Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier - Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier
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BA SCORE
83
good

214 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERchitect on 06-23-2008

21 IBU
View: Beers (38) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 89
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pilsner glass

Appearance – The beer is served a dark brown nearly black color with a billowy cream colored head of two fingers. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading to leave a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the brew is heaviest of a toasted malt smell mixed with a bit of cocoa. Along with these aromas are some sweeter smells with some caramel and a bit of a sweet vanilla smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a caramel sweetened and toasted malt flavor. As the taste advances from the start, some other sweeter flavors of a vanilla nature as well as a bit of a sweeter cocoa come to the tongue. The cocoa remain quite light throughout the taste while the roasted flavors intensity ever so slightly more toward the end. With a slight increase in the vanilla and caramel at the end, the combination of flavors that is left leaves a slightly sweeter and nicely toasted flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel-The body of the beer is on the lighter and slightly thinner side with a carbonation level that is average. Both are decent for the combination of the sweet with roasted flavors of the brew and match the low abv of the beer rather well.

Overall – A decent schwarzbier. Light in abv. with a decent amount of roasted and toasted flavors. A rather good session style beer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Gordon Biersch in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear dark crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, toasted malt, and cocoa. Taste is much the same with a slight smoke flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that has a somewhat dirty flavor and a better smell in my opinion.

Photo of Mattamue
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a gray greasy lace, thick puffy head that recedes slowly, dark black, solid

s roasted malt, sweet rainy earth, slight citric background, rocky stream in a deep valley so far back it isn't even canvas

t roasted malt retreats into tap water quickly

m watery, but not thin, easily drinkable

o early promise, but disappointed in the end; would not order again, but would give their other brews a chance

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this is a very true to style beer, not hardly deviating at all from the traditional recipe. the pour is black but letting some light pass. the head is huge, three inches at least, foamy but airy, and with good staying power. i smell roast coffee, chocolate malt, and a lager yeast that is working wonders with this complexity. the flavor vindicates that, with some burnt sugar on the front end and bitter cocoa on the back end, tempered only by a touch of sweeter german malt and a yeast that has a tendency to calm everything down. this slides down the throat with real ease, and is much lighter than it looks is so many ways. it feels like a classic german dark lager, mellow fizz, creamy oaty feel, and a full body that doesnt limit how easily and quickly it can be consumed. this was delicious. not intriguing or challenging, but a beer you keep coming back to because its consistently well made. bravo for this.

Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Gordon Biersch in Seattle, served in a half-liter stange-type glass.

Appearance: totally black with a thick finger of creamy light tan head with a nice lace. Attractive!

Smell: rich, sweet, roasty malt aroma with just a hint of tart acidity. Quite good indeed.

Taste: much like the aroma, a lightly sweet malt with a good hit of roastiness. A hint of acidity is still quite balanced. I like it a lot.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a massive carbonation and huge creaminess. Fantastico!

Overall: a tasty, satisfying and highly drinkable schwarzbier. Good stuff!

Photo of PorterLambic
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrives nearly black with a light tan head. Retention is OK, just but nothing great. Good lacing to start but weak later.
Smell is mostly toasted malt with a hint of vanilla and caramel, I think.
Taste is solidly balanced with toasted malt, caramel, vanilla and not much else. Balance is good though.
Medium bodied with a sharp effervescence up front that drops off quickly. Drying finish, cleaner than I thought. A decent brew but nothing special.

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at a GB restaurant. It's got that deep black body, medium tan head. Dark roasted malts are apparent on the nose and palate. Slightly bittersweet, pretty well-balanced. GB definitely does malty stuff well, and their Schwarzbier is as expected. Nothing fancy, but enjoyable.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first time with the style and I liked this one. Poured brown with a big fluffy white head and lots of bubbles flowing through. Aroma of light roast, smoke, some chocolate sweetness. Flavor follows with roasty chocolate and a hint of smoke, but very light. Kind of a very light porter with the roasty chocolate smell and taste. Finishes well with just a hint of smoky bitter and roasty chocolate lingering on the palate. Good beer.

