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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,130 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,130
Reviews: 480
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 14.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 52 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 09-02-2006)
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Ratings: 1,130 | Reviews: 480 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maleman


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. no freshness dating noted on bottle.

A - dark as coffee. poured a less than one-finger light tan head that receded quickly into a tight cap. nice lacing as it goes down.

S - mostly roasted malt, some dark chocolate

T - kind of a burnt wood taste, nothing really overpowerin.

M - medium-bodied, smooth delivery and little aftertaste. medium carbonation.

D - not bad. nothing outstanding, but could work for a session brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 23:31:43 | More by maleman
Photo of JayS2629


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Beautiful dark cola color but small white head, little retention, and slightly creamy lacing.

S- Almonds, toffee, and faint roasted coffee hints. Very small hint of cocoa.

T- Bitter cocoa, sweet malts, smokey wood characteristics.

M- smooth, crisp and clean but watery.

D- Slightly too bitter. Deep, dark flavors but watery and bland.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 04:50:20 | More by JayS2629
Photo of JMad


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a chilled pint glass.

This beer poured dark black, color was dark maroon when held up to the light. Had a nice, tan 1 finger head that dissipated quickly.
Smells of dark roasted malt, no hoppy scent. Has a slight apricot smell as well.
Tastes like malt and prunes, would like it more if it had more of a roasted flavor.
Mouthfeel is pretty light for a dark beer, little too much carbonation.
Drinks ok but not what I'm looking for in a black lager.

I used to love this beer but it just doesn't do it for me anymore.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 23:31:15 | More by JMad
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/2/2008 (Draft at Boondoggle's, Seabrook, TX):

Pours a black, dark brown colored body, with a big creamy, cream colored head, that is somewhat diminishing. Has a malty nutty taste, not very strong. Watery dusty taste, some malts. More bocky taste than stout. Nutty. Somewhat fruity taste, like cherries. Tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2009 04:52:16 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of rowew


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: This has been repackaged and released again - it appears to be a part of their normal lineup now. Label looks great - old school design with black and silver, but there is no date information on it.

Appearance: Pours as advertised - black, with just a thin head.

Smell: Slightly sweet malt, no roasted aromas though. There is just a bit of diacetyl in there that takes away from it.

Taste: The butterscotch comes through in the flavor too, unfortunately. Medium to light in body, leaves a dry finish. A bit of caramel and malt sweetness.

Overall impression: Not bad - drinkable, but not nearly my favorite example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 19:24:49 | More by rowew
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty black yet clear with mahogany highlights as it sits in my New Glarus pilsner glass. A small tan head caps it through most of the glass.

S- Pretty hoppy, piny and citrusy over top a minor roasty smell. Touches of coffee and charcoal. Overall the smell is a bit weak.

T- Nice balance with the finish leaning towards bitter with a bite of hops and roasted malts.

M- A little too much on the carbonation perhaps. The body is fairly light and the finish is pretty clean.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 18:58:15 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of showell


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one has some real contrasts to it. It pours a VERY dark brown, almost black. When you hold it to the light you can see some red highlights in it. Pretty :-) The head was about two inches, and it quickly faded to a thin film that hangs on for the rest of the glass. A bit of lacing throughout the glass. The smell is of coffee and smoke and is really nice.

I drank one of these the other night and I absolutely hated the taste. That said, I didn't want to write it off after only trying one. I thought that maybe it was a bad bottle. The first had an extremely metallic flavor. I finished it, but it was a near thing. I almost poured it down the drain. I drank an English pub ale a couple years ago that tasted like that. (Unfortunately, I had a second of that one and it was awful too...) I decided I'd rate it this evening, but wanted to give it a fair shake, so I opened another one. It's much better. It's never going to be a GREAT beer in my opinion, but it's much better. It has a rather charcoal flavor. I think I can taste just a hint of hops, and some malt. There's a somewhat bitter aftertaste. In this bottle there is no hint of that metallic flavor like the first one had. Maybe it was a bad bottle? My only complaint about this bottle really is that nothing really stands out. It's got the smoke flavor, rather like liquid smoke I guess, but other than that it's really rather blah.

Mouthfeel is fine.

I don't think I'd go out of my way to get more of it. I'll finish the sixpack I suppose, but I'll move on to something I like better though.

