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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,182 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,182
Reviews: 483
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%
Wants: 11
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
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
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Ratings: 1,182 | Reviews: 483 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sleeven

New Mexico

2.08/5  rDev -39.7%

I'm not an experienced reviewer, but after drinking this, I had to tell someone how bad it was.

Poured into a pilsner glass, which fizzed like cola and quickly dissipated. Slightly malty mouthfeel. Tastes like a soda that has been sitting open in the fridge for a while. I cannot discern how this beer manages to accomplish both an over-carbonated yet at the same time very flat drinking experience, but it does just that.

It says this beer is no longer brewed... but I just bought it, partly because I had never seen it before. The label is all black, seeming updated from the pictured version. I thought it might be a different recipe entirely from the one pictured, as it only says "Shiner Bohemian Black Lager" on the main label, but a closer look on the neck label reads "shiner 97." They first made it to commemorate their 97th anniversary, but it seems that they are making it again.

I really like Shiner Bock, Shiner's most popular beer, and it is often a go-to at bars, as it is usually the same price as Michelob Amber Bock but tastes better. I also enjoy their Hefeweisen and Dunkelweisen, even the blonde isn't bad. But this? All I can ask is, "What the hell, Shiner?"

*I upped my original ratings, as I did end up finishing the six pack (over time) but mainly because maybe this just isn't my style of brew... maybe my palette just doesn't agree with this style... so, benefit of the doubt goes to Shiner's black lager.

06-06-2008 01:44:50 | More by sleeven
Photo of nem2006


2.9/5  rDev -15.9%

I poured the beer into a nonic glass. The color was a very dark brown, not quite black. There was very little head and what head there was, actually dissipated quickly.

The smell was difficult to place at first, but after a little consultation, it was clear as day. Wet dog. I don't know if this was a bad batch or something happened to the bottle or what, but the smell was overpowering once I figured it out.

And oddly enough, the taste was actually a little distinct from the smell. There was a slight coffee hint with the roasted malts and a little sweet, then a bitterness to finish it off from the hops. The bitterness was actually pretty well balanced. I would definitely be more jazzed about the beer if the smell had not ruined it for me.

05-31-2008 01:01:17 | More by nem2006
Photo of zeff80


3.85/5  rDev +11.6%

A - Poured out a dark brown color with hints of ruby. It had a two-finger, tan head that was fairly bubbly and left behind some lace.

S - It smelled of malt and a mossy/earthy quality.

T - The first sip had a coffee-like taste with a malty kick. It was rather bittersweet.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good brew. The coffee taste is unique.

05-28-2008 12:27:13 | More by zeff80
Photo of gford217


3.58/5  rDev +3.8%

12oz bottle courtesy of mhewes poured into a snifter.

A: Pours deep brown, almost black, with ruby edges when held up to the light. Head is small and dense and dissipates to a few bubbles with almost no lacing.

S: Main aroma is of sweet malts with a little bit of coffee thrown in. Not a lot standing out in the smell.

T: Light malt taste up front with a bit of dark fruits and coffee in the middle. Hops are present in a crisp finish.

M: Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a bit of a carbonation twinge on the tongue.

D: This may not be the best or most complex dark lager I've had, but it is very drinkable. I'd actually buy this again.

05-14-2008 02:35:43 | More by gford217
Photo of everetends


3.18/5  rDev -7.8%

Got this as a sixer from Grub Mart here in Jacksoville. Poured into a pint tumbler.

A: Poured a black with ruby coming through when held to the light. Does let a lot of light through.

S: Not much going on here. Kinda smells a bit of roasted malt and coffee, but this smell is super faint.

T: Once again it has flavors of malt and coffee, maybe a touch of nuts and cream. This tastes like a thin Guinness without any aftertaste. I mean zero aftertaste.

M: Has a medium carbonation but this beer is pretty thin/watery. Not very creamy or heavy.

D: Very drinkable because it is so light. Has a bit of heavy taste but nothing dynamic or complex.

05-11-2008 23:23:29 | More by everetends
Photo of Mdog


3.48/5  rDev +0.9%

Appearance: Black with red highlights when held to light, fast fading head.

Smell: Toast.

Taste: Roasted malt and some slight coffee bitterness.

Drinkability: Relatively light, could have a few in a sitting.

Another beer brought back from Omaha. Not quite up to the Sprecher schwarz's level but not too bad. Worth a try.

