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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

780 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 780
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 107
Gots: 38 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 780 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleazo
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours as black as a dark night with a cream coloured creamy top. Lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S-Slight charred malt, not very strong

T-Sweetness is the first thing that hits you followed by the slightly charred malt. Slight hints of hops can be detected but most of the bitterness here is from the malt.

M-Light bodied with moderate carbonation

D-This is a good Swartzbier but not on par with some of the European classics. Is a bit sweet for my taste but this is a good one to have on hand.

sleazo, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of jdg204
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much appreciation to the old boss again for this gem received in the beer of the month club, the first of many Dark Lagers for me.

Appearance - Beautiful dark almost opaque color with a pinch of rub and a brown head that was just a bit thin.

Smell - Very nice caramel/ coffee odors come through.

Taste - Amazing, has a lovely roasted flavor which is balanced superbly with a sweet caramelized malt and just a hint of bite from hops.

Mouthfeel - The roasted flavor just leaves an amazing aftertaste and the consistency is practically perfect.

Drinkability - Big pimping brew here folks, this is a must-try and a gem from the midwest. It's definetly turned me on to more dark lagers and I look forward to more like this bad boy (though sadly, I only have one more of him).

jdg204, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of tpd975
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The local beer guy brought in a ton of Sprecher brews and this one seemed to be the most highly acclaimed of the lot so I grabbed it.

A: Pours black as the as of spades (drinking while playing online poker) with a nice thick two finger head made up of the tiniest of bubbles. There is some lacing left behind I must say tt looks rather beautiful in my Maudite Tulip.

S: Nice malty aroma. Definite notes of chocolate and coffee. There is a floral quality about it as well. Can't pick out the flower, but it’s in there and the sweetness is very nice.

T: Very good brew, the best I have ever had from Sprecher. Very malty with a wonderful taste of charred malts that brings out a dark roasted coffee taste with chipped milk chocolate. It finishes with a chary bite. Not sure if its hops, or just deeply charred malts. What ever it is I like it.

M: Medium bodied and pretty flat.

D: I really like it. Goes down smooth and tastes good. What more could ya want.

Overall: I really liked this brew. I still prefer my stouts and porters but that is not to slight this one in any way. It drinks like a porter or stout but is lighter in body. The taste is in the same ball park, but this one is a little more flat than most. All that being said you have to remember this beer is a Lager... Impressive, I don't generally like Lagers. Sprecher made a great beer here there is no doubt about it. I am not real familiar with the style, but I plan to go in search of others.

tpd975, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz pint twist off bottle (boohoo) poured into pint glass.

A: Pitch black, even when held up to the light I cannot see through this beer. They weren't kidding when they daid Black Bavarian Style. The 1.5 inch brown bubbly head fades into a ring with minimal lacing down the glass.

S: Woo this is a tasty smelling beercarmalized sugar in a cafe mocha is what this beer reminds me. It doesn't even smell like a beer, but I suppose that is a subjective statement. Just a nice and sweet malted smeel. Good, good good.

T/MF: Feels initally slick and smooth on the tongue then the bitterness, not unlike coffee, opens up soon after and bites the tongue through the finish leaving a prickly feeling all over. Initially tastes of candied plums then the chocolate and coffee characters come in and form a nice balance of sweet and bitter.

D: Was a little bitter on the back end but maybe that's because I was eating pickels before trying this beer. Very tasty and drinkable dark beer, fits well any time of year.

bluemoonswoon, Aug 05, 2007
Photo of supercolter
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a fantastic beer. It was the last of my sampler pack and I couldn't be more excited to have my second.
Appearnce is the only flaw here, black like coffee, like night black, but little head or lacing.
Smell and taste are delicious with slightly sweet malt mixed with coffee, and burnt chocolate.
This beer is medium-heavy.
Drinkability is excellent.

supercolter, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apeparance: pours a dark black color with a 2" tan colored head that lasts for a long while.

Smell: chocolates, caramel, and malt sweetness are easy to detect by the nose well outside the glass.

Taste: soft roasted malt profile with some chocolate, caramel, molassess, and a hint of plum sweetness makes up most of the flavor profile. Some soft bitterness balances it out.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start, smooth towards the finish. Very brief aftertaste. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: bold flavors make up a nicely drinkable beer. This bottle was consumed quite quickly and too bad there wasn't another one around.

Gavage, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of bluejacket74
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch and half frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells very malty, like coffee, chocolate and molasses. It's very tasty, it tastes like chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, coffee and also a bit of a smoky taste. For the most part it's a sweet tasting beer, with some bitterness too. Mouthfeel is medium, with a good amount of carbonation. It's smooth and a bit creamy and slick with a dry finish. Drinkability is good, it goes down very easy and it's hard to stop drinking this. I think this is a good beer, I like it a lot and I'd definitely recommend it.

bluejacket74, Jul 15, 2007
Photo of
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Not quite opaque, clear at edges. Deep dark brown/mahogany when held up to light. Medium sized, light brown, creamy head. Not much lacing or legs.

