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:
900
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
14.78%
 
 
Wants:
130
Gots:
90
For Trade:
1
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 900
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian has a very thick, creamy, beige head, a dark brown (ruby, under light) appearance, and lots of thick, cream-like lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of dark-roasted, almost burnt, barley malt, sweetness, and brown bread crust, and the flavor is of creamy, dark-roasted malt, charcoal, dark coffee, chocolate powder, black cherries, slight licorice, underlying, soft bitterness, and brown bread crust. Mouthfeel is medium and slick, and Sprecher Black Bavarian finishes fairly crisp, rich, and quite drinkable. Overall, this is most excellent, and I highly recommend it!

RJT

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Photo of kaufmaal
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with a few ruby, blood-range highlights. A sizable, inch of head, dark tan, that stays with it. Roasted coffee notes, bittersweet chocolate, some smoky aromas, malt. For a black lager, this one has some umph to it. It is sweeter than most black lagers, and while the sweetness is up-front, it's not dominating. Tastes of chocolate liqueur, candied plums, good coffee, malt, peat, a bit of smoke. It's heavy at times, a bit viscous, but not syrupy. A highly satisfying and well-crafted beer. I'd happily drink it again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

16 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. It only shows hints of opacity when put against a moderately strong light. The head is a three finger mocha shade that doesn't retain particularly well, as expected. Having said that, I love the soft creaminess of the texture, with just a hint of rockiness to suggest it's well hopped. Lacing left on the glass is quite plentiful, also.

S: I get some dark fruit esters, roasted malts, cream, chocolate, caramel, noble hops, and brown sugar on the aroma. Not terribly groundbreaking on its own, but quite impressive given the style. I could certainly compare it to a good porter/stout aromatically.

T: An initial wave of dry chocolate soon gives way to a combination of roasted malts and grassy hops on the back end. While it's simplistic and straightforward, it's also enjoyably balanced and easy to drink.

M: It's crisp and dry like a good lager should be. On the other end of the spectrum, it actually does a good job of feeling somewhat substantial. At times, the general feel is more reminiscent of a porter than a dinky-ass schwarzbier.

O: I wasn't sure what to expect from this one - it's a schwarzbier, yet one of the top examples of the style according to BA. Luckily, I'm finding this one pretty damn good. Probably the best schwarz I've had yet, in fact.

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Photo of TTAmod
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 20 oz. glass mug at the Sprecher Restaurant in Lake Geneva, WI.

A: This beer pours very dark with a one finger tan head. The head dissipated quickly, but I attribute this mostly to the serving temperature of the beer; it was a bit on the cold side.

S: Smell is of heavy roasty malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and cream. The smell is quite reminiscent of a stout.

T: Taste follows the smell quite well, but the roasted malt flavor is extremely strong; however I wouldn't consider it burnt, so it's still pleasant. There is chocolate and a touch of coffee, too. Ends slightly bitter, metallic, and roasty.

M: Mouthfeel is very good...it's smooth, creamy, but is light and well carbonated. This brew goes down extremely easily.

O: The best way to describe this beer is a stout with very easy drinkability. It tastes like a stout, but it has the mouthfeel of a pilsner. There were some off-tastes in the beer, but for the most part it's pretty top notch for the style.

Honestly, before trying this beer, I only thought of Sprecher as a good soda company...I have always overlooked their beers. I've definitely learned my lesson and will try more of their beers in the future.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer has a near black body with a soft, creamy, khaki colored head. The aroma brings dark chocolates, roast, charred malt, a bit of dark fruits, bread. Nice flavor. Easy to drink. Light to medium in body with moderate carbonation. A touch of molasses in the flavor as well. A solid example of the style. I would drink this again.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a light tan head and good lacing

S-dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, floral

T-dark roasted malt, caramel, floral hops, caramel, nice bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy and smooth

O-a tasty beer with great body and easy drinkability

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Photo of goochpunch
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black beer (go figure) with a thin tan head. Smells of roasted malts leaning towards coffee and a whiff of eurohops. Flavor up front is very malty with notes of caramel. I perceive more bitterness from the hops rather than from the roasted grain. Finish tastes roasty, burnt, ashy and almost smokey. Carbonation isn't too strong. A little heavy and sticky. Overall this is pretty tasty, but the mouthfeel kind of weighs it down.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is another of tone77's big box o' beer that he dropped off recently in another local, in-person trade.

From the bottle: "This intensely dark Kulmbacher-style lager has a superb malt complexity with the distinctive flavor and aromas of caramelized and chocolate malts. A renonowned smoothness and a creamy, tan head make it a world champion."

