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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

751 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 751
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 103
Gots: 33 | 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: 751 | Reviews: 453 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donzilake
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

donzilake, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of nineworldseries
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

nineworldseries, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of CorgiDad
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

CorgiDad, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of BikingDutchman
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

BikingDutchman, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of sneaks2210
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

sneaks2210, Feb 27, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

djrn2, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

16 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. It only shows hints of opacity when put against a moderately strong light. The head is a three finger mocha shade that doesn't retain particularly well, as expected. Having said that, I love the soft creaminess of the texture, with just a hint of rockiness to suggest it's well hopped. Lacing left on the glass is quite plentiful, also.

S: I get some dark fruit esters, roasted malts, cream, chocolate, caramel, noble hops, and brown sugar on the aroma. Not terribly groundbreaking on its own, but quite impressive given the style. I could certainly compare it to a good porter/stout aromatically.

T: An initial wave of dry chocolate soon gives way to a combination of roasted malts and grassy hops on the back end. While it's simplistic and straightforward, it's also enjoyably balanced and easy to drink.

M: It's crisp and dry like a good lager should be. On the other end of the spectrum, it actually does a good job of feeling somewhat substantial. At times, the general feel is more reminiscent of a porter than a dinky-ass schwarzbier.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect from this one - it's a schwarzbier, yet one of the top examples of the style according to BA. Luckily, I'm finding this one pretty damn good. Probably the best schwarz I've had yet, in fact.

ThisWangsChung, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of bcsbeer
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

bcsbeer, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of jimmygord
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

jimmygord, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of barefootbrewer
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%

A: This beer poured a brownish black color.

S: The aroma is initially big of malt. There are toffee and burnt caramel smells that are also quite apparent.

T: Roasted and toasted flavors are the first to reach the palate. A coffee type bitterness is persistent and works very well.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit thin. I would like for a little more body, but it seems to be suited to the style description.

D: This is a very drinkable brew. The thin body makes it just slide down.

barefootbrewer, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of MadTown1000
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%

Poured from the usual Sprecher big bulbous 16oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Smell of thick sweet molasses out of the bottle. Pours a black that on closer inspection in the light is actually a very deep dark cherry red, with about two inches of cherry-tinted foam. The foam recedes without leaving any lace. The taste delivers on the scent - the main character is sweet caramelized malt, with a little bit of bite to it. It does have a slight charred aftertaste I'm not fond of. While the BA description of a schwarzbier suggests they're often light in flavor, this one resembles a porter more than anything else. My favorite Wisconsin dark.

MadTown1000, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of Rayek
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%

Poured into a Stange.

A: Deep walnut, almost black. A rocky cream cap slowly falls to a thin quilt of foam. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Chocolate, molasses and a hint of burnt malt make up most of the nose. There's a light scent of lemon in the background.

T: Molasses and a burnt bitterness are out front. Some bittersweet baking chocolate is along for the ride. Finishes with a slight astringency and lingering burnt wood flavors.

M: The body is fairly heavy and has a bit too much fizz.

D: This is a nice Schwarzbier overall. It's a bit heavier than I was expecting, but its moderate strength was a nice compliment to a cold autumn day.

Rayek, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of bditty187
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Black with ruddy highlights, tiny tan head that collapses to a collar quickly, no lace was produced. Modestly roasted malts, coffee in the nose… reserved potency. Yeah, that’s roasty! Superb palate, raw, roasty malts, bitter, chalky, coffee, simple but constructed well. Dry finish. Tasty, yes, but uninspiring. Medium body. Clean finish. Quick. Sticky aftertaste, a little sweet… this would limit how many I’d drink in a setting. I can’t say this one knocked my socks off; it is a good Schwarzbier but it just didn’t jive with me.

Thanks tavernjef!

bditty187, Sep 26, 2003
Photo of GRG1313
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours black with a big thick and off white head - nice looking and inviting.

Nose is layered with light carmel/toffee and sweet black chocolate. Light but inviting and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery with very light carbonation. However, layers of subtle flavors overcome the other weaknesses of this beer.

Flavors are light roasted grains, light brewed coffee and a pleasant burnt toast malt/hop character.

Finish is a pleasant light coffee bitter. Nice flavor profile save this one and it's a nice "lighter" dark beer that's pretty drinkable. Finish is a pleasant long bitter coffee that leaves you wanting more.

