Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

785 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 785
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 111
Gots: 42 | 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: 785 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stumac
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brew pours up a dark brown color with a quickly fading tan head... the nose smells like an ale! chocolate malts and subtle caramel... the taste is toasted malts, chocolate, subtle sweetness, very crisp... medium bodied and low to medium carbo...

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From Notes: 2/22/09
Sprecher Brewing Co.
Black Bavarian
5.86% Alc.
16oz. bottle

Appearance= Vigorous pour into New Belgium snifter yields a 2 finger tan head. Black opaque beer w/ minimal carbonation.

Smell= Not a whole hell of a lot going on. Malt, maybe a little bit of chocolate.

Taste= Uh. uh. uh. Nothing bad, nothing really good. Not offensive, just goes down. A little chocolate and malt, that's about it.

Mouthfeel= Nice creamy mouthfeel. Perfect for a beer. Best attribute about this beer.

Drinkability= High I guess. Nothing is bad about this beer, but nothing really stands out. It's great on tap if you can get it. Nothing I would seek out on a consistant basis.

Photo of homebrew311
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a jet black with a thin tan ring of head. Very minimal head and lacing. Appears to be somewhat thin in body.

S- A big rush of smokey goodness on the nose. Some acidic element from the malts, smells like a campfire.

T- All malts and smokiness. A nice smokey flavor enveloped with spicy notes. Almost no hops, maybe a hint on the finish. Very complex malt profile.

M: somewhat harsh, high carbonation, spicy on the tongue. Thin body.

D: This has been at my local liquor store since I began shopping there over a year ago. I always passed it up. Recently I read the reviews on this one and thought at 5.99 for a 4pk/16 oz, I am silly for having passed on this on so often. This is easily one of my favorite lagers as it has a great deal of complexity. I really like the smokiness of it also, not too much but a good amount.

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

16 oz. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Almost black, but when back lit, a mahagony tint shines through. The pour produced one finger of light tan head that stuck around for the entire glass.

A: Very spicey, malty nose. Also a very prevelent wood and smoke aroma. Some very light coffee and chocolate also present.

T: Very much like the nose. The black roasted malt stand out. The beer finishes dry with a very slight alcohol heat.

M: Unexpected medium body. From the look of the brew I thought it would be much heavier. A good amount of carbonation gives it a tingle at the back of the palate.

D: Overall very good for the style. At 6%, if schwarzbier is your thing, Black Bavarian is sessionalbe. Will be having this again. Skal.

Photo of hardy008
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a black color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Gave a tan, foamy, three finger head. Left a nice lace.

Smell - Gives a very malty aroma. Coffee also present.

Taste - Malt and coffee. Goes good with pizza,

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, smooth, and creamy.

Drinkability - Easy to drink. Very good overall.

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

16oz bottle, served in a pint glass

A deep brown, nearly black, body with a thin tan cap. Dots and lines of lace scattered about.

Aroma is of deep roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. This is all malt in the nose, not a hop to be found.

A lot of dark malt flavor. Grainy, roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate seem to dash to the front of the line, but toffee, caramel and molasses have the last laugh. The hops add a nice layer among all these malts. An earthy, slightly bitter undertow.

A very smooth beer that covers a lot of bases. Body is medium, but can feel thicker and thinner at times. Weird. I guess that's the beauty of a schwarzbier, big bold malt flavor packed into a lager. An excellent take on the style.

Photo of dsa7783
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Without a doubt, probably one of the best Schwarzbier's I've ever sampled...
Impressive appearance... Dark-brown hue, creamy, frothy head, thick lacing...
Taste: Deep, dark, rich malt essences, cocoa, and dark latte essences...
Taste: Rich, full-bodied cappuccino, espresso, and dark chocolate flavor... creamy and thick... excellent stuff...
competes easily with German depictions...
Recommended...

Photo of stlsportster
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark black, smells a bit of yeast. Slight head, but nothing to write home about.

