Mönchshof Schwarzbier | Kulmbacher Brauerei AG

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
390 Reviews
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
Reviews:
390
Ratings:
673
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
11.17%
 
 
Wants:
97
Gots:
60
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 390 | Ratings: 673
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes you come to a beer on an unusual path. Sitting around one day with my Bud-loving, but occasional craft beer tasting, father-in-law, he started talking about a beer he used to love from a place/brewery called Kulmbacher, When I found it in the store I was stunned to see that it was a Schwarzbier, I was expecting something close to a German pils. Picked each of us up a couple.

Swingtop bottle. Black/brown body with ruby highlights. Dark ruby when held to the light. Big foamy, lumpy, tan head. Roasted malt, a little smoke in the nose. Nice rich quality on the tongue. Roasted malt, with enough subtle hop presence to avoid overt sweetness. After all that roasted malt passes on, you're left with a nice dry hop finish. I really have to drink more schwarzbiers. This and Sprechners are both wonderful. A nice alternative to porters and stouts. Definitely something I might keep a couple bottles around.

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Photo of stirgy
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and glowing ruby-brown in appearance. Poured with a large and creamy head of tan foam. The aroma is very interesting – touted on the label as “the black pils” and this beer seems to fit the description. Nice fresh grainy aroma of a pils combines with buttery pistachio nuts from like a quality brown ale. The taste is rich with roasted and woody malts with a slight and mild smokiness. A toasted and pleasantly roasted bitterness is soft on the palate and smooth in the throat. Light and roasted malt body. A very interesting beer that comes across as an hybrid to me. But, instead of being strange tasting , this pulls it off wonderfully.

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Photo of anneseg
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Definitely the best Schwarzbier I've had. The head retention is good and the color is black with no other colors around the edges.

Sweet and malty with definite roasted quality to it. Chocolate and coffee seemed to be the dominant tastes with little in the way of discernable hop bitterness. The low ABV and bitterness make it easy to drink.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice crème head. Nose is very malty with a sweet tone to it. Flavor is beautiful robust. Thick malts that seem to have a spice to it abound. On the end I get some nice coffee tones. Feel has a good carbonation and a thick liquid feel. Nice and hearty and thick. Well worth trying, and even better on the bottle as I have had it on tap before.

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Photo of horshack7
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Appearance: From a 1 pint flip top bottle. The beer is black with brown hues on top is an off white head around an inch thick.

Aroma: Figs, little notes of grapes, wild berries and even some blue berries. Wisps of pumpernickel, herbal, floral and some citrus hops.

Taste: Sweetness up front, brown bread, floral hop, smokiness with bits of woodiness. Dark berries are in the back along with touches of herbs. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and is fairly smooth.

Notes: An amazing lager even though there are not alot of Schwarzbiers this is a remarkable treat and I will pick this one up again. Cheers.

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Photo of RunawayJim
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard tumbler pint. Beer pours a dark brown opaque color with a creamy 1.5 finger head that lingers around for a while then disappears, but leaves a nice thick lacing on the glass as the beer is drunk.

The beer smells of chocolate and caramel malts. The taste is very nice and smooth with a milk chocolate flavor and slight roasted and caramel malt undertones. Almost no bitterness to the taste at all, though there is a little to round it out. It's amazing that this beer isn't a stout as it could easily be mistaken for one.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth with ample carbonation, but not too much. The beer feels a bit creamy and full bodied.

This is a very tasty and drinkable brew. I wish I had more, but I only bought the 1 bottle. I could easily drink this all night.

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Photo of veech
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer is an absolute as a session beer. It has everything you drink porters and stouts for: the chocolatey roasted malt flavors without a lot of the heaviness that said beers possess. It doesn't have a huge mouthfeel but more than adequate. Overall, I found this to be the best of all worlds and will visit this one again and again. Yet another reason to visit Germany for sampling. I give this my highest recommendation.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampled back on 12/14/13. 550ml (16.9 ounce) bottle with a ceramic stopper was chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a brandy snifter glass.

Pours a deep opaque black hue in color with a 1-finger beige foamy head. LOTS of lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma is of roasted malts and chocolate. The taste is even better and very smooth with bitter-sweet chocolate that is perfectly done. No harsh or bitter aftertaste at all. Perfect carbonation. A great brew!

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Photo of biergeniesser
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This .5l swingtop of Mönchshof Schwarz poured a crystal clear dark brown with slight red tones. A thick off-white head dissipates slowly.

Aromas are predominantly of roasty malt with the slightest hint of noble hop aroma.

