Schwelmer Alt | Privatbrauerei Schwelm

116 Ratings
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Schwelmer AltSchwelmer Alt

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 07-13-2003

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Ratings: 116 |  Reviews: 111
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
2.6/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a medium brown body with a prodigious head that leaves wafts of lacing all over the place

Smell: Musty, smokey odor; smells like dirty clothes in a dorm room closet

Taste: Starts out with raisin bread flavor; after the swallow, a phenolic bitterness kicks in that muddles to the finish in a smokey bitter mess

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with good carbonation

Drinkability: Very disappointing; I enjoy the altbier style but this just doesn't cut it

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.97/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a clear deep brown color alt with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light roasted malt with some light toffee. Taste is also dominated by some light roasted toffee notes. Body is really average with some medium carbonation. I’m not sure I am totally getting the style since I don’t encounter it often enough but I thought this example was generally boring.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schwelmer's Alt pours an almost black body that reveals it's true deep-ruby stained mahogany color when held to the light. The creamy khaki-colored head drops shortly but leaves some nice lace in its wake.

Sweet malt with a darkly caramelish and roasty edge resides in the nose along with a whisp of floral hops.

The flavor is much as the nose suggests, with a very well-balanced, but straightforward maltiness. There's a touch of dark malt acidity, some welcome nuttiness, and some sublime leafy hop flavors, but nothing else. It fades from the pallet just as easily as it entered, leaving behind a mild trace of nuts, smoke (residue from the roastiness), and floral and grassy hops.

The body is medium with dextrinous malt, and its gentle carbonation leaves it remarkably smooth across the palate.

Interestingly, as Schwelm was once a mining center, this beer is quite similar in many ways to the dark milds of northern England where miners enjoyed a darker, but not necessarily fuller beer at the end of the day. It's not what you'd expect of a Dusseldorfer alt at all, but it's still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of russpowell
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle coded 88 10 69, what ever that means opens with a pop

Pours caramel/brown with 3 fingers of sand-colred head. Very good lacing & above averag head retention

S: Sweet malt & iron

T: Dryness & caramel up front. Iron & a hint of nuttyness. Caramel & a slight herbal hop bite shows up as this warms. Finishes with a little toasted malt, oaky dryness & a little more iron

MF: Light/medium body with above average carbonation. Good, not great balance

Drinks fairly easy, but like my alts a little more beefier on the malt & hops side. Give me a Diebels any day. So far this brewery ain't really floating my boat

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.64/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Darkest bronze with a considerable burnt orange influence when backlit. The sandstone colored crown is nicely rumpled bumpy and has a great deal of stickiness that results in an impressive array of delicate lace. As far as I can tell, this is what an altbier should look like.

The nose is less than good. It's earthy and musty and spicy, a combination that doesn't add up to anything that I care to smell more than is necessary for this review. Let's throw 'woody' in there as well. The flavor profile had better do a '180' or I won't like Schwelmer Alt any more than I liked Bernstein or Pils.

The taste buds are definitely well-occupied, but it isn't with a great altbier. The word 'clash' comes to mind as I continue to drink. Each mouthful delivers a sweet and phenolically sour brown maltiness coupled with stale tobacco and a firm smack of bitter peanut skins and grassy hops. I'm having a hard time wrapping my palate around this one.

The woodiness that was noted in the aroma is still present. I don't know if this beer spend time barrel aging, but it sure tastes like it. Too bad it didn't add anything of interest (just the opposite, in fact) to the flavor profile. I have nothing else of value to add. The weird combination of flavors and flavor sensations just isn't to my liking.

Even though I'd like more bubbles to add a little excitement to the proceedings, the mouthfeel is otherwise acceptable for the style. It's on the light side, but then that's where a low-ABV alt should weigh in.

If I hadn't had the less than stellar Schwelmer Bernstein and Schwelmer Pils, I might have suspected a bad (or an old) bottle. Try as I might, I can't decipher 'best before end 88 10 83'. It looks like only Schwelmer Weizen is worthy of a repeat purchase.

