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

71 Reviews
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The Raven Special LagerThe Raven Special Lager

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

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: 71 | Ratings: 181
Photo of daliandragon
3.53/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a sixer yesterday at Trader Joe's in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. The packaging, especially the bottlecaps, are original and fun, especially if you're a fan of the author.

Pours an orange tinted golden colorwith a nice two fingers of snow white head that lasts maybe forty five sconds. Nose is sweet and heavily malty with a biscuity tone.

The taste is similar to the smell, featuring a heavy bread texture and a sweet malty finish. The texture is even and full bodied for a lager. The aftertaste has a surprisingly strong touch of alcohol for a 5.5 abv but it's not overpowering.

I don't love this beer but for a run of the mill lager it's quite good and distinct. I'm glad the brewery didn't sully the name of such a famous author (and drinker) with a crap beer. Worth a shot.

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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 cichief
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD, poured into a 20 oz. mug.

A- Pours a gold-amber color, with a thin, off-white head.

S- Sweet, malty, with a vanilla scent.

T- Malty, with a decent dry hop finish.

M- Smooth, not overly carbonated, thin-medium on the tongue.

D- Refreshing, a decent lager all in all. Balanced enough for drinking throughout a session.

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Photo of jwc215
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazed amber with a thin head that soome becomes a thin patch that disappears, but briefly reappears with gentle swirling.

The smell if of soft caramel - some graininess - sweet.

The taste is of sweet graininess and light caramel. A late touch of woody, (earthy?) continental-type hops give it some balance, though it remains malty sweet, esp. in the rather abrupt finish.

It's light bodied - a bit watery. Some sweetness lingers.

Not a bad choice for an easy-drinking, sweeter, "no-brainer" beer, but nothing exciting or memorable by any means, IMO.

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Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear dark golden color with a frothy head that settles quickly and doesn't lace the glass

Smell: Very little aroma - just a slightly bready, slightly sweet smell

Taste: Starts with a bready flavor that is a tinge sweet and a tinge bitter but never really develops beyond that

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Inoffensive is perhaps the best that can be said; slightly sweet and easy to drink but not worth seeking out

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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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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 kdog630
3.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought for the Poe bottlecaps. Poured a rich golden color with a decent head. Left lacing throughout the glass.

The aroma was average for a lager. Malty with hint of European hops. The flavor was also of a golden malt. Richer than the macros, with a decent mouthfeel.

I'd drink it again but not right away. Could be a adequate lawnmower beer.

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

Pours a nice clear copper with an off-white head. Aroma is mainly sweet, bready malts with a slight hint of hops. Flavor is along the same lines...mostly malty with faint, fruity hops trying to make their presence known. Mouthfeel is ok...nothing spectactular. Average lager that goes down easy sums this one up.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.38/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass very slightly hazy golden amber with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was lightly malty with a slight metallic hop aroma.

The flavor was slightly sweet and malty with a very low bittering and more slight metallic hops. The flavor was lightly fruity.

The finish was even with just a light fruitiness lasting later in the finish. The body was medium. Not a bad beer, but just rather ordinary. The aroma and flavor were slightly metallic, but not too much so as to detract.

12 ounce bottle. "The Taste is Poetic" label and an Edgar Allen Poe bottlecap.

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Photo of claytri
3.5/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was glad to see this at the Maryland Oktoberfest as I had been curious about it.

It poured a dark gold with an off white head. the aroma was of good malt. The taste was fairly malty with a light hop finish. The feel was med and dry. A resonable beer.

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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 cubedbee
3.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled this at a festival, which is the only place I ever see this beer. Pours a clear golden orange with a good bit of carbonation visible and a full finger of head. Nose is weak and uninteresting, malty with the unpleasant corn aroma of an adjunct lager. Taste was simple but good--strong malts with hints of caramel and just the faintest bit of hops bitterness, which surprised me. The mouthfeel is soft and smooth and it finishes with a light malty aftertaste. As someone who swore off beer for years because I had only tasted American lagers and despised the taste, I must say that this is far and away the best of the style I've ever had a taste of. That being said, there are still a lot better, more flavorful beers, out there and I won't be buying this any time soon.

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Photo of Gavage
3.44/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange in color with a short 1/2" head that quickly disappeared to a surface coating. The aroma is malty and full of caramel. The taste was simple and soft on the tongue - malt, caramel, hints of orange, along with a mellow bitterness. Carbonation levels were a bit weak.

Mouthfeel was smooth with a light crispness at the start and finish. The caramel tones lingered softly on the tongue. Drinkability is decent. Not a beer to go searching for, but not a bad offering at a bar that only has other macros.

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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 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 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 RBorsato
3.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium gold color with a beige head, good carbonation, and decent lace. Moderate malt aroma. Malty flavor is slightly grainy and slightly sweet. Medium bodied.

I think this is closest to a Dortmunder Export...

Not a bad brew to try but one I've tried a few different times and it's never really caught on. Not one I'd buy but also not one I'd turn down.

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The Raven Special Lager from B.W. Beer Works USA
79 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.
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