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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier | Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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91 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
21 IBU

Added by BEERchitect on 06-23-2008

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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 223
Photo of Gusler
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer from the tap a deep brown to black with nice ruby highlights, the head a perfect two fingers, creamy tan in color, evaporates slowly, leaving a thick sheet of lace to obfuscate the glass. Nose has a toasted grain aroma, sweet with hints of smoke, caramel, maybe a licorice like tone, mouthwatering. Front has a splendid toasted malt presence, sweet with a delectable hop spicy bite at the back. Finish pleasantly acidic, hops spicy and delightful, dry lingering aftertaste, a great representative to the style.

 519 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This schwarzbier comes out of the tap a deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Rich aroma is primarily of roast, smoky malt. Strongly smoky flavor has coffee, nutty and caramel hints. Texture is smooth and has a good, strong tingle to it.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first time with the style and I liked this one. Poured brown with a big fluffy white head and lots of bubbles flowing through. Aroma of light roast, smoke, some chocolate sweetness. Flavor follows with roasty chocolate and a hint of smoke, but very light. Kind of a very light porter with the roasty chocolate smell and taste. Finishes well with just a hint of smoky bitter and roasty chocolate lingering on the palate. Good beer.

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Photo of Durge
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the San Jose location with my meal, this German style brew shows a deep black mahogany color with a modest off-white head and very little lace. The aroma is mild coffee grinds and delicate prune. A bit too subtle but not bad. The flavor brings bright cracker and weak coffee. Generally weak in feel with a medium light body and fair carbonation. There's a slight citrus hop idea and dry finish. Pretty crisp and refreshing, interesting but kind of wimpy. It's drinkable enough but not something I would necessarily nominate for sessioning.

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Photo of birchstick
3.01/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap @ GB in KCMO. Pours a really nice dark brown, almost black. Smells of some caramel malts, a little smoke, and some toasted malt. Taste is similar to the nose. Some caramel malts open this up. These fade to a little smoked malts and a touch of fruits. Watery mouthfeel that also translates on the palate. This is a decent beer. Worth a shot, but I was ready to move on.

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Photo of tbryan5
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A solid schwarzbier. Lots of coffee and roasted notes. Smooth and crisp mouthfeel. A quintessential dark lager from a brewpub. Can't wait to try more of their offerings.

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Photo of Boto
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Washington, DC location: This one pours an opaque brown color. There was a tight, off-white head on it that didn't last too long but left some lacing. There were some roasted and caramel malts to the nose. It also had some earthy hop notes. The taste was along similar lines to the aroma, and was nicely balanced. Some roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, but no real sweetness. Earthiness and a touch of biscuit also. Perhaps a little nutty also. Nice.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-05-24 at the brew pub in Kansas City, MO (from tasting notes) and again on 2016-08-09 at the brew pub in Bolingbrook, IL.

2016-08-09 Notes

My tastes have changed and my palate is better tuned than in 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed the taste of this brew with my meal tonight. Very rich malt flavors of roasted grain, chocolate and mild coffee. A good feel. Raised my ratings quite a bit.

2010-05-24 review below. Overall rating was 3.58

A - Dark but not impentrable brown with a tan head and minimal lacing.

S - Smells of roasted grain and chocolate but not much else.

T - Pretty good with some caramel sweetness, and dark chocolate flavor but nothing else that takes it over the top. A "safe" taste.

M - Light body and carbonation give a watery feel.

D - Easy to quaf, just not all that interesting.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at the Summerlin Gordon Biersch location (April 2007).

This Schwarzbier poured a very dark, nearly opaque, brown-black color with creamy, tan foam that slowly settled. The smell was very modest with a note of malt. The taste was mildly roasted malty with mild cocoa and chocolate notes and even a hint of "malted milk" and coffee. The hoppiness was modest. The mouthfeel was dry and crisp with medium body and good carbonation. The finish was dry with the moderate hoppiness lingering. This was a good, drinkable Schwarzbier.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Arrives nearly black with a light tan head. Retention is OK, just but nothing great. Good lacing to start but weak later.
Smell is mostly toasted malt with a hint of vanilla and caramel, I think.
Taste is solidly balanced with toasted malt, caramel, vanilla and not much else. Balance is good though.
Medium bodied with a sharp effervescence up front that drops off quickly. Drying finish, cleaner than I thought. A decent brew but nothing special.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented as a deep brown beer with tannish puffy head. Smell is a nice combination of roasted malt and toffee. Taste adds to the toasty flavor with caramel and a bit of sweet coffee. Nice refreshing beer with a pleasant feeling at the finish. Very easy to drink. Could be a good session beer.

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Photo of JayQue
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gordon Biersch has a good atmosphere and brews some tasty beers on the premises. I had a couple of pints of the Schwarzbier. with dinner. Good appearance, dark, dense color...no light getting through. Good size head that slowly dissipates to a solid ring around the glass. Average lacing. Taste was good, malty, smoky, slightly bitter but much more subtle and light than a porter or stout. This is a beer that could be sipped or guzzled with equal enjoyment. Nice rich mouthfeel for this style. This is a highly drinkable beer. I look forward to going back there and trying their other beers.

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Photo of Redrover
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was served in a 51L modified pint. The beer is black bordering on dark brown. It has a tan head.

The aroma is of roasted malts and brown bread.

