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The Raven Special Lager | B.W. Beer Works USA

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72 Reviews
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The Raven Special LagerThe Raven Special Lager

Brewed by:
B.W. Beer Works USA
Maryland, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Raven Special Lager is a perfect balanced lager beer that goes well with any kind of food, but particularly with spicy food or when you just want to sit down and enjoy a beer with friends. With a shot of Woodford Reserve chased with chilled Raven is a near perfect combination. The rich golden colored beer is an exceptionally smooth Southern German lager, somewhat malty but well balanced between the hops and malt. Experiencing the clean finish and pleasant lingering aftertaste of The Raven Special Lager, one can truly say that The Taste Is Poetic.

18 IBU

Added by RBorsato on 04-28-2003

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 187
Photo of tugdriver7
4.35/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The local stores had huge displays of "The Raven" this week, offering great deals on 6-ers and cases. It was evident that everyone was capitalizing on the big Baltimore Raven game today against the INDIANAPOLIS Colts (not to be confused with the Baltimore Colts who ceased to exist in 1984). So, though I had tried it on tap before at Maryland's Oktoberfest, I had to support the local team and buy some.

It was better than I remember. Nice amber color in the glass with a decent, fluffy head that stayed half-way through and then laced the glass nicely. Smell was all malt, with a very nice, moderate mouthfeel. The taste was solid malt, with a touch of hops for balance. Extremely smooth and drinkable. A bit of sweet on the tongue at first, but definitely not cloying and the pleasant flavor becomes quite refreshing as the glass empties. Very very drinkable. I'm enjoying it with BBQ (from a local chain establishment) and it is the perfect balance of flavor.

More than one review says The Raven is what an adjunct (macro) lager should taste like. This is definitely no "macro," but it is easily one of the easiest drinking beers out there. Definitely worth trying.

November 2011

Tasted again for the first time. Something I've tried before, but hadn't had it in a long time. A friend said he tried it at the Firkin Festival and it was one of his favorites--even among all the dozens of others available on tap. So I bought some again. Poured nice amber/gold in the glass with a hint of haze and a short head of foam that dissipated quickly. Definitely smooth and slick with a moderate body and light carbonation (nailed the "lager" profile right on the head). Hint of sweet malt in the nose with a rich German-style pale roundness. Not much in the way of off flavors and just a hint of hops (offering a nice balanced bitterness on the back of the tongue) so extremely drinkable. Very nice indeed. And very fresh tasting (since it's made locally). Glad I tried it. I'll have to take some to tailgate at the Ravens game next week!

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a crystal clear medium copper color with modest slightly off-white puffy head. Nice lacing as the head slowly fell to a thin ring.Smell is a pleasant combination of maltiness and sweet fruit. Taste has a frim malty character with a nice balancing amount of hops. Full creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable. An excellent macro lager. This is what they should all taste like.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.22/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on-tap into a 4 oz. tasting glass.

Poured a cloudy red with a foamy head that quickly dissipated. Smelled toasty and a little sweet; well-balanced aroma. Initially, a slightly hoppy kick with a warming-sweet flavor going down; a roasted-maltiness in the aftertaste. Very drinkable - this could be a great everyday beer.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
4.15/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from BZero007 - thank you much! This is a wonderful beer.

Poured into a Duvel glass this beer has a wonderful pale golden color and sits sparkling clear in the glass. The head quickly dissapates to nothing but still looks great.

The aromas are mild but there is a lot of sweet malt character in this one. I like the toffee-esk overtones with sweet almost caramel-like smells.

The taste is crisp clean and refreshing. The sip begs another and I must say this is an extremely enjoyable beer. I reach for another only to notice I don't have but this one! Damn I really like it too. If I see it again I'll definately buy them up.

The mouthfeel is very light but not to the point of distraction - in fact its perfect for the style. I really enjoyed this one.

The drinkability is extremely high. I would love to have more of this beer. That's a great sign that it's drinkable! If you see this one buy a sixer and send me at least 2.

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Photo of palffyfan
4.08/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light amber with lots of bubbles. Virtually no head.

Smell - Slightly hoppy smell, nothing pungent, but slightly weak.

Taste - Good deal of sweetness, with some minor hop bitterness at the end. I'm surprised this is considered a macro in the first place (though I knew ahead of time that this one of Baltimore's most famous beers). I've rerated it after another try on 08-02..turned out to be a really fulfilling beer, with great wheat flavor.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, very solid for a macro. This is certainly a step-up from Budweiser, and considering the extra buck and half in price for a six-pack, I think its certainly worth it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a taster glass.

Pours a clear golden color with a nice white head and just a touch of lacing on the edges. The nose has a bit of light grain, faint hops, and just a touch of sweetness. The flavor is a really nice balance between light malt and very mild sweetness. Just a touch of grain flavor as well. Light body with good carbonation and just a bit of chewiness. Altogether, really a nice lager.

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Photo of Asher1982
3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer on draft on two seperate occasions. It is definitely not going to knock your socks off, but it drinks very nicely, and way to easily. The color was a pale orange amber with a cream head. You could pick up on a nice balance of hops and malts like a pale lager should have. This is very drinkable. Probably a good 4th of July or Memorial Day beer. Something you could drink most of the day with some pacing.

