Reprieve | Two Brothers Brewing Company

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45 Ratings

Brewed by:
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This black beer is a Bohemian Pilsner gone dark. German malts, noble hops, and lager yeast combine for our take on this traditional beer style. 28.1 IBU

Added by MillRat on 04-06-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 45 |  Reviews: 29
Photo of NSLPublishing
2/5  rDev -44.6%

Photo of ctrevino
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of codsmith
2.89/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black beer with a nice small light tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass. Foam stays around

S: Very mild smell. Nearly a Pils with some SLIGHT amount of roasted gain to balance out that off-smell of a full Pils and make it more neutral, but still give it a bit of roasted character. No hint of other grain characteristics like caramel or coffee.

T: Very bland for a Schwarzbier. This beer holds more to true to a regular American Pilsner style in taste. It lacks characteristic and/or full flavor. No hop characteristic or bitterness that needs to be present.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Keeps good with the style

O: Stays within style guidelines for some of the aspects like appearance and mouthfeel, but really lacks the flavor and bitterness that is usually present.

 810 characters

Photo of IPAnoah
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of TheSSG
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of cjacobsen
3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(A) Poured into a snifter. Pours a really dark brown, almost black. There are hints of ruby around the edges when in the light. There's about a half inch of beige head that hangs for a while atop the beer.

(S) Smell is biscuit with fruits, roasted malts, some crystal malt and some faint hops.

(T) Tastes earthy and has a bit of a wood/oak-ness to it. The roasted character is quite big. The hops are a bit more present in the taste than they were in the nose. The lager yeast gives a sharp crispness.

(M) Ends a bit dry, slightly grainy, but is quite a full body beer.

(O) It's basically a hoppy pilsner beer overtone with a brown ale body.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.11/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance -- Pours a cola brown with cherry highlights and a voluminous frothy mocha head. Looks beautiful.

Smell -- Cocoa powder, coffee, and a faint molasses-like sweetness are most present at first, followed by dark roast bitterness and slight ashiness. Plum-like fruitiness from the lager yeast is apparent.

Taste -- This one is definitely well-roasted, showcasing notes of baker's chocolate, coffee, and slight wood ash. Very dry, minimal malt sweetness. Lager yeast fermentation character makes itself known with a modicum of plum-like fruitiness. There is what seems to be a mineral character that I have a hard time describing. Hop bitterness seems a lot stronger than the 28 IBU would suggest, though it may just be the compounding of the earthy hops and the slightly ashy roast character. What little malt sweetness is well-hidden. Lingering flavor of mineral water, cocoa, and ash.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied, perhaps a hair lighter, with crisp carbonation. Solid, but nothing to write home about. Could stand to be lighter in body.

Overall -- On the whole I'm fairly unenthused about this beer. I'm actually quite fond of the style. In fact, I was expecting to really enjoy this beer after the Two Brothers' Oktoberfestbier, Atom Smasher, but this one just doesn't do it for me. Less roast acridity and hop bitterness would've done this beer a lot of good.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks go out to betsona for cracking this one open.

A- Pours a black color. I didn't see any light pass through this one. One and a half finger tan head shows medium retention. While drinking this there was specks of lace on the glass but most fell back into the beer.

S- The aroma was interesting to say the least. Light roasted malts linger in and out of a distinct grassy hop aroma. More of a biscuty malt overtone to everything. Other than that not much else going on.

T- Light grassy hops in the front of the beer. This gives way to more of a straight pilsner taste with a little added biscuit like flavor. Hint of roasted malt about midway through for a second before it dies quickly and does nothing else. Alcohol is tame in this beer which for some reason I expected to play a bigger role.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Grassy hops and biscuit flavors are left on the palate. Aftertaste is light alcohol, biscuity malts, and grassy hops. Flavors were well put together but muted overall for the hybrid style. No off flavors were present in the beer. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer was interesting. Neither over the top or underwhelming it was just there. The aroma and flavor profile should have been worked on a little more. Too bland for me to buy all the the time but in the same turn it would be a nice throw back treat.

 1,409 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz. bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to cjacobsen for sharing!

(A)- Pours a fairly dark almost black color with subtle reddish highlights. Produced a small cap of tan foam. Decent retention. Some lace was left behind.

(S)- A mild roasted component with alot of spicy dark fruits. Almost biscuit-like.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A lightly spicy biscuit-like roasted component primarily. Some bits of raisin and dark fruits.

(M)- A decent carbonation level. A decent balance too. A bit thin even for the style. It carries a fairly hefty spicy bitterness.

(D)- A decent Schwarzbier. It like some aspects of it, but overall I am not a huge fan. It fits the style well enough.

 685 characters

Photo of beersdmf17
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of jen_not_jenn
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Bung
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. Very dark brown pour, a whispy thin layer of white head.

Aroma, toasted malt, bready, some chocolate and light earthiness.

Taste, very carmelly, not as much chocolate or roast. Some herbal spice, leather, yeast. Light citrus. Almost tastes like they used ale yeast.

Lighter bodied, higher carbonation. Drinks easy enough, but maybe a little off for the style.

Really more pilsener qualities than Dark Lager.

The Red Eye coffee porter I had from these guys was so good. This one, not quite as good.

 509 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - An impressive looking, super dark brown, black at times. Turns ruby and yellow on the edges. Small white head that disappeared in a heartbeat to nothingness and left nothing on the sides.

S - Some hops presence, caramel sweetness, and some roast. There is a certain astringent and soapy quality to it that I don't care for. Fruitiness and lager yeast also hit the nose.

T - A little fruit, some caramel, some roast, and some soap. Finishes with a crisp hop bitterness that is okay. Taste is a little astringent and biting, not a huge fan.

