1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,406 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,406
Reviews: 747
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 66
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their website

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Köstritzer Schwarzbier Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,406 | Reviews: 747 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Durge


4/5  rDev +2%

Another happy find on tap at the Black Forest German restaurant in Minneapolis, MN, this cold mug is full of opaque black-brown brew. It shows a medium tan head and modest, streaky lacing. The aroma is very subtle chocolate apple malt, not bad but elusive. The flavor brings crisp apple wheat with light smokey malt and some tangy orange licorice rolling around at the edges. Very refreshing and highly drinkable. Relatively light bodied despite the appearances. Something a little different and quite enjoyable.

07-29-2009 14:03:39 | More by Durge
Photo of bsp77


4.38/5  rDev +11.7%

Serving glass: Poured from tap into half-liter mug.

Appearance: Looks black but is actually exceedingly dark brown, with thin sustained head.

Smell: Mostly malts - dark fruits, caramel, cherry and roasted malts.

Taste: Nice balance of slightly sweet fruit, light roasted malts, chocolate and some noble hops.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation, relatively light body. Much smoother than expected for such a light body.

Drinkability: Easily the most drinkable beer I have had that focuses on roasted malt. Very impressed.

07-23-2009 04:08:12 | More by bsp77
Photo of sweemzander


4.18/5  rDev +6.6%

12oz. bottle poured into a mug. No bottled date except for "B" and "4" notched onto the rear label.

(A)- Pours a super dark brown. Big tan frothy head formed and slowly dissipated down to a light layer. Lots of lacing.

(S)- Roasted malts followed by a molasses component. Almost coffee-like.

(T)- Rich malts, not necessarily sweet, but rich. Light roasted creamed coffee aspect.

(M)- Smooth stuff! Rich and overall balance between everything. Good carbonation level. Light bodied, despite its deceiving color.

(D)- A great example of the style if there ever was one! An easy drinking and enjoyable beer. Great effort.

07-22-2009 19:53:26 | More by sweemzander
Photo of secondtooth


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Black (schwarz) beer is right. Huge head here, and looks like a stout
though it pours like a lager. Hmm. Sweet taste, hint of maybe some
maple syrup overtones. Not an overly challenging beer, but wholly
satisfying, and a terrific jumping-off point to the world of darker
beers. No problem here.

07-20-2009 03:19:27 | More by secondtooth
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

A- Dark brown with kahki head. Nice thickness to the body and head.

S- Toasted cereal grains with hints of caramel and molasses

T- Toasted cereal grains with a trailing bit of sweetnes and finishing with a little bitter zing

M- Light bodied, ample carbonation but also a light mouth coating texture

D- Smooth yet flavorful... nice balance

07-13-2009 14:29:43 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Amalak

New York

4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

(Second review) I had out of a mini-keg.
It's still black and the head and lace are still small with a little nut scent.
This was SO MUCH better than the last time. I will blame the tap at Harefield (which is a shame, b/c it's normally a good bar for taps.)
Very well-balanced tart black beer, not too tart. Good nuttyness and a nice caramel sweetness. Smooth and refreshing, not too dry. Total win (as compared to the C+ that I gave it the first time).

I had a harefield road in brooklyn.
A- Basically black (it was somewhat dark in the bar, so not sure if it was completely black). Limited head and lace.
S-No real scent at all.
T-Slight woodish taste, smooth, but lacks any real definitive style to it.

07-12-2009 19:41:52 | More by Amalak
Photo of endovelico


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

Live review. Poured into Nonic. Reviewed under medium low natural light. Best before date 05/09.

Appearance: Pours a voluptuous creme head brew that quickly fizzles into thick cap. Color is deep dark brown with mahogany highlights. Leaves some spots of "lacing".

Aroma: May have compromised condition, slight metallic smell. Nice bready, roasty, chocolate and caramel upfront. Strong muffy whiff of black patent malt. Some chocolate on the back. No hop smell.

