Schwelmer Alt | Privatbrauerei Schwelm

111 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 116
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Label indicates adherence to "Reinheitsgebot." Back label: Best before end: 88 10 59. $2.69 for a 16 oz'er that cracked open from the flip top swinger with a crack!

Pours a deep mahogany hue full of tight rising bubbles to a vanill dense settled head cap, leaving slipping drippy lace in the glass.

Aroma of vast spice cake, sugary touch of table sugar.

First swigs: Thick rich malt properly takes a front seat on the palate. Hops are drying with a light woody touch. Sweetness of a honey and caramel rounds out the middle with a iss of soft root beer. Finish is quickly dried out.

Tight crispness lends to a creamy texture. Flavor takes a fast dive into a gentle flour finish aftertaste. Some aspect in the feel tells me that this is a teenie bit diluted thin.

Last swigs: A decent example of the style that lands close to the mark. Flavor is a tad quick to finish. Hooray for another altbier. Such an interesting style. Uergie is still the model.

Beer is good. Happy alt-beering.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.67/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Corked bottle opens with a big pop...good start, and an aroma of malty chocolate. Pours to a dark brown with hints of red, thick tan head that lingers awhile, and decent lacing. Unfortunately, the beer goes downhill after this. Flavor is okay, more malt and hint of chocolate, but a very thin body and watery finish makes this a less enjoyable beer at the end than at the beginning.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BB 17-11-06 white head and brown beer. Nose is very caramellic as the bernstein and maybe litle more esters but best more maltyness. Taste is bit fuller and yes very easy drinkable for altbeer. Missing bit of stickyness and very clean brewed so refreshingly and enjoyable.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a thick two finger head of creamy craggy bubbles that melts to sticky lacing for a very, very long time.
Aroma is a little toasty, a little coffee, a little nutty.
Taste is toasted dry malts, light nuts, slight hop finish...well balanced.
Aftertaste is drying with a tiny bit of hops.
Mouthfeel is rich and creamy without every getting sticky.
Good Alt...well done.

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Photo of woemad
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Half liter swingtop bottle purchased at Jim’s Homebrew in Spokane for $3.35. The label refers to it as “the unique hoppy altbier.” “Best before end: 88 10 57.” WTF?

Pours a dark amber/garnet color with a big, off-white sudsy head. When held to the light, the beer takes on a more ruby-ish tinge. A small neglige of foam was left at the top of my pintglass, perched above spotty lace remnants.

Smells like…apples. That is the first impression. There is also a mild, sweet caramel scent. As it warmed, it took on a slightly nutty scent and the apple scent receded somewhat. Not bad, but nothing too impressive, either.

The initial taste reminded me again of apples, but it was accompanied by a caramel sweetness that balanced better with the apples than the smell. The finish is dry, metallic and slightly hoppy. At no other point does this come close to living up to the label’s statement that this is “the unique hoppy altbier.”

This seems slightly flat in the mouthfeel, though there’s enough carbonation still there that you know this is probably what the brewer was aiming at. I’ve had too few authentic Alts to know if this is characteristic of the style or not.

This is an okay beer, but it’s nothing to write home about. I bought it as a curiosity, not least because of the cool bottle. While I don’t regret it, I doubt I will feel a need to seek it out again.

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

Pours a dark cranberry red color with a creamy, off-white head. Smells very interesting, not really altbier like per-se - rich malts and sweetened dark berries. Malty as expected, bready and nutty. Smooth, medium-light and pretty refreshing actually. Leaves the tongue a little dry. Enjoyable.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - thei alt pours a dark walnut brown, with a thin light tan head and no visible carbonation

S - a sweet malty aroma with a crisp, clean smell thats hard to place, maybe fresh white grape hints

T - malty and sweet as the aroma suggested, with slight but distinct roasted characteristics

M - smooth and tasty, well balanced a well done alt, not a huge fan of alts, but this went down damn smooth

D - high, try this alt, cheap and tasty and nice ont he palate

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

Clear mahogany color and light tan head. Nice lasting retention but sparse lace. Smell is dry, woody and a little metallic. Nuts, slight chocolate, and sweet raison. Taste is earthy, nutty, dry with leafy hops, and lightly burnt malts. Once again very woody feel to it. Mouthfeel is slick, very slightly gritty, and body may be a bit thin. Although a little metallic, it doesn't affect my drinkability.

Worth a try but not the best Alt beer I've had.

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Photo of JohnY
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 'blast from the past' flip top bottle. Poured into a standard pint glass, it formed a nice 2 finger head that was light tan in color. The beer itself was a dark brown with traces of red when held to the light. Medium body. Not hoppy at all although it describes itself as hoppy on the label. Well balanced, bread like nose, with floral hints. Very easy to drink, not at all like traditional alts from Dusseldorf but still a very easy drinking brew. Highly recomended.

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Photo of Shaw
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a lovely deep brown in color with a nice foamy, brown head.

It smells of bread a faint roasted malts.

The flavors are good: malty with enough bitterness to balance it out. The roasted malts become apparent in the aftertaste. The brewery describes this as a hoppy beer. I must be spoiled by American hoppy beers, because "hoppy" is not how I would describe this beer. Yes, it does have some light hop flavors, but nothing like its American cousins. I'm not downgrading this beer at all because of that, however. For a German brew, this is probably pretty hoppy.

