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Monteith's Black - Monteith's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Monteith's BlackMonteith's Black

Educational use only; do not reuse.

65 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 105
Avg: 3.55
pDev: 13.24%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Monteith's Brewing Co. visit their website
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 105
Photo of Andrewharemza
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours near black with a reasonable tan head that fades. Pleasant aroma of malts and coffee. Fairly smooth in the mouth,Great taste with malts, biscuit, coffee, caramel and chocolate flavours well balanced.slightly bitter aftertaste and left me wanting another.

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Photo of verysupple
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

First off, this isn't a shwarzbier. It's a fine beer but it's in the wrong category on this site.

It's easy drinking; nothing too offensive for the introductory craft beer dinker. There's a fair whack of chocolate malt in there (probably some crystal malts too) giving it a medium-strong chocolate flavour and aroma and some coffee notes. There's more to it than that but my palate/descriptive skills aren't developed enough to say what.

While it's quite clean without much fermentation character coming through, it doesn't have a lager-like quality. Being an ale with prominent chocolate and roasty notes this is far from a schwarzbier, but it is a decent, easy drinking dark beer that's hard to fault.

3.5/5 because it's a well made beer just lacking that extra something of a really great beer.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: standard 330mL brown bottle with a simple but stylish label. (3.5)

Appearance: pours a great dark brown tending towards black, with a solid one-finger tan head that hangs about for ages. Great lacing too. (4.0)

Aroma: roast coffee up front, with some dark cocoa and bread malts. (3.75)

Taste: pretty much follows the nose - some sweetness with plenty of that roast coffee and cocoa. Lovely. (3.75)

Aftertaste: the flavours linger nicely, but without too much malt fug or bitterness. A touch of sweetness comes through - possible star anise? (3.75)

Mouth feel: moderate in feel with light-to-moderate but solid carbonation. Goes down easy. (3.75)

Overall: a very nice dark beer from Monteith's. I headed into this one with a little trepidation, as Monteith's is a bit hit or miss. Well complex and easy drinking. Great for a price of AU$55 a case of 24 x 330mL also (2014).

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Photo of wordemupg
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint at the brewpub in Greymouth 11/3/14 from notes

A dark cola liquid with a dense finger of foam that's gone in a flash but even after it falls the thin film leaves continuous lace deep down the glass

S a little sweet with a hint of peat smoke, milk chocolate and coffee come out a little but it smells pretty tame but then again it was served ice cold

T mimics the smell without the peat but still a little smoky, simple brew for sure, decent but needs a little something

M lighter side of medium, soft carbonation, creams up after a few seconds, a little charred wood and chocolate linger

O OK stuff, pretty basic but drinkable, not going to be blown away but no reason not to try it ect..ect..ect...

the ice cold serving temp probably doesn't help its cause. just another brew that I won't remember down the road.

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Photo of chinchill
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery in Greymouth, NZ

Excellent clarity in this very dark brown ale. The body is topped by a creamy tan head that is very durable and leaves the glass almost totally coated.
Both flavor and aroma are about average for style, if a touch more hoppy than a European version. Dark and medium roasted malts lend a lingering malty aftertaste. No burnt notes.

Feel: Medium body with medium carbonation. Smooth.

O: solid version of style.

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Photo of soju6
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a deep mahogany color with anicetanhead that fades to web like lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, dark fruit, bit of grain and a hint of chocolate in the background.

T: Taste of roasted malt, some caramel sweetness, dark fruit, with a trace of chocolate and coffee. Nice bitterness and the finish is quite clean.

F: Moderate body and smooth. Nie balance.

O: Enjoyable beer that goes down easy.

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Photo of machalel
2.22/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Brown-black body with a tall, but thin, tan coloured head. Leaves a small amount of lacing down the glass.

Aroma: Black american-style coffee (not espresso), roast grains, and a little bit of 'dry' sweetness.

Taste: Quite bitter and burnt flavours at the front, with some smoother (but not smooth enough) caramelised malt following. Finishes with a slightly mettalic ash taste that is quite unpleasant. A bit flat and thin. I can tell that it definitely is not a stout!

Mouthfeel: Quite dry, with medium carbonation. Quite a light body, but too harsh and astringent to be enjoyable.

Overall: No thanks. I didn't enjoy this at all, but am not sure if it is the beer or just the style, as I haven't had another Schwarzbier before. I think I can understand what it is trying to achieve, so I will try to find a better example of the style.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle: best before the end of Oct 2012, whoops. Poured into a Westvleteren chalice on 7th Dec 2012, a bit late!

