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: 14 | 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 (43) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 214
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
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! (351 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.37/5  rDev -9.7%
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. (583 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 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 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 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 russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Broomfied product enjoyed at Co. Springs Airport! Pours dark mahogany to quasi black with a 1" tan head. Good lacing & head retention

Smell: Slight peppery notes & toasted malt

Taste: Toasted, grain, licorice & slight peppery notes. Finishes smooth and slightly fruitty

MF: silky and and good carbonation

Very enjoyable. Good black bier with slight leaning munich dunkles, but tasty just the same! (409 characters)

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 smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (518 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 woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The site currently lists the ABV as "Unknown", but I know it to be 4.29% and I have submitted a Change Request.

It had a big, thick light-brown head upon arrival. The beer itself was a deep, deep-brown color with NE-quality clarity when held up to the light. The nose had a pleasant charcoal smokiness. The mouthfeel was thin-to medium with a lightly smoky taste on the palate. The finish had a lingering smokiness, but not necessarily a dry one, as suggested by the menu. As it warmed, I even got a black pepper bite on the finish. (533 characters)

Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
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. (581 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (333 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.65/5  rDev -29%
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. (884 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 flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%
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! (590 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant before the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, AZ (Go Gators)! This beer is dark black in color with a finger light tan colored head. The aroma features dark roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is much like the nose with a lot of roasted malts and a burnt chocolate flavor as well. Light-medium body with just the right amount of carbonation. Overall, this was a solid brew that I really enjoyed. (459 characters)

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Schwarzbier is almost black in color with a solid, creamy head. The smell is of dark roasted malts with a notable coffee aroma. The taste is very similar to the aroma, dark roasted malts provide chocolate and coffee flavors. Schwarzbier is very rich and flavorful, but not as heavy as it's color and taste would seem to indicate. This was the best beer of the three beers that I was able to sample at this GB. I would come back for this brew alone. (448 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer from the tap a deep brown to black with nice ruby highlights, the head a perfect two fingers, creamy tan in color, evaporates slowly, leaving a thick sheet of lace to obfuscate the glass. Nose has a toasted grain aroma, sweet with hints of smoke, caramel, maybe a licorice like tone, mouthwatering. Front has a splendid toasted malt presence, sweet with a delectable hop spicy bite at the back. Finish pleasantly acidic, hops spicy and delightful, dry lingering aftertaste, a great representative to the style. (519 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.94/5  rDev +5.6%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of Durge
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
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. (550 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 rfgetz
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown, minimal head and lacing

S: Rich roasted malts... scents of roasted nuts, coffee beans and slight cocoa

T: Excellent flavor from full roasted malts... roasted nuts and coffee flavors.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Light on the carbonation. Some earthy feel to it but finishes thin.

D: Excellent Schwarzbeir. The roasted grains and organic feel make this top notch. (398 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)

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