I poured a couple of times, due to its desire to jump up to the top of the glass. Once it finished, I had a finger of dense, deep-brown head that sat atop the beer like a petulant child who refuses to go to their room when directed. I was going to spank it before i realized that it had the power to spank me tonight, Color was a deep, dark-brown that allowed just enough light to penetrate to show off its ruby highlights. Showoff! Mouthfeel was thick and creamy. Hey, is this a lager or a milkshake?!? The taste reminded me of Spike's request for dark chocolate-enrobed coconut eggs for Easter. Spike is NOT The Old Lady, but instead both a departmental colleague and my Lunch Duty partner. She helps me with the curriculum and I ply her with chocolate. In the meantime, this was a great pre-Easter beer. Dark chocolate, coconut, smoke and perhaps some wood all interacted to create a phenomenal lager. Finish was semi-sweet and I felt satiated on chocolate for the foreseeable future. Man, thanks to tone77 for a really memorable beer.

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

16 ounce bottle -> Dogfish Head Glass

This beer pours up very black with a one finger tan head, decent retention, and some lacing. Nose is faint, but mostly malt and caramel. Taste is similar to the nose with there being several sweet flavors including malt, chocolate, and caramel. A small bit of coffee can be detected on the finish. Mouthfeel is okay, but not particularly memorable. A decent beer, if somewhat indistinctive.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

appearance: Dark black with ruby highlights when held to light. Huge billowy tan head that leaves swaths of messy lacing. I mean, that head is noisy, cracking bubbles well after the pour.
smell: caramel and malty but a bit subdued, very nice but a little too subdued.
taste: Richer than the nose. Chocolate, caramel, fairly dry, and very tasty.
overall: Damn good.

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Photo of tone77
3.16/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense, thick, light-tan head that has good persistence. A light roasted malt aroma, and a touch of floral hop. The mild aroma misleads you. Black. Starts with a floral hop bitterness and acidity, with roasted malt in the back. This is silky smooth and slick across the tongue. Builds to a medium bitterness, when the crushed coffee bean roasted earthiness bursts through into the finish, which is floral hop bitterness wafting in past the toasted malt. I love how the acidity milds in the finish and just blends to well with the roasted malt and floral hops. It's just great.

This is the brew that converted me to American craft bier (7 years ago), and I'm glad to see it's still great. Just a fantastic example of the style.

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Photo of guityler83
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: At first glance this beer is black and opaque but when held up to the light, a redish brown hue shines through from the edges. Very fine bubbles in the off-white/brown head just over the top of the pint.

S: Spicy, chocolatey and a hint of roast

T: Chocolate and roasty flavors are the focal point of your taste buds but not the main attraction. The spicy, earthy noble hops are what I love about this beer. They don't dominate the palate but enhance all the other flavors while artfully and tastefully giving Black Bavarian a drinkability factor of 10.

M: A nice clearn crisp mouth feelfeel with no astringancy.

O: Schwarzbier is one of my favorite styles and until I get a chance to visit Germany, Black Bavarian will be my benchmark to what all other schwarzbiers are compared (and even then I might) so far non have come close. Find this beer, drink it, buy some more. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz twist-off bottled November 14th, 2012. Served at around 45F.

Pours black with a one-finger creamy light brown head that leaves nice glass-coating sheets of lacing and retains extremely well, almost nitro-like appearance.

Aroma is chocolate, cocoa powder, roasted malts, some burnt malts, bit of coffee, caramel and dark bread. Good strength.

Flavor is chocolate/cocoa, dark roasted malts, hint of burnt toast, caramel, coffee, moderate sweetness, minimal bitterness or alcohol. Very smooth and finishes clean.

Mouthfeel is light/medium bodied, good carbonation.

Really, really nice Schwarzbier. One of the better examples I’ve had. Robust, rich, yet easy to drink. Nice ’un.

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

16 ounce bottle into imperial pint glass, bottled 3/29/2012. Pours crystal clear extremely dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, molasses, toffee, raisin, toast, nuttiness, and light herbal. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, raisin, roasted malt, nuttiness, light coffee, biscuit, earthiness, and herbal spiciness. Light herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, toffee, molasses, roasted malt, toast, raisin, nuttiness, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; nicely robust with zero cloying after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a creamy and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice schwarzbier! Nicely robust with good balance and complexity of flavors; very smooth to drink. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of burns1066
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
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 deebo
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a pint glass this beer has a weak yet persistant somewhat creamy tan head. It is clear, black with red tints when held up to the light.

S-Heavily toasted barley malt, aromas of dark chocolate are evident-nothing else noted. Clean aroma.

