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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 Gavage
3.83/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of beer2day
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of macster
3.87/5  rDev +4%
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.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantBastage
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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

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Photo of mjl21
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

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Photo of Nickls
3.98/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
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!

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Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into pint glass. The .5 liter line was visible opposite the logo.

Opaque black with some ruby edges, with a two finger light brown head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Burnt malt aromas with almost no hops. The flavor also has the burnt malts with a little bit of coffee as well. Full bodied. Very smooth finish, with a little bit of grain lingering.

I enjoyed this Shwarzbier and felt it was pretty smooth. It was a nice beer to sip while watching a football game after my meal. Recommended. One of their year round choices.

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Photo of Gusler
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of BigBry
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint from the The Glendale Gordon Biersch.
Poured dark mahogany brown (almost black), with a thick creamy tan head. Foam lasted almost the whole pint, and left nice looking lace. Toasted malt smell, a touch of smokiness. Flavor of smoky toasted grain, good balance between sweetness and hop finish. Dry and clean mouthfeel. One of the better schwarz'z I have tried.

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Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Gordon Biersch in Annapolis, MD out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with a 2-finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Musty caramel aroma with hints of coffee and coca powder.

T: Smooth roasted malt flavor with slight hints of coffee and caramel. Very clean and crisp beer.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This is very good and interesting beer. It is dark in color yet light in taste and abv. Lots if flavors and aromas here. Very enjoyable and smooth.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
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!

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Photo of aristeros
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at their Tempe, AZ restaurant, served in a logo-emblazoned pint glass. Dark brown to black, ruby highlights are more prominent when held to the light. One and a half fingers of off-white head, some retention, good lacing. Smells smoky, roasted malts predominate. A little nip of hops.

Sweet malts followed by big roasted flavor. Somewhat like roasted chestnuts. Cream texture, medium body, medium carbonation seems appropriate. Malts may have been roasted a trifle too long--a bit of a charcoal effect here that's more appropriate to a porter or stout. Earthy finish

Goes down smoothly, really a wonderful beer, provided I pretend it's a porter. I'm hoping that maybe that some malt that was roasted too long went into it; I'll try it again with another batch in a few months to see if that's the case.

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Photo of adkirkish
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured dark brown with amber at the edges with an inch of foamy tan head that stuck around for a minute. No lacing.

A: roasted, dark, and chocolate malt profile, light husky astringency, no to little hop aromatics, no esthers / yeast aroma.

F: light caramel upfront and smooth blended roasted / chocolate malt on the finish. Finish also has some light smoke on it. No hops, no esthers, no astringency.

M: light med body, med mouthfeel and light carbonation. A little creaminess and drinks and finishes very smooth.

O: Great example to style, but would have liked an increase in hop aroma and caramel upfront, otherwise the initial taste is a little watery on the palate, otherwise a finely crafted beer. I paired this with the steak frite done medium w/ garlic fries drizzled in marzen sauce and I am in my place of zen, especially getting to use my AHA pub discount benefits » this beer set me back 2 bucks. Its good to be a homebrewer / aha member!!

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Photo of taigor
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gordon Biersch pint glass.

A - Very dark, almost completely black non-transparent color with big head that dissipated very slowly leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, and a hint of coffee.

T - Bitterness from coffee and dark chocolate with tons of roasted malts flavor and a dry finish.

M - Very light and very carbonated.

O - A little too light for schwarzbier but other than that very good beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gordon Biersch has a good atmosphere and brews some tasty beers on the premises. I had a couple of pints of the Schwarzbier. with dinner. Good appearance, dark, dense color...no light getting through. Good size head that slowly dissipates to a solid ring around the glass. Average lacing. Taste was good, malty, smoky, slightly bitter but much more subtle and light than a porter or stout. This is a beer that could be sipped or guzzled with equal enjoyment. Nice rich mouthfeel for this style. This is a highly drinkable beer. I look forward to going back there and trying their other beers.

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