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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).
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 461 | Hads: 834
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 Derek
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a medium tan head, some retention, light lacing.

S: Big malty aroma (bread & cola) with a touch of roasted grain and hop spicing.

T: Bready & roasted grain with subtle hints of coffee & molasses. Modest bitterness with light grassy-spicyness from the hops.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a somewhat dry finish.

D: I'm generally not a fan of Schwarzbier, but this one is quite drinkable. (415 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.16/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a brown 16 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some roasted malts. Taste is also mild, light coffee, a bit of roasted malts, easy drinking but just a bit bland. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer but nothing great. (284 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. The aroma is sweet roasted malts, molasses, toffee and hints of coffee. The taste is dark and roasty with a good dose of slightly burnt malts, caramel and a touch of smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on. Overall, Black Bavarian is a beer that I really enjoyed and will purchase again in the future. Recommended. (391 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle courtesy of hu5om. Thanks Ryan!

Not first encounter with Black Bavarian. It was one of the first beers that really impressed me at my first GABF.

It pours the blackest of pitch blacks with about an inch of tannish foam. Despite having an average head of foam, the lacing is good.

The smell is of chocolate and roasted malt. Some sweet notes, some bitter ones.

The taste is superb! Notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, a touch of fruitiness when I swish it in my mouth, and a nice balancing light bitterness. Delicious!

Medium body, light to medium carbonation, this is an easy drinking and super good example of the style. Maybe the best US sample that I've tried. (688 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a Sprecher variety pack.

Pours a clear dark red, almost black, hard to see through, big thick tan head forms, drops down leaving lots of lace, solid layer. Smell is sweet and fruity, some anise, caramel, touch of chocolate, iron, cherries, bit of maple, not bad. Taste is nice, iron, caramel, light roast, fruits, rich chocolate in the finish, some licorice and solid roasty bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth. Solid Shwarzbier, best Sprecher I've had. (518 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer seems black and has a small tan head that is gone within seconds. This is a beer that you can seemingly smell the thickness. Great malty, toasty, roasty bitter aromas. What a creamy mouthfeel. Feels like velvet as it rolls across the tongue. Great complexity to this brew. There aren't any overbearing tastes, but many underlying ones that mesh well together: coffee, roast malt, biscuit, mocha and toffee to name a few. I just love the taste of this beer. It has been one of my reliables ever since I tried it about 5 years ago. There aren't too many Schwarzbiers available these days, but I'd guess it'd be hard to improve much on this one. (662 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown/black color; mahogany highlights in the edges up to the light. Poured a 2 finger light brown head with good retention to an even skim. Laced in running patches.

S: Toasted malts; dark bread and chocolate. Faint dark-colored fruits and earthy hay.

T: Big malt flavor very consistent with the nose. A bit of a sour note gives way to a carbonation bite. Then transitions quickly to a building bitter finish with coffee notes in the background. Very interesting beer.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation; very active on the palate ahead of the finish. Very nice balancing complement.

O: Remarkable balanced for big malt bomb. Lots of flavor, not too sweet, sharply bitter in the finish. (698 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 scruffwhor
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours a slowly rising to three finger head tha makes a slow recession to nothingness on the surface of my 16oz's of beer. Color is a deep, deep brown with some brownie/blood highlights.

Smell- Your are hit with complex malt aromas of smokey beech wood, toasty and roasty breads. With a lager like pop in the nostrils for the finish.

Taste- Strta out with mostly roost, but then you catch resurging waffs of smoke intermitant with a middle of toasty malts and a little burnt lager like grass flavors in the end.

