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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

725 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 98
Gots: 26 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of evanackerman
evanackerman

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beer pours black with a beige head.

aroma is pruny malt

taste is a nice combination of roasty malt with a nice acidity to balance it out and just the right touch of hops.

mouthfeel is very very smooth.

drinkability is huge, great session beer.

overall, this is a very easy-drinking and enjoyable take on the style, i love the 16 oz bottle as well. this one is a staple for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2007 22:35:15 | More by evanackerman
Photo of pebbs
pebbs

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -1.7%

05-21-2012 21:25:38 | More by pebbs
Photo of jeffboo
jeffboo

Minnesota

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a classic Milwaukee microbrew when there were not that many to choose from.I've enjoyed this beer since the late 1980's and this fresh sample brought back many memories.

A beautiful black color with red highlights, it's topped off with a creamy tan head that hangs for a while. Malt, this style features malt and it begins with the aroma, rich malt,slightly smokey, and a hint of earthy hops. The complex malt flavor is chewy caramel, with a nutty,smokey,toasty finish to dry off the malt and keep the beer close to my lips.It has a nice medium body and a very creamy texture with maybe a hint of roast malt thrown in to complete the malt maze. A classic rare style, a little larger than a dunkel but very inviting as a session brew. Yum!

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2003 12:59:19 | More by jeffboo
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 weizenbob
weizenbob

Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There aren't enough domestic craft breweries doing lager-style beers, yet alone dark lager-style beers; so this brew has been much anticipated for me. This 16 ounce twist-off bottle was purchased at Repete's in Holland, MI. It was bottled May 13, 2011. I twisted off the cap and poured into a pint tumbler.

A standard pour (horizontal bottle, 45-degree glass) manifests a finger of mocha-tinted head atop this cola-colored lager. Head retention is not impressive but lacing coats the glass where once was beer.

The aroma displays some nice roasty chocolate malt. My nose could easily mistake it for porter.

The flavor is also very porter-like. Earthy malts lead the charge with chocolate being the obvious reference point. There is a bit of cooked veggie presence. Alcohol is very well hidden and there is no hop bitterness to speak of. The lagering gives this a nice crisp bite that I haven't experienced in any porter. Therein lies the key difference, and it is a nice touch.

In the mouth this is a deceptively full bodied beer. The carbonation level is moderate. The modest 32 IBUs pass below the radar, making Black Bavarian pretty easy drinking, even despite the full flavor. At 6% ABV the alcohol level is moderate. I like that the bottle contains a full pint but doesn't carry a premium price (it works out to about $1.50 per 12 ounce serving). Although this is a year-round release for Sprecher, it feels like a particularly appropriate choice for fall-season drinking. This is a nice change of pace from the barrage of ale-style beers that I'm drinking all year.

---

The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I do give two Schlitz for Sprecher Black Bavarian. If you're fortunate to be in an area that distributes Sprecher products, this is worth tracking down.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 03:17:02 | More by weizenbob
Photo of JasonA
JasonA

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light dark black. Yes, a strange appearance, though I would guess on style. Little to no carbonation.

Slight malt. Almost smells burt. Light overall

Burnt malt, and yet very refreshing, light. Not much in the palatte, very subtle. For a 5%+ ABV, this beers tastes good.

Refreshing. Doesnt feel like the color. Macro feel, craft subtle.

Very nice. I could drink a few of these pounders. If the price was right, a case seems nice for a warm afternoon with friends.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2008 21:16:02 | More by JasonA
Photo of MillRat
MillRat

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher calls this brew a Kulmbacher-style dark lager. Certainly a very dark lager, definitely assisted by considerable roasted grain, not just the Munich malt of a traditional dunkel. Other than in mouthfeel conforms fairly well to the BJCP schwarzbier definition.

Poured at near-room temperature from a 16 oz twist-off bottle barely fitting into a pint glass. Puts a thin tan fine-bubbled head on top of a brown-black body that is impervious to light. Head fades quickly to a thin persistent ring that leaves occasional specks of lacing on the glass.

First whiff immediately suggests fresh warm slab of pumpernickel bread, full of malt with roasty, coffeeish grain. Flavor comes through with a malt sweetness that is counterbalanced to a degree by the dark malts and hop bitterness unaccompanied by any noticeable flavor or aroma. Carbonation is on the light end of the range for this style.

A little bit on the heavy side for a schwarzbier, with the heaviness offset by stronger than usual roasted grains that begin to trespass on the astringency which schwarzbiers are supposed to avoid. Just pushing equally both the body and the bitterness a bit beyond the envelope. The bitterness leaves that palate clear enough for the next sip, but the heaviness and sweetness while the beer is between the teeth is a bit tiring. A little more carbonation would help the cause here.

