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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

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1,325 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,325
Reviews: 501
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 14.83%
Wants: 15
Gots: 120 | 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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Ratings: 1,325 | Reviews: 501 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Shiner" Bohemian Black Lager. Brewed by Spoetzl Brewery Shiner Texas. 4.9% alcohol poured into a Pilsner glass.

A- Pours a almost opaque black fluid that produces a dull amber red hue when put up to the sunlight. nice off tan tan head foams up in almost a cola like fashion that slowly falls to a constant quarter inch head leaving some patchy lacing.

S- Smell is of rich chocolate malts and creamy coffee. Has a light scent of tangy hops in the citrus form... very vague.

T- An excellent mix of malts and hops. Upfrontr is a dark roast of burnt malts and barley. Second is a thin flavor of raw coffee grinds and cream. Mouthfeel is ultra smooth with a tongue pleasing carbonation that dances over the taste buds with ease.

D- One hell of a Schwarzbier that I would love to get alot of. Has beautiful drinkablity and a flavor that only makes you want more... cheers!

Photo of generallee
4.33/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a Pilsener glass. The label has a brief description of the beer but no ABV or freshness date.

Appearance: Its body has a dark almost black color with deep crimson highlights. On top sits a tall creamy light tan head which is long lasting and keeps a small covering to the last sip. Along the way down the glass it makes nice lacing.

Smell: It has a dark roasted and toasted maltiness as well as some sweet candy like notes as well.

Taste/Palate: The flavor is right on with a nice mix of dark roasted maltiness and hop bitterness. There are notes of dark or burnt toast, dark roasted coffee with an underlined sweetness like dark caramel and a slight hint of cherry chough drop. Hops are light but do offer some mellow bitterness. The finish is a little roasty with pleasant bitterness. Its palate feels smooth and mildly carbonated.

Notes: This is a solid example of the style. It's dark and tasty yet supper easy to drink.

Photo of Mora2000
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black color with red highlights and a tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, but it is a little bit faint. I really expected more from the aroma. The flavor is much stronger. I get the expected roasted malt but I am also getting quite a bit of smoke. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

I have had this beer numerous times over the years and it has always been my favorite Shiner beer. I never remembered the smoke in the beer before, so I am not sure if I always just missed it or if this batch was smokier than others in the past.

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

Pours virtually black, but with deep ruby highlights when help up the light.

Aroma has caramel, light roast, and an earthy hop elements way in the back.

Flavor follows suit. Caramel, light roast, maybe a pinch of coffee grounds. Some graininess in the finish, but otherwise pretty clean.

Medium body, with moderate carbonation. Has a slight chewiness to it. Overall a pretty decent Schwarzbier. I wouldn't mind if the roast was kicked up a tad bit, or maybe an element of dark chocolate....just something to add a little more complexity. Very drinkable, and would certainly have again.

Photo of kellypodz
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Originally released as the limited edition Shiner 97 as part of the brewery's countdown to its 100th anniversary, the dark lager was reintroduced as a permanent part of Shiner's line-up only a short time later due to popular demand.

I love its hoppy undertones, creamy head, and roasted malts.

It's not as desirable as it's older brother, Shiner Bock. But it's wonderful occasionally, especially with spicy cuisine. Being darker than most beers, it may also be better appreciated in the not so hot months of the year. While not my usual my go-to beer, I still must buy a six-pack every once in a while.

You can read my full review on my blog:

Photo of indiapaleale
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Let the Spoetzl fest continue...

Pours a deep, dark brown to mahogany in color with a half inch of bubbly head.

Aroma reminds me of soggy cereal, brown bread, caramel and coffee grounds.

Flavor is rich, roasty and definitely a fair share of dark roasted malt. Lots of bready flavors mixed with dark roast coffee, burnt toast and brown sugar.

Decent brew. Spoetzl kind of confuses me. Are they going for utmost quality or do they just sort of wing. Some of their stuff reminds me of Saranac when it comes to quality.

Photo of belgiumbud
4.53/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first American made swartzbier I have tried...

