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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

737 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 737
Reviews: 452
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 100
Gots: 31 | 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: 737 | Reviews: 452 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

16oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled sometime in February 2009.

(A)- Pours almost pitch black with a large light brown head that slowly dissipated to a solid 1-finger. Plenty of lacing present.

(S)- Lots of roasted malt richness with a potent woody spice and afterthoughts of creaminess.

(T)- Really cream semisweet lightly roasted malts. Almost like a creamed coffee minus the sugar. Very light bitterness.

(M)- Smooth, creamy, and overall balanced; not overpowering. Good carbonation level.

(D)- My personal favorite schwarzbier. Easy to enjoy; balanced and goes down smooth. It is simple but rewarding. Even better fresh. The smell certainly waned due to its age.

07-29-2009 01:24:51 | More by sweemzander
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

16 ounce bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled 3/29/2012. Pours crystal clear extremely dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, raisin, toast, nuttiness, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, raisin, roasted malt, nuttiness, light coffee, biscuit, earthiness, and herbal spiciness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, toffee, molasses, roasted malt, toast, raisin, nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; nicely robust with zero cloying after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice schwarzbier! Nicely robust with good balance and complexity of flavors; very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

12-09-2012 05:55:24 | More by superspak
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Very dark brown with a glint of red. Roasted malt is the big flavor. Dark, almost burned caramel, but no hint of the sourish charcoal flavors of some stouts. Slightly sweet but well balanced with a touch of hops. Toasty aftertaste. Large head in the glass with nice carbonation in the mouthfeel. Light body with lots of flavor.

Good example of the style. Really drinkable and a great beer if you're in the mood for a dark one.

07-20-2011 04:30:12 | More by mactrail
Photo of


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

12oz. bottle

Not quite opaque, clear at edges. Deep dark brown/mahogany when held up to light. Medium sized, light brown, creamy head. Not much lacing or legs.

Malt bomb - sweet overall. Chocolate & coffee. Roasted notes.

Initially, more bitter than sweet, stays that way, but nicely balanced overall. Roast & coffee notes. Grassy/herbal hops compliment roast & coffee. Touch of smoke.

Medium + body. Medium + carbonation. Not very dry.

Very nicely done. Enjoyed it tremendously!

07-13-2007 15:16:30 | More by
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small streaks of lace dot the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, molasses, and burnt sugar aromas. Taste is of dark roasted malt, campfire smoke, and some molasses flavors. A very mild roasty bitterness quickly fades after each sip. A good level of carbonation makes for a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good schwarzbier with some nice roasty qualities. I am glad I picked one of these up.

09-03-2011 23:24:10 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BeerBuilder
BeerBuilder

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours black with a light brown head. The aroma is of sweet caramel malts and a touch of roastiness. The flavor is of sweet malts and a bit of roasted malts as well. It has a very light hop flavor, and bitterness in minimal. It is a light-medium bodied brew, that is very smooth and easy drinking. An enjoyable brew that I would drink again.

Sampled 9/21/03

11-20-2003 21:56:20 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of zerk
zerk

California

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours a deep brown with hints of ruby and a thin tan head. Aroma is full of molasses, caramel, and some cocoa. Flavor is not terribly complex, but very nicely blended, with sweet caramel malt upfront, and some chocolate and coffee in the finish... has just enough spicy hops to show through as well. Has a medium to full body, and a rough mouthfeel.

This is a very nice American Schwarzbier... nice to see someone doing such a good job with this all-to-neglected style.

03-10-2003 19:32:25 | More by zerk
Photo of Gtreid
Gtreid

Florida

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

16 oz. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Almost black, but when back lit, a mahagony tint shines through. The pour produced one finger of light tan head that stuck around for the entire glass.

A: Very spicey, malty nose. Also a very prevelent wood and smoke aroma. Some very light coffee and chocolate also present.

T: Very much like the nose. The black roasted malt stand out. The beer finishes dry with a very slight alcohol heat.

M: Unexpected medium body. From the look of the brew I thought it would be much heavier. A good amount of carbonation gives it a tingle at the back of the palate.

D: Overall very good for the style. At 6%, if schwarzbier is your thing, Black Bavarian is sessionalbe. Will be having this again. Skal.

03-29-2009 23:53:04 | More by Gtreid
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

A stubby 16 ounce bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a clear deep chestnut brown color with about two fingers of light ecru foam. Smells and tastes of dark roasted grains, mild coffee and chocolate, caramel, earthy bitter hops. Falls somewhere between medium and full bodied for a schwarzbier and is amply carbonated as well. Certainly worth your time.

