Schwarzbier: The Other Black Beer

by: BeerAdvocate on 11-29-2000
Mercury Brewing, of Ipswich, has recently released their Dornbusch Winter Night Lager, brewed in the traditional Schwarzbier style. It has a smooth mouth feel, as smooth as its opaque appearance. Mildly astringent hop flavours get pulled to the front by a refreshing crispness and tight carbonation, to create a nice bite. Background lemon/lime hop flavours, and some rind, follow immediately after. Hop oil notes give a nice slickness to the mouth feel. Earth and grain malt flavours towards the end, and as the beer warms. Malt sweetness is low, but what is there is complex; watery tea-like infusion with hints of raw molasses. Finishes dry and with more grain notes on the palate. The way a Schwarz beer should be.

Schwarzbier, is simply German for black beer. It doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily heavy or light in body, although they tend to lean towards light. Unlike other dark beers, like porters or stouts, they are not overly bitter with burnt and roasted malt characteristics that the others tend to depend on. Instead, hops are used for a good portion of the bitterness. Very refreshing and soul lifting beers, they also make a great alternative for the Winter. Especially when you are looking for a lighter beer, but one with depth of colour and taste. Enjoy some today.
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