Spezial Rauchbier Lager | Brauerei Spezial

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Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

Brewed by:
Brauerei Spezial

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

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Reviews: 235 | Ratings: 292
Photo of largadeer
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

0.5L with a best by date of 06.04.10 purchased at Gourmet Haus Staudt. Poured into an Andechs tumbler, Spezial's rauchbier lager is a bright, stunningly clear auburn color. Small champagne-like bubbles sustain slightly off-white head, two fingers height at first and then ultimately a half-inch cap.

It's got a reserved, almost delicate aroma. There's a bit of toast, a bit of sweet pilsner malt with a subtle, well-integrated smokiness. This seems to be the antithesis of Schlenkerla's massively smoke-infused rauchbiers.

The first sip seems almost void of smoke, subsequent sipping reveals it more and more. The smoke character is present at a beautifully balanced level, matched by rich flavors of toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit. It's lacking the strong meaty character I get from some rauchbiers, instead presenting more of a woodsmoke quality. The flavors are rather intense and the body surprisingly robust for the meager 4.6% ABV, which I'm a bit ambivalent about; it's not entirely quaffable, though it's impressively flavorful given the low alcohol. It finishes on a clean, lightly toasted note with the faintest metallic twang.

I enjoyed this thoroughly on the whole. The subtle smoke, complex malt profile and low alcohol made it a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of selecter70
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not at all what I expected, but no misgivings here. As i saddled up to the Other Side bar on a cold, wet Spring day, I decided on the rauchbier, much maligned sadly. It seemed like the perfect day for a deep, smoky rich beer, instead of a porter, as I had some great lamb meatloaf awaiting me. Instead, a bright coppery pour to dark honey lager looking 0.5l stein came my way with a fluffy white 1 finger head on board. The white lace stuck about in small pockets and minimized on top as I drank. I thought that the aroma would be smoky as well, but only in a subtle "if you were looking for it, you'd notice it" kind of way. Likewise with the flavor; only a subtle smokiness that rounded off the malt flavors in this exceptional near dunkel lager. Fresh, crisp and a bit bubbly to the mouth, this is one you could drink & drink & drink...and watch your smile grow. A damn fine surprise!

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Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. Bright copper-amber liquid, crystal clear, with a fizzy, white, dissipating head. The aroma is milder and more refined than other rauchbier that I've tried, mostly Schlenkerla. Spezial's Lager tends more toward rich caramel and fruity malt. The smoke doesn't make the beer feel old or hammy. It's more like a fresh, mesquite-ish accent to a nice malty lager. The flavor is relatively sweet but also much bigger than its abv would suggest, a bit like a good mild. It's a great malty lager flavor, nutty and yeasty. Soft feel. Very good lager.

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

This Rauchbier pours a clear, amber-tinged, copper color. It's topped by a thick, off-white head that fades to a film, leaving a good amount of lace. The aroma is clean and crisp. There are notes of caramel and light fruit, as well as a hint of smoke.

The beer is clean and mild upfront. A mild, bready sweetness mellows into a grassy textured finish with a mild smokiness. This beer is light-bodied, crisp, and has moderate carbonation.

This was another nice smoked beer. The smoke was very subtle and really served to enhance the beer's flavors without overpowering them.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

at The Other Side Cafe, Boston MA. $9 .5l

Orange with a fluffy white head. Great lace and retention. In this big Spaten mug it's definitely Beerfest worthy.

Smells...fruity. There is smoke there as well but it's not that dominant. The fruity esters combined with the smoke gives a nice applewood smoke impression. Honeyed sweetness too. Taste is nice and smokey with a equally pleasant toasty lager. Again, not as smoke heavy as many rauchs but still plenty good enough.

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Photo of crossovert
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle best by 06.04.10.

Poured into my Bamberger ceramic stein (Gustbrauerei G. Bernreuther-Pyras) it has a nice bright white 4 finger head that recedes into a froth. The beer is brown with red and yellow hints.

It smells between a helles and a rauchbock. It has a nice smokiness to it with also a pinch of malt aroma.

