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Schwarzer Kristall | Brauerei Locher AG

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14 Reviews
Schwarzer KristallSchwarzer Kristall

Brewed by:
Brauerei Locher AG

Style: Euro 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

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Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 31
Photo of justinp444
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
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 jbro434
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
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 tuesunsommiel
4.37/5  rDev +3.3%
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 engisch
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
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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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a pilsen glass.

A: Pours a dark brown to black color forming a medium creamy and thin bubbled beige head. Great retentiont. Lots of lacings left in the glass

S: Great smell of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Notes of caramel and flowery hops. Sweet and balanced. Excellent surprise

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Strong notes of chocolate, chocolate malts, roasted malts and caramel. crispy Lager profile. Quite biscuity yeasts. Flowery hops

M: Light to medium body. Extremely smooth. Medium carbonation. Roasted aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. Big surprise, I was expecting s great beer but it really overpassed my expectations

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Fux
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle bought during a trip in Switzerland last year. The latest to be drunk but not the least !
A: Very dark with a low head retention.
S: Smell is malty with notes of coffee and chocolate. Surprisingly bready and quite earthy also.
T: The flavors are not as aggressive as it could be for a stout but the taste is not so far from the style. As the bottle was probably a bit old, the flavors were changing a little during the tasting (probably due to oxidation ?) and became more resinous with hints of old wood, reminding me a bit of an aged Chimay. Unusual and very pleasant.
M: Sweet but not creamy, highly drinkable. Would perfectly fit for long winter nights (if I'd had more than one bottle of this on stock !)
O: I stole the glass of the friend with whom I made this tasting and let him drink my Westvleteren blond instead. All is said !

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
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 FLima
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
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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Photo of Brenden
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
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 rkat32
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 ml bottle, best before May 27, 2015, batch 2001. Poured into a Spiegelau stout glass. Consumed on February 16, 2015.

L: Color is black with a one-finger, beige head that sticks around during the tasting.

S: Cocoa, roasted malt and chocolate. Fresh-baked rye bread crust.

T: Taste is a fantastic combination of roasted malts and chocolate. Toffee, biscuit malts and faint earthy hops are all present. Finishes clean and dry; very much a lager.

F: Medium-light body, slick mouthfeel, very drinkable and smooth. Roasty aftertaste remains after each sip.

Overall: One of the better schwarzbiers I’ve had the pleasure of drinking. Schwarzer Kristall is a tad more roasty than its German counterparts, which, for me, adds to its appeal. Also, props to the cool label artwork (for European beer standards) which includes the description “black stout lager” on the back. Well done.

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Photo of Canada_Dan
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
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 flyingpig
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle from Drinks of the World, Basel (2.90 CHF):
Very nice & 1 of the better Swiss beers I've tried. Good roasted malts & dark fruits alongside sugars & chocolate flavours plus a touch of smoke towards the end; great stuff & very much a beer that I wouldn't mind having again at some point.

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Photo of Jason
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
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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Schwarzer Kristall from Brauerei Locher AG
4.23 out of 5 based on 31 ratings.
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