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 dhannes
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Memorial Union in Madison in a plastic cup (also saw for $19.99/case at Costco earlier today).

A=Rich amber color with off-white foamy head.

S=No noticeable aroma.

T=Richness; hint of cinnamon and vanilla? Malts evident, while hops were present in the background.

M=Very nice...maybe a bit too heavy for the style.

O=A very nice beer...more like a lighter amber. Not quite as robust as Sam Adams' Boston Lager, but a more drinkable version...if you like Boston Lager but are looking for something that is a bit more drinkable in larger quantities, e.g. more of a session beer, and want to save a few pennies, this is a worthy choice.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber color. The head was quite tall and dense. Good carbonation. But the problem was a good amount of flakey floaters of some unknown origin.
Aroma was weak and mostly malts in the Vienna style. The beer was pretty smooth and even refreshing. It was quite malty and hop bitterness gave a good balance.
Perhaps I got a bad batch. The beer was desent at best.

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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 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 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.

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

Poured out of a 16 oz bottle into a tulip style pint glass

A) Amber as the name implies. A foamy finger of head dissipates to a nice dusting. Good retention, not much lacing. Decent amount of carbonation noted.

S) Malty sweetness and a little bit of floral and citrus from the hops.

T) Nicely balanced brew. Sweet roasted malt, caramel flavor followed by light pine, grass and a bitter finish.

M) Lighter than I remember, and not lacking carbonation. It's pretty crisp. I wouldn't call it smooth, but it is easy drinking. Lingering aftertaste, that is just okay.

O) Very solid lager here, and definitely one of my favorites from Sprecher. Takes me back to the first Brewer game played at Miller Park. I was guzzling these in the Sprecher tent while tailgating. The next morning, my Dad asked me about when they opened up the retractable roof. I was like, the what now??? Who won? Thanks Sprecher...

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Photo of rsdaugherty
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass
A – A clear honey amber brew with an off-white 1 finger head which reduced to a thin layer with no lacing 3.5
S – Sweet caramel malts with subtle florals and a slight citrus hoppiness 3.5
T – Reminds me of the sweet Hawaiian bread. Malts are caramel with a nutty characteristic with just enough hop presence that you will not miss it nice balance 4
M – Light body and very good drinkability with enough substance to keep it from feeling thin 4
O – As I grow older I find the good experiences in my life are growing in number enough that I will only remember the extraordinary experiences. A nice beer I will not remember or visit again. 3.5

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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 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 KMcG
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The namesake is amber so I’m going to go with amber in color. The head begins big and then fades to include some slight traces of head on the edges of the glass.

S-The aroma is mostly malty with some hints of dried dark fruit.

T-Sweet malts and very slight hops are the predominant taste. The aftertaste is mostly crisp with hint of sweetness (caramel).

M-The carbonation is balanced with the flavor for this light to medium brew.

This beer is very easy to drink and is how a lager should be.

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Photo of fatmcb1
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, amber pour with less than one finger of head. Quickly dissipates to a ring

Sweet, malty aroma with a decent amount of hop background.

Plenty of roasted malts and caramel flavor are up front. There is a slight hop balance, but definitely more malt forward.

Good carbonation provides a rich mouthfeel.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz bottle into pint glass

A-Amber is in the name so it appropriate that it pours a nice amber color with about a finger of head that fades away quickly leaving not much for lacing

S-Slightly grainy carmel

T-sweet malts and carmel with a little hint of hops

M-good carbonation finishes on the sweet side

O-good easy drinking not to complex

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

Pours out translucent golden brown with a short lived two finger fluffy head, mild lacing. Smells mostly of heavy caramel malt, bready yeasty notes, and some very mild earthy and spice hop aspects. Taste is like graham crackers and nut-tinged malts stampeding all over your tongue. The mild hop presence doesn't even appear until the finish, and even than it is an understated kiss goodnight of noble hops on your lips. It could use a small boost to those noble hops. However, the body is the main issue with this brew. To my mouth, this beer comes across as thin and watery, if only it had a slightly chewier texture, or just a bit heavier body, than I would have to search really damn hard to find something else to nitpick.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $1.79 in early 2011.

Pours a golden amber color with a very bubbly head of foam. Scent is strong with grassy wheats, malts, and a slight touch of citrus. Taste is bold and refined. It is a smooth well blended mixture of wheats, hops, and malts. Is rather refreshing with a not too light/not to strong taste that drinks perfectly. Probably one of the best Vienna Lagers I've had to date.

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Photo of cooch69
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came in a can and poured into a pilsner glass a bright copper amber color with a two finger soapy white head. Visual presentation on this one was a beauty. Tons of carbonation rise to the top to maintain a fair bit of lacing all the way to the last drop.

Nose on this one is a bit muted. It includes pale grains, some caramel bready notes and a slight spicy hop kick. Smooth, brisk and light on the nose.

This beer does'nt provide much of a chore to drink it fast. Super light and easy to put down. Good on a hot summer day. Some musty notes in here as well as the hops and grains. Very well balanced.

A good German Lager at a really affordable price.

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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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Photo of greybeardloon
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled April 21, 2011

A: Dark amber, white head.

S: Caramel. Very mild spicy hops as it warms.

T: Caramel and mealy (somehow the texture seems relevant), overripe apple with just the slightest hint of bitterness. I would much prefer if the hops were there to balance the sweet malt, but as it is, it's sweeter than I like.

M: Medium with good carbonation.

