1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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

1,375 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,375
Reviews: 743
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 63
Gots: 55 | 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)
View: Beers (7) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Köstritzer Schwarzbier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,375 | Reviews: 743 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

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

Can from LCBO. I've had this a ton of times, always forget to review it.

Pours a very dark brown, some ruby in the edges, super thick light brown head forms, drops some decent lacing, great retention, keeps a solid layer the whole glass. Smell is nice, on the sweet side, caramel and toast, some chocolate milk, light roastiness, nuts, grainy, fresh biscuits, touch of dark fruit but very clean, nice roasty character. Taste is solid, very toasty and biscuity at first, nuts, chocolate milk, light raisin, almost an oxidized sort of sherry character, grains, oats, very toasty and dry in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation, very smooth and drinkable. A real nice and easy to drink schwarzbier, cheap too. Hard to beat this value.

Serving type: can

03-18-2009 22:34:39 | More by Viggo
Photo of zymurgy4all

New York

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic Schwarzbier. What a wonderful dark lager. Mine is probably a little old, but overall it is terrific.

Pours a dark brown/nearly black color. Has a roasty aroma with not any hops that are distinguishable. The flavor is roasty, yet very malty and light. The mouthfeel is not thick or thin--just about right in the middle. I could drink quite a few of these. I would perfer to have a fresh one and see how that compares to the one that I have and is a little old.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 23:11:26 | More by zymurgy4all
Photo of sholland119


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Jose Pistolas.

A-Pours a dark brown, not quite black with hints of amber.

S-Mild aroma of dark roasted malt.

T-Moderately sweet malt in the front, followed by a nice roastiness.

M-Medium bodied with average carbonation.

D-Tasty, nicely sessionable.


Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2009 16:36:30 | More by sholland119
Photo of BacklitAvenger


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation - Slender-necked bomber with the German style letterhead. Poured into one of my hand carved german steins woo woo!

Appearance - It pours from the bottle a shade off of black. I'd say a shade towards smoky brown rather than red. When a small quantity is held to the light, mahogeny-shifted ruby becomes visible. Light tan head matches the color of the inside of the ceramic stein.

Smell - Earthy and roasty, the smell doesn't give much away.

Taste - At first you taste the caramel sort of flavor. It's not sweet per se, this being a rather dry brew, but caramel or toffee notes start it off. Then you get the body of earthy, roasted malt. The finish is lovely with bitterness from both the malt and hops coming through, along with a toasty aftertaste. The flavors are strong but restrained, rather than crashing into my senses it sort of insinuates itself into my sense of taste gently. There's the definitive 'lager' taste that comes either from the yeast or the cold conditioning as well.

Mouthfeel - This is crisp, refreshing, quenching, and ultimately very easy drinking. The round, clear flavor and body are very lagerish. It's very different from a stout or even porter both in taste and mouthfeel. Generally just delicious.

Drinkability - I love dark beers, and this is no exception. And while I consider almost every dark ale short of Dark Lord to be sessionable, this is even more so due to its clean finishing lager qualities and more restrained, refined taste. The low alcohol isn't even a taste component, which is good for repeat drinking.

This is delicious. If you like dark ale you must try this to learn how dark malts can be just as well applied in a lager. I stress the high quality of the brew. Very natural and honest and clean tasting. Low alcohol as well. You could down a pitcher and be okay I suspect.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 04:03:06 | More by BacklitAvenger
Photo of HalfFull


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Pours clear but quite dark, black with some ruby highlights. Light tan half inch head settles quickly to a surface cap which throws off a fair amount of lacing.

Lightly malty for the color on the nose, with some chocolate notes interplaying with lager yeast, otherwise rather still.

Richer malts on the tongue, some caramel and chocolate. Light carbonation allows for a good coating of the malts on the tongue. That and the lighter than expected sweetness allows for a good feel for the style. Offers the smooth drinkability of a lager with a good dose of body and character, decent offering.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 03:58:55 | More by HalfFull
Photo of therica


4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing. I totally agree with Jason's (The Bros) review.

