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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

817 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 817
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 112
Gots: 57 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.86% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 04-23-1998

Bronze Medal Winner in the European Darks category at the 1988 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).
View: Beers (41) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 817 | Reviews: 458
Reviews by BeerFMAndy:
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.86/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher stemmed pokal.
6% ABV,

A - Schwarzbier means "black beer" in German and Black Bavarian's dark chocolate color demonstrates that perfectly. While pouring, light through the brown highlights shows it's clarity while a lasting ivory cap of foam rests on the beer and leaves lace down the glass.

S - Crisp dark malt releases dried cocoa sprinkled on warmed chocolate-and-caramel bar with a fantastic lager cleanliness. The juxtaposition of robust malt complexity with the sheer perception of easy drinkability is beautiful.

T - Caramel sweetness underscores the chocolate malt's dark chocolate flavor and lightly roasted coffee bean with a Twix-like taste and faint earthy hop finish for balance; the taste is exceptionally smooth.

M - Just enough carbonation dances on the tongue, keeping this medium-bodied lager feeling a bit lighter than it appears. The chocolate malts provide minimal acrid bitterness letting the otherwise transparent hops do the bulk of the work.

O - There's a good reason Sprecher's Black Bavarian continues to command medal after medal in world-renown competitions; it's that good. This is a dark beer that's a great training-wheel beer for people who "don't like dark beer". It's also a great dark beer for people thirsting after a dark beer without the hefty body or higher alcohol. Black Bavarian has the perfect malt combination to balance sweetness with chocolaty, lightly roasted notes for exceptional smoothness and drinkability. May the Schwarz be with you.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the breweries I miss most not living in the midwest anymore,all of Sprcher beers I have had I really enjoyed.This one is one of the few I like in this style,and I really like it.Black with some ruby highlights with great creamy head,very malty fruity aroma very appetizing.Sweet but not overly sweet tasting with roasted malt the biggest flavor component,but also chocolata and a very appetizing caramel background.For how rich it looks its very easy to drink.Loved it and will be enjoying again soon.

Photo of Popsinc
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a very dark brown, almost black pour. pours a fairly large tan head that fades down quite a bit.

Smell: nice roasted maltiness in the nose. light molasses and hints of black licorice. semi sweet.

Taste/Mouthfeel: tase wise the roasted malts seem to be present throughout. hints of molasses off the start and more of a black licorice bitterness towards the finish. light bodied, mostly smooth mouthfeel. nice, long lingering bitterness off the back end. very nice.

Drinkability: a very good schwarzbier. good complexity and great staying power. an above average example of the style.

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is gorgeous! The color is a very dark brown as it should be with a beautiful darkly tanned head. I just couldn’t stop looking at this beauty shop.

Smell – The darkly-roasted malts are subdued but rich and complimented well with some doughy yeast. The sweets are small but mate well to the roasty malts.

Taste – This opens up nicely at the taste. The malts are roasty and bold and the sweets are lightly sugared and manage to avoid that offensive tangy flavor that so many pretenders of the style seem to have.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied and expertly balanced. This is traditional German balancing at its best.

Drinkability – This is one of the best Schwartzbiers that I’ve ever had, to include the six years that I lived in Germany.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with lively ruby/crimson hues. Thick and lasting tan head. Sticky.

Smell: Burnt/caramelized sugar. Sweet dark malts. Burnt cherry. Very little hops or alcohol in the nose.

Taste: sweet roasted malts and dark cherries. Hints of chocolate and toffee. Mostly just perfectly balanced big roasted malts. Mmm…

Mouthfeel: Sweet front, slightly bitter finish.

Drinkability: Above average.

Photo of weatherdog
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

It pours a dark dark brown almost black with a small 1 finger head that dies to a small perimeter of bubbles around the glass.

Dark chocolate malt dominated the smell. There is also a heavy residual sweetness attached similar to an RIS.

The taste has a lot of coffee undertones but then it gets into this heavy chocolate/ caramel malts. Once again I can't help but comparing this to a lagered RIS. There is a large back end sweetness like an RIS but it finishes amazingly dry and crisp which is where the lager characteristic shines through. Its really an interesting taste and I'm enjoying the familiar rich RIS taste with a lager finish; very enjoyable

The mouthfeel is full bodied and rich but my the carbonation is too high for the richness and distracts from the taste. The weird thing is this drinks very similar to 8-10%ABV RIS with all the richness but is less than 6%. Usually it is the other way around. What this means to me is although I am sipping this in a pace similar to an RIS I was able to have three 16oz. bottles in one night without feeling full or drunk which was a huge plus.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1 US pint brown bottle with a twist-off cap. Very German looking label with beer notes on the neck label. "No Additives, No Perservatives, All malt beer"

Appearance: Black with extreme crimson tinges against the light. Produces a thick tan froth that sticks.

