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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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 CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours black with a lasting off-white head.
Nose shows sweet malt, chocolate, soft roasted malt and hints of cooked vegetables. Somewhat faint.
More roasted malt as a flavour, but still on the gentle side. Some chocolate and nutty hints, but that's pushing it, it's pretty restrained. Some of the cooked vegetable character comes through.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 12:02:30 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In June 1993 I was a guest of Bitburger brewery and asked to taste a 'new' beer they were test brewing with friends from Bad Köstritz ( I was told). My report mentioned burnt caramel, mushrooms, no aroma and very little depth of taste: it hasn't changed much in the intervening years!

This review is from a half-litre bottle (best before 27 Mar 2013) poured into an Abbot Ale glass tankard on 2 Nov 2012.

Black body, creamy head: looks good to be fair.

The nose is a weak blend of slightly burnt maltiness and smoked mushrooms from an open fire (at least the sickly caramel flavour has gone).

The taste was also malty but not really flavoursome or rich: must remember it's a lager based brew though.

This beer just doesn't do it for me: there are a lot of better Schwarzbiers out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 14:14:00 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of smalenberg
smalenberg

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cola like in color. Correct to style, not particularly remarkable in appearance.

S - Munich malt with slight roasted note and chocolate is evident and with a very low fruitiness in the background.

T - A slight roast bitterness quickly bypassed by malty sweetness. The bitter note is not astringent or unpleasant and is entirely appropriate and enjoyable in this style. Mildly tart aftertaste.

M - Lower carbonation than expected with a medium body and slightly flat note.

O - Very good and an great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 00:13:55 | More by smalenberg
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

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

Had on draft at Oktoberfest (Deutches Haus, Rivertown, Kenner, Louisiana). Kostritzer Schwarzbier has a medium, beige, creamy head and a black, opaque appearance, with some lacing left behind. I was not able to pick up a lot of aroma, sad to say, but one can detect a slight maltiness. The flavor is of dark-roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a touch of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium, and Kostritzer finishes fairly crisp and refreshing. Drinkablility is superb with this one. For a black beer, this is about as perfect as it gets. I think you should check it out!

RJT

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2012 15:12:25 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Pilsener Haus in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some light reddish brown highlights when held up to the light and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that slowly reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of dark roasted, almost slightly burnt malts along with some slight hints of dark chocolate.

T: Like the smell, the taste of this beer has a moderate amount of dark roasted malts with some light hints of almost burnt malts. There are light notes of dark chocolate as well.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is very easy to drink due to the low ABV and lighter body. Enjoyable and sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2012 19:52:15 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You've probably heard the one about the guy who walks into a bar. No? He says, "Ouch!" Bro. Woody went to Ardmore last Saturday to see what he could see and walked into a bottle shop. He said, "Yay! Look at all of these new CANs in furtherance of The CANQuest (TM)!" It is called The Beer Shoppe in Ardmore Plaza and for those that do not live in PA, you have no idea what a rare bird it is to find a quality bottle shop, especially one that provided me with no less than five (5) new CANned beers on my first visit. This is one of those beers.

From the CAN: "Brewed according to the German purity law (translated)"; "Germany's No. 1 Black Lager Beer"; "Bier, Beer, Biere, Birra, Cerveza, Cerveja" Man, this CAN caters to nearly the whole EU!

The loud Crack was music to mine ears and the Glug was a pleasant accompaniment. I achieved a finger of dense, foamy, mocha-brown head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark-brown with mahogany highlights at the edges. The visual is why one should always deCANt from the CAN into a glass. I had to hold it to the light to get the full effect. Nose was filled with grassy hops, just like in the Bros.' description on this site. I was ready to swoon. I CAN honestly say that I had no appreciation for lagers until I embarked on The CANQuest (TM) and found out that not all lagers are created equal. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching fullness, but not quite achieving it. The taste married the grassiness of the hops with the bitterness of anise and molasses, undoubtedly from the malt. Finish was semi-dry and quite refreshing. The low ABV makes it a good CANdidate for the cooler and I would recommend it to those who say, "I don't like dark beers." Sheesh. Get off of your high Lovibond horse and join the party!

Serving type: can

10-14-2012 16:21:10 | More by woodychandler
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Schwarzbier's are an intriguing brew - dark in colour but light in flavour, picking up the glass one gets a sense of a foreboding Stout or Porter only to be snapped back into Lager territory. As the saying goes "Change is as good as a holiday" and this to me aptly sums up my feelings about Schwarz's.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a stein.

