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Black Bavarian | Sprecher Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
473 Reviews
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.86%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bronze Medal Winner in the European Darks category at the 1988 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Added by xlperro on 04-23-1998

BEER STATS
Reviews:
473
Ratings:
895
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
14.5%
 
 
Wants:
129
Gots:
90
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 473 | Ratings: 895
Photo of WunderLlama
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Black, deep chocolate brown in color. No light passes through. Pours a 1/2 finger dense taupe foam cap.

Aroma of sweet malts.toffee,caramel, chocolate, coffee.

Sips sweetness on the front of the tongue. Toffee, raisins,coffee, chocolate.

Smooth , low carbonation . Whisper of bitterness at the end that quickly fades.

Highest rated beer in found in the cooler of an out of town beer dispensary. Good choice, repeatable. Good beer

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 7/10/14. Comes in a nice 16 ounce bottle. Contains right at 6% ABV as written on the side of the label. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 16 ounce 'Texas Boot' glass.

Pours very dark reddish-brown, almost black really, with about a 1-finger beige head that lasts a long time with some spotty lacing seen around the glass. Aroma of roasted and chocolate malt for the most part. The taste has more going on with toffee, caramel, molasses with light coffee. Lots of flavors going on but not overwhelming like some others. Smooth taste with just a very slight bitterness at the end that didn't linger. Overall very pleasing. I like this one.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown body with good head and minor lace retention. Aroma is roasted malts and grainy lager like with touches of caramel and dark chocolate. The beer is smooth and easy to drink with balance of roasted malts and chocolate/caramel sweetness and finishes dry. This would've received a higher score but for some reason at times I get this weird oily aftertaste which I assume must be something only I have encountered b/c it doesn't make sense.

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Photo of IPAdams
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with some red highlights. Small creamy tan head that recedes quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell- I get a sugary sweet caramel smell mixed with Pepsi. A bit of roasted malt in the background. What I get is a very nice smell but very subdued.

Taste- Very clean and balanced. Slight bitterness from roasted malts, flavors of Cola, light coffee and toasted bread.

Mouthfeel- Moderate body with good visible carbonation. Not overly drying or cloying.

Overall- Very nice beer, easy drinking. Flavors are balanced and go well with a cold winter night or hot summers day.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a stein. The pour looks phenomenal. It is extremely dark, not quite black, and sports some ruby and mahogany highlights. The head is big, tan, and creamy, and fairly persistent. On the nose I get some toasted malt and fresh bread.

The beer has a medium body and a slightly thin feel, but a really nice flavor of clean malt offset by medium roast. I get lots of toasted notes, sweet malt, and toffee up front and at mid-palte just the right amount of espresso-like roast, which keeps the sweetness from getting too sharp. I don't pick up much in the way of hops, but there is a faint peppery note that joins with the roast on the back of the palate so I'm assuming that's them. Some of the roastiness lingers on the finish, drying out the palate.

Not the first Schwarzbier I've had, but it seems to be the first one I've reviewed. I enjoyed this one while cooking up a huge pot of pasta sauce and planning a lecture on the nine point circle for a Geometry course I'm teaching next academic year. My mom is from Germany and she told me once that Schwarzbier is what German women drink when they're pregnant. Perhaps that explains a lot about my own personal love of beer. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.86/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher stemmed pokal.
6% ABV,

A - Schwarzbier means "black beer" in German and Black Bavarian's dark chocolate color demonstrates that perfectly. While pouring, light through the brown highlights shows it's clarity while a lasting ivory cap of foam rests on the beer and leaves lace down the glass.

S - Crisp dark malt releases dried cocoa sprinkled on warmed chocolate-and-caramel bar with a fantastic lager cleanliness. The juxtaposition of robust malt complexity with the sheer perception of easy drinkability is beautiful.

T - Caramel sweetness underscores the chocolate malt's dark chocolate flavor and lightly roasted coffee bean with a Twix-like taste and faint earthy hop finish for balance; the taste is exceptionally smooth.

