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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,418 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,418
Reviews: 747
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.73%
Wants: 66
Gots: 69 | FT: 1
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)
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: 1,418 | Reviews: 747 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%

A dollar off at D's plus it's an old favorite of the style. Appearance: Dark coc-cola like caramel dark brown amber with a full tan head that quickly dwindles in my pint leaves nice rings of lacing. Aroma: Herbal grassy hop note with mild dark chocolate and hints of coffee not bad at all. Taste: Great mix of darker malts and herbal toned noble hops clean finish after the cold conditioning with hints of chocolate and coffee very quaffable. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied great stuff smooth as all hell. Drinkability: Definitely gets a thumbs up great appetising brew that is a staple for the style, mass produced yes good hell yes.

05-15-2004 05:48:43 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle, no freshness date but there is a description of the beer at the neck of the bottle.

Appearance: A bit rocky in the head department with a lovely lacing effect down the glass. A couple of shades lighter than pitch black.

Smell: Slight roasted and sweet malty aroma, smells of creamed coffee in a faintly sweet way. Quite clean also.

Taste: High smoothness with a deep medium level carbonation, hints of dark bread like a pumpernickel or whole grain is 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.

Notes: I like this beer a lot, not just because this is one of my favourite style but because it keeps it real with flavours that are a bit complex yet not to the point of taking away from actually putting one down if not a few. A damn good pick for the style.

07-19-2002 12:07:17 | More by Jason
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Sampled in a goblet type glass. Forgot to buy a replacement to the Kostrizer glass I broke over in Germany, sigh...

Pours an effervescent mahogany to black with a 1" tan head. Head drops slowly to nichts. No head retention, but a little lacing

Smell: Licorice & oaky notes

Taste: Toasted/charred malt, licorice, & molasess tones. Some slight woody sour notes. Finishes slighty bitter

MF: Slight syruppiness with good carbonation

Very quaffable with a lot of complexity. Not the best black bier I've had, but THE baseline IMHO for the style. Drink & enjoy (where's the schweinhaxen to go with???)

03-12-2006 05:29:53 | More by russpowell
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

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.

10-31-2003 10:11:29 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

I've had this beer in both the bottle and on draft, this review will be from my notes and most recent encounter, in a bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass (instead of a Kostriker mug?!?! -- Horrible). This is also one of my favorite session beers and for sure my favorite Schwarzbier I've had so far.

Beer is brown and cloudy. Carbonation low to moderate and the head is brown and diffuse.

Beer does not have much of a smell to it. Maybe a mild roast, some malt, not much at all.

Beer is super smooth, beautiful full bodied beer. I don't taste much roast at all, mild malt character no hops or bitterness to speak of. A perfectly balanced, simple tasting good beer. For some reason the first time I ordered it I expected some smoke but was pleasantly surprised by the lack of it. Mouthfeel great, drinkability as high as it gets.

11-27-2009 20:42:44 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +17.3%

A - A deep brown bordering on black with reddish highlights and a tan head that leaves almost no lace behind

S - A nutty, malty almost creamy espresso and bittersweet chocolate odor that floats lightly over a yeast and herbal mushroom like odor.

M - Prickly carbonation followed by dry dark slightly chalky textures that relax into a mix of salty and sweet with milky smoothness.

T - A dark brown maltiness and crisp nutty dry toasty malt flavor with lightly spiced woody hops and hazelnut. Gentle date notes in the middle adds to the complexity. Salty overtakes sweet subtly and leads to a clean crisp finish.

D - A wonderful session bier, full of flavor and quaffable. A delightful blend of dark malt and lager smoothnes. Worth a taste for almost any occasion - malty, sweet and smooth. Excellent in the drinkability category

06-13-2007 02:05:23 | More by Slatetank
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

Tap at Doner pub in Leesburg, VA.

Big creamy head fades semi slowly with nice lacing, super dark black hint of light.

Nose dark creamy malts, hint of dark malt, nice crisp lager, hint of coffee like dark,

Taste starts with toasty malts, brown light biscuit and caramel, some creaminess and slightest touch of a cocoa, then the fruity lager, crisp and a little soft, mild gassy bitterness. Finish is dry and crisp, more of the grassy bitterness, slight sticky sweet caramel malt.

Mouth is med to lighter bod, nice carb, little creamy.

Overall fairly nice, very drinkable tasty schwarzbier but missing something.

06-05-2013 03:17:00 | More by jlindros
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.61/5  rDev -7.9%

500ml can for a tasty price of a buck seventynine. the pour is the best part of this beer, dark like a stout but thinner, darker than most schwarzbiers made in the usa, with a gorgeous white head, maybe just off white, rising several inches high before slowly relaxing. the nose is medium roast malts and some spent lager yeast. I don't know why, but the yeast just isn't doing it for me here, adding too much flavor for a lager, and there is enough sweetness from the malts that it just doesn't crisp up, sort of a weird mix. maybe more hops would fix this problem, but things are just out of balance for me. long funny finish. im sure this is far superior on tap at the source, but in the imported can context, it just doesn't stack up. thin medium body and comfortingly brisk carbonation, but this was a miss for me in many ways.

03-27-2013 01:41:27 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.63/5  rDev -7.4%

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, roasted malt scent along with a light crystal malt sweetness. The taste is decent. It has a very dry roasted malt taste. It goes down easy and finishes weak and watery with some light malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good drinker, but I prefer a sweeter version with a little more body.

