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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
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Ratings: 1,505 | Reviews: 759 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Folderol
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dispensed from a 5 L mini-keg. Why buy a mini keg? I just thought it was awesome to have one, and one that dispenses dark beer no less. Pours almost completely black with a huge nitro-like head. Head recedes to a decent quarter-inch beige cap that lasts the whole way down. Taste is pretty simple, a dark bread with a little caramel that's never sweet or cloying. Bitterness is minimal. Carbonation is very fine, probably due to the unique dispenser. Quite tasty, but for the price ($21 for 5 liters) I'd be better off with a case of Saranac Black Forest.

Folderol, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of JArami
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: An intensely dark ruby with a small tan head (maybe I am too careful with my pour). You can see through it if you strain your eyes (I could barely make out my fingers with a bit of sunlight behind it.)

S: Hops at first. The weak sweetness of the malts comes in next with some light roasted notes and a fruity sensation possibly of raisins or prunes.

T: The bitterness is mild to my surprise, I was expecting more hop presence. The dark malts come in brilliantly, not heavy on the sweet, and very burnt caramel and smoky grain-like in nature. Smooth with some complexity, no alcohol at all, and a slight, shy bread-like aftertaste that leaves my mouth comfortable, not too dry or sticky, and not too bitter in the back.

M: Very nice carbonation, could be better if the brew was a little heavier in body. The after feel is clean with some remaining burnt flavors and a light hop bitterness that fade to a faint sweetness.

D: Very drinkable anytime. This is one of my favorite styles, but one I have yet to try on tap. If you can't find this Schwarzbier close to home, a more easily obtained domestic example of this style is Sam Adams Black Lager which is very good as well.

JArami, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of AltBock
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml/16.9 fl oz bottle with a classic plain and simple black label that has "Köstritzer" in big white letters, the brewery crest, a few German words, and who bottled the beer. Above the main label is a black neck label shaped like a ribbon with the brewery crest and what year they started, 1543. The back label has the US importer's name, US Government warning, refund prices, who brewed and bottled this beer, barcode, and some kind of code on the far left and right side. One one side, the letter "C" is notched and on the other, the number "9" is notched. I guess it's some kind of weak best before date that nobody (other than the brewery) can understand.

Appearance: When poured into a Bell's Brewery pint glass, the beer really wasn't that black. To me it was more of a dark mahagony with a few ruby red highlights. The head of foam was a light tan color and about half an inch in height. I honestly thought it was going to be bigger and better than that. It didn't really doesn't matter how big it was because it quickly dissipated into a few light tan rings and barely any lace in the glass.

Smell: Not the richest aroma in the world, but a nice decent one nonetheless. The aroma was filled with dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, molasses, a pinch of caramel, a few dark fruits like the plum, and wheat bread. Not just any run of the mill store bought wheat bread, old, stale, and grainy wheat bread that you just throw out your window for the birds to eat. I thought there was going to be some hops in the aroma, but I guess the old and stale wheat bread covered it up.

Taste: It had a flat out average taste that contained dark roasted malts, a dab of dark chocolate, a drop of molasses, a dark fruit or two, and malted grains. It was just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It tasted more like that Köstritzer loved to malt every grain they could get thier hands on and then put it in their beer. At least there wasn't any old stale wheat bread in the taste.

Mouthfeel: It was light like it was suppose to be, but I felt that my bottle was overly carbonated. Sometimes the carbonation covered up all the little flavors that were contained in this beer. Not only was there that, but the aftertaste was that overly carbonated malted grains. Don't ask me how they put carbonation into grains, Köstritzer was the one that managed to do it.

Drinkability: Overall, it was just an average beer that I would like to give another chance down the road. Hopefully the next time I pick up another Köstritzer, there won't be some much carboantion tucked inside it.

AltBock, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a tan head. Aromas of a roasty and smokey malt. In the taste, a very light smokey malt, yet quite lager-ish. A nice smooth and malty mouthfeel, with a dry smokey aftertaste. A nice small smokiness, but not overly big in flavor or body. Many lager like atributes.

