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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,275 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1275
Reviews: 733
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%


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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,275 | Reviews: 733 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of steveh
steveh

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Found covered six-packs of this old import favorite at a local grocer. Six-pack box (and bottle label) says I have 12 days to drink these (06.18.2013) -- let's get at it!

An old favorite import from the pre Microboom® days -- haven't sampled it in a while.

A -- Inky black in color with a dense tan head that holds up well, slowly settling to a firm cap. A flash shined thru my .33L Willi Becker shows ruby highlights, but very opaque.

S -- Aroma is fresh DMS and mild roasted malt with a vague hint of caramel. Pretty light in this category.

T -- Roasted malt character with dark, baking chocolate undertones. Some mild bready notes try to balance the roasted malts with some very light hop spiciness. The finish is all roasted malt, though the bitterness in the finish and aftertaste isn't easy to dissect between hops and highly kilned malts.

M -- Smooth, soft mouthfeel with a dry finish. Light medium body.

O -- This is the king of Schwarzbier. A lager to present to the naysayers who think lagers have no character -- and at such a mild ABV too. As roasty as some Porters and Stouts, but with the clean finish that can only be the result of bottom fermentation and long, cool storage.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 21:03:18 | More by steveh
Photo of IdeaSpeeder
IdeaSpeeder

Ontario (Canada)

3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - 500ml bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance - Pours black ad night. When held up to the light light the edges of the beer show that it is in fact a dark, dark brown colour. Despite my best efforts to get a good pour, the beer poured with less than a finger of thin caramel coloured head.

Smell - Very faint smelling. What is there smells of roasted malts and some light grains. Pretty underwhelming.

Taste - Chocolate right away, followed by toasted malts and very light coffee. There are also some light grains.

Mouthfeel - Medium to high carbonation. Body is on the lighter side, making for a surprisingly crisp finish.

Overall - 3.5/5 First beer of this style, and not quite use to beers this dark being so 'light' on the palate

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 04:46:17 | More by IdeaSpeeder
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Tap at Doner pub in Leesburg, VA.

Big creamy head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, super dark black hint of light.

Nose dark creamy malts, hint of dark malt, nice crisp lager, hint of coffee like dark,

Taste starts with toasty malts, brown light biscuit and caramel, some creaminess and slightest touch of a cocoa, then the fruity lager, crisp and a little soft, mild gassy bitterness. Finish is dry and crisp, more of the grassy bitterness, slight sticky sweet caramel malt.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, nice carb, little creamy.

Overall fairly nice, very drinkable tasty schwarzbier but missing something.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2013 03:17:00 | More by jlindros
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into lager glass, best before 3/6/2013. Pours crystal clear deep reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, raisin, fig, toast, molasses, brown bread, light roast, light floral, and earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and fruity esters. Taste of caramel, raisin, fig, toast, molasses, brown bread, light roast, light pepper, light floral, and earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, dark fruit, toast, molasses, brown bread, light roast, light pepper, and earthiness on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity ester flavors; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice schwarzbier style. All around nice balance and complexity of flavors with good robustness; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2013 03:58:51 | More by superspak
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a tall-boy can, purchased for a dollar at my local Trader Joe’s.

This pours a ruddy toasty near black-slash-ruby red (when backlit) with rapidly dissipating foam. It has a rounded toasty aroma, roasty enough for me with some toffee and a touch of caramel to the coffee-bean quality aroma. I found it light and pleasing.

The flavor is smooth with enough sharpness to keep it defined, while not getting bogged down by being cloying or overly sweet. The roast profile gives it enough of an edge to keep its definition. Being what it was I liked this beer. It's approachable, interesting, and I'm looking forward to another.

Serving type: can

05-21-2013 07:21:44 | More by elNopalero
Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
BeerAficionadoMCMXC

California

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer appears a dark black with red hues when looking carefully. The head is retained for a moment. This beer smelled of stinky cereal when it was first poured, but once it settled, I get some smoky, nutty, and some spiciness to it. For all my apprehensiveness, this beer hits it out of the park. The malty flavor takes over the palate. The hop character is downplayed, but I enjoyed the malty backbone on top of the unmistakable Germain crispness that their lagers tend to have. The body is light, and very lager-like. Overall, I'd definitely drink it again. I'd say this is a perfect Fall beer for all you porter and stout fans. A great buy.