Smell: Caramelized sugars with an almost burnt aroma. Hints of spicy hops.

Taste: Sweet and roasted in the beginning then puckers with a black malt acidity. Very malty with a hint of spicy bitterness and chocolate notes.

Notes: Very well brewed. The acidity of the black malt strikes you hard, but it does not make this undrinkable. In fact it makes it a bit more enjoyable.

Thanks again to Genevieve Futrelle for sharing her treasured Sprecher with us.

Photo of blackearth
4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from the Sprecher Brewery giftshop in Glendale, WI. Pours a pitch black body with a thick tan head. Aroma of toffee, chocolate and roasted peat. Medium bodied this beer is a blast of roasted malt in your mouth with a touch of smokiness. Mild carbonation gives it a silky mouthfeel. Pleasant sweetness in the finish. This is what a dark lager should be. Terrific beer.

Photo of JasonA
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light dark black. Yes, a strange appearance, though I would guess on style. Little to no carbonation.

Slight malt. Almost smells burt. Light overall

Burnt malt, and yet very refreshing, light. Not much in the palatte, very subtle. For a 5%+ ABV, this beers tastes good.

Refreshing. Doesnt feel like the color. Macro feel, craft subtle.

Very nice. I could drink a few of these pounders. If the price was right, a case seems nice for a warm afternoon with friends.

Photo of sponberg
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice fat little 16 oz. bottle. Pours a deep garnet brown with an tannish head that recedes rather quickly to lace. Aroma of freshly ground roasted malts, almost espresso-like.

My family historically is from the Bad Kostritz area of Germany. There's a damned good chance there's Kostritzer Schwarzbier in my genetic code. So there's a predisposition towards this style. This one doesn't have quite the round Munichy maltiness of the Kostritzer, but it's close - starts with a clean maltiness, decoction sweet with a slightly roasty, cocoa powder like bite, then rounds out into a fine combo of dry cocoa, toffelike malt, roasted barley, hints of espresso... niiiice. I detect similarities to the late, lamented Heavyweight Perkuno's Hammer in this one. Finishes with a lingering roasty/cocoa powder vapor. Just chewy enough. Could drink a few of these before sinking into a recliner for the night.

Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

Photo of grynder33
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark pour nice but quickly disappearing head not to much aroma on first whiff, it got chocolately on the second whiff and mocha malty on the third, chocolately malty taste with a wonderful smooth aftertaste, theres a little bitterness, chocolate and malt hang around till end, on my top 20 list

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint bottle pours a dark and opaque body with a small tan head. Almost looks like a stout. Leaves some good patchy lace.
Aroma is chocolate and roasty malt, herbal hops, and a hint of charcoal.
Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
The taste is nicely balanced between chocolate malt and floral hop bitterness. Sweetness wins out, but there is plenty of roast and hop bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Very well constructed.
I really enjoy this style, and this Sprecher is a fine example.

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ouncer, with gold wax/rubber covering the cap. No freshness info. Pours the expected black, just a bit of a head, quite quickly departing and then leaves some fine, splattered lace. Nose is of a chocolate milkshake, with a hint of coffee and lightly roasted malts. Pleasant enough stuff, notes of more light chocolate and cafe au lait. Allowed to warm up this one shows some moderate complexity and more nice soft chocolate notes. Nice beer. Worth trying especially for dark lager fans.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big "thanks" for the second of three offerings from onecrazymofo.
The name says it all....not a fleck of light is passing through this baby. I'd like to view it on a real sunny day and have another look...another time, another beer.
A finger of creamy, tan head. Chocolate and coffee apparent...a clean plentiful aroma to take in.
Taste is a well-balanced brew. This is my first taste of a schwarzbier and I'm liking it. A nice smoked flavor that is very subtle and lasting. I want to compare it to Atlantic's Coal Porter, but with a bit more going on.
Texture is a bit dry, but not bitter at all. Drinkability is very easy with this one....thanks again onecrazymofo....you know a good beer when you drink one.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Vancer for this beer of my wants for the BA Anny Club. Pours dark black with a thin head. Nice smell of malts. Rich malt taste with a hint of sweetness. If I tasted this blind, I would have thought it was a well done porter. Extremely drinkable beer. I would drink this all of the time if I could get it.

Cheers.

Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint/Pilsner hybrid.

Appearance: Near black reddish-brown with thin brown head.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and spicy,metallic noble hops.

Taste: Molasses and chocolate malt upfront with light roasted notes and coffee. Very light noble hops on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth body, fairly full for a lager.

Drinkability: Excellent Schwarzbier that may almost have too much flavor to be as easy drinking as some within the style.

