Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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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 CharlesRiver
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of John
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
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. (680 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (523 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.86/5  rDev -5.4%
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. (255 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3.15/5  rDev -22.8%
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. (296 characters)

Photo of mschofield
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
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 (378 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
4.06/5  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. (310 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
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. (1,587 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (566 characters)

Photo of edchicma
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of grynder33
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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 (294 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (344 characters)

Photo of Hhawk06
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (640 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (658 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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 (359 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
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!! (1,221 characters)

Photo of yankeeheel
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
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 (351 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (393 characters)

Photo of moulefrite
4.23/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night with a creamy tan head that fades out quickly while leaving ample, well placed and delicate lacing. Sweet chocolate malts rise up from the glass. In the mouth a sheer delight. Lovely, intense bitter chocolate and a touch of malted milk, followed by creamy mocha. Medium to full bodied yet balanced just right-never over assertive in a sweet cloying way as some Sprecher brews have come off to me. This may be the first Sprecher product that I've wanted to re-visit other than the sodas which are first rate. (522 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. bottle served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black color with crimson highlights. Nice frothy brown head that stuck around in some form or another as the glass was emptied. Wee bits of lacing were left for short periods of time.

Smell: Bittersweet dark chocolate malt and molasses aromas are quite strong, some coffee notes. Cain't wait to take a sip.

Taste: The aroma delivers on its promise. Bittersweet - with emphasis on bitter - chocolate malt flavors dominate the palate. Faint bittering hops on the finish: just enough to support the malts without getting too strong.

Mouthfeel: Not as heavy as I was expecting, not that I'm complaining... Pretty much medium bodied. Somewhere between an IPA and a porter in heaviness, basically.

Drinkability: Rather potable. This would definitely be one to have lying around were it available in my neighborhood. One of the better bottles from a recent trade. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the opportunity to sample a world class beer. (1,009 characters)

Photo of marburg
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear black brew that sparkles with hints of brown and red in the light. Pretty thick black foam tops it off. Aromas of burnt grains. Fairly malty and sweet up front. Hops are lightly herbal with a little bit of a kick. Some very faint chocolate or sugar hints throughout. I think a good schwarzbier packs a lot of flavor and a deep color in a medium-bodied package, and this does that well. Not a standout brew in general, but very drinkable and pretty damn good. (464 characters)

Photo of bditty187
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with ruddy highlights, tiny tan head that collapses to a collar quickly, no lace was produced. Modestly roasted malts, coffee in the nose… reserved potency. Yeah, that’s roasty! Superb palate, raw, roasty malts, bitter, chalky, coffee, simple but constructed well. Dry finish. Tasty, yes, but uninspiring. Medium body. Clean finish. Quick. Sticky aftertaste, a little sweet… this would limit how many I’d drink in a setting. I can’t say this one knocked my socks off; it is a good Schwarzbier but it just didn’t jive with me.

Thanks tavernjef! (559 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color. Medium head. Aroma is roasted coffee. Medium bodied. Deeply roasted malts. Chocolate is the predominate flavor, but there is a touch of coffee and nuts. Somewhat earthy tones as well. Slightly sweet. Somewhat porter like. Nice beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly sweet. (326 characters)

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