Milwaukee craft brewery’s take on the Vienna lager style.
Sprecher Special Amber
By Bill Lau | Potable Pastime
Vienna Style Lager, 5% ABV
Sprecher Brewing Co., Inc., Glendale, WI
I have to admit I have a soft spot for certain things from my birth state, like artisan cheeses, well-made sausages, delicious ethnic pastries (here and here, though I’m a bit sad to note that neither offers them with prune filling), and of course craft beer. Some ties transcend time and distance, like my fandom for the Green Bay Packers, who have been and ever shall be my team (if I may paraphrase Mr. Spock). Or the use of local or regional slang terms, like bubbler (that would be a drinking fountain to you non-Scansin types).
So it is with food and beverage, things for which I possess considerable passion.
You can take the boy out of Wisconsin, but you can’t take Wisconsin out of the boy. (Also worth noting, you can always tell a German…but you can’t tell ’em much. Just ask my wife…)
This particular beer hails from my personal point of origin, Milwaukee, situated on the western shore of Lake Michigan. Land of many lovely parks, dozens of ethnic festivals, the “big one” – Summerfest, and more potholes than you can shake a stick at. Sprecher has been brewing tasty craft beers since 1985, which I think is pretty impressive. (And a bit depressing, because it reminds me how fast the years are passing by…) Anyway, I’ve previously reviewed their flagship brew, Black Bavarian, which I heartily recommend. Read on to find out how Special Amber stacks up!
Appearance (4/5): Clear, bright, coppery-amber brew with a short-lived pale beige head that settles to a thin layer.
Aroma (8/10): First note is fresh, floral hops, followed by some citrus and toasted, caramelized malt. Appealing!
Palate (4.5/5): Medium-light to medium bodied with fine carbonation tingle and some buttery smoothness on the tongue.
Taste (8/10): Clean hops and malt; floral hop tones and toasty, caramel malt. There’s definitely some depth to the malty flavors coming through. Bittering is gentle, on the lighter side, but does seem to build gradually through the finish and linger pleasantly. Very tasty malt character also hangs around on the palate with an herbal hop note. There’s even a slight tanginess that flits in and out. Flavorful, nicely balanced beer.
Overall (16.3/20): Delivers more hop flavor than any other Vienna lager I’ve ever had. (I should quickly point out this is not a bad thing, by any means!) Well-made lager.
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.