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Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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

461 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 461
Hads: 834
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 5.88%
Wants: 113
Gots: 65 | 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).
View: Beers (47) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 461 | Hads: 834
Photo of Jredner
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New in town. Aroma is sweet malts with a metallic twinge and extremely faint smokey and chocolate hints. Body is dark brown approaching full black and sports a rapidly diminishing tan head. Coffee, chocolate, dark roasted malts. Has an almost porter like flavor at first, but with a lighter mouthfeel. Slight hints of molasses through the middle with a bitter lingering finish. At times it has porter and dunkel flavors, but never truly gets all that schwarzbier-y. Still decently tasty. (487 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The thinnest of fizzy light brown colored heads displays no retention to speak, you'll miss it if you blink... All that remains is a minimal splotchy lacing with a slightly ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass... Completely opaque muted black color... Very still...

S - Mild... Equal parts roasted malt and coffee... Touches of caramel and chocolate... Slightly grainy...

T - Burnt roasted malt to start... Hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel... A mix of subtle hoppiness and ferocious roasted malts dominate the aftertaste and linger for quite a while...

M - A slightly burnt chalky texture... Medium bodied... Heavy... Biting carbonation... Even and consistent...

D - Being a fan of Schwarzbiers, I was rather disappointed with this offering given many of the reviews I've read... Average for the style at best... Nothing memorable... Really lacking in terms of complexities in all facets that I expect from top notch Schwarzbiers... (958 characters)

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up recently at Whole Foods on Houston St. since it was reasonably priced and I hadn't tried this before. I haven't had very many Schwarzbiers before so it was a chance to branch out a bit as well. When I saw the review on here, I was quite surprised at how highly rated this was. While this wasn't a bad beer, it was not as thick or as flavorful as I had hoped it would be!

Of course, this poured a very dark brown but there wasn't much of any head or lacing to be seen, even after I had to wait since the larger bottle couldn't be poured into my pint glass all at once. The taste was that of licorice, some darker plum-like fruits, and a faint hint of chocolate. This reminded me a bit of Newcastle but not as "brown". It was pretty malty and went down easily, but I expected this to have just a bit more staying power.

This isn't a very strong beer and I hardly felt the alcohol when I was drinking it. Sure, it has a nice mellow roasted feel to it, but I guess that a German-style beer would be a bit more bold. I probably need to try out more from this style, since the range is probably a lot greater than the few that I've had would indicate. This would certainly fit the bill for a session-like winter beer for the novice drinker... (1,254 characters)

Photo of JasonA
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light dark black. Yes, a strange appearance, though I would guess on style. Little to no carbonation.

Slight malt. Almost smells burt. Light overall

Burnt malt, and yet very refreshing, light. Not much in the palatte, very subtle. For a 5%+ ABV, this beers tastes good.

Refreshing. Doesnt feel like the color. Macro feel, craft subtle.

Very nice. I could drink a few of these pounders. If the price was right, a case seems nice for a warm afternoon with friends. (474 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 ommegangpbr
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken at the Hop Devil Grill:
Looks... Black! leaves some nice lacing after the off-white head fades.
Scents are sweet and smoky but lacking some punch. This will clearly be a malty time.
Flavors are all sweetened coffee notes. Pretty similar to many porters I've had but underachieving some.
Not too bad all around but something like this I'd expect to be a bit more smooth. (386 characters)

Photo of drseamus
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When they say black bavarian style lager, they mean black. Although the "blackest material" was created at RPI where I go to school, this rivals it.

S: Roasted malt and a subtle caramel sweetness.

T: A good sweetness lasts throughout the entire taste but the initial taste is pretty roasty. There is a touch of roast in the aftertaste as well.

M: Medium bodied but finishes pretty thin.

D: A good black lager but not a style I'm generally a fan of. (455 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 Pintofbrown
3.55/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It is definitely black. The malts used give it a great opaque body with ruby highlights. I am turned off that this thing has NO head whatsoever. Just a light halo of film that has built around the sides of the glass, that is leaving no foam traces. Where is my two finger cap Sprecher? Is the beer bad? I hope not.

Smell: There isn’t really a whole lot on the nose either. I think Guinness original stout had more of a profile than this. I caught just the slightest bit of chocolate and caramel malts in there. But really not even that. Okay, a little roasted and bready malt there too. Not impressive however.

Taste: That’s pretty interesting, a good pretty interesting! You start with a surprising hoppy bitterness. Surprising because you couldn’t get that from the nose in a million tries (yeah yeah olfactory fatigue I get it, but you understand what I mean right?). Then it launches fast and furious into roasted caramel malts and sour coffee notes. It’s a nice transition.