Taste is malty, but still a bit yeasty for my preference, and has a bit of a bite on the finish. Also feels like a bit of an aftertaste.

Perhaps it will be a bit better as the beer warms as I think I have my beer fridge running too cold.

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

s - on tap in phila. pint glass.

a - dark brown, and no head, or it dissapeared very quick.

s - it smelled like cherries, and alcohol, but was pleasant.

t - it tasted like it smelled, but very enjoyable to the taste.

m - light carbonation, and it stayed good to the end.

d - very drinkable beer, i could have had another one, but decided to try something else.

Photo of madtowndmb1
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think is a good beer and is a nice little gem for a small brewery.

It poured a black with a fairly big tan head. It smelled of chocolate and coffee and a sweetness that took me off guard a bit. Tasted very good. I got alot of sweetness that tasted like candi sugar, but it was very balanced by the acidity of the coffee and the overall darkness of the beer. Very drinkable and I'd consider a 4-pack of these on the right occasion for sure!

Good job!

Photo of MillRat
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.

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

Poured from a 16oz bottle that I brought back from Indy into a pint. The website suggested 60 degree serving temp which I tried to get but I think I'm still a bit cold. No dating info on bottle. It was black in color with a constant carb fountain in center. No lacing. It had an average size brown head that quickly settled into a collar that was fed by the carb fount.

The aroma was a little weaker than I expected but that may be due to it still being a big cold still. Caramelized malt, chocolate malt, black bread and a bit of smoke. Pretty good but not the best that I've had in the style. The taste was really good but again not as flavorful as I'd expected. Very smooth from start to finish. Dominated by the caramel malt. Would have liked a bit more smoky taste to it. Was also missing bitterness so was a bit one dimensional with the sweetness. Mouthfeel was creamy with good carbonation.

Overall, a really good beer that just misses being a great beer for me. Needs a little more bitter to balance the sweetness. Since no date on bottle, can't tell how fresh it is so would like to try at least one more to validate the review. It's not available here in Texas but if it was it would make it into the rotation as change-up/semi-regular in the session mix. Do recommend but don't go too far out the way.

Photo of bowersdm
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz bottle (I think) poured into a German pilsner glass

A - Dark, almost like an Imperial Stout. The head was very small (<1cm)

S - roasted barley, other malts, and a hint of chocolate

T - roasted barley and chocolate followed by a dry roasted barley bitterness (like the tail end of the taste of Guinness), followed by a slight chocolate taste, and some vanilla and coffee, but not as much as the chocolate or roasted barley.

M - nice, it had a surprisingly good level of carbonation considering the weak head.

D - I would definitely have another one of these. It's pretty filling for what I consider to be a pretty low ABV brew.

Photo of schoolboy
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one kind of took me by surprise. My initial thought was how chocolatey this was. It's perfectly dark. And strong enough.

To be truer to the style, it could have a more hoppy taste and more malt too, but I like it just fiine the way it is and I would buy it again.

I have to go back and look at the bottle too. I think they are an odd size - more than 12 OZ. My glass overfloweth.

Good one.

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

22 ouncer, with gold wax/rubber covering the cap. No freshness info. Pours the expected black, just a bit of a head, quite quickly departing and then leaves some fine, splattered lace. Nose is of a chocolate milkshake, with a hint of coffee and lightly roasted malts. Pleasant enough stuff, notes of more light chocolate and cafe au lait. Allowed to warm up this one shows some moderate complexity and more nice soft chocolate notes. Nice beer. Worth trying especially for dark lager fans.

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.

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

Poured into pilsner glass. No freshness date on bottle.

Pours a thick brown head. Surprisingly leaves little to no lace. Color is a deep bronze/brown, almost black.

Aroma is full of honey and chocolate, mainly roaty malts. Taste is quite similar, very malty. Dark chocolate and earthy hops are present.

