Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
87
very good

781 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 781
Hads: 1,661
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 89
Gots: 149 | FT: 0
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 (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 781 | Hads: 1,661
Photo of AmyfaceNYC
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great dark beer. Nice malty flavor, with a surprisingly crisp and fresh mouthfeel. Doesn't feel heavy or warming at all--instead, tastes light and refreshing. Malts are pronounced but mild enough for this beer to be highly drinkable. Beautiful dark color. Would highly recommend. (289 characters)

Photo of monorailred
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sitting in a restaurant in Hamburg Germany...I guess they must think Americans are beer ignorant. I could not get the waiter to tell me details on the beers available. Only could get "pilsner or dark." Maybe it was just a combination of non - existent Germany and good (but not great english!). Knowing the pilsner was Bitburger, I chose the "dark" in the hopes it was a good and new beer to me.

I was rewarded.

This is a very good beer. Very dark with pretty good head retention. A great smell and very pleasant on the palate.

A nice "accidental" discovery that paired quite well with the weiner schnitzel. (613 characters)

Photo of fountainofyouth
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Guinness-style tulip glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown body with translucent dark red-brown when put up to light. Small light tan head.

Smell: Sweet, deep caramel malt and some hop spice. Blackberries and plums.

Taste: Mild and calm -- maybe a little bland? Some dark toast and a bit of brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Finishes clean with a bit of dryness in the back. Medium-bodied, average carbonation. (422 characters)

Photo of Jsteez
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a can into a beer mug; a beige 1/2" cream head that faded quickly into an ultra thin tan surface; left some lacing behind on the glass; a straight black color, yet ruby red when held to light.

S: Not a lot going on here, just some slight sweet caramel malt and some grassy undertones.

T: Nice balance between sweet, dry, and bitter. Dry/ and slightly bitter aftertaste, sweet caramel malt in the front end; grassy and slightly prune-like throughout; bitter-sweet chocolate; roasted malt; tobacco leaves. Nice combination of complex flavors, yet quite subtle overall.

M: Light bodied, fresh, and velvet smooth. Carbonation on the moderate/low side. I could easily drink a few of these. Refreshing!

O: It's just a good all around schwarzbier. Perfect for any time of year, especially the cool evenings of April. It goes with a lot of foods or by itself. Nice complement to brats, pickles, kraut, and mustard. Prost! (935 characters)

Photo of Bryanscott141
4.99/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my go to bier. Everyone assumes it is heavy like a porter or a stout. It is a perfectly balanced light bier, it is just dark in color. I love surprising people with its great flavor year round. Everyone should try it just once....it may just become your favorite bier. (276 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So glad I finally found this on tap somewhere (the way it's supposed to be). Poured into the brewery's trademark 500ml mug pilsner glass at Shotwell's.

Wow, I was surprised with how opaque looking this beer is. Granted, I've had my fair share of schwarzbiers in the past, but none of them seemed this blackened - indeed, this looks just like a porter, rather than any lager I've seen. Looks reddish when held against the light, but that's about it. A frothy tanned head coats the top of the glass, and although it dissipates into a ring quite often, every long sip would agitate the beer enough to bring it back about 2 fingers worth. For the style, this is eye candy, plain and simple.

Smells terrific - roasted, slightly fruity, and grainy in the same vein as freshly baked dark bread. Big notes of roasted barley, similar to pumpernickel, as well as cashews, light espresso, and cacao nibs (it's resemblance to baker's chocolate is astonishing). Contains a dark fruit profile akin to raisins or cherry pits, but it's quite subtle. Light peppercorns, brief zestiness, but overall a roasted profile that permeates aggressively throughout. It also gets a bit smoky at the finish as it warms up, which, combined with the roasted barley and chocolate flavor, creates a very warm, vibrant schwarzbier.

Wow! This is roasted as all hell, in the same manner that a good English porter tends to be. This completely transcends the style as far as I've ever known it, and rather than pit a caramelized grain and crisp toasted malt character together, this ups the ante with a roasted, chocolate and coffee bean bitterness that is malty and rich throughout, with a permeating smoky and grainy power that does not let go, even minutes after sipping it. It's really all about the roasted barley character here, but definitely some dark fruits make themselves noticeable, as well as a slight hop zest and earthy character that makes this very robust and memorable. Carbonation is spot on - plentiful and playful, and the feel is wet and refreshing, in spite of the ridiculous barley astringency. As time goes on, the palate fully adjusts to this and it gets easier and easier to drink. What a fabulous beer - definitely a sipper, but quite simultaneously crisp and refreshing.

This is, quite simply, one of the benchmarks for what a schwarzbier should be, and what it's capable of doing. There's a barley kick in here that's unlike your typical dark lager, and it simply DEMANDS to be paired with bratwurst and brown mustard due to its robust, smoky, slightly charred flavor. Really good, and I could easily have two of these in one session. Highly recommended! (2,652 characters)

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass.

A - Poured a clear very dark brown with a one-finger khaki colored head, which dissipated quickly. Patches of lacing.

