Spezial Rauchbier Lager | Brauerei Spezial

BA SCORE
84
good
292 Ratings
THE BROS
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Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brauerei Spezial
Germany
brauerei-spezial.de

Style: Rauchbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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%

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
292
Reviews:
235
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
13.51%
 
 
Wants:
16
Gots:
5
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 292 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Putnam for letting me know about this one. Pours out to a orange copper color with a head of about 1/8 inch. Minor notes of lacing, and a medium level of carbonation. Aroma is quite good, but doesn't quite stack up to the power and intensity of Aecht Schlenkerla's Urbock or Marzen. This is very much a Lager and Rauchbier, not one or the other. Smells like bacon, smoke and cured ham. Nice, but could've been a bit stronger. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with some lager characteristics mixed in for good measure; smoke, spice, applewood, malts and some light hops toward the finish blend rather well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly smooth. Good drinkability; I could have this everyday, unlike Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock or Marzen. Probably a good starting point for those looking to try the Rauchbier Style. Recommended.

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Photo of putnam
4.57/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Old bourbon colored.
Smells of apple and applewood smoke, like someone is drinking Pommeau de Normandie in a log cabin, with only fruit wood for light and fuel. Truly an inspiring image. The taste attacks sweet but is quickly overcome by smoldering tannins. Calvados barrels are here, carelessly enflamed, to yield their perfumes indiscriminately and finally. Steaming hearth bread, exhausting the ripest dough fumes of its lifecycle, provide exquisite chewing material in body and supple texture. This is another great import, great not because it is imported, but great because it is packed with premium ingredients and *dry* rather than syrupy sweet.
.

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Photo of MarineHokie
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Bright, clear, pale golden color. Thin white head. Decent retention leaves a little lacing.

S- Tomato blossoms, grain, and light smoke.

T- Crisp light hoppiness finishes with smoke that goes on and on...and on. I could still taste a little smoke after the next beer, a bitter.

M- Crisp finish smoothed out by the lingering smoke. Not an everyday beer, but very drinkable on occasion.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Intersting Bamberg brew. Not nearly as assertively smoky as Schlenklera products, but tasty and refreshing. Light bodied with definite malt and fruity yeast in the palate as well you can taste the hops at thetail end as well. To be honest i was anticipating more smoke, and consequently was disappointed. But it was tasty, just not as tasty as the others.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug a hazy tarnished brass, foam starts rocky and drops to a ring. Smell is a mellow smoked sausage making the saliva glands work in anticipation of the savory flavor. The taste is light lagerish with heavy smoke throughout. Malts are subdued and a low hop presence makes itself known. Mouthfeel is rather light, but the flavor makes up for any lack of character here. This beer disappears rather quickly. If you like smoke ales, then this lager based version is worth a try.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/orange color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a typical lager scent with a slight light crystal malt and smokey aroma. The smoke is light, but noticable. The taste is good. It has a smooth lager taste with an earthy smokiness in the finish. It goes down easy and finishes dry and musty. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a decent beer. It has good taste, but it lacks mouthfeel. All in all, it still drinks well, but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light brownish/amber. Head was about 1" initially, faded fast.

S: Smokiness is there but not overpowering, sort of like the smell on your hands after tending a good hardwood fire. It's different and very nice, actually. Also noted some sweet doughy aromas and just a whiff of fruitiness underneath it all.

T: Smoky, with an almost meaty character. There is a faint spicy taste. Nice malt base to build on. No real hop bitterness.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Alcohol warmth is low.

D&N: My first rauchbier! Thanks to the manager at Sharp Edge for pointing my towards this one. It's a different sort of beer than I'm usually drinking, and quite a pleasant diversion. I was worried that a "smoked" beer would be like drinking another Skullsplitter, so I was very wary of this one, but happily this one isn't like sucking on an ashtray. Worth a try.