A: The body presents a dark chocolate hue with a 1cm frothy tan head, looks good.

S: There are notes of dark coco, chicory, slight bread yeast and dark fruits. The hops are there (somewhere!) and as typical of a Lager (which is what a Schwarz basically is) there is a malt grain base underlying the whole brew.

T: The chicory hits the palate straight away, then leaves a bitterness in the middle with the dark fruits, bread yeast and grain flavours to finish. There is an off metallic taste, it's small but ever so slightly ruins the flavours a little. Aside from that the flavours are quite good and this is a refreshing beer no doubt about it.

M: Mid to light Lagery body with borderline high carbonation.

D: Good brew, only thing letting it down is the unwanted metallic taste and a hard carbonation (especially for a German beer, who usually mute the carbonation in their Lagers well). If either of these things don't irk you and you want a refreshing dark beer then this is a winner, otherwise it's merely an above average brew.

Food match: It's an odd one to match as it's neither heavy handed like other dark beers, but by the same token it isn't light in flavour as Lagers usually are. Best bet would be a cheese platter (some of the stronger flavoured cheeses as this beer is quite palate cleansing), or if you were going a main course it would pair well with heavy white-meats like duck or turkey.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 05:03:50 | More by doktorhops
Photo of JMad
JMad

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with just a sliver of brown light shining through the edges, the head was tan, a little thin, and quickly reduced to a filmy layer. The aroma is nice and roasty with some smoky flavor and a hint of coffee. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malt, a hint of bitter dark chocolate and a slight metallic taste. The beer is light with moderate carbonation and a nice dry roasty finish. this is an awesome shwarzbier, light but full of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 23:10:01 | More by JMad
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

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

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma has some chocolate and roasted malt notes, as well as some grain. The flavor is nice, with some lightly roasted malts and cocoa notes. There is also some sweetness from the malt, as well as some grass and earth notes from the hops. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2012 03:28:52 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Kremlock
Kremlock

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a nice thick head. Head as a slight brown colour to it (Irish cream). Head keeps and there is a good lacing on the glass as you drink. Colour is dark ruby / dark plum.

S: Hints of coffee, low plum, low liquorish (sweet liquorish or North American liquorish),none to low molasses but in a pleasant way.

T: None to low bread, pumpernickel, dark toffee, short metallic taste (very short), bitterness follows and then some roastiness.

M: Well carbonated, silky smooth in the mouth, makes you want to take an other sip. Oddly refreshing for a dark lager.

O: I've now had this beer about 6 times and every time I do I enjoy it more. It's is very well balance for a dark lager, everything is smooth.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 00:04:04 | More by Kremlock
Photo of T100Mark
T100Mark

California

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Almost black (dark amber around the edge of the glass). One finger head that dissipates quickly. Slight lacing on the inside of the glass. A Nice looking beer.

Smell - Black liquorice.

Taste - Again, black liquorice. Toast. Slightly sweet. Slightly bitter.

Mouth - Light. Pleasant.

Overall - A very nice lager. Sweet yet balanced. Very drinkable (don't be intimidated by the color).

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 02:36:11 | More by T100Mark
Photo of horshack7
horshack7

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark nice and opaque. On top is a beige head only finger thick.

Aroma: Lots of roasted dark malts with notes of dark fruits. Pumpernickel, faint plum, black licorice in the tail end.

Taste: A crisp mouthfeel to start. Dark fruits, plum, black licorice, malts and hops are roasted rather dark. Rye, light spice, light notes of grape and a dry but crisp finish.

Notes: Dam tasty such a remarkable and traditional German style a very find and I will pick this one up again. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 02:07:29 | More by horshack7
Photo of MadScientist
MadScientist

New York

4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown beer with garnet highlights and excellent clarity. The rocky light tan head doesn't persist but never goes away entirely and settles to a thin ring after a minute.

S: A light malt and very light hop aroma otherwise pretty clean with no DMS, no fruity esters and no diacetyl.

T: A light roast malt flavor ahead of a balanced malt sweetness and hop bitterness. No discernible hop flavor. The finish is dry with a light roast flavor in the aftertaste.

M: Moderately-light bodied with a moderate carbonation. There is a little creaminess as well.

O: This beer is dry, crisp and refreshing like a pilsner with the hop flavor traded for a dry roast flavor and a touch more malt.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2012 23:28:57 | More by MadScientist
Photo of mjurney
mjurney

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown color almost black. Nice thick frothy head.

