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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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

799 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 799
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 112
Gots: 49 | 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: 799 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of granger10
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one poured a dark brown tansparent color with a tan head that lasted only a few seconds. Aroma was bold of roasty malts almost too harsh for my nose. Taste showed me that roatiness again. Very roasted. Molasses was dominant along with caramel as a secondary malt flavor. Not any hop bitterness but this beer shouldn't have any. There was a chalky yeasty finish that wasn't nice at first but improved as I drank it. This wasn't good at first drink but by the end I wanted another immediately!

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

black bavarian, by sprecher. code on the bottle says 110830843, which i interpret to mean brewed the 83rd day of 2011. could be wrong but this method of reading the bottles seems to correlate pretty well with perceptions of the age of the stock. anyhow, i was so distracted by the bottling codes i didn't realize this is not a dunkelweisen as i had assumed. damn.

a 3.5-4 it's dark, real dark but translucent around the edges. big whoop. short head falls quickly to a ring. no lace noticed yet. did i mention the foam is creamed coffee colored?

s 3-3.5 definitely the worst nose on a dunkelweisen i've come across. smells like lightly charred dirty lager socks. extra points added since it's not actually supposed to be a dunkelweisen. (grrr)

t 3.5-4 as this is probably like sprecher's best beer or something, i hesitate to rag it too harshly. after resisting the urge to drain pour (due to style orientation displacement) i forced myself to try to enjoy this swill. for starters, it's a tad astringent. touch of charring, spent coffee grounds. hey i bet this would actually be good with some bavarian type food. damnit no pretzels around, no hard cheese, no salami, nothing.
went on a hunt and scared up an everything bagel, homemade pickels, feta, cashews, almonds, low qual dark chocolate, smoked turkey lunchmeat-guess this sh** will have to do. hey there's some bananas, maybe i should mush em up and slip them in to turn it more into what i originally ... nah, i'll resist.

ok, well the beer is drinking a little better now that there's some side nutrition involved, but it really needs dry, sharply flavored dancing partners. the pickles and feta do the best job of standing in for something better. hmm, some good chocolate might go pretty well since this cheap crap works reasonably.

having a full 16oz bottle at hand is mostly a good thing in a situation like this. if it was a 12er i'd have dunkled it by now. i rarely write about pairing food and beer, as i rarely do pair them. most of the time i eat my meal thinking about the beer i want to have afterward, not wanting to waste it on wash-down duty, which despite all the highfallutin talk some do it often turns into. german beers though, a lot of them at least, seem to me to be about eating as much as about drinking. and once accompanied even somewhat correctly, sprecher black bavarian is going down quite nicely--with the food smoothing out just enough of its rough edges yet not silencing it too much. do they leiderhosen (sp?) in xxxl? i might need some.

m 3.5-4 dude, i just wrote like 1000 words already. the mouthfeel is fine! really, it's maybe a touch light but i think that's the style, and the carbonation doesn't have to be buttercream. here it shouldn't be, actually. the slightly abrasive bubbles work with it, helping to keep the snacks happy.

o 4-4.5 by about the 13 oz mark this became a sentimental beer for me. it makes me wander nostalgically through distant memories of my german youth, even though i have never been to germany so far as i know. it's the first sprecher beer i've tried, but probably won't be my only. drinking this stuff is not like drinking most beers, for me at least. if i ever find myself defending it, i'll have to resort to something related to my defense of listening to the grateful dead. it's not about technical virtuosity or brilliant anything, it's about the mood created and the communion with ... now how did that defense go? ah well, peace!

Photo of TheBoss
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

poured into 0.3 L rastal

Looks as expected, black, my tasting is in a skinny glass and I still cant see through , head was small maybe less than half a finger and was a nice caramel color, decent lasing.

Smell burnt malts and some sweetness and hints of chocolate

Taste smooth, a lot thinner then expected, lingers on the tongue just enough, very very clean finish

Best schwarzbier i ever had, really enjoyed drinking this one.

Photo of mcallister
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle does not lie, well maybe a little. Damn close to black but some deep ruby/brick highlights are noticeable. Head is small and tan and fades quickly. No lace.

Nice dark bready aromas, with a dark malt front, A bit of earthy quality that is loamy in ways. Very clean and refreshing aromas with a tad bit of toffee.

