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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

1,503 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,503
Reviews: 759
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 67
Gots: 89 | 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: 1,503 | Reviews: 759 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

MrIncognito, Sep 01, 2010
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.

Sachsenfreude, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of MBPChead
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

poured from a pint sized bottle into a becker style imperial pint glass.

Look: Nearly black in color as the style would suggest with deep amber and orange hues with a frothy creamy coffee colored head. Very lovely appearance.

Aroma: Roasted malt, oak, dark chocolate, molasses, hints of brown sugar and coffee.

Taste: Roasted malt with oak and coffee, presence of dark chocolate but not overpowering, minor hop characteristics but relatively no hop flavor with very slight hints of licorice. Ok flavor overall but nothing to brag about.

Feel: It honestly feels like a light fizzy water with a bit of prickly sensation, not all that enjoyable really.

Drinkability: Not all that great the texture really kills my desire to drink it. It has a nice flavor, but it doesn't work well with the thickness or the level of carbonation and it really makes it almost undrinkable. I can easily say that unless I get the chance to try it on tap or on cask I probably won't having this one again.

To sum up, Looks great, Smells great Tastes ok, but the feel and the taste don't really work so its hard to swallow.

MBPChead, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of largadeer
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt many times. A great example of what a schwarzbier can be; black in color and nearly opaque, with a light malty nose that hints at roasted barley. Clean and crackery on the palate, light-bodied, it could almost be mistaken for a helles lager if sampled blind-folded. There's a hint of roast and a mild acidity from the dark malt, but it finishes clean and crisp with barely a trace of bitterness.

largadeer, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of Riggo
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very opaque, dark, dark brown. Creamy tan head that falls to a thin cap. Head retention and lacing are minimal to medium.

Smell is earthy and rustic. Some almost citrus or herbal notes from the hops along with dusty cocoa powder notes. Roasty, light espresso elements. Some fruit--red grapes, apples.

In the mouth, it's fruity, balanced by light hop bitterness and some coffeeish notes. Perhaps some faint chocolate is there. Hints of lactic as well as an almost Belgian funky/musty quality. Finish is dry and fruity, herbal. Very nicely balanced all around.

Mouthfeel is light but that is appropriate to the style. You get deeper, darker notes without the heaviness of a dubbel or a stout. Carbonation is light. Right on--refreshing while still laid back.

Drinkability is quite high--as is appropriate to the style.

Riggo, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of rand
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to weizen glass

Pours a dark brown, which gives off a reddish hue as light passes through. Forms a nice, foamy head with tight carbonation but lacing is minimal. It smells of smoky, roasted malts and molasses, but the nose is faint. It's a balanced, pleasant smell but you really have to inhale to pick up the profile. It goes down dry, and the bready, slightly sweet roasted malts jump up to the front. This is followed by dark chocolate, some dried fruit like prunes or raisins, and a nice dry finish. Exceptionally balanced.

With the dark, somewhat oily complexion, you would expect something rich and chewy, and this is definitely more full-bodied than most lagers, but it's fairly light on the tongue. And it's exceptionally drinkable - finally the hot summer nights have arrived in San Diego and this is perfect for the occasion. A dry, well balanced and refreshing lager, and obviously one that has been perfected over a long history. I'll be looking for more of these.

rand, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of keithmurray
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance is a jet black colour with tan head

smell - faint, but picking up roasted malts, cocoa

taste - this is pleasant, roasted malt, coffee, smoke

mouthfeel - medium bodied beverage, slightly bitter upfront, with nice aftertaste, decent amount of carbonation

drinkability - you could easily drink 2 or 3 in one setting

keithmurray, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pour is very dark, black. Tan, very creamy, large,y beautiful head dissipates slowly, leaving rich lacings.

S: Dry heavy roasted malt, with some sweetness. Bitterness, coffee, dark dried fruits - not that sweet. Complex.

T: Dry taste. Roasted malt with some sweetness. Strong coffee-vibe. Notes of dark dried fruits. There's also dark bitter chocolate.

M: Full bodied brew with only moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is very long and holds a chocolaty bitterness.

D: This is a very nice beer. Well balanced. Lucky me that picked up a whole case when I visited Germany the other week!!!

Evil_Pidde, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a dark brown and looks like it has crystals in it, which may just be some haze. A fluffy off-white head chunks up a bit before settling to a nice collar.
Aroma is a bit weak. I was expecting more malt, sweets or caramel, but didn't get much of any. Sure, it smelled ok, not bad, but only average.
Malt and caramel are in the taste, but not overpowering. It's a nice balance and the sweetness is clean and doesn't linger long. Malt is easy and sensitive. Had this with some brats and it went very nicely.
Good beer

Mebuzzard, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of Schwarzwald
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I ordered this on tap and was very excited to try it. It cam in the namesake glass and was quite impressive with a large creamy head. I had this with some very dark rye bread and butter. It was very dark and nutty with hints on malt and coffee. Very nice feel and very very drinkable. I would definitely think that more than one would be necessary. WOW, I love it. Very German for such a small ABV.

