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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

780 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 780
Reviews: 455
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 109
Gots: 38 | 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: 780 | Reviews: 455 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

kmpitz2, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of ken3c
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

ken3c, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

francisweizen, Sep 14, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

sulldaddy, Sep 05, 2004
Photo of Popsinc
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Popsinc, Aug 08, 2004
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

CharlesRiver, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of John
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

John, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of UncleJimbo
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

UncleJimbo, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Sammy, Jul 04, 2004
Photo of PatandDavid
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

PatandDavid, Jul 03, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

mschofield, May 20, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jdhilt, May 05, 2004
Photo of UnionMade
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

UnionMade, Apr 28, 2004
Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is dark malt, not heavy and has a quality of oatmeal stout.
Excessive head that settles fairly quickly. Lacing. Almost black with garnet hues. Clear. Good looking.
Dark malt. Smooth bitter from malt more than hops. Mild dryness. Little more malty than chocolate, but leaves bitterness that lingers. Roast presents lightly as warms.
Incrediably smooth and easy to drink. Low carbonation.
Very easy drinker. Good lager in that sense. Flavors present more as warms, yet remains light to drink. Very nice lager. Went well with some dark chocolate I was eating.

garymuchow, Apr 18, 2004
Photo of edchicma
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is presented nicely with a jet black appearance that includes a decent head and ok lacing. Smell was a bit earthy with a definite malt presence. Malt flavor came through in a semi-sweet character...some smoke notes with a slightly tart finish. Mouthfeel was medium, with slightly oily qualities. Drinkability was just ok, not overly smooth with a slight catch in the throat.

edchicma, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of grynder33
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark pour nice but quickly disappearing head not to much aroma on first whiff, it got chocolately on the second whiff and mocha malty on the third, chocolately malty taste with a wonderful smooth aftertaste, theres a little bitterness, chocolate and malt hang around till end, on my top 20 list

grynder33, Mar 28, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16ozer bottle from prepackaged mixed 8-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2 inch tall latte-hued head which quickly faded to a small layer of foam. Very dark in color, yet still the slightest of translucency in this brew. Heavy malt nose, with coffee and burnt amlts predominant. Excellent malty flavor, with undertones of coffee, yet smooth like silk. Drinkability is superb, an excellent offering from Sprecher, my definite favorite of the 8-pack.

ppoitras, Mar 13, 2004
Photo of BierReise
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe the best dark lager I've had in years. Nearly black with a thick head and excellent retention. Aroma is of roasted malt with a smokiness in the background. Body is full and smooth and the flavor of this brew is fantastic. Smoky malt with notes of chocolate and dark roast coffee. Finishes with a slight bitterness which adds some balance.

BierReise, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of Hhawk06
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle

It poured charcoal black with a quality tan beady head. I got a nice smoke and chocolate smell. The mouthfeel is big, full, and very smooth. Excellent. There is a definitely a chocolate overtone to the taste. Great balance within though. Certainly some carmelized malts involved as well. It finishes quenching and toasty. At the very moment you think its fading to oblivion, you are treated to the slightest roasty bitterness. Amazing how it lingers. Really a treasure, I'm very impressed with Sprecher's offerings.

Hhawk06, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Among the pale pilseners at the downtown Chicago Kristkindl market is a keg of pale pilsener's evil twin. Pours with a hearty brown head over a body that looks solid black in a plastic cup, then shows brown highlights as I drink it. Kind of a black bread smell that’s not as prominent as a stout. Definite dark roast malts against a German hop profile. Leaves a taste at the back of the palate where bitterness and astingency are detected. Roast coffee taste, perhaps a note of pear, subdued by its "clean" lager finish. Brings up a bit of a burnt toast taste toward the end that may not be to everyone's liking, but I like its complexity.

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of marcobrau
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rocky tan head. Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Coffee aroma. The taste is of dark chocolate and coffee flavors tinged with notes of cocoa. Hops surface in the middle. Finish is a mix of bitter hops and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is full, at least enough to slow you down, and not quaff this brew.

Overall impression is that this beer drinks pretty much like a stout. It has a bit of the creaminess of a Schwarzbier, but none of the sweetness, with the strength of a bock and because of this I've rated this beer a little lower. I've had some difficulty finding fresh Sprecher beers for awhile, but I'm happy to report this is no longer the case.

marcobrau, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a light brown head. The aroma is of sweet caramel malts and a touch of roastiness. The flavor is of sweet malts and a bit of roasted malts as well. It has a very light hop flavor, and bitterness in minimal. It is a light-medium bodied brew, that is very smooth and easy drinking. An enjoyable brew that I would drink again.

Sampled 9/21/03

BeerBuilder, Nov 20, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown, inching toward black color, coppery-red at foot of glass, head is a triumph, all puffy, creamy, cocoa-tan in color.
Aroma: deep and darkly fruity, warm and toasty,yet creamy, soft, yet earthy, definite nut character, plus cocoa, and and a candyish feel, making it feel like a slightly carbonated, sweet mocha latte.
Taste: warm mouthfeel, ample texture, giving, full of character, dark, yes, but a most companionable brew, slinks and sashays through the mouth, flirting with all the senses. Chocolate dabbles in, nuts flitter around like a social butterfly at play in the senses, and oh, so smooth. Resilient finish, stays solidly and happily on the palate. Wonderfully thick & tasty texture.
What I love about this beer is that you very easily forget that you're actually drinking a lager, for it is so full-bodied and flavorful, you'd think you had a brown ale or a porter in your hands. There's only the slightest bitterness, but the flavor looms so huge...sassafras? sasparilla? anise? molasses?...that it ranks high on drinkability.
This has got to be the best schwarzbier I've ever had, and I'd be only too happy to try any challengers. If they can taste better than this, bring 'em on!!

feloniousmonk, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark ruby/black with a thin tan head. Leaves some neat foam swirlies in the beer. Smells of straight dark-burnt hops.

The taste starts very stout like with a big rush of dark malt but quickly turns bitter and burnt, but without a lot of hop bitterness. Scant taste of licorice at the end. A very interesting brew. My first schwarzbier

yankeeheel, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is better than I remember Kostrizter(sp.) being, certainly seems to have more body and bitterness. Overall, acts like a thin porter. Real good, but not very substantial. Definitely a quality brew, but this style has yet to totally impress me, as it is so thin. Chocolate and coffee notes (although subtle), very good balance overall. Real cool bottle, though. Thanks for the sample, Monk.

JohnnyDuvel, Oct 29, 2003
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.