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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

790 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 112
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:
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
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Ratings: 790 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of rallison
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.94/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of cdkrenz
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of terrabyte
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of pacond
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of jbsteiny
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
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).

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...

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

Photo of Mdog
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of mcallister
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle does not lie, well maybe a little. Damn close to black but some deep ruby/brick highlights are noticeable. Head is small and tan and fades quickly. No lace.

Nice dark bready aromas, with a dark malt front, A bit of earthy quality that is loamy in ways. Very clean and refreshing aromas with a tad bit of toffee.

One solid lager. Bold and with good complexity and a round full mouth. Again very clean and refreshing. Moderate carbonation, and the ability too session for...well a good long session. Toffee from the nose is leaning more toward caramel, and a slight floral hop bitterness helps round out the finish.

Photo of doubleshovels
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If you are going to drink only one Sprecher, then make it a Black Bavarian.
This beer pours picture perfect into a pokel. Looking into the glass, I only see myself reflected back in pure obsidian surroundings.
The only fault I can find in this brew is that its aroma is very faint. One only smells the whispers of molasses.
Once in the mouth, this Schwarzbier opens up full throttle. Running straight up to the roof of your mouth, exploding with malts, coffee, and sweet spice; all gently falling back on to the tongue, wrapping around the sides of your mouth, then drying out and disappearing leaving only a desire for another sip.

Photo of evanackerman
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beer pours black with a beige head.

aroma is pruny malt

taste is a nice combination of roasty malt with a nice acidity to balance it out and just the right touch of hops.

mouthfeel is very very smooth.

drinkability is huge, great session beer.

overall, this is a very easy-drinking and enjoyable take on the style, i love the 16 oz bottle as well. this one is a staple for me.

Photo of AltBock
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Most breweries put most their beer in those little 12 oz. bottles, but not Sprecher. They put most of their beer in those more economic 16 oz. or pint bottles. Basically, more bang for your 12 oz. bottle buck. The label they put on the bottle is just a plain and simple black label with the Sprecher coat of arms smack dab in the front. The same coat of arms can be found of the cap as well. Information of the beer can be found on the black with gold trim neck label. There is no date anywhere on the label, but there is some kind of small coded bin or batch number where the neck meets the bell (lower half) of the bottle. Don't use a bottle opener because this one has a twist off cap.

Appearance: When poured into a standard American Bell's Brewery pint glass, the beer is a dark chocolate schwarz with ruby red highlights that can actually make this beer look like it's a very dark brownish color. The head of foam was a bit less than half an inch in height and was the color of a mocha. It quickly dissipated away, but left plenty of mocha rings and lace around the glass.

Smell: I wish I could say that it had plenty of aroma to it, but I can't. The aroma was too small, but still good with roasted malts, caramel, and roasted coffee beans. I would have loved to see (smell) those flavors enhanced just a bit. If you swirl the beer around, a fresh not too sweet aroma of dark fruits will come out from behind the minor aroma of roasted malts.

Taste: Light in aroma, but strong in flavor. This is where all of those light aromas will come out of it's hiding hole. The first taste I encountered was the strong taste of roasted and caramelized malts. Then after that comes a little bit more caramel, dark chocolate, roasted Arabica coffee beans, a touch of dark fruits, and all of this ended with a slight taste of herbal hops. I have to give it too Sprecher for making this light beer chock-full of really good roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, not too dry, somewhere on the light and medium bodied border, and with a slight aftertaste of roasted malts and herbal hops. I would have to say that it's actually quite refreshing.

Drinkability: Do you enjoy refreshing, flavorful, light beers? If you do, then you should pick up or trade for this one. Would I drink it again? I sure wouldn't mid another one. If I'm ever in the mood for a light flavorful dark beer, then I'm going to definitely going to pick up a more bang for your buck 16 oz. pint bottle of Sprecher's Black Bavarian.

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

Thanks to Vancer for this beer of my wants for the BA Anny Club. Pours dark black with a thin head. Nice smell of malts. Rich malt taste with a hint of sweetness. If I tasted this blind, I would have thought it was a well done porter. Extremely drinkable beer. I would drink this all of the time if I could get it.

Cheers.

Photo of ManicD
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Erdinger2003
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of kennyo
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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

Photo of brewcrew76
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of klewis
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.

Photo of scherbs
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of beveritt
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of demcorhip
4.07/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of bennetj17
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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....

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.