Schwelmer Bernstein | Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Schwelmer BernsteinSchwelmer Bernstein
82 Ratings
Schwelmer BernsteinSchwelmer Bernstein

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Schwelm

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 11-21-2003

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 82 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of jeffjfindley
1.23/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Headless Horseman. Color, and smell are coppery, like a penny. Looks kinda like carbonated iced tea. Taste is better, until the aftertaste, which is metallic and unpleasant. If I were in one of my moods I would crucify this beer... Thing is, the taste is pretty good until the aftertaste, but the aftertaste is among the worst I've ever experienced. If this were a high gravity beer I would probably drain it to spare my sobriety, but, dammit.... I don't know what else to say. This beer is almost good, but it sucks, and my teeth hurt. Tastes like fillings and flat cola. Yeah! That's it... reminds me of getting fillings, which from my standpoint tends to detract from a beer's drinkability. Yeah, this is garbage. Worst beer I've had since that stupid root beer Jim Koch pissed out last year. Ugh.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.04/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed on 9/5/08. Bottle. Pours a light brown with a very small foamy white head. Aroma of cardboard and stale wheat. Flavor is the same. Tastes just like the Pilsener, somehow. I guess I just don't like the house character of these Schwelmer beers.
4/4/3/3/10 (2.4/5)

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Photo of aquatonex
2.23/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I highly enjoyed the Alt from this brewery, was going in with high hopes...

Pours light straw amber colored, moderate carbonation, no head. Smells consists of minute malts, alcohol, and a punch of flowery hops. Taste was not a very good balance. Mainly was hoppy, watery, and alcoholy. Minor hints of citrus and flower. Gave me heartburn going down.

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Photo of revdrjbob
2.43/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased from the Berry bottlo, sampled with Teaser. I always find it interesting when you buy strange German beer as the labelling is in German, and it's kind of a lucky dip as to what you get. They had the Pils, but we went for the Bernstein hoping it would be a little different.

Poured a golden amber into the glass, very bright and clear, tight thick fluffy head that dissipated quickly to a 1/2 cm thick foam.

Aromas of big malt, doughy, slight caramel, hints of possible mistreatment, no hops.

Taste: Big malt, hints of caramel, crystal, smooth, slight fruityness, liingering gentle bitterness. Easy drinking, slightly syrupy, almost not a German lager. More of an English bitter.

An ok beer, but not a beer that I'd return to. Definatley better than locally brewed Macro lagers, and the bottle rocked!

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Photo of pinotboy007
2.51/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Flip top bottle purchased as a single at Total Wine, Chantilly, VA.

A - Nice gold w/very modest head and scant lacing.

S - Touch of malt and maybe caramel.

T - German Michelob. Scant carbonation, texture or mouthfeel. Pretty one-dimensional but on the same token nothing objectionable.

M - A bit watery and thin.

D - I suppose this would be OK on a hot day out of a cooler if you wanted to impress Bud-swilling friends, but that's about it.

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Photo of jlapennas
2.53/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Swing-top bottle into a 10oz nonik glass.

Fairly vigorous pour yielded not much in terms of head. Smell is pleasantly malty and sweet. Color is a hazed amber gold. Taste is subtle/borderline bland and follows the aroma. Mouthfeel is pretty thin and carbonation pretty low. Not much going on hop-wise. Definitely a strange aftertaste but not as extreme as some reviewers indicate.

Overall, below average and not really worth you time or money. Won't kill you though...

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Photo of plaid75
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a deep muddy copper hue with a half finger head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell was doughy and sweet. No detectable hop presence.

The flavor was sweet and biscuity - strong malt backbone.

The mouthfeel was average. Dry finish.

Overall nothing much of interest. An average malty lager.

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Photo of MTNboy
2.72/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a little light for me.

Appearance: A golden amber as with a lot of beers I have tried lately there was not much for head but some OK lace.

Smell: It had an average lager aroma a little hoppy and floral. There were definately some yeast tones too.

Mouthfeel: Watery and flat.

