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.