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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 DerekQXQX
DerekQXQX

Illinois

3.49/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is the highest rated of all of Sprecher's. It is possible that German Beer is just not my thing but I was underwhelmed. It was sweet, but not in the way of hop lacking. It might just not be what I am used to. I have never been to Bavaria, but from the taste of this beer, I'm not going there anytime soon either.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2014 11:50:16 | More by DerekQXQX
Photo of EagleTalon
EagleTalon

Arkansas

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a nice tan head that laces a bit and sticks around. Black color. Aroma is malty and slightly roasted but very muted which is on style. Flavor is more of same with sweet malt balanced by the black malt and soft hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is on heavy side, but slick and smooth. I love the way this brew feels. Overall, a very good Schwarz.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2013 03:41:14 | More by EagleTalon
Photo of TTAmod
TTAmod

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 20 oz. glass mug at the Sprecher Restaurant in Lake Geneva, WI.

A: This beer pours very dark with a one finger tan head. The head dissipated quickly, but I attribute this mostly to the serving temperature of the beer; it was a bit on the cold side.

S: Smell is of heavy roasty malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and cream. The smell is quite reminiscent of a stout.

T: Taste follows the smell quite well, but the roasted malt flavor is extremely strong; however I wouldn't consider it burnt, so it's still pleasant. There is chocolate and a touch of coffee, too. Ends slightly bitter, metallic, and roasty.

M: Mouthfeel is very good...it's smooth, creamy, but is light and well carbonated. This brew goes down extremely easily.

O: The best way to describe this beer is a stout with very easy drinkability. It tastes like a stout, but it has the mouthfeel of a pilsner. There were some off-tastes in the beer, but for the most part it's pretty top notch for the style.

Honestly, before trying this beer, I only thought of Sprecher as a good soda company...I have always overlooked their beers. I've definitely learned my lesson and will try more of their beers in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2013 03:35:52 | More by TTAmod
Photo of MDDMD
MDDMD

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, floral

T-dark roasted malt, caramel, floral hops, caramel, nice bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth

O-a tasty beer with great body and easy drinkability

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2013 02:16:32 | More by MDDMD
Photo of guityler83
guityler83

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: At first glance this beer is black and opaque but when held up to the light, a redish brown hue shines through from the edges. Very fine bubbles in the off-white/brown head just over the top of the pint.

S: Spicy, chocolatey and a hint of roast

T: Chocolate and roasty flavors are the focal point of your taste buds but not the main attraction. The spicy, earthy noble hops are what I love about this beer. They don't dominate the palate but enhance all the other flavors while artfully and tastefully giving Black Bavarian a drinkability factor of 10.

M: A nice clearn crisp mouth feelfeel with no astringancy.

O: Schwarzbier is one of my favorite styles and until I get a chance to visit Germany, Black Bavarian will be my benchmark to what all other schwarzbiers are compared (and even then I might) so far non have come close. Find this beer, drink it, buy some more. You won't be disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2013 01:53:43 | More by guityler83
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a Sprecher Mug.

Appearance- Very dark brown with a finger of kakhi head that dissipates into about a third finger all the way to the bottom leaving light lacing.

Smell- Molasses and chocolate. Not strong smells here but it is on tap so it's expected.

Taste- Lots of molasses and coco with some twinges of dark fruit and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel- A little light here but make for a very drinkable Schwarzbier. The carbonation and hop finish work well here.

Overall- Great drinkable German dark beer and the best beer from Sprecher.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2012 17:59:38 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

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

A: single finger head on a clear deep amber/mahogany brown body. No lacing to speak of.

S: roasted malts with caramel, vanilla and chocolate.

T: roasted and toasted malts up front fading to an earthy and herbal hop finish. It's a little watery and although both malt and hops well represented, they are understated.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is a tough style to do well. It has all the elements for a good schwarzbeir but just not strong enough in the flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2012 21:31:16 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With characteristics that span dark fruit, light roast, and slight vinous notes, Sprecher shows that the timid black beer can be much, much more.

Black Bavarian pours with a very clear, albeit dark brown with garnet highlights. Well headed with a terse off-white froth, the low lying head retains as a sheet with minimal lace.

Light roasted malts and well attenuated starch note start the aromatic journey while thin caramel, grape, and red wine notes add interest and intrigue to the otherwise roast and char of dark grain.

The dry taste of coffee-like roast with walnut backdrop, light starchy malt, and slight campfire smoke seem to exceed the slight scorched taste of caramel, but introduces characterful elements of cherries, grapes, red wine, and cider with low bitterness outside that of roasted grain.

