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Andechser Spezial Hell | Klosterbrauerei Andechs

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BA SCORE
86
very good
61 Reviews
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Andechser Spezial HellAndechser Spezial Hell
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Klosterbrauerei Andechs
Germany | website

Style: Munich Helles Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Its clear gleaming look and firm, fine pored head goes hand in hand with its fresh and pure aroma. Malty nuances are the first impressions.

Spezial Hell is pleasantly tangy with a full, round malt body that cannot fail to fascinate. The soft flavour carries a distinctive balance of sweet accents and bitter hoppiness.

It concludes on equally soft malty nuances – a classical festival beer in the tradition of old Bavarian brewing.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-18-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
61
Ratings:
118
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
14.36%
 
 
Wants:
15
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 118
Photo of Domingo
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While they serve the normal helles in town during the summer, this is what's typically at the Monastery.
This is a deep golden color with a pretty big fluffy head. Straight from a large wooden keg. It always amazes me how they can give you what looks like such a rush-job pour, but 2 seconds later you see that the beer is at the exact line on the glass and the head's perfect. Practice makes perfect!
Smells normal for the style. Toasted grain, mild hops, lager yeast.
The flavor's pretty much the same thing. No real booziness present, but it also lacks the hop overtones that make their helles unique. Not bad, but nothing special.
In general, the export/spezial beers can be either wonderful (Edelstoff) or boring. This one's not quite boring, but it's headed in that direction.
The normal Andechser hell is pretty damned good, and I'd honestly rather see that beer than this one. This one isn't bad, but with so many better options at the Monastery, it's at the bottom of my personal list.

EDIT: This holds true for the bottled spezial hell as well. Not bad, but a little bit "meh." In a lot of ways, I think the spezial/export style might just be a little too straightforward (boring?) with only a few exceptions. It just feels like the hops are lost in most examples and the malty sweetness seems 1-dimensional. I'd love if there were more dunkel exports, though.

EDIT 2: On my visit during 6/11 I had the opposite reaction. I definitely preferred this one to the normal hell and enjoyed it quite a bit. Maybe this time I'd had more pilsners and wasn't burt out on helles beers, but I found this to be outstanding.

 1,624 characters

Photo of Naerhu
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden body and thin pure white head. Tiny bubbles loosely rising.
Malty unexciting aroma. No hop aroma present.
Mild clean malty flavor with mild bitterness. Slightly sweet without being intrusive. Slightly spicy hoppiness, but you have to struggle to notice it.
Very mild carbonation.
Refreshing but not interesting.

 322 characters

Photo of drmeto
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:
-pours a clear straw-golden with a big,foamy,white head
-medium carbonation visible
S:
-honey,apples,sulfur,lemons,spices,cracker malt,grassy
T:
-honey,spices,alcohol sweetness,spice,grass
F:
-light body,medium carbonation
O:
Pretty good Dortmunder/Export

 258 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a short dense white head that fades slowly leaving a few whisps of lace. Clear golden-wheat colored beer is full of tiny rising bubbles. Spicy hops and crisp sweet malt aromas. Lightly sweet pale malt with and earthy bite of hops come together into a tea like flavor. Crisp, with a light fizz in the mouthfeel, and nice sharp bite in the end. A biting, juicy, pils-esque beer. A rereshing beer that isn't just for hot days.

 430 characters

Photo of dasenebler
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold, with an okay head that disappeared eventually. Unassuming appearance overall. Some woody malts in the nose, along with euro hop funk aroma.

Flavor is very good, much fuller than an average helles beer. There's a pronounced hop presence and bitter aftertaste as well. Sweeter and fuller than a pils, similar bitterness as well, but more complex I'd say. Good subtle carbonation and a smooth drink. Overall an enjoyable brew at nearly 6%; something I'd have again.

 483 characters

Photo of Sigmund
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle, bought in Germany. ABV is 5.9%. Pale golden colour, large and lingering white head. Fruity and grassy aroma, some malty sweetness too. Soft mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, moderate but decent hops well balanced with the pale malts. I am rarely "swept away" by a helles (nor by any other type of pale lagers, for that matter), not by this one either - but the Andechser Spezial is a well made and very drinkable helles, as far as helles go. Kloster Andechs is probably one of Germany’s best breweries overall.

 525 characters

Photo of John
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Klosterbrauerei Andechs Bräustüberl. A visit here is indeed a special occasion worthy of the Spezial Hell. Yellow/gold colored clear brew, frothy off-white head. Malty, hints at sweetness...hopped gently. Balances back and forth between the two expertly. A refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable helles...one of the best.

 330 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uh Oh, I did all 4s again...

This is another one from my Andechs stash brought back from D-land.

Clear golden color, pours just like it should with that head right at the line on my Andechs glass. Not an ounce of lace, however. Not an overwhelming smell, but typical for this type of beer. Fairly crisp drinking, a bit more body than the regular helles, it's spicey just like a typical German lager.

