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Mönchshof Schwarzbier - Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Not Rated.
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

596 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 596
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 67
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG visit their website
Germany

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 596 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sholland119
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door, 11/24/10.

A-Deep ruby brown with a thin off white head. Surprisingly nice lacing.

S-Roasted malt, some nice chocolate notes and a background of creaminess.

T-Roasted malt with some nice sweet caramel in the front and some sweet cream.

M-Light to medium bodied, maybe a bit more watery than I'd like.

D-A perfectly nice example of the style but nothing all that special.

HV

Photo of DrDemento456
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this at my local place for 5.00

A - Greeted with a "pishhh" from the Grosh type swing top which locks in the freshness. A nice semi dark brown (lighter than expected) beer with a hefty inch of head.

S - Slight coffee and cocoa nips on the nose with a mild hint of burnt coal and leather.

T - MMM. Chocolate assault that easily rounds to a bitterness of coffee and malt in the finish. Really wanted more flavors but they are vivid and constant. Very nice.

M - I really appreciated that it drank like Guinness with less bitterness.

D - Man do Germans got this down! It was a surprise to find this much flavor in a beer but it might be able to use more smoke, but DON'T change a thing! A perfect brew! Shame it's 5.00 a bottle but one must pay an imported price for a great brew!

Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany with good clarity. Soapy tan head has good retention and leaves behind substantial lace.

S: Baking chocolate dominates, with grass, lemon and molasses aromas in the background.

T: More baking chocolate, plus some molasses. Bitterness comes on with a lemon tartness and a bit of grass. Finishes with linger molasses and chocolate flavors.

M: Medium body feels just about right.

D: A very nice example of this style. Low ABV makes it eminently drinkable. I'm glad I had the chance to try it.

Photo of Nomad1219
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first experience with this style and I am not sure how it stacks up against the others in this style. It is a dark ruby hue not quite as dark as a porter but in the same color range, good sized light sand or stone colored head with good lacing as it subsided. Its scent was mostly roasted and which carried over into its flavor there is some hops aroma. The taste here again as like a half breed as if I had left a pils and a porter alone in the refrigerator, lighter but still roasted and bitter sweet chocolate. overall a good drinkable beer. I hope to find some others in this style.

Photo of megahurts4
1.37/5  rDev -66%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Kulmbacher Mönchshof Schwarz

Appearance: Dark brown with some lacing.

Smell: Cream, slight chocolate, but almost foul and not pleasant.

Taste: Watery, faint chocolate cream, roasted/burnt malts.

Mouthfeel: Light and watery.

Overall:
Ok. This beer isn't that great. It is drinkable, but almost flavorless with a sour and almost foul nose. It leaves me wondering if there is something wrong with my bottle. It has an almost-creamy texture and a hint of flavor.

Hopefully, I will try another and my review will change.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown coca-cola color with a tan head. Tons of rings/lacing.

Earthy toasted malt, cocoa powder aromas.

Great balance. Some sweet (?), but just at the very outset of the sip, then dries out, then but just the right roasted malt, dry, bitter, cocoa, light coffee taste. Clean brew, pleasant lingering malt and light bitter finish. Great.

Medium body, good carbonation.

A terrific drinkable brew. This went down so easy. Try this.

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Moan and Dove in Amherst, served in a stein.

A: Black with some hints of brown showing through around the walls of the glass. Thick creamy off-white head.

S: Huge smell of toast, a good amount of roastiness and some coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Very robust flavors of toast from the outset, some nuttiness, a great deal of roasted malt flavor and rich semi-sweet dark chocolate. Finishes roasty and dry with a hint of a metallic taste.

M: Wonderful schwarzbier mouthfeel: A bit of a milky texture, but light in body, clean, and crisp at the same time. Low to moderate carbonation.

D: Drinkability is through the roof. Damn tasty and light in body. I wish I could drink it all night.

Notes: Schwarzbier is a style I have grown to love of late. This may be the best one I've had so far.

Photo of Nordicsk8er
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on draft @ Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA. Stein glass.

A deep dark brown opaque appearance with a two finger tan head. Considerable lacing.

Smell of coffee malt and some light caramel sugar and smoke.