Mine had punches on both side edges of the rear label designating A-7 bottling.

A= total black, but if you hold it to strong light you can see some dark mahogany at the edges (assuming it's poured in glass). Mild tan head (1 finger in my 1/2L glass stein), nice lacing down the glass for a while.

S= nice robust traditional hops, roasty whiffs of malts and some nutty hints. No carbonation-burning in the nose. Catch a good whiff after it's poured and before you start to drink, because it's a lot harder to find afterwards.

T= if someone blindfolded you and you drank this, you might not know it was a dark beer except for the slight lingering tastes of dark chocolate, coffee, black molasses and possibly some rye. On the other hand it's definitely a quality and traditional black beer, an old standard for many which followed. Every now and then I'd catch a nice bold bready taste and nose when I took a gulp. Toasted caramel sweetness, or maybe it's buckwheat honey. Hints of black cherry as it sits for a while. Balanced carbonation. I'd go on but the beer just ended, darn. Dark-bread scents lingering up from my stomach afterwards, but no hefty bloated belching.

M= very nice, a light bitters and toasted taste on the tongue with some black molasses and light caramel sweetness or buckwheat honey, whichever-- causing mild salivation.

D= I suspect that anyone who likes good beer, even light ale fans, would enjoy this, whether one bottle or session. We had a 6-pack at a tailgate party where the guys next to us were drinking St Pauli Girl and they really enjoyed the bottles we gave to them in pity.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 07:38:03 | More by therica
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 1/12/2008 (Bottle):

Pours a very deep red-brown colored body, with an average head, off-white, and lasting. Has a musky and malty, straw farmish aroma. A musky, dirty, malty taste. Malty & similar to newcastle. Somewhat watery palate but not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 04:35:20 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of popery


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

A mild, dark beer that sticks a little to the middle of the road for malty German beers in terms of flavor. I have had schwarzbiers so infrequently that the mild flavor was a bit of a surprise. The malt tastes fresh and much less like the stout/porter flavor that I expected from a beer of this color. Speaking of appearance, the beer is a very dark ruby brown with a creamy beige head. The feel is fairly creamy, and I like it, but the beer felt a bit thin. Then again, that could have been my expectation from the appearance. It's certainly easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

03-04-2009 07:21:17 | More by popery
Photo of scottoale


4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tall, skinny brown long-neck with three foiled labels and a bottling/freshness code notched (A,5) on the rear label. It pours a nearly black, brown with a finger of greyish-tan froth.

The smell of this brew is what really liked about it...sweetish malt stands out with some earth and a kind of must, along with some wood notes. Just a light malty sweetness that begs too be drunk.

Lightly roasty malt with mild sweetness and oaky flavors prevail. Almost nutty at times with a good carbonation and just enough hoppiness to balance things to a "T". Clean on the finish.

Light-medium in body with the alcohol seeming non-existant, giving this brew extremely good drinkability. Very enjoyable Schwarz, one of the best I've tasted.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 20:10:42 | More by scottoale
Photo of Rayek


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

A: Deep mahogany with good clarity. Soapy tan head doesn't have very good retention, but does leave behind small wisps of lace.

S: Smells rather dry, if that's possible. Baking chocolate dominates, with grass, black tea and caramel aromas in the background.

T: More baking chocolate, plus a slight charred and smoked wood flavor. Bitterness comes on with a lemon tartness and a bit of fresh tea. Finishes dry and tart, with a mild coffee like acidity.

M: Medium body feels dry and a little straw like. Carbonation starts out high, but settles down nicely.

D: A very nice example of this style. Low ABV makes it eminently drinkable. I'm glad I picked this up.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2009 16:18:02 | More by Rayek
Photo of Halcyondays


3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head. Solid retention, mild lacing.

S: Roasted malt, dark fruit.

T: Light chocolate and roasted malt. Dark fruit clearly evident as well, I found it quite figgy. Too sweet overall for me, but not a bad beer.

M: Smooth, relatively light-bodied, cloying at times.

