Schwelmer Bernstein | Privatbrauerei Schwelm

82 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 82 |  Reviews: 80
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A great Vienna, picked up in Batavia. Creamy head with dark chocolate and maltiness,nuts and coconuts and in the mouthfeel. Smooth drinker, though on the chocolate milk feeling. Bitterness right at the end.Much was done with little (the purity laws).

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Photo of brentk56
2.96/5  rDev -18.5%
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 NeroFiddled
4.12/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Bernstein is my favorite of all the Schwelm beers, delivering a distinct maltiness that's really well-balanced and never cloying.

It pours a clear golden-orange with a light brown cast beneath a short and creamy head of white foam. The head retention is fairly good, and it leaves some nice spots of lace about the glass.

The nose delivers a distinctly caramelish and toasty malt along with a smear of lightly floral hops.

The flavor offers the same toasty and caramelish maltiness the nose suggests, but it's fuller and a bit sweeter than might be expected. The floral and spicy hops are more pronounced as well, and although it has a distinct maltiness it's remarkably well-balanced; finishing dry with some residual malt that easily gives way to a slate-like bitterness and gently lingering hop spiciness.

Quite nice!

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Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice rich light copper with a big fluffy white well retained head,aromas of lightly sweet pizza dough and and black pepper I like the beginnings of this brew.Very refreshing and quaffable some may think because of the darker color this lager maybe not as quaffable but they would be wrong here.Taste is toasty and lightly sweet but there is a nice herbal,spicey hoppiness that takes over adding to the drinkability and keeping it balanced.I personally love this beer and this style of beer its hard to find and this one is a gem.

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Photo of russpowell
3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
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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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
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 Jason
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: .5 liter swing top brown bottle with a “best before end” freshness date on the back label.

Appearance: Solid head retention, deep weathered golden hue with a good clarity.

Smell: Cookie dough malt aroma with a touch of yeast and herbal hops.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Moderate carbonation lacks in crispness yet the mouth feel makes up for it with some creaminess on the tongue. Vaguely metallic with a thin wet malt flavor, toasted biscuit and a long husk flavor is most of the malt character. Hops are mild yet show a bitter bite towards the finish.

Drinkability & Notes: A decent amber lager, more of a quick lunch time beer as I would probably not drink more than one.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly clouded gold with a crème head that was big off an aggressive pour, but came down fairly quickly. Nose is mild with a slight malt presence and cereal tone as well. Not a lot to it though. Flavor is medium bodied I would say. Slight robust edge to it and a peppery, spicy bite on the tongue as well. Feel is pretty standard. Drinkable as an average brew. Nothing to write home about or ever return to again.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jwc215
3.07/5  rDev -15.4%
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 feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I first heard of this beer, I couldn't help but associate it's name with that of Academy Award- winning film scorer Elmer Bernstien (Walk On The Wild Side, The Magnificent Seven, Bird Man of Alcatraz, The Rat Race, Man With The Golden Arm, To Kill A Mockingbird, Hud, True Grit, Cape Fear (remake), Age of Innocence ...Leonard, Part 6,...okay, scratch that...) but Michael Jackson beat me to it in his All About Beer review, so I'm gonna skip the jokes...ain't you lucky?

Clear, light, golden amber color, lush head, dotted and lacing, cloud-like...nice...

Aroma: nice, malty, grainy, yeasty, pleasing enough...

Taste: sweet and happy, nice texture, good grit on the tongue. Light bodied, easily drinkable, tasty, tasty, good malt presence. Quite a delicious Vienna lager.

yum, yum...can't beat it!

If you just want a nice, tasty, easy-going, distinctively malty lager, this is right up your alley.

Go for it, please!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a nice flip top bottle, poured into a pilsner glass. Beer is dark yellow, and has very low carbonation and no head to speak of.

Aroma is fruity and sweet, not really what I expected. Some malt character, no hops at all.

Beer itself is quite smooth. Sweet upfront, no bitterness at all. Really high mouthfeel, pretty thick a little too thick. Finishes nicely and no aftertaste. Drinkability is high (really high). I would definitely order this again.