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Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 16.9 oz brown swing top bottle with a “Best Before End” freshness date on the back label.

Appearance: The frothy sea foam like head leaves a thick trail of lace on the glass, deep wood stained brown shows some clarity.

Smell: Toasted malt, vaguely sweet … ghost like fruitiness with a hint of hops.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Exceptionally smooth with a moderate carbonation and creamy malty body. A twang of fermented malt with in the toasted grain character, hops are modest yet show a good balance. The finish is a jumbled complex mess; nutty, smoke?, yeasty.

Drinkability & Notes: Quite the enjoyable brew, have not quaffed an Alt like this for some while. Seemed to go great with some Teriyaki Chicken and Crab Rangoon.

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Photo of Billolick
3.56/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

stubby,11.2 ounce, Belgian style bottle, "best before end" date is not ledgible on bottle. Pours chocolaty brown, with an of white head that initially was rocky and puffy, then dissolved to a medium thickness film and leaving nicely developed and well scattered lacing. Nose is thinly of malt. the mouthfeel is disappointingly thin and unsatisfying. Notes of chocolate, bananas, caramel, fair Alt, but too lacking in body, malty character and mouthfeel for my liking.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of jwc215
2.96/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Swing-top bottle with a cryptic freshness date, poured into a stange glass:

Pours light-to-medium brown with a thick, creamy tan head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some broken rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is earthy/woody, musty, slightly nutty. Vague sweet grain and fruitiness barely peek through.

The taste is earthy and woody - a hoppy alt as it indicates on the label - but in a rather bland way. A musty character gives me the impression of moss-covered wood. After the effervescent carbonation and mustiness settle, a malt/fruity sweetness balances it out (especially in second half of bottle), but the flat woody/earthy notes stay ahead. Dry, bland finish.

Light in body, a blandness lingers on the palate.

Despite the disappointment, it does have a certain smoothness, especially as it warms that gives it a certain drinkability (for the one bottle, but wouldn't rush for more). Well, I wasn't crazy about the Bernstein - which this has a certain similarity too.. and this was even blander...I would stick with the weizen of the three offerings I've had from this brewery. Overall- a disappointing alt from Germany - expected better...

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear and sepia-toned, a clean caramel, with a rocky, bumpy, thick slab of foam resting on top, leaving lace.

Roasty malt in the nose, sweetness abounds, nuts and toffee, with a neat hoppiness. A kind and pleasant aroma.

Slides easily on the palate, and glides happily off. Very pleasing taste, mild and sweet, nicely balanced maltiness...light, happy fruitiness...very clean, crisp, a lightly hoppy brown ale, to these lips.

Not having had too many other authentic alts, this does seem to stack up to what I recall of the Tuetonic varieties I've been able to taste. Medium bodied, with a sweet taste that finishes dryly.

Not bad. Not fantastic, but a fine beer, indeed.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.1/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

04/19/06- Purchased at Corti Bros. in Sacramento, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz stubby bottle. No freshness info listed. Poured into my Sebastopol Brewery pint glass.

Appearance- Pretty dark pour with some cherry colored highlights. Full fairly creamy white head with nice hardened sticky lace left upon the finish.

Smell- Really nice dark and sweet scent. Kinda like a doppelbock mixed with and old ale. Lots of caramel, toffee, dark roasted malt and maybe even dare I say some dark fruits.

Taste- Damn, I so wanted to like this beer after the scent. This is one of the first beers where the scent was fantastic and the taste was below average. Very large metallic taste that covers up all that could be good in this beer. You can sense some dark fruit, a bit of caramel and toffee and even a decent hop bite. But it all stays covered up by this metal flavor. Damn!

Mouthfeel- Pretty high carbonation level. Very cola like.

Drinkability- I don't think I got a bad bottle. Wish I did though. Don't be fooled by the scent on this one. I've had a few altbiers and none of them tasted like this.

