IN LIEU OF the increasingly rare Double Barrel Stout or Robust Porter, Emmett’s Schwarzbier may be the dark horse candidate for the brewery’s best black beer (not served in a snifter). Purely pitch with a fat, light tan nitro cap of a head, the Schwarzbier is more singularly burnt than either of the aforementioned brews, but it packs a similarly hearty punch and does not skimp on the finish (unlike the Dry Irish Stout. And despite its mother lode of chocolate and black patent malts, it abstains from actual chocolate sweetness, showing only a bit of dark cacao powder if anything in that vein. Coffee is a more prominent flavor, medium roast, though none too grainy or heavy-handed with adjuncts. The body is well-balanced—fuller than a standard dark lager but lighter than most doppelbocks—and carries enough carbonation to keep carbonized flavors at bay. Fairly dry finish and a minimal alcohol presence (low to mid-5 % ABV likely). Arguably overboard in making its point, but a surprisingly easy beer to drink for all that char.
Served: On tap (Emmett’s Tavern, Palatine)