Black Giraffe | Burleigh Brewing Co.

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Black GiraffeBlack Giraffe
Very Good
28 Ratings
Black GiraffeBlack Giraffe

Brewed by:
Burleigh Brewing Co.

Style: German Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by juju7 on 08-08-2010

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by foles:
Photo of foles
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black coffee lager - interesting concept, but will it be any good? Short answer, yes! Unbelievably black, it appears the rule book has gone out the window, probably off the scale, and possibly the blackest lager I have ever seen. And yes it tastes like a schwarzbier - a very good one. Roasty chocolate goodness, but smooth, clean and with that lovely lager profile. Some nice hops - noble tasting. And a kick of coffee in the background. Great beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a lasting tan head.
Nose shows heavy coffee and some oatmeal backed by soft roasted malt.
Similar amount of coffee as a flavour, perhaps a bit heavy-handed. Underneath is some sweet malt, very clean.
Too highly carbonated.
The coffee really dominates this one...

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Photo of LathouXaris
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of spicelab
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The things you find in the back of your cellar..

Dark chocolate with a fine-bubbled mocha head that springs to a few fingers before falling over a few minutes without lacing to a film.

Nose is a fruity-roast fusion of balance and subtlety. Iced coffee, dark and milk chocolate, muscatels, hazelnuts, baked toffee and toasted bread.

Flavours are very similar, perhaps a little more chocolatey, with an added bitter-roast character towards the end.

Light, smooth and mildly creamy. Carbonation is pretty subdued. Bit of bitterness on the back end.

An absolute gem of a Schwarzbier. The coffee is perfectly calibrated and lifts this from good to great. I couldn't quite give the aroma or taste a 4.5 but, I'm so impressed by how stylishly this beer is put together that it deserves it overall.

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Photo of Rwalford74
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of Jake321
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of pin
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of juju7
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Season for coffee beers it seems. Comparisons to the Matilda Bay's Longshot are inevitable. Firstly this is a lager. Made using coffee beans from Zarraffa's - don't drink coffee so don't know how impressed I should be by that.The beer looks great firstly, black as night with some tawny, ruby edges, almost opaque. Proud, creamy two finger head sits atop and laced vey nicely. Aromas are subtle but not weak. The coffee is there with some tasty chocolatey malt and slight caramel hints. Unlike some other coffee beers the aromas aren't really screaming about the coffee which is nice. Making this a lager seems to be the masterstroke for this beer. A nice, balanced flavour of roasted malts, dark chocolate and of course coffee bitterness, without being too heavy. Finish is long, refined and very dry. No apparent astringency. A solidly made beer for sure. (3.5 for drinkability - 650ml was a bit too much for this kind beer for me. 330ml would have done fine)

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Photo of mulder1010
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 ML poured into a pint glass

A-- Poured black, with just touches of ruby on the bottom and on the sides. One finger of mocha colored head. Good carbonation and head retention. Good lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-- Lots of roasted coffee, dark chocolate and roasted malts. Get a touch of lemon bitterness.

T-- Pretty straight forward. Coffee and a good deal of it. Some chocolate sweetness and a little bit of lemon from the hops.

M-- Higher than medium carbonation and a very dry finish. Coffee and chocolate feel stick around a while. Feels more like a stout more than a lager. Very robust feel to this.

D-- Not much of a lager drinker but this is good. Very coffee forward, feels a bit bigger than the style it is. With lower carbonation this would instead be a very good stout or porter.
Can do 2 of these easily even at a 650 format and with an abv of 5%

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Photo of magpieken
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of sonorb7
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mungus
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of MenInVen
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of PolarBear3
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a black oil colour with tanned head that retains well in my duvel tulip

S - Strong espresso, chocolate, roasted malts, with some liquorice

T - Roasted malts, coffee , chocolate quite prominent , caramel, some toffee with a slightly burnt bitter finish.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation

O - A nice beer without being outstanding. lacks a little complexity but interesting all the same being described as a black lager.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark espresso brown colour with ochre head; generous and dense and puffy. It's sizzling a bit but being kept alive by strong carbonation from beneath. Some lacing, nice and sticky but a bit thin.

Nice coffee aromas. Roasty but not burnt, so there's a bitterness but doesn't cross into sour or astringent territory. Quite strong (also helps) and yet fairly one-note, although there is a subtle caramellish malt note underneath. Simple, but really quite pleasant.