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Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some hops as well; excelllent balance. The taste is decent. It has a weak and watery flavor that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with bitter hops and a dry finish. It goes down easy and finishes with hops in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. It has a watery feel that takes away from the mouthfeel. This is a good drinking alt. . It has good aroma and decent flavor.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Zorro
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

.5 Liter Flip top Bottle.

Pours a clear chestnut brown brew with a tan head, looks very tasty.

Smell is crackers and wheat malt, and a bit fruity. There is also a scent in here that is salty and similar to Gose.

Taste is drier than expected. Lots of toasted malt and a sharp bitter snap in the finish. Mildly sweet bit the fruitiness seems to have gone missing.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK beer but Alaskan Amber beats it. It don't think Alt is a beer style that travels all that well. I LOVED the Schwelmer Hefe Weizen but I don't like this one nearly as well.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.47/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger off-white white head that vanishes quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Sweet toffee nose. Flavor is sweet toffee that is balanced by the hops. Clean finish. $1.90 for a 330ml swing-top bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, ME.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.89/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.31/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

16.9oz swing-top bottle from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" beige head above the dark copper brew. Good foamy bits of lacing from a head that just isn't moving. Aroma is light, of caramel malts and slight hops notes. Taste is initially of full caramel malts, fading to a slight fruit tang, and then ends with a mess of somewhat metallic bitterness. Mouthfeel and drinkability are are affected by the end of each mouthful, unfortunately, since it was nice until then. Potential, yes. Follow-through, no.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.68/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Has a nice deep ruby/ medium clear brown. But no bublles and no head. Only a 16th of an inch after the pour. The first snikks are very acidty and battery head liek. But they bring some darker malts to the nose. A little. The taste jas some stale malts, but a good , yet light bitterness.

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Photo of Suds
3.43/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This sure isn’t a bad looking beer. Poured from a half-liter swing-top bottle, it’s a deep, dark brown color with a towering rocky head. Lots of lace from this one. The aroma is serious caramel, slightly malty, and a little hops. Taste is grainy and a little bready. Initially there’s a moderate sweetness, but the beer starts to dry out in the mid-taste. Medium body and fairly drinkable. There’s a nicely balanced hop finish as well. Overall, it’s a fairly good Alt.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear burgandy tone. Medium sized biege head. Retention is good as is the lace. Rings of droopy lace are left in moderate quantities. Not much carbonation noted from the appearance. Nice aroma of almonds, toffee and caramel. Nicely pronounced. Nice flavor. Walnuts and toffee. Nougat and caramel. Nice dry finish. Just a little buttery. Overall, good though. Mouthfeel is agreeable. Drinkability, quite good. This is a solid alt.

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Photo of Durge
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.81/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful dark cherrywood auburn color when up to a strong light, nealy black in shadow with an immense puffy cap of light sandy brown, finely foamed froth. Cap slowly levels off and down to a good amount of skim and collaring. Lacing glazes the glass in webby curtains.

Aroma is stiff and bready with light touch of cocoa powder.

Taste is mild yet firm with not a whole lot going on unfortunately. Semi sweet. Clean with a fluffy coating. Big on bready flavors mostly but it doesn't last long. A little brief on the buds with this one. Has some light hints to sunflower seeds, cocoa, and toasted grains. Finish has a bit of subdued and muddled smokeyness and earthy yeast under the last remainders of toasty stuff. Lots of pretty decent bread tones though.

Feel is smooth and fairly fluffy with an easy carbonation to slurp down but lacks some depth. Its lighter then medium in body with a weak-ended front but picks up some as it finishes.

A good enough drinker, pleasing if not all together simple.

 1,013 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The alt poured a cola like brown color with a tan head. The head was decent, nothing special, but left very nice lacing. It has a malt sweetness to it, caramel & toasted. The taste is of caramel malts, a bit nutty, a bit dark fruit. A nice fizzy mouthfeel, crisp. A very drinkable brew. I am not very familar with the style but I like it.

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Schwelmer Alt from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
3.69 out of 5 based on 116 ratings.
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