Mönchshof Schwarzbier | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Mönchshof SchwarzbierMönchshof Schwarzbier
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
685 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
Ranking:
#3,390
Reviews:
393
Ratings:
685
pDev:
11.17%
Bros Score:
4.15
 
 
Wants:
103
Gots:
66
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 685 |  Reviews: 393
Photo of SwillBilly
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

dPoured from a 1 pt 9 oz swing top bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich black with nice ruby hints when held up to bright light. The beer is topped by thick, meringue like light tan head that never fades. Thick sheets of lacing cling to the glass. Very nice

Smell: Very bready from the munich malt with a slight raisiny sweetness lingering beneath. Just of touch of roastiness touches the nose.

Taste: Starts mildly sweet with a dark fruitiness, light plum flavors and brown sugar. The middle is where the biscuity/breadiness comes into play then moves to finish that is slightly roasty with just a hint of hop bitterness. The flavor lingers long on the tongue after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light in the mouth with lively carbonation. From the appearance you would think this would have a big, thick mouthfeel. The lightness makes it very drinkable.

Drinkability/Notes: One fine beer for sure and an under appreciated style in my opinion. A very easy drinking dark lager with plenty of flavor to satisfy. Nice and bready with some fruity notes with an underlying roastiness makes things interesting. A great example of a session beer. I could drink these all night. Glad my local is now selling these and they seem fresh to boot. Definitely buying again and definitely recommended. Seek and Enjoy.

 1,313 characters

Photo of hustlesworth
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up the mini keg at a nearby world market.

A- looks striking in an english pint glass with a puffy, very bubbled tan head with lots of pock marks and pits. lace is amazing as well as globby fingers of spit bubble lace reach up toward a denser crusty ring beneath the lip where the foam used to be. excellent retention thanks to the killian horse etched into my glass. nice clear dark chestnut brown body is bloody red by incandescent light with golden highlights. a real good looker.

S- right away toasty biscuit and sweet/tart ripe red berries and tomato soup. a very roasted tomato with italian spices and salty chocolate come out of the toastiness with an extremely soft sweet grain background. its like tart, sweet, chocolate and biscuit all come together in such a fashion that it takes on a savory cocoa/vegetable/grain aroma. hops are on the spicy side and only play a minor role.

T- dark chocolate, dark fruits in bitter molasses and weak acidic coffee. hops are earthy and robust this time and they move very nicely with the other roasted dark flavors. hops get a little herbal near the end as flavors clean up leaving cocoa powder bitterness and burnt grains.

MF- i've only had a few different schwarzbiers and i'm still amazed that such an intensely flavored dark beer is still so light in body. or i should say "not heavy". it is almost full, and very juicy, with timid carbonation that sprinkles the palate just enough to move things around. powdery feel with long lasting coffee feeling, mildly acidic.

D- i'm glad i have 5 liters of this stuff cuz it's good beer. and thanks to it's "lightness", very drinkable as well.

 1,645 characters

Photo of biggmike
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color with ruby hints and decent tan head that lasted a little while. Aroma was of roasted malts, caramel, and toffee. Flavor was also of roasted malt and chocolate. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I had expected. Drinkability was high at 4.9% abv. Good beer that I enjoyed.

 295 characters

Photo of WHROO
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark coffee coffee with a reddish hue. Nice brownish inviting head, with good head retention & great lacing. Also good lagerlike carbonation
S: Espresso, coffee, burnt roasted malts...also some chocolate & some butter
T: Coffee first up, some roast malts, no fruity esters (maybe cos its a dark lager has somethnig to do with it lol)...not too complex but full of flavour & very enjoyable
M: Felt a little watery initially across the tongue, but then again a little buttery thickness in finish. Lively carbonation & definately creamy after feel.
D: Gr8...simple but very enjoyable Dark German Lager, & considering it has a classic dark stronger flavour, I could easily sit on this moreso than some mainstream lighter lagers.

 727 characters

Photo of far333
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep chestnut colored with caramel highlights at the edges, but mostly opaque. A thick two-fingered beige head rises up to a full cap of foam that lingers long.

Aroam of caramel and raisins, molasses, some hop bitterness and tang of currant.

Rich and even flavor of cocoa, faint oak, some smokey bark, burnt espresso, molasses, plum, and lingering hop bitters. Pretty even, no flavors dominate.

Even mouthfeel, a bit powdery and tannic, moderate carbonation upfront, but tingles in the finish. Pretty tasty and drinkable, sessionable, could use more complexity, but maybe that's the traditional style and I'm expecting an inappropriate American-style ass-kicking.

 666 characters

Photo of BarleyMine
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep brown with red hues. Had a decent head with sticky lacing. Initial aroma was of coffee that turned to slightly burnt chocolate with hints of black peppercorns. Tastes like a light Porter with a toasty/chocolaty finish. Great carbonation with a surprisingly light mouth feel.

 296 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Schwarzbier pours a nearly black brown with ruby highlights not unlike a coke. Sports a tan head that remains at a quarter inch in height. Some spotted lacing left.

