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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

517 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 517
Hads: 1,416
Avg: 3.44
pDev: 24.71%
Wants: 21
Gots: 200 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States | website

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier | 4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 09-02-2006

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 517 | Hads: 1,416
Photo of CHL
2.87/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is very easy on the eyes. Shiner's black and silver bottles are very cool looking, and the beer's deep color is just right, with red light shining though. Unfortunately, it's not a great Schwarzbier.

The malt falls flat. The first hint of this is in the smell--it doesn't smell much different than any lager.

The taste is similarly weak. Barley, hops, and not much malt to malt to speak of; perhaps a vague roasted nutty/coffee bitterness. If it weren't for the color, I would be surprised that it was a Schwarzbier. It leaves an indeterminate sort of grittiness or metallic feel in the mouth.

With the weak flavor and robust carbonation, it's extremely drinkable. My companion who hates malt taste says she could drink several of these in an evening.

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Photo of BeaBeerWife
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Texas aint no nuffin about Ales, but Shiner sure knows its Lagers. This brewery does a lot of creative things with Lagers, and they need to keep it up. Back from retirement, and a new label design, Shiner 97... all the things you despise in a lager, plus all the things you love in an ale. Certainly worth trying. They got this one right.

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Photo of Hergestridge
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

I hated Bock Beer.. funny how age changes one's perspective and taste buds... Shiner Black Lager is quite a decent entry.. not quite as good as Dundee Stout which I reviewed yesterday. Shiners has semi-sweet Chocolate and cocoa overtones,very Dark in colour.. almost Emo Black..
Thank you, Shiner.. Your Black Lager is helping me appreciate a dark beer which I wouldn't have touched in year's past.

~Carry on Citizens!!!~

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Photo of ruleof72
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark red/molasses color with thick head that dissipates quickly.
Smell is of roasted maly, chocolate and a hint of fruit
Taste is a bit burnt to me, with some fruity sweetness and hoppy undertones
Mouthfeel is good, carbonation and body are on the medium side
This a decent drinkable beer, the taste is a bit off for me but overall not bad

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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.8/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Very nice appearance, with a decent foamy head, leaves a nice lace on the glass. Not quite as black as Koestritzer or Sam Adams Black Lager, but a very dark brown, which looks black unless you hold it up to the light.

S- Nice crisp dark malt smell--not as sweet and carmelly as SA's BL. Closer in aroma I think to Koestritzer, the classic German example.

T- I'm not a Shiner fan, but this beer is very tastey--extremely well ballanced, and closer, in my opinion to German schwarz than SA's BL. Has a nice crisp bite, from the hops,but smooth, without any bitterness from the black malt. This too fits the "black pilsner" category--you would not know for sure it was black if you were blindfolded. More interesting, in my opinion, than other lager styles--due to its darkness--but tastes nothing like a stout or porter, which it resembles. This really is a great example of Schwarzbier--the best bottled American one I have had.

M- Has a lighter beer feel, much like a Helles or even a Pils--which is strikingly according to style. If one is expecting a stout it may taste thinned out--but that is what it is supposed to be-a light, smooth, but intensely dark beer.

D- Again, like German lagers typically are, this is a very drinkable, "session" type beer, which you could have several, and not feel the worse for it. The ABV is not listed on the bottle, but it can't be much over (or under) 4.5% by the way it tastes. This really is a great style, well captured here, for those who won't be fooled by it's color. Don't expect a porter or stout--think while you drink German or Czech!

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Photo of kevman527
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last beer from my Shiner mix pack.

Dark black, no light through. A little bit of head, like the rest of the Shiner Beers, quickly dissipated. Smell is of faint roasted coffee beans. The taste is clean with coffee and a little sweetness, perhaps molasses. Very smooth, low carbonation. Drinks like a light stout. Next to the hefeweizen this would be my next favorite Shiner beer.

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Photo of kshizzle101
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A - pitch black with a 3 inch off-white head which goes away rather quickly. minimal lacing

S - roasted malts, chocolate, slight caramel, slight hops

T - burst of chocolate up front followed by caramel and roasted malts. slight hop note at the end. light on flavor

M - medium bodied, good carb

Overall - not worth your time or money, you could do much better for the same style beer at the same price. this is at least drinkable though.

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Photo of Landfill21
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tried this boehemian lager and poured into my pint glass. Pours dark black with a finger head and disappears to barely noticeable head as you drink.

Smells nutty, some hints of caramel and trace of chocolate.

Has a smooth taste, can taste notes of chocolate, nuts and some fruit.

Mouthfeel is pretty full, pretty thick beer. Thus the drinkability is limited.

Overall a decent beer.

