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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Ratings: 292 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of clarknova
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of Koralin
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%

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 Rihup
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 100floods
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

While the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen will always be my favorite german beer, Spezial puts up a great fight. medium dark amber color with a smokey sweet, honey after taste. this 'lager' as the label claims is refreshing, especially after a hot day at work. It has a lasting flavor i that i never get from lagers (i also don't drink many so I can't boast). Perfect for BBQs, to drink, and for marinades (why the hell not). I have only been able to find the 'bigger' bottles at bevmo and once at Toronado. I hope to see more of this. I'm not a huge fan of lagers, but this baby, only at 4.6 % will keep me coming back.

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Photo of DrewHodges
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 4/8/10 tasting; .5L bottle poured to ceramic Spezial beer krug.

A--can't see color well in the ceramic mug, but a light bubbly head that settled to very thin, some sediment floating

S--wonderful smoky ham smell and the signature roast malts of rauchbiers

T--excellent flavor, a light smokiness, balanced flavor compared to Schlenkerla

M--this bottle might be a tiny bit old based on the flattish watery mouthfeel, but still pleasant

D--very drinkable beer, one of the few rauchbiers you can enjoy several in a row

Drank this beer numerous times living in Bamberg, and the export bottles in the US just aren't nearly on par with what you can get in the Spezial brew pub, but still nice to have it once in awhile to bring back the memories...

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Armsby Abbey.

Big fluffy head over the top of the mug, clear toasty orange golden brown color.

Nose great toasty malts, oktoberfest like toasty malts, munich malt, light smoked malts, some lager fruits.

Taste starts with some smoked malts, not really the smoke meat or cheese level but nice smoke flavor, some light toasty malts, definite lager yeast with fruit and a crisp flavor, light sweet syrupy reddish munich malts, finishes a bit drier but sticky, lingering lots of malts, hint of bitterness and some smoked malts.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, good carb, very crisp.

Overall great, nice smoke that isn't overpowering, great crisp lager flavors, nice malts, almost oktoberfest like.

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Photo of blakesell
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from .5L bottle into a huge 1L Beer mug.

Appearance- Pours thick and caramel coloured with a huge head of froth that is just a bit larger than the beer content itself. 55% head roughly. Quickly dissapates to thin bubbles on the top.

Smell- Smoke and malt. There is no mistaking this is a rauchbier. Smoke is not overpowering as the malt is detectible and I would guess that Munich malt is what I'm smelling.

Taste- Smoke comes thru on the taste as well, balanced with the flavor of the lager. I would like to try a standard lager from this brewery to tell the difference without the smoke.

Mouthfeel- Well balanced and smooth. Finishes a bit watery, but still goes down nicely like a lager.

Drinkability- Very drinkable. Of all the rauchbiers I have had, I would say that this one is one of the most drinkable in the bunch. And at 5%, that could easily be very drinkable for a session.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

0.5 L bottle. Pours a solid copper color with a 2 finger head that falls very quickly to a light coat over top. There is a lot of chunky lace on the glass as the head recedes. Clarity is as good as it gets, and carbonation is not apparent in the glass. Nose brings a moderate smokeyness, with a moderate toastyness and bready sweetness behind it. The base and the smoke are both nicely sweet. Flavor initally hits with a nice sweet smokeyness. Not big and bold like other German rauchbiers, but enough to let me know what I'm drinking. This fades and lets a very nice and mild bready and toasty malt character shine through, finishing with a revisit of smokeyness after the maltyness fades. Mouthfeel is a light moderate with a solid moderate carbonation. This one is nice. It's not a smoke bomb that brings about the images of jerkey or chops, but I think it makes it more drinkable. This could be a session rauchbier, whereas others are only something I can do a bottle at a time. Good show.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle. This beer has a somewhat cloudy copper color topped with a small head. Malty aroma with a light smokiness. Toasted malt flavor with noticable smokiness throughout. No hop flavor. The malt is balanced by the smokiness. There's a little bit of apple cider flavor. Crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is not noticable. This beer has a great drinkability. It's a great choice either paired with a meal or on its own.

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Photo of marc77
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear bronze hue w/ copious flecks of yeast aggregates. Thick, slowly disappating off - white head. Beechwood smoke aroma is surprisingly mild compared to other rauchbiers and is well integrated in the aroma-- toasty Vienna and /or Munich malt is discernible & light crystal malt sweetness is there as well. Although expectedly smoky in flavor, the smoke is well calculated & isn't overbearing. Rich, nutty, perhaps decocted malt aren't hidden and since the body is light this rauchbier is quite drinkable. The smokiness almost seems to dissapate, and malt flavors become more assertive as I drink this brew. Hop bitterness is moderate and pleasant, while the hop flavor is herbal Hallertauer. Finishes, clean and crisp, w/ a mellow and fading smokiness. This is the most drinkable rauchbier I've had-- it wet my appetite for smoked food. I will now comb the pantry.

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Photo of Stimack
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to give this brew a try on tap and I must say what a delight as I am a big fan of Rauchbier but rarely get them and even more rare to see them on tap. Was presented with an amber color with orange highlights. Had a good sized slightly off (hedging to tan) white head that had nice retention and left a good amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The aroma is very pleasant as the smokiness shows through along with what I perceive as a nice malt scent. The taste is really where the smokiness comes out, seems to have the flavors that would go along with smoked meats minus the meats, kind of like a smoker before food is added. I know that there are other beers out there that have a more smoke filled profile but I think that this one has the balance that is needed for this type of brew. Besides the smoke flavors I am able to pick up the malts that seem to give a sweet taste while having a nice dry finish. Overall this is a very easy drinking brew, this would easily be a great session brew in my book if you like this type.