Looked impressive: lovely dark body with a deep tan head of foam (well for 60 seconds anyway).

Initial aroma leans towards a Stout maltiness smell and mild chocolate notes waft through the air: good for a Black Lager.

The taste is also Stoutish, but with the lager crispness reminding you this isn't at ale based beer. Those aforementioned chocolate notes can be found it the taste as well as in the nose along with slightly burnt caramel flavour.

A lot better than I thought it would be and could well be my highest scoring beer of this style so far.

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Photo of ADZA
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I cant believe i have not reviewed this ive had it plenty a time but to be honest its been a while and thought why not,it pours a dark ruby brown hue with a three finger creamy head that stays and leaves heaps of lacing,the smell is black coffee,caramel malts,herbal hops and dark chocolate,the mouthfeel is just over light bodied and very sessionable and has tastes of dark belgian chocolate,caramel malts,herbal hops,cocoa and finished just like a black coffee bittersweet and overall i like what someone stated earlier Monteiths is just like Australias James Squire its above average and usually best option at a country/or lame pub but theres way better out there thats for sure cheers.

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Photo of PolarBear3
3.01/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Poured a deep black colour with one fingered beige head that retained fairly well

S - Roasted chocolate and coffee malts although not that pronounced.

T - Strong coffee, chocolate biscuit with a hint of caramel with a slight bitter or metallic finish.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation

O - Not a bad beer but lacks a little in complexity to really make you wanting more. A little disappointing in the finish.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.49/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

And just like that I'm off to Aotearoa... not literally of course (been there, done some of that), but taste-figuratively, and Monteith's is to me the James Squire's of NZ - not awesome, but they do a decent enough job to keep me buzzing with beer-warmth in those dark winter days of choosing from the local pub tap. Speaking of "dark winter days" dark beer is certainly the type of beer for that time of year and with winter thrust upon us antipodeans again I am once again reminded of the taste of a decent Stout. Rich and rewarding, like a treasure chest full of stolen pirate doubloons, AARRR!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a nonic pirate... wait, pint.

A: Deep, deep ruby red body (like a Guinness), with a dusting of tan. Looks like a Stout, aye.

S: Toasted wheat grains upfront with a sweet honey/vanilla musk, and some liquorice characters as well... intriguing, not average Stout aromas, however I am reminded it is a Schwarzbier (German for "darker than all those lagers and wheat beers we drink, jawohl!").

T: Fairly flat and dry tasting. Bit of that honey and vanilla resonates and the undertone of classic Stout flavours (think chocolate, chicory and espresso coffee), but with a hint of pale ale; caramel malts and light floral hops. Not fantastic, but not bad either. Preferred it to the 4 Pines Stout I just tried.

M: Flat carbonation with a medium body. Found the carbonation too flat - needs a little bit more here.

D: Yeah it's not bad. Not bad but not great either. It's just a shoulder shrug beer - someone asks you if you like it and you shrug your shoulders in reply. I'm not convinced Monteith's, I need something more exciting. That being said it is Monteith's, the James Squire's of NZ, and I guess it's about as much excitement I will get from them. I'm moving on to American Stouts (if I can get my hands on some) now.

Food match: [Copy and paste from the 4 Pines Stout] rack of roasted meat (any dark meat), side of roasted vegetables and heavy gravy, or a nice warm stew. Dessert: dark chocolate. Follow with a glass of port.

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Photo of deg
3.79/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I expect a schwarzbier to be a little darker. The beer appeared black until the light hit it, and then it was a little too light, a little too brown. I got a good roasty smell from the beer, and the taste did not disappoint. More roasty goodness. The mouthfeel was OK. It's pretty easy to drink, I could have more without a problem.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Woolworth's.

A - Pours pitch black with lot's of carbonation coming up the sides. One finger of light brown head. A decent ring of lace at the top and a film of retention.

S - Coffee, a nice milk chocolate, some cola.

T - Cola, coffee, roasted malt. Cola is more dominant but restrained by the roasted malt.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a sweetness in the finish.

O/D - Not a bad schwarz but largely forgettable. Not a whole lot going on. Pretty average.

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Photo of drpimento
3.32/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served a bit cold and with a smallish, light tan head plus some lace. Color is an opaque black brown. Aroma is malt, roast, dark ripe fruit, gravel. Flavor is like nose, more robust, plus carbonic tang, hint of coffee. Body is a shade thin, good carbonation. Finish is like flavor, on short side in length, and balanced. One of the better Montheith's I've had here.

