Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

460 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 460
Hads: 828
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.09%
Wants: 112
Gots: 63 | 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).
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 460 | Hads: 828
Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16ozer bottle from prepackaged mixed 8-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2 inch tall latte-hued head which quickly faded to a small layer of foam. Very dark in color, yet still the slightest of translucency in this brew. Heavy malt nose, with coffee and burnt amlts predominant. Excellent malty flavor, with undertones of coffee, yet smooth like silk. Drinkability is superb, an excellent offering from Sprecher, my definite favorite of the 8-pack. (506 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black color with crimson highlights. Nice frothy brown head that stuck around in some form or another as the glass was emptied. Wee bits of lacing were left for short periods of time.

Smell: Bittersweet dark chocolate malt and molasses aromas are quite strong, some coffee notes. Cain't wait to take a sip.

Taste: The aroma delivers on its promise. Bittersweet - with emphasis on bitter - chocolate malt flavors dominate the palate. Faint bittering hops on the finish: just enough to support the malts without getting too strong.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as I was expecting, not that I'm complaining... Pretty much medium bodied. Somewhere between an IPA and a porter in heaviness, basically.

Drinkability: Rather potable. This would definitely be one to have lying around were it available in my neighborhood. One of the better bottles from a recent trade. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the opportunity to sample a world class beer. (1,009 characters)

Photo of horshack7
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: From a 16oz bottle is a very dark almost opaque. The head is about two fingers thick and is beige in color.

Aroma: Chocolate malts, dark fruits, roasted malts. Hops are roasted, coffee notes, hops have touch of citrus but are leaning towards the floral side of the aroma.

Taste: dark roasted coffee, vanilla, chcolate malts that are semi sweet. Hops are a touch dry but still have a good bite.

Notes: What a remarkable lager very well done. Cheers. (463 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Color pours brown out of the stubbie brown pint bottle, settles nearly black, has a definate deep brown tone up to the light with ruby highlights. An inch high tan head of loose bubbly spongyness grew fast but faded nearly just as fast to a thin ring and minimal spotty lace.

Nose is roasty malts, slightly tangy of dark fruits and molasses with a touch of chocolate and light mustyness.

Has a complex mix of malts with alot of roastyness, has a bit of caramel and molasses, a very light touch of chocolate and very mild bitterness, quite smooth the whole way through. Some slight dark fruity tangyness and a smokey burntness pokes through close to the finish. Very subtle and well layered in its complexity.

Feel is solid medium body smoothness picks up some fullness in the middle and finishes smooth, lightly crisp with a mellow tangy smokey lingering dryness. An incredibly drinkable, yummy showing of the style; well rounded and smooth. (951 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Whole Foods in Omaha, NE.
Poured into an Ayinger half liter glass.
No brewed on date.

Pours a huge, tan head made up of smaller sized bubbles giving it a dense, creamy effect. Foam takes minutes to fully dissipate, eventually leaving a 0.2cm cap atop the body. Leaves significant lacing after the decline, as well as with each swirl of beer. Body is an opaque, very dark brown to black color; totally impenetrable.

Aroma is of roasted and chocolate malts mixed with some nuttiness, particularly hazelnut coffee creamer. Slight nods towards sweetness and char, sweetness slightly fruity (grape or cherry preserves). I've noticed, though, that you need to let the beer warm to fully experience this component.

Taste is of malt sweetness tucked behind flavors of light caramelized malt, cafe mocha, and light chocolate milk. There is a faint bit of char and bitterness in the taste, which I would like to taste a bit more of, as this would balance out the sweetness even better. Aftertaste of residual mocha flavors alongside slight bitter char.

Body is medium, with carbonation strong enough to make itself present, but not overpowering. Wouldn't mind a slight bit more carbonation, probably would make nose and taste all the stronger, but pleasant and agreeable on the palate. Finish is surprisingly dry.

