Black Bavarian Style Lager | Sprecher Brewing Company

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Black Bavarian Style LagerBlack Bavarian Style Lager
BA SCORE
4.04/5
Exceptional
935 Ratings
Black Bavarian Style LagerBlack Bavarian Style Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
sprecherbrewery.com

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
Ranking:
#3,365
Reviews:
487
Ratings:
935
pDev:
10.64%
Bros Score:
4.03
 
 
Wants:
143
Gots:
99
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 935 |  Reviews: 487
Photo of schoolboy
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one kind of took me by surprise. My initial thought was how chocolatey this was. It's perfectly dark. And strong enough.

To be truer to the style, it could have a more hoppy taste and more malt too, but I like it just fiine the way it is and I would buy it again.

I have to go back and look at the bottle too. I think they are an odd size - more than 12 OZ. My glass overfloweth.

Good one.

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Photo of dhank
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nagromxer
4.11/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a nearly black ruby tinted mahogany brown hue forms a nice thicket of tan head textured with dimples as it dwindles definitely arose above the rim of my 1/2 liter mug. Lacing is fine and intricate spread evenly, very nice look to it. Aromatics nutty roasted qualities touch of dark cocoa powder with sweet acidic fruit notes arising as well. Flavor is akin to iced black coffee with dark chocolate roasts, toasted nuts, and a touch of creamy caramel. What dominates is a dry powdered dark cocoa, but more flavors arise as it warms up. Light herbal hop presence felt at the end but no hop burps to report. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is lively and the end is dry with slightly burnt coffee roasts and dark chocolate cocoa. Drinkability is nice all around one of the best Schwarzbiers I've come across, excellent.

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Photo of mbratt93
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WoodBrew
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of this off the single shelf at at a grocery store outside of Milwaukee. It poured a nearly opaque rich mahogany amber with ercu head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had chocolate and burnt corn husk appeal. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out to a nice tan head that laces a bit and sticks around. Black color. Aroma is malty and slightly roasted but very muted which is on style. Flavor is more of same with sweet malt balanced by the black malt and soft hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is on heavy side, but slick and smooth. I love the way this brew feels. Overall, a very good Schwarz.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From teh 12 oz bottle in a snifter (like always!). This solid lager pours
a rich blackish brown with ruby highlights and a nice head of light tan foam
that settles to a thick ring, thin light layer, and displays some nice light sudsy lacing.
nose of cocoa, dark roasted malts, subtle light coffee, and light herbal hop notes.
Flavors exceed the nose by presentation with subtle coffee and dark roasted
malts with light cocoa and cola notes that finish with a nice herbal hop
note that brings everything into balance. Very nice mouth feel; medium
carbonation is lively and lightly fluffy, medium body, and a rich roast
laden finish.

Overall a SOLID brew from an excellent brewery.

Cheers

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Photo of wedge
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try this one for years. It was available in a couple of stores I used to frequent in MA, but never fresh, so I always passed over it. Now it's recently been introduced to the NC market (at least Asheville), so I snatched one up when I saw it.

Deep, dark blackish color, showing a subtle mahogany glow at the bottom of the glass. A small, creamy tan head sits on top. Lightly sweet, clean roasted malt aroma...light notes of molasses and dark chocolate. Roasted, somewhat smokey malt flavor; clean and lager-y. Rich German malts: bread and caramel with light noble hops and a faint frutiness. Light and fluffy in the mouth...creamy and bitter. More and more chocolatey as it warms. This is quite the tasty Schwartzbier!

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Photo of Amalak
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had out of a 12 ounce bottle.
a. Black, all black. Solid head and lace.
s. Very nice malt and chocolate.
t. Very intense licorice taste. Malty. A chocolate aftertaste.
M. Smooth taste with a bit of a tart aftertaste.
o. It's a very good stout. Smooth, not too tart, but good flavor.

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Photo of dbtoe
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Look very black body with a finger of tan head that reduced to a ring fairly quick.

Smell a hint of sweet and toasty roasted malt.

Taste yup black roasted malt with a spicy hop end. Something in there I can't ID but really a great smack of flavors.

Feel zesty carbonation with good body Very enjoyable tang.

Drink this is a very enjoyable beer to drink. I had both and was wishing I had more.

Comment had this from a sample pack and wish the 8 pack was 4 of these and 4 of the Special Amber, two very good beers that I'll get again.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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 Sweffin
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of jsanto
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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 garymuchow
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is dark malt, not heavy and has a quality of oatmeal stout.
Excessive head that settles fairly quickly. Lacing. Almost black with garnet hues. Clear. Good looking.
Dark malt. Smooth bitter from malt more than hops. Mild dryness. Little more malty than chocolate, but leaves bitterness that lingers. Roast presents lightly as warms.
Incrediably smooth and easy to drink. Low carbonation.
Very easy drinker. Good lager in that sense. Flavors present more as warms, yet remains light to drink. Very nice lager. Went well with some dark chocolate I was eating.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle. Pours out a dark brown, tinted red. There is not much head. The aroma is dark malts with nuts. Dark roasted malt flavor at first. The hops come in with some spiciness. Medium mouthfeel, but big on flavor. This beer has a great balance between the malt and hops. I haven't had many schwarzbiers, but this is a very tasty one. Putting it in 16 ounce bottles is a nice touch, since 12 ounce bottles occasionally leave you thirsting for more.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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 MillRat
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sprecher calls this brew a Kulmbacher-style dark lager. Certainly a very dark lager, definitely assisted by considerable roasted grain, not just the Munich malt of a traditional dunkel. Other than in mouthfeel conforms fairly well to the BJCP schwarzbier definition.

