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

Not Rated.
Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial SchwarzbierRingneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 11
Gots: 6 | 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:
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 added by: mcallister on 12-30-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

johnnnniee, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of Ohiovania
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Ohiovania, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Tyrawlings, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

nmann08, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of Caterwaul
4/5  rDev +7%

Caterwaul, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

srandycarter, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of boralyl
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

boralyl, May 20, 2011
Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +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.

Beejay, May 03, 2011
Photo of goblue3509
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark cola like color with a two finger dark khaki colored head which gives way to some strings of lace. The aroma is of some roasted malts along with a hint of dark fruit sweetness as well as toffee and some dark chocolate. The taste has a roasty and caramel malt backbone with a dark chocolate and coffee bitterness. There is also a hint of dark fruit sweetness that rounds out the flavor. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. It is not slick with alcohol. Overall it is a solid beer, it has a good flavor but left me wanting just a little more out of it. It was however, very enjoyable.

goblue3509, May 02, 2011
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a nice beer, but I'm not sure "Imperial Schwarzbier" is a style in need of inventing.

This beer pours like a schwarzbier, dark colored (maybe a dark copper), but perhaps a touch more viscous than say a Kostritzer. More like a baltic porter than anything else, dark but not terribly roasty but with some nice roast notes. A decent amount of bitterness. As a beer, it tasted it good, and I found it interesting, but I'd really like to take a look at the recipe to see what makes this beer tick...flavor is hard to describe but intensely pleasant, but a touch style defying...not something brand new, but just a splitting the difference among other styles.

I bought this beer at Rozi's in Lakewood, OH.

BeerBelcher, May 02, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

WVbeergeek, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Thorpe429, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of output01x
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1-finger tan-colored energetic head. Within a minute the head fades to a faint dusting atop the dark mahogany body. Lacing is minimal but apparent.

Dark roasted malts dominate the nose. A light fruity sweetness is also detected. Unfortunately, the aromas were rather faint, making it difficult to analyze.

Dark malts, dry chocolate, and roasted coffee come together to create an interestingly rich, yet light flavor profile. The flavors are complex, but not bold. They get their message to you without being excessive. The 9% ABV is nowhere to be found.

Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, this beer fizzes on your tongue and leaves little residue. The carbonation may be a little excessive, but it does allow this beer to be more than a sipper.

output01x, Apr 27, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

twiggamortis420, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a New Holland High Gravity Series tulip glass.

Pours a deep ruby with a tan head, but only after a vigorous pour, of about one finger. Head drops to a thin wisp after a few minutes.

Aromas of clean caramel malt. Almost a grape soda aroma, rather funky. No hop aroma.

First sip is of light roasted malt, light licorise. All together, I can't help to be reminded of grape soda. Very funky.

Mouthfeel is medium, with a soft prickle of carbonation. A warming from the alcohol.

Not sure about this one. The grape soda flavor is a bit of a put-off.

JamnesCameron, Jan 28, 2011
Photo of lackenhauser
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a shade lighter the your basic black. Decent enough head on top at first. Rather 1 dimensional aroma. Faintly metallic and sulfury-not a great presence smell wise. Malty flavor dominates-has a very prominant toffeeish/caramel like flavor upfront. Mild grainy and roasted flavors. Just enough hop bite to know it is there. Finish is somewhat sweet. Very smooth and silky body wise,almost ale like, but the clean and crisp character of a lager is there. Very enjoyable and delicious. Has some of the fruity notes of a mild stout or dark ale but still very good and an interesting twist.

lackenhauser, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of bamadog
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this bottle up at Jungle Jim's a while back and just got around to drinking it. The review is from notes taken on 7/4/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark mahogany color and starts with a short 1/4 finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin island scum in the center of the surface; body is nearly opaque and shows some ruby/mahogany highlights when held to the light; no lacing is left behind at all.

Smell: A little faint, but it comes across with some big sweet maltiness with a touch of woody and mulchy roastiness and graininess.

