Black Bavarian | Sprecher Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
477 Reviews
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.86%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bronze Medal Winner in the European Darks category at the 1988 Great American Beer Festival (GABF).

Added by xlperro on 04-23-1998

BEER STATS
Reviews:
477
Ratings:
901
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
14.78%
 
 
Wants:
131
Gots:
91
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 901
Photo of mooseisloose
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of Sprechers brews I haven't tried let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get a waft of molasses and black licorice. Pours to a deep deep brown with a tan head. Taste is very rich and deep, molasses and licorice with a nice roasted and lightly bitter aftertaste. I am drinking this after a good porter and it is blowing it away. Highly recommend this brew for the imbiber of dark beer.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My brother had this one in his fridge so I thought I'd check it out and glad I did! First schwarzbier and it won't be my last. Nice depth of flavor for under 6%ABV.

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Photo of RacerX5k
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

IDK. Years ago I loved this beer, 4 paks 16oz stubbys ran like $7, great buy and a great beer to take to a poker game. Roasted, with notes of chocolate and coffee, nicely bitter. That beer would easily rate a 4 - 4.25, best in class. This beer? Lousy. Smell almost non existent and taste was like a mild, sweet, little hoppy black ale. So did the recipe change? Or is this just a case of old beer? I'm going to guess old beer, and no one will ever tell me about aging beer. Changes yes. Improves? No. Waste of time, and my $4 for the single.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black Bavarian pours - surprise - a black rooty color, with some edges of chocolate and a 2 finger khaki head.

Aroma of licorice, rye bread, dark barley, and some sticky karo syrup.

Flavor is very aggressive in its dark bread crust bitterness, with touches of pumpernickel, rye crouton, sesame, and scorched earth. Tons of dark pumpernickel rye bread bitterness. A touch of malty sweetness on the finish. Very respectable but a touch too burnt in this category for me.

The feel is heavy, creamy, but still flows down the throat easily. Leaves a nice carbonated finish on the palate.

Sprecher's BB is no joke. It's a real beer with real intentions. Unfortunately one of the greatest things about beer is its enjoyability, and this one was just a little too much of a chore to drink without my mind focusing on it.

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Photo of Mitzvahman72
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quick Take: With a straight black color, you're basically tasting black coffee that is very slightly sweet with a little molasses and sharp carbonation. Nevertheless, it's still good for the style. Meanwhile, it has a slightly acidic, but creamy mouthfeel and aftertaste.

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Photo of Ottoj55
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown/black beer with an off white head. Smells like dark chocolate malts. The taste is on the deeply kilned side like black malts, I like schwarzbier to be a bit less roasted. Medium bodied, its a bit heavier in the mouth than an Oktoberfestbier. Its Sprecher's flagship beer and I can get it from the brewery.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (undated) into pint glass. Pours a very dark but not quite black with a thin tan head. Initial impression is subtle caramel and chocolate malts, with a very balanced profile and a smooth nutty finish. Medium mouthfeel. My first beer of this style, and I must say it's a good place to start!

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Photo of Shippy
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a thick, tan head. Very nice appearance. Smell is roasty and dark with lots of typical malt characteristics, followed by some spice and a hint of oak. Flavor has a similar profile with chocolatey, roasty flavors and some nuttiness. Feel is medium-light, but creamy. I'm not generally a huge fan of this style, but this particular beer is very good. I wish I had a few more my fridge.

 418 characters

Photo of TheBrosy
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Pours a nice black with a tan head than stays.

Smell: Roasted sugars give this beer a wonderful burnt aroma.

Taste: Sweet with roasted malts for initatal taste. Bits of chocolate and light bitterness. Starts sweets and ends bitter.

Mouthfeel: Light, creamy body with medium carbonation.

A very enjoyable brew. The bitterness is a nice surprise style-wise. One of the better brews from a view good Milwaukee brewery.

 479 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark in the glass with a full head that sticks around.
Full aromatics, if you like well-blended dark malt (and I do.)
On the palate, I get sweet at first (I like sweet), but then black malt kicks in along with the appearance of 32 IBU.
In the mouth, smooth and intense as the style needs to be when good.
Should you try it? Ask the experts.

Michael Jackson's 1999 "Guide" gave Black Bavarian 3 of 4 stars.
Roger Probst selected Black Bavarian to review in "300 More Beers To Try Before You Die" (published by CAMRA.)
Listed in the "1001" and reviewed by the venerable Randy Mosher, I have had this schwarzbier more than any other... and hope to again.

 653 characters

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Spiegelau lager glass from a 1 pt bottle. Look is black with a thick tan head and sticky lacing–. Smell is cocoa, spices, burnt caramel and dark roasted malt aromas. Taste is roasted nuts, dark bitter chocolate, spices and smokey roasted malt flavors. Feel is light to medium in body and has a nicely balanced finish. A fine American schwarzbier.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid black appearance, 1" light tan head. Aroma was a good mix of lagery yeast imparted mild fruitiness and bitter hops.

Hits those hoppy dark beer notes without the excessive roast that less than great black ipas or robust hoppy porters do. The roasting is light, but the two row is ample, allowing a lively bitter hop experience juxtaposed with the dark malts.

