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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

680 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 680
Reviews: 441
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%


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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Ratings: 680 | Reviews: 441 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jon_Abbott
Jon_Abbott

Tennessee

3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Thin, light tan head dissipated quickly and didn't leave much lacing.

S: Toasted malts, smoke, and an earthy bitterness.

T: Beer is sweet with toasted, caramel undertones. Hints of smokiness and earthy hops. Aftertaste lingers and is almost burnt tasting, but not unpleasantly so. Acidity becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

M: Somewhere between light and heavy. Medium? Definitely not thin, but not quite as thick as I would have liked and expected. Medium carbonation.

O: Delicious. I have a soft spot for black lagers and this didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed its deep bitterness and it's carbonation is more than I am used to since I drink a lot of porters and stouts, so it was very nice for a change.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2014 23:16:17 | More by Jon_Abbott
Photo of jwc215
jwc215

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a creamy tan head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, light roast, earthy tones - Dark malt aroma blends well with hops.

The taste is of chocolate, caramel/toffee, light roasted coffee. Tasty hops add a bitter balance in the finish, while allowing it to be appropriately malt-forward.

It is a creamy, exceptionally smooth full-bodied lager.

This is an excellent example of the style. Dark, smooth, well-balanced. Very enjoyable black lager!

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 21:26:00 | More by jwc215
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Dark, shoe polish brown with a tan half-finger head that settles quickly to a bubble ring. Light lacing.

S: Charred coffee, dark chocolate. Malts.

T: Follows nose with sweetness and caramel. A smooth finish.

M: Medium with medium to heavy carbonation.

O: One of the better Schwarzbiers I've tried. A great sipper. Even better as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 22:49:44 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 19:53:28 | More by RoamingGnome
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 wac9
wac9

Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a wonderful beer i frist smelled malty and i was was worried but the taste is wonder full tastey wow just a great beer i want to drink all night just a renowned smoothness and a creamy tan head that i lovve enjoy people its a winner for a winter night it warms the soul on a summer night it continues life love this drink smile enjoy

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2013 04:14:16 | More by wac9
Photo of ckollias
ckollias

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 16oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick rN head that slowly dissipates leaving a decentt trail and wispy lace.

S: Roasted malt aroma with hints of dark fruits.

T: Sweet at first but then balanced nicely by the black malt. Finishes with a smokey roast finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This a good brew – easy drinker – and lots of flavor and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 02:23:32 | More by ckollias
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a one finger light tan head that has good retention.

Smell has notes of medium creamy roasted malt with warm toffee notes, a bery light hop presence and clean smelling yeast.

Taste has a nice light roasted coffee like flavor with creamy roasted malt, slight hop prescence and a really clean tasting yeast. There are also some light toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is awesome, feels creamy, light, clean crisp and very refreshing. This is one of the smoothest beers I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 01:06:07 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of Schmidts
Schmidts

Pennsylvania

4.76/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep dark brown/black with a 3/4 inch tan creamy head lacing from top to bottom. Smells of dark Malts, Molasses and Licorice/Anise.
The Taste says the minute you taste it better have another later. It is so creamy smooth malty lots of tastes of deep dark Malts chocolates and endless flavor. Not supper strong just right I can't say enough about the taste of this beer
In your Mouth this is one of the most Creamy wonderful beers I have ever drank!
Overall I have To Give this Beer a 4.75 it is World class in its flavor.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 22:07:21 | More by Schmidts
Photo of joe1510
joe1510

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint Bottle
$6.49 4-Pack
Herman's Package Liquor

This beer poured the darkest shade of brown you can get before it turning to black. Deep dark mahogany edges where the light actually manages to fight it's way through. A one finger creamy mocha cap sits up top after the pour and fades down to a solid creamy cap. This beer looks relly nice on the pour.

The smell invites you in for that first sip. Lots of dark creamy malts. That's right, this beer actually smells creamy. Along with the dark malt there is a hint of molasses and even hazelnut. On top of all that there's a drop or two of cream/milk. Makes my mouth water on this cold evening.

Mmm.. all the aromas are right there in the taste. Starts of doughy and bready for the backbone. The hazelnut and cream both make an appearence and blend nicely. On the swallow I pick up the smallest touch of licorice/anise. Nice touch of accidity. Packed with flavor. For this style Black Bavarian is about as good as I've sampled.

Medium body that gets thinner as it works its way through my mouth. Creamy and smooth. Finishes dry. Nicely done.

On a cold night this could be sipped the whole night through. The lower abv allows you to drink all night. Very easy going down.

This is an excellent made beer from Sprecher. I've seen this around but always passed it by for some reason. I'm sorry that I didn't try it sooner. Great example of the style. Loaded with flavor.

Reviewed: 2/4/07

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2013 22:43:21 | More by joe1510
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian has a very thick, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (ruby, under light) appearance, and lots of thick, cream-like lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted, almost burnt, barley malt, sweetness, and brown bread crust, and the flavor is of creamy, dark-roasted malt, charcoal, dark coffee, chocolate powder, black cherries, slight licorice, underlying, soft bitterness, and brown bread crust. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Sprecher Black Bavarian finishes fairly crisp, rich, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is most excellent, and I highly recommend it!

