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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

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1,333 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,333
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 14.83%
Wants: 15
Gots: 129 | 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: 1,333 | Reviews: 508
Photo of vdread
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

this used to be too dark and bitter for me to drink regularly (high life days), and now i find myself drinking it quickly and even considering it light and watery.-coming back to taste this brew that i used to love, it isn't at all what i remembered.
this is a beer that borders somewhere between ok and good, however, it's probably the best beer from the Spoetzl brewery.

pours a dark black with some amber coming through the center and around the edges, with an ample tan head that leaves a few spots of lace. smells of sweet syrupy caramel.

taste is weak, but mostly reminds me of burnt toast. there are hints of light roasted malts, nuts, and coffee. there is a slight twinge of bitter chocolate in the aftertaste as well.

mouthfeel thin, weak, and highly carbonated. somewhat watery. drinkability good. easy to drink and it's just tasty and bitter enough to satisfy, but not enough to sit among the better craft.

this is a good transitional beer, especially for texans. i see a lot of people drinking this that normally wouldn't try craft, simply because Texans are damn proud of their little brewery (for some reason). i pick up some of this every couple of months.

Photo of blackearth
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pouring from the bottle into a pint glass yielded a dark-black body with amber-red corners and a tan head that fizzed up just like cola and disappeared. Aroma is of sweet raisins. Medium bodied with flavors of vanilla and roasted malt. Finishes clean. This is not bad, but could be done better.

Photo of mwa423
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured with the body and head color of an imperial stout (however with much more head, it filled my pint glass) You don't get much more schwarz then this.

S - Very little aroma but there is some sweet malt, about average for style, you don't get a lot of nose in these.

T - Lots of chocolate, caramel, brewer's sugar sweetness, and malt. It has a bit of a lager'ed down aftertaste, but I can't hold it against it.

M/D - Easy drinker, even in July. I see why it's popular in Texas. A very good example of a German Dark.

Photo of CampusCrew
2.55/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Big time disapointment... I love this style beer since I lived in Prague and traveled Germany alot in my day.

appearance: basically pure black

smell: slight chocolate caramel sweet smell

taste: atually tasted macro like which i didn't like. Shiner boack give me the same mass produced flavor

mouthfeel: thin and heavy carbonated

drinkability: overall this beer sucks but i love the style so I didn;t kill the score.

Photo of myost88
3.14/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12. oz bottle into a nonic.

Appearance: Pours a coffee color with ruby tints when held to light. 1+ finger, off white head. Fades quickly and leaves very little lacing. I have to say that this is one of my favorite bottle labels.

Smell: Nose is mostly malt. Kind of a sweet caramel scent. Almost no hops in the nose. Not trying to his anything here.

Taste: All malt here. Mostly roasted malt on the back of the tongue. Has little to no aftertaste. Once again no hops here. A little bit sweet.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated. Almost feels like you're drinking a soda. Very thin, even for a lager.

Drinkability: Easily a sessionable brew. Whenever I go out and a bar has a very BMCish lineup, I always find this to be reliable. This has also become a staple in my fridge because I've yet to find a friend who doesn't like it.

Overall: I think this is Shiner's top offering. It's not special, but it's decent. On par with most in the style, though a bit behind the Sam Adams and Saranac offerings. Nothing stood out really. I think the label is actually my favorite part of this beer.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.13/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into Roanoke College branded American pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee color with a pretty large tan head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a little bit of lace behind.

Smell: Heavy smell of roasted malt- sweet and roasty. Smells similar to coffee with silght fruit hints. Has a slightly metallic smell that most Shiner beers share.

Taste: Starts sweet, finishes with a roasted, coffee-like flavor. However, there is a bit of a wateriness to the flavor that takes a little bit away. Actually tastes a bit like a lighter doppelbock. As more of it gets drunk, a bit of hop bitterness can be detected in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with balanced carbonation. Pretty smooth and sticks a little bit after it's gone down.

