Dark Knife
Elysian Brewing Company

Dark KnifeDark Knife
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German Schwarzbier
Ranked #137
Ranked #36,611
3.66 | pDev: 8.74%
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Dark KnifeDark Knife
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 43 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by FBarber:
Photo of FBarber
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark cola colored brown. Thick two to three finger tan-head dissipates pretty steadily leaving just splotches of foam on top of the beer. Some residual lacing is left on the glass as the beer is consumed.

Aroma has notes of roasted dark malts, dark breads, a touch of coffee maybe? (not like a coffee beer, just a hint of coffee on the nose) and then pumpkin pie spices. Its really interesting - definitely retains the schwarzbier characteristics on the nose but then you get that blast of pumpkin spices to change it up.

Taste follows the nose with some dark bready malts, a touch of roasted malts, with notes of coffee; spicy hops on the back end, and a rolling cascade of pumpkin spice. Not getting much in the way of pumpkin itself - just the pie spices. There is a watery character to the flavors that I can't shake. Not quite sure why that is there, but its like it missing a more robust malt backbone or something.

Feel is light, kind of on the thin side for a schwarzbier. Really mild carbonation - almost under carbonated.

Overall this is an interesting beer - its got some issues, but beyond that I really love the use of a schwarzbier as a base for a pumpkin spice beer. I think it worked really well and as pumpkin beers go, I would put this in my top 5 or so just on preference alone.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours into my Monchshof Schwarzbier glass a deep cola color with a large two finger tan colored head that leaves 'globs' of broken lace behind as it settles into a frothy mass,great lookin pour.Aromas of dark roast coffee over top of roasted pumpkin and earth,it's delicate and refined.Cocoa powder and earth on the palate over top of roasted pumpkin with no spice detected.This beer is better than the ratings,if you take it for what it is it's really nice.It's a German black lager with pumpkin added.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Franziskaner
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with minimal penetration to light. There's a half inch of creamy brown resting on top. The aroma is of blackened malt with a light bitterness and a slightly sweet cola like finish. There's also a bit of pumpkin pie spice if you seek it out enough. I'm tasting dark malt and lightly cola like sweetness in the finish. I'm not really getting much in the way of pumpkin flavor other than perhaps a bit of cinnamon. The mouth is smooth and lightly creamy.

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Photo of beeragent
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much in the way of pumpkin character, but a great version of a schwarzbier!

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Photo of jdwpgh
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of snaotheus
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle served in a tulip. Won it in a gift basket in my wife's work Christmas party. If there's a date, I don't see it.

Pours black with a small head. Doesn't look very carbonated. Smell is mildly squashy, mostly roasted malt.

Taste is little or no squash, mostly very roasty (not quite burnt).

Mouthfeel is medium-thick. Overall, it's a pretty pleasant beer.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice schwarzbier. But pumpkin? I can smell it, but I can't taste it.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with little light transmission in the glass and a quarter finger dark khaki head with good retention and nice lacing. Aroma of lightly toasted malt, light cocoa, pumpkin and cinnamon. Flavor is toasted malt, pumpkin, mild cocoa and cinnamon. Malt and pumpkin fade out into a cinnamon and ginger finish with light grassy hops and a little char. Light to medium bodied with sharp carbonation. An interesting idea and my first pumpkin schwarzbier. The first part of the taste is pretty good, but flavors fade away except for the spices, leaving a somewhat spice astringent finish. I think a little more malt depth and perhaps ABV would help this, supporting the finish spices a little better. Drinkable and seasonal, but seems like a tamed down version of Dark O' the Moon, which I don't see on the list this year, but used to be an annual tradition along with the Great Pumpkin. Elysian does a fine pumpkin beer and this one delivers what it promises.