One of the better schwarzbiers out there for sure.

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Photo of jrsqc7
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As black as Akitsa's soleil noir. Forest clearing moon bright notes. Subtle, creeping, lingering. Burnt wood, dying embers, warmth. As good as James Brown's nineteen seventies records, with particular links to "Take a Look at Those Cakes".

 243 characters

Photo of delta490
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the bottle deep, deep brown, with only just a hint of light getting through at the bottom of the glass. There is a thin light tan head that hangs on strongest around the rim and leaves some small, mostly soapy lacing. The aroma is rich and malty, with chocolate malts dominating and just a hint of earth. The taste is much the same. There isn't really any characteristics that stand out but the whole of its parts is delicious. Although later on, the smoky quality becomes more pronounced. The body is lighter without being thin and there is just a slight, steady hint of carbonation.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12ml bottle, served in a snifter glass.

Pours a medium cola brown body, one finger white head, fair retention, not much lacing. Smells of chocolate malt, a bit of smoke, mild nuttiness, a bit of tobacco, roasted malt. Solid stuff. Flavour is similar, a bit smokier, chocolate and roast malt, a bit of tobacco. It's not super complex but it's definitely different in a good way. Mouthfeel is a bit thin though still medium bodied, good carbonation, smoky bitterness on the finish. Not a bad schwartzbier, not too heavy on the smoke but also not too heavy on everything else.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a Libbey style pilsner glass. Twist off cap.

Out of the bottle comes out thick and dark, hitting with big opaque and giant truly black walnut qualities, fine red edges and deep mahogany hues. Head manages a classic tan, creamy all the way and almost nitrous looking, even some capping like retention and island puck whipped up appearances. Excellent looker.

A real unexpected aroma. Rips of grain and dark roast but has a real chewy and fantastic sense of black licorice. Black truly is the theme so far in looks and bouquet. Light bodied and airy, leaving behind lager like crisp qualities in the dust, but also with perhaps a touch of dry coffee in the mix. Great stuff.

Palate is truly exquisite. An absolutely killer mouthfeel holding numerous angles, creamy and thick at first, light and refreshing on the finish, with a full coating and easy drinking quality. The flavors are exquisite and follow this with many surprises. Mid palate has mild roast, but a great nutty quality almost hazelnuts in flavor. The aftertaste is just dynamite, with loads of light coffee, soft chewy molasses and a stunning sense of soft chewy black licorice that builds and builds on the swallow. Mild vanilla and cream like quality sweetness, with brilliant balance of flavors.

What an absolutely killer drinking, flavorful, and fantastic brew. It's large power and big impression on the palate though sort of overwhelms more of classic Schwarz quality, but as a well made beer, this is in a class all its own.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of mlockman
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of sarient
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is brewed old school, with a great look and taste to match. Tones of aged malt and a bit of earthiness, make it great. Black color so it lives up to its name. Smooth finish with a great feel behind it. Way to go!

How many?: give it three to four and you're doing great!

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark brown with red hues in the light, atop with fine, fizzy, light brown head of weaker retention. Roasted meat, soil, chocolate aromas. After these dissipate, I notice caramel as well. Naturally, there's a smoky tartness and an earthen quality on the palate, and calls to mind tobacco and especially coffee in the finish, ever so slightly, if at all, influenced by any hops. Caramel sweetness in there as well. Considerably light in body and smooth as well. Plenty of carbonation, but gentle. Mouthfeel just disappoints me. Still, overall, maybe it's mellowed or maybe I've just acquired the "Schwarzy" taste, but it seems better than the last time or two I've had it (purchased a four pack about ten months ago).

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Photo of smcolw
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reasonable head but it leaves very little lace on the glass (a couple of spots). Deep dark brown but light shines through.

Mild powdered cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate to the nose. There's a touch of sweetness, too.

The taste is more "dark" as if there is a small amount of black patent barley. No sweetness here. Pretty rich body for the style. Good carbonation. Easy to drink and relatively smooth. Short but chocolaty aftertaste.

 441 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with little light seeping through. A fingernail of khaki colored head covers the majority of the top of the beer. The aroma is of sweet dark malt,molasses,and a hint of smoke. The flavor is packed with sweet and gently smoked sweet dark malt. The mouth is thick, silky, and viscous. This has a ton of flavor and body for a lager!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.98/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4/5  rDev -1.5%

A: draught, nearly black with small white head

S: dark breast malt

T: sweet black malt, slightly coffee, bitter pine hop finish

M: med lower carb

O: bit non traditional but good

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Photo of Mouser55
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Very even balanced Schwarzbier. Certainly has the light to light-med. body with the moderate level of roasted malted sweetness. A-very dark brown to black, except when held to the light where it turns a very dark red. A single finger of tan, caramel head that remains throughout, even if very faint near the bottom of the glass. S-very roasty, pretty well burnt, toasty malt aromas. T-really awesome combo of the roasted malty nuttiness with an under abundant very dark chocolate bitter finish. I didnt get a whole bunch in the way of hoppy bitterness or earthiness.O-fantastic, well balanced Scwarzbier, by well balanced I mean not too sweet or over-roasted bitter. A really tasty, lighter bodied "blackbier"

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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 901 ratings.
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