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Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

Not Rated.
Dark Helmet Imperial SchwarzbierDark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

119 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 119
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 11
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 12-30-2007

A true TBK original, we kick this German-style black lager up a couple notches. Big clean malty flavor with just a hint of roasted malt.
"May the Schwartz be with you!"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 54
Photo of buschbeer
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%

12 FL. OZ bottle
Served in a pokal glass

It is very dark in color, almost black. When held to the light some ruby highlights are evident. It has two to three inches of head. There is some lacing.

It is sweet smelling with chocolate and coffee notes.

The taste is semisweet. Roasted flavors come through with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Medium mouthfeel

I like it. This is a great beer for when your are not in the mood for hops. The 9% abv adds a nice punch to the liver. It pairs well with Spaceballs the Movie which I am enjoying both immensely.

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.51/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt
Head small (1 cm), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing – none
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor begins with roasted malt bitterness and ends with a slight sweetness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

This is a very nice interpretation of a schwarzbier – the alcohol is well hidden which makes this very drinkable. The appearance detracts somewhat, but still a very desirable brew. I first had this at a beer fest – based on this beer alone I made the Brew Kettle a routine stop when I’m in the Cleveland area.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Never had an imperial Schwarzbier before so I was super excited when I bought this. Just 2.59 for the single.

A - Looks good so far a 1/2 inch of mocha head that sticks around for a bit. Color is a rather dark ruby brown color. Very dark almost stout like.
S - Slightly metallic but mostly smoked malts and roasts. Smell is rather sweet like a milk stout. I sip.
T - Well not as smokey as I expected but still very sweet! Has an almost lactic sweetness with vanilla like malts. Not roasty in the slightest. Metallic notes are minimal probably from the yeast.
M - Smooth taste with a medium body. Not very chewy but smooth.

Overall it's quite a good beer but it seems with the addition of more malt it lost some of its smokey character. I would have loved it with more smoke.

Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque deep brown/black with a billowing cappuccino head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is roasty and nutty, with a hint of chocolate and a malted milk ball essence.

Flavor reveals more malted milk ball character. Sweeter than expected, milk and dark chocolate dominates throughout. There's a significant roast bitterness at the finish. The toasted, nutty malt backbone complements the chocolate well. A metallic character surfaces as it warms.

Body is fairly full, with low carbonation and light alcohol warmth. There's a touch of a carbonic bite.

Far different than I expected, this is definitely a dessert/guilty pleasure beer. Certainly sweet, very chocolatey. I can understand why some may not like it, but it's right up my alley...minus the metallic note.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - mahogany/ruby color, a thin lightly tanned head doesn't last too long but is doing its best to hold a thin cover.

Aroma - grainy, a touch doughy, just a faint hint of roast.

Taste - decent roast opening, some doughiness from the ramp up of the abv I guess. A hint of metal at the open but it doesn't last. Hides the 9% well, almost a little bock-like. Finishes the same, roasty and bocky.

Mouthfeel - slick, slightly muted carbonation, some heft to the body.

Overall - tasty and somewhat interesting, a little dicey at that strength though.

Photo of kdlz
4.21/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in craft pint out of firkin at TBK.

A - almost thin black with tan head.

S - roasted coffee and toffee on the nose

T - coffee and caramel flavor with roasted malt backing, hides abv well

M - smooth drinking , thin body almost like a Baltic porter

O - felt like I was drinking a thin porter. Great beer but no lager. Will have again

Photo of PHBoiler
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark fruit on the nose and on the tongue. Not quite as clean/crisp as I expected for a black lager. The imperial nature certainly bumped up the body on this one. Solid beer with a lot of flavor. A great diversion from the IPA/stout/sour rat race. Certainly worth trying if you like dark fruit flavors in Quads.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Deep garnet/dark brown. Perfectly clear. Small light tan head drops to a tiny cap and slightly larger collar in short order. Some splotches of lacing.

Smell: Vaguely roasted with a strong grassy, leafy hop profile. Lager yeast is clean. Some minor chocolate malts in the back. Some dark fruit, unripe plum mostly. Slight smokiness in the back. Tiny backing spiciness.

Taste: Sweeter than expected. Raisins and milk chocolate sweetness. Some cocoa and chocolate malts. Caramel malt sweetness as well. Clean lager yeast. A touch of corn with a good bit of grass. Black licorice laced with some extra sugar. Warming adds even more sweetness. Cola syrup, caramel, even more licorice. Some minor roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Body runs on the light side of medium. Lively carboation. Slick on the tongue. Some lingering dryness on the finish.

Overall: Lacking something cohesive. Roasted cola mess.

Missed the mark for the style. Oddly sweet and lacking that roasted lager thing almost entirely. It's not really a bad beer, but it's not what it claims to be and warming almost kills it.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's amazing how much an imperial schwarzbier tastes like a baltic porter.

Upon pulling the bottle out of the fridge, I started pondering which Space Balls joke I could post here. "Their schwartz is bigger than yours."