The taste is nicely balanced by roasted malts and some slightly sweet almost brown sugar like flavors. Finish is slightly dry.

The mouth could be beefed-up a bit, but this is an easy drinker. Would be an easy beer to use as a crossover.

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Photo of BigBry
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint from the The Glendale Gordon Biersch.
Poured dark mahogany brown (almost black), with a thick creamy tan head. Foam lasted almost the whole pint, and left nice looking lace. Toasted malt smell, a touch of smokiness. Flavor of smoky toasted grain, good balance between sweetness and hop finish. Dry and clean mouthfeel. One of the better schwarz'z I have tried.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a draft into my Gordon Biersch mug at Gordon Biersch in San Diego, Calif. Color was black with a hint of brownish red mug. Reddish tint at the bottom. About 1 ½ inches of head. Good lacing on the top. Sporadic bubbly film on the sides.

Chocolate malts on the nose. Also some caramel and toffee.

Tasted more coffee than chocolate. Dark chocolate actually. Pretty smooth.

Medium body. Thin creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

Enjoyed this beer after two straight bad ones. It may be my non-seasonal-go-to-beer from GB now.

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Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer on tap at Gordon Biersch in Annapolis, MD out of a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark black hue with a 2-finger off-white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Musty caramel aroma with hints of coffee and coca powder.

T: Smooth roasted malt flavor with slight hints of coffee and caramel. Very clean and crisp beer.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This is very good and interesting beer. It is dark in color yet light in taste and abv. Lots if flavors and aromas here. Very enjoyable and smooth.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty close, if not outright, black. Brown highlights to it. Head is thick, with large bubbles at first. Disappates down somewhat, but still has good texture to it.
S- Roasted coffee, a bit of chocolate, and kind of an odd, steely sweetness to it.
T- Definite coffee notes, that's what I'm picking up right away. It's pretty sweet for the style, with a milk chocolate note to it as well. Just a bit of bitterness, but it's still leaning sweet, style considered, for me.
M- Light, but not too much so, but the finish stays too much on the tongue. Not dry enough considering their description and my general understanding of the style.
O- It's a good enough beer, but there are some tweeks (particularly with the finish) that could make it a better beer for me.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Burbank, CA location.

Came out a deep unassuming black. A small beige sheet of head capped it off. The nose carried notes of coffee, mild cocoa powder and faint aromas of leafy veggies. Moderate carbonation here. Decent feel. Good roasted flavors noted, as well as a bit of a hop smack on the finish. Semi-sweet dark chocolate, mild graininess. This was a good beer, and really hit the spot on this mid-afternoon stop. I'd like to see this one in bottle form.

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Photo of JDV
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Roasty coffee smells from a dark brown/black pour, with some malty drying tastes. Light bodied, like all schwarzbiers despite the roasty character and isn't very full bodied I thought. This is more a knock against the style than the particular beer though, and it is decent for a schwarzbier. Not my favorite, but drinkable.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.77/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a very deep brown, almost black in color. Very thin white head disappears very quickly. Some roasty and toffe-like aromas. Dark malt, slightly roasty, and a hint of chocolate flavor combines with some subtle earthy hop flavor. Not a sweet as I would want. Light body, with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Not a bad exmple.

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Photo of mentor
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger light brown head over a very dark brown liquid. Smells strong dark malt with moticable noble or english hops. Roast and chocolate with a creamy hint. Earthy hops with gentle perfumey.

Tastes medium intensity roast with mild sweet underneath. Roast is coffee and char-like with a gentle sour edge. Mild hop grassiness. Drying finish due to good attenuation and a slight alcohol cleaning. Light body, but some creaminess. Modest carbonation. Nicely hopped for the style, but a bit too charred for the style.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into pint glass. The .5 liter line was visible opposite the logo.

Opaque black with some ruby edges, with a two finger light brown head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Burnt malt aromas with almost no hops. The flavor also has the burnt malts with a little bit of coffee as well. Full bodied. Very smooth finish, with a little bit of grain lingering.

I enjoyed this Shwarzbier and felt it was pretty smooth. It was a nice beer to sip while watching a football game after my meal. Recommended. One of their year round choices.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Gordon Biersch restaurant in Dallas, TX. Pours almost black hue with a thin, white head . Aroma is coffee, nutty and some toasted malt. Body is creamy, medium-full. Taste is similar to the aroma. Long coffee like finish. On the whole, it is a nice session brew.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.16/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the San Jose location. This beer is a handsome black with a pillowy light tan head that has great retention and lacing. The aroma is dark, dusty, roasty and perhaps sweaty. It is medium light in the mouth; very smooth with a crisp finish. The roastiness is on the subtle side, but provides the main flavor here. This is the best beer I've had from Gordon Biersch and the best beer I've had in San Jose. What a great session beer. I had to go back the next morning and get a growler of this.
(rated May 17, 2007)

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Photo of soupyman10
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black color with a slightly off-white finger of head that dissolves fairly quickly. No real lacing, but not a bad looking beer, with some nice brown highlights. Nose is mild roasted malt, some smokiness and a hint of coffee. Very light hops. Taste is likewise, fairly mild, but good if you focused your energies; smoky malt. Feel is medium to thin bodied, but not bad for the style. Overall, not a bad beer, and a good intro to the shwarzbier style.

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
3.72 out of 5 based on 223 ratings.
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