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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: 50 | 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 drizzam
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the big brown pint bottle into my favorite DFH clear pint glass. Love the fat pint bottles! The bottle reports a 6% ABV while BA reports a 5.86 ABV...close enough I guess.

A - Opaque dark brown body topped with a gorgeous 2 finger fluffy khaki head. Head retention was excellent and it left nice lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Aromas of dark bitter chocolate, brown sugar and a bit of a smoky campfire aroma.

T & M - Bitter roasted malt body with that campfire smoke I smelled in the nose. I also get some of the dark chocolate I smelled as a complement to the main tastes. Medium bodied and creamy.

D - A tasty little number, and I'm proud it is locally brewed. The fact that it is locally brewed means it's CHEAP locally, which adds to its drinkability. (It certainly doesn't hurt that it is delicious either!) I would certainly recommend it to my friends.

Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, floral

T-dark roasted malt, caramel, floral hops, caramel, nice bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth

O-a tasty beer with great body and easy drinkability

Photo of Lucular
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nickynick
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian poured a very nice dark brown, even appearing black. Very little head. Smell was of sweet malts, hints of chocolate as well. Taste is sweet and dark malts, hints of chocolate and even a hint of smoke. Mouthfeel was ok, IMO a little thick for this style of beer. Drinkability was ok as well, again felt a bit filling for the style. Overall this is another very good beer from a very good brewery. I have yet to drink a Sprecher that I have not enjoyed and wanted to buy again.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown almost black in color with some dark amber highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The beer has moderate aromas of dark roasted malts along with some light amounts of caramel and toffee sweetness.

T: The taste is similar to the smell with there being a strong dark roasted malty flavor along with some sweetness - caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, and hints of smoke.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: This beer is quite tasty with a pleasant and easy to drink flavor. I think this beer is very sessionable, even in the summer. Definitely one to have again.

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Interesting-looking 16 ounce dark-brown bottle. Wish more American brewers would bottle their "normal" beers in this size! The label indicates an ABV of 6%.

Moderate pour produced an immensely huge tan head (mildly reverse-cascading!), over an opaque black-ruby body. As the head tightens and reduces, it gets rocky and chunky, and the lacing sticks like paint to the glass.

Smell is caramel, chocolate, burnt sugar, malty malted malt, with some fig and raisins. Hops? There's a SLIGHT peppery hint.

Taste is espresso, chocolate, burnt toast, biscuity malt, with a very dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is way more thin than the head and lacing made me think it would be.

Very quaffable.

Overall, a fascinating mix of Doppelbock smell and lager mouthfeel. Surprisingly good.

Cudos and thanks to shbobdb for hooking me up with this excellent midwestern brew. I had never even heard of it. Oh, the joys of a blind trade!

Photo of Slynger
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a lean toward brown. Ruby highlights in the bottom of my glass and a two finger creamy light brown head accompany this one. It smells full of roasted malts and coffee along with bittersweet chocolate. The feel is medium and creamy, the taste of charred malts and roasted coffee beans with chocolatey sweetness; the lightly bitter side of all three carries through to the finish. Black Bavarian is quite delish and drinkable. Although I tend more toward porter's and stout's, Sprecher has something very good going here.

May the shwarz be with you.

Photo of jackorain
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Very dark brown to almost black. Garnet around the edges with some garnet throuought when held up to the light. Topped with a darkish tan head of about 3/4 inch. fell to thick coat that crawled up the galss a little to form a 1/4 inch high collar.

S-Burnt choclate, hint of coffee, mild spiciness also comes through.

T-Acidic malt upfront, followed by a choclately coffee like malt. spiciness also finishes the flavor profile.

M-Big medium body for a lager. There is a creaminess that is cut by a vibrate tingly carbonation.

D-Quite good

Photo of klewis
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle.

A: Pours dark brown with a medium sized frothy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Nice aroma of burnt chocolate and caramel.

T: Malty with earthy flavors of chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium-light bodied with a super creamy texture. Moderate carbonation.

D: Seems more like a porter than a Schwarz, but it's good enough that I don't really care.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown/black color; mahogany highlights in the edges up to the light. Poured a 2 finger light brown head with good retention to an even skim. Laced in running patches.

S: Toasted malts; dark bread and chocolate. Faint dark-colored fruits and earthy hay.

T: Big malt flavor very consistent with the nose. A bit of a sour note gives way to a carbonation bite. Then transitions quickly to a building bitter finish with coffee notes in the background. Very interesting beer.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation; very active on the palate ahead of the finish. Very nice balancing complement.

