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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 OKCNittany
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of dragomni
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of psmith161
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of SkinniePost
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Stevez455
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of Phocion
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of HWPlainview
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of metter98
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured very dark amber in color (near black) with a creamy beige head into my mug. The head didn't last very long and a moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There's a nice aroma of dark, roasted malts with some hints of sweetness in toffee and caramel.
T: Like the smell, the rich taste is dominated by dark roasted malty flavors; there's a bit of sweetness in the overall flavor, which has hints of chocolate, coffee and smoke.
M: It feels medium-bodied and relatively smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and is quite sessionable, even during the warmer months of the year.

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of association330
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a 1+ finger of tan head. It has a nice thin retention across the top and leaves some lacing behind. The aroma is a little light but notes of dark roasted malts and caramel sweetness manage to shine through.

The taste is a flush of caramel, toffee, and vanilla sweetness up front that gives way to a big bite of dark roasted chocolate malt bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp and clean finish.

Wow, I absolutely love Schwarzbiers and this was definitley one of the best I've had. Just a fantastic roasty feel that is perfectly balanced by it's complimentary sweetness characteristics. This was my first beer from Sprecher and the great flavor and big drinkibility of this guy have left a favorable first impression!

Photo of Deuane
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep ruby-brown almost black until held up to the light. Thick tan head that dwindles and leaves some lacing.

S-Light roasted malt and a bit of nuttiness. Nothing big..as I would expect from a lager.

T-Whoa! Why cant all lager beers have flavour like this? Chocolate, coffee and a deep roasted malt which all ends in a nicely astrigent. This is a seriously flavourful brew!

M-Medium bodied with nice lively carbonation. A dry feeling left on the palate.

D-Seriously...this is some great stuff. I was skeptical at first but upon the first sip I was hooked! I have had quite a few German schwarzbiers and while they are one of my favorite lager styles I have had NONE that have this much flavour. Well done Sprecher!

Photo of TheSSG
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense, thick, light-tan head that has good persistence. A light roasted malt aroma, and a touch of floral hop. The mild aroma misleads you. Black. Starts with a floral hop bitterness and acidity, with roasted malt in the back. This is silky smooth and slick across the tongue. Builds to a medium bitterness, when the crushed coffee bean roasted earthiness bursts through into the finish, which is floral hop bitterness wafting in past the toasted malt. I love how the acidity milds in the finish and just blends to well with the roasted malt and floral hops. It's just great.

This is the brew that converted me to American craft bier (7 years ago), and I'm glad to see it's still great. Just a fantastic example of the style.

Photo of naproxen
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of ELECTRONICAnonymous
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MiScusi
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was just a really good lightly roasted black lager. I pictured being able to drink this in a half liter mug in autumn and I think it would be perfect for that. Light enough in alcohol and body to be able to quaff yet high enough in flavor to enjoy thoroughly. I love how the mild roastiness and semi-sweetness of the malts comes out over the fairly light body. Really good. Sprecher is becoming one of my favorites, especially since they make the best Root Beer ever, but I digress.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch and half frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells very malty, like coffee, chocolate and molasses. It's very tasty, it tastes like chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, coffee and also a bit of a smoky taste. For the most part it's a sweet tasting beer, with some bitterness too. Mouthfeel is medium, with a good amount of carbonation. It's smooth and a bit creamy and slick with a dry finish. Drinkability is good, it goes down very easy and it's hard to stop drinking this. I think this is a good beer, I like it a lot and I'd definitely recommend it.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the last beers I had left from my June trip back to Boston. Somehow this one got lost in the shuffle and only recently resurfaced in the DBF. The 500ml bottle decanted easily into the (also) recently rediscovered mug I've grown fond of again, yielding a brew displaying a blackish color with brown edges, copious carbonation, and a thick foamy light beige head that was quite durable.
The nose was laden with a thick caramel aroma, some cocoa and molasses. Lighter oats and grain aromas are present. Very faintly, a hint of alcohol, too.
Medium-light as I'd expect a schwarzbier to be yet this one thickens up as it warms a little. Rolling waves of chocolate and caramel flavors swirl and merge together for a singularly sweet taste. As it moves back on the palate, a light coffee flavor makes an introduction and lingers mildly.
Overall, a really nice example of the style, one I wish I could find out here. Definitely worth picking up if you can.

