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Mönchshof Schwarzbier - Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Not Rated.
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.

375 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 375
Hads: 635
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 83
Gots: 45 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG visit their website

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-19-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (37) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Mönchshof Schwarzbier Alström Bros
Reviews: 375 | Hads: 635
Photo of jokelahoma
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

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Photo of packetknife
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep auburn with an off-white frothy head that held if uneven. A very slight bit foggy which wasn't expected. A very oat-bread sort of smell to it with some citrus at the end of each whiff. Not too sweet with good hoppiness on the finish. Almost dry but not quite. Not really memorable though with a bit too much carbonation. Alright drinkability.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1pt 9fl oz bottle with a nifty swing top and a rather amused looking monk on the label.

Pours a deep brown (almost black, which makes sense) with a surprisingly creamy slightly off white head. Retention is okay, but lacing is very very nice.

Smell is black malt, roasted character, some spicy german hops, slightly smoky aroma, and just a little bit of chocolate and caramel.

Taste is very crisp and smooth, still slightly smoky, definitely a little caramel in there, as well as the roasted malt character. German hops are definitely present.

Very smooth and very easy to drink. Mouthfeel is pretty good as well, not too much carbonation, but definitely well balanced. Definitely something I don't get to try too often, and I like it.

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Photo of alexgash
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love these swing top bottles...

Pours a dark cola brown with whiskey amber edges in the light. Two fingers of solid, dense, light-khaki head top it off.

Nose is toasted caramel rolls with molasses, cooked vegetables, light roastiness, faint leather, and some spicy hops. Very nice.

Spicy bitterness up front that gives way to roasted malt. Slightly nutty. Caramelly sweetness increases into the cookie-ish finish. Lingering vegetal hop notes. Nice. Medium-bodied with a remarkably soft, creamy feel. A great beer and by far the best schwarzbier I've had.

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Photo of marburg
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An upfront admission -- I would have liked this to be a bit darker. So why the perfect 5? Well, that's a fairly minor flaw for an otherwise flawless beer. This has vaulted into my "desert island" beer list, a brew which I hope to never be without.

Sugary chocolate-vanilla and whiffs of nutty, dry bread mingle with a mild herbal hoppiness for an open invitation to take the first sip. Surprisingly milky in texture, the body remains light. Woody, chocolate malts provide a very robust, sweet malt flavor that's bordering, at times, on having the essence of dried cherries in the background and that's balanced *perfectly* by just the right amount of hops. For all its interesting malt flavors, this remains a refreshing beverage with a clean finish. Absolutely one of the most drinkable beers on the planet.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25 oz brown bottle with a "ceramic" swing top, no date.

This schwarzbier poured a clear, deep garnet color with creamy, light brown, sudsy foam that settled slowly but clung to the glass a bit. The smell was malty with a touch of caramel and chocolate, but overall a rather modest aroma. The taste was malty: caramel, cocoa, with a hint of sweetness up front. There was a good balance of tangy hops in the background behind the malt, and a bit of hop bitterness came through in the finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and malty with medium body and modest carbonation. The malty flavors lingered briefly. This was an easy to quaff schwarzbier. Not bad at all.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really like this beer. I'm not really well versed in the Germans category and I don't drink a lot of this style, so this was a great change for me. Appears a dark brown almost black coffee color and murky, with a bit of creamy head on top. Smells of pale malts, dust, and mustyness. The dusty mustyness definately comes through in the taste and blends perfectly with the nutty malts and creamy milky flavors. Really a pretty complex beer if you ask me. Excellent creamy mouthfeel and a nice semi-dry finish. I got this beer at the Moan and Dove on a whim and since then I've been getting it again and again. Great session beer, great overall beering experience.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a healthy dark, dark brown. However, head is short and lacking. The aroma is of dark, bready malts. A tiny hint of chocolate is also in the mix. Taste is very rich for a lager. Dark toasted or lightly roasted malts preside. A slight chocolate taste is noted towards the middle which leads to a lingering sweet finish. Throughout there is also a pils-like crispness. There is a good complexity here. I like this beer, it's heavy for a lager, so I don't think I'd session it as much as most other German styles.

