Spezial Rauchbier Lager | Brauerei Spezial

292 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 292 |  Reviews: 235
Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Church key into a 10oz tumbler.

Appears as a real nice amber color, copper like and clear. Head has a nice off white tiny bubble head that goes nowhere of about one finger. Foamy and gives decent lacing on the glass.

Smell is a muted typical beechwood, smoke etc.. for this style muted, but also a strange starchy vegetable potato like smell also. I still dig it.

Taste is a light smoke, and a carbonated soft finish combination. Strangely for this style a little soda cola sweet on the finish, and even perhaps a little spritzy.

I still dig it overall, seem to push the right Rauchbier buttons for me, so I still dig it.

 642 characters

Photo of rab53
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Billolick
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz bottle, has some sort of numbers for bottling date info, but it made no sense...oh well they tried...pours dark, dull honey, cloudy and lowish carbonation after initially being fairly active...tan head quickly goes bye bye...musty, slightly sweet and smokey nose. This is a pretty middle of the road little smoke beer. Smoke notes quite moderate. Some orangy sweetness continues to flow across the palate. Nothing special, but this would do in a pinch for a summer BBQ.

 476 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
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?

 589 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

510 ml bottle:

Pours amber with a thin off-white head that becomes a ring. Some spots of lacing stick.

The smell is smoky - on the mild side for the style. Caramel/toffee easily comes through the smokiness.

The taste is of soft meaty smokiness at the start that soon gives waty to a caramel-candy sweetness. Mild continental-type hoppiness is restrained. Soft smokiness shows up again in the finish.

Lighter side of medium-bodied with enough carbonation to ease drinkability and smoothness and almost cleanses the palate of the smokiness.
Not hefty, but works well enough for the general mildness of the beer.

This doesn't have the power that other examples of the style have (Schlenkerla in particular), but the subtlety of it and the smoothness makes this far more drinkable, even sessionable?, than typical. Try it with lighter smoked food - a burger perhaps? Heavy smoked foods might overshadow it.

 907 characters

Photo of Tone
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight nut, slight earthy malt, smoke, and a hint of pale malt. Fits the style of a Rauchbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of smoke, sweet malt, hint of earthy malt, hint of pale malt, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of hop. Overall, a good session beer. Smoke essence isn't as strong as I would like, but still well done.

 489 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: cloudy, solidly amber hue, adorned with a generous, meringue-ish, creamy head. Aroma: soft, before being the smokiness slowly unfolds and grows...where's the salmon, anyway?
Taste: mild, easy, minimal hops, adequate malt, this seems, underneath the smoke, to be a perfectly servicable dunkel lager, smooth and eager-to-please, but the smoke's what it's all about, dominating every inch of the experience, taking control with the first sip. This actually fades and mellows after a time, but never dies, and lingers on the palate. This is the first rauchbier I've had that was a simple lager underneath, the others being bocks, weizens, marzens (thinking of Schlenkerla here, which also has a bigger smokey character, if I recall) and ales. Don't think it works as well with a lager, perhaps there's less in the way of other characteristics to play with the smokey content.
In any case, for what it was, this was pretty nice, and the 500 ml bottle went down surprisingly fast!

 988 characters

Photo of GClarkage
1.83/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Consumed in October 2004 at the Toronado on tap. Well, for starters, this apparently isn't my type of beer, which makes it really hard to review. I'm not a fan of smoked beers, as I was not aware that this type of beer was smoked. So, I apologize to all smoked beer lovers for the low rating I am going to give. I guess it's just one of those aquired taste beers. Just like I love IPA to the max beers, others can't tolerate them. OK....Poured a brownish, reddish hazy color with virtually zero head whatever. It left next to no lace also. The smell was a bit pungent. I've always read the reviews of "barnyard" type scents and never understood. Now I have a bit of an understanding. UGH, didn't enjoy the taste at all. Mainly because of the smoky overtones. Next to zero carbonation and tasted like a pair of used sweatsocks that have been soaking in some aged iced tea. Sorry, but not my kind of beer. I'm sure it's a perfectly good one for the smoked beer fans out there though. So, pay no attention to my rating unless you dislike smoked beers like I do.

 1,058 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer served in a snifter, on draft. Beer is yellow and mostly clear with a soft white head, low carbonation minimal lacing, looks good.

Beer definitely has a hickory / smoke aroma. There is a slightly off putting vegetal aroma.

Beer is light in body and minimally flavored until the smoke comes up on the second half of the palate and finishes oddly bitter and dry. Overall, it's not my favorite rauchbier but I'm glad I had it, I doubt I would return to it though.

 467 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -7%
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....

 331 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Ok, for a Rauchbier this simply falls short. While a good beer without style distinction, this is not a good example of a rauchbier, IMO.

