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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

1,247 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,247
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.12%
Wants: 13
Gots: 83 | 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
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Ratings: 1,247 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bilyboy65
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

bilyboy65, May 03, 2008
Photo of ffejherb
3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ffejherb, May 01, 2008
Photo of tugdriver7
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

tugdriver7, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of BeaBeerWife
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BeaBeerWife, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of IBUnit63
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

IBUnit63, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Slatetank, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of rallison
3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

rallison, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of pheggeseth
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

pheggeseth, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of Slynger
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Slynger, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of diamondc
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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!

diamondc, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of garcia2a
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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!!!

garcia2a, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of jwff
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jwff, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

CrazyMacHarris99, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Jwale73, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pous like a coca cola. Smell is dull cardboardy malt. Dull similar taste as well with a hint of roast malt in there too. Average body, with a bubbly carbonation. Not too offensive, but not my favorite beer or style. A bit better than their dunkel I thought.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of Squelch
2.45/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first Schwartzbier, and I wasn't impressed. Not enough roasted flavor for me. I know the style isn't supposed to have roasted malt flavor but I was expecting it being that it was a black lager. Much less flavorful than their bock or their blonde. I will not be buying this one again.

Squelch, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of tmitch75
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color with light head. The roasty, grainy smell is pleasing but nothing special.

Tastes grainy and sweet, with a slight roasty chocolate flavor. Mouthfeel is light and easy.

This is a tasty beer and I would definitely buy it again.

Tasted on 3/6/08

tmitch75, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of armock
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark brown near black color with a tan head

S - Is of roasted malt for the most part

T - Is close to the smell roasted malt with a hint of caramel

M - This one has a lighter body with medium carbonation

D - Well this isn't a beer that will blow you a way it is pretty decent after having the 98 I wanted to try the other special releases worth a try whenever you get to it

armock, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of Blueye80
3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this beer was o.k. but nothing to write home about. at first it poured great but the head was completely gone before I could even get to my first drink. The light flavor definitely did not match the very dark color. In fact it had a slightly watered-down taste.

It is a dark beer that is easy to drink similar to that of a light beer.

I probably would not buy this beer again because I am not a big fan of light tasting beers.

Blueye80, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of Ricochet
3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Good head on the pour with sticky lace, almost totally black. Good start. Smelled appetizing. Sweet malt with a porter note and even a coffee component. Mouth seemed a little off, like a hole, it finished like weak porter but the back end made up for weaknesses. *shrug* Taste was, like a weak porter. Caramel and coffee were not too strong and there was a slight winey note with hops attached, but otherwise, I was thinking Yuengling Black and Tan when I had this. Okay.

Well, not for me, but a good starter to darker beers. I think the SA Dark Lager would be a better, more rounded choice, but this one was okay.

Ricochet, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of BlankFrank
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a large flute glass. The color is absolutely black, crowned by an off-white head that quickly leaves. It's really neat to see a lager that isn't pale, pale gold.

S: Carmel malt smell with some sweetness, but none of it is very upfront.

T: Taste comes in with a round caramel and toasty flavor with a little coffee, and ends on a sweet, but crisp finish. A little stingy on the hops for me, but definitely good. The taste isn't huge and in your face, and you start to pick out more and more after each sip.

M: Smooth and bubbly. It's about medium-light in body. Nothing to complain about, but it doesn't really amaze anyone.

D: My glass was empty before I knew it, and I wanted more. Very easy to drink, especially as it warms. Every sip makes it a little more endearing.

I'm glad they decided to bring this one back.

BlankFrank, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of whynot44
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black with some ruby highlights and a moderate but short-lived off-white head.

The aroma is mild roasted grain with some hints of caramel.

The taste is slightly sweet, dark roasted malt, some hints of chocolate, burnt toast, apples. finishes with a touch of iced coffee and more burnt toast, no noticeable hops.

Light/medium bodied, fairly smooth, easy to drink.

whynot44, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of TYE
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours mostly black with an off white thick foam head. I got about two fingers worth, but it dissipated to only a covering, quickly. No lace.
S - Aroma is light with hints of roasted malt, chocolate, and a hay-like smell.
T - Also light tasting. A slight hint of roasted nut, followed by a slight bittery hop bite. Flavor disappears quickly once swallowed.
M - Medium carbonation. Slight bite at back of tongue, also slightly sour on the sides. Medium body and pretty smooth.
D - It's nice because of the clean taste, but I wish it had more punch. The flavors are good, but hidden. Like a shy but pretty girl, this one could be a knockout if it would come out of the shadows.

TYE, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a beautiful dark black capped with an off-white big bubbled head that was one finger thick. Head faded fast to a thin lacing that creeps up the walls of the glass. Little highlights of deep red shine through when held to light.

Smell is full of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and even a little cherry sweetness.

Sweet cherries and chocolate this shit hits your tongue with a vengeance. Roasted malts are hidden and mellowed very well with very little bitterness and no hop signature. Taste could hold up a little bit longer in the finish and thus is hard to call this one well rounded. Impressive force of flavor.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavily bodied and over carbonated, which attributes to the slamming of flavor on the tongue - which does mellow as the beer warms.

MYJELLOMISFIT, Feb 21, 2008
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,247 ratings.