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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,566 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,566
Reviews: 770
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 76
Gots: 112 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website
Germany

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 (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,566 | Reviews: 770 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mitchster
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a clear near black, very dark brown, forming a solid tall soapy tan head with very good retention and good lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is not full of dark malt as I was expecting, but instead is mostly grassy and skunky like a traditional Euro-Pils but with a slight hint of caramel in the background. The mouthfeel is stinging with carbonation and hop acids at first and is thin bodied. The taste starts with herbal and lightly skunky herbal hops, followed by an odd acidity with a touch of metals. The finish is of tobacco and dirt with some scant darkly roasted grains in the aftertaste. Dark chocolate and charcoal combine to form a mild aftertaste that seems to linger forever. Relatively easy to drink, although I wouldn't want to have many of these. Bitterness is moderate and chalky. Roasted grains contribute a distant sense of mineral smoke.

This is a decent beer but definitely not the best schwarzbier I've had. The middle kills it's enjoyability and tends to wear on the palate the more I get into the bottle.

Photo of sweethome
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This has always been a favorite dark lager for me. I taste tonight side by side with Crystal Diplomat Dark Beer - A czech Lager.

Pours very dark brown with a big fluffy head that is tan. Provides very nice lace. The nose is lacking. Rather musty with charcoal. Smell of a dying campfire.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly dry and chalky. Almost grainy. Compared to the tasting companion, it falls short. I'm quite surprised. In most cases, I've had on tap. That may be the reason it's not quite as I remember.

Fairly light on the palate in midmouth. The finish is quite chalky and dry. The flavors never develop to the extent I remember from past tastes. Quite an astringency here.

It is still quite drinkable and would go well with pork and kraut.

Photo of funkengruven
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a finger thick head. Smell slightly resembles a Porter, but more delicate. Flavors of roasted barley malts make their way to a nice smooth finish. Carbonation is sufficient and delivers the aromas quite nicely. pretty drinkable for a black beer. Certainly better than most porters and stouts out there. Overall a nice beer. worth getting again.

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, what's up with the dual versions of Kostritzer? The version I have in my hand looks like the Bitburger version shown on the site and is imported by Bitburger, but it very clearly is brewed by Kostritzer Schwarzbierbraurei. Where do I review it?

This beer poured an out-of control head (aieee! Overflowing! My sweet sweet ounces of beer!) a beautiful fuzzy tan color over a damn fine looking charcoal black body. If someone put this in front of me and asked me to describe it, I'd call it, from its looks, a serious stout. Only a hazy ruby point shines through my nonic glass. Wow! Lots of sticky tan lacing! Gorgeous beer! The head receded, but continued a complete covering.

The smell carries lots of woody scents; A tinge of date and raisin hit first, followed by a woody, mossy scent that reminds me of the forest - there's a brown-sugary, honey-graham-cracker sweetness packed in there that keeps the malty smell from being overpowering. My first Schwarzbier, and I like the style.

The taste reminds me only very, very vaguely of other dark but light-bodied beers in that it carries a certain smokiness, but it's very delicate; The most distinct flavors are grainy and woody, like taking a bite of oak or mahogany. Definitely a malty beer with a thick flavor, almost no hop bitters. The woody-sweet smell and woody-smoke taste combine well, and as it warms there's an enticing brown sugar.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's what I was expecting. A bit of fizzy, quick carbonation rises and falls, washing away most of the body of the beer on swallowing. There's some taste left over, but this isn't a very thick beer at all, so there's no thick after-feel.

All in all, pretty drinkable, there's some scents and flavors here that are different from what I'm used to but are damn good in their way; I had kind of a hard time reviewing this one because it's tasty, feels good, and is easy to drink, but given a choice of various brews I wouldn't jump to grab this one first. But what sets a beer apart from another other than being tasty, good-feeling, and easy to drink? Hmm!