Finally, it finishes with an almost pale ale wheat flavor. The light hops make a comeback in the swallow as well. It’s almost like drinking a nice stout and it tries to morph into a pale ale as it passes through. If nothing else, the flavor profile is doing what Sprecher said it is supposed to, and it’s really good.

Mouth feel: The hops and the bitterness are contributing to a semi-dry and light mouth feel. This is very strange to me, since I am thinking I am drinking a heftier stout that is supposed to have a bigger mouth feel.

It’s not necessarily off putting, because it fits with the lighter hops thrown in. However, it borders precariously close to being too light and watery. It doesn’t quite sink to that though.

Overall: I am really torn by the experience of this beer. It’s all there when you take a drink of the Black Bavarian (sounds like a silver age comic’s villain doesn’t it?). However, the nose and mouth feel don’t do it any justice at all.

Give me that impenetrable foam head you see on porters and stouts. Let me smell the malts when I pop the cap. Heck, there was probably even room to let those pale ale malts shine through the dark depths of the caramel and coffee malts all the brighter. As it is though it is a good beer, that I feel Sprecher could make a great one.

They leave me feeling like they can get the flavor profile they want and deliver, now just follow through on the whole experience and this could be a “HOLY SMOKES THAT’S SOME GOOD BEER!” easily. (2,528 characters)

Photo of ryanocerus
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Being a Schwarzbier lover, I thought I would have liked this better. It poured with a thick tan head and deep black in color. The malty aroma was a little too prominent for me however. The roasty flavor is much heavier than other schwarzbiers I have had also, but as the long lasting flavor lingers on the tongue, I enjoy it more. Not a bad beer, just not my favorite schwarz. (380 characters)

Photo of RoamingGnome
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
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. (743 characters)

Photo of tonistruth
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- black w/ stop light red hues, 1/4 tan head disappeared quickly

S- roasted, sweet cream, choclate

T- nicely balanced, stale burnt bitterness toward finish, sweet chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, dry coco at finish, coffee in after

M- smooth, creamy, carbonation tickle, dry finish, light body

D- complex and tasty (though that stale flavor felt off, and carbonation felt awkwardly flat at times), enjoyable and drinkable, worth a shot, i'd have another (468 characters)

Photo of Thads324
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

given to me by my father, of all people!

A : pours a super dark oil color with a finger and half of solid and thick tan head, little tiny bubbles. german looking label, although it is american.

S : not much to speak of. a little hint of roasted malt. smells dry and has a hint of old chocolate bar.

T : begins with a musty and earthy hop, not bitter, but slightly flavorful. The middle is dominated by a vibrant roasted almost coffee taste. undertones of sweet chocolate bits. Followed up by another hint of flavor hops and a crisp finish. the finish has a hint of caramel in it.

M : clean, crisp and easy to drink. Finishes very nice and easy.

A nicely done beer. Lacking in aroma, but that may be the tulip I used (only clean glass I had today). a good surprise from a brewery I have never heard of and I would pick it up again. (835 characters)

Photo of sleazo
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours as black as a dark night with a cream coloured creamy top. Lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S-Slight charred malt, not very strong

T-Sweetness is the first thing that hits you followed by the slightly charred malt. Slight hints of hops can be detected but most of the bitterness here is from the malt.

M-Light bodied with moderate carbonation

D-This is a good Swartzbier but not on par with some of the European classics. Is a bit sweet for my taste but this is a good one to have on hand. (505 characters)

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16-ounce brown glass bottle with twist-off cap poured into a pilsner glass.

Opaque at first glance, it pours a deep, dark brown, showing ruby tones when held to the light. The small half-finger of light tan foam shows excellent retention but fails to leave any remnant of itself on the walls of the glass.

Aroma is patently malty, with some light roast along with caramel and chocolate, even a hint of smokiness.

A little fuller in body than anticipated for the style, with a light carbonation. Big, rich malt flavors envelop the palate, sweet with caramel and dark chocolate, roasty and smoky as well, with a moderate hop bitterness showing up in the middle to balance a bit but allowing the malt presence to take center stage. The sweet malt character brings itself to a head, surprisingly, toward the back, bringing in a finish that is sweet with cocoa and burnt caramel, though with a light dryness to even things out.

