Deschutes / Bell's - Schwarzbier (Pilot Brewhouse)
Deschutes Brewery

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Style:
German Schwarzbier
ABV:
6%
Score:
89
Avg:
4.06 | pDev: 8.13%
Reviews:
30
Ratings:
73
From:
Deschutes Brewery
 
Oregon, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  2
Gots
  7
SCORE
89
Very Good
Notes: In celebration of our 30th anniversary we're honoring our brewing family tree. This full-flavored dark lager with roasty, nutty, and chocolate notes was brewed with our former head brewer, Tim Gossack, now at Bell's.
Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 73 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by FBarber:
Photo of FBarber
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of barnzy78
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz can, best by 03/16/19. Two of my favorite breweries - I've been waiting for this one to come out! Black colored bier with a tall and frothy light brown head. Big roasty aroma with some dark cocoa, and earthy hops. Flavors meld together well with notes dark cocoa and roasted barley as expected, caramel, nutty grain, oats perhaps, and some earthy, leafy hops in the balanced mix as well. Medium body, very creamy and smooth, finishes balanced with roast hanging around on the palate. Very good just as expected!

 516 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Can, best by 3/2019:
Falls into the glass as a dark brown liquid, forming into one of those near-black bodies. The medium brown head grows during and after the pour, falling slowly in small craters until a creamy collar and surface film remain. Lacing is minor on this pour.

Nose and taste both hit with rich cocoa to dark chocolate brownie notes up front. The brownie concept actually transfers to the feel, with a thicker than expected feel. The boldness of flavor might make it seem a little heavier, even.

Moderate carbonation acts as a palate cleanser and brings about some of the more bitter roasted malt notes to replace the chocolate ones - burnt coffee and wet grain/wood of note. I little fruity hop tang doesn't penetrate too far into the roasted malt notes, but is noticed - as is a little charred sugar pseduo-bittersweet note. With warmth, this gains a little more of a cola spice impression.

Back end has the beer clinging to the palate a little longer than I'm used to for - extending the thicker feel impression. The roasted malts slowly wash away and a charred wood bitterness shows up with perhaps a little bit of pine.

A nice flavor profile with a smooth feel, a neutral to slightly bitter roasted malt profile backed by a little hop bitterness as well. Reminded me a bit of what I recall of Black Butte, a beer I've not had in far too long.

 1,373 characters

Photo of sparx1100
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of _Adam_
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IronLover
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color. Poured with a moderate, light beige foam with medium retention. Light roasted malt aromas with dark malty and dark chocolate notes. Medium light bodied with medium high carbonation and light, smooth feel. Sweet dark malt and light roasted coffee flavors. Medium light roasty bitterness in the middle. Finished dryly with dark malt flavors followed by light roasted coffee notes. Light and tasty. A pretty damn good black lager.

 444 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Impressions of bakers chocolate, roasty coffee..and a touch of smoke.

It has a creamy medium body..

Nice and flavorful. The roasty notes are pretty strong. Finishes slightly dry. Well made Schwartzy.

 204 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best by March 15th 2019.

Pitch black pour with a 1 finger head of tan foam, lots of sticky lacing.

Smells of chocolate, light roasted malt, chocolate being more sweet than bitter, little bit of nuttiness.

Exceptionally smooth flavours of chocolate, roasted malt, fine nutty flavour. Great balance between the sweet and bitter and again, smooth as silk flavours and mouthfeel.

A most excellent collaboration!

 414 characters

Photo of netshark
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of arizcards
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a single at TW Arrowhead 11-13-19 for $2.79. Best by 3-16-19; consumed 3-4-19. Cold stored since purchase.

Beer poured black with a decent off white head that dissipated quickly.

Nose has some roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.

Taste follows the nose, mild roast and chocolate. Some coffee is in the background. Finish is sweet but balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall an enjoyable beer that i would seek again since this style is pretty rare.

 491 characters

Photo of Mdog
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 12oz can:

Appearance: Very dark brown, huge head.

Smell: Mild roasted aroma.

Taste: Creamy, combination of mild sweetness and roastiness. Very smooth and easy drinking.

