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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,551 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,551
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 72
Gots: 107 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website
Germany

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: pezoids on 10-17-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,551 | Reviews: 764 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of biegaman
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For those whose German needs a little brushing up, "schwarz" means black and thus "schwarzbier" translates, literally, to 'black beer'. Of course, that's nothing you couldn't have figured out on your own just from looking at the thing! It's body is decidedly black, despite slipping up the occasional highlight, and even its head looks like slate.

The aroma is curiously distinct, offering a particular and enticing bouquet that, although humming a subtle tune of dark fruit, is not noticeably fruity and, although there is an inkling of caramel, could hardly be considered sweet. And while its maltiness is toasty, it lacks even a trace of harsh roast or coffee-like qualities.It smells like the Greek dessert __.

In fact, the smell makes it hard to point the finger at any one particular flavour, or the ingredient responsible for it. The actual taste doesn't make things much easier. While its tremendously grainy, dark maltiness is distinctive and substantial, it doesn't sit at all heavily on the palate and refuses to linger even momentarily in an aftertaste of any kind.

Likewise, while there must be some hops at play considering how virtually all sweetness is restrained, there is no prevalent bitterness and the beer drinks with the clean, complaisant, almost nondescript character of any pale lager. And there is not a drop of roast, astringency or porter-like flavour despite the obvious use of a little dark malt.

Köstritzer, and schwarzbier in general, is a lesson in how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Despite the blackish colour, this beer is every bit as smooth, lightly-flavoured, drying and refreshing as any yellow lager worth drinking. And it's also an obvious testament to the Germans' love and skill for brewing super agreeable, drinkable lagers.

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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug as part of our "German Night" dinner. The beer is opaque black, with a thin, filmy yellow head. The aroma is light, with only hints of barley. The beer has a complex balance of malts and barley, and is very well balanced. A nice, smooth feel in mouth, with a clean, crisp finish. Extremely easy to drink, with minimal aftertaste.

Photo of decimator
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into a pint glass.

A - Poured an opaque dark brown with copper hues and a big foamy 4cm tan coloured head. Head slowly dissipated. Plenty of lacing.

S - Malts, a bit of chocolate and some grass. Good but a bit light overall.

T - Light malty sweetness throughout, light roasted flavour, hint of dark chocolate and a mild bitter hop finish. Not as roasted as I'd expect for the colour but the roasted flavour becomes more apparent in the finish as the beer warms up.

M - Average carbonation. Smooth with a wet finish.

D - This is quite drinkable. Not quite what I expected but pretty good.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: served in it's branded glass. Dark brown to black w/really nice thick tan lasting head and lacing.
S: cocoa and coffee, dark bready lager-ish clean malts.
T: saa. Lightly sweet, just a bit of underlying smooth hop bitterness and a touch of roast bring it into balance, with just a hint of lingering chocolately sweetness.
M: nicely carbonated, smooth yet frothy. Light to med body.
D: lots of flavor for this abv and drinks bigger than the abv would suggest. Solid.

Photo of jeranbrews
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - dark opaque almost black brown with a foamy almost nitro vanilla beige head. Good sandy lacing

S - can smells. Faint roasted malts. Like a bakery but faint like a bakery down the street. Chocolate malts.

T - simple sweet chocolate and lightly roasted specialty malts and faint hops. No aftertaste but slightly sweet

M - not bad but a bit loose and watery. Not a lot of evervescence. Easy to drink.

D - smooth simple to drink. Not overly complex but good enough.

Photo of rodenbach99
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This time from a 500ml can. Bottled in april. Pours a clear dark black beer with a beige lasting head. Hard to beat. Nice light roastiness on the nose. Refreshing taste, more malty than hoppy, light roastiness. Easy drinking beer. A classic in the style.

Photo of thomasdidymus55
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

nice dark coffee color with medium carbonation and good retention. Has an inviting look to it and has a distinct molasses smell. Tastes of caramel linger on the palate. It is not overly bitter as I would have expected for a dark beer. Pretty smooth with a light carbonation. Lighter than I anticipated. Recommended.

Photo of RuudJH
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

0.5 l. of good black beer, bought in Germany.

Dark brown, with a thin beige head, good lacing in the glass.
Smell of roasted malts and nuts, a bit of caramel, also some chocolate
Taste was a little less significant. Pleasant of similar notes, but a bit faint.
Light body and good refreshing qualities.