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Photo of hreb
3.47/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a tapered glass. Black, of course. Not much aroma. Thin mouthfeel and a very gentle flavor of blacked malt and pumpkin spices. It makes very a very sessionable beer, but not a very exciting experience, especially compared to the label. The label does indicate that I should pour carefully on account of the beer being unfiltered and containing sediment. Giving it a good swirl and re-pour obviously doesn't affect the appearance at all, but produces a bit more of the cinnamon and ginger flavor.

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Photo of teromous
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I don't see a bottle date listed. The front label does mention that this is a "PUMPKIN SCHWARZBIER."

Appearance: The beer is black with a light khaki head. The head is medium sized with a creamy textured top and good retention. It leaves good lacing on the glass.

Aroma: There is a nice burnt wood aroma to the beer, with a light earthy scent.

Taste: It has a wonderful woody flavor with a light carbon taste.

Mouthfeel: It has a fantastic light body. The beer is very clean and very easy to drink.

Overall: This is a a fantastic Schwarzbier so I would recommend it on that merit alone. I would certainly drink it again if I wanted a Schwarzbier. This is mainly the case because it is not an easy style to find, and even more importantly it is hard to find a fresh variation of the style, having a majority of them being imported to where I live. As a pumpkin beer it ultimately falls short. The label says It is made with "cinnamon and ginger" but this doesn't come through in the aroma or flavor of the beer. Those spices don't even appear in this beer in the slightest way. In the end you are left sipping an excellent Schwarzbier but wanting some pumpkin pie spice, thinking about how perfect this could have been and how much they missed the mark on this one. I would not recommend it as a pumpkin beer and I would not drink it again if that was what I was looking for.

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Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vrbulldog22
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L - A fingernail of foamy head, dark brown with no clarity

S - Nutmeg and cinnamon

T - German malts melded with pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices. Most of the flavors are subtle

F - Medium body and carbonation

O - An easy drinking, light, dark brew

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Photo of robebo44
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
2.94/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle

Pours about two fingers of brown head into my nitro glass. Head is somewhat pillowy, a little creamy too. Retention is about average. Good initial lacing. Some minor fizzing is noticeable. Body is jet black, with only the smallest hues of burgundy when held to the light. Overall it looks good so far.

The nose is waaaay too burnt, for me personally, and style wise. Almost smells like a campfire, this is borderline Rauchbier territory, holy shit. Hard to pick up anything else so far. For the style, and for me - bad nose.

Thank jesus the flavor is more approachable. A little smoky in the background, but not too bad. Not getting any pumpkin or spice, so like, I'd like my 10 dollars back. Other than that, I mean it's a decent, clean Schwarzbier. It's a little watery, and could use some more flavor, but it's fine I guess. I'll see if any more flavors come out as it warms. So far, ok Schwarzbier, way over priced, not a pumpkin beer at all.

Pretty damn thin on the mouth, even for a lager. Carbonation is about medium, maybe a hair above. Very dry. Overall not a bad mouth, pretty standard, but it is earing on too thin.

The drinkability is very good. It could use more flavor, but as a sessionable beer it succeeds in being pretty crushable.

The appearance turned out pretty good, nice thick sheeted lacing down the glass. The head was decent and I can't really complain about the color.

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Photo of alexsergio
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zbooks
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Birdlegs
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Musineer
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.44/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of cjgiant
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Dark brown with an apparent clarity that the dark color conceals. Fizzy light beige head maintains a thin film and a medium ring, and produces a few lines of lacing.

Nose is light, but there’s a light tang of pumpkin flesh with a slightly less light spice presence.

The beer opens with an earthy, dry, unsweetened cola flavor. There’s a little spice, and an above average carbonation, but not much else.

A rather dull beer that seems to more or less miss the target on the pumpkin addition on a lackluster base beer.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a montauk pumpkin glass.

Look is a dark cola colored with an offwhite head.

Aroma is slightly smoked malt and spice.

Taste is again a roasted smoke malt with a spiced sweetness.

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Dark Knife from Elysian Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 43 ratings