Drinkability: So I may not have given this thing straight A's, but this is my favorite of Shiner's regular beer lineup. A good beer in a pretty under-represented style among American breweries and also fairly easy to find. Goes down easy and more than one could easily be had in one sitting.

Photo of redneckchugger
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black, decent head
Smell is weak, some dark fruits, a breadiness as well.
Taste is weak as well, like a waterdown dopplebock more than anything else.
It's drinkable, but not memorable.I would order it over budweiser but thats not saying much A poor attempt. But what did i expect from spoetzl.

Photo of Rayek
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep garnet bordering on black. Rocky cream head is quite nice initially. Retention is OK and a good amount of lace is left behind.

S: Grass and a bit of baking chocolate. Slightly musty.

T: Starts out with a nice dark chocolate flavor. Bitterness comes on to balance with a slight lemon snap. Finishes with a slightly acidic charcoal bitterness.

M: Medium-light body feels a bit chalky and overly carbonated.

D: Low ABV makes this one go down easy. I was surprised at the level of complexity. The acidic finish was the only real mark against this beer. Overall, a nice offering.

Photo of Kromes
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a fluffy tan head. Head died down rather quick and disappeared. Smells are of roasted malt, coffee, licorice, and a crisp sweet yeasty aroma. The initial taste is roasted coffee malt and a little bit of bitter chocolate, there is some sweetness followed by a floral hop flavor. Pretty good flavors. The mouthfeel was a little bit watery. It's not that bad though. I could definitely have a few of these. This beer is way better than the bock and in my opinion their best beer (from what I've tried so far).

Photo of againes
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiner black has a dark brown color followed by a very light roasted aroma. The smell really seems to be lacking in complexity. Taste is a clean, dry finishing lager with roasted flavors added in. Although the complexity is lacking, its roasted finish makes up for this. It's a lager so, it fits the clean taste well. Mouthfeel is solid and I could easily drink this as a session beer. This is better, in my opinion, than the Shiner Bock brewed by Spoetzl.

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

Bohemian Black Lager is dark and very cola-esque in appearance. It's far from opaque. A wealth of light cutting through reveals deep garnet highlights. A modest tan head rises to about a finger and dissipates nearly as fast as it appeared. Lacing was very light and stringy.

The nose is not very impressive. It smells primarily like yeast. There's some caramel malt sweetness buttressing the yeast. Perhaps a little cocoa from chocolate malts. It smells a little on the sweet side, but not by much. Grain and barley is noted throughout. That about does it. This is one light smelling beer. Not a whole going on in the nose. Disappointing and very average.

The flavor profile is easily a step up, but it's not quite good. It's sweet and has a prevalent caramel malt base. Yeast is prominent and noted throughout. Barley, grain, and earthy notes are present. There's a hop presence that's a very welcome surprise. They provide a decent bitter bite (it's a bit tame) and perhaps attribute to some of its earthy qualities. No alcohol is noted. It finishes sweet and a little bitter. It's not bad, but it's not quite good either. It's inhibited by a lack of flavor and that's a tough hurdle to overcome.

Its body is very light and anemic. It has a watered down feel that renders it average at best. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. The feel needs quite a bit of attention. Drinkability is probably above average, but that's a close call. It's light and goes down easy, but it's not very entertaining and already has me looking forward to wrapping it up.

Bohemian Black Lager is an above average beer, but not by much. It's tough to call it disappointing since I wasn't expecting much, but it still is a little. There's not enough of anything here. It needs quite a bit more malt and hops to improve the flavor. It needs a lot of work on the nose and the body (though an infusion of malt would probably help solve that problem). In a word, Bohemian Black Lager is very "meh." Probably worth a try, but not much more than that.