Update: It sort of grows on you, and as it warms, it really gets better. There's more flavor as it gets warmer. Less bitterness, and smoke, and more malt and hops. It's getting to be an interesting beer. My advice is let it warm for a few minutes before you start on this one. It helps a lot.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 03:44:52 | More by showell
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Again gotta love this little German style brewery from down in Texas and anyone who's ever driven through the lonestar state knows there basically two options that people drink as their local, Shiner Bock or Lonestar. Nice to see other German style popping up from them this one appears a dark cola ruby brown almost dark black nearly opaque...nice sized tan head dwindles rather quickly with light even lace that sticks to the glass well. Aromatics have alot of those dry slightly bitter dark chocolate roasted qualities mild watered down coffee with herbal hop traces going on. Flavor more watered down roastiness with dark chocolate cocoa powder and a subtle caramel sweetness with mild herbal hop finish overall a very light schwarzbier. Mouthfeel is light bodied evenly carbonated nothing too remarkable but definitely smooth going down . Drinkability is decent better than most dark style lagers around but I tend to want more flavor hell with Sam Adams Black Lager there's just no need to ever go for this one again.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2007 23:44:06 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of aval89


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a dark brown almost black. when put up to the light you can see a dark amber almost ruby color in the beer.. half finger of off white head..

s: roasty malts, cocoa, slight coffee aroma.. some caramel as well..

t: upfront is roasted malts with a semi sweet bakers chocolate.. middle of the tongue brings more dark malts to a backend that has coffee like bitterness along with some dark chocolate.. some caramel sweetness to balance out as well..

mf: a little thin but not too bad.. carbonation may be a little too high as well, but still makes for a decent brew.

o: im actually shocked on this one.. i expected less, but it ended up being pretty decent.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 08:25:30 | More by aval89
Photo of prototypic


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bohemian Black Lager is dark and very cola-esque in appearance. It's far from opaque. A wealth of light cutting through reveals deep garnet highlights. A modest tan head rises to about a finger and dissipates nearly as fast as it appeared. Lacing was very light and stringy.

The nose is not very impressive. It smells primarily like yeast. There's some caramel malt sweetness buttressing the yeast. Perhaps a little cocoa from chocolate malts. It smells a little on the sweet side, but not by much. Grain and barley is noted throughout. That about does it. This is one light smelling beer. Not a whole going on in the nose. Disappointing and very average.

The flavor profile is easily a step up, but it's not quite good. It's sweet and has a prevalent caramel malt base. Yeast is prominent and noted throughout. Barley, grain, and earthy notes are present. There's a hop presence that's a very welcome surprise. They provide a decent bitter bite (it's a bit tame) and perhaps attribute to some of its earthy qualities. No alcohol is noted. It finishes sweet and a little bitter. It's not bad, but it's not quite good either. It's inhibited by a lack of flavor and that's a tough hurdle to overcome.

Its body is very light and anemic. It has a watered down feel that renders it average at best. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. The feel needs quite a bit of attention. Drinkability is probably above average, but that's a close call. It's light and goes down easy, but it's not very entertaining and already has me looking forward to wrapping it up.

Bohemian Black Lager is an above average beer, but not by much. It's tough to call it disappointing since I wasn't expecting much, but it still is a little. There's not enough of anything here. It needs quite a bit more malt and hops to improve the flavor. It needs a lot of work on the nose and the body (though an infusion of malt would probably help solve that problem). In a word, Bohemian Black Lager is very "meh." Probably worth a try, but not much more than that.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2009 00:49:13 | More by prototypic
Photo of CraftBeerTastic


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review #56
Served On: 9/4/2011
Glassware: Wheat Glass

This was from the Shiner Family mixed six pack.

Look: Poured a deep dark ruby red with tinges of copper around the edges. Head was ½ finger of tan spongy foam. Carbonation bubbles were slow but steady.

Smell: Rich lager tones with some sweet roasted malts in the background. Caramelized dark fruits were also present. It had a clean freshness in the nose – similar to the other Spoetzl offerings I’ve reviewed.

Taste: Roasted malts at first - then a brief note of semisweet brown sugar and caramelized plum. The finish was a roasted malt with the brown sugar lingering. A hop bitterness also contributed to the finish.

