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Köstritzer Schwarzbier | Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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very good
820 Reviews
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier

Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 10-17-2001

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Reviews: 820 | Ratings: 1,831
Photo of CH3CH2OH
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with a thin, tan head that dissipated quickly. Color a deep black, showing some ruby highlights when backlit. 42 degF. Caramel malt aroma with no hop. Flavor is also a caramel malt with a bit of a carbonic bite. Hop bitterness only becomes evident at the very end of the finish. Overall, very smooth drinking with subtle tastes that belie it's dark color. I will drink this warmer next time. Aroma 7, Appearance 1, Flavor 12, Mouthfeel 3, Overall 6 (29/50).

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle dated best before 02/17/12.

Looks inviting - dark cola color with ruby red highlights. Pale tan fizzy head is a mere flash in the pan into nothing. No lace to speak of.

Aromas are of sugary malts, wet hay, and burnished leather.

Taste is really crisp and clean, like almost every German lager I've ever known. Fairly sweet with a flavor of toasted bread crusts. A bit of hops, but nothing to get worked up over here.

Feels like sparkling water, maybe not even that thick.

Overall, good for sessioning at a non-craft party. Other than that, don't think I'll look for it again unless it's on a tap handle in Germany.

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Photo of KMcG
3.19/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with a tan head about 2 fingers thick

S: malty, slightly nutty, overall mild

T: Roasted malts that give a nutty taste, light on the hops, slight bitterness at the end

M: Thin, light and easy to drink. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is nice sessionable beer.

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Photo of sweethome
3.19/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This has always been a favorite dark lager for me. I taste tonight side by side with Crystal Diplomat Dark Beer - A czech Lager.

Pours very dark brown with a big fluffy head that is tan. Provides very nice lace. The nose is lacking. Rather musty with charcoal. Smell of a dying campfire.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly dry and chalky. Almost grainy. Compared to the tasting companion, it falls short. I'm quite surprised. In most cases, I've had on tap. That may be the reason it's not quite as I remember.

Fairly light on the palate in midmouth. The finish is quite chalky and dry. The flavors never develop to the extent I remember from past tastes. Quite an astringency here.

It is still quite drinkable and would go well with pork and kraut.

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Photo of jamesroses
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

500ml can and 33cl bottle

Appearance: dark brown with little carbonation which builds a 1 finger head that dissapeared really fast.

Smell: tobacco notes, coffee, malty sweetness, some cocoa too. The best of this beer in my opinion.

Taste: cocoa, tobacco, coffee, caramel, just like the smell. A little weak.

Mouthfeel: this was dissapointing...no carbonation and watery. I was expecting something with more body, stronger and creamy. None of that happened.

Overall: I found it pretty similar to La Trappe Dubbel although they're different styles of beers. Smell and taste were good although a little weak, and the mouthfeel didn't make it for me.

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Photo of Stimack
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brew poured to an almost black color though some light does make its way through giving off some deep red highlights. Nice sized tan colored head that seems to have fair retention, fair retention. The aroma comes across as roasted malt with a slight astringency. Some chocolate aromas and a slight alcoholic aroma which is surprising based on the %4.8 ABV. The flavors are nice roasted malts, slight nuttiness, Slight bitterness at the back end. I do have a few knocks against this brew, first it seems a little watery and second it seems to be missing something as the flavor starts nice then breaks to a hollowness where it almost feels that something is missing though I can't figure out what. The alcohol aroma does not translate to the flavor at all. The aroma was much better than the flavor. Goes down easy though I still can't get past the feeling that something is missing.

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Photo of BlindPig
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Light mocha tan colored head. Fades fast. Clear black with brown and amber high lights.
S- Roasted malts. Some European hops also. Nuts and maybe a hint of carmel also come through.
T- Has the kind of tang that is found in a Heineken but a lot lighter. Some roasted notes along with some grassy hops that come through more. The taste of nuts also comes out. A couple other flavors I can't put my finger on.
M- Thin body with medium carbonation.
D- It is a refreshing beer. Nothing great though. Reminds me of a golden lager from Germany like Lowenbrau or something of the shorts just with a some notes changed. Not a bad beer but nothing great. Probably will not buy it again.

 684 characters

Photo of barrelman
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark with reddish hues.

Smell is soft and scarce. Malty.

Taste: Chocolate malt nuttiness with a smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, full and appropriate.

Drinkability: A decent session beer that will not surprise you or change your persective on beer.

Review is a-bit rushed to beat the girlfriend's arrival. I apologize.

