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Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

790 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 790
Hads: 1,696
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 17.53%
Wants: 100
Gots: 173 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co. visit their 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: 790 | Hads: 1,696
Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nearly as roasty as Irish dry stouts, but with the smooth drinkability of German lager, this classy authentic black bier plays those aesthetic games with the eye as it promises boldness, yet delivers subtlety.

The lager looks you in the eye with a very Guinness-like pour, minus the absurd nitro-infused foam character. The very dark brown, onyx-like sheen denotes clarity and masculinity. Capped by a creamy thin, lightly tanned head, the beer lines the glass with interconnected lace.

Light roasty aromas of coffee grounds, bitter chocolate, plumbs, and raisins with shy demonstrative scents of strength and finesse. Background notes of burnt caramel and campfire stops just shy of smoke or ash.

More fruity than roasty to taste as the esters and oxidized grains allow for flavors of red grapes, sherry, soy, and dried plumbs, raisins, cola nut, and dates to garner command. Still the bittersweet chocolate taste and caramel char bridges the gap toward coffee-like bitterness and mild roast. Semi-sweet to taste, any hop character is reserved for the bitter balance that disguises itself as coffee and wood bitterness.

Light bodied, especially when the eye prepares the palate for richness and robust texture. Instead the carbonated creaminess caresses the mouth with malty roundness before suddenly finishing with a roast dryness, fleeting malt textures, and light woody alcohols.

Backing off of the more popular Irish dry stouts, if less roast character is more of your target yet a darker beer is in order, this highly drinkable but flavorful ale may fit the bill. Better still, it's light enough in alcohol and body to allow the conversation to go one more round.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
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

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3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This 12 oz. bottle of schwarzbier pours out dark brown/red with a nice 3/4" head that fades to about 1/4" and then hangs around awhile. Decent lacing.
The aroma is of sweet roasted malt. There is a little bitter coffee in there too.
The flavor follows along the lines of the aroma. There are nice roasted flavors with a little hint of sweetness and a slight bitter coffee in the finish. The flavor disappears rather quickly once swallowed.
The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. I guess whenever I see something dark I expect it to be a litle chewy and full.
This is a good beer and the only real German schwarzbier I have had.

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Photo of RickS95
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark black, nice carbonation, small head. little lacing afterwards. Scents of toasted caramel, and malts. Nice sweet taste, medium body. This is a very drinkable brew at this ABV, would recommend. I like the Samuel Adams version alot better, there's just more going on with the SA.

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Photo of armock
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of hiikeeba
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown to black with an off white head that dissipates quickly.

S - Sweet malt dominates. The only way I can describe the smell is to use the word fruity, though there's no particular fruit I can detect. Or import-y. Very sweet aroma. It smells good and fresh.

T - Sweet malt/grain flavor. No hops detected. No roast malt detected.

M - Light carbonation makes this feel slightly thin.

D - Very smooth. No aftertaste to build up.

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Photo of Antnego
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Wurstküche in Los Angeles.

A: Pours thin and almost black, with a deep ruby tinge, with some light penetration. Presents with a one-finger that head quickly dissipates. Lacing is almost non-existent.

S: There's caramel and malty sweetness on the nose, with a nuttiness in the backdrop.

T: Tastes very much like Malta, a non-fermented, Latin American malt beverage. Very low and bitterness. There's some toffee notes underneath the maltiness.

M: Very light and thin, with very little carbonation. The feel of this beer betrays its dark appearance.

O: Overall, this was very refreshing, light and non-offensive. The extreme maltiness of this was a change of pace. Very unique.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can - Pourred a black brew with a nice foamy head with good retention. Sweet beginning with roastiness and dry finish. I found some similarities with some english stout. Overall, a very decent brew from a style that is more or less known in North America. Will be looking for other product from this brewery

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Photo of IdeaSpeeder
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
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

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Photo of grittybrews
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark cola brown into a tulip with a finger of loose, quick-receding light khaki head. Slightly weak malty aroma with a hint of smoke and coffee.

Moderate carbonation and a somewhat thin mouthfeel. Again, weak toasty notes up front followed by mild caramel sweetness, slightly bitter/burnt coffee, and a mild but long-lasting smoke character.

Was expecting a little more from this beer. Easy-drinking but little flavor impact and quite thin.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Yagman3000
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter.

Appears dark brown with nearly no head to start with but a residual foam ring on outside.

Smells pretty innocent. Malts with no hops.