Drinkability: This beer is nothing special for the price but it does go down easy and has cool bottle.

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Photo of andrewt960
2.86/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Flip top bottle purchased as a single at Whole Foods... Middletown, NJ
A - Nice gold, white head, but faded quickly, may have been a bad poor.
S - Touch of malt and maybe caramel, maybe... maybe, a touch of skunkiness??
T - kinda plain for a german beer, but i don't think i have had enough germans to be truely educated enough.light malt and a touch of wheat. not much in the sense of hops.
M - A bit watery and thin.
D - I suppose this would be OK on a hot day out of a cooler... or if you want a semi-cool bottle.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.91/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Rather cool looking Half-Litre [1 Pt 0.9 fl.oz.] brown glass bottle which has a vertical neck label covering the steel wire which holds the red & white plastic flip top in place. Front label is partly generic in nature and looks like the other offerings from Schwelm. Labeled as “Bernstein – the one of its kind Amber beer. Temptation, brewed in accordance with the Rheinheitsgebot of 1516”. The back label says Best Before End “88 10 57”….I’m still trying to work this Calendar coding out. No listed strength.

Appearance: Dark polished copper body with a shining dark orange hue when backlit. Foamy Teutonic off-white head that starts thick and deep, it eventually drops down to a crusty rocky surface with some nice looking lacing.

Nose: Shallow aromas with a dollop of toasted malts and some digestive biscuit in the finish.

Taste: Toasted malts with a sweet caramel middle……and erm, well that’s it really. Metallic bitterness and some distant hop character. Nothing much doing in this one. Vague and ambient it doesn’t do anything at all for me. Nothing bad about this one, but it is about as exciting as watching George Bush playing Monopoly.

Mouthfeel: This body that suffers from a brown sugar soaked watery feel and sticky after effect.

Drinkability: Nothing to write home about here, it has enough appeal to assist in finishing the bottle but not much more to get me off my lazy ass and try another one, if indeed I had one that is.

Overall: Cost $2.69 at Hollingshead Delicatessen in Orange, CA. I enjoyed the Pils and the Weizen, but this one is a miss for me. Next…

 1,623 characters

Photo of ADR
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500 ml swing top bottle...clear dark gold color, not red enough to be called amber. Big fluffy head of foam that has big pockets and so falls down in less than a minute. Small but sticky and persistent lacing. Aroma is malt-laced, toffee-ish with sweet butter. Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, carbonation is less-than-average overall. Taste starts out fairly well, like the aroma in many elements, but soon mixed with distinct papery tones and an autumn leaves yeasty mustiness that reminds me of old postage stamp hinges for affixing them to collecting albums. Doesn't pull out of this by the aftertaste, more of the pastey qualities seem to come through, and the buttery aroma doesn't mix well. Not as bad as Fischer Amber, but some similarities.

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Photo of brentk56
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a modest head that drops to a ringlet and leaves and occasional band of lace on the pint glass

Smell: Just a bucketload of diacetyl and a touch of noble hops

Starts out with a base of caramel and diacetyl that builds, mid-palate; after the swallow, the husky grain flavors take over, along with a touch of noble hops; lemony finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Just too flawed by the diacetyl for me to recommend this

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Photo of johnniemarg
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Nice 500 ml brown swingtop bottle. This bottle will soon be filled my homebrew. The back label say "Best before end: 88 10 73". Is this a misprint? I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.

Pours a clear straw color with just a tinge of amber down the middle. 3-finger light yellow head that stays for a while. Label says this is a one of a kind amber beer, but it barely looks amber at all. Very few bubbles rise through the beer.

Rich, malty nose. Butterscotch is the smell that comes to mind. Has that unmistakeable German malt smell. A little hop spice.

The taste perplexes me a bit. Malty as expected, but there is a distinct metalic flavor that I don't understand. This thing has a ceramic flip top, so it can't be from the cap. Although this is a brown bottle, could this be poor handling causing this or is this just the way this tastes?

Mouthfeel is thin, especially for how malty this smells.

I can't recommend this.

