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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,130 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,130
Reviews: 480
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 14.83%
Wants: 10
Gots: 52 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,130 | Reviews: 480 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maximum12


3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RandomBattle for this extra, a beer often seen but never picked up. Carved in half & poured into our cute little Christoffel tasting glasses that fit six ounces of liquid nicely.

Pours black with white foam; something I don't recall seeing before. Aroma is rich & malty, with a singe of smoke to it. No lager overtones at all. Huh.

Bohemian Black Lager brings a heavy dose of woodsmoke, not at all what I was expecting upon popping the cap with my Superman thumb. Coffee is mixed into the smoke, which creates a unique combo that I haven't encountered in the wild (or captivity) before. Sweet malts & light hops roll in to round out the tasting experience.

Well color me surprised. I don't know why, but I didn't expect much from this beer, & it's good, especially considering the low ABV; so few brewers can make a tasty low ABV beer, & this is nothing if not flavorful. Lots packed into this package.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2011 02:28:10 | More by maximum12
Photo of DefenCorps


3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes. $1.49 for a single I picked up the other day. Best by 29 Jan 2011, consumed a few days back

Not really black, this is a very dark brown with a dense, brown head that rapidly recedes to a disk leaving no lace. Reddish brown highlights are present, and clarity appears to be great. Plenty of carbonation is visible as well.
The nose is very grainy and rustic with raw wheat, roast, a little coffee and a mild sweetness that has some caramel and sugar. There's also a mild metallic character up front, but that fades. Hop character is faint and rather unnoticeable. Very clean, there's no off-flavors from the yeast here. The palate opens roasts with a mild grainy acidity that brings to mind watery coffee grounds. While that doesn't sound very appealing, in a schwarzbier, it is. Sweetness is low, tempered by the mild bitterness that's imparted by the grain. I get a little bit of cola, a faint caramel note and not much else. Simpler than the best of the style, this finishes a touch watery and with a blend of mild bitterness, mild acidity and a little coffee. Light in body with high carbonation, this is decent.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 02:30:20 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of DrDemento456


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

Love me a good Swartz! Poured into my Newcastle pub pint glass

A - Pours a very nice ruby brown color, almost pitch black. Head is minimal less than a half inch that turns to a light bubbly ring mocha in color

S - Light grains, sweet chocolate roasted malts and slight bitter hops on the nose.

T - Slightly bitter and more hoppy than I am used to in the style but mild coffee and chocolate tones and grain with a bit of bitter hops in the finish.

M - Body is perfect though. I get a nice medium bodied Swartz with a touch of creamy easy drinking.

D - I believe this maybe the best Shiner beer I ever had. Session able ABV, nice body full of flavor but roasty factor is a bit aggressive. The most affordable Swartz I found to date at 9.99 a sixer, try it if you haven't!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 02:33:05 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Keffa


3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A: Dark brown almost black, small tan head dissipates quickly and settles into the smallest of rings. No real lacing, no retention, and very small legs. Not off to a good start.

S: This is better. Roasted malt is very prominent, as is a chocolate note and some caramel like sweetness. A little bit of a floral note hides in the background. Much better than the appearance, that is for certain.

T: Deep roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of coffee, and a slightly bitter finish. A little sweetness, but not much. Not bad, one of the better Shiner beers I have had.

M: Woefully thin and too lightly carbonated. This one could use some better body. Reminds me of a watered down porter.

D: Not bad. Flavor is decent, only thing I can knock is the body is just too damned thin.

Not bad for being from a brewery that I am accustomed to being disappointed by. This one is not bad. Wish Shiner would make every beer like this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 01:44:04 | More by Keffa
Photo of TheHoppiest


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Pours a very dark brown, with a tan, bubbly head that pillows down. Rather attractive.

Smell is muted, with some smokey grain and grass smells, even a bit of corn.

Taste is thin, with a burnt toffee malt flavor, mild bitter, and earthy undertones. Overall, very mild.

Mouthfeel is thin.