Of the few schwarzbiers I've had, this is an excellent one. I might actually prefer the Rogue version to this, but for price and availability, this is top. (1,486 characters)

Photo of tjd112
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation - Poured into River Horse glass

Appearance - Very dark black, off-white head that retains well and has somewhat filmy lacing

Smell - Very roasty, malty smell

Taste - Hints of chocolate, caramel, and chestnuts, sorta black forest cake

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy, somewhat dry

Drinkability - Could have one or two of these at a time

Overall - A solid Schwarzbier (380 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to goes to Ben for this tasty brew. Pours out pitch black with a good sized foamy tan head. Decent retention and lacing are left around the glass. Roasty chocolate malts are in full force with a great caramel sweetness backing it up. Some bitter dark chocolate and a small amount of dark fruits aromas are in there as well. Very rich aroma. Taste starts off with a dose of caramel before the huge roastiness comes through. Chocolate is noted as well and this ends with a nice bitter roasty finish. Mouthfeel is medium and very rich and creamy. Goes down quite smooth, I could drink a large number of these. I wish I had a large number to drink as this would make a great session brew. This is really an excellent example of the style really wowed me. (763 characters)

Photo of dbell23
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sean at Libation Station for the recommendation. Poured into a tulip. Black with a huge beige head that never completely goes away. Looks like a stout with a big head. Great lacing. Nice looking beer.

I've never smelled a beer like this one. Malty, maybe a chocolate undertone,charcoal maybe. Again, very different.

Taste is really good. Starts malty, slightly stout with a slight bitter sweet middle but not hoppy. Super clean finish with a slight smokey stout like undertone. It's like a stout/porter/lager combination. The roasted malt seems to be the dominate flavor but it almost tastes hoppy from the roasted bitterness. I don't know,what it is but it tastes good.

The mouthfeel is the star. I don't recall a beer more smooth than this one. Really good session beer.

Overall, this is a must try if you like to try different beers and I do. This would be a great beer with German food. It's a great beer to just enjoy too. The low abv makes it sessionable. (975 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apeparance: pours a dark black color with a 2" tan colored head that lasts for a long while.

Smell: chocolates, caramel, and malt sweetness are easy to detect by the nose well outside the glass.

Taste: soft roasted malt profile with some chocolate, caramel, molassess, and a hint of plum sweetness makes up most of the flavor profile. Some soft bitterness balances it out.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, smooth towards the finish. Very brief aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: bold flavors make up a nicely drinkable beer. This bottle was consumed quite quickly and too bad there wasn't another one around. (631 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep reddish-brown color with moderate tannish head.

Smell is loaded with chocolate, coffee, chicory, licorice, and roasted malt. Very strong and very nice.

Taste is also superb. Strong notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt abound. The finish shows a nice balancing dryness and is the perfect ending for this beer.

Leaves a nice dry sensation in the mouth that beckons for another taste.

Really a great beer.Part of a sampler pack from my visit to Illinois so I don;t know if I will ever try it again. (531 characters)

Photo of opwog
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good

A- The color lives up to the name; black as night with a tan dark chocolaty head
S- Toasted malts, toffee...very appealing!
T- Just like the nose, only add black coffee to the taste. Really killer!
M- This is medium bodied, which is surprising for the depth of the taste and aroma. Normally I might say too thin for the taste profile, but in this case it all comes together perfectly!
D- I could sit back with these all night, except that I have a plane to catch in the morning :( (528 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours a slowly rising to three finger head tha makes a slow recession to nothingness on the surface of my 16oz's of beer. Color is a deep, deep brown with some brownie/blood highlights.

Smell- Your are hit with complex malt aromas of smokey beech wood, toasty and roasty breads. With a lager like pop in the nostrils for the finish.

Taste- Strta out with mostly roost, but then you catch resurging waffs of smoke intermitant with a middle of toasty malts and a little burnt lager like grass flavors in the end.

Mouthfeel- The malts were awesome moving over my mouth. They mixed well with my garlic enveloped pizza. A little cloying...maybe. The malts I mean. (681 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, oily brown with cola-amber edges that barely let the light pass. Light creamy tan head.

Charred, toasted, roasted malt/barley. Soda-like sweetness rises above somehow. Molasses, a little smoke, and coffee bitterness.

Balanced sweetness and toasted bitterness up front. Scorched brown sugar perhaps? Roasted, smoky bitterness pervades. Very nice. Light warming alcohol in the finish with lingering malt and roasted bitterness.

