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 Bookseeb
4.5/5  rDev +22%
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.

 332 characters

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.

 265 characters

Photo of Amalak
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of srrn
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Schwelmer Alt

Appearance- Dark ruby red/ brown with a huge thcik creamy head. Heavy lacing down the glass. A very good looking beer.
Smell- A little tough to get a good bouquet going. A touch of caramel malt and lemon. Slight earthy hops.
Taste- Caramel malt up front followed with a dose of sweet lemons and sunflower seeds.
Mouthfeel- Dry throughout with a sweet finish. Low carbonation.

Overall- A tasty beer! $3 for a 1/2 liter bottle, definitely worth it!

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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 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 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...

 1,184 characters

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 lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut color with a great tan head on top. Great looking beer, really. Moderate malt aroma. Slight caramel smell to it. Malty flavor with a decent nutty flavor. There is a whisper of smokiness in it for me. Good mouthfeel. Very good beer. I could see drinking bucketloads of this on a nice sunny day.

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

As beautiful a color as I've seen in a beer. Head doesn't quite live up to it, but my god what a color. Deep, dark mahogany visible through the small amount of light that permeates. Smell of toasy malt and light hops. Hallertau is at work here, and doing a real nice job. Taste is just a little smoky in addition to the aformentioned characteristics from the nose, this with a nice hop finish. Mouthfeel, though velvety is a touch sticky. Still, the verdict here is two thumbs way up. 10 bucks a sixer is a little crazy, but you're paying for that fine packaging and the cool bottles. Would love it if more American micros would enter the ring with this style.

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Photo of sleazo
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Flip top bottle like Grolsch. Purchased at bodega in Billy burg.

A-Pours a rich clear chestnut brown with a substantial cream coloured head. The head dissipates within a few minutes but leaves plenty of nice lacing.

S-Strong, i can smell it from a few feet away. A little sour but mostly caramilised malt. Not much from the hops here but it does smell very good. The barley aroma is really strong here. I am liking this.

T-The rich bready malts are present but not as strong as the smell. I am a little dissapointed after such a great aroma. There is a faint aftertaste of honeydew melon.. Subtle caramel overtones come outwith a little warming. I could use a little more hops as they are barely there.

M-Light bodied and well carbonated.

D-This could be a good session ale but i think i would have to switch after about 2 or 3.

 843 characters

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.07/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a .5L Swing top to a tall glass mug, the liquid is dark dark copper brown with ok carbonation. The head in 2 fingers tan is leaves very little lace.

The smell is very good, dark rosted maly and a bit of alcohol.

The taste is good some what sweet and carmely. Nice soft bitter hops are good.

The mouth feel is thin and lacks good carbonation.

The drinkability is good and easy, just don't expect a lot of body. Prosit MK

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Photo of Absumaster
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A red, amber beer with a big frothy and big-bubbled head. The beer is clear.

Smell is roasted and strong malty with an molasses and strong husky smell, without the grainy part usually accompanied by a husky smell.

Taste is milder than the smell would suspect. Definate roasted malt giving the beer a somewhat 'oily', husky taste. A strong malt backbone of what I suspect is Munich malt. The hops give the beer a nice bitter, without a strong hop aroma. Body is medium and drinkability is great.

Not the most complex of beers, but the nice roast and hops, together with the high drinkability make this a nice beer.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle into glass,

a roasted broawn appearance with a foam that had relatively good retention.
the smell is of roasted malts with maybe a little yeast
the taste is as the aroma is, with roasted malts some yeats, very little hop and a sharpness that seems to come from moderate carbonation
the mouthfeel was medium in body and very smooth nice on the palate
this is a very drinkable and enjoyable alt beer and one that is worth a try.

 448 characters

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 IceAce
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful swing-top bottle releases a brew with a copper body and two fingers of tightly knit light tan foam. Clarity is outstanding while lacing is minimal.

