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

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 OWSLEY069
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber to black in color with an off white head. In the aroma, sweet caramel and a small fruitiness. In the taste, a roasty note of caramel and a fruity sweetness. A small bite, but mainly smooth, and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry fruitiness in the aftertaste. Nice balance between the fruit and the roast, a nice body and very enjoyable.

 375 characters

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 BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can see it now... Imperial Schwarzbiers are all the new rage. I was surprised to find that this beer did not fall on a dry stout, porter, brown, or any other heavier concoction. But it does show a strong schwarzbier character, but in an amped up form. Muted aromas with a dry, roasted character makes me beleive that there's not much there. Flavors, on the otherhand, beg to differ. Big, clean roasted notes with a slight touch of fully-attenuated caramel and a hint of lactose. Otherwise, no fruits, fermentation byproducts, phenols, sweetness, or sulfers-- just a crystal clean beer. The body seems higher, but remains chalk-dry with a soft roasted coffee astringency that balanced the beer. Finishes quite the same. The flavors are the same as good schwarzbiers, but the weight is increased-- why not.

 806 characters

Photo of boralyl
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours 1/2 an inch of tan head into a tulip. The head recedes fairly quickly leaving little lace. The beer is dark brown, nearly black with just a smidge of light coming through.

S - The aroma consists of roasted malts and some dark fruits.

M - Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation with some creaminess in the mouth feel.

T - The two items I picked out in the aroma push and pull on each other in the taste. It begins with dark fruit followed by some roasted malts and then more dark fruit once again followed by roasted malts. The 9% alcohol is very well hidden.

I really enjoy dark lagers, so it was interesting to try an imperial version of one of my favorite lager styles. The brew kettle did a good job with this one. It's not outstanding, but it's still very good.

 790 characters

Photo of WesM63
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Deschues tulip.

A: Pours near pitch black with a tiny 1/2 finger mocha head.

S: Pure malt goodness. Maybe a hint of chocolate and coffee with some alcohol.

T: Spot on the nose. Super sweet malts with a hint of chocolate, coffee and some alcohol to finish it off.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: Interesting flavor. I was expecting more of a Black Ale/IPA, this is not that. Still, very good. Smooth and very drinkable.

 459 characters

Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an opaque deep brown/black with a billowing cappuccino head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is roasty and nutty, with a hint of chocolate and a malted milk ball essence.

Flavor reveals more malted milk ball character. Sweeter than expected, milk and dark chocolate dominates throughout. There's a significant roast bitterness at the finish. The toasted, nutty malt backbone complements the chocolate well. A metallic character surfaces as it warms.

Body is fairly full, with low carbonation and light alcohol warmth. There's a touch of a carbonic bite.

Far different than I expected, this is definitely a dessert/guilty pleasure beer. Certainly sweet, very chocolatey. I can understand why some may not like it, but it's right up my alley...minus the metallic note.

 796 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown color, with a 2 finger dense and fluffy tan head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, and nuttiness; with light coffee, raisin, plum, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, biscuit, and nuttiness; with light coffee, raisin, plum, herbal, pepper, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal hop and roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, caramel, brown sugar, toasted dark bread, biscuit, nuttiness, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great roasted bitter/sweet balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from roast/bitterness as well. Nicely clean on lager flavors with minimal yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/silky, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice imperial schwarzbier style. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. Very rich and well rounded in malt complexity. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,844 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark beer, tan head slow to leave, bubbly lace.

S - Fresh hops and sweet malt. Pretty pleasant.

T - Very malty but not overly sweet. Bitters nicely.

M - Good carb, nice balance, medium body.

D - A very drinkable offering from Brew Kettle.

 251 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark fruit on the nose and on the tongue. Not quite as clean/crisp as I expected for a black lager. The imperial nature certainly bumped up the body on this one. Solid beer with a lot of flavor. A great diversion from the IPA/stout/sour rat race. Certainly worth trying if you like dark fruit flavors in Quads.

 310 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date) with a different label than the picture here - just the words "Dark Helmet". Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black (more like a stout), letting no light through until near the bottom of the glass where a very dark clear cola brown was noted. Thin tan head with some strands of fine lacing noted.

Smell: Clean malt, a bit like a Schwarzbier, but with underlying booziness and an occasional metallic note.

Taste: Roasted malt, just a hint of noble hops, some underlying sweetness and warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick - as you would expect from something made "Imperial" and not very lager-like. Good carbonation though, but more like a stout than a Schwarzbier.

