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: 828
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: 828
Photo of kennyo
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the precher event at the Collins Bar

Pours an opaque black color with a 3/4" head that disappates firly quickly. Could be bar glasses cleaning that makes the head disappear, which always makes it hard t judge beer in bars. The aroma is coffee, chocolate. Taste is smoky, black malt but not overpowering, smooth with a dry finish. This is a good example of a schwarzbier. I would like to try a bottle to see if the appearence and head is different (459 characters)

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

Had in botle form, served cold into a tumbler.

A - Reasonably dark. Not a black, but rather a very dark brown that becomes apparent when held up to the light. Head was of an off-white color, single finger thickness. Head was not long lived.

S - Smelled very sweet, with a noticable hop aroma.

T - The tast was very sweet from malts, and yet a little hopy; very pleasent. I wasn't expecting such an uplifting taste from a "dark" beer.

M - Nothing outstanding to report here. It feels rather smooth with moderate carbonation. It was rather light bodied, not heavy.

D - I only rated it average. I was very gung-ho about drinking it at first, but the sweet flavor just kept building up in my palate to the point where I couldnt finish it. If you sip it slow, its a great beer; don't go overboard. (797 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 dhannes
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Revisited this beer on tap after having had a number of enjoyable bottles. While the appearance resembles a porter in color, it is actually a lager and tastes as such. Hints of cocoa, but not as drinkable or tasty as a porter...in fact, it would have been hard to distinguish this beer from, say, a decent lager, in a blind taste test...well, you could taste a hint of roasting, but not much. Still, a decent once-in-awhile beer. (429 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 bigdeuce
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow, is this a rich one. Full of chocolate and coffee malts, bursting with terrific high tailed, nutty flavor. Very robust and creamy, great mouthfeel as it is very full bodied. Pours a dark black with a nice pillowy head that leaves lacing all the way down the glass. Slight bitterness on the end, but initial booming maltiness. A top flight beer no doubt! (357 characters)

Photo of anglagard1
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass per Beer Advocate directions.
Still getting used to the style, as it looks and smells like a porter or stout. The smell especially reminds me of a quality porter, with rich cocoa/coffee aroma, with perhaps a slight medicinal/bandaid to it. It is in the taste and mouthfeel that I recognize this is a lager; there is nothing that especially makes me want to keep this on the tongue, nor am I reluctant to drink it in gulps. It's a good beer but I'd be hard pressed to find the right occassion for it. Perhaps if you're in the mood for a dark beer on a warm summer night. (598 characters)

Photo of Riverwarrior
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S = Light roasted coffee beans with chocolate in the background.

T = Malty backbone, roasted grains, semi-sweet chocolate mingling around the other flavors. There was a slight roasted coffee bitterness in the finish. Nothing too bitter, but just enough to balance.

MF = Medium body with moderate carbonation. This one is silky smooth from mouth to stomach.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink schwarzbier with plenty of roasted goodness to enjoy. (451 characters)

Photo of MadTown1000
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the usual Sprecher big bulbous 16oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Smell of thick sweet molasses out of the bottle. Pours a black that on closer inspection in the light is actually a very deep dark cherry red, with about two inches of cherry-tinted foam. The foam recedes without leaving any lace. The taste delivers on the scent - the main character is sweet caramelized malt, with a little bit of bite to it. It does have a slight charred aftertaste I'm not fond of. While the BA description of a schwarzbier suggests they're often light in flavor, this one resembles a porter more than anything else. My favorite Wisconsin dark. (648 characters)

Photo of juhl31
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

-good and dark, but the head doesnt last much at all and theres really no lacing

-smell is definitely potent, but not awesome. smells like theres some licorice in there

-dont know what to give taste. like licorice after mouth, which i dont necessarily like, but its decent

-mouth is fine, not much on the carb end

-not great for me, my mouth feels like i just took a shot of jager and in that case i wish i would have just taken a shot of jager (448 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- black body with a finger of fleeting tan head. little to no retention or lacing.

S- roasted malts, caramel, and toffee. smells pretty sweet.

T- dark and roasty. very close to how it smells. maybe a bit of black licorice in here as well

M- thin to medium mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation.

D- a good session brew. something i could have about two of before wanting to switch to something else. pretty good bargain as well. (440 characters)

Photo of halfP1NT
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed this one on 6/8/08. Thanks to johnd513 for this.

This brew pours an opaque black with a tan head that recedes into a thin layer.

Smell is nothing too overwhelming; toasty malts and smoke, woody and slightly sweet.

Taste is smoky, toasted malts and some smooth chocolate. There is also a definite meaty flavor here that's hard for me to ignore. I really don't like the meaty taste here (that's why I don't really like rauchbiers or smoked beers), but there are other things going on here that I do like. The smoky flavor dominates, and lingers after the sip. Nice hops presence balances it all out.

The sweet malts coat my mouth, yet this is a pretty crisp brew. This is a very flavorful lager. Although not my favorite style, I'd recommend trying this one. (771 characters)

Photo of Rayek
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stange.

A: Deep walnut, almost black. A rocky cream cap slowly falls to a thin quilt of foam. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Chocolate, molasses and a hint of burnt malt make up most of the nose. There's a light scent of lemon in the background.

T: Molasses and a burnt bitterness are out front. Some bittersweet baking chocolate is along for the ride. Finishes with a slight astringency and lingering burnt wood flavors.

M: The body is fairly heavy and has a bit too much fizz.

D: This is a nice Schwarzbier overall. It's a bit heavier than I was expecting, but its moderate strength was a nice compliment to a cold autumn day. (649 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
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. (1,334 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black color with slight amber edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger tan head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic splotches os soapy lacing left behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with some earthy hop bitterness, roasted coffee, toffee, licorice and some smoked malt.