Crisp flavor and mouthfeel contrast its dark and menacing appearance (props to StephenRich for setting the record straight on dark beers). Moderately heavy carbonation with some bigger soda-like bubbles in there too. I had it with a burger and fries and it complemented that very well, with delicate caramel sweetness, a hint of coffee, and some palate cleansing dry hops at the finish. Very low bitterness. This would be a great brew with smoked sausage or ham.

Very fine drinkability. Again not as heavy or menacing as one might expect for such a dark brew. Could do with slightly less carbonation. But a very fine experience overall.

Photo of puboflyons
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle no. 1959401. Sampled on September 9, 2010. Upon the popping of the ceramic cork you get an immediate aroma that builds to a nice brownish-red pour with about two inches of long-lasting foamy tan head. The scent is full of inviting dark malts with a hint of molasses, caramel and maybe some modest hops as well. The taste begins bold but ends mellow with a pleasant combination of sweet bitterness, raisins, and dry hops at the finish. Altogether, a well-rounded likeable beer.

Photo of StephenRich
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

What do you know about dark beers? Do you believe that they are all heavy and rich? That they should be be thick and creamy with a huge density that you could relate to a roast beef sandwich? Before you read on, let me assure you that this does not have to be the case. The world of beer is filled with stereotypes, misconceptions, and myths - this happens to be one of them. The idea that all dark beer is rich and robust proves how little the general public really knows about real beer. But the best way to fix a lack of understanding is a touch of experience, and thats where the fun begins.

There is also no better place to begin that the Monchshof Schwarzbier, a German Schwarzbier of unparalleled quality and heritage. This Schwarzbier defines the style - it comes in a 500ml German swing-top bottle, is 4.9% avb, has clean and moderately light malt and roast flavors, shows cocoa a touch of bitter chocolate at the end, and looks magnificent in a glass mug.

This style of beer, although may seem menacing and dark, is a crisply clean lager. The yeast that creates rich body, fruity flavors, thick malts and deep and penetrating character will not be found in this beer. Instead, the yeast that creates clean, smooth and elegant beers is used; one that lets the malts shine through on its own and requires a longer period of maturation in the cold - lager yeast. This is all what you should expect from this beer, and then some.

I opened the swing-cap bottle cool around 8C (45F) and poured it into a glass mug. Its not often anymore that I pour beer into a mug; they don't trap the flavors and aromas of a real beer very well, and the thick walls can distort the color and appearance of the beer. The Monchshof Schwarzbier seems to have been designed for this type of vessel though, and I can think of no beer better suited for a clean glass mug.

The pour was very easy and clean building a rush of foam initially, then resting gently as the beer rose creating a 1 and a half inch tan to khaki colored head. The beer glowed rich brown and black from the center, but shone with amber rich burgundy, deep reds and golden browns with light touches of dark copper towards the edges. It was completely transparent, although relatively dark, but not black. I loved the creamy and airy froth of the foam. Very appetizing.

The nose is succulent and tantalizing; its is all soft roast, gentle dark malts, clean cocoa, creamy nuts, and hints of field freshness. Really? This out of a black beer? YES! It is not very pungent, the beer is only 4.9%, but it is very aromatic. I would love an imperial version of this! It shows great roundness of flavor, soft toasted aromas, and a creamy overall sensation. I'm ready for it.

Let in a big gulp of the Schwarzbier, and let it in easy. Really it will be easy. A cool, lightly crisp, but utterly soothing wave of clean roasted dark malts will dance over your tongue like you have never felt before (most likely never). Theres milk chocolate, creamy walnuts, almonds and hazelnut. Cocoa powder meets toast, lightly roasted coffee beans, and a hint of herbal bitterness. All of this is light, clean, silky, and supremely refreshing. This redefines what you think a black be can be.

This beer is lighter, yet more flavorful than many of the world's best amber or pale beers. Please don't judge a book by its cover, or a beer by its color. Cause you have no idea. The Monchshof finishes cleanly with a delicate nut and cocoa sweetness, hints of malt again and a hop freshness. A touch of dark dried fruit comes in a bit over your cheeks, but overall this beer is a smooth roasted coffee milk chocolate. In beer form of course.

This beer would be excellent with sausages, anything grilled, pub fare, soft cheeses, light chocolate or coffee deserts, and with snack food. But first, enjoy one on its own. Its worth it.

