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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

773 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 773
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 106
Gots: 36 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bavarian Alström Bros
Ratings: 773 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of athegreatest83
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

athegreatest83, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Dreadnaught33, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of jzlyo
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

jzlyo, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of bigpoppa67
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

bigpoppa67, Sep 03, 2013
Photo of OKCNittany
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

OKCNittany, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of dragomni
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

dragomni, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of psmith161
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

psmith161, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of SkinniePost
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

SkinniePost, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Stevez455
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Stevez455, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of bsp77
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint/Pilsner hybrid.

Appearance: Near black reddish-brown with thin brown head.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, molasses, and spicy,metallic noble hops.

Taste: Molasses and chocolate malt upfront with light roasted notes and coffee. Very light noble hops on the finish.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth body, fairly full for a lager.

Drinkability: Excellent Schwarzbier that may almost have too much flavor to be as easy drinking as some within the style.

bsp77, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of Sprecher's Beers of Old Bavaria - very tasty. It reminds me more of a baltic porter and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (when it's mellow). The aroma is a bit weak, and the taste is bland at first, but then it explodes with rich chocolate. There's a roasted edge to it that's more barley than coffee, but quite nice. There's a decent bitterness and I wouldn't call this a schwarzbier by taste, but it's quite good regardless. Worth finding.

tempest, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of Bung
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear black pour. Slight brown head that dissappated fairly quickly. Pretty good roast malty aroma. Good roast flavors, malt, nut, some coffee. A bit of poundcake or something like that to make it solid medium bodied. Soft mouthfeel almost creamy. Roastiness lingers in the finish. Has hints of stout/porter, but is neither all together. A good black beer and very drinkable.

Bung, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of kaufmaal
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with a few ruby, blood-range highlights. A sizable, inch of head, dark tan, that stays with it. Roasted coffee notes, bittersweet chocolate, some smoky aromas, malt. For a black lager, this one has some umph to it. It is sweeter than most black lagers, and while the sweetness is up-front, it's not dominating. Tastes of chocolate liqueur, candied plums, good coffee, malt, peat, a bit of smoke. It's heavy at times, a bit viscous, but not syrupy. A highly satisfying and well-crafted beer. I'd happily drink it again.

kaufmaal, Jul 20, 2013
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. The bottle is very reminiscent of the Sprecher's root beer bottle.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a 1" tan head. Has a nutty, malty smell, with a mild grassiness as well.

Has a subdued nutty taste, with sweet malt and mild bitter. Smooth, slightly sweet and creamy, this is a pleasant tasting brew.

Medium bodied, this is smooth and easy drinking beer.

I'll admit that I was skeptical about this brew when I bought it, but I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and taste of this beer. Smooth, tasty, nutty, I'd definitely have this brew again.

TheHoppiest, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of elmore
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a pint glass. Thick, tan 2 finger head from a brisk pour. Head quickly receded and left a shoulder that coated the sides with foamy lace. Dark black, when held up to light, it reveals an amber hue at the edges of the glass.

Smells of roasted malts, toffee and caramel. Taste is similar with a hint of espresso and a smoky aftertaste.

Moderate carbonation. Somewhat thin, which is expected for a lager. Very smooth and drinkable. I definitely could put a few of these away.

My first review of a Schwarzbier. I really like the style and plan on seeking out more.

elmore, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Lemke10
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $1.79 in early 2011.

Pours a very dark brown/black color with a long lasting head of light brown foam. Scent is interesting with a mixture of malts with hints of cocoa and coffee. Taste is very robust with roasted and carmel malts, little bit of cocoa, and a little bit of a nutty aftertaste. Has a very nice texture and the taste lasts well after the swallow. Erupts the taste buds very nicely. Makes for a very good slowing drinking beer as it's not something you should consider chugging down.

Lemke10, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled September 2011

A- Inch tall medium mocha colored head on a black beer. Average head retention and nice looking lacing.

S- Whiffs of light cocoa/coffee...some metallicness.

T- Roasted malts with a slight sweet smokiness. Hints of dark fruits. Drinks right at 6%abv but nevermind the alcohol as this is almost chuggable.

M- Mouthfeel is damn near perfect. Not too thick, not to thin, just right. Good carbonation as well.

D/O- Sooo incredibly easy drinking. Sprecher nailed it...a first for me. If you ever get the "dark beer is so thick!" from others then this may be a prime example of how that's just plain wrong. Sixteen ounce bottles...brilliant!

Duff27, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of Phocion
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle poured into a Young's Imperial pint glass. This beer is black as night with only slight ruby highlights when held to the light. Huge, light-brown, rocky head with decent staying power and thick lacing all around.

Dark roasted malts, caramel, and chocolate fill the nose. Faint spices and herbal hoppiness in the background.

