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Black Bavarian | Sprecher Brewing Company

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477 Reviews
Black BavarianBlack Bavarian

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

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Reviews: 477 | Ratings: 902
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at The Rheinblick in Canandaigua, NY, into a cool branded stein.

Pours a very dark black, at least from what I can tell, with a creamy white head, and a good amount of lacing.

Smells like chocolate, smoke, some espresso bitterness, and roasted malt. Smells quite inviting, but could be stronger.

This tastes very similar, a good and equal mix of both chocolate, smoke, coffee, and dark roast. It's pretty full tasting for the low ABV, rich and creamy.

This has a very creamy, delicious mouthfeel, with a lower amount of carbonation. Very drinkable.

I'd been wanting to try this for a while, it really hit the spot.

 626 characters

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

A: Black with a medium tan head, some retention, light lacing.

S: Big malty aroma (bread & cola) with a touch of roasted grain and hop spicing.

T: Bready & roasted grain with subtle hints of coffee & molasses. Modest bitterness with light grassy-spicyness from the hops.

M: Moderate body is smooth & creamy, with a somewhat dry finish.

D: I'm generally not a fan of Schwarzbier, but this one is quite drinkable.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a light brown, three-finger head that goes slowly and leaves a good lace. Light to medium carbonation. Very dark almost black ruby color. Nose is chocolate malt. Starts with a rich coffee and chocolate flavor. Finish is sweet with some hops. $1.95 for a 16oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, MA.

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Photo of corby112
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black color with slight amber edges when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger tan head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic splotches os soapy lacing left behind.

Roasted chocolate malt aroma with some earthy hop bitterness, roasted coffee, toffee, licorice and some smoked malt.

Medium bodied with a lot of roasted chocolate maltiness with hints of deep roasted coffee, caramel, oatmeal and toffee. There is surprisingly a nice btter hop presence that adds a bit of complexity and lingers into a dry finish.

One of the better beers I've had from Sprecher.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown body with good head and minor lace retention. Aroma is roasted malts and grainy lager like with touches of caramel and dark chocolate. The beer is smooth and easy to drink with balance of roasted malts and chocolate/caramel sweetness and finishes dry. This would've received a higher score but for some reason at times I get this weird oily aftertaste which I assume must be something only I have encountered b/c it doesn't make sense.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a 2L Boot)

A- This beer has a black thick body with a creamy thick head that last and last. No sign of carbonation in this dark body.

S- This beer has a dark roasted malt smell that is smooth and light with an earthy note to the malt There is a faint cream note in the background.

T- This beer has a dark malt flavor that is not bitter and very drinkable. There is a faint black grain note and a chocolate malt flavor that gets stronger as it warms. There is a faint noble hop bitterness at the finish that offers a nice compliment to all the malt flavors. As it warms some hints of molasses and prunes come through but they are dry more that sweet notes.

M- The mouthfeel is medium-light with a creamy texture in the finish that is light also.

D- This beer has nice complexity but is smooth and light making it very easy to drink. The chocolate malt and cream offer a great flavor without being overpowering or sweet.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. The aroma is sweet roasted malts, molasses, toffee and hints of coffee. The taste is dark and roasty with a good dose of slightly burnt malts, caramel and a touch of smoke. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on. Overall, Black Bavarian is a beer that I really enjoyed and will purchase again in the future. Recommended.

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

16oz bottle courtesy of hu5om. Thanks Ryan!

Not first encounter with Black Bavarian. It was one of the first beers that really impressed me at my first GABF.

It pours the blackest of pitch blacks with about an inch of tannish foam. Despite having an average head of foam, the lacing is good.

The smell is of chocolate and roasted malt. Some sweet notes, some bitter ones.

The taste is superb! Notes of chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, a touch of fruitiness when I swish it in my mouth, and a nice balancing light bitterness. Delicious!

Medium body, light to medium carbonation, this is an easy drinking and super good example of the style. Maybe the best US sample that I've tried.

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

A: Deep brown/black color; mahogany highlights in the edges up to the light. Poured a 2 finger light brown head with good retention to an even skim. Laced in running patches.

S: Toasted malts; dark bread and chocolate. Faint dark-colored fruits and earthy hay.

T: Big malt flavor very consistent with the nose. A bit of a sour note gives way to a carbonation bite. Then transitions quickly to a building bitter finish with coffee notes in the background. Very interesting beer.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation; very active on the palate ahead of the finish. Very nice balancing complement.

O: Remarkable balanced for big malt bomb. Lots of flavor, not too sweet, sharply bitter in the finish.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant dark brown, light tan head. S: Roast malt, dark sugar sweetness, not much hop, not a lot of esters in the nose, pepper. T: Crisp, darker malts, very clean, light sweet touch not much hop, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, more roast than needed. Finishes dry. The fruit is behind the roast flavors. F: Medium high carbonation, smooth, low medium body O: Very drinkable, could use a little more of something to stand out but well done, little more malt and hops but not much.

 484 characters

Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

16ozer bottle from prepackaged mixed 8-pack from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2 inch tall latte-hued head which quickly faded to a small layer of foam. Very dark in color, yet still the slightest of translucency in this brew. Heavy malt nose, with coffee and burnt amlts predominant. Excellent malty flavor, with undertones of coffee, yet smooth like silk. Drinkability is superb, an excellent offering from Sprecher, my definite favorite of the 8-pack.

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Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear deep brown with a frothy, lingering tan head that leaves sticky lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Roast malt, char, a touch of acrid/metallic character, chocolate, and toasted nuts form the aroma.

