Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

801 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 801
Hads: 1,750
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 17.53%
Wants: 102
Gots: 205 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Germany | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Köstritzer Schwarzbier Alström Bros
Reviews: 801 | Hads: 1,750
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours very dark, but is actually a blackish-red translucent when held up to light. A one-finger smooth, tan head shrinks down to a bare covering.

Aroma - very faint malt sweetness. I don't know if my nose if off-duty tonight or what, but I'm picking up next to nothing here. Some light roasted malts and coffee bean smells manage to work through, but weakly at best.

Taste - highly malted and highly carbonated. The malt component is fairly average but tasty. The bubbles burn away the malts and replace them with a sourish soda water taste. As that subsides, a mellow roasty aftertaste shows up and ends things nicely.

Mouthfeel - fairly thin given what you might expect from the color, but that's par for the style. Very bubbly, maybe a bit less would loosen up the soda water sourness. Pretty crisp for a dark beer, but again, right on for the lager style.

Drinkability - it's a reasonably good beer, one to be aware of if you see it on tap somewhere that maybe has little else in the way of selection. Easy enough to drink all night if circumstances arrange themselves as such, but not one I'd necessarily seek out.

 1,144 characters

Photo of dpend
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a fluffy head that clings to the glass.A mildly sweet malty aroma, with a trace of roasted coffee beans. Taste if very mild with smooth malts and grains. Hops slightly present in the background. Overall feel is thin and non-obtrusive with a slighlty wet finish. One of the better schwarzbiers

 316 characters

Photo of pezoids
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely deep ruby brown color with a dense tan head that subsided into a film after a few sips. There’s a complexity in the aroma. Whiffs of smoked and burnt dark chocolate, brown sugar, candy, sour tarts and yeast. The taste is delicious with roasted notes of chocolate and nuts. The finish is clean and the beer is very smooth and flavorful – but not overwhelmingly so, which makes it very drinkable.

 415 characters

Photo of jlervine
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deceptively dark black color. Hold it to the light, and you can see right through it. Wonderful coffee and ruby hues, fantastic light brown head that takes a long time to settle. Smell is crisp, perhaps a hint of Saaz hops. Toasted and roasted malts are very distant in the background. The taste is very smooth. Bready malt character is supplanted by a very light hop bite, and then a faint hint of roasted malt in the finish. Hints of chocolate, perhaps a bit of nuttiness? Mouthfeel is light and balanced, carbonation is very prickly on the tip of the tongue. Drinkability is very good, but I really wish it had a bit more toasted malt character to it. Fantastic session beer, and a good example of one of my favorite styles.

 735 characters

Photo of moulefrite
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love this style, especially in late Fall here in Chicago. It just seems so appropriate. This brew pours near black with amber and ruby highlites. Fairly generous initial, cocoa colored head-marginal lace. Nice medium roast malt-not too much mind you. Just right for the season. Very much like an infant doppelbock with mild chocolate, raisin and some nuttiness evident. A little too carbonated for my taste though. Finishes with cleansing bitter. Respect need be given to those who stock these and keep the sty;e alive.

 521 characters

Photo of TripelJ
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Now Quaffing: Köstritzer Schwarzbier

This beer was a pleasant change of pace from my recent belgian binge. Pours almost black with a very active off-white head that fills the glass. Aroma is a non-specific sweetness and is very subtle. Pretty light-bodied for a good dark beer and this adds to its drinkability. Taste is sweet with some grains and definite roasted notes. Mouthfeel is smooth with a crisp lager finish, and unlike some other lighter lagers, this one is pretty good at warmer temperatures. I'll be buying this one again.

 539 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big rocky head, black yet very clear. The aroma that is present is malt, and some chocolate notes. The flavor is slightly sour malt and chocolate that fades into a dry aftertaste of licorice that really stays with you. The body is thin and that licorice flavor in the aftertaste leads to a lower drinkability.