Medium-light bodied, the mouth wants to think heavier because of the roast taste, but the weight of the beer is remarkably light and refreshing; approaching thinness as the tart fruit notes and the slight roast astringency play out over the highly attenuated malt character.

Black Bavarian schwarzbier is a subtle, drinakble, and surprisingly variable beer that shows more flexibility than is normal for the narrowly focused style.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2012 19:38:34 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

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

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Poured an opaque brown-black with a huge puff of tan head that retained decently and laced well. Mostly roasty dark malts in the aroma, as would be expected; a touch of cocoa. Again, a big roastiness in the taste, dark malts, notes of cocoa and coffee, pumpernickel. Not nearly as flavorful as some of your better schwarzbiers. Medium body and fairly drinkable, but just lacking the flavor I need to inspire me to order another glass. Decent overall.

Edit: Wait, this is the highest ranked schwarzbier on the site? *facepalm*

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2012 11:48:56 | More by Rifugium
Photo of adam42381
adam42381

Florida

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/30/11.

Poured on draft into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with caramel highlights and a 1-2 finger creamy tan head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, lactose, chocolate and caramel. Smells delicious.

Taste: Chocolate with german malt and a touch of hops. Roasted malt and chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. Goes down smooth.

Overall: Good beer overall. Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to the aroma, but it is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2011 00:29:58 | More by adam42381
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
DabblinWiscCraft

Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A coffee bean black color in the glass, with a very thin head that dissipates quickly but has decent cling. The nose presents toasted malt at the fore with subtle vinegar, mild nuttiness, and slight molasses, as well. I was a little disappointed that the smell wasn't stronger. It has a very prominent coffee flavor with hints of cocoa and lots of toasted malts. If I didn't know any better, I might've thought this was the latest Starbucks beverage. There is some sourness and acidity to the close that actually serves to balance the flavor quite nicely. A mid- to full-bodied mouthfeel with a slight syrup quality, but it does finish very clean.

A very nice dark German lager, with great toasted malt and coffee notes. Goes down very easy and does not overwhelm, despite its pronounced malt flavor and complexity. Definitely worth repeated pours.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2011 08:49:13 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
Photo of TheBoss
TheBoss

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

poured into 0.3 L rastal

Looks as expected, black, my tasting is in a skinny glass and I still cant see through , head was small maybe less than half a finger and was a nice caramel color, decent lasing.

Smell burnt malts and some sweetness and hints of chocolate

Taste smooth, a lot thinner then expected, lingers on the tongue just enough, very very clean finish

Best schwarzbier i ever had, really enjoyed drinking this one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2011 03:08:18 | More by TheBoss
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Received from the bartender a simple black body topped with a slim, light beige head.

Smell: Nose smelling of roasted, grainy malts for a dull coffee-ish tone, touches of chocolate and caramel with a spoonful of sweet homemade plum jelly.

Taste: Blackened barley malt, with a slow but steady accumulating roasted grain quality to it. Sweet influences of chocolate and caramel, more prominent in the beginning. Subtle albeit continuous ripe plum fruitiness. A hint of herbs pulls in a slight, sweetness-tempering bitterness. Late touch of aniseed. Finishes fairly dry with a light, final touch of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a good schwarzbier tweaked with less than traditional ingredients, though I am not willing to say it is a great one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2010 20:32:53 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of dhannes
dhannes

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Revisited this beer on tap after having had a number of enjoyable bottles. While the appearance resembles a porter in color, it is actually a lager and tastes as such. Hints of cocoa, but not as drinkable or tasty as a porter...in fact, it would have been hard to distinguish this beer from, say, a decent lager, in a blind taste test...well, you could taste a hint of roasting, but not much. Still, a decent once-in-awhile beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2010 19:17:25 | More by dhannes
Photo of djhowell
djhowell

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Very dark, nearly black body with a tan head that doesn't last long. Some pretty good lacing though.

S Lots of roasted malts, a little chocolate.

T Like it smells: lots of roasted malts, a touch of sweet chocolate. Finishes slightly bitter.

M Very balanced, medium bodied, carbonated perfectly.

D Good from start to finish and low enough ABV that I didn't hesitate to order another.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2010 20:38:03 | More by djhowell
Photo of AmberMan22
AmberMan22

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black with ruby highlights, Head is a frothy khaki/tan that disappears a little too quickly. Lacing is nice and pretty.

The smell is a robust, toasty and smoky chocolate malt notes are readily present.

The taste really is wonderful. A smoky heaven of dark roasted malt that leaves a little lingering bitterness.

The carbonation is maybe a little too strong for my liking, but it doesn't ruin overall mouthfeel, which is medium+ bodied, and feels warm and comforting on a chilling evening.

