Upland Brewing Company

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German Schwarzbier
Ranked #166
Ranked #42,142
3.5 | pDev: 11.71%
Upland Brewing Company
Indiana, United States
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 45 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RyanPoff
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Jet black with about a finger of toffee colored head quickly retreating.

S: Lighter malts, a bit of caramel and chocolate. Along the lines of what you'd expect but not as intense as most dark beers.

T: lightly toasted malts, hints of dark chocolate with a distinct bitterness on back end.

M: Well carbonated and peppy, light on the tongue. Excellent for a lager.

A solid, if I memorable, outing.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark, semi-transparent body, with a very light head. Some lacing.

S - Pretty closed down, but roasted notes are present, a subtle sweet note.

T - The main element is a roasted malt, hitting caramel and burnt sugar notes, a bit of dark chocolate, and a close with some bitterness and acidity, but all very light on the tongue.

M - Very brisk carbonation. No real drying.

O - A decent, bright beer, with nice bright malt elements. Straightforward but definitely tasty.

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Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown with amber highlights and a half inch khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving lines of lacing.

Deeply toasted and lightly roasted malt forms the initial aroma, with secondary notes if chocolate, coffee, nuts, and earthy hops adding intrigue.

Flavor is primarily roasty malt, with a light underlying dark fruity character. The finish is fairly dry and reminiscent of toasted walnuts and coffee, with a hint of chocolate.

Body is moderate, somewhat creamy, with spritzy carbonation and a touch of grainy astringency.

Overall, a decent brew, lots of roasted malt character, but that underlying fruity character is somewhat offputting. Reminds me of a coffee stout made with cheap coffee...almost acrid.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Black in the glass, two finger head almost tan head, tries to leave behind some lacing, clear ruby around the edges

S-Coffee, dirt with roasted/burnt notes.

T-Sweet, some coffee and dirt. Roasted Malt, ends with a toffee like flavor. However something doesn't balance well. Burnt notes. Apples? Something is off.

M-Light and highly carbonated.

O-Something is off with this beer, love the style but something is awry here.

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Photo of RickS95
3.86/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost the perfect looking beer. Jet black, maybe a hint of light black, but seriously black. The head is extremely thick and dense. Great retention. Eventually, crazy thick lacing. The head is beige in color.

Nothing complex, very simply malt. The faintest bit of charred smell.

Has a pretty good flavor of malt with some smoke and char, kind of earthy.

Light mouthfeel, despite the dark color. A bit loose and watery, nothing unusual for a lager, just not my style. No hop presence. Mostly a wet feeling finish.

Overall, it's a good beer, something I'd definitely drink again. A bit more alcohol would be welcomed.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a strange)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a thick creamy light tan head that last a good bit.

S- The clean mineral aroma has some black malt notes that smell well lagered

T- The smooth black malt has a flinty flavor to it with some raw oat hints to follow. There is a hint of tartness and grain in the finish with a slightly dry coffee roasted malt note that lingers.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a gentle fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer has a nice smooth black lager flavor with some good roasted malt characters.

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Nearly black brown pour, red around the edge. Layer of off white.

Aroma, earthy peat, some roast and lighter dark chocolate. Lager.

Taste, earthy peat, light roast, nice chocolate. Clean coffee with cream, cocoa finish.

Well carbonated but smooths out very quickly. Light side of mid, very easy to drink. A good Schwarzbier is a porter/stout fan's best session brew, this was that.

Thought this was outstanding, one of my favorites when done right. This was done right.

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Photo of JamesS
4.56/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Tomlinson Tap Room. Poured a fantastic black with very nice head and lacing. Excellent roasty and smoky aromas and flavors, with a nice earthy and slightly spicy ending in the taste; nice sweet malts to go with the roastiness. Went down extremely well!

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with a finger of coffee colored head with good retention and lacing.

Smells of bitter roasted malts with some earthy spicy bitterness and cocoa.

Similar flavors to the nose although the cocoa creaminess is a lot more muted. Bitter roasted malts and an earthy bitter dry finish.

A little thin bodied for as much roast as it contains with ample carbonation.

Not the best thing out there, but it'll do and when a friend brings you a free growler, might as well drink!

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Photo of Sean9689
3.11/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Indy Tasting Room.

A - Pours a darker brown/black color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Light cola, stale coffee, malty sweetness, light roast. Pretty dull and stale...boring. Not enough sweet malty notes and doesn't smell all that fresh.