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very dark amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head that faded into lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A moderate amount of carbonation is visible.
S: Malty aromas fill the nose, which has notes of dark roasted malts.
T: Like the smell, the taste is dominated by dark roasted malts and has a slight amount of bitterness, which is most noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium- bodied and a bit dry on the palate but isn't very rich or heavy.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the low alcohol content definitely makes it sessionable, particularly if you are looking for something dark but not filling during the winter months.

Photo of bark
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is pitch-black; the three finger head is pale brown. Lots of lacing occurs.

The strong smell is malty, roasted and dry. Some grassy hop-notes. Hints of beef stock, dry wood, heavily roasted nuts and a touch of yeast. It is a bit raw.

The taste is medium dry with lots of roasted malts with a distinct note of roasted/fried nuts and a touch of black pepper. The mellow aftertaste got dry notes of minerals and pumpernickel bread with some sour-bitter notes. The bitterness is mild.

The carbonation is medium strong, the small bubbles are fresh. The liquid is light to medium smooth.

A bit too much minerals and sourish notes for me.

Photo of jbertsch
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a tulip glass. It's a dark, dark brown. I could faintly see my fingers through the glass. A 1-finger head kept enough for a while and left some nice lacing.

The aromas I got were of heavy malt, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, and milk/dairy.

It's heavy on the roasted malt flavor. Nutty, and a little creamy. Maybe some bakers chocolate flavor in there. Didn't notice much in the hops arena.

Mouthfeel was thin but very smooth. Mild carbonation. Drinkability was super easy at the 4.9ABV and thin body.

I love the black lager style, and this one satisfied me. Stellar? No, but it tastes classic and old fashioned, and I love that.

Photo of karait95
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this beer, very good balanced and refreshing as should be.

A: Good dark brown color with some reddish lines against light.
Abundant compact head light brown color that dissipates slowly and leaves some traces in the glass, good carbonation.

S: Deep toasted, chocolate coffee like smell very intense but not overwhelming. Also grainy, a faint bread aroma.

T: A very good toasted - bitter flavor, very little alcohol sensation, hops bitterness at the end.

M: Very refreshing and tasting at the beginning then you can fell all the flavors and a little dry ending that last good enough.

Photo of jdense
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

PIB 7.17.2010 bottle version.

One finger light tan head, medium dissipation with good lacing. Clear dark amber body, no visible carbonation, a very light hue for the style IMHO. Nose features some raisins, sweet malt with some roast for balance, floral hop notes, a very interesting nose. Taste is sweetish, not as much roast presence as the nose would suggest. Mouthfeel is a bit sweet and sticky. Drinkability is OK, but a bit too sweet for the style and certainly not dark enough to be attractive. I was a bit disappointed in this, but after having Moonlight's excellent Death and Taxes, it's hard to measure up in this interesting category.

Photo of BeerShirts
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very Dark Brown with little light passing through, thick tan head that slowly drops down to a nice thin layer

S- A caramel and roasted malt with a little bit of a sweet hop smell

T- A strong roasted malt hits you fist with hints of Caramel and coffee, a sweet finish that is from the hops but more so reminds me of the dark fruit tastes you get from a Bock

M- Light to Medium body with light carbonation

D- I will be buying more of this beer. This is a great light dark beer. Very rich in flavor but not going to make you feel as though you just had a meal after a bottle or two.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 mL fliptop bottle without a decipherable freshness code. Pours a medium brown color with a creamy tan head that shows some nice retention and lacing.

Roast, toast and sweet grains on the nose. A good mix of aromas and the profile is decently robust for the style. Has a nutty aspect to it that adds some depth and something other than various malts.

This is a superbly drinkable beer and a damn fine black lager. Plenty of flavor with a gentle carbonation, feels soft in the mouth. Roasty and chocolaty sweet malts are the main show, but also displays some heavy whipping cream and pecan flavors that are nice. I got a 5L mini-keg of this for less than twenty bucks back in January, excellent value and excellent beer...went quite fast split between 3 of us. Well worth a purchase.

Photo of rtepiak
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this in poland under a different name... urtypisches Schwarzbier... same beer and abv... just a slight different label for that market

wow... pour give a scent of chocolate and roastiness throughout the room. a beautiful near black ruby. great head of bread rising look. and tastes delicious in the first few sips. slight off white with a chocolate, toasted almonds. palate had a great feel to it. really nice body and creaminess that wasn't density but fluffiness. not thick like a stout but voluminous. predominant chocolate with a wonderful feel. even when the head was gone.

