Alhambra Especial
Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL

Alhambra EspecialAlhambra Especial
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Lager - European Pale
Ranked #258
ABV:
5%
Score:
69
Ranked #48,885
Avg:
2.98 | pDev: 17.79%
Reviews:
51
Ratings:
113
From:
Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
 
Spain
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  4
Gots
  22
SCORE
69
Poor
Alhambra EspecialAlhambra Especial
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 51 | Ratings: 113 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of FLima
FLima from Brazil

2.27/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Golden color with a thick thin head with decent retention.
Aroma with notes of adjuncts and some booze.
Flavor with notes of sulfur, mild spicy and earthy hops, malt sweetness, adjuncts, lime peel and faint booze. Dry aftertaste with a mild to medium bitterness.
Light body with good carbonation.
Adjunct Lager with different recipe than usual, but with some off-flavors.

Sep 23, 2019
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

had this one tap, almost certain it was the especial not the lager, but now i am doubting myself a little bit. in any event, its always a joy to try the yellow beer people drink in other parts of the world, its a favorite past time of mine really! this one comes out clear and real heady from the artful draft tower, a shade richer looking than many of these, and real lively on the carbonation. the aroma is clean enough for what it is, a little sweetness, but not immediately adjuncty or cheap to me, in fact some real grain character permeates, and it seems like the lager yeast has some character too, already ahead of the standard. the flavor is fine, not as light as some, longer finishing and thus a bit less drinkable, especially with a belly full of craft beer, but the carbonation helps wash it clean at the end of each pull, and the fuller body is actually a welcomed change of pace in one of these. it doesnt warm up well, so drink cold. i also feel like this beer needs a context, some spicy seafood, a flavorful rice dish with grilled veggies, something to entertain the palate and have this as an aside. in the spotlight, its just okay. still better than the global average though i reckon. ill have to try this and the lager at the same time to compare and confirm...

Apr 03, 2019
Photo of elnachooo
elnachooo from Spain

1.94/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cerveza dorada con una pequeña cabeza espumosa. Ligera y de carbonatación baja. Su aroma es débil pero se puede percibir malta y cereales. En boca es una cerveza dulce.

Jan 04, 2019
Photo of monkist
monkist from Hungary

3.29/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This isn't as impressive as the last couple of Saaz-infused Spanish beers, this is more malty as is grainy, less refreshing, a bit heavier taste. I guess I would prefer the hoppier to the maltier/sweeter stuff. I enjoyed it a slightly less than the Saazy lagers.

Sep 19, 2018
Photo of Ant777uk
Ant777uk from England

3.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Just drank the traditional/lager one which is weaker, this is stronger so hoping it's an improvement...though I was pretty impressed with the last one, especially considering price...

Again, very good creamy head for a lager, that lasts a reasonable time...like the traditional one, not much aroma, possibly a bit more.

Definitely more hops and bigger alcohol kick, that makes it a more interesting flavour. The last one was good though there was something missing, this has a much more pleasant flavour of sweet malt and hops, with a deep complexity for a lager. This is much better than most of the established names like Heineken, Carlsberg, Amstel, Stella...and also many of the German pilsners also. Though it still needs more strength and more hops!

Really cheap too

Superior to Mahou, though Mahou could be argued as more refreshing...

As a lager, very impressed

Mar 10, 2017
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada

2.77/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Draft: Poured a clear golden color lager with a nice pure white foamy head with OK retention and light lacing. Aroma of light adjunct notes with some light cereal notes and residual sugar notes is OK. Taste is also a mix of adjunct and residual sugar notes with light cereal notes. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Typical pale lager with more residual sugar then I would care for.

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

2.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-draught at La Adelita in Andorra. Served in stemware.

A: ~1cm white cap. Frothy and soft in appearance. Retention is decent - ~2 minutes.

Body colour is a clear vibrant pale copper; almost a gold. Clean-looking, bereft of yeast or sediment.