T-The dark malt pops and is the dominant taste in this beer. Coffee, chocolately with just hints of burnt malt are noted. Clean, quick finish.

M-Fairly weak body/mouthfeel as is customary with this style. Moderately high carbonation. Smooth with just a hint of bitter burnt malt finish. Very little detection of the 6% ABV.

O-A good beer to have when you crave the taste of a dark beer but are looking for something with higher drinkability. Pretty solid but I think the malt used is just a bit overcooked as it's a little too burnt for what I'd like in a dark lager. Another solid beer from Sprecher.

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Photo of BasterdInABasket
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
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 BrownAleMale
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a Sprecher Mug.

Appearance- Very dark brown with a finger of kakhi head that dissipates into about a third finger all the way to the bottom leaving light lacing.

Smell- Molasses and chocolate. Not strong smells here but it is on tap so it's expected.

Taste- Lots of molasses and coco with some twinges of dark fruit and citrus hops.

Mouthfeel- A little light here but make for a very drinkable Schwarzbier. The carbonation and hop finish work well here.

Overall- Great drinkable German dark beer and the best beer from Sprecher.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours black, period. It has a 1/4 inch head and thin lace. The aroma is of anise, molasses, and burnt toast. The flavor opens with dark roasted malt, baker's chocolate, and coffee notes with a hint of wood and smoke. The mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Sprecher Black Bavarian is a good brew, recommended!

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Photo of Ri0
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured 16 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

A - Color is a very rich dark chocolate brown. Big 2 finger caramel colored head fades into a slight ring around the glass. Only a trace of lacing.

S - Nice dark and milk chocolate with caramel. The malts are roasted as to give a slight bitter coffee scent. Traces of sugars and dark fruit.

T - There is that big chocolate flavor with caramel. Followed by a roasted coffee. Some light hops and dark ripe fruit to finish it off. Very enjoyable to drink on any day, cold or warm.

M - Big rich and creamy feel. Still clean and refreshing so it is easy to drink. The body is medium light even though it looks like a stout.

O - A well crafted beer that any stout lover should try.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: single finger head on a clear deep amber/mahogany brown body. No lacing to speak of.

S: roasted malts with caramel, vanilla and chocolate.

T: roasted and toasted malts up front fading to an earthy and herbal hop finish. It's a little watery and although both malt and hops well represented, they are understated.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this is a tough style to do well. It has all the elements for a good schwarzbeir but just not strong enough in the flavor.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown almost black in color with some dark amber highlights and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall creamy light beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: The beer has moderate aromas of dark roasted malts along with some light amounts of caramel and toffee sweetness.

T: The taste is similar to the smell with there being a strong dark roasted malty flavor along with some sweetness - caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, and hints of smoke.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Very smooth.

O: This beer is quite tasty with a pleasant and easy to drink flavor. I think this beer is very sessionable, even in the summer. Definitely one to have again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

With characteristics that span dark fruit, light roast, and slight vinous notes, Sprecher shows that the timid black beer can be much, much more.

Black Bavarian pours with a very clear, albeit dark brown with garnet highlights. Well headed with a terse off-white froth, the low lying head retains as a sheet with minimal lace.

Light roasted malts and well attenuated starch note start the aromatic journey while thin caramel, grape, and red wine notes add interest and intrigue to the otherwise roast and char of dark grain.

The dry taste of coffee-like roast with walnut backdrop, light starchy malt, and slight campfire smoke seem to exceed the slight scorched taste of caramel, but introduces characterful elements of cherries, grapes, red wine, and cider with low bitterness outside that of roasted grain.

Medium-light bodied, the mouth wants to think heavier because of the roast taste, but the weight of the beer is remarkably light and refreshing; approaching thinness as the tart fruit notes and the slight roast astringency play out over the highly attenuated malt character.

Black Bavarian schwarzbier is a subtle, drinakble, and surprisingly variable beer that shows more flexibility than is normal for the narrowly focused style.

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Photo of beergoot
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour leaves a very dark ebony body and a lasting off-white, creamy head.

Exceptional aroma. Very rich, roasted grain scent with hints of bitter chocolate. Subtle yet rich malt grain smell.

Bitter-sweet chocolate with caramel and toffee notes. HInt of softly burnt toast. Delightful blend of hop bitterness infused with a light alcohol warmth peeking through the sweetness in the end.

Very smooth bodied mouthfeel, rich and velvety.

This is one excellent black lager, smooth yet rich. Well-balanced throughout and presenting a lot of dark beer complexity to your palate. Well worth checking out...

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Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 900 ratings.
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