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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

768 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 454
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 106
Gots: 35 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bavarian Alström Bros
Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 454 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sixpack595
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I can't wait to get some more! Head is solid, but thin and dissipates fairly quickly. Color is a deep red appearing black untill held up to the lights. Very drinkable, with strong chocolate and coffee flavors. New to this style of beer, and getting over a head cold...can't wait to see what else is hiding in that bottle.

Sixpack595, Dec 17, 2002
Photo of Franz4
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into a 1/2 ltr Paulaner mug

A- pours black with very little light coming through the glass. Head starts off at 3 fingers and then fades to a thin cap within the first 2 minutes of pouring. This is what I would want a schwarzbier to look like.

S- scent is slightly bready, but also has a fresh hop presence that's pleasant, but will surprise you a bit if you're not expecting it.

T- slight caramel notes followed by a nice balance of hoppiness. Slightly bitter but not overly, actually really quite nice.

S- surprisingly light bodied (looks can be deceiving) carbonation is evident and is on the higher end.

O- Very solid brew, 1st time I had it I think I served it too cold, and it wasn't nearly as good. This is a solid, easy drinker that I'm quite impressed with.

Franz4, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of Lewdd
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Lewdd, Sunday at 04:09 PM
Photo of EvilKeith
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just as the name suggests, this one poured into the glass nearly black in color. The head was camel in color, but fell rather quickly.

The smell was sweet malt, faint chololate and caramel notes and a light smokiness.

The taste was initially sweet and caramel-like with the middle becoming roasted and bitter. This one finished sweet with a pleasant dryness and mild bittering.

Moderately carbonated. Medium bodied. Crisp, yet somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. I’ll have to find others of this style to try.

EvilKeith, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of Mscarpen
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Mscarpen, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of terrabyte
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a large dark-brown head that quickly dissipates into nothing.

Aroma is light, mostly dark malts. It doesn't start as much, and even starts to fade.

Flavor works best when warmed up, and quite enjoyable. A nice smokiness that almost burns in the aftertaste. Nice, black, husky earth flavors. There might be some chocolate here, but it's not sweet, and it's burnt as hell. I'm really digging it that way.

Mouthfeel is has an enjoyable creaminess. It literally allowed the flavors to tumble over your tongue. There is also some thickness here, and almost a nice soot-like buildup on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good. Might be a little heavy and earthy for some, but it's bread & butter here. Very enjoyable.

terrabyte, May 10, 2007
Photo of MatthewPlus
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

MatthewPlus, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of LumpyGuitar
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black with a finger of tan fluffy head. Retention is low, lacing is minimal.

Smells of dark roasted malts, fresh water, licorice.

Taste is good, albeit a bit more bitter than I'd like. Dark roasted malts dominate, licorice and dark chocolate. Mild spice and a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, very dry, but refreshing.

Drinkability is good, goes down easy. Nice to have two in a row. Not the best Schwarz but pretty good nonetheless.

LumpyGuitar, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Vancer for this beer of my wants for the BA Anny Club. Pours dark black with a thin head. Nice smell of malts. Rich malt taste with a hint of sweetness. If I tasted this blind, I would have thought it was a well done porter. Extremely drinkable beer. I would drink this all of the time if I could get it.

Cheers.

SkinnyElvis, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of MaximalC
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

MaximalC, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of guityler83
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.

guityler83, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of tvv375ia
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

tvv375ia, Oct 31, 2012
Photo of TTAmod
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.

TTAmod, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of juhl31
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-good and dark, but the head doesnt last much at all and theres really no lacing

-smell is definitely potent, but not awesome. smells like theres some licorice in there

-dont know what to give taste. like licorice after mouth, which i dont necessarily like, but its decent

-mouth is fine, not much on the carb end

-not great for me, my mouth feels like i just took a shot of jager and in that case i wish i would have just taken a shot of jager

juhl31, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of weatherdog
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass

It pours a dark dark brown almost black with a small 1 finger head that dies to a small perimeter of bubbles around the glass.

Dark chocolate malt dominated the smell. There is also a heavy residual sweetness attached similar to an RIS.

