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Bohemian Black Lager - Spoetzl Brewery

Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,062 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1062
Reviews: 474
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 14.78%

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: 1,062 | Reviews: 474 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cola like brown color with a moderate sized bubble khaki head that settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is sweet mostly from a grainy scent. There is some steely caramel notes; fairly strong metallic aroma. No real roast aroma.

The taste is quite grainy and seems to have an adjunct type flavor. There is a slight chalky roast flavor in the finish but other than that you would think that this is a macro lager. Some caramel sweetness. On par with the Guinness black lager.

The beer has a light body with fizzy carbonation. It drinks very easy and the slight roast bitterness doesn't impede the drinkability. Nice balance on the palate for a brew that you can pound back.

The beer doesn't taste bad but really not much of a schwarzbier. An introduction to what roasted malt tastes like.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2013 18:27:16 | More by Gmann
Photo of mjurney


3.91/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, ruby red highlight. Thick frothy head.

It's very mild, roasted malts, some sweetness, a little chocolate.

Malty, brown bread, roasted, caramel sweetness, some coffee. Hop bitterness is mild. Finish is crisp and semi-dry. Body is light-medium, silky, crisp.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 22:53:54 | More by mjurney
Photo of kshizzle101


3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A - pitch black with a 3 inch off-white head which goes away rather quickly. minimal lacing

S - roasted malts, chocolate, slight caramel, slight hops

T - burst of chocolate up front followed by caramel and roasted malts. slight hop note at the end. light on flavor

M - medium bodied, good carb

Overall - not worth your time or money, you could do much better for the same style beer at the same price. this is at least drinkable though.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 03:36:49 | More by kshizzle101
Photo of Omnium


3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a nice coffee color, not totally pitch black but close enough, finger head with very little lacing.
S - Smells very good, chocolate and coffee roasted malts, and lager yeast with some euro hop scents.
T - Taste falls a little short, but for a black lager its still refreshing, you get some bite from the hops and the dark malty texture.
M - Smooth like a lager should be, with the roasts lasting a while.
O - A good and very drinkable black lager, not too complex, but decent.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 17:49:50 | More by Omnium
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black that's garnet in light and loose tan froth.
Flinty grain and ashy roast on the nose - light. A touch of sugary licorice, too.
Sweet licorice twists, a sweet roasty hit and mild grassy hops.
Camp coffee finish and tingly linger.
Thin, crisp, round.

Watery, too sugary and not enough bite, from hops and roast both. But hey, it's Shiner, so this is made for easy sunshine drinking. A great gateway lager.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 00:38:47 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of steveh


4.4/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't tried this, but Spoetzl continues to surprise me with their specialty brews and I had a taste for something dark and smooth.

Since Spoetzl is calling this a "Bohemian" Black Lager, I thought I'd review with a lean more toward Ron Pattinson's description of a Bohemian rather than just following the Schwarzbier definition.

From Ron:
11-12º dark - Tmavý Ležák (Lagerbier). 4.5-5% ABV. Vary quite widely in flavour from very sweet beers similar to Austrian Doppelmalz to dry, roasty beers more akin to a Schwarzbier. Mostly only have a quite subdued hop character.

A -- Deep, dark black -- but clear enough to see vague ruby highlights. Tan head that settles rather quickly, but revives well.

S -- Smooth, roasted malts -- coffee-like in character. Some mild breadiness sneaking through - also some vague DMS with warming.

T -- Roasted character up front with some vague graininess. Roasted characters blend into a lightly sweet breadiness that quickly gives way to a bitter finish. Aftertaste is a good blend of roasted malts and mildly sweet bread crust.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth with a light-medium body. Maybe the lightest astringency from the roasted malts. Finishes dry.

