1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Bavarian Alström Bros
Ratings: 799 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
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
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
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
4.89/5  rDev +20.1%
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
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
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
3.31/5  rDev -18.7%
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
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of morimech
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a solid black with a creamy two fingered head that slowly builds and lasts quit awhile leaving some sticky lacing as it disipates.

The aroma is malty with a hint of dark chocolate and coffee. Like an Imperial Stout but more subdued.

The malt is definately on display here. Hints of bitter chocolate and espresso add to the complexity. I don't sense much for hops in aroma or taste which I think would add to the beer as it is very sweet. It feels heavy for a Schwarzbier (Sprecher calls it Kulmbacher) but has a excellant creamy, smooth feel. Just mild carbonation tickles the tongue. Feels a little heavy as I think it could be confused for a stout so it doesn't have the consumption rate of other black lagers and their drinking appeal.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.57/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from brdc, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 16oz bottle into a mug glass. This was one of the first beers that I added upon realizing that BA had a “wants list” so I’ve been waiting a while with a great deal of anticipation to try this beer.

A: The beer is a deep black color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of German malts, roasted coffee and dark chocolate along with a little bit of hops.

T: The taste is smoky, malty and sweet with creamy flavors of coffee & chocolate. There’s a mild hops presence, but it’s enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is very clean for a style that normally leaves a stickiness.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent kick, excellent representation of style. To quote respected fellow BA IntriqKen, “Now THIS is a Schwarzbier!” This is definitely a beer that I could for a very long period of time and was certainly worth the wait. The only thing that I don’t like about this beer is that I haven’t been able to find it in my area.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to genog for this one.

16 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark black with a one finger tan head that quickly dies down to a thin layer that seems to stick around for a bit. Stickiness could use some help, but there is some. Smell is a sweet molasses with some caramel malt and leather. Some roasted barley as well as a tiny bitterness in the nose. Taste has some toasted malt and a sweet brown sugar. I detect a hint of coffee/espresso as well, but not overpowering at all. Aftertaste has a bit of a hop tingle to it as well as a hit of tobacco. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and full with a good amount of carbonation. This is a damn good beer, I was quite surprised. Nice to have a beer like this every now and then to take me away from my everyday IPA lifestyle.

Photo of Atron67
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a black, but without particulates, with a brown head that faded relatively quickly, but it was a gentle pour.

S- smells of roasted malts, a little malty sweetness, but more bitter

D- roasted maltiness throughout, a solid flavor, a well balanced bitterness,fades off the tongue really well

M- medium/light body, a fine carbonation, and smoothness on the tongue

D- a solid lager.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now THIS is a Schwarzbier!

Pours almost black with just a touch of mahogany red and a nice full finger head that takes it's time melting leaving a sticky map in it's wake.

Aromas of roasted dark malts, coffee, a hint of chocolate, and just a breath of citrus hops. As it warms more, I notice a little tobacco as well.

Flavor is rich and full-bodied. Dark roasted malt for sweetness, rich coffee with just a little chocolate and then the nice hop citrus finish.

Aftertaste is totally clean with nothing cloying at all.

An extremely flavorful Schwarzbier...almost with porter like characteristics.

Photo of Tballz420
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost completely opaque black body, slight brown hues when held to the light. Small brown head tops it off. Big chocholate malt scent, some slight roast to it. The main gist of this one is chocolate malts, good amount of roast to them. A touch of bitter hops in the backround. Big, creamy mouth. Not a bad drink.

Photo of sleazo
3.59/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of jdg204
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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).

Photo of tpd975
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of supercolter
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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.

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