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Photo of Soilworker
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz twist top bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Dark dark amber with hues of red. It appears almost black until you hold it up to the light and you see the red. Had a 1 finger thick tan head.

S: Light sweet roasted malts with a slight hint of coffee but not much. Quite predominate smokey characteristics play a part throughout the smell.

T: First thing I get is some light, almost watery, roasted malts. Not much hoppiness going on but there is enough to balance out the maltiness. I get some light hints of roasted coffee and some burnt notes.

M: Very much on the lighter side and would seem a little bit watery but that seems to be what they were shooting for with the style. Relatively high carbonation.

D: A light and refreshing beer with average abv make this one pretty drinkable. I could definitely drink this one all night.

Notes: Overall quite refreshing and light. I think it makes a great alternative to heavier stouts/porters and I like it much better than say something like a light lager. It maintains some complexity and depth of flavor while still being quite drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of lawman834
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark with a slight red hue when held to the light. Decent head that stuck around for a bit, but not not as long as it should. not much to smell. Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, a little nutty and a hit of cocoa. Its a little thin and light for a black, but it has a little more complexity than most shiner offerings (which we have plenty of around here). Really quite drinkable.

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Photo of TYE
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours mostly black with an off white thick foam head. I got about two fingers worth, but it dissipated to only a covering, quickly. No lace.
S - Aroma is light with hints of roasted malt, chocolate, and a hay-like smell.
T - Also light tasting. A slight hint of roasted nut, followed by a slight bittery hop bite. Flavor disappears quickly once swallowed.
M - Medium carbonation. Slight bite at back of tongue, also slightly sour on the sides. Medium body and pretty smooth.
D - It's nice because of the clean taste, but I wish it had more punch. The flavors are good, but hidden. Like a shy but pretty girl, this one could be a knockout if it would come out of the shadows.

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Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown-ruby colored body which would appear as black in low lighting with a tan-brown 1.5inch head which dwindles down to a thin layer of foam. Smells of smokey dark chocolate and a toffee-like sweetness. Tastes of dark chocolate, subtle hints of coffee and smoke, then a hoppy kick. Unfortunately the beer finishes with a carbonated-water like taste and feel which really kind of ends up making the beer feel thin. Overall, this is a good beer, but that strange CO2 water feel at the end has to knock back the score.

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Photo of jubnat
3.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I bought this in a sample pack at my local wine cellar. Hadn't seen it before so I thought I'd give it a try.
Pours dark brown with I slight ruby tint. Not much aroma.
Has the typical "dark" taste of its color, but I can't seem to discern much else about it. Sort of toasty with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Feels thinner than it looks like it should, which is not bad, but it has too much carbonation. Too much tingle on the tongue. Not impressed with this. Though I do enjoy their hefeweizen.
Not a bad beer, but I've got too many other good beers to try out to bother with this one again.

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Photo of dali27
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color of Coke. Head is light tan and dissipates very quickly down to nothing.

S: Aroma is grainy, malty, sweet caramel and slight hops.

T: Taste is pretty balanced between really light malts and really light noble hops. I appreciate the saaz, however slight, in this dark beer. Towards the end of glass, beer became quite flat (points off for this.)

M: Light bodied with good amount of carbonation at first. Later it's light and watery.

O: I thought this to be a pretty good beer to drink. The combination of lightness with characteristics of a dark brew seem to make this one something to enjoy in the heat of the summer.

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Photo of deadbody
2.79/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black with a nice head, head recedes quickly leaving minimal lacing. Smells average, nothing great but not bad, a bit weak. Taste is not what I was expecting. Not much there, was expecting more of a stout feel and this is not it. Mouthfeel was very watery. Had the feel of a cheap lager not a richer dark beer. Drinkability average, not a bad beer, but not what I wanted/expected and not something I would seek out again. Wouldn't turn down another but wouldn't pay for it either.

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Photo of Weston19
3.09/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Guinness Glass

A: Black with a slight hint of red. The head starts promising and begins to thin into a lacing rather fast. Luckily, unlike some of Shiner's other brews, this lacing sticks around and helps its appearance.

S: Not much. Maybe some faint roasted notes and I mean very faint. There's a slight sweet smell to it but again, it's very faint. There should be more smell to it. As it warms up, however, a hint of dark chocolate can be detected. Kind of reminds me of the dark chocolate that is sold in Whole Foods; subtle, but present.

T: Thankfully the taste is much more obvious than the smell. The initial taste is of dark chocolate (although brief) and has a roasted aftertaste. Very little bitterness towards the back of the tongue but nothing. bad. While the flavors are there, they are not as obvious as I would've liked. The quick chocolate that I got at first goes away way too fast and what's left is a roasty flavor. The initial flavor gives some sweetness that is balanced out with the slight bitterness. Not bad but not bold enough compared to other black lagers out there.