06-15-2009 23:31:13 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of IPAdams
IPAdams

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with some red highlights. Small creamy tan head that recedes quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell- I get a sugary sweet caramel smell mixed with Pepsi. A bit of roasted malt in the background. What I get is a very nice smell but very subdued.

Taste- Very clean and balanced. Slight bitterness from roasted malts, flavors of Cola, light coffee and toasted bread.

Mouthfeel- Moderate body with good visible carbonation. Not overly drying or cloying.

Overall- Very nice beer, easy drinking. Flavors are balanced and go well with a cold winter night or hot summers day.

05-31-2014 03:02:17 | More by IPAdams
Photo of Mdog
Mdog

Minnesota

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Appearance: Black with a nice brown head. A little bit of red can be detected when held to light.

Smell: Slight roasted aroma.

Taste: Roasted coffee, chocolate, moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, bitterness holds on for a while.

Drinkability: Definitely could have a couple of these in a sitting.

Another beer that reminds me of a porter. This one's a lager so points for originality. Reasonably priced and tasty to boot. Good stuff.

03-24-2007 18:15:49 | More by Mdog
Photo of chicano4craft
chicano4craft

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Poured into a shaker glass out of the 16oz bottle. Black with a slight ruby tint in the light. Half inch, bubbly head that disappeared pretty fast.

Sweet roast in the nose. Not much else.

Taste was just as the aroma promised with a sweet roast. Slighlty burn after taste. Pretty standard for the style. Lots of carbonation.

I see this as a dark session beer. Not blown away, but would make for a good start of the night beer. Thanks to nappie for this one.

01-20-2010 02:28:44 | More by chicano4craft
Photo of almychristopher
almychristopher

New York

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

looks pretty black with a tan head that shrinks up slowly to a lace. the aroma lives up to the dark malts the appearance promises... chocolatey roasted goodness. the malts live on in the taste with a good bit of roastedness, it's well attenuated, with a fine crisp mouthfeel... a pretty good beer.

06-12-2008 05:42:58 | More by almychristopher
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Great black colour with whte head. Drinkable from bit of sweetness in malts that lasts on, bittersweet atertaste but better than a stout. Molasses taste and aroma. Bit of chocolate and coffee. Session ale.
6% beer is very good. Best I have had for style.

07-04-2004 04:55:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours a solid black with a creamy two fingered head that slowly builds and lasts quit awhile leaving some sticky lacing as it disipates.

The aroma is malty with a hint of dark chocolate and coffee. Like an Imperial Stout but more subdued.

The malt is definately on display here. Hints of bitter chocolate and espresso add to the complexity. I don't sense much for hops in aroma or taste which I think would add to the beer as it is very sweet. It feels heavy for a Schwarzbier (Sprecher calls it Kulmbacher) but has a excellant creamy, smooth feel. Just mild carbonation tickles the tongue. Feels a little heavy as I think it could be confused for a stout so it doesn't have the consumption rate of other black lagers and their drinking appeal.

11-03-2007 19:48:30 | More by morimech
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

A - Very dark black with only a slight touch of red hues at the base. My pour produced only a slight lace of ring of mocha colored head but a quick swirl gets it nice and sticky.

S - Smells some slight roasted notes, anise, coffee, and toffee. Smells strong.

T - Has a very nice nutty taste, then toffee, then a smooth roast of mild coffee. Finish has a nice bit of hops too.

M - Medium bodied and very creamy. Nice!

Overall I had to take the overall score down since I can't find this around my area but it was a very good black lager. Smooth and drinkable!

12-17-2011 01:21:54 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

My girlfriend brought back a 4 pack of these pint bottles on her last trip back to the homeland, AKA Wisconsin. I've had these many times back in the midwest, but I am reviewing for the first time from the left coast where these are unavailable. Poured into a weizen glass.

Three quarter inch tan frothy head. Appears black as night, but when held to a bright light, deep dark ruby transparency reigns through. Lacing and head retention are almost non-existent.

Very sweet and caramelesque malts in the nose. Some kind of dark fruit, maybe even some black licorice. A unique aroma in good German Style.

Strong malty taste. Malted milk balls. Sweet quality.

Light to medium body. Good carbonation. Easy to drink. A good ol' mil town brew.