S - Powerful aroma of roasted grains, black coffee, chocolate, and a hint of spicy hops. Smells amazing.

T - Rich, dark roasted grains forward, without hardly any of the sweeter elements indicated in the nose. Earthy hops make themselves known in the finish. Not at all complex, but the flavor that is there is excellent.

M - Light bodied, with slightly spritzy carbonation. Somewhat grainy. Finishes extremely crisp.

O - I found myself wishing it was just a tiny bit creamier and just a tiny bit sweeter. But overall, one of the better examples of the style. Would gladly drink again. (754 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into imperial pint
Aroma of malt, no hops
Head large (6 cm), light brown, frothy, slowly diminishing to an incomplete layer
Lacing sketchy
Body clear, dark amber
Flavor slightly sweet, malty, no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, carbonation soft

A very nice looking, sessionable beer, one I’ve enjoyed on tap and in bottles, in both the US and Germany (411 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had previously had this in a bottle and food it very good but not overly impressive. Although I still have had one or two that I think are better, having had it again on tap, I have found it to be better than I previously felt, which is not always the case.

On tap, almost black, it has a large tan head that slowly shrinks to lasting thin foamy top and leaves a little bit of lace.

The aroma is mostly molasses and toasty bread with licorice and a hint of earth.

The taste is toasty with elements of prunes in red wine, licorice, earth, and hint of chocolate. I found it on tap to be less dry and thin of character, only slightly dryish with a light sweetness and light toasty-licrorice bitterness. It is smooth and very easy to drink. On tap, the body was slightly fuller and more satisfying than when I had it in the bottle, when it seemed thinner. (857 characters)

Photo of beergoot
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark, reddish-brown body with a rich, thich, creamy light tan head. Sweet cocoa and marshmallow aroma; sweet chocolate; lightly roasted grains.Taste follows the scent with a counterbalancing hop bitterness bringing up the end at the finish. Light to medium body; slightly fizzy with carbonation at times, but more so a light, velvety smoothness; clean, semi-sweet finish.

A very tasty malt-forward schwarzbier, relatively light in body compared to many dark ale styles yet packed with great taste, aroma, and mouthfeel. I know the BA style description emphasizes hop bitterness for the style, but this one really brings the rich, dark malt sugars and flavors. Smooth, deep, and intriquing with a lager smoothness combined with a delicious roasted grain charm. (760 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 500 ml bottle to a pilsner glass.

A: Pours a deep brown/black. There is a nice three finger off white head that seems to last a while before breaking and leaving behind some lacing but little else.

S: malts and a very subtle smokiness.

T: the malts are there again, but the finish is a bit roast/toast.

M: smooth and creamy with a lower than expected carbonation.

O: I really didn't know what to expect with this beer, having never had a schwarzbier before. I was really surprised by sessionability/drinkability of this beer. I could have easily had a few more, if they were available. While I would not say that this is the most spectacular beer I have ever had, I would happily have more, and would gladly share it with friends. (742 characters)

Photo of TheHammer
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Two fingers of head, check, good amount of lace check, head retention, well two out of three ain't bad as the head vanished at the half way mark. The body is a deep, nearly black brown that reveals not the carbonation in it's body.

Smell: Dark roasted malts dominate the nose, with touches of coffee in the background. There are also some creamy and yeast notes I'm picking up as well. Warming helped it's case somewhat but wasn't overt.

Taste: It starts with a semi-sweet malt taste that reminds me of chocolate chips, it then turns to a slightly burnt toast taste with a hint of dry espresso and ending with a grainy almost hay-like lager snap with a hint of pepper.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is certainly the strength of this one, as it seems to bring the beer in waves, which coincidentally make the beer taste almost, disjointed in some ways, but it also adds a certain crispness to it all. The big complaint on this one though is there is an underlying bitter burnt taste that permeates the beer and extends into the aftertaste. It doesn't build upon itself because of the crispness but, it's there.

Drinkability: There is a great lager crispness to the beer, but I'm to understand that the style, despite it's dark appearance is supposed to be lighter. In this case, I'd say this beer is a slightly towards heavy medium. It settles down nicely and has a nice smoothness though.

Final Thoughts: All in all a positive experience with the pros outweighing the cons. I kinda get the feeling I'm not being quite as charitable with this review as I should, this being my first Schwarzbier, but I've had other dark lagers and Dunkels before which seemed lighter and more flavourful. Either way, I'd recommend it, there is certainly nothing wrong with this offering. (1,783 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

500ml Bottle from Beers of Europe website (£2.09):
Dark brown to black with a thumb sized, foamy head that holds very well and is a light, tan brown colour with some lacing on the sides.

Subtle roasted malts and a smoky smell with some liquorice and a touch of sweetness helped on with some vanilla. A nice aroma but not the strongest and this was a disappointment.

Stronger than the nose and the roasted malts and hints of coffee a lot more noticeable straight off the bat with a fair helping of sweetness hitting you about the same time with some vanilla and caramel lingering in the background as well along with the odd hint of smokiness.

Sweet, a medium body & moderate carbonation. Smooth feel to this one for the most part and the flavours are all pretty well balanced before being rounded off with a clean, dry finish that is a moderately bitter one as well.

