1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

1,442 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,442
Reviews: 754
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 66
Gots: 72 | 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: 1,442 | Reviews: 754 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ski271
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby brown with a small, tan, creamy, slowly diminishing head. Light sticky lacing. Smell is very mild. Roasted malts, a little nut and a hint of smoke. Taste is similar, mild with a roasted, caramel malt flavors being most noteworthy. Molasses, milk chocolate, and very light berry. Finish is medium in duration with some bitter citrus coming in late. It has a medium-light body, watery texture and moderate-lively carbonation. Mouthfeel and taste didn’t really impress me. Not a very interesting beer, but one that goes down fairly easily. Eh, I’ve had better Schwarzbiers.

ski271, Jun 14, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
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'.

Derek, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle to a heavy glass mug. Head is a rich, thick, creamy and tan. The liquid is dark chocolate. A very good example of the style.

Smell is of sweet dark roasted malt, bread and chocolate.

Taste is of deeply roasted malt and chocolate. Very smooth, turns to dark chocolate with espresso as it warms. Excellent balance between sweet bready malt and mild biter hops. Serve this warmer, it really becomes quite good.

Mouthfeel is fizzy and thin with a slight bite. Medium body and smooth.

Drinkability is very high.

Prost! Und Zum Wohl! MK

MuenchenerKindl, May 25, 2006
Photo of longarm
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown hue capped with a dingy white, rough and rocky head. This fades into a layer of foam that consistently lingers on the surface of the brew and leaves light lacing.

Toasted malts predominate the aroma with a delightfully light hint of noble hops. Not noticeable at first, the hops plays well with the malt.

Flavor mostly toasted dark bread and chocolate malts quickly finished by a lightly roasted but clean finish. Perhaps a little sourness on the finish, but this is only a slight detraction. A little more malt would perhaps clean it up. Not a big problem.

Mouthfeel a little on the light side, which blows me away when I think of the roasted malts that must have gone into this for it's color and flavor. Classically, this captures what I most often think about when I think lager. Amazingly crisp finish without harsh bitterness.

Exceptionally and dangerously easy to drink. An easily quaffed beer, drinkable anytime, anyplace.

longarm, May 04, 2006
Photo of Gaben
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this stuff in a mini keg round easter time 05. Havint had many schwarzbier's , but this one is a nice thick/ german stew... So of corse it was pretty goot. To tell the true it tastes around the same as a Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock.. not as good / but similar in many things.

Appearance for the darker germans is always an amazing sight in a cold glass... Dark as night.

Smell is nice, if you dont mind beef/ or meat stew than this is a great beer for ya. same as taste whatever the smell you get there ya go. Drinkability - (I would be happy to buy another keg of this another time, more then likely around the holidays)

I always like drinking these type of brews, so of corse if you like any type of darker brews , this will be alot more affordable then a celebrator.

Gaben, May 01, 2006
Photo of shbobdb
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I learned how to drink beer on this beer. My German hostfather would ask me "willst du ein bier?" and how could I refuse? He drank Koestritzer, and so did I.

The beer is like Celebrator Doppelbock and a fine helles (Hofbraeu perhaps?) had a baby.

It pours a dark, rich black with faint red highlights when held up to the light.

It smells sweet and suprisingly milky with light chocolate overtones.

The taste is smooth and delicious. The rich, helles-style malt (primarily light munich) is the first thing to hit you. Then you get the faint doppelbock overtones with chocolate and, above all else, fig. The beer rounds out with a light peppering of powedered chocolate and milk.

I really like this beer. Really tastey. But it also holds a special place in my heart, so I might be a pinch biased.

shbobdb, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of jwc215
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.

jwc215, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of barrelman
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark with reddish hues.

Smell is soft and scarce. Malty.

Taste: Chocolate malt nuttiness with a smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, full and appropriate.

Drinkability: A decent session beer that will not surprise you or change your persective on beer.

