Köstritzer Schwarzbier - Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Not Rated.
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,647 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,647
Reviews: 792
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 87
Gots: 141 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,647 | Reviews: 792
Photo of PaulyB83
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a pint can into a pilsner hourglass. Looks like it was canned on 09/13/2013 and best by 09/13/2014...hmm.

A- Pours what would appear to be black until you hold it up to the light and a small amount of light comes through revealing a deep deep walnut. A small light brown head that sticks around.

S- Light notes of raisin bran, like a doppelbock lite. Some fresh hay in there.

T- Again some very light raisin bran flavor. Not really getting anything in the way of hops. A bit watery.

M- Light, easy drinking.

O- I think this is like the first or one of the first beers of this style ever brewed, so I guess it is a bench mark for the style. Very much like a light German pilsner but with a bit of a doppelbock aspect to it. It refreshing and something you could call sessionable. If I saw it on tap and wanted something light I wouldn't hesitate to order one. I've had a few American examples of the style and they weren't quite as good as this one.

Photo of utopiajane
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours almost completely black but when held to the light does present a dark brown with a flash of crimson hue. That underscores the idea of clarity in this beer. I tried to capture in photographs that when held to the light the beer seems to shine inexplicably. The head fell reasonably fast and left a bit of lace and a thin ring. The nose is malty and breaddy. A sweet caramel and no fruit. Taste is clean and clear, crisp yet creamy. Some lovely malty sweetness that has breadth in the glass. It has caramel but that is not over the top of the original malty sweetness from the roast. It has a thinnish body so it drinks easily and although the carbonation is ample it does not bite. Drinks clearly and decisively. Soft dark bread with a bit of crust but nothing burnt. No char or ash. A becoming sweetness and a smooth body. The hops are quiet and serene. This dries out slowly with a touch of the roast and bread to linger amidst a subtle and gentle bitter. It is as though those hops are merely breath on the beer.

Excellent and drinks without too much sweetness. A good black lager.

Photo of fourstringer
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Moderate hand. Best by 01.09.2015.

A: Opaque, essentially black body with the suggestion of reddish brown at well-illuminated margins. The least head I've seen on beer in a long time. No lacing to speak of.

S: Roasted malt with a robust nuttiness. Lighter coffee & chocolate notes. Molasses. Faint smoke. Some fruit - raisin, cherry.

T: Roasted malts open with a subtle smokiness. Delicious over-done pretzel. A mild tang develops before lightly bitter hops wrap things up fairly dryly. No notable alcohol. Nutty, lightly chocolate notes linger in the aftertaste.

M: Low carbonation with a light body. Awfully watery feel, but the flavors are still conveyed nicely.

O: I certainly enjoyed the quality malt notes in this one, but more carbonation and a tad more hop might fill it out even more. I suspect this one lost a bit of fizz on its journey across the pond. Definitely smooth, though.

Prost!

Photo of StoutHunter
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a can of Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co's Kostritzer Schwarzbier last week for $2.09 at Boyne Country Provisions. I've never had anything from this brewery before and since I was in a Schwarzbier mood I thought I would take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. No visible canning date. Poured from a tall 16oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- The can looks nice, it had a clean and classy look to it, I thought it was just a little eye catching. It poured a deep dark brown color that was a little a little close to being black and it took some some ruby highlights when held to the light with two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty and patchy lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart some grainy, light roasted malt, and light chocolate like aromas with a slight nutty aroma showing up in the background. Up next comes a light lager yeast like aroma and there were no hop aromas. This beer had a pretty nice aroma that was true to style.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a lower amount of medium sweetness followed by the malts still being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes that same light nutty aspect that I got in the aroma and it's followed by a light lager yeast like flavor. On the finish there's still no hop presence with no bitterness and a grainy, roasted malt and chocolate like aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer that was true to style just like the aroma was.