For the Altbier style, this is a good beer. It's very easy to drink and it's quite refreshing. This may be a bit too strong to be what the Bros. would define as a "session beer," but I would say it's as close to a great session beer as it comes.

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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.

 1,116 characters

Photo of beals
3.52/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased 05/13/2006 at Blanchard's in Allston.

Appearance: Poured dark brown with a 1.5" slightly off-white head. Head retention is good, lacing is a crazy thick blanket down the side of the glass.

Aroma: Very sweet aroma, grain and brown sugar / molasses.

Taste: Dark raisiny flavor gives way to strong biscuity malts, with a hint of... Hmm. Things were going well for this beer, but somewhere in the middle, there's this brief moment of metallic flavor. Perhaps it has something to do with the water? Luckily, it fades quickly and finishes off with a bit of hoppy freshness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and almost creamy -- the lacing was a good indicator of this. Moderate but unobtrusive carbonation.

Drinkability: The metallic flavor only shows up briefly, and not prominently in every sip. I'm willing to overlook this and stamp this beer "moderately drinkable".

I'd also like to commend Brauerei Schwelm for their use of rugged and _unmarked_ swingtop bottles. Very handy for a homebrewer.

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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 ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty garnet color topped by a half-inch of tan head. Aroma of sweet, bready malt with notes of stone fruit (plum, maybe?). Palate is nice, sweet, and a bit fruity. Bready, biscuity caramel malt is complemented by some light fruity hops and a hint of German lager yeast. Medium body and good carbonation carry the flavor well. A nice, flavorful offering, and perhaps the first true German alt I've had.

 411 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Schwelmer Alt pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a thick tan head. Smells like a malted milk ball. Malt predominates in the flavor, some metallic flavor briefly as well. I don't know much about altbiers, I've had a couple but I'm not really conversant with the style. Overall this beer is okay, I probably wont buy it again, but it is worth a try, you may like it more than I did.

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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 soulgrowl
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks an awful lot like Coca-Cola, a ruby-brown color with a plum tint and fairly big bubbles. Trying to create a good head was an upward battle; I poured straight down and was barely able to get a half inch of suds.

Smell: Mostly malty, with a subdued estery hop character and a little DMS. Molasses, milk, maple syrup, fennel, and geraniums come to mind.

Taste: Well-balanced to the max, a gentlemanly accord between deep, toasty, sweet malts and floral, herbal hops. Bittersweet finish is slightly syrupy on the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: While this is slightly chewable, it is way too thin and seltzery. It feels like it just wants to crawl down your throat and die.

Drinkability: I will have no trouble finishing the half-liter bottle of this I bought, and I might want more afterwards. I'd love to try this with German food.

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Photo of jettjon
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Highs: Appearance, nose
Lows: Flat mouth

This is my first time trying an altbier (and knowing what I was getting), so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Pours very dark brown with a one finger sudsy tan head that fades away slowly. Nose is appealing, with a sorghum-malt scent. Initial taste is of malt and sorghum with a light metallic note. Mouthfeel is wet, smooth, and flat; rather dull in my opinion. Finish is of hops with some light bitterness. Drinkability is average. On a side note, the alcohol content is quite low at about 4%.

Overall: I’m not impressed with my first altbier, but I’m sure that this is hardly the best of the style.

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Photo of Naes
3.49/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This alt beer is very dark brown with a one inch bone white colored head.
The aroma is sugary sweet; it has an almost dairy like sense to it.
The flavor is not what I was expecting, based on the aroma. It is grainy to begin with and has a slight roastyness followed by a slight hop presence.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Though I have not hade many alts, this is one of the better ones that I have tried.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ahh the Schwelmer Alt. A nice solid Alt Bier if you are in the mood for a good German beir. YA! This beer has a good malty base and mild carbonation indicative of the German Alt style. I really enjoyed this beer after a hard day at work. I appreciated this beer as a good solid representative of its style. A smooth and flat beer of the German Alt style of beers.

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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 beveragecaptain
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml flip top bottle. Pours out a very dark brown color with a huge, rocky head. Nutty toasted malt aroma. Flavor is very malty, with a little caramel and a tasty walnut flavor. The finish is metallic, with just a little hint of hopiness. Medium to full mouthfeel is just about perfect. Great drinkability too. I really enjoy this beer. The flavors are subtle, but work very well. If it were just a little hoppier, it would be the perfect alt.

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

beer is dark amber, almost brown. nice thick head that lasts a long time.

aroma is not too strong, i perceive a hint of iron.

taste is toasted malt and a bit of iron flavor, hops are restrained but add a nice touch of balance.

overall, a pretty good and very easy to drink beer, not overly exciting but enjoyable nonetheless.

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

.5 liter brown bottle with best-before date of 881057 (whatever that means).

Pours a clouded reddish-brown with a chunky head that dissipates quickly, leaving little lace. Smells of sweet, strongly toasted malts with an undercurrent of bananas and fruits. Grainy, chewy, and well-carbonated in the mouth. Tastes toasty and grainy initially, but develops a long and juicy banana fruitiness before finishing with a clean and nutty hop dryness.

A very pleasant and satisfying Alt.

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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.

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