1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,505 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,505
Reviews: 759
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 67
Gots: 89 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Köstritzer Schwarzbier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,505 | Reviews: 759 | Display Reviews Only:
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 !

cheers
jd

impending, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- some nice slowly cascading bubbles trickle down from the very attractive tan head. body is a deep dark clear maroonish-brown with bright shiny orange highlights at the bottom of the glass. foam retention and lace are both fantastic as the head almost refuses to settle and the lace is sticky and chunky. i guess that poet dude coulda dropped a few lines about this look.

S- clean with floral and grassy hops and a bit of caramel malty sweetness. subtle cocoa aromas come out as the beer warms a few degrees. also a bit woodsy and metallic.

T- not a huge flavor machine, but not meant to be either. complex and subtle flavors abound, starting off as a balance between vinous hop flavor and chocolate milk. nicely toasty, slightly roasty, cocoa, and some very faint coffee. let's say mocha. hints of wood and tobacco are present, as are old dried out dates and figs whose sweetness has been replaced by a leqafy tea like hop bitterness. finishes somewhat nutty like a walnut chocolate skins n' all.

MF- so light for such a dark beer but that's not to say the brew has no substance. it's soft and rolly and suitably carbonated but it's not heavy. it feels so me (aside from the powdery roasted grain feel) to be about as hefty as a helles or a lighter end oktoberfest. bubbles are tight and carressing, not too aggressive, and compliment to roastiness perfectly. leaves some tannin dryness on the cheeks.

D- easily a session beer. low abv, great flavor, and a not-so-heavy body are the reasons why i could put away a sixer no problemo. so glad this one fell into my lap.

hustlesworth, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of cdkrenz
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown body with a thick rich humucky top.

S - Subtle coffee and cocolate aromas witha slight accent of anise.

T - The flavor is mainly of black licorise but there are coffee and chocolate present. The long roasted grains are tasty and well balanced.

M - The feel is slightly coarse on the sidesyet smooth and soft in the middle.

~ For a darker brew this goes down very well. I'm a big fan and will recommend this to friends.

cdkrenz, May 27, 2010
Photo of Naugros
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep, dark brown in color with a tan head that gives way to a splotchy film on top and sticky foam on the edges that follow the beer down the sides.

The nose contains roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and smoke...maybe peat. I agitated the surface by blowing into it and got a release of dried fruit esters, maybe prune.

A little bit of sweetness on the tip of the tongue and bitterness further back. The malt is assertive and if not for the bitterness the hops would not be apparent at all. It tastes a little like burnt bread and I could not taste any of the dried fruit esters I got from the scent.

It has a real nice finish to it, no aftertaste. A medium body, lighter than most people would expect from such a dark beer, and light in taste too.

This has the lowest ABV of any beer I've drank in the past couple of months, so tossing a few back would be easy. It's not an overly complicated beer or just extremely sublte, so nothing to really perplex your taste buds. Would go well with a bacon cheeseburger.

Naugros, May 18, 2010
Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

beertunes, May 17, 2010
Photo of Brabander
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the better German Schwarzbier i had untill now. Drank it in my Dutch beerglass. Poured in the glass the beer itself is enourmous darkbrown/black. The head is lightbrown and very bubbly. With a bright light behind the glass you can see lovely carbonation. The beer looks fabulous, almost like a Westvleteren 8 (which i drank after this one).

The smelle is good, burned malt and hints of coffee.

The first taste is not as good, it looks like your taste has to get used to this kind of beer. After that: good!

The mouthfeel is better than normal and with a good drinkability this is beer to try out.

Brabander, May 16, 2010
Photo of JohnnyBarman
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a lager glass. Near-black with just a touch of russet around the edges when held to the light. A good inch of head that settles nicely to a thin ringed layer. Patches and sheets of lacing.

Nose is great: roasted malts, a hint of nuts and caramel, and a breadiness that, combined with the roasted character of the nose, almost feels like rye or pumpernickel. How German can you get?

The taste is superb. Similar flavour notes as in the nose, but with an added touch of dark fruit - plum or prune. Finishes dry and slightly watery.

Medium carbonation. Body is a bit on the lighter side, but the whole experience is that of a drinkable, refreshing brew.

Every time I've had Kostritzer I've liked it more and more. For such a dark brew, it's very sessionable. A prime example of the style.

JohnnyBarman, May 12, 2010
Photo of crnipeter
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 ml, BBE 21. July 2010. The beer pours dark brown to black, almost opaque body overlain by tan head that gradually dies to a bubbly sheet. Nice lacing on the walls.
The nose reveals aroma of rich Munich type malt with melanoidin qualities, sweet caramel like aromatics and slightly acidic roasted character reminiscent of bitter chocolate.
The flavors follow the aromas and although the Munich malt character is noticeable the beer has a clean lager characteristics. Almost medium bodied with moderate carbonation and very quaffable.

crnipeter, May 07, 2010
Photo of BDJake
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours the darkest shade of brown before turning black, with a creamy beige kopf

S- dark, smoky German malt, hints of caramel, but not much else

T- roasted malts, caramel, and a bit of smokiness dance around on the palate

M- light/medium body, with good carbonation

D- very sessionable

BDJake, May 03, 2010
Photo of darkbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The local supermarket starting stocking this beer recently and i always make it a duty to try new stuff and was pleasantly suprised.

