Dark Helmet
Westbrook Brewing Co.

Dark HelmetDark Helmet
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #35
Ranked #20,857
3.86 | pDev: 9.59%
Westbrook Brewing Co.
South Carolina, United States
Very Good
Dark HelmetDark Helmet
Notes: Dark Helmet is a German-style black lager (or Schwarzbier) brewed with 10% malted rye. Chocolate and Carafa malts give this beer its dark color and ludicrously smooth, roasty flavor. May the Schwarz be with you!

25 IBU
Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 299 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Very dark chocolate brown. Three fingers of foamy tan head with slightly poor retention.

Smell: Sweet malt, spicy resinous hops, dark chocolate, mild roast coffee, oatmeal.

Taste: Slightly diluted roast malt character, mild rye spice. Very limited hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but slightly thin. Decent carbonation.

Overall: This would be a much better beer if it didn't taste and feel so diluted. It's like the Diet Coke of schwarzbier.

Jan 01, 2020
Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Black as pitch with initially as much head as beer when poured with modest vigor. The cream to tan head bubbles back to a finger of head and very slight lace.

S: Aroma is a blend of lager yeast and oatmeal stout, dark malts, a bit tinny.

T: Flavorful, bready, roasty. Hits those oatmeal stout notes on a lighter palate. Cola creeps in.

F: Quite thin but more smooth and coating than a light-hued lager cousin. Weight as expected for ABV. The Rye comes through on the front of the taste. Good carbonation.

O: Easy drinking and plenty of flavor. I feel if this is not your thing then neither is the style.

Oct 16, 2019
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and is close to appearing black when viewed from afar. It poured with a short beige colored had that left a small patch of bubbles on the surface, a narrow collar around the edge, and some lacing on the surface in between.
S: Moderate aromas of dark and chocolate malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and is quite and has flavors of dark and chocolate malts with hints of cola. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate with moderate amount of carbonation and has some dryness in the finish.
O: This beer has nice malty flavors without being heavy on the palate.

Serving type: can

Sep 06, 2019
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a dark and creamy looking black color, with a fluffy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells deliciously roasty and chocolatey, some light nuttiness, and slight earthy hops.

This is a really well constructed schwarzbier- it's really rich, with nearly spot on flavors. The roast character is killer, bitter, rich, and earthy. There's a little bit of rye spice and piney hops, with dark chocolate, char, and a hint of bitter nuttiness.

This is smooth and super creamy, with a good level of carbonation, and a very high level of drinkability.

This is definitely one of the better dark lagers I've had made in the States- it's really well done.

May 25, 2018
Photo of JayQue
JayQue from Virginia

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good Schwartzbier!!! Pours a dense brown color with a big tan head from a pint can into a pint glass. Very little light comes through the glass. Dense as most stouts. Head retention is excellent and there are bands of lacing on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt and coffee, fairly prominent. Taste is more of the same. A nice, light, malty beer with some coffee flavor. Mouthfeel is crisp, light and amazingly smooth like a milk stout. Thought I detected some lactose here and a little bitterness in the finish. Very enjoyable.

May 17, 2018
Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark, almost pitch black color. The head, and I didn't do an aggresive pour, turned out to be 4 finger, tan, very frothy, with good retention.
The nose is very slight. I just get a hint of malt, maybe a bit of coffee, but not much else from it.
Taste is roasty, slight smoke, a bit of coffee, a bit of nuts, some caramel, some chocolate.
Feel is moderate. It does linger in the back of my throat for a bit.
Tasty beer. I'll admit, I had to get it because of the name, but it is a good beer. Happy to try it.

Apr 09, 2018
Photo of Blackop555
Blackop555 from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black. Thick, medium tan head that lasts While.

Smells roasted malts, coffee, char and slight sweetness.

Tastes roasted malts, bready, light caramel, slight earthiness, light chocolate, light char and yeast hints. Finish is semi sweet with a roasted linger. Medium body and creamy medium carbonation.

