Köstritzer Schwarzbier | Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

very good
1,901 Ratings
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 stirgy on 10-17-2001

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Ratings: 1,901 |  Reviews: 837
Photo of
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark black with a hint of ruby and a small clumpy tan-coloured head. Good retention on the head and it leaves a bit of spotty lacing.

Smell - Very clean aroma dominated by roasted malts, smooth coffee, and dark grains.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and well carbonated for a pleasing, full mouthfeel. I think this is the only black beer I have ever tasted that can be acurately described as "crisp."

Taste - Also clean with flavours of sweet brown bread, a hint of minerally quinine and a bit of cocoa. There is just enough bitterness to balance everything out.

This is the first schwarzbier I have tried, and I'm surprised at how refreshing and easily drinkable this dark beer is.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown/black body, finger beige/tan head, solid lacing

S: roasted nuts, malt, light dark chocolate, vanilla,

T: sweet vanilla, roasted malt, coffee, nice smooth bitter finish

M: med body, lightly chewy + smooth

O: Very nice schwarzbier! Glad I tried this,
well worth the time. Could be a great Fall + Winter
beer or after dinner/dessert offering.
I will seek this out again.


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Photo of drtth
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tankard style glass mug. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear very dark brown color, with a ½” light brown or tan head that recedes slowly to a ring and thin layer of foam on the liquid while leaving sheets of foam and lacing on the side of the glass. Sipping continues to leave sheets and rings of lacing for much of the beer.

Smell: The aromas while faint, have a nice clean bready freshness about them. There seems to be a subdued mixture of brown bread roasted malt with some coffee, chocolate and earthy character in the background.

Taste: The flavors are pretty much as predicted by the nose, with nothing standing out to dominate the brown bread flavor from the malt. Everything else remains tucked away in the background.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and soft with the gentle but lightly prickly carbonation. The finish is on the long side of medium as the flavors and roasted malt simply fade away and are gone

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This one is drinkable enough that I had a 2nd one after lunch and found it pleasant enough. That said I have had a couple of Schwarzbiers that I thought had a bit more character and some more definite flavors other than the malt. My overall impression is that this is a well done beer that would be an excellent choice with the right meal and for an evening around the table dining and talking with friends. It seems a bit ordinary not meant to distract and it wouldn’t.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque, close to black, with a tan head that sits up high in the glass. Rocky lacing as it falls. Aromas are a little faint, but not by a lot. Chalky, medicinal yeastiness with a toasted caramel underbelly. Flavor is quite mild, could be bigger, but for the size, really isnt too bad. I enjoyed the moderate bitterness and coplexity in a schwarzbier that still comes in under five per cent.

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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.

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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 LittleDon
3.76/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

30 cL at the Pinte Bar in the Marriott Heidelberg on 6/18/11. Served in a goblet.

Dark with some visible light. Fluffy big head and nice lace. Big caramel candy aroma, like the soft chewy candies you find. Soft mouth feel, some carbonation, but very subtle. The flavor is a scaled back version of the aroma. There is a bit of acidity and very light earthy hops. Medium-heavy body.

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Photo of stephens101
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A style that I rarely get to, and a fact that I'm aiming to change.

Dark brown, near black core with ruby red edges. Head tops off small and quick. Aroma of faint malts, grass and light fruits. A little perfume-like as well. The ultra-crisp mouth-feel is noticed right off the bat, followed by some slight sweet malt notes, tea leaves and distant, light fruits. Light-bodied and a bit toasty after a few drinks. Simply wonderful drinking.

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Photo of Yagman3000
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into snifter.

Appears dark brown with nearly no head to start with but a residual foam ring on outside.

Smells pretty innocent. Malts with no hops.

Tastes of dark fruit, molasses, a tad bitter.

Mouthfeel is a bit dusty and a little light for the genre.

Wouldn't run to get a new one.

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Photo of atis
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

500 ml bottle from some German supermarket

Pours clear dark brown with large off-white head that soon dissipates, no lacing. Aroma is toasted malt, a bit bready.