Very malty in the aroma. Deep caramel, molasses, hint of roasted malts.

Very deep maltiness up front. Brown bread, burnt caramel, bitter dark chocolate, touch of crisp hops. Very smooth and complex.
Dry and roasty finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 00:04:58 | More by mjurney
Photo of TheBrewo
TheBrewo

Michigan

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

We crack the top and pour a root beer colored brew. It lightens up around the edges with light. It holds a one finger tan head showing okay retention. There are patterns and crypts of lacing left around the glass, and a fat aggregate of bubbles atop the center of the liquid. Carbonation appears lower, and no sediment or haze is noted. The nose shows malts of the deepest caramel, with a slight roast and char. They also give some chalky flour dryness as well. There is a thick sheet of tin and metals, and with warmth a buttered kettle corn comes through, warming the nose and adding spice. Our first impression is that it is not as sweet as we expected. As we sip, the flavoring opens with a sour malty bitterness and a deeply charred grit. There is an adjuncty, floury quality that pulls us to the middle, where the roast and char continue, along with a sweeter but more drying sugariness. Further souring lactics mark the finish, with more bitterness of grain, sweetened honey, and soft heavy creamer. The aftertaste breathes of that chalky grain, caramel, lactics, char, and a soft floral note. The body is light to medium, and the carbonation is the same. The mouth is left wet, but with a dry astringent streak. There is decent slurp and froth to each sip, but it feels on the thin side at times. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks fine.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the drinkability. There is a nice balance throughout that you don’t feel like you ever get sick of it, or that any one flavor becomes overpowering. The flavoring was rather simple however, and petered out a bit by the end, but there was a recognizable robustness that made this a nice beer. This would go best with a meal of sauerkraut and smoked sausage, rather than as a standalone beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2012 01:43:45 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

.5L bottle dated 7 Nov. 2012 -- purchased in Bavaria and consumed a few days later in Innsbruck in a wine glass.

Pours a near black mahogany, clear, with a sudsy tan head. The head has rather weak retention but leaves nice lacing.

S&T: excellent sweet/bitter balance; nice dark roasted malt flavor without any burnt qualities. Hops are a little more evident in the aroma than the taste. Fine aftertaste featuring dark roasted malt.

O: no flaws to speak of, and nicely smooth and balanced, but the nose and flavor could be a little bit stronger.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 20:02:36 | More by chinchill
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle.

A - Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights. 1 finger of creram colored head. Average lacing.

S - Brown bread crust, nutty yeast, hints of oxidation,

T - Follows the nose with brown bread, tangy yeast, some wheat cracker flavors and a good amount of grassy hops provide a chalky bitterness. Finishes with toasted malts and a grassy bitterness.

M - Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

A nice bready lager with some earthy characteristics and a nice grassy hops.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2012 16:24:06 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of nebula1999
nebula1999

Connecticut

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

I had a small gathering of friends and offered a variety of beers, including a 5L draught can of this beauty. No one bit, so that left the whole thing for me! I finished the can over a long weekend no problem, and the vessel retained the brew’s carbonation and flavor through 4 days opened in the fridge (provided I laid a piece of duct tape across the vent opening at the top of the can after each use).

Pours nearly pitch black from draught can with a medium rocky tan head, large bubbles. Settles easily in the 0.5L mug with some nice lacing.

Aroma is of malt sweetness with some breadiness and char (not smoke). Hint of cocoa. No hops to speak of. You instantly know it is of Germanic origin.

Taste/mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with some light chocolate flavors and roastiness from the malt. Mild bitterness dries things out nicely. Not heavy. In fact the low abv lends itself for quaffing many in one sitting, and is barely detectable. Flavors are retained from top to bottom, pour after pour, leaving no palate fatigue for such a dark beer.

Highly recommend trying this one in the 5L draught can, if you can find it. I have had this beer in a bottle also, and it is just as good. Something fun about the draught can though. Try it with grilled chicken wings…buffalo, bbq, or otherwise.

Serving type: can

07-24-2012 16:27:48 | More by nebula1999
Photo of BeerDocT
BeerDocT

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled tulip glass.

-Appearance 3.5: Ebony black color very smilar to a stout, but with a slight white head. Head was very small, despite my attempts to generate one by tilting the bottle while pouring.

-Smell 4.0: Very nice bouquet, hints of toasted grains mixed with lagery grains and hops. Nice.

