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.
BA SCORE
77
okay

1,259 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,259
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 13
Gots: 86 | 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: 1,259 | Reviews: 489 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of argock
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pilsner glass. No freshness date. Purchased as 6-pack for $6.99.

A: Very dark brown with thin off-white head with average retention and left no lace.

S: Roasted dark malt, cereal grains, licorice, molasses, and faint spicy hoppiness

T: Roasted malts are most prominent with a hint of licorice and acrid molasses flavor. No smokiness but plenty of raw cereal graininess and a very mild spicy hops finish.

M: Thin to a fault with good carbonation and enjoyable roasted malt aftertaste.

D: Not hard to drink and not objectionable but far down the list of black/dark lagers and schwarzbiers. A lot of grain sneaks through and more care could be given to the hopping to bring a crisp, more complex brew.

argock, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of JDK
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a 1/2 finger head that quickly disappeared.

Virtually no lacing

Chocolate malts, slight smokey flavoer with coffee after taste. Average carbonation.

Smells of light citrus, dark coffee malts

Worth a try, could drink several in a setting

JDK, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: It's black (obviously) with just the slightest transparency and a pretty decent head.

Smell: Strong roasted malt smell that is somewhat bitter to the nose.

Taste: Strong roasted flavor that seems to have a hint of a coffee flavor. It's not particularly smooth, however.

Mouthfeel: Had a fair, but not full body.

Drinkability: While I can see the appeal of this beer to some, quite frankly it's just not for me.

civilizedpsycho, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of MirkoCroCough
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from Shiner sampler.

Nice cola like appearance. Dark, with some clarity.

Smells good. Toasty and malty with hops in there.

Malty, bready. Touch of hops. Taste of brew.

A bit carbonated and stingy. Smooth finish.

This beer taste good and has a nice appearance. Like most things from Shiner, nothing fancy, just a solid beer for those who enjoy a bit of darkness. Not bad at all. Highly recommend the Shiner sampler, as it has some good beers. Was very surprised by the overall goodness and qualtiy. Too bad their staple beer is their shittiest.

MirkoCroCough, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of Fnord
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Almost completely black, with a thin but long-lasting off-white head.

Smell - Semi-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, grass, alcohol.

Taste - More chocolate, roast coffee and grass, with a bit of caramel thrown in. The Saaz hops add an interesting twist.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty drinkable.

Notes - This is by far Shiner's best beer, since they retired the dunkelweizen. It's flavorful and somewhat complex, but still drinkable. My only beef is that it's too carbonated.

Fnord, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a deep brown/black with a couple of fingers of tan head. Malty aroma with cocoa, some noble hops and a little black patent. Starts out with some malty sweetness. Light to medium bodied and fairly drinkable. Lingering dry finish of chocolate. This was decent, not up to the standards of say a Kostritzer.

homebrewhawk, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of BeanBone
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A murky, dark brown body capped by a thin, tan head that burns out quickly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma: Roasty and bitter malt with mild chocolate and coffee notes.

Taste: Much the same in the flavor profile. Roasted malt with chocolate, coffee, and nut-like character makes up the bulk of it with not much in the way of hops. The aftertaste is roasty and nutty.

Mouthfeel: A thinnish body with sharp carbonation; rather unsatisfying.

Drinkability: Drinkable enough, but you'll get bored before you get full.

Verdict: I remember Shiner 97 when it was fresh having quite a bit more character and depth than this, but that might be because my palate wasn't quite as advanced as it is now. As it stands, Bohemian Black Lager is an inoffensive, but generally unexciting brew.

BeanBone, Aug 08, 2009
Photo of mistascott007
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Looks like red wine when held directly up to the light. Otherwise hard to see light through it. Creamy head that sticks around for awhile but eventually dissipates with plenty of bubbles.

Smell: Caramel and chocolate aroma. Very pleasant. Roasted sweet malt.

Taste: Soothing maltiness. Mild carbonation. Slides down the throat nicely. Chocolate hints with caramel tones. Delicious. Pleasant aftertaste. Can be a bit watery at times (toward the end).

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Doesn't get old until the last few sips. Doesn't bite.

Drinkability: Excellent. I could drink this beer for hours by itself or with food. For a beer this heavy and dark, it is surprisingly refreshing on a summer day.

Overall: The best Shiner I have had to date. This beer outshines The Commemorator. It should have been their 100th Anniversary beer.

mistascott007, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of joshuadlight
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is probably the best beer that I've had from the Spoetzl Brewery.

There wasn't enough head on this beer to merit a good appearance score, but it was black on the pour, and only a faint red glow was given off when held to the light.

Nice bitter chocolate nose. You can pick out roasty bitterness from the malts as well as a good hop presence in the back end. Its a very tasty brew with a lot of porter characteristics.

No head, but it was very fizzy, perhaps a little too much so, but at less than 5% abv and with this great of flavor, I think this schwarzbier defines drinkability.

joshuadlight, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of Thur123
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle in to my undersized mug.

Appearance: A kind of blackish/ruby/amber color. Can only really see the amber reflected on the glass. A tannish head that left little lacing and refused to linger.

Smell: Malty with a burnt kind of charred smell. Maple syrup as well.

Taste: Not as strong as i expected, but seeing that it took my awhile get any kind of real smell, I'm not too shocked. Very fizzy with a light burnt malty taste that ends kind of sweet. still not strong enough for my liking.

Mouthfeel: good feel. light and fizzy, nothing overwhelming.

Drinkability: Over all i liked it, but i still like xingu more. Have not tried many others in this style. this would go very good with food though, i feel it would add some complexity to pizza and pasta.

Thur123, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of illidurit
2.98/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark clear umber with mahogany highlights. Decent sized tan head that fizzles a little too quickly. Aroma is quite solid actually, lightly roasted malts and some chocolate and cream notes. Not very robust but a nice nose. Flavor is watered down coffee with a mineral finish. Like when you're at a tasting and you just had a stout in your glass and you pour some water in there to wash the residue away and when you drink the water you're drinking Shiner Black Lager. Pass on this one.

illidurit, Jul 20, 2009
Photo of tobymugg
4.28/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Not quite "black" but close. Looks great.

S- Roast malt, chocolate, caramel, ferment.

T- Mild roasted malt and chocolate, smoke? Cool tasty gentle aftertaste. Complex and entertaining. Good with a padron.

M- Thin, doppelbock-ish.

D- Better than you would expect, but not a beer to pound, poundable though it may be.

Very manly bottle, black with a black label, no colours or label turning blue when its cold or anything else effeminate. Texan and proud to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

tobymugg, Jul 19, 2009
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 1,259 ratings.