1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,271 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,271
Reviews: 491
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 14
Gots: 90 | FT: 2
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,271 | Reviews: 491 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaz
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet-black to the naked eye, topped with a visually impressive brown-ish tan head. As the head subsides a ring of moderately impressive lacing remains, along with more than a token of the originally voluminous head. Held up to the light this one is very deep red-amber in color, and filtered to the point of brilliance.

Nose is tangy, metallic, and offers a hint of black and roasted malts, along with a light note of espresso. Beyond tangy, this one actually smells sour, tannic, acidic -- not too far beyond what I expect in the style at all, just seems a bit beyond the pale. In some beers these initial aromatic qualities are indeed very welcome, but here I fear they'll detract.

Sweet/tangy/roast malt on the initial sip, with the roast notes bringing up the rear. Seems rather thin. Sweetness overcomes the sour and acidic qualities for the most part, and this one comes across rather soft on the palate.

The malt is expressing itself more than adequately here, and as expected there is little in the way of hops aside from a very, very mild lingering bitterness -- reminds me more of an ale (porter, specifically) than a lager, and I find all of this to be roughly in-line with the Schwarzbier style. About mid-way through the drink I'm getting a light cherry-like acidity and aftertaste, but it is so minimal as to be truly negligible.

Smooth, almost velvety-smooth like a nitro-push, and reasonably drinkable in this form, I'd like to try this on tap, presumably from a fresh keg (this bottle has a 101409 pull-date). Worth another go-round.

Served lightly-chilled in a wide-mouthed goblet.

Chaz, Dec 10, 2009
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.

maleman, Dec 08, 2009
Photo of peterjk
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with amber highlights, light brown head fades quickly

S: Nice aromas of smoke with hints of dark chocolate

T: Smokey, Molasses, roasted nuts, cola, has a distinct slightly tart sweetness. Malt driven very little hops

M: From the bottle it's a little watery but has a nice crisp finish

D: This is shiners most complex and flavorful beer very good with central Texas BBQ. It has a wonderful dark malt character but is easy to drink.

peterjk, Nov 30, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light black (if possible) body with minimal head and a little lacing. Some roasted and sweet malt smells are very minor and not much hops at all. Light bodied with little sweet or roasted malt presence and very little hops but has a little bit of dry crispness in the backend. Goes down easy and is a very simple, rather not much taste at all, but still easy to drink beer and I'm glad I tried it.

clayrock81, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass. No date or info.

A - It pours very dark amber brown, almost black like the namesake, and clear. A small light tan head popped up and dropped just as quickly to a ring. No lacing.

S - The initial wave of toasted malt with a bit of caramel sweetness is muddied up by a metallic mineral aroma that's distracting. No hops on the nose.

T - Crisp and clean flavor with lightly toasted malts persistent throughout and a dry, coffee-like bitter finish with a hoppy touch. Bland overall. That mineral thing shows up in the flavor too but not as distracting as in the nose.

M - Sharp carbonation gives the beer a lighter-feeling body and a tingly finish. The water seems hard and it finishes dry and lightly bitter.

D - Not a bad effort but it lacks some oomph. The carbonation is definitely too high, the flavor too low, but the drinkability is almost there. I could have a few while watching a game, but I'd never look for it again.

BeerFMAndy, Nov 18, 2009
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.

rfabian, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of rdub
2.78/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured jet black from a mixed six bottle into my favorite pint. Dark dark dark with a thin tan head and minimal lacing. Smell and taste was roasty toasty. This was drinkable but I don't seem to prefer the roasty beers. No doubt it was good for the style but not my cup of tea.

rdub, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of aggiearcher13
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a few weeks ago...

A: Black. Some white head to it, but not much, and not much lacing.

S: Roasty. Not much else really, but it seems pretty good. A little bit of caramel malts to back it up.

T: I like this. It is dry and roasty, unmistakeably shiner. Not overpowering in any one direction but it seems well balanced for the style.

M: Probably a little light, but that's about my only knock. Was expecting it to be over carbonated but it wasn't in any way.

