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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 jmalex
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On a slightly chilly, crisp evening, a schwarzbier seems like a nice beer to sit down with while watching the Phillies. Luckily I've got one of the most highly regarded schwarzbiers there is.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Sly Fox becker a dark, dark brown with a slight reddish amber highlight. The head is light tan, fine-bubbled, and tight and holds at about a finger high. A few spots of lace even make an appearance.

SMELL: Very distinctly a lager, this one has a slight aroma of roasted grains but not much else. What I smell is great, but it could be stronger.

TASTE: Very crisp and clean. It's got a sharp jolt of toasted and roasted malt, especially on the back end. A bit of hop flavor melds nicely with the bitterness of burnt grains. It's mostly devoid of any sweetness, and in it's place is a huge bready quality. Quite nice.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied, maybe leaning towards the lighter side with a slight slickness to it. Carbonation is on the high side which seems appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: Major points here. Just incredibly smooth and easy drinking. It's like the flavor of a porter or doppelbock with the easy drinking of a helles lager or English bitter. What a combo.

I heard a lot of good things about Specher and Black Bavarian delivers on those. And I think I picked the perfect day for it. This is exactly what I wanted.

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

Poured a very deep reddish-brown color with moderate tannish head.

Smell is loaded with chocolate, coffee, chicory, licorice, and roasted malt. Very strong and very nice.

Taste is also superb. Strong notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt abound. The finish shows a nice balancing dryness and is the perfect ending for this beer.

Leaves a nice dry sensation in the mouth that beckons for another taste.

Really a great beer.Part of a sampler pack from my visit to Illinois so I don;t know if I will ever try it again.

Photo of brewdoc75
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Guinness Pint Extra Stout pint glass. Beautiful black color with hints of mahogany when the light shines on it. A strong, lively 2 inch head sits atop this wonderful lager. The aromas are fantastic w/ strong, sweet malts, followed by chocolate and even a slight roasted coffee aroma. The flavor is also great with more of the sweet, chocolatey malts. There is some caramel and toffee flavors present as well. The beer ends w/ a pleasant roasted coffee taste. There is some slight fruitness present as well. I do get just a hint of the hops, but just enough to add some necessary bitterness. The mouthfeel of this beer is not what you would expect. It is rather light to medium bodied, when one may expect it to be heavy. I like the fact that it is lighter.

Overall a stellar beer. I've had one other schwartzbeer, but I don't really remember it. This beer is definitely memorable and is a worthy adversary to any porter out there. The great thing about this brew is that it is so damn easy to drink. Goodbye 4-pack....

Photo of Offa
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wodnerful schwarziber, complex, full of flaovur, yet very drinkable and smooth.

It's black, almost devoid of carbonation, and has a small, dense, light brown head that steadily thins to a foamy ring.

The aroma is rich, mostly roasted, chocolate, coffee, earth with elements of licorice and molasses.

The taste is similar to the aroma, but lighter. It has toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, licorice, other elements of flowers and spice, a tad like a little good root beer. It has a nice sweet-bitter balance. The flavour is strong and lasting, but incredibly smooth. Despite appearances, it is actually lightly carbonated and has a lively yet creamy feel, and is highly drinkable.

Photo of ncvbc
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black, brown edges, tan head with good staying power. Spotty lacing. Light and clean. Chocolate, caramel, grain, faint hops. Taste is very nice. Well-balanced flavors. Great chocolate and caramel sweetness but not overly sweet by any means. A bit roasted/smokey and a decent bitterness to balance. Nutty and bready undertones. Mouthfeel is light and somewhat creamy but has a dry finish. Yep, I like.

Bill is the man...

Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. The aroma is sweet roasted malts, molasses, toffee and hints of coffee. The taste is dark and roasty with a good dose of slightly burnt malts, caramel and a touch of smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on. Overall, Black Bavarian is a beer that I really enjoyed and will purchase again in the future. Recommended.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to flyingbison for this Black Dog...

Excellent compact rye bread head with nice lacing - deep and dark licorice body.

Well-roasted chocolate malt and a little yeast. Not a whole lot of hops just yet. Nice smoke aroma emerges with a little warmth.

Bountiful malt presence combines with such a creaminess to be almost stout-like. Very clean but powerful. Nice! One of the best tasting of the style that I've sampled.

Charred burnt malt is pleasant in mouthfeel - there's a sharp while earthy aftertaste on the palate.

Very nice to drink - I wish we could get more of this around here.

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

Poured from a bottle into a nonic tumbler.

Appearance is black as death with a head that recedes quickly leaving a ring of lace.

Aroma is dark roasted malt with a little chocolate.

Flavor is straight up sweet caramel and dark roasted malt. Chocolate with a touch of raisin. Deep, dark malts that are so darkly roasted they sting the tongue a bit. The sweetness is very well balanced, this is a smooth brew that melds all flavors well. Fruitcake and dark rum with a small bit of alcohol.

Moluthfeel is creamy. Carbonation is nice and soft with enough bubbles to balance the sweetness.

Drinkability is average, this is a heavy beer that for it's weight is lacking in complexity for it's weight on the mouth.

Photo of cookin420
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Photo of Derek
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.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of animal69
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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...

Photo of Wasatch
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of drseamus
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.

Photo of Deuane
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

Photo of plaid75
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.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of ommegangpbr
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.

Photo of zeff80
4.07/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of nocheinsbitte
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of elmore
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of Phocion
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of pheggeseth
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

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