Köstritzer Schwarzbier | Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
819 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:
819
Ratings:
1,825
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
17.78%
 
 
Wants:
114
Gots:
255
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 819 | Ratings: 1,825
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.

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

Tried this on a recommendation of a fellow BA during our weekly get together. This is certainly one of the oddest, most unique beers I have tried. Poured a very dark, ruddy, almost opaque ebony with a active, downright alive 1" head of loose bubbles, like a soda, that faded quickly. Nose was interesting, hard to pin. Ahhh, licorice, maybe sassafras...crisp, very unique.

While most beers start soft and finish sharp, this one is the opposite. What a crisp and epervescent taste. The licorice and sassafras carry to the tongue, sharp, alive, mildly peppered. A lull on the pallete gives way to a very soft, malted, even, smooth finish with an echo of an lighly bitter & dry aftertaste.

If you enjoy beers that offer unique taste experiences, give this one a try. It could take a few times to really understand it. Not spectacular, but interesting enough to warrant recommendation and further tries.

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Photo of battlekow
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Von Triers on Farwell. Poured a beautiful silky black with a small, brown head. Smelled and tasted malty, very little hop presence. I had this at a bar before dinner, and it suits that role well, almost an appetizer: tasty and full-bodied, yet light and easily drinkable. My first black beer--I will definitely be trying others.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very deep brown in color. Quite a nice tan head that fades all too quickly. Low aroma-very slight trace of roasted malt. Malty flavor dominates. Low hop and roasted bitterness. A tad metallic. Faint biscuit flavor. Very nice body-holds up well. Not thin or watery-helps the slight lack of flavor. Overall a good beer. Well worth trying on a regular basis.

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

12 oz. with no freshness date - served slightly chilled in a flute. Pours a black that is deep red through the light and it's topped with a 1 inch tan head that leaves nice lacing. Smells earthy with some spicy hops and traces of chocolate, coffee, and soap. Lots of earthy malts with a noticeable hop bitterness and hints of dark fruits, coffee, and smoke. It's kinda tingly with a medium to light body. Not too complicated and easy to drink. The glass held less that 12 ounces and I noticed the second pour was much more flavorful and left sediment at the bottom of the glass - didn't know it was unfiltered, not that I'm complaining.

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Photo of jimbotrost
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ML can purchased at LCBO in Sarnia. Pours a deep dark black with a nice light brown head. Aroma jumps out at you like a malthouse. Very dry, somewhat bitter not roasted but big and chocolately. Body is dry as is the finish. Malty flavor shine through in this style Great beer.

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

This 12 oz. bottle of schwarzbier pours out dark brown/red with a nice 3/4" head that fades to about 1/4" and then hangs around awhile. Decent lacing.
The aroma is of sweet roasted malt. There is a little bitter coffee in there too.
The flavor follows along the lines of the aroma. There are nice roasted flavors with a little hint of sweetness and a slight bitter coffee in the finish. The flavor disappears rather quickly once swallowed.
The mouthfeel is a little on the thin side. I guess whenever I see something dark I expect it to be a litle chewy and full.
This is a good beer and the only real German schwarzbier I have had.

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Photo of DrJay
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black, nearly opaque, very clear, with deep ruby highlights. Thin tan, slightly rocky head, with moderate retention. Light roast malt aroma with a light lager yeast character. Subdued malty sweet smell.

Roasted malt flavour kicks things off. A little sweetness as well, which disappears part way through. Bitterness is moderate and comes through more towards the finish. Very light nobel hop flavour that gets lost halfway through. The finish is on the dry side, but not astringent. Very clean taste, no fruitiness. Medium body and medium/light carbonation. Not a bad session. Nothing extraordinary, but a solid beer.

500 mL can, best before date stamped on bottom of can.

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Photo of rowew
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle. Description of the beer on the neck, no freshness date. Claims to be "The Best Kept Micro Beer Secret."

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with a little bit of red arond the edges. Medium sized head that fades slowly.

Smell: Clean, sweet malty aroma with slight roasted notes.

Taste: Medium bodied with a nice smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Tastes are well balanced with lots of malts and a slightly bitter finish.

Overall impression: A very enjoyable style, and a great example of it. This is a very enjoyable beer, and I would highly recommend some brauts to go along with it!

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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.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a nice dark brown, with a creamy, well sustained dark beige head.