I have been looking forward to seeing Spoetzl Brewery venture outside of their comfort zone for a while now...Very excited about trying this beer

Pours into a pint glass nicely with a pearl white head about inch high
Not much aroma...smell espresso and caramelized sugar

Very dark brown to black color

The taste was amazing...Espresso, Chocolate and Caramel round out the flavor of this beer...but smooth the entire time

Incredibly enjoyable to drink...amazing flavor...Would of enjoyed this at room temperature poured over some vanilla bean ice cream...

Would like to enjoy this on tap

Photo of albertjr21
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black color with bright brown highlights under the reminiscent ring of a beige thin head.

S: A dark roasted malt nose with a mild sweet licorice note.

M/T: A crisp and bubbly carbonated upfront feel with a short lived malt center that leads to a palate scrubbing finish with traces of sour and roasted malt notes.

D: Something perhaps to best be enjoyed with a simply seasoned cut of beef.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Nice black body, big giant tan head. Maybe too big, but I poured pretty harsh and it's not lingering very long. At least not inappropriately long. Well, it's pretty much gone now. Pretty good lacing though. The beer is very dark brown, pretty much black but not perfectly.

S: Dry, grainy roast, nothing for hops. Not burnt or anything like that, just the smell of cooked and roasted grains. Not unpleasant, fairly typical for the style, but not the best presentation ever.

T: Much, much better than the nose. The taste is a mild roast, still some grainyness, but not a dry unpleasant taste, more like eating barley pilaf. The taste is not overpowering at all, and is very interesting, bordering on complex.

M: I really think they nailed the mouthfeel, light (but not watery) with a smooth texture, totally disconnected from the taste/appearance.

D: Very drinkable, something I won't be afraid to recommend or add to my personal rotation.

Photo of weller1js
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours a dark cherry-mohogany with light carbonation; tan foam dissipates leaving a slight lacing.

smell: toasted malty scent with slightly sweet undertones.

taste: toasted malts stand out throughout the beginning, transitioning to a slightly smokey undertone, yielding to a balanced malty and slight sweet hoppy finish; flavor is dark yet has some richer notes.

drinkability: for a darker bock-style, the toasted flavor is neither too intense nor too smoke-infused, the discernable presence of hops makes give it some mild complexity; definitely worth trying.

Photo of Nature777
4.75/5  rDev +38.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's as dark as motor oil but smoother than a baby's ass! This is an excellent brew that I'd rarely pass up. When I first started drinking beers that went beyond "Generic Light" and "Generic Ice," this was one of my first dark beers. While I was still acquiring a taste for beers that weren't American Light Lagers, this one blew me away. A few years later, this is still at the top of my list.

A- I've been pouring these into common pint glasses. The beer is a beautifully deep black with reddish-mahogany highlights, visible if you hold it up to a light. I also has a dark head.

S- There's a decent sent of roasted malts here. I got some coffee as well.

T- The taste of this beer is astonishing. Despite it's dark color, it is exceptionally light. The coffee and chocolate flavors hit you very quickly up front. I didn't find this very hoppy. But perhaps my addiction to Imperial IPAs sways my judgement here. The malts really come through in the rear.

M- Easily one of the most drinkable beers I have ever had. Again, despite being so dark, it is very light. It's a great beer to give people who think that all dark beers taste the same and are heavy. It'll teach them a thing about real beers. It does not fill you up and with the low alcohol content, you can easily drink several of these without having a problem. I also found this to be minimally carbonated. I've had several lambics recently which were much more heavily carbonated.

This is an overall spectacular brew. I rank it amongst my favorites. It is the lightest of the beers I regularly drink. I tend to lean towards Stone Double Bastard and Dogfish Head 90 Minute IIPA. When I want something refreshing and easy to drink, this is my beer of choice.

Photo of Bfarr
2.51/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear black with red shining through in spots with a tan, thin frothy head with okay retention. Dirty lager aroma. A little molasses and earthy hops that are very muted. Nothing in the finish though I wouldn't call it clean, just nothing, except for a bit of a bad coating in the back of the throat. Medium thin carbonation.

Not much to this one. It was even kind of a chore to drink as all the flavors are quite muted. Nothing I would be looking for again but hey, it was cheap.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I first had this in a bottle at The Spot in Chicago. It was served very cold which masked the full characteristics of the beer. I had this again in TX and purchased it in a variety 6pck.