I suppose it is drinkable enough, but more than anything else, it is simply not a very memorable beer. If offered one I'd drink it, but like the other Shiner beers I've recently tried, I don't know that I'd search this beer out.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 19:58:09 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of jds1469


3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Expected so much more from this brew. Poured at 50 degrees F.

Dark brown color, with no head at all. Smell is non existent at all. Little flavor to speak of, just booze. Mouthfeel is lite and watery and not too much to speak of. Drinkability is a 3/5 not too good.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2011 00:15:45 | More by jds1469
Photo of jlindros


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

THanks to duff247.

Pours a lighter almost 1 finger fizzy head that fades semi quickly, over dark molasses mahogany brown color.

Nose of dark crystal malts, molasses, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, light roast, smooth brown malts, some light crisp lager fruit aromas.

Taste starts very porter-esque, light creamy dark malts, light oatmeal like, some hints of smoke, plenty of dark crystal malts, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, roast, some light grassy hops, slight bitterness, light crisp lager yeast and light fruits, smooth. Where are the hops? Finishes crisp with a bit of lingering sticky feel, hints of smoke and toffee linger. Pretty flat on the hops, if this were a dark ale it would be a lot better than trying to come off as though it has hops. As it goes I'm starting to get a bit of diacetyl, with hints of buttered popcorn and gritty dry toast.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation, a little slimy and stick though.

Drink is pretty good, dry crisp finish, smooth and light abv, very sessionable, bit of stickiness.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 04:57:56 | More by jlindros
Photo of Cylinsier


3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours black with a dark cherry red glow from light and a caramel colored lacing.

Smells a bit toasty and malty with some buttered bread notes and a whisper of hops.

Tastes mildly toasty with a tinge of hop bitterness and some grain flavor.

Feels thin, a bit watery, tingly carbonation over the tongue.

So-so, looks dark and heavy but the taste isn't very strong. I think it's characteristic of the style but it comes across as a good presentation of just an okay beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 22:45:25 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of jrallen34


3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into my Darkness glass...A dark brown, bordering black pour. The head is light night, creamy with good retention and lacing. Much better looking than I anticipated...Pretty boring aroma that shows a hint of smoke, and some sweet notes underlying, pretty boring...The taste shows some things, surprising. Nice roasted smoke is the main player here, but shows some accents of bacon and chocolate. Hops show them self at the end in a bitter chalky finish that just seems out of place. Enjoyable though...The feel is really to light, needs to be a little fuller.

An average beer, but good for shiner.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 00:54:02 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Beerbluesbiology


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

Pours a very dark brown-ruby colored body which would appear as black in low lighting with a tan-brown 1.5inch head which dwindles down to a thin layer of foam. Smells of smokey dark chocolate and a toffee-like sweetness. Tastes of dark chocolate, subtle hints of coffee and smoke, then a hoppy kick. Unfortunately the beer finishes with a carbonated-water like taste and feel which really kind of ends up making the beer feel thin. Overall, this is a good beer, but that strange CO2 water feel at the end has to knock back the score.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 22:39:57 | More by Beerbluesbiology
Photo of johntp

South Dakota

2.78/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Black, but clear. Very carbonated and dark red when held up to light. One fingers worth off white bubbly head.

S: Smells like an american lager, a bit metallic.

T: Tastes like an american lager plus lots of smoky roasted malts. Has quite a bit of metallic taste, not sure where this comes from.

M: Thin bodied, plenty of carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable due to thin body and carbonation.

This tastes alot like an american lager with roasted malts, if i were going for a black beer, i would much prefer Monchshof Schwartz. Also, i don't know why I am tasting metal, its a bit off puting, but may be a bad bottle. I would probably not buy this again, but at the same time, wouldn't turn down a free one. :D

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 07:04:22 | More by johntp
Photo of Spica66


2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep mahogany with little head formation and no lacing.

S: Not much here. Slightly coffee, maybe...

T: Again, not much here. Watery roast flavor with a slight tang that I don't much care for. The finish leaves a coffee sort of aftertaste

Mouthfeel: watery, light body. Medium carbonation.

