Black Bavarian - Sprecher Brewing Company

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Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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461 Reviews

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Reviews: 461
Hads: 839
Avg: 4.07
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 115
Gots: 69 | 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: 461 | Hads: 839
Photo of CHL
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, with a tan head, and some deep red brown light showing through. Malty coffee and chocolate aroma.

The malt has definite sweetness and a little coffee bitterness. This beer has a very nice dark taste, but is appropriately medium-bodied. Not a lot of carbonation or hops, and I like it that way. It's creamy, actually, not thin, and goes down very well.

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Photo of joshwlt
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of SteveS1
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle to a glass-
Look: Completely dark brown/red, a nice tan head, very bubbly.

Smell: Has a sweet fruity smell, cherries, a bit of hops.

Taste: Bitter woody taste at the tongue, finishes with dark fruits and licorice. Bitter aftertaste, but with perplexing sweet caramely flavors.

Feel: Lots of carbonation, but lighter than it looks.

Drink: This is a tasty black brew, but just a pint will do. Enjoy the rich flavors slowly.

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Photo of schanker21
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a virtually opaque, very dark brown which looks black when it's not held up to the light. Small tan head doesn't last long. Not a whole lot in the nose. I mean, it smells like beer, but that's about it. I can't detect a whole lot in the smell. The nose is misleading though, because the taste is pretty huge. I taste caramel, as well as a roasted, smoky taste. This is an excellent Schwarzbier. Not quite as smooth as some of the others I've had, but excellent nonetheless.

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Photo of BasterdInABasket
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. bottle, bottled June 29, 2012 (3.5 months old), poured into Duvel Tulip
A- Deep black in color with very slight ruby highlights up to light, 1.5 finger cream colored head, nice layer of head retention, leaves some lacing
S- Toasted and roasted malts, some sort of nut flavor (not 100% sure what), chocolate, not a huge aroma
T- Similar to the nose with more a more pronounced chocolate flavor, some balancing bitterness
M- Very smooth and drinkable, a little watery, would like the flavors to coat the mouth a little more
O- Some really nice dark flavors yet very drinkable and probably a little too thin. I like this beer every once in a while.

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Photo of cookin420
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to brdc for this and many others.
Bottle poured into a pubglass.

Very black. What does show through is a yellow and brown tint not much red at all. Small head. Thin with a good coating of thin lace.

Smell is an intense caramel/coffee with bakers chocolate. Many layers involved in this brew. Some sort of sweet, citric aroma that I want to say is a malt aroma but could also be a hop smell as well.a
Abundant dark fruit and again, the heavy coffee, or mocha even, is very prominent.

Mellow and mild, this brew is full of contradictions. It is smooth and sweet but very dry at the same time, woody, with undertones of unsweetened chocolate and what I can only describe as unsweetened toffee and caramel. I am tasting big caramel flavors without the sweetness that usually comes with that. Stout-like in many respects. The yeast is responsible for a pizza dough-like flavor.

A very slick and creamy brew for something so dry. Well carbonated for the style.

Sooo drinkable. Black, yet crisp and refreshing. (the perfect brew?) Very well done.

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Photo of CurtisLoew
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle, cool.

Pours extremely dark brown/black color. Can't see anything through the light. Nice cream colored head.

Smells like the inside of a brewery. Very grainy and nice.

Taste is great. Incredibly clean. Nice grainly, malty german taste. A little dark chocolate and coffee undertones present in this beer. Kind of roasty malt, very nice.

Liked this beer a lot. Sprecher has really shot up in my book lately. My last three beers by them have blown me away. Go sprecher!

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Photo of revolt914
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank this beer with nothing holding me back... this is by far one of my top 5 beers to date. I can't think of anything bad about this beer being the style it is. I started with craft beers knowing I loved Black Beers and being a schwarzbier is just that. If you haven't had this beer take some time and get to know it, I really do think this beer deserves no explanation other than a strong push in the, "Go get this beer" category!

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Photo of anglagard1
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of jsanto
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

s - on tap in phila. pint glass.

a - dark brown, and no head, or it dissapeared very quick.

s - it smelled like cherries, and alcohol, but was pleasant.

t - it tasted like it smelled, but very enjoyable to the taste.

m - light carbonation, and it stayed good to the end.

d - very drinkable beer, i could have had another one, but decided to try something else.

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Photo of fbinla
4.76/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours the darkest brown you can get before black. Light brown head, med carbonation. A dark roasted maltiness, a hint of dark chocolate, that are pretty strong but somehow the beer manages to be light on the palate. A nice bitterness compliments the sweetness with a perfect balance.

This is one of my favorite beers, dark and roasty yet it still manages to be dangerously easy to drink. Just fantastic.

Thanks to my in laws from bringing me cases from WI every time they visit.

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Photo of will4240
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer from a 16 oz. bottle tonight. Pours a deep black with a good off white head. The bottle says that the beer has a very good malt back bone, and it is right on in saying so! Never have I had such a full bodied lager, amazingly tastes of caramel and malt. An overall fantastic beer! So tasty and amazingly drinkable. My new favorite german style beer.

