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Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier | The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works

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BA SCORE
83
good
59 Reviews
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Dark Helmet Imperial SchwarzbierDark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Ohio, United States
thebrewkettle.com

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
A true TBK original, we kick this German-style black lager up a couple notches. Big clean malty flavor with just a hint of roasted malt.
"May the Schwartz be with you!"

Added by mcallister on 12-30-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
59
Ratings:
150
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
18.48%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
24
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 150
Photo of joepais
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Csmiley for the treat. Bottle poured into pint glasses produced a white head that went a way to nothing on top of a black bodied brew.

The beer had a nice bready aroma with a light roasted malt smell. I liked the flavor if I didn't see the darkness of the brew I would have not know it was a dark beer. Nice and light flavors a little sweat but with enough roast flavors to finish smooth. It was light in my mouth with great carbonation.

An easy drinking brew I finished my glass with no problem and was left wanting for more. A good Schwarzbier, I buy the beer just for the label it's that funny.

 618 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark body with like no head.

Slightly roasty with a smooth vanilla smell as well. Chocolate mixed in as well.

The taste is definitely unique. Very very smooth and drinkable is the firs thing I notice. Slight bitter twang possibly from what tastes like cocoa nibs. Hint of smooth vanilla, but really lacking that strong upfront roasty characteristic I want from a Schwarzbier, but that roasty is there.

Subsequent drinks really show off the balance. Could use a bit more flavors for the unique Idea of an Imperial Schwarzbier.

 535 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark caramel colored with a small tannish head that fades quickly.

Milk and dark chocolates with hints of vanilla. Clean dark malts with hints of caramel.

Caramel malty mouthfeel with chocolate undertones and bits of dark fruit. Creamy smooth and drinkable

 267 characters

Photo of do_ob
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in appearance, 1 finger of mocha-colored foam on top. Nose is roasted malt, chocolalte, light baking spice, coffee, caramel, and bit of smokey tobacco. The taste follows pretty closely. Feel is on the thinner side. Moderate carbonation. Overall, this was okay but not overly impressive.

 297 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this bottle up at Jungle Jim's a while back and just got around to drinking it. The review is from notes taken on 7/4/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark mahogany color and starts with a short 1/4 finger light tan head that fades quickly to a thin island scum in the center of the surface; body is nearly opaque and shows some ruby/mahogany highlights when held to the light; no lacing is left behind at all.

Smell: A little faint, but it comes across with some big sweet maltiness with a touch of woody and mulchy roastiness and graininess.

Taste: Not too shabby -- nice sweet malts combine with a dry toasty graininess; a very faint roasted maltiness as well -- almost a faint illusion of bittersweet chocolate with the way the malts blend with the grains; as it continues to warm there's a bit of a cola-like sweetness that sneaks in; I kind of dig the variety of the flavors present in this one.

Mouthfeel: Body is fairly light; carbonation is also a little light and crisp and it leaves the cheeks and gums tingly; a fairly thick and semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not bad -- I don't typically drink a lot of lager-styles but this one definitely warrants getting picked up on occasion (if The Brew Kettle continues to make it); it would probably be a little better in the early spring or fall, and at 9% it would need to be a little limited.

 1,437 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.76/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a shade lighter the your basic black. Decent enough head on top at first. Rather 1 dimensional aroma. Faintly metallic and sulfury-not a great presence smell wise. Malty flavor dominates-has a very prominant toffeeish/caramel like flavor upfront. Mild grainy and roasted flavors. Just enough hop bite to know it is there. Finish is somewhat sweet. Very smooth and silky body wise,almost ale like, but the clean and crisp character of a lager is there. Very enjoyable and delicious. Has some of the fruity notes of a mild stout or dark ale but still very good and an interesting twist.

 589 characters

Photo of Bung
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz, picked up in Columbus after watching an MSU win.
Very dark brown/amber pour, thin layer of white.

Aroma, nutty chocolate, malt, light caramel.

Taste, toasted malt, earthy, slightly nutty chocolate. Light coffee, cocoa. The flavors are nice, but a little mellow. Does warm a bit in the throat.

Not quite mid bodied, a little thin, but drinks much easier than the high abv. Really not bad, but has the flavor profile of a much smaller beer.

 447 characters

Photo of glass_house
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've not had many schwarzbiers, but this is one of the few I enjoyed. Nice clean feel, with just enough body from the smooth, roasted malts. Subtle notes of chocolate and coffee, but no real dominant flavor. Very little hop presence. Extremely easy drinking for an 8% beer.

 273 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown body with little head. It has a flat appearance.

Roasty smell with a brown sugar sweetness.

Roasty and sweet, with hints of dates, brown sugar, and cola. It's got a heavy alcohol presence and it almost reminds me of a dubbel.

Mouthfeel is soft with light carbonation.

This was a pretty decent beer and had some good qualities in the flavor, but was not very aromatic.

 386 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Brew Kettle yesterday afternoon.

