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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,291 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,291
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 14
Gots: 95 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,291 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pitch black nice head, mocha colored, fades away after some time. there is no lace.
smells of caramel and chocolate
taste matches the aroma, a little bitter. i can't taste any hops whatsoever
a little watery in mouthfeel, possibly slightly undercarbonated
its a drinkable beer, not phenomenal

Photo of Krevee
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of Flashsp2
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiner Black into Konigsbacher Pils glass

Deep ruby with a one finger light brown head that leaves nice tracks
of lace. Quite pretty to look at.

Aroma is lightly roasty with a faint dusting of cocoa powder, and a
nice malty milk chocolate as it warms.

Lightly bodied with a spritzy carbonation. Like a nice pilsner with a
soft roasty touch. Some chocolate notes as well, with an odd bitter
and mineral-like finish. The hops offer up a bit of spice.

Overall an easy drinker. If it weren't for the odd aftertaste it would
make quite a refreshing beer for those who assume 'dark beers are
thick and heavy.'

Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via Local BIF from twiggamortis420. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a pint glass, formed a 1" dark tan head above the clear burgundy brew. Head fades ever so slowly, with good lacing. Aroma is wisps of rich dark malt, but not enough. Taste is moderate dark sweetness, balancing bitterness, and a creamy close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is easy. Good stuff.

Photo of woodychandler
4.35/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I saw this on the shelf while visiting a DC liquor store over the weekend and thought that it might be a pleasant diversion from the CANQuest.

From the bottle: From the bottle: "This rare and deliscious style of beer is referred to in Germany as a Schwartzbier" or black beer."; "This handcrafted Bohemian black beauty is brewed with select roasted malts and imported hops."; "Every drop of Shiner is brewed in Shiner"; "Don't be Afraid of the Dark"; "Here in Shiner, Texas (pop. 2,070), we've been handcrafting beer since 1909. The passion of our original brewmaster, Kosmos Spoetzl, continues to inspire our efforts today. First brewed to commemorate our 97th anniversary, this Bohemian Black Lager remains true to the old-world heritage of the German and Czech immigrants who settled Shiner. Imported Czech Saaz and Syrian hops, and select roasted malts make this "Schwartzbier" our darkest brew yet. Prosit!"

The pour created two fingers' worth of light-brown/deep-tan head that quickly fell like Wile E. Coyote going over a cliff while holding an Acme Co. anvil. The label read: "Don't be Afraid of the Dark" and while I am not a shrinking violet, this beer might be scary to the uninitiated. They may have called it "Black" but it was really a deep, dark brown with beautiful ruby highlights. The nose was chocolaty with dried dark fruit, like raisins. I thought of a Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar, initially. Wow! Mouthfeel was a bit thin with only the CO2 giving it any real body. Nuts! Still, the taste was very pleasant - slightly chocolaty, slightly smoky, just right after a long workday. The finish was again chocolate with a light smokiness. The ABV made it a welcome addition to my day and I would definitely have it more often.

Photo of tone77
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and chocolate, some notes of coffee. Taste is like the smell, malty and coffee, some hints of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is highly drinkable. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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.

Photo of thain709
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very deep brown and showed some very nice ruby hues...a big, two finger, light brown head formed and quickly fell to a small cap...the cap finally gave way but still left some lace

S - The nose was muted...I was able to detect some of the German hops but only a faint roastiness

T - This beer had two distinct flavors...when it was cold the hops really stood out...you could tell they were German hops because they were very earthy...as the beer warmed up the hop presence took a back seat and the roasted malts started to come out...there was never a distinct chocolate or caramel flavor but rather a typical roasted grainy malt flavor

M - Medium bodied...surprisingly thin for how dark it is...watered down at points as well

D - This beer wasn't bad...it struck me as odd to have two distinct flavors and not a real middle ground here...I would suggest letting this one warm up a little before taking that first sip

Photo of budgood1
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours out very dark chocolate colour with ruby red highlights. very thin head and sparse lace. aroma of cocoa and anise hints....semi sweet and enjoyable. flavour is reminiscent of some unsweetened chocolate and toffee. very light hopping peeks through but never gets through the river of overall wateriness. another predictable mineral/seltzer water like beer with ghostly flavours that never ascend any higher than dud firecracker. obtuse mouthfeel and lacking body leave me yet again disappointed with this latest shiner beer. average drinkability. boring at best.

yawn. only one more Shiner sample left.

