Köstritzer Schwarzbier | Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
814 Reviews
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Germany | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
814
Ratings:
1,812
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
17.78%
 
 
Wants:
114
Gots:
249
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 814 | Ratings: 1,812
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black in color, tanish head had retention and left some lacing.

Smell: Mostly malty in aroma, roasty and toasty.

Taste: Somewhat sweet malt taste is backed and balanced well by the hop bitterness. This was my first beer of this style and so far it remains on my favorite reps of the style.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium body, crisp and clean.

Drinkability: Session at will.

 395 characters

Photo of kernalklink
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber with a definate roasted sweetness. Flavors were subtle but very refreshing- coffee, chocolate and very mild hops finish. Mouthfeel was smooth and supple, though not too heavy. Less flavor than I usually like in a dark lager, but very drinkable nonetheless. Will purchase again soon!

 302 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very attractive beer coming out of the bottle. Jet black in the center, with only slightly lighter browns at the edges, atop which sits a head of fluffy taupe foam. Bready aroma with hints of sweet malts underneath. What I will call the "brown bread crust" aspect of the aroma is gorgeous. On the palate, doughy right off the bat and very dry. Roasted malts come out to play next, displaying pronounced malt bitterness. No sweetness comes out in this beer at all. The finish is bone dry and very long. Mouthfeel is huge for such a low gravity beer, thanks mainly to the effervescence of the carbonation. This is one excellent schwarzbier. It could use some more complexity, maybe some nice coffee notes, in the palate, but the flavors that are here are sublime. It's also uncompromisingly dry, which I like. Awesome stuff.

 822 characters

Photo of DanThomas
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle. Loved the big mug and handle.

A- Very dark, like a dark cherry black/red color, no head.

S- Pretty simple, but good. Dark fruits, especially cherry, and a little roast in there as well.

T- Exceptional. The cherry comes through on the end and there is a slightly sour finish that is extremely pleasant. Very light roasted flavor on the front.

M- Carbonation is refreshing, beer feels medium bodied which plays off the lighter flavor very well to give this beer a lot of substance.

D- I think it's the most drinkable beer I've had. It's refreshing, subtle and complex, and just extremely enjoyable to drink. First schwarzbier I've had, will definitely be trying more offerings!

 727 characters

Photo of Getinthevan
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this stuff while going on a Tucher kick. Hadn't seen it before so I thought I'd give it a try.

Appearance was black as motor oil and the sky at 3am. One of the darkest beers I've ever seen that wasn't a porter or stout. Little head retention, but good lacing kept its volume together. A nice looking beer from the get go.

Smell was fairly high in roasted malts and chocolate. Maybe a touch of coffee somewhere in its roots? Either way, this smelled delicious and certainly perfected. It's great when crapshoots on beers like this work out, as this was certainly a nice, aromatic brew.

Taste was excellent. I was surprised how light and hearty this beer was. While from its appearance it looked like a thick beer, in its taste its a bit lighter in overall volume, but incredibly full and satisfying. This stuff is truly top notch with all the flavor to spare.

Mouthfeel was great as well. All the flavors remained intact with more chocolate/coffee-like malts coming to the surface.

Drinkability was excellent. By far one of the more eye opening beers I've had in a long time. Definitely worth a second/third/fourth taste to infinity and beyond. Great stuff.

 1,183 characters

Photo of schanker21
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours black with a tan one finger head. When held up to the light, one can see a ruby color seeping through at the edges. Head fizzles out fairly quickly and leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Quite different from other Schwarzbiers that I've tried. Smells more like the Spaten premium lager I drank yesterday, but with a little more of a roasted character. Vegetables and roasted malts stand out.

T- Also quite different from anything else I've had in the style, at least at first. While it's still cold, the overwhelming taste is of some sort of vegetable soup. As it warms, more of the traditional Schwarzbier roastiness starts to pull through. Ah yes, this one keeps getting better as it goes on and so does my rating. Very well-balanced and an excellent representation of the style. So from now on, I'll remember to drink this a little warmer than I would most other lagers.

M- Very smooth like a Schwarzbier should be. I love this style because it's pretty light, but still packs so much flavor.

D- This is getting added to my list of all-night session beers. Easy to drink, not too filling. My only regret is that I don't have a Bratwurst, some Sauerkraut and some Spätzle to go with this. That would be prefect.