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Photo of apintofknowledge
3.12/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark red mahogany (not as black as I was expecting) topped by a thick tan head with good retention. The aroma, well, not much there... a slight toasty scent, but one of the least fragrant beers I've ever drank. The taste started with mild, malty sweetness with a slightly burnt toast finish (which isn't good for my English muffin, but great in a beer). Some root-like and woody tastes were in there too. Bitter hops melded with the burnt toast flavors in the finish.

Nice level of carbonation, and a very smooth and drinkable brew. More mild than what I hoped, but this is a new style for me.

On a pairing note, didn't pair quite so well with sausage and black beans as was suggested to me.... just made the beer slightly less bitter, and the food slightly less spicy. But it went surprisingly well with my poundcake for dessert... the flavors in both blended and evened out nicely... who would have thought?

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Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich black malt scent with a dry lager yeast element. It has a roasted barley aroma that blends nicely with the caramel malts. The taste is great. It has a smooth and rich toated caramel flavor that goes down smooth and finishes with a bit of smokiness. It is sweet, but the lager yeast leaves a dry, earthy aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with good/adequate carbonation. This is an excellent beer. It has awesome flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

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Photo of HogHill
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mönchshof came in a cool flip-top bottle and poured a dark brown color, very reminiscent of a cola. Half inch head of tan foam capped this schwarzbier. The nose is mostly roasted malts. Tastes surprisingly light for a beer of this color, definitely a lager. A good brew and very drinkable at just under 5%.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a dark brown cola color with a medium thick beige head and fair lacing. Smoky aroma, with some roasted coffee and caramel. Medium-bodied and earthy with flavors of hops, toasted malt and smoke. The finish is carbonated and mildly bitter. All in all a decent Schwarz.

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Photo of BillFish
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark Brown, no haze, red highlights. Good head.

Smell: Mix of munich and pils malt. No hops. slight sulfur (like a munich helles). No roast.

Taste: Slight roast character mixed with clean toast and pils malt. Slightly sweet upfront but very dry in finish; similar to a cross between a pilsner and munich dunkle.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. expected lager smoothness

Drinkability: Easy to drink.

Notes: Very nice. Crisp drinkability of a pils but softer and a touch richer.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love darker Pilsners, but this thing is almost black. It has a nice head that is creamy and thick. The aroma of dark malts is well blended with a touch of hops. The taste is very sweet and sugary(it reminds me of Newcastle for some reason) and the roasted malty goodness is perfectly balanced with the hops. A perfect beer in my opinion. I could drink a lot of these! :)

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Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent dark brown with generous contributions from red and orange so that it appears dark copper when backlit. The sand colored head is respectably firm and, although it at first appears to be somewhat sticky, doesn't grace the glass with much lace.

The nose is comprised of gently roasted malt, cocoa powder and nuts. It's enjoyable, but is too laid back. The flavor profile is a bit bolder and is more enjoyable yet. It's a relatively light commingling (consistent with the style I assume) of mild milk chocolate and toasted walnuts. I don't taste hops per se, although a modest amount of bitterness appears late in the mouthful and accompanies the clean, dry finish.

While Monchshof Schwarzbier fails to bowl me over, it does impress with quiet competence. In fact, it would be the perfect beer to show drinkers of Michelob Amber Bock, St. Pauli Girl Dark, Heineken Dark, etc. the error of their ways.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very dark brown (but not black) beer with anice tan head. There is a strong aroma of sweet carmel malt with a hint of molasses. The flavor starts out with the molasses sweetness and gradeully gives way to a nice roasted malt bitterness on the finish. The mouth feel seemed a little watery for a dark beer.

