Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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

460 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 460
Hads: 829
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 8.09%
Wants: 112
Gots: 63 | 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).
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 460 | Hads: 829
Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the first Schwarzbier I have ever had, and it's a damn fine brew at that.

The appearance is an inky black color with absolutely no light penetration, and only a thin but extremely creamy head. Leaves little to no lacing along the glass.


The smell is quite enticing. Smells like caramelized chocolatey malt character, slightly roasty. Smells like a good brown ale with a strong herbal hop in the background. Very earthy.

The taste is also remniscient of a good brown ale: caramel and chocolate malt, only a slight bit roasty. What sets this apart, though, is the hop character. The hops are slightly herbal and grassy with very little spiciness. It is quite well blended between the malt and hop flavors.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewey, just how I like it. Leaves a residual coffee bitterness in the finish, but doesn't end too dry. A slight piney hops character can be found as well.

Drinkability is good, and ABV isn't quite out of control, but nonetheless I couldn't picture myself sessioning these. It is too rich, and is better enjoyed at a snail's pace. Pick it up if you can. (1,109 characters)

Photo of soper2000
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe that this is my first time having this beer. I always seems to be my "second choice" at many bars if other offerings aren't available, but it always gets past over.

Anyways, it pours a beautiful dark ruby tinged brown with a long lasting 2 finger beige head. Aroma is intially very sweet, maybe overly sweet but nice little roasted notes round out the nose. Taste brings me back to Brazil where Schwarz's are fairly common. There is a nice interplay between the sweetness and slightly bitter roastiness that makes this a very versatile beer; great for sessioning or sipping. Top class beer from Sprecher and a great intro into Schwarz's as a style. (668 characters)

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle. Pours out a dark brown, tinted red. There is not much head. The aroma is dark malts with nuts. Dark roasted malt flavor at first. The hops come in with some spiciness. Medium mouthfeel, but big on flavor. This beer has a great balance between the malt and hops. I haven't had many schwarzbiers, but this is a very tasty one. Putting it in 16 ounce bottles is a nice touch, since 12 ounce bottles occasionally leave you thirsting for more. (455 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black, with a mediocre head. Smells malty, though there's a bit of cream and sugar scent to it as well. The malt appears to be more roasted in the flavor, the roastiness creating sort of a burnt bitter crunch at the end, backed up by a small amount of hops. I'm getting some molases flavor, as well as some milky creamy notes and a nice dusty character that I'm always happy to see in this style. Really a lot of dark flavors in there with out the thickness and heaviness of a stout or a porter, a great alternative. Full of flavor with a medium mouthfeel. Very drinkable. If I didn't know it was from Wisconsin you could probably fool me into thinking this was an authentic German brew. (714 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to goes to Ben for this tasty brew. Pours out pitch black with a good sized foamy tan head. Decent retention and lacing are left around the glass. Roasty chocolate malts are in full force with a great caramel sweetness backing it up. Some bitter dark chocolate and a small amount of dark fruits aromas are in there as well. Very rich aroma. Taste starts off with a dose of caramel before the huge roastiness comes through. Chocolate is noted as well and this ends with a nice bitter roasty finish. Mouthfeel is medium and very rich and creamy. Goes down quite smooth, I could drink a large number of these. I wish I had a large number to drink as this would make a great session brew. This is really an excellent example of the style really wowed me. (763 characters)

Photo of karst
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Its 5:20 GMT just after noon in Mid Missouri. My tastebuds are just past their peak. Poured a full US pint from of hightly rated swartzbier from Glendale Wisconsin's Sprecher Brewing Co. at 50°F it is at its peak of smell and taste. (Putting down 200 lbs of lime on the lawn on a sunny 45° day helps whet the thirst). Held directly to the noonday sun a flare of Ruby set in a dark night of Black Bavarian Kulmbacher-style lager raises a distinctive heavy roasted aroma of caramel and chocolate malts from under its 1 cm tan head.

Sweet front, rich creamy caramel and malt middle and a plesant acid end. Hop bitterness and bittersweet chocolate finish.

Finishes with a few seconds of lingering bitterness calling for a bite of Brat and cheese at the end of each drink of this fine brew, but alas have none. (813 characters)

Photo of LuckySevens82
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle courtesy of ppoitras...thanks Pete!
Pours a deep brown into an imperial pint. Capped off by a very dense tan head with nice lacing and retention.
Aroma is very malty, bready goodness, toasted malts, and raisins dominate.
Flavor is almost exactly what I would have expected from the nose. Lots of bready and toasted malts, some raisins, dark cherries, and just a little bit of spicy hops.
Overall, a very good beer. (430 characters)

Photo of bnuttz
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a ruby dark brown/black with a fizzy tan head. Smells of roasted nuts and slight coffee, very mild smell. Taste is exceptional. Slight coffee and chocolate notes, a definite acidic bitterness from the malts shines throught. Hopping is mild. Yeast makes a small twangy appearance towards the end. Mouthfeel is great, very smooth, and full, yet light, making this beer very drinkable. A top notch session dark beer. I love this stuff and am thankful to live in Milwaukee because this stuff is readily available on tap. It is even better on tap. (548 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (428 characters)

Photo of adams82
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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! (1,788 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (778 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (498 characters)

Photo of warriorsoul
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (717 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (530 characters)

Photo of Higravity
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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. (569 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (865 characters)

Photo of markman
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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… (518 characters)

Photo of bashiba
3.54/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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! (657 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (280 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.71/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (440 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (514 characters)

Photo of ken3c
3.91/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (298 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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! (711 characters)

Photo of Popsinc
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (603 characters)

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 460 ratings.