OWSLEY069, Nov 04, 2007
Photo of JEdmund
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in bottle at a mini grocery store in Guatemala City for a buck and some change per bottle

Appearance
One-finger light tan head; pillowy and subsides normally; nearly black, but the edges of the glass show a deep molasses color; head levels to a quarter inch and sits around, leaving little lacing

Aroma
Some toasty grain, slight metallic, and a bit of hops; something familiar and I think it must be a German or European malt I've had previously

Taste & Mouth Feel
Somewhat bitter at the front, followed by a pleasant bready/toasty flavor; fairly thin body and mild carbonation; more and better flavor comes out as it warms, as well as little to no metallic flavoring; the texture also becomes a bit creamier

Comparisons
I've never tried this style before, so there's really nothing to directly compare. I'd place it between a brown ale and a porter in the dark beer realm. It does seem familiar.

Overall
I was initially more impressed the first time I drank this, which coincidentally was out of the bottle (and not in a glass). It seemed to retain the carbonation better in the bottle and I didn't pick up as much on the faint metallic flavor. This is the first Schwarzbier I've ever had, and I like it a lot. It's not as heavy as a stout or porter in the roasted flavors and malts, but it has a nice subtlety to it and I really like the toasty malt flavor in it. It's by far the best beer I've tasted in Guatemala. Thank you, Germany!

JEdmund, Oct 26, 2007
Photo of steve86
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got the bottle at the Fred Meyer's in Issaquah.
Deep Black with ruby highlights. Thin tan head dissipated quickly.
Aroma was very subdued. Some malt backbone, No hop aroma. No DMS or Diacetyl. No fruity esters.
Flavor - touch of chocolately malt flavor without the in-your-face roastiness of a stout. Smooth mild hop bitterness, nicely balanced against the malt. No hop flavor. No fruity esters. Finish is very smooth and somewhat dry. Medium-thin body & mouth feel makes this a thirst quencher.
Overall, this is an incredibly drinkable beer. Nice & malty without the astringent tendencies so often found in the other dark beers.

steve86, Oct 22, 2007
Photo of shererjt
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear, deep ruby red to black color with moderate carbonation and a thick, long-lasting tan head. Beautiful. Nose was clean with roasty notes; somewhat cola-like. Light-to-medium body. The lingering roasted malt flavor was what stood out. Well balanced. Had a tiny bit of bitterness very late. Exceptionally lager-like in that it had next to no fruit flavor. Though the roasted malt was significant, it was not overpowering. A bit of creaminess pushed the mouthfeel above average, and the drinkability rivals the all-time greats. I could drink this stuff all day.

Wow. Wonderful beer. The tasty standard-bearer of the schwarzbier style, IMHO.

shererjt, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of thierrynantes
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (50cl.), tasted in 2004.

Appearance : black color, with tan foam head.
Smell : spicy aroma
Taste & Mouthfeel : hints of pepper, figs and bitter chocolate, found in a flexible mouth, long and complex.
Drinkability : the most famous black beer brewed in Bad Kostritz, in Thuringia . A good beer in the style schwarzbier.

Review translated from french 6-19-2008.

thierrynantes, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark reddish-brown with a medium thick tan head that has fair retention. Thin spotty lacing. The aroma consists of dark fruits and malt. Medium-bodied with a somewhat roasty aspect. Medium body but thin at times. Malt, coffee and prune flavors are present, along with a touch of hops. The finish is roasty and sweet, with a mild coffee aftertaste. Average overall.

Dogbrick, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of snpub540
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355mL bottle with the A and the 1 notched on the back label.

Pours an almost opaque black but when held to light you can see some ruby clarity peaking through. Not hazy at all. There were some carbonation bubbles sticking to the side of the bottom of the glass. The head was thin but it left some nice lacing down the side of the glass.

Smelled just like a blonde German lager. Malty with some floral hop aromas floating around in there.

Taste was crsip and refreshing. A nice sweet maltiness blanced by some spicy hop flavor with a dry hop bitterness to balance everything out at the end.

The mouthfeel was creamy and it nice texture that seemed to coat my whole palate. It goes down smooth and refreshing. A great session beer. It looks as if it will be a heavy beer during the pour , but it is actually very light.

snpub540, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of Overlord
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to LRM for the trade.

Poured a dark tan, with a huge bubbly head. Nice mouthfeel and carbonation.

