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 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 Jwale73
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Courtesy of ThirstyBird. Served in a tulip. Poured a hazy burnt orange with a thin swirl of foam. Nose was prunes, malt and a smoky character. Taste was smokey, roasty and a faint aroma of prunes. Mouthfeel was watery with a light effervescence forming the backdrop. Easy drinking and interesting, but not a beer I would seek out.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A nice clean copper color and a big foamy white head.

Smell: An aroma of smoked sausages.

Taste: A splash of hops hits first then you got some smoked sausages and malts.

Mouthfeel: Light on the mouth. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: This was my first rauchbier and it definitely is a particular taste. This doesn't really seem like my type of beer but I plan on trying some more at some point.

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Photo of champ103
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber/orange color. A two finger egg white head forms with good retention. Light lace.
S: Smoked meat, mineral water, and slightly metallic.
T: Again, plenty of smoked meat flavors. Which in itself is a bit overwhelming. A little to much of a metallic twang for my liking as well.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. On the watery side. Easy enough to drink...for the style that is.

Not bad, but the metallic flavor on top of the heavy smoked meat makes this more of a one and done for me. I am not a huge fan of the style, but even so, Aecht Schlenkerla blows this out of the water.

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

I had this on tap at the Old Forge restaurant in Massachusetts. It was presented in a goblet, and had a clear amber brown color with a wisp of a head. The aroma was malty and smoky, but not as aggressive as I expected for an authentic German rauchbier. A little less of a campfire smell than I've seen from several others. The taste was also a little more neutral than other rauchbiers, but definitely had some smoky flavor in it. In my opinion, this is a good gateway rauchbier, to bring someone into the fold.

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Photo of Suds
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is an average colored light-amber colored lager. The head is soapy, white, and firm, and the beer is sufficiently clear. The smell is smoky (like a good smoked salmon) and a bit grainy. Slightly astringent-smelling, with some wood and slight medicinal smell. The taste is light and dry. Smoke is prominent in the taste. The beer is light in mouthfeel, and sweeter than expected from the smell. Interesting, but not really a great brew.

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Photo of stcules
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear amber colour,foam not so compact, and a with a little persistence. Smell of smoked (soot?), of a warm fireside... particular, but very pleasant (family, home, and stuff like that...).
Taste clean, smoked, grilled wurstel, but maybe too marked and invedent; you can only feel a light note of malt and hops. Light body, too, but with a great drinkability.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL brown bottle with a freshness code of 18.11.08. Pours a fairly hazy, dark orange/amber color with a large-bubbled tan foam. Dissipates rapidly and does not leave much lacing.

Smell is like smoked black olives. Little bit of burnt wood and grainy malt. Dunkel lager? I can see that. Slight roast and a touch of sweet malt.

Taste is surprisingly not overly smoky. There is a bit here and there, but the flavor profile overall is very much in line with a Munich dunkel...a good dunkel at that and the hints of smoke make it that much more enjoyable. Good beer, but needs more smoke - of course that is coming from someone who could use more smoke in the Skerlenka Urbock! This would be a good intro into the world of Bamburg produced rauchbiers.

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Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. Bright copper-amber liquid, crystal clear, with a fizzy, white, dissipating head. The aroma is milder and more refined than other rauchbier that I've tried, mostly Schlenkerla. Spezial's Lager tends more toward rich caramel and fruity malt. The smoke doesn't make the beer feel old or hammy. It's more like a fresh, mesquite-ish accent to a nice malty lager. The flavor is relatively sweet but also much bigger than its abv would suggest, a bit like a good mild. It's a great malty lager flavor, nutty and yeasty. Soft feel. Very good lager.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
1.79/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clean orange-ish to copper color with a white head. In the aroma, a small hint of smoke and a smell of sweet tea. In the taste, small dry smoke and a hint of sweet tea maltiness. A small bite and medium to light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry tea like aftertaste. Light smoke and a big presence of sweet tea malt and a hint of lemon.

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Photo of Gmann
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy iced tea color, with a smallish off white head. The aroma is very doughy, like a helles lager, sweet with honey. I can't really pick up much smoke in the nose. The taste is of munich malt, doughy and sweet. There is a very light metal flavor as well as a meaty smoke flavor. The smoke is subtle and not over the top. Picture a helles dunkel with a touch of smoke. The feel is light with prickly carbonation, sweet overall, a bit of a meaty aftertaste. A fairly easy drinking brew, nice munich malt flavor with a touch of smoke. Everything is kept in check.

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

Pours an amber color, with a small head. It smells like smoked bacon with hints of banana and yeast. Spezial Lager has a little banana/yeasty taste and hints of smoked meat show up at the end. The aftertaste really reminds me of a cigar as well.