O: A bit like a Brooklyn Lager without hops. I suspect this beer would accompany many dishes well. Without food, I can drink a few, but there are many others I would rather drink.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Funny how "special" has a few meanings, each with its own level of prestige, so to speak. Let's see where this beer lands within that spectrum: It pours a clear amber (how thoroughly apropos) topped by a half-finger of slightly off-white foam. The nose comprises biscuits, graham crackers, and a touch of caramel. It's like a dry, slightly woody (dammit, I forgot to mention the hint of balsa, didn't I?) malt-bomb of the highest order. The taste brings in some mandarin orange and decidedly mild flowers, but these are in turn enveloped by the caramel and graham-influencing honey. It's a lot more nuanced than the smell, and the balance, though off, isn't altogether lost. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a feel that leans toward watery without ever actually making it all the way there. Overall, an okay Vienna, but way too one-sided and too thin to really produce a wow factor.

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Photo of Thads324
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear and vibrantly bubbly amber color. on the lighter side of amber/copper. good sticky white head that loiters a while. smells musty and sweet, like lager yeast and a hint of corn syrup. Begins with a crisp bread-like flavor, with a sharp but not bitter hop flavor mid profile, before finishing smooth and again crisp. There is a very sweet linger after the finish that I notice halfway through my glass. Very neat package of flavor with no holes, tannins etc. mouthfeel is very crisp and slightly dry, with a good sharp finish that is quite clean.
A well done lager. I could drink this bad boy all day and night. Reminds me somewhat of a lighter colored yuengling, but better flavor. A nice sessionable brew

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Photo of jsprain1
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Solidly orange, with some copper notes to it. Very clear. White head is one and a half fingers thick and long lasting.
S- Smell is caramel, some grainyness, and a bit of earthyness/nutty notes.
T- The flavor can simply be said to be excellent until the finish. Caramel and bready notes at the beginning, a bit of fruityness and earthyness near the finish, but then there is this quite off slightly sour note in the finish that probably dropped the taste score a full point for me.
M- Light-medium body, smooth finish in the carbonation.
O- Other than the flavors in the finish, it was an allaround solid beer. Paired very well with my German food (pork chop and red cabbage).

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. single from Abe's.

Golden amber body, good clarity, topped by three-plus fingers of snow white micro-micro-bubbles. Very creamy looking.

Strong clean aroma mixes bits of bakery and hay. Inviting though not overly assertive.

Light semi-sweet beginning in the midde of the tongue. Noble hops bite at the swallow and tingle through a long lingering and enjoyable aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a bit chewier than expected, giving a bit more heft to the beer.

A good solid German inspired lager that you can have a couple of during an evening.

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Photo of bsp77
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pint glass. Julian bottling date that starts with 11112, so depending on their system, it is either April 11 or 12, 2011.

Appearance: Clear, golden amber with only a thin head.

Smell: Caramel, bread, cherry and a strong metallic note.

Taste: Initial malt backbone of bread, toast, caramel and cherry before giving way to a moderate bitterness consisting of straw, pepper and some metallic notes.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, light to medium body, pretty dry finish.

Overall: Surprisingly robust Vienna Lager. Great flavor profile that is slightly dampened by a hoppy finish that is a little too metallic and just misses the mark.

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Photo of therica
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A= orange-tea colored, minor head, slight rimming that nearly after 2 minutes; minor pooling.

S= baked apple at first, then musty starchy sweet malts, can't find any hops traces.

T= not bad, drinkable, slightly watery, a bit dry, hops bitterness appearing after it sets for a few minutes.

M= hay and grassy malts, light bitters. In the first bottle, a slight and annoying sweetness on the tongue that doesn't match. I'd hate to call it a corn sweetness taste. I suppose some call it caramel but.... In the second bottle it didn't seem as obvious and had a nicer finish-- maybe a simple day-to-day change in preferences.

O= not bad, drinkable with meals or at social occasions where the beer isn't the feature ie decent table-beer. Should go well with roasted or grilled chicken, burgers, sandwiches, even salad. Going well with Mexican enchiladas at the moment.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured from the bigger size 16 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours a light amber to orangish color. My pour produces a generous white head over an inch in height (perhaps I was a bit too vigorous in pouring). Head fades over time to a decent cover/ring around the glass.

Smell: Light aromas of malt, lightly sweet malt. A hint of caramel, toffee, nothing hoppy here.

Taste: Some slightly sweet caramel malts. Faint bitterness on the finish. If I did not know this was a Vienna Style lager I would have bet on an all malt lager.

Mouthfeel: Smooth on the tongue with a faint prickliness on the throat as it goes down. This beer is light in body, light in carbonation.

Drinkability: Got a 4 pack of this for cheap on closeout for $4. Ok, not great (a stretch to even say good). Better representatvive beers for the style are available IMO.

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Photo of chicagoabbot
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap in liter stein at "The Three" in Milwaukee during the Super Bowl, just catching up on the review now from some notes I jotted in my phone...the bar officially know as Y-Not Y-Not Y-Not. Props to the owners on a great Super Bowl Party, the venison stew was tops!

Bright almost neon appearance. This beer is super-bright orange! Very cool in that respect.

Smell is a little lacking. I like the hop and malt profiles, but the yeast funk is not strong enough for a Vienna style lager in my opinion.

Pretty tasty, not a stand out, but well balanced and nothing objectionable. I tend to be a little critical of ambers, but this isn't bad.

Must be highly drinkable, because I drank 4 liters worth of steins as the Packers romped their way to a victory!

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