Mönchshof Schwarzbier
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier
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Style:
German Schwarzbier
Ranked #4
ABV:
4.9%
Score:
90
Ranked #4,195
Avg:
4.06 | pDev: 11.08%
Reviews:
401
Ratings:
714
From:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
 
Germany
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  106
Gots
  77
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier
Notes:
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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 714
Photo of Gajo74
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coming out of the bottle it looks clear. However, in the glass it looks like a muddy and murky dark brown color. An aggressive pour yields a huge frothy head that displays excellent retention and lacing.
Aromas open with chocolate malt sweetness. Notes of dark toasted malts, nutty, biscuity as well as a light roast. A light tanginess and lemon zest from the dark malts and earthy hops.
Clean flavor with muted chocolate sweetness. Very toasty along with a touch of roasted malts. Earthy hops flavors add a modest and balancing bitterness. Rustic and woodsy flavors. A touch of lemon imparts a light acidity, perhaps from the dark malts.
Medium to full bodied with a gentle carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel with a rich and round malt forward flavor. The finish is lightly tart and dry.
A wonderful Schwarzbier, perhaps the best I’ve ever had.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's something about these black lagers that keeps bringing me back...

...and in the case of this brewer's schwarzbier, it is the overall full-bodied flavor this gives. I tell you what, though it wasn't much to smell, it was beautifully black and it was full-bodied to the mouth. There was a watery background to it, but easily overlooked. The taste was malty, dry as advertised, and has a clean finish, which I have an appreciation for. This was definitely a savory offering of the style and one that I would be very glad to bring along to any holiday party this season...

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Photo of REVZEB
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A dark and roasted schwarzbier, with a surprising combination of sweet fruit and chocolate flavors. Smoke is present through out, especially in the nose. Does well to stay true to style bitterness without sacrificing any other favors that make this one stand out

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Photo of FBarber
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark blackish tinged brown color. Two finger tan colored head dissipates slowly leaving a thin layer of velvety foam on top of the beer. Velvety lacing covers the side of the beer as its consumed. Overall its a lovely looking beer.

Aroma has strong bread, toasted bread, and grain notes - the malts in this are front and center. Notes of floral hops, hints of cocoa and an earthy nuttiness. This beer doesn't punch you in the face with its aroma, but to the discerning drinker the depth and complexity here is impressive.

Taste follows the nose with notes of dark bread, toasted malts, grain and some light cocoa notes. Hops are noticeable and provide a gentle floral aspect to the flavor profile. The hops have just a hint of bitterness, but its barely noticeable. No out of balance sweetness .

Feel is medium to full bodied, smooth and well integrated. Moderately carbonated. Semi-dry finish.

Overall, as Schwarzbiers go, this is the best I've had. The complexity of the flavors is quite impressive. I'll drink this one any day.

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Photo of dieterdaxx
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best 'Schwarzes' I had the chance to get my hands on yet. By far the best on the German Schwarzbier market. Its all around at shops and supermarkets in Germany and comes at a low price regarding its quality.
It's my go-to after work beer, all year round.
*Look: dark brown with little foam. I 'd like it a little more blackish, but still 4.5/5.
*Smell: complex and very tasty for me. I think I can smell a roasty flavor of dark-bread, chocolate and biscuits. Maybe some nuts or almond, idk ;) 4.5/5
*Taste: Unbelievably balanced, while being rich and complex in all aspects. Hops flavors are quite subtle, while being noticeable and bitter enough to balance out the malty sweetness in the foreground. Never not drinkable. Damn Brilliant! 4.5/5

*Overall: Its the second best beer I ever came to try yet. 4.5/5.

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Photo of Brookfieldglass
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The set up: Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Krombacher flute glass

The look: The beer pours a dark brown/almost black color with a one finger foam head that dissipates but maintains a decent amount of lacing on the glass as the beer is consumed.

The smell: I detect quite a bit of roasted grains/roasted malts with perhaps some cocoa mixed in. A very pleasant aroma!

The taste: The taste is much like the smell/aroma but nothing is overpowering or mutes anything out. A very balanced and great tasting beer.

Mouth-feel: Light to almost medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. No taste of "booze" and a very smooth session type beer. Drink ability is very easy even though the beer is dark in color.

Overall: I've long been consuming this beer but figured it was time for a review. This Schwarzbier is a good benchmark for the style and is very solid across the board. Despite its dark color, it is very drinkable and one could say it could be a good session beer. This is a beer that I continually revisit and am pleased each time.

