Black Bavarian Style Lager | Sprecher Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
919 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
Ratings:
919
Reviews:
482
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
10.59%
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
98
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 919 |  Reviews: 482
Photo of gmcfarre
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle poured into Saison Dupont glass

A - Pours a dark, opaque, pitch black color with a thick, frothy one inch latte colored head. Head lasts very well, but lacing is moderate.

S - Strong roasted malt with some toffee and coffee flavors, as well as bitter dark chocolate. Scent is a little underwhelming in power. Caramel sweetness.

T - Starts with good roasted flavors and caramel sweetness. Again, toffee, coffee and dark bitter chocolate are touched upon. Nice and dry at finish with roasted flavor coming on again at aftertaste. Sweet, but refreshingly so.

M - Good carbonation with a medium body and creamy mouthfeel. A bit drying at the finish, but still retains some sweetness.

D - A really nice lager from Sprecher. Perfect with bratwurst I would imagine. Easy drinking despite its dark flavors and appearance.

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Photo of ffejherb
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz. bottle into Sam Adams glass on 8/15/08. Thanks to brewslut for sharing.

A - Deep, dark brown body that's about two shades lighter than pure black with some hazelnut accents around the edges underneath a half-finger creamy tan head that settled into a thin film of retention and spotty lacing.

S - Roasted and chocolate malt notes with hints of coffee, caramel and just a bit of earthy hops.

T - Just as the aroma implies, this black lager boasts an almost porter-esque flavor packed with plenty of roasted malt and chocolate. There are also mild hints of caramel and vanilla in the back. Finishes with a bit of earthy hop and coffee bitterness.

M - Medium body with a smooth, creamy texture and light carbonation. This just glides right down the throat. Nice moderate bitter bite on the back of the tongue.

D - Fantastic Schwarzbier from Sprecher that is the absolute standout of their roster, in my opinion. Extremely drinkable and very well done. This is also one of my wife's favorite beers.

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"I get a little bit of beef jerky... well, maybe not beef jerkey... maybe soy sauce."

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

Pours a nice dark brown, held to the light is slightly opaque. Nice light brown head leaving decent lacing on the glass. This brew has a nice deep aroma with hints of finely roasted malt with hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The taste is bold, but smooth. Chocolate malts with roasted caramel hit the palate with nice balance and a smooth taste. This is a nice brew near my home town in Milwaukee...drink up!

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Photo of mynie
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Solid Schwarz pour. Very dark red with a retentive, offwhite head.

Smells very light for the style with some deep, very fruity nodes and little hint hint of chocolate malt or anything toasted. I'd almost think it was a little stale, if I hadn't bought it right at the brewery less than two weeks ago. Still, it's a nice aroma. The fruit nodes and solid and pleasant. Just not as complex or intense as I was hoping.

Tastes just as complex and intense as I was hoping, I'm happy to say.

The balance leaves you with a beer that's at once complex and hugely drinkable. Starts out with very ripe fruit, super sweet, and balancing that out you have a more mundane, caramely sweetness. This then falls back into a more traditionally Schwarzy middle of dark roasted chocolate malt, earthen and bitter. The end is dry and bitter.

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Photo of halfP1NT
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed this one on 6/8/08. Thanks to johnd513 for this.

This brew pours an opaque black with a tan head that recedes into a thin layer.

Smell is nothing too overwhelming; toasty malts and smoke, woody and slightly sweet.

Taste is smoky, toasted malts and some smooth chocolate. There is also a definite meaty flavor here that's hard for me to ignore. I really don't like the meaty taste here (that's why I don't really like rauchbiers or smoked beers), but there are other things going on here that I do like. The smoky flavor dominates, and lingers after the sip. Nice hops presence balances it all out.

The sweet malts coat my mouth, yet this is a pretty crisp brew. This is a very flavorful lager. Although not my favorite style, I'd recommend trying this one.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was just a really good lightly roasted black lager. I pictured being able to drink this in a half liter mug in autumn and I think it would be perfect for that. Light enough in alcohol and body to be able to quaff yet high enough in flavor to enjoy thoroughly. I love how the mild roastiness and semi-sweetness of the malts comes out over the fairly light body. Really good. Sprecher is becoming one of my favorites, especially since they make the best Root Beer ever, but I digress.

