Black Bavarian Style Lager | Sprecher Brewing Company

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Black Bavarian Style LagerBlack Bavarian Style Lager
930 Ratings
Black Bavarian Style LagerBlack Bavarian Style Lager

Brewed by:
Sprecher Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 930 |  Reviews: 485
Photo of KTCamm
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap for lunch at the Horse & Plow in Kohler, Wisconsin. Served in a standard pint glass.

Pours dark black, hints of brown, with little evidence of foam or lacing.

Mild roasted coffee smell.

Taste is burnt chocolate/coffee backed by a moderate hop. Lightly carbonated in the mouth.

Average drinkability. I enjoyed the beer, but given another chance, I probably would have ventured elsewhere on the menu.

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Photo of SteveS1
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle to a glass-
Look: Completely dark brown/red, a nice tan head, very bubbly.

Smell: Has a sweet fruity smell, cherries, a bit of hops.

Taste: Bitter woody taste at the tongue, finishes with dark fruits and licorice. Bitter aftertaste, but with perplexing sweet caramely flavors.

Feel: Lots of carbonation, but lighter than it looks.

Drink: This is a tasty black brew, but just a pint will do. Enjoy the rich flavors slowly.

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Photo of Wisconsin
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a syrupy, black body with a half inch tan head that fades to a lace quicker than I expected.

S - Roasted malts, chocolate, toffee, caramel and a bready malt smell.

T - Dark roasted malts with a smokey flavor. There is malts, chocolate, caramel, toffee and cream flavor are all present. Very good balance in this beer.

M - Dark, smokey, roasted malts enter your mouth with a nice transition to a chocolate, caramel and creamy finish. Good carbonation keeps the beer balanced.

D - With the style in mind this is a great beer. I could have a few in a sitting.

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Photo of MadTown1000
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the usual Sprecher big bulbous 16oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Smell of thick sweet molasses out of the bottle. Pours a black that on closer inspection in the light is actually a very deep dark cherry red, with about two inches of cherry-tinted foam. The foam recedes without leaving any lace. The taste delivers on the scent - the main character is sweet caramelized malt, with a little bit of bite to it. It does have a slight charred aftertaste I'm not fond of. While the BA description of a schwarzbier suggests they're often light in flavor, this one resembles a porter more than anything else. My favorite Wisconsin dark.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful extra received from fatboyjim1 in a recent trade. Thanks, Jim!

Pours a thick dark black with a big frothy tan head on top. Minimal retention leaves some lacing, but little of it. Smells of faint chocolate, fresh dark breads, hints of coffee, and slight minerals.

The mouth is smooth and creamy with just a touch of carbonation bite on the tongue. Big warming bready flavor is all over this beer. Subtle chocolate notes mixed with fresh buttered-bread and light coffee flavor makes this a wonderful drink. There is so much depth to this 'lager,' I could drink this all night. Absolutely wonderful.

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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.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.87/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled sometime in February 2009.

(A)- Pours almost pitch black with a large light brown head that slowly dissipated to a solid 1-finger. Plenty of lacing present.

(S)- Lots of roasted malt richness with a potent woody spice and afterthoughts of creaminess.

(T)- Really cream semisweet lightly roasted malts. Almost like a creamed coffee minus the sugar. Very light bitterness.

(M)- Smooth, creamy, and overall balanced; not overpowering. Good carbonation level.

(D)- My personal favorite schwarzbier. Easy to enjoy; balanced and goes down smooth. It is simple but rewarding. Even better fresh. The smell certainly waned due to its age.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Prohibition Tap Room

A - Dark and stout-like. Minimal head and lacing.

S - Roasted malts, slight hint of bitter cocoa.

T - Dark roasted malts, slight notes of roasted nuts, bitter cocoa and burnt popcorn. Earthy flavors.

M - Medium bodied. Earthy feel and finish. Ample carbonation.

D - Pretty full and filling... great malt flavors and low ABVs make this a drinker

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Photo of ChopperSmith
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Deep black with very little light getting through when held to the sun (a slight dark ruby color detected) with a thin tan head that didn't last long and had little lacing.

