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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier - Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier
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BA SCORE
84
good

89 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 89
Hads: 214
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 6.43%
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 Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (685 characters)

Photo of theghost3
3.58/5  rDev -4%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
3.58/5  rDev -4%
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. (448 characters)

Photo of Redrover
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
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. (388 characters)

Photo of Atlas1
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (1,147 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (534 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
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. (2,068 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (381 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (512 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (523 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of Boto
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (461 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (916 characters)

Photo of TheRealBigC
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (283 characters)

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. (640 characters)

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. (543 characters)

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. (433 characters)

Photo of Zraly
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (770 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (341 characters)

Photo of wcdoyle
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (546 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (475 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
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. (661 characters)

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