O: Remarkable balanced for big malt bomb. Lots of flavor, not too sweet, sharply bitter in the finish.

Photo of pheggeseth
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Surly tulip glass

A: modest tan head, dark, almost opaque, looks pretty inviting

S: very aromatic roasted malts, slight hops and alcohol

T: slightly watery character with strong roasted malts, again, some slight hops and alcohol in the back with a burnt character

M: smooth, but slightly watery, decent carbonation

D: smooth, tasty, not terribly complicated, low abv, well done

Photo of HopDerek
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish black with some purplish red hues. 1 finger of creamy tan head has good retention and leaves some spotty lacing. Smells of sweet malts and fruits, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and some earthy hops. Tastes of ripe fruits up front along with some molasses. Roasted malts gives nice change in flavor then more sweetness from chocolate syrup, caramel, and vanilla. Finishes slightly bitter with some coffee and earthen hop notes as well as a slight smokiness. Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, sweet, roasty, and bitter. A great Schwarzbier with a lot more sweetness than expected but still providing that nice roastiness. Very easy to drink and sessionable.

Photo of jdhilt
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a light brown, three-finger head that goes slowly and leaves a good lace. Light to medium carbonation. Very dark almost black ruby color. Nose is chocolate malt. Starts with a rich coffee and chocolate flavor. Finish is sweet with some hops. $1.95 for a 16oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

Photo of marcobrau
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rocky tan head. Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Coffee aroma. The taste is of dark chocolate and coffee flavors tinged with notes of cocoa. Hops surface in the middle. Finish is a mix of bitter hops and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is full, at least enough to slow you down, and not quaff this brew.

Overall impression is that this beer drinks pretty much like a stout. It has a bit of the creaminess of a Schwarzbier, but none of the sweetness, with the strength of a bock and because of this I've rated this beer a little lower. I've had some difficulty finding fresh Sprecher beers for awhile, but I'm happy to report this is no longer the case.

Photo of weizenbob
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There aren't enough domestic craft breweries doing lager-style beers, yet alone dark lager-style beers; so this brew has been much anticipated for me. This 16 ounce twist-off bottle was purchased at Repete's in Holland, MI. It was bottled May 13, 2011. I twisted off the cap and poured into a pint tumbler.

A standard pour (horizontal bottle, 45-degree glass) manifests a finger of mocha-tinted head atop this cola-colored lager. Head retention is not impressive but lacing coats the glass where once was beer.

The aroma displays some nice roasty chocolate malt. My nose could easily mistake it for porter.

The flavor is also very porter-like. Earthy malts lead the charge with chocolate being the obvious reference point. There is a bit of cooked veggie presence. Alcohol is very well hidden and there is no hop bitterness to speak of. The lagering gives this a nice crisp bite that I haven't experienced in any porter. Therein lies the key difference, and it is a nice touch.

In the mouth this is a deceptively full bodied beer. The carbonation level is moderate. The modest 32 IBUs pass below the radar, making Black Bavarian pretty easy drinking, even despite the full flavor. At 6% ABV the alcohol level is moderate. I like that the bottle contains a full pint but doesn't carry a premium price (it works out to about $1.50 per 12 ounce serving). Although this is a year-round release for Sprecher, it feels like a particularly appropriate choice for fall-season drinking. This is a nice change of pace from the barrage of ale-style beers that I'm drinking all year.

---

The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I do give two Schlitz for Sprecher Black Bavarian. If you're fortunate to be in an area that distributes Sprecher products, this is worth tracking down.

Photo of demcorhip
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance
A dark black lager poured with a 1/2 finger tan head. Some light comes through the edges, producing a ruby blackness. Finely and actively carbonated, does a decent job of maintaining the head. Substantial yet fine ring of lacing (remnants still present the following day from the top to the bottom of the glass).

Aroma
A rich and creamy aroma of nuts, caramel, espresso and chocolate. Hints of grassy and earthy spice.

Taste
Much like the nose, no big surprises here. Creamy nuts, hint of caramel, and mostly the big bitter flavour of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee. Ends in a mild grassy and earthy hop spice.

Mouthfeel
A good, creamy, medium bodied, balanced lager. Only complaint is the degree of bitterness imparted by the roasted barley or malts slightly detracts from the overall presentation.

Drinkability
A good, drinkable lager. Not only is this sessionable, but it would stand up to more than a few porters and stouts. Will be drinking this one again.