D: Pretty solid beer, I haven't had a lot for the style but this is one of the better ones I've ahd.

aggiearcher13, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of northaustin
2.42/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a dark brown with almost no head. kinda white and uneven. absolutely no lacing.

smells pretty bland with nothing but an overpowering roasted malt smell. in all fairness it isnt that bad.

taste is like nothing. then all of a sudden way too much sweetness and caramel type stuff when goin down.

mouthfeel: way too sweet at first but then quickly leaves you with that bad overdry, like seriously no salivation and all nutrients have been sucked away from my mouth. me no likey.

drinkability: it is cheap and everywhere, but i wouldnt recommend it.

northaustin, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black this one is, with deep brown highlights visible. A light brown head of about one finger has fair retention for a little while and leaves just a little thin lacing around.
This one's malty in the aroma, but not much else; roasted notes in the malt with a very light coffee-like astringency and an atypical grassy/earthy sort of smell. There's not a lot of character or strength in the nose, but it's steady if not great.
Roasted malts with some coffee and a little bit of sweetness underlying are the backbone. The odd earthiness comes out in the flavor and a light chocolate note comes and goes. Again, this one's slightly lacking in complexity and the hops found in this style as the source of bitterness are not really here, so the balance is off a little. It's bright (for lack of a better word) for a dark, and it satisfies.
The mouthfeel is pretty light, but that's typical for the style and this one refrains from getting too thin. Carbonation's a little high, though.

Brenden, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of Scrapss
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't believe that a dark beer is this simple and drinkable. Not over carbonated, but has a lighter head and super dark looks. Roasted notes on smell and taste, there's some hops under there too. Taste is one of the smoothest dark beers ever. drinkabiliity is "session level", it's a great beer overall.

Scrapss, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of dbtoe
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a shaker pint glass.
This beer was very good tasting but a little on the weak/light side compared to other black lagers that I've had. I think I could have quite a few of these. I drank both one after the other out of the family pack.
Looks pretty good black body with a tannish bubbly head. Head didn't last long though.
Smell not a lot there picked up some roast and maybe a hint of chocolate.
Taste all the typical Schwarzbier flavors well balanced but weak, roast, chocolate, sweet, and spice. Ends dry and fairly clean.
Feels a little watery but has good carbonation at the same time.
Drink this is a very easy drinking beer. After two I could easily had more without being overwhelmed.

dbtoe, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce glass into a pint glass.

Inch of tan head settles to nothing and leaves little lacing. Very dark brown body, practically black. Not much to the smell, but the taste is nice. Dark sweet malts, little bitterness. Smooth at first than some tingly carbonation.

BierFan, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of jsprain1
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours much like a cup of coffee. A nice dark color, pretty solidly black with a thin mocha head that dissapates quickly.
S- Little bit of coffee, little bit of malt, little bit of chocolate. there an almost wood scent in there too. not a bad scent, but there's nothing special about it and its so subdued its not exactly reeling me in.
T- A good bit of roasted malt flavor, not bad. a bit of coffee and chocolate residing in there. finishes with a little bit of a cream and coffee flavor.
M- A little bit of carbonation to keep it active in the mouth, and a bit on the light side, but not by any means in a bad way, and pretty much fitting of the style.
D- Very drinkable. It flows well enough that its certainly a good session beer (especially at 4.9 abv). not the best schwarz i've ever had, but it's not bad. A pretty simple beer, but I feel like Shiner doesn't get the respect it deserves for making simple, yet good beers. not every beer needs a thousand aspects to it. Black Lager is just a simple, decent beer.

jsprain1, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Mardukk
2.93/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coffee color with a mocha head that quickly dissipates.

Roasted malt smell.

Coffee malt with a bit of peat moss. A lingering peat moss taste lingers. Maybe a hint of hops in the finish along with the moss taste.

The body is highly carbonated and somewhat watery mixed with the potent roasted taste. Not a very satisfying drinking exprience

The body does not match the taste, and the taste is not very smooth, I'll pass.

Mardukk, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of jpschouest
2.68/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a clear 20 oz pint glass it had about 1/2 inch coffee colored head its lacing of glass was minimal. Roasty aroma, bold taste, hint of coffee,dark chocolately taste. First time trying not bad at all. Would be a nice beer to keep on hand to have once and awhile.

jpschouest, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of beertunes
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a clear, clean black with about an inch of deep tan head that dissipated quickly and left no to minimal lacing.