 309 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, the one that features Goethe reclining with a glass of this same beer in his legendary, literary hands.
Appearance: nearly black in color, though transparent in spots, and reddish brown at bottom, with a fat, fuzzy, creamy tan head.
Aroma: soft, sweet, cocoa-y, hints of gentle spices, nutty, earthy, with further notes of espresso & chocolate.
Taste: thick malt dominates the profile here, with a soft texture, after some initial play on the palate. Very creamy, nice taste.
But alas, the good bits don't last terribly long. It thins out, becomes tinny, metallic, feels altogether too light.
A very nice schwarzbier, very smooth mellow, but I've had better. Or more to the point, "bigger." Good for what it is, though.

 740 characters

Photo of grynder33
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured very dark, head lasted a little longer than most beers this color, aroma was chocolately but thin,first taste was licorice and mochabut also very thin, little bit of chocolate comes in the middle, to spritzy of a tongue feel, and just not a bold enough taste, more of a thirst quencher.

 293 characters

Photo of marburg
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Somewhere between charcoal gray and jet black lies the shade of this beer. Deep, velvety, rich color. The head is a muted, dull, grayed brown (in contrast to the rich, earthy brown of a stout). Aromas are subtle, leaking hints of fragrance. Ashy roasted grains and burnt cloth. Much cleaner though than such adjectives might indicate.

Incredibly smooth. This is what a schwarzbier should be -- dark in color, robust in flavor, and lighter in body that you'd ever expect from looking at it. Satin texture. Easy drinking. This is why schwarzbiers (and maybe dopplebocks) reign supreme among lager styles in my book. Just puzzling perfection in a glass.

Blended chicory, coffee, lightly roasted malts, mild sweetness and balancing hop presence. Cleans up nicely with a moderately dry finish and doesn't linger.

It doesn't get much better than this for a lager, folks.

 873 characters

Photo of leeenglewood
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice black with a thick head that whittles down into a nice creamy lace that laces the glass. Smells slightly sweet with a grainy bread overtone. Taste is rich and somewhat chocolaty with a pleasing sweetness that is not out of balance. Somewhat dry finish. Mouthful is rich and creamy and makes this beer extremely drinkable given its rather low abv.

 359 characters

Photo of PiratePete
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first schwarzbier. Schwarzbier I guess - it was a pitch black colour with a tan head and lace that clung all the way to the end. Nose of malt with the slight hint of coffee. Not too over powering, but very tasty. A little thin in the mouthfeel. I expected more really. A good aftertaste of roasted hops and even malt. I could have stood a slightly stronger taste but this was a good beer. I'd have another.

 409 characters

Photo of Suds
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, nearly black with a creamy tan head. The aroma dominantly roasted malt. Chocolate and coffee flavors are present throughout the beer. Quite dry, and at times a little chalky, but still very drinkable. The overall feel of the beer is roast malt, and the dry finish makes it pleasantly drinkable. Moderate carbonation and very soft mouthfeel. Delicious.

 368 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Rocky tan head subsides moderately then sits atop a deep dark brew with a hint of garnet when light is shown through. Rich chocolatey malt aroma melds with a bread crust dry malt aroma to give this brew a rich scent. The taste is exceptional as this beer is light in body yet manages to deliver a depth of flavor that provides a wonderful contrast. Rich dark carmel malt flavors blend with chocolate and a slight bit of spicy hops. This is my first schwarzbier and after trying this i would definetly like to try others of this style as this one was very smooth and flavorful.

 576 characters

Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark but translucent, almost black but not quite, chestnut brown color, with red hues reflecting light. Thin, persistent brown head. Strong lager smell, with notes of a dark fruit (figs?) and bitter chocolate, both of which are lightly reflected in the taste as well. Very drinkable, and an excellent change of pace from my normal consumption patterns.

I first enjoyed this beer on tap in Eisenach, close to Bad Kostritz in Thuringia, and I never thought I'd see it after leaving that small East German town. I was thrilled to find it, and immediately bought two six packs.

 576 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – Schwarz as night with a lively head.

Smell – Burnt bread dough provides the unique signature of this aroma. There’s a deep molasses scent in here as well.

Taste – This is a well-balanced bier. The extra-dry flavors mix well with the molasses sweetness and a slight tarty tang.

Mouthfeel – No carbonation and medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This was a good schwarzbier that went down well.