The flavor is that of a classic schwarzbier. Chocolate, coffee, and a burnt woody smokiness. Somewhat nutty and with a hint of molasses. Light bitterness.

Medium-bodied and with moderate levels of carbonation. Smooth but just a bit sticky. I remember having this on tap a few weeks back and wasn't impressed; I am glad the bottled version is much better.

Phocion, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a nonic tumbler.

Appearance is black as death with a head that recedes quickly leaving a ring of lace.

Aroma is dark roasted malt with a little chocolate.

Flavor is straight up sweet caramel and dark roasted malt. Chocolate with a touch of raisin. Deep, dark malts that are so darkly roasted they sting the tongue a bit. The sweetness is very well balanced, this is a smooth brew that melds all flavors well. Fruitcake and dark rum with a small bit of alcohol.

Moluthfeel is creamy. Carbonation is nice and soft with enough bubbles to balance the sweetness.

Drinkability is average, this is a heavy beer that for it's weight is lacking in complexity for it's weight on the mouth.

wheatyweiss, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of dnichols
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a capped bottle into a chilled chalice.

A: It poured a nearly black body with hints of ruby when held to the light. This is definitely a "black" beer.There was a very slim tank head that disappered fast and left a thing layer of bubbles that covered a portion of the surface and did not support any substantive curtain.

S: It emits lightly charred roasted malt aromas with hints of smoky odors.

T: It has a clear malt profile that approaches a burt malt flavor with heavy smoky overtones but backs down before going over the edge. There is an undercurrent of dark sugars and even a hint of cooked berry flavors.

M: It is a well balanced light to medium bodied brew with hardly any carbonation and a surprisingly clean finish.

D: Excellent Schwartsbier...dark malts with subtle sweet and smokey flavors. It is a pleasure to drink and goes down easy. A great session beer.

dnichols, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of naproxen
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

major thanks to beerbeagle for this!!

This tasty schwarz poured damn near black (slightly less than opaque, dark dark brown) with a thin creamy tan head that disappeared fairly rapidly. The aroma was exactly what I was looking for when I poured this, slightly smokey, a hint of sweetness, and toasty malts. I picked up some dark chocolate as well, but not overpowering. The nose i felt was well rounded.

The taste did not disappoint either. I was a little surprised on the backend hop flavor that I got, but the bittering overall worked well. Following in kind with the nose my first impression was a toasted dark chocolate bread with a burnt caramel topping (is it lunch time yet?). I did not pick up much of a metallic taste as other reviewers noted, fine by me. Overall this was extremely smooth and relaxing, perfect for a crisp sunny autumn day/early evening. I will absolutely be seeking this out again and again.

naproxen, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Without a doubt, probably one of the best Schwarzbier's I've ever sampled...
Impressive appearance... Dark-brown hue, creamy, frothy head, thick lacing...
Taste: Deep, dark, rich malt essences, cocoa, and dark latte essences...
Taste: Rich, full-bodied cappuccino, espresso, and dark chocolate flavor... creamy and thick... excellent stuff...
competes easily with German depictions...
Recommended...

dsa7783, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a opaque black color. The head in one inch in height, light tan in color, and recedes slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, chocolate, and toffee. The taste is like the aroma, but with a little more caramel and a little less chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is one of the most authentic German style beer I have had in America. It brings back found memories of some of the great beers I had while I lived in Germany. I will certainly drink this again.

KarlHungus, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of HWPlainview
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an interesting beer. A bit "bigger" in flavor profile than some of the German schwarzbiers I have sampled. This is more of an "American" take on this style, almost like a robust porter.

The beer is dark black, but with garnet highlights when viewed through a light, it has a tannish head than fades but lingers on the glass.

The aroma is roasted malts, with perhaps a hop nose in the backdrop.

The flavor is impressive with lots of roasted malts going on, coffee, with sweetness in the middle, and dry bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable even if it is not as smooth as typical schwarzbiers.

HWPlainview, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of association330
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. bottle with no freshness date

A - Pours dark brown with ruby tinges around the edges. A pinky of mocha head quickly settles to a thin cap with a thick ring of foam. Just a few spots of lace.

S - Moderate roasted malt character, including caramel, dark chocolate, and molasses. Similar aroma to an RIS, but not as overpowering, rich, or complex - cleaner and more refreshing.

T - Clean lager malt and light hop flavor, then sweeter caramel tones, and a moderately roasty swallow with lingering bitter chocolate and slight hop notes.

M - Body feels a little too heavy. Moderate carbonation, and no astringency.

D - Pretty nice example of the style here - a dark lager with a somewhat roasty character that still maintains a highly quaffable nature that you don't usually find in darker ales. A good one for getting stout and porter drinkers to come around to lagers, or vice versa.

association330, Jan 16, 2010
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 773 ratings.