D: If you are after a "sort-of-has-some-taste" beer, there is nothing here to keep you from drinking this.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 21:14:42 | More by Spica66
Photo of SamN


3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bad pour into a regular water glass, for lack of a proper pint glass.

Dark beer, not opaque, some dark ruby highlights at the edge of the glass. Smell is lacking for the style, not much for roasted malts, dry and thin with a distinct musty aroma. Some crisp hops in the back. Taste features some malts, but still not enough for the style. Woody cedar, light charcoal? The finish of crisper hops is great, really fleshes the beer out, definitely saves it from being a poor tasting beer. Mouthfeel is still too light, needs more body but the carbonation is spot on.

Not much for smell and taste, average brew, good for Spoetzl, pretty poor example of one of my favorite styles. Nothing I would seek out again, but I don't mind finishing the single bottle I bought.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 20:58:53 | More by SamN
Photo of nickfl


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

A - One finger of very light brown foam on top of a brown-black body with amber highlights showing through. The foam fades away quickly and leaves behind some spotty lace.

S - Brown, malty aromas of caramel and toffee. Some light hops in the background.

T - Toffee and caramel malt flavors dominate the beer initially with a hint of herbal hops that grown in the middle. Notes of brown sugar and licorice with some light roasted notes. The beer finishes with dominant flavors of sweet caramel and light hop bitterness for balance.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is a decent beer, but it is lacking in comparison to classic examples of this style. The roast character is a bit subdued with sweet caramel dominating the beer in a way that almost makes it seem more like a bock than a black schwarzbier. The sweet finish only serves to intensify this impression. Drinkable, but not something I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 06:28:58 | More by nickfl
Photo of jmdrpi


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

appears a nice opaque charcoal black, with a small head. nice roasty aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate.

the taste followed the aroma with roasted malt flavors. the body is on the thinner side, with moderate carbonation.

a much better offering than the Shiner Bock

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 04:55:28 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of ChimRichels


2.65/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear cola-colored body with a head that falls quickly to a thin foam layer and then a mere ring around the edge.

S - Nothing. I honestly smell nothing at all.

T - Some coffee flavors emerge that meld nicely with a toasted bread flavor. Some astringency. Pretty watery.

M - Nice and smooth, but a little thin.

D - Easy to drink, but lacking in flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 23:05:30 | More by ChimRichels
Photo of chchchchia


2.65/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Almost a completely opaque black. Pours a 1 finger head that dissipates quickly. Looks very nice.
S - Hints of coffee and roasted malt as well as a metallic tinge. On the weaker side for a schwarzbier.
T - Toasted malt, chocolate, hint of coffee and a very slight hop bitterness. It's on style, but very lacking.
M - Medium carbonation, light body.
D - High, but lessened by the slight body given to it with the malt.

This is a forgettable schwarzbier. Very watery and not that exciting.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 21:22:58 | More by chchchchia
Photo of JayS2629


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

A- Beautiful dark cola color but small white head, little retention, and slightly creamy lacing.

S- Almonds, toffee, and faint roasted coffee hints. Very small hint of cocoa.

T- Bitter cocoa, sweet malts, smokey wood characteristics.

M- smooth, crisp and clean but watery.

D- Slightly too bitter. Deep, dark flavors but watery and bland.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 04:50:20 | More by JayS2629
Photo of burgerandbeer


4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner glass.

First I have to admit I had read some reviews here before I tried this beer.
However I tried to keep this to only my "catches".

I like coffee....I really like coffee. I also like chocolate. Therefore I like
toffee. And so....I really like this beer. Don't let the word "dark" keep
you from trying this beer. It is smooth and flavorful and best of all doesn't
turn your mouth sour like most urine yellow American big brands do.

I bumped my pouring elbow while pouring the beer and that resulted in some
of the beer "sloshing" into the glass. The result was a huge 3 inch soft creamy
brown head. I also got a lot of lacing that was still clinging to the sides of the
glass 5 minutes after I had finished it. My second one I poured normal and
got a 1 inch head but still a lot of lacing.