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

Pours dark copper with 3 fingers of slow falling ivory head that reduces to a ring and fine cap sustained by strong beading that leaves little lace on the 0.5 L SOHM Erdinger Weissbrau glass.

Aroma of beechwood smoke and slightly grainy Vienna/Munic malts is most inviting. Flavors evolve as the palate becomes anestised to the smoked malt. Faint sweetness from C-40 or a lighter crystal malt but not enough to require bitterness for drying. Body medium light but with help of the fine carbonation fill the mouth giving a rich nutty middle that is easy to hold on to. A nobel hop tries to outlast the smoke in the finish. A good introduction to Rauchbier that is well done but more restrained than Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen.

 736 characters

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

A: The beer appears slightly hazy and a rusty orange hue, with a thick inch and a half of head that resides atop the beer for several minutes, gradually diminishing to a quarter inch.

S: The aroma is rauchbier all the way, with the expected scents of smoke, fire, and malt.

T: The flavor has more of a peat character than some other rauchbiers I have had, akin to an Islay scotch. Pleasant smoke notes and a very enjoyable malt character make this a fine example of the style. The flavor is not over the top; this is a lighter, well balanced, highly drinkable rauchbier.

M: Light in body and very smooth.

D: While perhaps the mouthfeel could be thicker, the drinkability is high. I inadvertently drained my glass in short time, and wished I had more. I'll be having this again.

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Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this from a wooden cask when we stayed at the brewery gasthof. They have a take-out window: You ring the buzzer, they fill your stein for 0.90 euro. Incredible!

A: Clear gold, white head, no retention or lace.

S: Bready with some caramel and smoke. (More smoke and spice with a fresh cask).

T: Sweet caramel, with only a slight amount of smoke in the aftertaste. Very well balanced, and rounded, with plenty of depth (for such a light brew). With a fresh cask on Friday, it was meatier (smoked & spiced like a sausage). Score's between 4 & 4.5.

M: Light to moderate body is somewhat creamy. Light to moderate carbonation.

D: VERY, VERY drinkable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clouded amber tone with no visible chunks accumulating anywhere, nice sized cream colored head leaves scattered specks of lacing. Aroma: Great kilned malts, awesome air of smoked meat like a jar of beef jerky good stuff in my opinion. Taste: Mild compared to the other famous Rauchbier of Bamberg, but so tasty at the same time. Great crisp lager with nice malt character finishes nice and smokey but doesn't overwelm the palate, nice mixture of flavors. Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body solid carbonation, good stuff overall. Drinkability: Can't complain I could picture being in Bamber at the brewery located on the river drinking this on tap, would be such a treat.

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Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Besides Schlenkerla & Rauchenfelser, this is the only other Bavarian Rauchbier i've tried. The richness and texture fall somewhere between Schlenkerla's Helles and Weizen. Being a lager, it's very smooth like a Helles, but more of a sipper due to the mildy rich smoke and malt flavor.

The body is a hazy auburn, looks like autumn in a blender. There are countless tiny particles in suspension. Smell is of spicy malt, with a pleasant level of smoke. Not overpowering at all. Taste is fairly sweet and smoky, barley malt and tobacco notes dominate. This is balanced by the tang of mild hops, and moderate carbonation. Raw honey lingers in the aftertaste.

It would be great to try this fresh in Bamberg...

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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 Bighuge
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours with some viscosity. It creates small bubbly tan head above the slightly hazed light copper beer that literally vanishes before my very eyes. The aroma reminds me of camping in the Wisconsin northwoods. Damp and smoky...wet leaves. I like it a lot. The smoke is very subtle on the nose. On the buds this one hits the spot. The smoke is intertwined nicely with some slightly bitter hop tones a toasty vienna like malt foundation. No ashtray here...just a nice drinking rauchbier.

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

Appropriately smoky honey-golden. The head is white and dies in moderation.
The rauchiness of the beechwood cured malt is evident, but not so forceful as, say, A-S. It smells like lager as well, not just smoke. Toasty, clean, with ham notations.
Tastes as it smells. Again, the lager pedigree is not lost. Dortmunder Export backing. Lightly sweetened bread dough. Hints of nuts. Traces of honey. Ever-so-slightly toasty.
Smoke is here, and full of dried wood and meat, just as one would expect. It's not dominating, however.
Hops mix pleasantly into the fray. Like a burn-barrel of fallen leaves in late October. Grassy, herbal, and dry. Not persuasively bitter, but sufficient.
A medium body that demands large pulls.

I entered this beer wanting to get smoked out. Instead, I got a well-crafted, clean, authentic German lager with enough rauch traits to make me endear it.
Recommended for fans and novices alike.

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

Pours a nice honey orange with a tall taupe head. The foam doesn't have a lot of staying power, reducing to a small solid cap quite quickly, but it does leave a decent amount of lacing. Smells sweetly malty initially, but a light woody smoke aroma hits soon after. Surprising fruitiness that's I haven't found in many lagers. The taste is equally nice: quite malt concentrated, but not overly sweet. The smoke flavor is quite mild and works well to dry out the malt. Interesting slightly tart finish. Thickish feel. Overall, a very nice smokebeer that's quite easy to drink. Makes Schlenkerla (especially the Weizen) seem like liquid smoke.

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