Mönchshof Schwarzbier | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
680 Ratings
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Germany
kulmbacher.de

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
680
Reviews:
393
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
100
Gots:
63
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 680 |  Reviews: 393
Photo of Yehuda
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of procha1970
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of RushLimbmalt
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love darker Pilsners, but this thing is almost black. It has a nice head that is creamy and thick. The aroma of dark malts is well blended with a touch of hops. The taste is very sweet and sugary(it reminds me of Newcastle for some reason) and the roasted malty goodness is perfectly balanced with the hops. A perfect beer in my opinion. I could drink a lot of these! :)

 372 characters

Photo of rossphillips
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Dunkelhund
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of marburg
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An upfront admission -- I would have liked this to be a bit darker. So why the perfect 5? Well, that's a fairly minor flaw for an otherwise flawless beer. This has vaulted into my "desert island" beer list, a brew which I hope to never be without.

Sugary chocolate-vanilla and whiffs of nutty, dry bread mingle with a mild herbal hoppiness for an open invitation to take the first sip. Surprisingly milky in texture, the body remains light. Woody, chocolate malts provide a very robust, sweet malt flavor that's bordering, at times, on having the essence of dried cherries in the background and that's balanced *perfectly* by just the right amount of hops. For all its interesting malt flavors, this remains a refreshing beverage with a clean finish. Absolutely one of the most drinkable beers on the planet.

 811 characters

Photo of friartuck72
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of jofat
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Angie_bree
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delish coffee and cacao smell and coffee taste

46 characters

Photo of ssjkyle
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of nogoodreason
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Is there really anything wrong with this beer? I don't know. Some people claim it's thin, some claim it's watery. Some people are silly. This beer is one of the best examples of the balance and refinement present in German brewing.

It pours a deep, deep ruby. In the broad part of the glass it's black in narrower parts it's reddish brown. The head is a tan sticky beauty.

Nose is of soft, clean malts, a nice chocolate roastiness and a fair smattering of noble hops. It smells so good, yet so refined. This is not a big beer, not at all, but it's still so deep.

It's dry, but somehow still has a malty sweetness rounded out with a refreshing bitterness coming from the roast and the perfect level of hopping. Finish is smoth and clean with a subtle lingering bitterness. It's so nice. Round and smooth, but still dry and refreshing. There's a faint, metalic tang of the water in here as well. That's right you can taste the water. What's wrong with that?

Ridiculously drinkable. Dangerously drinkable. A session beer and then some.

Soft and subtle yet flavorful and deep. Perfect. What craftsmanship.

 1,120 characters

Photo of putnam
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I happened to notice the average score for this beer and I can't begin to comprehend it. This is a gem.

Brown with garnet/orange highlights, the aromas suggest open-tank molasses, sour black dough, toasted walnuts and charred, blackened bananas.
The texture is pure, creamy and mouth-coating with tangy fruits of raspberries, sap and dried puddles of Kahlua. Pregnant with flavor, it is ultimately a clean, pretty lager that happens to be dark and intensely, naturally flavored. There is a sensible, Jane Austin-perfectness to the ready beauty of this beer.
I don't think I'll ever drink a better dark, dry lager.

 618 characters

Photo of UrbanH
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best beer I've ever had.

24 characters

Photo of DrewHodges
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

4/9 tasting. .5L swing-top poured into tall glass beer krug

A-pours dark brown, nearly black, but not inky, more watery color, huge brown foamy head, sticky and light, with fantastic lacing all the way down

S-bursting with roast coffee malt, smoky meat, brown sugar and toffee

T-incredible flavor, a balanced maltiness and some dank hop bitterness, a little tangy, molasses

M-light carbonation for a lager, but above avg mouthfeel

D-extremely drinkable all-nighter, would pair well with any meat

One of my Top 10 all-time favorite beers

 542 characters

Photo of jokelahoma
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, deep brown (not black, in spite of the name). Decent, but not overwhelming eggshell colored head, which disappears fairly fast, leaving the faintest trace of lace along the edge of the glass. While the beer isn't black, it is crystal clear.

The first smell that hits me is the faint acrid odor of black malt. Some spicy hoppiness in the aroma as well, but more roasty malt than anything else. The smell matches what your eyes tell you it should smell like. Some toffee, some coffee, a little bittersweet chocolate, perhaps even a trace amount of licorice are hiding in the aroma as well, but it always comes back to that dark grain smell.