Mouthfeel- The malts were awesome moving over my mouth. They mixed well with my garlic enveloped pizza. A little cloying...maybe. The malts I mean. (681 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch and half frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells very malty, like coffee, chocolate and molasses. It's very tasty, it tastes like chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, coffee and also a bit of a smoky taste. For the most part it's a sweet tasting beer, with some bitterness too. Mouthfeel is medium, with a good amount of carbonation. It's smooth and a bit creamy and slick with a dry finish. Drinkability is good, it goes down very easy and it's hard to stop drinking this. I think this is a good beer, I like it a lot and I'd definitely recommend it. (665 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark black with only a slight touch of red hues at the base. My pour produced only a slight lace of ring of mocha colored head but a quick swirl gets it nice and sticky.

S - Smells some slight roasted notes, anise, coffee, and toffee. Smells strong.

T - Has a very nice nutty taste, then toffee, then a smooth roast of mild coffee. Finish has a nice bit of hops too.

M - Medium bodied and very creamy. Nice!

Overall I had to take the overall score down since I can't find this around my area but it was a very good black lager. Smooth and drinkable! (562 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color a deep incarnadine with a resplendent head that is a winsome light tan, the texture that of whipped cream and as it disintegrates a glutinous sheet of lace welds itself to the glass. Nose is deeply malt with hints of toasted grain, somewhat sweet a real treat to the senses. The start is malt-laden and ambrosial with the top intermediate in its feel to the palate. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops purposeful in their spiciness, quite dry and lingering aftertaste. A real treat for me as its been years since I’ve had a beer from this magnificent brewery, my thanks go to tavernjef for this bottle “gracias tanto mi amigo”. (647 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant dark brown, light tan head. S: Roast malt, dark sugar sweetness, not much hop, not a lot of esters in the nose, pepper. T: Crisp, darker malts, very clean, light sweet touch not much hop, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, more roast than needed. Finishes dry. The fruit is behind the roast flavors. F: Medium high carbonation, smooth, low medium body O: Very drinkable, could use a little more of something to stand out but well done, little more malt and hops but not much. (484 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz single

appearance: pours dark brown but the aggregate is near black, tinted blood red when held to the light...creamy tan head, minimal lacing of the rim

smell: theres a number of things going on in the nose of this one...sweet dark fruit, dark chocolate, mild coffee, a little smoke, cherry, toffee

taste: The first thing I notice is a delicate smoke flavor, followed quickly by that of cherrys covered in dark chocolate. There are some coffee grounds buried somewhere in this collage of flavor. Toffee is also noted...very malty with a somewhat spicy finish

mouthfeel: a little dry and spicy in the finish, medium bodied

drinkability: slightly above average


This is only the 2nd Sprecher I have tried ( I sippped on a maibock in chicago this summer) but I will probably try to sample some more of their stuff in the future. (850 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown body with good head and minor lace retention. Aroma is roasted malts and grainy lager like with touches of caramel and dark chocolate. The beer is smooth and easy to drink with balance of roasted malts and chocolate/caramel sweetness and finishes dry. This would've received a higher score but for some reason at times I get this weird oily aftertaste which I assume must be something only I have encountered b/c it doesn't make sense. (454 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle poured into my RR pint glass. The bottle opened without much oomph.

A: Black with deep ruby highlights. There's a nice light brown head on this.

S: Bready, roasty, mildly nutty and toffee-ish. Good!

T: Great roasted flavors coming through with some toffee and caramel. The finish is strangely metallic which detracts from an otherwise great flavor profile.

M: Great carbonation, refreshingly so. With a dry finish, this goes down easy but the metallic taste is a little strange

D: A great quaffer for a hot day. (529 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.86/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

16 oz bottle poured into a Sprecher stemmed pokal.
6% ABV,

A - Schwarzbier means "black beer" in German and Black Bavarian's dark chocolate color demonstrates that perfectly. While pouring, light through the brown highlights shows it's clarity while a lasting ivory cap of foam rests on the beer and leaves lace down the glass.

S - Crisp dark malt releases dried cocoa sprinkled on warmed chocolate-and-caramel bar with a fantastic lager cleanliness. The juxtaposition of robust malt complexity with the sheer perception of easy drinkability is beautiful.