Photo of drunkboxer1
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown color with a tan head. Leaves a good amount of lacing as well. This is a fairly good looking beer. Smells of some faint grainy notes, and some roasted malt. I've certainly had more aromatic schwarzbiers but it's still fairly nice. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy, and highly carbonated. Roasted malt flavor dominates, but it still finishes fairly dry. I want to say I can detect some floral-like flavors off the hops, but I'm not sure. They're faint if they're there. This is my favorite Shiner offering to date, I think.

Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.31/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very very dark clear brown with a fuzzy slightly guinness like tan head.

S - Has that distunctive lager smell, i can't wuite place it. Some metallic notes, some earthy hops.

T/M - Fuzzy carbonation, with a refreshing yeungling-like flavor. Malt is subdued behind some hop spice. Altogether not very flavorful, but clean and balanced.

D - Mildly tasty, and lower alcohol. Very good beer to have after your taste buds are shot. Good party beer too.

Photo of zdk9
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours black with ruby highlights into my glass. About a finger of head was there not lacing sadly though.

S- Fairly weak smell, especially compared to the taste. I'm getting a bit of roast, and a kind of chocolate smoke flavor, as if I were cooking brownies over the campfire.

T- When the beer was cold, there was tons of smoke to it- that flavor is subsiding but still present. There's some spice- cloves. And there's definately some roast, but more smoke than roast.

M- Down the hatch pretty quick and easy.

D- Not a bad beer by any stretch of the imagination. While the aroma was weak, the taste was full. I'm not a huge fan of smoky beers but this one is fine. Don't think I want another right now though...

Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep brown with ruby highlights and quite clear. Offers a thin off white head after a somewhat vigorous pour, which settles out in a couple minutes to a surface film. Decent lacing and cap regeneration as needed.

Malty lager notes on the nose, some chocolate and a decent amount of hops as well.

Taste initiates as if this were a stout though surely with less body. Notes of chocolate up front with some hops at the back. A firm carbonation clears things out quickly though there is a bit of lingering dark cherry and caramel on the finish. Good feel though perhaps a bit too much on the carbonation as for the feel, though this also allows for a soda-like drinkability. Decent.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.02/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice dark beer, but not too strong in bitterness. A dark brown color with some red if you hold it up to the light, it forms a nice head upon pouring but it rapidly disappeared, not even any lace on the glass. It has a nice lager beer smell upon opening the bottle, with something a little sweet after it's in the glass. Very good taste - you get a lager up front, then some of the coffee/roasted grain, and then a lager finish which is mild. Nothing very bitter at all. Not too fizzy on the tongue but you'll definitely notice the carbonation. Overall quite good, and it went really well with Swedish Meatballs (with Ligonberry preserves of course) and mashed potatoes.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a dark blackish-brown w/thin off-white head that lasted about 20-30 seconds, fading into a thin wisp of spattered tiny bubbles on the surface.

S-Malt w/just a hint of chocolate and caramel. Pleasant but not much there.

T-On the maltier side up-front. If you drink it quickly, it's decent, but if you keep it in the mouth for more than two seconds, it opens up flavors of mineral and metallic notes. The finish is briefly tasty again w/a hint of chocolate and faint hops, but turns slightly metallic again after a brief moment in the aftertaste from the thin layer remaining on the middle and back of the tongue. It might be from the Saaz, but it puts me off a little.

M-Light-bodied and even w/moderate level of prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is pleasant, and probably this beer's best attribute.

D-Drinkable, but not overly impressive. Light and easy to enjoy.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a very dark brown with some reddish hues and a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is close to the same as their Bock. Notes of corn and grain.

The taste has notes of corn but not as big as in the Bock. Some grain, a bit of roasted malt, some caramel malt sweetness, and a bit of hop bitterness that comes through mostly in the finish. Not a bad brew at all.

Medium mothfeel with medium carbonation, it finishes lightly on the bitter side.

Drinkability? Very easy to drink and a pretty good example of the style...this is my favourite Shiner beer, hands down.

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
2.87/5  rDev -16.6%
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
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
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
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
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
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
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
2.89/5  rDev -16%
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
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,333 ratings.