First thing about the aftertaste is that the malts seem to be very burnt. Other than that, the mouthfeel is very creamy and leaves a dry aftertaste.

Overall, a very tasty beer. Pretty easy to drink. I would have to recommend this one.

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

Pours a dark cola like color with an average tan head that settles into a light cap. The aroma is sweet; chocolate malt, caramel with some vinous characteristics. The taste is of stale coffee, semi-sweet chocolate, light caramel sweetness, and a hint of burnt wood. Some nice flavors for a lager. The brew has a moderate to chewy body yet retains the crisp lager trait, prickly carbonation, the finish is sweet. An enjoyable schwarzbier, very good in all aspects.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of rich bready malt and roasted lager malts with a slight hint of chocolate. Flavor is quite similar, with a smooth palate. Some vegetal notes with a sweet finish. Not as roasty as some schwarzbiers are and its malt character reminds me more of a doppelbock. A nice beer.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

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

Pours a dark brownish black with some purplish red hues. 1 finger of creamy tan head has good retention and leaves some spotty lacing. Smells of sweet malts and fruits, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and some earthy hops. Tastes of ripe fruits up front along with some molasses. Roasted malts gives nice change in flavor then more sweetness from chocolate syrup, caramel, and vanilla. Finishes slightly bitter with some coffee and earthen hop notes as well as a slight smokiness. Medium in body with moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy, sweet, roasty, and bitter. A great Schwarzbier with a lot more sweetness than expected but still providing that nice roastiness. Very easy to drink and sessionable.

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

Sprecher Black Bavarian poured a very nice dark brown, even appearing black. Very little head. Smell was of sweet malts, hints of chocolate as well. Taste is sweet and dark malts, hints of chocolate and even a hint of smoke. Mouthfeel was ok, IMO a little thick for this style of beer. Drinkability was ok as well, again felt a bit filling for the style. Overall this is another very good beer from a very good brewery. I have yet to drink a Sprecher that I have not enjoyed and wanted to buy again.

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

Clear black pour. Slight brown head that dissappated fairly quickly. Pretty good roast malty aroma. Good roast flavors, malt, nut, some coffee. A bit of poundcake or something like that to make it solid medium bodied. Soft mouthfeel almost creamy. Roastiness lingers in the finish. Has hints of stout/porter, but is neither all together. A good black beer and very drinkable.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a large mug.

A-Beer was darkest dark brown, pretty much black, with deep copper highlights as light shone through. Even with the highlighting, the beer was pretty opaque. Head was a sparse layer of off-white/tan bubbles.

S-Aroma was predominantly roasty malts.

T-Crisp and clean flavor, mostly roasty malts with some hints of chocolatey character squeezing through. A balancing, but not overpowering, bitterness was present. Finished clean.

M-Light bodied beer with medium carbonation. Danced around my mouth smoothly.

D-A highly drinkable brew. Smooth from start to finish, easy to drink, and still a high-quality and flavorful beer.

Photo of opwog
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Now listening to: Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good

A- The color lives up to the name; black as night with a tan dark chocolaty head
S- Toasted malts, toffee...very appealing!
T- Just like the nose, only add black coffee to the taste. Really killer!
M- This is medium bodied, which is surprising for the depth of the taste and aroma. Normally I might say too thin for the taste profile, but in this case it all comes together perfectly!
D- I could sit back with these all night, except that I have a plane to catch in the morning :(

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

A_Very dark brown to almost black. Garnet around the edges with some garnet throuought when held up to the light. Topped with a darkish tan head of about 3/4 inch. fell to thick coat that crawled up the galss a little to form a 1/4 inch high collar.

S-Burnt choclate, hint of coffee, mild spiciness also comes through.

T-Acidic malt upfront, followed by a choclately coffee like malt. spiciness also finishes the flavor profile.

M-Big medium body for a lager. There is a creaminess that is cut by a vibrate tingly carbonation.

D-Quite good

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 785 ratings.