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Schwelmer Alt - Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Not Rated.
Schwelmer AltSchwelmer Alt

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

116 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 116
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.15%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Schwelm visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Altbier |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 07-13-2003)
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Ratings: 116 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkish brown, with mild yeasty and malty aroma. Taste like a subdued barleywine,a bit of a season, and an understated maudite.Nuttiness, herbal, and creamy carmel. Easy drinking. Nothing bold and exciting, but a fine brew. Well carbonated with no significant head.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 03:41:59 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

2.63/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Darkest bronze with a considerable burnt orange influence when backlit. The sandstone colored crown is nicely rumpled bumpy and has a great deal of stickiness that results in an impressive array of delicate lace. As far as I can tell, this is what an altbier should look like.

The nose is less than good. It's earthy and musty and spicy, a combination that doesn't add up to anything that I care to smell more than is necessary for this review. Let's throw 'woody' in there as well. The flavor profile had better do a '180' or I won't like Schwelmer Alt any more than I liked Bernstein or Pils.

The taste buds are definitely well-occupied, but it isn't with a great altbier. The word 'clash' comes to mind as I continue to drink. Each mouthful delivers a sweet and phenolically sour brown maltiness coupled with stale tobacco and a firm smack of bitter peanut skins and grassy hops. I'm having a hard time wrapping my palate around this one.

The woodiness that was noted in the aroma is still present. I don't know if this beer spend time barrel aging, but it sure tastes like it. Too bad it didn't add anything of interest (just the opposite, in fact) to the flavor profile. I have nothing else of value to add. The weird combination of flavors and flavor sensations just isn't to my liking.

Even though I'd like more bubbles to add a little excitement to the proceedings, the mouthfeel is otherwise acceptable for the style. It's on the light side, but then that's where a low-ABV alt should weigh in.

If I hadn't had the less than stellar Schwelmer Bernstein and Schwelmer Pils, I might have suspected a bad (or an old) bottle. Try as I might, I can't decipher 'best before end 88 10 83'. It looks like only Schwelmer Weizen is worthy of a repeat purchase.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 12:16:32 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a medium brown body with a prodigious head that leaves wafts of lacing all over the place

Smell: Musty, smokey odor; smells like dirty clothes in a dorm room closet

Taste: Starts out with raisin bread flavor; after the swallow, a phenolic bitterness kicks in that muddles to the finish in a smokey bitter mess

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation

Drinkability: Very disappointing; I enjoy the altbier style but this just doesn't cut it

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 01:48:46 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a clear deep brown color alt with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light roasted malt with some light toffee. Taste is also dominated by some light roasted toffee notes. Body is really average with some medium carbonation. I’m not sure I am totally getting the style since I don’t encounter it often enough but I thought this example was generally boring.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 14:34:26 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a reddish brown color with a tan colored head that was pretty thin. The aromas were of a lot of grains and malt. There isn't a whole lot of hops on the nose or much else. Perhaps a little spice but that's about it. The taste is mostly dry malt, some fresh leaves some other flavors of nature in there. The mouthfeel is medium, It's drinkable and worth trying again. I was better than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 00:40:54 | More by Knapp85
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schwelmer's Alt pours an almost black body that reveals it's true deep-ruby stained mahogany color when held to the light. The creamy khaki-colored head drops shortly but leaves some nice lace in its wake.

Sweet malt with a darkly caramelish and roasty edge resides in the nose along with a whisp of floral hops.

The flavor is much as the nose suggests, with a very well-balanced, but straightforward maltiness. There's a touch of dark malt acidity, some welcome nuttiness, and some sublime leafy hop flavors, but nothing else. It fades from the pallet just as easily as it entered, leaving behind a mild trace of nuts, smoke (residue from the roastiness), and floral and grassy hops.

The body is medium with dextrinous malt, and its gentle carbonation leaves it remarkably smooth across the palate.

Interestingly, as Schwelm was once a mining center, this beer is quite similar in many ways to the dark milds of northern England where miners enjoyed a darker, but not necessarily fuller beer at the end of the day. It's not what you'd expect of a Dusseldorfer alt at all, but it's still quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2006 13:45:30 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown swing top bottle with a “Best Before End” freshness date on the back label.

Appearance: The frothy sea foam like head leaves a thick trail of lace on the glass, deep wood stained brown shows some clarity.

Smell: Toasted malt, vaguely sweet … ghost like fruitiness with a hint of hops.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Exceptionally smooth with a moderate carbonation and creamy malty body. A twang of fermented malt with in the toasted grain character, hops are modest yet show a good balance. The finish is a jumbled complex mess; nutty, smoke?, yeasty.

Drinkability & Notes: Quite the enjoyable brew, have not quaffed an Alt like this for some while. Seemed to go great with some Teriyaki Chicken and Crab Rangoon.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2004 01:42:37 | More by Jason
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear and sepia-toned, a clean caramel, with a rocky, bumpy, thick slab of foam resting on top, leaving lace.

Roasty malt in the nose, sweetness abounds, nuts and toffee, with a neat hoppiness. A kind and pleasant aroma.

