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Shiner Bock - Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Not Rated.
Shiner BockShiner Bock

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,012 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,012
Hads: 3,636
Avg: 3.04
pDev: 39.47%
Wants: 55
Gots: 795 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Bock |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-03-1999

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,012 | Hads: 3,636
Photo of Vancer
2.63/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I need to get a German bock, ‘cause I can’t believe this is what a bock should be: a clear cola brown, with a big, fuzzy tan head. Almost no malt smell, followed by a thin, earthy taste – but just not much there, very weak and uninspiring. Fizzy beverage, and very light bodied. Not rich at all, way too hoppy _ WHERE are the robust malts??

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.26/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Shiner Bock pours out a dark copper color with a rocky head. Husky grain aroma. Sweet caramel flavor with husk coming in at the middle. Not at all complex, but the malt flavor is pleasant. The finish is bland. A one dimensional beer, but I imagine this is drinkable in large quantities. Mouthfeel is light to medium. This won't hold up to the better German bocks, but for a Texas beer, this isn't bad.

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Photo of skillerified
3.95/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly, almost suspiciously dark. It definitely doesn't taste as dark as it looks. The color is a nice dark amber. Almost a little reddish too. Moderate head and lacing.

It smells pretty good to me. Mostly caramel, but some hoppiness too. Not a particularly strong scent, but a pleasant one no less.

Taste is also a bit caramel. Light to medium bodied with some sweetness up front. A little flat in the middle, but not in a particularly awful way. Just a hint of bitterness at the finish.

There's nothing special about the mouthfeel. It's doesn't add to or detract from the experience.

Extremely drinkable for me. It tastes better than most, goes down pretty easy, and is readily available most anywhere here in Texas. It's often the only alternative to the major macros in local restaurants, so you get to drink plenty of it. I could see myself getting tired of it eventually.

Admittedly it's far from true to style, but if you look past that, the taste isn't bad.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
2.93/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

In many respects, Shiner Bock offers a sad commentary on the way beer is perceived -- by consumers and by vendors -- in America today. To the masses, this "dark" beer embodies what they imagine to be all the qualities of the enigmatic concept of the microbrew: it is either a frightening departure from the predictable comforts of BMC-dom, or it allows John Doe the occassion to demonstrate that by drinking a Shiner, he, too, is sophisticated enough to enjoy a "craft" beer from time to time. On the supply side, bars and restaurants feel they can offer Shiner Bock in order to appeal to the discerning beer drinker, and also so that they may justify a seperate pricing scheme for "Premium" beers.

Not all of this is the fault of the Spoetzl Brewery, of course, just the reality in places like Texas and Louisiana where Shiner Bock enjoys its curious dual status as both mainstream and eccentric.

Being a "discerning beer drinker" myself, I find little in Shiner Bock that either disgusts me or impresses me. It has slightly more body and appreciably more flavor than your major American Lagers, but as a true Bock or a craft brew it falls way short. For these reasons I give it mostly average scores (not to be compared to what I would consider an "average" craft brew but rather to qualities that I would say are basically neutral), but I do not share the view of some other reviewers who find the beer to be utterly undrinkable. In fact the only thing that I find makes drinking this beer in any large quantity difficult is boredom.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.6/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shiner pours out a pleasant, clearish brown color. Head retention is fairly good. Nose is clean and malty. Flavor is a moderately clean caramel malt, with light hops, and a crisp, short finish. Light bodied, with average carbonation.

An above-average regional lager, really. It's not a bock by German standards, but it is a bock by early 20th century American standards, and it kinda tugs at a Texan's heartstrings. In college in Austin in the 80s, pitchers of Shiner were as cheap as Budweiser, and so much better, back before we discovered microbrews. It's still good for a nostalgic taste trip when nothing better is available.

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Photo of harkjohnny
1.58/5  rDev -48%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Shiner Bock... seems like this beer is a legend to some people. I've even heard of texas families shipping it off to loved ones in other cities. Has to be pretty good right? Hardly.

The label is nicely designed and provides interesting information about the "little brewery" and it's history. Unfortunately that's the best part of this brew. It pours into a pint glass with a bit below average carbonation and a clear brown color with just a tinge of red to it. Head dissipates quickly. Aroma is full of DMS and slight malty grains. Flavor is weak and barely more than a Swiller Lite with a hint of dark malt/chocolate to it. Poor representation of the Bock style, and just short of awful. Choked down the rest of the pint. I bought a 6 pack... guess i'll have to pass off a couple bottles on those who might want to try "one of those dark beers." Even a Mich Amber Bock tries harder than this. That's not saying much.

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Photo of bighoppymonster
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber that is more on the brown side. Offwhite head of a larger size with big bubbles and a little carbonation settles down to lace the top of the beer. Malty in aroma with no trace of alcohol, pretty clean. Grainy in taste with some toasted malt sweetness and very faint hints of caramel. A rather dry and clean finish. Overall not a bad brew at all, but it leaves me wanting more as for as flavour goes. Nothing great, but definately better than the macros, and the same price as well (at least here in Texas).