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Photo of JasonA
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light dark black. Yes, a strange appearance, though I would guess on style. Little to no carbonation.

Slight malt. Almost smells burt. Light overall

Burnt malt, and yet very refreshing, light. Not much in the palatte, very subtle. For a 5%+ ABV, this beers tastes good.

Refreshing. Doesnt feel like the color. Macro feel, craft subtle.

Very nice. I could drink a few of these pounders. If the price was right, a case seems nice for a warm afternoon with friends.

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Photo of schanker21
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a virtually opaque, very dark brown which looks black when it's not held up to the light. Small tan head doesn't last long. Not a whole lot in the nose. I mean, it smells like beer, but that's about it. I can't detect a whole lot in the smell. The nose is misleading though, because the taste is pretty huge. I taste caramel, as well as a roasted, smoky taste. This is an excellent Schwarzbier. Not quite as smooth as some of the others I've had, but excellent nonetheless.

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Photo of HWPlainview
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an interesting beer. A bit "bigger" in flavor profile than some of the German schwarzbiers I have sampled. This is more of an "American" take on this style, almost like a robust porter.

The beer is dark black, but with garnet highlights when viewed through a light, it has a tannish head than fades but lingers on the glass.

The aroma is roasted malts, with perhaps a hop nose in the backdrop.

The flavor is impressive with lots of roasted malts going on, coffee, with sweetness in the middle, and dry bitterness in the finish. Very drinkable even if it is not as smooth as typical schwarzbiers.

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Photo of joshwlt
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminded me of a lighter rauchbier more than a schwarzbier... Poured thick dark brown/black out of the bottle with a tan brown head that only reached about 3/4 of an inch high and didnt last long... Smelled great... bread, toffee, and lightly meaty. The taste however integrated some light flavors of rauchbier with a smokiness and some jerky flavors and sliiight coffee but accompanied by some sweeter malt. This is a good beer to bridge the gap to a more flavorful in your face rauchbier or stout... other black beers I've had were a bit sweeter and subtle. This has a bit more taste and is restorative.

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

appearance - Nice dark color with a tan brown head.

smell - Malts, dark chocolate.

taste - Nice roasted taste with dark chocolate and java beans up front. Finished with some bitterness and nutty taste.

mouthfeel - Medium-heavy.

drinkability - Very nice beer. #1 for this style. i can see why.

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

S = Light roasted coffee beans with chocolate in the background.

T = Malty backbone, roasted grains, semi-sweet chocolate mingling around the other flavors. There was a slight roasted coffee bitterness in the finish. Nothing too bitter, but just enough to balance.

MF = Medium body with moderate carbonation. This one is silky smooth from mouth to stomach.

Overall, this is a very easy to drink schwarzbier with plenty of roasted goodness to enjoy.

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Photo of Drewcifer
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid black with a slight reddish tinge to it. A very short tan head that fades to a ring quickly. It's an interesting black - not the murky blacks of stouts and porters, but almost a glossy black.

Aroma is dark, smokey, roasted and burnt grains.

Taste is roasted grains, again, a slight bittersweet chocolate hint, maybe some toffee. Different, but good.

Mouthfeel is a good, solid lager feel - medium body, fair amount of carbonation, not thick but solid.

Overall, a very good brew. Not the most drinkable - I can't see having more than one or two in one sitting - but on a bottle-by-bottle basis, a nice drinker.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A dense finger of brown cream rises above a mahogany black brew that reminds me of the wood on a grand piano. The head recedes to a thick collar and leaves a lot of whipped lace on the glass.

S - Tootsie Rolls, root beer, sassafras, charcoal, charred firewood, wet slate, roasted grains, and chicory. Holy crap! This is an extremely complex and interesting nose! I just so happen to love smoky and dark aromas like campfire smoke, and this one is really impressing me tremendously. I could sniff this all day on a rainy day like this one.

T - Dark wet charcoal. This is like a charcoal grill after you pour water on it ....that hissing smoky woody smell. This tastes like that and reminds me of my childhood camping with my parents. There is also a sweetness to this one that is almost like raw brown cane syrup or maple syrup tapped straight from the tree and then caramelized over an open charcoal pit.

