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

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BA SCORE
83
good
58 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
58
Ratings:
148
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
18.75%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
24
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Dark Helmet Imperial SchwarzbierDark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!"

Added by mcallister on 12-30-2007

User Reviews
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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 148
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 22 ounce bottle into my nonic style pint glass. Pitch black body with a tan full thicket of head, I love the name the reference to Space Balls and the quote on the bottle..."May the Schwarz be with you". Fine even lacing left behind very nice look to this beer. Aromatics have some up front dark fruit with hints of toffee and coffee dark chocolate roasted malts. Much like a Baltic Porter a big nine percent black lager. Flavor is a warming roasted dark malt adventure from dark licorice notes with dark chocolate bitterness to hints of fruit (ripened plum hints of raisin). A finishing breeze of herbal hops overshadowed by the bitterness of the dark chocolate nearly burnt roasted dark malts. Mouhfeel is medium to fuller bodied excellent well crafted stuff coming out of the Brew Kettle I can't get over the quality of their beer. Moderated carbonation finishes dry with a nice balance, their beers are wonderful go try some of the Brew Kettle offerings...I can't wait until they bottle White Raja IPA. Overall this is quality I've never had another Imperial Schwarzbier to compare this to but this is excellent stuff.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black in color with a surprisingly white head. The nose is malty, roasted, rich, and sweet. The flavor also is of, you guessed it, roasted malts. A hint of smoke pokes through to make an appearance in the first 2 sips, then disappears for the remainder of the beer. The high malt character reminds me just as much of a stout as it does a schwarzbier. Usually I can tell a significant difference, but not here.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Good drinkability.

This is one of the best schwarzbiers I've tried. My taste buds like this style, and this is one of the best ones. It would be nice to see this made available year-round.

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Photo of kdlz
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
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

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle courtesy of RocPorterFanatic, thanks Chad! Pours a dark brown color with a small, tan head. Fades quick and leaves little lacing.

Nose is roasty and fruity with a touch of sweetness. If I hadnt known better, Id have guessed porter. A little bit of lagery sulfur, but not much.

Surprising dark fruitiness for a lager, but I guess sometimes that profile shows in a Baltic Porter. Touch of bittering hops meld with the roast and make it a bit biting on the finish. Light(er) body feels more lager-esque as does a pleasant smoothness. Drinkability is damn good for a 9%'er. This beer grows on you as the ounces pass and is strangely attractive and drinkable. The bomber went down with much ease. Thumbs up, you little Dark Helmet, you.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.01/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 ml bottle, purchased based on name and label. I'm a sucker for malty lagers and nearly anything from Mel Brooks, thus I didn't have a choice. The label info states "we kick this German-style black lager up a couple notches. Big clean malty flavor with just a hint of roasted malt".

The beer is dark reddish brown, clear when held up to a light but otherwise it looks nearly opaque, with a light tan foam. The aroma is definitely malty, much more sweet than roasty. In fact I don't smell anything that would indicate dark color, this could be a helles lager or maybe a bock based on aroma.

The taste is where the roasted malts show up, but only a little bit. The first thing you can taste is sweet flavors, maybe a little bit of esters too. I could almost place the taste as being more like some Belgian strong dark ales than a dark lager, but that just shows how much overlap there can be between species. The body is a little heavy for the style, but everything on the label prepares you for that. Very good, not just a gimmick.

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Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark black in color, clear with deep ruby color throughout. Good tan head on there.

S: Some fruity esters witha nice roasted barley smell. Some nice bread smells in there as well.

T: Malty, very malty. Big chewy malty goodness with some coffee like roasted malts, and perhaps a touch of toffee. There is a touch of fruitiness, and a little bit of a bite form the alcohol. This is a pretty damn good beer.

M: Medium in body with a healthy amount of carbonation. I think the mouthfeel hides the fact that this beer is 9% pretty well.

O: Overall I am really impressed with this beer. Big, malty, and roasty. Fine work.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost completely black. Thin tan head holds for a few minutes, then fades away.

Clean, chocolate and dark malty aroma. Not much in the way of hops.

Chocolate malt, a bit of bittersweet chocolate, and a slight roasty component. Medium body, a bit creamy. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%

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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of beveritt
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a standard pint glass. Label depicts some type of small rodent wearing an over sized black helmet. The top is sealed in green wax.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of light tan head. This settles to a quarter inch coating of foam. Nice lacing as I sip. The beer itself is medium brown with slight hints of red. Perfectly clear, but dark enough that it is difficult to see through.

Smell: Grainy aromas upfront, well caramelized. Slight bitterness and nutty flavor with hints of roasted barley. Notes of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: An example of what lagers can be; not just watered down rice water, but flavorful and nuanced dark beer.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date) with a different label than the picture here - just the words "Dark Helmet". Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black (more like a stout), letting no light through until near the bottom of the glass where a very dark clear cola brown was noted. Thin tan head with some strands of fine lacing noted.

Smell: Clean malt, a bit like a Schwarzbier, but with underlying booziness and an occasional metallic note.

Taste: Roasted malt, just a hint of noble hops, some underlying sweetness and warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick - as you would expect from something made "Imperial" and not very lager-like. Good carbonation though, but more like a stout than a Schwarzbier.

Overall / Drinkability: An interesting take on a Schwarzbier. Dangerously drinkable - very balanced and simply tasty like a Schwarzbier can be. I could easily have another, although I would probably regret it later.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark beer, tan head slow to leave, bubbly lace.

S - Fresh hops and sweet malt. Pretty pleasant.

T - Very malty but not overly sweet. Bitters nicely.

M - Good carb, nice balance, medium body.

D - A very drinkable offering from Brew Kettle.

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown color, with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, and nuttiness; with light coffee, raisin, plum, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, biscuit, and nuttiness; with light coffee, raisin, plum, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal hop and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast/bitterness as well. Nicely clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial schwarzbier style. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Very rich and well rounded in malt complexity. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can see it now... Imperial Schwarzbiers are all the new rage. I was surprised to find that this beer did not fall on a dry stout, porter, brown, or any other heavier concoction. But it does show a strong schwarzbier character, but in an amped up form. Muted aromas with a dry, roasted character makes me beleive that there's not much there. Flavors, on the otherhand, beg to differ. Big, clean roasted notes with a slight touch of fully-attenuated caramel and a hint of lactose. Otherwise, no fruits, fermentation byproducts, phenols, sweetness, or sulfers-- just a crystal clean beer. The body seems higher, but remains chalk-dry with a soft roasted coffee astringency that balanced the beer. Finishes quite the same. The flavors are the same as good schwarzbiers, but the weight is increased-- why not.

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Photo of boralyl
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours 1/2 an inch of tan head into a tulip. The head recedes fairly quickly leaving little lace. The beer is dark brown, nearly black with just a smidge of light coming through.

S - The aroma consists of roasted malts and some dark fruits.

M - Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation with some creaminess in the mouth feel.

T - The two items I picked out in the aroma push and pull on each other in the taste. It begins with dark fruit followed by some roasted malts and then more dark fruit once again followed by roasted malts. The 9% alcohol is very well hidden.

I really enjoy dark lagers, so it was interesting to try an imperial version of one of my favorite lager styles. The brew kettle did a good job with this one. It's not outstanding, but it's still very good.

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Photo of WesM63
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
83 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.