This is a pretty thick beer. And really, everything about it screams baltic porter to me. I like this one a lot. Pick it up if you see it.

Photo of oline73
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a very dark brown with a small layer of off white head. The head goes away rather quickly. The nose is sweet with a smokey undertone. I'm getting some dark fruit and a cocoa note. There is a lot of malt in the flavor, but I would say that the smoke ends up being the dominant taste in the finish. There is a dark fruit note and a malt sweetness. Reminds me a little bit of a strong brown ale that has had a cigar dropped in it.

Photo of zac16125
3.42/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pilsner glass
no born on date

This is my first schwarzbier, as I generally stay away from the lager styles, but received this in a trade (was supposed to get White Rajah and received this instead).

A: Pours a thin appearing cola brown, with some reddish hues when held to light and 1.5 fingers width of light tan colored head. Leaves a few random patches of spotty lacing.

S: Dark fruit sweetness, some spice, black licorice, raisin. Smells Belgium, like a Dubbel or a low end Quad. Hints of chocolate and roasted malt. Surprisingly nice.

T: Very sweet taste. Chocolate and dark fruits, a bit of roasted flavor. I dont get much else, just a huge sweetness. Nice at first, but it does become a bit cloying.

M/D: Medium bodied, low carbonation, no hint of the ABV. Drinkability is fair, limited by the sweetness.

O: Interesting beer here. I generally love me some high ABV dark beers, but this one just didn't do it for me. I would probably drink it again if someone gave it to me, but its not something Id purchase. Wish he would have sent me the White Rajah.

Photo of AwYeh
1.97/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A: Pours a deep, dark cola-brown/black with nearly no head. A few carbonation bubbles flow up along the slides of the glass, but other than that this is consistently dark– pretty intimidating.

S: Chocolate malts and a bit of roasted malts are on the good side of the smell, but alcohol and a black licorice smell that's much like permanent marker really overpower them. Unfortunately, I'm trying to avoid smelling this one too much as I drink it.

T: The odd marker flavor is gone here, allowing the quite sweet chocolate and roasted malts to be joined by flavors of cola, licorice, molasses, caramel, coffee, cream, and vanilla. Finish is extremely sweet, and a very light, roasted bitterness comes in at its end. Cola begins to dominate as the beer warms, which led to the beer becoming cloying before my glass was finished; I'm almost preferring smell to taste at the end.

M: Thin to medium-bodied and rather lively carbonated. Finish is partially dry, while still leaving a sticky mouth coating behind. Mouthfeel seems quite appropriate for the style.

O: This beer seemed rather unbalanced to me, with sweet cola and licorice really dominating the flavor profile as the glass went on, making it rather cloying. I would have liked to been able to enjoy the other flavors present, and maybe seen more bitterness coming from hops. Though it would be a totally different style if it even exists, this seems like what an imperial cream ale might taste like. If you're a fan of really sweet beers (or hey, pop/soda in general, which is usually too sweet for me) this one might be worth your time. I remain curious about the bready, fruity characteristics that many other reviewers noted but didn't seem apparent in my glass– maybe I'll need to revisit this, far off in the future.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with an off white head. In the aroma, sweet caramel and a small fruitiness. In the taste, a roasty note of caramel and a fruity sweetness. A small bite, but mainly smooth, and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. Nice balance between the fruit and the roast, a nice body and very enjoyable.

Photo of WesM63
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Deschues tulip.

A: Pours near pitch black with a tiny 1/2 finger mocha head.

S: Pure malt goodness. Maybe a hint of chocolate and coffee with some alcohol.

T: Spot on the nose. Super sweet malts with a hint of chocolate, coffee and some alcohol to finish it off.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Interesting flavor. I was expecting more of a Black Ale/IPA, this is not that. Still, very good. Smooth and very drinkable.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Style: Schwarzbier
ABV: 9.00 %

LOOK: Darkest of browns bordering black. Small mocha head forms and has decent staying power. Appears to be a very thick malty brew.

SMELL: Roasted malts, chocolates, vanilla, small alcoholic aromas as well as some coffee.

TASTE: Robust and malty upfront, with molasses, coffee and dark chocolate flavor. This gives way to a bit of alcohol, mild bitterness and more chocolate. Full flavored dark beer with all the typical flavors associated with an imperial stout, this just may happen to use lager yeast.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, silky and smooth feel. Well carbonated, with rich malts following through into the finish.

Overall: A fine Schwarzbier of imperial strength. Lager's answer to the Imperial Stout. Very tasty and worth the purchase.

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew Kettle does some worthwhile and interesting things with beer, and this is another good example of their creativity.

It's a bit flat and nearly opaque. The taste is very sweet with a bunch of roasty and almost chocolatey tastes. It would have been nice to have a more smokey flavor. All that taste completely covers the alcohol.

