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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: 214
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 11.29%
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 (45) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 214
Photo of rhoadsrage
2.65/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a wide-mouthed pint glass)

A- This beer has a deep brown body that is crystal clear and glows in the light. There is a sticky light beige head that sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a gentle carbonation of bubbles that roll up the side of the glass but the rest hide in the brew.

S- The smooth clean smell of roasted dark malt has a note of darker toasted malt and a light watery nose to it.

T- This beer has a tangy flavor of soft dark toasted malt and raw grain. The finish is a light pine hops with some bite of raw grain bitterness and a carbonic acid flavor.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a fizzy dry finish.

D- I do enjoy this style of beer and this was a pretty watered down version. It tasted like a very light beer that had just a bit of black patent malt dipped in it. No much depth of flavor or interesting qualities.

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Photo of Deconstructionis
2.72/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer is dark but a tad watery looking for this style. the head is a foamy light brown from too much carbonation. Very little aroma, a tad burnt smelling. The taste is dominated by stale coffee but very little bittnerness. It's thin and uninteresting in the mouth. I'm glad to see people try this style, which I like, but this is mediocre.

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Photo of Mattamue
2.99/5  rDev -19.6%
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

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is pretty boring, which I guess is a fit with the style (I find Schwarzbiers to be pretty unexciting), but this one registers with me overall as just sort of OK. Dark, not too roasty, inoffensive. Dry? Yes. I just can't say much about this beer - there is not much here to describe, but there is certainly nothing off or offensive either. I don't know whether to recommend or not...I am stumped.

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Photo of birchstick
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this beer on 5/10 at the Gordon Biersch brewpub in San Jose.

I'm not a huge fan of this style of beer, but what I had here was decent. Pour a cloudy, dark brown with a creamy white head. I definitely got some roastiness in the mix and tasted some light hops, but overall the flavor was mild and uninteresting. I didn't dislike this beer, but it was rather dull.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.04/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: I'm not impressed at all with this. Some ok lacing, but no foam retention at all. Looks like watery coffee. Definitely not black.

Smell: Some weak coffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Ok taste. Coffee/caramel malts. I actually sense some good hops bitterness as well.

Drinkability: A thin dark beer. It's clean though and kind of refreshing.

Overall: Highly disappointed with the Schwarzbier. It's definitely "bier" but not "schwarz." Definitely didn't reach expectations.

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Photo of JDV
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Roasty coffee smells from a dark brown/black pour, with some malty drying tastes. Light bodied, like all schwarzbiers despite the roasty character and isn't very full bodied I thought. This is more a knock against the style than the particular beer though, and it is decent for a schwarzbier. Not my favorite, but drinkable.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this one again today but never rated it before. Poured a deep deep amber color, so dark it was brownish even. I was sitting in the sun so it could have cast a different color. Anywho, Came with a nice frothy head, good retention. taste was of some cholocloate, roasted malts and something else that I could pick out. Decent beer.

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Photo of Banger530
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque brown, almost black. About an inch of head when the server brought it to me.

S: Slightly sweet chocolate, notes of chocolate

T: More chocolate flavor than I smelled. Pleasant malty flavor in the middle. A slight burnt coffee flavor aftertaste.

M: Medium to full body. Light to medium carbonation.

D: Drinkable. Maybe slightly better than average. I would get it again.

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Photo of jackorain
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Broomfield CO outpost of GB.

A-Dark Brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

S-Roasted barley, coffee, charcoal

T-Roasted barley, coffee, chrcoal, mild earthy hop bitterness.

D-I didn't love this beer but I could have another if I had to.

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Photo of monkeybeer
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Dark Brown with a nice tan head

S- Malt, Chocolate and Coffee

T/M – Very strong coffee flavor almost like drinking an iced cappuccino. Very nice mouths feel no strong after taste.

D- Very drinkable, not the best dark beer they have, that would have to go to the winter bock, but defiantly worth a try and would not pass one up if it was offered to me. It is one of the better beers that the brew, just not the best one

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of MrIncognito
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Vegas

A - Dark mahogony, almost black body with very little visible carbonation. Better head than expected, about 2-fingers, off-white and mostly sticky. Leave pretty nice lacing

S - Gotta stick my nose in this one to get a good smell of it. Dark roasted malts with some slightly sweet brown sugar. Maybe some dark fruits, plums.

T&M - Bold, dark roasted malts up front with sweetness in the background. Not much carbonation here. Somewhat thin in the mouthfeel and the taste leaves something to be desired. I wish there was more depth here.

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