Pours nearly black, though it is still slightly see through. Thin of-white head forms at the beginning and offers a good amount of lacing. The nose is nice with some roasted malt and a bit of coffee. There's a touch of licorice there in the background as well. The taste is pretty similar; there's a touch of roast and some light coffee. Mild anise in the background. Fairly tasty, though the finish is a bit too bitter with far too much alcohol for what it's carrying. Pretty good, though the finish was far too harsh.

 567 characters

Photo of output01x
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1-finger tan-colored energetic head. Within a minute the head fades to a faint dusting atop the dark mahogany body. Lacing is minimal but apparent.

Dark roasted malts dominate the nose. A light fruity sweetness is also detected. Unfortunately, the aromas were rather faint, making it difficult to analyze.

Dark malts, dry chocolate, and roasted coffee come together to create an interestingly rich, yet light flavor profile. The flavors are complex, but not bold. They get their message to you without being excessive. The 9% ABV is nowhere to be found.

Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, this beer fizzes on your tongue and leaves little residue. The carbonation may be a little excessive, but it does allow this beer to be more than a sipper.

 825 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark cola like color with a two finger dark khaki colored head which gives way to some strings of lace. The aroma is of some roasted malts along with a hint of dark fruit sweetness as well as toffee and some dark chocolate. The taste has a roasty and caramel malt backbone with a dark chocolate and coffee bitterness. There is also a hint of dark fruit sweetness that rounds out the flavor. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. It is not slick with alcohol. Overall it is a solid beer, it has a good flavor but left me wanting just a little more out of it. It was however, very enjoyable.

 604 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass

A- Poured black with a one finger soapy off-white head. You can see some red hues shining at the top of the beer and very bottom.

S- Big roasted barley/malt aroma, fruity esters, very clean lager smell

T- Dominant sweet maltiness, and cracker notes. Some roasted barley and coffee. Light fruitiness

M- Very smooth, medium/fuller bodied, high carbonation on the finish, finishes dry. A little bit fuller bodied but this does not drink like a 9% beer. No alcohol presence, warming, or burn.

O- The more I drink this the sweeter it gets. Reminds me of the Black Rat Imperial Stout from Cellar Rats I had recently. A really unique beer style to try out, but I don't see myself getting this again.

 743 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark brown color with ruby highlights and a smallish tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Smells of light chocolate and caramel with a bit of earthy and floral hops playing a supporting role. Taste is chocolate and caramel with a bit of ash. Earthy bitter hops mix with a hint of alcohol to counter the malt sweetness. There's a hint of melanoid in there that makes it a little interesting. A bit of a lingering alcohol burn on the finish. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. I thought this was only ok. It seems like a kicked up version of a macro lager with a bit of chocolate malt.

 643 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark but clear reddish brown with practically no head.

Pretty exclusive nutty and chocolate aromas.

Dark Helmet is actually quite stout-like, with chocolatey roasty flavors, supported by dry walnut, and faint bitter coffee. Some vanilla creeps in, assisting in the fact that overall this is a sweet beer.

Frothy with a little spicy tang and some boozy heat coming in here and there.

 386 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of roasted malt
Head small (1 cm), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 2 mm ring
Lacing – none
Body dark brown, opaque
Flavor begins with roasted malt bitterness and ends with a slight sweetness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

This is a very nice interpretation of a schwarzbier – the alcohol is well hidden which makes this very drinkable. The appearance detracts somewhat, but still a very desirable brew. I first had this at a beer fest – based on this beer alone I made the Brew Kettle a routine stop when I’m in the Cleveland area.

 650 characters

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

The beer was chilled and served in an Imperial Pint glass. What can I say I am a sucker for The Space Balls referance.

Appearance: The beer has a dark brown body with ruby highlights to light. The head is a thin nugget coloration. The head quickly resolves.

Smell: I like the aroma of the beer but it is a let down for a schwatzbeer let alone the notion of imperial schwartz. Sort of a my schwartz is bigger than your schwartz. Nicely sweetened light roasted coffee, caramel, a whiff of cocoa just a hint of smoke. Really wish the smokeyness had been kicked up. This is sort of like a kicked up brown ale.

Taste: The smoke is indeed present at the begining of the taste. Sadly the smoke flavors arent particularly memorable. Nice sweetly roasted malt caramel a bit of fruityness. Not a bad tasting beer just not that smoky.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beer has a nice smooth medium body. The beer is on the sweeter side but not cloyingly so. This is an easy drinking kicked up brown ale. I wouldnt go so far as to call this a smoked beer. Probably wont be seeing this beer in my glass again.

 1,099 characters

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

Poured into my new New Glarus pilsner. Thanks FrankenBrew!

Clear yet murky brown to copper.

Slightly weak, roasty nose. some chocolate and caramel

Same with the taste. Very sweet and sugary.

smooth and creamy mouth feel

really drinkable for a 10%abv lager

Not the best Schwarzbier but worth trying nonetheless. I would like to see more balance. Less sweetness, more roastiness and chocolate notes would improve this beer.

