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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

725 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 98
Gots: 26 | 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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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ManicD
ManicD

Wisconsin

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

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a pint glass, appeared a very dark brown color, not quite black, with a tan head. Head disappeared quickly, left a bit of a cap, but did not leave lacing on my glass.

Aroma was molasses & malt, maybe a little rye.

Flavor was smoky burnt coffee, grass hops, molasses/rye bread, prune/ black grapes, lingering cocoa, spice & alcohol warmth balanced by a cola sweetness. Less bitter & more molasses flavor & syrup feel as the glass warmed. Excellent.

A frothy and medium-full mouth feel.

I was somewhat full after 2 of these. Maybe it was just me, not the beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2007 16:38:24 | More by ManicD
Photo of Erdinger2003
Erdinger2003

Iowa

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice head that doesn't dissapate easily and leaves a little lacing behind. It's black and beautiful. The smell is coffee roasted malts that are great. The taste is a bit bitter, but not overly bitter with coffee taste. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth. Overall this is my favorite lager to date, so I will be having more.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 05:44:50 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

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

Pours with a fluffy, initially three-finger thick, creamed chocolate to tan colored head that sits atop a simply black colored beer. The aroma is full of roast malt notes; notes of burnt espresso beans, roasted grain husks, and even some notes of burnt toast towards the end dominate the aromatic profile. This has a nice malty profile, yes it leans towards roasted grains, but there is also a nice, dry malt character here that, besides the roast profile, leans towards biscuit-like notes and toasted bread character. Perhaps a touch of spicy hop aromas are here as well, but only just so.

The taste is medium full on the palate, and actually has quite a bit more body than I was expecting from the aroma. In fact there is a solid malt sweetness here that really brings out a chocolate note that was not in the aroma. The long finish leads a lingering note of burnt toast, bitter espresso and even some biting hop bitterness. The finish really serves as a nice foil for the sweeter malt / chocolate notes that are noticeable in the fore-front. There is enough roasted grain in this beer that it even has some roast derived acidity to it, it is not overly noticeable, but instead helps to balance some of the sweeter, rounder malt notes. This certainly evokes thoughts of chocolate covered malt balls that have an espresso bean core (wouldn't that be a confection).

This is quite an enjoyable brew, and I am quite happy that it came in a 16oz package as it is the perfect beer to have more than twelve ounces of. Perhaps a touch to hard with the acidity and bitterness in the finish, but enjoyable all the same. Before I know it this beer is gone, so I must have liked it.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 01:05:49 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of kennyo
kennyo

New York

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the precher event at the Collins Bar

Pours an opaque black color with a 3/4" head that disappates firly quickly. Could be bar glasses cleaning that makes the head disappear, which always makes it hard t judge beer in bars. The aroma is coffee, chocolate. Taste is smoky, black malt but not overpowering, smooth with a dry finish. This is a good example of a schwarzbier. I would like to try a bottle to see if the appearence and head is different

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2007 01:48:16 | More by kennyo
Photo of brewcrew76
brewcrew76

Wisconsin

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

16oz bottle

A - Pours a solid black with very faint ruby highlights when held to the light. A thin beige head skims the surface but quickly fades.

S - Chocolate and caramel with a bit of roasted malt. The aroma is a bit faint but is still very nice and better than other Schwarzbiers I have had.

T - Chocolate, black/burnt coffee, toasted malt that creates just the slightest hint of smoke, and a nice bitterness.

M - Light but not watery like other Schwarzbiers I have had. A nice dry finish.

D - My favorite Sprecher beer and possibly one of the best Schwarzbiers I have had.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2007 00:15:36 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

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

16 oz bottle.

A: Pours dark brown with a medium sized frothy head. Moderate lacing.

S: Nice aroma of burnt chocolate and caramel.

T: Malty with earthy flavors of chocolate and coffee.

M: Medium-light bodied with a super creamy texture. Moderate carbonation.

