Schwelmer Alt
Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Schwelmer AltSchwelmer Alt
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3.67 | pDev: 12.81%
Privatbrauerei Schwelm
Retired (no longer brewed)
Schwelmer AltSchwelmer Alt
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 116 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler from Maine

2.99/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

.5L B├╝gelflasche, best before 8/17/2011.

Pours a nice and clear ruby-brown, but the head is like a cola.

The aroma has some nice toasted malts at first, with a faint mineral/metallic character in the background.

The flavor is okay, but just a bit flat in my opinion. It's very simple, with crusty bread flavors and the slightest bit of toffee if you really dig deep. The finish is drying and off in some way. The mouthfeel is soda-like, though the carbonation stays soft.

Nothing special here. Maybe this bottle is a bit past its prime (expires in two months), but I don't see this being much better fresh.

Jun 10, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out as a reddish brown color with a tan colored head that was pretty thin. The aromas were of a lot of grains and malt. There isn't a whole lot of hops on the nose or much else. Perhaps a little spice but that's about it. The taste is mostly dry malt, some fresh leaves some other flavors of nature in there. The mouthfeel is medium, It's drinkable and worth trying again. I was better than I expected.

Apr 19, 2011
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Durge from Connecticut

3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A dark but clear rosey mahogany color with an off-white/grey whimpy head that fades to a ring with modest lacing. The aroma is a malty-root, brown sugar and sour mash. The flavor is sour malt and weak wheat grain goodness. But it's quite thin and watery, minimal carbonation, a bit tingly. Drinkable but not desirable particularly. I can't really pick up any other qualities, just kind of non-descript, not one I will revisit.

May 10, 2009
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beerorRIP from New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from the nice 0.5L swingtop (homebrewer's friend for sure) to a tall 0.5L stein.

pours a nice deep mahogany / cherry-brown color. very (filtered) clear. results in a nice creamy looking off-white head two finger head with a steady stream of small bubbles rising to keep the head. the head hangs around a surprising amount of time ~1/2 finger worth. sticky lacing.

smells like sweet malts, a dab of caramel. hops? not that i can detect, although the style is not supposed to be hop nose heavy.

a slightly sweet malt taste upfront, and a dry (bitter) finish. somewhat thin in taste, but it's not a sticke alt, so this is somewhat expected. pleasant and easy.

a somewhat thicker than expected mouthfeel. not a negative, but for the amount of flavor i almost expected it to be a bit thinner. kinda explains that creamy head i would say.

easy to drink for certain, and coming in swingtop bottles throwing back a couple to make room for homebrew wouldn't be difficult at all. but not the alt that i would want to drink all the time.

this was my first alt beer that i remember. i've had others since, but i figured i'd review this one first.

Mar 11, 2009
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LilBeerDoctor from New York

2.04/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 9/5/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of raisin, dark fruits, some cardboard. Yep, this tastes like the other Schwelmer beers even though it's a different style. Cardboard and stale wheat. Blech.
4/4/3/3/10 (2.4/5)

Dec 26, 2008
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scottoale from California

3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml. small brown bottle with a swing-top stopper and a "Best before end: 88 10 70", whenever the heck that is? It pours a dark chestnut brown with a thin light tan head that fades to a ring almost instantly. When held to the light, nice burgundy highlights shine through. Decent carbonation for the style.

The smell is sweet and nutty, with grainy malts and a bit of roast. A little fruitiness and a wee bit of alcohol peeks though in the end.

The taste is similar to the smell with it's nuttiness and fruit of green apple and muscat grapes. Mostly sweet and nutty, some tobacco, with a bitter clean finish.

Medium body at best, with a rather astringent mouthfeel. An easy drinker with the mild alcohol not really noticeable, except in the nose. Worth a try for the style and a nice re-useable bottle.

Dec 25, 2008
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magictrokini from California

3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark copper with a medium tan head. Lots of caramel and bread in the aroma. Flavor was dense with caramel and malt, with a bitter end. No hops, mostly sour apple. Some fruitiness, with a heavier than expected mouthfeel. Its okay, but not worth doing again.

Dec 05, 2008
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beerkittycat from Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is crystal clear, deep chocolate brown with ruby red highlights and a rocky off-white head that lingers for only a moment or two to settle in a thin layer. Aroma has bready malts with notes of milk chocolate and bread dough along with some faint flowery noble hops. The taste is very complex and it took me nearly the whole glass to nail down all the flavors. Up front I'm hit with sweet chocolate and bread dough. Through the middle I taste those flowery noble hops and hazelnut. Then in the finish is a distinct sherry-like note. Medium to medium low mouthfeel makes this highly drinkable and the restrained carbonation compared to most other German lagers I think really helped bring out the robust flavors. I really enjoyed this beer a lot and I'm upset I didn't pick up more bottles. Oh well, I guess I'll have to buy more!

Nov 17, 2008
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beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark ruby red with a thin, macro-bubbly off white head that almost immediately dissipated. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: ripe fruit (prunes, plums), sweet dark caramel, and light licorice notes.