M - Just enough carbonation dances on the tongue, keeping this medium-bodied lager feeling a bit lighter than it appears. The chocolate malts provide minimal acrid bitterness letting the otherwise transparent hops do the bulk of the work.

O - There's a good reason Sprecher's Black Bavarian continues to command medal after medal in world-renown competitions; it's that good. This is a dark beer that's a great training-wheel beer for people who "don't like dark beer". It's also a great dark beer for people thirsting after a dark beer without the hefty body or higher alcohol. Black Bavarian has the perfect malt combination to balance sweetness with chocolaty, lightly roasted notes for exceptional smoothness and drinkability. May the Schwarz be with you.

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Photo of gestyr
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz bottle poured into a pub glass.

A: Pours a deep brown/black with ruby/garnet tone when held to the light. The tan head is long lasting and made of compact bubbles.

S: Malty with caramel and a slightly smokey overtone. Also has a slightly fruity aspect.

T: Nice rich malt flavor with caramel and coffee flavors and a slightly fruity aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied and satisfying

O: A very good beer. The flavor and mouthfeel make it a nice sipping beer.

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Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown with a frothy, lingering tan head that leaves sticky lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Roast malt, char, a touch of acrid/metallic character, chocolate, and toasted nuts form the aroma.

Flavor reveals a toasted, nutty malt backbone that becomes roasty and a little acrid mid palate, finishing with bitter coffee grounds. Chocolate surfaces in the aftertaste.

Body is on the thick side, with moderate carbonation. There's a fairly chalky mouthfeel that lingers.

Wish the acrid/metallic character weren't evident. Good combination of roast and toasted malt. The acrid/metallic character goes away eventually, so my score is reflective of that.

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Photo of Jon_Abbott
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Thin, light tan head dissipated quickly and didn't leave much lacing.

S: Toasted malts, smoke, and an earthy bitterness.

T: Beer is sweet with toasted, caramel undertones. Hints of smokiness and earthy hops. Aftertaste lingers and is almost burnt tasting, but not unpleasantly so. Acidity becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

M: Somewhere between light and heavy. Medium? Definitely not thin, but not quite as thick as I would have liked and expected. Medium carbonation.

O: Delicious. I have a soft spot for black lagers and this didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed its deep bitterness and it's carbonation is more than I am used to since I drink a lot of porters and stouts, so it was very nice for a change.

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Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a creamy tan head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of chocolate, light roast, earthy tones - Dark malt aroma blends well with hops.

The taste is of chocolate, caramel/toffee, light roasted coffee. Tasty hops add a bitter balance in the finish, while allowing it to be appropriately malt-forward.

It is a creamy, exceptionally smooth full-bodied lager.

This is an excellent example of the style. Dark, smooth, well-balanced. Very enjoyable black lager!

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Photo of DerekQXQX
3.49/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is the highest rated of all of Sprecher's. It is possible that German Beer is just not my thing but I was underwhelmed. It was sweet, but not in the way of hop lacking. It might just not be what I am used to. I have never been to Bavaria, but from the taste of this beer, I'm not going there anytime soon either.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Dark, shoe polish brown with a tan half-finger head that settles quickly to a bubble ring. Light lacing.

S: Charred coffee, dark chocolate. Malts.

T: Follows nose with sweetness and caramel. A smooth finish.

M: Medium with medium to heavy carbonation.

O: One of the better Schwarzbiers I've tried. A great sipper. Even better as it warms.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sprecher Black Bavarian

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into an English style dimpled pint glass. Served chilled...

A) Dark brown, nearly black, with a finger of light tan head. This quickly settled to a collar. No lacing...

S) Dark roasted malt, a bit charred, a little cocoa powder, and light coffee. Actually quite milky, and just a whiff of licorice there too.

T) Pretty close to the nose. I noted a little more sweetness in the flavor, kind of an underlying caramel. The finish was bitter earthy hops.

M) Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. This is a smooth brew, right up to a pretty dry finish. The aftertaste is an earthy roasty combo.

O) Still plowing through the Christmas leftovers. This is one of Sprecher's better offerings.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown approaching black. The flavors of the roasted malt, the sweetness, the coffee tones, the tang from the acid... I feel as though all of these are more pronounced in a schwarzbier than in a porter or stout. The lager yeast just doesn't impart as many flavors as an ale yeast. Not a negative or a positive just an observation. I don't know how traditional this beer is as it's very well hopped. There is a firm bitterness throughout. Personally I feel like this is a good thing because many of the German beer which include a lot of dark roasted malts are overly sweet. All in all highly recommended.

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Photo of wac9
3.81/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a wonderful beer i frist smelled malty and i was was worried but the taste is wonder full tastey wow just a great beer i want to drink all night just a renowned smoothness and a creamy tan head that i lovve enjoy people its a winner for a winter night it warms the soul on a summer night it continues life love this drink smile enjoy

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Photo of dbell23
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sean at Libation Station for the recommendation. Poured into a tulip. Black with a huge beige head that never completely goes away. Looks like a stout with a big head. Great lacing. Nice looking beer.

I've never smelled a beer like this one. Malty, maybe a chocolate undertone,charcoal maybe. Again, very different.

Taste is really good. Starts malty, slightly stout with a slight bitter sweet middle but not hoppy. Super clean finish with a slight smokey stout like undertone. It's like a stout/porter/lager combination. The roasted malt seems to be the dominate flavor but it almost tastes hoppy from the roasted bitterness. I don't know,what it is but it tastes good.

The mouthfeel is the star. I don't recall a beer more smooth than this one. Really good session beer.

Overall, this is a must try if you like to try different beers and I do. This would be a great beer with German food. It's a great beer to just enjoy too. The low abv makes it sessionable.

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Photo of ckollias
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this 16oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black hue with a thick rN head that slowly dissipates leaving a decentt trail and wispy lace.

S: Roasted malt aroma with hints of dark fruits.

T: Sweet at first but then balanced nicely by the black malt. Finishes with a smokey roast finish.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This a good brew – easy drinker – and lots of flavor and aromas.

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a nice tan head that laces a bit and sticks around. Black color. Aroma is malty and slightly roasted but very muted which is on style. Flavor is more of same with sweet malt balanced by the black malt and soft hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is on heavy side, but slick and smooth. I love the way this brew feels. Overall, a very good Schwarz.

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Photo of Fcolle2
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a one finger light tan head that has good retention.

Smell has notes of medium creamy roasted malt with warm toffee notes, a bery light hop presence and clean smelling yeast.

Taste has a nice light roasted coffee like flavor with creamy roasted malt, slight hop prescence and a really clean tasting yeast. There are also some light toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is awesome, feels creamy, light, clean crisp and very refreshing. This is one of the smoothest beers I've had in a while.

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Photo of Schmidts
4.74/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep dark brown/black with a 3/4 inch tan creamy head lacing from top to bottom. Smells of dark Malts, Molasses and Licorice/Anise.
The Taste says the minute you taste it better have another later. It is so creamy smooth malty lots of tastes of deep dark Malts chocolates and endless flavor. Not supper strong just right I can't say enough about the taste of this beer
In your Mouth this is one of the most Creamy wonderful beers I have ever drank!
Overall I have To Give this Beer a 4.75 it is World class in its flavor.

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Photo of joe1510
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint Bottle
$6.49 4-Pack
Herman's Package Liquor

This beer poured the darkest shade of brown you can get before it turning to black. Deep dark mahogany edges where the light actually manages to fight it's way through. A one finger creamy mocha cap sits up top after the pour and fades down to a solid creamy cap. This beer looks relly nice on the pour.

The smell invites you in for that first sip. Lots of dark creamy malts. That's right, this beer actually smells creamy. Along with the dark malt there is a hint of molasses and even hazelnut. On top of all that there's a drop or two of cream/milk. Makes my mouth water on this cold evening.