M - Medium bodied and highly carbonated. This is the crazy thin that I love about the style...it's rich and dark and smoky, but it's still a relatively spry lager! The finish is slightly dry and full of charcoal and soy sauce lingering notes.

D - An excellent example of the style. This is so smoky that it's almost like a rauchbier. I would definitely pick up some more of this great brew.

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

I always thought the name of this was a little weird considering the Schwarz style really isn't all that common in most of Bavaria...but I guess it does have a nice ring to it.
Pours a brown/black color with a huge fluffy head. Unlike many dark ales, this is relatively thin (intentionally) and fairly carbonated. I like that this is a 16oz bottle, so I had to pull out my imperial pint glass for it.
Smells roasty and clean with noble hops.
The taste has lots of coffee, baker's cocoa, and burnt grain flavors. The burnt flavors and kiss of noble hops makes this finish ultra-dry and bitter.
One of the things that makes this so drinkable is that it has a little sweetness up front, but finishes so clean. You just keep going back as a result.
Paired well with chicken skewers and veggies from grill, and I can really imagine it pairing very well with anything grilled.
Spot on for the style and fresher than most imports you're going to find. You might use this as a gateway for beer novices who like dry stout but haven't really branched out.
For experienced BA's, it's a great example of how to have a ton of flavor without being overblown.
Nice one Sprecher.

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Photo of biegaman
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle, ABV listed as 6.0%

Black Bavarian is indeed black in colour, although some chestnut highlights were observed off the pour and are still believed to reside somewhere underneath that thin, chalky head. Though dark as midnight the beer does not look, for whatever reason, the least bit intimidating...

The aroma is indulgent and decadent enough to be downright sinful. Rich and roasty, it boasts notes of bitter cocoa and coffee, sweet chocolate mousse and creamy chocolate truffles, brown sugar, molasses, soy and an underlying garden of hops.

The mouthfeel is unbelievably silky! It curiously somehow captures the flavour of 'roast' without imparting hardly any coarse, smoky, scratchy, or astringent roast qualities. In fact, the beer would have almost no texture at all less for the leafy, vinous bitterness that rings out after each sip.

Indeed, everything about this taste profile is bittersweet; it can just as closely resemble a chocolate and caramel fondue as it can smoked wood and espresso. There's also pine sap and citrus notes courtesy of our little green friends. Some anise-like flavour too.

I vividly remember first trying Sprecher Black Bavarian. It took one sip for me to deem it the best Schwarzbier I had tried to date. Admittedly, I didn't know much about the style back then. But having gained a lot more experience since, I still think it's probably one of the best there is.

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Photo of jjayjaye
2.86/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The pour is a clear dark brown color but in the glass the it's too dark to see through. This one has a shallow wispy tan head that fades quickly without leaving much Belgian lacing. Warning, I'm not a big fan that this is a twist off cap...i don't trust'em. The smell is unique. The aroma isn't completely 'roasted', but it's earthy and malt-like with a musty sort of character. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is medium bodied. There is a tangy hop to it but i'm a little distracted that the earthy musty thing has carried into the flavor. Full flavored, the taste isn't chaulky but it's quite earthy. There's some chocolate malt and something that i'd loosely characterize as caramelized. This one is not getting it for me. Feel free. Pour...a person has to know there limitations.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

looks pretty black with a tan head that shrinks up slowly to a lace. the aroma lives up to the dark malts the appearance promises... chocolatey roasted goodness. the malts live on in the taste with a good bit of roastedness, it's well attenuated, with a fine crisp mouthfeel... a pretty good beer.

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

Consumed 06/06/08 at The Daily Pint, Santa Monica CA.

Pours virtually black with a modest head that fades to lacing fairly quickly.

Aroma is smoky with hints of yeast. A touch metallic.

Flavor is meaty (as in reminds of smoked meat with spices, like jerky) and a little metallic. Smooth lager character helps keep things moving along flavor-wise as subtle malts come and go on the tongue. Well carbonated.

Easy enough to drink, but by the bottom of the bottle, I was about dome with this one. Well, it WAS the fourth pint that night...