Carbonation was moderate.

Picking up scents is my very weak spot in reviewing beers, but I picked up
roasted almond, roasted coffee and some floral.

I expected a big thick bitter taste simply due to the name of the beer and look after
pouring. I was surprised at the mild coffee and molasses flavor. Delicious. The
flavor follows all the way through and therefore I can't say there was a finish.

Reading the article on how to review a beer I saw the word "balanced" used. I
stayed away from this term in my reviews so far because I wasn't certain how I
would know if a beer was balanced. I realize now you know it when it slaps you
in the face. This beer is balanced. Spoetzl....don't change a thing.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 23:02:12 | More by burgerandbeer
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.03/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours ½ finger of light tan head. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Roasted malts, smoke, bacon, and grassy hops.

Taste: More bacon flavors up front with some roasted malts following. Has some chocolate, grassy hips, caramel, and smoke as well.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and dry. Light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, I like the smoke flavors. Good for a lager, but way too much carbonation really throwing this beer off. Somewhat drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2010 02:34:30 | More by mothman
Photo of StaveHooks


3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep dark brown almost black with mahogany highlights around the edges. 2 finger tan head with some lacing lines left behind.

S - Roasted malts, hints of chocolate and some roasted grain. Has somewhat of a soapy aroma as well.

T - Roasted malt that starts dry and turns tart. Raisins and molasses followed by roasted grains with a slightly sour characteristic.

M - Light to medium body with moderate carbonation.

Better than I expected. It was nice and dry but a little on the watery side.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 00:41:46 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of alleykatking


3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a black color which shows red hues on the sides of the glass when held to the light. One and a half finger tan head shows medium retention and caps the beer. Spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Roasted malts mix well with caramel malts in the nose. This along with a nice crisp hop scent toward the very end make up the nose. It's nothing much but pleasant to say the least.

T- Roasted malts with a sweet chocoalte malt in the front. The roasted/light smoked flavor goes through the entire beer adding a nice balance from the chocoalte and sweet malts in this beer. There is a light hop bit in the ending but this gets covered up pretty quick with a last blast of roasted malts.

M- Light-medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts left on the palate with more in the aftertaste. Malt forward but balanced in that sense. Light alcohol drying on the palate. Crisp and clean tasting overall for the style and the beer itself.

D- This is a very drinkable beer. The lower ABV makes this a drinker all night without worrying about getting to well...drunk. A nice beer that I personally was surprised with.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 02:23:51 | More by alleykatking
Photo of TMoney2591


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

Served in an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull shaker pint glass.

Ah, inexpensive bottles for my mixed-sixer. Love it. This one pours a lovely translucent garnet-brown topped by nearly a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light coffee, cocoa powder, and a twinge o' flowers. The taste holds notes of cocoa, light roasted malts, thick and toasted caramel, and a swig o' roasty toffee. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, a somewhat surprisingly nice schwarz, nothing too exciting but pretty tasty and highly drinkable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 17:48:28 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of bastardface


4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really like the specialty beers that Shiner makes even though I'm not a big fan of the original Shiner Bock. I'm also accustomed to black lagers. Shiner Black is one of my favorites. I find myself drawn to it whenever I see that it is available. This was the first I had it out of a bottle. The appearance was tan to a black color. The smell of hops was strong. When tasting it you can taste a burnt flavor which is appetizing. It's easy to drink but be careful because more than a few will get you leaning. Strong but pleasant. I highly recommend this brew. For sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 22:08:20 | More by bastardface
Photo of Thorpe429


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

Thanks to jsh420 for this bottle. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep brown with a light head and not much retention or lacing. Nose is crisp roasted malt with some light caramel and chocolate. Taste is roast with coffee and chocolate and some light earthy hops. Fairly light win good carbonation. Just like others I have had from them, this drinks well but doesn't pack much flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2010 12:27:46 | More by Thorpe429
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,130 ratings.