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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,437 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,437
Reviews: 750
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 66
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 10-17-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,437 | Reviews: 750 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this brew.

Black in color with a light brown head. The aroma is peppery, with a date and fig aroma. There are also hints of chocolate in the back. The flavor is full of malt, with a fruity, fig flavor. This beer is full bodied, smooth with a dry finish. My first Schwarzbier. I found it to be tasty with a lot of complex aromas. I would definitely drink this one again. Tasty.

BeerBuilder, Feb 24, 2003
Photo of SheepNutz
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a tumbler glass. It pours a deep black color with two fingers of light tan head. It looks almost like a stout or porter when poured. There is a little bit of lacing left behind. The smell is full of rich roasted malt with some caramel sweetness. The taste is also full of burnt malt, toffee, and molasses. A bit of hops on the finish. The body is a little light and oily, but very smooth. The drinkability is very good. A classic example of the style.

SheepNutz, Feb 05, 2004
Photo of afinepilsner
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle

Kostritzer Schwartzbier was a very dark brown color (nearly black) with a tan head. The head was large and had good retention. The aroma was malty and a little roasty. The taste was about the same, good and malty with some roasty flavors and a little bitterness. It was medium bodied and medium in carbonation. Very good drinkability. All it needs is a little more body. A good beer. Recommended.

afinepilsner, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of machhine
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on quite a few occasions in a bottle, cost was typically between $2.00-3.00.

The beer pours black and has somewhat small, caramel colored head.

The beer smells amazing; sweet, chocolaty, and even lightly of coffee. The mouthfeel is also good, but it is a bit dry. The beer is real easy to drink; one can have big sips/gulps or small ones.

machhine, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of utopiajane
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours almost completely black but when held to the light does present a dark brown with a flash of crimson hue. That underscores the idea of clarity in this beer. I tried to capture in photographs that when held to the light the beer seems to shine inexplicably. The head fell reasonably fast and left a bit of lace and a thin ring. The nose is malty and breaddy. A sweet caramel and no fruit. Taste is clean and clear, crisp yet creamy. Some lovely malty sweetness that has breadth in the glass. It has caramel but that is not over the top of the original malty sweetness from the roast. It has a thinnish body so it drinks easily and although the carbonation is ample it does not bite. Drinks clearly and decisively. Soft dark bread with a bit of crust but nothing burnt. No char or ash. A becoming sweetness and a smooth body. The hops are quiet and serene. This dries out slowly with a touch of the roast and bread to linger amidst a subtle and gentle bitter. It is as though those hops are merely breath on the beer.

Excellent and drinks without too much sweetness. A good black lager.

utopiajane, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of dunit697
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This bier was fine, I can recognize it as dark and good, but I feel like there is better out there, I felt this one was lacking something personally. The timbre could have been more unique. I also think a bit more OH- could have made this bier taste better.

dunit697, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Last of my Cost Plus World Market Beers of the World 10-pack. 12 ounce bottle, almost certainly older than the preferred 3 months, but refrigerated the entire time I had it (I can't say the same for the store!).

Pours a deep dark black- no light's getting through this baby. A decent but small off-white head and no apparent carbonation.

aroma is slightly sweet- cocoa powder/cocolate milk. A hint of spice (not sure what).

Flavor is different from aroma- more cola like, not sweet at all (actually more dry) and a definite hop astringency at the end. Quite a surprise. But still pleasant.

Overall a nice easy drinker for an afternoon off.

Dukeofearl, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer while at RFD in Washington, DC

the waiter brought me the beer in a bottle and poured it in a glass

it was very dark, with a thin layer of head
the smell was good
taste was good, felt like something was missing, but went down smoothly

overall, a good beer, worth a taste if you ever get the chance, but didnt blow me out of the water

Pballa4lyfe, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of Sleestak
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this in the past and remember it getting me hooked on schwarzbiers and dunkel lagers. Now's my chance to finally review it. At first glance this beer looks black with ruby highlights around the edges, but held up to the light it shows itself to be a dark ruby. A thin mocha colored head doesn't last long. Smells very sweet with roasted malts. A roasted malt flavor with some honey sweetness as well with just a touch of hop bitterness. There are some coffee/chocolate flavors but they aren't prominent, just hints of them in the background. A medium mouthfeel works perfectly, not too thin not too thick. This is a good sessionable schwarzbier.

Sleestak, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a really dark brown cola color with a nice off white head.

Aromas of smoke, dark sweet sugars, oak, and heavily roasted malts.

Taste is surprisingly light, with a smokey and semi sweet roasted malt flavor. There is a underlying creamy quality, some nuts and bready notes as well. Finish is dry, with a very slightly mineral hop bite.