Taste: Strong roastiness upfront with chocolate. Slightly unbalanced in my opinion: Roastiness from the black malt overwhelms the caramel and biscuity potential. Having said that this is the first Köstritzer i taste with this problem. Might have been a bad batch.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Nice round texture on the mouth. Medium to medium low carbonation. Slight black malt astringency. Medium to medium high bitterness. Bitterness perceived seems a mix between the dark malts bitterness and hop bitterness.

Drinkability: Overall, THE prototype for Köstritzer . Having said that definitely not THE best. Highly drinkable beer: complex enough, "digestible", good representation of the style and fair price/quality ratio. Very versatile beer to pair with food.

07-11-2009 15:24:46 | More by endovelico
Photo of GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -9.9%

An alright schwarzbier which suffers from one major flaw. Nice roasted characteristics which aren't too strong.

I can't pick up much of a smell.

However, the problem is in the taste. There is an alcohol astringency at the end of the sip. It isn't completely horrible, but it is a problem that flows to mouthfeel and drinkability.

07-03-2009 16:20:33 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of RickS95


3.48/5  rDev -11.2%

Thin tan head that is gone quickly. As the name would suggest, the beer is black.

Hops were subtle in a nose dominated by malt. While there are no strong smells, pleasant caramel scents shine.

Tasted watered down, with maybe a hint of licorice. Gentle roasted flavor, along with the stronger caramel malty tastes.

Not unappealing in the mouth, just not terribly appealing...nothing happening, no great flavors.

No carbonation, though it is slightly crisp in the aftertaste. Sweetness is everywhere, but in a gentle, non-offensive way.

Tastes and feels like a session beer, but I don't know the alcohol. I could drink a few of these and no be disappointed. It's a very easy drinker and with the lowish feeling ABV, something you can tackle all night.

06-29-2009 00:24:25 | More by RickS95
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy


3.65/5  rDev -6.9%

A: balck pour with a short tight head with
little retention.

S: sweet malts with hints of tobacco and smoki-

T: Sweet malts with a fermented grape at the sip
with the slightest bit of hop.

M/D: A little thin lacking good carbonation but
the overall experience is above par for
the style.

06-18-2009 23:11:09 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.13/5  rDev +5.4%

(Served in an Imperial Pokal)

A- This beer has an opaque dense black body with a sandy tan head of cream that sticks to the glass with each sip. There are a few random tiny bubbles seen gliding to the surface.

S- The dry fresh roasted grain note has a dry caramel note and a dry chocolate grain note it.

T- The smooth clean roasted malt flavor has some dry pale malt flavors with just a bit of sweetness. There is a soft earthy note to the roasted bitterness finish that also has a light cream and tang qualities to it.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with crisp fizz finish the blends the slight sweetness of the malt.

D- This beer has a nice roasted malt flavor which has a good depth but still remains smoothly lagered.

06-09-2009 20:51:12 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev -2.3%

A: A deep reddish mahogany color, with some visible carbonation. The tan head is fairly large, creamy, and chunky, although retention could be better. Some solid lacing.

S: Roasted dark malts, nuttiness, and some earthy aromas. A mineral character as well.

T: A healthy dose of roasted dark malts provides some sweetness. A considerable nutty flavor, with a mild, mineral and earthy bitterness. A touch of sourdough bread crust as well.

M: Medium bodied, with moderate carbonation. A bit watery and slightly astringent.

D: Nice and drinkable, although not overly exciting. This improves considerably as it warms and as I continue drinking. An interesting style for sure. I'd drink this again.

06-02-2009 03:10:14 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of WakeandBake


3.88/5  rDev -1%

A nice dark reddish to black color with a huge off-white head. Aroma is more malty than expected,nice roasaty malt with a bit of coffee. Flavor is nice and malty too, nice roast, some toffee,moderately bitter ,medium carbonation with a dry crisp finish. A good sessionable drinker,and a fun try.

06-01-2009 23:56:05 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of MLasoski

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

Served: In a bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A: A very dark brown, almost black, body. Little to no head formed as it was poured into the glass. Looks very syrupy.

S: The aroma sends a smell of sweet, caramelized malts with a fruity overtone.

T: Has a bit of a coffee taste with a hint of cocoa, maybe caramel.