Copper color body with a filmy/soapy head. Smell may hint on smokiness, but only if you're looking for it. Some tame sweet malt, and slight caramel. Overall this beer is semi ordinary. A slight hint at smokiness comes through. Perhaps I'm being overly critical, but I've had better rauchbiers for sure.

 441 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark gold/orange color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a typical lager scent with a slight light crystal malt and smokey aroma. The smoke is light, but noticable. The taste is good. It has a smooth lager taste with an earthy smokiness in the finish. It goes down easy and finishes dry and musty. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a low bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a decent beer. It has good taste, but it lacks mouthfeel. All in all, it still drinks well, but I wouldn't buy it again.

 585 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.82/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Half-liter bottle with much of the written work in German. From the BevMo in Cypress, on to the beer:

Murky copper color, the head about one centimeter high and fades to a paper thin sheet. My eyelids grow heavy from the average appearance. There's a little excitement in the nose, which interests my nose. Light whiff of jerky-like dried smoked meat, some astringentcy from the grain. I guess the two senses cancel each other out. The taste will surely make or break the experience. Hmmm...malted lemon flavor, aspirin-like bitterness, little smoke flavor, iced tea in the finish....flavors aren't melding well...what is this?!? The overall flavor is odd and there's little smoke to be found. Yet what's weirder is I'm still drinking it.

I might finish the bottle, but overall this was odd enough, and it fell short on smoke. Maybe a session with Smokey the Bear or a retreat to the Tennessee Smokies could inspire the brewers to get more smoke flavor into this beer.

 971 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 Stinkypuss
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a pint bottle. Appeared hazy light brown with little head and no retention.

S. A slight smoked aroma with some malt in the background.

T. I was searching for a rich smokey taste and found it towards the end, initially it was light and slightly sweet, but then a rich smoked meat taste pulled through and was highly enjoyable.

M. A little light and watery here, not bad but certainly wished it would be a bit thicker.

D. Fairly drinkable, would have again sometime. This would pair nicely with some BBQ or good cheese.

 536 characters

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.

 667 characters

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

Sampled from bottle in AZ:
A nice copper color pours with a good cream/ tan colored head. First aroma is of a hoppy spiciness (a bit surprising, in a good way), but then a background smokiness kicks in, and soon becomes all you can smell. Good amount of body to this brew, nice solid malt presence accompanied by a bit of malt sweetness, very nice. Finishes with a smoky finish, that soon infuses the whole taste of the beer from start to finish. The smoke is reasonably subdued though. Not quite as good and hearty as when sampled fresh at the brewery, but if this is all you can get don't miss it.

 600 characters

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Zorro
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear light amber colored beer with a decent tan colored head.

Smell is sweet and mildly smoked with hints of medicine and pilsner malt. Hops are represented by mostly grass aroma.

Taste starts out sweet and reasonably smoky with a mild bitterness in the finish. Good long lasting smoke flavor finish gets grassy after a while. Long lasting but not harsh smoked beer flavor.

Mouthfeel is OK.

This really shines in the drinkability department. Perfect for any Barbecue meal, just the right amount of smoke.

 509 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. brown, rauchbier bottle,

A: Pours a golden amber, almost brown, with a small smattering of bubbles as the head, but for most of the drink, it is headless.

S: Smells of smoke, barbecue and toasty malts.

T: Very smoky and malty, can't taste a hop, but that's not the direction this beer is going in. A very interesting tasting lager, that is like tasting liquid barbecue.

M: Light and smooth, would have liked some more heft to go along with the flavour, a little underwhelming, even for a lighter German lager beer.

D: A very unique an idiosyncratic beer, the way they were made in the old days in South Germany. I think this is a style of beer that you either like or you don't, I do, and I think it is a beer and a style of beer that would go great with a BBQ in the summertime.

 793 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear dark gold with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell has some earthy and grainy malt notes with just a touch of smoke. An average nose in my book.

The taste has the smoke up front and it's nice but there's also a decent sweet malt presence and a slight sourish note that I'm not all that fond of. The more I sip, the more this comes across as a strange drinking beer for me. I'm looking for some kind of date code and directly under the word Bamberg on the label is written O'03. Good lord, I hope that doesn't mean it was bottled in 2003! Holding up the bottle to the light, I see this bottle is loaded with floaties. Damn it. At 4.6% abv, I can see why I think this tastes strange..

Bottom line: I need to revisit this brew with a fresher sample. As is, it's not bad tasting and is easy to drink but if this is as old as I'm guessing it is, it should not have been on the shelf.

 899 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

 348 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark opaque color with a compact light beige head.

S: Some sweet caramel and light smokiness on nose.

T: Not a lot of smokiness or roasted malt as would be expected from a beer such as this style the malt highlights the beer first and front most. A decent light smokey amber ale with some caramel and dried apples in the finish.

M: Very light carbonation with a moderate roasted malt character. A good smooth finish but rather light per style.

D: Overall a good beer, just lacking in malt quality to make it stand out per style.

 546 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.