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Shiner Dortmunder (Spring Ale) - Spoetzl Brewery

Not Rated.
Shiner Dortmunder (Spring Ale)Shiner Dortmunder (Spring Ale)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

265 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 265
Reviews: 133
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 14.62%
Wants: 8
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Dortmunder / Export Lager |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: welldigger888 on 01-18-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 265 | Reviews: 133 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.7/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Haystack gold with several slow bubble streams leading up to almost three fingers of yellowed bone colored foam that has a softly rumpled surface. A few small scraps of suds-like lace is the only glass decoration.

The aroma delivers the toasted-golden maltiness and the floral-herbal hoppiness that are hallmarks of the style. If it follows through on the palate, then this should be pretty good beer. Are Dortmunders really Spring beers or did Spoetzl just need to fill a hole in their lineup?

Not a bad little lager. The first half of each mouthful is more composed than the second half. At the midway point, a little graininess peaks through and a mineral water quality comes to the fore. To be fair, both of those (minor) negatives are fading as the ounces continue to flow by.

Malt is accented more than hops, as it should be, but the little green cones, which are most likely German in origin, add a balancing bitterness and a fair amount of flavor. Lightly toasted bready notes cause this Dortmunder to taste like a Dortmunder, as opposed to, say, a pale lager. The 4.0 was briefly considered.

The mouthfeel is (very slightly) too light and lacks the sort of expansive creaminess and mouth-coddling carbonation that would have earned it the next highest score. Still well above average, though.

Shiner Dortmunder Style Spring Ale does not put a scare into the very best versions of the style (Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is at the pinnacle). Having said that, it's a tasty little lager that has some character and that should be mucho enjoyable alongside most foods. Year-round would be the better way to go.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shiner Dortmunder ontap in Fort Worth TX

Appearance: 22 oz draught, pours a clear straw, big pillowy froth and some lacework in patches. Good clarity and overall a really nice looking brew.

Smell: Lager yeast, some floral hops and a breadyness.

Taste: Clean lager flavors, light toasted grain taste as well. Kiss of some earthy hops in the end. Refreshing, very well balanced as well.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied, crisp.

Overall: A pretty well rounded lager here, a good choice for warming weather conditions;.

Stinkypuss, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.25/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a modest loose white head. Pale golden orange. Clear.

S: Grainy, a bit chalky. Sweet malts.

T: Not a lot here. Flavors of grain and malt drag on the tongue. An earthiness shows itself with only a little hop balance.

M: Carbonated. Medium body.

D: Very drinkable as it is a lighter beer but it is definitely not the best example of the style.

ForWhatAlesYou, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
2.53/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Clear golden color with a one figure fluffy white head. Light floral hop flavor with a light pale malt aroma. Starts off ok with a mixture of hops and pale malts but then gives way to a metallic flavor. Not impressed with this one at all. Mouthfeel is light with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall not the greatest beer. I'll take Great Lakes Dortmunder over this all day every day. A bit of a metallic taste and isn't as clean and crisp as I'd like. I love well crafted lagers but this one falls short, that being said it is drinkable at least.

jpmclaug, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of Haybeerman
4.03/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep, clear yellow/gold color. Poured a 2 finger white meringue head with good retention to a 1 finger cap. Decanted lazily. Laced in short webs.

S: Wet sweet grain. Noble hops; grass and pepper.

T: Sweet biscuity malt. Fresh cut grass. Mild peppery bitter in the finish.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation (could have used a little more). Smooth and flavorful. Nice building finish.

O: Good representation of an easy-drinking lager beer that has some character.

Haybeerman, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of ianjsullivan
3.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pilsner glass.

A: Darker gold, almost bronze, in color, Shiner Dortmunder has a thick white marshmallow head that very slowly fades leaving spotty lacing. It has slow and lazy carbonation.

S: It does not have a large aroma. Biscuit (with slight sweetness), floral hops, and a slight metal tinge dominate.

T: Herbal and grassy with slight bitterness leads into a dryer and spicier finish.

M: Smooth and medium-bodied.

