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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

742 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 742
Reviews: 453
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: 742 | Reviews: 453 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%

I too was impressed with the black pour from the 16oz bottle, with good inch tan head. Could see the ruby/brown undertones when held to the light. Nice, choc lately malt aroma, smooth easy taste. Not quite as much *earthy, grainy* taste as other black beers. Good lite to medium texture and tingle in the first half of the pint, but the tingle died somewhat by the end. Should have had a couple more to double-check drinkablity.

02-17-2005 14:47:51 | More by Vancer
Photo of adams82
adams82

Michigan

4/5  rDev -1.7%

16oz. Bottle, dated 4/2/02. I assume this is the bottling date, nearly 3 years old!

Pours a deep ruby black. May appear pitch black at first, but hold it up to a light and marvel at the nearly translucent ruby hue of this excellent beer. The body is nicely complimented by a thin, lacy, tan head. Maybe the lack of a billowy head is a by product of such an old bottle?

Smells of sweet roasted caramel and hints of sweet, slightly burnt, chocolate. Malt character is very pronounced, and very intriguing.

The taste offers one more characteristic that is not apparent in the aroma. Coffee. Caramel is still there, the chocolate is somewhat subdued, while the coffee flavor really comes through to the forefront. Not overpowering, but noticeable as you sip on the black liquid. It also adds a nice balance of bitterness to what you might first assume would be a malty, unbalanced, beer upon smelling it. Again, maybe a characteristic of an older bottle.

Mouthfeel is good! I would call this a medium body beer, as it exhibits a slightly watery feel upon the first part of your sip, but as you begin to take it down, it seems to expand a bit and becomes creamier and more robust. Smooth as well!

Drinkability is good as well. Not really a session beer, as the ABV is slightly higher than what I consider a session beer to be, paired with 16oz. servings, it could catch up you fast. However, it should be fairly easy to down a four pack, as it is creamy and smooth, and still want more.

One of my favorite offerings of all time. Too bad the only local source for this beer seems to stock older bottles. I am sure that a fresher bottle would exhibit atleast some hint of coffee, and have a more pronounced feel to it. I get this as often as I am able to and I enjoy every sip!

02-12-2005 18:18:44 | More by adams82
Photo of mntlover
mntlover

Tennessee

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours a black by looking at it held to light can see ruby thru the glass nice coco colored head that falls not much lace.
Aroma is creamy roasted chocolate malt liquid smoke earthy smells like burnt wet wood mix strange and enticing.
Taste is good chocolate malt creamy and dryish smokey flavors, light coffee notes mix with some herbal hops lightly bitter with smokey aftertastes. My first try at a Schwarzbier after reading about them today on BA have to find that Sam Adams but doubt its as good. Want to thank merlin48 for this sample.
Mouthfeel is nice mediumish but is smooth and creamy almost very nice feeling.
Drinkability is good very tastey lager will be adding this to the short list of the other two lagers I actually enjoy. Hope I can find this down south.

02-08-2005 23:26:05 | More by mntlover
Photo of SheepNutz
SheepNutz

Kentucky

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

16oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep black color with two fingers of light tan head. There is just a little bit of lacing left on the glass. The smell is rich in roasted malt. There's lots of chocolate and a little touch of smoke to the nose as well. The taste is chock full of burnt malt. A bit of caramelized sugar and a sweet finish. The mouthfeel is solid and smooth. The drinkability is good as well. A big thanks to Kevin (kmpitz2) for sharing this during the UK/Arkansas game.

01-31-2005 03:23:33 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of warriorsoul
warriorsoul

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

A big "thanks" for the second of three offerings from onecrazymofo.
The name says it all....not a fleck of light is passing through this baby. I'd like to view it on a real sunny day and have another look...another time, another beer.
A finger of creamy, tan head. Chocolate and coffee apparent...a clean plentiful aroma to take in.
Taste is a well-balanced brew. This is my first taste of a schwarzbier and I'm liking it. A nice smoked flavor that is very subtle and lasting. I want to compare it to Atlantic's Coal Porter, but with a bit more going on.
Texture is a bit dry, but not bitter at all. Drinkability is very easy with this one....thanks again onecrazymofo....you know a good beer when you drink one.

01-18-2005 00:56:02 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -1.7%

1 pint bottle pours a dark and opaque body with a small tan head. Almost looks like a stout. Leaves some good patchy lace.
Aroma is chocolate and roasty malt, herbal hops, and a hint of charcoal.
Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with moderate carbonation.
The taste is nicely balanced between chocolate malt and floral hop bitterness. Sweetness wins out, but there is plenty of roast and hop bitterness to keep it from being cloying. Very well constructed.
I really enjoy this style, and this Sprecher is a fine example.

12-31-2004 22:37:15 | More by merlin48
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Beautiful beer!! Man do I love these dark lagers. This is a dark dark beer, black as hell and a larger rich staying tan head that stayed through several sips and gave a little lacing. It has a good smell of dark and roasted malt with a dollop of fruit-hopiness. This is pretty much how it tastes except much more intense flavor and the fruity hops are a nice aftertaste that stay well with the roastedness of the malt. I could drink this one year round and will add it to my list of things to bug my store about. This is a great beer, thanks to Cretemixer for the gift.

