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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

725 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 98
Gots: 26 | 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)
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 448 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shirfan
shirfan

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Not quite black but incredibly dark brown. Good layer of light tan foam.

Taste: Spot-on schwarzbier. Mild caramel with some rich cocoa and faint coffee notes thrown in. Understated, leafy hops in the finish are there if you take notice, but smooth, dark, drinkable malt is the name of the game here. Perfect balance between sweet and dry, as well as between heavy and light.

Drinkability: HUGE. Incredible. As quaffable as a cold iced tea on a hot day. This beer does not beg another sip, it seductively demands one. Velvet smooth.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 00:41:07 | More by shirfan
Photo of BrownAleMale
BrownAleMale

Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a Sprecher Mug.

Appearance- Very dark brown with a finger of kakhi head that dissipates into about a third finger all the way to the bottom leaving light lacing.

Smell- Molasses and chocolate. Not strong smells here but it is on tap so it's expected.

Taste- Lots of molasses and coco with some twinges of dark fruit and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel- A little light here but make for a very drinkable Schwarzbier. The carbonation and hop finish work well here.

Overall- Great drinkable German dark beer and the best beer from Sprecher.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2012 17:59:38 | More by BrownAleMale
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2013 01:06:07 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of Golden2wenty1
Golden2wenty1

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 16 oz. bottle at Wilson's Bar and Grill on Atwood Ave here in Madison. My first review of a german beer and first schwarzbier as well.

I've never seen such a dark lager before, pours porter black with a decent creamy tan head that fades to a spotty coating. Nose is subtle, slightly hoppy lager smell, with faint chocolate/coffee malts at the tail end. Taste follows suit, bitter chocolately malts balanced out by mild hops with some dark fruity notes. Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side, but its decent carbonation makes it refreshing on a summer day like today which is bordering 100 degrees. Gotta love Wisconsin summers. A pleasant surprise from Sprecher here. Their Special Amber was pretty good as well, but as a dark beer man, I enjoyed this one considerably more. Give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2005 20:45:15 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz pint twist off bottle (boohoo) poured into pint glass.

A: Pitch black, even when held up to the light I cannot see through this beer. They weren't kidding when they daid Black Bavarian Style. The 1.5 inch brown bubbly head fades into a ring with minimal lacing down the glass.

S: Woo this is a tasty smelling beercarmalized sugar in a cafe mocha is what this beer reminds me. It doesn't even smell like a beer, but I suppose that is a subjective statement. Just a nice and sweet malted smeel. Good, good good.

T/MF: Feels initally slick and smooth on the tongue then the bitterness, not unlike coffee, opens up soon after and bites the tongue through the finish leaving a prickly feeling all over. Initially tastes of candied plums then the chocolate and coffee characters come in and form a nice balance of sweet and bitter.

D: Was a little bitter on the back end but maybe that's because I was eating pickels before trying this beer. Very tasty and drinkable dark beer, fits well any time of year.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2007 01:10:59 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of Wisconsin
Wisconsin

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a syrupy, black body with a half inch tan head that fades to a lace quicker than I expected.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, caramel and a bready malt smell.

T - Dark roasted malts with a smokey flavor. There is malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee and cream flavor are all present. Very good balance in this beer.

M - Dark, smokey, roasted malts enter your mouth with a nice transition to a chocolate, caramel and creamy finish. Good carbonation keeps the beer balanced.

D - With the style in mind this is a great beer. I could have a few in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 22:45:38 | More by Wisconsin
Photo of turkob
turkob

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A; Tan head, leaves plenty of lace on the glass. A nice rich black color with a little red if you look real close.

S: Kind of small. I pick up a little dark chocolate and coffee, but not a whole lot going on.

T: Nice rich flavors. More dark chocolate with a hint of sweetness, but not much. Roasted but not burnt.

M: Good carbonation. Pretty full-bodied.

O: If it had a richer nose, it'd be exceptional. Still plenty of nice roasted flavor that's in balance with the beer. I like the touch of sweetness that makes this very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 00:22:17 | More by turkob
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade with dertbert.

16 oz brown bottle with no freshness info.

a: Jet black with dark tan head that fades fast.

s: Sweet chocolate and caramel notes.

t: Very malty, sweet, and roasty with a nice chocolate flavor.

m: Light body, average carbonation.

d: Drinkability is very high, I could drink this all night.
Its very smooth and light, but has a great chocolate flavor that keeps you interested.
I have only had a couple of schwarzbiers, but this is without a doubt my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2007 05:10:14 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of longarm
longarm

Maryland

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin carbonation disipates quickly. I'd like to see a little more foam standing proud on top of the brew. Completely devoid of light.

Caramel flavors blend exceptionally with roasted malts in both flavor and aroma. Little to no alcohol and no hops present in the nose.

Exceptionally complex malt bill balanced not with hops but a little spiciness, perhaps from rye. Very, very, very small hint of smoke seems to be hiding behind the roasted malt making it nearly imperceptible. If there is smoked malt, it's being coy. This is a tasty beer that has warming characteristics of darker beers with a nice clean finish typical of any exceptional lager.

Mouthfeel seems a little thick at first, but the hops make their presence felt helping scrub the palate for the next sip. Ends-up fairly balanced if perhaps a little cloying.

Overall a very nice beer and easy to drink. Sprecher continues to be one of the great underappreciated breweries specializing in quality lagers.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 23:29:43 | More by longarm
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty dark brown that shows light. Sizeable tannish head. Mild nose. Flavor is bringing a lot of flavor. Nice malts, noticeable cooked (but not roasted) grain tones. The malts really seem to thicken up to me as time goes on. Mildly sweet as a compliment to everything else. Feel has a nipping carbonation. Liquid is slightly thick. It's a shame that Sprecher isn't more widely distributed here (as far as variety goes). I'd be very open to trying anything they brewed.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2009 00:07:20 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in late June as part of the MicroBeerClub shipment.

Beer pours a jet clack with an OK tan head. Nose is of roasted malts. Taste initially was a blast of those roasted malts. Later sips produce notes of chocolate and a bit of molasses. Mouthfeel is medium bodied as this glides very nicely across my palate. Drinkability is near perfect. This is one solid beer that I wish I could put into my rotation!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2007 02:32:21 | More by arizcards
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the breweries I miss most not living in the midwest anymore,all of Sprcher beers I have had I really enjoyed.This one is one of the few I like in this style,and I really like it.Black with some ruby highlights with great creamy head,very malty fruity aroma very appetizing.Sweet but not overly sweet tasting with roasted malt the biggest flavor component,but also chocolata and a very appetizing caramel background.For how rich it looks its very easy to drink.Loved it and will be enjoying again soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 07:46:13 | More by oberon
Photo of sponberg
sponberg

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice fat little 16 oz. bottle. Pours a deep garnet brown with an tannish head that recedes rather quickly to lace. Aroma of freshly ground roasted malts, almost espresso-like.

My family historically is from the Bad Kostritz area of Germany. There's a damned good chance there's Kostritzer Schwarzbier in my genetic code. So there's a predisposition towards this style. This one doesn't have quite the round Munichy maltiness of the Kostritzer, but it's close - starts with a clean maltiness, decoction sweet with a slightly roasty, cocoa powder like bite, then rounds out into a fine combo of dry cocoa, toffelike malt, roasted barley, hints of espresso... niiiice. I detect similarities to the late, lamented Heavyweight Perkuno's Hammer in this one. Finishes with a lingering roasty/cocoa powder vapor. Just chewy enough. Could drink a few of these before sinking into a recliner for the night.

Thanks to BA JeffKrenner for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 02:11:37 | More by sponberg
Photo of grynder33
grynder33

Wisconsin

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

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2004 19:11:33 | More by grynder33
Photo of zjungleist
zjungleist

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly dark, basically black (just like the label suggests), with a lively tan head. The smell is nice and malty, with some coffee, chocolate, and a hint of herbal hops. I was shocked at the first sip, quite bold. Lots and lots of burnt malts and a fair amount of hop, with a lager-yeast taste as well. In truth, the taste is a lot like an American double stout, but the mouthfeel is thinner and more carbonated. It lacks the alcohol punch of a stout, but the flavor is nearly as complex as a sipper. It's hard to call this one refreshing, but it is satisfying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2005 03:53:37 | More by zjungleist
Photo of SamuelJackson45
SamuelJackson45

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark black body with a heavy tan head.

S-Smell of hops and caramel and chocolate malts with a sweet smell in the background.

