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Beer Reviews

Black Bavarian

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Sprecher Brewing Co.
Glendale, WI

Style: Schwarzbier
ABV: 5.9%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

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My problem with so-called “session” beers is that they’re too watery. Session brews are supposed to be beers with low ABVs, so you can drink several in a “session” without keeling over like a Cubs fan after the fourth inning. Some folks mistakenly take this to mean a beer that’s “easy drinkin’,” or, in other words, watery and on the tasteless side. But me, I see no reason why a lower alcohol beer has to taste like a glorified macro brew. And apparently the people at Sprecher agree with me, because their Black Bavarian is a great example of a meaty, reasonably complex beer that won’t put too much grease in your gravy.

Black Bavarian pours a dark amber, with a perfect finger-and-a-half head of a tannish nature. No lacing, though. The nose leads with roasted malt, mixed with dark fruit notes and crystal malt sweetness. Only one sip is needed to see what I’m talking about: a distinctly medium body—no watery notes here—presents toasty malt and coffee that extends to the very end of the sip. Underneath is sweet malt with subtle touches of dark fruit on and off the tongue. The finish is fairly long, those roasted malt notes lingering long after you’d think they’d be gone.

For those in a malty mood, Black Bavarian is beautiful choice. Balanced and meaty—especially considering the relatively low ABV—this beer drinks much bigger than it is. Whether you’re looking for a “session” brew that won’t bore your face off or, Hell, just a great beer, Black Bavarian is worth seeking out.

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on May 7, 2009.
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