Serving type: can

05-18-2013 07:04:07 | More by BeerAficionadoMCMXC
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

My first schwarzbier since having Krusovice Cerne, one of my favorite beers from years back.

It comes in a dark, dark brown color with a tan head.

The aroma has a sweet roasted malt and some dark fruits.

The taste has caramel sweet roasted malt and a clean wonderful finish. There's a good hop bitterness in there as well and makes it really exceptional. I compare it to the Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel and obviously Krusovice Cerne.

Wonderful flavor, drinkability, and finish.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2013 20:26:28 | More by dar482
Photo of WissBrauSean
WissBrauSean

Pennsylvania

4.81/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer pours clear black with a nice one finger head that fades to a nice full ring and a cap in the center with delicate lacing. Very attractive!

The aroma comes across to me as straightforwardly caramel malty and some fruity notes like raisins and some light floral hops. Gorgeous!

The beer tastes pretty much the same. It starts off lightly caramel malty sweet and stays that way through the sip with some very mild raisin or prune notes along for the ride and finally it finishes with only the tiniest of hop bitterness, dryness and black pepperiness. LOL It's well balanced. A little roastiness comes through just as you are about to take another sip. WOW!

The mouthfeel is creamy and smoothly sweet with light body and moderate to light carbonation making this beer very easy to drink! It has a slightly dry finish.

Overall, I am going to have to concur with the BA guys and conclude that this is world class. It was a pleasure to drink and I really can't find any fault with it at all! It's light enough that the sweetness is not annoying and it serves to balance it also. 5 out of 5! Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 02:09:01 | More by WissBrauSean
Photo of sgwagner
sgwagner

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When it comes to German Schwarzbier, Koestritzer sets the standard. The color is a deep black, with a dark brown, thick head. The body is lighter than the color would suggest, with light caramel and smokey flavors, well balanced by just the right amount of hop bitterness.

This is often my go-to lager when I'm in the mood for something dark.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2013 17:33:05 | More by sgwagner
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark like cola dark with a thin off white head.
Aroma is very light and sutle with a mild roastedness
Taste is very good mildly roasted and perhaps a suggestion of fruits.
Drinks smooth baby
One of the better black lagers in my opinion. Probably would be much better on tap as the age of this bottle is unknown and probably quite old.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 12:49:58 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml can for a tasty price of a buck seventynine. the pour is the best part of this beer, dark like a stout but thinner, darker than most schwarzbiers made in the usa, with a gorgeous white head, maybe just off white, rising several inches high before slowly relaxing. the nose is medium roast malts and some spent lager yeast. I don't know why, but the yeast just isn't doing it for me here, adding too much flavor for a lager, and there is enough sweetness from the malts that it just doesn't crisp up, sort of a weird mix. maybe more hops would fix this problem, but things are just out of balance for me. long funny finish. im sure this is far superior on tap at the source, but in the imported can context, it just doesn't stack up. thin medium body and comfortingly brisk carbonation, but this was a miss for me in many ways.

Serving type: can

03-27-2013 01:41:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into the PROPER glass (ie. a Kostritzer pilsner glass).

A: Pours a dark ruby red color. The head is a two finger mocha shade that fades rather quickly, befitting a lager. A decent amount of lacing is left on the glass.

S: I notice some roasted nuts, chocolate, roasted barley, lager yeast, and coffee. It does a good job of

T: Drier than the aroma suggested. The initial flavor is mainly roasted barley and coffee. Some lager fruitiness enters the palate in the middle, and the finish is more roasted barley, imparting a very dry feel devoid of significant sweetness. Not complex or exciting, but pleasant.

M: Most pilsners wish they had this level of crisp dryness. Nothing really stays on the palate flavor-wise; I could see the argument for this being 'watery' in terms of feel. Also thin, airy, and well carbonated.

O: While it is a bit meh flavor-wise, the drinkability factor is superb, as it should be in a good lager. I won't rush out to the store to buy more, but this really does hit the spot for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 22:43:52 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of DerAtomsmasher
DerAtomsmasher

Washington

4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Blew my mind when I first had it - still does today.