Photo of masikon
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ebony with a nice thick head which receded leaving lots of lacing. Held up to the light you can notice some ruby notes on the edges of the glass. Scent was modest and staightforward, VERY subtle coffee notes, basically just hints of malt and not much else. Taste was straightforward as well with light coffee and chocolate suggestions, not overly complex but refreshing and clean despite being a dark beer. Mouthfeel was nice and silky smooth yet thin, making this very easy to drink. Overall I like this style and will try more, a bit like drinking a watered down porter but that isn't totally a bad thing.

Photo of joecast
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

regal looking bottle. label is slightly different to the one show. basically just the removal of the person from across the bottom, and the rest of the design stretched downwards. best before 10/05 oops.

mahogany tones at the edges of this mainly black beer. almost soda like carbonation. 2cm tan head froms on pouring which then subsides to light lacing.

interesting aroma. i cant pick any hops there at all. more like just a touch of sweet maltiness. possible its just on the old side.

taste is light with a sweetness from the darker malts. little bitterness and no hop flavor to speak of.

well, it is what it is. a dark lager. though not a bad one. i suppose you're not really looking for serious complexity from a schwarzbier. would be intersted in seeing how this would compare to a fresh sample.

Photo of neonbrown82
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is a decent example of one my new favorite styles. Pours to a black color with ruby highlights and a decent creamy head.

The smell is a bit weak. Only a bit of sweet and nutty aromas shining through.

The taste is very light and crisp while still maintaining some full-flavored beer tastes. A bit of chocolate roastiness with a hint of smoke. Still quite sweet. Not much of a hop bite in this schwarz, unfortunately.

The mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a thin body. Very quenching. When paired with some gourmet sweets from the Amana colonies, it almost tastes like a coca-cola.

Photo of pjwilson
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: not quite black, but in fact very dark amber. not so great of a head...fades fast
s: smells almost like a helles. nice malty aroma
T: i think this is my first authentic schwarz. It sort of tastes alot like a helles. the color is almost a notvelitly. well it has a more sweet flavor than a helles. but it tastes more like a helles than a dunkle tastes like a helles. I dunno this one is falling flat for me.
mouthfeel: not feeling much like a a good beer
drinkablility: not sure id get this again. certainly not as kicking as a dunkle. I'd jump on it if I saw it on draft. Sure liked Death and Taxes more...hehe

Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly as roasty as Irish dry stouts, but with the smooth drinkability of German lager, this classy authentic black bier plays those aesthetic games with the eye as it promises boldness, yet delivers subtlety.

The lager looks you in the eye with a very Guinness-like pour, minus the absurd nitro-infused foam character. The very dark brown, onyx-like sheen denotes clarity and masculinity. Capped by a creamy thin, lightly tanned head, the beer lines the glass with interconnected lace.

Light roasty aromas of coffee grounds, bitter chocolate, plumbs, and raisins with shy demonstrative scents of strength and finesse. Background notes of burnt caramel and campfire stops just shy of smoke or ash.

More fruity than roasty to taste as the esters and oxidized grains allow for flavors of red grapes, sherry, soy, and dried plumbs, raisins, cola nut, and dates to garner command. Still the bittersweet chocolate taste and caramel char bridges the gap toward coffee-like bitterness and mild roast. Semi-sweet to taste, any hop character is reserved for the bitter balance that disguises itself as coffee and wood bitterness.

Light bodied, especially when the eye prepares the palate for richness and robust texture. Instead the carbonated creaminess caresses the mouth with malty roundness before suddenly finishing with a roast dryness, fleeting malt textures, and light woody alcohols.

Backing off of the more popular Irish dry stouts, if less roast character is more of your target yet a darker beer is in order, this highly drinkable but flavorful ale may fit the bill. Better still, it's light enough in alcohol and body to allow the conversation to go one more round.

Photo of malty
3.66/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When did they print 'The Best Kept Micro Beer Secret' on the neck label? Kinda cheesy.

Pours a cola colored liquid with rusty edges. Thick 1 1/2" light beige head that settles to 1/2".

Malted milk & faint chocolate malts in the nose. A faint hint of Concord grape jelly also. Scent of ever-so-faint noble hops.