05-11-2008 22:51:20 | More by Mdog
Photo of BigRedN


3.8/5  rDev +10.1%

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. The beer is black in colr, as expected. My somewhat soft pour produces a good brownish head, just over an inch. Head fades to a near cover on the liquid and leaves some good lace.

Smell: The aroma is malt-centric. Lightly roasted malts, nothing in the way of hops.

Taste: Following the scent the beer has lightly roasted malts. Very slight bitter finish, but one needs not worry, there is nothing really too bitter here.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a natural feel to the caronation, it doesn't seem forced. Smooth going down with a crisp clean finish.

Drinkability: An very good beer IMO. Good enough taste to not be boring or wear you out. I think this is sessionable. This will find its way into my fridge again.

05-10-2008 04:35:11 | More by BigRedN
Photo of Redrover


3.55/5  rDev +2.9%

I had this one a bunch during my recent visit to San Antonio. From a 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint, the beer is dark brown with garnet highlights. There is a skim of beige foam.

The aroma of slightly charred malts and some alcohol.

Lightly roasted malts a bit of ripe plum and a slight solvent taste. Taste improves as it warms and the smoky malts become more prominent.

The mouth is a trifle thin, but this is a easy drinking hot weather type of black lager.

05-08-2008 18:33:41 | More by Redrover
Photo of jayrod20


4.38/5  rDev +27%

This is a fantastic beer. Nice dark flavor with a crisp after touch, but almost too drinkable. This beer, even though as dark as it is can be enjoyed by the appreciative and those who don't enjoy good beers. Very smooth across the entire gulp...six pack...or more.

05-06-2008 03:40:21 | More by jayrod20
Photo of dedrinker


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%

Darkest brown - more like a German dunkel in color than a schwartzbier. Mild aromas of roasted malts, caramel, and coffee. Once again, it tasted more like a dunkel - a dunkel with more roast to it. Medium body glides around the mouth with ease, leaving a little caramel but mostly dry finish. This is a Shiner I can finally stand behind without hesitation.

05-04-2008 15:11:34 | More by dedrinker
Photo of bilyboy65


4/5  rDev +15.9%

This was poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Don't see a BBD on the bottle.

A: It's black to its name and pours a 1 finger thick tan head that lasts forever. The head leaves a light lacing that fades quickly, but there is a fairly heavy film left on the glass. A good amount of carbonation can be seen around the outside of the glass.

S: Smell is almost perfect for a dark lager. Nothing fancy or complicated about it. Almost a pure dark roasted malt scent with a hint of a chocolate coffee following.

T: Taste is fairly bitter throughout. The dark malts are very dominant, but there is a coffee after taste that finishes this beer up very nicely.

M: Dry light bodied beer. Not a lot of carbonation to be had on the tongue.

D: A little to bitter to be a very drinkable beer. Other than that there is nothing stopping me from having a few in one sitting.

05-03-2008 03:19:09 | More by bilyboy65
Photo of ffejherb


3.08/5  rDev -10.7%

12oz. bottle into shaker pint glass

A - Very dark brown body with deep garnet highlights and sparse tan head that receded into a wispy film.

S - Slight aroma of roasted malts and earthy hops. Perhaps a bit of dark fruit in the mix as well, but overall the nose is pretty weak.

T - Taste is largely roasted malts with a bit of chocolate in the back to sweeten the pot just a little. There's also an earthy hop bitterness that spices things up a bit. Not too exciting overall.

M - Medium body with a pretty thin, watery texture and very lively carbonation, resulting in a tingling sensation all throughout the mouth. Slightly dry, metallic finish overall with some mild bitterness.

D - Eh? Not bad, but not a whole lot of flavor or aroma in this brew. Also, I feel that it is way too carbonated. It's not hard to drink by any means, it's just not all that exciting.

05-01-2008 22:23:05 | More by ffejherb
Photo of tugdriver7


3.95/5  rDev +14.5%

What a pleasant surprise. Saw this at the store today. A fan of the style, I noted the great "black on black" packaging and decided to give it a try. Definitely not on par with the Sam Adams Black or Saranac Black Forest, but a tasty, drinkable option for us Schwarzbier fans. Very dark (cola-black) in the glass, nice foamy head that left quickly. Rich, roasted malt in the nose and in the initial taste. Refreshingly light body. Not bad.

04-27-2008 02:44:25 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of BeaBeerWife


4/5  rDev +15.9%

Texas aint no nuffin about Ales, but Shiner sure knows its Lagers. This brewery does a lot of creative things with Lagers, and they need to keep it up. Back from retirement, and a new label design, Shiner 97... all the things you despise in a lager, plus all the things you love in an ale. Certainly worth trying. They got this one right.