Mönchshof Schwarz has a nicely balanced clean flavor with elements of clean malt and sweet malt flavors. It has a pleasant hop bitterness that comes through late and lingers.

The body is surprisingly light… similar to that of a Pils. This beer is remarkably smooth and has a slight mouthcoat. It has no astringency, unlike other Schwarzbiers I have sampled, and just the slightest carbon dioxide bite.

Altogether, Mönchshof Schwarz is a highly drinkable Schwarzbier. It has been referred to as a Black Pils… and that is a pretty accurate assessment, it is a unique beer to be certain and different than any other Schwarzbier I have tried. It is easy to see why it has been deemed a “World Classic” and given four stars by Michael Jackson… it simply is that good!

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Photo of moulefrite
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light chestnut color, minimal but finely crafted lace. Aromatics are divine with lightly bitter notes, bread dough, and sweet malt. On the lighter side of medium and very refreshing and tasty. The emphasis is certainly on malt, and the bready/malty flavor finishes very long-this is a super brew! Rich and satisfying as well as highly drinkable. Buy and try-no question. It will be tough to find a better example of the style.

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Photo of biegaman
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A solid white head that persist. A deep brown colour, bordering black. The aroma is like an eisbock, so full of malts! It carries the complex nuances of a barleywine or strong Belgian, with hints of raisons, figs, dark fruit and an abundance of dates. A good smoky (tobacco like) character of smoke. The body is thick and malty like a dopplebock with a good deal of roasted barley. The smoke character ties all the flavours together well. Fairly light bodied considering how much there is going on... really impressed.
Special thanks to Amanda at Goodbar for the sample!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very clear deep garnet color that looks black unless the corner of the glass is held to the light. There was about a 1/4" head of off white bubbles that was there at the first pour and was still a solid layer of foam even a few minutes after the pour.

Aroma: Has a clean and dominantly malty aroma with plenty of Munich malt and plenty of other toasty aromatics. There is no real roast to speak of in this aroma even though the beer is black. There is no hops noticeable in the beginning, but as the beer warms a bit, there is a subtle floral presence coming in that I am assuming is from the hops.

Taste: The flavor is perfectly portrayed by the aroma. Plenty of toasty malts that lead the profile all the way from the nose to the finish. There is a whole bunch of sweet caramel in here that leads into the finish which has no alcohol and a super subtle acidic feeling that pokes its head in really late after the sip. The mouthfeel of this beer is pretty dry and well attenuated and leaves your lips squeaky clean after drinking.

Opinion: This is a really refreshing beer and a fine example of a Schwarzbier. I believe that I was fortunate to have a pretty fresh example of this beer as it shows no signs of oxidation or age that you often get with swing-tops. I didn't feel cheated in any way with such a low gravity beer, and I would certainly drink this one again. Give it a shot if it is available in your area.

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Photo of roddwolff
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark copper color with reddish tones, the foamy head has a finger in thickness without consistency;

S: Roasted malt and dark fruits like figs and prunes;

T: Malt essences with coffee and chocolate, also some orange;

M: Dry with a prickly bitterness, the end is bittersweet like coffee without sugar, and medium body;

D: Very tasty, definitely to drink it without food.

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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!

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Photo of jerryjeff
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma
Very nice, getting some nice malty overtones. Chocolate, mocha possibly.

Mouthfeel Relatively low end of carbonation, nice oily feel on the palette with some creaminess.

Appearance
Poured into 20oz plastic cup as it was all I had and against the light none is making it through, completely black.

Taste
As scent hints, some chocolate and mocha I believe in there with the maltiness driving this some bitterness on the sides of the mouth but not enough presence to overshadow.

Drinkability
Rather, this is really nice. A bit of body but not so much so that it would be overly filling. Could session this easily.

Overall
Great beer, good aroma and appearance. Didn't hold a head well but could be due to plastic cup.

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Photo of granger10
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brown almost cola color with a medium light tan head. Lots of lacing.

Aroma was slightly roasted coffee and lots of toasted grains. A small peppery hop sensation creeps in as well.

Taste was decent when cold but really opened as the beer warmed. A strong maltiness holds the base of this beer. Hops are noticeable but moreso as a balancing act rather than imparting any particular flavor or extra bitterness. Toffee and caramel are the most prevalent flavors. Slight nuttyness expands as it warms. Finish is drying with a slight coffee and grain flavor. Short but I like it.