O: This is not a complex beer, but it is not a bad beer. I was searching for better than average easy drinking beer, and this dortmunder does offer that. However, it also does not do anything to distinguish itself in an already crowded market.

ianjsullivan, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of BelgiumBill
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a crystal clear golden color with caramel tones into a Sam Adams glass. It gave a 1 finger foamy head that quickly dissipated. Steady carbonation bubbles rising throughout.

Clean citrus/floral/herbal smell. Maybe lavender?

lightly creamy in the mouth with the flavor following the smell. Some light hops make a noted appearance toward the finish.

Very drinkable. I'd say 'as advertised' a spring ale. I bought a six pack that I will enjoy on warm spring days.

BelgiumBill, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of Rayek
3.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shiner Dortmunder pours a deep gold into my pilsner glass. A soapy white cap slowly falls to a patchwork film and leaves a bit of lace.

Scents of honey. lemon and grass make up the nose. In the mouth, the dry medium-light body has vigorous carbonation. The beer sports flavors of honey and straw out front. Bitterness is extremely well balanced and carries a slightly metallic lemon bite. Finishes with a lingering bitterness.

This is a nice beer. It's light, yet complex and very much a step above most of the Shiner beers I've had.

Rayek, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #49 (Feb 2011):

Ale? Doesn't matter as long as the brewer hits the mark, right? Bright and clear and golden. Quite a spicy nose, but light on the malt. Lager-like smoothness and crispness take the palate for a ride. Thick herbal flavor pushes hard against a dried grassy maltiness. That soon leads to a spicy dry finish. This beer gets right to the point; complex it is not, but it makes up for that with a clean drive to be as drinkable as possible. We were too impressed with that drinkability to really start nitpicking the style--a refreshing Spring Ale it will be.

BeerAdvocate, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of sommersb
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a pilsner glass from a brown 12 ounce bottle. I'm not sure why they call this an ale if its supposed to be a Dortmunder Export Lager...maybe those weird Texas labeling laws?

Appealing appearance of a clear dark golden color, with a good amount of bubbles streaming from the glass bottom. Head is white and frothy, about 3 fingers.

Smell is crisp, but fairly muted - some floral aromas from the hops and also a bit of pale malts. The taste is clean, although not complex. Mostly light grains with a nice balance of slight sweetness and a slight bitterness.

A medium amount of carbonation and a light body make up the feel of this beer. Aftertaste is well balanced; I couldn't say it was bitter or sweet. Overall a good, refreshing beer to reach for in the spring or summer.

sommersb, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of brewballer
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very pale with a quickly dissipating head. Smells faintly of grain and honey, which immediately got my attention. I like a nice crisp beery with a bit of honey and grainyness to it and this fit the bill perfectly. This is really refreshing. You can taste the grain and honey and other than it being a bit over carbonated for my taste, this is a great brew. I bet I would love this on a hot summer day after doing some yard work.

brewballer, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of ElCommodoro
2.6/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured a light yellow with a centimeter head that remained for a surprisingly long time. The beer flavour was imparted mostly by the hops, but it wasn't over-powering. It had a very slight pine, but mostly citrusy taste. It even seemed to have a tiny apricot note to it. It wasn't particularly bitter. It was too much hop flavour for me since I'm not a fan of hops, but even so it was all right. I didn't get any biscuity malt flavour that's supposed to be an element of this style, so perhaps the citrusy hop flavour was stronger than it should have been.

ElCommodoro, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of PokerGod
4.53/5  rDev +32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a snifter glass.

Nice color, auburn and reddish tints. Good amount of head, that slowly dissipates. Very light bit of lacework left.

Smell- it's smells amazing. Very subtle hop smell in a mostly bready atmosphere. Slight hints of grain come through.

Taste- It's very delicious. Very clean, very refreshing. This is a beer that is flavorful, yet subtle. This is a beer I would recommend to someone just beginning to get into craft beers.

Mouthfeel- Easy to drink, light bit of carbonation bite on the tip of the tongue.

Overall, an excellent beer. I will absolutely buy more of this. Good Job, Shiner.

