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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

716 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 716
Reviews: 447
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 97
Gots: 24 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 716 | Reviews: 447 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beveritt
beveritt

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with almost an inch of foamy tan head. This settles and leaves a nice ring and some islands of foam in the middle of the glass. The beer itself is almost opaque, a deep, deep mahogany. Evidence of constantly rising bubbles.

Smell: Slightly sweet malt with a hint of roastiness underneath.

Taste: Sweet and caramelly, with roasted barley flavor. Almost the flavor I expect from stouts.

Mouthfeel: A decent level of carbonation, enough to give some bite.

Drinkability: This is definitely a great beer all around. I wish I had more of this, because I could drink plenty. Unfortunately for me, my buddy only picked up two of these for me on his most recent Wisconsin trip.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 01:47:46 | More by beveritt
Photo of nocheinsbitte
nocheinsbitte

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 16 oz bottle into a nice glass.
Appearance: rich, thick, almost milk-shake looking in pouring-appearance (not that thick, but close. Clings to the side of the glass letting you know that you are going to be drinking a nice, thick, well-made bier. A 2-4 finger head that billows as it settles. Stays for quite a bit of time.
Smell: chocalatety, coffee-like, but subtle and reassuring. Not over powering at all.
Taste: I mentioned the milk-shake reference earlier, well, it tastes as good as that. No harsh after taste, just a nice mouthful of bier that is very satisfying and pleasurable.
Drinkability: I am having one right now...it is 12 deg outside, dark, and depressing here on the shores of lake michigan; but with the glass of black bavarian, I am one happy camper and enjoying my night of lounging.
I would suggest trying the same, easy to drink, good taste, and overall a high-quality bier.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 04:37:30 | More by nocheinsbitte
Photo of jdg204
jdg204

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much appreciation to the old boss again for this gem received in the beer of the month club, the first of many Dark Lagers for me.

Appearance - Beautiful dark almost opaque color with a pinch of rub and a brown head that was just a bit thin.

Smell - Very nice caramel/ coffee odors come through.

Taste - Amazing, has a lovely roasted flavor which is balanced superbly with a sweet caramelized malt and just a hint of bite from hops.

Mouthfeel - The roasted flavor just leaves an amazing aftertaste and the consistency is practically perfect.

Drinkability - Big pimping brew here folks, this is a must-try and a gem from the midwest. It's definetly turned me on to more dark lagers and I look forward to more like this bad boy (though sadly, I only have one more of him).

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 00:01:05 | More by jdg204
Photo of karst
karst

Missouri

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its 5:20 GMT just after noon in Mid Missouri. My tastebuds are just past their peak. Poured a full US pint from of hightly rated swartzbier from Glendale Wisconsin's Sprecher Brewing Co. at 50°F it is at its peak of smell and taste. (Putting down 200 lbs of lime on the lawn on a sunny 45° day helps whet the thirst). Held directly to the noonday sun a flare of Ruby set in a dark night of Black Bavarian Kulmbacher-style lager raises a distinctive heavy roasted aroma of caramel and chocolate malts from under its 1 cm tan head.

Sweet front, rich creamy caramel and malt middle and a plesant acid end. Hop bitterness and bittersweet chocolate finish.

Finishes with a few seconds of lingering bitterness calling for a bite of Brat and cheese at the end of each drink of this fine brew, but alas have none.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2005 20:02:49 | More by karst
Photo of e11a627
e11a627

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass and shared with the wonderful hu5om.

A: Opaque, dark brown, nice tan ring of foam. Looks like a stout but it's a dark lager. Never would have guessed by looking at it that it was a lager and not a stout.

S: The aromas seem for simple. Malty, dash of chocolate.

T: Good high quality chocolate taste post-swallow. Malty. Looks like a stout but tastes like a lager.

M: Quite smooth! Never enjoyed a dark lager before but this one was great. So smooth and yummy!

D: I could probably drink a few of these. And it's pretty because it looks like a stout. Gorgeous.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 18:35:45 | More by e11a627
Photo of gmcfarre
gmcfarre

Colorado

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle poured into Saison Dupont glass

A - Pours a dark, opaque, pitch black color with a thick, frothy one inch latte colored head. Head lasts very well, but lacing is moderate.

S - Strong roasted malt with some toffee and coffee flavors, as well as bitter dark chocolate. Scent is a little underwhelming in power. Caramel sweetness.

T - Starts with good roasted flavors and caramel sweetness. Again, toffee, coffee and dark bitter chocolate are touched upon. Nice and dry at finish with roasted flavor coming on again at aftertaste. Sweet, but refreshingly so.

