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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

716 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 716
Reviews: 447
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 97
Gots: 24 | 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)
View: Beers (42) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 716 | Reviews: 447 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cookin420
cookin420

Maine

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

Thanks to brdc for this and many others.
Bottle poured into a pubglass.

Very black. What does show through is a yellow and brown tint not much red at all. Small head. Thin with a good coating of thin lace.

Smell is an intense caramel/coffee with bakers chocolate. Many layers involved in this brew. Some sort of sweet, citric aroma that I want to say is a malt aroma but could also be a hop smell as well.a
Abundant dark fruit and again, the heavy coffee, or mocha even, is very prominent.

Mellow and mild, this brew is full of contradictions. It is smooth and sweet but very dry at the same time, woody, with undertones of unsweetened chocolate and what I can only describe as unsweetened toffee and caramel. I am tasting big caramel flavors without the sweetness that usually comes with that. Stout-like in many respects. The yeast is responsible for a pizza dough-like flavor.

A very slick and creamy brew for something so dry. Well carbonated for the style.

Sooo drinkable. Black, yet crisp and refreshing. (the perfect brew?) Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 02:50:23 | More by cookin420
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a medium tan head, some retention, light lacing.

S: Big malty aroma (bread & cola) with a touch of roasted grain and hop spicing.

T: Bready & roasted grain with subtle hints of coffee & molasses. Modest bitterness with light grassy-spicyness from the hops.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a somewhat dry finish.

D: I'm generally not a fan of Schwarzbier, but this one is quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-13-2008 17:35:05 | More by Derek
Photo of Oxymoron
Oxymoron

Colorado

4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Once you go black. Pours a black color with red highlights around the edge. Good clarity from what I could see. A good pour provided a thick head but did dissipate over time. Lacing was good through out.

The nose is pretty close to style. A light malt aroma with just a hint of roast. Very clean with just an inkling of Munich in the backend. Some lighter toffee notes. Some hints of a yeasty undertone, overall very nice.

The taste is similar with a light malt flavor. Very smooth with an almost lactic flavor. The roast comes out a bit more but nothing over the top. More of a burnt which is offsetting, could use more of a chocolate finish. Some lighter noble hop flavors but mostly in the finish.

The body is creamy and lightly carbonated. A nice smooth texture. Overall this a great example of a Schwartz.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2008 20:45:22 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of animal69
animal69

Louisiana

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

this one came highly recommended ; huh, a screw-off top w/ no date, pours a deep garnet brown w/ a thin tan head which dissipates quickly leaving some lacing behind in my nonic ; a sour roasted malt smell similar to an imp. stout w/ coffee & floral/piney hop notes throughout ; a rich, burnt-toast & coffee flavor initially w/ some piney hop as well, followed by dark fruit (dates) and roasted nuts, a smokey, slightly metallic note to the finish ; surprisingly light for a beer this rich, the co2 makes this a creamy delight ; an excellent brew, not just for a schwartz, but in general, a must try for sure...

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 02:24:23 | More by animal69
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

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

Thanks goes out to brdc for this brew.

Pours a nice dark black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very nice tones of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is malty, big on toffee/chocolate/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty Schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 22:09:16 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with a 1+ finger of tan head. It has a nice thin retention across the top and leaves some lacing behind. The aroma is a little light but notes of dark roasted malts and caramel sweetness manage to shine through.

The taste is a flush of caramel, toffee, and vanilla sweetness up front that gives way to a big bite of dark roasted chocolate malt bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a crisp and clean finish.

Wow, I absolutely love Schwarzbiers and this was definitley one of the best I've had. Just a fantastic roasty feel that is perfectly balanced by it's complimentary sweetness characteristics. This was my first beer from Sprecher and the great flavor and big drinkibility of this guy have left a favorable first impression!

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 17:45:11 | More by Kegatron
Photo of homebrewhawk
homebrewhawk

Kansas

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

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2008 02:40:09 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of drseamus
drseamus

New York

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

A: When they say black bavarian style lager, they mean black. Although the "blackest material" was created at RPI where I go to school, this rivals it.

S: Roasted malt and a subtle caramel sweetness.

T: A good sweetness lasts throughout the entire taste but the initial taste is pretty roasty. There is a touch of roast in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied but finishes pretty thin.

D: A good black lager but not a style I'm generally a fan of.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 01:52:01 | More by drseamus
Photo of Deuane
Deuane

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep ruby-brown almost black until held up to the light. Thick tan head that dwindles and leaves some lacing.

S-Light roasted malt and a bit of nuttiness. Nothing big..as I would expect from a lager.

T-Whoa! Why cant all lager beers have flavour like this? Chocolate, coffee and a deep roasted malt which all ends in a nicely astrigent. This is a seriously flavourful brew!

M-Medium bodied with nice lively carbonation. A dry feeling left on the palate.

D-Seriously...this is some great stuff. I was skeptical at first but upon the first sip I was hooked! I have had quite a few German schwarzbiers and while they are one of my favorite lager styles I have had NONE that have this much flavour. Well done Sprecher!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 02:06:35 | More by Deuane
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

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

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger frothy tan head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured burnt malts with hints of charcoal.