 1,239 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has quickly moved into my top 15 since I had it on tap at Sean Bolans in Baltimore. Searved in a long stemmed Kostritzer glass, beer was dark almost blackberry color. Smell was of annisette/black licorice and roasted malt. Taste... wow, what a smooth yet complex beer. Hints of roasted malt, chocolate and a nice subdued black licorice finish. Overall probably my favorite of the style. Ken better get this back in soon!

 430 characters

Photo of scottum
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Dusseldorf's in Ft Myers Beach. A very drinkable beer. I only had one because the DJ sucked and we didn't want to hang around, but if we stuck around I would have drank this beer all night despite over 100 others to choose from. A nice dark brown brew with a solid head. Very smooth. Malty and a touch of sweet. This beer is nice on the mouth. Certainly a good find on tap.

 383 characters

Photo of dpend
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a fluffy head that clings to the glass.A mildly sweet malty aroma, with a trace of roasted coffee beans. Taste if very mild with smooth malts and grains. Hops slightly present in the background. Overall feel is thin and non-obtrusive with a slighlty wet finish. One of the better schwarzbiers

 316 characters

Photo of longarm
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown hue capped with a dingy white, rough and rocky head. This fades into a layer of foam that consistently lingers on the surface of the brew and leaves light lacing.

Toasted malts predominate the aroma with a delightfully light hint of noble hops. Not noticeable at first, the hops plays well with the malt.

Flavor mostly toasted dark bread and chocolate malts quickly finished by a lightly roasted but clean finish. Perhaps a little sourness on the finish, but this is only a slight detraction. A little more malt would perhaps clean it up. Not a big problem.

Mouthfeel a little on the light side, which blows me away when I think of the roasted malts that must have gone into this for it's color and flavor. Classically, this captures what I most often think about when I think lager. Amazingly crisp finish without harsh bitterness.

Exceptionally and dangerously easy to drink. An easily quaffed beer, drinkable anytime, anyplace.

 953 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a foamy tan head and excellent lacing. When held up to the light, nice deep ruby hues.

Smells of toffee and dark bread. Not strong scented though.

Nice flavors here. A dark bready sweetness, toasted grain, some light chocolate, a little bitterness fighting through. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but this assists in the drinkability. This is a soft beer. Nothing hitting you hard, just great balance and the right amount of each flavor. Bought a single, and wish I bought the six-pack. Try this if you can find it. Have had this style in a domestic version -- just not the same. These guys have been doing this right for a long time.

 669 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was a very dark brown/black with a white head. The smell was of roasted malt. The roasted malt dominated the taste, even more so than a stout, and the beer had a very heavy, bready aftertaste. Mouthfeel was smooth. Drinkability-wise, this is a beer I could drink plenty of!

Quite an enjoyable treat, one I'd been looking forward to trying for a while, and I'm glad I did. There's a case at the local distributor, and if I had the room in the DBF than I would probably buy it!

 517 characters

Photo of Drew966
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kostritzer Schwarbier pours very dark brown, almost black, with a tan head from a five liter mini keg. The aroma is malty, a touch sweet (one of my friends said "it smells like candy"), some cocoa notes and a bit of earthiness for lack of a better description. The body is light (which is totally appropriate for the style, the reviews that criticize this beer for being too light bodied don't understand the style). The flavor is very good, malt dominates, caramel, a touch of coffee and very little in the way of noticeable hops. Extremely drinkable and quite tasty. Highly recommended.

 588 characters

Photo of botham
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap poured into a flute in sachsenhausen, frankfurt am main, germany. pours black with garnet highlights and a single finger ofg off white creamy head.

aroma is of subtle roasted malts with notes of mild caramael and chocolate mixed in. a subtle earthy base rounds out the profile.

taste is more of the same, with a bit more character and concentration.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy texture and a smooth finish. aftertaste is of lingering roasted malts.

drinkability is excellent. this is a mild and smooth brew with phenomenal profile and proportioning. prost!

 580 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Very dark beer that is actually very clear with deep garnet highlights when held to a bright light. There was a thick half inch of head at first pour that retained pretty well over a few minutes. Small amount of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Lots of toasty Munich malts mixed with some generous chocolate and a tad of caramel. Very clean!