O -- Not a Munich Dunkel by any means, but a smooth beer with roasted character. This is a great textbook of style in the Schwarzbier category -- whether German or Bohemian. Big flavor at 4.9% Spoetzl surprises yet again.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2013 21:31:39 | More by steveh
Photo of Estescj2002

4.65/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok I'm Sorry but this is be best black lager I have ever drank in the U.S. I have been to 21 countries and have tasted a lot of beer. But without a doubt this beer is smooth and satisfying; it taste just like a few beers in Ireland I had!!! I live in Madison, Alabama and we can not buy it around here, I have to drive north for about two hours to get it and its worth the trip!!! I wish I could find it closer!! I guess why I like it do much is because it reminds me of a true taste outside the U.S.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 03:31:34 | More by Estescj2002
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

3.61/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Florida Beer Co. tapered glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a mostly opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a light strip of surface foam. Slippery lacing slides down the glass.

S- Crisp, refined lager aroma with some faint roasted malt. Slight note of chocolate.

T- Subtle roasted malt flavor with a hint of smoke and chocolate. Mild hop taste creates some balance. Alcohol is barely noticeable thus providing high drinkability.

M- Such a light body for a beer as dark as this. Feel is a tad chalky and dry. Medium carbonation.

O- Decent for a Shiner product but I've definitely had better schwarzbiers.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 02:23:48 | More by Immortale25
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a very dark chestnut brown with a thin light brown head that dissipates to a thick ring around the glass and light lacing. Aroma of toasted and light bready malt, hint of chocolate. Flavor is attenuated toasted malt with hints of coffee and grassy hops. Light bodied. I got hopeful as I poured this, because it looks pretty good, but this is really light flavored, almost tastes watered down. Too bad because the basic components seem nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 03:57:00 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Lemke10


3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This pours a dark brown color with a beige colored head. The aroma has some sweet malts to it, but that’s about it. The taste is simple and perhaps weaker than expected. There is a taste of chocolate and roasted malts but it is weak. Overall this is a very sweet, easy drinking taste that is smooth refreshing. Could use a little more boldness, but that’s just me.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2013 03:35:55 | More by Lemke10
Photo of AzImbiber

3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I went from bottle to gut, no glass. Bought on sale at local grocer.

Unsure what "shwarzbier" actually means, as labeled (I should look it up..). This beer is definitely a try at a darker lager. Smells great: chocolate, coffee, citrus. Better than all the other Shiner products, in my opinion, since this beer actually seems to have discernible alcohol content.

Finishes quite nice with the low sour tones on back of tongue. Goes down thin in spots. Thin means sometimes you taste through to the base. I think I taste corn syrup. Let me put it this way--with Sam Adams I know what I'm getting; I can abide. Shiner's Black has that welcoming aromatic smell, after prying the cap off, and a great mouthful. And another great mouthful. Sam is the same way, but the heaviness is streamlined for usage, meaning there's a crispness and lightness that Shiner's Dark doesn't have. My comparison here is simply about enjoyable consumption and nothing else. No real carbonation or chatty head here with Shiner'S Dark...just the meat...and the meat is workable but not a lager-lover's dream...

Objective as I can get. I drink lighter lager for fun but dark is a treat. If it's as low as 4.99 go for it. If 5.99 or more, no.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 03:37:52 | More by AzImbiber
Photo of MattSweatshirt


3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dumped really hard into a big ol mug generating a hefty off white head on a dark bodied beer with orange and amber highlights at the bottom. Berry nice looking.

Mild aroma of roasty toasty coffee, caramel, and some hop character.

Flavor is mild as well. Basically that roasted malt coffee flavor. Nice but I want more like I get in a Schwärzla or Köstritzer.

Light watery body with a touch of prickly carbonation.

One of my favs as far as the Shiner lineup is concerned.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 00:17:49 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of babayaga


2.76/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

From a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

Appearance- Pours with a decent off-white head, body is black with a bit of ruby showing.

Aroma- Slight roasty malts, that's about it.

Flavor- Coffee, light bread, slight bitterness. A ~woody component. Maybe licorice. Short finish.

Mouthfeel- Watery, moderate carbonation.

