Schwarzer Kristall | Brauerei Locher AG

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Schwarzer KristallSchwarzer Kristall
38 Ratings
Schwarzer KristallSchwarzer Kristall

Brewed by:
Brauerei Locher AG

Style: European Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This is a Dunkles Starkbier

Added by Mebuzzard on 10-12-2008

View: Beers
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by engisch:
Photo of engisch
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black. Blacker than Guiness, but not nearly as thick as Ten Fidy. The smell seems out of place in Switzerland with most beers being very light, I immediately cheers the chocolate malt aromas. The head retention isn't the best.

The flavor most reminds me of a nice porter with a high drinkability. It is definitely not stout-ish as in the case of the typical dry irish stouts, but has a few characteristics of an imperial stout. It tastes a bit like chocolate and coffee.

As for what I see in Switzerland, I would have to say this is untypical, but welcomed! Not a bad Schwarzebier!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #111
(APR 2016)

Black, Sweet, Char, Smooth
A Swiss Stout of sorts, Schwarzer Kristall uses generous amounts of dark malt to bring it to its complete degree of darkness. This beer smells and tastes faintly of molasses and cocoa, sweet, but just roasty enough to keep it from getting cloying. It’s really about malt, malt and malt here. Not that there’s any loss of balance, but that’s just the showcase ingredient here. Each luscious sip makes me want to savor this bottle. I can’t get enough. [Jason]

Look 4.00 | Smell 4.00 | Taste 3.75 | Feel 4.50 | Overall 4.00

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Photo of tuesunsommiel
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black, opaque, minimal/no light passing through, tan head/not too foamy
S: roasted malt, chocolate, coffee/espresso, burnt sugar/candy, hint of raisins
T: burnt toffee, coffee, roasted/toasted malts, hint of smoke (akin to a porter)
M: surprisingly light, smooth, some coating of the mouth
O: Great beer, tastes a lot like a porter and easy to drink. Purchased at Basel's Drinks of the World (DOTW) and will likely purchase another for the train ride on my way to the airport when I head back to the US

Similar Beer: Souther Tier's Porter

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Photo of Brenden
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This one is very close to black with a bit more thickness to it than a typical Schwarzbier, some light coming in through the edges and just a touch of a red tint to the body. The head is a light brown one that starts tall and creamy and loses a bit of substance with time, dropping some spotting on the glass.
This beer is deep and impressively nuanced. It has a nice mingling of sweetness and dryness in both the aroma and flavor. The aroma showcases a bit more fig, raisin, and maybe cherry with some woodier undertones, a hint of smoke, and just a flash of black licorice up front. The flavor holds the dryness more firmly, with charred woods all the way through. It picks up some mineral notes the rest of the way through.
The feel really gets the dryness of the style down as well as adding something to the body without overdoing. At about medium, it's as hefty as a Schwarz's body should be, but really puts some depth and layering into it. It's smooth and flows well while remaining completely crisp all the way through, and it has an ashy dryness that doesn't cause drymouth or astringency. For the style, the feel is nearly perfect.

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Photo of Bung
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of hockeypuck
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GreatStoutman
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of biernack
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From my honeymoon notes: Schwarzbier. Pours black with a nice espresso head. Smoky with licorice and dark chocolate. Thin mouthfeel. Very unique for a Swiss brew

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Photo of Giggy
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of bokreiner
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of illpass78
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into a pokal.

Appearance: Near-jet black with a thick tan head that reduces to about a centimeter and sticks around. Looks great.

Aroma: Lots of dark malt in the nose, with a whiff of woody smoke.

Taste: That smoke is there, along with dark fruits and lots of dark, rich malt. Not overly sweet though. Fairly porter-like. Characteristic bitter coffee and dark chocolate you'd associate with porter are there.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied. Booze is there but isn't a big punch in the face. Best sipped slowly in my opinion, as it's fairly complex.

Overall: Really good stuff. I don't know much about Swiss beer or Swiss anything but this is a treat for dark beer fans who want something different.

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Photo of jbro434
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark. Real Dark. No light through. Pours thick and creamy with a nice coffee foam head that leaves a nice bit of off white lacing. Hints of cherry, coffee and sweet dark chocolate up front. A very slight sour oatmeal graininess with the hints of fruit and chocolate in the mouth. The finish is deep and dry, chunky, malty sweetness that is not overpowering, just balanced out very nicely. A top notch Swiss brew from the folks in Appenzell.

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Photo of Beerasaurus
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of justinp444
4.66/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass, this schwarzbier has a nice full beige head with a black body, yellowing at the edges. The smell is of malts, a bit of fruit and a good amount of chocolate. The taste is coffee, chocolate, slight floral earthy hops, light but creamy drinkable mouth feel, a good amount of blueberry and fruit with even more rich biscuity malt flavor as it warms.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into lager glass, best before 5/27/2015. Pours clear nearly opaque dark brown/black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, brown sugar, light smoke, light herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roast/bready malts and light earthy hop notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, brown sugar, light smoke, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, brown sugar, light smoke, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Light-moderate roasted dryness after the finish. Fantastic complexity and robustness of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Super clean lager flavors with zero yeast ester notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible schwarzbier! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roast/bready malt and light earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,601 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled then bought at the Singapore Beer fest in 2008. Was told it was a "stout" like bier. I said "sounds good". Pour...

Black, a bit shiny, not flat black like a Guinness or Murphy's. Some red hues to it (like the Guinness), good 1 finger head. Off white foam crept up the glass, but hung nicely. Some chunks to it, but overall fluffy and a tad soapy.
Figs and candy licorice come through in the nose. A bit bready, can smell the German influence...whatever that means. A lager with hints of chocolate and flaked hops. Dryness was nice, but it didn't overpower the malt. More flavors arrive later; red plum, raisin and that darn licorice.
Drank well, a bit tart, but clean finish. Enough aftertaste to keep you wanting more.

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Photo of akttr
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MystikCelt
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of midlifec
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gulli
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Vinylboy20
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of cryptichead
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deepest black color with a thin caramel head with medium retention.
Aroma of roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolates, and bread dark crust.
Likewise, flavor of roasted coffee beans, caramels, earthy and floral hops.
Dry aftertaste with a lingering roasted note.
Light to medium body with good carbonation.
Excellent Schwarzbier, with intense flavors that are not tiresome.

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Schwarzer Kristall from Brauerei Locher AG
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 38 ratings