Medium plus body with an oily feel.

Muy bien! (493 characters)

Photo of moester13
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Great looking pour, pitch black with a finger of tan head. Good retention and nice looking lacing.

S: Dark and toasty malts with hints of nutty caramel.

T: Delicious dark roasted malt sweetness upfront, with an excellent lingering chocolate bitterness and hints of toasty caramel.

M: Full bodied, very smooth.

D: A nice alternative for porter fans. Very smooth and not as filling (386 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint glass creates a big, fluffy, khaki head that recedes very slowly, and then persists in the form of a generous layer throughout the experience. The beer is a very dark brown in color.

smell: Though the beer is dark, the malt presence on the nose is somewhat subdued, as expected. At first I notice overripe bananas and banana bread, with some light caramel and milk chocolate notes in the background. The hop aroma is moderate. Smells good.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower end of the medium range, and very smooth. The body is medium, and very smooth and creamy.

taste: Delicious, subtle notes of milk chocolate and caramel on the tongue. Also subdued notes of roasted malt. Hop flavor is light, and the bitterness is just right...lingering into the finish with some roasted flavors.

drinkability: Definately easy drinking.

Picked up a single at Riley's while visiting Madison, WI. The characters 30108 FL 92701210 are printed on the neck of the bottle. Damn good beer. (1,038 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice head that doesn't dissapate easily and leaves a little lacing behind. It's black and beautiful. The smell is coffee roasted malts that are great. The taste is a bit bitter, but not overly bitter with coffee taste. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth. Overall this is my favorite lager to date, so I will be having more. (337 characters)

Photo of AmberMan22
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black with ruby highlights, Head is a frothy khaki/tan that disappears a little too quickly. Lacing is nice and pretty.

The smell is a robust, toasty and smoky chocolate malt notes are readily present.

The taste really is wonderful. A smoky heaven of dark roasted malt that leaves a little lingering bitterness.

The carbonation is maybe a little too strong for my liking, but it doesn't ruin overall mouthfeel, which is medium+ bodied, and feels warm and comforting on a chilling evening.

I do love this beer, and it makes for a perfect winter sipper. Glad I'm back in WI where they have this on tap at a bunch of places. Gotta be one of my favorite beers. (673 characters)

Photo of GhostMtnAbbey
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Strong notes of plums, milk chocolate and raisins.

Pours with an amber head that doesn't last long. Lacing could be better.

A pleasant bitterness mixed with deep roasted malts and dark fruits. The blend tends to hold together great in mouth for a round sipping experience.

The best of Sprecher I've had so far.

I'd buy this one again. (338 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle courtesy of hu5om. Thanks Ryan!

Not first encounter with Black Bavarian. It was one of the first beers that really impressed me at my first GABF.

It pours the blackest of pitch blacks with about an inch of tannish foam. Despite having an average head of foam, the lacing is good.

The smell is of chocolate and roasted malt. Some sweet notes, some bitter ones.

The taste is superb! Notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, a touch of fruitiness when I swish it in my mouth, and a nice balancing light bitterness. Delicious!

Medium body, light to medium carbonation, this is an easy drinking and super good example of the style. Maybe the best US sample that I've tried. (688 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber, listed as 6% on the label,

A: Pours a very dark brown, black-looking from afar into a mug, with a medium dark-tan head which slowly fades, light lacing as well.

S: Smells of light coffee and dark chocolate, as the beer warms, a distinct roast and smoke scent comes out.

T: This is a truly exceptionally tasting black lager. Sweet dark cocoa and bitter coffee combine to form a rich, tasty brew, that is almost like drinking a liquid dessert, very reminiscent of an RIS. There are a wealth of flavours hidden in this beer, delicious dark roast and chocolate. Just the perfect amount of sweetness balances the roast bitterness.

M: Smooth and soft, easy drinking, just makes you want to take another gulp.

D: Smooth and a pleasure going down, by far the best schwarzbier I have ever had, Sprecher has truly made a classic. Highly recommended. (860 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wodnerful schwarziber, complex, full of flaovur, yet very drinkable and smooth.

It's black, almost devoid of carbonation, and has a small, dense, light brown head that steadily thins to a foamy ring.