M - Good carbonation with a medium body and creamy mouthfeel. A bit drying at the finish, but still retains some sweetness.

D - A really nice lager from Sprecher. Perfect with bratwurst I would imagine. Easy drinking despite its dark flavors and appearance.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2008 18:26:44 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of markman
markman

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian :

Very nice brew…stellar pour is a crisp clear back with a nice head. Taste is chocolate malt with a toasted roast flavor that is so good it almost takes ya by surprise…I’ll be honest with ya, I damn near wept. Creamy mouthfeel is nearly porterlike with a drinkability that is close to perfection. If I lived a bit closer to Massachusetts (Sprecher is not available in my beloved Nutmeg State) this would be in my fridge…con-stant-ly. Big props to richdude for the specimen.

Cheers…

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2004 02:43:42 | More by markman
Photo of jeffboo
jeffboo

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic Milwaukee microbrew when there were not that many to choose from.I've enjoyed this beer since the late 1980's and this fresh sample brought back many memories.

A beautiful black color with red highlights, it's topped off with a creamy tan head that hangs for a while. Malt, this style features malt and it begins with the aroma, rich malt,slightly smokey, and a hint of earthy hops. The complex malt flavor is chewy caramel, with a nutty,smokey,toasty finish to dry off the malt and keep the beer close to my lips.It has a nice medium body and a very creamy texture with maybe a hint of roast malt thrown in to complete the malt maze. A classic rare style, a little larger than a dunkel but very inviting as a session brew. Yum!

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2003 12:59:19 | More by jeffboo
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful beer!! Man do I love these dark lagers. This is a dark dark beer, black as hell and a larger rich staying tan head that stayed through several sips and gave a little lacing. It has a good smell of dark and roasted malt with a dollop of fruit-hopiness. This is pretty much how it tastes except much more intense flavor and the fruity hops are a nice aftertaste that stay well with the roastedness of the malt. I could drink this one year round and will add it to my list of things to bug my store about. This is a great beer, thanks to Cretemixer for the gift.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2004 00:47:19 | More by Higravity
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown, inching toward black color, coppery-red at foot of glass, head is a triumph, all puffy, creamy, cocoa-tan in color.
Aroma: deep and darkly fruity, warm and toasty,yet creamy, soft, yet earthy, definite nut character, plus cocoa, and and a candyish feel, making it feel like a slightly carbonated, sweet mocha latte.
Taste: warm mouthfeel, ample texture, giving, full of character, dark, yes, but a most companionable brew, slinks and sashays through the mouth, flirting with all the senses. Chocolate dabbles in, nuts flitter around like a social butterfly at play in the senses, and oh, so smooth. Resilient finish, stays solidly and happily on the palate. Wonderfully thick & tasty texture.
What I love about this beer is that you very easily forget that you're actually drinking a lager, for it is so full-bodied and flavorful, you'd think you had a brown ale or a porter in your hands. There's only the slightest bitterness, but the flavor looms so huge...sassafras? sasparilla? anise? molasses?...that it ranks high on drinkability.
This has got to be the best schwarzbier I've ever had, and I'd be only too happy to try any challengers. If they can taste better than this, bring 'em on!!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2003 00:36:04 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Theheroguy
Theheroguy

Maryland

4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown approaching black. The flavors of the roasted malt, the sweetness, the coffee tones, the tang from the acid... I feel as though all of these are more pronounced in a schwarzbier than in a porter or stout. The lager yeast just doesn't impart as many flavors as an ale yeast. Not a negative or a positive just an observation. I don't know how traditional this beer is as it's very well hopped. There is a firm bitterness throughout. Personally I feel like this is a good thing because many of the German beer which include a lot of dark roasted malts are overly sweet. All in all highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 06:52:28 | More by Theheroguy
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A dense finger of brown cream rises above a mahogany black brew that reminds me of the wood on a grand piano. The head recedes to a thick collar and leaves a lot of whipped lace on the glass.

S - Tootsie Rolls, root beer, sassafras, charcoal, charred firewood, wet slate, roasted grains, and chicory. Holy crap! This is an extremely complex and interesting nose! I just so happen to love smoky and dark aromas like campfire smoke, and this one is really impressing me tremendously. I could sniff this all day on a rainy day like this one.