I actually think the smoke is less present int he taste. It is like a nice light dukel lager with a good dose of smoke flavor over the top. The aftertaste is of helles lager.

The mouthfeel is nice, with a good carbonation level. The drinkability is high for the style.

Overall a great beer that isn't for all but can be something to be accustomed to.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, orange-brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: smoked malt

Taste: smoked malt, grass, small hops, and honey

Mouthfeel: medium/light bodied, semi-sweet with small bitter stretches, boozy, high carbonation

Drinkability: This one drinks like a smoked amber. It is super easy to drink even with the high carbonation. The smoke is strong and pleasant. I could have several.

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

On tap at Deep Ellum, Allston. Served in a 0.4l German mug. Dark amber color. Fizzy white head that faded quickly. Slight smell of smoke in the nose. Nice peaty and smoky flavor, but not as intense as a typical rauchbier. Since this is a lager, I feel that the brewer wanted to tone that aspect down a bit so that it retained some of the drinkability of a lager. That is the quality that I liked the most: it had that smoky flavor, but was easy to drink in a big German beer mug. Light enough body, but had just enough malt behind it to make it a sturdy brew. A nice beer for smoked beer lovers, and a nice beer for lager drinkers - best of both worlds. Paired nicely with my pasta with sage and pumpkin cream sauce.

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Photo of bob3701
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an English style pint glass. Hazy gold/amber color with a big bubbled head that very slowly disapates into a thin film with almost no lacing. Slight smokey aroma. Very little smoke in taste but I thought this was a very good German lager. I like the stronge smokey beers which this is not yet I still enjoyed this beer. I have a friend that is not crazy about rauchbiers but I think he would enjoy this. Very drinkable.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL brown bottle with a freshness code of 18.11.08. Pours a fairly hazy, dark orange/amber color with a large-bubbled tan foam. Dissipates rapidly and does not leave much lacing.

Smell is like smoked black olives. Little bit of burnt wood and grainy malt. Dunkel lager? I can see that. Slight roast and a touch of sweet malt.

Taste is surprisingly not overly smoky. There is a bit here and there, but the flavor profile overall is very much in line with a Munich dunkel...a good dunkel at that and the hints of smoke make it that much more enjoyable. Good beer, but needs more smoke - of course that is coming from someone who could use more smoke in the Skerlenka Urbock! This would be a good intro into the world of Bamburg produced rauchbiers.

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Photo of erz316
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into Maß. appearance is not bad, but doesnt inspire particular hope either. not much smoker taste either, real disappointing. the feel is ok, but the body isnt carbonated enough. the colour is like a light coke. the head is slightly brown. overall I am quite disappointed with this beer, compared to the schlenkerla urbock and regular.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased somewhere localish, I'm sure.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the cloudy orangey amber brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, leggy, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet, leathery, smokey, with a touch of citrus. Taste is very sweet to start, countered some by bitterness starting in the late middle, with the smoke blowing through but not dominant. Mouthfeel is smooth, possibly due to low carbonation, and drinkability is alright. Okay amount of smoke in an okay beer.

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Photo of hustlesworth
2.45/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

after a review of an unnamed danish pachyderm beer left me completely dissatisfied, i cracked open a smoker i've had for a few weeks. prost to hopefulness.

A- deep clear rusty amber with many floating particles. foam is nice and creamy and beige with thick lace blanketing the inside of the glass.

S- hardly any smoke in the aroma, just the faintest touch, and overall it smells like an oktoberfest. something i definitely don't mind, but not what i had expected. mineral water, slightly metallic, sweet caramel malts, and underlying toasty aromas. floral spicy hops.

T- some very very mild cocoa, coffee, and roasted flavors, very toasty, but sadly not much smoke. pretty much a plain malty lager for me. some caramel sweetness and noble hop flavor in the finish.

MF- light carbonation and a powdery feel. ample body.

D- must be a bad day for beer in my world. 2 disappointments in a row and i'm about to just call it a night. maybe this bottle is old. i can't find a freshness date.