Photo of 7thDUI
2.6/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Saw this at the liquor store and found myself in the mood for a dark lager. Unfortunately, this is nothing like any of the other German dark lagers I have tried. It looked promising on the pour, and the smell was malty and slightly sweet. Unfortunately, the overwhelming flavor is blandness. Easy to drink, but very mediocre. I also found the Shiner Bock to be pretty underwhelming too, so I guess this brand just isn't to my taste. It's not bad, but there's really nothing I can reccomend about it either.

Photo of DosBeerigos
2.05/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

N. Smells like water and mild liquorice

Ok, so out of all the black lagers that i have had this comes in last place. It almost taste like I licked a grill that had a tone of char on it. It is smooth and easy to drink with that said. I would not buy it again. If your looking for a black lager I would recommend any but this one. Disappointed.
Score: 1.65

Photo of jsh420
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours dark brown with some ruby and a 1+ tan finger head that fades fast and left no lacing

smell is not that strong - roasted malt and bready malts

taste is better then the nose - roasted chocolate malts and a very bitter finish

mouthfeel is very light with ok carbonation

drinkability - this beer is a step up from marcos but it doesnt make me what to crack open another

Photo of Dster
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Poured black with a slight ruby tint with a tan head.
S malt, roasted, sweet.
T Coffee, Medium carbonation, slight sweetness
F Nice smooth light mouthfeel.
D Not a summer night lawnmower beer obviously, but it would be easy to put six of these away

Photo of brownbeer
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice russet color with a small, light brown head.

Biscuit, baking chocolate, and coffeeish aroma.

Somewhat bland cocoa powdery taste that is also a little watery.

Not distinguished in any way and has a muddled character. Pass if you want a good craft beer. Woe is me Shiner.

Photo of Jayli
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired this from TheManiacalOne so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!

A: This beer pours rich ruby brown color with mahogany hues around the edges. A 1 finger of off white head sits on top and recedes immediately. Spotty lacing is left on the glass.

S: Nose is sweet, sweet, sweet. Caramel, toffee, sugar and almost marshmellow fluff - you know people on the east know what I am talking about! Fluffanutter!

T: Taste is sweet vanilla up front, marshmellow type of flavoring. Taste then moves in to sweet caramel and toffee - not even of the malt variety, but straight up toffee. Touch of roasted and slightly toasty malts come in at the very, very end.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, crisp and clean body.

D: Somewhat tasty, not very filling, goes down relatively easily. Nothing completely stands out, but there are better offerings of this style.

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

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager has a thin beige head, very dark reddish appearance, and minimal carbonation. Aroma is very feint to nonexistant. Taste is very mild, with no bitterness present. Mouthfeel is light and watery. Overall, this is a good, if somewhat bland, beer. There is nothing offensive about it, but I prefer beers with more bite and body.


Photo of mooseisloose
2.65/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Shiner's always been a good basic brew for a go to when nothing else is available and you don't want your taste buds to suffer. This is a classic beer they drink in Germany, let's give it a whirl. Smells not much different than a macro lager could be a golden lager as far as the nose goes. Pours to a very dark, darker than root beer, color letting just a little light through. Head is micro bubble and creamy. Taste is thinner than I expected, again not much different than an American golden lager, but with the difference being a hint of black licorice. Finish is kind of funky with a bit of mouthpuckering skunkiness. As an afiicionado of darker brews I was pumped for this one, but it is a let down. Won't be drinking anymore of this brew.

Photo of dgaddis
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I initially poured it into a pilsner and found it be very inviting given the dark color. The head was about a 1/2 inch with a nice tan color.

The smell was interesting but had an alcohol-y presence and there was a distinct malty characteristic after taking a large whiff.

The taste was mediocre at best. It wasn't bad but it's a beer I won't spend money on again. I know that Shiner has a great tradition of good beer but the lack of flavor and mildly bitter aftertaste wasn't anything to write home to mom about.

The mouthfeel was a bit like drinking water, maybe the same consistency as drinking skim milk.

Drinkability was average and didn't impress any. I love beer and I hate wasting money so I will certainly drink it all, but it's nothing better than average.

Photo of williamt
2.25/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark mahagony. Nice tan thick head that laces glass.

First sniff of the opened bottle had some dark roasty notes to it, but that was it. After the pour couldn't find anything.

Weak, next to no flavor. Maybe a little malt but you really have to look for it.

Some what thin.

Drinkable about like water, I think I'd rather have water.

Photo of elgiacomo
2.48/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle. Pours brown, dark brown in the glass with a good peige head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is quite weak.

Flavor is light roasted malts, some caramel, a bit of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel is thin with low carbonation. Inoffensive.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,291 ratings.