The taste has a lot of coffee undertones but then it gets into this heavy chocolate/ caramel malts. Once again I can't help but comparing this to a lagered RIS. There is a large back end sweetness like an RIS but it finishes amazingly dry and crisp which is where the lager characteristic shines through. Its really an interesting taste and I'm enjoying the familiar rich RIS taste with a lager finish; very enjoyable

The mouthfeel is full bodied and rich but my the carbonation is too high for the richness and distracts from the taste. The weird thing is this drinks very similar to 8-10%ABV RIS with all the richness but is less than 6%. Usually it is the other way around. What this means to me is although I am sipping this in a pace similar to an RIS I was able to have three 16oz. bottles in one night without feeling full or drunk which was a huge plus.

weatherdog, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of Tjvan2
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Tjvan2, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of brakspear
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beer above all others. THIS should be the beer that made Milwaukee famous! The other reviewers have perfectly described the way one taste of this beer informs you that no other Bavarian style beer brewed in America can hold a candle to a malty taste that is so rich and complex followed with a burst of coffee and hop sizzle. Midnight color that revealed a ruby undertone when held to a strong light. If you can find it in a bottle great...but if you can find it on tap....thank whatever god or goddess you pray to....

brakspear, Apr 18, 2002
Photo of Garlicjosh
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Garlicjosh, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of BeccaH
3.5/5  rDev -14%

BeccaH, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of aubzachsyd
4/5  rDev -1.7%

aubzachsyd, May 10, 2014
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A WI classic and definitely the best beer this brewery makes, even if it's not my favorite style.

16 oz into a snifter. Tons of head on top of a deep black body, it just keeps going and going.

Lager funk in the nose from the yeast, quite enjoyable, and deep rich malts too, I feel like I could just inhale the glass.

Super malty on the tongue but not overbalanced and not too heavy. Kind of lively and refreshing but also warming.

They nailed the style on this one, and it's a true bargain beer where I am, works out to about $1.35 for a 16 oz bottle...consider a 24 oz of some garbage like Miller will run you $1.89...seems like a no-brainer if you're looking for something cheap that actually tastes great.

Highly recommended.

chicagoabbot, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of KimbarkBrewCrew
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

KimbarkBrewCrew, May 11, 2012
Photo of jbsteiny
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was excited to find this on tap, as I love schwarzbiers, but I wasn't that impressed by this. After reading everyone else's great reviews, I'm tempted to try it out of the bottle to see if maybe the keg wasn't great...

Poured near black with mahogany highlights. 1/2 an inch of light brown foam dissipated quickly. Smelled crazy malty -- roasted, sweet, even a little burnt -- but not much else in the nose. Some complexity came out in the taste -- the roasted malts diverged into the sweets and a prominent nuttiness (hazelnut?), before a bitter, slightly sour finish. I think it sounds better than it tasted because the nut flavor was too big for all of these other subtler things to come out. Pretty big mouthfeel, and it went down easy enough, but I didn't want another (as opposed to Kolstrizer, which has gotten lesser reviews, but I can down all night).

jbsteiny, May 04, 2007
Photo of tjd112
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation - Poured into River Horse glass

Appearance - Very dark black, off-white head that retains well and has somewhat filmy lacing

Smell - Very roasty, malty smell

Taste - Hints of chocolate, caramel, and chestnuts, sorta black forest cake

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy, somewhat dry

Drinkability - Could have one or two of these at a time

Overall - A solid Schwarzbier

tjd112, May 05, 2010
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark red - so dark it's black until held up to the light - yet clear. Head is 2+ fingers of golden-brown foam that lingers a long time, leaving a delicate lacing behind.

S: Burnt sugar, tart grapes, and some light hops notes.

T: Maltiness is mildly sweet, but more bready. There are mild flavors of acrid, burnt grain, but they are faint enough that they add to, rather than detract from, the taste. There's enough tart fruitiness in the middle for balance, before spicy, bitter hops take over in the finish.

M: Moist, with medium carbonation. Much lighter mouthfeel than I expected based on the color.

O: A tasty, very drinkable beer. This American-brewed Schwartzbier gives any German-brewed example a run for its money.

TappaKeggaBrew, Aug 12, 2014
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.