Photo of CHADMC3
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body falls somewhere between deep bronze, copper, and brown with a very nice cascading tan head that leaves sticky lacing clinging to the glass as it patiently dissipates.

The aroma consists of roasted and caramel malt up front with crisp hops beneath.

The flavor features generous roasted malt, deep, rich, and toasty, as well as crisp and refreshing grassy hops. There is also a faint sweetness, perhaps sugar, perhaps dark and sweet fruits such as plum or nectarine.

The body is medium to light with medium carbonation and quite crisp.

This is a great, refreshing beer for the summer months with fine character. This is quite easy to enjoy and appears to be a fine example of the style.

Photo of Onenote81
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big bottle with a swing-top. Poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a dark brown/black with a thick light beige head on top. Great retention. Left lots of sticky lace on the glass. Scents of roasted chocolate malts, fresh bread, and finishes slightly musty.

The body has a decent carbonation presence but it thins out some. Could stand a bit more depth. Good sweet molasses flavors, some light cocoa, and mild bitterness. This is a good beer. Quickly becoming one of my favorite styles.

Photo of DrewHodges
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
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

Photo of kshankar
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick and tan foam. Fluffy with good retention. Lacing from the foam as well.

The aroma is roasty and I can get a good amount of sweetness from it as well.

Taste is sweet and malty upfront, followed by a roasted character, and a bit of what seems to be chocolate.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium, with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is high.

Photo of therica
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= dark chestnut, not quite black (schwarz) but nice. Thick light-brown head, dissipates to pooling and a nice rim with plenty of lacing. Enough small-bubble carbonation rising to see its activity despite the opaque color.

S= bountiful heaven when it was first poured, nice milk chocolate, roasted malts and hops florals. After it sat for a minute then it was more dark dry chocolate, molasses and some hops floral notes.

T= very dry, a slight carbonation bite on the tongue, nice dark dry chocolate, burnt malts, touch of coffee, a little burnt molasses, hops florals, slightly watery but very nice.

M= rather dry on the tongue, light chocolate syrup, almost the feel of dried cocoa powder on my tongue.

D= very drinkable although slightly watery for my preferences in a Schwarzbier. I really enjoy the chocolate emphasis and it would work well with roasted meats, chocolate or heavier desserts. It's not as sweet as Kostritzer (one of my favorite Schwarzbiers) but it's also nicely dry and chocolate which makes it its own favorite for me.

Photo of ArsenicDrone
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Had this out of the swing cap bottle. No problem finishing this bottle, so no need to reseal.

A: A nice dark mahogany color, with a rather thin head. Poured like it was thicker than it turned out to be.

S: Molasses. Maybe a little beer here and there, but mostly molasses. That's nothing to complain about, in my book.

T: Molasses. There's a vague fruitiness, but anything that you notice beyond the molasses is going to be an individual perception thing. About the right amount of sweetness: present, but, well, certainly not like drinking molasses. All in all, an enjoyable set of flavors.

M: A bit thin. I tend to like a thicker beer, so you might see it differently.

D: Excellent. I could drink at least a couple of these. Easy going down, cold and not-so-cold.

This was my first experience with a dark beer which I really liked, but was not a meal in a bottle.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this at a local specialty wine store. Poured bottle into a tulip...

A- Love the color of schwarzbier, but this one was definately the most light colored I have encountered yet. Dark, but amber hues were very prominent. Nice head both glasses I poured

S- Smelled wonderful. Could distinctly pick out the roasted malt aroma with a light hoppiness

T- Absolutely delicious. Schwarzbier is my favorite type of beer, and though this isn't quite the best I have had, it is up there. Very balanced and simple. Other schwarzbiers I have had try to make it too complex. This one wanted to be as true to the German Law as possible, and succeeded with flying colors!

M- Nothing to complain about. Good carbonation, very smooth- Overall enjoyable!

D- I was upset I didn't buy 3 or 4 of these I enjoyed it so much. Drank this with a steak and it would have been nice to have a second present at dinner. I found myself restraining from drinking it, just to ration it til the end of the meal.

Overall, great Schwarz! Nothing to complain about at all and probably the best beer to give someone when the say, "Oh, you like a black lager? What does that taste like??" This beer will clear everything up and show what a simple Schwarz should taste like!

Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
90 out of 100 based on 596 ratings.