Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 737 | Reviews: 452 | Display Reviews Only:
3.5/5 rDev -14%
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...
03-05-2010 00:07:33 | More by JerzDevl2000
3.53/5 rDev -13.3%
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.
07-26-2008 21:16:02 | More by JasonA
3.53/5 rDev -13.3%
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
11-06-2003 00:27:51 | More by yankeeheel
3.53/5 rDev -13.3%
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.
02-20-2008 05:14:33 | More by ommegangpbr
3.53/5 rDev -13.3%
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.
03-22-2008 01:52:01 | More by drseamus
3.55/5 rDev -12.8%
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.
07-22-2002 09:50:57 | More by ryanocerus
3.55/5 rDev -12.8%
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!
11-20-2004 03:11:07 | More by bashiba
3.56/5 rDev -12.5%
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.
01-11-2014 19:53:28 | More by RoamingGnome
3.58/5 rDev -12%
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
03-30-2007 23:51:57 | More by tonistruth
3.58/5 rDev -12%
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.
09-04-2007 14:48:16 | More by sleazo
3.6/5 rDev -11.5%
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.
06-08-2010 04:53:03 | More by superdedooperboy
3.6/5 rDev -11.5%
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.
08-14-2011 16:12:24 | More by Pintofbrown
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...
05-26-2002 10:54:04 | More by ADR
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 737 ratings.