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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

755 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 755
Reviews: 454
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: 755 | Reviews: 454 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedge
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try this one for years. It was available in a couple of stores I used to frequent in MA, but never fresh, so I always passed over it. Now it's recently been introduced to the NC market (at least Asheville), so I snatched one up when I saw it.

Deep, dark blackish color, showing a subtle mahogany glow at the bottom of the glass. A small, creamy tan head sits on top. Lightly sweet, clean roasted malt aroma...light notes of molasses and dark chocolate. Roasted, somewhat smokey malt flavor; clean and lager-y. Rich German malts: bread and caramel with light noble hops and a faint frutiness. Light and fluffy in the mouth...creamy and bitter. More and more chocolatey as it warms. This is quite the tasty Schwartzbier!

wedge, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of Amalak
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
a. Black, all black. Solid head and lace.
s. Very nice malt and chocolate.
t. Very intense licorice taste. Malty. A chocolate aftertaste.
M. Smooth taste with a bit of a tart aftertaste.
o. It's a very good stout. Smooth, not too tart, but good flavor.

Amalak, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of dbtoe
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Look very black body with a finger of tan head that reduced to a ring fairly quick.

Smell a hint of sweet and toasty roasted malt.

Taste yup black roasted malt with a spicy hop end. Something in there I can't ID but really a great smack of flavors.

Feel zesty carbonation with good body Very enjoyable tang.

Drink this is a very enjoyable beer to drink. I had both and was wishing I had more.

Comment had this from a sample pack and wish the 8 pack was 4 of these and 4 of the Special Amber, two very good beers that I'll get again.

dbtoe, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of adam42381
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/30/11.

Poured on draft into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with caramel highlights and a 1-2 finger creamy tan head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, lactose, chocolate and caramel. Smells delicious.

Taste: Chocolate with german malt and a touch of hops. Roasted malt and chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. Goes down smooth.

Overall: Good beer overall. Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to the aroma, but it is definitely worth a try.

adam42381, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A coffee bean black color in the glass, with a very thin head that dissipates quickly but has decent cling. The nose presents toasted malt at the fore with subtle vinegar, mild nuttiness, and slight molasses, as well. I was a little disappointed that the smell wasn't stronger. It has a very prominent coffee flavor with hints of cocoa and lots of toasted malts. If I didn't know any better, I might've thought this was the latest Starbucks beverage. There is some sourness and acidity to the close that actually serves to balance the flavor quite nicely. A mid- to full-bodied mouthfeel with a slight syrup quality, but it does finish very clean.

A very nice dark German lager, with great toasted malt and coffee notes. Goes down very easy and does not overwhelm, despite its pronounced malt flavor and complexity. Definitely worth repeated pours.

DabblinWiscCraft, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a medium tan head, some retention, light lacing.

S: Big malty aroma (bread & cola) with a touch of roasted grain and hop spicing.

T: Bready & roasted grain with subtle hints of coffee & molasses. Modest bitterness with light grassy-spicyness from the hops.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a somewhat dry finish.

D: I'm generally not a fan of Schwarzbier, but this one is quite drinkable.

Derek, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks orbitalr0x for this unexpected treat. 16oz bottle pours perfectly into my harpoon munich dark pint/flute/pilsner/whatever this is..

dense but clear pour with blood red highlights. thin film of foam on top, very creamy. nose is very nutty with a big hit of vanilla. oatmeal drizzled with clover honey. expands as it warms. tastes great with a big thick and creamy mouthfeel. big roasted malts and overly hoppy for a schwarz. grassy finish thanks to the lager character and hops. oh, and there is a nice even bitterness that hangs around for a few. wow this beer is drinkable and a great example of american craft understanding of a rare euro beer style. havent been the biggest fan of sprecher but this one is the cat's meow

goodbyeohio, Aug 23, 2005
Photo of jsanto
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

s - on tap in phila. pint glass.

a - dark brown, and no head, or it dissapeared very quick.

s - it smelled like cherries, and alcohol, but was pleasant.

t - it tasted like it smelled, but very enjoyable to the taste.

m - light carbonation, and it stayed good to the end.

d - very drinkable beer, i could have had another one, but decided to try something else.

jsanto, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is dark malt, not heavy and has a quality of oatmeal stout.
Excessive head that settles fairly quickly. Lacing. Almost black with garnet hues. Clear. Good looking.
Dark malt. Smooth bitter from malt more than hops. Mild dryness. Little more malty than chocolate, but leaves bitterness that lingers. Roast presents lightly as warms.
Incrediably smooth and easy to drink. Low carbonation.
Very easy drinker. Good lager in that sense. Flavors present more as warms, yet remains light to drink. Very nice lager. Went well with some dark chocolate I was eating.