D: Seems more like a porter than a Schwarz, but it's good enough that I don't really care.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 19:56:10 | More by klewis
Photo of scherbs
scherbs

Wisconsin

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

This is an extraordinarily pleasant beer. It pours a midnight black with a very slight head that dissipates fairly quickly (a Sprecher trait perhaps?). The smell of this beer is just about right--a yeasty malt that hints at its flavor. This brew drinks very pleasantly. It has an almost sweet, malty flavor that is backed up by significant body. Unlike some of the other darker beers I enjoy, this beer actually lives up to the billing advertised by its appearance. This brew has a very nice body to it that lends it a significance. It is not at all watery and is chock full of flavor. The only downside to this heft, however, is that it tends to make this a beer best enjoyed in moderation, as it quickly gets a bit filling.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2006 01:05:00 | More by scherbs
Photo of beveritt
beveritt

Ohio

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

Poured from a 16oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with almost an inch of foamy tan head. This settles and leaves a nice ring and some islands of foam in the middle of the glass. The beer itself is almost opaque, a deep, deep mahogany. Evidence of constantly rising bubbles.

Smell: Slightly sweet malt with a hint of roastiness underneath.

Taste: Sweet and caramelly, with roasted barley flavor. Almost the flavor I expect from stouts.

Mouthfeel: A decent level of carbonation, enough to give some bite.

Drinkability: This is definitely a great beer all around. I wish I had more of this, because I could drink plenty. Unfortunately for me, my buddy only picked up two of these for me on his most recent Wisconsin trip.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2006 01:47:46 | More by beveritt
Photo of demcorhip
demcorhip

Ontario (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance
A dark black lager poured with a 1/2 finger tan head. Some light comes through the edges, producing a ruby blackness. Finely and actively carbonated, does a decent job of maintaining the head. Substantial yet fine ring of lacing (remnants still present the following day from the top to the bottom of the glass).

Aroma
A rich and creamy aroma of nuts, caramel, espresso and chocolate. Hints of grassy and earthy spice.

Taste
Much like the nose, no big surprises here. Creamy nuts, hint of caramel, and mostly the big bitter flavour of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee. Ends in a mild grassy and earthy hop spice.

Mouthfeel
A good, creamy, medium bodied, balanced lager. Only complaint is the degree of bitterness imparted by the roasted barley or malts slightly detracts from the overall presentation.

Drinkability
A good, drinkable lager. Not only is this sessionable, but it would stand up to more than a few porters and stouts. Will be drinking this one again.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2006 15:06:13 | More by demcorhip
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark black appearance, with only the faintest light coming through. The head is tan in color and slim, settling to a swirly crust. The aroma is a bit faint, and I get mostly doughy bread with hints of coffee and caramel in the background.

Dry and only mildly sweet, the taste carries a nice roasted mix of chocolate and coffee malt. The finishing bitterness is subtle, but it lasts awhile and rounds out the flavor nicely. Amazing smoothness, moderately thick with light carbonation.

This beer is great because of well balanced flavors. The dry, toasty malt pairs well with the lingering soft bitterness. At less than 6% the result is a beer with excellent drinkability, highly sessionable in my opinion. Thanks to demcorhip for picking this one out for me....

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 05:15:45 | More by bennetj17
Photo of bigdeuce
bigdeuce

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, is this a rich one. Full of chocolate and coffee malts, bursting with terrific high tailed, nutty flavor. Very robust and creamy, great mouthfeel as it is very full bodied. Pours a dark black with a nice pillowy head that leaves lacing all the way down the glass. Slight bitterness on the end, but initial booming maltiness. A top flight beer no doubt!

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 01:53:58 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

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

A 16 fl oz bottle, this beer has a nice dark color, with a smell of caramel and chocolate that actually resembles a porter, except not as bitter. Smooth and creamy, good flavor to withstand a cold winter night without a large amount of alcohol - 5.8% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2006 01:02:59 | More by brdc
Photo of Westsidethreat
Westsidethreat

California

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

A: Pours a clean yet pitch dark brew. Head is nice, dark beige and quite frothy really....leaving balanced webby structures all over the place.

