Alhambra Especial | Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL

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46 Reviews
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Alhambra EspecialAlhambra Especial
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
Spain | website

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerSox on 09-17-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
46
Ratings:
95
Avg:
2.98
pDev:
26.51%
 
 
Wants:
2
Gots:
15
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 46 | Ratings: 95
Photo of Sammy
2.2/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Picked up at Rogers and Casey in Western Mass. Marketing:"The bottle is dressed in gold and white – symbolic of its purity. It projects an image of elegance." The appearance of the beer was white with golden yellow and nice initial head. Malty aroma. The mouthfeel was on the thin side, and the taste extreme metallic, if you are looking for that sort of thing.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
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.

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Photo of metter98
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
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

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Photo of TMoney2591
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.

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Photo of Gavage
2.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a 2" head that slowly falls. Some lace paints the glass.

Smell: faint malt sweetness and a hint of grass is all you can detect.

Taste: mild malt profile with some green grapes, grass, and a bit of breadiness. Some light bitterness balances out the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: light in body. Crisp throughout. Clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer is OK for the style as it is easy to qauff with some mild flavor.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.96/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a white, four-finger head that goes slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Crystal clear amber color. Nose is hoppy. Flavor is weird, definitely not sweet maybe metallic, finish is like old socks. Almost a pour. Expensive at $2.95 for a 330ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of Bitterbill
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...

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.8/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a clear golden yellow with a small white head. It smells like sweet malt, grain and grassy hops. It tastes like sweet malt at first, and then has a slight hoppy finish. This beer has decent balance, enough to set it apart from most other Macro Lager style beers. Mouthfeel is light/medium, and has a nice clean finish. Drinkability is good too, it's not too hard to drink at all. At first I was expecting this to be some typical Euro Macro Lager, but Alhambra isn't bad at all for the style of beer it is. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of DrJay
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.

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Photo of drpimento
2.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured with a white head and a bit of lace. Clear golden yellow color, medium size bubbles. Had a malty, grassy, grainy, a tad bitter, and a hint of butterscotch. Flavor was about the same. Not bad beer. Decent body. Good finish. Could drink more of these.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.57/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pretty common beer in the Granada area...ironically they have amstel on tap at a kiosk at Alhambra and not this beer

this was consumed at a sidewalk cafe in the streets of granada

appearance: pale and golden like many spanish lagers, minimal pale beige froth and no retention

smell: pale malts and no hops, nothing special but no skunk either

taste: pretty similar to other spanish lagers but of higher drinkability than estrella...its all quite drinkable just not very complex with a pale malt structure and no hops

mouthfeel: light/watery

drinkability: good

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
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.

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

This beer pours hazy pale gold color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of faint bready malt, with sweet cornish notes. The taste is of bready malt, notes of caramel, and a mellow sweetness. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied, with nice carbonation that doesn't go overboard the way most macro lager do. Overall, this is a very fine example of how a macro lager can be both light and tasteful. I could certainly drink this beer again.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
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.

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Photo of thecheapies
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.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Stunningly clear medium golden color with a large white head, which soon falls to a small, but persistent layer on the surface. Thin lacing coats the glass walls, there are numerous large, slow-rising bubbles.

Aroma: Unfortunate aroma of skunk pervades the aroma, in spite of the brown glass bottle, it smells very much like a Heineken. Beneath this there is a light malt aroma, perhaps rice, and mild grassy hops. I think it more likely a Spanish brewer would use rice than corn, but that is a supposition only.

Taste: Opens with light, mildly tart malt. This carries through the taste. Late in the taste there are grassy and lemon hops. Finishes dry, with a slight metallic bitterness.

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, fairly full, with a little sting of light carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A well-made example of the style, quite pleasant.

Presentation: Packaged in a light brown glass Euro-style brown glass long neck, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Photo of flyingpig
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.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.68/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: 330 ml brown bottle (that’s 11.15 oz to you and me) lists 5.0% abv and ingredients as water, malt, cereals, hops and yeast.

Aroma: Fairly promising mix of malt and hops. There is a “white bread” quality about it, and some rice or corn, I have trouble telling the two apart, but I’m leaning rice.

Appearance: Deep yellow glass has good clarity and a frothy white head that seems to want to hang and lace. It actually gives up some seriously clumpy lace.

Flavor: It is what it is, an American Lager, a fairly pleasant one at that. No off flavors, a slight lemongrass note. It’s really pretty well balanced. A little fusel alcohol started to show up as it warmed a bit.

Mouthfeel: An odd feel, it seems flat but it’s not. I dropped the bottle yesterday, so left it until today to review, I don’t know if that has had an impact. A medium body, thick texture, clean finish.

Overall Impression: Not bad at all! As I got into the bottle I started losing interest, but this style has that effect on me.

Note: I didn't read ECB's review before writing mine, funny how we both came up with "it is what it is".

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Photo of JDV
2.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice rich gold color with just a little head. Very slight skunk in my bottle, along with malt, and a touch of yeast. Smooth, but ample carbonation makes it pretty nice and refreshing. Decent pale lager, actually. Maybe a touch drying in the finish which gives it a slightly unique character. Very drinkable and I wouldn't mind having again if for some reason it was availabe.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330mL brown bottle with a gold and white label. Two lions are embossed in the glass just below the neck.

Pours a crystal clear deep golden color. Thick egg-shell white head with reasonable retention. Sticky lacing down the glass.

The sweet grainy smell was a pleasant surprise. No detection of adjuncts, although this beer does use some cereal grains, which may have created the sweet smell.

Grainy malt taste in the front with a slightly metallic finish. There is some hoppiness detectable toward the end. Husky aftertaste.

Fuller bodied for this style of beer, but still light bodied. Lower carbonation. Very smooth finish.

This beer is a pleasant surprise. It was crisp and refreshing and still had a generous amount of flavor. I recommend this one over any domestic macro lager.

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Photo of albern
1.73/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I've had the Alhambra Negra, which is a rather enjoyable and aromatic beer. The Especial I'm giving a big thumbs down on. The beer pours a straw pale color with a white lightish, efforvescent head. The aroma is diacetyl, a bit of sourish notes, maybe some sulfery lager smells too. The taste is not good. Diacetyl is overwhelming here, and there is a cloying sweetness, a slightly syrupy mouthfeel, and a lack of refreshingness that makes this a rather poor lager. There is a veggie, grassy, and cheap quality to this beer. This went down the drain quickly.

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Alhambra Especial from Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL
72 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.
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