Mouthfeel is ok, but feels a little thin. Not bad though.

Drinkability is quite good. I have passed this beer by many times at the local beer store, and now I wonder why. A very tasty and very sessionable lager. I'll have to grab this one again sometime.

flexabull, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of jgasparine
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap with a thick 1" rocky tan head, which was well-retained throughout the drink, and gave way to decent lacing. The body was a clear (filtered) super-dark garnet color with backlit ruby hues at the edges of the glass.

S- Caramel and roasted malts dominate the nose with no detectable hop aroma... like a sweet dark mild. An nice nose for a 4.8% ABV brew.

T- As anticipated, chocolate and caramel malt flavors dominate the palate. Tastes very much like a good restorative after a hard days' labor. Some very faint hop bitterness emerges midway, but disappears in the finish.

M- A nice firm body... particularly big for a low alcohol beer like this. Impressive. The carbonation is only moderately soft... a bit spritzy, but unoffensive.

D- A wonderful session beer. Goes down very very smooth. The only thing keeping this from being a perfect '5' in the drinkability department is the slightly bloating nature of the carbonation.

jgasparine, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of shaggy151
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nearly solid black with a creamy tan head that does not last too long. Has a nice malty and roasted smell. Taste is similar to the smell with a slightly bitter after taste. It's a very light and smooth beer. I really enjoy this beer, it is very drinkable.

shaggy151, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of dedrinker
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in color with thin edges of dark brown and a dense - almost rocky light tan head. Very light aroma of chicory and coffee. Flavors of dry, roasted malt - coffee-like, with a hint of smokiness to boot. Medium body and very well balanced - the darker malts have a dry and rounded edge to it that leads to a slightly acidic and roasty finish.

dedrinker, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of JoePat
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark brown/mohogany with a thick tan head.

I get some roasted malts and burnt sugars in the aroma. It has a sweet smell not much bitterness but a little dark chocolate.

I get pretty much the same flavors as I did aromas. the burnt sugars are more forward in the flavor and the chololate is a bit more hidden. A little more bitterness (malt and hops) but it is still pretty light.

The mouthfeel is very thin. I may be expecting more because of its color but the flavors seem to need more body to back them up.

This is a very drinkable beer with it thin mouthfeel and light flavors.

JoePat, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on back label.
Served in an over-sized handled mug.
It pours a burnt cola color with a tannish beige head and lots of webby lacing.
The aroma is of clear and clean toasted malt. A light whiff of distant wildflowers is imagined (or real?)
True to the style, it's a delicate balance of slightly honey sweet toasted malt and mildly resinous and metallic hop. A little alcohol hints in the aftertaste.
This is one mellow fellow! Looks are deceiving!
So very drinkable! Try this with really spicy dishes and/or a variety of cheeses and salamis.

BeerResearcher, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of Hoagie1973
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with just a hint of light fighting its way through to reaveal a dark amber translucence. HUGE foamy cake-like head that has good staying power and leaves a thick ring of sticky lace.
Simple aroma of dark malts and a hint of caramel.
Very earthy (but not dirty) malts, and a hearty bread crust-like characteristic make this beer very interesting and different. Hops are there just enough to maintain a delicate balance that's almost perfect.
Smooth and creamy feel; carbonation is a little low, but I think that's due to a slightly over-aggressive pour. Medium-light body.
This is a highly drinkable Schwarzbier. Sessionable without a doubt.

Hoagie1973, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of RedDiamond
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starts with a malty aroma that leaps from the bottle like a racehorse. Next comes four Belushi-sized fingers of vigorous head that sits resolutely like tanned whipped cream. The aroma continues to provoke the senses with a luscious, mouthwatering perfume. Though I couldn’t make sense of the apparent bottling date on the label, (A-7?) and I purchased this half-liter bottle from a merchant notorious for his dusty wares, it was immediately obvious to me that this bottle did not lack for freshness.

This schwarzbier was easily as dark as any stout. Its flavor had a tough time catching up to its exceptional aroma, but still came through with a graceful sequence of sweet malts modestly checked with a light hop scheme.

RedDiamond, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of Folderol
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dispensed from a 5 L mini-keg. Why buy a mini keg? I just thought it was awesome to have one, and one that dispenses dark beer no less. Pours almost completely black with a huge nitro-like head. Head recedes to a decent quarter-inch beige cap that lasts the whole way down. Taste is pretty simple, a dark bread with a little caramel that's never sweet or cloying. Bitterness is minimal. Carbonation is very fine, probably due to the unique dispenser. Quite tasty, but for the price ($21 for 5 liters) I'd be better off with a case of Saranac Black Forest.

