Yes, I am in love with a Black Bavarian.No, I’m not talking about a fine-looking south-German woman of African descent. I’m talking about a fine-tasting dark lager that Randy Sprecher brews.
In fact, this was the first beer that Mr. Sprecher ever brewed. It is Sprecher Brewing Company’s raison d’etre, as it were. He had been traveling in Germany (and wasn’t a brewer at the time – he was a marine biologist or something similar – I ought to know but can’t remember). While staying in Bavaria, he fell in love with a local dark lager called Kulmbacher. After coming back to the ’states and working as a brewmaster for Pabst, he decided to try his hand at duplicating the Kulmbacher he loved so much in Germany. It was an overwhelming success. And so began the greatest adventure in the life of Randy Sprecher and the greatest beer to ever be brewed in Milwaukee.
Neck label lists it as intensely dark. And then some. If you think the “deep ruby” of Guinness Irish Stout is dark, then try Sprecher’s Black Bavarian. With a ring of Cerenkov blue around the glass, it absorbs every photon unlucky enough to strike it through the thick, creamy head. Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit with the Cerenkov blue remark but the thick, creamy tan-colored head is 100% truth. It’s more tan in real life than the picture makes it out to be.
Superb malt complexity. If I had to hold up an example of what good dark malt should taste like, this would be it.
Distinctive flavors. Absolutely. Nothing could be more distinctive than a regional specialty of the Bavarian rural folk.
Aromas of coffee and chocolate. Aroma of coffee and chocolate would be a good description. Smells kinda like a very malty mocha.
Renowned smoothness. This is what grabbed my attention. If you think Irish Stout or a Belgian Triple ale is smooth, then try this. This has to be the smoothest beer ever. Like liquid milk chocolate or even a fine truffle.
I’m sure that if you’re a fan of darker beers – or even someone who enjoys a good dark chocolate or black coffee, you’ll just adore this fine dark lager from Sprecher.
I enjoyed this with a home-made pulled pork sandwich. It would go equally well with a sweet dish – even a dessert – as its bitter, malty complexity provides a very nice counterpoint to just about anything.