I do love this beer, and it makes for a perfect winter sipper. Glad I'm back in WI where they have this on tap at a bunch of places. Gotta be one of my favorite beers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2010 00:37:46 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Almost opaque brown, reddish at the edges

S- a little roasted malt like toasting bread

T - Smoky, roasty, but not overly sweet like some stouts might be. Surprisingly dry with crisp acid at the end

M- Light, clean, fresh

D- very good, not thick or overwhelming but pleasant flavorful. For me it wasn't enough to order another but I enjoyed it from the top down.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2009 13:34:47 | More by Soonami
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap for lunch at the Horse & Plow in Kohler, Wisconsin. Served in a standard pint glass.

Pours dark black, hints of brown, with little evidence of foam or lacing.

Mild roasted coffee smell.

Taste is burnt chocolate/coffee backed by a moderate hop. Lightly carbonated in the mouth.

Average drinkability. I enjoyed the beer, but given another chance, I probably would have ventured elsewhere on the menu.

Serving type: on-tap

08-29-2009 18:18:11 | More by KTCamm
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Prohibition Tap Room

A - Dark and stout-like. Minimal head and lacing.

S - Roasted malts, slight hint of bitter cocoa.

T - Dark roasted malts, slight notes of roasted nuts, bitter cocoa and burnt popcorn. Earthy flavors.

M - Medium bodied. Earthy feel and finish. Ample carbonation.

D - Pretty full and filling... great malt flavors and low ABVs make this a drinker

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2009 15:04:43 | More by rfgetz
Photo of BigBry
BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another draft choice at Clark Street Ale House, one of my favorite styles.
Very dark brown, reddish hilights, with a short off white head. Not much head retention and very little lacing.
Smells of sweet grains with a touch of coffee and chocolate. Flavor starts sweet and malty, slightly bitter finish. Subtle cocoa and coffee notes. Very drinkable, nice level of carbonation, goes down smooth. Flavorful but not so much that it wears out your taste buds with the hoppiness. Top notch.

Note to Self: Ranked #1 Schwarzbier when I tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2009 22:49:45 | More by BigBry
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark brown that shows light. Sizeable tannish head. Mild nose. Flavor is bringing a lot of flavor. Nice malts, noticeable cooked (but not roasted) grain tones. The malts really seem to thicken up to me as time goes on. Mildly sweet as a compliment to everything else. Feel has a nipping carbonation. Liquid is slightly thick. It's a shame that Sprecher isn't more widely distributed here (as far as variety goes). I'd be very open to trying anything they brewed.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2009 00:07:20 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of jsanto
jsanto

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

s - on tap in phila. pint glass.

a - dark brown, and no head, or it dissapeared very quick.

s - it smelled like cherries, and alcohol, but was pleasant.

t - it tasted like it smelled, but very enjoyable to the taste.

m - light carbonation, and it stayed good to the end.

d - very drinkable beer, i could have had another one, but decided to try something else.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2009 21:18:56 | More by jsanto
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
AdmiralDiaz

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a one finger tan-off white head. Not much head retention and very little lacing.

S: smells of coffee and chocolate with hints of toffee and cream.

T: Starts of sweet and malty up-front with a small amount of chocolate/coffee bitterness in the finish. Towards the end of the drink the coffee comes out more and so does the bitterness.

Overall It was very drinkable and and great tasting, if I find this in store I'll pick up a pack for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2009 05:49:48 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of CHSLBrew
CHSLBrew

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a large mug.

A-Beer was darkest dark brown, pretty much black, with deep copper highlights as light shone through. Even with the highlighting, the beer was pretty opaque. Head was a sparse layer of off-white/tan bubbles.

S-Aroma was predominantly roasty malts.

T-Crisp and clean flavor, mostly roasty malts with some hints of chocolatey character squeezing through. A balancing, but not overpowering, bitterness was present. Finished clean.

M-Light bodied beer with medium carbonation. Danced around my mouth smoothly.

D-A highly drinkable brew. Smooth from start to finish, easy to drink, and still a high-quality and flavorful beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2008 15:00:32 | More by CHSLBrew
Photo of opwog
opwog

Minnesota

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good

A- The color lives up to the name; black as night with a tan dark chocolaty head
S- Toasted malts, toffee...very appealing!
T- Just like the nose, only add black coffee to the taste. Really killer!
M- This is medium bodied, which is surprising for the depth of the taste and aroma. Normally I might say too thin for the taste profile, but in this case it all comes together perfectly!
D- I could sit back with these all night, except that I have a plane to catch in the morning :(

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2008 04:45:45 | More by opwog
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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.