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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

752 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 752
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 103
Gots: 34 | 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:
Bronze Medal Winner in the European Darks category at the 1988 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

(Beer added by: xlperro on 04-23-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 752 | Reviews: 453 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by chinchill:
Photo of chinchill
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
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}

chinchill, Aug 18, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

oberon, Mar 23, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Popsinc, Aug 08, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

RoyalT, Aug 18, 2006
Photo of aszatk01
3.25/5  rDev -20.1%

aszatk01, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

DaPeculierDane, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of weatherdog
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

weatherdog, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

BeerAdvocate, Apr 23, 1998
Photo of blackearth
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

blackearth, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of JasonA
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

JasonA, Jul 26, 2008
Photo of sponberg
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

sponberg, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of grynder33
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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

grynder33, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

merlin48, Dec 31, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Billolick, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of warriorsoul
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

warriorsoul, Jan 18, 2005
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

SkinnyElvis, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of bsp77
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

bsp77, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of deebo
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

deebo, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of wattoclone
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

wattoclone, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of ryanocerus
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

ryanocerus, Jul 22, 2002
Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mte1972
4/5  rDev -1.7%

mte1972, Dec 08, 2013
Photo of tyleeis
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

tyleeis, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of yankeeheel
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
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

yankeeheel, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of jmbraxton
5/5  rDev +22.9%

jmbraxton, Apr 02, 2012
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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 752 ratings.