All notes on beers in the style

Schwarzbier

Midnight Expression

22 oz bottle, $4.99 from Smyrna Beverage World, Smyrna, GA, USA. Black pour with an attractive, pitted, mocha colored head that is light and bubbly. Looks nice. Nice is a somewhat neutral malty sweetness, even when warmed slightly. The initial taste blast is a little unexpected and seems quite bitter and hoppy. I wasn't expecting this a all considering the style and it is really noticeable. I didn't like that jolt very much, but on the plus side as soon as it came, it faded and the middle and...

Black Bavarian

Thanks go out to Kevin (again). 16 oz bottle in the usual Sprecher presentation. The beer pours a solid black pour with a nice, creamy head and some superb red highlights. The lacing is not great. Still looks good though. The nose changes with temperature (as expected) and there is a really large increase in the malt profile with temperature. The light licorice really builds a LOT with temperature. The tastes give a lovely, sweet, light licorice touch that really develops IN the mouth. The...

Avery Anniversary Ale – Seventeen (Dry Hopped Black Lager)

The usual Avery presentation with gold foil on the neck. Glad to see the Avery Anniversary series come back to Atlanta after the very strange omission of sixteen after we've had the others. Pour is at first glance a solid black, but closer inspection reveals a browner appearance that first thought. Head is good, but fades quickly and little or no lace is left. Lots of licorice notes and quite a bitter twang in the finish. This comes after a more gentle start that showcases some simple, sweet...

Chatoe Rogue First Growth Dirtoir Black Lager

Silly name. 22 oz bottle in the usual Rogue presentation from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, USA. Jet black pour but without asignificant head or lace. The hop nose and hop tastes are suprisingly reserved for Rogue, but at the same time too large for the style IMO. This is essentially an "Americanized" version of a Schwarzbier which, unsurprisingly, takes the hop profile way too far for me. Lingering bitterness replaces a sweet edge, and the hops also provide a biting note that detracts from the...

Howl

A surprise package at the Douglasville Taco Mac, Douglasville, GA, USA. Pour appears to be a brown affair with some reddish highlights and a white cap. Head fades quickly and lace is minimal. This was described to me as a Winter Ale, is in the BA db as I type as a Schwarzbier, and frankly looks and drank like neither! In essence there are some fairly significant chocolate malts which fade to give a malt dominated, mild beer with a tiny, tiny hop kick in the finish. Basically it sits somewhere...

Einbecker Schwarzbier

Purchased from The Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg, VA, USA. Notch on the back label has the "06" cut out! Old? Difficult to tell to be honest. Poured with a decent amount of mocha colored head and a surprisingly reddish body. It looks good but under no circumstances would one call this black, and to be honest it has the appearance of a brown ale; a good brown ale, but a brown ale nevertheless. Decent lace and retention. The nose and tastes are obviously very malty (as per the style and in line...

Krušovice Cerne

$1.99, 500 mL bottle, Cheers, Carrollton, GA, USA Brown Ale type pour with a decent head - not much lacing. Brown and garnet highlights, a little less black than some in the style. Has some sweet malt characteristics and finish with a little bitterness. Nice example of the style, simple and straightforward. A little lacking in body, but decent enough. I often look at the Schwarzbier's and feel that there is something missing from the experience. A little more depth in malt, sweetness or body...

Bohemian Black Lager

12 oz single, Mac's downtown, Atlanta, GA, USA. I wasn't expecting much from this beer, since my experience with Shiner has been average at best but its often worth persisting with this kind of brewer. Nice loud pour with a pretty lively head and some nice lacing. Head has some persistence. Dark brown body with some rust/orange colored highlights. Some sweet caramel notes in the nose, but surprisingly you don't get a lot of this in the taste. I suppose I shouldn't really be surprised because...

Xingu Black Beer

Well I wasn't expecting much but I was really rather pleasantly surprised. Nice, small rocky head on top of the dark mahogony body with some above average lacing. Sweet malty nose. Nice mild and creamy aftertaste, with sweetness and plenty to recommend it. Some caramel, some nuttiness and some molasses. I'll definitely drink this again.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier

$2.49 bottle, Atlantic Wine, Atlanta, GA, USA. Typical red-brown, Coke like appearance with a decent head and a little lacing. Chocolate malt overtones are big, as is the mouthfeel - surprisingly so for the style I thought. Nicely smoothed out, with a little extra dry character that I was not expecting. Easy drinking indeed, very nice example. It feels authentic to me.

Saranac Black Forest

Not surprisingly, a very average experience to say the least. Fairly weak offering from Matt. Lots of mild acidic notes and a distinct lack of body make up this beer. Thin mouthfeel with a mildly odd plastic taste. Pours decent, but it is ruby red rather than black, and there is a definite lack of body. No point in going here, don't bother.

Herold Bohemian Black Lager

Very nice, and very surprised at how much I enjoyed this. To all intents and purposes this acts, looks and drinks like a Porter. Cartainly a thin one, but nevertheless still has some smokiness, some chocolate, some creamy smoothness and a nice bitter/sweet finish. Definitely some Port like alcohol in the taste, it's a real nice beer. Drinkability is high.

Samuel Adams Black Lager

Brown/black pour with a head that quickly turns to a spotty cream on the surface of the beer and some minimal lacing. A little sweet rounded coffee in the nose, but also a very sweet sensation in the aroma and the up-front tastes. I would describe this as a lactose-milk, carbonated Porter! Does that make sense? Well, if not, it's sweet, dark, light and easy drinking with a nice mouthfeel and satisfying end. Definitely some roastiness in there, but this only develops on the way through the beer...

Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager

$1.49 per bottle as part of mixed Six-Pack, World Market, Marietta, GA, USA. Unfortunately the initial experience of this beer was the aroma that was unpleasant! A real stinky, vomit type smell! You know the one, that horrendous Hersey's experience. Once I'd got over that it was really quite good. A dark pour with an attractive tan head that fades fast. I wasn't expecting such a dark color, and it's funny how the US, macro adjunct experience hascolored my thouhgts on the word lager, almost...