Overall: Great to see and try a schwarzbier from a couple of great breweries. Schwarzbiers were one of the first styles I tried when I got into craft beer, and I'm still a fan. Very good flavor and drinkability here.

 403 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a bubble show; the beige head rises to three fingers, leaving splashy lacing behind

Smell: Roast, mocha, caramel and pecan

Taste: Roast and mocha forward, with the caramel and pecan building; a slight degree of smoke, in the middle, but the finish leans toward the sweet side

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Certainly not your father's Schwarzbier, this one leans toward the sweeter side; still, rather enjoyable

 482 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The craft beer community is so incestuous. That brewer was here, but now he's there, and now we're making beautiful beer together leads the brewers of Deschutes and Bell's to collaborate on a classic German-styled roasty, dark lager that drinks like a porter but with a softer side that celebrates the intangibles that's hard to place.

Dark brown and a hair's shade from black, the bark stained beer crowns with a creamy soft mocha froth. Roaming the nose with toast, roast and a pep of char, a nearly smoky chocolate scent joins the bold roast coffee notes for a scent that sides with the roast. Gentle sweetness of caramel, honey and candied pecans greet the tongue with a malty sweet introduction.

The roast wins out on the middle palate as the sweetness begins to fade and the roast character nearly of authentic Irish dry stout takes shape. Dark roast coffee, baker's chocolate, roasted pecans and a hint of burnt cream extends into a broad, spicy and woodsy balance to close.

Medium bodied, this collaboration has a creamier texture and fuller mouthfeel than the typical Kostritzer Schwarzbier. A medium long linger of char, campfire and roast extends into a bold coffee-like aftertaste.

 1,196 characters

Photo of Hellpop65
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Giggy
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Poured an opaque, jet-black color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of chocolate, toffee and smokiness. Nice smokey taste with chocolate and roasted malt.

 171 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of n2492004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rypkr
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rating this is tough. It's a piss poor example of a schwarzbier, but even a piss poor schwarzbier is better drinking than 950/1000 ipas released every week.

This is poor per style but still an OKAY beer compared to the majority of the shit put that clouds the shelves today.

 275 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can from ABV.

Black with brown highlights and a light brown head with excellent retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is excellent. Tons of roast with toasted bread, cocoa, chicory, coffee grounds, a touch of coffee liqueur, this is excellent. The palate opens bitter and roasty with a blend of cocoa, coffee and roasted grain. Bitterness is fairly aggressive with a little bit of earthy hop bitterness pairing well with the grainy bitterness. Roast flavors are present throughout the palate, lingering on into the finish with a cocoa note present along with a touch of ash. Medium light in body and creamy in carbonation, this feels fantastic on the palate. The initial sips felt a little watery, but that dissipated quick. Alcohol, while a little higher than ideal for the style, works with the roast and creamy flavors. Excellent stuff.

 853 characters

Photo of guzzleacoldone
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beertunes
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into 14oz teku. Poured a solid black color, with less than a quarter-inch of tan head that had low retention and left very light lacing.

The aroma was full of rich roast notes and just hints of floral hops.

Pretty much the same on the tongue; lots of nice roast and maybe just a hint of smoke.

The body was crisp, smooth, and had a dry finish.

Drinkability was very good, I could easily put back a couple of these. overall, a very nice, more than worthy of your time if you see it.

 501 characters

Photo of strohme2
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can with best by date of 3/16/19 printed on bottom of can. Poured into (dirty!) Lagunitas mason glass. The beer pours a medium chocolate brown with a nice tan head of half a finger. No lacing observed. Baker's chocolate, diner coffee, smoke/ash, walnuts on the nose. Smoke, bark, bitter chocolate, a ton of roastiness and bitter walnut finish. Medium bodied, slightly creamy and I thought it felt like a bigger beer for it's reasonable abv. The lingering finish of a walnut bitterness or Brazil nuts (what Mrs. Strohme2 said) is somewhat off-putting and that's what knocked it down a tad for me.

 612 characters

Photo of mattmarka1
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deschutes / Bell's - Schwarzbier (Pilot Brewhouse) from Deschutes Brewery
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 73 ratings