Medium bodied with a lot of roasted chocolate maltiness with hints of deep roasted coffee, caramel, oatmeal and toffee. There is surprisingly a nice btter hop presence that adds a bit of complexity and lingers into a dry finish.

One of the better beers I've had from Sprecher. (600 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another enjoyable effort from Sprecher. Looks like a good black beer. I really dunno what a "schwarzbier" is, but this seems like it may be a lager. The aroma and taste have a fruity yeast feel to it. Surprising hop character for something this dark and Midwest. Sprecher always seems to exceed expectations.

Mouthfeel, a little thin, but doesn't devolve into something I don't like. Pretty drinkable, not too challenging, enjoyable and reasonably priced. (456 characters)

Photo of joshwlt
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminded me of a lighter rauchbier more than a schwarzbier... Poured thick dark brown/black out of the bottle with a tan brown head that only reached about 3/4 of an inch high and didnt last long... Smelled great... bread, toffee, and lightly meaty. The taste however integrated some light flavors of rauchbier with a smokiness and some jerky flavors and sliiight coffee but accompanied by some sweeter malt. This is a good beer to bridge the gap to a more flavorful in your face rauchbier or stout... other black beers I've had were a bit sweeter and subtle. This has a bit more taste and is restorative. (605 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a jet black with a thin tan ring of head. Very minimal head and lacing. Appears to be somewhat thin in body.

S- A big rush of smokey goodness on the nose. Some acidic element from the malts, smells like a campfire.

T- All malts and smokiness. A nice smokey flavor enveloped with spicy notes. Almost no hops, maybe a hint on the finish. Very complex malt profile.

M: somewhat harsh, high carbonation, spicy on the tongue. Thin body.

D: This has been at my local liquor store since I began shopping there over a year ago. I always passed it up. Recently I read the reviews on this one and thought at 5.99 for a 4pk/16 oz, I am silly for having passed on this on so often. This is easily one of my favorite lagers as it has a great deal of complexity. I really like the smokiness of it also, not too much but a good amount. (835 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)

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

Nice brew received in a trade from Pauly2X- thanks.

Definitely a soild dark brew. Pours very dark brown. I'm picking up a bit of a smokiness in the nose but its mostly just malt complexity. The same follows after the first sip. Rich, slightly sweet, complex malts, very 'full'-tasting- and again with a slight smokiness, some toasted and nutty flavors as well. I really enjoyed this brew- and honestly, I wasn't expecting to. I like the 16oz serving and its a twist off! It paired nicely with some aged gouda. (511 characters)

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

This is an extraordinarily pleasant beer. It pours a midnight black with a very slight head that dissipates fairly quickly (a Sprecher trait perhaps?). The smell of this beer is just about right--a yeasty malt that hints at its flavor. This brew drinks very pleasantly. It has an almost sweet, malty flavor that is backed up by significant body. Unlike some of the other darker beers I enjoy, this beer actually lives up to the billing advertised by its appearance. This brew has a very nice body to it that lends it a significance. It is not at all watery and is chock full of flavor. The only downside to this heft, however, is that it tends to make this a beer best enjoyed in moderation, as it quickly gets a bit filling. (725 characters)

Photo of mlockman
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not the best schwarzbier I've had, but certainly very good. Pitch black in hue, it had a pleasant malt aroma which was mirrored on the palate, and it's moderate carbonation lent a creamy mouthfeel when agitated. (211 characters)

Photo of mobius387
3.79/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a new belgium snifter

appearance: pours jet black with a small 1/2" brown bubbly head, gives it the look like its going to taste very carbonated

aroma: i dont get much here, light smells of chocolate and caramel.

palate: not as carbonated as it looks. medium bodied in mouth, flavor lasts for awhile along sides of mouth

taste: i get a roasty malt flavor with some sweet tones to it.

overall: a unique beer from a very good brewery. there is complex flavors, but its not a fill-you-up type of beer like some complex stouts. probably one of, if not the, best beers made in milwaukee. definitely a must try for those in the area (643 characters)

Photo of steveh
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the first micro-brewed beers I ever tried, back around 1985. Never reviewed it, had a taste for it, here goes.

A -- Deep, dark black (coincidence?) with ruby highlights only seen with a flashlight, and a thick head that starts with some darker highlights as poured, but settles on tan.

S -- Bready and mildly roasted malts, some light, clay-like earthiness.

T -- Roasted malts right up front. Very Stout/Porter-like in its flavor, but none of the top-fermented esters. Coffee notes and that earthy character, but no sweetness from the malt. All very roasty-bitter with a touch of crisp hop bitterness in the finish and some lightly sweet dark fruit and licorice in the aftertaste.

M -- Smooth, on the verge of syrupy, mouthfeel and a medium to light-heavy body.

O -- Overall, this is a very pleasant dark beer if you're looking for that typical roasted malt hit. But I wish there was just a slight bit more sweetness and smoothness you get from a classic Schwarzbier. (988 characters)

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clean yet pitch dark brew. Head is nice, dark beige and quite frothy really....leaving balanced webby structures all over the place.

S: Licorice, ripe dark berries, cinnamon, peat and toasted cereal

T: Begins with lightly roasted espresso with chocolatey walnut. Some creeping moments of dark grape at just a touch of sourness to the project. Molasses, light bittering hops and minor smoke all play a part. Finishes lightly carmely with some finesses roasted notes.

M: Medium body with an atractive mouthfeel. Good carbonation going on.

D: Nice balance and easy drinking. Very good but nothing stunning IMO. (630 characters)

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