D: A nice black beer, but there are others I would certainly choose over this one. Good price though, under $2, makes this a beer I plan to repurchase some day.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 18:17:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of cagocubs


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

Poured from a 500ml.

Pours a dark black not quite pitch black though. Some tones of dark brown around certain parts of cup. Nice big receding foamy tan head with lacing. Can smell bread and roasted malt. Smell def. leans towards a lager. Can taste nice bitter hops hidden behind a front of roasted malt and creamy coffee taste. This is very smooth and may look stoutish but it will suprise you. All in all this is a very drinkable beer. It was nice to mix this into my winter beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 23:45:26 | More by cagocubs
Photo of clayrock81


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black body with minimal tan head and some lace patches. Roasted and toasted malts, even just burnt and coffee malts mix with sweet malts for a balanced malt smell with no hops present. Medium-body but very smooth, slight creamy and finishes slightly dry. Sweet malts like cocoa, toffee and bread mix with roasted and coffee malts for a balanced beer that has both sweet and dry spots. It gets smooother as it warms and also finishes a little dryer w/ a more pronounced alcohol burn as time passes also. Didn't really notice much hops at all. A good beer that has everything to make it sessionable, basic but great taste and low ABV so you don't have to worry about getting drunk quick.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2009 18:42:09 | More by clayrock81
Photo of larsee01


4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A--12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Deep burnt chestnut--nearly pitch black. Big creamy tan head.

S--Light but rich scent. Mineral-ish. Lightly sourdough. Ghosts of burnt coffee.

T--Kicks off with a rich, deep coffee taste. Light bitter quickly shifts to a bready, mildly sweet maltiness. Well balanced.

--Medium-bodied. Smooth and finishes nicely dry.

D--Darker and richer, but what can I say? Drinks like a lager! Went down really nice and easy.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 05:44:49 | More by larsee01
Photo of tlinner

New York

4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this IS a black beer. Like, imperial stout black. Wonderful head, though not long-lasting. Smells like a lager, that's for sure. Roasted coffee and malt are dominant. The taste is light enough to warrant a good drinkability rating, but it's also very satisfying. Some chocolate and coffee, licorice, and a hint of Belgian-style "spiciness". Leaves some fairly impressive lacing. Nice bitterness on the aftertaste. A wonderful offering that I wouldn't mind having again.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 20:15:51 | More by tlinner
Photo of PirateUlf73


4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a cylindrical glass.

A: Deep ruby-black and clear. Good tan head with excellent retention and lacing.

S: Lots of rich, roasted barley with a hint of coffee and a smattering of dark chocolate. Hop aroma is minor.

T: Nice roasty backdrop, yet surprisingly well-balanced. Not too rich like a stout, but the malt and hop characteristics meld quite nicely.

M: Medium-light in body with lively carbonation. Finishes very smooth and clean.

D: For a dark beer, this practically sets the gold standard for drinkability, in terms of balance and ease of quaffing.

Solid all around. A very drinkable and sessionable dark beer. I was expecting something rich, but was pleasantly surprised by the balance of its components. I could easily down several of these in an evening and be quite content.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2009 08:01:45 | More by PirateUlf73
Photo of Madigan


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

This is a true German classic. I've tried the bottled version a few times but had my first draught experience recently in Berlin (in a Vietnamese restaurant of all places!) and was very impressed. It's pitch black, much darker than a dunkel, and even though it wasn't nitro-tapped it had a remarkably thick and creamy head. It left serious lacing and the taste is just great - a nice roasted chocolate-malt sweetness but not at all syrupy. It reminded me a little of Murphy's Irish Stout (in a good way) and it went down extremely well - I could have drank this stuff all night!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2009 22:39:54 | More by Madigan
Photo of biggmike


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on-tap at Lager's in New Orleans. This beer poured a very dark color that was just a tad lighter than pitch black with a nice off-white head that lasted a little while. The smell is not strong at all, but roasted malt and a bit of coffee come through. The taste is roasted malt with hints of choclate and coffee. The mouthfeel has a creamy character to it, but it is not heavy by any means and makes a great session beer. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 02:25:07 | More by biggmike
Photo of atomicbolt

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thought this one looked neat at the store so I gave it a shot, and I'm glad that I did. 500mL tall-boy can.