Not nearly as acidic or rough as the other Schwarzbiers I have tried. Body is slightly lighter than I was expecting but that made for easy comsuption and smoother drinkability. It also let all the flavors out to the forefront and there were no mistakes to this brew.

Not the most complex but dangerous easy to consume.

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Photo of Will46andbrew
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've only had a few different schwarzbiers, but this is my favorite. The appearance is dark with a nice small head. The beer looks strong, but it has a smooth taste. I've had this on tap and a bottle, far better from the flip-top bottle. I've bought this several times without dissapointment!

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Photo of MikieV
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, near black with a thick, pale head.

Medium roasted flavor with some smokiness. Some heife weisen flavor sneaking in, but not overwhelming, which is fine with me.

Very smooth mouth feel. Dry, very little aftertaste. Very easy to drink.Not thin, but not thick.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome Black Pils! Best I have tasted so far.

A-Deep black body with a garnet hued tone when held up to the light. A huge creamy white head clings all over the glass and holds nicely.

S-Very fresh, earthy notes are a perfect pair with the roastiness in the body.

T&M-Full-flavored throughout, but the nice thinner body feel makes this an enjoyable session brew. The roasted barely definately comes out and is nicely balanced with the small amount of hop bitterness in the finish. A doughy, chewy texture makes this beer surprisingly complex. The yeast at the bottom of the bottle gives a nice grainy spiciness in the glass.

D-Wonderful step into the small world of Scwarzbiers. The nice lager qualities are definately present in this with its remarkable smoothness. This one could be an all night drink. I really didn't think I would enjoy this one so much!

Best thing----Cool Bottle!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1" tan coloured head over cola coloured liquid.

S: Coffee, chocolate and yeast.

T: Yeast, roasted barley, toasted malt, grassy and citrus hops with a coffee/chocolate mocha finish.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and medium to thin level of carbonation.

O: Extremely drinkable and refreshing. A great beer.

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Photo of illtexzona
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml swing top bottle into a 16oz Pint (redundant) glass

A - Poured a thick, three finger, light colored foamy head. As the beer settles it is a deep black with reddish hues in the thinner parts of the glass at the bottom. Lacing is full, but light. Not too sticky.

S - Very mild presence. Coffee and dark chocolate are the most present aromas. Some hidden pockets of carmel and a warm breadiness. The dark roasted malts are the clear owner here.

T - Toasted malts and mocha right up front. As it settles I get the carmel and pull some mild hops and smoke. It gave me a sweet yet clean wash.

M - Light bodied, like I would expect from a lager. The carbonation is crisp and helps to give a clean dry finish.

O - Although not super complex, that is what the style calls for. The balance of front flavor and mellowing backend makes it a great session beer.

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Photo of Markus2969
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Had cocoa and hops taste. Dark smell with a little tobacco hint, good mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation. When i first saw it i thought it was going to taste like a stout or a bach bier. I was happily surprised with my first drink. Drink this one slow to enjoy every drop!

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Photo of techdiver
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with modest head that dissipates quickly leaving a thin layer of foam.

Roasted malt with a touch of chocolate toffee greet the nose.

Taste brings sweet roasted malt flavor, with coffee and faint hops evident.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth.

A very drinkable and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Goodbar in Buffalo.

Pours a clear dark brown/red, almost black, very thick tan head, tons of lace, great retention, looks good. Smell is sweet, very malty, nice roast, figs, dark fruit, toffee, raisins, bready, bit of smoke and a touch of iron, fantastic aroma. Taste is very malty, toffee and figs, sweet raisiny middle, malty like a good doppelbock with that hint of roast, very nice. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, low carbonation, awesome beer. Maybe the fullest body I've ever felt on a 5%~ beer, not cloying at all, just thick and malty. Excellent!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Moan and Dove in Amherst, served in a stein.

A: Black with some hints of brown showing through around the walls of the glass. Thick creamy off-white head.

S: Huge smell of toast, a good amount of roastiness and some coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Very robust flavors of toast from the outset, some nuttiness, a great deal of roasted malt flavor and rich semi-sweet dark chocolate. Finishes roasty and dry with a hint of a metallic taste.

M: Wonderful schwarzbier mouthfeel: A bit of a milky texture, but light in body, clean, and crisp at the same time. Low to moderate carbonation.

D: Drinkability is through the roof. Damn tasty and light in body. I wish I could drink it all night.

Notes: Schwarzbier is a style I have grown to love of late. This may be the best one I've had so far.

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Mönchshof Schwarzbier from Kulmbacher Brauerei AG
4.03 out of 5 based on 673 ratings.
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