Tastes of dark fruit, molasses, a tad bitter.

Mouthfeel is a bit dusty and a little light for the genre.

Wouldn't run to get a new one.

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Photo of fountainofyouth
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of boMD
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Portland's Prost!... I'm not a big fan of Prost. I think it's a great looking bar with authentic themes, but the cliental and the way it's all marketed really gets to me. Poured a darkish, near black with a glowing amber hue towards the bottom of the long, plisner-like shaped glass. The head started off thick, with an off-white shade. The head dissipated quickly, but with a few swirls of the glass it was quick to form again. This beer had a lot of roast going here. Notes of cocoa and vanilla mixed with a clean lager yeast character. Also a leafy, hop flavor gave a bit of depth and bitterness to this otherwise worty, clean drinking beer.

It would be interesting to take this same beer and use an English ale yeast rather than the lager yeast.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was poured from a 12oz bottle. The color is black, but not completely opaque. It has a decent head that settles, but is retained well enough. It leave a nice lace down the glass. The scent is primarly malty with noticable roasted grains. The flavor is mostly malty with coffee-like roasted grains. It has a medium-full body with low carbonation.

This is a decent schwarzbier, but it's perhaps a bit sweeter and not as extremely well balanced as some of the schwarzbiers I've had in the past though.

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Photo of TheHammer
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

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Photo of revdrjbob
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the German club in Berkley at lunch with Teaser. I must say that the Bratwurst they do is absolutley awesome!

Poured a very dense black with a tight foamy tan head of about 2cm in thickness. Served in a pint glass.

Smelt nice, plenty of malt, chocolate and a hint of roastyness. No real hops to speak of, very clean, a touch of spiceyness.

Tasted quite thinner than you'd expect from the look and smell of the beer, but I guess it is a lager... Plenty of malt, nice hits of chocolate and that slight roastyness again. Finished dry and sweet, with a lingering chocaolate character.

A good drinking German Schwartzbier. Certainly a session brew, if it was available more often down here.

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Photo of illidurit
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a seidel. Dark chestnut brown with a thick, light-tan head. Aroma is very nutty with some roast and milk chocolate. Flavor is lightly roasted with that nuttiness and some earthy hops. Pretty watery, a letdown considering the nice aroma. Body is thinnish, almost pilsenerlike. After having some excellent and robust American takes on the style, this pales in comparison. Moonlight Death and Taxes is far more flavorful and substantial, despite being lower in alcohol! Good drinkability here, just not a lot of substance.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a half-liter at Resi's Bierstube the other night.

Deep caramel/chocolate hues with little to no visible carbonation. Flavors were nice and toasty, not quite bitter and roasty, but silky and delicious. Caramel, maybe some apple notes and something akin to smelling milk chocolate (but not tasting it). Clean finish and very drinkable.

Although I'm rating this a C+, I do think it's a tasty beer. It's above average and drinkable, but not stellar. Trying to be realistic with my ratings. I would recommend trying this beer, but don't feel the need to ever seek it out again.

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Photo of fsimcox
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black, when held up to light, I see nothing but black. Thick creamy tan head dissipates very quickly to a thin tan cover. Significant lacing.

Smells of rich, roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. Smell is a little weak, and certainly not overpowering.

Tastes of lightly roasted malt, some creamy chocolate, and a hint of hop bitterness. A little bit of coffee in the aftertaste, and maybe just a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is big, some creaminess, and a little carbonation, medium body. A rich, robust taste.

A very good example of the German Schwarzbier. This beer would be great with a smoked cheese or smoked meat.

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Photo of Pencible
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with a little light tan head. It smelled like light roasted barley with faint lemon hops and chocolate and smoke. It tasted like copper hops and burnt barley, with some bready yeast and lemon and a bit of dark chocolate. It was watery with moderate carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this wasn't very clean or tasty, with a weak scent and mediocre body. That all adds up to a disappointing beer that I wouldn't recommend unless you're desperate to try another schwarzbier.

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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.

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Photo of kwill
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark black with a thin brown head that disappears fairly quickly. The smell is very good with a bid of sweetness and hints of molasses and chocolate.

The taste is a little thin and doesn't have any of the complexity or flavors that are evident in the smell. It basically just has a slightly bitter and flat flavor. The mouthfeel doesn't convey the thickness and richness that you would expect from the appearance.

Overall a pretty average beer that looks and smells like it should be better, but just ends up a little short.

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Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
87 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.