Tasted deliciously malty, with some citrus hops thrown in. Still, the overwhelming taste is that of roasted, bitter malt. Clean, very drinkable, not one of my all-time favorites but a very solid beer. Has a hint of sour fruit notes.

Overlord, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

usually try to pick up a random German single whenever I'm at Grapes & Hops in Fayetteville...sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. Never been blown away but I am usually satisfied, and this one brings the latter.

a: Pours a respectable khaki head that chunks up around the edges and lingers. Great retention. The beer is a deep stain brown in color. Some lacing.

s: A standard good schwarz. Aroma is a majority of clean pilsner malts with a strong back note of roasted barley. Good noble hop presence.

m: Smooth carbonation borders on medium-high, with a creamy medium body.

t: Love a flavorful dark lager. This one comes close. It's at once crisp with an abundance of clean, pale German malts, and at the same time carries clean flavors of roasted/toasted malts. Nice noble hop bite after the swallow, rounding things out very nicely.

d: extremely

blackie, Sep 18, 2007
Photo of livingregret
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 500ml bottle

Appearance: Slighty lighter than black colour w/ a white foamy head. The head dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a lovely ring around the beer. Plenty of lacing

Smell: Slight roasted malt....slight sweet malt. Maybe dark chocolate. Very clean smell

Taste: Very malty...slighty bitter at the start and ends w/ a smooth sweet taste. It's a very nice balance. No way overly sweet but still very crisp and smooth. Alcohol is barely noticeable very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is mild, very creamy and a touch thick. Very good

Drinkability: This is a great Schwartzbiers(not enough of these styles of beer) that is complex yet not overly so. Fantastic taste...very good drink and easily drinkable

livingregret, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of riversider76
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown,with a red hue when held up to light. Creamy tan head,with very good retention,and lacing.Aroma,is bready,with sweet earthy undertones. Body is light,with some carbionation. Taste is of bread,butter,and molasses. Finishes nicely,with a little bitterness. Very good!

riversider76, Aug 20, 2007
Photo of bark
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is deep brown-black; the liquid is clear. The high head is airy, pale brown and firm. A good amount of lacing occurs.

The smell is mild with some hoppy bitter flavours, some dough and porridge and dark chocolate.

The taste is very malty and a bit roasted, almost toasted. But it is not heavy; it is still very drinkable and balanced. There are notes of rye bread, toasted white bread, porridge and some mild cocoa. The aftertaste is a bit dry with flavours of roasted malt, hoppy notes of dried fruits and some butter. There is a mild bitterness in the finish.

The carbonation is medium to mild. The liquid is very creamy, almost thick.

This is one of the most sold schwartzbiers in Germany, and it is not hard to see why: It is a very drinkable and generous beer that is almost a meal in itself.

bark, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of DoubleJ
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like how they call thier brewing company a "schwarzbierbrauerei". It looks like the only large scale prodcut they make too, so i guess they have a point. On to the beer:

You know what this beer reminded me of? One of those Irish nitro-stouts, without the creamy feel. The flavors are light, mellow, and interesting. They intensify as it warms, releasing molasses and burnt sugar, ended in a slight roasted finish. Pretty good beer at a pretty good price, cost me $6.99 for a sixer at the Wine Exchange.

DoubleJ, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a picture of a dandy enjoying the beer from a goblet. I chose a pint glass, which showcased the dark beer's reddish hues under the thick tan foam.

The aroma was neutral-clean, maybe a bit malty. No smell of roasted malts so that's good. The flavor was very nice, honestly it tasted like a helles a bit, which is strange with the dark color. A little fruity as well.

I didn't know what to expect with this beer style, but this was a nice dark lager overall.

TurdFurgison, Aug 14, 2007
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a fluffy light brown head that leaves behind some lacing. A dark reddish/purple. Smells of dark malts, molasses, not overly complex but well put together. The taste has a strong malt profile with some chocolate and molasses notes followed by a long dry finish. The only black beer I have had so far and I cant wait to try another.

irishkyle21, Jul 31, 2007
Photo of AlexLMS
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: opaque and light black color. The head is brown and not very large. When it fades it leaves a beautiful lacing.
Aroma: slight roasted and sweet malty aroma, with some dark chocolate notes.
Taste: well balanced between the malts and the hops. Neither one dominates.
Mouthfeel: creamy with a moderate level of carbonation, low alcoholic strength and a light body.
Finish: lingering dry finish.

