Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier - The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
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Ratings: 105 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
3.58/5 rDev -4%
On tap at the Brew Kettle yesterday afternoon.
Pours nearly black, though it is still slightly see through. Thin of-white head forms at the beginning and offers a good amount of lacing. The nose is nice with some roasted malt and a bit of coffee. There's a touch of licorice there in the background as well. The taste is pretty similar; there's a touch of roast and some light coffee. Mild anise in the background. Fairly tasty, though the finish is a bit too bitter with far too much alcohol for what it's carrying. Pretty good, though the finish was far too harsh.
04-29-2011 12:41:34 | More by Thorpe429
3.35/5 rDev -10.2%
Darkest mahogany that becomes dark cherry red with bright orange accents when backlit with sunshine. Too bad the beer isn't Darth Vader black. The khaki colored crown is small despite a high-altitude pour. On a good note, it lasts for a while and looks decent while doing so.
The nose is too weak to start and doesn't open up much with warming. A whiff of black malt is all that is appreciated, so average is as high as I can go. Looks like there's some work to be done on the taste buds to avoid disappointment.
Dark Helmet actually tastes like an Imperial schwarzbier, believe it or not. Whether this is a style that should be Imperialized is another matter entirely. I would be more simpatico with the concept if the beer was better.
Black patent malt dominance (merely a guess)(as opposed to roasted or chocolate malt) keeps DH from tasting like a big stout. Points to TBK for pretty much nailing the essential flavor profile of the style. More hop bitterness to balance the black licorice-like sweetness would have worked much better. Alcohol is essentially AWOL.
Warming does positive things to flavor boldness, though it doesn't remedy the lack of depth or complexity. The mouthfeel is seriously thin for an Imperial <anything> and doesn't have the world's hardest working bubbles. Big letdown here.
Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier isn't bad beer. Nor is it especially good beer. It's my least favorite of the handful of The Brew Kettle brews that I've had so far.
06-25-2010 12:28:31 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.9/5 rDev +4.6%
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.
06-24-2008 12:15:36 | More by BEERchitect
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
03-08-2013 05:32:22 | More by RblWthACoz
4.22/5 rDev +13.1%
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.
04-29-2011 14:39:10 | More by WVbeergeek
3.05/5 rDev -18.2%
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.
02-26-2013 03:15:50 | More by oline73
4/5 rDev +7.2%
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.
03-23-2012 19:20:34 | More by mdfb79
3.03/5 rDev -18.8%
Thanks to sydpanz for this...
Appears a dark crimson toned chestnut with a soapy tan head that quickly fades into a mild collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, toasted nuts, and vanilla, with a touch of dried coffee beans.
Taste is of doughy bread, nuts, sweet brown sugar, and mild grainy bitterness.
Mouthfeel is thin, medium bodied, sugary, and syrupy in the finish.
01-14-2009 22:10:53 | More by weeare138
3.25/5 rDev -12.9%
Very dark brown colored beer with a small tan colored head.
Smoky caramel aroma with a slight patent malt scent.
Taste starts of chocolate and smoke without much sweetness and very dry like a Belgian ale. The flavor doesn't develop much, just a dry smoky beer.
OK beer but it doesn't have much of a zing to it.
According to the fact sheet this beer is 8.9% ABV and 38 IBUs.
Sampled May 2008 but I forgot to upload my review and this notebook has been sitting in a suitcase since then.
01-26-2009 03:47:25 | More by Zorro
3.8/5 rDev +1.9%
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.
05-14-2012 01:39:36 | More by superspak
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
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.
05-23-2012 19:29:10 | More by Stinkypuss
3.55/5 rDev -4.8%
Pours a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights and a smallish tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of light chocolate and caramel with a bit of earthy and floral hops playing a supporting role. Taste is chocolate and caramel with a bit of ash. Earthy bitter hops mix with a hint of alcohol to counter the malt sweetness. There's a hint of melanoid in there that makes it a little interesting. A bit of a lingering alcohol burn on the finish. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. I thought this was only ok. It seems like a kicked up version of a macro lager with a bit of chocolate malt.
03-18-2012 23:44:33 | More by johnnnniee
4/5 rDev +7.2%
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.
03-29-2010 00:03:27 | More by TurdFurgison
3.95/5 rDev +5.9%
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.
06-23-2014 03:29:10 | More by DrDemento456
3.45/5 rDev -7.5%
22 ounce bottle. Served in a pilsner glass, the beer pours brown with a half inch tan head that went away pretty quickly. There's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and some coffee. It tastes like dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee, nuts, chocolate and a bit of booze. Mouthfeel/body is low/medium, it does seem a bit thin and has low/moderate carbonation. Drinkability is alright, it is smooth and easy enough to drink. Overall I think this is a decent enough brew. It's not something I would buy all the time, but it's definitely worth a try.
02-06-2010 22:06:09 | More by bluejacket74
3.85/5 rDev +3.2%
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.
06-11-2012 18:48:05 | More by OWSLEY069
4.08/5 rDev +9.4%
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.
02-05-2011 22:49:54 | More by twiggamortis420
3.28/5 rDev -12.1%
22oz bottle shared courtesy of axilla.
Poured a deeper reddish-brown color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, roast, and I was getting some dark fruits. Tastes of chocolate, lighter nuttiness, raisins and plums. This one was very sweet. Not cloying, but getting there.
11-26-2008 18:25:58 | More by hopdog
Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
84 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.