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Photo of Nass
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Out of all the schwarzbiers that I have had this one is up their with the elites, even the late great beer reviewer Michael Jackson liked this beer. This black lager tastes outstanding. It's rich roasted malts with some pumpernickel bread on the backend. Cheers! A-

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsener glass.
The appearance was a mostly dark brown close to black color with a finger's worth of white foamy head that slid off at a good pace. Light sliding messy lace.
The aroma had some cocoa powder, dark breads, earthy hops, dark fruits, vanilla extract and roasted graininess.
The flavor leaned into the sweetness of the prior mentioned aromas to replicate the aftertaste in the same sort of way.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied with a pretty good sessionability about it. Carbonation felt spot on. ABV felt as projected by the brewer - nice and light.
Overall, pretty nice Schwarzbier that I would have again.

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Photo of Maestro0708
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16.9 fl oz bottle into a glass mug.

Pours very dark brown, nearly black, and produces a nice foamy head that leaves some pleasant lacing on the glass.

Aroma is roasted grain.

Flavor is roasted malts accompanied by chocolate. Mild hop bitterness is balanced by a bit of sweetness.

Mouth feel is medium bodied and smooth.

I'm not usually a huge fan of lagers but this one is very good and I'm glad I picked it up.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.84/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a swingtop bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark mahogany color with two fingers of creamy khaki colored head. The head sticks around for awhile before setting into a thin film, leaving a full collar of lacing along the way. Gorgeous looking beer.

The aroma is intricate and complex, bringing notes of toffee, vanilla and dark fruits up front. The middle is nutty and slightly roasted, with plenty of dark grains, chocolate malt, and sweet dough. The back end is subtly hoppy.

The flavor is delicate and incredibly balanced. Lightly tart notes of plum and molasses, as well as sugary sweet notes of chocolate, brown sugar, and sweet doughy bread. The finish brings just enough hop character to add a faint lingering bitterness that is gone as quickly as it hits the tongue.

The feel is medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. Lightly crisp, extremely smooth, and highly drinkable.

Overall, an incredible dark lager. It's exploding with flavor while still remaining highly drinkable and refreshing. The balance in this beer is insane. Honestly, one of the best beers I've ever had, period.

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Photo of opieo
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I find the brew to be flavorful but a bit thin. This is an easy to like brew and you can drink a bit. It is a good beer but for some reason I expect more.

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Photo of jp32
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark chocolatey brown (nearly black) in color, with a fluffy head just a shade lighter than khaki. Aroma of roasted malts and grains, and something that reminds me of a belgian waffle. Smells very clean and pure. The flavor is a nice display of roasted dark malts without adding any extras to the profile. The malts don't get out of control and overall the beer tastes very clean and pure. Mouthfeel medium bodied with profound but delicate carbonation.

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Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a stoppered bottle into a pint glass. Beautiful beige fluffy head and nice lacing. Smokey sweet smell and taste. Nice and earthy but clean. A great beer!

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Photo of rand
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle to pint glass

Schwarzbier's appearance tend to give my palate a head-fake, as it's easy to anticipate a stout or porter, albeit a close looks reveals a less oily-viscous complexion. But other than a roasty, toasty undertone in the nose, these are as refreshing and sessionable as any tasty, well-honed lager. Instead of bitter, coffee-like notes, there's a touch of caramel and molasses, backed by a whole-grain crackery complexion. Finishes quickly with slightly sweet residuals.

Would be a great choice for a session brew, although these aren't the easiest to come by in volume.

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Photo of rypkr
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Doesn't look, smell, or feel like much but the taste is of the exact same malted barley you find in guiness foreign extra. Not much smoke that I was hoping for and overall very thin but would be very sessionsable without giving up much flavor. Overall - decent.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Republic Gastropub in Oklahoma City. Beautiful dark Ruby brown in a weizen glass with thin, persistent head.

Noise of fruit, light roast.

Spectacular first taste. Bread, raisin, caramelesque sweetness, a hearty breakfast vibe.

Thick, erotic mouth.

A really great black beer. For fans of Doppelbock, Dunkel lager, and Dunkelweizen. And schwarzbier, of course

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Photo of Beginner2
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In my book, this Monchshof does two things well that a good schwarzbier should do:
1) be refreshing when the weather is not so warm; and
2) balance the sweetness in the malt without roasting them as in British dark styles such as porter.

MJ's 1999 "Guide" sets right the 4-star hype still used on the label and gives it 3 of 4 stars commenting that Monschof "was the sole Black brew in West Germany. This beer has lost some color and fullness of body in recent years but still has an almost crunchy dark-malt palate."