One solid lager. Bold and with good complexity and a round full mouth. Again very clean and refreshing. Moderate carbonation, and the ability too session for...well a good long session. Toffee from the nose is leaning more toward caramel, and a slight floral hop bitterness helps round out the finish.

Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark red - so dark it's black until held up to the light - yet clear. Head is 2+ fingers of golden-brown foam that lingers a long time, leaving a delicate lacing behind.

S: Burnt sugar, tart grapes, and some light hops notes.

T: Maltiness is mildly sweet, but more bready. There are mild flavors of acrid, burnt grain, but they are faint enough that they add to, rather than detract from, the taste. There's enough tart fruitiness in the middle for balance, before spicy, bitter hops take over in the finish.

M: Moist, with medium carbonation. Much lighter mouthfeel than I expected based on the color.

O: A tasty, very drinkable beer. This American-brewed Schwartzbier gives any German-brewed example a run for its money.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Red Bones.

This Schwarzbier (?) poured a clear, very, very dark brown color with red highlights, with tan foam that settled and coated the glass a bit. The smell was fruity with light caramel. The taste was fruity (raisins) with caramel and malt. The hops were very light, but there was a touch of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was dry and smooth with medium body and moderate carbonation. The flavor lingered lightly. This was a nice beer, though it did not seem to be a typical schwarzbier.

Photo of AltBock
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most breweries put most their beer in those little 12 oz. bottles, but not Sprecher. They put most of their beer in those more economic 16 oz. or pint bottles. Basically, more bang for your 12 oz. bottle buck. The label they put on the bottle is just a plain and simple black label with the Sprecher coat of arms smack dab in the front. The same coat of arms can be found of the cap as well. Information of the beer can be found on the black with gold trim neck label. There is no date anywhere on the label, but there is some kind of small coded bin or batch number where the neck meets the bell (lower half) of the bottle. Don't use a bottle opener because this one has a twist off cap.

Appearance: When poured into a standard American Bell's Brewery pint glass, the beer is a dark chocolate schwarz with ruby red highlights that can actually make this beer look like it's a very dark brownish color. The head of foam was a bit less than half an inch in height and was the color of a mocha. It quickly dissipated away, but left plenty of mocha rings and lace around the glass.

Smell: I wish I could say that it had plenty of aroma to it, but I can't. The aroma was too small, but still good with roasted malts, caramel, and roasted coffee beans. I would have loved to see (smell) those flavors enhanced just a bit. If you swirl the beer around, a fresh not too sweet aroma of dark fruits will come out from behind the minor aroma of roasted malts.

Taste: Light in aroma, but strong in flavor. This is where all of those light aromas will come out of it's hiding hole. The first taste I encountered was the strong taste of roasted and caramelized malts. Then after that comes a little bit more caramel, dark chocolate, roasted Arabica coffee beans, a touch of dark fruits, and all of this ended with a slight taste of herbal hops. I have to give it too Sprecher for making this light beer chock-full of really good roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, not too dry, somewhere on the light and medium bodied border, and with a slight aftertaste of roasted malts and herbal hops. I would have to say that it's actually quite refreshing.

Drinkability: Do you enjoy refreshing, flavorful, light beers? If you do, then you should pick up or trade for this one. Would I drink it again? I sure wouldn't mid another one. If I'm ever in the mood for a light flavorful dark beer, then I'm going to definitely going to pick up a more bang for your buck 16 oz. pint bottle of Sprecher's Black Bavarian.

Photo of FosterJM
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1188th Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
16 oz

Thanks to UclaBrewN84 for this one.

App- A very murky looking brown. About 4-5 different shades in the glass. A major dark dark brown lighter colors radiating out and a bit of amber on the edges. A small one finger head that was a bit khaki in color. Maybe a couple dots of cling.

Smell- A lot going on in this glass. Has a huge roasty note and then is a bit sweet. A lot of caramel comes next and then some brown sugars and a bit of BBQ smoke.

Taste- I am not normally a fan of this style because I havent really found a good one. This is a good one. Caramel, dark malts, bitter hops. Tasty beer with a good balance. Small but thin in a way which is my only knock really.

Mouth- A wee bit thin really. Bordering on a thin medium with a small medium carbonation. Sweet malts and a little bitter with a ton of caramel.

