Lager
Brauerei Spezial

LagerLager
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Style:
Lager - Rauchbier
Ranked #52
ABV:
4.7%
Score:
85
Ranked #31,208
Avg:
3.76 | pDev: 13.3%
Reviews:
236
Ratings:
301
From:
Brauerei Spezial
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  19
Gots
  6
SCORE
85
Very Good
LagerLager
Notes: Unser Lagerbier ist die bekannteste Rauchbiersorte aus unserem Spezialitätenangebot. Das bernsteinfarbige Bier mit seinem feinem, mildem Rauchgeschmack lässt auch Skeptiker zum überzeugten Rauchbierfan werden. Der Stammwürzgehalt dieses Bieres beträgt ca.12% - daraus resultiert der Alkoholgehalt mit ca.4,7%
Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 301 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Snowcrash000
Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very slightly cloudy, deep amber coloration with a medium, creamy head. Smells of smoked, bready malt and honey-glazed ham, with some grassy, herbal hops also coming through. Taste is a good balance of smoked, bready malt and grassy, herbal, slightly floral hops, with the smoke note being reminiscent of smoked, honey-glazed ham. Finishes with a light/medium bitterness and some smoked, honey-glazed ham lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a light/medium body and medium carbonation.

This is a decent enough Rauchbier, but doesn't compare to Schlenkerla in my opinion, because the smoke isn't nearly as distinct and more reminiscent of honey-glazed smoked ham than campfire smoked bacon, while the whole balance is a bit on the sweeter side, although not too bad with some slightly bitter, grassy, herbal hops providing a certain counterpoint here. Overall an enjoyable example of the style that's a bit more light and sweet than Schlenkerla's offerings, with a somewhat different and more subtle smoke note.

Jul 02, 2020
Photo of Fassfleige
Fassfleige from Arizona

5/5  rDev +33%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I drank this bier at the brewery in Bamberg. Over all it is as good as the highly touted Schlenkerla rauchbier of the same city. Drank some bier there also. The Spezial Rauchbier is more suited to American beer tastes.

Sep 16, 2017
Photo of drmeto
drmeto from Germany

3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L:
-pours a clear amber with a medium,foamy,white head
-medium carbonation visible
S:
-smoke,woody,raisins,bacon,yeast sweetness
T:
-smoke,bready,yeast sweetness,bacon
F:
-medium to high carbonation
-light to medium body
O:
Not nearly as complex as Schlenkerla's offerings , but a good,crushable Rauchbier

May 08, 2016
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

4.29/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Adored by many who don't adore Schlenkerla, it is close to my favorite Bamberg bier. While I love them all, I always visit the Spezial for their beer. Good beer, some smoke, but not overwhelming. Try it, if you can find it.

November 2017 Update: Yum!

Mar 05, 2015
Photo of aleigator
aleigator from Germany

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%

Pours a walnut brown color, with a decent, froth, slightly bubbly head.

Salt coated, bready malts, which got a honeyed peak to them. While the beer warms up, a gentle smoked note settles on top of the maltiness, adding up very well with the salts.

Starts with salty, earthy malts and a good amount of smoked ham, while malts tend to turn sweeter, while drinking. Lively carbonation supports big waves of smoke, while only a whiff of salt shines through. Finishes with a short dry glance, then sweeter, toffeeish malts go well along with the smokiness.

Dec 07, 2014
Photo of Cozzatoad
Cozzatoad from Italy

3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on tap

A- Dark caramel colour, quite hazy, not very attractive. Big, healty white head, showing nice retention and lacing

S- A touch of smoke upfront is the first thing that comes to notice, but there is strong sweet malt base underneath which eventually takes the main stage

T- As the smell suggested a bit of smoked ham and woody flavours were easily noticed, but the beer main character is definitely that of a plain sweet dunkel and smoked notes get lower and lower in profile and complexity as you drink

M- Medium to light body, average carbonation. Smooth and easy going

O- Was not impressed. I understand a classic rauchbier is not meant to be an in your face beer, but i was comparing it on schlenkerla's offerings, and this is definitely subdued and lacking complexity by comparison

Dec 24, 2013
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig from Scotland

1.2/5  rDev -68.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

500ml Bottle (Good Spirits Co, Glasgow - £2.80):
Clear, mild looking amber with a thin white lacing on top that is about two millimetres tall before turning patchy.