Smells of chocolate, roasted malt, and faintly of smoke. Similar taste as smell, but there's a more pronounced roast flavoring. There's a little bit of a push by the hops towards the end that creates a nice finish.

Initially the mouthfeel comes off as thin, but the carbonation amps things up midway through. I think I could enjoyably polish off a couple pints of this brew with some pork or a good steak. Delicious even if it isn't overly complex.

 620 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 16.9 oz swing top bottle into a pint glass. Served it with gouda and Alaskan smoked salmon on crackers. Good appearance, chestnut brown color with reddish highlights. Big off-white head with good retention. Heavy ladder like lacing.

Smell not that dramatic, mild malty aroma. The taste is good: malty, a little sweet at first but the sweetness is cut back by semi-sweet chocolate and (probably) some mild hops for balance. Mouthfeel is about average, crisp and smooth not thin or watery. Drinkability is good. Low abv combined with a good balanced taste make this one a winner.

 592 characters

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5 liter bottle into a wide mouth pint glass.

Pours dark brown to black with a red hue of translucence when held to the light. Modest but attractive light brown head, dissipating quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smells of light molasses and coffee malts. Smell is very appealing and comes on better with a good swirl.

A good long pull was incredibly interesting - complex malts, mostly of the darker variety, are most noticeable with some of that same molasses flavor that was hinted to on the nose. This isn't sweet, but there is a sense of sweetness conveyed through these flavors. Another interesting thing was the texture - you might expect something more viscous in dark beer but it was definitely 'lager-like' in weight. Carbonation is light and actually adds a little creaminess to the texture. The finish is long and malty with more of that coffee flavor coming through in the linger. You definitely get a slight hint of hop bittering at the end as well.

Overall this is a very cool beer! Easy to drink, complex flavors, and something new it seems in every pull. It's a dark brew but it drinks more like a lager or lighter ale. Very good!

 1,156 characters

Photo of JDV
1.59/5  rDev -60.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at HopLeaf
Pours a clear dark copperish color with light lacing and head. Smell is like band-aids and malt. Taste is roasty but very thin and watery. Almost old and stale tasting. Just a mess. Wouldn't recommend this based on my sample of this beer at all.

 263 characters

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

This is my favorite style for a reason!

Poured a silky black with a 1 finger head, a bit of carbonation is visible but not much.

Smells like roasty coffee, chocolate, a bit sweet.

Tasted smooth, coffee, carmel, chocolate.

Mouthfeel was very light, in my opinion what this style should be like, perfect carbonation and weight.

Drinkability is high, I'll be getting some more for sure.

 388 characters

Photo of generallee
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love the swing top head on the bottle. In side that cool bottle is a dark copper color beer with dark red highlights. It has a rocky light tan head that makes good lace. Its aroma is doughy, nutty and toasty. The flavor is sweet with light bitter hops sneaking through nutty and roasted flavors. Its light to medium bodied with soft carbonation and a somewhat dry finish. Overall it is very drinkable and has a nice complexity.

 429 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce bottle served in my MH Circus Boy Weizen glass (I need to pick up a pokal). Poured a translucent nut brown with red highlights when backlit. Fluffy three inch khaki-colored head dissipated slowly leaving behind a trail of sticky lacing. Light scents of malt and chocolate. Taste similar to nose, as well as the presence of some nuttiness and roasted flavors. Light in the mouth without feeling at all watery with a nice balance of effervescence, and a slight hops bitterness at the finish. Very tasty and drinkable brew, but the per bottle price limits its sessionability in my opinion.

 608 characters

Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this bier a few times and finally had the chance to write a review.
Had it in a half litre bottle.
A: Nice pour; rich, dark brown, almost black. Slightly see through at the edges. Good 3-4 inch thick head that stays for a long time. Good lacing around the glass.
Smell: Chocolate and weak coffee smell. A little brown-sugarish.
Taste: A good overall taste, not as rich or full of a taste as other schwarz biers. A funny thing came to mind...it is almost like a light chocolate pie taste. (just had one the other night).
Mouthfeel: Nothing bitter about this bier. Sits well and goes down easy.
Drinkability: This is a good bier to have for an afternoon with the guys. The ABV is just right, making this a bier that you can have a few of and not worry about it.
Overall, a good but not great bier. I will definitely have this again but there are other schwarz biers that are better.
Enjoy one.

 905 characters

Photo of cswhitehorse
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Schwarz pours a clear brown/black color with a solid 2 finger foam head with some real sudsy lacing.

The aroma is nice. It has chocolate, coffee and caramel overtones. The roasted chocolately malts and really light and finished with a soft bitterness. In the mouth it was thin and well carbonated. Overall a very excellent beer.

 334 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown body with reddish-amber hues and healthy, lasting lacing. Aroma is clean and light with notes of roasted malt and sweetish Munich maltiness. Tastes particularly smooth and easy going for the style with moderately strong flavors of burnt malt, even charcoal, and chicory. Some nuttiness. Medium bodied with hops that balance the malt well leaving a relatively dry finish. Easy to drink in large doses. A solid beer. On Tap At Maduro.

