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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,275 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1275
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%


Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website
Germany

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)
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Ratings: 1,275 | Reviews: 733 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An honour to review first. I do not buy beers in cans, but it was graciously given to me to review by Michael Meinardus, the brewery's North American rep. Firstly, it was very fresh - it had a pleasant surprising on-tap taste. Second, I fortunately drank it out of a suitable beer mug displaying its pretty dark brown colour. It's very creamy initial pour settled in a moment. Very pleasant with understated roasted malt and hint of coffee. Stands by itself and certainly works with food. Had it on tap in May 2005, didn't stand up as good, maybe the way they had it on at Ludwig's.

Serving type: can

01-23-2004 00:57:20 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

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

Best before 7/21/12.

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt and some dark fruits (especially grapes). Taste is of dark malt, grape-like fruits, and some mild roast flavors. A fleeting shot of bitterness after each sip. This beer has a medium body with a lower level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good schwarzbier that is easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 06:28:01 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Unclouded near-mahogany brown with quite a bit of red when backlit. The head is light 'toast brown' and appears to be fairly sticky. It falls unevenly over several minutes time and leaves disappointingly little lace. The nose is of lightly roasted black malt with some earthiness, some nuttiness and the unmistakable, but faint aroma of chocolate.

I've never had a schwarzbier before, but this one reminds me of a weak porter. It's malt-dominant with flavors similar to what I described for the nose, although the chocolatiness seems to have vanished. The finish isn't all that different from what came before; the flavor simply fades away, leaving the mouth clean. The mouthfeel is lager appropriate so I can't be too critical. I prefer a bigger body, but I recognize that that wouldn't fit the style.

Interesting that Kostritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei has named themselves after a specific style even though they brew others. Despite my love for bigger beer, I found this one to be enjoyable and a nice change of pace.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2004 23:37:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another goodies that my mother brought back from Germany for me. I was thrilled to get to try this one as it really is one of my favorite styles. I opened this one yesterday afternoon before I got the grill going to sip on while I cleaned. Poured into a tall pilsner glass right out of the fridge. The pour was beautiful Rich dark chocolate color, with only a touch of light peaking through on the sides and bottom. A huge, towering, three inch layer of off white froth came up over the top and dropped layer upon layer of thick side glass lace. Kept at least an inch worth of froth on top throughout the entire session.

The aroma was rich and smoky. Loaded down with peat and earthy malts, it was simple and yet defined with a great balance to it and just enough of a hop nose to push its way up front. The flavor followed suit as well. Great balance here as it started out with some nice notes of caramel and smoky peat, and this quickly transformed into an earthen malt show. Nice grains and bready flavor, with a crisp, quick, and very clean cutoff, which had just the right amount of hop bite to it. Great finish left a long lingering hop driven profile that gradually turned over to your classic German lager finish. Really nice medium bodied ale, the carbonation profile on this one was brilliant. Virtually no alcohol made this a beer that could be sessioned even in the hottest of weather. It is a rare day when I can stomach a smoked lager on a 100 degree day, and that is a testament to just how good this one was.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. Easily one of the best I have ever had in the style and something that I would never turn away. A classic representation, I would have to say that anyone who is a fan should try this and it dare I say might even be a nice gateway to someone who is not well initiated. Top notch beer here.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 10:06:00 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a bit of an amber note to it as well as a tan head.

S: Much fruitier than I was anticipating. Lots of cherries, plums, and raisins. Certainly a lot of roasted malt with a bit of a coffee note to it. There's some nice toffee and caramel character underneath it all.

T: Sweet dark fruits really give this beer a nice balance. Cherries and plums are prominent and work nicely with the bitterness and roasted malts. There's a decent enough sweetness from the malt, but not super pronounced.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Quite a nice black beer that is not overdone on the roasted malt and bitterness which often gives and astringency and acidity that is unpleasant.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 00:30:53 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a chocolate brown color and a nice tan head that drops precipitously to a ringlet but leaves good lacing

Smell: Brown bread aroma with a grainy aspect

Taste: Starts with a brown bread flavor that is joined by the grainy elements, mid-palate; after the swallow, a modest bitter flavor offsests the bready malts

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink with a nicely balanced flavor profile

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2007 03:16:27 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Can - Pourred a black brew with a nice foamy head with good retention. Sweet beginning with roastiness and dry finish. I found some similarities with some english stout. Overall, a very decent brew from a style that is more or less known in North America. Will be looking for other product from this brewery

Serving type: can

12-15-2003 15:23:19 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly as roasty as Irish dry stouts, but with the smooth drinkability of German lager, this classy authentic black bier plays those aesthetic games with the eye as it promises boldness, yet delivers subtlety.