Taste is more or less what I was expecting; more's the pity. Lots of espresso coffee with a slight vegetative flavour to it. Slightly alkaline on the front that stays steady without much complexity to the end, where rich roastiness comes through, very espresso-like and bitter, not quite charred, but that very darkly bitter coffee flavour. Subtle enough to be enjoyed but at a couple of times it gets a smidgeon too burned. Very subtle bite of resiny hop at the end helps to cleanse, but doesn't entirely do the job.

Texture is there and there's a foaminess, yet the body is fairly thin. Carbonation sears the tongue a bit too much. Interesting though, especially for a lager.

A few snags here and there, but otherwise very decent drinking. A post-dinner sessionable beer.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown colour; you'd be forgiven for thinking it was black, even though there's a slight deep ruby tinge when held to the light. Head is frothy and good, a light mocha colour, and very full. As it eventually collapses, it leaves some very chunky lacing. Looks pretty good all up.

Nose is husky and grainy, and rather potent with organics. Quite dark, with a gritty, earthy undertone and a whiff of coffee grounds. It comes across perhaps a little too forcefully, and doesn't have a huge amount of complexity - I feel a touch of sweetness, a more layered grain note, or something similar would deepen it.

Taste is a little thinner than expected, but that may well be the lager yeast having its way. Comes across with a light coffee grain character, with a touch of metallic cling on the back. Feel is light, although the residual coffee bitterness hangs on for quite a while.

Drinkable enough, and it has some pleasant characters. It doesn't come across as an extreme or particularly complex beer, but I don't think it's trying to. It ends up being a drinkable, and surprisingly sessionable brew, that has some genuine flavour to it.

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Photo of hopnerd
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of doktorhops
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I could have sworn that I’ve had Black Giraffe before, in fact I did swear I said “Shit, I’ve had this beer before!” but for whatever reason I didn’t write up a review. Then again I don’t always write up reviews for every beer I try, Sean Penn’s character in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty put it (in the most succinct line of the film): “Sometimes I don’t [review beers - in his case take photos of Snow Leopards]. If I like a moment, I mean me, personally... I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera [in my case mobile phone]. I just wanna stay, in it.”

Poured from a 650ml bottle into a stein.

A: Obsidian cola body, 1 inch cappuccino khaki head that soon drops away leaving a half centimetre lace, what’s not to love? As an aside - judging dark beers is getting harder and harder these days - they all seem to coalesce into one black gumbo of delight... anyway... 7/10. Done.

S: Aroma is a mixture of cold drip coffee, metal and roasted cereal grains - not the best aroma in a coffee beer but it’s all in the taste is it not [at least 40% of my scoring is]. What is it missing? Could use less metal for a start... aside from that - remember FBS didn’t ‘wow’ me with its aroma but dropped a truck load of flavour on my tongue and said “Ere you go guvnor!” so let’s not dismiss BG yet ppl. 6/10.

T: A bit of dark fruits upfront (think prune/plum) with a toffee hint, ripe unroasted coffee bean, and cold drip coffee. Thankfully the above noted metal character is a lingering hint the background here, and the finish is a Helles Lager dry with a touch of earthy coffee bitterness. You really get a sense of that unroasted coffee cherry from the aftertaste and I think the Schwarzbier (a Lager beer) plays into that quite well - long sentence short: Coffee + Schwarzbier = Tasty. 8/10.

M: The body could use a little heft: Mid to light and slightly watery with a medium carbonation, but otherwise it feels to style, though a bit weird like a coffee flavoured soft drink. 7/10.

D: I feel like some bacon and eggs now - high praise for a coffee beer of any calibre - what Burleigh have done well here is take two seemingly disparate things: Coffee & Lager, and combine them into a brew that is sure to warrant a second tasting. I’m not the greatest fan of Burleigh, however this Schwarzbier is a tasty drop (and I love coffee, especially single origin) front of the class Burleigh. Did you do your homework? Burleigh: No. Me: Back of the class. 8/10.

Food match: Full English this brew.

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Photo of ADZA
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark as night black hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a creamy two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is strong dark coffee and some underlying piney hops,it has a medium bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of very strong,black coffee,strong mocha,dark roasted malts and finished with a piney,hoppy bitterness and overall it reminds me of a nice strong dark bitter black alcoholic coffee and very original even though its been done it hasnt been this coffee orientated cheers.