S: Licorice, ripe dark berries, cinnamon, peat and toasted cereal

T: Begins with lightly roasted espresso with chocolatey walnut. Some creeping moments of dark grape at just a touch of sourness to the project. Molasses, light bittering hops and minor smoke all play a part. Finishes lightly carmely with some finesses roasted notes.

M: Medium body with an atractive mouthfeel. Good carbonation going on.

D: Nice balance and easy drinking. Very good but nothing stunning IMO.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2006 04:50:41 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of cutthetail
cutthetail

Wisconsin

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

I first had this beer in 1997 and was my first introduction to the Sprecher Brewery. I enjoy its full body and malty flavor. Typically I like beers that are hoppier. The Black Bavarian offers a a nice balance without being too sweet. Very drinkable even for people who don't like dark beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2006 22:23:52 | More by cutthetail
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

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

Nice fat little 16 oz. bottle. Pours a deep garnet brown with an tannish head that recedes rather quickly to lace. Aroma of freshly ground roasted malts, almost espresso-like.

My family historically is from the Bad Kostritz area of Germany. There's a damned good chance there's Kostritzer Schwarzbier in my genetic code. So there's a predisposition towards this style. This one doesn't have quite the round Munichy maltiness of the Kostritzer, but it's close - starts with a clean maltiness, decoction sweet with a slightly roasty, cocoa powder like bite, then rounds out into a fine combo of dry cocoa, toffelike malt, roasted barley, hints of espresso... niiiice. I detect similarities to the late, lamented Heavyweight Perkuno's Hammer in this one. Finishes with a lingering roasty/cocoa powder vapor. Just chewy enough. Could drink a few of these before sinking into a recliner for the night.

Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 02:11:37 | More by sponberg
Photo of EvilKeith
EvilKeith

Alabama

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just as the name suggests, this one poured into the glass nearly black in color. The head was camel in color, but fell rather quickly.

The smell was sweet malt, faint chololate and caramel notes and a light smokiness.

The taste was initially sweet and caramel-like with the middle becoming roasted and bitter. This one finished sweet with a pleasant dryness and mild bittering.

Moderately carbonated. Medium bodied. Crisp, yet somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. I’ll have to find others of this style to try.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2006 22:58:30 | More by EvilKeith
Photo of Jredner
Jredner

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New in town. Aroma is sweet malts with a metallic twinge and extremely faint smokey and chocolate hints. Body is dark brown approaching full black and sports a rapidly diminishing tan head. Coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malts. Has an almost porter like flavor at first, but with a lighter mouthfeel. Slight hints of molasses through the middle with a bitter lingering finish. At times it has porter and dunkel flavors, but never truly gets all that schwarzbier-y. Still decently tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 11:09:30 | More by Jredner
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

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

Appearance – This is gorgeous! The color is a very dark brown as it should be with a beautiful darkly tanned head. I just couldn’t stop looking at this beauty shop.

Smell – The darkly-roasted malts are subdued but rich and complimented well with some doughy yeast. The sweets are small but mate well to the roasty malts.

Taste – This opens up nicely at the taste. The malts are roasty and bold and the sweets are lightly sugared and manage to avoid that offensive tangy flavor that so many pretenders of the style seem to have.

Mouthfeel – This is in between light and medium-bodied and expertly balanced. This is traditional German balancing at its best.