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Photo of L4t3rg4t3r
3.92/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearence: Pours an Amber-golden Color.

Smell: Malty, biscuity, and a hint of sweetness.

Taste: Tastes like it smells, bisuit, malt, and a little bit of sweetness on the end.

Mouthfeel: Good, but a little light and a tad overly carbonated.

Drinkability: I think that this is my favorite of the style so far, IMO it has more character and depth then most other examples of this style.

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Photo of Greenlabel
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen this beer in 6-packs during prior trips to Virginia but it never looked fresh and the bottles were not dated. This month I saw it in cases at a Total Wine store and was able to read a date on the case. My 6-pack lived up to that dating - it was definitely fresh and refreshing. Nice color, good head and lace, soft mouthfeel and pleasant malty aftertaste. I doubt this product sells in much quantity as it's a limited contract brew. Nonetheless, I thought it to be a very acceptable session-type lager and will be happy to purchase it again on a future trip if I can find another fresh 6-pack. Have never seen it outside of Maryland and Virginia.

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Photo of auxiliary
3.87/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - Golden amber color, poured a small white head, but then left a ring around the glass. (Now that I have finished my review this thing looks flat)

smell - Nice sweet malt smell. Enjoyed the smell of this one.

taste- Sweet malt up front with some bread. SLight bit of hops at the end, but very faint.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Easy drinking beer. Enjoyed this one for this style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is contract brewed at the Clipper City Brewing Company in Baltimore. It pours a clear, deep-amber body with an orange cast. Steadily rising bubbles can clearly be seen adding to the foamy white cap that holds well and maintains a thin surface covering throughout the first half of the glass. The nose delivers a sweetish caramel malt that's infused with lightly floral hops. The body is medium and it's smooth in the mouth with a very fine, moderate carbonation that gently tingles the tongue. The flavor offers a rich, sweetish malt that indicates the use of Munich, and perhap crystal, malts. It's balanced by a firm bitterness and infused with lightly floral hops; and finishes soft and smooth with some residual malt and a light touch of hop flavor.

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Photo of imaguitargod
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these at The Raven (restaurant in Virginia Beach, VA) and drank it out of a Pilsner glass. Poured to a small head that quickly dissipated (no lacing) and has a very pleasing golden-amber color. Decently carbonated and a little champagne like in that fact. This is an extremely drinkable beer and is gone before you know it. Slight sweetness of caramel first hits you palate followed by a small hint of hops. This is a very good beer for people that want to make the jump into craft beer. Very smooth!

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.85/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool old looking label with black raven on it. Has a quote from EAP at the bottom.

Pours an orange amber color that is a little bit cloudy. Has a good deal of carbonation with lots of bubbles rising to the top. The head is minimal but does leave a good bit of lace to the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is spicy apples with a small bit of cinnamon. The taste is similar to the aroma, hinting of apples. Their is a small bit of hop flavor in the aftertaste.

Good beer that I would recommend highly.

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Photo of Nimbus_
3.8/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours a yellowish tangerine color. Has a very wimpy foamy head that dissipates quite quickly. Its slightly hazy, but clear enough to see bubbles rushing to the top. Not bad looking, but nothing special.

Smell: Not very strong of an aroma. Mostly just getting fruit and citrus. Some orange. Maybe a tad bit of honey and nuttiness in the background.

Taste: Follows the nose almost exactly. Citrus is right up front with a few other flavors of honey resting in the background. There is also a little bit of a biscuit taste after the finish.

Feel: Crisp and refreshing. Not a dry finish what so ever. The carbonation is appropriate for the style and balances the mouth feel very well.

Overall: I'd drink this brew on a hot summer day. It's refreshing to drink. It doesn't stand out as an amazing beer, but it's decent.

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Photo of FlyingRabbit
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought as part of a "Sixer Mixer"

Always like supporting local beers

A: Great golden/reddish color. A bit darker than I expected when I first opened the bottle. Nice head that lasted for about an average period of time.

S: Agree with other reviewers that this doesn't have any discernible smells other than malts and corn.

T: A little bit hoppy at first, but it had strains of citrus.

M: Despite its initial hoppiness, there is a nice even feel that is not heavy.

D: Highly drinkable. Would be great for many an excursion on a fall day. This isn't a tailgate beer.

Really dug this, and will probably invest in an actual sixer of this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of robatlu
3.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this one up at the Wine Specialist in DC. I'm a sucker for local brews, so I grabbed a six pack.

It pours a clear amber color, very nice appearance.

There are hints of citrus in the flavor, and overall the malty taste is very solid.

This is a very drinkable brew. Some brews make me glad I only bought a single, this one makes me glad I bought a sixpack.

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Photo of Clydesdale
3.75/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a perfectly clear amber-bronze color. The head is moderately large, off-white, and densely frothy. Retention is above average. Some irregular rings of frothy lace.

S: A somewhat sweet nose. Equal parts pale and caramel malt. Grainy and aggressively herbal for the style. Rather perfumy as well.