Smell: Roasted barley, burnt caramel and hops.

Taste: It has a unique rye flavor to it, bready and malty yet surprisingly light for such a dark brew. Was a nice taste that I could see seeking out again in the fall or winter.

Mouth feel: Crisp, well carbonated and slightly thinner than I expected. But in a good way.

Drinkability: I could do a session with this, but probably not now in the summer. More of a fall or winter beer. It's definitely got a unique taste I could see myself craving at some time...I love rye bread and rye flavors, so I will be having this again.

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Photo of fbinla
4.76/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours the darkest brown you can get before black. Light brown head, med carbonation. A dark roasted maltiness, a hint of dark chocolate, that are pretty strong but somehow the beer manages to be light on the palate. A nice bitterness compliments the sweetness with a perfect balance.

This is one of my favorite beers, dark and roasty yet it still manages to be dangerously easy to drink. Just fantastic.

Thanks to my in laws from bringing me cases from WI every time they visit.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian is a solid black lager with a fluffy brown head. Wooden spice, sweet malt and roast are in the aroma. It's medium-full bodied and incredibly smooth with a slightly astringent finish. Big, chewy roasted malt is the flavor here. It's balanced, bold and simple. The wooden spice is in the taste too. It's almost a touch tart. This is very enjoyable-- a supreme lager!

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

Black in color with light mocha head that quickly dissipates. Roasted malts on the nose. Clean attack that gives way to a heavy flavor of lightly roasted malts (if that isn't contradictory). Sweet towards the finish but still finishes as clean as it starts. There is a mild smokiness to the aftertaste and it leaves just a little bit of sweetness on the tongue. I must say that this is for sure my favorite of the Sprecher beers that I have tried.

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

A stubby 16 ounce bottle poured into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a clear deep chestnut brown color with about two fingers of light ecru foam. Smells and tastes of dark roasted grains, mild coffee and chocolate, caramel, earthy bitter hops. Falls somewhere between medium and full bodied for a schwarzbier and is amply carbonated as well. Certainly worth your time.

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

poured a very dark brown/ black with a small mocha colored head that faded to just a ring of bubbles
the smell is interesting it comes across like a burnt caramel malt, intriguing
taste is heavy coffee and dark chocolate can pick up some hop bitterness but more of a burnt bitterness than hoppiness
mouthfeel is light not like a stout or even a porter but if a "lite" version of such ever existed it would be like this
Drinkability well this is just a wonderful beer will definitely search out more in this style

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a midnight black with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated, no lacing present.

Smell is roasted malts, sweet caramel & licorice.

Taste is licorice, malts and sweet caramel, with a slight bitterness

Mouth feel is surprisingly light for such a dark beer.

Very drinkable dark lager, although not sure I could do more than one or two in a session because of the sweetness.

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Photo of GreyMorel
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had in botle form, served cold into a tumbler.

A - Reasonably dark. Not a black, but rather a very dark brown that becomes apparent when held up to the light. Head was of an off-white color, single finger thickness. Head was not long lived.

S - Smelled very sweet, with a noticable hop aroma.

T - The tast was very sweet from malts, and yet a little hopy; very pleasent. I wasn't expecting such an uplifting taste from a "dark" beer.

M - Nothing outstanding to report here. It feels rather smooth with moderate carbonation. It was rather light bodied, not heavy.

D - I only rated it average. I was very gung-ho about drinking it at first, but the sweet flavor just kept building up in my palate to the point where I couldnt finish it. If you sip it slow, its a great beer; don't go overboard.

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Photo of CHL
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark, with a tan head, and some deep red brown light showing through. Malty coffee and chocolate aroma.

The malt has definite sweetness and a little coffee bitterness. This beer has a very nice dark taste, but is appropriately medium-bodied. Not a lot of carbonation or hops, and I like it that way. It's creamy, actually, not thin, and goes down very well.