-Taste 4.0: Front is slightly sour, but then fades into a familiar lagery graininess. Middle is actually a bit dry with very, very slight hints of toasted grains. Finish is long and complex and the toasted grains really come forward followed by lager sweetness and hoppiness. There is a subtle dryness here that is refreshing. Aftertaste is all smoky grains and malt with a slight hop return. Everything is balanced and restrained and elegant.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: Standard lager carbonation, very refreshing.

-Overall 4.0: I have tried many Black Lagers and Koerstritzer is head and shoulders over all of them. This brew is a wonderful mix of lager elements, but with the slight addition of smoky grains and the larger barley middle of a stout or porter. This beer is balanced and never over the top. Other Black Lagers would do well to study this unique balance. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 03:58:33 | More by BeerDocT
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before March 20 2013. It has been a seriously long time since I have had a schwarzbier, but I really liked the last (and only) one I tried - so picking this up was a bit of a no-brainer.

Pours an opaque blackish-brown colour, with ruby red highlights under the light. Two fingers of tan-coloured head surge forth from the surface, dissipating gradually over the next few minutes, leaving behind a smooth, creamy cap and some lacing stuck to the sides. Very subtle aroma with slight hints of caramel, roasted malts and a vague dark fruit aspect. There's also a distinct lager yeast note. Decent aroma, but too weak to be impressive.

Though the aroma left a bit to be desired, this is some tasty, full-flavoured stuff for a 4.8% brew. Roasted, grainy dark malts are prominent, providing a flavour that is somewhere halfway between baker's chocolate and coffee grounds. There are also suggestions of prunes and perhaps dark cherries, which lead into the earthy, hoppy finish. Dry aftertaste with a bit of dark chocolate. On the light side of medium-bodied, some slight oilyness with a modest bite from the carbonation. Easy to toss back quickly, but tasty enough to warrant some savouring.

This style has always interested me - I enjoy sessionable lagers, and I'm also a fan of lighter porter/stout type beers, so the natural conclusion is that I would like schwarzbiers as well. Unfortunately, there just aren't a lot of accessible examples around here. This one has convinced me to look a bit harder for more, because they really do make for a great pint.

Final Grade: 4.13, an A minus. The Germans are, simply put, the masters of lagerdom. Though they seem to be more famous for their pilseners, weisses and bocks, they also make some damn fine 'sessionable' dark beers. Kostritzer Schwarzbier is a ridiculously drinkable testament to their national expertise that no beer geek should neglect to try. I really wish this was available locally, because I'd be buying bottles by the handful.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 04:48:51 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of estlinska
estlinska

Arkansas

3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, poured into a pint glass. Poured dark brown, nearly black with 1 finger of off-white head. The smell was roasted malts, burnt bread, and a very subtle hop. The taste was all lager, very bready with some roasted malts. A little watery with a decently long finish. Very average to me.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 23:58:15 | More by estlinska
Photo of KMcG
KMcG

Virginia

3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with a tan head about 2 fingers thick

S: malty, slightly nutty, overall mild

T: Roasted malts that give a nutty taste, light on the hops, slight bitterness at the end

M: Thin, light and easy to drink. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is nice sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 17:23:46 | More by KMcG
Photo of MrMegaton09
MrMegaton09

Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Original Bottle

Appearance: Dark Lager with very low transparency. Minimal Lacing.

Smell: Maltly aroma, notes of chocolate/toffee, hop aroma non apparent.

Taste: Very good flavor and extremely balanced. As with aroma notes of chocolate and toffee come aparent. Slight to no hop bitterness. This may very well be one of the most balanced and cleanest finishing brews I have had yet.

Overall: A very good choice no matter your particular preferences. A very drinkable beer with a great rich flavor. A special thanks to my friend who gifted me this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 21:40:06 | More by MrMegaton09
Photo of BierStein711
BierStein711

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, four finger coca-cola head

Black as night

Healthy carbonation

Taste: Malty, chocolate , booze, and a tad bit of hop at the finish.

S: Lager yeast

M: perfect

Overall, this is the perfect beer for a business function. This is a beer that says "I mean business." It delivers no frills drinking pleasure!

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2012 18:44:47 | More by BierStein711
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 11.2 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts. Taste is also rather mild, roasted malts, just a touch of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, while not a bad beer, I felt it was a little lacking for this style.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 22:06:16 | More by tone77
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,275 ratings.