Taste: Extremely mild flavor for a beer so dark. There is some serious malt in this beer, but the roast and hops seem to almost completely cancel it out. The flavor profile starts out balanced toward the toastiness of the malt, and this slowly fades to a slightly bitter finish. The Chocolate malts only become apparent late in the aftertaste.

Opinion: I really enjoy this world-class beer. Some other beers in this style, like Sapporo, are balanced by using lighter flavored ingredients. Kostritzer is remarkably easy on the palate because it is well brewed. This is a good beer to prove those guys wrong who say "I don't like that dark beer stuff because it is too heavy" We all know some of those...and this one will show that there is more to beer than color.

 1,121 characters

Photo of tlinner
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this IS a black beer. Like, imperial stout black. Wonderful head, though not long-lasting. Smells like a lager, that's for sure. Roasted coffee and malt are dominant. The taste is light enough to warrant a good drinkability rating, but it's also very satisfying. Some chocolate and coffee, licorice, and a hint of Belgian-style "spiciness". Leaves some fairly impressive lacing. Nice bitterness on the aftertaste. A wonderful offering that I wouldn't mind having again.

 474 characters

Photo of kflorence
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours very dark black, almost opaque with just the slightest hint of brown. A nice frothy off-white head sits atop that dissipates to a thin layer of foam. No lacing on the glass as you drink.

S: A great sweet and smoky malt smell. As the beer warms, the notes become more distinguishable: predominantly malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel and maybe some nuts. Very sweet and roasted.

T: Much like the smell, the taste is also fairly sweet. Roasted malts, dark fruit, chocolate, caramel and some nuts. Mmm, the malts really shine in this one... and as a malt fan, I'm really liking this.

M: Although dark in color, this beer is pretty light bodied and carbonated, though it still has a bit of chewiness to it which helps emphasize it's complexity.

D: Easy to drink, lighter in body and very tasty. One of my favorite black lagers and a great example of the style. This one is practically as good in the bottle as it is on draft. Good stuff.

 952 characters

Photo of Lowseph
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

one of my favorite German beers.

very smooth with a delicious flavor that does not
stick to your palate.

great for football games and goes great with Chinese food,
just nothing too salty.

best of all it tastes a lot more expensive than actually is.

and of course serve it ice cold in a pint glass if possible.

 314 characters

Photo of steveh
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Found covered six-packs of this old import favorite at a local grocer. Six-pack box (and bottle label) says I have 12 days to drink these (06.18.2013) -- let's get at it!

An old favorite import from the pre Microboom® days -- haven't sampled it in a while.

A -- Inky black in color with a dense tan head that holds up well, slowly settling to a firm cap. A flash shined thru my .33L Willi Becker shows ruby highlights, but very opaque.

S -- Aroma is fresh DMS and mild roasted malt with a vague hint of caramel. Pretty light in this category.

T -- Roasted malt character with dark, baking chocolate undertones. Some mild bready notes try to balance the roasted malts with some very light hop spiciness. The finish is all roasted malt, though the bitterness in the finish and aftertaste isn't easy to dissect between hops and highly kilned malts.

M -- Smooth, soft mouthfeel with a dry finish. Light medium body.

O -- This is the king of Schwarzbier. A lager to present to the naysayers who think lagers have no character -- and at such a mild ABV too. As roasty as some Porters and Stouts, but with the clean finish that can only be the result of bottom fermentation and long, cool storage.

 1,197 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

So glad I finally found this on tap somewhere (the way it's supposed to be). Poured into the brewery's trademark 500ml mug pilsner glass at Shotwell's.

Wow, I was surprised with how opaque looking this beer is. Granted, I've had my fair share of schwarzbiers in the past, but none of them seemed this blackened - indeed, this looks just like a porter, rather than any lager I've seen. Looks reddish when held against the light, but that's about it. A frothy tanned head coats the top of the glass, and although it dissipates into a ring quite often, every long sip would agitate the beer enough to bring it back about 2 fingers worth. For the style, this is eye candy, plain and simple.