04-26-2008 21:33:08 | More by BeaBeerWife
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.25/5  rDev -5.8%

Dark cola brown with generous scarlet and gold highlights. The beer looks opaque, but then it's an overcast early morning outside my front window. Unfortunately, the head drags the appearance score down with it. The styrofoam-like foam is soft and airy and fizzy and completely unsticky.

The nose delivers a dark caramel and molasses vibe reminiscent of dark Karo syrup. Looks like the flavor has some work to do. Note: warming opens things up just enough to earn a bump in score.

Bohemian Black Lager is just an okay schwarzbier. Spoetzl Brewery, for the most part, hasn't impressed me yet. Like the vast majority of their offerings, it's too light and too simple. Yeah, it's probably inexpensive, but so what? Quality has always been more important than quantity for true Beer Advocates.

It tastes like a Euro dark lager that's a little bit darker than usual. There is something here that's worthwhile, but there isn't enough of it. The flavors include the same dark caramel and molasses of the aroma, as well as an undercurrent of black licorice. The Czech Saaz and Styrian Goldings hops provide a balancing amount of bitterness and no real flavor.

The mouthfeel is BBL's Achilles' heal. A lack of malt results in a disturbing thinness, even when taking style into consideration. In addition, the bubbles are too big and soda-like, which leads to an initial harshness, followed by a flat feel as the carbonation fades too quickly.

The black and silver label is great and is exactly how the label on a schwarzbier (black beer) should look. Too bad the contents of the bottle aren't quite up to snuff. I would have no trouble drinking Bohemian Black Lager in a pinch, but it isn't a beer that I'll buy again.

04-25-2008 12:16:14 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of IBUnit63


3.63/5  rDev +5.2%

Gracious to mhewes for the opportunity to sample another example of the underrated Schwarzbier style. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into the oversized Red Oak mug...

Really pours a whole lot like a root beer in color and head - lacey head with "muffin tunnels."

Big, yeasty malt - even some sarasparilla in there. Slight Saaz-ish hop presence

Taste is a little earthy - slate/dirt - some sourness in the malt but not much on the dark roast front. Comes out on the tamer side than expected but admittedly I haven't "lagered" in a long time. Quite mild.

Mouthfeel slightly flatter than expected - slight tinny, sour aftertaste.

This may not be over-exceptional but a solid offering that is definitely sessionable. A darker lawnmower offering? Most definitely.

04-20-2008 12:51:05 | More by IBUnit63
Photo of Slatetank


3.78/5  rDev +9.6%

I picked this up at Liquor Barn in Louisville, KY. Poured cold into my lager mug.

A - Dark mahogany w/ a rootbeer like appearance peripherally. The head is like a cloud of basic tan punctuated by pockets like craters and the foam makes a tight bead.

S - Very creamy, bready and nutty w/ roasty coffee-like aromas and sweet dark cocoa hints w/ slight herbal notes from the hops.

M - Very carbonated w/ a creamy feel, gently nutty w/ sweet caramel textures holding off until late in the taste and cocoa roasted malt w/ herbal hop in the finish.

T - The dry light toasted malt and pine accented hop flavors are there w/ more cocoa and bready flavors emerging in the middle. More coffee acidity and bean-like oily taste w/ an herbal hint keeping up until the gentle malty finish. The flavor has touches of coffee w/ caramel, vanilla and husky dry grain that lingers on.

D - This is a very easy style for me to enjoy as a lover of coffee, lager, porter and German beer in general. I didn't embrace this style until I left Germany, but this has all the finer points of a good schwarzbier. The feel is a bit more crisp and almost chalky, though. I consider this one of the better products Shiner has to offer. I find this very drinkable and would have loved to have a case to share, but they don't sell this, at least I have never seen it around Central PA.

04-16-2008 16:59:49 | More by Slatetank
Photo of rallison


3/5  rDev -13%

Love a good schwarbier - let's see how the Shiner version is.

Pours a decent black with a 1/2 finger off-white head that leaves some lacing.

Smell? Well, diacetyl. No question. Slight corn-like smell. Also, a kind of grainy, slightly roasty malt is present.

The taste is relatively basic. Some toasted malts with touches of coffee and just a bit of chocolate. The diacetyl in the nose still gets in the way here.