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Photo of shapudding
2.67/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 02/09/2004. Honey gold and semi unclear. Can see sediment throughout it. Just the slightest bit of a white ring of dusty head. Only a touch of liquid smoke in the scent, but not much else, did catch an almost honey scent as it warmed. Fairly thin bodied with a bit of carbonation -not too much. Not as smokey as the other rauchs I have tried before, but there is a decent amount of liquid smoke in the background, it just is not too intense in the flavors. The smoke seems to be more in the aroma, and lingers in your mouth after the sip, you smell it on your breath heavily too. Seems funny to say the aroma lingers on your mouth... Mild flavors, mainly just malty with a touch of smoke, and a bit of darkened toast left in the back of the mouth. Interesting one to try.

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Photo of twelvsies
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm, interesting. Glad I tried this, but I don't think I'll be going back to it, it's just not my style. That being said, pours a fairly average looking golden color with some white bubbly head on top. Smell is fairly nondescript but includes notes of spicy hops, dust, and smokeyness. The taste/aftertaste is way too smoky for me. I realized that it was supposed to be smoky but I didn't think it would be that overpowering. I enjoy a bit of the subtle smoke flavor of some porters but this flavor was right out front and was difficult to ignore in order to taste the rest of what the beer had to offer. As you drink this beer you kind of get used to the smokiness but was a challenge for me to finish a whole one, and I don't think I've ever said that in a review before... try this one at your own risk and know ahead of time that you're in for something weird. Weird isn't necessarily bad, but I didn't like this beer.

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Photo of Fish113d
1.95/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served from a bottle, slightly chilled into a tulip glass.

It pours an amber color with 2 fingers of fizzy lacey white head; very clean looking. Aroma is quite grainy w/ an almost lima bean aroma (yeah, really!), but not much aroma at all, and it reminded me almost of beef vegetable stew, and I HATE beef vegetable stew! Taste is a slight smoke flavor w/ a hickory meat taste (almost like beef jerky), some grainy malts, and very little hops...overall, i was not happy. Feel is tingly carbonation on the sip followed by a thinning feel by the swallow; not much else going on. This is quite possibly the worst beer I have ever had...honestly!

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Photo of sulldaddy
2.55/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well I am guessing I had the lager, since most everyone else has. I sampled a chilled 10 oz snifter at Kclingers on tap. I was excited for a rauchbier as I enjoy smokiness in my brew. I have to say I was let down.
The beer arrives with no head and is a cloudy orange color. Aroma is very mild with sweet fruit (apples and pears) dominant. No smoke that my nose can detect. No hops either. Much more mild than I expected and seems to be more of a belgian than a rauch.
Flavor is similar to nose, no smoke flavor is sweet and fruity apples pears and tangy yeast. I get some lemon and slightly spicy hops but again no smoke. DOnt get me wrong the beer is quite tasty, but I ordered what I thought was a smoke beer and it ended up tasting like a dubbel. ENjoyable beer but my marks are low due to lack of smoke.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A dark golden, amber beer. Has a very small white head that dissappers quickly. There is a light grainy lager aroma with some malty sweetness in the background and maybe a hint of smoke. Smokey flavor covers you tongue quickly with a light fruity sweetness in the background.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Paid $3.29 for a 1pt 9oz bottle.

Looks a bit musty brown. Decent carbonation, big bubble but not frothy. Decent. Smells of campfire and beer, in that order. This is my first Bamburg Rauchbier. I enjoy the smoke, but would prefer not to drink it solo. Better paired with something else smoky I imagine.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours with a smallish head that sticks a little bit but not very long. The body is unexpectedly light copper.

I can smell the distinct smoked smell, but it is much subtler than others I have tried in this style. Can be nice that it doesn't reach the 'smoked ham' level but I really don't mind that quality either.

The smoked taste is much also much less prevelent than in most in the style but you can tell it's there, mostly in the aftertaste which is quite pleasant. A light sweetness is present as well.