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Photo of e11a627
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe glass and shared with the wonderful hu5om.

A: Opaque, dark brown, nice tan ring of foam. Looks like a stout but it's a dark lager. Never would have guessed by looking at it that it was a lager and not a stout.

S: The aromas seem for simple. Malty, dash of chocolate.

T: Good high quality chocolate taste post-swallow. Malty. Looks like a stout but tastes like a lager.

M: Quite smooth! Never enjoyed a dark lager before but this one was great. So smooth and yummy!

D: I could probably drink a few of these. And it's pretty because it looks like a stout. Gorgeous.

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Photo of burns1066
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing beer! It drinks like a sweet, malty dessert. Tons of caramel and chocolate, malty without being cloying... in general, a fantastic late winter brew. It's mouth filling, but finishes wonderfully. The somewhat high alcohol content is not obtrusive because the beer invites slow savoring. As the temperature of the beer warms, the flavor profile becomes more pronounced and encourages even more measured drinking.

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Photo of Jon_Abbott
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown, almost black. Thin, light tan head dissipated quickly and didn't leave much lacing.

S: Toasted malts, smoke, and an earthy bitterness.

T: Beer is sweet with toasted, caramel undertones. Hints of smokiness and earthy hops. Aftertaste lingers and is almost burnt tasting, but not unpleasantly so. Acidity becomes more pronounced as the beer warms.

M: Somewhere between light and heavy. Medium? Definitely not thin, but not quite as thick as I would have liked and expected. Medium carbonation.

O: Delicious. I have a soft spot for black lagers and this didn't disappoint. I really enjoyed its deep bitterness and it's carbonation is more than I am used to since I drink a lot of porters and stouts, so it was very nice for a change.

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Photo of turkob
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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Photo of doubleshovels
4.34/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If you are going to drink only one Sprecher, then make it a Black Bavarian.
This beer pours picture perfect into a pokel. Looking into the glass, I only see myself reflected back in pure obsidian surroundings.
The only fault I can find in this brew is that its aroma is very faint. One only smells the whispers of molasses.
Once in the mouth, this Schwarzbier opens up full throttle. Running straight up to the roof of your mouth, exploding with malts, coffee, and sweet spice; all gently falling back on to the tongue, wrapping around the sides of your mouth, then drying out and disappearing leaving only a desire for another sip.

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Photo of amccormi
3.96/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 16oz bottle into a 16 ounce pint glass. Black with a hint of ruby at edge of the glass with one finger of tan head on top. Head reduces slowly to a nice mossy covering leaving minimal lacing.

The aroma is dark and roasty with a little bit of grassy hops coming through. Tastes ofroasted and chocolate malt, a slightly bitter and nutty. Finishes with a crisp note of floral hops and slowly fading bitter chocolate flavor.

It is crisp and light as a lager should be and goes down very smooth. A bit higher in carbonation than expected, but not unpleasantly.

I could drink the whole four pack.

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Photo of moester13
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Great looking pour, pitch black with a finger of tan head. Good retention and nice looking lacing.

S: Dark and toasty malts with hints of nutty caramel.

T: Delicious dark roasted malt sweetness upfront, with an excellent lingering chocolate bitterness and hints of toasty caramel.

M: Full bodied, very smooth.

D: A nice alternative for porter fans. Very smooth and not as filling

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Photo of ManicD
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16 oz bottle into a pint glass, appeared a very dark brown color, not quite black, with a tan head. Head disappeared quickly, left a bit of a cap, but did not leave lacing on my glass.

Aroma was molasses & malt, maybe a little rye.

Flavor was smoky burnt coffee, grass hops, molasses/rye bread, prune/ black grapes, lingering cocoa, spice & alcohol warmth balanced by a cola sweetness. Less bitter & more molasses flavor & syrup feel as the glass warmed. Excellent.

A frothy and medium-full mouth feel.

I was somewhat full after 2 of these. Maybe it was just me, not the beer.

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Photo of Pipmeister
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown almost black with a small amount of light getting through. It has a 2-3 finger tan head that stays and leaves some decent lacing.
The smell. You get roastiness right off the bat with some dark followed up with a slight caramel. Good smelling brew.
The taste is roastiness and chocolate, it has some caramel and nuttiness to it.
Your mind tricks you A's you taste it because your thinking this is going to be thick based on the flavors. But because it is a lager it has a surprising lightness and creaminess to it.
Overall this is a really good beer that has a high drinkability, good stuff.

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Photo of GreyMorel
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of pacond
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz bottle with old school logo

Black but slightly red. This beer smells like goodness. Roasted, malt, a little coffee. It is one of my favorite beers right now. It is super drinkable and it can sit it my mouth before it goes down smooth and awesome! It has a bitter taste, but it is still sweet and rich. It has a burnt caramel aftertaste that leaves my lips smackin'. If you haven't tried this beer and you like porters, you've got to try this one.

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Photo of RThomas436
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle - pours dark but not too heavy.

Slight carmelized malty taste with a creamy head with minimal lacing

Rich and malty but was expecting more hops.

Light mouth and is balanced

Easy drinking not a palate killer with the heavy malts.

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Photo of scherbs
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

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