M: Very smoothe. It has a coffee aftertaste.

D: I'm beginning to like schwarzbiers more and more. Seems like it'd be good with a New York strip steak or something else along those lines.

05-31-2009 23:27:46 | More by MLasoski
Photo of jsh420


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

pours black but you can still see through it when held up to the light - about a 1/2 finger head that leaves spotted lacing

smells of roasted malts and grassy hops

taste/mouthfeel very ight body with good carbonation taste is grassy hops upfront followed by roasted malts

drinkability is good if you are looking for a darker little more robust german lager

overall out of the 2 beers i have had from this style i enjoyed this one a little more then the sam adams

05-17-2009 03:21:34 | More by jsh420
Photo of Getinthevan


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

Picked up a bottle of this stuff while going on a Tucher kick. Hadn't seen it before so I thought I'd give it a try.

Appearance was black as motor oil and the sky at 3am. One of the darkest beers I've ever seen that wasn't a porter or stout. Little head retention, but good lacing kept its volume together. A nice looking beer from the get go.

Smell was fairly high in roasted malts and chocolate. Maybe a touch of coffee somewhere in its roots? Either way, this smelled delicious and certainly perfected. It's great when crapshoots on beers like this work out, as this was certainly a nice, aromatic brew.

Taste was excellent. I was surprised how light and hearty this beer was. While from its appearance it looked like a thick beer, in its taste its a bit lighter in overall volume, but incredibly full and satisfying. This stuff is truly top notch with all the flavor to spare.

Mouthfeel was great as well. All the flavors remained intact with more chocolate/coffee-like malts coming to the surface.

Drinkability was excellent. By far one of the more eye opening beers I've had in a long time. Definitely worth a second/third/fourth taste to infinity and beyond. Great stuff.

05-16-2009 07:22:56 | More by Getinthevan
Photo of armock

New York

3.48/5  rDev -11.2%

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt with chocolate scents touch of hops

T - Follows the nose but not as good I think roasted malt chocolate some hops

M - This beer has a thin watery body with light carbonation to it

D - I don't think this is a style that I can get into very much its not a bad beer theres just not much to it that makes me want to have more

05-05-2009 18:21:47 | More by armock
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%

500 ml bottle poured into a Sprecher Maaskrug. C 6 notched on the label. No idea what that denotes.

A - Black as night with the smallest amber/ruby highlights and an enormous tan, dense, and lumpy head which seemed to refuse to go down. Some sticky lacing on the glass too.

S - Crisp, rich smell. Light coffee with roasted malts, caramel and chocolate. A mineral water smell on the finish.

T - Very light in flavor and body. Roasted malts with little definition. Nothing stands out. Some coffee and cocoa but its very subdued.

M - Light bodied. Sort of watery. Crisp carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable but with much better Schwarzbiers from Sprecher and Sam Adams, why would you want it?
*Maybe it's bad? My roommate commented it was no where near as good as he remembered.

05-05-2009 15:16:35 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of beerman207


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%

A- Pours an almost black color with a thick tan head that leaves good lacing.

S- roasted malt along with some mild fruit coming to the nose

T - Tastes of malt and perhaps some raisin. There's a coffee presence that comes in for the finish - nice.

M- Decent carbonation - smooth

D- Good brew that is very close the stout style. It's definately the darkest lager I have ever tried.

05-05-2009 01:08:08 | More by beerman207
Photo of rayjay


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

Big head on this one, making for a nice presentation. Rich dark corn syrup colored beer, like a dark version of carmel coloring itself. Dark but free of haze.

Aroma is light and pleasant but rich. Dusty fresh malt and lager aromas typical of a Helles are dominant. Dark malts really aren't detected yet.

Flavor took me a little while to acclimate to, but once I did it was a great experience. It really does take quite like a Helles lager, lightly hopped with sweet toast-like malt body an esterless lager profile. A bit of toffee and Coca-Cola flavor that finish it out in the background are all that really separate the two.

Munich malt mouthfeel, just like it's fresh out of the kiln. Carbonation is quick to leave and makes me feel like I'm drinking the last sip of a cup of Coke after all the ice melted.