A nice even dose of faint chocolate/roasted malts smoothly paired with the familiar flavor of the lager yeast and soft hop presence. Sour dough bread flavors that lean toward the raw dough side. Seems to showcase the yeast quite good. The hops make this finish of this lager nicely dry.

Mouthfeel is dead on for a lager - lighter than medium (without being 'light') body with a pleasant fine carbonation that keeps it light on the tongue. Not much linger flavor in the semi-dry finish.

Drinkability is very good. I've had this plenty of times on tap and was very content with numerous refills. But then again, this lager really shines when it's a properly stored/conditioned keg.

Overall a beer that has a special place in my heart. This bottled version is about 2/3 of it's potential. Refreshing as a lager should be with a fulfilling maltiness to boot.

Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of davidchollar
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

looks like coffee. very dark, with a short ,creamy beige head. if you look closely, you can see that it is pretty fizzy.
smell is not very strong, smells like a dark beer, a little sweet
tastes better than the smell. definitely a low abv, but there is a strong crisp taste, quite bitter. it looks and tastes like coffee. the taste is not very unique, it reminds me of other dark beers. but i really like the mouthfeel, chewy, almost buttery.

Photo of Joey7F
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this on tap as a sample today. Quite a good scharwzbier (better than the Sam Adams Black Lager). It tastes a bit like a latte, very creamy, very malty.

Definitely worth a try unless you need a lot of hops (which this beer, and the style lacks)

--Joey

Photo of revdrjbob
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the German club in Berkley at lunch with Teaser. I must say that the Bratwurst they do is absolutley awesome!

Poured a very dense black with a tight foamy tan head of about 2cm in thickness. Served in a pint glass.

Smelt nice, plenty of malt, chocolate and a hint of roastyness. No real hops to speak of, very clean, a touch of spiceyness.

Tasted quite thinner than you'd expect from the look and smell of the beer, but I guess it is a lager... Plenty of malt, nice hits of chocolate and that slight roastyness again. Finished dry and sweet, with a lingering chocaolate character.

A good drinking German Schwartzbier. Certainly a session brew, if it was available more often down here.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. It was a surprise to find another schwarz this time of year, they tend to be pretty hard to find.

Pours a schwarz-y watery pitch black with a finger of khaki head that fades to a spotty coating. Smell is subtle, with toasted barley, grains, and a hint of milk chocolate. Taste echoes the smell with biscuity toasted malts, burnt coffee and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is thin, but that's what make schwarzes so drinkable for as dark as they are. This isn't quite up there with Sprecher's Black Bavarian, but it's a tasty example of the style and worth seeking out for a drinkable dark lager.

Photo of Marty
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is DARK! The only other Schwarzbier I've had was Saranac's Black Forest. This beer is at least as dark, if not darker, than BF. The head is a soft, light beige, with average-sized bubbles; not sticky, but slow to dissipate.

Smell is malty, and not overtly hoppy. I can tell this beer is going to be sweet.

I'm surprised by the taste of this beer. It is deeper than Saranac's, with some chocolatey undertones. Deep, but refreshing. Light with a nice hoppy finish.

I could drink lots of this beer.

Photo of Troyone
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark off brown color with an amber/copper hue, minimal off biege head, lots of carb action.

Has a sweet toasted molasses/caramel malt smell with a resin/orange hops aroma.

Lightly sweet, lightly/mod acidic, dark chocolate, and molasses malt taste with a rough grapefruit/orange hops flavor.

Light/medium bodied, dry texture, soft carbonation, and a some what metallic/astringent finish.

Not my style, taste similar to the Gordon Biersch version.

Photo of Barraclou
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here's the new guy I found when I returned my empties to the grocery store. At CAD 2.49 per 500ml can, it is also budget priced.

Appearance: It makes no doubt: it is a schwarzbier. It is dark brown / black with some white lace on top.

Smell: Its aromas are very inviting. It is like a mix of floral hops, roasted malts, chocolate and coffee.

Taste: The first thing you discover is a taste of roasted grain, then it is like a average black beer with that very interesting flavour of chocolate or coffee.