I would recommend this if you are looking for an interesting sweet, dark beer.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours clear extremely dark brown color with a foamy 1-2 finger khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some light spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of caramel, toffee, banana, clove, bubblegum, raisin, nuttiness, roasted malt, biscuit, and pepper. Some pretty nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of chocolate, caramel, molasses, roasted malt, raisin, clove, bread, banana, nuttiness, and pepper. Lingering notes of pepper, clove, chocolate, roasted malt, banana, raisin, caramel, and molasses on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of flavors with good complexity. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel. Alcohol is very well hidden at 9% with only a small warming after the finish. Overall this was a very nice schwarzbier. Nice balance of fruitiness and roasted flavors; with good complexity and smoothness.

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A- Poured black with a one finger soapy off-white head. You can see some red hues shining at the top of the beer and very bottom.

S- Big roasted barley/malt aroma, fruity esters, very clean lager smell

T- Dominant sweet maltiness, and cracker notes. Some roasted barley and coffee. Light fruitiness

M- Very smooth, medium/fuller bodied, high carbonation on the finish, finishes dry. A little bit fuller bodied but this does not drink like a 9% beer. No alcohol presence, warming, or burn.

O- The more I drink this the sweeter it gets. Reminds me of the Black Rat Imperial Stout from Cellar Rats I had recently. A really unique beer style to try out, but I don't see myself getting this again.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with little head. It has a flat appearance.

Roasty smell with a brown sugar sweetness.

Roasty and sweet, with hints of dates, brown sugar, and cola. It's got a heavy alcohol presence and it almost reminds me of a dubbel.

Mouthfeel is soft with light carbonation.

This was a pretty decent beer and had some good qualities in the flavor, but was not very aromatic.

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark body with like no head.

Slightly roasty with a smooth vanilla smell as well. Chocolate mixed in as well.

The taste is definitely unique. Very very smooth and drinkable is the firs thing I notice. Slight bitter twang possibly from what tastes like cocoa nibs. Hint of smooth vanilla, but really lacking that strong upfront roasty characteristic I want from a Schwarzbier, but that roasty is there.

Subsequent drinks really show off the balance. Could use a bit more flavors for the unique Idea of an Imperial Schwarzbier.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is good given the ABV, but no lacing is left.

4.0 S: Dry roastiness. Cocoa powder and lager yeast caramel. Simple, but delightful.

4.0 T: Tastes like the nose, but much much sweeter, which I like. Roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, lots of caramel, and lager yeast flavor (which is hard to explain). Very tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. Rich velvety feel. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy.

4.0 D: I very much enjoy a good Schwarz and this is one of them.

Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, 1 inch creamy head and nice lacing.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits,roasty, added spices, some chocolate and hops.

Taste - Big roasted, and sweet malty kick. Lot sof bold fruits like plums and rasin mixed with a little sweet caramel flavor. Spices are nice and sweet with a little peppery flavor also. Some sugars also come out to balance out the roasted malts.

Mouthfeel - Medium thickness, coats tounge with lots of malts and and sweet fruits. Palette gets some sweet hops, spices and remaining malts. Aftertaste is malty, a little warm and roasty.

Overall - Nice malty and bold fruity flavors. Really smooth and easy to drink being Such high alcohol. The malts are really present but the downfall is the other flavors are a little to mild and forgetable. Still soild and a good drink, worth a try for sure from the excellent brew kettle brewery.

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes. Got this last year in the Birthday BIF, just consumed recently at a RB tasting. 22 oz. bomber into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, nuts, caramel malts, and dark fruits, Very nice and malty, I like the nose quite a bit.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, caramel malts, dark fruits, toasted malts, chocolate, cream, and coffee.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Easy to drink, doesn't feel like 9% ABV.

o - Overall I liked this one quite a bit and it has held up nicely. Lots of roasted malts and easy to drink. Would like to have it again.

Photo of Bung
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz, picked up in Columbus after watching an MSU win.
Very dark brown/amber pour, thin layer of white.

Aroma, nutty chocolate, malt, light caramel.

Taste, toasted malt, earthy, slightly nutty chocolate. Light coffee, cocoa. The flavors are nice, but a little mellow. Does warm a bit in the throat.

Not quite mid bodied, a little thin, but drinks much easier than the high abv. Really not bad, but has the flavor profile of a much smaller beer.

Photo of BB1313
2.85/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours very dark, not quite black with light getting though, but extremely close. The head fades pretty quickly, and not much lacing or retention, but nice color and bubbles swimming upwards. Lots of roasted malts up front with a touch of chocolate, toffee, and caramel. There's also a nice grape presense in the nose. Tastes malty and sweet, almost too sweet. Don't get me wrong, there's a nice bitterness as well, but it's fighting with the malts; interesting contrast. I expected it to be more bold for a big beer. Mouthfeel is nice, lots of carbonation, pretty smooth, light and not heavy. Finishes slightly syrupy with a touch of heat that briefly lingers, but it still finishes pretty clean for the most part. It gets better as you get into it.

This has never been my favorite from TBK.. but if you like schwarzbiers, give this a try because it's unique and not your ordinary. I appreciate they're doing something different with this one, I guess it's just not really for me..

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Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
85 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.