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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,290 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,290
Reviews: 491
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 14
Gots: 94 | 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: 1,290 | Reviews: 491 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lanechaffin
5/5  rDev +45.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pretty good stuff. Nice head, lots of wonderful roasted malt aroma. Very dark. To me it taste kind of like Guiness, kind of like Sam Adams BL w/o the piney citrus taste. I notice a chocolate/burnt coffee taste, but its all about the roasted malt. Jmho, this is the best beer Shiner makes.

Photo of CHL
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is very easy on the eyes. Shiner's black and silver bottles are very cool looking, and the beer's deep color is just right, with red light shining though. Unfortunately, it's not a great Schwarzbier.

The malt falls flat. The first hint of this is in the smell--it doesn't smell much different than any lager.

The taste is similarly weak. Barley, hops, and not much malt to malt to speak of; perhaps a vague roasted nutty/coffee bitterness. If it weren't for the color, I would be surprised that it was a Schwarzbier. It leaves an indeterminate sort of grittiness or metallic feel in the mouth.

With the weak flavor and robust carbonation, it's extremely drinkable. My companion who hates malt taste says she could drink several of these in an evening.

Photo of willyumlong
4.2/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

well i first tried this on tap at a local bar then had to move to bottles after they quit carrying it. big disappointment as it was amazing on tap but not so much out of the bottle.
love the label design on the black bottle
very dark with little head or lacing
tap had a berry hint which i liked but isnt present in the bottle.
tap taste was exceptionally smooth with a bit of a blueberry aftertaste, nicely carbonated, pretty much heaven in a bottle but now by the bottle it has no berry tones only malty with a hoppy bite.
great mouthfeel
used to love to drink it but it is still a nice beer by the bottle to sit down with
this beer is the reason i found this site and wanted to learn more about beer so i owe it a big thanks for that

Photo of beer2day
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, near black with brown undertones. Nice 1.5 finger head. Faint lacing.

Not picking up much in the aroma. Faint malt with some chocolate. Really not doing much for me.

Slightly bitter on the hit, very thin in the mouth. A faint chocolate oatmeal finish is all I can find.

Not a bad beer, but not one to look for either.

Photo of Atlas1
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm glad that Shiner has broken out and decided to add some different beer styles to their repertoire. Schwarzbiers are not brewed enough by American craft breweries, in my opinion.

Pours a nice dark brown/black color. Some deep red hues shine through when held up to the light. A nice, off-white head settles on top and sticks around; nice retention on this one. A fine looking schwarzbier. The nose is pure Shiner. It's gotta be the yeast strain they use in their lagers, but so many of their beers tend to smell the same. In my opinion, this beer doesn't really smell that differently than their bock. The taste is nice, but not as strong as I would like. Crisp bread notes with a hint of coffee and some smokiness as well. Slightly fruity sweet. Maybe a distant trace of chocolate that you might find if you try hard. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean, but a bit thin.

I think this is an okay beer. Sometimes I really like it, and other times I'm not such a fan. It's a great alternative to a macro style lager, though, and it's a totally drinkable brew. Not the best schwarzbier you'll find, but probably not the worst. Nice on a hot Texas summer day. Should pair well with the chicken-jalapeno sausages I am going to throw on the grill later today.

Photo of SomeLady
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I have a habit of buying beers just because I like the label. This one has a really cool label.

Poured into a goblet-style glass. Not much head to speak of. Looks pitch black, until you hold it up to the light and nice, true-red highlights shine through. The aroma is pretty weak; just smells like your average lager. Tastes about the same - pretty smooth and mellow, even watery. The only hint in the mouth that this is a dark beer is a slight coffee bitterness in the back of the throat. It has a very strong carbonation. Otherwise, the texture is as insubstantial as the taste. For all of its weaknesses, it is very drinkable, and you could easily throw back several (or many) in a session.

I can't say I dislike it, it's just nothing special.

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 2/2/2008 (Draft at Boondoggle's, Seabrook, TX):

Pours a black, dark brown colored body, with a big creamy, cream colored head, that is somewhat diminishing. Has a malty nutty taste, not very strong. Watery dusty taste, some malts. More bocky taste than stout. Nutty. Somewhat fruity taste, like cherries. Tasty.

