Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

794 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 794
Hads: 1,719
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 101
Gots: 184 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website

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.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Köstritzer Schwarzbier Alström Bros
Reviews: 794 | Hads: 1,719
Photo of liamt07
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, first time they've offered in in these 500ml bottles as opposed to the cans. Poured into a tulip.

Appeared essentially black in the glass, with a healthy light tan/eggshell head that looks quite creamy. Mild retention and moderate lace. Plesant nose of roasted grain, chocolate, caramel (like straight off a caramel apple, distinctly) and molasses. Taste has more of the grain upfront, some noble hops bitterness and mild chocolate in the finish. Good creamy mouthfeel, and lingers for a bit too. Decent drinkability, good beer overall.

 559 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black colored brew with a tan head.

Smell is grain and a little fruity with a faint smoky scent. Scent of crackers in the malt and raisins in the fruit.

Taste is on the dry side with lots of grain flavor and a touch of chocolate and coffee flavor from the dark roasted malt. Mild herbal hop flavor. Slight trace of acid flavor from the dark malts.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Quite good drinkability here. This is a good session beer, tasty, not too heavy low in alcohol. Not a world class brew, but absolutely a good beer.

 532 characters

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.

 1,787 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark black, nice carbonation, small head. little lacing afterwards. Scents of toasted caramel, and malts. Nice sweet taste, medium body. This is a very drinkable brew at this ABV, would recommend. I like the Samuel Adams version alot better, there's just more going on with the SA.

 294 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up a few days ago at the Coop for about $1.50.. poured into my smaller weizen glass.

2" lite tan head drops leaving a little lacing.. Deeep brown beer that reveals crystal clear dark ruby highlites when held to a light.

Aroma is like a Dunkel on steroids... very clean toasted malts and hints of caramel, coffee, and dark dried fruits.

Flavor is all about balance .. middle of the road maltiness with an abundant toasted element .. some lite chocolate roastiness .. lite spicy hop flavor helps balance everything very well.

Very drinkable for sure.. lite medium body... I've had this beer numerous times over the year, but this is the first time I've taken the time to write notes.. maybe not the best schwarzbier in the world, but a pretty high benchmark for the style.

 786 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a smooth black color with good carbonaton and a dirty white head. Nose is grains, caramel, and roasted malts. Black and opaque with lots of malt and roasted qualities. Very drinkable and full of vibrant malt, low ABV keeps it very drinkable and can't belive the alcohol is low for such full flavor. .

 307 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A kind gift from my flatmate's father who brought this bottle along with three other beers all the way from hometown Stuttgart. 500ml brown bottle, BB 06/07, served chilled in a pint-sized weizen glass.

A: very dark brown colour with mahogany shades; coming with a very tight and creamy layer of tan froth that sustains very well and leaves even sheets of lacing behind; gentle fizziness for a lager.
S: very refreshing doughy yeasts and lager malts upfront, balanced by an understated but enticing touch of burned sugar on top of faint touches of dark chocolates and roast-nuts... Overall the nose is surprisingly clean and straight forward, but a nose this neat hard to obtain, I presume?
T: a mouthful of richer roasted-nuttiness and muter bitter chocolates hand in hand with a crisp and acidic pale lager flavour... soon followed by light, powdery-textured hop-bitterness, leaving a lingering aroma and bitter flavour of black sugar, caramel, and some burned nutty aroma and bitter-sweet aftertaste. The finish also shows some dryish hops and a healthy dose of acid, balancing with the chewy roastiness quite well.
M&D: this is a softly-fizzy and medium-bodied black lager that in my opinion tastes slightly more simplistic than ideal. But the cleanliness on the nose and palate, and the neat structure make this a very quaffable alternative to Munich Dunkel, a lot of which more often than not show too much sweet and thin aftertaste (for me). All in all, I'm happy that finally I get to taste this much-talked-about beer, and it doesn't disappoint at all~~

 1,568 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a tall glass at Brauhaus Schmitz, Phil

A - Almost black with a smaller beige head.

S - This beer smell ssweet and roasted. Scents of coffea and sugar come through.

T - The taste is sweet as well. Roasted coffee, chocolate, sweet earthy malt, and honey are detected. Reminds me of having honey on a toasted piece of dark bread.

M - This beer is super smooth. Lightly carbonated and light-medium bodied, it is very easy to drink this one. I can see myself getting a six pack of this beer.

Notes - I love schwarzbier and this is one of my favorites. It has a great pairing of flavors and is very smooth and drinkable.

 632 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

 332 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an Imperial Pokal)

A- This beer has an opaque dense black body with a sandy tan head of cream that sticks to the glass with each sip. There are a few random tiny bubbles seen gliding to the surface.

S- The dry fresh roasted grain note has a dry caramel note and a dry chocolate grain note it.

T- The smooth clean roasted malt flavor has some dry pale malt flavors with just a bit of sweetness. There is a soft earthy note to the roasted bitterness finish that also has a light cream and tang qualities to it.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with crisp fizz finish the blends the slight sweetness of the malt.

D- This beer has a nice roasted malt flavor which has a good depth but still remains smoothly lagered.

 732 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 6/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red-orange brown amber, one finger light tan head and slight lacing. Dark malts and light suggestion of toasted malts and dark fruit aroma. Flavor is malty, dark, sweet and faint toasted malts. Finish somewhat dry and malty. Pleasant and light to moderate flavored. Quite good for such a low ABV. Worth a revisit.