T - Light roast, caramel, chocolate, and ash. Again, needs more fresh malty sweetness. This one is just uneventful.

M - Light, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Meh, an average Schwartz, at best. I really do like this style, but the malts are stale and the sweetness isn't quite enough for me. Would probably pass on this one if offered again.

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Photo of HopZen
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep espresso with 2 finger tan head that quickly dissipates into a hearty film. Great lacing all the way down.
S: Roasted nuts and seaweed (stay with me here). Sounds odd, but there is this rich umami sensation that reminds me of nori, minus the brine.
T: Roasted sunflower seeds, rich and smooth and a touch sweet. Get a balancing hit of bitter, very European style hops that moves more to the forefront as I sip through this beer; balances very well with the nutty malt backbone. Again, there is this underlying "flavor" I can only call umami; VERY pleasing but not part of your typical 5 part palate. I am digging this beer.
M: Mild to medium body, feels lighter because the profile is just do damned smooth! Not at all watery. Carbonation starts off high with bubbles clinging to the wall. Doesn't feel at all harsh. Works to keep the finish crisp without being too sweet.
O: Not sure if they reformulated or my palate just agrees with this beer, but I don't see much in common with my review and the others I see below. I love the rich, nutty flavors and the surprising umami that pervades the nose and tongue. This beer was fresh off the bottling line, literally! The date on the box was 27Jan2012, which is the day I tasted it. Great beer!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by plank10. Thanks Nick.

The beer is dark brown with a small, oily beige head. The aroma brings some malt, chocolates, and is rather weak overall. Ok flavor, with some chocolate candies, malt, hints of roast. Light bodied with moderately low carbonation. Nothing too interesting going on here. eh...

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled in January 2011. One of my friends got it for me and didn't give it to me until recently. But it was free so I shouldn't complain! Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is roasted and charred/burnt malt, coffee and chocolate. Taste is the same as the aroma. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit coating with moderate carbonation. It's also smooth and goes down easy. Overall it's decent enough. I'd like to try this brew fresher at some point, but this bottle wasn't bad at all.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
2.71/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark brown, almost black, but not quite. Very short lived single finger of head, no lacing at all. Thin body is a bit *too* thin, low carbonation. Smells of lot of roasted dark malt but it is relatively low strength compared to how I would prefer it. However, the flavor contains all the roasted malt elements I was missing from the nose, at full strength, including some chocolate malt flavor as well. Unfortunately, there is also a strong off-putting metallic flavor that I am not a big fan of.
I'm probably not going to seek this one out again.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap at Old Chicago, Merrillville, IN, 27 Jul 2011. Served in a shaker pint.

Small brown head. Moderate carbonation. Clear dark brown color. Light roasty aroma, touch of chocolate, maybe some smoke (although that may be the bar). Light roasty malt to start. Becomes somewhat chocolatey in the middle. Moderate bittersweet chocolate in the finish and aftertaste. Light body, moderate ethanol.

Overall kind of light in flavor but easy to drink.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I give this points for uniqueness. Not many black lagers are out on the market. Decent layer of white foam. Lacing is average. Not solid black, but more like extremely dark brown.

Smell: Not a whole lot here. Pretty mineral-like. Some coffee and chocolate. It goes well with the metallic smell.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Same as smell. Almost exactly. Stronger metal here compared to smell. Mouthfeel is pretty good. Good balance of essential oils and water. Extremely crisp finish.

Drinkability: About as easy to drink for a dark lager.

Overall: Worth the try if you can find it.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This attractively-packaged (black panther on the bottle, tying into an Indiana legend) pours (or is it purrs? Hahah) a deep black with lots of tan bubbles. Some minor lacing.

Aroma is chocolate malts, with a little roastiness. The taste follows closely, with a pleasing burnt cocoa finish.

Quite tasty and highly drinkable!

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Photo of alleykatking
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Upland tasting room.

A- Pours a almost black color. If you didn't hold it up to the light you wouldn't know. One finger tan head shows medium retention. Nice web lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma to me is a little muted. Toasted malts come out first with a hint of roasted malts in the backing. Chocolate malts toward the middle of the nose with some more roasted malts that are turned up a little more. There is a light bitterness in the backend I would say is from the hops.