Schwarzwald, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of cnally
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very black color in the body, but light peeks around the edges. Beige head has no stick to it.

Aroma is a barely detectable mix of smoky peat and burnt malt.

The flavor is a smoky concoction of dark malt, burnt and woodsy, very full of charcoal.

Creamy feel and very balanced.

I wouldn't necessarily think this a good beer, but I have had many worse.

cnally, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poor lightningfast receding head and lacing, but decent looking carbonation... what went wrong? Color = Schwarz

S: not much nose, dark grain/malt smell.

T: Dark roasty chocolate malt flavor. A little bittersweet maybe herbal flavor.

M: Beer has a lighter body than expected. It feels a bit dry in the mouth.

D: Not sure what to think; the beer did not seem to have much flavor. The flavor that it did have was good, but I could not taste much. Maybe I got a bad bottle. So... sorry Köstritzer, low review from me...

EwaldEichstaett, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of 828beagle
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. An immense 2 finger fluffy beige head which melts down to a nice 1/4 inch. Deep dark amber brown. Substantial lacing around the sides of the glass. Nice marble effect like a beautiful abstract work of art. A little bubbly cloud remains at the top of the beer until the last drop, though it does not taste overly carbonated. It is surprisingly light and not as filling as it looks but packs a pretty nice buzz. A slight bitterness of mild licorice with a near perfect mixture of fig sweetness. Very pleasant and refreshing. You could easily and happily drink a sixer of this brew. This is a year-round beer for every occasion and is one of my favorites though it is quite expensive and not for the economic beer connoisseur.

828beagle, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of NODAK
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Somewhat sweet smell on this beer, as well some coffee. Fairly pungeant nose.

This beer certainly doesn't suffer from lack of taste. I'd expect this kind of taste out of a stout over a lager, but I don't believe that to be a bad thing. A sharp upfront hoppiness is usurped by a fairly heavy coffee taste. Unlike some others, I don't get much of anything else other than coffee. While I like coffee as a drink, I would have liked to see a little more complexity in the flavor. Pretty good hoppiness on the finish here.

I would say that while I can appreciate the style, I'd like more drinkability. To me, it's rather harsh and one-sided.

NODAK, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a mug.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger beige medium head that pops and fades down to a foam cap. Very dark brown in color, almost black in the glass, with lots of carbonation evident. Comprehensive film and a ring remain until the end leaving touches of lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Carmel notes, dark rye perhaps, and some grainy notes; pilsner malts maybe. Medium strength.

TASTE: Faint caramel notes, some roasted malts, grainy pilsner malts, and some doughy bread in there too. A bit of smokiness and toffee in there. Aftertaste is long lasting with smoky toffee and grainy sweet malt. Flavourful brew for sure.

PALATE: Medium body and higher carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: An enjoyable brew for sure, and quite flavorful for the lower ABV. Chilled this one slightly for the summer heat, and it went down easy and enjoyable. No mystery why this one is the touchstone for the style. One I would have again for sure.

Jeffo, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of Blitzen15
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Jet black even when held up to a light, a thin caramel colored head graces the rim of the glass.

S - Strong for a lager with hints of dark chocolate

T - Very rich and strong. Dark chocolate is certainly there. The beer tastes like a stout but the bottle says lager. I prefer stouts over all others and this actually fits in.

M - Thick on the tongue but thin when swallowed. This unique feature makes it less overbearing to friends who are not fans of thicker beers

D - An instant favorite as far as lagers go. The perfect drink before bed.

Purchased at: Ladd's & Co.

served on: 6JUL2010

Blitzen15, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of feedsasquatch
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first German beer. I'm glad I tried it. I now know why one of my co-workers downed 12 of them in 2 days...

A - Black. Almost no head.

S - I have a really hard time describing this one. It doesn't smell anything like American stouts. Sweat bread with an unknown (to me) spice. It's a rather weak aroma overall.

T - It's smooth and rich without exploding in your mouth all at once. Roasted malts are present, as well as mild coffee and toffee.

M - Light to medium bodied. Much thinner than it looks, which makes drinking multiple Schwarzbier's much easier. Very little carbonation.

D - This is probably the most drinkable dark beer that I've tried so far. It doesn't just taste good, it goes down easy and leaves you wanting more without filling you up.