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Photo of fscottkey
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: [3.25] Looks dark brown in the glass. Has some red tinges ont he sides. The head is about 1/2 a finger of tan creamy bubbles. The head has fair retention The bottle lacks ABV and date info (boo!) [The ABV is 4.9% - I had to look it up]

S: [3.50] Caramel, the smell a room has about 1 hour after bacon was cooked in it, chocolate

T: [4.25] Chocolate and roasted malts up front. Bitter chocolate. Charred wood.

M: [4.25] Very smooth and drinkable. Lower carbonation contributes to a richer body. They did a lot with the 4.9% alcohol.

O: [3.75] There is some smoke but it plays a back seat to bitter chocolate flavor. The combination is really nice. If I was handed this in a glass I would guess it is a porter (similar color and flavor profile). The nose is not as strong as the taste. The body is quite nice given the low ABV. I am disappointed that there is no info on the bottle for ABV or date.

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Photo of moodenba
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Swing top half liter bottle of Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwartzbier tasted one afternoon at a very quiet restaurant off the highway near Kulmbach, Germany, spring of 2014.

The beers in Germany are usually good, but not exceptional. This one is a standout. In the "old days" in California, Monchshof Bock was an occasional (expensive) treat, and this beer holds up the good name. This Schwartzbier has an intense body with roasted malt and a definite hoppy bitterness throughout It is a real mouthful, and the taste lingers. This was a jolt of flavor at the end of a two week vacation in Germany after a succession of just OK German brews.

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Photo of LennyOvies
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

L- Jet black with a fluffy tan head with low retention.
S- Toasted grains and chocolate. Easily recognized but faint and weak.
T-Slightly sweet espresso and dark chocolate with a faint lingering bitterness.
F- Light, easy drink.
O- Definitely the best out of the Monchshof beers Ive tried. Even though everything is a bit weak, all the notes are very good. Needs more body.

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Photo of stevoj
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful pour, thick creamy beige head on an almost black body. Aroma is molasses and burnt toast, taste of dark chocolate, espresso, dark roast grains with some nice lasting bitterness on the roof of the mouth. Mouthfeel and weight are perfect. Definitely a keeper!

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Photo of drmeto
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L:
-pours the darkest of brown with no light coming through and a big,foamy,beige head
S:
-coffee,licorice,mocha,oats,burned toast
T:
-Follows the nose plus chocolate,syrup and nuts
F:
-medium carbonation
-light body
O:
Good Schwarzbier

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Photo of T-34-85
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed this beer. A relatively unique niche beer versus my more typical fare of IPAs, DIPAs, Stouts, and Porters.

This beer had a much more smooth, drinkability to it, but still had a surprising level of aroma from the malts that was not anticipated. In addition, the taste had a combination of dark malt bitterness paired with some malt sweetness, for a nice balance.

Lastly, the beer had some great color to it, with a deep turbid brown character that looked a lot like a French Press coffee in the glass.

Overall, a pretty cool beer, that sits off the beaten path of the wave of bigger, better, stronger, hoppier beers that continue to hit the market. A good change of pace.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours brown and not clear with a creamy tan head of foam that while thin did persist. Nose is neutral really. Malty but auspiciously clean. No fruity esters, no caramel. Just roasty malt and a mild coffee like impression. No hop scents.

Taste is full malty and roasty. Nothing burnt and and only a mild bit of caramel to creep onto to the nose as the beer warms. It ha s a depth that is a surprise because it is not complex. it is creamy. The mouthfeel is medium and I think touches fuller but the hops give an impeccable bitterness at the finish. A very clean bitterness with no hop flavor at all just grazes the finish of hte beer to leave it dry and show you that despite all that creamy softness this was dry and roasty. A touch of bitter chocolate develops on the nose and on the palate it remains a subtle hint. Almost as much a part of the mouthfeel as is the roasty dryness. The residual sweetness on this one is noticeable and adds to the perception of fullness.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice cream head that dissipates at a moderate pace but leaves a little something on the top. The beer itself is a dark brown color; a nice break from the usual gold, amber, and black that most beers fall under.

The smell and taste are both nice and malty with some hop bitterness. The smell has strong sweet chocolate milk notes with some nice floral hop bitterness to it. The malt is the stronger note while the hop bitterness gives it a bit more something.

The feel is medium but on the heavier side. The beer has a nice smooth and creamy feel.

Overall, a pretty beer and one worth getting. It seems to be especially good for those fall nights when its cool but not enough for something stronger.

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Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 714 ratings