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Spezial Rauchbier Lager | Brauerei Spezial

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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

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Ratings: 294 |  Reviews: 236
Photo of nlmartin
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was purchased at Jungle Jims. The beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer has a very nice clear amber coloration. The head is a thin off white coloration. The head has no real retention. The beer leaves no lacing behind on my glass.

Smell: The beer has a very nice toasted malty smell. The beer has a undertone of smoke. The hops smell grassy and earthy.

Taste: The beer has a nice toasty caramel malty introduction. The beer then goes briefly smokey. The hops bring a bit of earthy bitterness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is light bodied. The beer is carbonated nicely. This is a very easy beer to drink. I could envision sessioning this beer all night.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.46/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden with amber hues, lots of suspended sediment, and light carbonation with a low filmed light tan head. Nice smoky nose; not overdone. Nice smoke-malt balance. Medium bodied and smooth but a bit light compared to the Aecht Schlenkerla; most likely due to the Lager base.

A nice subtle nicely balanced intro to the style.

Per label: "ABV 4.6%" & "Since 1536" & "Barley Malt cured by Natural Beechwood Smoke" & "Lager" & "Dunkel Lagern"

($4.04 / 16.9 oz. tall brown sleek Euro style bottle)

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Photo of fisherman34
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear light amber in colour with medium carbonation. Strong, but not overpowering, smoke aromas, along with a bit of sweet malt and earthy hops. More smoke on the palate, with a very mellow combination of crystal malt sweetness and Munich malt maltiness. The hops become a bit more spicy, and even out what could have been a malt bomb. Lasting, slightly sweet finish. Not the kick in the lungs smoke of Schlenkerla, but still very nice.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a Big A bottle to my glass lidded mug. A really dark amber almost brown. The head is big tan and rick looking. It fade and leaves a nice lace.

The smell is not very strong. Smoky malt and a hint of hops.

Taste is very good. Smoky malt smoky hops, a smooth and mild beer, could be bolder.

Mouthfeel is good, thick but not real thick. Carbonation is ok kind of coating, smooth.

Drinkability is high. Very high, no complaints smooth and not real strong. MK

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Photo of klewis
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Brew Kettle - Strongsville, OH 5/28/06

A: Served in a pint glass, it poured a hazy light borwn color with little head or lacing.

S: Aromas of pure honey and a touch of smoke.

T: Much like the smell. The taste was sweet with flavors of honey and caramel and reminded me of the one sampling of mead that I've had. I was expecting more smokiness, but didn't get too much here. A subtle ashy character came into play late into the taste and in the finish.

M: Light-bodied and heavily carbonated with a clean finish.

D: Not a bad beer, but sort of a disapointment after having the Schlenkerla rauchbier - I want more smokiness. The honey-like sweetness got a bit old by the time I finished the beer, so I wouldn't want to drink more than one at a time.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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 Globetrotter
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found in a Moscow grocery store, this short and stout brown half liter bottle features a red on parchment label designed to look a bit like a fancy garden window, with Gothic writing in the center. Purity law applies. Best before 5/30/06, I opened it in honor of Mother's Day, 5/14/06.

Pours a slightly hazy orange under a two finger off-white head that fades fairly quickly to thick film and collar, leaving a few strings of lace. The nose is very mild, with a hint of smoke. The mouth is light and very well-carbonated. Nice and smooth taste, with definite smokey notes, more like a smoked sausage than an ashtray. There's a bit of sweetness here to balance the smoke. The hops, if present, are well hidden. The smokiness lasts well into the aftertaste, but is never overwhelming. Nice drink.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
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 beveragecaptain
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
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 bluejacket74
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. The beer pours a nice amber color, with a nice head and a good bit of initial carbonation.

S. The smell is a little bit smoky, but not quite as much as I anticipated. There's also a hint of caramel too.

T. It's smoky, and also a little bit hoppy as well. Not a strong tasting beer, but that's not a bad thing either.

M. It's not overly carbonated and is pretty light.

D. This is a very drinkable beer, it goes down easy and there isn't much of an aftertaste.

This is the first smoked/rauchbier that I've tried, so unfortunately I haven't tried any other beers in the style to compare it to. Overall, I think that it's good and I'd definitely try it again.

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Photo of kgotcher
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a very bubbly head. Very light amber color. Lots of suspended yeast.

Aroma is a pilsner lager with a subtle smokyness. Mouthfeel is light with a fairly week body. A bit watery. Also can feel a lot of those little chunkys in the back of my throat.

Flavor is very smoky, more than I expected. Kind of over powers any of the light pilsner flavor. Nothing is really bad tasting just not balanced at all.

I've had smoked beers before but always as a darker, fuller beer so the smoke flavor is not the only thing you can taste. With this weaker beer the smoke flavor is just a bit too much.

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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 moderndrunkard
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light brown/light amber color, very clear, with lots of bubbles. A moderate amount of head, but little head retention.

The beer gives off just the absolute slightest bit of smoky aroma, and a stronger hint of maltiness, but not much else.

The first thing I taste is lots of carbonation. Displays a great, LIGHT smoky flavor that's prominent towards the back of the tongue. This smokiness yields to a slight maltiness. Just a little bit of hoppiness at the end with a lingering smoke feel. Overall taste is very crisp and very smoothe.

This is much lighter than the märzen in both color and flavor. A little thin, but overall, a fantastically mild rauchbier.