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Photo of Mitchster
2.94/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ahha, I get to try the "coveted" Shiner Bock. What secrets lie within, you ask? This one pours out to a sparkingly clear darker amber, forming a modest, yet quickly receding off-tan head with average lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma isn't "bock" at all...i.e, I'm not picking up much in the way of amber malts. Mostly the nose is of caramel, a little skunk when swirled, a touch of husk, green hay and distant alcohol. The mouthfeel is springy with a very light body. The taste...caramel pale lager with a few higher alcohols. Bitterness is mild and herbaceous. Not much in the way of malts. Semi-dry finish with a watery body and distantly woody aftertaste. The secret to Shiner Bock is to take a domestic pale lager (i.e.-Stroh's) and throw in some chocolate malt and roasted barley to make it look dark and forboding. "Wow...it's dark! That must be like 10% alcohol, dude!"

A one-trick pony. This wouldn't be a bad beer if there was more "beer" in the bottle. Average across the board. But hey, if it goes for $8.99/12 and impresses your friends that you're into "microbrews", more power to ya.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass, this a dark amber brown with a thin white head, little retention, no lacing. Smell is really light, a sweet grainy malt, a little corny. Taste is a slightly roasted malt, pretty light, slightly caramel, and a tiny trace of hops. Mouthfeel is pretty thin, and carbonation is on the high side. Pretty bland, but drinkable enough, there's worse beers out there.

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Photo of Mitchel
2.88/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Shiner is somewhat of an enigma in Texas. Some people adore this brew while others loathe it. Shiner is somewhat an institution in this fine state and being a Texas boy, I like to promote local beer. This one is just okay to me though.

Upon pouring it has a nice sized head which quickly disappears and leaves little to no lace you must notice the great copper, amber color. It looks like a great beer as far as color goes. The smell (malty breads) is nothing magnificent but it isn’t bad at all.

I suggest that you let the beer stand for a few minutes to let it breath. Letting it warm a small amount will allow for you to taste more of the levels. I feel that the brewers could make a more complex flavor.

I would suggest that you try this and make a judgment for yourself. I think it is nothing special but I do have one every now and then. Nothing appalling, just nothing fantastic; if you like this, try Shiner Light.

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Photo of GuinnessHero
2.31/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Typical beer-tasting brew, nothing special. Got it for 6.19 a 6-pk.

Appearance - Poured into a pilsner glass, was rather dark which intrigued me. One-finger head that dissapated quickly (within 15 seconds.)

Smell - Corn, and hops, nothing outstanding here. Nor is it offensive.

Taste - This was the rather disappointing part. I was rather sad to taste this for being such a famous beer when I was down in San Antonio. I'd almost prefer something a little lighter. You can't even tell it's a dark beer.

Mouthfeel - Rather good, left a medium aftertaste in my mouth.

Drinkability - I couldn't make it past one of these tonight. Hard to down, and not easy to enjoy.

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Photo of beerdiablo
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Shiner brand is practically a state heirloom with each generation of Texans introducing it to the next. While other brands have taken the “artistic” road in their line of offerings, our friends at Spoetzl Brewing have stayed to the middle of the Devil’s Backbone.

Not quite the Bock style that it was back in the early 90’s, this beer has become a lager-ized brown ale that isn’t too sweet. For the price it’s a good session beer that is a state favorite.

It is best served on the warmer side and paired with schnitzel and sauerkraut.

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Photo of ski271
3.48/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Friends from Tennessee brought up a case of this with them, and boy did we plow through some bottles! It pours a dark slightly-reddish copper with a small, off-white, foamy head that quickly diminishes to a tenacious film. Very little lacing. The smell is mild, bready malt, caramel, light citrus and grape. The taste is mild too, with solid malts up front but turning a little weak in the middle. The finish is short, crisp and slightly woodsy. It has a medium-light body, dry texture, and soft carbonation. There’s something about this beer that makes it so ridiculously drinkable. Highly sessionable and it seems to get better the more you drink. The beer is nothing special, but I’d definitely pick this beer up as an everyday beer if I could get it up here. However I have to lower my rating a bit since it’s quite weak for the style. I expect more from a bock.

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Photo of BuffaloBilly
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A thumbs up on this beer. This beer is pretty dark but not too filling. It has a good full bodied taste. This beer is way better when its fresh, if this is on sale, ill buy it again definetly, definetly a good beer. Sometimes it can be a bit pricy though. I had it in the bottles, I never even seen cans for this. Taste was pretty good for a dark beer.

