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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

786 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 786
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 111
Gots: 44 | 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 (41) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 786 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of jwinship83
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- black body with a finger of fleeting tan head. little to no retention or lacing.

S- roasted malts, caramel, and toffee. smells pretty sweet.

T- dark and roasty. very close to how it smells. maybe a bit of black licorice in here as well

M- thin to medium mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation.

D- a good session brew. something i could have about two of before wanting to switch to something else. pretty good bargain as well.

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

Nice brew received in a trade from Pauly2X- thanks.

Definitely a soild dark brew. Pours very dark brown. I'm picking up a bit of a smokiness in the nose but its mostly just malt complexity. The same follows after the first sip. Rich, slightly sweet, complex malts, very 'full'-tasting- and again with a slight smokiness, some toasted and nutty flavors as well. I really enjoyed this brew- and honestly, I wasn't expecting to. I like the 16oz serving and its a twist off! It paired nicely with some aged gouda.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer poured a brownish black color.

S: The aroma is initially big of malt. There are toffee and burnt caramel smells that are also quite apparent.

T: Roasted and toasted flavors are the first to reach the palate. A coffee type bitterness is persistent and works very well.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit thin. I would like for a little more body, but it seems to be suited to the style description.

D: This is a very drinkable brew. The thin body makes it just slide down.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My girlfriend brought back a 4 pack of these pint bottles on her last trip back to the homeland, AKA Wisconsin. I've had these many times back in the midwest, but I am reviewing for the first time from the left coast where these are unavailable. Poured into a weizen glass.

Three quarter inch tan frothy head. Appears black as night, but when held to a bright light, deep dark ruby transparency reigns through. Lacing and head retention are almost non-existent.

Very sweet and caramelesque malts in the nose. Some kind of dark fruit, maybe even some black licorice. A unique aroma in good German Style.

Strong malty taste. Malted milk balls. Sweet quality.

Light to medium body. Good carbonation. Easy to drink. A good ol' mil town brew.

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

Pours a dark black, head is nice and thick, tannish in color. Bubbles trail up the side of the glass continuously feeding the head. Consequently the head lasts awhile, only diminishes to about 1/2 inch in size.

Smells of burnt grains, roasted malts, coffee. I can almost detect some smokiness.

Tastes of caramelized malts, with a mild chocolate background, also a hint of coffee in there. Some hoppy bitterness finishes this very well.

Medium bodied, well balanced with the sweet smoothness and dry bitterness.

I have no experience with Schwarzbiers but if this is any indication of how they should taste, I really like them, and want to try some more.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was poured from the 16oz glass into a Pilsner glass.

The beer is black laced with hints of amber. Nested on top is a creamy tan head that does not leave much lace. The aroma is full of chocolate, toffee, and caramel. The flavor is much of the same, full of smooth chocolate, toffee and amber. The beer is medium-full bodied, slightly less than your average porter with an incredible creaminess and smooth carbonation. Overall, a great Schwarzbier, very nice.

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

I just realized something....it's been awhile since I've had high expectations on a schwarzbier! And what better way to come back to the style than with Sprecher's offering? 22 ounce bottle with a gold wax coating over the neck and bottle cap, on to the beer:

Oddly, the bottle is a twist-off. As I pour it into a flute, that beery smell escapes the body and enters my nose. An ebony beauty in the glass, ruby brown highlights on the bottom. Big roasted, smokey, and astringent characterists. First sip is uplifting. Mouthfeel is right on the money with its easy, low carbonation, and medium-heavy feel. Bitter chocolate and astringent coffee flavors ar dominant in this brew. Peaty smoke emerge midway through the experience. Come to think of it, this carries some charactersitcs of a authentic Polish-brewed Baltic Porter, except this one has a smoother flavor. Still fishing for more flavors...I found some black licorice.

Downright tasty.

Photo of Yesac
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 16oz bottle

A- Pours solid black, with a small light brown head

S - Chocolate malts, some earthy tones

T - Smooth chocolate and coffee malts

M - Thick bodied and sticky. Medium carbonation.

D - What a great brew to wind down to at night.

Great Schwarzbier!

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.

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

16 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Look very black body with a finger of tan head that reduced to a ring fairly quick.

Smell a hint of sweet and toasty roasted malt.

Taste yup black roasted malt with a spicy hop end. Something in there I can't ID but really a great smack of flavors.

