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 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.

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

Yeast-riddled ripe orange with apricot edges. Full, rich and creamy, the head is somewhere between polished ivory and pale almond in color. The surface bubbles that popped with such a furious intensity immediately after the pour have now settled down to a more sedate rate of poppage. A few thick streaks of froth end up on the glass. Although short on lace, the 'yeast blizzard' intensifies as I get into the bottom of the bottle.

The nose belongs to a rauchbier, that much is clear. That said, it's one of the tamer versions that I've smelled. Given the less than potent beechwood smokiness, I'm amazed that there's little else going on. I don't fault the beer though. In my limited experience with this style, the smoke tends to smother any other aromas that may be present. You either like it or you don't. I like it.

Rauchbier Lager is a little more smoky on the palate, but is still on the tame side compared to the leaders of the style pack. It reminds me a great deal of the 'wheat rauch' from Brauerei Heller-Trum (Schlenkerla). There are no smoked meat or bacon grease comparisons here, just a lightly smoky, refreshing brew.

The beer also has an understated sweetness that fits the flavor profile well. Bitter smoke is rarely a good thing, while sweet smoke can be mouth-wateringly delicious (Bar-B-Q contains sugar for a reason). Even though I much prefer the big, full, smoked-to-the-gills versions of the style, that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the more subtle qualities of this beer. I'm enjoying it more and more with each and every mouthful. If there's such a thing as a session rauchbier, this one and Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen are the best that I've had.

I want a bigger body (I always want a bigger body), although in this case that probably wouldn't be advisable. The mouthfeel is perfect for the task at hand. There's an abundant amount of fine-gauged carbonation that keeps things hopping and makes what is probably a medium-bodied beer seem a shade lighter than that. In any case, my mouth approves.

Spezial Rauchbier Lager is good beer. If you like smoke, you'll probably enjoy it. If you don't, you probably won't. How's that for a brilliant analysis? I like it just fine. Even though I don't crave rauchbiers very often, I plan to buy this one whenever I happen to run across it.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Defiantely not as good as the Aecht, but it's still farily decent. It's one of the first smoked beers I've found here in SC in a while, so I wanted to give it a shot.

A - Clean copper color, with a big foamy white head. Head dies out kind of quickly, then goes into a thick, spotty lace.
S - Nice smokey smell. Something of a cedar, mixed with bacon thing going on too. A little bit of a hop tinge in the finish as well. I thought this was nicely done.
T - Very similar to the smell, but not so strong on the smoke. I do like the stronger smokey tastes, so that lost a little bit IMO. You could also get a taste of the hops a little more than the smell as well.
D - Very good beer to have on a wet, cold night such as this one. Reminds me of living up in the mountains and having the fireplace around. Can't argue with that!

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated "5080", whatever that means.
Pours light copper, clear, with a moderate, spongy, white head.
Medium to large bubbles mostly that fall back within 2-3 minutes, revealing some light dotted lacework. Pretty unimpressive.
Aromatics are laced with somewhat light but complex smoke (for a beer from Bamberg), and toasty malt.
Not a fresh example by any means, but some nice breadiness comes through, and is quite clean beyond the smoke.
Nose rounds out with a slight buttered toast note and a hint of pepper.
Mouthfeel is thinnish, crisp, and smooth.
Pallet is somewhat meager, but very quaffable.
Lightly malty and bready, with light smoke. A nice balance for pairing up with lighter food or in the heat of summer.
Medium bitterness takes the edge off some residuals, and the brew finishes quickly at first, with lingering smoke and warming pepper.
High marks for drinkability, but I prefer a bigger brew with more smoke.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Herbal hops, smoke, pepper, BBQ, and leather,
A pour expressing deep amber to light brown hues.
A finger of white head that was soft like a feather,
Smoke and fruitiness did fuse.

Flavor, a light and smoky sweetness with hints of BBQ together,
med carbonation, light body, and a refreshing quality does infuse.
An overall sweeter than hoppy brew perfect for the weather,
If you want a crisp, smoked beer this is the one to choose.

While not exemplary, average quality it does exceed,
if camping and honey is what you like this is what you need!

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Photo of Skidz
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out light amber and sits bright amber-brown in the glass with a large, soft and thin off-white head fading to a thin lace around the sides.

Smells crisp and toasty with mild smokiness all-around. Grassy hops are solid and back the grahm-crackery malts.

Tastes mildly sweet up front and builds with a rush of toasted malts. Smokiness emerges, soft, damp and sweet. Hops present clean, grassy flavors with hints of walnuts coming in. Finish is malt-focused with enough smoke flavor to run into the next taste.

Crisp, clean and refreshing in the mouth. Bold, moderate carbonation and medium bodied.

This is rather enjoyable. Not the most exuberant of the Bamberg rauchbiers I've had, but that may be due, in fact, to freshness. Yet another reason to return to one of the most unique beer-producing cities on the planet.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the brewery.

This rauchbier poured a clear, dark amber color with creamy, light tan foam that settled but coated the glass. The smell was mildly malty. The taste was malty with a hint of smokiness and with tangy hops in the finish. Very nice, and not overly smokey. The mouthfeel was smooth with medium body and moderate carbonation. There was a slight smokey feel and a light tanginess. This was a very nice rauchbier with a light smokiness. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Somewhere between brown and amber with peach hues. Pretty nice head at first and we have nice lacing.

Rauch aromas and I thought I smelled hops undertones.

I always find rauchbiers hard to judge on taste. This one is no exception. The smokey tastes dominate, but they aren't incredibly strong. What else is there to say? Well, I think I can detect some stereotypical "lager" tastes underneath, but, again, mainly rauch.

Mouthfeel isn't that great at first, but it becomes good as it warms.

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Photo of drseamus
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got a 10oz of this at Mahar's because I am always a bit wary of rauchbiers. I wish I had gotten a bigger one in retrospect. It pours a light amber with a one finger white head. The aroma was VERY malty with a good biscuit quality and a hint of zoo funk in there. The flavor is very malty with a good but not overpowering smoke character. It reminds me of a roasted pig somewhat. There are some caramel notes as well. The body was light to medium. Overall, one of the better smoked beers I've had.

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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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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

A - Rusty dark orange and hazy brew with a short-lived 1 finger foamy head and tons of peppery specks floating in suspension. Has an almost greenish hue at times. Some thick lacing coats the glass.

S - LIghtly woody and smokey like an old wooden cabin. Very appropriate scent since we are snowed in our apartment during this horrible midwestern ice storm. A little bit sausagey but much less meaty than Aecht Schelnkerla's Urbock.

T - Woodsmoke and glazed honeyed ham with little touches of caramel. Very slight bitterness and worchestercier sauce flavors. Again, not as assertive as Aecht Schlenkerla's rauchies.

M - Light to medium bodied with low carbonation but a high level of acidity that provides some tingle on the tongue.

D - Decently drinkable, but not the best or most unique rauchbier.

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