Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Black Bavarian Style Lager | Sprecher Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Black Bavarian Style LagerBlack Bavarian Style Lager
BA SCORE
4.04/5
Exceptional
926 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:
#3,062
Reviews:
484
Ratings:
926
pDev:
10.64%
Bros Score:
4.03
 
 
Wants:
144
Gots:
99
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 484
Photo of touchmeimsac
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the last beers I had left from my June trip back to Boston. Somehow this one got lost in the shuffle and only recently resurfaced in the DBF. The 500ml bottle decanted easily into the (also) recently rediscovered mug I've grown fond of again, yielding a brew displaying a blackish color with brown edges, copious carbonation, and a thick foamy light beige head that was quite durable.
The nose was laden with a thick caramel aroma, some cocoa and molasses. Lighter oats and grain aromas are present. Very faintly, a hint of alcohol, too.
Medium-light as I'd expect a schwarzbier to be yet this one thickens up as it warms a little. Rolling waves of chocolate and caramel flavors swirl and merge together for a singularly sweet taste. As it moves back on the palate, a light coffee flavor makes an introduction and lingers mildly.
Overall, a really nice example of the style, one I wish I could find out here. Definitely worth picking up if you can.

 958 characters

Photo of kushlash23
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of npendres
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the first Schwarzbier I have ever had, and it's a damn fine brew at that.

The appearance is an inky black color with absolutely no light penetration, and only a thin but extremely creamy head. Leaves little to no lacing along the glass.


The smell is quite enticing. Smells like caramelized chocolatey malt character, slightly roasty. Smells like a good brown ale with a strong herbal hop in the background. Very earthy.

The taste is also remniscient of a good brown ale: caramel and chocolate malt, only a slight bit roasty. What sets this apart, though, is the hop character. The hops are slightly herbal and grassy with very little spiciness. It is quite well blended between the malt and hop flavors.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewey, just how I like it. Leaves a residual coffee bitterness in the finish, but doesn't end too dry. A slight piney hops character can be found as well.

Drinkability is good, and ABV isn't quite out of control, but nonetheless I couldn't picture myself sessioning these. It is too rich, and is better enjoyed at a snail's pace. Pick it up if you can.

 1,109 characters

Photo of biggred1
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black coffee with crimson highlights and a finger of whipped mocha foam that leaves superfine lacing behind on the glass. Tootsie roll and cocoa are heavy duty in the nose with a bit of roastiness as well. Rich and chocolatey with plenty of caramel malt and a perfect hop bittering to balance.Full bodied for a lager and creamy with silky smooth carbonation. I'll admit this is not a style I often seek out but Black Bavarian is a fantastic Schwarzbier with perfectly balanced complex flavors.

 493 characters

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade with dertbert.

16 oz brown bottle with no freshness info.

a: Jet black with dark tan head that fades fast.

s: Sweet chocolate and caramel notes.

t: Very malty, sweet, and roasty with a nice chocolate flavor.

m: Light body, average carbonation.

d: Drinkability is very high, I could drink this all night.
Its very smooth and light, but has a great chocolate flavor that keeps you interested.
I have only had a couple of schwarzbiers, but this is without a doubt my favorite.

 499 characters

Photo of martyl1000
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle into O'Reilly's Stout glass. Beautiful pour - rich, tan, 2f head hangs out for a while on top of an opaque black body with burgundy edges.

Smell is pleasant - roasted malts are very apparent, coming thru as charcoal and beef brisket. Black strap molasses, with a touch of black licorice. Inviting without being overpowering.

Roastiness continues in the flavor, with a slightly acidic twang, and along with just enough hop bitterness, it keeps the powerful malt balanced.

Good, dry mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation. It pulls you back for more.

I give this high marks for drinkability. Might be a little fuller of flavor than most schwarzbiers, but not cloying or heavy by any means. Still keeps the lighthearted nature of the style.

 761 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

 688 characters

Photo of JackieTH
3.36/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served by the bottle as part of Old Chicago's World Beer Tour

Appearance: Dark brown almost black with a half finger of chunky tan head.

Smell: Lightly burnt malts and molasses.

Taste: Roasted almost burnt carmel malt and black strap molasses semi-sweetness with some wood and semi-sweet chocolate giving a bitter characteristic.

Mouthfeel: Medium and a bit too fizzy.

Drinkability: It isn't something I'd seek out, but it's adequately drinkable as well as enjoyable.

 472 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to goes to Ben for this tasty brew. Pours out pitch black with a good sized foamy tan head. Decent retention and lacing are left around the glass. Roasty chocolate malts are in full force with a great caramel sweetness backing it up. Some bitter dark chocolate and a small amount of dark fruits aromas are in there as well. Very rich aroma. Taste starts off with a dose of caramel before the huge roastiness comes through. Chocolate is noted as well and this ends with a nice bitter roasty finish. Mouthfeel is medium and very rich and creamy. Goes down quite smooth, I could drink a large number of these. I wish I had a large number to drink as this would make a great session brew. This is really an excellent example of the style really wowed me.