The feat here, is in how light & balanced it is for how dark it is. Just the right amount of malty sweetness, the right amount of roasted malts, the right amount of hops edging out the malts.

& unlike say, a doppelbock, it's got a surprisingly clean finish for as dark & as German as it is. It's a gem.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 05:00:28 | More by DerAtomsmasher
Photo of karait95
karait95

Mexico

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very dark beer with rich carbonation, head is not very large but is well formed for a creamy consistency and slow dissipation, retention on the glass is good, a lot of traces still on the glass after time, permanent layer is always on top and it is a little thinker than usual.

S: Toasted malts are clearly noticed strong malty backbone forms the aroma of this beer.

T: Intense flavor with lots of toasted malts, barley is totally present and also hops can be detected.

M: Sensation is well balanced starting neutral and ending with little bitterness, sensation also lasts on the mouth after ending.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 03:00:13 | More by karait95
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml can into an imperial pint glass. Pours a very deep brown (almost black), with a nice, but short-lived cappuccino colored head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Has a nice aroma with notes of molasses and coffee. The taste is more coffee and roast notes, with the molasses/malt sweetness in the background and just a hint of hop bitterness on the finish, with more roast notes. It's a little thin with almost no carbonation noted, but given the flavors, I think a thicker beer would be overwhelming after a while. As it is, this is a great dark lager that doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: can

02-17-2013 09:55:12 | More by delta490
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark mahogany but looks black when not held up to the light. Semi-translucent near the bottom and edges as brown shaded light will pour through. One finger sudsy light tan head. Left a bit of lacing.

Aroma: Some sweet caramel and hints of darker malt. Slightly roasty but pretty restrained. A bit of earth as well. Very clean.

Taste: A very pleasant palate. No bells or whistles, just straight forward amber malts with a little roasted malt but not enough to add bitterness. Reminiscent of Guinness Draught in flavor but with a more definite punch to the palate due to carbonation and a bit of grassy hop presence right at the beginning. Finish is smooth and crisp with a cream flavor for a moment. 4.8% ABV sounds about right but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was even lighter than that. Almost a hybrid lager/ale.

Mouthfeel: Thin but not watery. Lots of carbonation and easy drinkability. Probably sessionable.

Final Thoughts: "Germany's No. 1 Black Lager Beer" is pretty good. Light on body and flavor but not light on enjoyability. Would I drink it again? Yes, if I'm in the mood for an import.

Serving type: can

02-03-2013 22:51:24 | More by JamesMN
Photo of mndlssphlsphr
mndlssphlsphr

Washington

3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The taste is a creamy mix of malts leading to a parched paper aftertaste. The mouthfeel is of typical precision of a soft love of liquid before it tickles the cheeks and gums to make you feel all giddy and child like, like St. Nickolas on the 6th of December with his candy. The color is quite artistic until you taste the hidden meaning behind the said work of 'art'.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 02:33:58 | More by mndlssphlsphr
Photo of Lagerquestrian
Lagerquestrian

Texas

3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

All in all, not a bad dark German Lager. Beats many other local offerings here in Texas. Taste is not as strong as I hoped for. It is a smooth, drinkable black larger with no offensive notes. For the style, it's worth seeking out. Picked up a six pack at Spec's in San Antonio. This is a quality product that the German's are known for. I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2013 02:33:31 | More by Lagerquestrian
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black and opaque with edges of brown where the light shines through. grey/off-white head disipates quickly when poured quickly into a pint glass.

S: Slightly sweet aroma, mild spicyness, german lager yeast charector I can only describe as mineraly

T: Crisp, clean and easy drinking. Spicy, earthy hop bitterness is there but so mild an pleasant you might miss it if you weren't looking for it. The smallest bit of roast charector is present, but dominated heavily by the mineral charector of the lager yeast.

M: Moderate body with a crisp dry finish. moderate carbination

O: I've been sort of fatigued with the APA/IPA/Stout beers that dominate the shelves at my local bottle shops and have been exploring german lagers more extensively. This was a breath of fresh air, crisp clean but still full of charecter and flavor. My exploration of german imports is off to a good start!