Slides easily on the palate, and glides happily off. Very pleasing taste, mild and sweet, nicely balanced maltiness...light, happy fruitiness...very clean, crisp, ...like a lightly hoppy brown ale, to these lips.

Not having had too many other authentic alts, this does seem to stack up to what I recall of the Tuetonic varieties I've been able to taste. Medium bodied, with a sweet taste that finishes dryly.

Not bad. Not fantastic, but a fine beer, indeed.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 07:50:58 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle coded 88 10 69, what ever that means opens with a pop

Pours caramel/brown with 3 fingers of sand-colred head. Very good lacing & above averag head retention

S: Sweet malt & iron

T: Dryness & caramel up front. Iron & a hint of nuttyness. Caramel & a slight herbal hop bite shows up as this warms. Finishes with a little toasted malt, oaky dryness & a little more iron

MF: Light/medium body with above average carbonation. Good, not great balance

Drinks fairly easy, but like my alts a little more beefier on the malt & hops side. Give me a Diebels any day. So far this brewery ain't really floating my boat

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2007 02:24:27 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some hops as well; excelllent balance. The taste is decent. It has a weak and watery flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with bitter hops and a dry finish. It goes down easy and finishes with hops in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. It has a watery feel that takes away from the mouthfeel. This is a good drinking alt. . It has good aroma and decent flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2004 01:30:30 | More by WesWes
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Swing-top bottle with a cryptic freshness date, poured into a stange glass:

Pours light-to-medium brown with a thick, creamy tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is earthy/woody, musty, slightly nutty. Vague sweet grain and fruitiness barely peek through.

The taste is earthy and woody - a hoppy alt as it indicates on the label - but in a rather bland way. A musty character gives me the impression of moss-covered wood. After the effervescent carbonation and mustiness settle, a malt/fruity sweetness balances it out (especially in second half of bottle), but the flat woody/earthy notes stay ahead. Dry, bland finish.

Light in body, a blandness lingers on the palate.

Despite the disappointment, it does have a certain smoothness, especially as it warms that gives it a certain drinkability (for the one bottle, but wouldn't rush for more). Well, I wasn't crazy about the Bernstein - which this has a certain similarity too.. and this was even blander...I would stick with the weizen of the three offerings I've had from this brewery. Overall- a disappointing alt from Germany - expected better...

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 15:04:10 | More by jwc215
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

04/19/06- Purchased at Corti Bros. in Sacramento, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. No freshness info listed. Poured into my Sebastopol Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Pretty dark pour with some cherry colored highlights. Full fairly creamy white head with nice hardened sticky lace left upon the finish.

Smell- Really nice dark and sweet scent. Kinda like a doppelbock mixed with and old ale. Lots of caramel, toffee, dark roasted malt and maybe even dare I say some dark fruits.

Taste- Damn, I so wanted to like this beer after the scent. This is one of the first beers where the scent was fantastic and the taste was below average. Very large metallic taste that covers up all that could be good in this beer. You can sense some dark fruit, a bit of caramel and toffee and even a decent hop bite. But it all stays covered up by this metal flavor. Damn!

Mouthfeel- Pretty high carbonation level. Very cola like.

Drinkability- I don't think I got a bad bottle. Wish I did though. Don't be fooled by the scent on this one. I've had a few altbiers and none of them tasted like this.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2006 02:47:50 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

stubby,11.2 ounce, Belgian style bottle, "best before end" date is not ledgible on bottle. Pours chocolaty brown, with an of white head that initially was rocky and puffy, then dissolved to a medium thickness film and leaving nicely developed and well scattered lacing. Nose is thinly of malt. the mouthfeel is disappointingly thin and unsatisfying. Notes of chocolate, bananas, caramel, fair Alt, but too lacking in body, malty character and mouthfeel for my liking.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2005 21:16:45 | More by Billolick
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

.5 Liter Flip top Bottle.

Pours a clear chestnut brown brew with a tan head, looks very tasty.

Smell is crackers and wheat malt, and a bit fruity. There is also a scent in here that is salty and similar to Gose.

Taste is drier than expected. Lots of toasted malt and a sharp bitter snap in the finish. Mildly sweet bit the fruitiness seems to have gone missing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK beer but Alaskan Amber beats it. It don't think Alt is a beer style that travels all that well. I LOVED the Schwelmer Hefe Weizen but I don't like this one nearly as well.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 03:10:07 | More by Zorro
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger off-white white head that vanishes quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet toffee nose. Flavor is sweet toffee that is balanced by the hops. Clean finish. $1.90 for a 330ml swing-top bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 23:02:43 | More by jdhilt
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz swing-top bottle from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the dark copper brew. Good foamy bits of lacing from a head that just isn't moving. Aroma is light, of caramel malts and slight hops notes. Taste is initially of full caramel malts, fading to a slight fruit tang, and then ends with a mess of somewhat metallic bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are are affected by the end of each mouthful, unfortunately, since it was nice until then. Potential, yes. Follow-through, no.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 21:52:09 | More by ppoitras
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

12-07-2013 17:41:49 | More by BillRoth
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark ruby red with a thin, macro-bubbly off white head that almost immediately dissipated. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: ripe fruit (prunes, plums), sweet dark caramel, and light licorice notes.