The lager looks you in the eye with a very Guinness-like pour, minus the absurd nitro-infused foam character. The very dark brown, onyx-like sheen denotes clarity and masculinity. Capped by a creamy thin, lightly tanned head, the beer lines the glass with interconnected lace.

Light roasty aromas of coffee grounds, bitter chocolate, plumbs, and raisins with shy demonstrative scents of strength and finesse. Background notes of burnt caramel and campfire stops just shy of smoke or ash.

More fruity than roasty to taste as the esters and oxidized grains allow for flavors of red grapes, sherry, soy, and dried plumbs, raisins, cola nut, and dates to garner command. Still the bittersweet chocolate taste and caramel char bridges the gap toward coffee-like bitterness and mild roast. Semi-sweet to taste, any hop character is reserved for the bitter balance that disguises itself as coffee and wood bitterness.

Light bodied, especially when the eye prepares the palate for richness and robust texture. Instead the carbonated creaminess caresses the mouth with malty roundness before suddenly finishing with a roast dryness, fleeting malt textures, and light woody alcohols.

Backing off of the more popular Irish dry stouts, if less roast character is more of your target yet a darker beer is in order, this highly drinkable but flavorful ale may fit the bill. Better still, it's light enough in alcohol and body to allow the conversation to go one more round.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 21:51:46 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a pilsner glass.

Pours near black and is completely opaque. Initial single-finger head sits around for quite a bit before falling, leaving behind a bit of spotty lacing. The nose is a bit plain with some roasted malt and really mild coffee character. The taste hits the same notes. There is a moderate roast presence, but there's nothing to back it up. The big problem is that the feel is too thin and undercarbonated; there's nothing really pulling the flavors through. Drinkability is pretty decent, but not something I'd seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 02:58:36 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and has a thin layer of off white bubbles covering the surface..
S: There are light to moderate aromas of dark malts in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and also has flavors of dark malts along with some hints of chocolate.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and is quite sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2011 03:40:24 | More by metter98
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear, very dark brown colour, with red tints throughout, and one finger of soapy beige head, which renders thin bands of lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells of mildly sweet fruity malt, and very faint earthy hops. The taste is light roasted malt, some mild indeterminate fruitiness, and more pronounced earthy hops. The carbonation on the low side, the body medium weight, smooth, and tad creamy, and it finishes with a soft, sweet roasted maltiness.

A good lighter bodied dark beer, which retains the roundness of flavour the appearance suggests.

Serving type: can

02-19-2010 20:07:39 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

12 oz. bottle, the one that features Goethe reclining with a glass of this same beer in his legendary, literary hands.
Appearance: nearly black in color, though transparent in spots, and reddish brown at bottom, with a fat, fuzzy, creamy tan head.
Aroma: soft, sweet, cocoa-y, hints of gentle spices, nutty, earthy, with further notes of espresso & chocolate.
Taste: thick malt dominates the profile here, with a soft texture, after some initial play on the palate. Very creamy, nice taste.
But alas, the good bits don't last terribly long. It thins out, becomes tinny, metallic, feels altogether too light.
A very nice schwarzbier, very smooth mellow, but I've had better. Or more to the point, "bigger." Good for what it is, though.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 10:11:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Acquired from brewerburgundy courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2011, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, lager yeast, dark fruit, some coffee and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character. Then some mildly sweet flavors of dark fruit, coffee and honey come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 04:29:44 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Sampled in a goblet type glass. Forgot to buy a replacement to the Kostrizer glass I broke over in Germany, sigh...

Pours an effervescent mahogany to black with a 1" tan head. Head drops slowly to nichts. No head retention, but a little lacing

Smell: Licorice & oaky notes

Taste: Toasted/charred malt, licorice, & molasess tones. Some slight woody sour notes. Finishes slighty bitter

MF: Slight syruppiness with good carbonation

Very quaffable with a lot of complexity. Not the best black bier I've had, but THE baseline IMHO for the style. Drink & enjoy (where's the schweinhaxen to go with???)

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2006 05:29:53 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent along with a light crystal malt sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a very dry roasted malt taste. It goes down easy and finishes weak and watery with some light malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good drinker, but I prefer a sweeter version with a little more body.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 23:08:52 | More by WesWes
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this beer in both the bottle and on draft, this review will be from my notes and most recent encounter, in a bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass (instead of a Kostriker mug?!?! -- Horrible). This is also one of my favorite session beers and for sure my favorite Schwarzbier I've had so far.

Beer is brown and cloudy. Carbonation low to moderate and the head is brown and diffuse.

Beer does not have much of a smell to it. Maybe a mild roast, some malt, not much at all.