 443 characters

Photo of Biscuit033
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark Amber/ruby brown with a large 3+ finger cream-colored dense head with great retention and lacing.

S: Chocolate, caramel, cream, slight vanilla, and a touch of German hop notes.

T: Toffee, weak coffee, light hints of milk chocolate, thin but some bitterness. I would have enjoyed this more if it were only a bit thicker.

M: Thin but clean.

D: This is a great alternative to a pils. It is even more drinkable than most pils as the darker malts change the bitterness. I would have more than one of these.

 513 characters

Photo of Deconstructionis
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown with robust, sudsy head which persists and coats the glass. The aroma is sweet and malty with a roasty and caramel tinge. The taste is malty and almost but not quite sweet with the balancing bitterness more from the darker roasted malts than any discernible hops. A slight hint of coffee and cocoa in the aftertate so it finishes clean. The carbonation is medium and it's deceptively light-bodied for a dark, flavorful beer. It's very drinkable and perfct for this time of year when the weather is begiining to warm but still cool.

I'm a fan of this style and this a very good schwartzbier.

 608 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fantastic little beer. The beer has a nice presentation with a very long neck and swing-top bottle. An excerpt from the back lable boasts a complementary phrase by Michael Jackson. With our without his praise, I recognize the quality of the brew, but lack the same degree of enthusiasm as he. The beer pours a wonderfully dark brown color with nice clarity, creamy head formation and stubborn 1/2" retention. Laces well. Aromas a light on the roasted end, giving a chalky, powdery scent. A boost of light caramel supplies the scent of malt, but no real hops detected in the nose. Flavors of well-attenuated caramel malt sets the stage, while the black malts give a mild, dry, coffee-like nuance to the edges. Hopped only to offset sweetness, the hops to marry into the bitterness of black malt well for a complex bitterness that doesn't overwhelm the light caramel flavor. Texture is medium- better than most lighter Schwarzbiers. Powdery, chalky, and dry in the finish with a light linger of coffee and caramel. Not my everyday beer, but pleasant nonetheless.

 1,062 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml swing top bottle bought from The Vineyard, Belfast...

Poured a very deep dark mahogany red / brown colour. Creamy head poured tight, thick and foamy then faded to thick pock marked covering... some light lacing clings to the glass...

Aroma - Lots of toasted bready and chocolate malts, treacle / brown sugar sweetness, toasted and maybe slightly burnt toast, some metallic traces, light pepperiness, faint smokey tobacco (cigar ?) notes, some date and fig fruitiness mixed with hazelnuts and pistachios, light coffee traces...

Taste - Good strong toasted bready malts, light chocolate notes, faint liquorice, raisin, fig and prune fruitiness, nice pepperiness, treacle / muscovado sugar sweetness, quite peppery, some earthiness, light saltiness...

Feel - Sharp initially then smooths out... light / medium bodied... very, very drinkable - an excellent session brew at only 4.9%

Overall - A very good Schwarzbier - as good as any i've tried... recommended...

 969 characters

Photo of Riverwarrior
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one "sinister" beer due to it's dark, black appearance....yet it is wickedly tasty!!

S = Caramel, roasted coffee, and woodsy element in the background.

T = Fantastic mixture of sweetness (caramel with a hint of butterscotch) and a very faint hop bitterness near the end. The slight bitterness quickly disappeared, leaving a long finish of semi-sweet caramel bread.

MF = Thick, creamy, and smooth as velvet. The carbonation was moderate.

Overall, this is the best Schwarzbier that I've ever tasted, and one of the best beers, regardless of category, that I've had.

 575 characters

Photo of fitzy84
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer had an amberish-black color to it with an overall medium head. The aromas were permeating the sweet smells of caramel and wheat with a roasty feel. The taste was a mix of fruity wheat and and bitterish hop greatness. It was thick, and full bodied, yet surprisingly light, making it a great beer to try out if you do not like heavy drinks. Overall, this was very good.

 377 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16.9 oz swag top bottle that made a nice 'pop gun' pop when opened, served in a large pilsner glass.

A - clear, dark brown color with a big fluffy head of tan foam that left a bunch of lacing.

S - roasted malty aroma with a hint of toffee sweetness.

T - sweet, dark roasted malt flavor is balanced with subtle hop bitterness for a dry finish.

M - light and refreshing.

D - great taste, light body and low abv help to make this an extremely drinkable brew.

Final Note: I know that at least one other reviewer said this, but I love the movie "Space Balls" so I'll say it anyway...

May The Schwarz Be With You!

 614 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clean/clear dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger plus creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, slight roast, toffee, and caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, slight sweetness as well. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, surprised me.

 327 characters

Photo of bboven
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, dark brown body with ruby highlights and a great head and lacing.

Strong roast, caramel, chocolate, and molasses in the aroma.

Very sweet taste with caramel and butterscotch throughout.

Smooth, mellow carbonation.

This is a hell of a beer. I will definitely be seeking it out in the future.

 301 characters

Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 685 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.