Very refreshing. Quite nice and easy to drink. Delicious world-class beer. Cheers!

05-02-2009 07:02:59 | More by rayjay
Photo of goatgoat


3.58/5  rDev -8.7%

Pours a deep black with woody highlights. An aggressive pour brings forth a deep creamy light tan head. It falls quickly enough for me to continue pouring without much wait.

Aroma is roasted, spicy, herbal, grainy.

Taste is clean roasted grain with an herbal tone near the end. A building bitterness in the finish. A little harshness in the back of throat at the end.

Light, clean feel with good carbonation.

Decent session brew. Dark, roasted but very light. Overall, the style just isn't quite up my alley.

04-29-2009 20:28:09 | More by goatgoat
Photo of biggred1


4/5  rDev +2%

Dark chestnut amber with a reddish brown head of rocky foam that leaves fine lace on the glass. Aromas of fresh bread, toasted grain and honey. Tastes nice, roasty and sweet malt with some dry fruit and very little hop present in the flavor, just enough bittering to balance the mildly chalky smooth finish. Medium light bodied, smooth and crisp. A good session beer for sure.

04-20-2009 20:57:41 | More by biggred1
Photo of prototypic


3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

Another round of thanks to guinnessdoc for this one. I'm working on the Christmas stuff, dood. Slowly, but surely.

This one's a dark chestnut color. Quite a bit of light shines through and gives it nice garnet highlights. On top is a light tan colored head that stretches nearly two fingers. It didn't stick around too long and left a light lacing on the glass.

It's a tad weak on the nose, but is still above average. Given the style, it's much more malty than I expected. There's a very healthy dose of roasted malts. Smells like they're the primary feature here. A little cocoa-esque chcolate malts follow. Grains and earthy notes are present. Smells like there's a faint smoky aroma. It's definitely above average, but needs more muscle to accomplish more.

The flavor is easily a notch above the nose. Malts are nice and in the forefront. It's a mix of roasted and chocolate varieties. Roasted malts are the stronger of the two. The chocolate variety adds a nice, complementary cocoa-ish flavor. Barley is prominent throughout and gives it a grainy, earthy vibe. The finishing touch is that faint dash of smoke that emerges on the finish. I like that quite a bit. It's not complex or deep, but features a satisfying overall flavor.

Its body is light and goes down very easy. Carbonation is mid-range and doesn't offend. It's not quite smooth and feels slightly watered down. Drinkability is good. This is easy drinking and features a modest 4.8% abv. There's enough flavor to entertain me for a while, but not enough to consume an entire night by any means.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier is pretty good all around. Yeah, the nose is a little weak and it needs more body. But, for what it is, it's not bad at all. Much better than the Schwarzbier I had last night. I also like the 500 ml serving size quite a bit. It's perfect. Not too little, just enough. Sure beats the puny one you're drinking. Don't try to hide it. I can see my Schwarz is bigger than yours.

04-15-2009 01:39:56 | More by prototypic
Photo of projectflam86


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

A- Pours deep brown almost black color with a thick tan head that leaves good lacing.

S- Roasted malty nose with some hints of bread and diacetyl scents.

T- Lots of roasted toasted malt flavor with a bit of dark fruit (raisin, fig). Some coffee and caramel flavors in the back.

M- A Smooth and velvety lager with ok carbonation.

D- Nice brew that almost feels like a stout.

04-04-2009 19:47:57 | More by projectflam86
Photo of TheQuietMan22


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%

Appearance: Poured a deep brown, almost black. Two fingers of foamy head rose and dissipated to a nice lacing.

Smell: Warm chestnuts. Don't ask me where that came from. At first it was hard for me to place, but caramel malts and a hint of barnyard grassiness developed as it warmed.

Taste: Sweet caramel malts that were mildly roastly. The barnyard malts were also present when it warmed. There is very little hop presence.

Drinkability: Very even and smooth. Classic German. Now I know why Goethe drank it for sustenance. May the schwarz be with you!

04-04-2009 06:50:08 | More by TheQuietMan22
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,406 ratings.