Mmm.. all the aromas are right there in the taste. Starts of doughy and bready for the backbone. The hazelnut and cream both make an appearence and blend nicely. On the swallow I pick up the smallest touch of licorice/anise. Nice touch of accidity. Packed with flavor. For this style Black Bavarian is about as good as I've sampled.

Medium body that gets thinner as it works its way through my mouth. Creamy and smooth. Finishes dry. Nicely done.

On a cold night this could be sipped the whole night through. The lower abv allows you to drink all night. Very easy going down.

This is an excellent made beer from Sprecher. I've seen this around but always passed it by for some reason. I'm sorry that I didn't try it sooner. Great example of the style. Loaded with flavor.

Reviewed: 2/4/07

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian has a very thick, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (ruby, under light) appearance, and lots of thick, cream-like lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted, almost burnt, barley malt, sweetness, and brown bread crust, and the flavor is of creamy, dark-roasted malt, charcoal, dark coffee, chocolate powder, black cherries, slight licorice, underlying, soft bitterness, and brown bread crust. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Sprecher Black Bavarian finishes fairly crisp, rich, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is most excellent, and I highly recommend it!

RJT

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Photo of kaufmaal
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with a few ruby, blood-range highlights. A sizable, inch of head, dark tan, that stays with it. Roasted coffee notes, bittersweet chocolate, some smoky aromas, malt. For a black lager, this one has some umph to it. It is sweeter than most black lagers, and while the sweetness is up-front, it's not dominating. Tastes of chocolate liqueur, candied plums, good coffee, malt, peat, a bit of smoke. It's heavy at times, a bit viscous, but not syrupy. A highly satisfying and well-crafted beer. I'd happily drink it again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. It only shows hints of opacity when put against a moderately strong light. The head is a three finger mocha shade that doesn't retain particularly well, as expected. Having said that, I love the soft creaminess of the texture, with just a hint of rockiness to suggest it's well hopped. Lacing left on the glass is quite plentiful, also.

S: I get some dark fruit esters, roasted malts, cream, chocolate, caramel, noble hops, and brown sugar on the aroma. Not terribly groundbreaking on its own, but quite impressive given the style. I could certainly compare it to a good porter/stout aromatically.

T: An initial wave of dry chocolate soon gives way to a combination of roasted malts and grassy hops on the back end. While it's simplistic and straightforward, it's also enjoyably balanced and easy to drink.

M: It's crisp and dry like a good lager should be. On the other end of the spectrum, it actually does a good job of feeling somewhat substantial. At times, the general feel is more reminiscent of a porter than a dinky-ass schwarzbier.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect from this one - it's a schwarzbier, yet one of the top examples of the style according to BA. Luckily, I'm finding this one pretty damn good. Probably the best schwarz I've had yet, in fact.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 20 oz. glass mug at the Sprecher Restaurant in Lake Geneva, WI.

A: This beer pours very dark with a one finger tan head. The head dissipated quickly, but I attribute this mostly to the serving temperature of the beer; it was a bit on the cold side.

S: Smell is of heavy roasty malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and cream. The smell is quite reminiscent of a stout.

T: Taste follows the smell quite well, but the roasted malt flavor is extremely strong; however I wouldn't consider it burnt, so it's still pleasant. There is chocolate and a touch of coffee, too. Ends slightly bitter, metallic, and roasty.

M: Mouthfeel is very good...it's smooth, creamy, but is light and well carbonated. This brew goes down extremely easily.

O: The best way to describe this beer is a stout with very easy drinkability. It tastes like a stout, but it has the mouthfeel of a pilsner. There were some off-tastes in the beer, but for the most part it's pretty top notch for the style.

Honestly, before trying this beer, I only thought of Sprecher as a good soda company...I have always overlooked their beers. I've definitely learned my lesson and will try more of their beers in the future.

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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.