Deep black colour with a creamy tan head. The smell isn't all that strong, but it's got a real roasty, malty scent, like a brewing kettle.

Tastes chocolatey, with a really creamy, smooth, coffee taste lingering. That dissolves into a hoppy bitterness, leaving a clean, well-balanced taste. Not as thick as I was expecting, which leaves for a very nice, drinkable beer. Fits nicely with the style description for a schwarzbier. Very easy to slam one of these back in the winter time.

Serving type: can

01-27-2009 21:22:52 | More by atomicbolt
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a. 12 oz bottle into a mug. Dark blackish brown brew pours with a small off white head.

s. Smell is of roasted malt and peat, some cracker like yeast.

t. Taste is quite solid and follows the nose. Roasted malted barley plays a dominant role, with some smoke and bready notes on the back end and just a slight bitterness.

m. Medium bodied and semi-smooth.

D. Dangerously drinkable, and a really fine beverage indeed. Reccommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 19:03:43 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of almychristopher

New York

3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a dark brown with red highlights and a rocky tan head that fades but never completely disapates. the aroma brings a lot of sweet malt character with a bit of the roasty stuff in the back. the taste isn't overpowering, a bit of sweet malt flavor and not a lot else. the light carbonation and medium body make it pretty drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2009 06:04:19 | More by almychristopher
Photo of Wisconsin


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Winzer Stube in Hudson, WI.

A - This beer pours a dark black body with a tan brown head that is about two fingers thick and nearly pouring over the edge of the glass. The dark black body omits no light whatsoever. Minutes after pouring the head is still present.

S - Malts are present but not as strong as I expected. Chocolate, cream and a nice sweetness are also present but nothing more beyond that. Overall the smell is pretty toned down but there are a few things here that get your mouth watering.

T - Slightly roasted malts along with a nice chocolate cream aspect that keeps things interesting. Good flavors but this beer is too subtle for me to get an extremely great score. For the style, though, it seems to fit.

M - Light bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation. Plenty of roasted malts up front before a nice serving of carbonation cleanses the palate. A chocolate cream aspect provides for a silky aspect that finishes smoothly but with a little excess carbonation.

D - This is a great beer that can be a change of pace from the heavier beers during the winter months. To me, this seems like a toned down Dunkel, which I tend to like more, but this is still worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2009 03:10:20 | More by Wisconsin
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black into a dimpled mug. Small, one finger beige head that reduced to a thin film on the beer. Not much lacing.

Aroma is quite malty more than anything else. Hints of coffee and bitter chocolate come through.

Similar to the aroma the taste is driven by the malt profile. Some sweet chocolate and coffee are there with hops in the background. The finish is slightly bitter. Good balance to this brew.

Medium bodied and a pretty soft carbonaton.

Quite drinkable, great for the cold wintertime

Serving type: can

01-14-2009 04:42:36 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of RodBurg


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear black with dark ruby highlights when held up to the light. Forms a thick tan head that leaves spotty lacing.

Smells of coffee, toasted cereal and caramel with a slight metallic tinge.

Taste is outstanding at first: toffee, rich roasted grain and coffee. Light body and moderate to low carbonation make it extremely drinkable. After about half the pint glass the flavor dimishes into a bland coffee taste. My palate is probably just whacked out today.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 02:18:15 | More by RodBurg
Photo of BeerSox


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

On-tap into pint glass. From brief notes.

Deep black with a one finger tan head. Very light burnt and roasty malt aromas and flavors. Very smooth and medium bodied. A little bit of light coffee is in there. Not much hop flavor.

This is maybe a beer that's light on the flavor, but it's extremely sessionable and highly drinkable. I really enjoyed it at the bar. I would have had two if I had a little more time. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2009 04:08:05 | More by BeerSox
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,375 ratings.