The carbonation is quite light and the consistency quite watery. While the finish is quite smooth, the mouthfeel isn't terribly exciting.

This is more drinkable than others in the style mainly because it is more subtle in smell and taste than others I've tried but I myself would seek something more exciting before having too many.

This isn't bad, but I'm not head over heels for it either. Good enough to try and maybe like. I may even find myself revisiting it someday.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Exactly as per the BA Database picture, the cream colored label on this one is very Teutonic. The neck label identifies this as the Special Rauchbier ‘Lager Bier’ with a green stripe, the neck label also states that this is Alc. 4.6% Vol. (I note that this different to the that listed). Reverse label includes a Bottled On Date of 02-09-04. Imported by Shelton Brothers. The date of 1536 on the label is genuine and shows that this is one of Bamberg’s oldest Breweries that is still in family hands.

Appearance: Pours with a massive creamy off-white Teutonic Kopf that fills the Glass. The thick deep head soon rescinds to a rocky covering that laces well and leaves a floating broken rocky iceberg like appearance. The body is a beautiful copper color, perfectly clear with a lovely orange hue when back-lit. Gorgeously smooth carbonation, velvet like in character when lightly swirled.

Nose: Lightly smoked aromas, like a fresh cut cedar, the woody aspects mix extremely well with the more grainy malts. Refreshing nose that is very inviting.

Taste: Grainy malt start, woody, bitter and rather dry. Some creamy toffee in the middle rises as the smoked character builds. Crisp and very clean the lines are well put together. Finishes with a soft light smoked caramel feel that is delicate but firm.

Mouthfeel: Decent feel but the crisp clean lines can make it feel like it only has an average to above-medium feel. Nevertheless, the smoky finish assists in leaving you with a finish that is far from wanting.

Drinkability: One of the more restrained Rauchbiers that I have had, but I actually think that shows some class, it is nicely balanced and the lighter smoked character in this Rauchbier makes for a very drinkable offering. Usually I can only handle one Rauchbier, but I could easily manage several of these beauties with little problem or heartburn.

Overall: Perfect, I like Rauchbiers, but so often they are overkill. This one is absolutely spot on and just right, the smoke is just enough, not too much and not too little, but perfectly in balance. Extremely nice example of a Rauchbier.

Recommended!

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Photo of GClarkage
1.83/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Consumed in October 2004 at the Toronado on tap. Well, for starters, this apparently isn't my type of beer, which makes it really hard to review. I'm not a fan of smoked beers, as I was not aware that this type of beer was smoked. So, I apologize to all smoked beer lovers for the low rating I am going to give. I guess it's just one of those aquired taste beers. Just like I love IPA to the max beers, others can't tolerate them. OK....Poured a brownish, reddish hazy color with virtually zero head whatever. It left next to no lace also. The smell was a bit pungent. I've always read the reviews of "barnyard" type scents and never understood. Now I have a bit of an understanding. UGH, didn't enjoy the taste at all. Mainly because of the smoky overtones. Next to zero carbonation and tasted like a pair of used sweatsocks that have been soaking in some aged iced tea. Sorry, but not my kind of beer. I'm sure it's a perfectly good one for the smoked beer fans out there though. So, pay no attention to my rating unless you dislike smoked beers like I do.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok another Rauchbier from Bamburg.. Umm what happened? Did they lose he smoke? Pours a nice dark amber brown. With a host of floaty things.. Smell is malty but oddly not smoky. Taste is more like a Heavy dunkle lager.. with just a touch of smoke. This beer reminds me of Stones Smoked Porter.. It says it has smoke but Im trying to find it.. Some one give me a cigarette so i can have some smoke with my smoked bier. Its a tasty brew, but it aint that smokey.. I love the Aecht Schenkerla Rauchbiers.. but this one falls so short of them its not even funny.. Its like Schlenkela is Marlboro and this bier is Marlboro Ultra lite. Its tasty in a Malty almost Martzen way, but not gonna be smokey enough for Rauch lovers.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew has a dark amber/copper body with a tan head that ran away from me. Slight smokey aroma on top of a malty lager scent. Kinda reminds me of a dark euro lager with smoke hints, slight hop flavor, nice level of maltiness. Med to light mouth. Not as intense on the smoke as say the rogue, makes this beer much more appealing to mainstream beer drinkers, i would think.

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Photo of wyllder
2.1/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at the Moan & Dove, Amherst MA.

Poured a slightly cloudy bronze-copper with a weak beige head that fades away to nothing.

Smell was an unpleasant hay/horseblanket/manure. This is the first time I've truly understood the barnyard description I've seen for other beers. Another scent confused in there is the medicinal smell of a fresh package of band-aids.

Taste was, unfortunately for me, tied to the smell. There's some malt character in there, but I couldn't get away from the medicinal and barnyard qualities that took up residence in the back of my throat.

Mouthfeel was average. Drinkability suffered purely as a result of the taste.

Comments: Of the 6 people I had sip this, 4 agreed with me and 2 others thought it was really good. Of the two who liked it, one was smoking regularly that night and the other was drinking a Stone Russian Imperial Stout. For fun, I had a sip of the Stone Imp Russian and then tried some more of the Rauchbier: much better. The Stone killed the foul taste. Too bad the effect only lasted for about 3-4 sips. Maybe this is one of those beers/styles I'll have to try several times before finding out I actually love it. It will have to wait, though, as I won't be revisiting it anytime soon.

Wyll-

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Photo of sparkydoyle
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 17 oz bottle. Small oily head, clear chestnut color, and with a slight smoked nose (not so smoked that one couldn’t pick out malty/bready and a decidedly roasted note).

The taste is complex offering a smoky foretase that seemed to build and then ebb as the beer was consumed. Interesting mineral notes in the middle combined with a roasted malt note that at points met up with the smoke and the sweetness. Overall the beer was very low in hops, but offered a sweet finish that became sweeter and more roasted tasting as the beer warmed. Nice balance between the flavor notes, and every flavor played a well-practiced solo at some point.

Tasters may compare this to the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier beers ( which come in marzen, wheat and urbock styles—styles also brewed by Spezial.) The Lager is sweeter, has less alcohol, and less-assertive smokyness. The roastyness added interest.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Spezial is one of Bamberg's oldest breweries, with records dating back to 1536. The name is derived from the word "Spezeln" (local dialect), and means "a gathering of friends". It's been owned by the same family since 1898; and they have their own, small malting facility. They supply a few accounts in the area and have their own beergarden (Spezi Kellar); and ship a small amount of beer for export. They've recently introduced a kellar lager that's available in the spring and fall, but other than that their beers are all smoked.
Poured into a tall pilsner glass from the 25 oz bottle, it delivers a clear, deep-amber/copper body with an orangeish glow and some golden highlights at the base of the glass. Plumes of very tiny, somewhat effervescent bubbles stream upwards towards its creamy ivory head. The head retention is very good and it holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. The aroma displays a distinct, but nicely restrained, Beechwood smoke over a grainy maltiness. Very nicely done! There are some examples that push the limits, and there are some that hold back a bit too much, but like the finest examples of the style this one is right on. The body is medium; and combines with a very fine-bubbled, median carbonation it gives a lightly crisp and then smooth mouthfeel. In the flavor, the Beechwood smokiness is wrapped within a blanket of distinctly grainy, lightly toffee-ish malt. It's very well balanced between the two; and backed by a firm bitterness that becomes more solid at the swallow, leaving it to finish dry with some rising, spicy hops and just a mild touch of lingering smoke. Although some tasters might believe that this is a bit restrained for the style, that's far from the truth. Not all Bamberg rauchbiers are as bold as the best known examples; and in fact, this is a perfect example of the very drinkable and balanced dunkle lager that you might find at a tavern, hotel, or keller in the area. Its smokiness does not build on the palate after a few litres, and it retains its lightly sweet and grainy maltiness. Very nice! An excellent example of an authentic Bamberg-style rauchbier that's absolutely worth trying!

