Köstritzer Schwarzbier | Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

BA SCORE
87
very good
826 Reviews
Köstritzer SchwarzbierKöstritzer Schwarzbier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Germany
koestritzer.de

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:
826
Ratings:
1,861
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
12.11%
 
 
Wants:
116
Gots:
275
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 826 | Ratings: 1,861
Photo of Mardukk
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with hints of red and a mocha head. The beer creates some nice lacing with a head that retains. The smell is of very faint roasted malts.

It has a very smooth roasted light coffee taste with a hint of sweetness. The hops and most of the flavor appear in the immediate aftertaste. The aftertaste has a light hop bite with dark chocolate.

This beer is very smooth with its medium carbonation and almost undetectable alcohol. Not too sweet or bitter, very nice.

Schwarzbier is one of my favorites as it has the drinkability of a session beer with more flavor. This is one of the better Schwarzbiers I've had.

 627 characters

Photo of masikon
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ebony with a nice thick head which receded leaving lots of lacing. Held up to the light you can notice some ruby notes on the edges of the glass. Scent was modest and staightforward, VERY subtle coffee notes, basically just hints of malt and not much else. Taste was straightforward as well with light coffee and chocolate suggestions, not overly complex but refreshing and clean despite being a dark beer. Mouthfeel was nice and silky smooth yet thin, making this very easy to drink. Overall I like this style and will try more, a bit like drinking a watered down porter but that isn't totally a bad thing.

 620 characters

Photo of fsimcox
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black, when held up to light, I see nothing but black. Thick creamy tan head dissipates very quickly to a thin tan cover. Significant lacing.

Smells of rich, roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. Smell is a little weak, and certainly not overpowering.

Tastes of lightly roasted malt, some creamy chocolate, and a hint of hop bitterness. A little bit of coffee in the aftertaste, and maybe just a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is big, some creaminess, and a little carbonation, medium body. A rich, robust taste.

A very good example of the German Schwarzbier. This beer would be great with a smoked cheese or smoked meat.

 639 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. First sampling of the style

Appearance: Dark, deep and very beautiful. So much head for what I was expecting. A quickly melting frothy brownish head that lingers on the surface and leaves thick lacing. Opaque unless held up to the light, after which a reddish colour can be seen.

Smell: Absolutely amazing smell. Like a dark oktoberfest lager mixed with a belgian blonde or a strong dark ale. Very unique fusion of what I'd expect from both styles. Has a bit of a belgian dark ale yeast flavour in addition to a slight hoppiness and a strong maltiness. Fruity, like blackberry, and with other dark berries.

Taste: Very dark with a strong lager character. Somewhat bitter with roasted flavours instead of the hoppiness that lagers usually have. Very balanced between its different elements which makes for a fantastic experience. Malty with a little hint of fruit.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing. Very pleasant amount of carbonation with a creamy head. No trace of the alcohol. Smooth and clear. Nothing much negative could be said about the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Oh god. I could have so many of these. This is the type of beer I dream of drinking casually. Furthermore its only 4.8% abv. This beer is chil, relaxed, refreshing, easy to drink and yet still full of flavour and complexity. I'm giving this a perfect 5 because this is the first beer that I feel combines great taste/smell and complexity with low abv and an easy to drink character. Everything is in correct proportion and its a delightful experience.

 1,555 characters

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

On tap at the Hoppegarten in Rathaus-Steiglitz, Berlin. I also had this on tap at the Kostritzerhaus in Weimar, but the Hoppegarten was a better pour.

Nice, full tan head over, as it should be, nice black beer. Some ruby notes in the glass, but still quite dark. Significant lacing that survived the entire half liter. And the next half liter, and the next... well, I think you get the picture. My friend had a few also.

Nice rich malts - not too chocolaty. A slight roasty smell comes through, and maybe a touch of spice, but not much. A very Germanic brew.

Well crafted taste - clear why it's the choice of many of the more beer-savvy Germans. Rich and malty, but not too strong. Some coffee, roasted barley, and a touch of cocoa. The hops are well masked, but give a nice clean finish to the malt and makes it easy to drink.

Velvety and rich. Not too heavy though, and has a medium body. Easy to drink, and was my usual brew of choice while in Germany. Went very well with several different traditional German dishes including - Eisbein, Kartoffelkloesse, Zanderfilet, and a fantastic pork roast in a sauce made from Kostrizer.

While not the finest brew, it is high quality and a great benchmark for the schwarzbier style. Not quite as good after the trip across the Atlantic, but still good nonetheless.

 1,312 characters

Photo of zymurgy4all
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic Schwarzbier. What a wonderful dark lager. Mine is probably a little old, but overall it is terrific.