A very good beer, although not the most outstanding. Could have an even crisper mouthfeel, imo.

pat

 511 characters

Photo of jonb5
4/5  rDev +4.4%

0.4 Litre, served in handled mug.

A: Very pale straw colour, clear, two finger head, kept a lid of foam
on top, also had some lacing.

S: Not overly pronounced, but a bit of subtle orangy Bavarian malt.

T: Hint of sharpness added to the south Bavarian malts, notes of orange.

M: Minimal carbonation, light body, went down OK.

O: More export than Helles, very drinkable.

 378 characters

Photo of Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was fairly unimpressed by this Munchner Helles.

While on a train from Koeln to Brussels, we popped this open with a friend. The pour was rather clear and not too fizzy, golden toned. the smell was weak but rather malty, although not aiming to be too sweet. some floral hop feel could be felt, but it wasn't too elaborate.

The taste was not too impressive, but it was ok. rather weak lager feel, although fairly dense to the mouth. a very good balance between sweet and grainy, the bitterness only felt at the end and not in abundance.

I must say it's not a bad helles, even so, probably the only thing that enhanced its personality was the scenario I tasted it in- not the beer itself.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the monastery last week.
Pours out a light,golden color, light active carbonation, makes a very nice effervescent head.
Smells a bit weak, but after warming, clear dicernable biscuty malts, light bitter hoppiness, unsmoked tobacco, the high mineral content of the water here comes through in the sharp tartness of the aroma. Light musty grains, citrusy lemon aromas, finishes with a hoppy-pilsner refreshing quality.
Flavors are clean, light, and another exibition of the perfectionistic execution and restrain´ment of a well made German beer. Begins light, bitter, malty, and ends with a lightly pungent hoppiness married with a citrusy malt note. light, highly drinkable, and clean, it is easy to see why this is such a popular summer beer. the overall bittering hop quality sets the flavor apart into a clarly dicernable catergory than a Pils. Would pair great with light seafood, or grainy bread. tasted pretty good with the monastery's cheese and freshly baked pretzels.
--As an edit: after several months, this beer truly is the best of the Munich Helles. Augustiner Pulls a close second, but the Andechs holds a slightly spicer peppery edge that really puts it out on top. The sweetness is in perfect check, and now after drinking a perfectly fresh bottle made 2 days ago, Im editing the review for top place.

 1,336 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pale straw and sits bright light gold in the glass with a large creamy white head. Fades to a faint skim, some lacings present.

Crisp, crackery aroma with hints of caramel and diced almonds. Solid backing of grassy hops.

Tastes lightly sweet up front, maltiness portioned into saltine doses. Slightest protrusions of alcohol paired with mildly spicy, grassy hops. Finishes with a cleansing, low bitterness.

Crisp to to tongue, but immensly smooth beneath. Solid carbonation, and a light body.

Superb quality, second best helles sampled while in Germany (Augustiner on cask wins out). This bottle, brought back, conjures up many fond memories.

 664 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden; clear; effervescent; medium head

Aroma: Malty; citrusy; honey-like

Taste: Juicy with a slightly bitter start and slightly dry, bitter finish

Remarks: A little too bitter for me

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

 262 characters

Photo of dherling
3.66/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a bright straw yellow clear color crowned by a big bubbly bone white head. The nose has mild straw, hopping, and malt. The taste is like a light Belgian, something like watered down mollasses, light malt, some Belgian candi, and mild hopping. Well balanced, easy drinking, and uncomplicated. Not a terribly complex beer. Finishes with a bitter crisp bite. Very refreshing, nicely carbonated mouthfeel, and extremely drinkable.

 437 characters

Photo of tjd25
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head quickly fades into a thin white collar on a clear transparent golden color body. The smell is grainy with some skunkiness. The taste is very very grainy with a deep bitter and thick hoppiness. The mouthfeel is a bit more complex than in the Andechser Hell, but it's still not amazing. A veil of citrus, but it's mostly grainy and dry, and not really interesting. I got bored after two sips. Even considering the style is not one of my favorite, I can't find anything exceptional in this watery beer. A disappointment in comparison with the hefe weizen or the bergbock...

 579 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the monastery, May 31. Reviewed by my wife.

Large white head, that lasted for a while, with good lacing over a clear light yellow body.

Floral yeasty aroma, with a slight back note of citrus.

Moderately bitter taste, and average finish.

Ligh,t soft palate with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a pretty good lager.

Not one of us is a lager fan, however, so coming from this family, this rating is way above average.

