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Mönchshof Schwarzbier - Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Not Rated.
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

545 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 545
Reviews: 362
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 57
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 03-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 545 | Reviews: 362 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nogoodreason
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Is there really anything wrong with this beer? I don't know. Some people claim it's thin, some claim it's watery. Some people are silly. This beer is one of the best examples of the balance and refinement present in German brewing.

It pours a deep, deep ruby. In the broad part of the glass it's black in narrower parts it's reddish brown. The head is a tan sticky beauty.

Nose is of soft, clean malts, a nice chocolate roastiness and a fair smattering of noble hops. It smells so good, yet so refined. This is not a big beer, not at all, but it's still so deep.

It's dry, but somehow still has a malty sweetness rounded out with a refreshing bitterness coming from the roast and the perfect level of hopping. Finish is smoth and clean with a subtle lingering bitterness. It's so nice. Round and smooth, but still dry and refreshing. There's a faint, metalic tang of the water in here as well. That's right you can taste the water. What's wrong with that?

Ridiculously drinkable. Dangerously drinkable. A session beer and then some.

Soft and subtle yet flavorful and deep. Perfect. What craftsmanship.

nogoodreason, Sep 01, 2005
Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I happened to notice the average score for this beer and I can't begin to comprehend it. This is a gem.

Brown with garnet/orange highlights, the aromas suggest open-tank molasses, sour black dough, toasted walnuts and charred, blackened bananas.
The texture is pure, creamy and mouth-coating with tangy fruits of raspberries, sap and dried puddles of Kahlua. Pregnant with flavor, it is ultimately a clean, pretty lager that happens to be dark and intensely, naturally flavored. There is a sensible, Jane Austin-perfectness to the ready beauty of this beer.
I don't think I'll ever drink a better dark, dry lager.

putnam, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of jokelahoma
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, deep brown (not black, in spite of the name). Decent, but not overwhelming eggshell colored head, which disappears fairly fast, leaving the faintest trace of lace along the edge of the glass. While the beer isn't black, it is crystal clear.

The first smell that hits me is the faint acrid odor of black malt. Some spicy hoppiness in the aroma as well, but more roasty malt than anything else. The smell matches what your eyes tell you it should smell like. Some toffee, some coffee, a little bittersweet chocolate, perhaps even a trace amount of licorice are hiding in the aroma as well, but it always comes back to that dark grain smell.

Taste is markedly bitter, right up front. I honestly can't tell if I'm tasting hop bitterness, or the sharper bitterness of the dark malts. Either way, this one is assertively, yet cleanly bitter. Coffee that was in the aroma comes up front in the taste, but it's a very clean coffee, not oily or burnt at all. Close on its heels it the chocolate taste. Not a Hershey bar, sickly sweet chocolate, mind you. More a baker's chocolate, dry and unapologetic. The toffee is here as well, but without butter, as I don't detect even the slightest trace of diacetyl in this beer at all. None of those flavors hang around a long time, as they fade into a very pronounced, yet pleasant hop bitterness which lingers into the aftertaste. The coffee flavor remains in the aftertaste as well, reminiscent of having had a good cup maybe 10 minutes ago -- barely perceptible, but still there. Remarkably balanced, with none of the trace flavors, nor the hops ever gaining dominance over any others. And almost unbelievably clean tasting. Nothing jumps out at you with a "what the hell was that?" assault on the taste buds, yet there's more than enough character here so you're not wondering if you actually drank anything. This may be the easiest drinking beer I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is pure German lager -- light without being watery, carbonated without being prickly, lasting without being oily. Very, very good.
I never thought I could give a "5" for mouthfeel. After all, what is the "perfect" mouthfeel? This one deserves it, though.