It is not as smokey as I was expecting, however it was still very good and pretty drinkable.

I have not tried any other Rauchbier styles from this brewers to compare with, but this was pretty good. Can't say I won't ever get it again, but I will probably pick up the Marzen or Urzbock next time I reach for this brewery.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Exactly as per the BA Database picture, the cream colored label on this one is very Teutonic. The neck label identifies this as the Special Rauchbier ‘Lager Bier’ with a green stripe, the neck label also states that this is Alc. 4.6% Vol. (I note that this different to the that listed). Reverse label includes a Bottled On Date of 02-09-04. Imported by Shelton Brothers. The date of 1536 on the label is genuine and shows that this is one of Bamberg’s oldest Breweries that is still in family hands.

Appearance: Pours with a massive creamy off-white Teutonic Kopf that fills the Glass. The thick deep head soon rescinds to a rocky covering that laces well and leaves a floating broken rocky iceberg like appearance. The body is a beautiful copper color, perfectly clear with a lovely orange hue when back-lit. Gorgeously smooth carbonation, velvet like in character when lightly swirled.

Nose: Lightly smoked aromas, like a fresh cut cedar, the woody aspects mix extremely well with the more grainy malts. Refreshing nose that is very inviting.

Taste: Grainy malt start, woody, bitter and rather dry. Some creamy toffee in the middle rises as the smoked character builds. Crisp and very clean the lines are well put together. Finishes with a soft light smoked caramel feel that is delicate but firm.

Mouthfeel: Decent feel but the crisp clean lines can make it feel like it only has an average to above-medium feel. Nevertheless, the smoky finish assists in leaving you with a finish that is far from wanting.

Drinkability: One of the more restrained Rauchbiers that I have had, but I actually think that shows some class, it is nicely balanced and the lighter smoked character in this Rauchbier makes for a very drinkable offering. Usually I can only handle one Rauchbier, but I could easily manage several of these beauties with little problem or heartburn.

Overall: Perfect, I like Rauchbiers, but so often they are overkill. This one is absolutely spot on and just right, the smoke is just enough, not too much and not too little, but perfectly in balance. Extremely nice example of a Rauchbier.


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Photo of Bierman9
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have had quite a few of these when staying in Bamberg... from one of the oldest Brauerei's in Bamberg.... from my room at their Inn I can see (and smell!) their bier brewing! This one has a decent medium bronze-copper color, with a thin, tan head, which fades quickly to almost nothing, with minimal lace. Nose is faintly smoky, with mild malt present, too. Body just under medium, as is the smoothness on the tongue. There's just a touch of malty sweetness to start; the underlying smokiness is evident, but not overpowering. Finishes on the dry side. Improves as it warms; Easy to quaff! (Original review from samples from Sep 2001, and updated Oct 2002).

overall: 3.5
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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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 Reagan1984
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've actually enjoyed some of the smoked beers that I've had so I thought it was time to try one of the versions from Germany. It was pretty good, but I didn't find the smoke notes as pronounced as much as some of those from the US. (Left Hand & Rogue)

Poured with a scant slightly off white head that seemed to fade rather quickly. A nice Amber color that was straight down the middle. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma was of an amber with some typical caramel notes and of sweet malt. Only the slightest smoke hint in the aroma.

The flavor was nice and again had lots of light caramel malt flavors. Very toasty and just slightly sweet. There was only a hint again of the smoke flavor. I was expecting a bit more punch here. Nice, just not as complex as I had hoped.

Medium Light body with a tingle of carbonation.

Nicely drinkable and did go well with some food. (Pork) It just wasn't as exciting as I had hoped. Frankly, I'd reach for a Rogue Smoke Beer long before trying this again.

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Photo of alexgash
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly clear, deep golden copper body with a few flecks of yeast (I tried to keep them out!). Foamy inch or so of dirty, off-white head. Spicy smoked meat, vegetal malt, a whiff of honey, wet campfire. Not as meaty and strong as Aecht, with more of a wet, slightly cardboardy edge. Taste starts out smoky and good. Bready malts fill-in under a smoky haze. Again, reminds me of a wet campfire. Light sweetness detectable, like a honey glaze on a smoked ham. Moderate hop bitterness in the mostly sweet smoky finish. Nice. Moderate body with a slightly soapy feel. Would love to see more examples of this style (I'm developing a "thing" for rauchbiers).

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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 sulldaddy
2.55/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well I am guessing I had the lager, since most everyone else has. I sampled a chilled 10 oz snifter at Kclingers on tap. I was excited for a rauchbier as I enjoy smokiness in my brew. I have to say I was let down.
The beer arrives with no head and is a cloudy orange color. Aroma is very mild with sweet fruit (apples and pears) dominant. No smoke that my nose can detect. No hops either. Much more mild than I expected and seems to be more of a belgian than a rauch.
Flavor is similar to nose, no smoke flavor is sweet and fruity apples pears and tangy yeast. I get some lemon and slightly spicy hops but again no smoke. DOnt get me wrong the beer is quite tasty, but I ordered what I thought was a smoke beer and it ended up tasting like a dubbel. ENjoyable beer but my marks are low due to lack of smoke.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy amber body with a cream colored, one finger head that retains quite well. Plenty of sheet and patch lace.

Aroma is wood smoked bacon, with a hint of hops and malt underneath.

Mouthfeel has a peppery hops bite, medium carbonation, and immediate sensation of smoky wood.

Taste is wood smoked bacon with a distant hops background. The beechwood smoked barley malt really dominates here.

Not as complex as it could be, but this is an interesting and historical style that I really enjoy. This oozes charcoaled beechwood malt, from start to finish. Very pleasant to sip.

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Photo of Vancer
3.02/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm, cola brown with a very fast dying white head – this thing looks lifeless. No carbonation at all.

Notes of sweet malt in the nose – where the hell is the smoked meat? Oh, there it is, in the taste – but just barely. A peaty smoked ham, but at a very discreet level. I’m surprised at the lack of any intensity in this, I was all fired up about grabbing a real German hitter.

Just nothing in the mouth. Too damn high priced to really be <drinkable> for a session, but for a bottle – smooth and easy.

Much better American craft smoked beers readily available, better tasting, and more economical.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Single bottle purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Pours a deep, dark-orange hue with a minimal head that quickly receded and deposited a thin film of lacing around the serving glass...
Faint smoked aroma replete with roasted duck, herbs, and caramel...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, however the smoked flavor was certainly more subdued than some other classic Rauchbier samples like anything from Aecht Schlenkerla...
Loose, thin, watered-down mouthfeel, however drinkability was good due to the lack of cloying flavors and low ABV...
Not the best depiction of the style, yet more subdued and light...

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a pair of stange glasses from a 16.9 oz./500mL brown bottle. Date stamp (?) beneath the word "Bamberg" on front label reads: "02", then something indecipherable. ABV is 4.6%.

A: Color is a warm caramel orange, topped by a 1-finger ivory head, soft & fluffy. Not terribly clear, a hanging veil of suspended silt. Very little carbonation rising, a few thin streams and only a few bits of lace.

S: An intriguing aroma, surprisingly 'un-smoky'. This has sweet and tart elements that are completely unexpected; candy-like sugariness and green apple sourness in the same whiff. Whatever smoke aromas I get are sweet, too - cured meats, more like a brown sugar glaze. All are modest, but sure are enticing.

T: Toasty/smoky grain (what else?) with a fruity/yeasty backing. Caramel and some light spice. 'Smoke' flavors come and go and aren't oppressive at all.

M: Light body, rather crisp mouthfeel. A little grainy/malty residue lingers and finish is dry.

D: I liked the modesty of the 'smoke' in this; it allowed other flavors (sugar, tart) to matter more. Not one I'd have too often (it IS a quirky style), but one I'd have again and would recommend.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$3.99 for a 1pt 0.9fl oz bottle @ Merchants. Pours to a chill-hazed burnt orange, forming a small off-white head with average retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate-strong. The smell is as expected for a rauchbier....a clean ferment with abundant smoked malt, giving it a ham/bacon aroma that may be off putting to some, but I happen to love Rauchbiers. The nose is on par with Schlenkerla. The mouthfeel is clean and crisp with a medium to medium-light body that makes me want more body, but increases it's drinkability perhaps. Easy to drink. Bitterness is mild and the mild grainy sweetness of the malt and the noble grassy hops all fall into a wonderful balance with the smoke. Lingering woodiness and smoke in the aftertaste.

This is a clean well-done rauchbier, although I want a thicker body. I would gladly buy this again. Recommended.

Rereview 7/25/09-This time, pours out to a limpid mildly carbonated dark tan, with not much smoke in the nose, actually quick a bit more malt, like a bock or dopplebock with suggestions of raisins and prunes. Mouthfeel is still somewhat thin for the style, and smoke is there, but mild. Still pretty good, but I wonder if I don't have a fresh bottle.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

at The Other Side Cafe, Boston MA. $9 .5l

Orange with a fluffy white head. Great lace and retention. In this big Spaten mug it's definitely Beerfest worthy.

Smells...fruity. There is smoke there as well but it's not that dominant. The fruity esters combined with the smoke gives a nice applewood smoke impression. Honeyed sweetness too. Taste is nice and smokey with a equally pleasant toasty lager. Again, not as smoke heavy as many rauchs but still plenty good enough.

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