T - Caramel sweetness underscores the chocolate malt's dark chocolate flavor and lightly roasted coffee bean with a Twix-like taste and faint earthy hop finish for balance; the taste is exceptionally smooth.

M - Just enough carbonation dances on the tongue, keeping this medium-bodied lager feeling a bit lighter than it appears. The chocolate malts provide minimal acrid bitterness letting the otherwise transparent hops do the bulk of the work.

O - There's a good reason Sprecher's Black Bavarian continues to command medal after medal in world-renown competitions; it's that good. This is a dark beer that's a great training-wheel beer for people who "don't like dark beer". It's also a great dark beer for people thirsting after a dark beer without the hefty body or higher alcohol. Black Bavarian has the perfect malt combination to balance sweetness with chocolaty, lightly roasted notes for exceptional smoothness and drinkability. May the Schwarz be with you. (1,530 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz. Pours near black with some ruby and chestnut hues at the edge of the glass when held to the light. Foamy tan head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves nearly no lacing on the glass. Aromas are mainly roasted malts with hints of bittersweet chocolate. Tastes are again roasted malts and chocolate - also espresso. Finishes slightly bitter and dry, but very crisp. Love this style, and this is a great example of the style for a great price - paid $5.69 for a 4-pack of pint bottles! (487 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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 (380 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was really excited to try a fresh schwarzbier made here in the states. Unfortunately, this one did not jive with me. 16 oz bottle pours a very dark brown color with a fluffy, tan head. Retention is nice and lacing is excellent. Freshness stamp of 101611017, not sure what that means.

Nose is surprisingly light. Mild chocolate, light sweetness with a definite grain presence. Little bit of cocoa and overall is a pretty clean lager.

Taste has a fruity edge to it that doesnt seem to fit in a schwarzbier style profile. Decent roast and hop bitterness though. Malts are abundant, but not as sweet and full as I would like. A little more robust than it really needs to be and I get a bit of cooked veggies on it. Decent enough, I was just expecting to be blown away by it...I like Kostritzer and Monchoff better, even with the travel across the big pond. (856 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown with a frothy, lingering tan head that leaves sticky lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Roast malt, char, a touch of acrid/metallic character, chocolate, and toasted nuts form the aroma.

Flavor reveals a toasted, nutty malt backbone that becomes roasty and a little acrid mid palate, finishing with bitter coffee grounds. Chocolate surfaces in the aftertaste.

Body is on the thick side, with moderate carbonation. There's a fairly chalky mouthfeel that lingers.

Wish the acrid/metallic character weren't evident. Good combination of roast and toasted malt. The acrid/metallic character goes away eventually, so my score is reflective of that. (668 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.87/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled sometime in February 2009.

(A)- Pours almost pitch black with a large light brown head that slowly dissipated to a solid 1-finger. Plenty of lacing present.

(S)- Lots of roasted malt richness with a potent woody spice and afterthoughts of creaminess.

(T)- Really cream semisweet lightly roasted malts. Almost like a creamed coffee minus the sugar. Very light bitterness.

(M)- Smooth, creamy, and overall balanced; not overpowering. Good carbonation level.

(D)- My personal favorite schwarzbier. Easy to enjoy; balanced and goes down smooth. It is simple but rewarding. Even better fresh. The smell certainly waned due to its age. (690 characters)

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (732 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Rheinblick in Canandaigua, NY, into a cool branded stein.

Pours a very dark black, at least from what I can tell, with a creamy white head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like chocolate, smoke, some espresso bitterness, and roasted malt. Smells quite inviting, but could be stronger.

This tastes very similar, a good and equal mix of both chocolate, smoke, coffee, and dark roast. It's pretty full tasting for the low ABV, rich and creamy.

This has a very creamy, delicious mouthfeel, with a lower amount of carbonation. Very drinkable.

I'd been wanting to try this for a while, it really hit the spot. (626 characters)

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