Drink- I am glad I was able to land of one these from a generous BA. Nice balance with good hoppy bitter, roasty flavors.

Photo of EvilKeith
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just as the name suggests, this one poured into the glass nearly black in color. The head was camel in color, but fell rather quickly.

The smell was sweet malt, faint chololate and caramel notes and a light smokiness.

The taste was initially sweet and caramel-like with the middle becoming roasted and bitter. This one finished sweet with a pleasant dryness and mild bittering.

Moderately carbonated. Medium bodied. Crisp, yet somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. I’ll have to find others of this style to try.

Photo of alpinebryant
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with minimal head and lacing.

Smell of molasses, brown sugar, roasted malts , coffee.

Taste of brewers licorice, coffee, black patent malt, molasses and brown sugar with a hint of hops. Nice flavor profiles for a beer made with all malt. There is a light mouthfeel to this beer as a lager, which is typical for the style. Medium to light carbonation. A drinkable schwarzbier, likable and drinkable. I would steer clear in the spring but I couldnt resist as I had not seen it in a shop before.

I was amazed to find a twist off top underneath a wax coated cap. Is this laziness or intentional to have a twist off under wax? :)

Photo of Urbancaver
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Troy for this tick :)
Who would have thought this would be readily available in Florida.
Pours a dark dark brown. Almost black. Some light white head. Smells roasty but mostly non-aromatic. Tastes sweet and malty. Definitely a lager. Well carbonated. Good mouthfeel. Overall very refreshing.

Photo of Scoats
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine mentioned he picked up a couple of cases slightly past date at a tasty price. Happily the beer was tasty too, very tasty. The case Sean found was 16ouncers (wonder if that is the regular size). I had a couple at Sean's house while watching the Eagles lose last Sunday.

What a wonderful beer! Heaven knows why more breweries don't make a schwarzbier. What a totally underutilized beer style, and this brand executes it perfectly. This is a wonderfully quafable beer to enjoy on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Very thick and hearty without any off tastes.

A perfect session beer, big taste, medium ABV I think. Pour it into large mug, sit back and enjoy.

I just wish this was more easily available around here.

Photo of amccormi
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 16oz bottle into a 16 ounce pint glass. Black with a hint of ruby at edge of the glass with one finger of tan head on top. Head reduces slowly to a nice mossy covering leaving minimal lacing.

The aroma is dark and roasty with a little bit of grassy hops coming through. Tastes ofroasted and chocolate malt, a slightly bitter and nutty. Finishes with a crisp note of floral hops and slowly fading bitter chocolate flavor.

It is crisp and light as a lager should be and goes down very smooth. A bit higher in carbonation than expected, but not unpleasantly.

I could drink the whole four pack.

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.

Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz single

appearance: pours dark brown but the aggregate is near black, tinted blood red when held to the light...creamy tan head, minimal lacing of the rim

smell: theres a number of things going on in the nose of this one...sweet dark fruit, dark chocolate, mild coffee, a little smoke, cherry, toffee

taste: The first thing I notice is a delicate smoke flavor, followed quickly by that of cherrys covered in dark chocolate. There are some coffee grounds buried somewhere in this collage of flavor. Toffee is also noted...very malty with a somewhat spicy finish

mouthfeel: a little dry and spicy in the finish, medium bodied

drinkability: slightly above average


This is only the 2nd Sprecher I have tried ( I sippped on a maibock in chicago this summer) but I will probably try to sample some more of their stuff in the future.

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint. Pours a deep black. Thinner consistency than other stout type beers. Thin tan head. Some lacing.

Aroma is nice and roasty. Bit of caramel but with that dry lager aroma which is unique to this beer.

Taste is similar. Mostly roasty but slight bit of caramel. Bit of lager taste. Bitter roast left on your tongue in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little thin for my taste but not bad. Nice carb.

Overall a decent beer. Would have it again for sure.

Photo of DantheMan75
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of ThaBobfather
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pure night sky black with a decent fizz of beige-not quite dark head.
Smell is well malted, a solid grained scent.
Taste is lightly toasted malt with a great bready back-bone, a spot of floral on the back end.
Finish is very dry-light grained after-taste.
Drinks very well-sessionable with the best of its style.