 360 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer seems to totally define schwarzbier, but I'm not entirely sure what the fuss is about. If Sprecher Bavaria Black is a schwarzbier (I'm not sure it is), that would be my preference.

Yet this one is pretty good. Color is dark, virtually black. Head is nearly white, and had pretty good staying power. Flavor was fairly malty, but lacked the roasted ("burned pizza crust") flavor I've come to associate with a lot of darker beers (and come to enjoy). It was quite a bit lighter than I expected (or hoped for). Still, if you have curiousity about schwartbier, this is a must-try.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours very dark, but is actually a blackish-red translucent when held up to light. A one-finger smooth, tan head shrinks down to a bare covering.

Aroma - very faint malt sweetness. I don't know if my nose if off-duty tonight or what, but I'm picking up next to nothing here. Some light roasted malts and coffee bean smells manage to work through, but weakly at best.

Taste - highly malted and highly carbonated. The malt component is fairly average but tasty. The bubbles burn away the malts and replace them with a sourish soda water taste. As that subsides, a mellow roasty aftertaste shows up and ends things nicely.

Mouthfeel - fairly thin given what you might expect from the color, but that's par for the style. Very bubbly, maybe a bit less would loosen up the soda water sourness. Pretty crisp for a dark beer, but again, right on for the lager style.

Drinkability - it's a reasonably good beer, one to be aware of if you see it on tap somewhere that maybe has little else in the way of selection. Easy enough to drink all night if circumstances arrange themselves as such, but not one I'd necessarily seek out.

 1,144 characters

Photo of soper2000
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on-tap at Chumley's in Lafayette. Pours a pitch black with a miniscule tan head that quickly disappears. Smell is syrupy sweet with some hints of roasted malt. Taste backs up that sweetness. Very sweet malty taste, this would definately be a dessert beer for me. Mouthfeel is very light and thin for me. I don't know how much of this I could have without that flavor overwhelming me. Worth the try, i just won't be coming back that often.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big rocky head, black yet very clear. The aroma that is present is malt, and some chocolate notes. The flavor is slightly sour malt and chocolate that fades into a dry aftertaste of licorice that really stays with you. The body is thin and that licorice flavor in the aftertaste leads to a lower drinkability.

 309 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured the expected translucent black with over an inch of tan head that had good retention but minimal lacing.

The aroma was mostly grain with some slight roasted notes. the roasted notes were more upfront on the tongue, with the grain fading to the back.

The body was good, but perhaps a bit thin for the style (which is fairly light to begin with). Drinkability was very good, having a couple of these in row would be easy. Overall, a nice little beer, worth a shot if you see it.

 509 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pint served on tap at the Essen Haus in Madison, WI. This beer has a not quite black color with a light brown head. Roasty malt aroma with some cocoa and hops. The flavor is surprisingly light considered how dark the beer looks. The malt is slightly sour. There is a little cocoa flavor, which is nice, but it could use some more. Not as roasty as I would like either. Mouthfeel is a little watery. This is an average example of the style.

 439 characters

Photo of MBPChead
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

poured from a pint sized bottle into a becker style imperial pint glass.

Look: Nearly black in color as the style would suggest with deep amber and orange hues with a frothy creamy coffee colored head. Very lovely appearance.

Aroma: Roasted malt, oak, dark chocolate, molasses, hints of brown sugar and coffee.

Taste: Roasted malt with oak and coffee, presence of dark chocolate but not overpowering, minor hop characteristics but relatively no hop flavor with very slight hints of licorice. Ok flavor overall but nothing to brag about.

Feel: It honestly feels like a light fizzy water with a bit of prickly sensation, not all that enjoyable really.

Drinkability: Not all that great the texture really kills my desire to drink it. It has a nice flavor, but it doesn't work well with the thickness or the level of carbonation and it really makes it almost undrinkable. I can easily say that unless I get the chance to try it on tap or on cask I probably won't having this one again.

To sum up, Looks great, Smells great Tastes ok, but the feel and the taste don't really work so its hard to swallow.

 1,105 characters

Photo of doughanson78
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml bottle poured into a Weizen Glass.

A: Very dark. A touch of light comes through making deep deep red highlights. Big three finger tan head, with great retention and lacing.

S: Burnt caramel. Dark fruits. Light chocolate, coffee and nuttiness.

T: Not a huge taste on this. Very light roastiness. Dark fruits. Some caramel. A touch of coffee and chocolate.