T- This beer needs a little help on the flavor side. Roasted malts in the front with a light bready malt feel to it. Right before the middle of the beer there is light chocolate notes but it really thins out in flavor after that little hint of chocoalte. Middle is more...I would say grainy. This is a light dissapointment for me. That does get covered up but some more roasted malts but they just don't pack the same power to them. Light hop bite in the ending blends well with the roasted malt flavor.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Roasted malts and a light chocolate sweetness left on the palate. Aftetaste is light alcohol, roasted malts, and light faded bitter hops. Balanced for the beer style but very thin making it seem a little off balanced toward middle of the beer. No off flavors present. Medium alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This was a easy drinking schwarzbier. Light than the normal style helps the drinkability a lot of this. I could have had a couple of pints of this but was on my way to running someplace else. The ABV is lighter which also added to the drinkability.

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Photo of chaunur
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured very dark almost black, very little head but I believe it had been sitting awhile before being delivered. A slightly burnt mocha aroma. An up front thin flavor of malt, chocolate and coffee that didn't linger. Thin and watery in the mouth with no "heft".

It really just tasted like a watered down stout. Looking at the defintion of the style I guess it is spot on. I think this is just not my style of beer so I've tried to be fair in the review.

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Photo of akorsak
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to heliosphann for this 12 oz bottle. It's like being in Pawnee, IN.

A: The lagerbier is a dark syrupy cola color, deep brown that looks, but isn't quite, black. A voluminous head, 2+ fingers, leaves a dense, craggy head behind.

S: Crisp malts, toasted to perfection, with an ample dash of chocolate. Roasted malts, charcoal-like, and a hint of hoppiness round things out.

T: Roasted up front, the beer quickly becomes thin. Darker malts, acrid and burnt, start things off strong. A dash of fresh bread and cocoa powder cut into the roasted flavors, a diversion from the burnt presence. Quickly, the schwarzbier loses its steam. The fuller flavors transition to a pale graininess before the flavor completely drops off. I like the start, but it doesn't last as long as it should.

M: Roasted, toasted, and chocolate, at least in the beginning. The beer becomes humdrum by the end.

D: The lagerbier is neither offensive nor bad, it just seems to wimp out when a solid dose of flavor would help.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a near black shade of brown with a finger of head. Smell is ashy roasted malt, earthy hoppiness, chapstick, and pumpkin?

The taste is too ashy for my liking. Almost like chewing on a cigarette butt at first. Eventually that ashiness dies down a bit but there isn't really any supporting flavors underneath and it begins to feel a bit watery.

The body is medium/light and carbonation is at a good level. I suppose I would drink this if it was all that was available, but really there isn't much else going for it.

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Photo of cokes
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown that fairly closely imitates black with a compact stack of tan suds which leave sheets of lace.
Roasted, caramel-drizzled nut nose with a backing of toast.
It enters the mouth with crusty breads and a low-level coffee roastedness. A small grapey sweetness arrives midway, along with a whisper of tartness. Caramel comes out slowly as it warms. It fades from here, ending clean, with just a hint of resumed roastedness and drying, dead leaf hops.
Glossy smooth and medium+ bodied. There is structure here that seems to support a more flavorful, richer beer. The flavor, while not off or disagreeable, seems stunted.
All in all, it's a shy, but likeable quaff.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My first review!

A simple, good Schwartz beer. Its flavor is mostly caramel malts, roasted just a touch. Hop levels are just enough to balance the beer, and it finishes dry and fairly clean, with an ever so slightly odd aftertaste. Definitely looking forward to next October's 'Schwartztag' release party!

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This from the brewery website: "SCHWARZ
Brewed annually to benefit the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, this German- style Schwarzbier is a light refreshing black lager. A delicate pilsner malt character is accented with a light Spalter hop aroma and hints of roast. (Kegs only)"

Since the beer promotes a charity that is dear to me, it'll be tough to give it a bad review. Gladly, the beer stands alone as a fine example of the style. The standout quality of the beer is the roasted grain flavor upfront and the powdery smooth finish. In between the beer give soft, well-attenuated caramel flavors lurking in the mild malt profile. Light hopping accentuates the coffee-like bitterness and balances the light sweetness well. Faint aromas of these roasted, caramel flavors are complimented by mild lactose scents. No fruitiness, no vegetals, no hop flavor. Pure and simple a nice Schwarzbier.

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Schwarz from Upland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 45 ratings