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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beer Review: Köstritzer Schwarzbier

I had Köstritzer Schwarzbier on tap at Metropolitan in Baltimore. I'm not usually a fan of the German black beer 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. I also don't jump into the German brews very often. 

It came to me deep black with a small creamy white head. A small amount of head stays through the tasting with lots of lacing. It smells earthy with some dark roasted malt notes. Smells of a rainy damp and dirty garden. It tastes bitter and roasty up front. The middle is a very rich and mildly sweet and it finishes bitter.

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. But, do not confuse this with a stout as it's a completely different style. This is very close to what some American brewers have done with the the "black IPA" style, though I prefer to just label them as American black ales. So, schwarzbiers are a much less hop-forward version of those. Or better yet, our black ales are a more hoppy versions of schwarzbiers. No real surprises here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh that's interesting, I said almost the same thing when I commented on this beer at Barley Buddy earlier today, that it shouldn't be confused with a stout, despite its appearance. I'm not really sure the comparison with black IPAs is quite correct either, though, as the schwarzbier is definitely a lager. (I know! Surprising!) You can check out my two-cents on this beer here if you like: http://www.barleybuddy.com/89837_By_Region/89474_German/446994_Kostritzer_Schwarzbier