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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
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Ratings: 799 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
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....

Photo of bigdeuce
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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!

Photo of brdc
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.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of cutthetail
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of sponberg
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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!

Photo of EvilKeith
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of Jredner
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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of ElGordo
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of shivtim
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.

Photo of brentk56
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
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

Photo of expatsteve
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
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

Photo of rhoadsrage
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.

Photo of Brent
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of taez555
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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