Slightly burnt flavours come out first, but mellow out later, faint bitterness with watery sweetish malt finish. Mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation, becomes flat after the mid-glass.

Drinkable, but lacking flavour.

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Photo of bryehn
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of my favourite canned beers is now available in bottles where I live, great excuse for a re-review!

Pours a thick brown colour with ruby tones visible at the bottom and when held up to the light. Has a very ale-like frothy and hearty tan-coloured head that leaves lace and settles as a thick collar.

Smells almost stout-like. Dark malts, lots of them. Has a sweet wheat overtone and a dark fruit note after warming. Very malty after warming, like a Tiger Malt or similar.

Tastes like sweet raisins and malt. Becomes almost sour in the finish.

Thick, malty and syrupy body. Thankfully it thins out and doesn't stay around on the back of the tongue too much.

Seemingly not at all like the canned version I previously tried and likely a heckuva lot more fresh. This is the only Schwarzbier I've tried and the can and bottle were very different. Excited to explore this style, it's kind of like a black and tan.

Oh and I prefer this is a bottle rather than canned.

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Photo of CHickman
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black brown in color with a 2 finger creamy tan head that faded fast and left decent spotty lacing sliding down the glass.

Smells of sweet roasted malt, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, toasted grains, molasses, syrup, caramel, burnt wood, light lemon and citrus hops; rich and malty, this nose is nice and roasted.

Tastes like it smells with sweet malt, cocoa, chocolate, coffee, toffee, toast, roasted malt, toasted grains, molasses, syrup, caramel, light vanilla, charcoal or burnt wood, light lemon and citrus hops; really nice malty beer with nice complex flavor, and just enough non malt flavors to add balance and variety.

Mouthfeel is creamy and oily slick, with basically no carbonation, a light body and a watery feel. A really nice beer overall that went down easy.

 787 characters

Photo of Matt1516
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I once though this was a poor man's Irish Stout but as I get to know the Shwartzbier style I really am starting to appreciate it more by contrast.

Poured from a can into a nonic it reveals inky blackness with a fluffy tan head and surprising carbonation.

Aromas of malt and chocolate.

Tastes of toasted malts, slightly bitter with some nuttiness and coffee subtleties. A bit of hops in the background.

Clean, refreshing finish. A thirst-quencher and ideal session beer.

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Photo of lcarlo
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reminds me a lot of an Irish stout with that smooth mouthfeel And a light thickness. Nothing much present in the flavor or aroma department. Still a decent and drinkable beer. It suffers a bit from the unfortunate looks better than it tastes situation.

 252 characters

Photo of SamN
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely black color with a light-mocha tan head of foamy bubbles, <2 fingers thick. Smell is roasty, clean and mildly sweet. A bit too much clean metal aromas, but overall it is lighter, dark and stylistically pretty good. Taste is mildly roasty malts with a clean streak, moving to breadiness and some coffee, finishing slightly sweet on cocoa and dark fruits like raisins. Again, too clean for my liking, but good schwarzbier tastes, very European beer. Feel is good, body is medium light with good toned down carbonation levels.

 541 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Brauhaus Schmitz, Philly, PA

A tasty, dark, creamy, foamy, malty, black lager. Best served on tap in a proper signature glass. One of my favorites.

Pours an opaque dark brown-black with a healthy finger of light tan head that retains very well. Epic roasty malts in the aroma, with hints of cocoa and raisins. Big malty taste, dark chocolate, hop bitterness just barely detectable. Medium-to-heavy body, incredibly smooth and satisfying. Not the best or most complex brew by far (it is German after all), but I could easily drink it all night long.

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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.

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Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and slight lacing. Smells of pale malt, slight grain, slight sweet malt, and hint of yeast. Fits the style of Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is a slight bitterness level. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, grain, and hint of dry hops.

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Photo of tbrown4
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Metropolitan in Baltimore. I'm not usually a fan of this style, so I'll stay as objective as possible. I don't see this one on tap often so I figured that I should get it.

A - Black, small creamy white head with lots of lacing.

S - Earthy roasty notes. Smells of a rainy damp dirty garden.

T - Bitter roasty notes up front. The middle is a very rich and mildly sweet. Finishes bitter.

M - Feels medium in body.

O - This beer has some serious character to it. I enjoyed it quite a bit as a once in a while tangent from my usual pours. As expected it's got a more carbonated and crisp feel than a stout with some umph in the flavor department.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 50 cL Kostritzer glass-handled mug at Delaney's Tap Room in New Haven, Conn.

A: Black with root beer highlights shone through the light beneath a pillowy, two-finger head of tan carbonation which settles to a thin ring of lace pretty quickly.

S: Toasted black malts, bits of caramel, come anise and roasted grains which give off hints of char and smoke. Slight earthy, herbal hop zest rises from the brew.

T: Super clean, smooth, bittersweet roasted malt flavor up front with notes of chocolate, charred grain husk and an earthy, snappy hop resin that leaves the palate refreshed. The finish is bittersweet, dry and hold a lingering, herbal hop aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, clean and very dry in the finish. Hops refresh the palate after a semisweet, bitter malt experience.

O: A damn fine Schwartz and one of the most balanced I've ever had. Kostritzer is probably the benchmark for this style for good reason. At 4.8% ABV, it's got crazy drinkability with a flavor, balance and mouthfeel that just won't quit. Fond memories have me thinking I'll need a 5-liter of this brew for an upcoming camping trip. Prost!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on back label.
Served in an over-sized handled mug.
It pours a burnt cola color with a tannish beige head and lots of webby lacing.
The aroma is of clear and clean toasted malt. A light whiff of distant wildflowers is imagined (or real?)
True to the style, it's a delicate balance of slightly honey sweet toasted malt and mildly resinous and metallic hop. A little alcohol hints in the aftertaste.
This is one mellow fellow! Looks are deceiving!
So very drinkable! Try this with really spicy dishes and/or a variety of cheeses and salamis.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.01/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This pours a clear, brown like Coke with no head. The aroma has hints of roasted malt, chocolate, and a little smoke. The flavor is balanced between coffee and molasses which fades and honey mixes with coffee in the finish. It's got a thin mouthfeel and may pair well with chocolates as an after dinner drink. Slightly recommended.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Dark brown with amber hues and an inch of grey/tannish head.

Very aromatic; strong burnt and roasted malt, like a cup of Black Patent Malt with a little honey.

An initial light flavor: mildly malty, leading to a dominating burnt malt taste and a nibble of hops.

Light lager body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

Excellent schwarzbier. It has a great balance of maltiness and light body with a solid flavor profile.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Biergarten Haus in DC into a mug.

A very black carbonated body, with walnut like hues of brown. A light tan very together head that is foamy is present also, some good lacing while drinking.

Smell? What Smell? This has next to nothing other than it seems sort of clean and a mild malt grain.

Taste is a big flavor punch luckily. A great chewy grain comes through of delicious malt. Hints of roast coffee, and mild chocolate in the palate. Sweetness brings more roast on the swallow, it's almost like a really good light porter. Good mouthfeel for this style a little wet but actually pretty bold considering the low abv.

Overall this is a great tasting sessionable brew, it's so far probably the best Schwarzbier I've had. Too bad it doesn't have much going for it on the nose.

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Photo of chaz01
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce bottle from beer of the month club, poured into a goblet type glass.

A: Dark brown, opaque with a tan colored head.

S: Notes of milk chocolate and cola in the aroma.

T: Creamy milk chocolate taste with light toasted grains and just a bit of hops. Chocolate malt notes in the finish.

M: Lite to medium bodied, good carbonation.

D: Not what you expect from a dark beer, but this is a classic for this relatively unknown style in the states. The beer drinks like a lager, yet has tons of flavor. Nice session beer or something new to try if you can find it.

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Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,901 ratings.
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