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Photo of meathookjones
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep copper hue that is a bit cloudy and has about and inch tall white head. The head dissolved fairly quickly into a light bubbly cap on the beer with almost no sign of lacing. There is definitely a smoky scent detectable but it does not completely dominate the aroma. Some malt sweetness stood out as well with hints of spiciness detected. The taste is very similar to the smell with a definite smokiness with sweet malt and a slight hoppiness present. The finish was dry and smoky which hung around in the mouth for a while. This has a good medium body and a very smooth drinking beer. This was my first experience with a Rauchbier and I am very intrigued by the style. It has a great unique taste and would defiantly recommend this to anyone who has not tried the style.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy amber body with a cream colored, one finger head that retains quite well. Plenty of sheet and patch lace.

Aroma is wood smoked bacon, with a hint of hops and malt underneath.

Mouthfeel has a peppery hops bite, medium carbonation, and immediate sensation of smoky wood.

Taste is wood smoked bacon with a distant hops background. The beechwood smoked barley malt really dominates here.

Not as complex as it could be, but this is an interesting and historical style that I really enjoy. This oozes charcoaled beechwood malt, from start to finish. Very pleasant to sip.

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Photo of bditty187
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber in hue with noticeable highlights of copper and maybe a splash of bronze. A foamy white head of a half finger formed but failed to hold long. It quickly faded to a bubbly collar. Subsequent lacing never transpired. Honestly I was expecting a darker, more mysterious looking beer. I like surprises. The smokiness of the nose was obvious but light, the aromatics from the malts displayed a soft smoked meat/beef jerky/campfire baked beans with lots of bacon characteristics. Behind these smells laid a suggestion of lager airiness, maybe a hint of hops too. The potency is modest. The invitation is clear enough. Lets drink! Upfront on the palate the smoky qualities of the beer are found. Cured bacon/ham notes, a beechwood campfire off in the distant, and a hint of wet wood. These qualities are all pleasant. None of them are loud, maybe I am being greedy but I was looking for more, still no complaints. In the middle and especially at the finish this beer nearly sheds its smoky start and becomes a lager like a Pils or a smaller Helles. The hops really slice through the heavy malty qualities, that seems Pils like but there is also a faint suggestion of non-cured malt that lends itself to resemble a Helles. The main point is the smoky flavors fade away. This beer would work wonders with many meaty, BBQ dishes. The start of the beer matches the flavors of fire-cooked food but the end of the beer is crisp enough to lift away the residual heft, this allows for consumption of “new” flavors. The aftertaste grows more hammy and smoky. Tacky too, in the mouthfeel, I wonder if a bit more carbonation would help. Regardless the mouthfeel is good. This is plenty drinkable but not too challenging, i.e., smoky. I liked it, I’m glad I tried it; I now know what to expect. If you want to get smoked-out, skip this and go for an Aecht Schlenkerla, if I want a clean German lager with a Rachbier background I would select this. I purchased a 500 ml bottle in Iowa City. Worth trying.

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Photo of Crosling
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Majestic Color looking like a mixture between Heinz 57 and Grapefruit Juice. Head falls quickly. Some lacing. Suspended particles everywhere.

The smoky aroma takes over everything else trying to come out in the aroma. Mainly, the sweet and crisp malts and the "clean" scents.

The smokiness is nice, providing most of the flavor but still leaving room for much more. Lots of sweet malts and fruitiness come about along with some nuttiness as well. The hops are crisp. Very clean flavors and very drinkable. Low carbonation but it seems right. The smokiness is very mild compared to the few other rauchbiers I have had, in fact, towards the end it was barely evident at all. I liked it that way.

Good beer.

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Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
3.7 out of 5 based on 292 ratings.
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