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Photo of paterlodie
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB 13-08-06. White head and amberbrownand clear beer. Nose is very full of caramel but clean in esters. Missing maltyness of good marzen or vienna and is bit whee sweet in nose IMO. Missing fullnes/maltsweetness in taste also and also poorly hopped. Watery mouthfeel and drinkable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.04/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a stale looking deep amber with little bubbles and a small head that lasts for only two sips. The smell is of bland and watery sweet malts. The taste is a btter reflection of the aroma. Some light brown sugar and toasted mlats with a hint of a quick roast to the malt at the end. A little dry on the palate, but still a little cleansing to the palate.

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Photo of jwc215
3.07/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle, "Best before 88 10 79" whatever that means...

Pours light copper with some small bubbles that pop and disappear. No head retention (No head period).

The smell is of mild grain with som caramelish notes. Something of a wet cardboard (over-oxidation?) smell.

The taste is of seltzery graininess. Some caramelish maltiness. A bit husky. Carbonation is a bit brash. Rather bland.

Failry easy enough to drink, but boring.

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Photo of wiseguy142
3.08/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wanted something German to go along with the Oktoberfests I bought for the season so gave this a try. No "Best before end" date on the back, although there is a place on the label for it.

Pours a rich gold like an Oktoberfest. Small amount of white frothy head on top that clings to the glass but dies away quickly with no lacing. Minimal visible carbonation. Lacing is slightly brown around the edges.

Aroma is very malty and slightly overwhelming. Sort of like Negro Modello or one of those Mexican ambers where the malt sort of knocks you off your socks.

Taste is more of a Marzen than a Vienna lager.. not really hopped enough for a Vienna lager. Very sweet and malty otherwise. I would say this is bready to the extreme. Slightly soggy and damp flavor. The carbonation doesn't do anything to emphasize the malt, making it feel slippery and sweet. Clean and clear, but obviously slightly old and a bit too creamy and rich. Needs balance, but has a lot of flavor otherwise.

I bet this would be better fresh and with a little more carbonation.

 1,053 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.22/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

33 cL swing top bottle

Color is relatively clear, slightly hazed copper color. Very weak, off white head that retains what little body it has and leaves very few spots of lacing. Fairly sweet nose, caramel and toasted malt, maybe some slight diacetyl. Creamy, smooth body with light carbonation and finish of slight hop bitterness. Flavor again has a slight diacetyl presence which is distracting. Regardless, flavor has strong toasted malt backbone, light grain flavors but overall just feels flat and lifeless. Not bad, but a little more carbonation would help. Drinkability is hurt by diacetyl presence.

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Photo of matt20102
3.23/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: Grolsch bottle

Appearance: Dark golden orange. Very little head.

Smell: Very faint aroma of honey, malt sugar.

Taste: Sweet, malty taste gives way quickly to a honey-like aftertaste. A very faint after taste of hops lingers- this is a floral, honey-like taste rather than a bitter taste. Subsequent sips reveal an orange-rind character that is somewhat unexpected for a beer with this little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: First taste seems heavy but this original mouthfeel dissipates quickly. Carbonation is suitable to the style with very small bubbles.

Overall: This beer has a complexity that makes it definitely worth trying. Every sip seems to bring about a slightly different dimension although there is nothing that is particularly surprising about it. I would purchase it again.

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Photo of granger10
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The swingtop bottle is cool and good for homebrewing, I wish more breweries would do this. Clear dark gold color with bronze highlights. Medium fluffy white head. Aroma is of roasted barley, doughy bread, and toasted almonds. Taste is lacking the flavor intensity I want. Palate seems a little thin and undercarbonated. Smooth but the flavors just don't come out. Caramel is there along with biscuit and some light floral hops in the finish. Kind of forgetable. No off flavors here but nothing great either. Decent and drinkable but I wouldn't recommend.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coppery orange with a quiescent interior. The splendid looking cap is the color of sandstone and is tight-bubbled and firm. Despite the apparent lack of feeder bubbles, the head is nicely persistent. Unfortunately, very little lace ends up on the glass. A few scattered hunks and chunks is about it.