This is another fantastic offering from Spoetzl. This is a very complex – yet drinkable Schwartzbier that just screams quality.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 18:26:26 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of EgadBananas


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is my ol' standby when at a bar that has little to no selection of anything good. Don't get me wrong, this is a pretty good beer.

Deep black, slightly reddish. Ample head, not a whole lot of lacing, but a think layer of carbonation bubbles.

Not extremely aromatic. Got a little woody scent, with a slight sweet caramel hint.

Malty, rich aftertaste. Starts crisp. Very slight bitterness.

Not overy bubbly, but not extremely smooth. Clean and thin.

Great drinkability. When nothing better is available, I never regret filling the night with as many of these as I neeed to get my fill.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 02:50:58 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. A new beer to me from the people at Shiner, Spoetzl Brewery. A schwarzbier, a style I am not too familiar with, acquired as part of the Shiner family reunion mixed twelve pack.

Poured into a Miller High Life pint glass.

A - Pours a dark cola brown color; opaque black in the glass until you hold it to the light, and it appears as a partially clear dark ruby colored body. Two fingers of thick tan froth for a head. Some spotty lacing. Looks alright for what it is.

S - Smell is fairly subdued, but nice enough for what it is. Dusty wheat, chocolate malt, some cream, and some artificial / medicinal smelling dark cherry.

T - Taste is of light char / liquid smoke flavor, some bitter chocolate malt, dark malt roast, some soggy grains, adjunct corn, wet paperboard, some metallics, and some dark fruitiness - cherries, figs, dates, plum. Not amazing, but well enough for what it is.

M - Feel is fairly thin and watery, but was to be expected. Medium-light bodied with decent carbonation.

Overall, an approachable, but probably bastardized rendition of the style by Shiner. Good enough for what it is, but nothing complex. Probably one of the better beers in the Shiner variety pack, but that isn't really saying much.

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 00:07:44 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Illtryit


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty disappointed when I got home and found out this is an alias beer

Looked ok. Dark, 2 finger - tan head, lacing is ok.

I can smell a little roast scent in there but just barely

Taste is woody, charcoalish. A little coffee.

Mouthfeel is where this beer loses me. Thin and watery. No body, but they try to make up for it with over carbonation.


Serving type: bottle

12-15-2011 01:10:38 | More by Illtryit
Photo of jwff


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly. On first glance appears black but reveals a ruby tone with brown edges when held up to the light. Smell is burnt and offensive and a little bit like burnt popcorn. Taste is a bit more redeeming with some earthy hops in the finish and some creamy chocolate flavors combating that burnt. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side and easier on the carbonation than most Shiner products. Finishes dry so burnt taste aside this one is an easy drinker. Not the best I've had of the style but for 5.50 a 6 pack this is hard to turn down.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2008 03:14:24 | More by jwff
Photo of burnerfinger


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A: deepest red, almost opaque. this carmelly head that dissipated all to quickly.

S: weak and understated. this is like a wannabe- stout to me. a bit of maltiness. hops nearly absent

T: athe carbonation is almost "foamy" but the porter taste does come thru a bit. this is pleasant but just not enough.

M: best of the shiners I think. little bit of an afterkick medium body

D: not bad, I just wish it were more of what it's trying to be.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 20:19:42 | More by burnerfinger
Photo of rfabian


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler it produces a 1 inch thin tannish head that leaves a little lacing. The appearance is black with deep mahogany around the edges. The aroma is mainly of roasted malts. I don't pick up any hops at all. The taste is malty with slight hop taste and no bitterness. The feel is surprisingly thin bodied for such a dark beer, but I see that's typical of the style. Moderate carbonation. Very drinkable, this would be a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 00:24:23 | More by rfabian
Photo of Cylinsier


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours black with a dark cherry red glow from light and a caramel colored lacing.

Smells a bit toasty and malty with some buttered bread notes and a whisper of hops.

Tastes mildly toasty with a tinge of hop bitterness and some grain flavor.

Feels thin, a bit watery, tingly carbonation over the tongue.

So-so, looks dark and heavy but the taste isn't very strong. I think it's characteristic of the style but it comes across as a good presentation of just an okay beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 22:45:25 | More by Cylinsier


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a beautiful dark black capped with an off-white big bubbled head that was one finger thick. Head faded fast to a thin lacing that creeps up the walls of the glass. Little highlights of deep red shine through when held to light.