I've only had two schwarzbier, and this is my least favorite of the two.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 18:22:08 | More by babayaga
Photo of TCMike


4.35/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass it produced a 1 finger, creamy head. The beer color is a very dark brown.

The aroma was of roasted malts, and bread.

The taste was similar but with a hint of chocolate, lager yeast taste, and a slight hop bitterness on the end, ( which quickly faded). Medium mouth-feel, a low-medium carbonation.

This is a very good, and easy drinking beer. Got as part of the family pack. I need to find a store that sells it in it's own packaging, because I want more.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 22:28:11 | More by TCMike
Photo of Damian74Shensky

South Carolina

3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass.

A- Very dark brown, almost black. Had 2 finger head that went away quick. Left some lacing on the glass
S- roasty malts, cocoa, hint of coffee and caramel
T-roasted malts with a hint of chocolate.. then some dark malts and a coffee bitterness
M- a little thin body. high carbonation
O- Was better then I thought it would be. Would buy again if I saw a six pack by itself and not part of the SHINER family reunion variety pack. Didn't care for half the beers in there.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 18:41:08 | More by Damian74Shensky
Photo of John1985


3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured black with little head. Mild aroma, flavor is all upfront with some black patent malt flavor that eased in the middle to no aftertaste on the end. Mildly interesting for a near craft beer. Inoffensive and easy to drink. Not sure I would want more then one but would be a good choice if only BMC was available.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 04:56:47 | More by John1985
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking, good light brown head and lace, nearly black, slightly auburn brown clear color.

Aroma is light but slightly roasty, with a little cocoa and burnt malts.

The burnt malts are more prevalent in the flavor, along with a nice roasty component, a little cocoa and coffee.

Could be a little thicker, body is light and a bit watery, but carbonation is ample.

Overall it's a pretty decent beer. While spoetzl hasn't produced any world class beers that I've tried, their beers aren't bad, and aren't too expensive. Plus it's locally produced here.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 17:20:50 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of jadpsu


3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased in Laurel MS at the Corner Market..
Pours a near black, with a tan head that barely lasted a New York minute. Smell comes in with some black licorice, and some cocoa beans.
Taste picks up some burnt malts and little else.
Mouthfeel is thin, with very little body. Was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 23:35:53 | More by jadpsu
Photo of tmm313


3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearanace: Black with a slight red tint. Poured a nice two finger head that dissipated quickly. Good lacing.

Smell: Faint caramel, dark fruits and chocolate.

Taste: Flavors are really light. Malty. Some dark fruits with just a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Light body with light carbonation. Maybe a hint of dark chocolate bitterness on the finish.

Overall: I tried this again because I loved it when I first got into craft.... I don't anymore. Its ok, don't get me wrong, and I could drink it all day long if it were the only thing available. But now as a fan of bigger beers, this just doesn't cut it anymore. Everything is just too light. On a more positive note, I still think its one of the best looking bottles in the business.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 12:31:26 | More by tmm313
Photo of mactrail


3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark golden brown rather than black in the glass. The head comes up a dark beige but does not last too well. The body is best described as watery.

A slight sweetness on the lips. A hint of walnuts but not much malty taste. Some scorched oatmeal and flax seed flavors. Rather dry and dirty after some sipping. Inoffensive but it could certainly use a touch of crispness. Kind of a drier version of the Shiner Bock.

This just seems to be barely more interesting than any flabby lager. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Pinkie's in San Angelo.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 03:26:26 | More by mactrail
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Solid black. Darker than Sam Adams version of this style. Thick lacing on the top of the glass.

Smell: Faint minerals and coffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very faint coffee and minerals...same as smell. It's rather smooth and velvety, but flattens out in the finish.

