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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

739 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 739
Reviews: 452
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 100
Gots: 31 | 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: 739 | Reviews: 452 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

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

California

3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

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.

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

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

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

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

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!

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

Alabama

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

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

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -14%

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.

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

Ohio

4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

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

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

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

Georgia

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

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

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

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

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

Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

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.

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

Germany

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

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

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

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

(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.

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

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

06-16-2006 16:52:56 | More by Brent
Photo of taez555
taez555

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

I know it's written right on the label that's it's brewed in Wisconsin, but seriously... you really need to read the fine print or else you might think this is a German brew.

This beer poured a black body with a thin tan head.

Nose had some grain, milk chocolate, figs, caramel, brown sugar, mild burnt smoke and that classic earthy german yeast smell.

Taste was medium bodied and very creamy. Smooth from start to finish. A large carbonation brings out a rather bitter hoppiness in the back-end. Not really much in the way of hop taste other than some mild earth and dirt flavor. Very malty with a slight roasted burnt flavor but very muted and never distracting. Touches of dark fruits. Raisins, figs and even some prunes. A dark coffee, dark chocolate and espresso notes flow.

Really a very nice schwarzbier. A big bitterness and some dark malts. If you're in the mood for dark lagers this is a winner.

05-20-2006 15:38:16 | More by taez555
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Appearance- Pours a slowly rising to three finger head tha makes a slow recession to nothingness on the surface of my 16oz's of beer. Color is a deep, deep brown with some brownie/blood highlights.

Smell- Your are hit with complex malt aromas of smokey beech wood, toasty and roasty breads. With a lager like pop in the nostrils for the finish.

Taste- Strta out with mostly roost, but then you catch resurging waffs of smoke intermitant with a middle of toasty malts and a little burnt lager like grass flavors in the end.

Mouthfeel- The malts were awesome moving over my mouth. They mixed well with my garlic enveloped pizza. A little cloying...maybe. The malts I mean.

05-19-2006 03:24:24 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours a deep black with just the slightest ruby tones around the edges, a thick long lasting tan head, bubbles here and there, lacing sticking to the glass, breaking up into strands on the way down.. quite nice. Aroma, as advertised, is caramel and chocolate malts, taking on faintly roasted and spiced tones. Taste is a nice slide from roasty malts to a dry, bitter, and almost hopped end. Notes of chocolate and espresso, molasses and burnt malt. Mouth is a not as thick as it looks, which is a little disappointing, but otherwise good, mostly smooth with a slight spring to keep things interesting. And while it isn't as thick as I'd hoped, it makes it a little easier to drink, and combined with the good look, smell, and taste, I'm thinking I'll stock this a little more often now. Definitely Sprechers best offering, a classic midwest brew.

04-30-2006 21:25:04 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of ColoradoBobs
ColoradoBobs

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev -1%

Interesting-looking 16 ounce dark-brown bottle. Wish more American brewers would bottle their "normal" beers in this size! The label indicates an ABV of 6%.

Moderate pour produced an immensely huge tan head (mildly reverse-cascading!), over an opaque black-ruby body. As the head tightens and reduces, it gets rocky and chunky, and the lacing sticks like paint to the glass.

Smell is caramel, chocolate, burnt sugar, malty malted malt, with some fig and raisins. Hops? There's a SLIGHT peppery hint.

Taste is espresso, chocolate, burnt toast, biscuity malt, with a very dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is way more thin than the head and lacing made me think it would be.

Very quaffable.

Overall, a fascinating mix of Doppelbock smell and lager mouthfeel. Surprisingly good.

Cudos and thanks to shbobdb for hooking me up with this excellent midwestern brew. I had never even heard of it. Oh, the joys of a blind trade!

04-23-2006 00:29:35 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

16 oz brown bottle, I forgot to check for freshness dating.

The beer pours a nice black with brown highlights. A compact tan head and nice lacing add up to an attractive beer.

The nose is of slightly roasted malts, a bit of fruits and a touch of sugar. Also a bit earthy.

The taste is similar to the smell. I like how the toasted malts interact with the slightly bitter hops. The beer is sweet in the best way. Complex enough to keep you interested. The earthy taste lingers in the background and compliments the molasses taste which emerges late.

Nice brisk mouth helps off-set the beer’s slight trend towards a syrupy feel. Extremely easy drinker, a great beer to pair with hearty food or to enjoy on its own.

Well done Sprecher!

03-20-2006 16:24:12 | More by Redrover
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

Dark, oily brown with cola-amber edges that barely let the light pass. Light creamy tan head.

Charred, toasted, roasted malt/barley. Soda-like sweetness rises above somehow. Molasses, a little smoke, and coffee bitterness.

Balanced sweetness and toasted bitterness up front. Scorched brown sugar perhaps? Roasted, smoky bitterness pervades. Very nice. Light warming alcohol in the finish with lingering malt and roasted bitterness.

Medium plus body with an oily feel.

Muy bien!

03-02-2006 23:05:35 | More by alexgash
Photo of shbobdb
shbobdb

Indiana

4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

Well, well, well. What a fine beer we have here. The dark malts really shine through, giving this beer a deep roasted chocolate flavour as velvety as its mouthfeel. Wow. It looks nice too, with a pitch black body and nice brown head that collapses into a fine lace. Mmmm.
Very drinkable. Very delicious. It's smell is forgettable, but this beer isn't!

02-24-2006 22:11:07 | More by shbobdb
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4/5  rDev -1.7%

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice complex malt scent that boasts of crystal, chocolate, roasted, and black malts. It's sweet smelling with chocolate notes along with a slightly earthy/roasted edge. The taste is good also. It has a smooth chocolatey flavor that goes down easy and finishes sweet and a bit dry. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good dark lager. It has excellent flavor and aroma; a good drinker.

01-23-2006 02:32:26 | More by WesWes
Photo of blackie
blackie

California

4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint glass creates a big, fluffy, khaki head that recedes very slowly, and then persists in the form of a generous layer throughout the experience. The beer is a very dark brown in color.

smell: Though the beer is dark, the malt presence on the nose is somewhat subdued, as expected. At first I notice overripe bananas and banana bread, with some light caramel and milk chocolate notes in the background. The hop aroma is moderate. Smells good.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the lower end of the medium range, and very smooth. The body is medium, and very smooth and creamy.

taste: Delicious, subtle notes of milk chocolate and caramel on the tongue. Also subdued notes of roasted malt. Hop flavor is light, and the bitterness is just right...lingering into the finish with some roasted flavors.

drinkability: Definately easy drinking.

Picked up a single at Riley's while visiting Madison, WI. The characters 30108 FL 92701210 are printed on the neck of the bottle. Damn good beer.

01-08-2006 03:57:05 | More by blackie
Photo of OldSock
OldSock

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Appearance – 16 oz bottle from Julio's. Pours black as any stout, with faint red highlights when held up to the light. On top is an extra creamy tan two finger head that last for a few minutes.

Smell – Light coffee notes with a toasted malt backbone. A bit too roasty for a traditional shwarzbier, but it still smells good to me. No esters or alcohol that I can detect.

Taste – Smooth with mild roast and a slight noble hop twang. Slight dry charcoal bitterness in the finish. Definitely an in-your-face American interpretation of the German original, but its tasty. I would say this beer is a lager cousin to a Dry Irish Stout.

Mouthfeel – Smooth medium body with medium carbonation. A bit heavy for the style, but it fits this particular flavor profile well.

Drinkability & Notes – A tasty lager and my second favorite shwarzbier behind only the fabulous offering from Moonlight. Not exactly to style, but I'm not complaining too much.

12-28-2005 02:13:52 | More by OldSock
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Appearance: Burnt coffee black with a deep purple tone. Creamy, light tan, latte-colored head with pretty, sparkly little bubbles.

Smell: Espresso, burnt sugar, licorice, and lumber/sawdust.

Taste: Coffee, charred malts, dark cocoa, and there's a kind of odd mineral taste that reminds me of snow or ice that's been in the freezer too long. Finish is nice and espresso bean-bitter. Peaty notes and vodka-like alcohol comes through as the beer warms. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel: A tad syrupy and rather heavy. Not particularly creamy or smooth, but not overwhelming.

Drinkability: Bold and complex, this is something that should be emjoyed one at a time. Would pair nicely with roast beef or a rare steak.

12-23-2005 01:48:02 | More by soulgrowl
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.