Spezial Rauchbier Lager | Brauerei Spezial

Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager
294 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 294 |  Reviews: 236
Photo of Bierman9
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had quite a few of these when staying in Bamberg... from one of the oldest Brauerei's in Bamberg.... from my room at their Inn I can see (and smell!) their bier brewing! This one has a decent medium bronze-copper color, with a thin, tan head, which fades quickly to almost nothing, with minimal lace. Nose is faintly smoky, with mild malt present, too. Body just under medium, as is the smoothness on the tongue. There's just a touch of malty sweetness to start; the underlying smokiness is evident, but not overpowering. Finishes on the dry side. Improves as it warms; Easy to quaff! (Original review from samples from Sep 2001, and updated Oct 2002).

overall: 3.5
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of mrfrancis
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of deapokid
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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 Hayley_86
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of sleazo
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


A-Light brown clear nice sea foam head.

S-Sweet malt with a mild smoke.

T-very mild brown ale style taste despiteit being a lager. Slight woodsy smoke. I would like a little more smoked meat.

M-Very light body.

D-Overall a good beer but needs more smoke. Still this is a refreshing change of pace.

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Photo of aleigator
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

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Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy iced tea color, with a smallish off white head. The aroma is very doughy, like a helles lager, sweet with honey. I can't really pick up much smoke in the nose. The taste is of munich malt, doughy and sweet. There is a very light metal flavor as well as a meaty smoke flavor. The smoke is subtle and not over the top. Picture a helles dunkel with a touch of smoke. The feel is light with prickly carbonation, sweet overall, a bit of a meaty aftertaste. A fairly easy drinking brew, nice munich malt flavor with a touch of smoke. Everything is kept in check.

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Photo of akorsak
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The lager is a deep yellow color that has shades of brown and orange. The head was a thick two finger height and there is decent retention.

S: The aroma is a grainy biscuit malt with a slight hint of cured smokiness.

T: The smokiness is not as intense as I was expecting. That's not to say that there is none, because the lager has the taste of a smokehouse, it just isn't as intense and focused as other rauchbiers that I've had. The malts, in addition to the smokiness, have a biscuity consistency that is fairly thin and doesn't support the smoke.

M: The malts are thin and the smoke doesn't stand out very well. Pass on this for Schlerenka.

D: The lager is easy to drink, it just won't shake you to the core.

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Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
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....

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a practically clear amber gold with an off white head. Slight smoke on the nose and a bit of hops. Very mild on the flavor and not very much smoke there to speak of at first. But as it warmed up, those smoke characteristics peeked out. If I did a blind tasting of this as it was when I first drank it, I am not sure if I would know this is a rauchbier. Feel is standard. A bit like a macro lager. Nothing much going on here. This is my second dance with this style, and the first was much more impressionable. It’s drinkable, yes. But for the money and lack of flair in flavor; why?

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Photo of 1fastz28
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a pretty reddish amber hue with absolutely no head. i got this as part of a trader and it has a bottled on date of 2-9-04, 6 days after i turned 21, so its been legal as long as i have. without a doubt the oldest beer i've ever had. scent is very strong, a very unique biscuit maltiness to it. has a smokey essence to it as well. taste is very watery, taste is bland, maybe its the age of this beer, but it didn't age very well. it isn't BAD per say but it isn't good either, is just a lack thereof started off really good but kind of fell off, probably just the aging, as far as i know lagers dont age that well, but i could be wrong.

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Photo of skypup
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of tronester
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy amber with zero head. Smell is rather like cider. Taste is slight malt upfront, with a woody, smoky middle. The finish is slightly grassy. Also has an oxidized, cidery component as well. Mouthfeel is pretty good, carbonation levels nice and low. A pretty drinkable beer, I wonder though if the trip has aged it a bit more than it should though.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark orange with an off-white bubbly head that reduces to a skim and a ring. No lacing, some rising bubbles.

Mild smoky aroma, some light toasted malt and country ham-like scents. Where's the malt?

More of the same. Decent smoked malt flavor, but the malt never fights thru. Watery, but crisp, with a long smoke finish. Bitter toasted bread is there, but in a later wave of flavor. A refreshing rauchbier? Clean flavors, just too weak. This is borderline 3.0.

Thinner mouthfeel than expected. Some astringent pucker.