The nose is decent, though it definitely isn't a standout. Toasted grain is the focal point, as it is for most beer of this style. The hops, while they give off a slight mustiness, are primarily earthy. There's nothing here to get excited about. It's a competent, serviceable nose, no more.

That uninspiring competence continues on the palate. The flavor consists of gently toasted barley with a mild hoppy bitterness. It all tastes and feels flat and two-dimensional; there's no mouthfillingness to the experience. In this particular case, the undercarbonated mouthfeel is as much to blame as the flavor profile. More bubbles would have at least given the impression of vigorousness.

Some Vienna lagers have a spiciness that is appealing. This one is virtually spiceless. The flavor arc has a shallow ascent and begins its descent before reaching an actual peak. The more I drink, the more the word 'bland' comes to mind. The body is light-medium and struggles to avoid being called watery on the finish.

Schwelmer Bernstein (sounds like the name of a concert pianist) is a rather ho-hum version of the style in my opinion. The lack of any horrendous missteps means that it's drinkable, but the lack of any bright spots whatsoever means that it's also forgettable.

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Photo of WalrusJockey
3.27/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Buying a bunch of these for home brew bottles. Hope the beer is drinkable...

A- translucent, brownish amber with a decent white head, which fll quickly.

S- very bready, pizza-dough aroma, framed in with lots of sweet malt.

T- light body resolves into moderately malty, and sweet, without any real hoppyness, but also without becoming overpowering. Aftertaste is very bready. Flavors are a bit light, a bit bland, but not terrible.

M- light body, light carbonation, especially for a bottle conditioned beer. Maybe I poured it too vigorously?

D- Ok, I guess. I pretty sessionable, but also pretty bland. Maybe a few of these while I play TF2 would be cool, though...

EDIT: if you are thinking about buying this beer for the bottles, don't let the C+ discourage you: the beer is Ok, and I will drink them, it just realy isn't anything at all to write home about.

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Photo of markskar
3.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this at a store in Queens, NY near my hotel at La Guardia. I wandered off and found myself surrounded by housing projects in the Ghetto (yes, with a capital G). I am about as pasty white as you can get, and I seemed to be the first white person any of these people have seen in a long time. Not all gang bangers around, but plenty of them doing business with cars pulling over, "mean-mugging" me as I walked by looking down at the ground, etc.

At any rate, very limited selection at the store but was surprised to see this brew that I've never seen before. Flip top, brown bottle--I always like to see German beer in brown bottles--no skunkiness. All in all, not a bad beer, but not something I'd buy again.

A: Light amber, fairly clear. Very little carbonation. This bottle had a ton of sediment in suspension--not sure what that means, but if I didn't already know what it was I might've thought it was dirt or something.

S: Fairly pleasant, typical Amber maltiness dominates.

T: A little bland, but not too bad for an amber. Mostly light malty character, but adequately balanced with a mild hoppiness.

M: Despite apparent lack of carbonation, has decent body with a nice crisp feel to it after initial smoothness.

D: I'd call it thirst-quenching. Not bad for one or two on a hot a Saturday afternoon in the summer, but I'd generally choose something else were the selection better.

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Photo of Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear light amber color with an average off-white head that left some light lacing as it dissipated. The smell is not very distinct, it has a light pilsner hop smell, peppery. No real hop in the taste, has some smooth caramel maltiness to it. The feel is light and dry and finishes bitter. Not a bad offering, worth a sampling, not sure if would venture out for it.

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Photo of russpowell
3.39/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle date coded 88 1073 opens with a good swish. Pours honey/bronze color with 4 fingers+ of eggshell colored head. No lacing or head retention

S: Light breadyness

T: Slight maltyness & some herbal hops up front. Grainyness follows. Finshes with honey malt & grainyness & aslight hoppy (herbal bitternss

MF: Medium bodied with good carbonation & fair balance

Drinks alright a very basic vienna, nothing to get worked up about

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Schwelmer Bernstein from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 82 ratings
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