Overall Drinkability: I've only had a few Schwarzbiers, but I definitely like them. This one is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 00:48:53 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of Odelay3126


4.38/5  rDev +27%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Extremely smooth and easy to drink. Beautiful black color poured out of a very bottle. Perfect for the beer drinker who wants to endugle in a black lager with a nice amount of malt with no bitter aftertaste. A little thin and the aroma could be a bit richer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 20:43:41 | More by Odelay3126
Photo of PorterLambic


2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black (of course) with a tan head. Well composed of medium bubbles, it degrades to a clumpy, multi-shaded thick film. Odd the inconsistent color. Scattered lace.
Smell is smoky, strong burnt toast and light malt with a hint of floral.
Taste is burnt malt, char, smoke, a wee hint of vanilla maybe. Heavily biased to the burnt.
This is a style I really like though I'm not a big lager drinker. Sadly, the execution here is less than stellar. Medium-light body, light carbonation. Nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 01:16:10 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle in pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep brown colored brew with a two finger cream colored head. The head had a moderate retention, eventually fading to give a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was light overall and consisted mostly of roasted malt and some light notes of coffee. There is some light caramel sweetness as well as some more earthy hoppy aromas the blend with the rest.

Taste – The taste starts out of with roasted malt and a lighter caramel sweetness. These flavors remain relatively constant throughout the taste with some other more subtle flavors coming and going. In the middle some coffee notes enter the taste. The coffee then leaves while some herbal and grassy hop flavor combined with the roasted and malty flavors as well as some lighter chocolate notes to round out the taste.

Mouthfeel - The body of the beer is average in creaminess and carbonation. More body and a little bit less carbonation would have been nice for the roastier and darker nature of the beer. With this said, the lighter body and medium carbonation did make it more sessionable.

Overall – Like most Shiners it is rather easy to drink and makes a decent session, but it is really nothing to pine for.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2012 01:36:36 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Jadjunk


3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Shiner's Family Reunion pack, but available in 6 packs as an alternative. Bohemian Black Lager is brewed in the style of a Schwarzbier. According to the label, "This handcrafted Bohemian black beauty is brewed with select roasted malts and imported hops. This rare and delicious style of beer is referred to in Germany as a "Schwarzbier", or black beer. Here in Shiner, Texas (pop. 2,070), we've been handcrafting beer since 1909. The passion of our original brewmaster, Kosmos Spoetzl, continued to inspire our efforts today. First brewed to commemorate our 97th anniversary, this Bohemian Black Lager remains true to the old-world heritage of the German and Czech immigrants who settled Shiner. Imported Czech Saaz and Styrian hops, and select roasted malts make this "scwarzbier" our darkest brew yet. Prosit!"

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Shiner Pint Glass. Served at 45º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thin, light tan head that recedes at an average pace, settling within a minute to a thin surface cover. Body color is a dark brown with deep ruby tones. Light carbonation overall. A decent appearance, although head quality is lacking. 3

(Smell) Aroma consists of heavy dark caramel and light black malt. Mild hoppy characters provide a subtle bitterness. A bit of booze is evident in the medium potency. 3.5

(Taste) Highly drinkable dark beer with a thin, mildly malted profile and a subtle bitterness to round it all out. Mild caramel and light roasted barley makes this one of the lightest Schwarzbiers I have had to date, but not overly so. The body runs a bit watery and thin at points making the beer quite quaffable. Hop profile provides some bitterness, but little flavor otherwise. Despite being one of Shiner's better choices, there's still not a lot fantastic about this beer and its fairly simple, as usual for Spoetzl brews, although the flavor is overall enjoyable. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Thin, slick profile with faint carbonation and a low bitterness. Body is light for the style amongst Schwarzbiers and light-medium overall. Alcohol presence is light-medium. Pretty good pairing with a fair carbonation level. 4

(Overall) One of the better beers that Shiner has made, and not just because it's a dark beer. This goes for very drinkable with a light, but balanced malt and hop profile and a mild but approachable carbonation to pair makes for several of these in a row without blowing out the palate. I wouldn't mind another of these in the future should the price be right. A pretty good choice should you like Schwarzbiers. 3.5

Spoetzl Brewery's
Bohemian Black Lager

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 01:48:58 | More by Jadjunk
Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,062 ratings.