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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bavarian Alström Bros
Ratings: 786 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kegatron
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!

Photo of homebrewhawk
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.

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
4.33/5  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!

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
4.35/5  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.

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
4.08/5  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.

Photo of nocheinsbitte
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.

Photo of elmore
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.

Photo of Phocion
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.

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

Photo of WVbeergeek
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.

Photo of Gehrig
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.

Photo of dnichols
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.

Photo of Slynger
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.

Photo of budgood1
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.

Photo of baby4rose
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.

Photo of aaronh
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.

Photo of MTNboy
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.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade with dertbert.

16 oz brown bottle with no freshness info.

a: Jet black with dark tan head that fades fast.

s: Sweet chocolate and caramel notes.

t: Very malty, sweet, and roasty with a nice chocolate flavor.

m: Light body, average carbonation.

d: Drinkability is very high, I could drink this all night.
Its very smooth and light, but has a great chocolate flavor that keeps you interested.
I have only had a couple of schwarzbiers, but this is without a doubt my favorite.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Jet black color supported a full finger tan head with typical staying power.

S- A pleathora of complex malts, somewhat reminiscent of an Imperial stout.

T- Just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the typical dark malt bitterness. This sets the stage to let the hops do the bittering work, and quite nicely at that.

M- Smooth, decent carbonation.

D- Good thing theres two of these in the "Beers of Old Bavaria" variety park I picked up.

Very good example of the style, better yet its brewed less than 15 minutes from my house!

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

Purchased in a Sprecher variety pack.

Pours a clear dark red, almost black, hard to see through, big thick tan head forms, drops down leaving lots of lace, solid layer. Smell is sweet and fruity, some anise, caramel, touch of chocolate, iron, cherries, bit of maple, not bad. Taste is nice, iron, caramel, light roast, fruits, rich chocolate in the finish, some licorice and solid roasty bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth. Solid Shwarzbier, best Sprecher I've had.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber, listed as 6% on the label,

A: Pours a very dark brown, black-looking from afar into a mug, with a medium dark-tan head which slowly fades, light lacing as well.

S: Smells of light coffee and dark chocolate, as the beer warms, a distinct roast and smoke scent comes out.

T: This is a truly exceptionally tasting black lager. Sweet dark cocoa and bitter coffee combine to form a rich, tasty brew, that is almost like drinking a liquid dessert, very reminiscent of an RIS. There are a wealth of flavours hidden in this beer, delicious dark roast and chocolate. Just the perfect amount of sweetness balances the roast bitterness.

M: Smooth and soft, easy drinking, just makes you want to take another gulp.

D: Smooth and a pleasure going down, by far the best schwarzbier I have ever had, Sprecher has truly made a classic. Highly recommended.

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

This brew pours a opaque black color. The head in one inch in height, light tan in color, and recedes slowly into a nice cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, chocolate, and toffee. The taste is like the aroma, but with a little more caramel and a little less chocolate. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, this is one of the most authentic German style beer I have had in America. It brings back found memories of some of the great beers I had while I lived in Germany. I will certainly drink this again.

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