 427 characters

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

Pours a very dark but clear mahogany with a 1-finger tan head leaving no lacing. A steady carbonation stream is visible.
The smell is a strong, sweet malt without any roasted aroma.
The taste is similar though a bit of roasted malt comes out.
Mouthfeel is thin and slightly carbonated.
Drinkability: Not a poor beer but nothing too special either. For 9% ABV I would want a bit more going on to say it has good drinkability. I find it to be pretty one-dimensional.

 464 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a nice beer, but I'm not sure "Imperial Schwarzbier" is a style in need of inventing.

This beer pours like a schwarzbier, dark colored (maybe a dark copper), but perhaps a touch more viscous than say a Kostritzer. More like a baltic porter than anything else, dark but not terribly roasty but with some nice roast notes. A decent amount of bitterness. As a beer, it tasted it good, and I found it interesting, but I'd really like to take a look at the recipe to see what makes this beer tick...flavor is hard to describe but intensely pleasant, but a touch style defying...not something brand new, but just a splitting the difference among other styles.

I bought this beer at Rozi's in Lakewood, OH.

 710 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a pilsner glass, the beer pours brown with a half inch tan head that went away pretty quickly. There's also a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and some coffee. It tastes like dark fruit, roasted malt, coffee, nuts, chocolate and a bit of booze. Mouthfeel/body is low/medium, it does seem a bit thin and has low/moderate carbonation. Drinkability is alright, it is smooth and easy enough to drink. Overall I think this is a decent enough brew. It's not something I would buy all the time, but it's definitely worth a try.

 581 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.42/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pilsner glass
no born on date

This is my first schwarzbier, as I generally stay away from the lager styles, but received this in a trade (was supposed to get White Rajah and received this instead).

A: Pours a thin appearing cola brown, with some reddish hues when held to light and 1.5 fingers width of light tan colored head. Leaves a few random patches of spotty lacing.

S: Dark fruit sweetness, some spice, black licorice, raisin. Smells Belgium, like a Dubbel or a low end Quad. Hints of chocolate and roasted malt. Surprisingly nice.

T: Very sweet taste. Chocolate and dark fruits, a bit of roasted flavor. I dont get much else, just a huge sweetness. Nice at first, but it does become a bit cloying.

M/D: Medium bodied, low carbonation, no hint of the ABV. Drinkability is fair, limited by the sweetness.

O: Interesting beer here. I generally love me some high ABV dark beers, but this one just didn't do it for me. I would probably drink it again if someone gave it to me, but its not something Id purchase. Wish he would have sent me the White Rajah.

 1,087 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Darkest mahogany that becomes dark cherry red with bright orange accents when backlit with sunshine. Too bad the beer isn't Darth Vader black. The khaki colored crown is small despite a high-altitude pour. On a good note, it lasts for a while and looks decent while doing so.

The nose is too weak to start and doesn't open up much with warming. A whiff of black malt is all that is appreciated, so average is as high as I can go. Looks like there's some work to be done on the taste buds to avoid disappointment.

Dark Helmet actually tastes like an Imperial schwarzbier, believe it or not. Whether this is a style that should be Imperialized is another matter entirely. I would be more simpatico with the concept if the beer was better.

Black patent malt dominance (merely a guess)(as opposed to roasted or chocolate malt) keeps DH from tasting like a big stout. Points to TBK for pretty much nailing the essential flavor profile of the style. More hop bitterness to balance the black licorice-like sweetness would have worked much better. Alcohol is essentially AWOL.

Warming does positive things to flavor boldness, though it doesn't remedy the lack of depth or complexity. The mouthfeel is seriously thin for an Imperial <anything> and doesn't have the world's hardest working bubbles. Big letdown here.

Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier isn't bad beer. Nor is it especially good beer. It's my least favorite of the handful of The Brew Kettle brews that I've had so far.

 1,483 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of axilla.

Poured a deeper reddish-brown color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of nuts, roast, and I was getting some dark fruits. Tastes of chocolate, lighter nuttiness, raisins and plums. This one was very sweet. Not cloying, but getting there.

 290 characters

Photo of jampics2
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz Bottle.

Looks OK. Dark beer. Not a lot of head, even when agitated on the pour.

Smell is interesting. Smells like a schwarzbeer with some other elements. Sweet malt, touch of roast, maybe a hint of chocolate or toffee.

Taste is good. Not a knockout but a really unique beer. Sweet but not cloying, nice elements of traditional schwarz. Also some alcohol and bitterness too. Chocolate or roasty taste, but overwhelming sweet malt.

Mouthfeel is average. Was worried it would be a bit flat based on the appearance, but it's OK. Nice for a change of pace, but not the new holy grail for schwarz lovers.

 607 characters

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Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier from The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
3.68 out of 5 based on 150 ratings.
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