M- Smooth, clean, not too crisp, a little silky, dry finish, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but I wish it had a little more carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a pretty nice example of a Schwarzbier, it had everything that I would expect from a classic German example of the style. This beer had nice drinkability, it was smooth, clean, not too crisp, a little silky, dry finish, not too filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, I could drink a couple of these, but after that the lack of carbonation might start to wear on me and I think this would make for a nice late summer and fall time beer. What I like the most about this beer was how true to style it was, it had just about everything that I look for in the style. What I like the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was bad, but it needed a little more carbonation. I might buy this beer again when in the mood for a Schwarzbier and I would recommend it to just about anyone who's a fan of the style. All in all I liked this beer and I was pretty happy with it, it's nice to have a nice canned Schwarzbier that's readily available. This made for a nice first impression of this brewery and I would be interested in trying more of their beers. It's one of the better German made Schwarzbier's I've had. Nice job guys, keep up the good work.

Photo of Antnego
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle served in a Weizen glass.

A: Pours a beautiful dark amber to brown color forming a a big, thin bubbled beige head. Good retention. Forms a lot of small and spotty lacings in the glass

S: Sweet in the nose. Strong notes of caramel, caramel malts, crystal malts, roasted malts. brown bread, earthy yeasts. Flowery hops. A bit metallic end

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Strong notes of roasted, caramel, caramel malts and crystal malts. Toffee. Very bready and crispy. Notes of grassy and flowery hops in the end. Slightly metallic

M: Medium to low body. Medium carbonation and a delicious brown bread aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Great German Schwarzbiers even for the not big fans of this style, like me

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Henrietta, NY.

Pours a fairly dark black, with a half inch head, and not much lacing.

The smell and taste is fairly similar. A smaller than hoped for amount of roasted malt, some chocolate, a clean lager taste and finish, slight bite from the carbonation, some smokiness, and a piney aftertaste. Other than the pine-like aftertaste, the hops don't really play much of a part here.

Light to medium bodied, slightly watery and weak mouthfeel. Still pretty drinkable.

This one was ok, but not really a world beater. Would like to have tried it a bit fresher as it was probably better.

Photo of VALIS666
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells especially nice, very bready and sweet, with caramel and dates as well. Pours a nice medium to dark brown, light carbonation and head. Tastes fresh and clean. Not heavy but also not at all weak or flavorless. Just a solid, drinkable beer. Would do well with spicy or salty meat.

Photo of edificio5
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I came across this beer by accident. I was in the Growler and Grill in NY and they had this on tap and in bottles. I purchased some bottles and the beer was well balance, smooth and tasted good. The tap version of the beer was as smooth virtually identical as the bottle version. For me this was just the perfect beer. Amongst the best I have ever tasted. Personally I am into dark beer and not the hoppy type. I hope this helps. Great beer!!

Photo of hopsputin
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a: its a deep murky brown/black color with some ruby red notes at teh side of the glass 3 finger tan white frothy head

s: toasted biscuits, caramel malt, sweet generic berries, more malt

t: follows the nose very close. lightly toasted malt, caramel, toffee, fresh dough, a faint bitterness from the toasted malts, clean berries. a real nice doughy malt character in here that is also light enough to be refreshing. balanced well with the toasted notes

m: lighter side of medium with just enough carbonation to pop some of the sweeter malt in here

o: its not complex, but is definitely well made and tastes as such. its refreshing, yet provides some darker and toastier malt characteristics. the sweet berries are nice at the end of the mouth

Photo of jburris64
5/5  rDev +27.6%

My go to Schwarzbier!
Found it in a specialty store in Grand Blanc, Mi. but it after moving to south Georgia I thought it was lost forever.
Found it one day while checking out a new liquer store/ beer cave.
Black in color, plenty of head, highly smooth with a deep medium level carbonation, hints of dark bread layered thick on the taste buds. Hop bitterness is mild with a bitterness that holds its own for balancing the beer. Mild roasted malt character with hints of carob, chicory and bread crust. Malt sweetness is there but stay to a minimum and does not go to a cloying level at all. Alcohol is meek and barely noticeable, slightly dry finish is doused with a clean graininess and hints of spicy hop.

My all time favorite!

Photo of AmyfaceNYC
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of monorailred
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of fountainofyouth
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of Jsteez
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

Photo of Bryanscott141
4.99/5  rDev +27.3%
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.

Photo of magictacosinus
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.96/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
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

Photo of Offa
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of beergoot
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of polloenfuego
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of TheHammer
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Photo of flyingpig
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of brewolero
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,647 ratings.