Smell is full of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and even a little cherry sweetness.

Sweet cherries and chocolate this shit hits your tongue with a vengeance. Roasted malts are hidden and mellowed very well with very little bitterness and no hop signature. Taste could hold up a little bit longer in the finish and thus is hard to call this one well rounded. Impressive force of flavor.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavily bodied and over carbonated, which attributes to the slamming of flavor on the tongue - which does mellow as the beer warms.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 03:40:58 | More by MYJELLOMISFIT
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown, nearing black with some garnet highlights and a fairly thin head. Quite light in the nose, with some washed out notes of lager yeast and the barest hint of roastiness. The taste is similar, very light, and even somewhat seltzery, but the roastiness is slightly more pronounced and there is a light cocoa bitterness. Fairly pleasant. Light in the mouth, but this is an offering with more character than the usual swill that is acceptable among non-craft drinkers in the South.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 03:47:08 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of match1112


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out like a cola, dark some what see thru body with a big bubbly head that settles real quick. leaves some lacing. smell consists of grains and a slight roasted scent. taste is a little more exciting. roasted malts come thru leaving a weak coffee flavor in the background. mouthfeel is real thin and watery. lots of carbonation. overall this was a decent attempt at the style but could use bolder flavors to grab your attention.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 14:04:31 | More by match1112
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle in pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown colored brew with a two finger cream colored head. The head had a moderate retention, eventually fading to give a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was light overall and consisted mostly of roasted malt and some light notes of coffee. There is some light caramel sweetness as well as some more earthy hoppy aromas the blend with the rest.

Taste – The taste starts out of with roasted malt and a lighter caramel sweetness. These flavors remain relatively constant throughout the taste with some other more subtle flavors coming and going. In the middle some coffee notes enter the taste. The coffee then leaves while some herbal and grassy hop flavor combined with the roasted and malty flavors as well as some lighter chocolate notes to round out the taste.

Mouthfeel - The body of the beer is average in creaminess and carbonation. More body and a little bit less carbonation would have been nice for the roastier and darker nature of the beer. With this said, the lighter body and medium carbonation did make it more sessionable.

Overall – Like most Shiners it is rather easy to drink and makes a decent session, but it is really nothing to pine for.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 01:36:36 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of ZAP


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice little Schwartzy I imagine would drink nicely at a summer gathering.

The aroma and flavor both include .some milk chocolate and some light java....really not much in the way of hops and I was hoping for a bit more from the Saaz hops.

Body is on the light side of medium.... clean...smooth but not quite rounded...gets a little watery after it warms

A nice drinker...nothing terribly complex but also nothing terribly wrong with this either....I'd recommend..

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 04:28:08 | More by ZAP
Photo of boilermakerbrew


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Poured a little lighter than expected at first, then she settled down to a very, very dark brown to black. Almost a brown foamy head that doesn't stick around a long time.

S- Not much of a smell. Hard to describe. I'll call it subtle, and not like any I've smelled before.

T- First thing I get is a burnt flavor. Like someone took the malts, and cooked them a little too much. An interesting flavor to say the least. Finishes with a slight amount of hops bitter, but overall, finished very clean with no aftertaste to be found on the palate.

M- When you see a beer this dark, you think porter or stout and associate a heavier beer. This is not the case. If you can look past the taste differences, this drinks like an American Macro. Hgih carbonation and easy to drink.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes to drink a beer that is lighter on the palate, but still wants flavor that the macros don't have. Definitely an interesting flavor, but very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 20:36:33 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of Offa


3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a decent beer, not great by any means and not nearly the best Shiner/Spoetzl beer I have had, but it is better than Shiner Bock, a total dud in my book.

Almost black, it has a medium tan head steadily shrinking to foamy ring, no wisps or lace.

Aroma is dark toasted whole wheat, prune, pine bark, licorice.

Taste is light, crisp, dry hint of licorice and molasses, prune, coffee but a bit thin and light, with faint sweetness and bitterness, dry finish with hint of coffee bitterness. It has enough character to keep it reasoanbly enjoyable for a bit but it is not memorable at all and can get tiresome fairly easily.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 01:38:23 | More by Offa
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,130 ratings.