A: When I picked this up at my local supermarket. I had never had a schwarzbier before and from dark lager i was expecting it to be like a heavy double bock but the amber tones impressed me. The head gets quite tall if not poured very slowly on the edge of the glass and has a slight caramel tint. It's quite thick and bitter but dissipates after about a minute and halfway down the glass is non-existent.

S: Upon pouring the beer into a pint glass I instantly smelt faint aromas of smoke, caramel and coffee. As i approached closer the the smoke and coffee took on a stronger presence with a hint of sweetness.

T: It tastes just as impressive as its smell with very little bitterness until the end. the flavors from the malts remain constant throughout which is quite enjoyable. A lingering, and quite pleasant taste of coffee remains after a few minutes.

M: It is quite an easy drink and utterly enjoyable. Like many lagers which get tiresome after a few sips this one keeps it drinkability throughout. It's ABV allows it to not be too strong of a beer to only have 1 or 2 in a night.

D: If you are looking for a beer with subtle aromas of coffee and smoke but do not like the heaviness of irish stouts then this is a perfect beer to try. I will definitely be keeping a stock of this in my beer fridge.

darkbrewer, May 03, 2010
Photo of JohnnyP3
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a best before date of 12.08.10. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark, nearly opaque. Almost a little bit of a ruby hue to it. Somewhat aggressive carbonation produces a short-lived one-finger-wide head. Smell seems to predominantly consist of a roasted malt aroma. Roasty/coffee quality to the smell.

This schwarzbier features a roasted flavor with a mild burnt twinge. Also some bitterness towards the end from the hops. Also has some mild coffee and vanilla notes, though pretty subdued.

Mouthfeel is overall pleasant, with a pretty smooth character, bit a bit more watered than I would like.

Drinkability is quite good. Goes down easily and refreshing for a dark beer.

JohnnyP3, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Magpie14
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a sheen of black made up of heavy dark oranges, brown, and a dusting of red. The head is most impressive with its light and foamy mocha cream appearance. Lacing is well above average with sticky sheets and rings hanging on

S: malty roasted goodness with a mild mineral quality in the nose. A soft sweetness permeates of chocolate and nuttiness

T: palate is a near match to the nose. Plenty of malty sweetness and roasted notes. A pinch of coffee surfaces amongst the mild and sweet dark flavors. Some toasted and chocolate notes are unmistakable.
For overall drinkability this is a pleasant beer. Nothing very complex about this one and its simplicity works

M: soft and fuzzy carbonation with a mild body

D: a tasty beer

Magpie14, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of cgmees
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black, with a large bubly tan head. The head dissipates quickly but a thin ring of lacing stays behind.

S - Had some faint hop smell with chocolate and smoke overtones.

T - Toasted malt with earthy coffee tone. Has burnt barley and hops aftertaste

M - mild carbonation, medium body with a chewy texture.

D - Nice to drink, tasty with light smooth feeling. nice Schwarzbier.

cgmees, Apr 16, 2010
Photo of sunrisesolara
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

.33L emptied into a Pokal.

A: Pours cola black with ruby highlights diffused through the light. Fluffy 3-finger tan head receeds to a thin ring. Thick lacing throughout.

S: Sweet, toasted malt. Faint hops. Dark chocolate, mild coffee.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

T: Toasted sweet malt accompanied by earthy hop tones. Coffee and light caramel. Slightly oily. Dry finish, nicely hopped aftertaste which lingers.

D: This is a really approachable example of the style. The taste is just complex enough to keep the drinker interested and just smooth enough to go down quickly.

sunrisesolara, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of Pencible
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a little light tan head. It smelled like light roasted barley with faint lemon hops and chocolate and smoke. It tasted like copper hops and burnt barley, with some bready yeast and lemon and a bit of dark chocolate. It was watery with moderate carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this wasn't very clean or tasty, with a weak scent and mediocre body. That all adds up to a disappointing beer that I wouldn't recommend unless you're desperate to try another schwarzbier.

Pencible, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Otterburn
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black color, with some red/brown reflection throught, 1 finger head, laces

Smell: torrefication, caramel,malt

Taste: light burned malt, very smooth, not aggressive at all, nice malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: thin , low carbonation

Drinkability: easy to drink, this brew is black but clear and thin like a blond

Otterburn, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of seand
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black, nearly opaque, with a big bubbly tan head. A lot of the head dissipates, but patches of it stick around, enough to leave pretty good lacing.

S: Light and kind of woody, primarily malty sweetness.

