I recently completed the paler beers from the former East that were in my cellar and was glad to move to the dark shelf to revisit an old friend and a new acquaintance.
Let's start with the new. Eibauer Schwarzbier, from Münch-Bräu Eibau, like most schwarzbiers, is not really schwarz, but is a deep, dark chestnut brown with ruby hints. The aroma suggests toast, toffee and malt. Light and easy drinking, it leaves a light layer of toffee spread over the tongue with an ever so slight prickling like sour apple drops. Not that this is a sour beer, but that's the odd balance going on here. A gentle roasted note appears after half a bottle which is pleasent. The prickling effect disappears after a while though, which is a shame. I'd happily have a couple of these.
My old friend is of course Köstritzer Schwarzbier. For me, this was always the definitive schwarzbier. A bechmark if you will. But I got bored with it. After turning into an extreme hop-head in Ireland, when I last had Köstritzer it seemed bland. Time to re-evaluate as I know my taste buds have been reset over the past year.
Almost opaque, dark, oaky brown. The aroma is gentle with hints of coffee, blackcurrant and chicory. Smooth going down with lovely dark chocolate and light coffee flavours, but when you stop, the roasted malts come out to dry things up leaving a roasty bitterness. This is a fine beer.
And yes, I have been humming the tune to "Black is the colour" while I typed this.