Photo of nesta
2.33/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

poured from a bottle, it looks more like pepsi than beer. it is dark, but very translucent, and lighter than other schwarzbiers i've tried.

it smells and tastes off, kind of metallic. its thin and watery in the mouth, but the one thing it has going for it is drinkability. its not very good, but i could see it being refreshing on a hot day if it was really cold.

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

Pours black as hell with no head. head disappears into a thin film on top of the beer. kind of oily looking. smell is really strong of caramel and ripe dark fruits. taste is caramel up front, with a cherry after taste. a hint of butterscotch also. mouthfeel is slightly sticky. pretty well carbonated. drinkability is high on this beer. overall average beer, but will be a staple in my new home.

Photo of Vengeance526
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark black color with a 1 finger tan head that lasts for a good while.

Smells of roasted malt and some caramel.

Taste of roasted barley and light hops. A little bland, not horrible but not my idea of a schwarz.

Medium bodied and medium carbonation. One and done for me. Another typical Shiner, not bad beer, just a bit boring is all.

Photo of davexisxrabid
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown, almost black color with a half inch thick head that left good lacing on the glass.

Aroma of chocolate malts and caramel.

Flavor paralleled the aroma. Sweet caramel taste with little to no hop bitterness. Despite the sweet flavor, it seemed surprisingly well balanced.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Not too much aftertaste lingering on the palate however.

Excellent drinkability. Not too sweet or thin bodied, everything seemed in good balance. The fact the beer was a little on the sweet side did not pose a problem because it didn't leave your tounge stuck to the roof of your mouth.

Photo of cokes
3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours to a black-imitating garnet-brown with a modest stained ivory head that whittles to a thin collar relatively quickly.
Roasted grain nose with sweeter nuances of raisins. There is an overriding talc-like astringency which renders everything else basically moot.
It rolls into the mouth with grains, both toasted and burnt. A week coffee impression develops in the wake. Sweetness seeps out, with tiny nods towards chocolate and grape. Then it flatlines, as the meager flavors dissipate even further.
Lightish in feel, especially initially. Once the carbonation dies, it seems to thicken some.
It's not outright terrible, as the basis of the schwazbier style can be recognized, but it's too frail and flawed to recommend.

Photo of cameraready
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours nice and dark. Very little head and what there is fades fast.

Smell: Has a slight malty smell.

Taste: Mild and smooth.

Drinkability: Minor carbonation but very drinkable.

Would have another. Not sure about age of bottle so issues may have been related to freshness.

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

Cool bottle.

Pours black. Or, erm, very dark red, actually. Nearly completely translucent. The head is big, and when it poured it has that loose, soapy look to it that usually signals a head that's going to die really fast, but it's stuck around so far.

Smells of dull roasted barley, minimal hops, and more or less pleasant adjunct. You can't put corn in a Schwarz, can you? Cus that's what this smells like. It ain't bad, but it's not a black ale.

Tastes adjuncty, too. Lightly bitter American hops are a bit more present, but not much, and this is backed against what tastes like a really dry Coors malt. It sounds crappy but actually it's not bad.

Refreshing, I guess. And 4-5 bucks a sixer it's a decent session option, what with the economy and all.

Photo of EPICAC
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown, and is topped is by a creamy, beige head that fades quickly, leaving a persistent film on the surface f the beer. The aroma is roasty with undercurrents of chocolate and dark fruit.

Toasty malts quickly move into their darker, roastier counterparts. There's a light, sweet undertone throughout the beer that grows into a raisiny, chocolate character before moving into a roasty bitterness in the finish. Medium-bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation.

Tasty, probably Shiner's best year-round beer.

Photo of CityBoy1986
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

The pour is almost black with ruby highlights. Two fingers' worth of tan head are gone quickly and leave a minimal amount of lacing.

The nose is mostly of chocolate and toffee with a hint of grapes. The chocolate and toffee are the things things apparent in the taste before they mellow a bit; the grapes then shine. A mild bitterness is present throughout. The whole sip has a feel of being "burnt."

The mouthfeel is on the thin side with a lot of carbonation that adds a bit of a crisp feel. Drinkability is good; I could have another.

