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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

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1,305 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 1,305
Reviews: 497
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 15
Gots: 107 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery visit their website
Texas, United States

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,305 | Reviews: 497 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Nerudamann
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look - thick and creamy looking. Very dark and stout/porter looking until held up to the light, which reveals a softer shade closer to a brown. Nice 1.5 to 2 fingers worth of foam that dissipated fairly quickly.

Smell - It smelled like it was going to be a thick dark lager. I didn't catch a coffee smell that other reviewers pointed out, but I did smell something that seemed almost fruity in nature.

Mouthfeel - not as creamy as expected, which I thought was going to be closer to light Porter.

Taste - nice and balanced between malty and hopy. Smooth aftertaste.

Drinkability - very good beer, but still a little too thick for me to go back for a few more times. I wouldn't mind at all having it in the fridge for one every now and then.

Photo of JMad
3.37/5  rDev -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.

Photo of jhp40219
4.02/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - Looks black upon pour, but hold it up to the light and you can see a nice amber color. Pours with a nice light tan one-finger head. Dissipates quickly into a light tan ring around the edges of the glass. Drinking leaves a slight bubbly lacing on the glass which slides down and disappears into to beer within seconds.

S - Very tasty smell of smoky campfire, roasted malts and coffee are strong and upfront with a bit of chocolate in the background. Excellent! I could sit and sniff this all day!

T - Not as good as the smell, but quite nice! The smoky taste is very dominating on the front of the tongue, and those roasted malts and coffee taste coming through in the back of the tongue. All blending excellently together. Very similar to a smoked porter taste.

M - Nothing special. The carbonation tends to dull the taste, making it feel kind of watery and thin. Huge letdown.

D - Very easy to drink! Not too strong, but definitely not weak. Tastes like a smoked porter but drinks much easier. Very nice!

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.

Photo of bnes09
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Black and mostly opaque in color. A thin tan head shyly emerges than sinks back into the liquid like a frightened turtle.

Aromas of dark fruit and licorice hit the nose but other than that a clean smell.

Roasted flavor comes forth abruptly then restraines itself. I can detect some hints of coffee and licorice. Finishes smooth without much of an after taste.

Light-bodied and a fairly high level of carbonation. The malt just doesn't give my palate enother texture to enjoy.

Drinkability is high due to the weaker flavors and light feel. Its descent for a black lager but I would definetly appreciate a more complex flavor profile and more substantial body.

Photo of macrent2
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in bottles. After pouring this beer into a clear glass, I noticed that it had a dark coffee colour with a nice amount of carbonation and a short head. Later on there was a very small amount of noticable lacing on the glass. Not the best I have seen.

Light smell. A hint of vanilla and coffee.

Very nice, goes down very well.

Very beer. I thought it was too drinkable. Plus, why this is called Black Behemian is not odd to me! I never expected Irish style with coffee notes.

Good enough to have again! This is on an American par with Guiness Ireland!

Serving type: Bottle

Photo of mralphabet
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Pint glass. Part of Family Pack

A: Pours very dark amber brown, about 1 1/2 fingers of tan head that settles to nothing, with no lacing.

S: First thing I'm getting is a nice sweet toasted malt, with notes of caramel, toffee and coffee.

T: All the smells are here.... Tastes or all on the light side... with a little more coffee than I was thinking I was going to get. After taste is clean and dry.

M: Sharp carbonation make it feel lighter than it really should be. Not what I was expecting. It is crisp and clean I was expecting a little creamier. Overall it feels med bodied.

D: Overall not a bad little brew, low ABV and nice flavors. Nothing too outstanding but a nice brew from the Spoetzl Brewery.

Photo of KeefD
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, maybe some black in center, clear, and ruby edges with a two finger head and light lacing. Aroma is slightly subdued, but there is a touch of roasty and chocolate notes going on, a but grainy (Shiner's MO?) and no hoppiness. Taste is right along with the aroma. Lightl cocoa, some caramel, and a teeny tiny bit of roast make up the flavor profile, some grainy, bready like base malts underneath, and a fading light bitterness along with a nutty sweetness on the finish. Not too sweet, and easy drinking. Mouthfeel is smooth, carbonation, just on the verge of creamy. Not a bad a beer by any means. Probably the best out of this mixed 12 pack so far.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, dark brown color. Poured a 2 finger beige head with fair retention. Minimal lacing washed down the glass.

S: Sweet malt and grass with a hint of toast and roasted nuts.

T: Sweet toasted malt; prmarily burnt toast and roasted nuts. Lingers a bit in an even, bitter finish.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Amooth and fairly balanced.

D: Pretty tame for the style. Nothing wrong, just not very impressive.

Photo of KrisPaulk77
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.
The beer poured a dark black color with a substantial head of creamy tan foam. The head never really diminished all the way, and there was a good solid 1/4" inch of foam through the whole pint. The beer had showed deep garnet colors when held to light.
The aroma was clean and lager-like, but with touches of roasted barley and sweet malts, a hint of cocoa, and faint florals. Very pleasant smelling.
The taste was quite good, better than I expected from Shiner. Slighty sweet malts upfront, chased by light roast and chocolates, balanced by a fairly clean bitterness. Decent body and carbonation.
Overall, a very drinkable beer from Shiner. I'd buy this over Shiner Bock any day.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: translucent black/brown body; headless

s: some light coffee; sweeter syrupy malts; hay; little bit of chocolate

t: light chocolate; coffee; very mild

m: watery with high carbonation

i love the aesthetic but this beer was a bit of a dissapointment

Photo of divineaudio
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. freshness date (i think) laser etched into the bottle .

color is dark brown with ruby highlights. forms a pinky of foamy tan colored head that calms quickly to a film. not getting much lace with this one, only a few spots.

smell is grainy with notes of dark fruit and sugar. has a syrupy, cola like quality. taste is more nutty than anything else, and has a bit of a sugary sweetness to it that is followed up with mild hop bitterness.

mouthfeel is light with a prickly co2 profile.

drinkability is high. this goes down easy and is a great session beer for people who want a lighter beer with richer flavor than a typical lager.

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

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown with some hints of ruby. Light tan head that doesn't stay around too long.

S - Sweet, with a bit of nuttiness and just a hint of roast.

T - Malt, only a little roast in the aftertaste.

M - Fairly thin, just a bit of carbonation.

D - Alright, but certainly nothing special. However, it is drinkable and refreshing enough that it makes a solid session beer or something to have on a hot afternoon.

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.

Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
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
3.55/5  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.

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
3.66/5  rDev +6.4%
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
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
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
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
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
2.86/5  rDev -16.9%
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
2.68/5  rDev -22.1%
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
2.06/5  rDev -40.1%
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

Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,305 ratings.