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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

725 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 98
Gots: 26 | 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)
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of rich bready malt and roasted lager malts with a slight hint of chocolate. Flavor is quite similar, with a smooth palate. Some vegetal notes with a sweet finish. Not as roasty as some schwarzbiers are and its malt character reminds me more of a doppelbock. A nice beer.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 20:54:01 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of superdedooperboy
superdedooperboy

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16-ounce brown glass bottle with twist-off cap poured into a pilsner glass.

Opaque at first glance, it pours a deep, dark brown, showing ruby tones when held to the light. The small half-finger of light tan foam shows excellent retention but fails to leave any remnant of itself on the walls of the glass.

Aroma is patently malty, with some light roast along with caramel and chocolate, even a hint of smokiness.

A little fuller in body than anticipated for the style, with a light carbonation. Big, rich malt flavors envelop the palate, sweet with caramel and dark chocolate, roasty and smoky as well, with a moderate hop bitterness showing up in the middle to balance a bit but allowing the malt presence to take center stage. The sweet malt character brings itself to a head, surprisingly, toward the back, bringing in a finish that is sweet with cocoa and burnt caramel, though with a light dryness to even things out.

Delicious, but much more reminiscent of a porter than a Schwarzbier, as this brew possesses nowhere near the finesse of the finest examples of the style. Pleasing in itself no doubt, but whereas one expects Pils-like drinkability from a Schwarz, this might actually fit in better with an American-style Porter or even a Baltic Porter for that matter.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 04:53:03 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

3.6/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It is definitely black. The malts used give it a great opaque body with ruby highlights. I am turned off that this thing has NO head whatsoever. Just a light halo of film that has built around the sides of the glass, that is leaving no foam traces. Where is my two finger cap Sprecher? Is the beer bad? I hope not.

Smell: There isn’t really a whole lot on the nose either. I think Guinness original stout had more of a profile than this. I caught just the slightest bit of chocolate and caramel malts in there. But really not even that. Okay, a little roasted and bready malt there too. Not impressive however.

Taste: That’s pretty interesting, a good pretty interesting! You start with a surprising hoppy bitterness. Surprising because you couldn’t get that from the nose in a million tries (yeah yeah olfactory fatigue I get it, but you understand what I mean right?). Then it launches fast and furious into roasted caramel malts and sour coffee notes. It’s a nice transition.

Finally, it finishes with an almost pale ale wheat flavor. The light hops make a comeback in the swallow as well. It’s almost like drinking a nice stout and it tries to morph into a pale ale as it passes through. If nothing else, the flavor profile is doing what Sprecher said it is supposed to, and it’s really good.

Mouth feel: The hops and the bitterness are contributing to a semi-dry and light mouth feel. This is very strange to me, since I am thinking I am drinking a heftier stout that is supposed to have a bigger mouth feel.

It’s not necessarily off putting, because it fits with the lighter hops thrown in. However, it borders precariously close to being too light and watery. It doesn’t quite sink to that though.

Overall: I am really torn by the experience of this beer. It’s all there when you take a drink of the Black Bavarian (sounds like a silver age comic’s villain doesn’t it?). However, the nose and mouth feel don’t do it any justice at all.

Give me that impenetrable foam head you see on porters and stouts. Let me smell the malts when I pop the cap. Heck, there was probably even room to let those pale ale malts shine through the dark depths of the caramel and coffee malts all the brighter. As it is though it is a good beer, that I feel Sprecher could make a great one.

They leave me feeling like they can get the flavor profile they want and deliver, now just follow through on the whole experience and this could be a “HOLY SMOKES THAT’S SOME GOOD BEER!” easily.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 16:12:24 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- black w/ stop light red hues, 1/4 tan head disappeared quickly

S- roasted, sweet cream, choclate

T- nicely balanced, stale burnt bitterness toward finish, sweet chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, dry coco at finish, coffee in after

M- smooth, creamy, carbonation tickle, dry finish, light body

D- complex and tasty (though that stale flavor felt off, and carbonation felt awkwardly flat at times), enjoyable and drinkable, worth a shot, i'd have another

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 23:51:57 | More by tonistruth
Photo of sleazo
sleazo

New York

3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours as black as a dark night with a cream coloured creamy top. Lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S-Slight charred malt, not very strong

T-Sweetness is the first thing that hits you followed by the slightly charred malt. Slight hints of hops can be detected but most of the bitterness here is from the malt.

M-Light bodied with moderate carbonation

D-This is a good Swartzbier but not on par with some of the European classics. Is a bit sweet for my taste but this is a good one to have on hand.

Serving type: on-tap

09-04-2007 14:48:16 | More by sleazo
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sprecher Black Bavarian

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into an English style dimpled pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Dark brown, nearly black, with a finger of light tan head. This quickly settled to a collar. No lacing...

S) Dark roasted malt, a bit charred, a little cocoa powder, and light coffee. Actually quite milky, and just a whiff of licorice there too.

T) Pretty close to the nose. I noted a little more sweetness in the flavor, kind of an underlying caramel. The finish was bitter earthy hops.

M) Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This is a smooth brew, right up to a pretty dry finish. The aftertaste is an earthy roasty combo.