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Photo of xduderx
2.46/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My wife love this beer and swears by it. She said it was the best widely available beer around.

appearance: drank from bottle

Smell: very slight sweet/pine smell

Taste: tasted watery like molson to me, except with a nasty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: thin and watery

Drinkability: I can't bear the aftertaste. I had one and was through.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.7/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark amber color with no head at all and surprisingly, no lacing. The color is nice but the overall look and impressions are not good.
Devoid of smell. The tiniest bit of malt and a little bit of rubber smell.
The taste is not bad. Pretty good flavor. Avoids the watered down flavor of other beers but still doesnt pack much of a punch of anything. Smooth mouthfeel that easily glides down the throat. Carbonation is very pleasant and refreshing and is about the only thing pleasing about this beer.
An average beer at best.

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Photo of hoffman
3.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

There is not much to say about this beer. It's pour is unimpressive the head is on finger at best and does not stick with a glass at all. There is little to no aroma, good or bad at best a faint malt smell that gives little or no clue to the beers make or flavor. The taste is suprisingly full and easy. Moutfeel is watery but robust enough. Overall this is my beer of choice to tailgate or drink in quantity. I can buy it for little $$ and drink one after another untill taste is not an issue. I buy it on a regular basis and enjoy it.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a healthy dark amber and brown with a decent head.

The flavor is a bit weak for the style, but what's there is reasonably good. The smell is malt with a hint of some spice. The taste is also mostly malt, with a definite caramel presence. Alcohol and hops are minimal. Due the relative weakness of this beer, mouthfeel is easily the low point, although that helps lead to easy drinkability.

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Photo of whynot44
3.18/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color with a modest off-white head that doesn't persist long or leave more than a trace of lacing.

The aroma is caramel and a bit of sulfur. The taste is mild caramel malt, a bit of corn, and a light touch of herbal hops in the aftertaste.

Light bodied. Bock? More like Bock Lite, but still better than the average Texas beer and a bit more taste and character than the average mass market brew. Good chaser for Tex-Mex.

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Photo of tfinn
2.11/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours amber, with fine bubbled carbonation, and a quickly dissipating head. if the color isn't enough of an indicator, it's immediately apparent that this isn't really a bock by pouring viscosity alone.

big giant DMS hit immediately after the pour. blech. once that clears, there's a "salty caramel corn" component, which is a little better. I don't smell any hops, and don't really expect much with this style, but some hint of german noble hops would be nice. what is there reminds me of rotting seaweed at the ocean.

flavor is primarily toasted caramel in nature, with a little corn sweetness, and maybe a hint of roast. tough to tell. there's really not much to work from, and this completely pales in intensity to a true -ator class bock.

mouthfeel is thin, as it should be for an amber lager, but way too thin for a true german-style bock.

I remember being unimpressed when I had one of these in san antonio, and thinking to myself "this is a bock?" it's drinkable, albeit pretty boring. like a standard american lager with caramel coloring added.

this bock is a gelding in comparison to the real deal.

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Photo of UDbeernut
2.81/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber color with a 1/4" head and a good amount of carbonation

Smell: strong hops

Taste: smooth with a hint of hops and citus. Not as bad as I expected.

Drinkability: ok, could drink these rather easily.... but I would not want it on a real hot day.

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Photo of clemtig76
3.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This must have been a really fresh bottle. New label with a little history lesson on it. Pours a beautiful dark amber with a thin off white head that lingers for a short while before disappearing. Sweet malty aroma you would expect from a bock.Taste is much smoother than the dark color would lead you to believe, smooth, sweet and malty with just a hnt of herbal hops. Good session beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
2.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber. Good looking color. Thin off-white head disappears immediately. Faint malty aroma, corn husky. Faint floral aroma. Sweet m,alt, slightly toasty but very faint. Feels prickly on the tongue. Light body, almost watered down. Easy to drink, but not flavorful. Certainly not a good bock. Maybe a fair alternative to a macro.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper brown, pretty clear. A very fizzy two finger head falls quickly with poor lacing. Strong buttery malt scent, no hop presence to speak of. Aroma sets you up for a let down with the bland, dry taste. While true to style in low hop presence, the malt flavor is weak and simple. Mild malt with a hint of nut and spice. It's light body and low carbonation make it drinkable and smooth, but boring. A German style lager made in Texas; what can you expect?

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Photo of Gaisgeil
2.95/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well, I'll give it this, Shiner is as good a mass produced beer as any and certain preferable compared to the really big boys. Calling this a Bock however is reaching I think, seriously.

Nose is a bit bitter, faint hop aromas and a certain graininess prevail. Poured into a standard tumbler a light brown/gold in color with a thin white head with decent retention. Taste is pretty thin, fairly well balanced however and decently fresh tasting. Nicely carbonated and accompanied my authentic slow cooked Texas brisket nicely, very resfreshing. Nothing too interesting here though. Average.


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Shiner Bock from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
71 out of 100 based on 1,012 ratings.