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Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Plain-ish German lager with some caramel grains. It reminds me of a Euro pale lager with slightly darker grains, like a dumbed down amber ale. There isn't much of a hops profile and the malt isn't too special. It's still smooth and somewhat tasty. Not to bad.

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Photo of WesWes
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet creamy malt scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts. It is a bit musty and fruity on the finish. The taste is good. It has a crisp and dry malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes slightly bitter. The hops linger in the aftertaste; very nice. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking German Octoberfest. It has excellent flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

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Photo of plaid75
2.58/5  rDev -28.9%
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 JohnGalt1
4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/2 liter flip top picked up on Friday from Tres Bonne Cuisine for $3.25.. poured into my small weizen glass ....

Pour produced a short lived 1" head atop a crystal clear lite amber brew.

Aroma is an appealing toasted grain and little else... very clean.

Flavor is again clean toasted malt... very balanced and drinkable.. just enough hoppy bitterness to keep the whole brew very drinkable... lite bready finish... some earthy hop notes raise their head as it warms.

Not much else to say on this one... I will buy it again, but sporadically... this is only my 2nd Schwelmer brew, and so far I am not overly impressed, but I am glad they are actually available in Boise.

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Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

.5 Liter Flip top Bottle.

Pours a good clean amber colored lager. Appearance is similar to Sam Adams.

Smell is sweet and malty with a clean grainy aroma and a herbal hop scent. Lots of caramelized sugar scent here and a tea odor.

Taste is dry and malty with a nice bitterness that hits you in the back of the throat. Flavors of caramel and a bit herbal from the hops.

Mouth feel is good; Carbonation level might be a little high.

Good drinkable beer here not outstanding but not bad at all. I will buy again.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.22/5  rDev -11.3%
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 Haybeerman
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark gold and slightly brown. Gives it the look of full-bodied beer. Thick 1.5 inch head that laced all the way down, but did fade in the second half.

S: Toasted malt and really good hop balance.

T: Love it when a beer tastes like it smells; toasted malt with a slight hops bitterness. Dry finish that leaves subtle spice tones in mouth. I really liked the way this beer tasted.

M: Not as full-bodied as I thought it would be, so a little let down. Medium carbonation.

D: Well worth the 4-pk .5L swing top I purchased. I'm getting more and some of there other offerings.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.92/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a beautiful light ruby red color with an initial 1 finger spongey head that quickly receded to a thin film layering.

S: a nice sweet maltiness to it, worty, with a light flowery hopping.

T: The flavor was sweet toasted malt, bready, with a touch of dry flowery hopping. Some light dried fruitiness with a light citrus touch is detected. sweet with a light bitterness that is well balanced and managed makes this a nice drinking amber that drinks like a rich sweet octoberfest.

M: creamy and chewy and very smooth.

D: An easy drinking beer, sweet, smooth and no problem going down. Would definitely buy and try this again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.04/5  rDev -16.3%
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 Gmann
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
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 RoyalT
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a light, glossy clear orange in color with a modest head.

Smell – This one has a very strong orangy lagerish flavor to the grain. The sugars here are light and I can pick up a bit of toastiness, but not a lot.

Taste – Yes, the grain here is unapologetic and very typical of the style. The light sugars at the finish are mixed with a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel – This big, medium-bodied Vienna Lager is incredibly smooth IAW the style requirements.

Drinkability – This is a good Lager that oozes authenticity. The flavors were a little off but the terrific mouthfeel and high drinkability of this effort from Schwelm is a winner.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%
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…

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Photo of cokes
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Striking brass hued with a moderate white head.
Faintly floral aroma, primiarily of lilacs and honey.
Begins dryish, with a biscuit notion, with just a fleeting sense of toast. More doughy and bready later. Become persuasively fruity, heavy of the sweet-leaning apples, with a bright sense of cortland, or gala, or jonared. Honey blossoms joins at this point A well-lagered briskness carries it through a herbal-bent hop closure.
Light bodied, steady of carbonation. Perfectly drinkable.
I wouldn't neccessarily go into this thinking oktoberfestbier, but rather something along the lines of a fruity helles.
I like this one alot.

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Schwelmer Bernstein from Privatbrauerei Schwelm
3.63 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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