1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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

780 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 780
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 107
Gots: 38 | 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: 780 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Benish
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Benish, Sep 19, 2014
Photo of MatthewPlus
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

MatthewPlus, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of hu5om
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

split in new belgium goblets with e11a627
a-black but not impenetrable. ring of khaki foam, light lacing

s-dark malts, chocolate, slight hoppy freshness and licorice

t-biscuit, dark malts, german chocolate, licorice

m-med. carbonation. very smooth for a beer that packs these tastes. decently clean and light.

d-my kind of lager! friggin great. i'd say better than their amber and pub brown. very happy. schwarzbier's: who knew? i might start buying these more often!

hu5om, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of jdg204
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).

jdg204, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of jwerner23
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

jwerner23, Jun 07, 2014
Photo of BeccaH
3.5/5  rDev -14%

BeccaH, Sep 12, 2014
Photo of dhannes
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.

dhannes, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
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.

AdmiralDiaz, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of Daffron24
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Daffron24, Aug 04, 2013
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 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 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 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 OtisCampbell007
2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

OtisCampbell007, Nov 27, 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 WunderLlama
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Black, deep chocolate brown in color. No light passes through. Pours a 1/2 finger dense taupe foam cap.

Aroma of sweet malts.toffee,caramel, chocolate, coffee.

Sips sweetness on the front of the tongue. Toffee, raisins,coffee, chocolate.

Smooth , low carbonation . Whisper of bitterness at the end that quickly fades.

Highest rated beer in found in the cooler of an out of town beer dispensary. Good choice, repeatable. Good beer

WunderLlama, Jul 17, 2014
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
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.