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Black Thunder - Austin Beerworks

Not Rated.
Black ThunderBlack Thunder

Educational use only; do not reuse.

33 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 33
Hads: 206
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 16
Gots: 42 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Austin Beerworks visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mora2000 on 10-25-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 33 | Hads: 206
Photo of ElCommodoro
2.37/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pour is a barely opaque mahogany brown colour with a small, quickly dissipating tan head.
Smell is really quite good. Sweet, malty, and chocolatey with some hops thrown in. The hops are a bit nauseating mixed in with those other flavours. But oh well, it's a schwarzbier.
The first thing that hits me is the astringent bitterness. Terrible! Terrible hops and way too much for a dark beer. I know that hops are supposed to supply the bitterness in a schwarz, but the idea is that they aren't as bitter as stronger-flavoured dark beers, right? This bitterness hides all the lovely flavours that could be lurking underneath. This is not refreshing at all.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wagenvolks for sending this can my way. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a single-finger tan head that goes away fairly quickly without leaving much of any lacing behind. The nose has faint roasted malt with a touch of chocolate and coffee. Flavor is quite similar, with roasted malt dominating (though not being over the top), with some chocolate in the background. Light-medium body with slight chewiness and a semi-dry finish. A pretty decent example of the style, though I could use a bit more depth.

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Photo of champ103
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston Tx

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. Some ruby highlights around the edges. A two finger dark beige head forms with good retention. Plenty of lace is left behind.
S: Roasted malt with some lagerish yeast. Light bread that is slightly burnt. Kind of like burnt toast.
T: Again that burnt toast flavor is up front and center. Dry crackers and baked bread that is almost charred.
M/D: A medium body that is very crisp, clean, and dry. Easy enough to drink.

I really love Austin Beerworks, and was very excited to try this. Though Black Thunder is just a bit to burnt and charred for my tastes. Worth a try, but not one of ABW's better offering IMO.

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Photo of rudzud
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a deep, dark brown with a nice one finger super light mocha head that fades to a thin creamy blanket.

S - Light roasted malts, slightly nutty, with an off putting metallic aroma.

T - Similar to the nose with lots of light roasted malts, slightly creamy, the metallic flavour is there too but thankfully just in the aftertaste. Hmmm...

M - Mouthfeel is slightly creamy, but that metallic aftertaste is really messing with me.

O - Overall this had potential to be a decent beer, however, that off metallic taste and aroma really ruins this beer for me.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a deep brown with good carbonation leaving behind a moderate sized tannish cap which fades leaving spotty lacing

S : A light roast, grains and some faint cocoa

T: Black malt base provides hints of cocoa, some roast upfront. A small amount of bitterness is detected toward the en but minute.

M: Light to medium bodied, some creaminess to it.

O: Not a bad beer.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can opened on 8.21.12.

A - Pours a dark brown with a touch of red. A one inch light brown head forms, and fades slowly.

S - Not much here, light roasted malts.

T - Roasted malts, some wheat as well.

D - Good carbonation with a light body.

O - Light and roasty, pretty simple.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the can says this is a pilsener at heart, despite the color of the beer, but i disagree, this is actually on the slightly heavier and richer side for a schwarzbier, not to say its either heavy or rich, but just comparatively speaking. nice head on it, looks like chocolate milk on top, with great retention. smell and taste of german malts, which gives it some authenticity, and then there is all the dark malt, which presents itself somewhere between a roasted barley and a specialty dark malt, deeper than chocolate, but not way deep. its pleasantly dry, but i usually like a little yeast character in this style, and this beer has very little of that. what it does have is a little body, and a little texture from the grain, which lends itself to the darker flavor profiles, a nice early fall session beer. a style that i think deserves a little more attention from american brewers, but this is not the most excellent example i have had. thanks to the beerliner bikes and prostate cancer guys for setting me up with this beer not available here in colorado.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep obsidian in color, all but impenetrable to light, with a small off-white head, which soon descends to an scattered archipelago in a dark sea. The lacing is thick, glass-coating, and fine-beaded.

Aroma: Mild notes of roasted malt, bitter cocoa, cold coffee, and faint dark fruit.

Taste: Opens with bitter cocoa and cold coffee. As the taste progresses, notes of charcoal appear. Late in the taste, there is a faint flush of sweetness. Finishes with a lingering roasted barley note and some earthy hop notes.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, pleasant, with a hint of effervescent carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A nicely made example of the style.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce aluminum can, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can pours a dark brown color with an ample cap of fluffy tan head. Nice retention and lace.

Nose is roasty malt, dark chocolate and a touch of black licorice. Nutty yeast and some sweetness round things out.