Apr 01, 2018
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27 from New York

4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Unsurprisingly, Dark Helmet is very dark with cola highlights. The dark walnut foamy head briefly reaches two inches before settling at one inch for a few minutes and quickly fading to a thin layer.

Roasted malt and coffee beans are followed by chocolate syrup. Faint notes of marshmallow and pumpernickel bread offset a hint of soap.

The flavor opens with chocolate syrup, followed by iced cappuccino and mocha. Bitter roasted malt balances the sweetness. The finish is mild and long with hints of chocolate, dark toast and peanuts.

This has a medium body with scratchy nylon texture. Fine soft carbonation allows a hint of crisp alcohol.

Dark Helmet was enjoyable during a late afternoon and sipped from a pilsner glass.

Jul 09, 2017
Photo of c_tails
c_tails from New York

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

smell - roasty malt

pours really dark with a light tan head, my first pours produced a lot of foam.

taste - roasted, toasted, malty. but light and smooth. not too sweet. nice cocoa. the mouthfeel is just slightly thin in my opinion but not in a bad way.

overall its a refreshing beer, easy drinking, with substantial flavor.

Dec 11, 2016
Photo of iheartmyTHO
iheartmyTHO from Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think I would have preferred this beer as a porter or a stout, given the lighter mouthfeel. The beer wasn't terrible but I think I would like it better if it was a bit heavier. There's a nice roasty, chocolate flavor to this beer, which I rather enjoyed. But I always associate that with porters / stouts.

Sep 25, 2016
Photo of BigGold
BigGold from Mississippi

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had poured from 22-oz. bomber, stamped bottled on "12/2/15," into nonic pint. Dark Helmet is an excellent selection for your dark beer fix in the summer.

Jun 23, 2016
Photo of BeerDawgs
BeerDawgs from Georgia

3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L - Black with 2 fingers of tan head

S - Roasted grains, and thats about it

T -Semi-sweet, roasted malts, coffee

F - Medium carbonation, then body

O - Nothing to write home about here

Apr 30, 2016
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

So drink this colder, it becomes a problem if it gets "hot, too hot". This is especially true for the nose, very bitter for style and earthy, verging on smoke. Taste cleans up more, rye, cocoa, peat, coffee and has a handful of pine hops on the back end, all things dark, because the dark "will prevail because good is dumb". Feel is smoky yet sneaky bready, with good textures from hops and rye, but is a little thick verging toward almost a porter. Texture help but too thick, "good thing you were wearing a helmet!"

Jan 01, 2016
Photo of ordybill
ordybill from Georgia

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a pint glass. The appearance is a deep brown color with a large tan head. The aroma is big on malt with roasted malt and some spice tossed in for good measure. The flavor is spiced cocoa with hops mixed in. Overall a really interesting beer that I would drink again.

Dec 29, 2015
Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
AlpacaAlpaca from New York

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

You really can't beat the smoothness here. Everything comes together in such a drinkable way. Chocolately without being too sweet, roasty without being bitter, thin but without sacrificing body, nutty but more like a porter than a brown ale. Goes down easy but demands respect as you drink. I wish Westbrook canned this one, it would be a regular in my rotation (since I don't regularly drink bomber-only beer).

Dec 16, 2015
Photo of oberon
oberon from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a deep garnet color with nice looking fluffy beige head atop.Aromas dark roast coffee and a light earthy note.Flavors deep dark roasted coffee,unsweetened chocolate with a bit of roasted red pepper and caramel in the finish.A really nice black lager,not to sweet and or roasted,all come together very well.

Nov 15, 2015
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Look: It pours dark ground with a tan head.

Aroma: It has aromas of roasted malts and a touch of coffee.

Taste: It has flavors of roasted malts, a hint of coffee, and slight hop bitterness. It has a medium body combined with high carbonation.

It is mostly smooth and semi dry on the way down.