T: Also fairly light, but nicely balanced. Some roasted malt flavor, but not too sweet. Dry to finish.

M: Light to medium carbonation, medium body, a little chewy.

D: Quite nice to drink - reasonable ABV, tasty enough with no overbearing flavors.

seand, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of rapidsequence
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Black, near opaque, with brown and reddish highlights when held to the light. The head is light brown and big, but fades to nothing after 5 minutes or so. Some nice lacing there too.

Smell: Slightly roasty and a little malty. A hint of sourness and a tiny bit of sulfur. Can definitely tell this is a lager.

Taste: Surprisingly flavorful. Again, roasty and slightly charcoaly, but with sweet maltiness, and some earthy hops. Finishes almost totally clean.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Refreshing actually.

Drinkability: Tasty, light, very drinkable, and good with food.

rapidsequence, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a half-liter at Resi's Bierstube the other night.

Deep caramel/chocolate hues with little to no visible carbonation. Flavors were nice and toasty, not quite bitter and roasty, but silky and delicious. Caramel, maybe some apple notes and something akin to smelling milk chocolate (but not tasting it). Clean finish and very drinkable.

Although I'm rating this a C+, I do think it's a tasty beer. It's above average and drinkable, but not stellar. Trying to be realistic with my ratings. I would recommend trying this beer, but don't feel the need to ever seek it out again.

SFLpunk, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of goblue3509
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark cola like color with a thick 2 to 3 finger head which is off white in color and sticks around. Nice lacing is also present. The aroma is a little weak, sweet roasted malt and a hint of caramel notes. The taste is of roasted sweet malt, yeast, a little dark fruit and also a little chocolate. The mouthfeel is light and a little dry. The drinkability is very high, the beer is very very smooth and easily goes down. The taste is complex enough to keep you interested and there is nothing to dislike about this beer.

goblue3509, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of drizzam
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Best before date of 9/23/10 on the back label. The body of this brew is a clear dark in color topped by a yummy looking tan 3 finger head (OK, I poured it rather vigorously). Excellent head retention and some spotty sticky lacing.

S - Sweet malt aroma with hints of buttery diacetyl on the back end. Not overly aromatic.

T & M - The taste certainly outperforms the aroma. The main character in the brew is a roasted malt flavor accented by hints of caramel and maybe a touch of dark fruit (though very slight). It finishes with a slight hop bitterness to balance things out. Very dry and clean after the swallow.

D - If it weren't for the high cost (it is a German import) this would be a session brew that I would buy by the 6 pack. For the low ABV, this is one brew that does not disappoint in terms of flavor. An excellent example of the style!

drizzam, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of Frosty80
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: pours dark brown. sits very dark brown, almost black.

Smell: very full but very clean malt profile. rich melanoidins with just a hint of very light roast and caramel. low, spicy noble hop aroma. there is an impression of dark fruit

Taste: flavor is dominated by Munich malt melanoidins followed by a light roast component which isnt burnt or coffee-like. hop flavor and bitterness is low. finish is somewhat dry with a lingering, light, balanced Munich and roasted malt presence with a little more bitterness shining through

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium-light body with medium carbonation

Notes: very smooth, light yet flavorful lager

Frosty80, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of wheatyweiss
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured into a czechvar glass.

Pours a dark cola with no light leaking through. Mocha colored head is one fingered and has decent staying power.

Aroma is toasted malt, chocolate and dusty lager yeast. Burnt toast and coffee.

Flavor follows aroma. Dark bitter roasted malt, dusty lager yeast and darker undertones. Chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Finishes dry, with no sweetness.

Mouthfeel is thin and crisp, like a lager. The mouthfeel is confusing given the amount of flavor in this beer.

Drinkability is tops. This is a light, thin bodied beer with a ton of flavor.

wheatyweiss, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of PintOHops
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glass - Pint

A - Dark dark brown with a tinge of coppery, ruby color when held to light. Produced an off white pillow of head, about 2fingers thick, with very good retention. Lacing was spotty but very good as well.

S - What I got was very very mild, faint grass upfront with soft roasted malt notes, but more grainy smelling. Hints of a buttery/nut thing going on but that was about all I could pull out.

T - Soft & clean flavors here expected by what the smell put out. Clean grass & nut upfront, touch of buttery flavor fading into finishing flavors, soft roasted malts & subtle toffee. A touch of bitterness from malts & hops are present but very subdued, balancing though.

M - Very very smooth & moderately crisp, around lite bodied. Refreshing feel, I thought it complimented the flavor profile perfectly.

D - This was an extremely quafable brew! I could sit around all evening drinking a 6pack of this beer, I have to say this my first Schwarzbier, so I really don't have a true feel for the style yet, but I really did enjoy this one. I definitely recommend it, I could see myself buying this one again in the future sometime, maybe not worth seeking out in my opinion though.

PintOHops, Feb 23, 2010
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,505 ratings.