Sm: Clean malted barley taste. Fresh mineral water. Subdued grassy hop character. Fresh Pilsner malts. Cleanly attenuating lager yeast/saccharomyces.

Aromatic intensity is average.

T/Mf: Follows the aroma in terms of flavour, with a soft mouthfeel supporting its simple malty taste. Munich malts fill out its light-body, but unlike many beers in the style, it never tastes too sweet. Balanced albeit shallow and plain.

It's somewhat refreshing. Smooth, wet, well-carbonated.

O: A drinkable brew for pairing with food, but little more. Its simplicity is both its strength and it's weakness. I'd nab another for casual drinking, but discerning drinkers won't be dazzled.

C / AVERAGE

Jun 11, 2016
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

18 March 2016: Bottle from Carrefour. In Teku glass. Watching True Detective 2x03. Much better than the canned version I previously took. This one hasnt that nasty sweetness and is pretty decent for its price



24 May 2015: From Dia. Playing Kings Bounty Dark Side, in cup of Legado de Yuste. Supersweet. Very bad. The can was hit, so maybe it was in bad state, although no leak were appreciable. Overall: 1.1

May 24, 2015
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies from Pennsylvania

2.64/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A true gold color, much deeper than I could've possibly imagined. The head laces decently with its presiding half-inch of bleach white topper. Tons of bubbles rising from the glass bottom to support what's left of the foam that crowns the beer. Not bad, so far.

A familiar scent of corn and rice adjuncts dominate with a sweet mustiness that is hardly compromised by what little hop element breaches the nose of this beer. Slightly fruity, too, which reminds me of many a Belgian Pils, or so they're called. Kind of a sweet Stella with a Spanish skunk beer note that detracts a little. Malts are very thin, but boisterous in their sweetness. Not appaling, just... off.

The sweetness is still accentuated, which is a little hard to deal with. The rest of the malts seem like stale corn grain and underlying sweetness, almost completely pale and raw and without toast. Slight bitterness is picked up from a half-ass citrus hop component, which doesn't do well by itself to balance this sweet corn mess of a pale lager. Hardly any contact with alcohol, so it can be said that this drinks easy and very undisturbing of what would be upper potency of a lager with this kind of simple beer-y flavor. A little soluble carbonation works well to spritz and spike up the tail end of the mouthfeel, but the body feels a little sluggish. After all of the kind words about its disguised booze (at 5%), it's eventually warming--obviously so, for the style.

My fond memories of Cruzcampo make me want to stick to my guns in support of Spanish-brewed adjunct lagers, but Alhambra (while I've been to the city and it's utterly gorgeous) is not so good of a time.

Nov 16, 2013
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #65 (June 2012):

LOOK: Beautiful lacing, clear pale golden color

SMELL: Spicy, clean, dried grass, creamed corn, crackers, chalky, carbonic

TASTE: Very crisp, lighter bodied, clean, herbal hop, spicy, balanced bitterness, mild breadiness, cooked corn; grassy, dry finish

Not half bad for a Euro lager brewed with corn. While it might not be making the Earth tremble with each sip, it is impressive how clean this beer is. To sum this beer up, you’ll probably end up seeing it at a Spanish restaurant with a very lacking beer selection, and this will end up being your go-to beer.

Sep 09, 2013
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig from Scotland

2.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

330ml bottle for £1.49 from Lup Pinto deli, Glasgow:
Clear and light looking, straw coloured body with a few bubbles anda finger sized, foamy head that is bone white.

Basic lager with some grassy hops and a mild skunk aroma. There is some basic lager adjuncts and a touch of grain along with some skunk at the end.

Quite a bland tasting lager with some light corn and a few basic adjuncts. There is a touch of grain with some skunk at the end.

Light and crisp feeling beer with a mainly smooth body, there is some grain but this is minimal. There is a light amount of bitterness at the end but the beer is a bland one.