A nice example of the style.

Photo of boMD
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Portland's Prost!... I'm not a big fan of Prost. I think it's a great looking bar with authentic themes, but the cliental and the way it's all marketed really gets to me. Poured a darkish, near black with a glowing amber hue towards the bottom of the long, plisner-like shaped glass. The head started off thick, with an off-white shade. The head dissipated quickly, but with a few swirls of the glass it was quick to form again. This beer had a lot of roast going here. Notes of cocoa and vanilla mixed with a clean lager yeast character. Also a leafy, hop flavor gave a bit of depth and bitterness to this otherwise worty, clean drinking beer.

It would be interesting to take this same beer and use an English ale yeast rather than the lager yeast.

Photo of pburland23
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle.

Pours a deep, dark brown almost black. Gives off a one finger head that does not provide much lacing.

The smell is of grassy malts but you can also smell the toasted malt as well. Taste is fantastic. Very malty with a little dry hops tasted. The carbonation is pervasive through the mouthfeel. Very enjoyable drink.

This is a wonderful example of the schwarzbier style. I could see myself drinking this again and again. Well done.

Photo of champ103
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. A two finger tan head forms with excellent retention. Plenty of sticky lace.
S: Toasted malt and grains up front and center. Big biscuit and bread crust. Light chocolate and toffee as well.
T: Big toasted grains with some dry bread and biscuit flavors. Light chocolate and toffee. Simple but excellent.
M/D: A medium body that is perfectly crisp, dry, and clean. So easy to drink. I can drink this all day.

Excellent. Fairly simple, but so enjoyable. Overall a wonderful beer that I highly recommend.

Photo of Duhast500
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer at the Chicago Brauhaus

Poured from the tap into a Hofbrau mug.

The color is a dark black with some maroon highlights and a foamy tan head with some slight lacing.

The smell is a bit toffee, and caramel flavor. Some sweetness is there with the little bits of sugar that come out. Some coffee is present in the aroma and leaves abruptly.

The taste is quite nice with a dark malt flavor that hits the tongue first and it full of a toffee and maple flavor with some coffee flavor that gives way to a bitter hop flavor that is gone before you can place what hop it is. A smoky wood flavor is there to greet you at the end but is also a quick flavor that is gone in just a blink of an eye.

The feel of this beer is smooth like silk and just the right feel for a beer that is filled with malt but still has a great finish to it.

Photo of cuttsjp
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very very dark brown-velvety, dark chocolate color with a nice tan head that fades quickly but leaves beautiful sticky lacing

Aroma: figs, chocolate, toffee, and caramel; a clean little spritz of coffee as well...wonderful aroma

Flavor: similar to the aroma, the flavor has some dark fruit sweetness of figs at first taste, which melts away into some really nice toasty roasted grain flavor, with little chocolate and coffee notes, and just enough hop bitterness to balance out the whole thing (and actually emphasize the coffee flavor even more)

Mouthfeel: silky smooth and light bodied, with fine-bubbled carbonation...very NOT like stout

Overall: yet another style of lager that has pleasantly surprised me. This beer is incredibly drinkable without being boring. Much more interesting malt profile than a helles, and yet it's just as smooth, drinkable, and refreshing with its light body. Very, very nice.

Personal: Wow. I was really surprised by this. What an enjoyable, balanced lager. I would love to host a dinner and serve big steaks with fig and red wine reduction, a mug of this by each place setting. This is delicious and flavorful without being overbearing, drinkable and delicate without being a bore. This one is going in the "like" file.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a deep near black brown. Tan head rises two fingers and leaves abundant lacing.

Aroma is very lager-esque. Clean with slight roasted malts.

Taste is pretty clean as well, very roasted malty with hints of chocolate sweetness. A bit leathery. Finishes fairly roasted.

Pretty neutral mouthfeel, a little carb tingle and fairly light bodied.

No problem having another, easy drinker.

Photo of boss302
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Kostritzer Schwarzbier draft

A Dark, brown when held to the light, nice thick head, stayed the whole glass. 4 

S Roasted malt chocolate aroma. Not so much hop aroma. 3 

T Dark malt, chocolaty flavor. There is some phenolic taste. I have had better Kostritzer, so this may be an issue with this draft. 2.5 

M Thin, carbonation is right. 3.5 

D Would be hard to have another. 3 

Photo of musicman575
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was going to order food, but no need after this beer. This .5 liter serving of dinner in a glass oughta sustain me for a while.

