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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 tweeder263
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

pours out a dark black beer. Shows light very faintly through with red tones. Tan head small and weak. Smells mostly of coffee ,slight smokiness in the background. Taste of coffee, much like a stout,,a dry beer, and has an astringent feel. Besides the astringency i like this beer. No mouthfeel to speak of. A very drinkable beer, slightly dry but not enough to make unpleasant

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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 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 Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light black color beer with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light roasted malt with light lactic sugar notes is quite enjoyable. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some roasted malt and light sugar notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Nothing earth shattering but well brewed and enjoyable.

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

Pours a deep dark near black with minimal cap of khaki head, little retention and lacing. Scent is dominated by roasted yet sweet malts with the faintest hints of earth, coffee, chocolate and fruit. Taste brings the same qualities of the scent, nothing overpowering but none of the ingredients evene stand out. Lighter side of medium bodied, smooth and lightly carbonated. A decent drinkable beer that does nothing wrong, but doesnt wow in any way. Heck, I really just wanted to try a bee rfrom New Zealand, so no loss.

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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 scruffwhor
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is black to a ruddy garnet mix. Clear color with some visible bubbling, but nothing above the bar. A little quick bubbling after the pour.

The aroma, fresh from the fridge is pumpernickel bread and tin. Once this beer warms up a litle, you can smell soft grains and maybe a little choclate. But you still get some metallic twang.

The taste on the other hand is devaoid of any metallic flavors it seems. Nice bubbly lager palate that gives life to the mild to medium roasted malts of this black lager.

Good session beer from the Kiwis.

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Photo of Brad007
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. About right for the style.

Aroma is full of sweet malt with with a slight hint of coffee/dark fruit. Not bad.

Taste is sweet with a slight hint of coffee and caramel upfront. They kind of salvage this effort but not by much.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering sweetness and the coffee/caramel touches.

Not a bad stab at the style but you can do better. Worth a try but only if there aren't any other options available.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle bought from GapWines, Belfast..

Poured a very deep black / brown colour. Burnt brown head poured pretty thick, foamy and meringue like then faded to light covering with thick edging... some light lines of lacing ring the glass...

Aroma - Slightly washed out notes of lightly roasted bread, toasted malts, metallic notes, black coffee, some dark brown sugar sweetness, light nuttiness, some blackcurrant and raisin fruitiness, faint liquorice traces, some graininess coming through, dusty hints...

Taste - Toasted maltiness mixed with sweet nutty notes, toasted buttery bread, some molasses / treacle sweetness, light chocolate mixed with black cherry and blackcurrant fruits, light nutmeg and pepper spiciness, some light vegetal traces just noticeable, cola hints...

Feel - Smooth initially then a little sharpness comes through... medium bodied... pretty quaffable and sessionable at 5.2%

Overall - A very pleasant find this one... nothing groundbreaking but a well made and very quaffable example of a Schwarzbier.... worth a try...

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Photo of juju7
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Funnily enough...it's black. A 2cm off white head that laced pretty well. Soft coffee notes among the roasted malt. A little sweetness on the palate with some biscuit and tidy bitterness. A very easy drink on these chilly nights. Worth buying but not hunting for.

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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 TexIndy
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a pint glass. Best by date of Nov 09 on back label. The color was dark brown with mahogany highlights. Good sliding lace. It had a large 2 finger tan head that slowly settled into a thick collar and whispy film.

Sweet malt aroma with roasted malts as well. Missing the darker roast, smoke and coffee tones that I usually find in schwarzbiers. Was good smelling but could have been better with a addition or two of those. The taste followed the aroma. More sweet than roasted. Really needed something to cut the sweet. Again, not bad but could use a little something more. Mouthfeel was medium with good carb levels but a touch of watery.

Overall, a good but not stellar beer. Mild recommend especially if you are looking to knock New Zealand off your countries tried list. For me, one and done as better ones out there unless someone offered me one.


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Photo of EgadBananas
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is black. Big tan head adorns. Laces well.

Smells roasted, with hints of chocolate and coffee. It's not exuberant, but it's seriously nice.

Taste is good, albeit nothing phenomenal. Roasted malts and a bitter, metallic twang. Something I find common with black beers.

Feel is thin but silky, and it's nice, clean and refreshing.

Easy to drink, and a very nice example. Glad I picked this up.

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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 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 Macca
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This pours a true black. Not a lot of head to speak of.

A touch of milk chocolate on the nose. I was hoping for some darker aromas.

Ok the coffee comes through a lot better on the palate. Ties in quite nicely with the sweet chocolate.

A lighter mouthfeel for a dark beer.

A lighter style dark (which I normally don't like) but I think I could have a few of these and enjoy them all.

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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 Kulrak
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby brown with a fair amount of tan head that fades away pretty quickly. Smells of sweet roast malt and a little coffee, very pleasant. Tastes drier than the smell led me to believe. It's sweeter than average, but most of the flavor is just roastiness. Not much in the way of hops or bitterness but that would be too much I think. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy. A little harsh on the tip of the tongue, with light carbonation all over. All in all, it's very drinkable, fairly well balanced, nothing is really overpowering. I like it, I'll probably get it again.

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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 TubaManJack
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a Tap into my jug (mini pitcher) over a multiple times

Appearance-A solid three fingers of creamy foaming head. The beer is solid black that is almost opaque with a little carbonation along the sides.
Smell - A wee bit of sweet malt and floral "English-style" hops. The majority of the smell comes from the roasted malt.
Taste- Sweet Roasted flavors but this is really quite nice a very smooth flavor and its not assaulting. Limited hops and balanced by that and the sweeter malt.
Mouthfeel/Drinkablity-Very drinkable for a dark beer and a great option for those who want flavor in their beer.

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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 koolk
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish black in colour with a good head thats is persistent.

So-so aroma of toast and dark malts with only a slight hoppy character, mainly some slight fruity notes.

Great load of flavour on the palate with some good burnt and roasted style malts and a rich choc/coffee kick. Not to bitter, not too long. Kind of a strange sweetish mouthfeel, but it is very pleasant. has a bit of hotness, but works well in the cooler months.

I dig this beer. Its not very complex and is lacking in some areas, but for a readily avaliable drop this is a good soild tight dark beer. Get into it.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle at State Line, drank this a couple of nights back.

Not quite black, this beer is a deep brown with reddish brown highlights. A thick, light brown head is noted, and retention and lacework are good.

The nose is nice and roasty with a touch of cream. Mild bitterness with a touch of almost lemon-like hops. Bitter chocolate and coffee grounds round out the nose.

The palate opens roasty and smooth (it could use a little more roast). Toasted bread (burnt on one side?), light roasted coffee, a little cream mid-palate with some cocoa. Mildly nutty, especially towards the finish. Very clean, I can't pick out any off-flavors. Hops are light but present with a touch of bitterness. Medium light in body with a medium level of carbonation, this finishes great with some mild bitterness. While a touch watery mid-palate, this is a drinkable - and cheap - schwarzbier.

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Photo of Finite
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, Head retention was poor and left only a little lacing on my glass. Could smell this from 2 feet away. Great smell, burnt malts, dark chocolate. Smell was maybe a bit to bitter. I noticed the description on the back was more like a review off BA which was admirable, compared to most beers which write “made with the finest, bla bla bla”. Great combination of malts, all perfectly balanced. Definite dark chocolate, roasted malts. The hops grab your attention fast before the malts get too busy.

A very well balanced beer.

A very easy drinking beer which fits the scwarzbier style well.

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