Mar 20, 2013

Kulmbacher Monchshof Schwarzbier

Man, I do love a good Schwarzbier on a cool Winter’s afternoon. There’s nothing like cracking (or flipping in this case) a bottle and finding a wonderful combination of flavor and balance — a feat it would seem is harder to accomplish than one would think. I’ve only published a few reviews for the style here on the site and all have been pretty decent, but don’t think any of them were quite as smooth as this bottle of Kulmbacher’s Mönchshof Schwarzbier.

The beer is malt-forward with a moderate amount of roasty character, but it’s also got an appropriate amount of hop presence in the back half to balance everything out nicely. It’s full flavored, refreshing and just downright drinkable (it is a mere 4.9% ABV). Given the opportunity (and money and space), I can see this beer taking up a good portion of real estate in my basement over the colder months.


This Schwarzbier pours a dark, cola brown with a dense and creamy stack of beige foam.


Grain, roast malt, subtle char, bread, grassy hops and a mild amount of sweetness fill the nose pleasantly.


As stated earlier, this beer is wonderfully balanced between the rich malt and light roast character and a back half that carries just the right amount of hop notes. It’s lightly sweet up front that transitions exceptionally smoothly to a countering bitterness that lingers gently in the dry finish. This is an easy drinking beer.


I don’t know what it is about this beer. It’s not going to perplex the palate (say that five times fast) or challenge your tastebuds, but it’s refined and clean nature delivers a classic blend of roast, hops and malt. Super smooth and balanced just about perfectly this relatively nondescript beer is an ideal treat for cold weather months.

Rating: 4/5

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