Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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very good

1,540 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,540
Reviews: 763
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 71
Gots: 99 | 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: 1,540 | Reviews: 763 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JDV
2.45/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Black pour, with light, creamy tan head that lasted a couple minutes. A dark, roasty malt smell, and as beer warmed, some subtle lagerish yeasty smells. Light bodied beer, with more burnt than roasty malt tastes, and a very quick finish and thin taste. Watery overall, with a slight bit too much carbonation for a darker beer, I thought. At times tasted lightly of biting on foil, and a bit metallic. On the palate it was such that I couldn’t seem to taste this with my whole tongue, but it seemed to only strike flavor sharply on the sides of my tongue. As a result, somewhat bland and not full flavored. Not terrible, but nothing I’d seek out again.

Photo of MisterClean
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap at yardhouse, Irvine, CA. Dark in color like most schwarzbiers and smelled of light malts and European hops. Taste was smooth with light malts, hops, and had a dry finish. Tasted more similar to a lager. Very drinkable any time of the year.

Think I wanted something more similar to an American version of a Schwarzbier (SN has a good one).

Photo of Floydster
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle purchased from a German deli called Edelweiss Delicatessen in Tehachapi when visiting family over the holidays for two dollars, first time I have ever seen this beer

Split with my dad tonight while watching the game and falling into an even deeper hole in my college football pool

Poured into my Firestone pint glass with a very dark brown color but not quite black, 1/4 inch creamy tan head, looked like a porter or thin stout but is acutally a black lager, decent retention and also a pretty good amount of lacing

Smell was roasted malts and grains, several sweet varities, faint coffee, some skunkiness, caramel, and a small amount of dark fruit

Taste did not last very long unfortunately, this was evident even when the beer warmed, fairly smooth, sweet right from the get go, mild hop profile, lots of burnt malt and some raisins, figs, and toffee, malt overshadowed the restricted bitterness, bready and chewy at times, towards the end I tasted a small amount of chocolate and berries, taste was subtle and not overpowering, would make a nice session beer

Overly carbonated in my opinion and the body was pretty thin, not appropriately thick for its color, average mouthfeel

Could drink a couple bottles of this, could see this tasting good with a sandwich, low alcohol percentage helps it drinkability, sweetness would eventually catch up to me limiting how much of this stuff I could get down

First time I have heard of the beer or the brewery, not bad for just grabbing something out of shear curiousity, recommended if you are a fan of this beer style, l would probably try this again if I made it back to this place someday, German beer is one of my favorites, so I am very picky when tasting these but this one did not disappoint overall

Photo of Pauly2X
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Jet black solid two finger frothy head.

S- Choclate malts dominate the aroma with noble hops hiding in the background.

T- Wonderfully malty without the bitterness coming from the roasted malts you can appreciate the bitterness from the hops. Balance is superb.

M- Rich and smooth without being too much.

D- Perfect for a cold day, not a lawnmower beer by any means.

A fantastic example of an often overlooked style.

Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip glass. A: Very dark, some tan head that retains very well. Good lacing. S: Light roasted malts, some earthy hops. Light coffee. T: Pretty much the same as the nose; roasted malts, light hops, coffee. Bitter, dry finish. M: Moderate carbonation, creamy. D: Simple but well-balanced and very, very drinkable. A great session beer. Nice and light, refreshing.

Photo of nickynick
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The black color of this beer was good, it lost some however because it had poor head retention, and very little lacing. The smell was of sweet and roasted malts. The taste of this beer was very good. First a wave of dark chocolate, followed by sweet malt. The finish was a the right hint of hop spice. Mouthfeel was ok. Drinkability was good. Went down nice and was not to filling.

Overall I enjoyed this beer a great deal. Interested to try more of this style as well.

Photo of WesWes
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.

Photo of RiekerStarBrew
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was poured from the bottle into my sniffer glass and had a black color with ruby highlights. The aroma was subtle and had a slight chocolate aroma and grains. The flavor was what really impressed me. I find it amazing that a beer this dark can have such a smooth, subtle flavor. It had a slight sourness with hints of dark malts and traces of chocolate and coffee. It also had a very slight spiciness, but bittersweet overall. The finish was dry and hoppy. I thought this was a very well balanced beer that was very easy to drink.

Photo of Sleestak
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this in the past and remember it getting me hooked on schwarzbiers and dunkel lagers. Now's my chance to finally review it. At first glance this beer looks black with ruby highlights around the edges, but held up to the light it shows itself to be a dark ruby. A thin mocha colored head doesn't last long. Smells very sweet with roasted malts. A roasted malt flavor with some honey sweetness as well with just a touch of hop bitterness. There are some coffee/chocolate flavors but they aren't prominent, just hints of them in the background. A medium mouthfeel works perfectly, not too thin not too thick. This is a good sessionable schwarzbier.

Photo of hiikeeba
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown to black with an off white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Sweet malt dominates. The only way I can describe the smell is to use the word fruity, though there's no particular fruit I can detect. Or import-y. Very sweet aroma. It smells good and fresh.

T - Sweet malt/grain flavor. No hops detected. No roast malt detected.

M - Light carbonation makes this feel slightly thin.

D - Very smooth. No aftertaste to build up.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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!

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.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.