RJT

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2013 17:34:34 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of kaufmaal
kaufmaal

Alabama

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 02:46:08 | More by kaufmaal
Photo of ThisWangsChung
ThisWangsChung

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. It only shows hints of opacity when put against a moderately strong light. The head is a three finger mocha shade that doesn't retain particularly well, as expected. Having said that, I love the soft creaminess of the texture, with just a hint of rockiness to suggest it's well hopped. Lacing left on the glass is quite plentiful, also.

S: I get some dark fruit esters, roasted malts, cream, chocolate, caramel, noble hops, and brown sugar on the aroma. Not terribly groundbreaking on its own, but quite impressive given the style. I could certainly compare it to a good porter/stout aromatically.

T: An initial wave of dry chocolate soon gives way to a combination of roasted malts and grassy hops on the back end. While it's simplistic and straightforward, it's also enjoyably balanced and easy to drink.

M: It's crisp and dry like a good lager should be. On the other end of the spectrum, it actually does a good job of feeling somewhat substantial. At times, the general feel is more reminiscent of a porter than a dinky-ass schwarzbier.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect from this one - it's a schwarzbier, yet one of the top examples of the style according to BA. Luckily, I'm finding this one pretty damn good. Probably the best schwarz I've had yet, in fact.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 19:15:22 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a near black body with a soft, creamy, khaki colored head. The aroma brings dark chocolates, roast, charred malt, a bit of dark fruits, bread. Nice flavor. Easy to drink. Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation. A touch of molasses in the flavor as well. A solid example of the style. I would drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 03:43:38 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch

Texas

4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black beer (go figure) with a thin tan head. Smells of roasted malts leaning towards coffee and a whiff of eurohops. Flavor up front is very malty with notes of caramel. I perceive more bitterness from the hops rather than from the roasted grain. Finish tastes roasty, burnt, ashy and almost smokey. Carbonation isn't too strong. A little heavy and sticky. Overall this is pretty tasty, but the mouthfeel kind of weighs it down.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2013 02:56:23 | More by goochpunch
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 00:56:40 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head Glass

This beer pours up very black with a one finger tan head, decent retention, and some lacing. Nose is faint, but mostly malt and caramel. Taste is similar to the nose with there being several sweet flavors including malt, chocolate, and caramel. A small bit of coffee can be detected on the finish. Mouthfeel is okay, but not particularly memorable. A decent beer, if somewhat indistinctive.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 01:38:57 | More by Mojo
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark black with ruby highlights when held to light. Huge billowy tan head that leaves swaths of messy lacing. I mean, that head is noisy, cracking bubbles well after the pour.
smell: caramel and malty but a bit subdued, very nice but a little too subdued.
taste: Richer than the nose. Chocolate, caramel, fairly dry, and very tasty.
overall: Damn good.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 23:05:48 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 16 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some roasted malts. Taste is also mild, light coffee, a bit of roasted malts, easy drinking but just a bit bland. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer but nothing great.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 22:31:17 | More by tone77
Photo of TheSSG
TheSSG

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 02:07:02 | More by TheSSG
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 superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled 3/29/2012. Pours crystal clear extremely dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, raisin, toast, nuttiness, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, raisin, roasted malt, nuttiness, light coffee, biscuit, earthiness, and herbal spiciness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, toffee, molasses, roasted malt, toast, raisin, nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; nicely robust with zero cloying after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice schwarzbier! Nicely robust with good balance and complexity of flavors; very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 05:55:24 | More by superspak
Photo of burns1066
burns1066

Iowa

4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing beer! It drinks like a sweet, malty dessert. Tons of caramel and chocolate, malty without being cloying... in general, a fantastic late winter brew. It's mouth filling, but finishes wonderfully. The somewhat high alcohol content is not obtrusive because the beer invites slow savoring. As the temperature of the beer warms, the flavor profile becomes more pronounced and encourages even more measured drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 04:43:28 | More by burns1066
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a pint glass this beer has a weak yet persistant somewhat creamy tan head. It is clear, black with red tints when held up to the light.

S-Heavily toasted barley malt, aromas of dark chocolate are evident-nothing else noted. Clean aroma.

T-The dark malt pops and is the dominant taste in this beer. Coffee, chocolately with just hints of burnt malt are noted. Clean, quick finish.

M-Fairly weak body/mouthfeel as is customary with this style. Moderately high carbonation. Smooth with just a hint of bitter burnt malt finish. Very little detection of the 6% ABV.

O-A good beer to have when you crave the taste of a dark beer but are looking for something with higher drinkability. Pretty solid but I think the malt used is just a bit overcooked as it's a little too burnt for what I'd like in a dark lager. Another solid beer from Sprecher.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 02:06:01 | More by deebo
Photo of BasterdInABasket
BasterdInABasket

Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle, bottled June 29, 2012 (3.5 months old), poured into Duvel Tulip
A- Deep black in color with very slight ruby highlights up to light, 1.5 finger cream colored head, nice layer of head retention, leaves some lacing
S- Toasted and roasted malts, some sort of nut flavor (not 100% sure what), chocolate, not a huge aroma
T- Similar to the nose with more a more pronounced chocolate flavor, some balancing bitterness
M- Very smooth and drinkable, a little watery, would like the flavors to coat the mouth a little more
O- Some really nice dark flavors yet very drinkable and probably a little too thin. I like this beer every once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 03:56:22 | More by BasterdInABasket
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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.