Mönchshof Schwarzbier | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

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387 Reviews
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier

Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 03-19-2002

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Reviews: 387 | Ratings: 661
Photo of puck1225
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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 +0.5%
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 -0.2%
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 +5.2%
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 -2.5%
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%
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 +2.2%
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 -7.4%
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 -4.7%
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 -11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of T-34-85
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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 -3.2%
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 +1.7%
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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Photo of edward_boumil
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a mug
L: Very similar to a porter. Thick, fluffy head that condenses, yet lingers. Some nice lacing.
S: Some of that roasted, chocolaty malt you would expect. Also some cereal grains. Not much on else though.
T: Once again cereal grain, with a little sweet milk chocolate. Very milky and sweet.
F: Frothy, smooth, and clean. No astringency or bitterness you would expect from a porter. Refreshing, with a touch of carbonation.
O: Been a big fan of this style, had more than my fair share of Kostritzer. This beer is better in my opinion. Everything you would expect from an awesome porter with the ability to be sessionable, perhaps. Also just incredibly well rounded, subdued in the right way, bold in others. Big fan.

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Photo of Roguer
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

As advertised, this is a dark brew, although it leans far closer to a dark caramel with red highlights than a true black. In typical lager fashion, it seems quite clear upon close inspection. Insanely firm and large head; great retention and lacing.

Aroma is overall mild. There's a hint of roasty bitterness, a touch of banana and figs, and bread.

Flavor is similar to the aroma, but much stronger. Fruitcake, dark bread, figs, and bananas up front. There's a touch of bitter chocolate and roast behind, just enough to make a showing. Earthy bitterness from the hops.

Quite a bit more chocolate and roast emerges as the beer warms and opens up. I recommend not drinking this at refrigerator temperatures, as it's a much deeper and more complex beer as it warms.

Lively and easy-drinking feel. Silky, oily coating for a long finish after an initial effervescence. Well balanced, with the hop bitterness nicely matching the sweet malt profile.

 946 characters

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome schwarz, really tasty and aromatic. Not sour at all. Dark maltiness is very tasty, not overwhealming, well balanced and bitterness is very friendly.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark brown-ish black, with a 2 inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

This one smells like chocolate, smoke, and some roasted malt.

This is pretty tasty, with some roasted malt, bitter chocolate, a tiny bit of smoke, and some mild lager yeast. It's not incredibly bold tasting, but it's very tasty and pretty crushable.

This is medium bodied, with a moderate level of carbonation, and a fairly crisp mouthfeel.

This is tasty, but not the best schwarzbier I've ever had.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich, soapy, tan head that has excellent persistence. Sweet, toasted malt and slightly floral hops in the nose. Deep, deep burnt umber color is practically black. Starts with a slightly acidic toasted malt. Notes of cocoa and a little bit of coffee as the hops create a mild bitterness that has floral notes. Smooths out to a ridiculously creamy, cocoa flavor that blends with toasted malt. Finish is a touch of floral hops wafting over toasted malt. The mouthfeel on this is hilariously smooth and creamy; absolutely perfect.

This pretty much sets the standard for Schwarzbiers. One of the first biers I really fell in love with, and it's still excellent to this day.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown pour into SAPP with dark beige head. Great lacing. Chocolate malt nose. Roasted malt flavor and lite, creamy mouthfeel. Finish is like CocoaWheats cereal when we were kids. Tasty.

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Photo of brureview
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color with a 3F head in a Pilsner glass.

The aroma is pleasant- although not strong: fruit, plum, and malt.

The body is light. I would have preferred a slightly heavier body on the beer.

Taste is good- plum, sweet, malt, fruit- not overwhelming.

Overall- a good beer, but I didn't like the body. I was looking for a crisper beer with
a deeper malt character. I wasn't sure of the bottle date- perhaps the beer was past its prime. Although this is a German beer, I have tasted a number of American brewed Schwarzbiers which are heavier, and with more flavor.

 583 characters

Photo of T100Mark
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A flip-top Euro bomber poured into a dimpled beer glass.

Appearance - Very dark (as advertised). Fine, tan-colored head. Moderate lacing.

Smell - Maple syrup.

Taste - Root beer. Molasses. Minimal hop bitterness. Slightly herbal flavor. Dry finish.

Mouth - Oily. Fine carbonation.

Overall - This is one smooth, malty, sweet German lager. Similar, in flavor, to Kostrizter's Schwarzbier but little earthier.

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Photo of GregJ
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light brown with a light tan head. Smells malty, light roast coffee and caramel. Tastes of light roast malt, caramel, light wheat. Caramel malty aftertaste with a med/light body and med carbonation.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Been meaning to review this for awhile now. Brought two bottles to a tasting months ago, didn't drink them/left them there accidentally, one wound up getting drank without me, the other eventually wound up back in my possession, it sat in my fridge for over a month, now here we are.

A - 500ml swingtop bottle poured into bad-ass 1L Monchshof mug. The color is dark brown-leaning towards-black but definite translucence there. Big puffy+bubbly beige head retains decently, a slight cap and thick ring remain by the end.

S - Smell is pure German malt with toasted nuts, dusty caramel, slight roast, earthiness and some maple notes. Somewhat reminiscent of a good doppelbock.

T - Taste is less sweet and leans a little more towards chocolate malted milk balls, toasted grains, and roasty coffee-ish tones. Some nuts and earthy hop. Good but unfortunately seems muted and kinda plain when compared to the scent.

M - Good body considering the ABV, full of smooth malts, kind of on the watery side with lowish carbonation. Easy-drinking like a good schwarz should be.

O - Mad appreciation for the style and I love a good schwarzbier. This one is nice, and though the scent is very promising the taste unfortunately winds up feeling too watered down.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 4 liter keg into a pint glass. Thanks for bringing it, Alan.

A: Pitch black with a tan two finger head that lingers quite a bit. Thick lacing to match the head. This one means business.

S: Loads of bready malts and dark chocolate.

T: Follows nose in a robust, sweet and very sessionable brew. Toasty.

M: Medium with medium, creamy carbonation.

O: A great party beer. Everyone kept coming back for a pint. The low ABV makes this an all night guzzler. More, please.

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Photo of superspak
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle into lager glass, no bottle dating. Pours fairly crystal clear dark brown color with a small foamy light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, toffee, molasses, light dark fruit, and roast/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of roast/bready malt and yeast ester notes; with solid strength. Taste of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, toffee, molasses, light dark fruits, and roast/yeast earthiness. Light amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, toffee, molasses, light dark fruit, and roast/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of roast/bready malt and yeast ester flavors; with a good roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.9%. Overall this is a very nice schwarzbier style. All around good robustness and complexity of roast/bready malt and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
4.03 out of 5 based on 661 ratings.
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