Poured this into a Sam Adams pint. The beer pours very dark with a slight translucence that allowed a dark cherry light to shine through. The head retention was not very good. It lasted about halfway down then settled to a very thin lace. Poured it at 50 degrees. It tasted best at temps in high 50's.

Smelled like cooked cherries. The taste was similar to the smell. It had a sort of plum/cherry taste upfront followed by a coffee bean background. This was like a lager invited an English Porter over to hang out. There was a more robust flavor at temps above 59. There was a slight metallic and over carbonated taste and texture.

Overall it was not a bad black lager. This is one of my more favorite brews from the Spoetzl Brewery. I would not mind having this one again and would easily choose it over the Bock. I thought it had a refreshing quality that seemed fitting for the TX heat.

Photo of Bung
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Light black pour, brown all around the edges. Minimal off white head.

Aroma, that standard American lager scent. Faintest roast, dark choc. and herbal peat tones.

Taste is watery dark chocolate and peat. Light chocolate and peat. Herbal tones, finishes dry and crisp, but pretty meh.

Certainly on the lighter side, but for a hot night a good brew for a dark beer fan. Lively carbonation. Nothing offensive at all to not allow one to drink many.

Definetely a session black lager, although black lagers are sessionable to begin with. So maybe a good six pack available session lager.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty black yet clear with mahogany highlights as it sits in my New Glarus pilsner glass. A small tan head caps it through most of the glass.

S- Pretty hoppy, piny and citrusy over top a minor roasty smell. Touches of coffee and charcoal. Overall the smell is a bit weak.

T- Nice balance with the finish leaning towards bitter with a bite of hops and roasted malts.

M- A little too much on the carbonation perhaps. The body is fairly light and the finish is pretty clean.

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

Poured into a pint glass this has an aggressive head that was 3 fingers thick milk chocolate brown that left minimal lacing but settled to a nice 1 finger cap. The aroma is faint but some burnt caramel and coffee are present. The taste is of mild chocolate, some slight coffee and a little burnt caramel. Light carbonation and medium body. Not the best dark lager I have had but a decent brew.

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

A nice little Schwartzy I imagine would drink nicely at a summer gathering.

The aroma and flavor both include .some milk chocolate and some light java....really not much in the way of hops and I was hoping for a bit more from the Saaz hops.

Body is on the light side of medium.... clean...smooth but not quite rounded...gets a little watery after it warms

A nice drinker...nothing terribly complex but also nothing terribly wrong with this either....I'd recommend..

Photo of gregalobeer
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

"Shiner is a great TX beer." Let's tease apart three possible meanings of this compliment, which you can quote me on: (1) Shiner is a great *business*, which brews beer: the beer Shiner is made by the Spoetzl Brewery, which is a stand-up TX business, providing unique and affordable local beer to tons of bars, festivals, and convenience stores that typically just serve domestic lights; (2) Shiner is a brewery with great *beer*: I grew up drinking this beer and I like it quite a bit, especially on draft, though I understand it tastes a little bitter; (3) Shiner is a great *TX* beer: hands down my favorite local brewery, unique style and very drinkable.

Now, what distinguishes the "bohemian black lager" from Shiner Bock? Not a lot actually. Basically, the flavor is smoothed out quite a bit, traces of caramel and chocolaty malts, now complete with less bitter aftertaste. This beer is certainly more likable than Shiner proper, but the new flavor profile isn't strong enough to overcome my affinity for the original.

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

I had this beer right after the Session Black from Full Sail and I have to say that this is not as good. Both beers are well priced and dark lagers but the Full Sail has a richer mouthfeel and longer finish. I think this is an ok beer and if I was in Texas I would probably seek it out but in the PNW the Session Black is the better beer at a better price

Photo of burnerfinger
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured from the 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

A: deepest red, almost opaque. this carmelly head that dissipated all to quickly.

S: weak and understated. this is like a wannabe- stout to me. a bit of maltiness. hops nearly absent

T: athe carbonation is almost "foamy" but the porter taste does come thru a bit. this is pleasant but just not enough.

M: best of the shiners I think. little bit of an afterkick medium body

D: not bad, I just wish it were more of what it's trying to be.

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.

Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,325 ratings.