Photo of Onenote81
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Burbank, CA location.

Came out a deep unassuming black. A small beige sheet of head capped it off. The nose carried notes of coffee, mild cocoa powder and faint aromas of leafy veggies. Moderate carbonation here. Decent feel. Good roasted flavors noted, as well as a bit of a hop smack on the finish. Semi-sweet dark chocolate, mild graininess. This was a good beer, and really hit the spot on this mid-afternoon stop. I'd like to see this one in bottle form.

Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Gordon Biersch in Annapolis, MD out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with a 2-finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Musty caramel aroma with hints of coffee and coca powder.

T: Smooth roasted malt flavor with slight hints of coffee and caramel. Very clean and crisp beer.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This is very good and interesting beer. It is dark in color yet light in taste and abv. Lots if flavors and aromas here. Very enjoyable and smooth.

Photo of MTNboy
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Kansas City Restaurant

Appearance: It was a black bodied beer with a dark brown hue. The head and lace were both a little thin and a tan color.

Smell: It smells of caramel and a little bit of coffee.

Taste: The flavor is not over powering but is still very roasted and malty. Small tones of sweetened coffee with a dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light and a bit watery but you find that in most German Schwartz(s).

Overall: It might be my favorite from this particular visit.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into my Gordon Biersch mug at Gordon Biersch in San Diego, Calif. Color was black with a hint of brownish red mug. Reddish tint at the bottom. About 1 ½ inches of head. Good lacing on the top. Sporadic bubbly film on the sides.

Chocolate malts on the nose. Also some caramel and toffee.

Tasted more coffee than chocolate. Dark chocolate actually. Pretty smooth.

Medium body. Thin creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

Enjoyed this beer after two straight bad ones. It may be my non-seasonal-go-to-beer from GB now.

Photo of birchstick
3.01/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ GB in KCMO. Pours a really nice dark brown, almost black. Smells of some caramel malts, a little smoke, and some toasted malt. Taste is similar to the nose. Some caramel malts open this up. These fade to a little smoked malts and a touch of fruits. Watery mouthfeel that also translates on the palate. This is a decent beer. Worth a shot, but I was ready to move on.

Photo of Zraly
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with dark brown tinge with a creamy, yummy-looking tannish head. Poured at the VA Beach Gordon Biersch Taphouse and Restaurant. Nice lacing.

Slightly roasted flavor with a hint of mocha, nuts, and vanilla. Very fresh tasting and clean and crisp on the palate. A tiny note of fruit lingers on. Quite malty and a bit carbonated but this adds to the crispness. Really nice and "user-friendly."

At 4.3% ABV, this is highly sessionable from the tap. We were in at happy hour on Saturday during football and received $1 off each beer. It's great to wash down the salty happy hour special appetizers (e.g., house made chips with blue cheese, scallions, and bacon; mini pizza). I would entertain this with a good hot dog loaded with sauerkraut and mustard.

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 10/22/11 notes. On tap at the DC location.

a - Pours a deep dark brown color with an inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, light chooclate, light vanilla, and toasted malts.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, light sweet chocolate, cream/vanilla, coffee, and toasted malts.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and very easy to drink; could definitely have a few of these.

o - Overall a pretty godo schwarzbier; up there with their Marzen as one of their better beers I've had. Easy to drink and vey roasty, I'd order it again.

Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby brown color where a minimal amount of light passes. I'm impressed with the thick beige head, even though it does fairly quickly. It does leave some nice ring lace initially.

Cocoa aroma with a mild chalkiness. Think iced hot chocolate.

There's a black patent malt presence to the otherwise mocha-ish flavor. Body is appropriate for the style (watery), which translates to being thin. Good hop ending that blends well with the darker malt flavors. The aftertaste is of toasted nuts and dry coffee grounds.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the Schwarzbier at the G & B in Bolingbrook, IL last evening. The color was a deep dark amber with ecru head that laced slightly. The aroma was sweet with hints of malt and espresso. The taste was a very good balance of grain, hops and malt with roast/coffee following. The was a slight sweetness that made the beer smooth to drink and the beer came off the pallet clean. Overall not to bad...the mouthfeel was ok, I need a little bit more body was coffee flavor is present, so I probably would not coose to session with this one.

Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Gordon Biersch, Broomfield, CO

Easily the best that GB had to offer when I visited. And I'm not just saying that because "schwarzbier" is listed as my favorite beer style in my profile (PS - not even sure how true that is nowadays).

Anyway, this poured a dark brown with a thin, off-white head. Dark malts in the nose, moderately roasty. Not much else to speak of, as would be expected in the style. Dark roasted malts in the taste, hints of coffee, and not much else; little to no hops detectable. Medium bodied, and perhaps a bit thinner than some of the world's better schwarzbiers, but still good, and really the only GB selection, I desired to have more of.

Photo of taigor
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gordon Biersch pint glass.

A - Very dark, almost completely black non-transparent color with big head that dissipated very slowly leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, and a hint of coffee.

T - Bitterness from coffee and dark chocolate with tons of roasted malts flavor and a dry finish.

M - Very light and very carbonated.

O - A little too light for schwarzbier but other than that very good beer.

Photo of kflorence
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imported from my ratebeer.com profile - MAY 28, 2008

On tap at Gordon Biersch.

Pours a very dark brown with a nice bit of foamy head. Smells of roasts, malts and grains. Tastes much the same with hints of chocolate, burnt grain, malts and a nice smooth, dry, roasted finished. Very easy to drink, although fairly simple and forgettable.

Photo of jsprain1
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty close, if not outright, black. Brown highlights to it. Head is thick, with large bubbles at first. Disappates down somewhat, but still has good texture to it.
S- Roasted coffee, a bit of chocolate, and kind of an odd, steely sweetness to it.
T- Definite coffee notes, that's what I'm picking up right away. It's pretty sweet for the style, with a milk chocolate note to it as well. Just a bit of bitterness, but it's still leaning sweet, style considered, for me.
M- Light, but not too much so, but the finish stays too much on the tongue. Not dry enough considering their description and my general understanding of the style.
O- It's a good enough beer, but there are some tweeks (particularly with the finish) that could make it a better beer for me.

Photo of stckhndlr
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap at the restaurant in Virginia Beach, VA
(Review is from notes)

A- Dark but light can still get through it. Light gives it a garnet red color when held up to it.

S- Toasted malt, chocolate, caramel

T- Roasted coffee and cocoa, dry finish. May have been a bad batch because I sensed a hint of fresh corn on the cob in there.

M- Thin. Expected more chew to a beer labeled as a "black beer".

D- It was an ok beer but not the best. may have to try this one again to make sure it was not a bad batch.

Photo of GeneralZod
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE
Pours of a dark color and very thick and high head retention.

SMELL
Has a very roasty smell to it. Possibly malts and chocolate??

TASTE
Has a very nice roasty flavor. With a hint of lightly sweet aftertaste. Very, very good.

MOUTHFEEL
It is actually very light compare to what it looks like. Also has adequate carbonation.

DRINKABILITY
Very good. This is one of my favorite beers.

Photo of mikeg67
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Gordon Biersch restaurant in Dallas, TX. Pours almost black hue with a thin, white head . Aroma is coffee, nutty and some toasted malt. Body is creamy, medium-full. Taste is similar to the aroma. Long coffee like finish. On the whole, it is a nice session brew.

Photo of ArrogantBastage
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black color with some ruby red highlights when held up to the light. Head was thick and rocky that disappeared very fast. Thin head present for the first several sips and then hardly present at all.

S: Coffee notes and deep roasted malt are in the forefront. Hard to detect anything beyond this.

T: Rich and malty with some slight alcohol in the finish. Nice and crisp as well.

M: Very light body despite the dark color. Nice and smooth also.

D: Very easy drinking beer, very easy to have several of these.

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
83 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.