Drinkability – This is one of the best Schwartzbiers that I’ve ever had, to include the six years that I lived in Germany.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2006 01:49:50 | More by RoyalT
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

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

Pours a rich black hue with light brown highlights underneath a formidable semi-creamy, semi-foamy tan head that subsides rather quickly. Aroma of dark roasted malt and a touch of a nutty character that's hard to pin down. Palate is again mostly roasted malt, with a touch of chocolatey lactose sweetness and some more nutty notes. Body is richer than I would expect for a schwarzbier, with a full-figured creaminess more characteristic of a porter. Very tasty and very drinkable; I'm pleasantly surprised.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2006 06:45:05 | More by ElGordo
Photo of shivtim
shivtim

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An opaque black brew with tiny hints of brown, and a thin tan head that fades quickly. Looks nice! The nose is syrupy coffee and roasted chocolate. Taste is sweet plums up front, followed by strong coffee and hints of caramel. Coffee taste lingers. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both slightly above average. One of Sprecher's best brews.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2006 03:16:29 | More by shivtim
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a nearly obsidian color with a surprisingly light beige head that displays remarkable persistance and leaves splashy lacing all over the glass

Smell: Black bread and caramel predominate, with subtle hints of chocolate, smoke and walnuts

Taste: Starts with a black bread and caramel flavor that, after the swallow, is complemented by coffee, dark chocolate and a touch of smoke

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Fantastic; if only other breweries would try brewing a beer in this style, lagers wouldn't have such a bad rap

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 20:29:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of expatsteve
expatsteve

Wisconsin

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

Appearance: Jet black, with low/medium viscosity. Good 1/2 inch head thins to filmy suds cover.

Aroma: Nice metallic lager nose - acidic, with some black pepper and a little espresso.

Taste: Mmmm...a solid, tasty, schwarzbier. Roasted espresso finish complements a smooth and understated front palate. Peppery, rich, a little acidic, but not at all sweet. Some occasional plums, but for the most part a fairly clean brew.

Mouthfeel: Rich without being too heavy. Nice clean malt finish.

Drinkability: Sessionable and pleasant. This was the perfect complement to the baseball game I was watching at the time, and definitely a beer I'll return to. Does a good job avoiding sweetness and remaining true to the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 03:43:14 | More by expatsteve
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
MuenchenerKindl

Germany

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 Oz bottle to a big glass mug. This fine brew is a dark brown with beautiful garnet hues. The light brown 2 finger head is big and thick but fades quickly leaving a very nice lace.

The smell is of a nicely toasted dark bread.

The taste is extremely good, A deep roasty taste of malts, bread, nuts and some dark fruit notes. This beer holds up well with warming as more flavors are release.

The mouthfeel very good better then most as this offering tends to be thicker then others. The body is full and the carbonation is good.

Drinkability is very high in fact about as good as this style can get. The beer is full and rich, taste and smooth. It is well balanced with enough edge satisfy lovers of both lighter and darker styles. Prost und Zum Wohl! MK

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 01:35:04 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a 2L Boot)

A- This beer has a black thick body with a creamy thick head that last and last. No sign of carbonation in this dark body.

S- This beer has a dark roasted malt smell that is smooth and light with an earthy note to the malt There is a faint cream note in the background.

T- This beer has a dark malt flavor that is not bitter and very drinkable. There is a faint black grain note and a chocolate malt flavor that gets stronger as it warms. There is a faint noble hop bitterness at the finish that offers a nice compliment to all the malt flavors. As it warms some hints of molasses and prunes come through but they are dry more that sweet notes.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-light with a creamy texture in the finish that is light also.

D- This beer has nice complexity but is smooth and light making it very easy to drink. The chocolate malt and cream offer a great flavor without being overpowering or sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2006 22:50:15 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

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

Black? Yes, black indeed - coal black. Had I been given this in a blind taste test, I'd bet a significant amount of money that this was a robust porter, along the lines of Rogue Mocha Porter. Dark roasted malt, without a hint of oxidation (of course, I do have the benefit of drinking the brew in its home state). Thick bitterness at the back of the tongue and a distinct coffee note. Picks up some sweetness at the finish, with a lingering bitterness that is still fairly clean. Whatever the style, this is a nicely done beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2006 16:52:56 | More by Brent
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.