Review is a-bit rushed to beat the girlfriend's arrival. I apologize.

barrelman, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of audiojon
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm admittedly not a lager fan, and have had only one other schwarzbier to date. That said, this brew was decent. It looks great, nearly opaque, and forms a nice head, but the smell and taste just aren't there for me. It smells almost like a macro to me, and the taste is fairly typical (and boring) for a lager. I gave it a shot, but probably won't be buying this again. Actually, I'd give it another try on tap, in Germany, but my next vacation isn't for quite a while anyway.

audiojon, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I first had this beer in Gotha, in the center of Schwarzbier area Thuringen. I was amazed by the depth of this beer on the one hand and the drinkability on the other. It is as easy to drink as a pilsner, but with a nice smoky, roasted flavor.
Color was pitch black, with a very fine bubbly head.
Smell was smoky and roasted not very complex and a slight molasses smell.
Taste was maltbitter, liquorice with a light body. Very refreshing. It leans towards a porter kind of beer. highly drinkable and mild, a good beer that I could drink all night!

Absumaster, Apr 01, 2006
Photo of jj21
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown with quickly disappearing tan head. Malty aroma was present, but not very strong. Struggled to get any smell at all. Sweet earthy taste. Very nice and clean bitterness. Smooth, syrupy mouthfeel. Easy to drink for being such a heavy style.

jj21, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of russpowell
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???)

russpowell, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a dark, molasses colored beer with a spongey, thin, brown-colored head. I don't get much oder here. The taste is good but simple. Not much going on here just light and sweet caramel malt, metalic notes, and fruity hops. Light fuzzy mouthfeel. Refreshing to be sure, but I'd rather a good 'ol dark lager any day.

JudgeRoughneck, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must admit this is one of my favorite styles. Honestly I have yet to run across a craft-beer Schwarzbier that I did not like. So my review is honest and I loved this beer. For the rest of you who enjoy a good Black Beer, try this, its a good one.
Here' the breakdown:

Appearance: Pours looking thick and almost black with a very thick creamy light brown 3 finger head. Magnificent lacing down the glass.

Smell: The typical black aroma of burntness. I love it. Charred malts, chocolate, caramel and a subtle bitterness.

Taste: Black charred espresso, cooked molasses toasted malts, unsweetened chocolate, and everything marvelous about this style of beer. A bit of campfire air. It does come back with a slightly bitter hop finish to balance the malty beginning. Very pleasant, and easy!

Mouthfeel: Light body, just right for a drinkable black beer. Very little carbonation and lip smackingly dry. Nice.

Drinkability: I could drink this day and night for months on end! Low ABV, light body sits easy in the stomach, no cloying flavors just plain easy drinking good black beer. mmm. I'm a fan!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Mar 08, 2006
Photo of nathanho
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500 ML bottle pured strongly into an unflared tulip glass. Coffee brown with lots of light tan head that settles to insignificance.

Smells strongly of plums and prunes. Malty flavor with some chalk and dust. Grainy aftertase. Soda pop lager taste and feel. Lots of straw and chalky grain.

Not bad.

nathanho, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A red-toned, root beer brown, almost opaque. Head is beige-ish and doesn't last.

Smell: Interesting... dark malts dominate with an earthy, almost woody aroma and a red wine/grape jelly fruitiness. There's also a peanutty edge and a hint of chocolate. Yeast is also detectable, as is a slightly metallic tinge. I'm thinking portobella mushrooms would be a good match for this one.

Taste: Vinous and musty, and really remniscent of cola, especially in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Sparkles like club soda; not as heavy as I expected.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, and surprisingly refreshing for a dark beer. A beer for all seasons, this one.

soulgrowl, Mar 04, 2006
Photo of TongoRad
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn fine looking beer- translucent brown with rusty orange highlights and a kick-ass tan head.

Aroma is more gentle than one would expect. Roast malt leads the way but ther are some black bread and raisins in there as well. Swirling brings out a breath of fresh spicy hops.

The palate is a straightforward blend of the dark bready character, roasty malt, the raisins and a touch of caramel. Bitterness is clean, quenching and more than adequate.

A fine brew that gets better with each successive glass.

TongoRad, Mar 02, 2006
Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On tap at the Up North in Madison, WI.