Photo of brewskifan55
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Dark, shoe polish brown with a tan half-finger head that settles quickly to a bubble ring. Light lacing.

S: Charred coffee, dark chocolate. Malts.

T: Follows nose with sweetness and caramel. A smooth finish.

M: Medium with medium to heavy carbonation.

O: One of the better Schwarzbiers I've tried. A great sipper. Even better as it warms.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Among the pale pilseners at the downtown Chicago Kristkindl market is a keg of pale pilsener's evil twin. Pours with a hearty brown head over a body that looks solid black in a plastic cup, then shows brown highlights as I drink it. Kind of a black bread smell that’s not as prominent as a stout. Definite dark roast malts against a German hop profile. Leaves a taste at the back of the palate where bitterness and astingency are detected. Roast coffee taste, perhaps a note of pear, subdued by its "clean" lager finish. Brings up a bit of a burnt toast taste toward the end that may not be to everyone's liking, but I like its complexity.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark black with ruby highlights when held to light. Huge billowy tan head that leaves swaths of messy lacing. I mean, that head is noisy, cracking bubbles well after the pour.
smell: caramel and malty but a bit subdued, very nice but a little too subdued.
taste: Richer than the nose. Chocolate, caramel, fairly dry, and very tasty.
overall: Damn good.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a huge fan of most of the beers in the Sprecher portfolio, but this is the one exception. I believe this beer is excellent, and a more substantial Schwarzbier than Kostritzer, which seems to ordinarily define this style. This beer is big, black, and highly roasty.

This beer pours an opaque black with an attractive amount of durable head. Aroma a light roasty. Flavor is very roasty (lots of "burned pizza crust") balanced with a bit of sourness. Mouthfeel is very dry and smooth. Unlike most of its Sprecher brothers and sisters, this is a very nice beer.

Photo of katan
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours black, 100% opaque. Nothing is visible, so I assume its cleanly filtered. Head formation is very strong, about a 1/2". Well retained - brown colored.

S - Very subdued nose. Almost non-existent. A hint of roasting is there.

T - Starts off with a light malt flavor, some light roasting and burnt notes. Some pils malts are present. Mid-stream gets more astringent, but not overly bitter. Finishes with a potent roasted barley, chocolately as well.

M - Creamy and smooth, but also leaves behind a carbonation bite that is slightly stinging.

D - Easy drinking. Deceivingly strong abv. Not filling.

An interesting combination of strong burnt and light malty flavors.

Photo of beagle75
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a becker glass.

A: Opaque black with dark brown showing just at the edges at first but increasing as the volume of the liquid decreases. One finger of mocha-tinted foam diminishes to a continuous residue. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Slightly smoky with roasty umami. Beyond the influence of the smoke, there is also the subtle presence of unburned hardwood and an equally faint edge of carbonic acid. This beer's smell has an unfortunate similarity to bacon-flavored dog treats.

T: Begins off-dry, with dark roasted malt that starts smooth, but turns husky after a few beats, right after a slight spike of acidity. Earthiness sets in at about the same time, transitioning again into charcoal and cardboard during the dry finish. Bitterness remains restrained throughout the middle and finish, with the latter being fairly short.

M: Medium viscosity, slippery smooth on the palate, with trace amounts of carbonation.

D: Having been let down by the dark lager style before, I approached this beer with low expectations. I went away favorably impressed, finding the multi-layered complexity remarkable. Between the hints of smoke in the smell and the clean roasted flavors, this beer begs to be paired with other savory flavors. As American-brewed dark lagers go, this one is top-shelf--even better than Moonlight's Death and Taxes.

Photo of terrabyte
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a large dark-brown head that quickly dissipates into nothing.

Aroma is light, mostly dark malts. It doesn't start as much, and even starts to fade.

Flavor works best when warmed up, and quite enjoyable. A nice smokiness that almost burns in the aftertaste. Nice, black, husky earth flavors. There might be some chocolate here, but it's not sweet, and it's burnt as hell. I'm really digging it that way.

Mouthfeel is has an enjoyable creaminess. It literally allowed the flavors to tumble over your tongue. There is also some thickness here, and almost a nice soot-like buildup on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good. Might be a little heavy and earthy for some, but it's bread & butter here. Very enjoyable.

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 799 ratings.