Beer is super smooth, beautiful full bodied beer. I don't taste much roast at all, mild malt character no hops or bitterness to speak of. A perfectly balanced, simple tasting good beer. For some reason the first time I ordered it I expected some smoke but was pleasantly surprised by the lack of it. Mouthfeel great, drinkability as high as it gets.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 20:42:44 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has some chocolate and roasted malt notes, as well as some grain. The flavor is nice, with some lightly roasted malts and cocoa notes. There is also some sweetness from the malt, as well as some grass and earth notes from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 03:28:52 | More by Mora2000
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with hints of mahogany. It had a foamy, bubbly, three-finger, light brown colored head. It leaves small traces of soapy lace.

S - It smelled of malt and light hops.

T - It had a mild hop bitterness with a smooth roasted malt flavor adding a little sweet kick.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a great beer. One of the best of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2008 23:21:11 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Tap at Doner pub in Leesburg, VA.

Big creamy head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, super dark black hint of light.

Nose dark creamy malts, hint of dark malt, nice crisp lager, hint of coffee like dark,

Taste starts with toasty malts, brown light biscuit and caramel, some creaminess and slightest touch of a cocoa, then the fruity lager, crisp and a little soft, mild gassy bitterness. Finish is dry and crisp, more of the grassy bitterness, slight sticky sweet caramel malt.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, nice carb, little creamy.

Overall fairly nice, very drinkable tasty schwarzbier but missing something.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2013 03:17:00 | More by jlindros
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a deep brown color with a nice looking thick tan head on top. The lacing was decent and the retention wasn't bad either. The smell of the beer had some earthy roasted aromas with some lager yeast aromas in there too. The taste of the beer had some light chocolate notes along with a traditional lager flavor in the finish. The mouthfeel isn't too heavy or anything, the carbonation is pretty good, it's very drinkable. Overall this beer was prettygood, I would probably drink it again if the mood struck me.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 02:59:08 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had several schwarzbiers and, so far, this is my favorite. It is a very good example of this type.
It has a very black, creamy off-white head that is fairly well-retained.
The smell is of sweet, honey molassass blended with fruity hops in the background.
The taste is flavorful sweet malty flavors of toffee and caramel with hints of bitter hops in the background. It is well-balanced and simply delicious. It's flavor is quite complex, and a very good example of this type.
The mouthfeel was a bit too sweet, but clean. It was refreshing (though I don't know about the summer, but for any other time of the year, as it should be for this style).
The moderate abv and delicious taste makes this a very drinkable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2006 17:33:21 | More by jwc215
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In June 1993 I was a guest of Bitburger brewery and asked to taste a 'new' beer they were test brewing with friends from Bad Köstritz ( I was told). My report mentioned burnt caramel, mushrooms, no aroma and very little depth of taste: it hasn't changed much in the intervening years!

This review is from a half-litre bottle (best before 27 Mar 2013) poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard on 2 Nov 2012.

Black body, creamy head: looks good to be fair.

The nose is a weak blend of slightly burnt maltiness and smoked mushrooms from an open fire (at least the sickly caramel flavour has gone).

The taste was also malty but not really flavoursome or rich: must remember it's a lager based brew though.

This beer just doesn't do it for me: there are a lot of better Schwarzbiers out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 14:14:00 | More by BlackHaddock
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RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with a brownish head. Earthy flavor, but a bit thin in a way. Even though it's dark, it's not carrying a huge amount of flavor. A noticed bready sweetness is there. The carbonation is full and slightly biting. Carries a good liquid feel. A nice drinker. Not overly complex, but bringing some nice flavors on the profile and not too bad. Worth the shot.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2008 01:26:55 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dollar off at D's plus it's an old favorite of the style. Appearance: Dark coc-cola like caramel dark brown amber with a full tan head that quickly dwindles in my pint leaves nice rings of lacing. Aroma: Herbal grassy hop note with mild dark chocolate and hints of coffee not bad at all. Taste: Great mix of darker malts and herbal toned noble hops clean finish after the cold conditioning with hints of chocolate and coffee very quaffable. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied great stuff smooth as all hell. Drinkability: Definitely gets a thumbs up great appetising brew that is a staple for the style, mass produced yes good hell yes.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2004 05:48:43 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

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

This is a style I don't get enough of. The beer arrived looking as black as can be with a barely noticeble caramel colored head. To me this is a very drinkable lager, with nice roasted malts that are not overpowering. The aroma was mellow, sporting some roasted malt with some sweetness. The malt gently lingered and disappeared rather quickly. Overall a pleasantly good beer that satisfies the need for a flavorful beer that doesn't fill you up.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2003 19:56:50 | More by Gavage
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Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,275 ratings.