Overall: great stuff, balanced, rich and not cloying as some black beers. Best example of a Schwarzbier I’ve ever tasted.

AlexLMS, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black brew with chestnut highlights and a tight, compact, and dense on finger brown head. A good deal of chocolate milk lace is left on the glass.

S - Chocolate, smoke, root-beer, and black licorice. Roasted almonds and campfire aromas predominate.

T - Sweet and chocolaty at first, followed by some smoke, then overtaken by a dusty sour flavor that I quite like. A strangely flavored and smoky brew that's really hard to describe....it's just plain good!

M - At first, it seems like it's light bodied, but it becomes foamy, full, and solid when swished around a bit. Moderate carbonation and a sour slightly dry finish make for a very quenching brew.

D - Extremely drinkable and thirst quenching. I think that this is an excellent beer to have with a meal....I'm thinking steak or a BBQ pork sandwich.

pmcadamis, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of Gmann
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a midnight black color with a fluffy coffee colored head that left some nice lacing as it dissipated. The smell is rather faint, some roasted grainy notes. The taste is similar to the smell, slightly roasted malt flavor, a bit grainy. The feel is light almost watery, crisp, finishes a bit bitter. An easy to drink lager for those who want a roasted malt but light lager.

Gmann, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of TheSarge
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew produces a thick richly textured, light and tan head, with a near pitch black full body appearance. There are slight reddish hues visible on the border of my pint glass.

Aromas that I notice are coincident of caramel as well as a rye bread tone.

The taste is very bready as well, perhaps a dark style such as rye or laugen.

This brew is very drinkable for a full bodied brew and slightly on the lighter side. This is a good session beer as well as a heavier thirst quencher.

TheSarge, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of Rudgers73
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. This is a really good looking beer. Dark brown/almost black in the glass with a 1/2 inch head that falls to a thin film of foam. The smell is that of roasted malts, sweet bread, pilsener hops, and dark candi sugar. The taste is respectable, although I thought it would have a little more fullness. There is an overall watery taste in the middle that leaves a hole, IMO. The roasted malts are nicely balanced with hops creating a very smooth flavor profile, but it tends to run out of gas before the end.

Overall, it has a good taste but I personally like Sam Adams Black Lager better.

Rudgers73, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep brown bordering on black with reddish highlights and a tan head that leaves almost no lace behind

S - A nutty, malty almost creamy espresso and bittersweet chocolate odor that floats lightly over a yeast and herbal mushroom like odor.

M - Prickly carbonation followed by dry dark slightly chalky textures that relax into a mix of salty and sweet with milky smoothness.

T - A dark brown maltiness and crisp nutty dry toasty malt flavor with lightly spiced woody hops and hazelnut. Gentle date notes in the middle adds to the complexity. Salty overtakes sweet subtly and leads to a clean crisp finish.

D - A wonderful session bier, full of flavor and quaffable. A delightful blend of dark malt and lager smoothnes. Worth a taste for almost any occasion - malty, sweet and smooth. Excellent in the drinkability category

Slatetank, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of number1bum
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of NEPA BC split #3.

Pours nearly black with a pillowy khaki colored head. It's about as dark as a porter, or very close to it, and there are some chestnut ruby hues when held to the light. Head keeps a decent amount of lacing and leaves some stick on the sides.

Smell is interesting. Definitely a lot of malt going on, with some caramel and roasted aromas; semi-sweet overall. There's an odd scent I can't completely detect, though. I don't know what it is but it's a little funky.

Taste starts out malty but is very smooth and finishes clean and on the light side. There's a nice roasted malt flavor although at times it almost seems like a burnt flavor, and maybe a little bit of coffee, as well. A little bit of hop bitterness comes through at the end and a combination bitter/burnt flavor hangs out on the palate for a bit. Again, the finish is very clean and smooth, and it's almost like it goes from a medium to a light body as you swallow.

Interesting beer and very drinkable. I'd have this again.

number1bum, Jun 07, 2007
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,505 ratings.