Serving type: can

01-20-2013 02:34:23 | More by guityler83
Photo of Haydn-Juby
Haydn-Juby

Quebec (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500ml can into a English pint glass

A: Nice dark color typical to a Schwarzbier. Black with red/brown colors appearing in the light. Small brownish one finger head.

S: Raisins, slight roasted malts

T: Dark roasted malts but not too heavy. Pretty sweet but evenly balanced. The taste lingers pretty long and stays with you. A bit of coffee and some of caramel. Some roast is present but its fairly mild. Heavily toasted oatmeal raisin cookies come to mind.

M: Creamy and smooth. Proper carbonation. Clean and pretty easy drinking.

Overall: Great beer. I'd buy it again if I could find it at my stores.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 21:18:35 | More by Haydn-Juby
Photo of jdkitchi
jdkitchi

Wisconsin

3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured black into a pilsner glass with a large foamy head that looked impressive but didn't last very long.

I don't get much on the nose, a little earthy maybe a little malt. The mouth feel is very light, crisp and carbonated. There are some nice malty flavors and I get a little hops in the finish. It's definitely on the light side which is true to style.

This is a pretty good refreshing beer but not quite as good as the Sprecher Black Bavarian or Monschof Schwarzbiers that I've enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2013 00:53:22 | More by jdkitchi
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a solid dark brown with brilliant ruby highlights when held to light. smallish creamy off white head musters but slowly recedes in my glass. Smells of prunes and raisins with a solid shot of caramel and burnt sugars. Very sweet aroma with little to no hop presence. The flavor is more burnt sugar than anything else. A light bit of dark fruits and a hint of ash round out the flavor. Medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation and a burnt sweet watery mouthfeel. I didn't enjoy this one very much. There aren't really any flaws here, but I felt it was a bit boring.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 00:42:35 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the more (appropriately) excellent German black beers.

The fairly dense and creamy/foamy (similar to a root beer float), khaki-colored head catches the eye first - wonderfully slow-depleting atop the deep, dark ruby liquid.

The smell hints at (sweetened) coffee with a sort of unidentifiable floral/herbal quality (hops?!?!) and extra-dark toasty. Actually, as it sits, the floral/herbal thing takes on a burnt-bitter orange peel. The complexity is nice (see: taste), but I think I'd prefer a more straight-forward rich malt aroma. But what do I know?

Liquid near-burnt toast is the dominant flavor. Similar to Malta Goya w/o the sweetness. No sweet or grainy flavors. A small bit of darkened caramel and, curiously (sort of), vague bubblegum that (re-)emerges on the palate long after an isolated sip.

I can certainly see easily knocking back a bunch of these (or a big 2L tankard). Soft-round-mild malty body. Wonderfully dry finish with an rolling off at the end, clean and rinsing like the wash of a small wave on a freshwater pond. Perhaps some yeast-derived fruity (esters?) in the follow through?

A very nice schwarz - but I feel like I've had better...

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2012 20:04:50 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of Douberd
Douberd

Netherlands

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, 500 ml, bought in Germany. Poured into a lager glass. ABV 4,8%

Colour is black and only when hold against the light becomes a very dark ruby colour. Two fingers of soapy beige head, with good retention.
Roasted malts on the aroma, with caramel and coffee hints.
Taste also of roasted malts. Begins sweeet and sour and turns to quite bitter, with a finish of dark chocolate.
Full body and light carbonation.
Very nice beer, especially for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 19:29:07 | More by Douberd
Photo of nukem5
nukem5

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured from bottle to pilsner glass and lovely black color with big rocky head of tan which seemed very happy to hang around. About the color of cola.

S: Aroma is pretty plain and clean with very little to notice but a slightly earthy scent.

T: Taste is of big malts and slight European hops, a metallic tang at the end which I have noticed in many Eropean Beers...I.E. Beck's,Heineken, St.Pauli Girl. As this beer approached room temp was more carmel and smoky flavors came out .

M: Mouthfeel is silky and full bodied, great carb level, just enough to let you clean the palate.

O: Overall great beer very tasty, went well with some Lindberger and sharp white cheddar.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 03:39:53 | More by nukem5
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,275 ratings.