The nose arrives with a clean toffee note backed by a hint of floral hoppiness. Entry is sturdy while the midtaste highlights the best of the German Maltster's trade. the finish is beautifully threaded malty goodness...almost nutty in a way.

This beer simply blows me away and I'll be sure to revisit it next time pulled pork is on my entertainment menu...

 520 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep mahogany with a creamy light tan head. Easygoing toffee aroma with toasted notes. The palate offers a superb toffee/caramel grain with some sweet bready malt. Mostly rounded grain and mild roasted coffee notes in the finish.

One of my favorites, probably my favorite session beer behind Anchor Steam Beer. All of the flavors are mellow and supremely well balanced, and the overall palate is exceedingly drinkable. This one is a classic…

 453 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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Photo of pmcadamis
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep mahogony brew that is deep crimson and purple in the light. A two finger head quickly recedes to a thin cap of tan cream, and some nice sticky lace coats the glass.

S - Rich caramel and toffee aromas mix with some nice roasty notes. I smell toast, caramel, burning leaves, and some grapes.

T - Starts off with a big acidic twang of rye-like snappyness. Then vinous grape tones sweep over the tongue before toffee and caramel come into play with a tiny bit of bitter dark chocolate. This is a very salty and strange tasting beer, but I really like it!

M - Light bodied, smooth, and quite acidic with a very low level of carbonation.

D - Great! Very similar to a brown or nut-brown ale but with some very odd qualities. Smooth and easy-drinking.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half-liter swingtop, with a best-by date of 88.10.69, which doesn't make any sense no matter how you look at it. It opens with a loud "POP!" and pours a chestnut hue with medium carbonation and a fluffy, two finger, light tan head that leaves nice lacing. The aroma is grainy, with toasted and caramel malts, fruits?, paper?, and some sweetness that is a bit too prevalent. It tastes essentially the same, with spicy, leafy?, and freshly-cut-hay hops that leave a mild bitterness on top of a light body that leaves light finish. Overall not a bad brew, just not that great. Balanced, yes, but they need to beef up the both the malts and hops.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Packaged in 16 oz swing top amber bottle with cryptic date code Best before 88 10 69.

Opened with a disappointingly meager pop, aroma at the neck is about normal for a dark German, roasted, slightly yeasty.

Pours nicely into 22 oz pilsner glass, creating a tan head leaving good lacing. Color is a very attractive dark mahogany and ruby.
Aroma is roasted malts and sweetness, caramel.
Taste is sweetness from rich German malt with fair hop bitterness, roasty, and toasty.
Mouthfeel is typically thin, with a nice dry finish.
Drinkability is nice, it's a representative example of the the style. Enjoyed it.

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Photo of goschool
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I grabbed a six-pack of this stuff at Beverage Warehouse for $3.99. Swing top bottle opens with a big pop.

Appearance: The pour is deep, dark ruby with a creamy tan head that leaves a nice thin layer on top of the body.

Smell: The nose has sweet and roasty malts and fruity esters.

Taste: The flavor profile is rather short, if that makes sense. Everything happens practically at once. Sweet, toasted malts come in first, followed by a brown ale-like nuttiness and fruity yeast and a dry noble hop finish.

Mouthfeel: The texture is light and slightly astringent.

Drinkability: I've yet to be impressed by an altbier, but this one is okay and fairly drinkable. I might have been a little disappointed if it weren't so cheap.

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Photo of Byeast
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: very dark brown cola with some reddish hues , a small head of tan froth sits atop.

Smell: malt aroma is toasty with a bit of a slight root beer sweetness , and just a bit of dark fruit hint.

Taste: a nice medium bodied, toasty maltiness , also some slightly sweet caramel flavor , some light fruityness , hop flavors only balance , just a touch of diacetly near the finish.

Mouthfeel : creamy malt , finishes fairly dry.

Drinkability: A very drinkable brew for sure. The flavors are very mellow, but interesting and tasty.

 546 characters

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