Taste is markedly bitter, right up front. I honestly can't tell if I'm tasting hop bitterness, or the sharper bitterness of the dark malts. Either way, this one is assertively, yet cleanly bitter. Coffee that was in the aroma comes up front in the taste, but it's a very clean coffee, not oily or burnt at all. Close on its heels it the chocolate taste. Not a Hershey bar, sickly sweet chocolate, mind you. More a baker's chocolate, dry and unapologetic. The toffee is here as well, but without butter, as I don't detect even the slightest trace of diacetyl in this beer at all. None of those flavors hang around a long time, as they fade into a very pronounced, yet pleasant hop bitterness which lingers into the aftertaste. The coffee flavor remains in the aftertaste as well, reminiscent of having had a good cup maybe 10 minutes ago -- barely perceptible, but still there. Remarkably balanced, with none of the trace flavors, nor the hops ever gaining dominance over any others. And almost unbelievably clean tasting. Nothing jumps out at you with a "what the hell was that?" assault on the taste buds, yet there's more than enough character here so you're not wondering if you actually drank anything. This may be the easiest drinking beer I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is pure German lager -- light without being watery, carbonated without being prickly, lasting without being oily. Very, very good.
I never thought I could give a "5" for mouthfeel. After all, what is the "perfect" mouthfeel? This one deserves it, though.

An eminently drinkable beer. This is by no means a "one and done" brew, but one a person could savor all night. There's plenty here to keep your interest well into the evening, yet nothing that stands out so as to begin to wear on the drinker. Truly outstanding.

 2,454 characters

Photo of ScaryEd
4.84/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

 1,121 characters

Photo of bierman2000
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer was enjoyed at the brewery in Kulmbach the best black beer in the world IMO!
Rich dark brown head that lasted throughout the half liter glass as the maltiness was very present and roasty.
It was very refreshing and went well with the Nurnberger sausages if you're in Bavaria also a must to eat with spicy mustard. Mouthfeel smooth and silky which leads to it being highly drinkable as well as a low ABV.

 414 characters

Photo of Realale
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear walnut with some deep garnet. Very large, very fine slightly sticky light brown head settles slowly to a complete rocky cap leaving nice lacing.

Touch of toffee leads over dark, slightly husky chocolate. Just a touch of roastiness as well. There's a solid malty goodness lurking below to support it all. Complex, interesting, and well-balanced.

Heavy side of medium in the mouth with excellent rich malt of the bready sort. Roast and chocolate notes are there, as well as a touch of dried cherry fruitiness. Complexity, interest and balance again.

Excellent soft, filling mouthfeel - seems to get into every crack and crevice of the mouth. Great length with a touch of spicy bitterness at the death that simply begs you to take another sip.

Drinkable? This is one of the magic brews that simply disappears from the glass leaving only a lingering smile. Genius beer. Easily abused, and nowhere near the same experience when it is. Please buy from a reputable retailer.

 985 characters

Photo of Offa
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a very nice schwarzbier, flavourful and highly drinkable.

Very deep red-brown, almost black but not, it has a medium, creamy tan head slowly shrinking to a thin, foamy top and leaving some lace.

The aroma is brown bread, whole wheat toast, burnt sugar, hints of coffee & fermented prune. Overall, it's very nice, pleasant and aromatic.

The taste is lightly sweet but mostly rather dry (sweeter than, say, Kostritzer), with firast sweet caramleised, fermented prunes and dark whole wheat toast then joined with rootbeer (anise, etc.), singed leaves, bark, and finishing dryish and slightly bitter. It's light in feel but silky smooth and not thin or watery.

 667 characters

Photo of BeerBob
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mönchshof Schwarzbier pours “Schwarz” (Black) from a 1PT .9FL OZ blackish brown glass porcelain (on closer inspection... white plastic swing top stopper) glass bottle. Light tan head of fine foam bubbles went to well over two fingers in height before collapsing to a well defined ring with large islands of foam and lace all along the side of my 48oz beer stein.

Nose is a major malt event with wave after wave of malty sweetness washing over the olfactory organ.

Palate is sweet barely malt with some burnt elements followed by the dry bittering of hops.

This brew starts sweet, then migrates to a well bittered brew with a drying finish. Not a porter and not a stout, but not too far from either. In retrospect I believe that some of the dry stout offerings are in fact more of a “Schwarzbier” than a stout.

This is an incredible offering from Kulmbacher Brauerei and in my humble opinion, a must try!

 921 characters

Photo of brewmaster1257
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Kyroqz
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Bung
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of jneiswender
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this beer on tap at the Moan and Dove. Served in a pint glass at a cool but not cold temperature.

A-beige head which was nice and thick with a very dark garnet body.

S-roasted grain and fresh baked bread smell

T-nice and sweet but balanced with the up front toast and roasted grain flavor.

M-medium

D-So incredibly tasty. Great beer for the malt heads. I would drink this beer again.

 392 characters

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Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
4.03 out of 5 based on 680 ratings.
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