T-Taste of hops and caramel and chocolate malts with sweet bitter taste from the caramel malts.

M- Very creamy and smooth slightly chewy with a velvety texture to the pallet.

D- Very good Bavarian dark lager coming from Wisconsin. This beer has great taste and aroma and not to be taking lightly. This beer can hang with the worlds best.

Cheers..

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 07:15:38 | More by SamuelJackson45
Photo of GeezLynn
GeezLynn

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep black, with a thin foamy off-white head. Retention is excellent.
S: Licorice, cocoa and a bright, almost fruity sweetness.
T: Licorice flavor is also heavy, along with an equal split of chocolate and berry flavors. Shows a flash of sweetness promptly followed by a light bitterness. Smoked malt becomes very discernable on the back end as the beer warms. Finishes with a dry hit of black malt.
M: Feel is medium bodied with full carbonation. Personally, I’d like just a bit less bubblay, but it’s well within style guidelines.

Always nice to come across this beer. One of the bigger examples of the style out there and one of the better in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2011 05:33:22 | More by GeezLynn
Photo of FLBeerGuy
FLBeerGuy

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a midnight black with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated, no lacing present.

Smell is roasted malts, sweet caramel & licorice.

Taste is licorice, malts and sweet caramel, with a slight bitterness

Mouth feel is surprisingly light for such a dark beer.

Very drinkable dark lager, although not sure I could do more than one or two in a session because of the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 01:45:47 | More by FLBeerGuy
Photo of DaveFL1976
DaveFL1976

Florida

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ Coasters Pub in Melbourne, FL

What a nice change of pace this beer is. It's flavorful without being overpowering. It's full-bodied and satisfying without being chewy. It's one damn fine Schwarzbier.

Opaque black body with a soap-bubble-like tan head. Smell is sharp and chocolaty. Taste is smooth, sweet, but finishes with a bit of tartness. Nice balancing act between the malt and hops. There's not much to dislike about this beer other than my taste buds can't handle a lot of sweetness in one sitting.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2008 13:53:19 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Prohibition Tap Room

A - Dark and stout-like. Minimal head and lacing.

S - Roasted malts, slight hint of bitter cocoa.

T - Dark roasted malts, slight notes of roasted nuts, bitter cocoa and burnt popcorn. Earthy flavors.

M - Medium bodied. Earthy feel and finish. Ample carbonation.

D - Pretty full and filling... great malt flavors and low ABVs make this a drinker

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2009 15:04:43 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to brdc for this brew.

Pours a nice dark black color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tannish head, which leaves some nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very nice tones of toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is malty, big on toffee/chocolate/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty Schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2008 22:09:16 | More by Wasatch
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle, served in a pint glass

A deep brown, nearly black, body with a thin tan cap. Dots and lines of lace scattered about.

Aroma is of deep roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. This is all malt in the nose, not a hop to be found.

A lot of dark malt flavor. Grainy, roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate seem to dash to the front of the line, but toffee, caramel and molasses have the last laugh. The hops add a nice layer among all these malts. An earthy, slightly bitter undertow.

A very smooth beer that covers a lot of bases. Body is medium, but can feel thicker and thinner at times. Weird. I guess that's the beauty of a schwarzbier, big bold malt flavor packed into a lager. An excellent take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 21:00:32 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer from guyinchicago. Thanks Chuck!

16oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - dark brown/black color with a tan head that left a trail of lacing behind.

S - roasted malt and a hint of dark chocolate.

T - roasted malt taste upfront leads to a bittersweet chocolate flavor finishing slightly dry making me want another sip.

F - medium bodied with mild carbonation.

O - I did enjoy this beer and would seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 21:36:55 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2004 23:45:52 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of vande
vande

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - if one didn't no better, I have a Pepsi sitting next to me. I nice, deep dark brown pour with very little head retention...just enough along the the rim of the glass to let one know its carbonated a bit...

s - sweet, slightly nutty w/ hints of carmel...faint coffee

t - one of my favorite sprecher brews actually... a nice smoky taste to it..dark, somewhat rich..mixture of milk-bitter dark chocolates engrained with black, roasted malts.. tasty combo

m - medium bodied, somewhat creamy...

o - like I said, one of my favorite Sprecher offerings. Not an overpowering Schwarzbier, but one that's quite palatable...

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 18:54:46 | More by vande
Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.