Pours a dark brown/nearly black color. Has a roasty aroma with not any hops that are distinguishable. The flavor is roasty, yet very malty and light. The mouthfeel is not thick or thin--just about right in the middle. I could drink quite a few of these. I would perfer to have a fresh one and see how that compares to the one that I have and is a little old.

 478 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 Kartoffeln
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque brown so dark it's practically black, with a sizeable head of pillowy, dense tan foam. Good retention, gradually dissipating to a ring of foam and leaving spotty lacing.

S: Sweet Munich and roasty black malts with aromas of pumpernickel, black coffee, molasses, icing sugar, cocoa powder, nuts, and birch smoke. Faint, grassy hops.

T: Rich biscuity, roasty, and bready malts with overtones of slightly sweet rye bread, black coffee, black molasses, and cocoa. Roasted barley and grain, nuts, and faint grassy, earthy hops towards the finish.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is exceptionally dry, balancing the robust roasty flavour cleanly.

D: An excellent, archetypal example of an uncommon style, offering rich, roasty flavour with the usual refreshing lager drinkability. A must-try.

 827 characters

Photo of likethetaste
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer in a variety pack from World Market. Now this was one of the better ones in the pack. It poured a black color witj a long lasting head. I like Schwarzbier and this one was very good but I have had better. If I could find this again I would buy a few!.

 267 characters

Photo of steelreign
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Being as dark as it was, I expected a little more of, well...everything. Slight roasted grain aroma with hints of hop leaf. Not much in the way of body, but overall, the taste was quite malty and sweet - not bad, but nothing outstanding. If this was the only craft beer on tap at a bar, I would definitely drink it all night. Enjoyable on a somewhat reserved scale...

 367 characters

Photo of anders36
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark burgundy almost black brew with a grey head that disappear quickly. Has a very roasted malty smell. The taste is also roasted, but not not as roasted as in a stout. The mouthfeel is a little thin. I expect a little more mouthfeel from a dark beer. It is not a bad beer, but i had expected a little more out of it.

 320 characters

Photo of revdrjbob
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the German club in Berkley at lunch with Teaser. I must say that the Bratwurst they do is absolutley awesome!

Poured a very dense black with a tight foamy tan head of about 2cm in thickness. Served in a pint glass.

Smelt nice, plenty of malt, chocolate and a hint of roastyness. No real hops to speak of, very clean, a touch of spiceyness.

Tasted quite thinner than you'd expect from the look and smell of the beer, but I guess it is a lager... Plenty of malt, nice hits of chocolate and that slight roastyness again. Finished dry and sweet, with a lingering chocaolate character.

A good drinking German Schwartzbier. Certainly a session brew, if it was available more often down here.

 716 characters

Photo of PiratePete
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first schwarzbier. Schwarzbier I guess - it was a pitch black colour with a tan head and lace that clung all the way to the end. Nose of malt with the slight hint of coffee. Not too over powering, but very tasty. A little thin in the mouthfeel. I expected more really. A good aftertaste of roasted hops and even malt. I could have stood a slightly stronger taste but this was a good beer. I'd have another.

 409 characters

Photo of sockeye101
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with redish highlights and a tan, one finger head that left nice lace. Aromas were malty with a hint of prunes/raisins and a bit of roasted goodness. Tastes are focused on the malts with a nice roasted malt flavor that follows with just a hint of coffee. Very little hop bitterness in the beginning and none on the back end. Mouthfeel is thin, a bit watery but appears to be right on par for this style. Overall a very nice beer that does well by not doing a lot, a nice clean, crisp beer.

 509 characters

Photo of Nutleybeer
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out with a nice, foamy head. It retains this to a degree throughout. Dark in color, as you might expect. Very mild roasted scent.

Smooth and remarkably clean, crisp taste. Not unusual for a German beer such as this one. Nothing elaborate or "extreme" here. Drinkable and pleasant.

 288 characters

Photo of WissBrauSean
4.82/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer pours clear black with a nice one finger head that fades to a nice full ring and a cap in the center with delicate lacing. Very attractive!

The aroma comes across to me as straightforwardly caramel malty and some fruity notes like raisins and some light floral hops. Gorgeous!

The beer tastes pretty much the same. It starts off lightly caramel malty sweet and stays that way through the sip with some very mild raisin or prune notes along for the ride and finally it finishes with only the tiniest of hop bitterness, dryness and black pepperiness. LOL It's well balanced. A little roastiness comes through just as you are about to take another sip. WOW!

The mouthfeel is creamy and smoothly sweet with light body and moderate to light carbonation making this beer very easy to drink! It has a slightly dry finish.

Overall, I am going to have to concur with the BA guys and conclude that this is world class. It was a pleasure to drink and I really can't find any fault with it at all! It's light enough that the sweetness is not annoying and it serves to balance it also. 5 out of 5! Highly recommended!