Dark purple-black, chestnut hewed body with a sticky tan head. Nose is overwhelmingly made up of roasted black malts. Taste is no different. Sweetness is average for style. Little to no hops to speak of. Watery. Thin body with high level of carbonation makes this feel like a black American macro is some respects. Not a good example of the style.

DaPeculierDane, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of Higravity
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A great mid-sized black lager. Pours like a porter with a tan head and lots o'lacing. Smell is malty with a faint wiff of roasted malt and clean yeast. Taste and mouthfeel are in harmony here with a possible perfect feel, but if only there was a little more to the dark flavor of this blakc lager. Terrific stuff and at $2 a bottle a steal.

Higravity, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of biergeniesser
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This wonderful example of a Schwarzbier poured a clear dark brown to black and showed hints of a deep ruby red when held to the light. A thick light brown/beige head dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Fine bubbles evolve slowly from the sides of the glass, likely from the bottom as well, however it is impossible to tell through the rich blackness.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier has a wonderfully clean aroma of malt, chocolate and roasted malt. Hop aromas are not noticeable.

This beer has a malty, roasty flavor with slight hints of coffee. There seems to be a relatively low degree of hop bitterness… it is difficult to pick it out from the lingering bitterness likely caused by the dark portion of the grist, which masks it.

This beer has a medium body with a noticeable, but light mouthcoat. It finishes with a moderate, but pleasant astringency and a light carbon dioxide bite.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier is an enjoyable and refreshingly light black lager with a bit of a bite. It is my personal benchmark for the style. It is truly a wonderful beer, which I would recommend for anyone to try.

biergeniesser, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark red. It is slightly brown. The head is light brown. It is very thick. It fades slowly, leaving thick laces.

This beer has a toasted malt aroma. It smells very slightly nutty. It has a slight caramel aroma also. The hop aroma is small.

This beer thasts nutty. Also, I taste some toasted malts. Caramel flavor is present. Hop flavor is minimal, but still present.

This beer is very smooth and crisp. It leaves a sweet malty aftetaste. It is carbonated well.

I think this beer would be a good session beer. Low alcohol, and a mild flavor make it easy to enjoy.

OStrungT, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of allergictomacros
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark, almost black. With a big creamy head. Settles pretty quickly though into a light cover.

S - Some toastiness and molasses. A bit of a fresh clean scent as well.

T - Some roasted flavours and coffee, but not really a strong taste to this beer.

M - Medium overall. Thin for such a dark, rich looking beer though. Carbonation is a bit strong.

D - Very drinkable. Flavours are not as big as I expected, but there's nothing off, and it goes down quite easy.

allergictomacros, Feb 10, 2006
Photo of rebel1771
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with a small off white head. The aroma has strong chocolate and coffee characteristics along with toasted pumpernickle bread. The coffee attributes from the aroma make another appearance in the flavor along with chocolate and a hint of hop flavor at the end. This is a pretty good brew, will be getting this one again.

rebel1771, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of mwrseeley
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am a sucker for dark beers. Pitch black body and a thick beige head. The wonderfully foamy crest, however, has a slightly dry and tinny aroma and, sipping only the foam itself, an equally metallic flavour. Let's take a sip and see if there is an improvement. Oh, yes! That's more like it! I can pick out, inially, raisins and coffee but the aftertaste is a bit light. Köstritzer Schwarzbier is not nearly as heavy as I was expecting. I recommend it and will drink it again, especially at the price set down by the LCBO.

mwrseeley, Jan 28, 2006
Photo of Andreji
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this at a beer bar along the gran via in Madrid.

The beer has a fantastic stout-like appearance at the pour, very opaque but with a big-bubbled fizzy head. like a cola, somehow.

The smell is very grainy, that dark lager sense schwarzbiers have. nothing too sweet, yet you can evidence it is charged with flavour. floral hop scent as well.

the taste is ok, I thought the smell would've matched the taste more. but it was more subtle and centered on a roast malted feel, the hops being just barely grassy at the end.

An ok beer all-in-all.

Andreji, Jan 16, 2006
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,442 ratings.