A disgusting combination to smoked wood and an overpowering cured ham aroma that isn't unlike smoky bacon crisps. There was a few malts coming through but it smelts truly appalling, probably the worst I've ever smelt.

Smoky wood and some lingering malts with some spice but again the overriding taste was a cured ham one that was disgusting and pretty much undrinkable. Not quite as bad as the smell but awful none the less.

Smooth & medium bodied with some spice. Very had to be unbiased here as the taste was so bad that the mouthfeel was never going to turn around the beers fortunes.

Definitely the worst tasting beer I've ever tried although perhaps not the absolute worst overall. About five different people at a party tried a sip of this and all formed similar opinions, this one was drain pour pure and simple.

May 07, 2013
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
JeffreyJDavis from North Carolina

3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours mid caramel color with a finger or two of well defined but quickly dissipating head. Minimal lacing.

N: You get the waft of old campfire smoke immediately upon opening and nose is apparent on the pour. Mixture of smokey charred wood and sweet maltiness.

T: As a lager rather than a bock, the smoke is much less pronounced than many of the Aecht Schlenkerla rauchbiers (which are Gold Standard for the style for me.) Taste is sugared ham, smoke, and again sweet malts.

MF: Much lighter body than the AS's with relatively crisp mouthfeel and as the rauch is more subdued, I could actually imagine myself sessioning a few of these in a row.

All in all a nice Rauchbier starter beer, less aggressively over the top than others.

Feb 07, 2013
Photo of MattSweatshirt
MattSweatshirt from Texas

3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I didn't study the breweries too well before going to Bamberg apparently. I was expecting more rauchbier everywhere. The only ones I encountered were at Schlenkerla. After a few more stops I hit Spezial and after a reassurance about the lager from a random Brit next to me I ordered the lager on tap.
Turns out this is a rauchlager! Wasn't expecting that. The taste was quite hammy and smoky. The nose didn't indicate too much smoke and was a lot less dull than the beers I had at Schlenkerla. Still a wonderful brew. Had a couple while chatting with this new found Brit beer enthusiast. and the night went downhill from there.

Dec 25, 2012
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow from Oregon

3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Binny's, Glen Ellyn, IL
Date: Best by 6/26/12
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

A good overall rauchbier, which does not seem as intense as the Schlenkerla brews I've had. This is a somewhat out-of-date beer, and it was good enough to make me want to try a fresher bottle, or have it on tap.

Pours a 1cm head of fairly clean, pale white foam that has average retention. Leaves modest lacing, a few lines and splotches along sie of the glass. Head reduces to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass along with an island of wispy foam capping the center-top of the body. Body is a deep reddish-tinged brown, quite hazy, but not opaque. Carbonation is visible and active.

Aroma of smoked malts and meats, moderate in intensity, with a trace of light cocoa.

Front palate features toasted malts and slightly smoked malts and meats. Mid-palate brings in smoky malts, meaty, with toasted and chocolate malt undertones. Back features toasted malt flavors along with some smoked malt: a bit flat. Aftertaste is of residual, light smokiness with modest sweetness.

Beer is medium to medium-light in body with medium to medium-high carbonation levels. This results in a semi-fizzy mouthfeel that is well-matched by the weight of the beer. Does not close dryly.

Nov 28, 2012
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo from Scotland

4.39/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

50cl serving in a seidel at Spezial, Bamberg

A - Amber/gold body with excellent clarity. 3 finger creamy white head produces average retention/lacing

S - Notes of Stornoway black pudding,bacon and light caramel malt

T - Light biscuit malt with smoke/black pudding coming in with hint of toasted malts in a clean full finish.