12-09-2004 00:47:19 | More by Higravity
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Appearence: Pours a deep, near-black with tiny hints of red poking through. A nice, beige head sits atop the brew, and it remains rocky and leaves good lacing.

Smell: Smells suprisingly hoppy for the color, with a nice chocolate undertone. My complaint is that it almost smells like soap. Hmmm....

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow! Now this is a beer. A nice roasted nut flavor emerges at first, with a rich, malty flavor. The end is nice and hoppy with some almost fruity elements poking through. The mouthfeel, is a little watery, but mostly good and chewy.

Drinkability and Overall: This is beer unlike anything I've ever had before. A well-balanced brew that I'd have to problem putting back. The 6% also adds to the drinkability. This is a classic, a must try for those looking for something different.

Thanks to Bashiba for, yet another, great great brew.

12-08-2004 03:12:57 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of markman
markman

Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Sprecher Black Bavarian :

Very nice brew…stellar pour is a crisp clear back with a nice head. Taste is chocolate malt with a toasted roast flavor that is so good it almost takes ya by surprise…I’ll be honest with ya, I damn near wept. Creamy mouthfeel is nearly porterlike with a drinkability that is close to perfection. If I lived a bit closer to Massachusetts (Sprecher is not available in my beloved Nutmeg State) this would be in my fridge…con-stant-ly. Big props to richdude for the specimen.

Cheers…

12-04-2004 02:43:42 | More by markman
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%

Poured all 16 ounces into a 22ounce pilsner glass. Deep black color with Ruby red highlights and a huge thick tan head that went all the way to the top of the glass and laced down ever so thickly. Great looking beer for sure.

Smell is of very faint Caramal toasted malts.

Taste is a nice light chocolate and Caramel malt flavors with a very nice earthy hop finish.

Mouthfeel is a very filling creamyness about it. Smooth and not thick, but still nice and full.

Drinkability is pretty good as this beer is pleasant tasting with an enjoyable mouthfeel and yet not heavy or overly filling. A nice combination for a session beer.
Good job Sprecher!

11-20-2004 03:11:07 | More by bashiba
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

The label doesn't lie, all black body, tan well-lingering head. Smell is of bitter chocolate malt, the overall malt smell is dominating and rich. Taste is also extremely malty. Very bitter and rich chcolate flavors. Body is fairly thin for the beer, but this is still a good brew.

11-15-2004 23:15:47 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

This beer pours a very dark color with a small head that leaves a little lacing on the glass once it falls. It has a slight smell of the 'lager stank' at the beginning, but there are some malty notes in there. Some roasted malts, mostly. The flavor is comprised mostly of the roasted malts (coffee), but there is a little chocolate flavor in there as well. Finish is dry. Drinkability is nice. Body is a little light for me, but still good.

11-10-2004 17:52:20 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

The beer pours a very very dark brown, wtih a finger of tanish head that falls to just coat the beer. The nose tells me I'm drinking a lager initially, but as the beer warms, this lager scent fades. The overriding tone in this one is bitter coffee, with a hint of caramel sweetness. I ding. The flavor is huge on the coffee flavor, with some hints of bitter dark chocolate. The feel is thick, with a nice balance of carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good as well. This is a really nicely crafted beer. I like it.

10-26-2004 23:45:52 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of ken3c
ken3c

Michigan

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Virtually black. Decent head dwindles to mostly foamy. Laces a little.

Slightly malty smell.

Chocolate chalky. hops sense. Dry finish. Great taste.

Medium carbonation. Medium body. Smooth and creamy.

I typically dislike lagers but this one had a wonderful taste that will bring me back.

10-10-2004 19:52:35 | More by ken3c
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.63/5  rDev +13.8%

This is an awesome schwartzbier. They must have really "used the schwartz" when they brewed up this one. A dark black beer with brown edges and a small chestnut coloured head of foam. The aromas are spicy and nutty with roasted malts in the mix as well. This smells just like a schwartzbier should to me. The taste is spicy up front with a nice roasted nuttiness. The middle is sweeter, and more full with a distinct roasted maltyness. Finally, the finish is dry, refreshing, spicy, and faintly hoppy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and perfect, as is the drinkability. A first class lager brewed in the good ole' USA.

09-14-2004 22:40:35 | More by francisweizen
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

This bottle was a gift from Stopper. Thanks man!
I am sampling a chilled sample in a snifter the beer pours dark black with no light penetrating. Small beige surface layer of head remains after an initial small foamy existence.
Aroma is Dark chocolate and some butterscotch, maybe a hint of roasted malt too. The beer exhibits an average body with a slight syrupy texture. Small yet prickly carbonation awakens my tongue as I drink. The flavor is roasted malt and almost bitter coffee (black patent malt?), I almost want to say smokey as well. Verynice finish of roasted malt and coffee in my mouth after I swallow. THe beer is smooth and easy to drink. A tasty treat for sure. Now if these only came into CT!

09-05-2004 15:18:20 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of Popsinc
Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Appearance: a very dark brown, almost black pour. pours a fairly large tan head that fades down quite a bit.