Mouthfeel is ok, with drinkability being ok at best.

Not recommended. Flawed and relatively boring.

04-12-2008 06:59:45 | More by rallison
Photo of pheggeseth


3.75/5  rDev +8.7%

A: dark blackish brown, two finger tan head
S: faint roasted malt mixed with glue, weird
T: nice roasted malt that continues to the end, very chocolaty middle, everything not very pronounced, but tastey
M: pretty smooth, but a little thin, clean taste
D: minus weird smell, pretty tasty, still the bast effort I've tasted from Shiner

04-08-2008 14:42:53 | More by pheggeseth
Photo of Slynger


3.15/5  rDev -8.7%

This one pours a nearly black, brownish color with some deep ruby highlights and a light tan cap. The nose is toasted and lightly roasted grains with some earthy hops and just the barest hints of chocolate malts. The taste is very much the same, with maybe even less chocolate and earth than the nose possessed. The body is medium with a modest and unspectacular carbonation and mouthfeel. Not bad, but not overly complex either. I won't have strong urges to try this one again.

04-06-2008 05:08:06 | More by Slynger
Photo of diamondc


3.4/5  rDev -1.4%

Bought a single for around $1.50.

Poured aggressively this time and got a nice head that didn't fade away quickly as previous pours.

Smells kind of like wet grain and cardboard. Not very appealing. Just a slight aroma of roastedness.

Taste is way better than the aroma would lead you to believe. Milk chocolate, some coffee are throw in the mix. Hops are in the background in this one.

Lots of carbonation almost made this like drinking a soft drink. Could have a bit more body, I suppose, but this isn't a porter or stout we're talking about here.

Drinkability = really really good .. no big flavors to make you ponder. This could also be a gateway for people who think dark beers are "heavy". Best Shiner beer I've tasted, so far!

04-05-2008 09:24:05 | More by diamondc
Photo of garcia2a


3.3/5  rDev -4.3%

This beer pours a dark, rich ruby brown with a very light head and no carbination.

The bouquet has a typical medium bodied lager smell with hints of roasty malts and smoke. This carries over on the tongue as light tastes of roasted malt and decent smoke. There is really no aftertaste, which is a bit suprising as I expected some with the smoke! (MMM SMOKE)

The body is light, but this is slightly compensated by the taste. Mouthfeel is excellent making this a good intro to the style. Could actually be a decent BBQ sipper this summer!!!

03-26-2008 15:31:28 | More by garcia2a
Photo of jwff


3.35/5  rDev -2.9%

Pours with a fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly. On first glance appears black but reveals a ruby tone with brown edges when held up to the light. Smell is burnt and offensive and a little bit like burnt popcorn. Taste is a bit more redeeming with some earthy hops in the finish and some creamy chocolate flavors combating that burnt. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side and easier on the carbonation than most Shiner products. Finishes dry so burnt taste aside this one is an easy drinker. Not the best I've had of the style but for 5.50 a 6 pack this is hard to turn down.

03-21-2008 03:14:24 | More by jwff
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99


3.7/5  rDev +7.2%

Poured a very dark brown that light barely passed through. There was a nice off white head but it dissapeared as quickly as it formed leaving nothing. The beer ended up looking like flat pepsi. The smell was a little sweet with a roasted malt aroma. I really liked the taste though. Tasted of sweet and roasted malts with a nice tartness in the finish. The mouthfeel was a little thin which is good for the style but seems a little odd for such a dark beer. Overall, I really liked this for what it was, a lager that is dark enough for me to enjoy on a regular basis. I'm a big fan of Yuengling and make it my go to beer when nothing else on tap interests me but if I see this in the same place I might switch it up.

03-20-2008 02:54:48 | More by CrazyMacHarris99
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.4/5  rDev -1.4%

Received in a trade (thanks Deniz). Served in a standard pint glass. Poured the color of cola with some deep red highlights. Half-inch off-white head settled into a thin, fairly consistent layer of foam within the first minute following the pour. Some watery lacing, but poor adherence. Very mild smell - A sweet malty nose immediately out of the bottle, followed by more of a persistent smell of grains. Taste is very consistent with nose, with perhaps a slightly watered-done coffee flavor somewhere, but taste is pretty clean with a mild hops presence detectable at the end. Watery texture is somewhat offset by the slightly effervescent mouthfeel. Seems like it would be pretty sessionable and definitely goes down easy.

03-19-2008 22:55:21 | More by Jwale73
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,182 ratings.