Photo of deebo
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a pint glass this beer has a weak yet persistant somewhat creamy tan head. It is clear, black with red tints when held up to the light.

S-Heavily toasted barley malt, aromas of dark chocolate are evident-nothing else noted. Clean aroma.

T-The dark malt pops and is the dominant taste in this beer. Coffee, chocolately with just hints of burnt malt are noted. Clean, quick finish.

M-Fairly weak body/mouthfeel as is customary with this style. Moderately high carbonation. Smooth with just a hint of bitter burnt malt finish. Very little detection of the 6% ABV.

O-A good beer to have when you crave the taste of a dark beer but are looking for something with higher drinkability. Pretty solid but I think the malt used is just a bit overcooked as it's a little too burnt for what I'd like in a dark lager. Another solid beer from Sprecher.

Photo of ryanocerus
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a Schwarzbier lover, I thought I would have liked this better. It poured with a thick tan head and deep black in color. The malty aroma was a little too prominent for me however. The roasty flavor is much heavier than other schwarzbiers I have had also, but as the long lasting flavor lingers on the tongue, I enjoy it more. Not a bad beer, just not my favorite schwarz.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with little light seeping through. A fingernail of khaki colored head covers the majority of the top of the beer. The aroma is of sweet dark malt,molasses,and a hint of smoke. The flavor is packed with sweet and gently smoked sweet dark malt. The mouth is thick, silky, and viscous. This has a ton of flavor and body for a lager!

Photo of yankeeheel
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark ruby/black with a thin tan head. Leaves some neat foam swirlies in the beer. Smells of straight dark-burnt hops.

The taste starts very stout like with a big rush of dark malt but quickly turns bitter and burnt, but without a lot of hop bitterness. Scant taste of licorice at the end. A very interesting brew. My first schwarzbier

Photo of Soonami
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Almost opaque brown, reddish at the edges

S- a little roasted malt like toasting bread

T - Smoky, roasty, but not overly sweet like some stouts might be. Surprisingly dry with crisp acid at the end

M- Light, clean, fresh

D- very good, not thick or overwhelming but pleasant flavorful. For me it wasn't enough to order another but I enjoyed it from the top down.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another enjoyable effort from Sprecher. Looks like a good black beer. I really dunno what a "schwarzbier" is, but this seems like it may be a lager. The aroma and taste have a fruity yeast feel to it. Surprising hop character for something this dark and Midwest. Sprecher always seems to exceed expectations.

Mouthfeel, a little thin, but doesn't devolve into something I don't like. Pretty drinkable, not too challenging, enjoyable and reasonably priced.

Photo of ADR
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good head on a hard pour, medium bubbles and a stiff one inch layer. Color is a ruby-black, lets light through. A little yeasty in smell, mostly sweet. Malty flavor but not overly sweet, close to rich and nutty but attenuated. A little on the light bodied side, but fresh tasting. Drinkable but not as tasty as a Saranac Black Forest...

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a nearly black ruby tinted mahogany brown hue forms a nice thicket of tan head textured with dimples as it dwindles definitely arose above the rim of my 1/2 liter mug. Lacing is fine and intricate spread evenly, very nice look to it. Aromatics nutty roasted qualities touch of dark cocoa powder with sweet acidic fruit notes arising as well. Flavor is akin to iced black coffee with dark chocolate roasts, toasted nuts, and a touch of creamy caramel. What dominates is a dry powdered dark cocoa, but more flavors arise as it warms up. Light herbal hop presence felt at the end but no hop burps to report. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is lively and the end is dry with slightly burnt coffee roasts and dark chocolate cocoa. Drinkability is nice all around one of the best Schwarzbiers I've come across, excellent.

Photo of chinchill
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz bottle served in a pint glass.

A - Dark black with ruby/mahogany highlights only seen when back-lit. Has a thick tan head that soon settles to a lasting ring and partial coat.

S - Dark baked bread and roasted malts with some earthiness and hints of dark fruits and chocolate.

T - Roasted malts dominate in a flavor that could almost be a porter. Not only considerably less sweet than a typical Schwarzbier, but more bitter than sweet. The bitterness is still mild even though there's a clear coffee note in the finish. In one aged bottle, there was an unusual but not particularly objectionable hint of red wine. Both finish and aftertaste provide rich and dark-roasted grain flavor.

M - very smooth and creamy, with a semi-dry finish and a medium-full body. Very good carbonation level.

O - Overall, this is an exceptional black beer that is notably less sweet a more hoppy than a classic Schwarzbier. Well crafted with plenty of rich roasted malt flavor. Be sure to let this warm up a bit if coming from standard refrigeration.

{some revision done with tastings on May 2012 & Feb. 2013}

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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.