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

16oz bottle poured into my RR pint glass. The bottle opened without much oomph.

A: Black with deep ruby highlights. There's a nice light brown head on this.

S: Bready, roasty, mildly nutty and toffee-ish. Good!

T: Great roasted flavors coming through with some toffee and caramel. The finish is strangely metallic which detracts from an otherwise great flavor profile.

M: Great carbonation, refreshingly so. With a dry finish, this goes down easy but the metallic taste is a little strange

D: A great quaffer for a hot day.

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Photo of jmalex
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On a slightly chilly, crisp evening, a schwarzbier seems like a nice beer to sit down with while watching the Phillies. Luckily I've got one of the most highly regarded schwarzbiers there is.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Sly Fox becker a dark, dark brown with a slight reddish amber highlight. The head is light tan, fine-bubbled, and tight and holds at about a finger high. A few spots of lace even make an appearance.

SMELL: Very distinctly a lager, this one has a slight aroma of roasted grains but not much else. What I smell is great, but it could be stronger.

TASTE: Very crisp and clean. It's got a sharp jolt of toasted and roasted malt, especially on the back end. A bit of hop flavor melds nicely with the bitterness of burnt grains. It's mostly devoid of any sweetness, and in it's place is a huge bready quality. Quite nice.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied, maybe leaning towards the lighter side with a slight slickness to it. Carbonation is on the high side which seems appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: Major points here. Just incredibly smooth and easy drinking. It's like the flavor of a porter or doppelbock with the easy drinking of a helles lager or English bitter. What a combo.

I heard a lot of good things about Specher and Black Bavarian delivers on those. And I think I picked the perfect day for it. This is exactly what I wanted.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very deep reddish-brown color with moderate tannish head.

Smell is loaded with chocolate, coffee, chicory, licorice, and roasted malt. Very strong and very nice.

Taste is also superb. Strong notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and roasted malt abound. The finish shows a nice balancing dryness and is the perfect ending for this beer.

Leaves a nice dry sensation in the mouth that beckons for another taste.

Really a great beer.Part of a sampler pack from my visit to Illinois so I don;t know if I will ever try it again.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Guinness Pint Extra Stout pint glass. Beautiful black color with hints of mahogany when the light shines on it. A strong, lively 2 inch head sits atop this wonderful lager. The aromas are fantastic w/ strong, sweet malts, followed by chocolate and even a slight roasted coffee aroma. The flavor is also great with more of the sweet, chocolatey malts. There is some caramel and toffee flavors present as well. The beer ends w/ a pleasant roasted coffee taste. There is some slight fruitness present as well. I do get just a hint of the hops, but just enough to add some necessary bitterness. The mouthfeel of this beer is not what you would expect. It is rather light to medium bodied, when one may expect it to be heavy. I like the fact that it is lighter.

Overall a stellar beer. I've had one other schwartzbeer, but I don't really remember it. This beer is definitely memorable and is a worthy adversary to any porter out there. The great thing about this brew is that it is so damn easy to drink. Goodbye 4-pack....

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Photo of Offa
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wodnerful schwarziber, complex, full of flaovur, yet very drinkable and smooth.

It's black, almost devoid of carbonation, and has a small, dense, light brown head that steadily thins to a foamy ring.

The aroma is rich, mostly roasted, chocolate, coffee, earth with elements of licorice and molasses.

The taste is similar to the aroma, but lighter. It has toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, licorice, other elements of flowers and spice, a tad like a little good root beer. It has a nice sweet-bitter balance. The flavour is strong and lasting, but incredibly smooth. Despite appearances, it is actually lightly carbonated and has a lively yet creamy feel, and is highly drinkable.

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Photo of ncvbc
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near black, brown edges, tan head with good staying power. Spotty lacing. Light and clean. Chocolate, caramel, grain, faint hops. Taste is very nice. Well-balanced flavors. Great chocolate and caramel sweetness but not overly sweet by any means. A bit roasted/smokey and a decent bitterness to balance. Nutty and bready undertones. Mouthfeel is light and somewhat creamy but has a dry finish. Yep, I like.

Bill is the man...

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Black Bavarian Style Lager from Sprecher Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 919 ratings.
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