Poured at near-room temperature from a 16 oz twist-off bottle barely fitting into a pint glass. Puts a thin tan fine-bubbled head on top of a brown-black body that is impervious to light. Head fades quickly to a thin persistent ring that leaves occasional specks of lacing on the glass.

First whiff immediately suggests fresh warm slab of pumpernickel bread, full of malt with roasty, coffeeish grain. Flavor comes through with a malt sweetness that is counterbalanced to a degree by the dark malts and hop bitterness unaccompanied by any noticeable flavor or aroma. Carbonation is on the light end of the range for this style.

A little bit on the heavy side for a schwarzbier, with the heaviness offset by stronger than usual roasted grains that begin to trespass on the astringency which schwarzbiers are supposed to avoid. Just pushing equally both the body and the bitterness a bit beyond the envelope. The bitterness leaves that palate clear enough for the next sip, but the heaviness and sweetness while the beer is between the teeth is a bit tiring. A little more carbonation would help the cause here.

Overall a well-crafted beer that pushes the schwarzbier flavor envelope without shredding it.

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Photo of Shippy
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an extremely dark brown color with a thick cola colored head that retains impressively. The aroma is all dark chocolate, coffee and molasses, with hints of pumpernickel, tobacco, smoke and a hint of earthy hops. The flavor is similar with serious dark chocolate and coffee notes initially, along with blackstrap molasses, roastiness, smoke, earthy hops and alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich and drinkability is good but limited by the intense roast flavors. Very good schwarzbier, a little more intense than a lot of the domestic versions but very solid nonetheless

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Black, deep chocolate brown in color. No light passes through. Pours a 1/2 finger dense taupe foam cap.

Aroma of sweet malts.toffee,caramel, chocolate, coffee.

Sips sweetness on the front of the tongue. Toffee, raisins,coffee, chocolate.

Smooth , low carbonation . Whisper of bitterness at the end that quickly fades.

Highest rated beer in found in the cooler of an out of town beer dispensary. Good choice, repeatable. Good beer

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Photo of thenameisjohn
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of marcobrau
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rocky tan head. Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Coffee aroma. The taste is of dark chocolate and coffee flavors tinged with notes of cocoa. Hops surface in the middle. Finish is a mix of bitter hops and coffee flavors. The mouthfeel is full, at least enough to slow you down, and not quaff this brew.

Overall impression is that this beer drinks pretty much like a stout. It has a bit of the creaminess of a Schwarzbier, but none of the sweetness, with the strength of a bock and because of this I've rated this beer a little lower. I've had some difficulty finding fresh Sprecher beers for awhile, but I'm happy to report this is no longer the case.

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Photo of weizenbob
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There aren't enough domestic craft breweries doing lager-style beers, yet alone dark lager-style beers; so this brew has been much anticipated for me. This 16 ounce twist-off bottle was purchased at Repete's in Holland, MI. It was bottled May 13, 2011. I twisted off the cap and poured into a pint tumbler.

A standard pour (horizontal bottle, 45-degree glass) manifests a finger of mocha-tinted head atop this cola-colored lager. Head retention is not impressive but lacing coats the glass where once was beer.

The aroma displays some nice roasty chocolate malt. My nose could easily mistake it for porter.

The flavor is also very porter-like. Earthy malts lead the charge with chocolate being the obvious reference point. There is a bit of cooked veggie presence. Alcohol is very well hidden and there is no hop bitterness to speak of. The lagering gives this a nice crisp bite that I haven't experienced in any porter. Therein lies the key difference, and it is a nice touch.

In the mouth this is a deceptively full bodied beer. The carbonation level is moderate. The modest 32 IBUs pass below the radar, making Black Bavarian pretty easy drinking, even despite the full flavor. At 6% ABV the alcohol level is moderate. I like that the bottle contains a full pint but doesn't carry a premium price (it works out to about $1.50 per 12 ounce serving). Although this is a year-round release for Sprecher, it feels like a particularly appropriate choice for fall-season drinking. This is a nice change of pace from the barrage of ale-style beers that I'm drinking all year.

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The Two-Schlitz Scale: (see my profile for an explanation)
I do give two Schlitz for Sprecher Black Bavarian. If you're fortunate to be in an area that distributes Sprecher products, this is worth tracking down.

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Black Bavarian Style Lager from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 935 ratings