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Photo of finepaws
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cool flip top bottle. Poured a nice blackish brown, with a medium tan head. Very creamy bubbles. Smells malty with a smoked coffee flavor. Something like bittersweet chocolate. Dry like a merlot. Sweet with a slightly bitter after taste.Good carbonation mouth feel. This is an easy drinking beer. Bottle says it's a pils. Really? Maybe I need to look at pils beer again. Good beer to start Octoberfest with.

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Photo of pezoids
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and glowing ruby-brown in appearance. Poured with a large and creamy head of tan foam. The aroma is very interesting – touted on the label as “the black pils” and this beer seems to fit the description. Nice fresh grainy aroma of a pils combines with buttery pistachio nuts from like a quality brown ale. The taste is rich with roasted and woody malts with a slight and mild smokiness. A toasted and pleasantly roasted bitterness is soft on the palate and smooth in the throat. Light and roasted malt body. A very interesting beer that comes across as an hybrid to me. But, instead of being strange tasting , this pulls it off wonderfully.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Half-liter swing top enclosure. Pours a clear reddish-copper color with a thick beige head. Toasted Munich malt aroma and some earthy, tree-bark and mossy-like smells that interplayed with subdued hops. Clean smelling. Smooth dark malts without dark malt stereotypes. No coffee, no chocolate. Just toasty Munich malt goodness with a touch of astringency. Pair it up with a slightly minerally water background and a faint-but-present hop finish and you've got yourself one fine example of an underscored style of beer. Very drinkable. Carbonation is average. The black pilseners of Germany are really good. This one from Kulmbacher states that it's "The Original Black".

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Photo of claytri
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It poured a very dark brown with no sediment. At teh bottom of the glass you could see that it was crystal clear, just very dark. It developed a nice brown head that remained a lace throughout. It's aroma was of malt with a slight hint of hops. The taste was straight forward simply smokey malt. The hops were so well blended in that it had a simple dry finish with no bitterness. The feel was light and effervescent. Although I was looking for a little more body, the taste and complete package is very pleasing. I will definately have to have more of this fine beer.

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Photo of TinusTime
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml swing top bottle. Pours a black with ruby red notes. Nice frothy head. Taste is smooth and lucious. Not as roasty and caramel like as other swartzbiers.. One of the better Black Biers I have tasted. Very easy drinking. A bit pricey but worth it. Please dont drink it too cold even though itsa lager.. I had it well chilled but the flavours came out about 10 min out of the fridge and bottle. The drinkabliity is high because of the smooth silky taste it would be a perfect beer in the fall with some smoked pork or bruder basil cheese

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Photo of beergeek279
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from the 500 mL swingtop bottle into a dopplebock glass. The color was a dark brown (with some transluscence), with a layered white head. The smell was a nice noble hoppiness. The taste was a strong Hallertau/Tettenang presence, with the sweetish dark malt readily present behind. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, could definitely have several of these.

"The Black Pils" was certainly an apt name for this one. More hoppy than the other schwarzbiers that I've had but yet had the roastiness. A solid beer, and one I'm likely to enjoy again.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a mahogany brown topped by a slight but enduring head.
Some mild lacing coated the walls of my glass.
A slight almost insignificant nose eminated from the brew. Hints, only tiny hints of toasted malt characterized the fragrance of this brew.

Flavor was slight. Once again the whisper of toasted malt comingled with a bit of tempering hops. Much of what I expect from a pils seemed to be missing. A bit of fizz here and there to wake my taste buds.

Despite the shallow pils character, this beer is quite enjoyable as it doesn't seem to be heavily alcohol laden and it's non-descript flavor makes for a mild but refreshing beverage.

Otherwise, in my opinion, there are more "definite" pils to be enjoyed.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one poured a nice dark brown with a short but long-lasting head. A very inviting brew.

The aroma was of a deep roasted malt, with no coffee overtones at all, which surprised me. Hints of bitter chocolate lingering just at the outside of perception.

The flavor was of strong roasted malt, yet not overpowering, and not burnt like some can taste. It was, however, still crisp and dry, with very good, well balanced hoppiness... as the bottle proclaimed, it was a wonderful Pils.

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Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
90 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.