T: sweet dark roasted caramel and licorice. There was some spicy ripe fruit (plums, prunes, raisins) and light sugary notes. The hopping was hard to detect with the sweet caramel and spicy ripe fruit but there was some earthiness that was attributed.

M: light, with a thin syrupy viscosity and full of ripe fruit leaving a nice residual coating behind. The carbonation was very soft.

D: Overall a good drinking and hoppy alt with rich ripe fruit makes this and enjoyable experience that was rich and fruity and smooth going down.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 23:27:39 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear burgandy tone. Medium sized biege head. Retention is good as is the lace. Rings of droopy lace are left in moderate quantities. Not much carbonation noted from the appearance. Nice aroma of almonds, toffee and caramel. Nicely pronounced. Nice flavor. Walnuts and toffee. Nougat and caramel. Nice dry finish. Just a little buttery. Overall, good though. Mouthfeel is agreeable. Drinkability, quite good. This is a solid alt.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 23:12:24 | More by Bighuge
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Has a nice deep ruby/ medium clear brown. But no bublles and no head. Only a 16th of an inch after the pour. The first snikks are very acidty and battery head liek. But they bring some darker malts to the nose. A little. The taste jas some stale malts, but a good , yet light bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2006 06:36:02 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark cherrywood auburn color when up to a strong light, nealy black in shadow with an immense puffy cap of light sandy brown, finely foamed froth. Cap slowly levels off and down to a good amount of skim and collaring. Lacing glazes the glass in webby curtains.

Aroma is stiff and bready with light touch of cocoa powder.

Taste is mild yet firm with not a whole lot going on unfortunately. Semi sweet. Clean with a fluffy coating. Big on bready flavors mostly but it doesn't last long. A little brief on the buds with this one. Has some light hints to sunflower seeds, cocoa, and toasted grains. Finish has a bit of subdued and muddled smokeyness and earthy yeast under the last remainders of toasty stuff. Lots of pretty decent bread tones though.

Feel is smooth and fairly fluffy with an easy carbonation to slurp down but lacks some depth. Its lighter then medium in body with a weak-ended front but picks up some as it finishes.

A good enough drinker, pleasing if not all together simple.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 02:12:26 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
Hopheadjeffery

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

08-04-2013 18:39:31 | More by Hopheadjeffery
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is dark in color but clear with a nice Altbierish brown body. The big, foamy off-white head left some nice lacing on the inside of my glass.

Smell – The caramel sweetness here mixes well with the simple but satisfying toasty notes.

Taste – The toasty malt turned breadish at the taste, but the caramel sweetness really takes over. There’s also a troublesome grainy aftertaste that I didn’t care for.

Mouthfeel – This is light to medium-bodied. It felt good in the mouth but there was an unpleasant bitterness that persisted on the back of my tongue.

Drinkability – This clumsy effort wasn’t all that bad but I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 15:15:11 | More by RoyalT
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: As with all the Schwelmer brews, this too arrives in a rather cool looking Half-Litre [1 Pt 0.9 fl.oz.] brown glass bottle which has a vertical neck label covering the steel wire which holds the red & white plastic flip top in place. Front label is partly generic in nature and looks like the other offerings from Schwelm. Labeled as “Alt – the unique hoppy Altbier, brewed in accordance with the Rheinheitsgebot of 1516”. The back label says Best Before End “88 10 57”….I’m still trying very hard to work this Calendar coding out. No listed strength.

Appearance: Shining pellucid chestnut body with a vociferous creamy tan colored head. Middling carbonation offers up some feedback when the glass is tilted but not much to shout about.

Nose: Damp wood mixes with a wet Pine chopping board sniff. Malty aromas mingle with soiled jeans. Strange.

Taste: Soil laden fading malts have a light nutty feel. Lightweight flavors are hard to break out. Feels about as German as the French Resistance. I’m afraid I just didn’t get much from this Alt. To me it tastes more like an average ‘run-of-the-mill’ weak nutty brown ale. Sehr Forgetful, Ya!?

Mouthfeel: Light feel it flitters around like a cheap Kite in a strong wind. Weak and thin at times. It fails in the Mouthfeel completely.

Drinkability: Average drinker but it gets very boring….very quickly…..I almost left the last third of this one...

Overall: The last of the four Schwelmers that I picked up from Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA, all cost $2.69 each. Nothing earth shattering about this one, as with the Bernstein it looks much better than it tastes…..I won’t be trying this one again, but at least I have another reusable flip-top bottle for my Home-Brewing pals.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2005 00:01:35 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark but clear rosey mahogany color with an off-white/grey whimpy head that fades to a ring with modest lacing. The aroma is a malty-root, brown sugar and sour mash. The flavor is sour malt and weak wheat grain goodness. But it's quite thin and watery, minimal carbonation, a bit tingly. Drinkable but not desirable particularly. I can't really pick up any other qualities, just kind of non-descript, not one I will revisit.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 07:00:57 | More by Durge
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Schwelmer Alt from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
83 out of 100 based on 116 ratings.