Taste leans more roasty, with some coffee and mocha flavors up front. The mouthfeel is a little thin, and a leafy hopiness finishes dry. I want a little more body and sweetness in the middle, but overall not bad.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into a Foothills pint glass.

Black Thunder, the 4th can to hit the shelves from Austin Beerworks, pours not quite black, but a deep chestnut brown with bright, ruby-rich cola hues at its edges. The head is slim and dissipates quickly to a fine veil of light tan bubbles. The aroma is the best part about this beer--subtle, yet intricate with a healthy dose of nutty, roasted dark malts that suggest chocolate and coffee.

The flavor is a bit thin and too sharp in its acridity. Still, the nutty malt backbone isn't without merit, as it finishes clean and dry with a bit of bread crust and a raw, leafy hop bitterness to round out the profile. Mouthfeel is light with big carbonation bubbles that add to the sharpness. Overall, not my favorite ABW beer, but I'll still happily imbibe the remaining 5 Black Thunders in my fridge.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Can. Poured a brown color that let light penetrate it. I am never unhappy with the potential of sipping a Schwarzbier but it in no way makes me excited. This brew to me seems to be pretty sound in terms of style. It tastes and smells like an American interpretation of this German style. Dark bread, kind of roasty, dark caramel which teeters on chocolate. Lighter bodied. If you're in the mood for this style, go for it.

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Photo of specksnreds
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

"SCHWARZBIER!"I like yelling that and sounding all in-charge and what not. And speaking of in-charge (that's called a segue), this beer is all in-charge up in here. Though not much to look at with its not-so-black appearance and lack of bubbly head, it smells heavenly sweet and inviting. Pretty sure I smelled some hops, but who knows. A little too bitter to be refreshing, but I do sense that said bitterness is a function of hops. And that's OK.

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Photo of brentk56
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Another impressive Austin Beerworks pour, with the clear chestnut colored liquid presenting several fingers of ecru foam; both the retention and the lacing were noticable

Smell: Brown bread and nutskins, with hints of powdered chocolate and coffee

Taste: Brown bread with a bit of acidity and nutskin bitterness developing; in the mid-palate, the powdered chocolate and coffee arrive; chalky and dry, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I am a bit disappointed in this beer, as the finish fails to hold the promise of the front end; not bad, but not something I would be inclined to re-visit

Thanks, Phoenix2443, for the opportunity

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Photo of Uanof
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark opaque brown with a slighter brown around the edges, bubbly, creamy tan head that goes down to a thin layer over the beer.

S: big on roasted malts, hops, nuts, some coffee on the lighter side.

T: it's an extremely clean taste mostly compromised of equal parts roaste coffee and the bitterness of the hops. Bread like characteristics as well.

M: crisp, clean, light bodied, easy going, it's almost like drinking bitter coffee.

O: clean, easy drinking "dark" beer that would play well on a long day of drinking at the park on mid-october. Maybe too watered down for the style.

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Photo of emerge077
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Chris for sharing this beer today!
Live review, served in a tulip glass.

Black with a thin skim, earthy roast aroma and flavor. Thin ring ofthe edges, reddish copper color in the light. Dry and roasty aroma. Dry bitter flavor, some woody smokiness, with traces lingering nicely in the aftertaste. Dry and savory, would pick this up if I saw it, it's a nice Schwarzbier.

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Fair shwartz. Big white head on black body. Aggressive carbonation. Significant acid. Drinkable beer, it grew on me.It was only an extra, thanks Steve in Austin for some fun. Some burning tummy. Good roast aroma.Some chocolate. Lots of Rough patches.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Thanks to SSW117.

A- Pours an opaque dark brown with about a finger of brownish off-white head that is slightly creamy and a little bit bubbly and has decent retention- slowly fades to a thin layer leaving nice lacing. Decent carbonation.

S- Coffee beans, a little bit of dark chocolate, some light citrus hops, caramel malts, etc.. Slightly above average aroma strength.

T- Coffee beans, light dark chocolate, pretty malty, a little bit bitter on the finish with a little bit of a watery coffee aftertaste that lingers.

M- Fairly thin, decent carbonation, easy to drink.

O- I haven't had too many schwarzbier to compare this to, but I thought this was a pretty decent beer. It had a nice appearance and aroma and a pretty nice taste (not the best aftertaste in the world, but not bad). It was easy to drink and I definitely enjoyed it, nothing that stands out about it though. Glad I got to try it, thanks Sam!

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Photo of popery
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown, looks nearly black without direct light but it's quite brown when lit. The head is medium-sized and tan in color. Good retention. Lots of bubbles sticking around, coating the top of the beer. Cleanly malty aroma. Nutty with caramel depth. Very light coffee roast. It's a nice, round malt sweetness. Taste is mild and nutty, again. There's some malt sweetness. Caramel in the finish. Solid grain flavors. Mouthfeel is pretty normal. Relatively light, medium carbonation. Good beer.

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Photo of obrike
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A locally brewed "schwarz"...why the hell not?

This one pours a dark brown with a bit of ruby red if you hold it up to the light. A half inch light brown head rises, then slowly dissipates, leaving some streaky lace.

Getting some decent nutty roasted malts on the scent. I like. Smells fresh and clean.

The roasted malts certainly are evident in the taste. Maybe even a bit of bitter coffee...but very little. Just a super easy drinking, low abv beer that would be a great choice to offer folks in Texas a "light" dark beer. Hell, I'd call this one a good hot Texas summer beer.

Nice job with this one Austin Beerworks! Offering up a good, drinkable, unique style brew is always a welcome choice.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours cola black, chocolate head, dissipates quickly.

dark chocolate and roasted malts, light light citrus twist.

very roasty and chocolate through out. bitterness with a slight complimenting backbone. light citrus hops.

smooth with a mild carbonation, micro bubbles add body. light and easy.

pretty good, i like it.

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Photo of Sark
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- pleasant finger and a half of aromatic pebbled beige head, medium toast brown with a bit of transparency

Smell- toasted caramel malts and a touch of earthy hop, toffee and light coffee

Taste- malt sweetness comes in the form of a toasted breadiness and there's a presence of caramel and coffee, the balance of hop crisp comes on the later half and rear of the palate

Mouthfeel- super smooth, full bodied, carbonation on the back of the tongue

Overall- the malt prominence deserves worthy praise and is well balanced, not too big, not too light, good for a few

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Photo of cbutova
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another can thanks to my cousin sonnysideup.

A- Poured from the can to a glass for the review with a black body with just a tiny bit of dark brown around the edges where light pierces through. Foamy light tan head forms to about a finger and falls fairly quickly to a bubbly ring. Lacing is spotty.

S- Aroma mostly comprised of a good variety of malty notes. This ranges from sweet caramel to toasted nuts and some roasty coffee but not dark roast like a stout. No yeast and just a hint of hops.

T- As I may have expected the malts carry over from the nose and make up most of the flavor. The yeast is incredibly clean and responsible only for slight breadiness and a tiny hint of fruits. Rich grainy flavors of cracked cereal grains, toasted bread, caramel and smooth roasted coffee. Tiny bit of nobles hops round it all out.

MF- Light bodied with a high end carbonation like a Hefeweizen almost. A decent creamy texture leads to the beer finishing with some roast and hop bitterness lingering on the palate.

Covers a nice range of malty flavors starting at cracked pale grains and ending at a freshly roasted pot of coffee. A dark beer by color but drinks as refreshingly as any brew.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kevin123 for this can...

A: Pours a wonderful dark brown with noticable ruby hues as light shines through. There is a full finger of light khaki colored head that takes awhile to settle. Good amount of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is pretty solid. Roasted malt, caramel, and a good amount of nuttiness. I'm picking up cashews mixed with coffee. It smells delightful.

T: It starts off with a bit of creamy sweetness and light roast. A touch of cashew comes in towards the middle, but it's not as much as I would have anticipated from the nose. The finish is a bit like toast (light burnt notes and bitters).

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet and creamy to start, but finishes bitter. Still creamy in the back end, but the carbonation dries it up a bit too fast.

O: I like this beer. It's not amazing, but it's solid. The look and smell of this beer are it's high points. I though it was a bit lacking in flavor.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent sized light brown head settles into a nice lacing above a dark red like a wine but even darker clear colored beer.

A very light aroma consisting of dark roasted caramel to coffee like malts.

Dark caramel roasted coffee and dark chocolate malts taste that is quite pleasant and enjoyable.

A dryish almost chalk like, but to a much lesser degree, dry aftertaste on this medium to medium/full bodied beer.

This beer is advertized as a German-Style Schwarz but I think it's pretty close to a lot of porter and stouts I've tried with the dark coffees and dark chocolate aspects. A pretty tasty drink.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

deep brown pour with a finger of tan head which dissipated slowly. smells of chocolate, roasted grains, nutty. the taste is much better than the smell. lots of dark roasted grains are present, dark chocolate, sweet malty profile with a roasty essence throughout.. really nice. medium body with moderate carbonation and a creamy feel.

a nice sweet yet dark schwarzbier. very good in the flavor department with a really nice mouthfeel.

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Black Thunder from Austin Beerworks
84 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.