M - Medium carbonation/body

D - For me by far the best rauchbier in Bamberg. This bacon/black pudding note is awesome with the kiss of biscuit malts. It goes down far too easy. Excellent.

Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman from California

3.55/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark copper colored body with a nice bit of off-white head on top. Light whiffs of smoke overlay a nice grainy and bready malt base. Not as in-your-face smokey as the Schlenkerla rauchbiers but a nice balance of sweet and smokey.

Nothing really stands out on the palate but you get a nice array of smoked meat and camp fire flavors with the sweet caramel and bready malts. Rather light on the body and crisp making for quite an enjoyable but more delicate rauchbeer. Overall, a solid tasty brew and a nice alternative when you want just a bit of smoke as opposed to the wonderful onslaught you get from Schlenkerla.

Oct 02, 2012
Photo of jonb5
jonb5 from England

3.97/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half litre bottle. Golden colour, clear, small poorly retained head. Aroma was like a smokery, as was the case with the other Rauchbiers I've sampled. Smoke was understated, tasted malty with hints of apple, smoke gave the beer more character than expected for a beer of 4.6% abv. Crisp body, smooth texture with more carbonation than expected. Overall a very well balanced beer, where the smoke is present but not over powering.

Aug 15, 2012
Photo of rangerred
rangerred from Tennessee

3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown with a half finger white head that settles to a nice cap over the beer.

Aroma of bacon and campfire along with a healthy dose of toffee and burnt caramel. There is av overall sweetness and creamyness to the aroma.

The flavor has moderate smoke and lot of burnt caramel but it is not acrid or tannic in any way. Some dark fruit mixed with the smoke is a nice touch. Hops are virtually nonexistent with only a very light bitterness bringing up the finish. Creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a very solid rauchbier although not quite in the same league as the Schlenkerla series. Something I would pick up again if I ever saw it, though.

Aug 03, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000 from Texas

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an orange color with a white head. As a fan of smoked beers, the aroma is great. I get a ton of heavy, meaty smoke with not too much else coming through. The flavor is a little bit more complex. There is still a ton of meaty smoke, as well as a little bit of sweetness from the toffee malt. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Jul 19, 2012
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.44/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was decent, but not equal to Schlenkerla. I understand that this brand may be best tasted on tap at the Spezial Brauhaus in Bamberg, but until I get there and taste for myself, it came in behind Goller and Schenklerla varietieis. Rich smoky flavor, almost woody, with long, dry finish. Note the change in taste as it warms....

Jul 06, 2012
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice rauchbier, not as smokey as some, but still plenty of that campfire essence to it. pours rich copper in color with a slender tan head that doesnt last too long. smells like smoke, dark german malts, and even a touch of wheat malt. flavor is smokey up front, a little woody in the middle before the semisweet malt finish draws on. feel is good, mellow carbonation and a lighter body than the color would indicate. very drinkable in the summer season, particularly moving into fall. overall a nice beer, lighter on the smoke than some other rauchbiers, and rather affordable.

May 26, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.5/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 3/22/11.

Pours a slightly hazy amber with a 1 inch puffy light tan head that settles to a foamy film on top of the beer. Chunky rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain/malt and some subtle smoke aromas. Taste is of smoked malt up front with a light fruity flavor on the finish. The smoke in the taste is also pretty subtle and doesn't stick around on the palate very long. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but the smoke in the aroma and flavor is pretty mild.

Mar 13, 2012
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BerkeleyBeerMan from California

3.52/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Amber one finger white head. Clear clean and transparent.

Smell: Munich malts. Smoke, bacon and meat. Caramel. Ripe fruits.

Taste: Nice roasted malts, fruity, juicy. Not very bitter.

Mouthfeel: Clean, light refreshing. Smokiness wears off. A good refreshing rauch.

