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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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no score

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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 (44) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 214
Photo of kimcgolf
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (410 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 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 tjsdomer2
3.04/5  rDev -18.5%
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. (476 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 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 droomyster
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery restaurant in Palo Alto with their double chocolate fudge cake. It was terrific combination that I highly recommend to anyone lucky enough to visit one of the restaurants.

Poured an impenetable black with a beautful white fluffy head that lasted forever and left a rich set of lace rings on the glass to mark my every sip and gulp.

Smells of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Tastes the same, light carbonation and smooth creamy texture, washed my heavy cake down better than milk. More sweet than bitter. I consider this schwarzbier superior to my last bottle of Köstritzer. (616 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
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. (366 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 mjl21
3.88/5  rDev +4%
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. (777 characters)

Photo of Nickls
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (813 characters)

Photo of taigor
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (459 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 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 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 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 Rootdog316
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer at GB in Rockville. In the German language, this beer actually means "black beer." One would think there would be a heavier body, but did not come across as heavily bodied as one would think. It had a chocolate-esqe flavor to it and had a dark brown tint. A very good Schwarzbier. Definitely give it a try. (333 characters)

Photo of mjc410
3.41/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (304 characters)

Photo of dbalsock
3.46/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (660 characters)

Photo of hopsaplenty
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (623 characters)

Photo of MrIncognito
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of kflorence
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (338 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 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 TheMistler
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, of course. Or, rather, such dark, opaque brown as to be black for all intents and purposes. Creamy head, very tiny bubbles. Not too much, nor with the greatest retention, although the ring that remains is substantial. Little lacing.

Subdued nose. Tangy, roasted - even a bit smoky.

Not a subdued taste. Roasted. Hints of coffee and powdery dark chocolate. The slightest undercurrent of sweet chocolate, but this is a well roasted beer that also has evident hops.

Rather light bodied and easily drinkable. Crisply - maybe slightly overly - carbonated, becoming creamy only after its been swirled around the mouth a bit. (628 characters)

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