Malt bomb - sweet overall. Chocolate & coffee. Roasted notes.

Initially, more bitter than sweet, stays that way, but nicely balanced overall. Roast & coffee notes. Grassy/herbal hops compliment roast & coffee. Touch of smoke.

Medium + body. Medium + carbonation. Not very dry.

Very nicely done. Enjoyed it tremendously!

, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of arizcards
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in late June as part of the MicroBeerClub shipment.

Beer pours a jet clack with an OK tan head. Nose is of roasted malts. Taste initially was a blast of those roasted malts. Later sips produce notes of chocolate and a bit of molasses. Mouthfeel is medium bodied as this glides very nicely across my palate. Drinkability is near perfect. This is one solid beer that I wish I could put into my rotation!

arizcards, Jul 12, 2007
Photo of PorterLambic
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black (duh) with a dark tan, 2" high head. Great retention, tight little bubbles.
Smell is roasted malt, smoke, peat, vanilla, toffee.
Taste is roasted malts, peat, smoke, very light hops, vanilla and toffee.
A medium/full body with a nice smooth aftertaste that just slowly fades away. I could find nothing wrong with this beer at all. Extremely good, great even. Try two or three.

PorterLambic, Jun 22, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers to PackerFan for this one! Looks great in my Kostrizer glass! Zero head retention or lacing

Pours an effervescent-reddish mahogany with 2+ fingers of tan head.

S: Roasted grain & some coffee

T: Big roasted malt & some molasses & chicory up front. Rich chocolate shows up as this warms. Finishes roasty with a little caramel & more chocolate

MF: Medium bodied with vigorous carbonation & great balance

Drinks very easy, a pretty damn good schwartz, the equal of anything I had in Germany! Shame about the visual, might adjust this if I see better results next time

russpowell, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian Style Lager pours a lovely stiff
brown head over a black brew. The nose is molasses with
a hint of mocha. Carbonation is really hard to guage- this
stuff is black as a stout. The flavor is coffee, molasses, and
a bit of bitter chocolate in the finish. The mouthfeel is light
and crisp- a dark beer that is perfectly refreshing in June.
It's like a bad ass iced coffee, with alcohol! Goddamn-
Sprecher has some master brewers working for them- I've
yet to taste a loser. Tasty.

shadow1961, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of happygnome
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 100th review very tasty

a: dark black very difficult to see through half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving a good amount of lacing
s: roared malt aroma with slight hp presence
t: very very nice, roasted malts kinda like a nice porter. slight hop presence extremely enjoyable
m: medium bodied with average carbonation

overall deffinatly one of the better beers ive had

happygnome, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of Sprecher's Beers of Old Bavaria - very tasty. It reminds me more of a baltic porter and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (when it's mellow). The aroma is a bit weak, and the taste is bland at first, but then it explodes with rich chocolate. There's a roasted edge to it that's more barley than coffee, but quite nice. There's a decent bitterness and I wouldn't call this a schwarzbier by taste, but it's quite good regardless. Worth finding.

tempest, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of botham
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours black without much weight for its color. small, light brown head that dissipates quickly. good looking brew.

smell is roasty with hints of chocolate and caramel. embodies just what a good schwarzbier should be.

taste is little different from the smell. good balance of roastiness and chocolate. the alcohol is very well masked, only slightly coming through as the beer warms a bit.

mouthfeel is light for a beer this dark, true to a good schwarzbier. goes down very smooth with a good aftertaste of the same roastiness and a bit of caramel.

drinkability is good. i could see myself drinking a few of these in a night. it is not too filling, and leaves a good aftertaste behind.

overall this is a great schwarzbier. definitely one of Sprechers better brews. try it in a snifter, the scent of this one is wonderful!

botham, Jun 01, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decent head and chocolate malt smell.

taste is of chocolate malting with a faint alcohol back and low hop presence. A little bit acidic.

Decent mouthfeel, but a little astringent. Not bad though. I like it.

This beer is a decent beer to make a session out of, but there are better schwarzbiers out there. I'm glad I tried it though. I would definetly order it at a bar.

jasonjlewis, May 26, 2007
Photo of rallison
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a very nice looking wax dipped 22oz bottle.

A: Dark black with a 1/2 finger tan head that just barely sticks around.

S: Lots and lots of roasted coffee with a nice bit of dark chocolate.

T: Mmmm, if you like coffee and chocolate, you'll like this. Flavor is extremely roasted and dry, with tasty espresso and chocolate. Almost porter-like in this way. Love the dry finish. A very tasty, rich schwarzbier.

M: Very rich and full for a schwarzbier, and I enjoy that. It works really well here.

D: Extremely drinkable - so long as you like the roasted beers, of course.