Folderol, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of soulgrowl
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A red-toned, root beer brown, almost opaque. Head is beige-ish and doesn't last.

Smell: Interesting... dark malts dominate with an earthy, almost woody aroma and a red wine/grape jelly fruitiness. There's also a peanutty edge and a hint of chocolate. Yeast is also detectable, as is a slightly metallic tinge. I'm thinking portobella mushrooms would be a good match for this one.

Taste: Vinous and musty, and really remniscent of cola, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Sparkles like club soda; not as heavy as I expected.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, and surprisingly refreshing for a dark beer. A beer for all seasons, this one.

soulgrowl, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of HerculesRM
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a delicious, smooth black lager with a medium tan head. The hops are light and the predominant flavor is that of the toasted malts. As with many deutsche beers, it's a clean, no nonsense example of the type of beer it says it is.

My friend Jana at work saw me looking at brewing stuff on line last year, and it got us talking about some great beers we'd tried recently. She told me about this black lager (Kostritzer Schwartbier) from a German Brewery, Kostritzer, that her husband brings home from Germany when he travels over there, and a few days later she brought me a bottle! I was touched that she would share it with me, even more so after I tried it. It's a delicious, smooth black lager with a medium tan head. The hops are light and the predominant flavor is that of the toasted malts. As with many deutsche beers, it's a clean, no nonsense example of the type of beer it says it is.
Now, I don't speak (or read) German, but I'm pretty sure the label says the brewery (brauerei) was established (seit) in 1543 (1543). That means they've been making beer for almost 4000 years. I don't do math in German either.
A little over a month ago I got a message from Jana saying her husband had come back from Germany, this time with a CASE of Kostritzer for me! Once again blown away by Jana's thoughtfulness, I've had enough to share with friends and family who all agree that this old school brewery knows what they're doing. Their 4 millennia of practice has certainly payed off.

HerculesRM, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Hoppegarten in Rathaus-Steiglitz, Berlin. I also had this on tap at the Kostritzerhaus in Weimar, but the Hoppegarten was a better pour.

Nice, full tan head over, as it should be, nice black beer. Some ruby notes in the glass, but still quite dark. Significant lacing that survived the entire half liter. And the next half liter, and the next... well, I think you get the picture. My friend had a few also.

Nice rich malts - not too chocolaty. A slight roasty smell comes through, and maybe a touch of spice, but not much. A very Germanic brew.

Well crafted taste - clear why it's the choice of many of the more beer-savvy Germans. Rich and malty, but not too strong. Some coffee, roasted barley, and a touch of cocoa. The hops are well masked, but give a nice clean finish to the malt and makes it easy to drink.

Velvety and rich. Not too heavy though, and has a medium body. Easy to drink, and was my usual brew of choice while in Germany. Went very well with several different traditional German dishes including - Eisbein, Kartoffelkloesse, Zanderfilet, and a fantastic pork roast in a sauce made from Kostrizer.

While not the finest brew, it is high quality and a great benchmark for the schwarzbier style. Not quite as good after the trip across the Atlantic, but still good nonetheless.

BillyBoysPie, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of umtox
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours crisp and dark and the lightness of the body is apparent in the head. Smell of charred malts. Taste is fairly simple-a bit of charred malts. It is very light on the palate--both in body and taste. Would be a great with smoked meats I would especially like to wash down a brat with his beer.

umtox, Oct 12, 2008
Photo of fattyre
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear dark reddish brown with a large bubbly tan head. The smell is very sweet roasted malt. The taste is roasty/toasty malt sweetness with almost no hoppiness with a moderate mouthfeel. Overall a very sweet(but not overly so) tasty and slightly smokey black lager that I would drink more of if I could get it more readily.

fattyre, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first time I had a Köstritzer was at a restaurant in Ginowan City, Okinawa back in 1998. I even bought a Köstritzer glass, my first piece of glassware that wasn't a pint glass, to commemorate the occasion. Now, nearly six years later, I decided it was time to reacquainte myself with this schwarzbier.
Poured from a 12oz bottle, it had a color of dark chocolate with some ruby highlights, a lumpy brownish-tan head, and nice streaky lacing. It had a nice roasted malt aroma tinged with coffee and cocoa and hints of caramel and nuts. The taste had a mild chocolatey flavor and some caramel sweetness up front. A more earthy grain flavor came across mid-range before a lightly spicy hops note finished things up. The feel was medium/light, clean and dry.
Drinkability was really pretty good. It's got a nice balance and no one flavor seems badly out of place. Worth giving a try if you see it.

Boilermaker88, Feb 03, 2004
Photo of PirateCraft
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

PirateCraft, Sep 13, 2014
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,437 ratings.