Overall a well-crafted beer that pushes the schwarzbier flavor envelope without shredding it.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2009 20:17:28 | More by MillRat
Photo of Bill69
Bill69

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -1.7%

09-27-2013 18:23:05 | More by Bill69
Photo of fuzzbalz
fuzzbalz

Georgia

4/5  rDev -1.7%

07-21-2014 18:45:28 | More by fuzzbalz
Photo of OtisCampbell007
OtisCampbell007

Tennessee

2.75/5  rDev -32.4%

11-27-2013 23:36:41 | More by OtisCampbell007
Photo of Zdrummer15
Zdrummer15

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

04-18-2014 17:10:40 | More by Zdrummer15
Photo of expatsteve
expatsteve

Wisconsin

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

Appearance: Jet black, with low/medium viscosity. Good 1/2 inch head thins to filmy suds cover.

Aroma: Nice metallic lager nose - acidic, with some black pepper and a little espresso.

Taste: Mmmm...a solid, tasty, schwarzbier. Roasted espresso finish complements a smooth and understated front palate. Peppery, rich, a little acidic, but not at all sweet. Some occasional plums, but for the most part a fairly clean brew.

Mouthfeel: Rich without being too heavy. Nice clean malt finish.

Drinkability: Sessionable and pleasant. This was the perfect complement to the baseball game I was watching at the time, and definitely a beer I'll return to. Does a good job avoiding sweetness and remaining true to the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 03:43:14 | More by expatsteve
Photo of EddieJoe
EddieJoe

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

03-03-2012 19:13:41 | More by EddieJoe
Photo of LSMroz
LSMroz

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%

03-10-2013 01:58:21 | More by LSMroz
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 Tnkemist
Tnkemist

Tennessee

3.5/5  rDev -14%

09-06-2012 22:32:34 | More by Tnkemist
Photo of mariposafan
mariposafan

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque chocolate brown with a half inch or so of head that persists rather nicely.

The aroma is slightly sweet and malty with a hint of good amount of roasted malts.

The flavor is very similar to the aroma - roasted malts with a bit of sweetness. A bit too much roasty bitterness for me but it's not too bad.

The mouthfeel is pleasant - medium bodied and fairly creamy.

Overall it's a nice beer, the only example I've tried of the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 20:42:11 | More by mariposafan
Photo of mkh895
mkh895

Arizona

4/5  rDev -1.7%

01-21-2013 03:09:34 | More by mkh895
Photo of aubzachsyd
aubzachsyd

Iowa

4/5  rDev -1.7%

05-10-2014 21:20:11 | More by aubzachsyd
Photo of tchaos
tchaos

Florida

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

Poured from 16oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep, dark brown, with red tinges. 1 1/2 finger head that is fairly persistent with little to no lacing

S- Lovely roasted coffee aroma. Sweetness and mild hops are also present.

T- Bittersweet, roasted malts on the front end. Long, lingering dark chocolate and bitter finish.

M- Smooth, medium light, with medium carbonation

D- The porter fan in me really enjoyed this. Not quite as much roasted malt or mouthfeel as a porter, but enough to trick my mind a bit. Makes me want to explore the style more, especially as Blackened Voodoo was my craft beer gateway drug almost 20 years ago.

May the schwarzbier with you...

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 10:22:59 | More by tchaos
Photo of grynder33
grynder33

Wisconsin

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark pour nice but quickly disappearing head not to much aroma on first whiff, it got chocolately on the second whiff and mocha malty on the third, chocolately malty taste with a wonderful smooth aftertaste, theres a little bitterness, chocolate and malt hang around till end, on my top 20 list

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 19:11:33 | More by grynder33
Photo of Hhawk06
Hhawk06

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle

It poured charcoal black with a quality tan beady head. I got a nice smoke and chocolate smell. The mouthfeel is big, full, and very smooth. Excellent. There is a definitely a chocolate overtone to the taste. Great balance within though. Certainly some carmelized malts involved as well. It finishes quenching and toasty. At the very moment you think its fading to oblivion, you are treated to the slightest roasty bitterness. Amazing how it lingers. Really a treasure, I'm very impressed with Sprecher's offerings.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2004 02:32:50 | More by Hhawk06
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama

Massachusetts

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

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2014 01:35:49 | More by WunderLlama
Photo of Hrodebert
Hrodebert

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -14%

07-22-2014 02:40:16 | More by Hrodebert
Photo of zjungleist
zjungleist

Illinois

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

Fairly dark, basically black (just like the label suggests), with a lively tan head. The smell is nice and malty, with some coffee, chocolate, and a hint of herbal hops. I was shocked at the first sip, quite bold. Lots and lots of burnt malts and a fair amount of hop, with a lager-yeast taste as well. In truth, the taste is a lot like an American double stout, but the mouthfeel is thinner and more carbonated. It lacks the alcohol punch of a stout, but the flavor is nearly as complex as a sipper. It's hard to call this one refreshing, but it is satisfying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 03:53:37 | More by zjungleist
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.