T: Still primarily sweet. Caramel and pale malts are considerable for the style. Hops are herbal and floral, providing decent flavor and some medium bitterness. A slight metallic aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied. Somewhat crisply carbonated. On the dry side into the finish.

D: For a relatively basic lager, there's a lot going on here. Most of it good, some of it not so much. A touch metallic and vegetal at times, but it's got some character. Solid and respectable.

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Photo of bamojr
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with white fluffy head about one finger that dissipates quickly. very floral nose with a hint of some roasted malts in the background but very faint on those. Bitter flavor with some malt backgrounds. no real detection of the floral aromas I was getting in the taste. Defiantly lingers on the palette with a pungent flavor. This is a good strong lager but doesn't have any thing too interesting about it other than the box it comes in. Not a bad little beer but a little to pricey for the novelty when it is a pretty standard brew.

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Photo of gammeldansk
3.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: foamy, doesn't stay long. Nice color, changing between lemon yellow and amber. A little bit cloudy,
S: complex, flowers and grass, old wooden furniture.
T: nice balance between sweet and bitter, not as complex as one would expect from the smell.
M: well carbonated, full-bodied.

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Photo of patreely12
3.67/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours crystal clear golden color with a half inch of fluffy white foam. a small amount of visible carbonation.

S - strong bready pale malts. grassy, hay like aroma. some nice sweetness, some fruity notes. faint earthy hops.

T/M - very grainy pale malts up front. the malts make up the majority of the flavor. a little bit of nuttiness and grassy flavor help transition into a very mild hoppy back end where there's also a nice honey note to give the beer some sweetness. really crisp, clean finish. light bodied almost like water, mild carbonation.

Overall is isn't a bad brew. nice, clean flavors, really refreshing and sessionable. I would drink this again for sure.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pokal glass, just like on the label being held there from Mr. Poe himself heh heh..

Light faint creamy and very faint tan head on creation, but only about a finger, but manages to keep a half creamed puck. Body color is a nice chestnut amber and quite clear with lots of rising carbonation very finely. Solid looking brew.

Slight toasty malts but a good sticky caramel and yeast sensation. Hits into a bit of sweet syrupy quality but relatively straight forward with no surprises.

Palate manages a little bit of a downplayed mouthfeel that sort of tunes everything down. Slightly watery grain finish and flavors, not unlike the caramel aroma but with less of a malt depth or hinting sticky residue. Strangely numbing finish, almost kind of a mild novocaine like quality but not horrifically bad or that noticeable. More watery caramel, a touch of hardly discerning clove spice perhaps.

A relatively just ok brew, but seems to miss a bit of malt depth and flavor.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of Dithyramb and BIF X-mas

Pours a honey golden color with a small, but tight looking white head. A ring of bubbles forms on top and along the edges of the liquid as this one settles. Retention isn't so great.
Smell is sweet malts, slight pear aroma, and just a whiff of hops.
Taste is surprisingly sweet, I was actually expecting this one to be a little thinner than this, but it's not bad. Plenty of sweet and toasted malt character, some hop bitterness (I would have personally prefered more from this one, but you can't always get what you want). A fairly mellow lager. Not much going on here that I can tell, which is good for what it is.
Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is nice, and it's not sickly sweet or anything.
Overall, a decent lager. I'm not unimpressed, it would certainly be good on a hot day.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear copper color pour with a small white head , medium to light carbonation . Aroma is light with a touch of grass some sweet clean malt garin, very faint floral hop notes. Flavor is very balanced slightly bready malt with just a bit of hops to even things out. Very clean crisp mouthfeel , light body . A very sessionable brew, with no huge flavors or aromas yet pretty darn good .

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Photo of drabmuh
3.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is yellow and clear. Not much head carbonation is moderate with large bubbles and there is no lacing on the glass.

Aroma is slightly grainy and sweet, like vienna malt. Smells fine.

Highly drinkable, medium bodied beer. Overall its really nice, sweet slightly and finishes nice. I think its OK.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's really too bad we don't have photo of the bottle of The Raven for BA yet. It's a good one. Very Edgar Allan. Plus, the bottle cap has a picture of Poe's face on it. Certainly not my favorite beer, but definitely one of my favorite bottle caps.

Pours a nice, light amber color. The one-finger head settles nicely, but quickly, leaving a thin layer of foam atop the body of the beer. No lace on the glass. A slightly sweet, malty aroma. Not a strong smell, and nothing really stands out, but there is little if any hint of hops in this aroma. Smells kinda like strawberries. Tastes sweet and malty too, with that danged strawberry reminder making another appearance. Nothing outstanding about this beer, but nothing offensive either. I would classify this as a steady session beer for sure. I might even like it more on draft, and wouldn't hesitate to try it again should I find it in a bar. I probably won't seek it out, but I wouldn't turn my nose up at for sure. A rather likable beer, this Raven.

As I sat there, nearly napping,
Suddenly there came a tapping,
As if someone gently rapping,
Rapping at my chamber door.

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The Raven Special Lager from B.W. Beer Works USA
3.42 out of 5 based on 187 ratings.
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