Taste: Not too shabby -- nice sweet malts combine with a dry toasty graininess; a very faint roasted maltiness as well -- almost a faint illusion of bittersweet chocolate with the way the malts blend with the grains; as it continues to warm there's a bit of a cola-like sweetness that sneaks in; I kind of dig the variety of the flavors present in this one.

Mouthfeel: Body is fairly light; carbonation is also a little light and crisp and it leaves the cheeks and gums tingly; a fairly thick and semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not bad -- I don't typically drink a lot of lager-styles but this one definitely warrants getting picked up on occasion (if The Brew Kettle continues to make it); it would probably be a little better in the early spring or fall, and at 9% it would need to be a little limited.

bamadog, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of meatyard
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark but clear mahogany with a 1-finger tan head leaving no lacing. A steady carbonation stream is visible.
The smell is a strong, sweet malt without any roasted aroma.
The taste is similar though a bit of roasted malt comes out.
Mouthfeel is thin and slightly carbonated.
Drinkability: Not a poor beer but nothing too special either. For 9% ABV I would want a bit more going on to say it has good drinkability. I find it to be pretty one-dimensional.

meatyard, May 29, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

TurdFurgison, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of joepais
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Csmiley for the treat. Bottle poured into pint glasses produced a white head that went a way to nothing on top of a black bodied brew.

The beer had a nice bready aroma with a light roasted malt smell. I liked the flavor if I didn't see the darkness of the brew I would have not know it was a dark beer. Nice and light flavors a little sweat but with enough roast flavors to finish smooth. It was light in my mouth with great carbonation.

An easy drinking brew I finished my glass with no problem and was left wanting for more. A good Schwarzbier, I buy the beer just for the label it's that funny.

joepais, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of nlmartin
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer was chilled and served in an Imperial Pint glass. What can I say I am a sucker for The Space Balls referance.

Appearance: The beer has a dark brown body with ruby highlights to light. The head is a thin nugget coloration. The head quickly resolves.

Smell: I like the aroma of the beer but it is a let down for a schwatzbeer let alone the notion of imperial schwartz. Sort of a my schwartz is bigger than your schwartz. Nicely sweetened light roasted coffee, caramel, a whiff of cocoa just a hint of smoke. Really wish the smokeyness had been kicked up. This is sort of like a kicked up brown ale.

Taste: The smoke is indeed present at the begining of the taste. Sadly the smoke flavors arent particularly memorable. Nice sweetly roasted malt caramel a bit of fruityness. Not a bad tasting beer just not that smoky.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beer has a nice smooth medium body. The beer is on the sweeter side but not cloyingly so. This is an easy drinking kicked up brown ale. I wouldnt go so far as to call this a smoked beer. Probably wont be seeing this beer in my glass again.

nlmartin, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of bluejacket74
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

bluejacket74, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle.

Looks OK. Dark beer. Not a lot of head, even when agitated on the pour.

Smell is interesting. Smells like a schwarzbeer with some other elements. Sweet malt, touch of roast, maybe a hint of chocolate or toffee.

Taste is good. Not a knockout but a really unique beer. Sweet but not cloying, nice elements of traditional schwarz. Also some alcohol and bitterness too. Chocolate or roasty taste, but overwhelming sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is average. Was worried it would be a bit flat based on the appearance, but it's OK. Nice for a change of pace, but not the new holy grail for schwarz lovers.

jampics2, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my new New Glarus pilsner. Thanks FrankenBrew!

Clear yet murky brown to copper.

Slightly weak, roasty nose. some chocolate and caramel

Same with the taste. Very sweet and sugary.

smooth and creamy mouth feel

really drinkable for a 10%abv lager

Not the best Schwarzbier but worth trying nonetheless. I would like to see more balance. Less sweetness, more roastiness and chocolate notes would improve this beer.

MbpBugeye, Jan 16, 2010
Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
84 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.