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Black Bavarian | Sprecher Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
478 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:
478
Ratings:
908
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
14.78%
 
 
Wants:
132
Gots:
93
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 478 | Ratings: 908
Photo of chicano4craft
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker glass out of the 16oz bottle. Black with a slight ruby tint in the light. Half inch, bubbly head that disappeared pretty fast.

Sweet roast in the nose. Not much else.

Taste was just as the aroma promised with a sweet roast. Slighlty burn after taste. Pretty standard for the style. Lots of carbonation.

I see this as a dark session beer. Not blown away, but would make for a good start of the night beer. Thanks to nappie for this one.

 459 characters

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.

 627 characters

Photo of RacerX5k
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

IDK. Years ago I loved this beer, 4 paks 16oz stubbys ran like $7, great buy and a great beer to take to a poker game. Roasted, with notes of chocolate and coffee, nicely bitter. That beer would easily rate a 4 - 4.25, best in class. This beer? Lousy. Smell almost non existent and taste was like a mild, sweet, little hoppy black ale. So did the recipe change? Or is this just a case of old beer? I'm going to guess old beer, and no one will ever tell me about aging beer. Changes yes. Improves? No. Waste of time, and my $4 for the single.

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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.

 771 characters

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

 679 characters

Photo of Ottoj55
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown/black beer with an off white head. Smells like dark chocolate malts. The taste is on the deeply kilned side like black malts, I like schwarzbier to be a bit less roasted. Medium bodied, its a bit heavier in the mouth than an Oktoberfestbier. Its Sprecher's flagship beer and I can get it from the brewery.

 320 characters

Photo of markman
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sprecher Black Bavarian :

Very nice brew…stellar pour is a crisp clear back with a nice head. Taste is chocolate malt with a toasted roast flavor that is so good it almost takes ya by surprise…I’ll be honest with ya, I damn near wept. Creamy mouthfeel is nearly porterlike with a drinkability that is close to perfection. If I lived a bit closer to Massachusetts (Sprecher is not available in my beloved Nutmeg State) this would be in my fridge…con-stant-ly. Big props to richdude for the specimen.

Cheers…

 518 characters

Photo of dbtoe
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Look very black body with a finger of tan head that reduced to a ring fairly quick.

Smell a hint of sweet and toasty roasted malt.

Taste yup black roasted malt with a spicy hop end. Something in there I can't ID but really a great smack of flavors.

Feel zesty carbonation with good body Very enjoyable tang.

Drink this is a very enjoyable beer to drink. I had both and was wishing I had more.

Comment had this from a sample pack and wish the 8 pack was 4 of these and 4 of the Special Amber, two very good beers that I'll get again.

 578 characters

Photo of MadTown1000
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

 648 characters

Photo of nocheinsbitte
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this from a 16 oz bottle into a nice glass.
Appearance: rich, thick, almost milk-shake looking in pouring-appearance (not that thick, but close. Clings to the side of the glass letting you know that you are going to be drinking a nice, thick, well-made bier. A 2-4 finger head that billows as it settles. Stays for quite a bit of time.
Smell: chocalatety, coffee-like, but subtle and reassuring. Not over powering at all.
Taste: I mentioned the milk-shake reference earlier, well, it tastes as good as that. No harsh after taste, just a nice mouthful of bier that is very satisfying and pleasurable.
Drinkability: I am having one right now...it is 12 deg outside, dark, and depressing here on the shores of lake michigan; but with the glass of black bavarian, I am one happy camper and enjoying my night of lounging.
I would suggest trying the same, easy to drink, good taste, and overall a high-quality bier.

 921 characters

Photo of adams82
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz. Bottle, dated 4/2/02. I assume this is the bottling date, nearly 3 years old!

Pours a deep ruby black. May appear pitch black at first, but hold it up to a light and marvel at the nearly translucent ruby hue of this excellent beer. The body is nicely complimented by a thin, lacy, tan head. Maybe the lack of a billowy head is a by product of such an old bottle?

Smells of sweet roasted caramel and hints of sweet, slightly burnt, chocolate. Malt character is very pronounced, and very intriguing.

The taste offers one more characteristic that is not apparent in the aroma. Coffee. Caramel is still there, the chocolate is somewhat subdued, while the coffee flavor really comes through to the forefront. Not overpowering, but noticeable as you sip on the black liquid. It also adds a nice balance of bitterness to what you might first assume would be a malty, unbalanced, beer upon smelling it. Again, maybe a characteristic of an older bottle.

Mouthfeel is good! I would call this a medium body beer, as it exhibits a slightly watery feel upon the first part of your sip, but as you begin to take it down, it seems to expand a bit and becomes creamier and more robust. Smooth as well!

Drinkability is good as well. Not really a session beer, as the ABV is slightly higher than what I consider a session beer to be, paired with 16oz. servings, it could catch up you fast. However, it should be fairly easy to down a four pack, as it is creamy and smooth, and still want more.

One of my favorite offerings of all time. Too bad the only local source for this beer seems to stock older bottles. I am sure that a fresher bottle would exhibit atleast some hint of coffee, and have a more pronounced feel to it. I get this as often as I am able to and I enjoy every sip!