T - Dark wet charcoal. This is like a charcoal grill after you pour water on it ....that hissing smoky woody smell. This tastes like that and reminds me of my childhood camping with my parents. There is also a sweetness to this one that is almost like raw brown cane syrup or maple syrup tapped straight from the tree and then caramelized over an open charcoal pit.

M - Medium bodied and highly carbonated. This is the crazy thin that I love about the style...it's rich and dark and smoky, but it's still a relatively spry lager! The finish is slightly dry and full of charcoal and soy sauce lingering notes.

D - An excellent example of the style. This is so smoky that it's almost like a rauchbier. I would definitely pick up some more of this great brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2008 15:57:41 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of cjgator3
cjgator3

Florida

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. The aroma is sweet roasted malts, molasses, toffee and hints of coffee. The taste is dark and roasty with a good dose of slightly burnt malts, caramel and a touch of smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on. Overall, Black Bavarian is a beer that I really enjoyed and will purchase again in the future. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2008 03:22:41 | More by cjgator3
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a deep, near-black with tiny hints of red poking through. A nice, beige head sits atop the brew, and it remains rocky and leaves good lacing.

Smell: Smells suprisingly hoppy for the color, with a nice chocolate undertone. My complaint is that it almost smells like soap. Hmmm....

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow! Now this is a beer. A nice roasted nut flavor emerges at first, with a rich, malty flavor. The end is nice and hoppy with some almost fruity elements poking through. The mouthfeel, is a little watery, but mostly good and chewy.

Drinkability and Overall: This is beer unlike anything I've ever had before. A well-balanced brew that I'd have to problem putting back. The 6% also adds to the drinkability. This is a classic, a must try for those looking for something different.

Thanks to Bashiba for, yet another, great great brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2004 03:12:57 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 16 oz bottle into pilsner glass.
A: Pours a nice dark chocolate brown with 1/2 inch tan head that slowly recedes. Reddish hue with backlighting.
S: Cream, chocolate and caramel malt, licorice, and sweet clove.
T: Sweet caramel malt, clove, bananas, mild dry chocolate, and a hint of wood smoke. Very nice especially for style.
M: Smooth and oily feel. Mildly bitter bite at the finish. Light-medium body.
D: One of my favorite session beers. A subtle beauty. Brings back wonderful memories of discovering craft beer and enjoying this one from a keg on a sunny spring day for a friend's bachelor party. Awesome.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2011 03:40:40 | More by mwilbur
Photo of auxiliary
auxiliary

Rhode Island

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance - Nice dark color with a tan brown head.

smell - Malts, dark chocolate.

taste - Nice roasted taste with dark chocolate and java beans up front. Finished with some bitterness and nutty taste.

mouthfeel - Medium-heavy.

drinkability - Very nice beer. #1 for this style. i can see why.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 02:05:27 | More by auxiliary
Photo of WJVII
WJVII

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown, held to the light is slightly opaque. Nice light brown head leaving decent lacing on the glass. This brew has a nice deep aroma with hints of finely roasted malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The taste is bold, but smooth. Chocolate malts with roasted caramel hit the palate with nice balance and a smooth taste. This is a nice brew near my home town in Milwaukee...drink up!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 02:23:55 | More by WJVII
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-black topped with a three finger foamy tan-chocolate head, leaves partial rings of lacing.
Sweet caramel aroma, some roasted malt and chocolate.
Sweet taste, chocolate and caramel, I was thinking of a chocolate covered caramel candy when drinking. Rich and roasty taste, a perfume note tucked in there.
Light-medium body, but felt thicker with the dark tastes

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2004 20:10:19 | More by mschofield
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a nearly obsidian color with a surprisingly light beige head that displays remarkable persistance and leaves splashy lacing all over the glass

Smell: Black bread and caramel predominate, with subtle hints of chocolate, smoke and walnuts

Taste: Starts with a black bread and caramel flavor that, after the swallow, is complemented by coffee, dark chocolate and a touch of smoke

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Fantastic; if only other breweries would try brewing a beer in this style, lagers wouldn't have such a bad rap

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 20:29:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I just realized something....it's been awhile since I've had high expectations on a schwarzbier! And what better way to come back to the style than with Sprecher's offering? 22 ounce bottle with a gold wax coating over the neck and bottle cap, on to the beer:

Oddly, the bottle is a twist-off. As I pour it into a flute, that beery smell escapes the body and enters my nose. An ebony beauty in the glass, ruby brown highlights on the bottom. Big roasted, smokey, and astringent characterists. First sip is uplifting. Mouthfeel is right on the money with its easy, low carbonation, and medium-heavy feel. Bitter chocolate and astringent coffee flavors ar dominant in this brew. Peaty smoke emerge midway through the experience. Come to think of it, this carries some charactersitcs of a authentic Polish-brewed Baltic Porter, except this one has a smoother flavor. Still fishing for more flavors...I found some black licorice.