The taste consisted of a robust burnt grain with a dry coffee and some smokiness.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side for the style and dry.

Overall a very tasty schwarzbier and representative of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2008 16:41:17 | More by plaid75
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was wondering what the big deal was when I heard the buzz about this beer getting to Philly @ the Grey Lodge. Well, the long and short of this is that this is an excellent session beer. Didn't know it was a shwarzbier until looking it up on this site. But the world definitely needs as many good shwarzbiers as possible.

This beer came with a really nice head and lasting lace. The mouthfeel was incredibly smooth. This is an incredibly drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2008 19:34:11 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of ommegangpbr
ommegangpbr

New York

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

From notes taken at the Hop Devil Grill:
Looks... Black! leaves some nice lacing after the off-white head fades.
Scents are sweet and smoky but lacking some punch. This will clearly be a malty time.
Flavors are all sweetened coffee notes. Pretty similar to many porters I've had but underachieving some.
Not too bad all around but something like this I'd expect to be a bit more smooth.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2008 05:14:33 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

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

Reviewed from notes on 2/4.

A - Poured out a jet black color with a two-finger, caramel-colored head that left some lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and roasted malt. There was also a grassy aroma.

T - It tasted of malt, caramel, toffee and vanilla.

M - It was very smooth and soft. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 18:10:39 | More by zeff80
Photo of nocheinsbitte
nocheinsbitte

North Carolina

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

Poured this from a 16 oz bottle into a nice glass.
Appearance: rich, thick, almost milk-shake looking in pouring-appearance (not that thick, but close. Clings to the side of the glass letting you know that you are going to be drinking a nice, thick, well-made bier. A 2-4 finger head that billows as it settles. Stays for quite a bit of time.
Smell: chocalatety, coffee-like, but subtle and reassuring. Not over powering at all.
Taste: I mentioned the milk-shake reference earlier, well, it tastes as good as that. No harsh after taste, just a nice mouthful of bier that is very satisfying and pleasurable.
Drinkability: I am having one right now...it is 12 deg outside, dark, and depressing here on the shores of lake michigan; but with the glass of black bavarian, I am one happy camper and enjoying my night of lounging.
I would suggest trying the same, easy to drink, good taste, and overall a high-quality bier.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 04:37:30 | More by nocheinsbitte
Photo of elmore
elmore

Wisconsin

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

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a pint glass. Thick, tan 2 finger head from a brisk pour. Head quickly receded and left a shoulder that coated the sides with foamy lace. Dark black, when held up to light, it reveals an amber hue at the edges of the glass.

Smells of roasted malts, toffee and caramel. Taste is similar with a hint of espresso and a smoky aftertaste.

Moderate carbonation. Somewhat thin, which is expected for a lager. Very smooth and drinkable. I definitely could put a few of these away.

My first review of a Schwarzbier. I really like the style and plan on seeking out more.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 20:28:37 | More by elmore
Photo of Phocion
Phocion

Minnesota

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

16 oz. bottle poured into a Young's Imperial pint glass. This beer is black as night with only slight ruby highlights when held to the light. Huge, light-brown, rocky head with decent staying power and thick lacing all around.

Dark roasted malts, caramel, and chocolate fill the nose. Faint spices and herbal hoppiness in the background.

The flavor is that of a classic schwarzbier. Chocolate, coffee, and a burnt woody smokiness. Somewhat nutty and with a hint of molasses. Light bitterness.

Medium-bodied and with moderate levels of carbonation. Smooth but just a bit sticky. I remember having this on tap a few weeks back and wasn't impressed; I am glad the bottled version is much better.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 21:53:40 | More by Phocion
Photo of pheggeseth
pheggeseth

California

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Surly tulip glass

A: modest tan head, dark, almost opaque, looks pretty inviting

S: very aromatic roasted malts, slight hops and alcohol

T: slightly watery character with strong roasted malts, again, some slight hops and alcohol in the back with a burnt character

M: smooth, but slightly watery, decent carbonation

D: smooth, tasty, not terribly complicated, low abv, well done

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 04:55:17 | More by pheggeseth
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a nearly black ruby tinted mahogany brown hue forms a nice thicket of tan head textured with dimples as it dwindles definitely arose above the rim of my 1/2 liter mug. Lacing is fine and intricate spread evenly, very nice look to it. Aromatics nutty roasted qualities touch of dark cocoa powder with sweet acidic fruit notes arising as well. Flavor is akin to iced black coffee with dark chocolate roasts, toasted nuts, and a touch of creamy caramel. What dominates is a dry powdered dark cocoa, but more flavors arise as it warms up. Light herbal hop presence felt at the end but no hop burps to report. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is lively and the end is dry with slightly burnt coffee roasts and dark chocolate cocoa. Drinkability is nice all around one of the best Schwarzbiers I've come across, excellent.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 20:12:13 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gehrig
Gehrig

Illinois

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

Deep black cloudy body allows Black Bavarian to easily live up to its name. Nice lid on this, with one and one-half fingers of mocha froth. Good aromas, full of roasted chocolate and caramel malts that shine in the taste. The taste is more complex than it first appears. As this warms, a splendid hopped bitterness protrudes. Coffee also arrives, not a moment too soon. I'm very impressed.