Feel zesty carbonation with good body Very enjoyable tang.

Drink this is a very enjoyable beer to drink. I had both and was wishing I had more.

Comment had this from a sample pack and wish the 8 pack was 4 of these and 4 of the Special Amber, two very good beers that I'll get again.

Photo of naproxen
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

major thanks to beerbeagle for this!!

This tasty schwarz poured damn near black (slightly less than opaque, dark dark brown) with a thin creamy tan head that disappeared fairly rapidly. The aroma was exactly what I was looking for when I poured this, slightly smokey, a hint of sweetness, and toasty malts. I picked up some dark chocolate as well, but not overpowering. The nose i felt was well rounded.

The taste did not disappoint either. I was a little surprised on the backend hop flavor that I got, but the bittering overall worked well. Following in kind with the nose my first impression was a toasted dark chocolate bread with a burnt caramel topping (is it lunch time yet?). I did not pick up much of a metallic taste as other reviewers noted, fine by me. Overall this was extremely smooth and relaxing, perfect for a crisp sunny autumn day/early evening. I will absolutely be seeking this out again and again.

Photo of roadhouse
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. bottle at Beef O'Brady's in Munster into a shaker.

Appeared a very near black brown with some reddish highlights. Thin tan head, maybe 1/3 of an inch thick, sank down quickly and disappeared for good. Even with vigorous swirling it refused to come back.

Aroma was slightly sweet, but a dark chocolate character seemed to dominate along with a charred smokiness.

The taste started out very smoky and burnt, with a bit of dark chocolate but midway through the roastiness became more bitter kind of like coffee. It finishes with a very slight sweetness and a bit of spicy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel was medium, and typically smooth as most lagers are, but maybe a bit more silky.

I enjoyed this one very much. I don't usually see this around but if I do I might have to get some more of it.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Coasters Pub in Melbourne, FL

What a nice change of pace this beer is. It's flavorful without being overpowering. It's full-bodied and satisfying without being chewy. It's one damn fine Schwarzbier.

Opaque black body with a soap-bubble-like tan head. Smell is sharp and chocolaty. Taste is smooth, sweet, but finishes with a bit of tartness. Nice balancing act between the malt and hops. There's not much to dislike about this beer other than my taste buds can't handle a lot of sweetness in one sitting.

Photo of shirfan
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not quite black but incredibly dark brown. Good layer of light tan foam.

Taste: Spot-on schwarzbier. Mild caramel with some rich cocoa and faint coffee notes thrown in. Understated, leafy hops in the finish are there if you take notice, but smooth, dark, drinkable malt is the name of the game here. Perfect balance between sweet and dry, as well as between heavy and light.

Drinkability: HUGE. Incredible. As quaffable as a cold iced tea on a hot day. This beer does not beg another sip, it seductively demands one. Velvet smooth.

Photo of johnnieoz
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful 22 oz brown bomber with a clean simple label and a golden waxed top. (I'll try to submit a new photo).

A: Near black, the dark brown hue barely shows through when held to a light. A minimal head quickly fades.

S: Roasted malts with coffee and chocolate notes. Very pleasing.

T: While it smelled a bit like a doppelbock, it definitely tastes like a schwarzbier. A very good schwarzbier no less. Balancing out the rich, roasted maltiness, the hop character makes this lager absolutely delicious.

M: Crisp. Dry. Refreshing. Solid. A lingering malty bitterness.

D: At 6% abv, this is a session beer. And if you like darker lagers, chances are that you'll be downing more than one of these bombers.

A great beer that ranks up there with Köstritzer, the East German classic that rules the roost.

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

16 oz bottle poured into a pilsner.

A: Black liquid that is clear against light with amber fringes. Frothy tan head, that dissipates to a ring and doesn't leave much lacing.
S: Rich malty aroma, caramelized sugar, toasted burnt flavors, slight hop touch.
T: Medium body with very strong carbonation. Starts with a rich, roasted malt flavor and finishes slightly more acidic, but still sweet. In between, toasted, coffee flavors persist. Very creamy and smooth, despite slight bitterness and acidity. Lingering roasted malt flavor. Very good, I like this beer a lot. Very drinkable.

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

16 oz bottle poured into Saison Dupont glass

A - Pours a dark, opaque, pitch black color with a thick, frothy one inch latte colored head. Head lasts very well, but lacing is moderate.