Downright tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2008 04:11:42 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz twist-off bottled November 14th, 2012. Served at around 45F.

Pours black with a one-finger creamy light brown head that leaves nice glass-coating sheets of lacing and retains extremely well, almost nitro-like appearance.

Aroma is chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted malts, some burnt malts, bit of coffee, caramel and dark bread. Good strength.

Flavor is chocolate/cocoa, dark roasted malts, hint of burnt toast, caramel, coffee, moderate sweetness, minimal bitterness or alcohol. Very smooth and finishes clean.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied, good carbonation.

Really, really nice Schwarzbier. One of the better examples I’ve had. Robust, rich, yet easy to drink. Nice ’un.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 02:40:20 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep black, shining a beautiful mahogany red when backlit. A short beige foam forms with a gentle pour, settling into a thick collar surrounding a patchy mist with an island of larger bubbles in the middle. Good head retention, keeping a thick collar and some swirly mist throughout. Not much in the way of lace, which is a little disappointing. The foam sort of slides down the glass back into the beer.
The aroma is extremely smooth and mild, very authentic. Soft roasted malt hints at coffee, with a rich pruney fruitiness flowing beneath. Well lagered, with that characteristic german smooth featheriness. A passive noble hop bite creates a slight sloral note in the background.
The flavor starts with a tingle of carbonation, giving way to a moderate burnt roastiness. A bit grainy, with a fuller flavor than the german versions. Light toffee sweetness. Moderate coffee continues throughout, with a splash of fig and prune fruitiness. A pleasant floral/herbal noble hop bitterness takes up the finish, although most of the bittering comes from the burnt malt. Some baker's chocolate comes through in the finish, lingering briefly on the tongue in the aftertaste. A lightish medium body, easy bouyed by an assertive, prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, the carbonation adds a spiciness that intensifies the grain somewhat.
Really, really nice stuff. I wish more breweries took a stab at this style, because it's lovely. I like the 16oz size, it's a nice touch to get a full pint in every bottle. A welcome addition to the MA distribution line-up.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2004 00:20:19 | More by UnionMade
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16 oz bottle poured into a pilsner.

A: Black liquid that is clear against light with amber fringes. Frothy tan head, that dissipates to a ring and doesn't leave much lacing.
S: Rich malty aroma, caramelized sugar, toasted burnt flavors, slight hop touch.
T: Medium body with very strong carbonation. Starts with a rich, roasted malt flavor and finishes slightly more acidic, but still sweet. In between, toasted, coffee flavors persist. Very creamy and smooth, despite slight bitterness and acidity. Lingering roasted malt flavor. Very good, I like this beer a lot. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 02:14:49 | More by yourefragile
Photo of brewdoc75
brewdoc75

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Guinness Pint Extra Stout pint glass. Beautiful black color with hints of mahogany when the light shines on it. A strong, lively 2 inch head sits atop this wonderful lager. The aromas are fantastic w/ strong, sweet malts, followed by chocolate and even a slight roasted coffee aroma. The flavor is also great with more of the sweet, chocolatey malts. There is some caramel and toffee flavors present as well. The beer ends w/ a pleasant roasted coffee taste. There is some slight fruitness present as well. I do get just a hint of the hops, but just enough to add some necessary bitterness. The mouthfeel of this beer is not what you would expect. It is rather light to medium bodied, when one may expect it to be heavy. I like the fact that it is lighter.

Overall a stellar beer. I've had one other schwartzbeer, but I don't really remember it. This beer is definitely memorable and is a worthy adversary to any porter out there. The great thing about this brew is that it is so damn easy to drink. Goodbye 4-pack....

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 18:44:46 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of bnuttz
bnuttz

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby dark brown/black with a fizzy tan head. Smells of roasted nuts and slight coffee, very mild smell. Taste is exceptional. Slight coffee and chocolate notes, a definite acidic bitterness from the malts shines throught. Hopping is mild. Yeast makes a small twangy appearance towards the end. Mouthfeel is great, very smooth, and full, yet light, making this beer very drinkable. A top notch session dark beer. I love this stuff and am thankful to live in Milwaukee because this stuff is readily available on tap. It is even better on tap.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2005 04:37:15 | More by bnuttz
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 716 ratings.