Flavor reveals a toasted, nutty malt backbone that becomes roasty and a little acrid mid palate, finishing with bitter coffee grounds. Chocolate surfaces in the aftertaste.

Body is on the thick side, with moderate carbonation. There's a fairly chalky mouthfeel that lingers.

Wish the acrid/metallic character weren't evident. Good combination of roast and toasted malt. The acrid/metallic character goes away eventually, so my score is reflective of that.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce bottle served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch and half frothy tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells very malty, like coffee, chocolate and molasses. It's very tasty, it tastes like chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, molasses, coffee and also a bit of a smoky taste. For the most part it's a sweet tasting beer, with some bitterness too. Mouthfeel is medium, with a good amount of carbonation. It's smooth and a bit creamy and slick with a dry finish. Drinkability is good, it goes down very easy and it's hard to stop drinking this. I think this is a good beer, I like it a lot and I'd definitely recommend it.

 665 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark black with only a slight touch of red hues at the base. My pour produced only a slight lace of ring of mocha colored head but a quick swirl gets it nice and sticky.

S - Smells some slight roasted notes, anise, coffee, and toffee. Smells strong.

T - Has a very nice nutty taste, then toffee, then a smooth roast of mild coffee. Finish has a nice bit of hops too.

M - Medium bodied and very creamy. Nice!

Overall I had to take the overall score down since I can't find this around my area but it was a very good black lager. Smooth and drinkable!

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Pours a slowly rising to three finger head tha makes a slow recession to nothingness on the surface of my 16oz's of beer. Color is a deep, deep brown with some brownie/blood highlights.

Smell- Your are hit with complex malt aromas of smokey beech wood, toasty and roasty breads. With a lager like pop in the nostrils for the finish.

Taste- Strta out with mostly roost, but then you catch resurging waffs of smoke intermitant with a middle of toasty malts and a little burnt lager like grass flavors in the end.

Mouthfeel- The malts were awesome moving over my mouth. They mixed well with my garlic enveloped pizza. A little cloying...maybe. The malts I mean.

 681 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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 Stevedore
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12ml bottle, served in a snifter glass.

Pours a medium cola brown body, one finger white head, fair retention, not much lacing. Smells of chocolate malt, a bit of smoke, mild nuttiness, a bit of tobacco, roasted malt. Solid stuff. Flavour is similar, a bit smokier, chocolate and roast malt, a bit of tobacco. It's not super complex but it's definitely different in a good way. Mouthfeel is a bit thin though still medium bodied, good carbonation, smoky bitterness on the finish. Not a bad schwartzbier, not too heavy on the smoke but also not too heavy on everything else.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 690 characters

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.

 529 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz bottle, served in a pint glass

A deep brown, nearly black, body with a thin tan cap. Dots and lines of lace scattered about.

Aroma is of deep roasted malt, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. This is all malt in the nose, not a hop to be found.

A lot of dark malt flavor. Grainy, roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate seem to dash to the front of the line, but toffee, caramel and molasses have the last laugh. The hops add a nice layer among all these malts. An earthy, slightly bitter undertow.

A very smooth beer that covers a lot of bases. Body is medium, but can feel thicker and thinner at times. Weird. I guess that's the beauty of a schwarzbier, big bold malt flavor packed into a lager. An excellent take on the style.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Solid black appearance, 1" light tan head. Aroma was a good mix of lagery yeast imparted mild fruitiness and bitter hops.

Hits those hoppy dark beer notes without the excessive roast that less than great black ipas or robust hoppy porters do. The roasting is light, but the two row is ample, allowing a lively bitter hop experience juxtaposed with the dark malts.

One of the better schwarzbiers out there for sure.

 421 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a Sprecher variety pack.

Pours a clear dark red, almost black, hard to see through, big thick tan head forms, drops down leaving lots of lace, solid layer. Smell is sweet and fruity, some anise, caramel, touch of chocolate, iron, cherries, bit of maple, not bad. Taste is nice, iron, caramel, light roast, fruits, rich chocolate in the finish, some licorice and solid roasty bitterness. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth. Solid Shwarzbier, best Sprecher I've had.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer seems black and has a small tan head that is gone within seconds. This is a beer that you can seemingly smell the thickness. Great malty, toasty, roasty bitter aromas. What a creamy mouthfeel. Feels like velvet as it rolls across the tongue. Great complexity to this brew. There aren't any overbearing tastes, but many underlying ones that mesh well together: coffee, roast malt, biscuit, mocha and toffee to name a few. I just love the taste of this beer. It has been one of my reliables ever since I tried it about 5 years ago. There aren't too many Schwarzbiers available these days, but I'd guess it'd be hard to improve much on this one.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another enjoyable effort from Sprecher. Looks like a good black beer. I really dunno what a "schwarzbier" is, but this seems like it may be a lager. The aroma and taste have a fruity yeast feel to it. Surprising hop character for something this dark and Midwest. Sprecher always seems to exceed expectations.

Mouthfeel, a little thin, but doesn't devolve into something I don't like. Pretty drinkable, not too challenging, enjoyable and reasonably priced.

 456 characters

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

Clear black pour. Slight brown head that dissappated fairly quickly. Pretty good roast malty aroma. Good roast flavors, malt, nut, some coffee. A bit of poundcake or something like that to make it solid medium bodied. Soft mouthfeel almost creamy. Roastiness lingers in the finish. Has hints of stout/porter, but is neither all together. A good black beer and very drinkable.

 375 characters

Black Bavarian from Sprecher Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 902 ratings.
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