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Photo of aBeeraWeek
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very close to pitch black – a nice sheen to it. Light caramel 2cm head that lingers with good lacing.

Instant liquorice with sweet caramels. Some roast smells as well including coffee.

Sweet liquorice is there with malts coming through. Not a real strong bitterness coming through and the aftertaste is more of roasted nuts through to quite a smoky finish.

A light carbonation and lightly bodied considering the style.

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Photo of Raebies
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thin mouth feel, low fizz and not much head. Smells of charcoal malts with a slight hint of vegemite. Low acidity and very clean on the palate for a dark beer, without much of an aftertaste. The flavour is fairly straight forward, with hints of caramel biscuit as it warms up. Very smooth, easy drinking.

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Photo of madvoice
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark chocolate, almost black with a foamy head that left a fair bit of lacing down the glass. Smells of malt, coffee and chocolate. Tastes very much like it smells with the malt, coffee caramel and chocolate with a slight sarsparilla aftertaste. Not a very heavy on the mouth beer for what it is but still nice and smooth. Really enjoyed this and will seek it out again.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Jet black with a thin white head. Decent lacing.

S - Not much here except a faint hint of roasted malt.

T - Nice basic flavour of roasted malts, with dark chocolate and coffee notes.

M - Thin in body but smooth.

O - A very drinkable dark beer. The first Monteith's Ive enjoyed this much. Good session beer.

 314 characters

Photo of Cawdog
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a sticky cream head.

S: roasted malts, vanilla, caramel sweetness.

T: more prominent than the nose, a slightly bitter finish too.

M: a very light body, it would be more interesting with more carbonation but it is a very drinkable style.

O: suprisingly good, i'd drink more of these. not a challenging dark beer for a beginner.

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Photo of DCon
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a 330mL bottle of this w/ loldmopar. He brought this back from New Zealand along with another brew. Poured from the dark black bottle into a Speight's Hefeweizen Glass and has Best Before Nov11.104855J1 on the back.

Aroma- Has a ton of maltiness and sweetness in the whole aroma and has a type of German malt aroma that isn't present in many of the "Black" ales we have in the states also. Finishes with a clean yeasty/lager aroma too.

Appearance- Pours 3 fingers of off-white head that keep for a long while. Has a DEEP brown/black color body and leaves huge lacing down the whole glass.

Flavor- Good, clean malty flavor, slight roastiness, and a sweet finish. Has even hints of chocolate throughout the drink.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, Smooth, and leaves roastiness on the palate.

Overall Impression- Since I'm not sure if I've had this style before, very easy drinking and nice! Roasty, flavorful German lager that ends up being one of my favorites of the month from an import. WIsh this was available in the states. Would like to enjoy another one.

 1,092 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small fading tan head.
Nose shows roasted malt, caramel and faint smoke. Pretty nice, quite sweet smelling.
Flavours are along the same lines: roasted malt, soft coffee and a little sweet caramel.
Could do with more carbonation.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.28/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out with a dark black body, the head was fluffy and ran colored. The smell of the beer was roasted and had some acidic aromas to it. The taste of the beer was like light burnt coffee with some nuts and a touch of hoppy bitterness to finish things off. The mouthfeel was on the lighter side and wasn't too bad. Overall it was a pretty typical black lager, not too much to rave about.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.26/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, dark brown/black color. Poured a 2 finger dirty tan head that dissipated to a half finger and held to the first drink. Lots of sticky broken lace.

S: Rich, sweet malts; molasses and chocolate. A little lemon and burnt toast.

T: Bitter chocolate (bitterness is a general comment too). Seems like coffee and black bread in the middle. Finishes sharply bitter and acidic.

M: Light-to-medium body. Moderate (balanced) carbonation. Rich and dry middle to bitter finish.

O: Good malt character and fair balance. The acidic note and seeming masked hopping were drawbacks for me.

 584 characters

Photo of dhartogs
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at the brewery and bottle from store. Very nice flavor compared to other NZ beers but not great by US craft beer standards. Was my go to while in NZ. Malty and smooth, not a lot of hops in this at all, it's black, thick head on the pour but went away quickly and a light drinking beer.

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Photo of eric5bellies
2.86/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a dark brown almost black colour with an of white head that retains well

S - Expresso and toffe are the main aromas.

T - Dark chocolate and toffee with a well rounded roasted finish.

M - A bit watery and slightly overcarbonated.

D - Good in places but bad in others

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Monteith's Black from Monteith's Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.