Nov 11, 2015
Photo of TonyLema1
TonyLema1 from South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: deep black, thin head, for a vigorous pour
S: roasted malts
T: roasted malt, medium body
F: not much of one
O: eh, not bad, the name and label are cool

Nov 06, 2015
Photo of cab4514
cab4514 from South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love dark beers so I had been dying to try Westbrook's since I like so much of their others. I had it on tap. It came as a dark ebony with a slight head. Not too heavy, but not thin at all. Not the most aromatic of beers but that doesn't hold much bearing on my judgement. It tasted great with a slight bitterness and great malt finish. Will be looking for it again. I'm gonna try and find the bottle so I can have it while watching Spaceballs!

Nov 01, 2015
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle with a bottled on date stamp of 25 Sept. 2014.
Pours very dark brown, looking nearly black and opaque in my snifter.
The head is small but durable.
The aroma is OK but certainly the weak point of this beer. The flavor and feel are about average (flavor) or better (feel) for style. Mildly bitter.

Apr 07, 2015
Photo of danmor1
danmor1 from Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Getting it for free (due to some unlikely events) may colour this review, but here goes:

Look: a delicious dark amber, just begging to be consumed.
Smell: not much, actually, but I was in a pizza place at the time, and that probably messed with my perception.
Taste: delicious malt, with more complexity driving up on the exhale.
Feel: not the strongest I've come across, but better than most ales I've had. Fairly solid.
Overall: I'll admit, a lot (all) of why I got this was for the name, but it didn't disappoint. If Rick Moranis ever drops by, I'd gladly share this with him. Even measures, of course, after all: Your Schwarz is as big as mine!

Mar 31, 2015
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79 from New York

3.27/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Got a bottle of this in Charleston, SC at the brewery. Wasn't a huge fan of this, though not bad. Lots of rye and spices, some bread, grains, wheat, and toasted malts. Wouldn't seek it out again with their other offerings.

Mar 12, 2015
Photo of SportsandJorts
SportsandJorts from Virginia

3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a deep mahogany, very close to black color. a small half finger tan head forms and has good retention. leaves behind a good lacing. some clarity around the edges despite the darkness but still opaque through the center.

Smell: chocolate, slight burnt, fairly straight forward nose.

Taste: opens with notes of debittered black malts. opens up a bit with light chocolate and some earthy hop bitterness along with a little spicy rye. the end has a distinct clean lager yeast finish.

Mouthfeel: light and drinkable. just a bit of lingering bitterness. fairly refreshing.

Overall: overall this a well brewed and worthwhile schwarz, but it fails to stand out to much. the flavors are just a little lacking to really stand out. the mouthfeel and drinkability are the real highlight of th ebeer.

Feb 10, 2015
Photo of bongobeer
bongobeer from Alabama

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark as night with small tan head and pretty good amount of lacing.
Weak smell of smoke, malts and rye.
Smooth malty and roasty flavor with smoke and rye in the middle and a bitter coffee finish.
This beer has a great smooth light to med. mouth feel.
Really tasty, enjoyable dark (light) lager!

Feb 08, 2015
Photo of mothmanscott
mothmanscott from Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours what looks to be an ebony black but is actually a clear deep brown with garnet hints when held to the light producing 1.5 fingers of frothy but mostly tightly bubbled, somewhat lasting, dark tan head that recedes to a solid cap leaving only a 1/2 inch of collar lace. Aroma is chocolate, dark roasted malts, fresh cut pumpernickel, toffee, caramel & a hint of smoke. Only a faint hint of dark fruit & rye is weak. Taste is similar with the addition of smoke, a burnt note & more & darker chocolate among the bread, dark malt, caramel & toffee. Slightly bitter, with only a little rye spice from mid-sip into the finish. Bitterness declines in the aftertaste which is rich with burnt/roast notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low-moderate carbonation, tongue coating creamy, silky & smooth.

Jan 05, 2015
Dark Helmet from Westbrook Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 299 ratings