Smell: nice roasted maltiness in the nose. light molasses and hints of black licorice. semi sweet.

Taste/Mouthfeel: tase wise the roasted malts seem to be present throughout. hints of molasses off the start and more of a black licorice bitterness towards the finish. light bodied, mostly smooth mouthfeel. nice, long lingering bitterness off the back end. very nice.

Drinkability: a very good schwarzbier. good complexity and great staying power. an above average example of the style.

08-08-2004 15:35:38 | More by Popsinc
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +2%

I popped the cap and there was no sound at all. I was a bit nervous about the carbonation but it turned out ok. Pours out a very dark brown color with a tan head that is kind of small. Sweet caramel and roasted malt come out in the smell. The first thing you notice in the taste is the smokey notes. It then turns more sweet like caramel and chocolate. Very smooth and well balanced. The smoked flavor is not too overpowering which is something I hate. This is perfect. If you are nervous about trying a beer that has smoked flavor, this is a good starting point.

07-31-2004 22:22:37 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of John
John

New York

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%

Appearance is very nice, impressive opaque black. Rich, coffee coloured brown head. Aroma consists of chocolate, deep roasted malt, toasted caramel, molasses and brown sugar. Flavors translate into a blend of the pleasant aromas while shifting from a black coffee bitterness to a chocolate and natural sugar cane sweetness. A touch of black licorice is underlying. Strangely these flavors tantalize but trail off way to soon with none of the oscillating lingering roasty bitterness and dark chocolate sweetness typical of the style. Seems to thin as it warms. A decent brew with good drinkability but as I finish the brew there's nothing left to remind of which brew I just drank.

07-29-2004 01:47:42 | More by John
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -1.7%

Sampled on tap at Red Bones.

This Schwarzbier (?) poured a clear, very, very dark brown color with red highlights, with tan foam that settled and coated the glass a bit. The smell was fruity with light caramel. The taste was fruity (raisins) with caramel and malt. The hops were very light, but there was a touch of bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was dry and smooth with medium body and moderate carbonation. The flavor lingered lightly. This was a nice beer, though it did not seem to be a typical schwarzbier.

07-05-2004 22:05:55 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Great black colour with whte head. Drinkable from bit of sweetness in malts that lasts on, bittersweet atertaste but better than a stout. Molasses taste and aroma. Bit of chocolate and coffee. Session ale.
6% beer is very good. Best I have had for style.

07-04-2004 04:55:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of PatandDavid
PatandDavid

Massachusetts

3.13/5  rDev -23.1%

Had on tap at Redbones. Pour appeared almost compelely black, opaque, with some cola colored highlights. No head to speak of. Aroma was slightly syrupy and licorice like. Medium mouthfeel, predominatly malty, I found some roasty and smokey notes in the finish that gave some interest to this one.

07-03-2004 03:21:22 | More by PatandDavid
Photo of mschofield
mschofield

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours a reddish-black topped with a three finger foamy tan-chocolate head, leaves partial rings of lacing.
Sweet caramel aroma, some roasted malt and chocolate.
Sweet taste, chocolate and caramel, I was thinking of a chocolate covered caramel candy when drinking. Rich and roasty taste, a perfume note tucked in there.
Light-medium body, but felt thicker with the dark tastes

05-20-2004 20:10:19 | More by mschofield
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours with a light brown, three-finger head that goes slowly and leaves a good lace. Light to medium carbonation. Very dark almost black ruby color. Nose is chocolate malt. Starts with a rich coffee and chocolate flavor. Finish is sweet with some hops. $1.95 for a 16oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

05-05-2004 22:48:32 | More by jdhilt
Photo of UnionMade
UnionMade

New York

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

The beer pours a deep black, shining a beautiful mahogany red when backlit. A short beige foam forms with a gentle pour, settling into a thick collar surrounding a patchy mist with an island of larger bubbles in the middle. Good head retention, keeping a thick collar and some swirly mist throughout. Not much in the way of lace, which is a little disappointing. The foam sort of slides down the glass back into the beer.
The aroma is extremely smooth and mild, very authentic. Soft roasted malt hints at coffee, with a rich pruney fruitiness flowing beneath. Well lagered, with that characteristic german smooth featheriness. A passive noble hop bite creates a slight sloral note in the background.
The flavor starts with a tingle of carbonation, giving way to a moderate burnt roastiness. A bit grainy, with a fuller flavor than the german versions. Light toffee sweetness. Moderate coffee continues throughout, with a splash of fig and prune fruitiness. A pleasant floral/herbal noble hop bitterness takes up the finish, although most of the bittering comes from the burnt malt. Some baker's chocolate comes through in the finish, lingering briefly on the tongue in the aftertaste. A lightish medium body, easy bouyed by an assertive, prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth, the carbonation adds a spiciness that intensifies the grain somewhat.
Really, really nice stuff. I wish more breweries took a stab at this style, because it's lovely. I like the 16oz size, it's a nice touch to get a full pint in every bottle. A welcome addition to the MA distribution line-up.

04-28-2004 00:20:19 | More by UnionMade
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 742 ratings.