 763 characters

Photo of cosmonick
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of IBUnit63
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to flyingbison for this Black Dog...

Excellent compact rye bread head with nice lacing - deep and dark licorice body.

Well-roasted chocolate malt and a little yeast. Not a whole lot of hops just yet. Nice smoke aroma emerges with a little warmth.

Bountiful malt presence combines with such a creaminess to be almost stout-like. Very clean but powerful. Nice! One of the best tasting of the style that I've sampled.

Charred burnt malt is pleasant in mouthfeel - there's a sharp while earthy aftertaste on the palate.

Very nice to drink - I wish we could get more of this around here.

 595 characters

Photo of Knoxrb12
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of little_star
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of cdkrenz
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$3.00/pint
Scott Street Steak & Pub
Wausau, Wisconsin

Appearance - They're not kiddin when they say, "black". It comes dark as night with a light brown, frothy head about 3/4" thick. As the head melts away it leaves trail which I feel takes away from its luster.

Smell - It offers a subtle sweet scent I didn't expect. It has a hint of chocolate that's quite inviting.

Taste - Very good taste with chocolate and carmel flavors. The taste is not overwhealmingly deep which makes for a very satisfying finish. Nothing bitter about the Bavarian.

Mouthfeel - Its as smooth as any beer out there. No harsheness from carbonation and no bitter hoppyness to fight. Very easy to drink this schwarzbier.

~ Had I been staying at Scott Street for more than one beer I most certainly would have indulged in a few more drafts of this fine beer. I look forward to my next trip to Wausau so I can stop in and have another. If you get the chance don't pass on the this one.

 974 characters

Photo of sommersb
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. brown bottle, with a date code of 103421115, which I think means it was bottled on December 8, 2010. Served in a pilsener glass and drank on March 12, 2011.

A - Black beer with ruby highlights when held to the light. Head is tan, creamy and 4 fingers high. A fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S - Toasted and bready malts are featured. Smells like a dark German bread. Also hints of chocolates and some booziness, with a little sweetness as well.

T - Creamy, with dark, roasted malts. A coffee-like bitterness reminds me a bit of a porter or stout ale. There's a bittersweet taste, as well as a slight burnt character.

M - Medium body and fairly high carbonation. Aftertaste is a lingering dark malty bitterness, but is still balanced well with a little sweetness.

D - A very nice black lager. The strong roasted malt profile reminds me of a stout, however.

 871 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Quite black with a subtle amber tint; tan colored head, which is thick and frothy--decent retention; lacing is fantastic

S: Very bready aromas: toasty even; also a chocolate undertone; some pleasant hop aromas push through as well; a touch subdued

T: Bready with chocolate notes up front and a dry semi-sweet chocolate flavor on the back end; not very complex but this is a nice malty, bready beer

F: Creamy and thick up front but rather thin as the beer moves toward the back of the mouth; the dry quality makes the beer nearly evaporate from the beer after it is gone

D: A nice malty beer that well represents the style; one of my favorites from Sprecher

 663 characters

Photo of Fcolle2
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a one finger light tan head that has good retention.

Smell has notes of medium creamy roasted malt with warm toffee notes, a bery light hop presence and clean smelling yeast.

Taste has a nice light roasted coffee like flavor with creamy roasted malt, slight hop prescence and a really clean tasting yeast. There are also some light toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel is awesome, feels creamy, light, clean crisp and very refreshing. This is one of the smoothest beers I've had in a while.

 500 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After a few years of waiting to be in the right area to find this beer, it finally happened at the Happy Gnome in St. Paul. Sure I could have traded for it, but the trip is part of the fun, isn't it?

Nice dark, almost black body with a rather thin whitish head. Aroma is clean, with just a hint of malt and noble hops in there. Overall, it's just a really fresh malt aroma. Taste is also clean and a bit malty. A nice hop balance in there, but not much hop flavor - just bittering. Mouthfeel is solid. Better than average, not exactly memorable. Drinkability is very good. I really wish this beer was available near where I live. While not the amzing revalation I was hoping for, it would be a staple lager for me to complement my occasional Prima Pils and Paulaner O'fests.

 776 characters

Photo of Tbone2131
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tballz420
4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Almost completely opaque black body, slight brown hues when held to the light. Small brown head tops it off. Big chocholate malt scent, some slight roast to it. The main gist of this one is chocolate malts, good amount of roast to them. A touch of bitter hops in the backround. Big, creamy mouth. Not a bad drink.

 313 characters

Photo of TheBlueJerzzzz
3.42/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black Bavarian Style Lager from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 926 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.