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Spezial Rauchbier Lager - Brauerei Spezial

Not Rated.
Spezial Rauchbier LagerSpezial Rauchbier Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

233 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 233
Hads: 286
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 14.86%
Wants: 13
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brauerei Spezial visit their website

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-19-2002

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%
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 233 | Hads: 286
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of wl0307
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle comes at only 4.6%abv., BB 19/08/08, served chilled in a 500ml weizen glass.

A: black-tea-ish amber hue, topped with a light off-white foamy head and moderate carbonation mixed of large and tiny bubbles.
S: very light smoked prunes with a soothing touch of sourness skirts the main note of a well-lagered bier; a touch of salt and a whiff of floral hint of hops stays loyally in the remote background, while the other elements just remain rounded, subtle and nice.
T: the smokiness comes ever-so-light upfront, backed by an abundant input of smoked longan-fruits with a whiff of menthol-like leafy-herbs and mildly bitter hops almost like semi-roasted tea-leaves. In the very end, the bitter edge seems to expand by stealth, showing a very good balancer in the end.
M&D: refreshing enough, clean, light-bodied and delicious for a light-weight smoked bier. Nothing like Schlenkerla Märzen, but this is a delicately smoked amber bier with a decent level of bitter-sweetness as a lovely balancer. Very drinkable!

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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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The lager is a deep yellow color that has shades of brown and orange. The head was a thick two finger height and there is decent retention.

S: The aroma is a grainy biscuit malt with a slight hint of cured smokiness.

T: The smokiness is not as intense as I was expecting. That's not to say that there is none, because the lager has the taste of a smokehouse, it just isn't as intense and focused as other rauchbiers that I've had. The malts, in addition to the smokiness, have a biscuity consistency that is fairly thin and doesn't support the smoke.

M: The malts are thin and the smoke doesn't stand out very well. Pass on this for Schlerenka.

D: The lager is easy to drink, it just won't shake you to the core.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle purchased somewhere localish, I'm sure.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" off-white head over the cloudy orangey amber brew. Head is quickly down to an uneven layer of bubbles, leggy, with average lacing. Aroma is sweet, leathery, smokey, with a touch of citrus. Taste is very sweet to start, countered some by bitterness starting in the late middle, with the smoke blowing through but not dominant. Mouthfeel is smooth, possibly due to low carbonation, and drinkability is alright. Okay amount of smoke in an okay beer.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9oz bottle. Pours a brownish amber color with a nice white head. The aroma smells like smoked meats. The taste is a little more subdued than I was expecting but it features some of the delicious smoky flavors that are present in the aroma. Overall, this is a highly drinkable and enjoyable rauchbier that is recommended. In fact, this is actually a pretty good beer for those who are looking to ease into the enjoyable world of smoked beers.

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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 bluejacket74
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
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 Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color with a decent amount of head. Aroma is nice and smoky and not too overpowering in that department. Sweet as well. Taste is light and smoky with the clean lines of a lager showing through. Aftertaste is decent and the beer goes down really smooth. A nice and drinkable

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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 avalon07
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a mug. This beer had a brownish-red color and a good half inch of long-lasting head. Okay lacing.

S: Very malty aroma, along with a smoky quality as well.

T: Malt more than anything else in the flavor. Also, the aforementioned smokiness and a slight nuttiness. Not bad, but not overly complex.

M: A decent amount of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: I'm not so familiar with the rauchbier style, but this was an OK beer. It didn't blow me away, but still, pretty well done.

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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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Spezial Rauchbier Lager from Brauerei Spezial
84 out of 100 based on 233 ratings.