This is way smooth, complex, and brawny. It comes up on you a bit sideways, layering the tastes neatly throughout. The texture makes this highly enjoyable.

I've been very pleasantly surprised by Sprecher's wares, and Black Bavarian will find its way into my fridge again soon. VERY good.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 23:08:28 | More by Gehrig
Photo of dnichols
dnichols

Washington

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

I poured a capped bottle into a chilled chalice.

A: It poured a nearly black body with hints of ruby when held to the light. This is definitely a "black" beer.There was a very slim tank head that disappered fast and left a thing layer of bubbles that covered a portion of the surface and did not support any substantive curtain.

S: It emits lightly charred roasted malt aromas with hints of smoky odors.

T: It has a clear malt profile that approaches a burt malt flavor with heavy smoky overtones but backs down before going over the edge. There is an undercurrent of dark sugars and even a hint of cooked berry flavors.

M: It is a well balanced light to medium bodied brew with hardly any carbonation and a surprisingly clean finish.

D: Excellent Schwartsbier...dark malts with subtle sweet and smokey flavors. It is a pleasure to drink and goes down easy. A great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 01:47:52 | More by dnichols
Photo of Slynger
Slynger

Illinois

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

Pours a deep black with a lean toward brown. Ruby highlights in the bottom of my glass and a two finger creamy light brown head accompany this one. It smells full of roasted malts and coffee along with bittersweet chocolate. The feel is medium and creamy, the taste of charred malts and roasted coffee beans with chocolatey sweetness; the lightly bitter side of all three carries through to the finish. Black Bavarian is quite delish and drinkable. Although I tend more toward porter's and stout's, Sprecher has something very good going here.

May the shwarz be with you.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 05:16:11 | More by Slynger
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours out of the big, fat, twist off pint size bottle a nearly opaque midnight black colour. ruby hues and crimson tints around the edges. smallish tan head appears and dies off quite quickly, only leaving slight rings of lace. killer nose on this one...dark chocolate and cocoa puffs, with a dark malty sweet aroma mixing in with an ever so subtle flowery hop nose. absolutely love the smell. the taste is a delicate but bold mix of dry, unsweetened chocolate, slight sherry fruitiness, toffee and coffee...with some hints of molasses and slight notes of caramel. hopping for show and balance only; slightly bitter but blooming in flavour also...grassy, herbal and flowery. the malt profile comes across as deeply complex; a bit acidic and somewhat chalky at times...but wow does this one taste fabulous! the lager body is full and rich with a mouthfeel that is dry and puckering. a wonderful compliment to each other. finishes dry, then a bit bitter, then with a lingering sweetness. this is one damn layered, complex, and amazing brew!

drinkability is off the charts...one could drink their fill of this and not get sick of it.

a fantastic schwarzbier. lives up to the hype and most definitely worth seeking out.

i wish i had more access to this as i would drink it on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 23:47:37 | More by budgood1
Photo of baby4rose
baby4rose

North Carolina

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

The Black Bavarian has a chocolate dark in color beer body with a tan in color foamed head. A malt flavored beer of caramel and chocolate. It is a very smooth and warming beer. I would definitely like to have this beer again and would recommend it in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 05:06:08 | More by baby4rose
Photo of aaronh
aaronh

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a few years of waiting to be in the right area to find this beer, it finally happened at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul. Sure I could have traded for it, but the trip is part of the fun, isn't it?

Nice dark, almost black body with a rather thin whitish head. Aroma is clean, with just a hint of malt and noble hops in there. Overall, it's just a really fresh malt aroma. Taste is also clean and a bit malty. A nice hop balance in there, but not much hop flavor - just bittering. Mouthfeel is solid. Better than average, not exactly memorable. Drinkability is very good. I really wish this beer was available near where I live. While not the amzing revalation I was hoping for, it would be a staple lager for me to complement my occasional Prima Pils and Paulaner O'fests.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2008 00:37:53 | More by aaronh
Photo of MTNboy
MTNboy

Germany

3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a good beer without a doubt but maybe it is just me but I do not believe this beer to be as great as it has been made out be. Honestly though this beer is not my usual style.

Appearance- The color is very nice. The body is black and the head is a beautiful light tan with a little staying power. There was not much for lace though.

Smell- Sweet! A lot of roasted malt tones and a little floral.

Taste- Overall the taste was alright. A strong roasted malt taste. I would compare with a porter. It was a little smokey but not bad. It was the aftertaste that I was not over keen on I cannot put my finger on it but something was off.

Mouthfeel- Average with a little carbonation.

Drinkability- Was good easy to drink but I had better in Germany but not bad for an American Schwarz.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2007 13:25:07 | More by MTNboy
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 716 ratings.