M - Thin, moderately carbonated.

O - Okay beer, not bad for the style, but nothing I really care for. Wish it had more heft and a little less hop bitterness.

 704 characters

Photo of betsona
3.29/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to GDBEERMAN for this bomber that was shared at a tasting. Thanks again.

A- Pours a nice dark black but without the thickness of a stout. It lives up to its' billing as a "dark pilsner" even with a bubbly tannish head. Decent retention. No lacing on the glass.

S- Very mild smelling beer. I got some hops but not much going on with it. Mainly the characteristic Salz hops and their distinctive smell. Ever so slight roasted malt smell.

T- Tasted like a Pilsner. Was rather bland but still enjoyable. I can't place my finger on anything distinct about it. Some hop character but it was neither hoppy nor bitter. Dead on with the nose.

M- Medium body with good carbonation. No lingering off flavors and an extremely easy pleasant drink.

O- I am glad I had the chance to try this beer. It was good, but if the body was a little thinner I would have enjoyed it a lot more. It is probably better classified as an American Pilsner because it lacks all the rich characteristics of a Schwarzbier.

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Photo of redjameskidd
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The last guy's review is pretty much spot-on, concerning the overall flavor and mildness.

Just not a terrible lot going on here, lacks the crispness and hops of a Czech or German pils. Actually comes off tasting much more like a really dry Northern English nutbrown ale, or maybe a mild.

That isn't necessarily bad, as I would quaff this beer readily, but it's not quite what I was looking for from a schwarz.

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Photo of philosobeer
3.39/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A schwarzbier from my own state? Happy to see it on principle. Had at Binny's south Loop.

A // Lives up to that Schwarz (black) in the style name. Nice and very dark with good clarity and a bubbly lager sort of head which is off-white to light tan.

S // I smell hops a lot more than I should in this. Low hop aroma is a great kick, but the hops in this smell a bit too pronounced, and possibly the wrong sort. But it does have both a nice roastiness and a nice sweetness in there.

T // There's some sweetness in here, fairly caramel by nature, and the experience is augmented by a roasted character. Again the hops are a little much, and I think this beer would be better with less, but on the palate I taste it less than I'd smelled it. The roast and toasted tastes both do a lot for this beer, and its (fairly) clean finish.

M // This is where it loses me. This is heavier than I want a black lager, and it doesn't feel nearly as clean and light as I would like. By the end of the glass, it feels medium-heavy. Which loses some drinkability.

I enjoyed my glass, but next to another Schwarz, specifically the German-made ones, it doesn't hold up all so well.

 1,164 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Finally got it in me to pull the trigger on this guy today. It pours a dark ruby-brown topped by a finger of pale ash foam. The nose comprises molasses, light roasted malts, mandarin orange syrup, and a touch of tobacco (like that found in a nice dark cigar). The taste focuses on the mandarin orange syrup, adding in extra oranges and a touch of ruby red grapefruit juice, all wrapped in a light bit of roasted malts and cocoa powder. Things just seem way the hell too fruity here... The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly watery feel. Overall, a decent schwarz, but the fruitiness and thinness don't help things all that much.

 719 characters

Photo of averagejake872
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of cramy tan head. Retention is average and a honeycomb pattern of lacing is left behind.

3.5 S: Clean roastiness, herbal and earthy hops. Grainy with undertones of caramel and chocolate. Good, but could use some more power. Not particularly sweet, but not dry at all.

3.5 T: Taste is more assertive. Big earthy hoppiness, light roast, moderate chocolate, light caramel. More doughy than grainy.

3.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could use a bit more creaminess, but I do like how thick this is.

3.5 D: Good, solid schwarzbier. This one is a lot less dry than most of that I've had of the style. Definitely worth a buy if black lagers are your thing.

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Photo of ccozzi
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Treebs
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first ever Schwarzbier. Poured from bomber into Founders snifter.

A: Pours very dark, almost like stout. 1.5 finger dirty pearl head leaving a nice lace as it dissipates.

S: Big barley and malts. Smells like a traditional pilsner. So interesting.

T: Traditional barley with a nice malt backbone. Some hops on the backend as well.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation. Filmy mouth feel with a great hop lingering taste.

O: This was a very strange beer. I feel like it showed several qualities of a few beers, but in the end it was its own. I enjoyed the taste, but I don't have anything to compare it to.

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Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark brown pour with a large tan head atop it. Retention is good and leaves small lines of lacing on the glass.

S: Pretty mild aroma. Mild chocolate notes with some roasted malt. Hints of toffee and a bit of dark fruit. Finally, a touch of caramel.

T: Strange taste. There are notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Some dark fruit and caramel. Things you would expect from a schwarzbier. But it tastes like it was mixed with a pilsner; a black and tan of sorts.

M: A bit watery but otherwise smooth.

O: Very unique beer, as mentioned it tastes like two styles combined. Ends up dark with a bit of roasted malt character, but notable pilsner characteristics and a fairly thin profile.

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Photo of tikibeer
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this at my local liquor store yesterday.

Pours a dark black with a huge "root beer" style head. Great retention with thick globs of lacing on the sides of the glass. This beer has a very appealing look!

Aroma is mellow. Nothing super amazing going on here. Mostly malts.

Taste is a nice balance between malts and hops and finishes with a dry bitterness. This beer is simple, but good. This beer is rich and satisfying. The dry bitterness on the backend keeps me coming back for another sip.

Overall this is a good beer. Very enjoyable, but not anything that is over the top amazing...just a good beer!

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Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

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Reprieve from Two Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.61 out of 5 with 45 ratings