An eminently drinkable beer. This is by no means a "one and done" brew, but one a person could savor all night. There's plenty here to keep your interest well into the evening, yet nothing that stands out so as to begin to wear on the drinker. Truly outstanding.

jokelahoma, Jun 08, 2005
Photo of DrewHodges
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

4/9 tasting. .5L swing-top poured into tall glass beer krug

A-pours dark brown, nearly black, but not inky, more watery color, huge brown foamy head, sticky and light, with fantastic lacing all the way down

S-bursting with roast coffee malt, smoky meat, brown sugar and toffee

T-incredible flavor, a balanced maltiness and some dank hop bitterness, a little tangy, molasses

M-light carbonation for a lager, but above avg mouthfeel

D-extremely drinkable all-nighter, would pair well with any meat

One of my Top 10 all-time favorite beers

DrewHodges, Apr 18, 2010
Photo of bierman2000
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer was enjoyed at the brewery in Kulmbach the best black beer in the world IMO!
Rich dark brown head that lasted throughout the half liter glass as the maltiness was very present and roasty.
It was very refreshing and went well with the Nurnberger sausages if you're in Bavaria also a must to eat with spicy mustard. Mouthfeel smooth and silky which leads to it being highly drinkable as well as a low ABV.

bierman2000, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of Realale
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear walnut with some deep garnet. Very large, very fine slightly sticky light brown head settles slowly to a complete rocky cap leaving nice lacing.

Touch of toffee leads over dark, slightly husky chocolate. Just a touch of roastiness as well. There's a solid malty goodness lurking below to support it all. Complex, interesting, and well-balanced.

Heavy side of medium in the mouth with excellent rich malt of the bready sort. Roast and chocolate notes are there, as well as a touch of dried cherry fruitiness. Complexity, interest and balance again.

Excellent soft, filling mouthfeel - seems to get into every crack and crevice of the mouth. Great length with a touch of spicy bitterness at the death that simply begs you to take another sip.

Drinkable? This is one of the magic brews that simply disappears from the glass leaving only a lingering smile. Genius beer. Easily abused, and nowhere near the same experience when it is. Please buy from a reputable retailer.

Realale, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of Offa
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very nice schwarzbier, flavourful and highly drinkable.

Very deep red-brown, almost black but not, it has a medium, creamy tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, foamy top and leaving some lace.

The aroma is brown bread, whole wheat toast, burnt sugar, hints of coffee & fermented prune. Overall, it's very nice, pleasant and aromatic.

The taste is lightly sweet but mostly rather dry (sweeter than, say, Kostritzer), with firast sweet caramleised, fermented prunes and dark whole wheat toast then joined with rootbeer (anise, etc.), singed leaves, bark, and finishing dryish and slightly bitter. It's light in feel but silky smooth and not thin or watery.

Offa, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of jneiswender
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at the Moan and Dove. Served in a pint glass at a cool but not cold temperature.

A-beige head which was nice and thick with a very dark garnet body.

S-roasted grain and fresh baked bread smell

T-nice and sweet but balanced with the up front toast and roasted grain flavor.

M-medium

D-So incredibly tasty. Great beer for the malt heads. I would drink this beer again.

jneiswender, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of BeerBob
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mönchshof Schwarzbier pours “Schwarz” (Black) from a 1PT .9FL OZ blackish brown glass porcelain (on closer inspection... white plastic swing top stopper) glass bottle. Light tan head of fine foam bubbles went to well over two fingers in height before collapsing to a well defined ring with large islands of foam and lace all along the side of my 48oz beer stein.

Nose is a major malt event with wave after wave of malty sweetness washing over the olfactory organ.

Palate is sweet barely malt with some burnt elements followed by the dry bittering of hops.

This brew starts sweet, then migrates to a well bittered brew with a drying finish. Not a porter and not a stout, but not too far from either. In retrospect I believe that some of the dry stout offerings are in fact more of a “Schwarzbier” than a stout.

This is an incredible offering from Kulmbacher Brauerei and in my humble opinion, a must try!