S - Strong roasted malt with some toffee and coffee flavors, as well as bitter dark chocolate. Scent is a little underwhelming in power. Caramel sweetness.

T - Starts with good roasted flavors and caramel sweetness. Again, toffee, coffee and dark bitter chocolate are touched upon. Nice and dry at finish with roasted flavor coming on again at aftertaste. Sweet, but refreshingly so.

M - Good carbonation with a medium body and creamy mouthfeel. A bit drying at the finish, but still retains some sweetness.

D - A really nice lager from Sprecher. Perfect with bratwurst I would imagine. Easy drinking despite its dark flavors and appearance.

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

16oz. bottle into Sam Adams glass on 8/15/08. Thanks to brewslut for sharing.

A - Deep, dark brown body that's about two shades lighter than pure black with some hazelnut accents around the edges underneath a half-finger creamy tan head that settled into a thin film of retention and spotty lacing.

S - Roasted and chocolate malt notes with hints of coffee, caramel and just a bit of earthy hops.

T - Just as the aroma implies, this black lager boasts an almost porter-esque flavor packed with plenty of roasted malt and chocolate. There are also mild hints of caramel and vanilla in the back. Finishes with a bit of earthy hop and coffee bitterness.

M - Medium body with a smooth, creamy texture and light carbonation. This just glides right down the throat. Nice moderate bitter bite on the back of the tongue.

D - Fantastic Schwarzbier from Sprecher that is the absolute standout of their roster, in my opinion. Extremely drinkable and very well done. This is also one of my wife's favorite beers.

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"I get a little bit of beef jerky... well, maybe not beef jerkey... maybe soy sauce."

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

Pours a nice dark brown, held to the light is slightly opaque. Nice light brown head leaving decent lacing on the glass. This brew has a nice deep aroma with hints of finely roasted malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The taste is bold, but smooth. Chocolate malts with roasted caramel hit the palate with nice balance and a smooth taste. This is a nice brew near my home town in Milwaukee...drink up!

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

Solid Schwarz pour. Very dark red with a retentive, offwhite head.

Smells very light for the style with some deep, very fruity nodes and little hint hint of chocolate malt or anything toasted. I'd almost think it was a little stale, if I hadn't bought it right at the brewery less than two weeks ago. Still, it's a nice aroma. The fruit nodes and solid and pleasant. Just not as complex or intense as I was hoping.

Tastes just as complex and intense as I was hoping, I'm happy to say.

The balance leaves you with a beer that's at once complex and hugely drinkable. Starts out with very ripe fruit, super sweet, and balancing that out you have a more mundane, caramely sweetness. This then falls back into a more traditionally Schwarzy middle of dark roasted chocolate malt, earthen and bitter. The end is dry and bitter.

Photo of halfP1NT
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed this one on 6/8/08. Thanks to johnd513 for this.

This brew pours an opaque black with a tan head that recedes into a thin layer.

Smell is nothing too overwhelming; toasty malts and smoke, woody and slightly sweet.

Taste is smoky, toasted malts and some smooth chocolate. There is also a definite meaty flavor here that's hard for me to ignore. I really don't like the meaty taste here (that's why I don't really like rauchbiers or smoked beers), but there are other things going on here that I do like. The smoky flavor dominates, and lingers after the sip. Nice hops presence balances it all out.

The sweet malts coat my mouth, yet this is a pretty crisp brew. This is a very flavorful lager. Although not my favorite style, I'd recommend trying this one.

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

This was just a really good lightly roasted black lager. I pictured being able to drink this in a half liter mug in autumn and I think it would be perfect for that. Light enough in alcohol and body to be able to quaff yet high enough in flavor to enjoy thoroughly. I love how the mild roastiness and semi-sweetness of the malts comes out over the fairly light body. Really good. Sprecher is becoming one of my favorites, especially since they make the best Root Beer ever, but I digress.

Photo of JasonA
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.

Photo of schanker21
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a virtually opaque, very dark brown which looks black when it's not held up to the light. Small tan head doesn't last long. Not a whole lot in the nose. I mean, it smells like beer, but that's about it. I can't detect a whole lot in the smell. The nose is misleading though, because the taste is pretty huge. I taste caramel, as well as a roasted, smoky taste. This is an excellent Schwarzbier. Not quite as smooth as some of the others I've had, but excellent nonetheless.

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 786 ratings.