I'm a bit disappointed. The malt character needs some depth. It is a lager, but this seems to be a decision of smoke over all other beer elements. And there it fails a bit. The smoke isn't overpowering. The liquid bacon factor doesn't come into play -- it just lacks a bit more depth.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.41/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another beer I'd never seen on tap at Redbones, which meant only one thing: try it and review it, here goes. Poured a dark straw color, with about the prettiest head I've ever seen: nice, creamy, and rounded (this was in a half pint glass, not a true pint glass, however). The aroma was woody, sweet/fruity, and of course smokey. Taste was actually slightly sweet and mild, followed by an all smoke finish. The adjective that comes to mind for this brew is mild...the smoke flavor is not overwhelming. Not a style I would go for normally, but certainely worthy of a half pint, which wasn't bad drinking. pat

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Photo of kojevergas
3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on-draught into a .5L stein at Brauerei Spezial in Bamberg, Germany. Cost was 2.50 euro. Reviewed from notes. The menu displayed an ABV of 4.7%.

A: Pours a two finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and poor retention. It's hard to judge the colour in the stein, but it's certainly dark.

Sm: Bacon and roast. A mild strength aroma.

T: Very baconey, smokey, and roasted. The finish is a bit like an ash tray, an effect that is not present in other rauchbiers I've tried, esp. schenkerla. Very full flavour. Nice complexity and balance, excepting the finish.

Mf: Nice coarseness and wetness. Smooth enough to keep the beer refreshing. Matches the flavours of the body perfectly.

Dr: Low ABV and good pricing, but limited drinkability.

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Photo of Sammy
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

smoke aroma, on-tap at the Moan and Dove in Mass., no. 1 ranked bar in the country. Attractive significant Bubblly head. Light creamy mouthfeel,taste of smoke and some caramel and malt behind it moderating the smoke flavour, but otherwise nothing special. ABove average carbonation.

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Photo of russpowell
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Bruisin Ales in Asheville in late July

Poured an effervescent orange/copper with 3+ fingers of fluffed up eggshell white head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Smoked ham & that's it

T: Sweet caramel with a hint of smokeyness up front. Slight hop bitterness follows as this warms along with some butter diathechyl notes. Finishes sweet, grainy & dry

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation, skews too sweet balance-wise

Drank too slow because of the cloying sweetness. Don't recall this being that sweet in Bamberg. Perhaps an old bottle?

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Photo of dsa7783
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a deep, dark-orange hue with a minimal head that quickly receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the serving glass...
Faint smoked aroma replete with roasted duck, herbs, and caramel...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, however the smoked flavor was certainly more subdued than some other classic Rauchbier samples like anything from Aecht Schlenkerla...
Loose, thin, watered-down mouthfeel, however drinkability was good due to the lack of cloying flavors and low ABV...
Not the best depiction of the style, yet more subdued and light...

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Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a three-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Faint smokey nose. Flavor is has some caramel and malty sweetness and just maybe a little smoke but not my idea of a rauchbier. $6.50 for a 500ml bottle from a Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Courtesy of ThirstyBird. Served in a tulip. Poured a hazy burnt orange with a thin swirl of foam. Nose was prunes, malt and a smoky character. Taste was smokey, roasty and a faint aroma of prunes. Mouthfeel was watery with a light effervescence forming the backdrop. Easy drinking and interesting, but not a beer I would seek out.

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Photo of Ego
3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$3.59 @ DeCicco Market, Pelham, NY
bottled on : 5030

goddamn, this almost exploded on my keyboard after popping the cap. it starts with a full big bubble off white head of about 2 fingers but settles very quickly down to an O ring. slightly hazy orangey brown hue, a light amount of carbonation is seen rising up from below. not bad - not great

malt, smoke is in the background like a fire a mile away on a fall day ie it isnt very assertive or strong. lagering yeast pokes it's head out here as well, pretty subdued nose on this one. this does lean more towards the smoked meats type of smoke aroma rather than the burnt tones in some beers. overall for a rauch this is way to subdued to be anything more than average... a shame...

taste etc...
mouthfeel is right on for a lager, in that dept this beer scores very well. it is full and refreshing, doesn't linger to long and just drinks like it should, well done. drinkability is good leaving aside that it is not an assertive rauchbier in the smoke department.
This drinks like a straightforward lager with a hint of smoked meat in the aftertaste. On its own this is a rather enjoyable beer but given the style if falls a bit short on punch. it drinks like a rauchbier lite...

not worth persuing.. but a tasty lager for sure. The actual body and make up of the beer is near excellent but as a rauch it just doesn't deliver, I'll revisit it at some time to see if it was just a bad bottle...

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Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance on this beer was pretty nice. Looks like just about any other lager. The color was a yellowish gold with a white head on top. The aroma had a light smokiness to it, nothing overpowering. The lager aroma was there too, there were malts and some grassy notes in there as well. The taste was also lightly smoked, kind of nice that it was on the lighter side. This allowed the lager flavors to remain there as well. The mouthfeel is light and bubbly much like most German Lagers. Overall this was a decent brew.

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Photo of Rayek
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
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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Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 294 ratings
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