Delicious, but much more reminiscent of a porter than a Schwarzbier, as this brew possesses nowhere near the finesse of the finest examples of the style. Pleasing in itself no doubt, but whereas one expects Pils-like drinkability from a Schwarz, this might actually fit in better with an American-style Porter or even a Baltic Porter for that matter. (1,278 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good head on a hard pour, medium bubbles and a stiff one inch layer. Color is a ruby-black, lets light through. A little yeasty in smell, mostly sweet. Malty flavor but not overly sweet, close to rich and nutty but attenuated. A little on the light bodied side, but fresh tasting. Drinkable but not as tasty as a Saranac Black Forest... (341 characters)

Photo of NODAK
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma isn't too strong; has definite notes of chocolate along with some roasted character. Light, kind of silky. Not bad.

Love the pint glass bottles! Haven't seen these before from anybody else. The color of the beer is in the name.

Taste is full of dark chocolate and roasted malts but it isn't overally powerful nor rich. A bit thin. Not really sweet in the least. Small but noble bitterness is noticeable on the finish. An espresso taste lingers after the swallow.

A solid, pretty much by the book black lager here. Those who are looking for a sweeter, richer schwarzbier are going to have to look elsewhere. (615 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle breakout of dark brown meets black hues topped with a frothy settling spotty thin wafer cap.

Nose is a burnt malty, slightly licorice, and dark cake.

First swigs: Burnt black cold coffee flavor and astringency. Tobacco leaf notes ingrained with a hop balance that makes for a darn good black bavarian that was fairly cheap too. Dry and caramelized sugar finish. Lingering aftertaste.

Decent feel of middle ofthe road body and dense carbonation.

Last swigs: Loads of dark chocolate an caramel. Nice. Thanks to wbfarr for the heads up! Great suggestion.

Beer is good. (588 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours black with a small light tan head. Aroma of rich bready malt and roasted lager malts with a slight hint of chocolate. Flavor is quite similar, with a smooth palate. Some vegetal notes with a sweet finish. Not as roasty as some schwarzbiers are and its malt character reminds me more of a doppelbock. A nice beer.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5) (346 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16oz bottle.

A- Pours a black color but shows some red hues when held to the light. One finger brownish tan head comes up and dies slowly. No real lacing left behind on the glass as I'm drinking.

S- Good roasted malts in the front end of this beer. Light hints of chocolate and something a little more sweet like molasses in the middle of the nose. There is some light grassy hops I can pick out very faintly in the background of this beer. Reminds me of the start of a wonderful RIS.

T- Nice lighter roasted malts in the front end of this beer. There is a nice lager taste in the middle of the beer with a added sweetness. I don't know how else to describe it. Light hops in the backend of this beer.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little lacking and makes this beer more heavy than it should be. Malts dominate everything from the palate to the aftertaste.

D- This beer is good....not great but good. I wouldn't mind have a couple pints of this and then move onto something a little more....less heavy feeling. (1,047 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 GRG1313
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a big thick and off white head - nice looking and inviting.

Nose is layered with light carmel/toffee and sweet black chocolate. Light but inviting and pleasant.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery with very light carbonation. However, layers of subtle flavors overcome the other weaknesses of this beer.

Flavors are light roasted grains, light brewed coffee and a pleasant burnt toast malt/hop character.

Finish is a pleasant light coffee bitter. Nice flavor profile save this one and it's a nice "lighter" dark beer that's pretty drinkable. Finish is a pleasant long bitter coffee that leaves you wanting more. (635 characters)

Photo of shadow1961
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian Style Lager pours a lovely stiff
brown head over a black brew. The nose is molasses with
a hint of mocha. Carbonation is really hard to guage- this
stuff is black as a stout. The flavor is coffee, molasses, and
a bit of bitter chocolate in the finish. The mouthfeel is light
and crisp- a dark beer that is perfectly refreshing in June.
It's like a bad ass iced coffee, with alcohol! Goddamn-
Sprecher has some master brewers working for them- I've
yet to taste a loser. Tasty. (510 characters)

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours black, period. It has a 1/4 inch head and thin lace. The aroma is of anise, molasses, and burnt toast. The flavor opens with dark roasted malt, baker's chocolate, and coffee notes with a hint of wood and smoke. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Sprecher Black Bavarian is a good brew, recommended! (315 characters)

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer poured a brownish black color.

S: The aroma is initially big of malt. There are toffee and burnt caramel smells that are also quite apparent.

T: Roasted and toasted flavors are the first to reach the palate. A coffee type bitterness is persistent and works very well.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit thin. I would like for a little more body, but it seems to be suited to the style description.

D: This is a very drinkable brew. The thin body makes it just slide down. (479 characters)

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.