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Photo of admiral
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

strong, flavoursome beer - enjoyable to share

aroma: dark toasted malt, chocolate and slight hay

taste: dark toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, vegemite with some slight pepper/spice. As it warms up some slight smokiness and caramel comes through

Strong, bold flavours come out with plenty of bitterness accompanying it. Enjoyable enough to drink although having a full 650ml bottle might be a bit much to have by yourself. For my own personal taste, would have preferred it just a touch sweeter or an extra flavour or two coming out

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Photo of heygeebee
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Warners.

Pours black - just a hint of red around edge when held against sun... dark! Coarse tan head subsides quickly.

Toffee and roast malt on nose, with coffee.

Taste is as above, add in some nice hop flavours and easy drinking is the go. Real good balance of hops n malt and roast flavours.

Quote from a mate - 'beer equivalent of a long black'.

All in all - a good find - had been recommended to me many times but had not found.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: a solid, brown 650mL bottle with an interestingly stylised label, per the Burleigh Brewery norm.

Appearance: almost jet black in appearance, until you put it against the light. It is actually a solid dark brown with light red-brown highlights. A solid head jumps up about an inch-and-a-half, and settles to a creamy one-finger. Good lacing and retention.

Aroma: not overly coffee- driven though it is there, with some stone fruits and spice.

Taste: wow, they weren't kidding! Heavily coffee-driven, with a touch of those fruits and spices. I am not a coffee person at all (though I still quite like roast coffee as a characteristic of beers) - I think this is one designed for the coffee enthusiast only (which is fair enough). Still, very well balanced over all.

Aftertaste: the coffee lingers as an almost sweet molasses kind of flavour. Not unpleasant, even as a non-coffee drinker.

Mouth feel: pretty much bang on - mid weight body and a spritely yet not overwhelming carbonation.

Overall: normally I wouldn't want to have this kind of coffee-orientated beer, but this was extremely drinkable. Doesn't mean I'd have another one as it isn't my type of flavour, but bang for your bucks this is pretty tops, and more importantly it is a very well-constructed and balanced beer.

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Photo of ykncornelius
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This things's retired? I'm surprised--just picked up 3 bottles at 50% off in a run-of-the-mill bottle shop in Surfers Paradise! Beautiful fortune.

It's what you expect and want from a coffee beer, y'know? It's just delivered so well. Plenty of coffee/chocolate/smoke/etc beers come up way short, over-exerting the gimmick flavor and forgetting the fact that, at the end of the day, the drinker still wants a beer. This one's refreshingly on-point. So! To the stats...

If this were any other beverage, I'd instantly use the descriptor "it looks like coffee", but that's kinda lame this time. Seriously though, it's midnight black--literally zero light coming through, but it's lovely. Fluffy tan head died fairly fast, leaving a rather unattractive-looking lacing (it's a cruddy pale brown, after all...), but looks-wise this is Old Rasputin country. And so I approach the rest with high hopes.

Smells like a piece of chocolate rye bread dunked in espresso, sprinkled with sugar, thrown into the oven and kissed by faeries. Enough said.

Tasty. Much more coffee on the palate than in the aroma, with all those great malty lagery flavors showing through. My aftertastebuds could literally be convinced I just downed a double ristretto. Otherwise, IT TASTES LIKE IT SMELLS! ...delicious. Could do with a BIT more booze heat to it, to be an alcoholic about it.

It's a touch flat, which would be expected from a stout or porter...but I figured a dark lager would have a bit more pop to it. This one certainly won't be fizzin' out your nose. Once I got over that though, the thick creaminess is quite nice.

I'm really glad I bought three. At that price, probably should've cleared their stock. Fantastic winter sipper, which is fortuitously-timed as the nights are pretty chilly here right now. Tuck up next to a fire with a thick book and enjoy this as you would a port, brandy, hot chocolate...pick your poison.

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Photo of danieelol
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours dark black with good head and lacing. 4

S: roast coffee with some fruits. 4

T: roast coffee with some fruits, quite light. Very similar to Long Shot. 4

M: Quite creamy and light, good. 4

D: Pretty drinkable for its style. Probably the main difference between this and longshot is that this has slightly less coffee flavour and slightly higher drinkability. 4

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Black Giraffe from Burleigh Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 28 ratings