garymuchow, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle. Pours out a dark brown, tinted red. There is not much head. The aroma is dark malts with nuts. Dark roasted malt flavor at first. The hops come in with some spiciness. Medium mouthfeel, but big on flavor. This beer has a great balance between the malt and hops. I haven't had many schwarzbiers, but this is a very tasty one. Putting it in 16 ounce bottles is a nice touch, since 12 ounce bottles occasionally leave you thirsting for more.

beveragecaptain, May 14, 2005
Photo of SamN
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sprecher Black Barvarian is a very black, lighter bodied lager in the glass. Solid black with crimson and amber highlights to light. Dark mocha brown head is decently thick, doesn't last to long. Handsome and not at all imposing despite it's blackness. Smell is quite aromatic, dominated by roasted grains, coffee, faint molasses, smoke and charcoal/chalk. Dry rich aromas, odorous and mouthwateringly classic Schwarzbier. Taste is dark and light. Mildly bitter burnt malt greets the palette, moving to a very slighty vinegary middle and finishing on coffee, roasty flavors and light flowery hops. Lighter in body, good carbonation levels and it remains a crisper style, despite it's stout-like characteristics. Very drinkable, quite good with grilled meat.

Excellent example of one of my favorite styles of beer. I seriously thought this was from Germany until I reviewed it and saw it's actually from WI. Nice job, cheeseheads!

SamN, May 18, 2011
Photo of sommersb
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. brown bottle, with a date code of 103421115, which I think means it was bottled on December 8, 2010. Served in a pilsener glass and drank on March 12, 2011.

A - Black beer with ruby highlights when held to the light. Head is tan, creamy and 4 fingers high. A fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S - Toasted and bready malts are featured. Smells like a dark German bread. Also hints of chocolates and some booziness, with a little sweetness as well.

T - Creamy, with dark, roasted malts. A coffee-like bitterness reminds me a bit of a porter or stout ale. There's a bittersweet taste, as well as a slight burnt character.

M - Medium body and fairly high carbonation. Aftertaste is a lingering dark malty bitterness, but is still balanced well with a little sweetness.

D - A very nice black lager. The strong roasted malt profile reminds me of a stout, however.

sommersb, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of CurtisLoew
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle, cool.

Pours extremely dark brown/black color. Can't see anything through the light. Nice cream colored head.

Smells like the inside of a brewery. Very grainy and nice.

Taste is great. Incredibly clean. Nice grainly, malty german taste. A little dark chocolate and coffee undertones present in this beer. Kind of roasty malt, very nice.

Liked this beer a lot. Sprecher has really shot up in my book lately. My last three beers by them have blown me away. Go sprecher!

CurtisLoew, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of Viciousknishs
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours dark brown with a finger of tan head. Very good retention.

S- big bready malt with chocolate overtones. Smells like chocolate cake! Slight toasty aromas on the finish.

T- smooth milk chocolate up front with bready malts intertwined. Chocolate cake abounds! Finishes with a balancing hop character that gives it an amazing balance with a toasty quality on the finish.

MF- smooth creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and light carbonation.

D- incredibly drinkable

overall one of the best schwarzbiers I've had to date!

Viciousknishs, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of aaronh
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a few years of waiting to be in the right area to find this beer, it finally happened at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul. Sure I could have traded for it, but the trip is part of the fun, isn't it?

Nice dark, almost black body with a rather thin whitish head. Aroma is clean, with just a hint of malt and noble hops in there. Overall, it's just a really fresh malt aroma. Taste is also clean and a bit malty. A nice hop balance in there, but not much hop flavor - just bittering. Mouthfeel is solid. Better than average, not exactly memorable. Drinkability is very good. I really wish this beer was available near where I live. While not the amzing revalation I was hoping for, it would be a staple lager for me to complement my occasional Prima Pils and Paulaner O'fests.

aaronh, Jan 04, 2008
Photo of wisegreensoul
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%

wisegreensoul, May 01, 2014
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 emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of yeast esters, banana, and smoky malt all are noticeable upon opening. Halfway through, these aromas are a struggle to find.

Cascading deep tan foam slowly builds into a rich looking head of foam. Surface is convex and craggy. Slow crackling as the foam dissipates.