It's dark like coffee with a brown frothy head. I was expecting an onslaght of every pungent and caustic flavor, but it surprised me with a rich, toasty maltiness with subtle hops and a pleasant carbonation. 3here is a very masculine smell about this beer. The only manlier smell might be diesel fuel.

This is one of most easy to drink DARK beers I have had.

Photo of dasenebler
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, Germany.

Pours a very dark brown, near black, with chestnut highlights. Frothy head dissipates but laces fairly well.

Aroma is lager-like and clean, with a hint of toasty and roasty malts.

The flavor is nice. Drinks very easy and smooth, but also packs a good amount of tangy roast and chocolatey malt into the flavor package. Improves as it warms. Slightly milky or lactic, and reminiscent of a porter or milk stout. Clean, dry and roasty finish. Rivals the Irish stout in terms of being a sessionable dark beer. The mouthfeel was well-carbonated with fine bubbles, though slightly water.

This is one of the best Schwarzbiere available. However, Köstritzer is much better on-tap. The bottle lacked the creamy mouthfeel and pleasant sweetness, though the drinkability remained intact. A solid brew.

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

Photo of DanThomas
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Loved the big mug and handle.

A- Very dark, like a dark cherry black/red color, no head.

S- Pretty simple, but good. Dark fruits, especially cherry, and a little roast in there as well.

T- Exceptional. The cherry comes through on the end and there is a slightly sour finish that is extremely pleasant. Very light roasted flavor on the front.

M- Carbonation is refreshing, beer feels medium bodied which plays off the lighter flavor very well to give this beer a lot of substance.

D- I think it's the most drinkable beer I've had. It's refreshing, subtle and complex, and just extremely enjoyable to drink. First schwarzbier I've had, will definitely be trying more offerings!

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a best before stamp of 05.01.11. Pours a dark garnet color with a large cap of tan foam. Retention is very nice and leaves some decent lacing.

Smells like freshly crushed barley with a decent dose of chocolate. I get some bread dough in here and maybe even a bit of licorice. Smells good.

Everything seems so well in balance with this beer...the hops, light roast, cocoa and graininess all come together very nicely. It is flavorful and refreshing at the same time. Light on the sweetness and maintains a lager lightness in body. Easy to go through a few of these in a sitting, tasty stuff.

Photo of Yimosan
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle/Dimpled Mug

A - Dark like a Tootsie Roll with a bubbly tan head. Nice lacing.

S - Faint Smell of sweet caramel malt, and a bit of Ovaltine.

T - Definitely Roasted, Malty and delicious. Didn't taste the hops at all.

M - Very clean, front and back! Nice carbonation.

D - I can drink a boatload of this guys; The low ABV makes this tasty treat a Memorial Day BBQ must have!

Salud!

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.

Photo of MrIncognito
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a stemless wine glass as a black lager with some deep red hues where thin and light comes through. 2-finger tan head with tight bubbles retains for 2 or 3 minutes then subsides to great lacing.

S - Dark roasted malts with very light hints of coffee and milk chocolate powder. Upon warming a bit there are hints of dark fruits.

T&M - Mouthfeel is so smooth and creamy. Just lightly carbonated with a thick body creates a mellow feel that's neither dry nor thick. The roasted malts meld well with the coffee flavors and dark fruits to create a light body but nice complex flavors. This kind of reminds me of a very very light doppelbock in flavor.

D - I could drink this all night. The flavors are smooth and complex and the body maintains a light quality without losing flavor or feeling thin.

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance; beautiful black color with an attractive tan head.

smell; slight malty smell with hints of coffee roast.

taste; 2 part, first tasting like a Helles and finishing roasted and malty, somewhat like a stout but not as strong or thick.

mouthfeel; from the bottle nearly the same as any other lager, slightly heavier, much creamier on tap, foam somewhat rich and creamy.

drinkability; really a delicious and distinct beer, not too strong or heavy but kind of advanced flavors. After 2 liter or so, I would switch to a less complex beer as the tongue gets less sensitive. Yes could be a session beer but why get drunken and numb to what this beer has to offer.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,551 ratings.