This is definitely the most drinkable rauchbier I've ever had. I feel like I could drink it all night, and if I had a couple more, I just might...

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Photo of Derek
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
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 jorjoria
3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperarance: Pours a rich amber with very little head. Also the head retention is rather pour and the size of the bubbles in the head are quite large.

Smell: The first thing that hits you is the smoke. It really reminds me of smoked chipotle peppers. There are also some caramel notes that come through after the smoke clears.

Taste: The beer tastes like bacon with a slight hint of sweetness to balance. There is very little hops going on in this brew. As far as the mouth feel this beer feel good in the mouth and leaves your mouth a little dry perhaps as a result of some tannins that were extracted from the dark smoked grains used in this beer. Over all a good brew. I’d love to have this stuff fresh in the Bamberg.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a hazy copper with a bubbly, off-white head that sticks around for a while.

Smell: Bacon!! Again with bacon smelling rauchbiers. I love it!! The smoked maltiness is superb, balanced by subtle caramel malts, noble hops, and lager crispness.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavors floating around in this beer are great. Smoked malts, caramel malts, floral hops, and much more. But, it's a bit weak. Seems light in the mouth and watered down. Which affects the flavor making what could be a great tasting a decent tasting beer.

Drinkability and Overall: A very nice example of a rauchbier. although it lacks robustness. Very easy drinking though, and defeinitly one I'd like to have again.

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Photo of swid
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4.6% ABV listed; bottled on code 5030.

Spezial Rauchbier pours a golden brown color into my pint glass. Atop the hazy liquid sits a 3/4", off-white head the slowly dissipates. Moderate carbonation and lacing. The smell of this beer is a mixture of yeasty bread/grass aromas, waftings of smoked meat, and a faint herbal hoppiness. The smoky/meat aromas are surprisingly weak for a rauchbier.

The taste is precisely what the smell promises: sweet and malty, with a touch of smokiness. If it wasn't for the smoked malt presence, this would be a märzen; the bready flavor and the light touch of herbal hops are just as you'd expect around Oktoberfest. The mouthfeel is surprisingly watery and is slightly "wet" overall. Finishes with a mild sweet and smoky aftertaste.

As other reviews have noted, this beer is a bit lacking in being, well, smoky; other rauchbiers I've sampled have much more of a smoky/meaty smell and flavor to them. However, this is the only bottled rauchbier I've ever ran across here in Lincoln; paired correctly, this would make a great dining beer.

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Photo of Hautacam
3.06/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark cloudy amber...foamy head..drops to 1/8".
Smells yeasty..bread dough ..malt...only a hint of smoke.?
Tastes pretty mild...malty, slightly sweet, bread dough again... hint of hops and ,damn... only a hint of smoke.
Kind of disappointed...this is an OK tasting lager, but I wanted more smoke....there's so little smoke , it almost seems like what smoke is there , is a mistake...an afterthought. Watery.
Mouthfeel is light to almost medium....slightly sticky, salty finish.
This might be too toned down...I might have to try a more intense Rauchbier before deciding if I like this style.

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Photo of Skidz
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
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 Padron4KM
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bottle. Bottled on code says 5030. not sure what that means.

Pours clear amber with lots of minute particles in suspension

Two finger tan head hangs around a bit and leaves a bit of lace.

Aroma is only mildly smokey, and malty.

Much more smoke in the flavor. Campfire, tobacco, smoked meat.

Finishes dry and slightly bitter.

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Photo of Sephiroth
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dated 5030, which I think means it was bottled Jan. 30 of 2005. Pours a light, clear orange with decent head. Smells smoky, with medium-sweet malt.

Not as smoky as I expected. Smoky, sweet malt is the profile, and the beer itself is refreshing. Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation. Very drinkable, maybe not smoky enough for some.

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Photo of AltBock
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1pt. 9 Fl.oz bottle with a nice brown label (like the one pictured) that has german written on it and with a bottled on date label of 5030 on the back. I'm still not certain of the date of this beer. It also had a neck label that stated that the alcohol content was 4.6%.

Appearance: Poured a golden orange color with a small head of white bubbly foam that dissipated fast into some rings around the mug.

Smell: It had the typical Rauchbier smoky/smoked meats, malts, and sweet smell, but it was little lighter than most, but still good though.

Taste: Up front I noticed plenty of hops and after that, the typical Rauchbier taste of smoke/smoked meats, and malts. And like the smell, the smoke/smoked meats taste was lighter than most. This all ended with a slight sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: I thought the mouthfeel was kind of weak. It was light, not too watery, sweet, and with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall this made for a very nice light beer that could be used for a Rauchbier session beer. Maybe not the best Rauchbier, but a good one none the less.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.04/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This Rauchbier pours a mostly clear amber, with little active carbonation and no head to speak of. There is some floating sediment throughout the glass. The smell is nutty, and of smoked wood, with some some faint hops coming though also. The taste is much of the same, smokey, with a light caramelly sweetness. The finish is not as bitter as I would have expected. The smoke flavor dominates this one as the malt and hop flavors don't come out very strong. The mouthfell is thin, and the lower carbonation makes it taste a bit watered down. Not bad if you prefer smokier beers, but it could use a better presentation and more robust flavor...

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Photo of JISurfer
4.07/5  rDev +9.7%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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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Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
Beer rating: 3.71 out of 5 with 294 ratings
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