The aroma is rich, mostly roasted, chocolate, coffee, earth with elements of licorice and molasses.

The taste is similar to the aroma, but lighter. It has toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, licorice, other elements of flowers and spice, a tad like a little good root beer. It has a nice sweet-bitter balance. The flavour is strong and lasting, but incredibly smooth. Despite appearances, it is actually lightly carbonated and has a lively yet creamy feel, and is highly drinkable. (694 characters)

Photo of bowersdm
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle (I think) poured into a German pilsner glass

A - Dark, almost like an Imperial Stout. The head was very small (<1cm)

S - roasted barley, other malts, and a hint of chocolate

T - roasted barley and chocolate followed by a dry roasted barley bitterness (like the tail end of the taste of Guinness), followed by a slight chocolate taste, and some vanilla and coffee, but not as much as the chocolate or roasted barley.

M - nice, it had a surprisingly good level of carbonation considering the weak head.

D - I would definitely have another one of these. It's pretty filling for what I consider to be a pretty low ABV brew. (640 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is another of tone77's big box o' beer that he dropped off recently in another local, in-person trade.

From the bottle: "This intensely dark Kulmbacher-style lager has a superb malt complexity with the distinctive flavor and aromas of caramelized and chocolate malts. A renonowned smoothness and a creamy, tan head make it a world champion."

I poured a couple of times, due to its desire to jump up to the top of the glass. Once it finished, I had a finger of dense, deep-brown head that sat atop the beer like a petulant child who refuses to go to their room when directed. I was going to spank it before i realized that it had the power to spank me tonight, Color was a deep, dark-brown that allowed just enough light to penetrate to show off its ruby highlights. Showoff! Mouthfeel was thick and creamy. Hey, is this a lager or a milkshake?!? The taste reminded me of Spike's request for dark chocolate-enrobed coconut eggs for Easter. Spike is NOT The Old Lady, but instead both a departmental colleague and my Lunch Duty partner. She helps me with the curriculum and I ply her with chocolate. In the meantime, this was a great pre-Easter beer. Dark chocolate, coconut, smoke and perhaps some wood all interacted to create a phenomenal lager. Finish was semi-sweet and I felt satiated on chocolate for the foreseeable future. Man, thanks to tone77 for a really memorable beer. (1,387 characters)

Photo of kiddynamite920
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle into the Duvel tulip.

A: Probably the darkest schwarzbier I've seen thus far. Takes the appearance of an Imperial stout. Very impressive. Tan head forms a ring around the glass. Wasn't expecting this deep blackness. Very nice.

S: Can already smell the roasty malts with the beer sitting 3 feet from me. Chocolate and caramel malts, big coffee and roasty malt profile. I think I have found the perfect schwarzbier. Just a tad of bready sweetness to balance the roast qualities. Great smokey character as well, almost a cigar like flavor on the back end. I find this perfect for the style.

T: Well balanced, indeed. The bitterness from the roasted malt aroma mellows out perfectly. Has a tobacco and vanilla note. Very smokey as it should be. Just makes you think of the darkest malts you can find thrown into a cold smoker. Huge roast profile as the style would suggest. Again I find this an exceptional example of this style.

M: Creamy, dark and delicious. Carbonation is perfect, sweetness is well balanced.

D: By far the best Schwarzbier I've come across. Perhaps I have to get out more often. This beer is perfect for its style. You need some time to put back this 16 oz stubby bottle. It disperses so many roasted flavors on the tongue that you can't stop sipping on it. (1,293 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is gorgeous! The color is a very dark brown as it should be with a beautiful darkly tanned head. I just couldn’t stop looking at this beauty shop.

Smell – The darkly-roasted malts are subdued but rich and complimented well with some doughy yeast. The sweets are small but mate well to the roasty malts.

Taste – This opens up nicely at the taste. The malts are roasty and bold and the sweets are lightly sugared and manage to avoid that offensive tangy flavor that so many pretenders of the style seem to have.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied and expertly balanced. This is traditional German balancing at its best.

Drinkability – This is one of the best Schwartzbiers that I’ve ever had, to include the six years that I lived in Germany. (797 characters)

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.