Overall: A little low in character for the style but very clean and refreshing.

Mar 06, 2012
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately from Pennsylvania

3.62/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

.5L into mug at 40 degrees. 6/28/12 exp date.

Pours with a decent 2-3F of soapy off-white head that fades quickly to a ring. Body is a fairly clear amber-orange color with no visible carbonation.

Aromas come across pretty well - smoked, cured beef brisket and sweet malts.

Flavor and mouthfeel disappoint a little, until I realized it was only 4.6% ABV... in which case, now I'm impressed. Clean/juicy drinking for the style. Not overdone on the smoke. Light citrus quality - mostly of lime. Light on the palate and goes down easy... could use a bit more carbonation though.

This one would be great with some Mexican food.

Mar 04, 2012
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

3.16/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber/orange color. A two finger egg white head forms with good retention. Light lace.
S: Smoked meat, mineral water, and slightly metallic.
T: Again, plenty of smoked meat flavors. Which in itself is a bit overwhelming. A little to much of a metallic twang for my liking as well.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. On the watery side. Easy enough to drink...for the style that is.

Not bad, but the metallic flavor on top of the heavy smoked meat makes this more of a one and done for me. I am not a huge fan of the style, but even so, Aecht Schlenkerla blows this out of the water.

Feb 15, 2012
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bs870621345 from Iowa

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle 1 of 3 on the 3 half liters of rauchbier on the night.

Pours a slightly hazy orange amber color with a nice head and nice lacing down the glass.

Smells like bread with smoke mixed in. Not as smoked as I was expecting, but a good way to warm up.

Taste is lightly smoked, heavy bread, slight metallic twang. Very clean.

Mouthfeel is moderate and not very carbonated.

Overall, its okay...nothing more.

Jan 16, 2012
Photo of jsanford
jsanford from Georgia

3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy dark amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly, leaving just the slightest ring around the edge.
S - Sweet and smoky aromas of caramel malt, honey, and a roasted ham or pork character. Reminds me of barbecued ribs smothered with a smoky BBQ sauce.
T - Pretty similar to the nose. Definitely on the sweeter side of the style, with a nice smokiness that balances the malt nicely. Still getting a good roasted pork thing in here. Very smooth and drinkable, especially at under 5% ABV.
M - Crisp and quenching, with a medium-thin body and decent carbonation. Perhaps just a tad watery, but I could drink a lot of it.
O - Really nice Rauchbier. Not in the same league as Schlenkerla, but a nice diversion nonetheless.

Jan 08, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Paulaner krug.

Thanks to YaKnowBrady for this bottle!

It's been over a year since I last tried this stuff, which means it's been too long. Right? It pours a mostly clear sunset rust topped by over a finger of thick dirty cream froth. The nose comprises light toffee being dominated by a strong (though still nowhere near o'erbearing) beech smoke, coming off almost like a mutedly honey-smoked ham. This one, though, is earthier than most German rauchbiers I've had, with a twinge of wet soil and dark greens seeping into the background. It's meek and doesn't hurt the overall smokiness much, but it is noticeable. The taste brings in more of the same, with this earthiness toned-down to a nice mild grassy quality. The smoke isn't exactly strong, but it's in no way subtle. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat slick feel. Overall, a damn fine rauchbier. It's not as good as the Schlenkerlas, but it definitely comes very close.

Dec 04, 2011
Photo of skypup
skypup from Germany

3.42/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4 Bottles purchased in Bamberg.

.5L bottle served in my Schlekerla glass.

A- Clear, Deep amber with a two finger head with good retnetion. some lacing.

S- Roasted malts, liquid smoke.

T- Roasted malts, smoked meats, not quite as heavy as other comparable Rauchbiers. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

M- Medium bodied, medium cabonation. Crisp finish.

D- This is suprisingly refreshing and crisp. Pretty good beer.

Nov 04, 2011
Lager from Brauerei Spezial
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 301 ratings