First taste is earthy roasted malt, with a dry, smoky, earthy hop character in the aftertaste. Very mild bitterness, a slight lactic feel. Slightly light mouthfeel, good for the style. This could be sipped or sessioned, it's pretty balanced.

If you're a big fan of Porters or lighter Stouts, try this one out...

emerge077, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of Ri0
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 16 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

A - Color is a very rich dark chocolate brown. Big 2 finger caramel colored head fades into a slight ring around the glass. Only a trace of lacing.

S - Nice dark and milk chocolate with caramel. The malts are roasted as to give a slight bitter coffee scent. Traces of sugars and dark fruit.

T - There is that big chocolate flavor with caramel. Followed by a roasted coffee. Some light hops and dark ripe fruit to finish it off. Very enjoyable to drink on any day, cold or warm.

M - Big rich and creamy feel. Still clean and refreshing so it is easy to drink. The body is medium light even though it looks like a stout.

O - A well crafted beer that any stout lover should try.

Ri0, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the first Schwarzbier I have ever had, and it's a damn fine brew at that.

The appearance is an inky black color with absolutely no light penetration, and only a thin but extremely creamy head. Leaves little to no lacing along the glass.


The smell is quite enticing. Smells like caramelized chocolatey malt character, slightly roasty. Smells like a good brown ale with a strong herbal hop in the background. Very earthy.

The taste is also remniscient of a good brown ale: caramel and chocolate malt, only a slight bit roasty. What sets this apart, though, is the hop character. The hops are slightly herbal and grassy with very little spiciness. It is quite well blended between the malt and hop flavors.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewey, just how I like it. Leaves a residual coffee bitterness in the finish, but doesn't end too dry. A slight piney hops character can be found as well.

Drinkability is good, and ABV isn't quite out of control, but nonetheless I couldn't picture myself sessioning these. It is too rich, and is better enjoyed at a snail's pace. Pick it up if you can.

neonbrown82, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of Redrover
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz brown bottle, I forgot to check for freshness dating.

The beer pours a nice black with brown highlights. A compact tan head and nice lacing add up to an attractive beer.

The nose is of slightly roasted malts, a bit of fruits and a touch of sugar. Also a bit earthy.

The taste is similar to the smell. I like how the toasted malts interact with the slightly bitter hops. The beer is sweet in the best way. Complex enough to keep you interested. The earthy taste lingers in the background and compliments the molasses taste which emerges late.

Nice brisk mouth helps off-set the beer’s slight trend towards a syrupy feel. Extremely easy drinker, a great beer to pair with hearty food or to enjoy on its own.

Well done Sprecher!

Redrover, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of Tballz420
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost completely opaque black body, slight brown hues when held to the light. Small brown head tops it off. Big chocholate malt scent, some slight roast to it. The main gist of this one is chocolate malts, good amount of roast to them. A touch of bitter hops in the backround. Big, creamy mouth. Not a bad drink.

Tballz420, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of therica
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let this one warm a bit before drinking. Be patient with this one and you'll be rewarded. I would say maybe 50-55F temp on this one. The warmer it gets, the better it gets.

A= dark black. Modest head, modest tan rimming.

S= not much scent at all when first poured, so I've let it set for a while. Ahhh-- smells like a premium dark Swiss chocolate bar. Dry roasted malts begin to appear. Some light hops florals.

T= rich, very nicely balanced, good dry chocolatey malts, definitely more bold than the classic Kostritzer in flavor. Not at all watery. Modest hops florals in the mix. More dry than bitter.

M= dry chocolate, then very dry dark chocolate. Rich malts lingering. Hints of hops florals.

O= one of the best and robust Schwartz' I've ever had. Don't ruin it with food or worrying about pairings.

therica, May 13, 2011
Photo of SheepNutz
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep black color with two fingers of light tan head. There is just a little bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is rich in roasted malt. There's lots of chocolate and a little touch of smoke to the nose as well. The taste is chock full of burnt malt. A bit of caramelized sugar and a sweet finish. The mouthfeel is solid and smooth. The drinkability is good as well. A big thanks to Kevin (kmpitz2) for sharing this during the UK/Arkansas game.

SheepNutz, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of evanackerman
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beer pours black with a beige head.

aroma is pruny malt

taste is a nice combination of roasty malt with a nice acidity to balance it out and just the right touch of hops.

mouthfeel is very very smooth.

drinkability is huge, great session beer.

overall, this is a very easy-drinking and enjoyable take on the style, i love the 16 oz bottle as well. this one is a staple for me.

evanackerman, Mar 10, 2007
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 755 ratings.