 444 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I get the Reinheitsgebot. I really do. And this was proof to me that there's something to it besides economic success for grain growers in 16th Century Germany. 500 ml bottle hand-carried just a day ago from Germany by C,N & E (Thanks!!). Part of a multi-pack souvenir selection. They got to go to the Andechs Monastery, but this was the next best thing for those of us that didn't go to Oktoberfest. The bottle had a May 2012 freshness date. Yeah, that fresh. Deep gold in the glass with a nice frothy lemon-tinged head. Taste was rich, slick malt with a hint of fruity hops and a nice, rounded lager flavor that ended with just a touch of bitterness. Exactly the kind of beer you'd expect from a legendary German brewery. That said, there was a hint of residual oxidation (cardboard-like) flavor that surprised me because the bottles are so fresh. A common "off flavor" in bottled Germans, it's almost unheard-of in kegged beers. But the bottom line was that this one was fantastic; rich mouthfeel (much more so than their regular lager) and my favorite from this multi-pack. Made me wish I could taste it on tap myself someday.

 1,130 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nose has light malted grains, but overall is quite muted. Taste is crisp and clean, light bread. Extremely easy to drink. Not a lot to say, and not any aspect that stands out, but somehow it is very enjoyable...could drink all day.

 231 characters

Photo of Cozzatoad
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle

A- Golden colour, perfectly transparent, some carbonation bubbles reaching the top. Nice white head, a couple of fingers, nice retention and lacing

S- Clean classic pale lager smell: grainy, a fresh herbal whiff, mild citric notes backfront

T- Again perfectly clean as the smell suggested. Very pleasant and natural feeling crackery crispness from the malts, quite bitter (for the style i mean) herbal/grassy notes on the back of the mouth and in aftertaste. A lemon note and the slightest hint of spiciness also present, bringing that very appreciated touch of complexity that still doesn't take away anything from the amazing drinkability. Perfectly dry finish leaves you longing for another sip

M- Body and carbonation are a bit more vivid than the usual helles (this is in fact what would be once called an export version). Can't really say why but crispness is somehow more pleasant than in most helles, still the beer is amazingly smooth and easy

O- A plain excellent beer in all what helles are supposed to be. Just very very good

 1,055 characters

Photo of gameface23
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light, golden yellow with a fizzy white head. Amazingly clear. This is probably the cleanest looking beer I have ever seen.

S: Rustic bread crust and herbal hop notes. Again, it's a very clean beer.

T: There's a nice noble hop character that is balanced with pils malt graininess.

M: It's light-bodied and finishes bone dry, but there it is smooth.

D: A very nice beer. I mention the fact that I don't generally like lagers on every lager review I have ever done, but I have respect for this one. It's clean and flavorful.

 530 characters

Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Crisp, clear, streaming, golden body with a big white foam head that has good retention.

Smell - Crisp kilned malts dominate the aroma profile of this beer giving it a straight up lager like aroma. There is good hop nip in the aroma here and over all good balance.

Taste - Bitter hoppy front which is well balanced by the mild malty middle to this one. The malt sweetness is mild but constant and again provides a good lager like flavour.

Mouth feel - Decent body to this beer and has a light astringency that leads into t cloying end.

Overall - Another well balanced beer that although not as good as some from the brewery is still a very fine beer.

 669 characters

Photo of smanders
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - clear golden body with a white, thin head.

Smell - sweet malt with the smell of grain in the background.

Taste - mellow bitterness with a slight sweetnessl.

Mouthfeel - very light and crisp.

Drinkability - Very high. Like everything else from this kloster, enjoy whenever available.

 299 characters

Photo of davidchollar
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i've had a couple of andechser beers, and they are awesome. for this one i cant be style specific, never even heard of this style.
looks pretty normal, maybe just a touch darker or more yellow pale golden than a typical lager. light carbonation, decent head.
smells good, a nice bouquet here with lots to appreciate, spicy and sweet.
tastes pretty yummy, balanced, kind of bitter finish. I'm still not sure about this style, but for a lager, this is definitely better than the macros. tasty, but i'd prefer a doppelbock ...

 526 characters

Photo of jmhart
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this from the barrell at Kloster Andechs.

Deep golden in color with a creamy head that remained for just the right amount of time. Zero sediment.

Highly malty with a strong aroma of typical german hops. Minor elements of straw and yeast are present, as well as other earthy aromas. Very crisp on the nose.

Maltier than expected in taste. The hops that were present on the nose are balanced nicely with the sweetness of the taste creating a surprisingly mild lager. Acid is high creating a bite that isn't altogether pleasant.

Mouthful is rich and creamy with a bite.

Overall, an average lager. I'm glad I had it but would choose other brews from Andechs before selecting this one again.

 696 characters

Photo of ikats
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is bright yellow in color, clear and with nice fluffy white head that disappears without leaving much. Aroma is filled with clean malt sweetness with bright grassy hops. Taste is very similar to aroma - clean malt with some refreshing bitter hops. Very nicely balanced. Low to medium body with low carbonation. Very drinkable (surprisingly so given 5.9% abv).

I find this beer to be a very drinkable refreshing lager. I can see getting in trouble drinking too much of it (too drinkable for this higher alcohol beer).

 528 characters

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Andechser Spezial Hell from Klosterbrauerei Andechs
86 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.
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