 417 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was a very dark brown/black with a white head. The smell was of roasted malt. The roasted malt dominated the taste, even more so than a stout, and the beer had a very heavy, bready aftertaste. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, this is a beer I could drink plenty of!

Quite an enjoyable treat, one I'd been looking forward to trying for a while, and I'm glad I did. There's a case at the local distributor, and if I had the room in the DBF than I would probably buy it!

 517 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle.

Pours a good looking black with dome dark magenta hues showing on the sides of the glass. A bubbly off white head. Decent lacing. The scents are mild creamy coffee. Some toasted bread and nuts. Clean scents but a bit on the weak side.

The flavors start with a heavily toasted dark bread flavor. Malty toffee and creamy coffee find their way through. There is a simple but slight floral hop bite. Unfortunately there is a mild sour aftertaste. It is unpleasant but it retreats quickly and it would not keep me from ordering this beer again.

It is medium bodied and has a clean carbonated mouthfeel. This beer is quite smooth, it has a nice dry quality and is an easy beer to drink more than one in a session. Overall, a well made and very enjoyable beer.

 776 characters

Photo of Shiloh
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a black as coal colour with a single finger tan crown that quickly disapated leaving a very tiny center lace and glass ring. Carbonation is subtle.
The body is full and the aroma has a fragrant flowery odour initially but do not hesitate or you will miss it.
The taste starts with a slight bitterness and finishes the same, also
a nut like presence.
Very nice.

 371 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a style I don't get enough of. The beer arrived looking as black as can be with a barely noticeble caramel colored head. To me this is a very drinkable lager, with nice roasted malts that are not overpowering. The aroma was mellow, sporting some roasted malt with some sweetness. The malt gently lingered and disappeared rather quickly. Overall a pleasantly good beer that satisfies the need for a flavorful beer that doesn't fill you up.

 446 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a top notch beer...pours an impressive coal black with a tan head on top....rims the glass nicely....the nose is fantastic...very sweet caramel notes mixed with a strong vanilla aroma...awesome....the body is sturdy and firm..relatively creamy texture...feels right in the mouth...the taste is delightful...again the vanilla is very evident but also some java notes..light caramel and roasted malts...this is a dandy...drinkability is sky high....I want another and another and another...(I only have one though)..THE best Schwartzie I've had...Not a real favorite style of mine...UP UNTIL NOW...Excellent beer...

 621 characters

Photo of putnam
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stiff, curdled, multi-tonal chocolate milk-colored head on top of ebony brown liquid.
The aromas are subtle but profound. Roasted nutshells and grains fold into elements of whole vanilla and over ripe blueberries.The flavors play this little game where they start out with a promising, rich, fruity, glycerin-laden texture until, after about one second, the fine, powdery roasted tannins supress all of this hedonism. Within seconds all that is left is a very clean palate with shadows of charred banana, sweet spices and tobacco.
This beer won't get a lot of high reviews because it doesn't fit popular expectations for beer this color. It is a light-bodied brew. Nevertheless, a beautiful beer.

 698 characters

Photo of TerryW
2.65/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a very mild, very gentle beer. You'll need to close your eyes to be able to work on properly smelling and tasting it.

Pours dark cola brown with a moderate caramel coloured head that gives up just a bit of lace.

Pleasant smell of malt, licorice and molasses. However it doesn't taste as interesting as it smells. Very plain, one dimensional. Sweet and malt, some sharpness on the tongue initially, but then just dead flat. Thin, watery mouthfeel.

You need to drink this one warm – slightly below room temperature – to get the most out of it.

Unremarkable, not something I'd go looking for.

 611 characters

Photo of steelreign
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Being as dark as it was, I expected a little more of, well...everything. Slight roasted grain aroma with hints of hop leaf. Not much in the way of body, but overall, the taste was quite malty and sweet - not bad, but nothing outstanding. If this was the only craft beer on tap at a bar, I would definitely drink it all night. Enjoyable on a somewhat reserved scale...

 367 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown color, large foamy head. Aroma is roasted malts and slightly sweet. A medium bodied lager. Roasted malts, subtle sweetness. Dry finish. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry and clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Nice beer. Dry finish is refreshing.

 273 characters

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
87 out of 100 based on 801 ratings.