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 BigBry
4.03/5  rDev +8%
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. (365 characters)

Photo of yesyouam
4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the San Jose location. This beer is a handsome black with a pillowy light tan head that has great retention and lacing. The aroma is dark, dusty, roasty and perhaps sweaty. It is medium light in the mouth; very smooth with a crisp finish. The roastiness is on the subtle side, but provides the main flavor here. This is the best beer I've had from Gordon Biersch and the best beer I've had in San Jose. What a great session beer. I had to go back the next morning and get a growler of this.
(rated May 17, 2007) (521 characters)

Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +8%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of tugdriver7
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The fifth in the line of the 6x Sampler at the Rockville restaurant. This is the one I went to try and, while it was good, there were a couple of other pleasant surprises in the sampler that were strong competition for the Schwarz. The beer looked dark brown to black in the glass, with brown and ruby highlights--like a real syrupy Coke. Slight head retention with some bubbles visible on the sides. As with most craft-brewed Schwarzbiers I've tried lately, the smell was more "stout" than "dunkel" and, while perhaps not on par with the best Germans of the style, extremly fresh tasting and enjoyable. Nice roasted malt in the flavor... and that's about it. Nothing particularly complex, but extremely tasty and enjoable. Another one that would go down easily. (762 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 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 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 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 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 AmishT
4.19/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Gordon Biersch in NOLA on-tap

A - Black with ruby highlights. A one-finger, off-white head that does not retain very long and leaves very little lacing.

S - A very bold and up-front nose. Strong toasted malt aromas are prevalent, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of dark fruit.

T&M - Starts off with toasted malts that compete with the bite from the strong carbonation. A very nice roasted coffee finish. As the beer warmed, the bite of the carbonation mitigated a bit, and the beer became more flavorful as a result. A nice, somewhat earthy bitterness coats the palate after swallowing. The flavors endure rather well, though I'd like there to be less carbonation in the mouthfeel.

D - Light bodied, low ABV, and some nice flavor make for a pretty sessionable schwarzbier. (792 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 soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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. (462 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 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)

Photo of JDV
3.12/5  rDev -16.4%
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. (324 characters)

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.57/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into regular pint glass by informed waitress. Jet black in color with a half a finger of head, laces remaining throughout. Coffee aroma from the roasting but not overpowering. Quite smooth in the delivery to bely the imposing color, My first schwarzbeir, so i likened it to a sweet porter. An excellent batch and style in general. (337 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 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 monkeybeer
3.35/5  rDev -10.2%
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 (431 characters)

Photo of jackorain
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (272 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 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 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 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 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)

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