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Mönchshof Schwarzbier - Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Not Rated.
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

587 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 587
Reviews: 367
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 63
Gots: 24 | 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: 587 | Reviews: 367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBob
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
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!

Photo of nogoodreason
5/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

thanx patyoda

held up to the light, this is far from clear but gives off a dark crimson fuzzy glow without shining through. interesting. not much head, thin ring is all. buttery nut aroma. beery. mild. flavor is a subdued mix of caramel and chocolate.. no off flavors, no extreme bitterness, no sourness. this is probably the smoothest and most drinkable dark beer i have ever encountered. burnt sugar flavor without being sweet. nutty without extreme bitterness. slight hint of wheat or something fresh and crisp in this beer.. slightly botanical and this gives the beer a basic edge and counterpoint to the silkiness. hard to describe, but very likeable without stepping outside of the box. perfect session german. will try this again, would probably be something stellar on tap.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Steve's Liquor on Mineral Pt Rd here in Madison. My second schwarzbier after Sprecher's deliciously intriguing Black Bavarian lager. They're few and far between, but I always have my eye out for a new schwarz. How could I pass this up, it's called Schwarz.

Pours a burnt red/amber color with a two-finger+ off-white head with nice lacing and retention. Nose is grainy/oaty/malty-sweet, with a hoppy bite. Taste reminds me of a subtler, more-balanced version of the Baltika 6 Porter which I enjoyed. Much more hop presence in this one, but the highly-roasted malt character reigns supreme, especially as it warms.. Mouthfeel is nice and refreshing, crisp but not watery like Guinness. This is the epitome of a solid sessionable, refreshing dark beer. Doesn't wow you, but solid as a rock all around.

Photo of karst
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black lagers have become fashionable since the fall of the Berlin Wall when examples from the East were rediscovered.

Half Liter swing ceramic topped bottle served @ 45-50°F in a 0.4 L Rastal sniffer. From The Chef's Pantry - newly added to their growing selection.

Pours clear redish brown with a 2 finger head that receeds slowly leaving rings of lace and sheeting the sides of the glass with each tilt.

Aroma of slightly sweet malts, and under currents of dark roasted grain (almost coffee) and mild chocolate. Some alcoholic aroma as it nears room temp.

A well balanced taste with mild hops, black malt and highly toasted grains dominating a bready sweet malt start. A crisp dry lightly acidic finish. Overall very drinkable but not comming across as complex.

The creamy mouthfeel is about medium as was the body both helped by an active level of CO2.

Very drinkable as it warms and mellows and softens. A very interesting if not " World Clasic" Schwarz beer from the brewers of the Monks Courtyard in the north of Bavaria.

Photo of jmc44
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown - a bit light for a schwarzbier.

Aroma is rather light, a bit of a malty sweetness is evident.

Taste is better; slightly bitter and pronounced flavor of roasted malts, with hints of chocolate and coffee swirling around in there.

Body is lighter than expected, moderate at best.

The brew is very smooth and quite drinkable, almost like a lager or pilsner that forgot what color it should be. Surprisingly light, but unique. Worth a taste, though I don't know that I'd buy another.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Luckysevens82.

The beer pours a deep mahagony-red color with a 2 finger head that falls to a nice quarter inch over the beer. The nose is toasty malt with a light caramel sweetness. Not what I was expecting. The flavor is a bit better. Some nice burnt notes with a bast of nutty roastyness. Not too shabby. The feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. Overall, a drinkable beer. I like the flavor. It could be a bit darker for a schwarz.

Photo of clvand0
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a medium head that has nice retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is very weak, hints of caramel. The flavor has some dark maltiness, but seems to have some tannins as well, making it slightly harsh. Little sweetness. The body is much more thin than I expected. The drinkability is good.

Photo of futaboots
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is only the second schwarzbier I've tried, and I really like this style. For something called a schwarzbier, isn't this more like a braunbier? (Thank you GER1120)

Anyways, I actually like the color, which is something like a dark brown with a nice ruby edge. Nice foamy head that eventually dies down to a ring of lace.

Sweet malty smell, with some roastiness thrown in. Bitter roasted flavors that aren't overpowering. Coffee, very small amount of charcoal, some caramel. Not to bitter, some bitterness is from the hops, but mostly from the roasted malts. There is a sweet malty flavor there too, that artificial grape lollipop flavor that I normally would hate, but here it's just enough to notice, and actually adds to the overall enjoyability of this brew.

Mouthfeel is also very nice, crisp and light, not to carbonated, I could easily drink many of these beers over the course of a night.

Photo of AlexJ
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark chestnut brown in color with good clarity. Auburn highlights when held to the light. Medium sized head of creamy brown with decent retention and spotty lace.

Aromas are chocolate, weak coffee, dark and toasty malts, and a distinct nutty character.

Flavors of darkly roasted malts dominate, with nuances of cocoa, coffee, leather, sandalwood, and Noble hops in the finish.

Medium in body with a somewhat grainy and creamy mouthfeel that at times feels a bit waterey.

Overall, very good and certainly something that I'd enjoy again. I'm expanding my lager horizons.

Photo of frazbri
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured almost black, with deep golden accents, topped by an abundent white head. Bread and clover honey aromas, somewhat fruity. Sweet starting. Carmel and hazelnuts with a mild bitter finish. Light in body, medium carbonation and a dry finish.

The label on the Monchshof Schwarz proclaimed it to be a world classic. The beer didn't disappoint. The body was a translucent deep brown, accented by bronze. The head acted as a billowing cumulous cloud. The taste was sublime. I believe the label was right. World Classic or damn near it.

Photo of TongoRad
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear deep translucent brown color with hints of red and a dense two-finger tan head. A thing of beauty.

Bouquet is mild yet thoroughly enjoyable with a nice blend of dark caramel, raisins, mocha and some grassy hops.

The flavor features a nifty little tug of war between the caramel and mocha flavors. The finish is crisp and bitterness is at a very respectable level. This is a hell of a session beer- nothing becomes dominant, everything is in perfect balance and there is enough complexity to keep it interesting even after a couple. A classic.

Photo of jokelahoma
4.85/5  rDev +20%
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.

Photo of packetknife
3.23/5  rDev -20%
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.

Photo of LuckySevens82
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of alexgash
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Photo of marburg
5/5  rDev +23.8%
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.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Photo of twelvsies
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of apintofknowledge
3.12/5  rDev -22.8%
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?

Photo of WesWes
4.2/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of HogHill
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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%.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of BillFish
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
90 out of 100 based on 587 ratings.