Mouthfeel: It is not that not that bad, but it is too carbonated when the beer warms up.

Drinkability: It is a very nice surprise. I am glad to recycle since it brought me to the grocery store and made me discover this beer. It is one of the most intriguing reviews I done. I don't know if this beer is good only once in a while or also good for drinking more than one in a night. I need to check it. :)

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pint served on tap at the Essen Haus in Madison, WI. This beer has a not quite black color with a light brown head. Roasty malt aroma with some cocoa and hops. The flavor is surprisingly light considered how dark the beer looks. The malt is slightly sour. There is a little cocoa flavor, which is nice, but it could use some more. Not as roasty as I would like either. Mouthfeel is a little watery. This is an average example of the style.

Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.51/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad Schwartzbier. Poured out to a (gasp) dark brown/black appearance with a large head the color of heavily creamed coffee. Medium low carbonation. Not much of an aroma, but some mild malt was detected. Taste was very smooth and enjoyable. Flavors of roasted malts and hops with a black pepper note toward the finish. Seemed to go together very well. Well balanced mouthfeel was not too full, but adequate enough to make one note that some craft has gone into this brew. This could be a good crossover beer for those looking to expand their experience of German beers. Recommended.

Photo of BrinkyBeerBoy
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle with a great 16th century oil painting on the label with nice comment on the neck saying "The Black Beer with the Blonde Soul" very nice.

My flawless pour has a perfect inch and a half sticky, thick tan foam head, and almost black with dark ruby glow all over.

Sweet caramelly, molasses(reminds me of amish shoefly pie in a way), and a little german chocalate on the nose. Smells very clean too.
Well balanced, incredible toasty, creamy(meal in a glass) sweet malt with a perfect touch of hop bitterness that longs the hearty mouthfull. Good lacing going down. Toasty finish, and a great medium creamy mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. I'm glad at this time I have 22 more in the fridge!

A great Schwartzbier for only 24.99 a case. May this Schwartz be with you. Great German dark lager!!

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark beer that is actually very clear with deep garnet highlights when held to a bright light. There was a thick half inch of head at first pour that retained pretty well over a few minutes. Small amount of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Lots of toasty Munich malts mixed with some generous chocolate and a tad of caramel. Very clean!

Taste: Extremely mild flavor for a beer so dark. There is some serious malt in this beer, but the roast and hops seem to almost completely cancel it out. The flavor profile starts out balanced toward the toastiness of the malt, and this slowly fades to a slightly bitter finish. The Chocolate malts only become apparent late in the aftertaste.

Opinion: I really enjoy this world-class beer. Some other beers in this style, like Sapporo, are balanced by using lighter flavored ingredients. Kostritzer is remarkably easy on the palate because it is well brewed. This is a good beer to prove those guys wrong who say "I don't like that dark beer stuff because it is too heavy" We all know some of those...and this one will show that there is more to beer than color.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this on a recommendation of a fellow BA during our weekly get together. This is certainly one of the oddest, most unique beers I have tried. Poured a very dark, ruddy, almost opaque ebony with a active, downright alive 1" head of loose bubbles, like a soda, that faded quickly. Nose was interesting, hard to pin. Ahhh, licorice, maybe sassafras...crisp, very unique.

While most beers start soft and finish sharp, this one is the opposite. What a crisp and epervescent taste. The licorice and sassafras carry to the tongue, sharp, alive, mildly peppered. A lull on the pallete gives way to a very soft, malted, even, smooth finish with an echo of an lighly bitter & dry aftertaste.

If you enjoy beers that offer unique taste experiences, give this one a try. It could take a few times to really understand it. Not spectacular, but interesting enough to warrant recommendation and further tries.

Photo of battlekow
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Von Triers on Farwell. Poured a beautiful silky black with a small, brown head. Smelled and tasted malty, very little hop presence. I had this at a bar before dinner, and it suits that role well, almost an appetizer: tasty and full-bodied, yet light and easily drinkable. My first black beer--I will definitely be trying others.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,566 ratings.