 992 characters

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy red-amber. A diminutive tightly knit head with a hair of lacing of the glass.

Next to no nose. After a hearty inhale I sense a note of hickory smoke-- or is it smoked ham? Not much else.

Flavor was a rather average lager type profile. I could detect the smoke element, but maybe it is because of the low alcohol content or some other aspect of the brewing but where's the beef? I'm not asking for a Russian Imperial Stout-- but I am asking for the flavor elements of a quality lager beer. Not here.

Mouthfeel was cordial, but nothing that excited my palate.

Drinkability is superior-- the comparatively low alcohol content makes this beer a good candidate for a summer time cold beer refresher. Unfortunately the price per bottle that I pad means there are lots of potential competitors with a far more satisfying flavor profile.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Cape Wine & Spirits in Lewes, DE. Poured chilled from the 1/2 liter bottle into a mug.

A - A pleasant looking hazy medium amber w/ a 2 finger bone white head w/ tiny beading

S - The nose is mildly smoky w/ a caramel malt back and slightly bready yeast aroma

M- The creaminess is very nice w/ malt coming in w/ moderate carbonation and accent of smoke w/ sweet caramel finish

T - The flavor has a very toasted bready malt that leads to hints of woody smoke which adds to the malt flavors but doesn't quite give a meaty taste, more like sweet smoked nuts. The malt doesn't let the balance shift to a smoky menace, rather it is refreshing w/ a smooth caramel and light lager yeast flavor. The finish is semi-dry w/ a light smokiness

D - I wish this had more smoke, but was pleased overall since the smoothness of the lager makes it very drinkable.

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

Haven't had this since a long ago trip to Bamberg. Scored a bottle locally at Binny's.

A -- Clear, deep gold bordering on amber with a firm, off-white head that settles slowly.

S -- Nice smokiness reminiscent of a fireplace or camp fire. Not heavy, very pleasant, if not a little light.

T -- Hmm. A very mellow smokey flavor, same character as the aroma -- more wood smoke in character than smoked meat. Smooth with a bready background and finishing lightly spicy bitter. I can see age giving this an astringent character, glad this bottle is fresh.

M -- Soft mouthfeel with a light medium body.

D -- I could drink this all night, in fact -- I did in Bamberg!

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've actually enjoyed some of the smoked beers that I've had so I thought it was time to try one of the versions from Germany. It was pretty good, but I didn't find the smoke notes as pronounced as much as some of those from the US. (Left Hand & Rogue)

Poured with a scant slightly off white head that seemed to fade rather quickly. A nice Amber color that was straight down the middle. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma was of an amber with some typical caramel notes and of sweet malt. Only the slightest smoke hint in the aroma.

The flavor was nice and again had lots of light caramel malt flavors. Very toasty and just slightly sweet. There was only a hint again of the smoke flavor. I was expecting a bit more punch here. Nice, just not as complex as I had hoped.

Medium Light body with a tingle of carbonation.

Nicely drinkable and did go well with some food. (Pork) It just wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. Frankly, I'd reach for a Rogue Smoke Beer long before trying this again.

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Photo of Rayek
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy amber with active carbonation. A pillow-like beige head has great retention. Bits of lace are left behind.

S: Grass and straw dominate. Aromas of smoked meats are there, but extremely subdued.

T: Again, the smoked quality is very subtle. The taste of raw barley dominates. A lemon and grass bitterness provides balance. Finishes relatively clean.

M: The medium light body is dry and has the right level of carbonation.

D: This is an OK, but not great Rauchbier. There are better examples of this style to be found. Mild smokiness just seemed way too subtle to me.

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Photo of Proteus93
2.77/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Slightly hazy dark amber. White head, modest, with essentially no lacing to be seen.

S + T + M: Sadly, both aspects here are a little disappointing. The smokiness is there, but it's very, very light. The nose could perhaps stretch it into being a 'delicate peat,' but the flavour verges on being outright watery. Body performs a little better, but barely... it doesn't have that big 'meatiness' that can be associated with the style, both in body and in flavour!

