Relic Brewing Co.

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Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #11
Ranked #8,467
4.17 | pDev: 7.43%
Relic Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 29 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of smcolw
smcolw from Massachusetts

3.64/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown where no light passes even along the edges of the glass. Beige head that recedes to rim bubbles. Plenty of streaks on the glass for lace.

Rather nondescript smell, it takes some effort to get to the cream and mild chocolate nose.

The flavor is more pronounced. There's chocolate and black patent malts present creating a mocha taste. The body is below expectations (i.e. thinner) with a stronger effervescence. Long aftertaste of semisweet chocolate.

Jul 02, 2017
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1 finger medium brown head that receded to a thick collar; nice lacing;

S: milk chocolate with deeply roasted grain behind it;

T: chocolate malt for a moment, then deeply roasted grain through the finish; aftertaste is deeply roasted grain and black coffee; mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: enjoyable;

May 27, 2017
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mike22ne from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap.
Looks good, dark brown/black with reddish hue and a nice tan head.
Smells of roasted barley and chocolate, with earthy hop presence.
Taste is good, lots of bittersweet dark chocolate with malty flavors. Some coffee and lingering bitterness.
Feels smooth and medium body, not too heavy. Dry finish.

Overall a great, tasty beer. Not knowing the style when I tried it, I might have guessed it was a black IPA due to the hops and bitterness, but the focus on malts and the balance in flavors was very nice.

May 07, 2017
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

4.02/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 3/16/2016 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a nonic pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, coffee, roasted malts and some smoke.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty roasted malt character followed by some smokiness. Then some flavors of coffee and chocolate come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Mar 16, 2017
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KelsoSaaz from Maine

4.59/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pokal

A: Pours pitch-black with hints of deep brown. British khaki, creamy, 1 finger head that quickly fades.

S: Sort of musty and earthy, but unoffending, smell, like the inside of an older barn. Aroma of coffee grounds, raw cacao and sweet malt.

T: Slightly burnt coffee, bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt. The only lasting flavor comes from the roasty flavors with bitterness that lasts just long enough. Very little in the way of hop flavors; some woody flavors are hiding around.

M: Medium to semi-light in body with moderate to high carbonation.

O: I have been on a Schwarzbier kick lately and this is one of my favorites. Its beautiful to look at, has excellent roasty flavors and has a nice clean lager profile. If you like this style, get this fresh if you can, this is a top-tier American Schwarzbier. Blackheart is a winner in my book.

Mar 11, 2014
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CTBeerhunter66 from Connecticut

4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this recently from the brewery.

A - Black - proper carbonation and a nice head

S - Malty and earthy I really enjoy the aroma of his beers in general

T - Just a great example of a malty black lager, chocolate and malt with some roast

M - enough body but still light enough to drink

O - One of my overall favs from Relic, too bad its going away for winter

Apr 02, 2013
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TheLostGringo from Connecticut

3.97/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. poured into my Deschutes Teku glass.

A: The appearance is really nice, inky black with a solid 1 inch head and some nice lacing.

S: Aroma is basic straight forward chocolate malt, little else.

T: Mostly straight forward chocolate malt, perhaps a hint of licorice.

M: Dead on for the style, nice mouth coating but the carbonation makes it easy drinking.

O: very nice Schwarzbier and while not an extremely popular style in the U.S. I do enjoy these on occasion and this was a really good example.


Mar 26, 2013
Photo of dpianka
dpianka from Connecticut

4.68/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

date of tasting: 3/12/2013
place of tasting: Barley Vine
glass: Mug
temperature of beer: 55.5F

Appearance: beautiful ebony, think grade A dark amber maple syrup (yum)

Smell: strong roasted malt followed by faint fresh roasted coffee, dark chocolate and yes, maple syrup

Taste: strong roasted coffee nutty like a really good espresso, dark chocolate, not incredibly complex but that’s not a bad thing here. Hops were mellow but noticable. Malt was upfront and just the perfect amount of caramel sweetness

Mouthfeel: light creaminess that lent itself to counter the carbonation quite well

Overall Impression: amazing. Probably the best black lager I’ve ever tasted, ok it is the best. Light and extremely refreshing. I’ve found a place in my black heart for Relic.

Food Pairing: I’d go with cheese, either a sharp cheddar or some goat cheese with walnuts and honey. Any smoked beef or pork or BBQ would be wonderful. If you want to carry it into dessert a creme brulee or Flan would be amazing

Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Damian
Damian from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 32 fl. oz. growler purchased at Relic Brewing, Plainville, CT
Served in a pint glass.

Hazy chestnut brown in appearance. The liquid was capped by a tight, creamy, tan colored head that slowly fell to a clingy film.

The aroma really blew me away. Freshly brewed coffee was immediately noticeable. Moderately roasty. Good amount of dark chocolate. Lots of sweet caramel malt and toffee notes. Hint of vanilla.

The flavor profile was very similar to the nose. Sweet up front with a strong caramel malt presence. French roast coffee and dark chocolate notes appeared in the center. Touch of vanilla and sweet cream. The finish was rich and roasty, yet not at all bitter or acrid. Some earthy hops came through as well. Overall, intensely flavorful and exceptionally well balanced.

The mouthfeel was creamy, plush and smooth with a a very fine and mild effervescence. The level of carbonation was a bit more appropriate in the sample of this beer that I had at the brewery.

Blackheart is an excellent beer and an outstanding rendition of the style. I love supporting local breweries, especially those willing to try their hand a not-too-common style. Definitely keep an eye out for these guys.

Jan 06, 2013
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nebula1999 from Connecticut

4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pale Malt, Pale Chocolate Malt, Black Prinz Malt and Munich Malt combine and ferment at 58-69F then cold conditioned for two weeks."

Pours black, with thick tan head.

Aroma is rich, with some chocolate roasty sweetness. Fleeting hop presence.

Taste is roasted grain, slightly sweet cocoa, yet dry in the finish from some hops. Enjoyable, but different than a 'typical' black lager. More roasty than expected.

Mouthfeel is smooth, then dry.

Dec 19, 2012
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Joev_84 from Connecticut

4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Very dark in color, can barely see through it at all. Pours with a nice head that recedes and leave a light lace ring.

S - Nice roasted smell, was a very inviting smell and high expectation of taste.

t - Slight bittersweet chocolate/coffee taste. Roasted taste prevails throughout with a hint of bitterness from the hops to balance it out.

m - Very smooth and drinkable beer. The dark color and look leads it to seem that it will be a heavier beer, but it drinks nice and light and smooth. Very satisfying.

O - Delicious beer. A great black lager with a nice malty taste, smooth and drinkable. Definitely a go to beer when it is available.

Apr 29, 2012
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184 from Connecticut

3.92/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Relic Brewing in Plainville, Conn.

A: Nearly black in color with a root beer like transparency when held to the light. A thin cap of frothy, tan foam settles with a ring of lace.

S: Roasted malts, smoky barley aromas and a hint of sweet, herbal licorice.

T: Bittersweet and roasty up front with hints of chocolate malt and weak coffee. An herbal, earthy bitterness creeps in around mid-palate before a subtle, peat-like smokiness sends the brew into a slick and black malt finish.

M: Medium-full bodied, quite smooth and very drinkable with only a little cloying sweetness and hop resin in the finish.

O: A nice black lager with loads of malt character and some smokiness to boot. I'll bet this would pair well with a plate of smoked pork or a beef brisket. On its own, it stands to be a sessionable dark lager for the malt enthusiast.

Apr 07, 2012
Blackheart from Relic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 29 ratings