A pleasantly bold aroma, featuring a very good roasty scent, greeted the nose. There was also an underlying grassy aroma that went nicely with the roast. The flavors, however, did not match up to the expectations set by the aroma. The roast and grass were there but very subdued compared to the aromas.

The body was what is expected for the style, solid, smooth, not sticky. Drinkability was very good, I can see keeping a few of these around for those easy drinkin' moments. Worth trying.

beertunes, Sep 28, 2009
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.

EgadBananas, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. The black lager appears a deep chestnut brown color with about an inch of ecru foam. No lacing to speak of. Nose and flavor consist of bittersweet chocolate, light coffee notes, caramel, toast, mocha. medium in both body and carbonation. Pretty nice.

ClockworkOrange, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of philbe311
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Big rich rocky tan foam with a very loud fizzy sound... Moderate retention gives way to a full thick creamy lacing... Some very small and very rapid carbonation bubbles can be found around the sides of the glass towards the very top of the glass... Some foam clings to the sides of the glass with each sip, but then fades...

S - Mild all the way around... Mild roasted malts... Mild bitter baker's chocolate... Mild licorice... Mild graininess... Mild scent of weak coffee... If you haven't caught on yet, the key word here is mild... A certain muskiness permeates...

T - Roasted malts... Very weak coffee... Some dark chocolate... Cream... Some bready malts...

M - Light, delicate, and fluffy... Minor tinges of carbonation on the tongue... On the thin side of medium bodied... Very smooth all the way around...

D - Uber-sessionable... Not much in the way of complexity, but not every beer needs to be... This is mild, enjoyable, and a beer I would embrace in the future... Not the best Schwarzbier, but a respectably solid one... Never have I had such a wonderful beer with such an average taste...

philbe311, Sep 22, 2009
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.

kevman527, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 once bottle into a standard shaker pint.

Pours a deep brown with mohaghony highlights. Nice rich head with medium staying power.

Aroma is dusty chocolate malt with a hint of sweet cream. Slight bitter aroma, don't know yet if it's hops or an agressive roast.

Flavor is dark malt, midly munich style that yeilds, unfortunately to DMS. Tons of cooked mixed vegetables in the middle. Dark roast flavor yields slightly to a smokey roast, but then is beaten back by DMS. Finishes metallic and sweet.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery, well carbonated and adequate.

Wow, I was hoping that this would be a better beer, but the DMS is so strong here that I can't pull anything else over it. There is a slight smokiness to the roast but it is shadowed by the veg flavor. I almost wish for diacetyl, as it would be bit expected here, but not DMS.

wheatyweiss, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of redzone3120
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - True to the name, the color is almost completely black with only a slight amber hint near the bottom edge. Its so dark that no light is passing through my glass. It looks more like a stout. The head is a fine creamy nutty white color that dissipates slowly.

S - Has a nice slightly sweet nutty smell. Its not overly powerful or too weak, a nice balance.

T - The taste is deep and strong. There is a mild smokey flavor mixed with a nutty malty taste. Very good if you like a strong beer.

M - Has a surprisingly smooth feel. The carbonation is very nice with lots of fine bubbles, not too harsh especially for a strong beer.

D - Between the flavor and the feel, this is definitely a drinkable beer especially in the cooler months. Not fully refreshing with the strong flavor but good none the less.

redzone3120, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of kegger22
2.8/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep brown with a miniscule head that disappeared very quickly into a bare collar. The aroma was similar to the head. The taste was watery, nothing was strong enough to stand out. Carbonation was the closest thing to taste, like seltzer water. The feed was, I don't know, what's lighter that light bodied? Drinkability was OK, but so is water. The only other schwarzbier I have tasted was Xingu and the Spoetzl black lager paled in comparison. It wasn't horrible, just nearly non-existent.

kegger22, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pilsner glass a deep dark chocolate black. Some ruby tints ot the edges. There's a nice big frothy tan head on top that retains pretty well, but it leaves no lacing whatsoever. Smells like toasted malts, some slight cocoa, and hints of coffee. Very nice.

The mouth is thin and wet. Not much carbonation going on in the mouth. This is pretty tame in the flavor dept, but it's not bad. Some roasty, nutty presence at the onset, and it finishes slightly sweet. This is a bottle of malty goodness here. Not the greatest representation of the style, but a good one nonetheless.

Onenote81, Aug 29, 2009
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,271 ratings.