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes on 2/4.

A - Poured out a jet black color with a two-finger, caramel-colored head that left some lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and roasted malt. There was also a grassy aroma.

T - It tasted of malt, caramel, toffee and vanilla.

M - It was very smooth and soft. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good schwarzbier.

Photo of taez555
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I know it's written right on the label that's it's brewed in Wisconsin, but seriously... you really need to read the fine print or else you might think this is a German brew.

This beer poured a black body with a thin tan head.

Nose had some grain, milk chocolate, figs, caramel, brown sugar, mild burnt smoke and that classic earthy german yeast smell.

Taste was medium bodied and very creamy. Smooth from start to finish. A large carbonation brings out a rather bitter hoppiness in the back-end. Not really much in the way of hop taste other than some mild earth and dirt flavor. Very malty with a slight roasted burnt flavor but very muted and never distracting. Touches of dark fruits. Raisins, figs and even some prunes. A dark coffee, dark chocolate and espresso notes flow.

Really a very nice schwarzbier. A big bitterness and some dark malts. If you're in the mood for dark lagers this is a winner.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown color with a thick cola colored head that retains impressively. The aroma is all dark chocolate, coffee and molasses, with hints of pumpernickel, tobacco, smoke and a hint of earthy hops. The flavor is similar with serious dark chocolate and coffee notes initially, along with blackstrap molasses, roastiness, smoke, earthy hops and alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich and drinkability is good but limited by the intense roast flavors. Very good schwarzbier, a little more intense than a lot of the domestic versions but very solid nonetheless

Photo of WunderLlama
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Black, deep chocolate brown in color. No light passes through. Pours a 1/2 finger dense taupe foam cap.

Aroma of sweet malts.toffee,caramel, chocolate, coffee.

Sips sweetness on the front of the tongue. Toffee, raisins,coffee, chocolate.

Smooth , low carbonation . Whisper of bitterness at the end that quickly fades.

Highest rated beer in found in the cooler of an out of town beer dispensary. Good choice, repeatable. Good beer

Photo of MillRat
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher calls this brew a Kulmbacher-style dark lager. Certainly a very dark lager, definitely assisted by considerable roasted grain, not just the Munich malt of a traditional dunkel. Other than in mouthfeel conforms fairly well to the BJCP schwarzbier definition.

Poured at near-room temperature from a 16 oz twist-off bottle barely fitting into a pint glass. Puts a thin tan fine-bubbled head on top of a brown-black body that is impervious to light. Head fades quickly to a thin persistent ring that leaves occasional specks of lacing on the glass.

First whiff immediately suggests fresh warm slab of pumpernickel bread, full of malt with roasty, coffeeish grain. Flavor comes through with a malt sweetness that is counterbalanced to a degree by the dark malts and hop bitterness unaccompanied by any noticeable flavor or aroma. Carbonation is on the light end of the range for this style.

A little bit on the heavy side for a schwarzbier, with the heaviness offset by stronger than usual roasted grains that begin to trespass on the astringency which schwarzbiers are supposed to avoid. Just pushing equally both the body and the bitterness a bit beyond the envelope. The bitterness leaves that palate clear enough for the next sip, but the heaviness and sweetness while the beer is between the teeth is a bit tiring. A little more carbonation would help the cause here.

Overall a well-crafted beer that pushes the schwarzbier flavor envelope without shredding it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a nearly black ruby tinted mahogany brown hue forms a nice thicket of tan head textured with dimples as it dwindles definitely arose above the rim of my 1/2 liter mug. Lacing is fine and intricate spread evenly, very nice look to it. Aromatics nutty roasted qualities touch of dark cocoa powder with sweet acidic fruit notes arising as well. Flavor is akin to iced black coffee with dark chocolate roasts, toasted nuts, and a touch of creamy caramel. What dominates is a dry powdered dark cocoa, but more flavors arise as it warms up. Light herbal hop presence felt at the end but no hop burps to report. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is lively and the end is dry with slightly burnt coffee roasts and dark chocolate cocoa. Drinkability is nice all around one of the best Schwarzbiers I've come across, excellent.

Photo of EagleTalon
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a nice tan head that laces a bit and sticks around. Black color. Aroma is malty and slightly roasted but very muted which is on style. Flavor is more of same with sweet malt balanced by the black malt and soft hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is on heavy side, but slick and smooth. I love the way this brew feels. Overall, a very good Schwarz.

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!

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