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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier - Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier
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89 Reviews
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Reviews: 89
Hads: 216
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 17.47%
Wants: 3
Gots: 16 | 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 (50) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 216
Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of Boto
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Washington, DC location: This one pours an opaque brown color. There was a tight, off-white head on it that didn't last too long but left some lacing. There were some roasted and caramel malts to the nose. It also had some earthy hop notes. The taste was along similar lines to the aroma, and was nicely balanced. Some roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, but no real sweetness. Earthiness and a touch of biscuit also. Perhaps a little nutty also. Nice.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the DC location. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a slight tan head and a bit of lacing. The nose is darkly-roasted malts with some light chocolate as well as a moderate amount of earthy hops.

The taste is a bit more subdued. There is some nice roast, but the chocolate and earthy notes from the nose are quite a bit more muted. The feel is nice and pretty roasty. Fairly dry in general with a nice finish. Drinkability is decent enough, but there's not enough there to keep me hanging on.

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Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A two finger beige head forms, and sticks around for a while. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet caramel malt up front. Bread and biscuit. Light toasted malt and chocolate linger.
T: Big grainy malt up front. Though a nice toasted flavor come around. Some light chocolate as well.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little thin, Easy to drink. My pick of the litter for a session beer.

The best I had from the brewpub. Decent, and worth a look. Simple, but enjoyable.

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Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, chocolate and some mild fruity aromas.

T - It tasted of chocolate, toffee and roasted malts. There was a very mild bitter hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied lager with a very dry finish.

D - This is a nice schwarzbier. They really do a nice job with all these Greman brews.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Medium brown body with minimal carbonation. The head is minimal in a color of pale tan.

S - Roasty caramel with a toasty note.

T - Slightly sweet and slight chocolate among a soft carmel flavor and a nice transition into a subtle coffee flavored finish.

M - Coarse and ordinary, nothing too interesting here.

~ Would I recommend this beer??? I suppose, but not too highly.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excerpt from the Gordon Biersch website:
"Literally meaning “black beer” in German, this delectably dark lager has a surprisingly light body with a delicious, dry, roasted coffee finish.

Original gravity: 11.2° Plato
Alcohol by volume: 4.3%
Bitterness units: 21"

Dark brown in color (nearly black) the beer carries any onyx-like sheet with bright clarity and garnet highlights. Well headed with a creamy, tightly knit sheet that skirts the surface with solid staying power and intermitten lace. A standard and solid Schwarzbier stature.

Caramel and light roast carry the nose along with a mild scent of charred wood, mild coffee, and a hint of dry cocoa powder.

Flavors are fairly simplistic and are a direct carry over from the nose. Milder than expected roast character reveal flavors of light coffee, char, deeply caramelized sugars, and walnuts. Complementary malt flavors have an undertow of cream and caramel. Light on hops, the beer relies on the roast bitterness to balance the beer as much as the reliance on hoppy flavor or bitterenss.

Medium bodied, the beer is remarkably light and crisp for a light beer- but these are all halmarks of well made Schwarzbiers. A bit more richness and creaminess is represented here as well as a roasty, medium-dry finish. This Schwarzbier doesn't really develop that signature powdery dry roast character of Kostritzer.

A little richer with malt sweetness throughout than the typical German Black Beers, but this version remains relatively mellow and drinkable nonetheless.

But is it any good or not? It's a very fine beer, but I find the malt character takes on a clean, caramel flavor that chases it through to the finish. This leaves the beer a little sweet and less dry than classic German versions. The added sweetness allows the beer to sit heavy on the toung and coats the palate with the muted carbonation. Otherwise, great head formation and retention with a nice roasted aroma / flavor, and a powdery sensation in the drinkability. Similar to dry stouts, but cleaner (due to lagering) and lighter.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I had a couple of beers at the GB near Gallery Place in DC last week and it's taken me a while to get around to typing out my review notes. The Schwartzbier was the second of two beers I had that afternoon.

I received a half-liter of pitch blackness. Some lighter orange hues showed up at the base of the glass when I held it up to the light, but otherwise this was a nice, dark beer. As served to me there was little head on it, but it did leave some lace on the glass as the beer receded. The aroma evoked a strong roasted coffee smell. I also got a smoky scent from this beer as well. Very appetising scent. It tasted crisp, clean, and dry. Notes of roasted malt showed up prominently, as did coffee and baker's chocolate flavors. Some dark fruit flavors as well, but I had a hard time placing them. The mouthfeel was weak; watery, but with a dry finish. I would have liked some more body in this department; this beer deserved it. Still, it was an enjoyable, highly drinkable beer, especially if you can get past the watery mouthfeel. Give it a try if you find yourself in a GB one day. Their beers aren't great, but this one passes muster.

