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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

799 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 799
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 112
Gots: 50 | 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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 04-23-1998

Bronze Medal Winner in the European Darks category at the 1988 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).
View: Beers (41) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 799 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexIndy
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
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
4.11/5  rDev +1%
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
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
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
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
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
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
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

Photo of jwinship83
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
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
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
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
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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
4.29/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 799 ratings.