T: sweet dark roasted caramel and licorice. There was some spicy ripe fruit (plums, prunes, raisins) and light sugary notes. The hopping was hard to detect with the sweet caramel and spicy ripe fruit but there was some earthiness that was attributed.

M: light, with a thin syrupy viscosity and full of ripe fruit leaving a nice residual coating behind. The carbonation was very soft.

D: Overall a good drinking and hoppy alt with rich ripe fruit makes this and enjoyable experience that was rich and fruity and smooth going down.

Nov 10, 2008
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junkman203 from Connecticut

3.46/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought this in a 0.5 liter bottle that had a resealable top, like grolsch. It pours with very little head, which went away quickly, with no lacing. Very dark brown. It has a nutty smell with hints of sweetness. And the taste is similar, with malt. Medium carbonation. This is my first try with an altbier, so I have no others to compare it to. I do like it, even though it is a little on the light side for my taste.

Oct 14, 2008
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kshankar from Oregon

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with some reddish/copperish colors showing if put near light. Mainly comes from the reflection. Looks good so far.

Aroma: Mild. I can get some sweetness, and caramel.

Taste: Pretty has a nice amount of sweetness to it, and there is a nice maltiness to it. A little bitterness in the finish, but not much. Alcohol presence is low as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, goes down well. Medium body, a bit creamy.

Drinkability: Works for me. Not too heavy, not too much alcohol content, good taste. Not much can go wrong with a couple of these.

Oct 01, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into nonic.

Deep brown hue with plenty of ruby along the edges. A thick cap results from a one finger off white head.

Very light aroma with toasty grains and a little bit of caramel.

A mix of roasted grains and sweet brown sugar. A touch of creaminess is in there as well. Full bodied with good carbonation. The malts linger for a bit after each sip.

This is a pretty delicate beer, with light flavors and aromas, but it's pretty good. There is something to be appreciated about that. Very recommended.

Sep 06, 2008
Photo of jmscott
jmscott from New Jersey

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a glass mug from a .5-liter bottle.

Appearance is deceiving. It looks a lot heavier than it really is. The color of cherry coke, with a thin white head that slowly dissipates into an even lacing. It has a very subtle aroma, similar to that of a traditional Scottish Amber but with more of a sweetness. It's a full-bodied taste that goes down incredibly smooth. Has a relatively mild bitterness in the aftertaste and a watery mouthfeel. Not quite enough "uumph" for my personal preference, but I certainly can't put it down. This is a genuine beer-drinkers' beer.

May 04, 2008
Photo of Lupe
Lupe from New York

3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A big frothy tan foam sits atop the brown liquid. Reddish hues appear when held to the light, along some clarity. Thick sheets of lace cling to the glass. Very nice.

Mild aroma with toasted malt and hints of sweetness, fruit, and hops.

Flavors of toasted grain, fresh bread, and a touch of brown sugar. Mild fruit and the perfect amount of hops for balance. Finish is where the complexity lies, with some yeastiness, nuts, a little roasted malt, and spicy & herbal hops.

Light in body and fairly thin on the tongue. Smooth and lightly carbonated. Lacks a bit in flavor, but enjoyable and very drinkable. Good session beer that won't get in the way.

Mar 21, 2008
Photo of sbe1
sbe1 from New York

4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Altbier and it's a pretty damn good one. I bought this at Brighton Bazaar Market in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. (This place really should be in the beerspy list. It has a decent sized and interesting selection of Eastern European, German, and Asian beers.)

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, a perfect match for a cola color, but with sharper red highlights when held up to the light. Thick creamy tan head that last for several minutes, finally dissipating into a light lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Delicious bready, sweet malt, cream soda, light hop notes.

Taste: Creamy, malty, slight note of a brown sugar sweetness light hop tickle on the tongue. Wet yet smoky finish, with a nice feeling of alcohol warmth near the end.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, smooth, very little carbonation.

Drinkability: very good, great smooth taste and easy to drink. Would make a great session beer.

Mar 11, 2008
Photo of AltBock
AltBock from Ohio

3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

0.9 liter/ 1pt .09 fl oz. old fashioned swing top bottle. The bottle has a plain label of a colonial style home with their slogan "The unique hoppy altbier" below it. The back label has the information you'll find in the US, including the ingredients (Water, malt, hops) and a "before end" date of 88 10 83. I'm not even sure what this means. It's more than likely something that only Schwelmer can understand.

Appearance: When poured into a Pilsner glass, this beer is a dark chestnut brown with a few dark amber highlights. It had a large 2 1/2 inch head of white foam that really good retention that left behind a white film and streak after streak of white lace.

Smell: This Altbier had a truly unique aroma of malted wheat, toasted biscuits, sweet caramel, tea leaves, and a tiny splash of coffee at the end. I never would have thought that an Altbier would ever smell like this. Nice little aroma.

Taste: I thought the taste was too light for this style and even for the low ABV %. It didn't have to be like this. Besides the taste being too light, it was also dry with tea leaves, toasted biscuits, a touch of sweet caramel, and a pinch of toasted citrus hops at the finish. It wasn't as unique as the aroma was.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was light with a faint aftertaste of toasted biscuits, a small touch of caramel, tea, and dab of bitter toasted hops at the end.

