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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 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 elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz twist-off bottled November 14th, 2012. Served at around 45F.

Pours black with a one-finger creamy light brown head that leaves nice glass-coating sheets of lacing and retains extremely well, almost nitro-like appearance.

Aroma is chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted malts, some burnt malts, bit of coffee, caramel and dark bread. Good strength.

Flavor is chocolate/cocoa, dark roasted malts, hint of burnt toast, caramel, coffee, moderate sweetness, minimal bitterness or alcohol. Very smooth and finishes clean.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied, good carbonation.

Really, really nice Schwarzbier. One of the better examples I’ve had. Robust, rich, yet easy to drink. Nice ’un.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 02:40:20 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled 3/29/2012. Pours crystal clear extremely dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, raisin, toast, nuttiness, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, raisin, roasted malt, nuttiness, light coffee, biscuit, earthiness, and herbal spiciness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, toffee, molasses, roasted malt, toast, raisin, nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; nicely robust with zero cloying after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice schwarzbier! Nicely robust with good balance and complexity of flavors; very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 05:55:24 | More by superspak
Photo of burns1066
burns1066

Iowa

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

This is an amazing beer! It drinks like a sweet, malty dessert. Tons of caramel and chocolate, malty without being cloying... in general, a fantastic late winter brew. It's mouth filling, but finishes wonderfully. The somewhat high alcohol content is not obtrusive because the beer invites slow savoring. As the temperature of the beer warms, the flavor profile becomes more pronounced and encourages even more measured drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 04:43:28 | More by burns1066
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

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

A-Poured into a pint glass this beer has a weak yet persistant somewhat creamy tan head. It is clear, black with red tints when held up to the light.

S-Heavily toasted barley malt, aromas of dark chocolate are evident-nothing else noted. Clean aroma.

T-The dark malt pops and is the dominant taste in this beer. Coffee, chocolately with just hints of burnt malt are noted. Clean, quick finish.

M-Fairly weak body/mouthfeel as is customary with this style. Moderately high carbonation. Smooth with just a hint of bitter burnt malt finish. Very little detection of the 6% ABV.

O-A good beer to have when you crave the taste of a dark beer but are looking for something with higher drinkability. Pretty solid but I think the malt used is just a bit overcooked as it's a little too burnt for what I'd like in a dark lager. Another solid beer from Sprecher.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 02:06:01 | More by deebo
Photo of BasterdInABasket
BasterdInABasket

Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle, bottled June 29, 2012 (3.5 months old), poured into Duvel Tulip
A- Deep black in color with very slight ruby highlights up to light, 1.5 finger cream colored head, nice layer of head retention, leaves some lacing
S- Toasted and roasted malts, some sort of nut flavor (not 100% sure what), chocolate, not a huge aroma
T- Similar to the nose with more a more pronounced chocolate flavor, some balancing bitterness
M- Very smooth and drinkable, a little watery, would like the flavors to coat the mouth a little more
O- Some really nice dark flavors yet very drinkable and probably a little too thin. I like this beer every once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 03:56:22 | More by BasterdInABasket
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 B967ierhunter177
B967ierhunter177

Pennsylvania

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

This beer pours black, period. It has a 1/4 inch head and thin lace. The aroma is of anise, molasses, and burnt toast. The flavor opens with dark roasted malt, baker's chocolate, and coffee notes with a hint of wood and smoke. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Sprecher Black Bavarian is a good brew, recommended!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 01:57:38 | More by B967ierhunter177
Photo of Ri0
Ri0

Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 16 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

A - Color is a very rich dark chocolate brown. Big 2 finger caramel colored head fades into a slight ring around the glass. Only a trace of lacing.

S - Nice dark and milk chocolate with caramel. The malts are roasted as to give a slight bitter coffee scent. Traces of sugars and dark fruit.

T - There is that big chocolate flavor with caramel. Followed by a roasted coffee. Some light hops and dark ripe fruit to finish it off. Very enjoyable to drink on any day, cold or warm.

M - Big rich and creamy feel. Still clean and refreshing so it is easy to drink. The body is medium light even though it looks like a stout.

O - A well crafted beer that any stout lover should try.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2012 00:53:28 | More by Ri0
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 dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

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

A: Pours a dark brown almost black in color with some dark amber highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The beer has moderate aromas of dark roasted malts along with some light amounts of caramel and toffee sweetness.

T: The taste is similar to the smell with there being a strong dark roasted malty flavor along with some sweetness - caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, and hints of smoke.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: This beer is quite tasty with a pleasant and easy to drink flavor. I think this beer is very sessionable, even in the summer. Definitely one to have again.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 18:19:13 | More by dbrauneis
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 beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour leaves a very dark ebony body and a lasting off-white, creamy head.

Exceptional aroma. Very rich, roasted grain scent with hints of bitter chocolate. Subtle yet rich malt grain smell.

Bitter-sweet chocolate with caramel and toffee notes. HInt of softly burnt toast. Delightful blend of hop bitterness infused with a light alcohol warmth peeking through the sweetness in the end.

Very smooth bodied mouthfeel, rich and velvety.

This is one excellent black lager, smooth yet rich. Well-balanced throughout and presenting a lot of dark beer complexity to your palate. Well worth checking out...

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 20:13:29 | More by beergoot
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 FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1188th Review on BA
Bottle to Mug
16 oz

Thanks to UclaBrewN84 for this one.

App- A very murky looking brown. About 4-5 different shades in the glass. A major dark dark brown lighter colors radiating out and a bit of amber on the edges. A small one finger head that was a bit khaki in color. Maybe a couple dots of cling.

Smell- A lot going on in this glass. Has a huge roasty note and then is a bit sweet. A lot of caramel comes next and then some brown sugars and a bit of BBQ smoke.

