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 (40) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 89
Photo of Nickls
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes)

A - Poured with a thin mostly white head. Really deep dark brown coloring with light brown highlights. Good curtain-like lacing

S - Light maltiness; some roasted aromas; touch of raisin; good but kinda muted overall on this front

T - Flavors are more vibrant than the aroma suggests. Rich, roasted maltiness with dark fruit sweetness

M - Nearing on medium for the MF, nice breath of effervescent carbonation.

D - This would be a great session brew. Interesting, quaffable, low abv = my kind of session. Aside from the sessionable qualities, this brew is a bit more interesting than others in the style range and therefore a bit more drinkable for me.

Overall, great interpretation and really loved the roasted qualities in addition to the more traditional flavors for the style. Check it out.

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 Cyberkedi
3.94/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This schwarzbier comes out of the tap a deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Rich aroma is primarily of roast, smoky malt. Strongly smoky flavor has coffee, nutty and caramel hints. Texture is smooth and has a good, strong tingle to it.

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A surprisingly good one, enjoyed at the Washington DC outlet. A bit of carbonation, and chocolate malt. Light browncolour with a white head. Creamy, drying finish. Abit of sourness. It all worked and was very drinkable, despite having a few other beers that day, though none that burned the palate. Perhaps Jason tinkered it well, his last day cheers!

Photo of soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black color with a slightly off-white finger of head that dissolves fairly quickly. No real lacing, but not a bad looking beer, with some nice brown highlights. Nose is mild roasted malt, some smokiness and a hint of coffee. Very light hops. Taste is likewise, fairly mild, but good if you focused your energies; smoky malt. Feel is medium to thin bodied, but not bad for the style. Overall, not a bad beer, and a good intro to the shwarzbier style.

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.

Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brownish body with small head and little lacings. Dense beer that has a slight coffeesque smell but is full-bodied and not only has a malty taste, but reminded me of an oatmeal stout. This went down extremely smooth and was a tad milky/sweet. This is a good beer and up there with the Hefe as the ones to get at this GB.

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

One of the best beers that Gordon Biersch has to offer given its balanced complexity; very versatile

Appearance: Very dark; reddish tone

Smell: Faint malty spiciness

Taste: Smokey and earthy

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth

Drinkability: Highly drinkable dark beer; versatile

Photo of mjl21
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at their restaurant in SF. Poured into their house pint glass. Comes in at 4.30%.

A-Pours a dark brown with some nice red hue when put to sunlight. Has a one and a half finger white head and some nice lace.

S-Roasted malt is the predominant aroma. Also smells in some ways like a crisp Pilsner.

T-Sweeter malt hits upfront. Not nearly as roasted as I would have expected. The roasted malt comes through most at the end. Like the smell, I am getting some Pilsner flavor going on in my mouth.

M-Light to medium bodied with a nice creamy texture.

D-Went down very easily. The Pilsner qualities really make this a great year round session beer.

A pleasant surprise from a place that I seem to go to once every 10 years. Would come back to have some more of this beer.

Photo of macster
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at DC location. Color is a cola-like dark brown. Supports a thin off-white head with fairly good durability. No lacing. A restrained aroma of roasted malt, toffee and some chocolate. Mouthfeel was light and spritzy with a slightly watery texture in the finish. Clean, uncomplicated and mildly sweet flavors of dark roasted malt, burnt toast, chocolate, mocha and caramel. Shows a nice balance between the sweeter malts and more bitter, acidic roasted malt contributions. A simple and refreshing beer which is a nice rendidtion of the style.

Photo of beer2day
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, deep red pour into a GB pint glass. 2-finger dark cream head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Dark chocolate malt nose. Really nice. Anise appears late in the glass.

Thin hit, but cream quickly builds. Chocolate all over, with slight vanilla compliment in the finish.

Feel is right for the style. A tad thicker than expected.

Easy drinker with the light abv.

Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented as a deep brown beer with tannish puffy head. Smell is a nice combination of roasted malt and toffee. Taste adds to the toasty flavor with caramel and a bit of sweet coffee. Nice refreshing beer with a pleasant feeling at the finish. Very easy to drink. Could be a good session beer.

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 Gavage
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brownish color with a short one finger head that falls apart pretty quickly. A thin surface foam lasts a bit. No lacing develops.

Smell: little malt sweetness is all that is detectable.

Taste: simple and refreshing beer as a mild thin malt base has barely a hint of roasted tones and is balanced with some mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Lighter in body. Relatively clean aftertaste.

Drinkability: easy to quaff this and is a bit more flavorful than the standard golden export offering from GB. Defintely worth having if on tap.

Photo of Patrick999
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, dark body with a small crown of foam. Not as much retention or lacing as I'd like.

S - Burnt malts and slight crisp hops, some chocolate. Good aroma.

T - A lot going on, this is like liquid bread. Roasted and toasted malts and chocolate, a yeasty/bready taste underlying it all. Slight hop bitterness noticeable. Very tasty.

F - I thought this would be a light to medium bodied beer, but for a black lager, this is awfully substantial in feel. A bit more full-bodied than I would have liked from this style.

D - Good, but you wouldn't want too many of these. This could be a meal replacement. Good big old black lager from Gordon Biersch.

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

Brown-black color with a reasonable head. Solid malts in the smell, most a caramel. Nice flavor with the nuttiness (the food not the personality) coming through and some caramel and a touch of chocolate. Again it's awesome to see lagers can have an awesome flavor profile. Mild hops. Medium body and medium-to light carbonation make this beer super-sessionable. But that's my bias. Keep this in mind: beers do-not have to be light, crisp, and hoppy to enjoy in the summer. I tried this in the July heat of Tempe as was very pleased and refreshed.

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 drpimento
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good drinking beer in and of itself. However, it seemed to me leaning more in the porter direction. Again it was served with a small, off-white head, and good lace, which seems to be policy at GB. Color was an opaque black brown. Aroma was malt, roast, vanilla. Flavor was similar plus was fairly dry, and well balanced. Body was full and round with good carbonation. Finish was like flavor and of medium length. Session beer.

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 Bierguy5
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a very deep brown, almost black in color. Very thin white head disappears very quickly. Some roasty and toffe-like aromas. Dark malt, slightly roasty, and a hint of chocolate flavor combines with some subtle earthy hop flavor. Not a sweet as I would want. Light body, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Not a bad exmple.

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 berley31
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Actually had on-tap at the GB brewpub in Seattle.

A: Large, tan head that diminished to about 1/2-finger or so. Body is virtually black and opaque... probably clear, but difficult to tell because the color is so dark.

S: Like the hefe, the aroma is a little weak... some roasted malt in there, but that's all I got.

T: Very smooth, with roasted malts and light amounts of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Very nice.

M: Light-bodied, with a creamy texture and average carbonation.

D: Very easy drinking... the dark color may scare some away who aren't familiar with the style, but they should really give it a try. A good sipping beer.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at the Summerlin Gordon Biersch location (April 2007).

This Schwarzbier poured a very dark, nearly opaque, brown-black color with creamy, tan foam that slowly settled. The smell was very modest with a note of malt. The taste was mildly roasted malty with mild cocoa and chocolate notes and even a hint of "malted milk" and coffee. The hoppiness was modest. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp with medium body and good carbonation. The finish was dry with the moderate hoppiness lingering. This was a good, drinkable Schwarzbier.

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 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.

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