BeerBob, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of brewmaster1257
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

brewmaster1257, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of Kyroqz
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Kyroqz, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Bung
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Bung, May 17, 2013
Photo of beergynt
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge in Lisle... Served in a Mönchsof mug (0.3L, I think), Beautiful dark molassas colored beer. Help up to the light, it reminded me of root beer. Just enough head for full coverage with little to no lacing. I loved the smell of this beer! Light and sweet roasty malt and a nice nuttiness that reminded me of hazelnuts... I love the taste even more! Perhaps it was complimented by the delicious roast duck tenders that arrived at the same time, but this just seemed almost too refreshing for a beer with it's dark color. Maltiness up front, mixing with the hazelnut mid palatte, finishing clean with noble hops... My mouth was very happy with me for choosing this beer. Smooth and refreshing; velvety and clean at once... I would love to have this beer again and again... Next time I think I'll get a liter!

beergynt, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of JustinQ
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

JustinQ, May 12, 2012
Photo of zenithberwyn
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

zenithberwyn, May 29, 2013
Photo of Jspriest
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Jspriest, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of RochefortChris
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured black into a weizen glass with a nice creamy off white head. Nice roasted aroma and full mouth feel. Taste consisted of coffee notes with roasted chocolate and slight licorice. The best part was it was not overly heavy making it a great session beer. Overall a very delightful beer and one I will definitely have again.

RochefortChris, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of brandonld23
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

brandonld23, Sep 05, 2013
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

WOLFGANG, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of magnusdave
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

magnusdave, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of mempath
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

seems like the color of cola as it is poured...but held to light, it is much more transparent and reddish, like an extreme cream soda. beautiful thick lacing and a head that settles very slowly, retaining a jelly, jolly sort of consistency. very nice to gaze at...

first nose notes are the maltiness, followed by that slight burned/coffee/chocolate aspect. catching some yeastiness and perhaps hops. a little fruit.

i don't know, but if i was blindfolded, i would've immediately guessed i was having a Guinness Draft. In Ireland...even the head's retention looks creamy like GDraft. always right on the edge of going bitter or burnt, those playful elements hold back and keep things incredibly tasty and smooth. not challenging, but i wouldn't want that here. nothing to search for...let it find you. this is definitely a delight. not a beer for simple palates at all. i'm impressed.

the quote on the back from expert MJackson is fitting: "a brewing wonder"...creamy mouthfeel plays on the one extreme with the carbonation. just simply quite drinkable and quite a session brew for sure.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

mempath, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of selecter70
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fantastic schwarzbier in a 1pt. 9oz bottle with ever-so fun flip top. Greatly anticipating this offering from the lovely folks at Monchshof, the pour was a smooth dark brown bordering on black, with crimson-red edges where the light shone through. A full tan head of 2 fingers sat and left some good lace while drinking. The aroma was a deeply roasted malt with nuts and a hint of toffee in the vein of a nice porter. The flavor was a great rich continuation of the aroma with the hint of espresso added and a nice hop edge at the end with a wee tad of lemon. A fantastic, smooth & rich delicious beer that I could drink all night. I'm sad to say that I only had one.

selecter70, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of micromaniac129
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A super deep brown color with flickering ruby high lights. A tan and tall and fluffy cloud of a foam topper. Great lacing and well carbonated. Aroma has a rich and velvetty feel. Lots of roasted malts and molasses in the scent. Richly malted with roasted malts and molasses. As an added bonus there is also a sutle smokiness in the taste...excellent. Has a medium feel thats quite smooth going down.
An easy drinking smooth flowing killer of a beer.
Definitely one of my favorites.

micromaniac129, Jan 15, 2012
Photo of Lynux
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice creamy two finger head poured into a stemmed goblet style glass. Dark mahogany color and sticky lacing on the glass

Smells of sweet caramel malt, roasted carafa malt and toffee

Taste is delicious caramel/toffee with some roastiness and a little hop in the finish.

Nice slick mouthfeel and extremely drinkable. Great example and the best I've had of the style.

This just beat out Kostritzer for my favorite schwarzbier!

Lynux, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of Haus
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet flip-top bomber.

Inviting brown colored beer with a nice tan to light brown colored head.

This beers aroma is mostly of grain and patent malt with hints of chocolate/charred malt and smoke.

Starts out almost dry with a strong malt flavor. Very much a heavily roasted malt beer, a bit of sweetness coming through with the ample carbonation hits your tongue. The flavors become really more pronounced once you let this one warm up.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a tasty beer that I will definitely drink again.

Serving type: bottle

Haus, Nov 10, 2011
Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
90 out of 100 based on 545 ratings.