GRG1313, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of shadow1961
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Sprecher Black Bavarian Style Lager pours a lovely stiff
brown head over a black brew. The nose is molasses with
a hint of mocha. Carbonation is really hard to guage- this
stuff is black as a stout. The flavor is coffee, molasses, and
a bit of bitter chocolate in the finish. The mouthfeel is light
and crisp- a dark beer that is perfectly refreshing in June.
It's like a bad ass iced coffee, with alcohol! Goddamn-
Sprecher has some master brewers working for them- I've
yet to taste a loser. Tasty.

shadow1961, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of bigdeuce
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Wow, is this a rich one. Full of chocolate and coffee malts, bursting with terrific high tailed, nutty flavor. Very robust and creamy, great mouthfeel as it is very full bodied. Pours a dark black with a nice pillowy head that leaves lacing all the way down the glass. Slight bitterness on the end, but initial booming maltiness. A top flight beer no doubt!

bigdeuce, Oct 21, 2006
Photo of GreyMorel
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Had in botle form, served cold into a tumbler.

A - Reasonably dark. Not a black, but rather a very dark brown that becomes apparent when held up to the light. Head was of an off-white color, single finger thickness. Head was not long lived.

S - Smelled very sweet, with a noticable hop aroma.

T - The tast was very sweet from malts, and yet a little hopy; very pleasent. I wasn't expecting such an uplifting taste from a "dark" beer.

M - Nothing outstanding to report here. It feels rather smooth with moderate carbonation. It was rather light bodied, not heavy.

D - I only rated it average. I was very gung-ho about drinking it at first, but the sweet flavor just kept building up in my palate to the point where I couldnt finish it. If you sip it slow, its a great beer; don't go overboard.

GreyMorel, May 14, 2009
Photo of anglagard1
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

Poured into a pilsner glass per Beer Advocate directions.
Still getting used to the style, as it looks and smells like a porter or stout. The smell especially reminds me of a quality porter, with rich cocoa/coffee aroma, with perhaps a slight medicinal/bandaid to it. It is in the taste and mouthfeel that I recognize this is a lager; there is nothing that especially makes me want to keep this on the tongue, nor am I reluctant to drink it in gulps. It's a good beer but I'd be hard pressed to find the right occassion for it. Perhaps if you're in the mood for a dark beer on a warm summer night.

anglagard1, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of emerald27
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%

emerald27, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of Thads324
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%

given to me by my father, of all people!

A : pours a super dark oil color with a finger and half of solid and thick tan head, little tiny bubbles. german looking label, although it is american.

S : not much to speak of. a little hint of roasted malt. smells dry and has a hint of old chocolate bar.

T : begins with a musty and earthy hop, not bitter, but slightly flavorful. The middle is dominated by a vibrant roasted almost coffee taste. undertones of sweet chocolate bits. Followed up by another hint of flavor hops and a crisp finish. the finish has a hint of caramel in it.

M : clean, crisp and easy to drink. Finishes very nice and easy.

A nicely done beer. Lacking in aroma, but that may be the tulip I used (only clean glass I had today). a good surprise from a brewery I have never heard of and I would pick it up again.

Thads324, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of ADR
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

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...

ADR, May 26, 2002
Photo of alleykatking
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Poured from 16oz bottle.

A- Pours a black color but shows some red hues when held to the light. One finger brownish tan head comes up and dies slowly. No real lacing left behind on the glass as I'm drinking.

S- Good roasted malts in the front end of this beer. Light hints of chocolate and something a little more sweet like molasses in the middle of the nose. There is some light grassy hops I can pick out very faintly in the background of this beer. Reminds me of the start of a wonderful RIS.

T- Nice lighter roasted malts in the front end of this beer. There is a nice lager taste in the middle of the beer with a added sweetness. I don't know how else to describe it. Light hops in the backend of this beer.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little lacking and makes this beer more heavy than it should be. Malts dominate everything from the palate to the aftertaste.

D- This beer is good....not great but good. I wouldn't mind have a couple pints of this and then move onto something a little more....less heavy feeling.

alleykatking, Feb 03, 2010
Photo of NODAK
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Aroma isn't too strong; has definite notes of chocolate along with some roasted character. Light, kind of silky. Not bad.

Love the pint glass bottles! Haven't seen these before from anybody else. The color of the beer is in the name.

Taste is full of dark chocolate and roasted malts but it isn't overally powerful nor rich. A bit thin. Not really sweet in the least. Small but noble bitterness is noticeable on the finish. An espresso taste lingers after the swallow.

A solid, pretty much by the book black lager here. Those who are looking for a sweeter, richer schwarzbier are going to have to look elsewhere.

NODAK, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Bottle breakout of dark brown meets black hues topped with a frothy settling spotty thin wafer cap.

Nose is a burnt malty, slightly licorice, and dark cake.

First swigs: Burnt black cold coffee flavor and astringency. Tobacco leaf notes ingrained with a hop balance that makes for a darn good black bavarian that was fairly cheap too. Dry and caramelized sugar finish. Lingering aftertaste.

Decent feel of middle ofthe road body and dense carbonation.

Last swigs: Loads of dark chocolate an caramel. Nice. Thanks to wbfarr for the heads up! Great suggestion.

Beer is good.

blitheringidiot, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

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)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 30, 2008
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 751 ratings.