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 bierme
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am a big fan of the style so I was happy to try it out. Overall, I found it to be a nice beer. Slightly smoky in smell. Balanced as the style is supposed to be. Crisp in my mouth and it leaves a pleasent lingering flavor. Easy to drink, I would buy it again.

 260 characters

Photo of SudNut
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, almost like a coke, with a light tan head that leaves a ring of lacing on the glass. I looked at the label "unique hoppy altbier" and thought the hops were gonna rip my tongue off or something, not so. To find the truth turn the bottle around simply "water, malt, hops" simple things are good though. It has a sweet caramel malt nose with a bit of hmmm is it fruit or chocolate. It is kinda hard to tell after inhaling concrete dust today. Now for the taste, nice and malty in the front with a hint of hops taking over. This is a very smooth and drinkable beer. Pardon me while I have another. Skoal!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a very clear dark garnet color with a ¼” head of tan bubbles on top. The head was active with quite a few bubbles rising, and fell pretty slowly. It was still a pretty assertive ring around the top of the beer a minute after the pour. There is some light lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: My initial impression was of dark caramel malts, but as the head falls, I get a noticeable floral hop presence. The dark caramel is pretty much the dominant aroma with a very subtle fruitiness that I think is more from the dark malts as anything from fermentation.

Taste: This beer is really light on the palate, but full of flavor. It comes across as a tad thin as you first sip it, but then this very bold sweet caramel thing starts up and carries through to the finish. There is some noticeable hoppyness in the aroma and a bit in the finish, but there is no dry bitterness. The malt is in charge all the way up to the end. The label says that it is a “hoppy” beer, but I beg to differ. The malt runs the show here. There are some hops, but there sure are a lot more hoppy Alts out there. There is no alcohol noticeable anywhere.

Opinion: I really like this beer, and am rather glad that it doesn’t have the hoppy bite that I thought it may from the label. This beer comes across a bit like a Dunkel, and I am hard pressed to pick up the Alt character. I am really enjoying this beer, and would certainly drink it any time that I get the chance. I would just not expect an Alt, but a well crafted dark beer.

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Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hey it's always a decent weekend when you score big on news brews. This Alt is new to me and yet it already seems like a longtime friend already after a couple of bottles. Talk about nice, dar reddish brown, nice sticky head, sweet malty backbone that is almost nutty , but certainly bready. It finishes nice with a pperfect mix of hops. The more I drink altbiers the more I like them, but this is definitely a great Alt that should be enjoyed by everyone.

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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 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.

 1,395 characters

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

 470 characters

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.

 481 characters

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.

 824 characters

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.

 1,006 characters

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.

 458 characters

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