MF: A little creamy but the finish is dry. The drinkability of this is rather high though so you can pound quite a few of these and not feel buzzed.

O: This beer gave me enough flavor to enjoy but not enough where I can't share it with friends who are not into the robust flavors of craft beers. Is it the best example of a black lager? No. Is it a nice change and a better choice than a BMC? Hell yes. I enjoyed drinking this. Even though it lacked the flavors that are found in better beers, it wasn't bad. Would have again.

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Photo of schmidtn
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a variety 6 pack purchased today that Spoetzl sends out.

Poured into a wine glass. Dark. Creamy head that dissipates into a light lacing on the glass.

Smells of chocolate malt, and a dash of smokiness.

Carbonated nicely for the style Flavor is that of a lighter homebrew stout (I mean this as a complement) Nice use of bittering hops. Almost gives that dark chocolate taste/aftertaste.

A nice beer and not as heavy as it looks.

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Photo of BelgianAleSlut
3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours the color of pitch but is opaque on the edges. Light foam, light malt note.

Darkness is deceiving as there is little taste to draw from here. Watery and slightly sweet make for a less than enjoyable drink.

Carbonation is light, but more bubbles would make this even thinner.

Personally I would not drink more than one of these as it is not my favored style of beer.

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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.


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Photo of Krevee
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Friend brought back a case and left a sixer over at my place so I decided to try one.

A - Pours a very dark brown almost black, has a tint of red in the light. Pours with about 1/3 of an inch head the dissipates very quickly.

S - Malty, roasty smell to it with hints of chocolate.

T - Taste similar to the smell. Malty with slight roast and chocolate and slight coffee flavor. Has a bitter / creamy after taste.

M - Good mouthfeel probably this beers best feature. Very creamy in the beginning and a nice light carbonation finish.

D - Drinkability is nice. Beer tastes fairly good and goes down pretty quickly. I could see myself putting down a sixer in a night if that was what I desired.

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Photo of heath1agnew
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

as of right now this is my favorite brew that shiner makes. it has an appealing appearance, (even though the head isn't that impressive) a nice smell of roasted malts and barley, and that leads you right into the taste. great roasted malts and barley flavor. the mouthfeel was a little thin but still ok, and this is for sure a session beer.

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Photo of HotterThanHell
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiner's little Schwarzbier is a decent/good attempt but not quite to the finest of this category. (Which can be found in Bamberg)

Color is spot on but the head makes a very early exit. Do not drink this beer ice cold as the mild complexity just isn't there until the beer warms slightly. Not warm, but warmed slightly from your fridge. Nice chocolate malt flavor with just a hint of hops.

Very good drinking beer as the taste is different from most dark beers and with this beer dark does not equal heavy. I'd definitley drink it again and then once more for old times sake.


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Photo of AlesRTasty
2.96/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at the local grocery store and with all the hoop-lah I've been hearing about it I thought I'd give it a try. Can't really beat $6.97 for a sixer.
A - Dark, deep brown
S - roasted malt aroma as expected
T - For some reason I taste the Shiner Bock twinge, with a bit of a roasted malt aftertaste.
M - good carb, medium body
D - for this style I feel it's a little on the weak side, that being said it still is a pretty tasty brew. I was hoping for a bigger beer for the 97 but I guess the Schwarzbier is still better than the bock. It's worth a try in my opinion, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if you miss it.

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Photo of bastardface
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really like the specialty beers that Shiner makes even though I'm not a big fan of the original Shiner Bock. I'm also accustomed to black lagers. Shiner Black is one of my favorites. I find myself drawn to it whenever I see that it is available. This was the first I had it out of a bottle. The appearance was tan to a black color. The smell of hops was strong. When tasting it you can taste a burnt flavor which is appetizing. It's easy to drink but be careful because more than a few will get you leaning. Strong but pleasant. I highly recommend this brew. For sure.

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Photo of m_hall
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Standard pour from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass yielded a 1-finger tan head that quickly fell to a film at the surface. No lacing to speak of beyond a few specks here and there on the glass. Color is a deep clear cola-brown.

Nose is yeasty and bread-y. Not as much hops as one would expect from a lager.

Flavors were dominated by toasted coffee-like malt, with a trace of bread and some nutty notes. Some subtle hops near the end. Finish is on the dry side.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, quite carbonated, one of the more traditionally lager-ish aspects of the beer.

Overall, a solid if not spectacular beer, this could be an interesting alternative to traditional lagers, refreshing but more substantial than what many may be used to in the style.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
79 out of 100 based on 517 ratings.