I like this a lot. I'm definitely going to expand my horizons and start trying more German beers now.

feedsasquatch, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a two finger cream head that vanishes without a trace of lace (in 9/2006 it left a good lace). Black color no highlights. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Roasted malt nose. Flavor is roasted malt and hints of caramel (no metallic aftertaste this time). $1.95 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

jdhilt, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of samie85
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best Before 7/4/11. Reviewed from notes; originally 6/24/10.

A- Pours a dark black with a 2 finger, glistening brown head.

S- Smells doughy and bready with some roast malt with some spicy oktoberfest like hop notes.

T- Bready and doughy much like the nose with just a hint of roast malt, spicy hop , and dry chocolate finish... a very understated taste.

M- Very carbonated, almost too much, it negatively affects hwo you taste this beer. I would say it's thin bodied.

D- The level of carbonation hurts the drinkability. Overall a bland take on the style. I expected much more from this one.

* Aggressive swirling makes the carbonation recede and brings to the forefront the flavor profile that was hidden by the carb. Not a bad brew once you get by the pesky carbonation.

samie85, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of honestdave
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Germanfest 2010

A: Poured from Germanfest pitcher into my 12oz dixie cup. Pours dark black with creamy rich looking tan head. Very inviting brew. Head stays for quite a while.

S: Roasty malt, sweet smelling, fresh bread. Nice

T: The roasty taste is smooth and rich. Very smooth and balanced Schwarzbier. Decent dry aftertaste for such a dark, sweet smelling beer.

M: Medium bodied, light carbonation.

D: This is the one beer that brings me down to Germanfest each year. Refreshing beer, even on one of the hottest, humid days of the year. Easy to drink many of this delicious German beers.

Summary: Black beer is a treat that I particularly enjoy with my family and friends - ZICKE, ZACKE, ZICKE, ZACKE, HOI, HOI, HOI

honestdave, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of tykees88
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Nearly pitch black with a head that is dark tan to brown and thick foam. Little lacing throughout the drink. It's a very attractive brew.

S- This is the only thing holding it back for me. I can smell the malts and some coffee but that's about it and it does seem weaker than one would expect.

T- I love the taste. It's malty and I get toffee and coffee in here. The flavor doesn't explode in your mouth, but it introduces itself casually. On the finish you get a hop finish that is complemented by a bit of chocolate.

M- Thinner bodied than appearance leads on, but I think that helps the drinkability out. It has some creaminess to it too.

D- I rate it as a 5 simply because it's low abv, it tastes very good, and you don't get full on it after a few. It has all the characteristics you would want in a beer you can sit and drink more than a few of over a night.

Really enjoyed this one and will be seeking it out from now on.

tykees88, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of WJVII
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a wonderful dark brown color with a 2 finger milk chocolate head that settles nicely into a quarter inch head leaving lacing all down the glass. The aroma is quite faint. There is some hints of chocolate, coffee, and some burnt caramel but those come only after let to stand a while. The taste is a little course which was nice to allow the flavors to come out. A nice malty start with some mild coffee and burnt grains and the finish was a decent hop balance that was left in the after taste. This was a solid brew, but for the price there are many micro's from the states that are better.

WJVII, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of srandycarter
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Near black with near white full head, leaves to disk with lots of lace.

S - Earthy, base malty, nice.

T - Very straight forward malt, gravelly mineral finish, end very clean.

M - Light bodied, good carbonation, good balance.

D - Very drinkable. I enjoyed this one.

9/27/13 Just tried it at the local Oktoberfest on tap. Delicious!

srandycarter, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of Richardberg
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - served into a 0.5L Koestritzer glass at Blaue Gans in NYC. Dark opaque brown, even at fringes; tiny head (expert pour), not much fizzing either, but moderate lacing once you begin to consume.

S - caramel malt, brown sugar, hint of spicy cocoa

T - very lightly flavored. What's there is somewhat interesting: slightly sweet malt (nowhere near as sweet as you might expect from the schwartzbier label, or even its own smell), a little grassiness, hint of spice

M - light body, not much carbonation (served rather warm, granted), nicely sticky for something <5%

D - super drinkable, and decent enjoyment to go with it. Low carbonation helps too (at least for me). Not my fave by a long shot but much preferable to the average "session beer"

Richardberg, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of impending
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml into a tulip. Dark brown just shy of black. Puffy three finger foamy head recedes fairly quickly, looks nice. Slightly burnt malt aroma.

Looking at it you'd expect a stout, smelling it you'd expect it to be sweet - it's neither - and it feels thinner than expected as well!

The malt is not too sweet and just a touch of hop bitterness balances the experience, very smooth - this is a good session beer. Most brews this dark are fine at room temp but this doesn't improve with increased temps in fact I think it is best in a relatively narrow (cool cellar) range.

I just re-read the BA description of a Schwarzbier, I think they were drinking this one when they wrote it !


impending, Jun 05, 2010
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,503 ratings.