11-09-2008 08:02:35 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

An opaque black brew with tiny hints of brown, and a thin tan head that fades quickly. Looks nice! The nose is syrupy coffee and roasted chocolate. Taste is sweet plums up front, followed by strong coffee and hints of caramel. Coffee taste lingers. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both slightly above average. One of Sprecher's best brews.

08-12-2006 03:16:29 | More by shivtim
Photo of Drewcifer
Drewcifer

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours a solid black with a slight reddish tinge to it. A very short tan head that fades to a ring quickly. It's an interesting black - not the murky blacks of stouts and porters, but almost a glossy black.

Aroma is dark, smokey, roasted and burnt grains.

Taste is roasted grains, again, a slight bittersweet chocolate hint, maybe some toffee. Different, but good.

Mouthfeel is a good, solid lager feel - medium body, fair amount of carbonation, not thick but solid.

Overall, a very good brew. Not the most drinkable - I can't see having more than one or two in one sitting - but on a bottle-by-bottle basis, a nice drinker.

06-29-2008 19:02:12 | More by Drewcifer
Photo of WankelEngine
WankelEngine

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a nonic

A: The beer is a dark brown, almost black with a touch of mahogany around the edge. There is a 3 finger foamy tan head that sticks around for a bit.

S: Smells of roasted malts. There is a bit of smokiness and some wood.

T: Similar roasted malts from the smell. The biggest difference is the addition of a mild fruitness; raisin and grape. The smoky character develops a bit and leaves the finish dry and with a little bit of bitter coffee.

M: Medium carbonation with a smooth, relatively thin body. Easy drinking.

O: A combination of light, drinkable malts and some darker smoke and wood flavors. Overall pretty good.

02-04-2012 23:46:09 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

3.86/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured from a bottle into a stein. The pour looks phenomenal. It is extremely dark, not quite black, and sports some ruby and mahogany highlights. The head is big, tan, and creamy, and fairly persistent. On the nose I get some toasted malt and fresh bread.

The beer has a medium body and a slightly thin feel, but a really nice flavor of clean malt offset by medium roast. I get lots of toasted notes, sweet malt, and toffee up front and at mid-palte just the right amount of espresso-like roast, which keeps the sweetness from getting too sharp. I don't pick up much in the way of hops, but there is a faint peppery note that joins with the roast on the back of the palate so I'm assuming that's them. Some of the roastiness lingers on the finish, drying out the palate.

Not the first Schwarzbier I've had, but it seems to be the first one I've reviewed. I enjoyed this one while cooking up a huge pot of pasta sauce and planning a lecture on the nine point circle for a Geometry course I'm teaching next academic year. My mom is from Germany and she told me once that Schwarzbier is what German women drink when they're pregnant. Perhaps that explains a lot about my own personal love of beer. Cheers!

05-29-2014 20:03:47 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.86/5  rDev -5.2%

16 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head Glass

This beer pours up very black with a one finger tan head, decent retention, and some lacing. Nose is faint, but mostly malt and caramel. Taste is similar to the nose with there being several sweet flavors including malt, chocolate, and caramel. A small bit of coffee can be detected on the finish. Mouthfeel is okay, but not particularly memorable. A decent beer, if somewhat indistinctive.

03-10-2013 01:38:57 | More by Mojo
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

11-11-2005 16:08:59 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

10-18-2012 02:06:01 | More by deebo
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured from a 16oz bottle that I brought back from Indy into a pint. The website suggested 60 degree serving temp which I tried to get but I think I'm still a bit cold. No dating info on bottle. It was black in color with a constant carb fountain in center. No lacing. It had an average size brown head that quickly settled into a collar that was fed by the carb fount.

The aroma was a little weaker than I expected but that may be due to it still being a big cold still. Caramelized malt, chocolate malt, black bread and a bit of smoke. Pretty good but not the best that I've had in the style. The taste was really good but again not as flavorful as I'd expected. Very smooth from start to finish. Dominated by the caramel malt. Would have liked a bit more smoky taste to it. Was also missing bitterness so was a bit one dimensional with the sweetness. Mouthfeel was creamy with good carbonation.

Overall, a really good beer that just misses being a great beer for me. Needs a little more bitter to balance the sweetness. Since no date on bottle, can't tell how fresh it is so would like to try at least one more to validate the review. It's not available here in Texas but if it was it would make it into the rotation as change-up/semi-regular in the session mix. Do recommend but don't go too far out the way.

01-26-2009 02:38:05 | More by TexIndy
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 737 ratings.