Taste- I am not normally a fan of this style because I havent really found a good one. This is a good one. Caramel, dark malts, bitter hops. Tasty beer with a good balance. Small but thin in a way which is my only knock really.

Mouth- A wee bit thin really. Bordering on a thin medium with a small medium carbonation. Sweet malts and a little bitter with a ton of caramel.

Drink- I am glad I was able to land of one these from a generous BA. Nice balance with good hoppy bitter, roasty flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2012 02:26:35 | More by FosterJM
Photo of horshack7
horshack7

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 04:58:40 | More by horshack7
Photo of Duff27
Duff27

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled September 2011

A- Inch tall medium mocha colored head on a black beer. Average head retention and nice looking lacing.

S- Whiffs of light cocoa/coffee...some metallicness.

T- Roasted malts with a slight sweet smokiness. Hints of dark fruits. Drinks right at 6%abv but nevermind the alcohol as this is almost chuggable.

M- Mouthfeel is damn near perfect. Not too thick, not to thin, just right. Good carbonation as well.

D/O- Sooo incredibly easy drinking. Sprecher nailed it...a first for me. If you ever get the "dark beer is so thick!" from others then this may be a prime example of how that's just plain wrong. Sixteen ounce bottles...brilliant!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 04:00:57 | More by Duff27
Photo of WankelEngine
WankelEngine

Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a nonic

A: The beer is a dark brown, almost black with a touch of mahogany around the edge. There is a 3 finger foamy tan head that sticks around for a bit.

S: Smells of roasted malts. There is a bit of smokiness and some wood.

T: Similar roasted malts from the smell. The biggest difference is the addition of a mild fruitness; raisin and grape. The smoky character develops a bit and leaves the finish dry and with a little bit of bitter coffee.

M: Medium carbonation with a smooth, relatively thin body. Easy drinking.

O: A combination of light, drinkable malts and some darker smoke and wood flavors. Overall pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 23:46:09 | More by WankelEngine
Photo of Hawkeye1113
Hawkeye1113

Illinois

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

-Poured from a 16oz bottle into a Tulip
-Poured/Reviewed on 1/7/12

A- A rich black, opaque, with only about 1 cm of off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Little lacing.

S- Fruity, caramel notes. Rich roasted nuts and possibly some cocoa.

T- Mild coffee and a bit nutty. A nice, rich, roasted quality exists, with a hint of bitterness on the back end.

M- Smooth, warming, bitter, and very complex. Refreshing amount of carbonation (appropriate for the style) is present.

O- Pretty good example of an American attempt at the Schwarzbier. Very drinkable and interesting. Warming complexity is excellent on a cold, winter night.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 07:53:48 | More by Hawkeye1113
Photo of JensVoigt
JensVoigt

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I went into this beer thinking I would have an experience similar to a German Schwarzbier I have had in the past (dark, but not terribly much body, with a reasonable amount of hops). However, I was pleasantly surprised by a relatively full bodied, caramel-like, and almost Imperial Stout sort of taste. It had lots of roasted malt flavor, and it seemed to get better as I drank it.

Overall: I would recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 03:49:07 | More by JensVoigt
Photo of Hex92
Hex92

Virginia

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

Whenever I go to Wisconsin I pick up some of this beer. I don't ever see it here in Virginia.

A- black with thin creamy head
S- toffee and roasted malt
T- roasted malts is the biggest flavor...with a nice muted hop balance
M- a bit thin when compared to the big taste

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 03:58:07 | More by Hex92
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark black with only a slight touch of red hues at the base. My pour produced only a slight lace of ring of mocha colored head but a quick swirl gets it nice and sticky.

S - Smells some slight roasted notes, anise, coffee, and toffee. Smells strong.

T - Has a very nice nutty taste, then toffee, then a smooth roast of mild coffee. Finish has a nice bit of hops too.

M - Medium bodied and very creamy. Nice!

Overall I had to take the overall score down since I can't find this around my area but it was a very good black lager. Smooth and drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 01:21:54 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of vande
vande

Illinois

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

a - if one didn't no better, I have a Pepsi sitting next to me. I nice, deep dark brown pour with very little head retention...just enough along the the rim of the glass to let one know its carbonated a bit...

s - sweet, slightly nutty w/ hints of carmel...faint coffee

t - one of my favorite sprecher brews actually... a nice smoky taste to it..dark, somewhat rich..mixture of milk-bitter dark chocolates engrained with black, roasted malts.. tasty combo

m - medium bodied, somewhat creamy...

o - like I said, one of my favorite Sprecher offerings. Not an overpowering Schwarzbier, but one that's quite palatable...

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 18:54:46 | More by vande
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

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

A: Deep black, with a thin foamy off-white head. Retention is excellent.
S: Licorice, cocoa and a bright, almost fruity sweetness.
T: Licorice flavor is also heavy, along with an equal split of chocolate and berry flavors. Shows a flash of sweetness promptly followed by a light bitterness. Smoked malt becomes very discernable on the back end as the beer warms. Finishes with a dry hit of black malt.
M: Feel is medium bodied with full carbonation. Personally, I’d like just a bit less bubblay, but it’s well within style guidelines.

Always nice to come across this beer. One of the bigger examples of the style out there and one of the better in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 05:33:22 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of Jammies
Jammies

Illinois

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

A - pours a watery black with a thin layer of foam that immediately disappears.

S - sweet with a slightly nutty coffee odor

T - well balanced. A deep toasty lager with no overbearing flavors.

M - Light and smooth. Slightly malty on the finish as expected

O - Surpisingly well-balanced. Really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 17:18:06 | More by Jammies
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.