Overall / Drinkability: An interesting take on a Schwarzbier. Dangerously drinkable - very balanced and simply tasty like a Schwarzbier can be. I could easily have another, although I would probably regret it later.

 934 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ringneck Dark Helmet Imperial Schwarzbier
The Brew Kettle Taproom & Smokehouse / Production Works
Style: Schwarzbier
ABV: 9.00 %

LOOK: Darkest of browns bordering black. Small mocha head forms and has decent staying power. Appears to be a very thick malty brew.

SMELL: Roasted malts, chocolates, vanilla, small alcoholic aromas as well as some coffee.

TASTE: Robust and malty upfront, with molasses, coffee and dark chocolate flavor. This gives way to a bit of alcohol, mild bitterness and more chocolate. Full flavored dark beer with all the typical flavors associated with an imperial stout, this just may happen to use lager yeast.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, silky and smooth feel. Well carbonated, with rich malts following through into the finish.

Overall: A fine Schwarzbier of imperial strength. Lager's answer to the Imperial Stout. Very tasty and worth the purchase.

 878 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's amazing how much an imperial schwarzbier tastes like a baltic porter.

Upon pulling the bottle out of the fridge, I started pondering which Space Balls joke I could post here. "Their schwartz is bigger than yours."

This is a pretty thick beer. And really, everything about it screams baltic porter to me. I like this one a lot. Pick it up if you see it.

 359 characters

Photo of beveritt
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Poured from a 22 oz brown bomber into a standard pint glass. Label depicts some type of small rodent wearing an over sized black helmet. The top is sealed in green wax.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of light tan head. This settles to a quarter inch coating of foam. Nice lacing as I sip. The beer itself is medium brown with slight hints of red. Perfectly clear, but dark enough that it is difficult to see through.

Smell: Grainy aromas upfront, well caramelized. Slight bitterness and nutty flavor with hints of roasted barley. Notes of coffee and chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is good.

Drinkability: An example of what lagers can be; not just watered down rice water, but flavorful and nuanced dark beer.

 751 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Never had an imperial Schwarzbier before so I was super excited when I bought this. Just 2.59 for the single.

A - Looks good so far a 1/2 inch of mocha head that sticks around for a bit. Color is a rather dark ruby brown color. Very dark almost stout like.
S - Slightly metallic but mostly smoked malts and roasts. Smell is rather sweet like a milk stout. I sip.
T - Well not as smokey as I expected but still very sweet! Has an almost lactic sweetness with vanilla like malts. Not roasty in the slightest. Metallic notes are minimal probably from the yeast.
M - Smooth taste with a medium body. Not very chewy but smooth.

Overall it's quite a good beer but it seems with the addition of more malt it lost some of its smokey character. I would have loved it with more smoke.

 776 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is good given the ABV, but no lacing is left.

4.0 S: Dry roastiness. Cocoa powder and lager yeast caramel. Simple, but delightful.

4.0 T: Tastes like the nose, but much much sweeter, which I like. Roastiness, bittersweet chocolate, lots of caramel, and lager yeast flavor (which is hard to explain). Very tasty.

4.0 M: Medium body. Rich velvety feel. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy.

4.0 D: I very much enjoy a good Schwarz and this is one of them.

 553 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%

12 FL. OZ bottle
Served in a pokal glass

It is very dark in color, almost black. When held to the light some ruby highlights are evident. It has two to three inches of head. There is some lacing.

It is sweet smelling with chocolate and coffee notes.

The taste is semisweet. Roasted flavors come through with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Medium mouthfeel

I like it. This is a great beer for when your are not in the mood for hops. The 9% abv adds a nice punch to the liver. It pairs well with Spaceballs the Movie which I am enjoying both immensely.

 558 characters

Photo of Beejay
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark black in color, clear with deep ruby color throughout. Good tan head on there.

S: Some fruity esters witha nice roasted barley smell. Some nice bread smells in there as well.

T: Malty, very malty. Big chewy malty goodness with some coffee like roasted malts, and perhaps a touch of toffee. There is a touch of fruitiness, and a little bit of a bite form the alcohol. This is a pretty damn good beer.

M: Medium in body with a healthy amount of carbonation. I think the mouthfeel hides the fact that this beer is 9% pretty well.

O: Overall I am really impressed with this beer. Big, malty, and roasty. Fine work.

 631 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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