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...

Photo of cutthetail
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first had this beer in 1997 and was my first introduction to the Sprecher Brewery. I enjoy its full body and malty flavor. Typically I like beers that are hoppier. The Black Bavarian offers a a nice balance without being too sweet. Very drinkable even for people who don't like dark beer.

Photo of animal69
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this one came highly recommended ; huh, a screw-off top w/ no date, pours a deep garnet brown w/ a thin tan head which dissipates quickly leaving some lacing behind in my nonic ; a sour roasted malt smell similar to an imp. stout w/ coffee & floral/piney hop notes throughout ; a rich, burnt-toast & coffee flavor initially w/ some piney hop as well, followed by dark fruit (dates) and roasted nuts, a smokey, slightly metallic note to the finish ; surprisingly light for a beer this rich, the co2 makes this a creamy delight ; an excellent brew, not just for a schwartz, but in general, a must try for sure...

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to yeahnatenelson for this as an extra. 16oz bottle into my Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Pours a very dark brown with lots of garnet highlights, light tan head with fine bubbles comes up to about half an inch and then recedes to a small layer. A few spots of lacing here and there. Excellent clarity when held to the light.

S: A few deep caramel notes and a decent amount of roasted malt. I wouldn't quite say coffee, but its pretty dang close. Lots of great malty notes that really shine as it warms. Fairly bready and maybe a bit of butter, but it doesn't detract. Nice smelling beer.

T: Great flavors, some nice roasty bitterness and a decent amount of earthy hops underneath the whole thing. Slightly minerally as well which is nice. On the end there is just a little bit of smoke in there as well. A few chocolatey notes and even more on the rich caramel note. Overall very tasty.

M: Medium to light body, fairly dry as well, doesn't finish quite as sweet as I had anticipated, but that's okay and to be expected. Overall nice here.

D: Very flavorful, I haven't had many schwarzbiers but have enjoyed them all. Really nice flavors in this beer with excellent balance between the sweet flavors and the roasty flavors and just a little bit of a hoppy profile as well. This is a nice beer and I wish I could get it a little easier as this would be a great cooler weather beer.

Thanks Nate!

Photo of Hhawk06
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle

It poured charcoal black with a quality tan beady head. I got a nice smoke and chocolate smell. The mouthfeel is big, full, and very smooth. Excellent. There is a definitely a chocolate overtone to the taste. Great balance within though. Certainly some carmelized malts involved as well. It finishes quenching and toasty. At the very moment you think its fading to oblivion, you are treated to the slightest roasty bitterness. Amazing how it lingers. Really a treasure, I'm very impressed with Sprecher's offerings.

Photo of Onenote81
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful extra received from fatboyjim1 in a recent trade. Thanks, Jim!

Pours a thick dark black with a big frothy tan head on top. Minimal retention leaves some lacing, but little of it. Smells of faint chocolate, fresh dark breads, hints of coffee, and slight minerals.

The mouth is smooth and creamy with just a touch of carbonation bite on the tongue. Big warming bready flavor is all over this beer. Subtle chocolate notes mixed with fresh buttered-bread and light coffee flavor makes this a wonderful drink. There is so much depth to this 'lager,' I could drink this all night. Absolutely wonderful.

Photo of OldSock
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 16 oz bottle from Julio's. Pours black as any stout, with faint red highlights when held up to the light. On top is an extra creamy tan two finger head that last for a few minutes.

Smell – Light coffee notes with a toasted malt backbone. A bit too roasty for a traditional shwarzbier, but it still smells good to me. No esters or alcohol that I can detect.

Taste – Smooth with mild roast and a slight noble hop twang. Slight dry charcoal bitterness in the finish. Definitely an in-your-face American interpretation of the German original, but its tasty. I would say this beer is a lager cousin to a Dry Irish Stout.

Mouthfeel – Smooth medium body with medium carbonation. A bit heavy for the style, but it fits this particular flavor profile well.

Drinkability & Notes – A tasty lager and my second favorite shwarzbier behind only the fabulous offering from Moonlight. Not exactly to style, but I'm not complaining too much.

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