Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 65 | Hads: 105
Photo of Rayek
3.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A: the deep walnut brown color is just a few shades short of black. A fluffy cream cap has OK retention. As it falls to a patchwork blanket, it leaves a smattering of lace.

S: Molasses struck me first. Let me nose linger revealed aromas of baking chocolate and lemon.

T: Baking chocolate is the central theme. Bitterness is mild and has a burnt quality. The beer gets rather acidic toward the end.

M: The medium-light body is semi-dry and has the right level of fizz.

D: This is an OK beer overall. The acidic finish keeps this beer from garnering a higher score.

 592 characters

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.

 409 characters

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 brendan13
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown with a couple of centimetres of beige head that quickly falls away.
S - Smell is roasty and caramel.
T - Taste is roasty and caramel but with some coffee and slight chocolate.
M - Smooth and medium bodied. Fairly high carbonation.
D - Probably the most interesting beer from Monteiths that I've had. A good alternative to the heavy stouts and porters that I love so much. All the flavour without the bloated feeling.

 440 characters

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 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.


 891 characters

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

 279 characters

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).

 892 characters

Photo of joecast
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

wasnt sure what to expect being my first schwarzbier.
almost black in color, with just a bit of light breaking through at the edges showing a reddish-black color.
forms a very large dirty white head that leaves a lacing on the glass as it settles.
dark malty aroma. more of a black malt than roasted or chocolate, though i am guessing since i havent used plain black malt before.
taste is much more chocolaty than the aroma let on. just a slight bitterness that doesnt get in the way of the malty sweetness.
mouthfeel is light but smooth.
im not used to pairing beer with food, but this would have to go pretty good with dessert.

 635 characters

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.

 2,064 characters

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.

 260 characters

Photo of jamie2dope
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pitch black color with a nice looking white head that stayed pretty constant until the end of the brew. Aromas of mild iced coffee and chicory permeate the beer, not half bad. Taste was rather chocolaty with some soy sauce characters in there as well. It was also much more hoppy then I had anticipated. Mouthfeel is light to medium, more on the medium side if you ask me. I could see myself having a few of these, not bad at all. I like the fact that it shares some qualities with porter while at the same time being so different. Cheers

 547 characters

Photo of diablo14
4.18/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is without doubt the pick of monteiths standard range of beers. black/dark ales are not easily defined. i think they often get confused with porters, stouts and bocks. schwarzbeirs for me are a dark lager. not too strong, with a dry/bitter finish. i honestly find this style suffers in rating because many drinkers are comparing them with the wrong genres of beer. its supposed to be a bit more subtle than any of the above mentioned kinds. schwarzbiers i feel are supposed to be a dark beer you can have a real session on.

having said all this, monteith black is a gem. a spectacular dark mahogany color, with a creamy head that doesnt go over the top (as it shouldnt with this style), it looks a good beer in the glass. its got beautiful subtle roasted aromas, with a fine malt taste, supported by dark chocolate notes. once again, its crisp and clean like all n.z brews, and its like black velvet going down. some may say its thin, but i disagree. its well balanced, and for a dark beer, its so smooth going down i can easily drink a half dozen of these without thinking too much about it. high praise for a dark beer of any kind. the finish has enuff hop bitterness without cancelling out the smoothness of the beer on the front and middle palates.

this is a dark beer you can drink cold, or warming up. in winter or summer, and with many different kinds of food. its just so subtle, and for me thats where the charm is. not to mention it can always be got for a reasonable price. and in that regard, adding to everything else i have said about its standard, montieths black is pretty close to my favorite session beer as far as dark ales go.

 1,657 characters

Photo of LittleCreature
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.0
Poured half a finger of light brown head that quickly reduced to just about nothing. Almost solid black in colour, with red where the light passes though.

Smell - 3.5
Plenty of malty sweetness, aromas of molasses, slightly burnt with a little hop presence.

Taste - 4.0
Not bad, I'm not usually a big fan of black beers (with the big exception of Belgian ales), but this is really quite nice. Reasonably complex with malty flavours of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel sweetness, somewhat biscuity. Quite bitter from the roasted malt and the hops, but it mellows with warmth.

Mouthfeel - 3.5
Fine, persistent carbonation, feels quite light for a dark beer.

Drinkability - 4.0
This would be sessionable for someone who appreciates the style. It is tasty enough to want a second, I did not struggle to finish it.

OVERALL - 3.65
I thought this was a stout before posting my review here. Still, it is a better than average beer, good value (like all the Montheith's range), plenty of flavour, not too heavy and quite easy to drink. Not much wrong here, thumbs up from me! I'd choose this over a Guinness Draught (yes, even on-tap!)any day!

 1,154 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Monteith's Black

Appearance: Dark brown, small head, and okay lacing.

Smell: Dark malts, some cocoa, and slight grain.

Taste: Dark malts, light coffee, slight grain, slight hop, and a very light chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and smooth.

This isn't bad. It isn't very complex, but it is nicely brewed and smooth.

 330 characters

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.

 386 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
4.05/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, well deep brown in the glass with a nice head of tan foam. Subtle carbonation visible. Coffee roasted malt in the nose with a pleasant citrusy hop overtone. Initial taste is the same with a smoky, bitter aftertaste. The thinner body was refreshing. All well balanced and extremely smooth. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

 325 characters

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.

 600 characters

Photo of mempath
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

nice head on top dense black...great massive topographic map of lacing

slight toasty malt nose, but nothing jumps out.

taste is a little better than the nose...some flavor...very smooth but nothing amazing. nice creamy mouthfeel with a slight crispness making this drinkable and sessionable but not sure i'd want to get too bored. one of the lightest black beers i've ever had. a great beer for after mowing the lawn if you want refreshment and some flavor.

 459 characters

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.

 263 characters

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.

 571 characters

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.

 588 characters

Photo of deaconoflove
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ap. Nice very dark near black, but not opaque. MInimal brown head.
Sm. Malty and caramel first with a hidden tartness. Second and third sniff gave me a sourish or spoiled? off odor.
Ta. Chocolately at first and some slightly burnt roastiness, then a little of that sourish off thing.
Mf. Nice, full, thickish.
Dr. Very good, but not great. Can't figure the off odor/taste that showed up a couple of times.

 405 characters

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.

 600 characters

Photo of WHROO
4.1/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is another I have been chasing after reading good things, & this didn't dissappoint.
Wonderful dark opaque look with good brownish bready biscuity head.
Burnt notes in smell & taste...caramel toffee sweetness with coffee, some mocha & biscuit...quite complex & interesting, definately not boring.
Mouthfeel was medium, creamy & full bodied, with a soft but alive carbonation. This was a very easy drinker & a six pack is on the cards next time (only tasted tested 1 stubby this time)

 488 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Monteith's Black from Monteith's Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.