Smell: The nose consists of smells I'm used to sniffing in a darker style beer, but they're some how much lighter. An odd earthy smell mixes with some chocolate. Odd.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste starts really smooth and rich, and then finishes rather quickly, only leaving a slight hop bitterness lingering. It's quite thirst quenching. The flavors aren't as balanced as they could be, but still it's doing the trick. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied.

Drinkability and Overall: I like Shwarzbiers (the few I've had anyways), and this one wasn't all that impressive. It's good, but it's not as balanced or fulfilling as it could be. I'd have another, but wouldn't buy a bunch. Try Sprecher's Black Bavarian instead.

 808 characters

Photo of brewQ
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a twinkle of ruby. Looks like a Porter without the viscosity.

A malty aroma- not quite licorice or chocolate but very full.

Delicious full taste without being overbearing. Leaves a finish on the roof of the mouth.

I'll be looking for occasions to have another of these beers.
Was surprised to see the ties to Bitburger imports.

 361 characters

Photo of redmosquito
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep brown with a light brown head. The beer shines garnet around the edges of the glass. A malty aroma of toasted bread and light roast then a little floral hop. The flavor is clean, not overly bitter and no astringency. The malt flavor is roasted but still sweet. The beer is surprisingly refreshing on the palate. This is a well made beer.

 360 characters

Photo of droomyster
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger head of light brown froth that recedes after a few minutes. Sits blackly in the glass, brown edges are only betrayed with backlighting. Malty aroma of prunes and toast. Hints of dark chocolate, brown sugar. Medium bodied mouth filler, lightly carbonated, creamy texture. Surprisingly not very bitter. Long, slippery finish of roasted plums. Becomes breadier as it warms. Wish it was heavier. Overall pretty good, a pleasant drinker.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before 07-05. Poors in very fine with nice brown head and black color. Nose is malty and clean but all together quiet empty. Same way for taste; malty, no body and probably lots of farbebier used. Mouthfeel is ok but misses body. Aftertaste is almost like aftertaste for miniral water. Hardly any bitterness& litle salty. No off tastes though so quiet decent. Drinkability is good but do I want to drink more?

 414 characters

Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this poured a deep black, with a light head.
my boss boight a sixer and we split a bottle (glad my boss is a beer geek) the aroma was malt with some noble hops (i thought they were hallertau, but he said perle). decieving black, if your a stout or porter drinker, this beer is very light body for its color. the malt come through strong some pils,munich, carared, and carafa were our deductions. the hop flavor is nice but not over powering. it was a very well balanced beer malt, hops and aroma, mouthfeel.

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Photo of oggg
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

HiTime Cellars

This style is very intriguing. So used to thick stouts and porters...

This beer pours black with brown tints at the edges. Off white head recedes quickly. Aroma of chocolate more dominant than the roast. On the tongue, the roast/smoke is pretty strong, gets a touch astringent. Chocolate is present. Very clean and light underneath. Finishes a little oily.

Overall: seems like maybe a nice session ale. Not exactly a light refreshing pale lager, though.. Wonder what food would go well here.

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Photo of pootz
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this style of beer so I had to try this one as it’s touted as the standard for schwarzbier. The pour revealed a very dark but clear cola color beer with a great fluffy tan head that reduced to a 1CM cap that rode out the drink..left remarkable lacing. Aroma of sweet roasted caramel- malt with an earthy tone. The start is sharp put then the palate fills with a smooth mild roasty sweetness balanced with an understated hop dryness that prevents any cloying effect…hints of charred rye bread, dry but not overly so…the hops come in the dry roasty finish. A nice beer…very smooth and drinkable…its availability has made it my standard session drink.

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Photo of altctrlsdelete
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at CAH downtown.

Served in a small dimpled mug, a dark brown, nearly black liquid with a notable coffee-colored head. The description I'd read, which included a "WOW", led me to expect a lot from this beer. However, when I took my first sip, I was underwhelmed.

Not much smell to speak of, with light roasted notes reminding me of your run-of-the-mill porter. The taste, as well, is understated.

However, this would be my session of choice, at under 5% abv, and possessing enough chocolate and roasted flavor to keep me interested. Goes down easy, and grows on you as it warms.

Though it's nothing that blew me away, it does what it does well, and I wouldn't hesitate to order it again in the future.