Drinkability: I'm on the fence with this one. It started off nice with the appearance and unique aroma, but it finished off rather weak. It wasn't all that hoppy and it wasn't all that unique.

Mar 06, 2008
Photo of theopholis
theopholis from California

3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Body is a very clear, light-to-medium brown/amber with a thick, creamy tan head that slowly falls s to a lasting thin cover. Some broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

Smell- The smell is earthy/woody, slightly nutty. A sweet, grainy aroma with just enough bittering hops.

Taste- A so-so blend of malt, malt sweetness and bittering hops. Some graininess in there. Also getting some earth, woody flavors in the background. Somebody else mentioned impressions of a moss-covered wood. I would have to agree. A vaguely harsh hop taste in the very end.

Mouthfeel- Medium body (for style). Good CO2 level. Again, for style.

Drinkability- Worth a try, but it ain't great.

Feb 01, 2008
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DrainBamage from Michigan

4.77/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brownish amber color with a nice lace of head. Smell has fruity and malty aromas. Taste is fruity but very complex also. It's lightly carbonated and goes down extra smooth with a slight bitterness towards the end. The hops and malts are perfectly balance. The is one fine brew and I can't imagine and Altbier getting much better than this.

Jan 07, 2008
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Pauly2X from Wisconsin

4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Reddish mahogany hue, one finger head left a nice wisp.

S- Sweet malty aroma underpinned by noble earthy hops.

T- Nicely complex, robust yet not overpowering. Its hard to tell whether the hops balance out the malt or the malt balances out the hops.

M- Rich and smooth despite a slightly thin finish.

D- I gotta go back and grab the 4 pack.

A great example of an often negleted style. Personally I think this is Schwelmer's best offering.

Jan 05, 2008
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Minkybut from Virginia

3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was a nice mahoganny color with a nice head. The smell of this beer was sweet at first then I thought a little skunky possibly. The taste at first was watery but then I came to tase a little nuttiness, maply spicey taste. I first said no then changed my mind to YES I would buy this beer again. kind of a wishy washy reveiw but this beer got better as I drank on it.

Jan 02, 2008
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Bookseeb from Washington

4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep mohagany beer with a thin head and the aroma of rich malt and slight sweetness of molasses. Taste is rich but not overdone with the malt, having the right amount of hop and good carbonation to give it a clean bite. Having a medium mouthfeel, I got to say that I'm really enjoying this beer and wish I had another to chase it.

Dec 06, 2007
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkish brown, with mild yeasty and malty aroma. Taste like a subdued barleywine,a bit of a season, and an understated maudite.Nuttiness, herbal, and creamy carmel. Easy drinking. Nothing bold and exciting, but a fine brew. Well carbonated with no significant head.

Nov 18, 2007
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Amalak from New York

3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App: Dark brown, or even orange. Thin, bubbly head.

Smell: Mild, but very nice, nutty smell.

Taste: Very intense taste. It reminded me of a scotch kind of taste, almost like Innis and Gunn.

Mouthfeel: Very bold, original feel. Stays in the mouth for a while.

Drinkability: Very intense, and you really have to be in the right mood for it.

It's a good beer, and I am a scotch fan, and like the taste. But like I said above, you have to be in the mood for it. Not an everyday beer.

Sep 22, 2007
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srrn from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330m swing top bottle. Poured a deep mahogony with off white head that quickly reduced. Smells earthy with some plum fruityness. Taste is earthy, I get the tobacco notes of a previous review , very smooth with maltiness balanced by slight hops. Enjoyable brew in a style I loved in Germany and very hard to find locally.

Sep 05, 2007
Photo of Atlas1
Atlas1 from Texas

4.02/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First off, this is a really cool bottle. Squat, flip top with a neat old German house design on the label. But the thing that really sold me on this beer, before I'd even tried it, was the phrase "The Unique Hoppy Altbier" on the label. Hoppy altbier... music to my ears.

Poured into a belgian snifter, the Schwelmer is a pretty brown color with a slightly off-white head that contains huge bubbles and thins out rather quickly. Held up to the light, it shows off hues of mahogany and brick-orange. A very pretty beer. The nose on this one is all over the place. Sweet malt, roasted coffee, vanilla, plum, faint orange peel, cherries. I could drink this in all day and keep finding new smells in there. The taste is a bit unexpected. Because, presumably, of the strong hop content here, all the sweet malts are rather muted. But it's done in a very distinguished manner. You still taste the mellow malt character of this beer, but you also get a great spicy hop balance. And then it finishes with a dry bitter kick. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky. It seemed a bit watery at first, but it really develops a nice character after it warms up to room temperature.

This is fine and delicate altbier. Do not expect the hop level in this guy to match an American double IPA or anything. Instead, approach this like you would a piece of antique furniture. The more you allow this one to grow on your palate, the more it appreciates in value. Would make a fantastic session beer in some dark, hidden-away German bar. Might go great with dumplings or struedel.

Sep 04, 2007
Schwelmer Alt from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 116 ratings