Of the three I've tried from Shiner, this was the best for my tastes. It won't become a staple in my home, but I'll probably buy it once a year or so.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque chocolaty-sable with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Aroma is rich, smoky and chocolaty, inviting a taste. Flavor is dark and malty, smoky, with a yeasty overtone and undertones of unsweetened chocolate, as well as a hint of fine coffee. Texture is very smooth, and leaves a rather yeasty and somewhat malty aftertaste.

Photo of NCBeernut
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle and label are all black with thin white lettering. Kind of cool looking. I haven't had too many in this style, so I don't have much basis for comparison, but here it goes.

Pours with a decent enough head that ends up leaving no lacing. Body looks flat black, but is actually a very dark brown. No reddish highlights at all. Smell contains lots of charred malts...a very earth quality to this one...maybe some peat aromas. Not too sweet smelling. Taste doesn't surprise. Just what you would expect after that aroma. Some char, earthy peat qualities, slight hop bitterness with a bone dry finish. High carbonation...not so much in a bubbly way...it just adds a little carbonic bite to it. Not bad for the style. Nice to see Shiner trying something new.

Photo of bowersdm
2.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a german pilsner

A - dark ruby color, no head.

S - roasted barley, caramel malt, hops

T - roasted barley, and a little bit of hops. the flavor was pretty weak and it had this cheap taste that I always associate with budweiser's beers, but I'm now going to associate with Shiner beers.

M - adequate, not great.

D - eh, I'd drink it again, but it wouldn't be my first choice, or hundred and first.

Photo of Brewsmith
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz. bottle purchased at the local grocery store and poured into a Willi Becher style glass. Aroma is of sweetened coffee. Color is a deep brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light. Thin tan head dissipated quickly. Flavor is a clean lager followed by chocolate and roast with a little earthy hop in the finish. This is actually a very nice, easy-drinking beer like a schwartzbier should be.

Photo of StoutandBitter
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice black colour, with minimal caramel coloured head. Almost no lacing.

S - A very mild smell, not much to it at all. Slightly malty, a touch of spice.

T - Very crisp, good carbonation. Ligh metallic taste with some hops and malt. A little sweet. Almost like drinking an alcoholic soda.

M & D - Good crisp feel when first drank, a little too much of a metallic aftertaste. Lips feel slightly sticky, like after a soda. Overall a good, not a great lager, but worth trying. Wouldn't say no if offered.

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

Pours a nice black body with carbonation bubbles coming up.Small one finger head that fells to a nice patch.Lots of small carbonation bubbles hitting the surface.Good looking beer.

Notes of toasted malts,roasted maltiness also.

Roasted and a small amount of burnt taste.The taste gets sweet towards the end of the sip.

Thin mouthful and spritzy mouthful.

Good beer but I thought it wanna gonna be better.Ive only had the type of beer a few times in the past but Ive had better.

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a pretty dark, opaque black, some nice head to begin with, but recedes to a ring around the glass. There is some nice lacing too, in thick streaks. The aroma is bland and vague malt, mostly caramelish, some darker molasses-like tones. Tastes pretty ok, but again, flat and uninteresting, malts in caramel and licorice tones. The mouth is lacking good enough body, not bad, but not good, and also the carbonation is a bit too lively. In all, easy enough to drink, not all that bad to drink, but not really that enthralling.

Photo of dpsychoholic69
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, appearance is a rich, dark brown almost black with a thick tan head, lacing was above average.

Smells chocolaty and hints of something almost like a merlot, something I haven't ran across before.

Chocolate hits you right off the bat, then slowly tames, can taste the fruityness like I said before of almost a red wine flavor. Did Shiner age this beer in wine casks. Malts are above average in strength.

A little thin, not much carbonation. Not really smooth but not too bad, a little bitterness from the malts in the finish

This beer is okay, not one I'd drink everyday. For a dark chocolaty beer I'd rather have a milk stout. But with the chocolate malts and grape/wine flavor this would be a great pairing with steak or lamb. This is almost like a desert beer in my opinion. I like Shiner's beers and this is another fine example of their line.

Photo of heath1agnew
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

as of right now this is my favorite brew that shiner makes. it has an appealing appearance, (even though the head isn't that impressive) a nice smell of roasted malts and barley, and that leads you right into the taste. great roasted malts and barley flavor. the mouthfeel was a little thin but still ok, and this is for sure a session beer.

Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,290 ratings.