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

Pours a deep cola brown color with a fluffy khaki colored head. Roasty, toasty Munich malt character and suggestions of pumpernickel bread with a slight bit of low-alpha hops nearer the end of the whiff, which can come across as being vegetal at times. Very roasty in flavor without being over-the-top, thin but not too thin. Clean tasting and effervescent, a thoroughly drinkable black lager. It has been years since I had one, now I remember why I used to buy this by the case. A simple beer with a lot of flavor and a delicate balance. Recommended.

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

God damn I was not expecting a beer this black. It's darker than a dark, dark stout, and its head is perfect white.

Smells hardy, almost like a beery V8 or, as was mentioned before, Tomato soup. Seriously. This is gonna be healthy, I'll bet. More importantly, this is like nothing else I've ever smelled in a beer. Fruits and veggies mixed with roasted malt.

Tastes like Raisins. That's just about it. Raisisn upfront, malt and more dull fruit in the back, and a hint of something smoked. A little bit of juicy aftertaste. Nice. Very different.

This is my first Schwarzbier. I was seriously expecting something akin to Heinekin Dark. What a nice surprise.

To be fair, now that I think about it, this actually tastes like a dark, more complex Bitburger.

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Photo of bditty187
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby brown in hue, it is almost black but not quite. When held to a light the ruby influences are more discernable. Still, it is too dark to see any effervesces. The head was beige in color, almost two fingers in height before slowly fading to a half finger cap that sat there, very sturdy. Very good head retention. Subsequent lacing was clumpy in spots but naked in others. Excellent appearance. The nose is very soft but articulate. Faint notes of licorice, milk chocolate, toasted sugar, earthy espresso and just a kiss of char. The potency is low; even though I have to sniff hard I like what I smell in the bouquet. It is well organized. Overall the aromas are very pleasant in a soft, gracefully kind of way. Nice. The palate is not as thoughtful as the nose indicated. Still there is good flavor here, dry, roasted malts with not much sweetness, not much caramel (but there is some). Vague earthiness. Espresso. Cocoa. Hints of licorice. The palate isn’t as “put-together” as I’d like, there isn’t anything wrong with it. Hell, it is quite good really but it seems to be missing something. Maybe I’m looking for just a little more assertiveness… maybe this is as loud as I can expect from a Schwarzbier. Tasty. Medium-light in body, it’s a tickle too thin, the carbonation is a bit low and the mouthfeel comes across too slick. The mouthfeel isn’t an issue but it could be improved, IMO. Very drinkable, this beer is a lovely quaff especially when the modest abv is factored in. I’d certainly drink a few at a bar if I want to keep the alcohol intake low. I think this beer is available in Omaha but I purchased this bottle in West Des Moines. I should have tried this beer sooner but I guess I’m just a moron. Oh well. Good stuff. Worthy of a try, IMO.

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Photo of stcules
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black in color, with some mahogany reflexes. Brown head, not too much, but good.
In the smell malt and roasted caramel, but even candy sugar, and the aroma of fresh hop.
In the taste the sweetness permeates the palate, in an uniform manner, but it is well balanced by the bitterness.
Medium-medium-low in body.
In the aftertaste, after an initial hit of sweetness, it comes out sharp the bitterness. Even liquorice and cocoa powder.
Well balanced.

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Photo of ecoboy
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I should admit straight off that I'm no Schwartzbier expert. i even had to look above to get the spelling. This was an appealing offering, however, so I threw decent marks its way. How the hell does one type an umlaut?

Deep deep mahogany hue with a trace of ruby around the edges. Terrific big roast malt aroma with some large coffee notes.

It's got a slightly rounder mouthfeel than a "Dark beer" (Tuborg Dark? Becks Dark? get it? bigger than those.) Nowhere near as thick or bold as a stout or porter. This kind of thing might frighten some away from "dark beer."

Hops just enough to offset the big malt presence. Big roasty grain and coffee presence throughout swallow (two bold notes, with no variation from attack to finish.) Just a touch of sour.

Enjoyed at Dusseldorf on The Beach 11/23/04.

 809 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half-liter bottle, in a nonik glass.

Appearance: Deep rich dark color, tinted slightly red. Good head retention, with a crown of tan foam, and nice lacing.

Aroma: Very rich bread-like aroma, touch of caramel. Almost coffee-like.

Flavor: Clean bready dark malt, almost but-not-quite burnt. Bitterness is fairly low but comes in a touch at the end. Coffee-like flavors again, slightly chocolately. A good, clean finish.

Body: Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Very good schwarz, one of the best of the few imported to the US.

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Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,825 ratings.
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