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 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.

 2,333 characters

Photo of icemanls4
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MellowDia
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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!

 831 characters

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.

 940 characters

Photo of kwjd
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

 546 characters

Photo of jfcaa193
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 834 characters

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.

 483 characters

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.

 498 characters

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.

 498 characters

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.

 410 characters

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.

 346 characters

Photo of wattoclone
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

 809 characters

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

Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of kurgan3
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Stoffel
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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

159 reviews as of this posting. I picked this up on a whim on my last beer run. Thought it was finally time for me to try one of these from Germany. Well, am I glad I did. I had this over dinner - salad with blue cheese, chicken and honey orange almonds and craisins - and the light sour smokey notes in the lager highlighted the flavors in my dinner perfectly.

beyond this dinner, I'd have this again gladly as I found it to be quite flavorful but smoked in a mellow understated but balanced way.

 499 characters

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

Stubby cocoa colored head left specs of lace all over the glass. Glowing chestnut colored beer. Smells like a mix of caramel malt and musty leather. Flavors of tea, leather, beef jerky, and caramel malt blend together nicely. The body is on the light side of full, and there is just the right amount of carbonation. A nice, well balanced, smoked beer.

 351 characters

Photo of troyharvey
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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

Poured from a half-liter bottle.

A- Pours a nice deep amber with a nice tan head.

S- Subtle smokiness, some biscuit malt aroma, maltier than smoke.

T- More toasted malt, the Munich malt prevails, smoke is definitely muted compared to other Rauchbiers.

M- Very carbonated, thin to medium body, much like other German lagers from the region.

D- Much more drinkable than other Rauchbiers, reminds me of the times I pent int the Spezial Brewery in Bamberg.

 457 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4/5  rDev +8.1%

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