O) Still plowing through the Christmas leftovers. This is one of Sprecher's better offerings.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 19:53:28 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of ryanocerus
ryanocerus

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2002 09:50:57 | More by ryanocerus
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured all 16 ounces into a 22ounce pilsner glass. Deep black color with Ruby red highlights and a huge thick tan head that went all the way to the top of the glass and laced down ever so thickly. Great looking beer for sure.

Smell is of very faint Caramal toasted malts.

Taste is a nice light chocolate and Caramel malt flavors with a very nice earthy hop finish.

Mouthfeel is a very filling creamyness about it. Smooth and not thick, but still nice and full.

Drinkability is pretty good as this beer is pleasant tasting with an enjoyable mouthfeel and yet not heavy or overly filling. A nice combination for a session beer.
Good job Sprecher!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2004 03:11:07 | More by bashiba
Photo of JasonA
JasonA

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2008 21:16:02 | More by JasonA
Photo of yankeeheel
yankeeheel

Maine

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

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 00:27:51 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of ommegangpbr
ommegangpbr

New York

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Hop Devil Grill:
Looks... Black! leaves some nice lacing after the off-white head fades.
Scents are sweet and smoky but lacking some punch. This will clearly be a malty time.
Flavors are all sweetened coffee notes. Pretty similar to many porters I've had but underachieving some.
Not too bad all around but something like this I'd expect to be a bit more smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2008 05:14:33 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When they say black bavarian style lager, they mean black. Although the "blackest material" was created at RPI where I go to school, this rivals it.

S: Roasted malt and a subtle caramel sweetness.

T: A good sweetness lasts throughout the entire taste but the initial taste is pretty roasty. There is a touch of roast in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied but finishes pretty thin.

D: A good black lager but not a style I'm generally a fan of.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 01:52:01 | More by drseamus
Photo of Jredner
Jredner

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New in town. Aroma is sweet malts with a metallic twinge and extremely faint smokey and chocolate hints. Body is dark brown approaching full black and sports a rapidly diminishing tan head. Coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malts. Has an almost porter like flavor at first, but with a lighter mouthfeel. Slight hints of molasses through the middle with a bitter lingering finish. At times it has porter and dunkel flavors, but never truly gets all that schwarzbier-y. Still decently tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 11:09:30 | More by Jredner
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The thinnest of fizzy light brown colored heads displays no retention to speak, you'll miss it if you blink... All that remains is a minimal splotchy lacing with a slightly ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass... Completely opaque muted black color... Very still...

S - Mild... Equal parts roasted malt and coffee... Touches of caramel and chocolate... Slightly grainy...

T - Burnt roasted malt to start... Hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel... A mix of subtle hoppiness and ferocious roasted malts dominate the aftertaste and linger for quite a while...

M - A slightly burnt chalky texture... Medium bodied... Heavy... Biting carbonation... Even and consistent...

D - Being a fan of Schwarzbiers, I was rather disappointed with this offering given many of the reviews I've read... Average for the style at best... Nothing memorable... Really lacking in terms of complexities in all facets that I expect from top notch Schwarzbiers...

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2010 02:34:58 | More by philbe311
Photo of Rohkey
Rohkey

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -14%

01-30-2013 16:17:55 | More by Rohkey
Photo of hansenm72
hansenm72

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -14%

07-03-2014 17:07:12 | More by hansenm72
Photo of krl2112
krl2112

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

09-20-2013 23:38:40 | More by krl2112
Photo of LSMroz
LSMroz

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

03-10-2013 01:58:21 | More by LSMroz
Photo of ffshore545
ffshore545

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

07-06-2014 23:48:24 | More by ffshore545
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
Ispeakforthetrees

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -14%

03-24-2013 14:48:29 | More by Ispeakforthetrees
Photo of nheinzie57
nheinzie57

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

05-18-2013 00:13:10 | More by nheinzie57
Photo of bacher468
bacher468

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -14%

03-22-2014 15:47:58 | More by bacher468
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up recently at Whole Foods on Houston St. since it was reasonably priced and I hadn't tried this before. I haven't had very many Schwarzbiers before so it was a chance to branch out a bit as well. When I saw the review on here, I was quite surprised at how highly rated this was. While this wasn't a bad beer, it was not as thick or as flavorful as I had hoped it would be!

Of course, this poured a very dark brown but there wasn't much of any head or lacing to be seen, even after I had to wait since the larger bottle couldn't be poured into my pint glass all at once. The taste was that of licorice, some darker plum-like fruits, and a faint hint of chocolate. This reminded me a bit of Newcastle but not as "brown". It was pretty malty and went down easily, but I expected this to have just a bit more staying power.

This isn't a very strong beer and I hardly felt the alcohol when I was drinking it. Sure, it has a nice mellow roasted feel to it, but I guess that a German-style beer would be a bit more bold. I probably need to try out more from this style, since the range is probably a lot greater than the few that I've had would indicate. This would certainly fit the bill for a session-like winter beer for the novice drinker...

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 00:07:33 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of Getalegup
Getalegup

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -14%

02-24-2014 20:27:40 | More by Getalegup
Photo of Skelton
Skelton

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -14%

07-03-2014 02:14:03 | More by Skelton
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.