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Photo of BigBry
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another draft choice at Clark Street Ale House, one of my favorite styles.
Very dark brown, reddish hilights, with a short off white head. Not much head retention and very little lacing.
Smells of sweet grains with a touch of coffee and chocolate. Flavor starts sweet and malty, slightly bitter finish. Subtle cocoa and coffee notes. Very drinkable, nice level of carbonation, goes down smooth. Flavorful but not so much that it wears out your taste buds with the hoppiness. Top notch.

Note to Self: Ranked #1 Schwarzbier when I tried it.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz. Pours near black with some ruby and chestnut hues at the edge of the glass when held to the light. Foamy tan head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves nearly no lacing on the glass. Aromas are mainly roasted malts with hints of bittersweet chocolate. Tastes are again roasted malts and chocolate - also espresso. Finishes slightly bitter and dry, but very crisp. Love this style, and this is a great example of the style for a great price - paid $5.69 for a 4-pack of pint bottles!

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

Pours a pretty dark brown that shows light. Sizeable tannish head. Mild nose. Flavor is bringing a lot of flavor. Nice malts, noticeable cooked (but not roasted) grain tones. The malts really seem to thicken up to me as time goes on. Mildly sweet as a compliment to everything else. Feel has a nipping carbonation. Liquid is slightly thick. It's a shame that Sprecher isn't more widely distributed here (as far as variety goes). I'd be very open to trying anything they brewed.

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Photo of Beer-Zombie
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this brew pours up a dark brown color with a quickly fading tan head... the nose smells like an ale! chocolate malts and subtle caramel... the taste is toasted malts, chocolate, subtle sweetness, very crisp... medium bodied and low to medium carbo...

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From Notes: 2/22/09
Sprecher Brewing Co.
Black Bavarian
5.86% Alc.
16oz. bottle

Appearance= Vigorous pour into New Belgium snifter yields a 2 finger tan head. Black opaque beer w/ minimal carbonation.

Smell= Not a whole hell of a lot going on. Malt, maybe a little bit of chocolate.

Taste= Uh. uh. uh. Nothing bad, nothing really good. Not offensive, just goes down. A little chocolate and malt, that's about it.

Mouthfeel= Nice creamy mouthfeel. Perfect for a beer. Best attribute about this beer.

Drinkability= High I guess. Nothing is bad about this beer, but nothing really stands out. It's great on tap if you can get it. Nothing I would seek out on a consistant basis.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.77/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a jet black with a thin tan ring of head. Very minimal head and lacing. Appears to be somewhat thin in body.

S- A big rush of smokey goodness on the nose. Some acidic element from the malts, smells like a campfire.

T- All malts and smokiness. A nice smokey flavor enveloped with spicy notes. Almost no hops, maybe a hint on the finish. Very complex malt profile.

M: somewhat harsh, high carbonation, spicy on the tongue. Thin body.

D: This has been at my local liquor store since I began shopping there over a year ago. I always passed it up. Recently I read the reviews on this one and thought at 5.99 for a 4pk/16 oz, I am silly for having passed on this on so often. This is easily one of my favorite lagers as it has a great deal of complexity. I really like the smokiness of it also, not too much but a good amount.

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

16 oz. bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A: Almost black, but when back lit, a mahagony tint shines through. The pour produced one finger of light tan head that stuck around for the entire glass.

A: Very spicey, malty nose. Also a very prevelent wood and smoke aroma. Some very light coffee and chocolate also present.

T: Very much like the nose. The black roasted malt stand out. The beer finishes dry with a very slight alcohol heat.

M: Unexpected medium body. From the look of the brew I thought it would be much heavier. A good amount of carbonation gives it a tingle at the back of the palate.

D: Overall very good for the style. At 6%, if schwarzbier is your thing, Black Bavarian is sessionalbe. Will be having this again. Skal.

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Photo of hardy008
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a black color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Gave a tan, foamy, three finger head. Left a nice lace.

Smell - Gives a very malty aroma. Coffee also present.

Taste - Malt and coffee. Goes good with pizza,

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, smooth, and creamy.

Drinkability - Easy to drink. Very good overall.

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Black Bavarian Style Lager from Sprecher Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 930 ratings