 386 characters

Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of pale malt, slight grain, slight sweet malt, and hint of yeast. Fits the style of Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is a slight bitterness level. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, grain, and hint of dry hops.

 360 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz botte into a pint glass.

Appearance: black with hints of red when held up to the light. Three-finger tan head which leaves a nice lace as it dissipates.

Smell: nose is a bit grainy with some aromas of roasted grains as well. There is also the faintest smell of wild berries; subtle, but it really adds something to the overall effect.

Taste: quite nice, actually. Malt is slightly sweet with some caramel, those faint berries and some roasty quality. The roast has a subtle bitterness but isn't the traditional coffee or chocolate flavor. I find the flavor to be very soothing.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a rather silky texture. Carbonation is extremely low; a touch more would have been nice. The near-flat effect isn't necessarily bad for this beer, but it was a little off-putting for me.

Drinkability: this beer is pretty tasty and, while I will not be drinking a six pack of it anytime soon, is indeed pretty drinkable.

 947 characters

Photo of corby112
2.52/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with touches of amber at the edges and a thin foamy beige head. Bland aroma and flavor. Malty with a slightly hopped dry finish. Nothing to exciting. I find that a lot of these German styles are watered down and bland.

 266 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A black beer, obviously, with an off-white head that’s fairly small and dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing remains. The aroma is mostly gentle roastiness with traces of coffee notes and a general dark bready maltiness.

Flavor is good but mild; again the roast and coffee notes are present but are much more subdued than what you might experience in an American take on this style. Mildly sweet, faint caramel, but overall just a basic dark malt flavor.

Medium to thin bodied with lower carbonation on tap than what I’d expect from the bottled version. Somewhat dry finish, extremely easy drinking. Not super exciting but a quality, classic German lager nonetheless.

 673 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.5/5  rDev +16%
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!!!

 594 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark cherry red color, wiht a slight fizzy tan head.

S: Liqour, and licorice on nose along with some rum raisin, dried cherries, and dark caramel.

T: Very smooth flavor, dark maltiness but light on tongue with some earthy dry bittering hop presence. Theres some chocolate notes as well that really stand out. Good per style.

M: oily texture on tongue, dry bitterness with a light mouthful and dry finish.

D: decent drinkability. overall average going down.

 477 characters

Photo of tone77
3.11/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is also rather mild, roasted malts, just a touch of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not a bad beer, I felt it was a little lacking for this style.

 287 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured the expected translucent black with over an inch of tan head that had good retention but minimal lacing.

The aroma was mostly grain with some slight roasted notes. the roasted notes were more upfront on the tongue, with the grain fading to the back.

The body was good, but perhaps a bit thin for the style (which is fairly light to begin with). Drinkability was very good, having a couple of these in row would be easy. Overall, a nice little beer, worth a shot if you see it.

 509 characters

Photo of Derek
3.27/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date 11/05 on the bottom of the can.

A: Black. Pours with a huge, off-white, almost tan head. There's only a little retention, but it leaves a little lace.

S: Slightly sour, acidic smell? Mocha, molases, dark bread, hint of floral hops. Metallic (I'm not sure if this is from the hops or the can?).

T: A little closer to a dry stout than some schwarzbiers. Malty (lots of mocha, a little bread), molases, and a pleasant peppery hop flavour.

M: Moderate body is quite dry & a little chalky. Moderate carbonation.

D: I find it a little dry & chalky, kind of like German's answer to the industrialized, dry stout. Certainly drinkable, but it doesn't do it for me.

Readily available, but I don't consider it the 'gold standard'.

 742 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a very dark brown, almost black. A medium-sized head is creamy and light brown. Aroma is of rich dark breads with an edge of cocoa sweetness. Taste is a rich, dark bready malt with plenty of mildly roasted malt flavor. Sweetness is moderate and suits this beer perfectly. All in all, this is a very tasty schwarzbier that I highly recommend.

 350 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black, nearly opaque, very clear, with deep ruby highlights. Thin tan, slightly rocky head, with moderate retention. Light roast malt aroma with a light lager yeast character. Subdued malty sweet smell.

Roasted malt flavour kicks things off. A little sweetness as well, which disappears part way through. Bitterness is moderate and comes through more towards the finish. Very light nobel hop flavour that gets lost halfway through. The finish is on the dry side, but not astringent. Very clean taste, no fruitiness. Medium body and medium/light carbonation. Not a bad session. Nothing extraordinary, but a solid beer.

500 mL can, best before date stamped on bottom of can.

 694 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 330 ml. embossed bottle dated 11-14-2013. Sampled on July 12, 2013.

It pours nearly black but it is really a deep mahogany brown when held to the light with a long-lasting, soft tan head.

The nose is mostly sweet with characteristics of roasted malts, molasses, yeast, and a hint of vanilla even.

The body falls into the medium range although the accompanying creamy texture is a nice touch.
The taste is much like the aroma with a forward malty sweetness but a low bitterness that just tickles the palate at the end and fades. Nice beer.

 552 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color; ruby highlights. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated to a skim on the edge. Laced in thin, broken rings.

S: Hay and grass. Some chocolate.

T: Sweet toasted malts; most prominently, dark chocolate. Overall, fairly muted malt character.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and slightly sweet through a bitter finish.

D: Drinkable; smooth and light.

 386 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

 757 characters

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
87 out of 100 based on 794 ratings.