Smells terrific - roasted, slightly fruity, and grainy in the same vein as freshly baked dark bread. Big notes of roasted barley, similar to pumpernickel, as well as cashews, light espresso, and cacao nibs (it's resemblance to baker's chocolate is astonishing). Contains a dark fruit profile akin to raisins or cherry pits, but it's quite subtle. Light peppercorns, brief zestiness, but overall a roasted profile that permeates aggressively throughout. It also gets a bit smoky at the finish as it warms up, which, combined with the roasted barley and chocolate flavor, creates a very warm, vibrant schwarzbier.

Wow! This is roasted as all hell, in the same manner that a good English porter tends to be. This completely transcends the style as far as I've ever known it, and rather than pit a caramelized grain and crisp toasted malt character together, this ups the ante with a roasted, chocolate and coffee bean bitterness that is malty and rich throughout, with a permeating smoky and grainy power that does not let go, even minutes after sipping it. It's really all about the roasted barley character here, but definitely some dark fruits make themselves noticeable, as well as a slight hop zest and earthy character that makes this very robust and memorable. Carbonation is spot on - plentiful and playful, and the feel is wet and refreshing, in spite of the ridiculous barley astringency. As time goes on, the palate fully adjusts to this and it gets easier and easier to drink. What a fabulous beer - definitely a sipper, but quite simultaneously crisp and refreshing.

This is, quite simply, one of the benchmarks for what a schwarzbier should be, and what it's capable of doing. There's a barley kick in here that's unlike your typical dark lager, and it simply DEMANDS to be paired with bratwurst and brown mustard due to its robust, smoky, slightly charred flavor. Really good, and I could easily have two of these in one session. Highly recommended!

 2,652 characters

Photo of cuttsjp
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very very dark brown-velvety, dark chocolate color with a nice tan head that fades quickly but leaves beautiful sticky lacing

Aroma: figs, chocolate, toffee, and caramel; a clean little spritz of coffee as well...wonderful aroma

Flavor: similar to the aroma, the flavor has some dark fruit sweetness of figs at first taste, which melts away into some really nice toasty roasted grain flavor, with little chocolate and coffee notes, and just enough hop bitterness to balance out the whole thing (and actually emphasize the coffee flavor even more)

Mouthfeel: silky smooth and light bodied, with fine-bubbled carbonation...very NOT like stout

Overall: yet another style of lager that has pleasantly surprised me. This beer is incredibly drinkable without being boring. Much more interesting malt profile than a helles, and yet it's just as smooth, drinkable, and refreshing with its light body. Very, very nice.

Personal: Wow. I was really surprised by this. What an enjoyable, balanced lager. I would love to host a dinner and serve big steaks with fig and red wine reduction, a mug of this by each place setting. This is delicious and flavorful without being overbearing, drinkable and delicate without being a bore. This one is going in the "like" file.

 1,271 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving glass: Poured from tap into half-liter mug.

Appearance: Looks black but is actually exceedingly dark brown, with thin sustained head.

Smell: Mostly malts - dark fruits, caramel, cherry and roasted malts.

Taste: Nice balance of slightly sweet fruit, light roasted malts, chocolate and some noble hops.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation, relatively light body. Much smoother than expected for such a light body.

Drinkability: Easily the most drinkable beer I have had that focuses on roasted malt. Very impressed.

 524 characters

Photo of jjflash20
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to be able to have this on tap when I was in Berlin. I had it in the States in the bottle and it is much better on tap when available. It was really smooth and did not have an aftertaste like other Schwartzbiers that I have had. Of all the Schwartzbiers that I had in Berlin, this one was my favorite.

 324 characters

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with garnet highlights in corners of glass, tan head with light lacing, good clarity.

S - Musty maltiness with leather and grain. Some noble hops and roastyness.

T - A subtle roasted character follows the initial upfront malt. Clean fermentation character with a little carbonation acidity. Alcohol presence is light.

M - Light and zingy.

O - A very refreshing favorite for the warmer months. Good example of this highly drinkable and sessionable style.

 468 characters

Photo of LeftyEtc
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-The label lends a regal quality before you even open this beer. Thick black body darkens under a half inch tan head.

S-A slight spicy pop comes out over the surgery malty aroma.

T-Burnt brown sugar and sticky toasted malts over power this beer in a hugely positive way.

M-A thick foamy head with a deep rich body makes this a filling beer that i could have several in a quite few hours of relaxing in an old pub.

 419 characters

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
87 out of 100 based on 814 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe