Schwarzbier | Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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1,980 Ratings

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: 1,980 |  Reviews: 863
Photo of chocosushi
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a beer trade with my manager.
Bestbydate is 09/12/2010. Hoping it won't affect much.
12oz->Spaten Octoberfest Glass (Rastal)
A ~ Pours the color of dark chocolate with a crimson hue next to the light. A hilly, light-tan head that fades into a thin layer that lasts. Semi opaque. Looks great.

S ~ Clean malty aromas, crackers, potting soil. A wisp of European hops.

T ~ Nose follows through with the lovely Roasted malts...notes of dark bread, weak black coffee, & leafy hops with a touch of bark. Simple is good.

M ~ Medium carbonation with a slightly creamy feel. A finish that is crisp & earthy.

D ~ Schwarzbier is one of my favorite styles & this one did not disappoint. Pleased to try one of the oldest in the style.
Great beer. Try if you love Black Lager.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at frankford hall in philly

Pours a blacked out color with a tanned head resting on top. Fades out fairly quick with a nice layering of film and patchy lacing on the mug.

Roasted malts and faint hops in the nose, some touches of bread and chocolate with soft sweetness.

Very roasty up front, nice malt presence right off the bat. Touches of chocolate and faint nuttiness. Bready malted notes with very faint sweetness. Smooth and well integrated flavor, but not especially aggressive. Finishes creamy and soft.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, smooth and easy on the tongue. I've had this a few times before at German beer bars and continue to go back for more. While not explosive on the palate, this is an easy drinker for a darker beer, especially during the summer months.

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Photo of Kijimuna
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not going to go into the chocolate, burnt, cherries, kittens and butterflies stuff. Drinking this is fun and it tastes good. It goes down smooth, isn't overly effervescent and I love the aftertaste. It would taste good after mowing the lawn or shoveling snow off the driveway. Say it out loud ... Schwarzbier.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 07/22/11 notes. Had on tap at Standard, a beer garden about 3 blocks North of Churchkey in DC at 14th and S. Served in what appears to be a large Stange with a handle.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, one finger of off white head, and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, toasted malts, caramel, bread, and biscuit. Very malty, and pretty nice.

t - Tasted of roasted malts, light chocolate, bready malts, caramel malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, pretty smooth.

o - Overall a pretty good schwarzbier. Lots of malts, and very easy to drink. Would give it another shot.

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Photo of
3.91/5  rDev 0%
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 +7.4%
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 -1.3%
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 -0.8%
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 -16.1%
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 -18.7%
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 -3.8%
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 -2.3%
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 -12%
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 -19.4%
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 -7.2%
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 +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Matt1516
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
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 -4.9%
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.

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Photo of SamN
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
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 +10.7%
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 -10.5%
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 +2.3%
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 +6.1%
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 +4.3%
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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Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 1,980 ratings