A rather basic and sub-par offering from Alhambra and not a good one, even for the style. Their flagship Ahambra Lager is much better and even that's not great.

Apr 04, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

2.75/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear orange with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, alcohol, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with fruity and chemical flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer that has a fairly decent aroma but the flavors make it somewhat undrinkable.

Mar 22, 2013
Photo of Bockrules
Bockrules from New Mexico

3.66/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A - Pours a perfectly transparent straw-gold with several small bubbles rising to the formidable four-finger white head. Head stays intact until nearly the bottom of the glass. Leaves behind a several gorgeous rings of lacing. Practically textbook for the style.

S - Some light grains and noble hops come through immediately after opening the bottle. Pretty typical euro lager but minus the skunked smell (thank you brown bottle).

T - Toasted grains with a hint of grassiness upfront. The body is a solid blend on lightly toasted grains with hints of sourness and slightly grassy noble hops. Strong flash of noble hops as the beer passes over the back of the tongue followed by a toasted grains and sour mash in the finish.

M - Light bodied, but with enough substance to not be mistaken for a macro lager. Moderate carbonation rounds out the mouthfeel profile fairly well.

Alhambra is a gorgeous looking beer and to my surprise tops all other Euro lagers I have had to date. The flavor profile is interesting enough to get me through at least one bottle, and the skunked notes so prevalent in this style are nonexistent. Heineken, St. Pauli Girl, and patrons of lesser Euro lagers will want to think twice.

Aug 07, 2012
Photo of GONZALOYANNA
GONZALOYANNA from Spain

3.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle. Pokal glass. Enjoyed many times. Golden color & filtered appearance. White froth & correct retention. Some lacing on sides. Pale malt & sweet cereal aromas. Flavor is malty with smooth & gentle sweetness. Slightly hoppy touch in the middle. Light to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Texture is watery to dense. Smooth finish. Easy drinkability.

Jul 20, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.06/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

This turns out to be my manager's go-to Euro lager, so I figured I'd give it a go, especially considering I'm not averse to the Negra. It pours a clear straw topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises mild wheat, very light grass, and a few small puddles of corn syrup. The taste brings in more of the same, with a bit more straight corn and a pervading sense of vague grain. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, a decent enough Euro pale lager, nothing close to special, but it's inoffensive, so it can work if you just want a simple nip.

Apr 02, 2012
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill from Wyoming

3.03/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by 10314??

It pours a clear light gold with a 2 finger head of foam and some lacing. Lots of bubbles.

It has smells of grain, corn, some typical AAL sweetness, with a bit of bitterness.

The taste is the above. The bitterness is nondescript and the grain and sweet and corn all add up to a typical example of the style; and by that I mean it doesn't stand out in a good way like the few I've liked did.

The body is medium, that's good, and the carbonation is too brisk, that's not so good. Worth a try, I guess.

Man, with all of the great imports out there, I do not see the need to bring this into town...

Jan 17, 2012
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear yellow in color, the beer has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down but left lots of lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The head eventually completely faded away.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of corn and sweet, grainy malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of sweet grainy malts and corn.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is easy to drink but isn’t overly interesting.

Dec 27, 2011
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic from Texas

2.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

11.15oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottom of back label stamped BEST BY ALH10260, whatever that means.

Appearance - Super pale straw body. Huge billowing seafoam head with great retention and huge stick.

Smell - Corny musk. Skunky. Wet hay and cardboard. Slightly noticeable alcohol.

Taste - Strong corn. Very musky. Kind of stale. Almost offensively potent, but despite that is still drinkable and somewhat interesting.

Mouthfeel - Pretty astringent. I make a face after nearly every sip. Almost watery except for the stickiness of the body.

Overall Drinkability - Pretty flavorful for an AAL. Not exactly all good flavors, but flavorful nevertheless. Interesting and possibly worth checking out.

Nov 06, 2011
Photo of DrJay
DrJay from Texas

2.22/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Crystal clear and light gold in colour with a thin cap of white bubbles. Decent head retention after the foam initially settled and there was a bit of lacing on the glass. Aromas of cooked corn, cereal grains, light floral hops and faint fruitiness. Low bitterness with a touch of spicy hops in the finish, dry malt sweetness, lingering metallic aftertaste. Light bodied with moderate carbonation, just short of crisp with a bit of dryness.

Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a typical looking yellow color. The smell of the beer is mostly grainy and has a light skunkiness to it. The taste is like many of the other lagers out there. There a bit of grains and a bit of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was on the lighter side also pretty smooth. Overall This brew isn't as good as the Negra in my opinion. This ones average.

Jun 06, 2011
Photo of karait95
karait95 from Mexico

2.5/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A pale yellow color, it is very clear it seems to be a really light body, low carbonation almost imperceptible, the head is also really little not something to see that dissipates somehow fast and did not leave any traces on the glass, in general nothing to remember.

S: Very similar case, nothing to remember a poor barley aroma can be sensed but nothing else.

T: Very little flavor to malt almost nothing of barley can be sensed.

M: As it is very simple the mouth-feel is very refreshing but nothing more very little ending with some bitterness.

May 30, 2011
Photo of fizzy
fizzy from Minnesota

3.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I read the previous reviews on most beers in anticipation of what I am going to experience. Most of the time, but not always, I concur with the others. I got this bottle of beer as a "build it yourself $4.99x6 pack" at Zipps Liquor in Minneapolis. Side bar here. A little about Zipps, just down the road for the U of Minnesota. Around for "millions of years" this liquor store was the premier store for students from the U of M until some of the big stores invaded the sidelines. It still exists as the "store par excellence" of the campus crowd.
As with all foreign beers I envision myself sitting in a small cafe on a street with small cars and motorbikes cruising by. A warm summer day with a slight breeze. Imagining that scenario I would give this beer a BIG THUMBS UP!! Back in Willmar, a big "hey, what's next"!!

May 07, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

2.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.15 oz bottle split in a Bruery tulip.
5.0% ABV, Best By: ALH9315

A - Clear goldenrod color with a low white crown resting on top. Low retention with almost no lace left over.

S - Cooked corn is noticeable instantly with pale malt and pils sweetness. No real hop aroma from this one. A bit cold, metallic smelling.

T - Oy. Bland pale malt and corn flavor. Not much beyond that actually.

M - Crisp and light-bodied with a clean, bland finish. Slightly dry.

O - Not offensive I guess, it's just bland as can be.

May 05, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude from Arizona

2.42/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A fresh bottle from the distributor, Sampled at 1702, Tucson; April 2010
This beer pours into my glass with a brilliantly clear, light cider-yellow color. It is topped by a fizzy white head that quickly disappears. The beer smells more like cider to me than anything, but also has some nuttiness to it as well as a touch of grain.

Interestingly enough this tastes of toasted nuts underneath a more omnipresent cider like flavor. Perhaps a touch of cardboard is found here and the beer is lightly sweet which is somewhat offset by the fizzy, light texture. Some green acetaldehyde is also found here. This is certainly a beer meant to be drunken ice cold; this is a touch on the warm side, so it is not crisp and refreshing and instead has too much flavor for a beer of this type.

Oct 07, 2010
Photo of tubacharlie
tubacharlie from Michigan

3.6/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The smell of cereal grains greets the nose as a smooth white head forms, of decent stature, with some clinging and retention. Lots of CO2 activity.

Crystal clear and golden honey colored, it is a smooth, easy-to-drink Euro-lager. Solid malt presence with a slight sweetness in the aftertaste and a good balance of light hops. Refreshing and flavorful enough for lunch with tapas or frankfurters and chips on a hot summer day, especially if served nice and cold.

This bottle was labeled as 5.0% abv, unlike the BA profile.

Sep 26, 2010
Alhambra Especial from Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
Beer rating: 69 out of 100 with 113 ratings