Highly recommended. One of my favorite schwarzbiers - and from Sprecher no less.

rallison, May 24, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a huge fan of most of the beers in the Sprecher portfolio, but this is the one exception. I believe this beer is excellent, and a more substantial Schwarzbier than Kostritzer, which seems to ordinarily define this style. This beer is big, black, and highly roasty.

This beer pours an opaque black with an attractive amount of durable head. Aroma a light roasty. Flavor is very roasty (lots of "burned pizza crust") balanced with a bit of sourness. Mouthfeel is very dry and smooth. Unlike most of its Sprecher brothers and sisters, this is a very nice beer.

BeerBelcher, May 24, 2007
Photo of cdkrenz
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$3.00/pint
Scott Street Steak & Pub
Wausau, Wisconsin

Appearance - They're not kiddin when they say, "black". It comes dark as night with a light brown, frothy head about 3/4" thick. As the head melts away it leaves trail which I feel takes away from its luster.

Smell - It offers a subtle sweet scent I didn't expect. It has a hint of chocolate that's quite inviting.

Taste - Very good taste with chocolate and carmel flavors. The taste is not overwhealmingly deep which makes for a very satisfying finish. Nothing bitter about the Bavarian.

Mouthfeel - Its as smooth as any beer out there. No harsheness from carbonation and no bitter hoppyness to fight. Very easy to drink this schwarzbier.

~ Had I been staying at Scott Street for more than one beer I most certainly would have indulged in a few more drafts of this fine beer. I look forward to my next trip to Wausau so I can stop in and have another. If you get the chance don't pass on the this one.

cdkrenz, May 21, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a large dark-brown head that quickly dissipates into nothing.

Aroma is light, mostly dark malts. It doesn't start as much, and even starts to fade.

Flavor works best when warmed up, and quite enjoyable. A nice smokiness that almost burns in the aftertaste. Nice, black, husky earth flavors. There might be some chocolate here, but it's not sweet, and it's burnt as hell. I'm really digging it that way.

Mouthfeel is has an enjoyable creaminess. It literally allowed the flavors to tumble over your tongue. There is also some thickness here, and almost a nice soot-like buildup on the tongue.

Drinkability is very good. Might be a little heavy and earthy for some, but it's bread & butter here. Very enjoyable.

terrabyte, May 10, 2007
Photo of pacond
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle with old school logo

Black but slightly red. This beer smells like goodness. Roasted, malt, a little coffee. It is one of my favorite beers right now. It is super drinkable and it can sit it my mouth before it goes down smooth and awesome! It has a bitter taste, but it is still sweet and rich. It has a burnt caramel aftertaste that leaves my lips smackin'. If you haven't tried this beer and you like porters, you've got to try this one.

pacond, May 04, 2007
Photo of jbsteiny
3.35/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was excited to find this on tap, as I love schwarzbiers, but I wasn't that impressed by this. After reading everyone else's great reviews, I'm tempted to try it out of the bottle to see if maybe the keg wasn't great...

Poured near black with mahogany highlights. 1/2 an inch of light brown foam dissipated quickly. Smelled crazy malty -- roasted, sweet, even a little burnt -- but not much else in the nose. Some complexity came out in the taste -- the roasted malts diverged into the sweets and a prominent nuttiness (hazelnut?), before a bitter, slightly sour finish. I think it sounds better than it tasted because the nut flavor was too big for all of these other subtler things to come out. Pretty big mouthfeel, and it went down easy enough, but I didn't want another (as opposed to Kolstrizer, which has gotten lesser reviews, but I can down all night).

jbsteiny, May 04, 2007
Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma of yeast esters, banana, and smoky malt all are noticeable upon opening. Halfway through, these aromas are a struggle to find.

Cascading deep tan foam slowly builds into a rich looking head of foam. Surface is convex and craggy. Slow crackling as the foam dissipates.

First taste is earthy roasted malt, with a dry, smoky, earthy hop character in the aftertaste. Very mild bitterness, a slight lactic feel. Slightly light mouthfeel, good for the style. This could be sipped or sessioned, it's pretty balanced.

If you're a big fan of Porters or lighter Stouts, try this one out...

emerge077, Apr 26, 2007
Photo of tonistruth
3.58/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- black w/ stop light red hues, 1/4 tan head disappeared quickly

S- roasted, sweet cream, choclate

T- nicely balanced, stale burnt bitterness toward finish, sweet chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, dry coco at finish, coffee in after

M- smooth, creamy, carbonation tickle, dry finish, light body

D- complex and tasty (though that stale flavor felt off, and carbonation felt awkwardly flat at times), enjoyable and drinkable, worth a shot, i'd have another

tonistruth, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of Mdog
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a nice brown head. A little bit of red can be detected when held to light.

Smell: Slight roasted aroma.

Taste: Roasted coffee, chocolate, moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, bitterness holds on for a while.

Drinkability: Definitely could have a couple of these in a sitting.

Another beer that reminds me of a porter. This one's a lager so points for originality. Reasonably priced and tasty to boot. Good stuff.

Mdog, Mar 24, 2007
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.