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Photo of Scoats
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine mentioned he picked up a couple of cases slightly past date at a tasty price. Happily the beer was tasty too, very tasty. The case Sean found was 16ouncers (wonder if that is the regular size). I had a couple at Sean's house while watching the Eagles lose last Sunday.

What a wonderful beer! Heaven knows why more breweries don't make a schwarzbier. What a totally underutilized beer style, and this brand executes it perfectly. This is a wonderfully quafable beer to enjoy on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Very thick and hearty without any off tastes.

A perfect session beer, big taste, medium ABV I think. Pour it into large mug, sit back and enjoy.

I just wish this was more easily available around here.

 731 characters

Photo of Shippy
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color with a thick, tan head. Very nice appearance. Smell is roasty and dark with lots of typical malt characteristics, followed by some spice and a hint of oak. Flavor has a similar profile with chocolatey, roasty flavors and some nuttiness. Feel is medium-light, but creamy. I'm not generally a huge fan of this style, but this particular beer is very good. I wish I had a few more my fridge.

 418 characters

Photo of pheggeseth
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Surly tulip glass

A: modest tan head, dark, almost opaque, looks pretty inviting

S: very aromatic roasted malts, slight hops and alcohol

T: slightly watery character with strong roasted malts, again, some slight hops and alcohol in the back with a burnt character

M: smooth, but slightly watery, decent carbonation

D: smooth, tasty, not terribly complicated, low abv, well done

 397 characters

Photo of Jammies
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a watery black with a thin layer of foam that immediately disappears.

S - sweet with a slightly nutty coffee odor

T - well balanced. A deep toasty lager with no overbearing flavors.

M - Light and smooth. Slightly malty on the finish as expected

O - Surpisingly well-balanced. Really enjoyed this one.

 314 characters

Photo of klkatz
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My trip to the local pick 6 had me choosing beers in cool bottles this time. Sprecher's bottle is short and stout with "Sprecher" embossed on the bottle... pretty cool.

Color pours a rich, coffee black... there's a hint of red in the pour...

Aroma is minimal... couldn't really pick up anything... very small hint of malt - only because I knew I was smelling for it.

The taste is average... but it is what you'd expect from a dark lager - it's a decent, slow drinking brew. Enjoyable, but nothing to write home about in my opinion.

I'd drink 'em if you got 'em... but wouldn't get 'em to drink 'em.

 604 characters

Photo of CHL
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 369 characters

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.

 605 characters

Photo of SteveS1
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 441 characters

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.

 479 characters

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 cookin420
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to brdc for this and many others.
Bottle poured into a pubglass.

Very black. What does show through is a yellow and brown tint not much red at all. Small head. Thin with a good coating of thin lace.

Smell is an intense caramel/coffee with bakers chocolate. Many layers involved in this brew. Some sort of sweet, citric aroma that I want to say is a malt aroma but could also be a hop smell as well.a
Abundant dark fruit and again, the heavy coffee, or mocha even, is very prominent.

Mellow and mild, this brew is full of contradictions. It is smooth and sweet but very dry at the same time, woody, with undertones of unsweetened chocolate and what I can only describe as unsweetened toffee and caramel. I am tasting big caramel flavors without the sweetness that usually comes with that. Stout-like in many respects. The yeast is responsible for a pizza dough-like flavor.

A very slick and creamy brew for something so dry. Well carbonated for the style.

Sooo drinkable. Black, yet crisp and refreshing. (the perfect brew?) Very well done.

 1,059 characters

Photo of CurtisLoew
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce bottle, cool.

Pours extremely dark brown/black color. Can't see anything through the light. Nice cream colored head.

Smells like the inside of a brewery. Very grainy and nice.

Taste is great. Incredibly clean. Nice grainly, malty german taste. A little dark chocolate and coffee undertones present in this beer. Kind of roasty malt, very nice.

Liked this beer a lot. Sprecher has really shot up in my book lately. My last three beers by them have blown me away. Go sprecher!

 487 characters

Photo of anglagard1
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass per Beer Advocate directions.
Still getting used to the style, as it looks and smells like a porter or stout. The smell especially reminds me of a quality porter, with rich cocoa/coffee aroma, with perhaps a slight medicinal/bandaid to it. It is in the taste and mouthfeel that I recognize this is a lager; there is nothing that especially makes me want to keep this on the tongue, nor am I reluctant to drink it in gulps. It's a good beer but I'd be hard pressed to find the right occassion for it. Perhaps if you're in the mood for a dark beer on a warm summer night.

 598 characters

Photo of revolt914
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I drank this beer with nothing holding me back... this is by far one of my top 5 beers to date. I can't think of anything bad about this beer being the style it is. I started with craft beers knowing I loved Black Beers and being a schwarzbier is just that. If you haven't had this beer take some time and get to know it, I really do think this beer deserves no explanation other than a strong push in the, "Go get this beer" category!

 435 characters

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 908 ratings.
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