D: It's a reasonable quaffer as far as alcohol content goes, but it ends there. It was all unfortunate, as the style can be incredibly good and I had really hoped for a more assertive and robust beer.

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Photo of botham
2.84/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

pint bottle poured into a snifter. pours a drab amber color with a minimal eggshell head that is quickly reduced to a soapy rim. poor retention and moderate lacings.

aroma is of meaty smoke up front, with a light funky note that almost resembles wet hay. not much else registers in the nose.

taste is lightly sweet and malty with a very restrained smoke character. everything good about the aroma falls apart on the palate, with only a bit of caramel malt and earthy smoke on the back end. could be much more potent in character, as a good rauchbier is.

mouthfeel is medium bodied and watery in texture, with a light finish of residual bready malt.

drinkability is poor. for a rauchbier, this brew is not impressive. the smoked character is almost non-existant on the palate, even though the aroma is quite promising. this one is easily passed up for a Schlenkerla. not recommended.

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Photo of engisch
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Note: The bottle I have, is Bauerei-Spezial Lager from Bamberg, but the alcohol by volume is 4,6% (substitute a '.' for those on my side of the lake). So I'm not sure if this was a typo in this beer listing or not, but otherwise it looks to be the same brew.

Hmm... Interesting. I've had other Rauchbiers before, but this one is strange. The lightness of the lager enhances the smokey flavor, although the smokey flavor seems to be lighter than some other Rauchs that I have tried.

The pour has a nice head that disipitates with a smokey aroma. It can best be described as smelling like sweet & nutty with a smoked meat like twist. I always enjoy having a Rauchbier now and then, as they are so intriguing. This Rauch was a bit lighter than some others that I have tried in Marzen and Boch styles.

This was a refreshing beer with an interesting smokey flavor. At first I didn't care for the taste of this beer, but after having a few sips it started to grow on me. I would recommend trying a Rauchbier if you have never had one! They aren't for everyone, but who knows you might be in for a treat.

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Photo of Natural510
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Half-liter bottle, produced 18-11-08.

Pours an opaque, light amber with lagerish head which leaves a decent lacing on the glass.
Smells like a lager; sweet malts with zesty yeast and a noticeable hop note. Somewhat fruity, and not what I expected.
Sweet malts to the forefront; apple and honey mix with a subtle smokiness. The meaty-bacon quality of a rauchbier is apparent, but subdued and the fruit note balances it quite well. Dryness from the yeast makes its way toward the end and the hops, while not very noticeable in the flavor, reverberate well in the mouth at the finish.

This one surprised me. The smoked quality was balanced well by the sweet notes, and none of the ingredients outshined the other.
Not an everyday beer, but if you're interested in the style, this is what I recommend.

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

An orange, copper beer with a small head.

Smell is a bit smoky on a base of malt with notes of nuts. Some bandaids, but not horrible. Some sausage smell.

Taste is malty with some smoke. Not the like a bonfire smokiness, but battling with the malt for first place. The malt is sweet and has some biscuity and honey notes. Although smoked beers are not widespread, this beer has a typical German character. A clean, well brewed beer with a bottom fermented taste. Aftertaste is smokey and a little dry. It seems like the bitterness also comes from the smoked malt.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color, light head that lingered at about half a finger. The smell is unexpected, interesting, and makes me want to dive in. Malty for the most part, the smoke can be picked up as well.

I'm liking the taste... it's a lot more complex that I expected, with the smokiness, a caramel maltiness, very nice.

Not too strong on the alcohol at all. I could drink a few of these no problem.

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Photo of ThirstyBird
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 500ML bottle into a imperial pint glass.
A - Pours a slightly hazy deep amber color with a full tan head that slowly falls to a skim.
S - Some grain sweetness...maybe caramel, subtle smokiness and fruit
T - Toasted malt, a good dose of smoke, slightly nutty and lightly bitter on the back end.
M/F - It's medium in body, it is smooth in texture yet it still has a carbonation prickle. Pretty nice that way.
D - This one is decent though by no means the best rauchbier that I've tasted.

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