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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

750 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 750
Reviews: 453
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 102
Gots: 32 | 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
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Ratings: 750 | Reviews: 453 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jpro
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%

Picked up a couple of these at Sam's in Durham a little while back. Poured into a dimpled mug...

A: Dark brown... not quite black - maybe they should rename it "Almost Black Bavarian"; nice mocha head that leaves some spindly lace and manages some minimal retention in the form of a ring of foam and a few patches here and there.

S: Roasted grain; chocolate; smells very sweet.

T: Some dark fruit sweetness... not what I was expecting; molasses; roasty finish; satisfying, yet not too flavorful.

M: On the lighter side of medium-bodied with some pretty high carbonation going on.

D: Satisfactory, in my opinion; nothing too crazy, yet not bad... middle of the road brew for me.

jpro, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of elec
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

elec, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.15/5  rDev +2%

I popped the cap and there was no sound at all. I was a bit nervous about the carbonation but it turned out ok. Pours out a very dark brown color with a tan head that is kind of small. Sweet caramel and roasted malt come out in the smell. The first thing you notice in the taste is the smokey notes. It then turns more sweet like caramel and chocolate. Very smooth and well balanced. The smoked flavor is not too overpowering which is something I hate. This is perfect. If you are nervous about trying a beer that has smoked flavor, this is a good starting point.

CharlesRiver, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of homebrewhawk
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

16oz. brown bottle served in a pilsner glass. Poured a deep brown/black with about a finger of fine bubbled white head. Lots of chocolate and cocoa in the aroma. Rich body with plenty of roasted malt bitterness. Long dry coffee finish. Great complexity, bold flavors. Good stuff.

homebrewhawk, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours a deep brown, almost black, with a mediocre head. Smells malty, though there's a bit of cream and sugar scent to it as well. The malt appears to be more roasted in the flavor, the roastiness creating sort of a burnt bitter crunch at the end, backed up by a small amount of hops. I'm getting some molases flavor, as well as some milky creamy notes and a nice dusty character that I'm always happy to see in this style. Really a lot of dark flavors in there with out the thickness and heaviness of a stout or a porter, a great alternative. Full of flavor with a medium mouthfeel. Very drinkable. If I didn't know it was from Wisconsin you could probably fool me into thinking this was an authentic German brew.

twelvsies, Apr 28, 2005
Photo of ffshore545
3.5/5  rDev -14%

ffshore545, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of happygnome
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

My 100th review very tasty

a: dark black very difficult to see through half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a good amount of lacing
s: roared malt aroma with slight hp presence
t: very very nice, roasted malts kinda like a nice porter. slight hop presence extremely enjoyable
m: medium bodied with average carbonation

overall deffinatly one of the better beers ive had

happygnome, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of horshack7
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Appearance: From a 16oz bottle is a very dark almost opaque. The head is about two fingers thick and is beige in color.

Aroma: Chocolate malts, dark fruits, roasted malts. Hops are roasted, coffee notes, hops have touch of citrus but are leaning towards the floral side of the aroma.

Taste: dark roasted coffee, vanilla, chcolate malts that are semi sweet. Hops are a touch dry but still have a good bite.

Notes: What a remarkable lager very well done. Cheers.

horshack7, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of supercolter
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

This was a fantastic beer. It was the last of my sampler pack and I couldn't be more excited to have my second.
Appearnce is the only flaw here, black like coffee, like night black, but little head or lacing.
Smell and taste are delicious with slightly sweet malt mixed with coffee, and burnt chocolate.
This beer is medium-heavy.
Drinkability is excellent.

supercolter, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of Fcolle2
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

Fcolle2, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of nineworldseries
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

nineworldseries, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of steveh
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

Probably one of the first micro-brewed beers I ever tried, back around 1985. Never reviewed it, had a taste for it, here goes.

A -- Deep, dark black (coincidence?) with ruby highlights only seen with a flashlight, and a thick head that starts with some darker highlights as poured, but settles on tan.

S -- Bready and mildly roasted malts, some light, clay-like earthiness.

T -- Roasted malts right up front. Very Stout/Porter-like in its flavor, but none of the top-fermented esters. Coffee notes and that earthy character, but no sweetness from the malt. All very roasty-bitter with a touch of crisp hop bitterness in the finish and some lightly sweet dark fruit and licorice in the aftertaste.

M -- Smooth, on the verge of syrupy, mouthfeel and a medium to light-heavy body.

O -- Overall, this is a very pleasant dark beer if you're looking for that typical roasted malt hit. But I wish there was just a slight bit more sweetness and smoothness you get from a classic Schwarzbier.

steveh, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Stoutfan23DJ, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of Mojo
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%

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.

Mojo, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

dt_gbpackersfan, Jun 11, 2014
Photo of madtowndmb1
4/5  rDev -1.7%

I think is a good beer and is a nice little gem for a small brewery.

It poured a black with a fairly big tan head. It smelled of chocolate and coffee and a sweetness that took me off guard a bit. Tasted very good. I got alot of sweetness that tasted like candi sugar, but it was very balanced by the acidity of the coffee and the overall darkness of the beer. Very drinkable and I'd consider a 4-pack of these on the right occasion for sure!

Good job!

madtowndmb1, Feb 09, 2009
Photo of shirfan
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

Not quite black but incredibly dark brown. Good layer of light tan foam.

Taste: Spot-on schwarzbier. Mild caramel with some rich cocoa and faint coffee notes thrown in. Understated, leafy hops in the finish are there if you take notice, but smooth, dark, drinkable malt is the name of the game here. Perfect balance between sweet and dry, as well as between heavy and light.

Drinkability: HUGE. Incredible. As quaffable as a cold iced tea on a hot day. This beer does not beg another sip, it seductively demands one. Velvet smooth.

shirfan, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of Natural510
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Full 16oz brown bottle, no discernible freshness dating.

Pours a very dark, opaque brown color with tan head which leaves a nice coat of lacing on the glass when swirled.
Scent of caramel, dark sugar and a roasted, bitter cocoa.
Brown sugar malt, nicely roasted, with chocolate and caramel notes highlight the bulk of the flavor. A raw coffee bean kicks through as well. Hops are noticeable, but not the main feature, as it should be. Fairly chalky, bittersweet finish.
Full in body, fairly dry and bitter in finish.
Rich, heavy dark lager. Embodies all the good qualities of the style, and proof a beer doesn't require heavy amount of alcohol to be complex. This will likely be my go-to schwarzbier as Moonlight Death & Taxes is unavailable outside of Northern California.

Natural510, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of bconsidine
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

bconsidine, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of little_star
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

little_star, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of santoslhalper
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

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.

santoslhalper, Dec 08, 2004
Photo of Higravity
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

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.

Higravity, Dec 09, 2004
Photo of firstlighthiker
4/5  rDev -1.7%

firstlighthiker, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Among the pale pilseners at the downtown Chicago Kristkindl market is a keg of pale pilsener's evil twin. Pours with a hearty brown head over a body that looks solid black in a plastic cup, then shows brown highlights as I drink it. Kind of a black bread smell that’s not as prominent as a stout. Definite dark roast malts against a German hop profile. Leaves a taste at the back of the palate where bitterness and astingency are detected. Roast coffee taste, perhaps a note of pear, subdued by its "clean" lager finish. Brings up a bit of a burnt toast taste toward the end that may not be to everyone's liking, but I like its complexity.

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of CHSLBrew
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

CHSLBrew, Dec 03, 2008
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 750 ratings.