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
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
Reviews:
477
Ratings:
901
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
14.78%
 
 
Wants:
131
Gots:
91
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 901
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.

 364 characters

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".

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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.

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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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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Picked up this little beauty after my beer guru clued me in on Sprecher. Gould it at Super Subs and Six Packs in DuBois. Outstanding looking beer with plenty of malt and smoke for the nose. Very tasty beer that is very easy to drink. A very tasty beer that I hope to have again in the future and I hope to try other of the Sprecher beers.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark red - so dark it's black until held up to the light - yet clear. Head is 2+ fingers of golden-brown foam that lingers a long time, leaving a delicate lacing behind.

S: Burnt sugar, tart grapes, and some light hops notes.

T: Maltiness is mildly sweet, but more bready. There are mild flavors of acrid, burnt grain, but they are faint enough that they add to, rather than detract from, the taste. There's enough tart fruitiness in the middle for balance, before spicy, bitter hops take over in the finish.

M: Moist, with medium carbonation. Much lighter mouthfeel than I expected based on the color.

O: A tasty, very drinkable beer. This American-brewed Schwartzbier gives any German-brewed example a run for its money.

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Photo of Beric
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into pilsner
Served: 2 August 2014

Appearance: Pours a deep brown-red color- almost black but you can definitely see the hints of deep copper red color at the bottom of the glass and around the edges. Pours with a two finger light-brown head that sticks around. Magnificent lacing.

Smell: Fresh and clean, crisp like you'd expect, with a soft assertion of roasted notes.

Taste: Really a great beer. Soft notes of dark chocolate and French-roast coffee on a medium-light body that softens the roasted notes. I really like the softening here- it maintains a lot of the roasted malt flavors without sacrificing body or flavor too much, unlike many common light, Irish dry stouts.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation makes this one somewhat silky on the tongue, but still with a nice hit of carbonation overall.

Overall: A marvelous beer- light in body and soft in flavor, but still immensely flavorful. Paired excellently with my slow-smoked ribs. A great beer and one that I would highly recommend. Could be a great beer as a soft introduction to roasted malt beers.

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Photo of JayQue
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with no light showing through except a ruby glow at the very bottom of the glass. Medium size tan head with good retention. Wispy patterns of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is outstanding. Stout like smells of chocolate and caramel malt. Big aroma for a lager, a lot more than a little roasted malt.

Taste is strong and delicious as well. The chocolate malt starats out strong, but eventually is absorbed into sweeter caramel malt. A touch of hoppiness in the taste but just for a little balance.

Mouthfell is rich and creamy. Does not seem like a typical Schwarzbier/Lager. It is crisp and refreshing but the rich malty profile is more like a Stout than a lager,

This is a tasty beer, fully deserving of the high rating it gets on BA.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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 BeerWithMike
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 7/10/14. Comes in a nice 16 ounce bottle. Contains right at 6% ABV as written on the side of the label. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 16 ounce 'Texas Boot' glass.

Pours very dark reddish-brown, almost black really, with about a 1-finger beige head that lasts a long time with some spotty lacing seen around the glass. Aroma of roasted and chocolate malt for the most part. The taste has more going on with toffee, caramel, molasses with light coffee. Lots of flavors going on but not overwhelming like some others. Smooth taste with just a very slight bitterness at the end that didn't linger. Overall very pleasing. I like this one.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of IPAdams
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a very dark brown with some red highlights. Small creamy tan head that recedes quickly and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell- I get a sugary sweet caramel smell mixed with Pepsi. A bit of roasted malt in the background. What I get is a very nice smell but very subdued.

Taste- Very clean and balanced. Slight bitterness from roasted malts, flavors of Cola, light coffee and toasted bread.

Mouthfeel- Moderate body with good visible carbonation. Not overly drying or cloying.

Overall- Very nice beer, easy drinking. Flavors are balanced and go well with a cold winter night or hot summers day.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a stein. The pour looks phenomenal. It is extremely dark, not quite black, and sports some ruby and mahogany highlights. The head is big, tan, and creamy, and fairly persistent. On the nose I get some toasted malt and fresh bread.

The beer has a medium body and a slightly thin feel, but a really nice flavor of clean malt offset by medium roast. I get lots of toasted notes, sweet malt, and toffee up front and at mid-palte just the right amount of espresso-like roast, which keeps the sweetness from getting too sharp. I don't pick up much in the way of hops, but there is a faint peppery note that joins with the roast on the back of the palate so I'm assuming that's them. Some of the roastiness lingers on the finish, drying out the palate.

Not the first Schwarzbier I've had, but it seems to be the first one I've reviewed. I enjoyed this one while cooking up a huge pot of pasta sauce and planning a lecture on the nine point circle for a Geometry course I'm teaching next academic year. My mom is from Germany and she told me once that Schwarzbier is what German women drink when they're pregnant. Perhaps that explains a lot about my own personal love of beer. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.86/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

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