11-25-2007 23:08:52 | More by WesWes
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +13%

First had: on tap at Brauhaus Schmitz, Philly, PA

A tasty, dark, creamy, foamy, malty, black lager. Best served on tap in a proper signature glass. One of my favorites.

Pours an opaque dark brown-black with a healthy finger of light tan head that retains very well. Epic roasty malts in the aroma, with hints of cocoa and raisins. Big malty taste, dark chocolate, hop bitterness just barely detectable. Medium-to-heavy body, incredibly smooth and satisfying. Not the best or most complex brew by far (it is German after all), but I could easily drink it all night long.

05-12-2011 17:03:21 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev +2%

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.

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

Washington

3.8/5  rDev -3.1%

Slightly sweet with a great warm taste of dark caramel. A nice brownish black with fine off-white head. Decent carbonation. Tang of hops with a nice touch of bitterness, more that some other Schwarzbiers. A very modest biergarten kind of brew, but an excellent example of the style. Just the thing for meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

Enjoyed at the Kasierhof restaurant in OB, San Diego, which BTW has a good selection of draft German beers.

09-10-2011 05:28:20 | More by mactrail
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

From 07/22/11 notes. Had on tap at Standard, a beer garden about 3 blocks North of Churchkey in DC at 14th and S. Served in what appears to be a large Stange with a handle.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, one finger of off white head, and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, toasted malts, caramel, bread, and biscuit. Very malty, and pretty nice.

t - Tasted of roasted malts, light chocolate, bready malts, caramel malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, pretty smooth.

o - Overall a pretty good schwarzbier. Lots of malts, and very easy to drink. Would give it another shot.

07-25-2011 20:45:27 | More by mdfb79
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

I have had several schwarzbiers and, so far, this is my favorite. It is a very good example of this type.
It has a very black, creamy off-white head that is fairly well-retained.
The smell is of sweet, honey molassass blended with fruity hops in the background.
The taste is flavorful sweet malty flavors of toffee and caramel with hints of bitter hops in the background. It is well-balanced and simply delicious. It's flavor is quite complex, and a very good example of this type.
The mouthfeel was a bit too sweet, but clean. It was refreshing (though I don't know about the summer, but for any other time of the year, as it should be for this style).
The moderate abv and delicious taste makes this a very drinkable brew.

04-23-2006 17:33:21 | More by jwc215
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +27.6%

12-08-2011 19:55:25 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of XmnwildX12
XmnwildX12

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

12-13-2013 06:31:31 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.33/5  rDev -15.1%

500 mL bottle,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head. Solid retention, mild lacing.

S: Roasted malt, dark fruit.

T: Light chocolate and roasted malt. Dark fruit clearly evident as well, I found it quite figgy. Too sweet overall for me, but not a bad beer.

M: Smooth, relatively light-bodied, cloying at times.

D: A nice black beer, but there are others I would certainly choose over this one. Good price though, under $2, makes this a beer I plan to repurchase some day.

02-25-2009 18:17:33 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.05/5  rDev -22.2%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

09-19-2003 19:56:50 | More by Gavage
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.13/5  rDev -20.2%

Served on draught into a .3L Köstriszer Schwarzbier glass in Berlin. Labelled on the beer menu as Magische Biere.

A: Black; stout style tan head of poor retention.

Sm: Chocolate, coffee, hops. Delightful.

T: Coffee, chocolate, toffee, caramel hint body. Open is bland; finish would do well some bitterness. Well built and balanced if you ignore the open and finish, though in fairness some of the body does bleed into the finish, which is a nice effect.

Mf: In dire need of dryness, especially at the climax. Could also use more coarseness to help the many notes of the body linger.

Dr: It's nice for what it is and what it costs. I wouldn't reach for it again, but it's not too bad in fairness. Worth giving a go for lovers of the style.

03-10-2011 21:41:48 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

3.73/5  rDev -4.8%

03/30/09- Purchased at Bevmo in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 500ml bottle with a date notch on the side of the label. Poured into my Kostritzer glass.

Appearance- Dark malty colored. Not quite black, but deeper than brown. About a one inch head that subsides over a few minutes. Light watery lace remains.

Smell- Deep roasted malts, a touch of burnt caramel. Kind of earthy and bready.

Taste- Different than most per style I have had. Not as sweet, but very dark and malty. Beyond caramel flavor. A slight hoppy and definite bready flavor.

Mouthfeel- A touch too much carbonation and not as creamy or smooth as others I have had.

Drinkability- Good beer overall. Have had others that are better, but they were also a bit different.

03-31-2009 02:01:16 | More by GClarkage
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%

A pretty good beer here with a sweet name.. sounds like a position in soccer. Has the typical jet black with tan head swarzbier appearance which is just beautiful. Tastes medium bodied with a nice touch of caramel in the taste. I thought it could use a little more of this flavor as it was a little mroe bland than others I've had this style but very well balanced overall.

10-07-2008 23:56:00 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown color with touches of amber at the edges and a thin foamy beige head. Bland aroma and flavor. Malty with a slightly hopped dry finish. Nothing to exciting. I find that a lot of these German styles are watered down and bland.

11-28-2008 07:40:04 | More by corby112
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +14.3%

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!

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

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

This beer seems a little light at first, but the flavor expands as it warms. Not bad for a sub-5% beer. Rich chocolate malt aromas mixed with a sort of carmelized fruit and licorice. The taste is much of the same, but with a touch more bitter chocolate flavor and light, dry lasting roasted bitterness. Definately more authentic than some of the Amercan counterparts, but not necessarily better.

01-04-2007 02:47:53 | More by tempest
Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
88 out of 100 based on 1,418 ratings.