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Photo of Redrover
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was served in a 51L modified pint. The beer is black bordering on dark brown. It has a tan head.

The aroma is of roasted malts and brown bread.

The taste is nicely balanced by roasted malts and some slightly sweet almost brown sugar like flavors. Finish is slightly dry.

The mouth could be beefed-up a bit, but this is an easy drinker. Would be an easy beer to use as a crossover.

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Photo of theghost3
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was served this beer from the tap & it was poured into a Nonic. It's very dark brown with a thick, dark beige head. It smells of toasy malts, smokey. The taste is roasted malts with scalded coffee & a hint of wheat. Not much aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little strange--a little watery without much carbonation. Overall, a fairly drinkable beer that is just a bit on the heavy side.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-05-24 at the brew pub in Kansas City, MO (from tasting notes).

A - Dark but not impentrable brown with a tan head and minimal lacing.

S - Smells of roasted grain and chocolate but not much else.

T - Pretty good with some caramel sweetness, and dark chocolate flavor but nothing else that takes it over the top. A "safe" taste.

M - Light body and carbonation give a watery feel.

D - Easy to quaf, just not all that interesting.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany with ruby highlights and topped with a cap of small bark brown bubbles. Eventually the head disappeared completely leaving no lacing or trace of its existence. Aromas of gentle spicy hops, dark berries, and long-toasted bread. The lightly spicy hops cross the palate first, followed by a slightly sweet and nutty malt flavor that finishes with more hop spiciness. Medium-light body with a smooth, but crisp mouthfeel. The roastiness stands out during the middle, but it is the hops that fill out the finish. Not overpowering in any one area and easily drinkable. The low alcohol makes for a good session beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

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Photo of Durge
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the San Jose location with my meal, this German style brew shows a deep black mahogany color with a modest off-white head and very little lace. The aroma is mild coffee grinds and delicate prune. A bit too subtle but not bad. The flavor brings bright cracker and weak coffee. Generally weak in feel with a medium light body and fair carbonation. There's a slight citrus hop idea and dry finish. Pretty crisp and refreshing, interesting but kind of wimpy. It's drinkable enough but not something I would necessarily nominate for sessioning.

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Photo of mentor
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger light brown head over a very dark brown liquid. Smells strong dark malt with moticable noble or english hops. Roast and chocolate with a creamy hint. Earthy hops with gentle perfumey.

Tastes medium intensity roast with mild sweet underneath. Roast is coffee and char-like with a gentle sour edge. Mild hop grassiness. Drying finish due to good attenuation and a slight alcohol cleaning. Light body, but some creaminess. Modest carbonation. Nicely hopped for the style, but a bit too charred for the style.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.46/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of dbalsock
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found this to be an interesting schwarzbier... it lacked the underlying hoppiness I'm used to, but made up for it with an interesting malt character. It was fresh, which helped out, and tasted a little bit like my most recent homebrew (insert positive bias here). The mouthfeel was somewhat weak... it fit the profile of a schwarzbier, but lacked a little kick that I'm used to. It was, however, incredibly drinkable, and I would stick to this beer if I return again to the Tempe, Gordon Biersch. It was a pretty standard color, with the head being very nice, and longer lasting than most lagers I've had. Overall it's an impressive attempt, but not amazing.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the tap to an old motor oil black (expected of a Schwarzbier), with a thick foamy tan head that lingers well thru the entire drink and leaves decent lacing. The nose, while somewhat muted, is licorice and a hint of roasted nuts. Mouth is very tingly, albeit a tad weak, with the taste again leaning toward licorice. Finish is of medium duration and a little watery, but overall a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of kflorence
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of stckhndlr
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of mjc410
3.41/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

In a GB Becker, the pour forms a massice rocky two finger head, which falls slowly to a glass ring. Very nice black-ruby when backlit. The nose is mildly caramel sweet, and roasty. Taste is a bit overly roasty, not much lager character. Mouthfeel is smooth, with medium carbonation. A good, mild drinker.

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
84 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.