PokerGod, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Super clear golden, perhaps a shade darker than golden. the head is soundly white, initially thick, sticks at about a quarter finger. Minimal lacing.
S- Grainy, perhaps sweet, with definite noble hop presence. Somewhat grassy.
T- This is actually a good thing, it tastes like freshly mown grass. Well balanced with cereal grain matching up with noble hops nicely.
M- Standard body for style. Carbonation was fine-bubbled, but could have used a touch higher in intensity.
O- One of Shiner/Spoetzl's better products I've come across. Is it boundry pushing? No. Is it particularly unique? Not really. But it's a pretty good example of an underappreciated style. Easy drinking, and I gotta say, in my humble opinion, Shiner would do well adding this to their year round lineup, even if it meant dropping one of their current year rounds.

jsprain1, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of bort11
3.55/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Schlafly pokal. The glass was the perfect length to contain the four fingers of head, which took a good minute to settle down. As I drank down, wispy threads of lacing surround the glass. Body color is a clear golden-straw. Active carbonation lazily drift from the bottom to the top.

Smell has a clean, green grain aroma. It does smell like spring. Budding leaves and wet grass. It is a little earthy too. Taste has a mild ginger snap to go with the green grass hop bitterness. The grains are very clean.

Mouthfeel is very clean and goes down very quickly. There is a little more weight than a typical lawnmower beer. This is would be a great Spring Cleaning beer. I could definitely knock a few of these back after cleaning out the garage.

bort11, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.13/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

- from notes
No appreciable head just some quickly fading foam.
Pale amber that is crystal clear.
Smells faintly of musty grains and honey.
Medium body and carbonation with slight clingy feel.
I think this is a beer my grandfather would have loved over his beloved PBR.
Would not be my first choice but is certainly not a bad beer.

Beer4Baltimore, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.98/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shiner's Spring Ale is brewed in the Dortmunder style, and they've really nailed it.

It pours a crystal-clear golden body beneath a good sized head of antique-white foam. The head retention is fairly good, but the lacing is just average.

In the nose it displays fresh grainy malt and delicate noble hops. The malt is lightly sweet, and the hops are floral and lightly grassy.

In the flavor, the malt and hops seem almost completely fused together, and it delivers the same taste from start to finish. Sure, there's some increasing bitterness across the middle and then into the finish, but there are no bumps or changes. It's quite smooth in its transition, and in that way, it's completely balanced. Beyond that, the bready and grainy malt sweetness is also perfectly balanced by the moderate bitterness (somewhere in the 20-28 I.B.U. range).

The drawback to all of that is that although it may be a very good beer, and really quite balanced and drinkable, it lacks a bit of complexity, and it doesn't raise any eyebrows - and in our current beer climate, that's unfortunately what's necessary to get attention and keep sales going. Even in Germany, the Dortmunder or "export" style is dying out. It just falls too readily between the Munich Helles and southern Pils styles. Overall, however, it's a great style that should really be appreciated more, and thankfully Shiner has put out a really good version of it!

NeroFiddled, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of mattgreger
3.3/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got brew from my brother-in-law, who is a huge fan of this brewery, so I thought I would give it a try.

The pour on this brew was pretty simple. It poured with a wonderfully clear golden color. It had a quite large, white head that faded pretty quickly. It left no lacing at all.

The aroma on this brew isn't very strong. It starts with a bit of a floral notes, mabye a little herbal note as well. And just a hint of a honey aroma at then end. Nothing to impressive.

The flavor on this brew kinda of flip-flops with the aroma. It starts with a bit of a honey sweetness, with is nice a crisp. It then rounds out with a nice biscuit/bready flavor, and finishes with the grassy/floral flavors, give a touch of bitterness. It then has another touch of honey to balance the whole thing out.

The brew is pretty light, with some clean, crisp carbonation and a nice finish. I did enjoy the sweet honey that opened the brew, and came back in the end, to kind of leave a nice sweet flavor on the the tongue. Not to sweet, just enough to refresh you.