A nice tasting beer throughout and one that whilst I enjoyed could have used being a lot stronger. (970 characters)

Photo of brewolero
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Oh, so delicious and beautiful. Held up to the light, it yields a lovely red hue in the glass while retaining its head throughout the entire session. The smell yields malt and roast, and the taste is dry and roasted, with malt to follow. Little obvious presence of hops, but this yields a very well-balanced, easy drinking and savor-able dark beer that appeals. I could drink this every day. (391 characters)

Photo of Kanger
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark Black. Slight dark amber halo when held in front of light. Head disappeared quickly. Thin soapy head with bubbles of various size.

Smell - Slight chocolate aroma with hints of coffee. Roasted malt undertones.

Taste - malty chocolate and coffee with a slight bitterness. Though tones of sweetness do poke through.

Mouthfeel - Crisp. Light on the palate. A little dry.

Overall - Great representation of the style. I'm not a big fan of dark beers but this is palatable for sure.

Serving type: 11.2 oz bottle (530 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown/black color with a thin, off-white head. The aroma is a little malty with hints of toasted grains. The taste neither is a decent texture that isn’t too thin nor thin the delivers a bold black lager taste. The taste has a lot of roasted and toasted flavors without being as bold or thick as a stout. Pretty decent brew for its style. (363 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A- Poured black with big soapy khaki colored head that left dense and splashy lace.

S- BIg roasted barley, coffee, vanilla, cracker malt, biscuit malt, cocoa notes.

T- Big grainy notes, roasted barley, cracker malt, roasted coffee, and a hint of vanilla, smokey, floral, and grassy notes.

M- Very smooth and pretty creamy, medium carbonation, and crisp finish.

O- A highly drinkable black lager with a very balanced flavor profile and very nice malt bill. (506 characters)

Photo of Lowseph
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

one of my favorite German beers.

very smooth with a delicious flavor that does not
stick to your palate.

great for football games and goes great with Chinese food,
just nothing too salty.

best of all it tastes a lot more expensive than actually is.

and of course serve it ice cold in a pint glass if possible. (314 characters)

Photo of admiral
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a nicely balanced schwarzbier that would be nice to drink with friends outside in warm weather.

aroma: sweetish/spicy malt

Taste: Malty with spice and slight sweetness with some nice hop bitterness to balance it out

Nice beer, well balanced and easy to drink (261 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 330 ml. embossed bottle dated 11-14-2013. Sampled on July 12, 2013.

It pours nearly black but it is really a deep mahogany brown when held to the light with a long-lasting, soft tan head.

The nose is mostly sweet with characteristics of roasted malts, molasses, yeast, and a hint of vanilla even.

The body falls into the medium range although the accompanying creamy texture is a nice touch.
The taste is much like the aroma with a forward malty sweetness but a low bitterness that just tickles the palate at the end and fades. Nice beer. (552 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle from LCB0 for $2.80 CDN into a pint glass.

Appearance - Nearly black as night, however just less than a finger of head was yielded despite a fairly aggressive pour. Nonetheless the beer looks promising and imposing at the same time. The 3/4 finger of off tan head leaves significant lacing around the glass.

Smell- Dark roasted malts, specifically coffee and biscuity goodness is picked up.

Taste - Similar to the smell, dark roasted malts are again the hero, maybe some lighter malts touches like caramel or toffee in the background. A bit sweeter than expected given the ominous black pour.

Mouthfeel - Smooth again much lighter than one would expect from a beer that shade of black. Carbonation is moderate and would harmoniously with the beer to an even greater extent than would be expected.

Overall - This is one of those beers that is enjoyable, not too pretentious in what it is trying to be, and is just a really solid, delicious beer. (964 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Called a black lager for a reason because it's...black. Poured a nice thick and creamy head but it disappeared like it had committed a crime.

Subtle smoke over a creamy malt aroma the scent is very appealing. Maybe roasted pecan as well the scent is very subtle, which is somewhat detrimental.

Kind of Smokey, kind of ashey there is some charred malt flavor. Very clean but somewhat palate drying, this beer is certainly easy on the system. Holds some taste principles of a Rauchbier but the feel of a lager, it's a good mix. (527 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark, coffee-like body; medium-sized head

Aroma: Sweet malts; lingering coffee notes

Taste: Sweet malt on the start; quickly followed by bitter grain flavors; creamy throughout; not bad overall.

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores (287 characters)

Photo of dwren89
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: can't see because in bottle (sadly had to drink from the bottle because on a train and didn't have a glass

Aroma: malty sweetness, slight roasty quality to it

Taste: lager like crispness, roasty flavor, very little noticeable noble hopping

Mouthfeel: definitely the biggest thing that screams lager about this beer and not stout or black ale style, clean, attenuated, and crisp

Overall Impression: Nice change of pace from standard Munich helles or dunkel, the roasty flavor shines in this distinctive German lager style. (537 characters)

Photo of steveh
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (1,197 characters)

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
87 out of 100 based on 781 ratings.