 1,119 characters

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer appears a dark black with red hues when looking carefully. The head is retained for a moment. This beer smelled of stinky cereal when it was first poured, but once it settled, I get some smoky, nutty, and some spiciness to it. For all my apprehensiveness, this beer hits it out of the park. The malty flavor takes over the palate. The hop character is downplayed, but I enjoyed the malty backbone on top of the unmistakable Germain crispness that their lagers tend to have. The body is light, and very lager-like. Overall, I'd definitely drink it again. I'd say this is a perfect Fall beer for all you porter and stout fans. A great buy.

 646 characters

Photo of jj21
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown with quickly disappearing tan head. Malty aroma was present, but not very strong. Struggled to get any smell at all. Sweet earthy taste. Very nice and clean bitterness. Smooth, syrupy mouthfeel. Easy to drink for being such a heavy style.

 254 characters

Photo of teg8612
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, the one that features Goethe reclining with a glass of this same beer in his legendary, literary hands.
A- Very dark, nearly black. Small creamy heads.

S- Mellow sweat cocoa. Nutty with roasted coffee beans.

T- Good malt character. Soft and smooth, very creamy. Light chocolat and coffee notes. Not big but subtle and complex. Breaks down as it warms and becomes thin.

D- This is my favorite Schwarzbier. Goes perfect with brats. There maybe more robust beers in this style but the drinkability isn't what this one is. Very smooth and drinkable. Light enough for summer drinking and a good alternative to heavy winter beers.

 649 characters

Photo of edificio5
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I came across this beer by accident. I was in the Growler and Grill in NY and they had this on tap and in bottles. I purchased some bottles and the beer was well balance, smooth and tasted good. The tap version of the beer was as smooth virtually identical as the bottle version. For me this was just the perfect beer. Amongst the best I have ever tasted. Personally I am into dark beer and not the hoppy type. I hope this helps. Great beer!!

 442 characters

Photo of boblog
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Nice large head, which leaves alot of web like lacing. Almost black in color.

Smell: Roasted sweet malt, not too much for the nose really.

Taste: Sweet roasted malt, mild hop flavor. Smooth and a bit dry near. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Overall: A good easy to drink beer. Worth a try, still I like the Sam Adams Schwarzbier a bit more.

 359 characters

Photo of Duttonic
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark black, light tan head of about a cm. Shiny like molasses. Small bubbles.

S- Reminded me of a bock. Mild roasty notes.

T- I was expecting it to be very heavy, but it is surprisingly light. It was not watery at all though. Rich.

M- Great mouthfeel. Rich, without being heavy.

D- Great drinkability. I wanted another after I had the first.

I would love to pair this with BBQ or a burger. Dark beer goes well with them, but it is hard to find ones that aren't overly filling. Great beer all-around.

 507 characters

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

This is my first sample of the style so I'll reserve giving it higher than a 4 until I try some other examples, but if all of them are this good, I will really like the style. The generic style description claims that the bitterness in Schwarzbier comes from hops, but in all honesty I'm not a huge hops fan and I don't taste a whole lot of hops in this. The bitterness is definitely a malt bitterness, but it's not in the least bit heavy or filling.

 452 characters

Photo of AnalogReigns
4.88/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-Drank this eastern German classic often while staying in Dresden last summer. Lovely looking beer, with the typically German huge blooming, long lasting head--which leaves lacing on the glass as you drink. Has a very deep brown color, fully black unless you hold it up to the light.

S-Has a nice VERY DARK chocolate malty nose, with no apparent hops in the aroma

T-Lovely dry smooth taste--if you closed your eyes you would not know it was black, you may guess it was a light amber. They call this a "black pils" and that is about as good a description as any. The dark malt just makes this lager more interesting than just about any other lager. VERY well balanced between the gently roasted (and completely un-bitter) malt, and the noble hops. Leaves a clean, typically German hop aftertaste. Made just outside of Leipzig, and supposedly the poet Goethe's favorite beer. What a classic Türinger style!

M-Has the mouthfeel of a lighter beer, like a pils or Munich Helles. Crisp, and light--very unlike say a stout or porter.

D-Like most German lagers this is very drinkable--a nice session beer--you can sit all night having them with your friends (at the right bar...). Not filling--the only thing super dark is the color.

 1,240 characters

Photo of larsee01
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A--12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Deep burnt chestnut--nearly pitch black. Big creamy tan head.

S--Light but rich scent. Mineral-ish. Lightly sourdough. Ghosts of burnt coffee.

T--Kicks off with a rich, deep coffee taste. Light bitter quickly shifts to a bready, mildly sweet maltiness. Well balanced.

--Medium-bodied. Smooth and finishes nicely dry.

D--Darker and richer, but what can I say? Drinks like a lager! Went down really nice and easy.

 455 characters

Köstritzer Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
3.88 out of 5 based on 1,861 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe