee's Original Microbrewery"; "Established in [MKE] - 1985"; "Fire-Brewed".

The Crack introduced me to a VERY active beer that jumped right out at me like a little kid on the arrival of a favorite relative. I let it settle down, as I always do with little kids, taking a W. C. Fields stance towards them. The Glug resulted in a dense rocky finger of tawny head with modest retention. As to color, this was truth in advertising at its finest - a beautiful, deep amber bordering on copper with NE-quality clarity. When I see women with a natural head of hair this color, I fall instantly in lust. I turn into Lennie from "Of Mice and Men", wanting to touch their hair and jabbering on about freckles and pale skin. Sometimes, it actually works! This beer was equally beautiful. The nose had a caramel malt sweetness to it and while that may not be enticing to me, it was not off-putting, either. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a grassy light astringency on the tongue. Finish had a mild grassy bitterness overlaying the light sweetness underneath. I am definitely getting some of this for the cooler!

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Special Amber from Sprecher Brewing Company
3.6 out of 5 based on 355 ratings.
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