M: Watery. Very light bodied. No creaminess. Medium carbonation.

O: An alright beer. Nothing special, nothing bad. Was much to watery but still a decent beer.

 525 characters

Photo of titvs
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 4C). Bottle 33 cl - Batch L507.05.2014L. AROMA: soft sweet malty background with coffe-like notes. clean lager profile. APPEARANCE: very dark brown color with ruby highlights. opaque. thin tanned head with below average retention. TASTE: light sweet malty flavour with light roasted notes that linger into the finish. low bitterness. almost absent hop flavours. clean lager profile. PALATE: low body. medium-low carbonation. OVERALL: a schwarzbier a bit on the watery side but with ok balance between sweet and roasted malts.

 572 characters

Photo of Guppy314
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours as black near opaque with a beige head. Aromas are real subtle, but perhaps a musty smoke. Roasted malt forward (but this seems mostly due to the absents of hops). There are some caramel and coffee flavors, but really (despite the blackness) the mouth feel is pretty light. Pretty drinkable but (in my area) pretty expensive. So one is plenty.

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Photo of joecast
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

regal looking bottle. label is slightly different to the one show. basically just the removal of the person from across the bottom, and the rest of the design stretched downwards. best before 10/05 oops.

mahogany tones at the edges of this mainly black beer. almost soda like carbonation. 2cm tan head froms on pouring which then subsides to light lacing.

interesting aroma. i cant pick any hops there at all. more like just a touch of sweet maltiness. possible its just on the old side.

taste is light with a sweetness from the darker malts. little bitterness and no hop flavor to speak of.

well, it is what it is. a dark lager. though not a bad one. i suppose you're not really looking for serious complexity from a schwarzbier. would be intersted in seeing how this would compare to a fresh sample.

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Photo of Derek
3.27/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date 11/05 on the bottom of the can.

A: Black. Pours with a huge, off-white, almost tan head. There's only a little retention, but it leaves a little lace.

S: Slightly sour, acidic smell? Mocha, molases, dark bread, hint of floral hops. Metallic (I'm not sure if this is from the hops or the can?).

T: A little closer to a dry stout than some schwarzbiers. Malty (lots of mocha, a little bread), molases, and a pleasant peppery hop flavour.

M: Moderate body is quite dry & a little chalky. Moderate carbonation.

D: I find it a little dry & chalky, kind of like German's answer to the industrialized, dry stout. Certainly drinkable, but it doesn't do it for me.

Readily available, but I don't consider it the 'gold standard'.

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Photo of cnally
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very black color in the body, but light peeks around the edges. Beige head has no stick to it.

Aroma is a barely detectable mix of smoky peat and burnt malt.

The flavor is a smoky concoction of dark malt, burnt and woodsy, very full of charcoal.

Creamy feel and very balanced.

I wouldn't necessarily think this a good beer, but I have had many worse.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Joe's in Fullerton.

A- Finger width off-white head, deep dark black body. Intimidating looking beer.

S- Roast barley and malt smells.

T- Dark and roast flavors. Not complex but definitely tasty.

M- Thicker body with a watery finish, some chewiness to it.

O- It was fairly good, all things considered. Might like to re-review it.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Carrefour. In Ikea's english pint glass. Watching Vikings 1x08 last night. Soft and smooth, without disgusting coffee taste. Maybe a bit too much smooth for my taste

10 May 2016: From Carrefour. In Teku glass. Playing South Park Stick of Truth. Pleasant and easy to drink, but a bit soft, watery

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Photo of kjc51478
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Appearance is dark brown to black with foamy, beige head.

S: Aroma is roasted sweetness, bread, with some slight coffee and vanilla notes.

T: Taste is roasted malts, some coffee, and toast. Very little discernible bitterness.

M: Palate is light- to medium-bodied, thin texture, foamy carbonation, and a sweet finish.

O: Overall a decent beer and a classic of the German Schwarzbier.

 393 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Somewhat sweet smell on this beer, as well some coffee. Fairly pungeant nose.

This beer certainly doesn't suffer from lack of taste. I'd expect this kind of taste out of a stout over a lager, but I don't believe that to be a bad thing. A sharp upfront hoppiness is usurped by a fairly heavy coffee taste. Unlike some others, I don't get much of anything else other than coffee. While I like coffee as a drink, I would have liked to see a little more complexity in the flavor. Pretty good hoppiness on the finish here.

I would say that while I can appreciate the style, I'd like more drinkability. To me, it's rather harsh and one-sided.

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Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,831 ratings.
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