Not the best brew I have had in the style, but certianly a nice brew none the less. Its a nice summer/spring time kind of brew. I enjoyed its and could certianly session this brew without a problem. Good brew, I will have to try a few others from this brewery as well

mattgreger, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dortmunder style spring ale, did somebody just make up a style? Anyways I'm guessing this is basically an export style lager brewed with an ale yeast to turn it out quicker and not hold up any tank space. Pours brilliant golden crystal clear completely filtered with a bright white foamy head that sticks arounds and coats the glass at the same time. Aroma has pale malts a bit of biscuit/bread dough baking complemented by an assertive herbal/citrus/grassy hop character. Flavor wise it has a honey drizzled biscuit like malt profile with just enough hops to keep it from being cloying sweet, the herbal/citrus/hay like hops dry out the sweet bread malt base so that things just seem to work. Even a bit of mineral water/metallic edge that doesn't offend me or take away from the drinking experience. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with a crisp smooth natural feeling carbonation level. Overall a nice drinking spring/summer beer that will wow your bud/miller/coors friends. The uber beer geek will say this tastes like elephant piss, but I think it's awesome great spin on a classic German style.

WVbeergeek, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of ch473
4.55/5  rDev +33%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice golden color, bright and clear. Nice lacing around edges and very active carbonation with big bubbles rising from the bottom.

Smells grainy and sweet.

Tastes, indeed, refreshing and smooth. There's a perfect balance between the medium pilsner hop bitterness and the honey like sweetness. It feels wonderful on the tongue, thick and wet, with little tannins. Very clean and crisp all around.

I absolutely loved this beer. It lives up to every superlative on the label. I could drink bottle after bottle and not get sick of it. This will be great for summer and I plan on stocking up.

ch473, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Mosstrooper
3.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams Noble Pils branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal-clear golden color with a large, quickly-dissipating white head that leaves behind no lacing.

Smell: Very grainy aroma with a slight herbal note and a touch of honey.

Taste: Begins with honey sweetness, which rounds out to a bready flavor and finishes with floral flavors and light bitterness and yet more sweet honey.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body with crisp carbonation and a very clean, refreshing finish.

Overall: Not a great beer, but a solid effort nonetheless. A good beer for the spring and a nice refresher. Interesting, though, that Shiner's winter seasonal as is its new spring brew are both Dortmunders...

Mosstrooper, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of zdk9
3.18/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours out a bright light copper color, like a shiny copper pot. A finger of white foam tops off the liquid.

S- Smells malty, honey, cornmeal, white grape skins. It starts off nice, but does get more corny as it warms up which is not an attractive aspect for this beer.

T- In the taste the honey and vinous aspects come out more with some floral characteristics. Some earthy bitterness, like collard greens on the back of the tongue.

M- It's odd how this beer is both bitter and fairly sweet, but these don't really balance each other leading to a schizophrenic beer.

O- A good beer for drinking in front of the tube, and the honey taste does lead my mind to spring. So I'll take it.

zdk9, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of bnes09
3.43/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden lager. Pours a finger and a half of head but it only exists for about half a second. No lacing either.

Crisp aroma with some corn and rice adjuncts.

Flavor is mostly crisp. Grassy, floral hop. Cereal grains, mainly corn and rice. Crisp finish. Not bad.

Light body. High carbonation. Nothing special.

Its a descent spring brew. Has some flavor and is refreshing. I like the hop character.

bnes09, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of hosehead83
3.83/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass,
Clear gold in color, with a big,billowy head of white foam.
Aroma-Faint grass and grain notes
Taste-grain, faint honey bread, buttered saltine cracker. Very easygoing, clean and quaffable. A nice springtime session brew.

hosehead83, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
3.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Could not find a freshness date. Poured into a Duvel tulip. Clear golden body with a one finger white head. No retention or lacing.

Aroma of a typical lager, but with one nice addition: sweet citrus, primarily lemon. Not complex but nice.

Good flavor following the aroma. Solid lager flavor that is definitely enhanced by the citrus. Some notice of malty grain as well. Overall, this beer drinks easily and is very crisp and tasty. Good spring and summer choice.

FanofHefe, Mar 13, 2011
Shiner Dortmunder (Spring Ale) from Spoetzl Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 265 ratings.