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Herold Bohemian Black Lager - Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.

Not Rated.
Herold Bohemian Black LagerHerold Bohemian Black Lager

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BA SCORE
89
very good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 83
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.75%
Wants: 9
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s. visit their website
Czech Republic

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-01-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mzwolinski
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an interesting beer. The pour was black, with a very thin light tan head. The aroma, which was really the high point of this beer, was quite terrific -- roasty malt with hints of chocolate and black cherries. The taste, however, was a bit hard to rate. The first sip was utterly disappointing -- seemed watery in feel and in flavor. After the beer had warmed, however, or after my taste buds adjusted and became better able to pick up subtleties, the chocolate and roasty character of the beer really came out, as did a nicely bitter finish. Even still, though, the aftertaste seemed to fade rather quickly, and left me with a rather watery feeling/flavor in my mouth. Not a bad beer, but overall I think a bit too mild to really impress me.

mzwolinski, Feb 26, 2003
Photo of BeerIsland
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours av ery deep brown with a thick, bubbly head. Rich, sweet, malty smells abound and are carried through to similar flavors with chocolatey fruity notes. It's a little toasty on the finsh. Very smooth and drinkable. It would make a very good winter beer but isn't a load for all the flavor you get. I like it!

BeerIsland, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of aracauna
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cola black body with light penetrating, but not all that easily. There’s a moderate khaki head that lingers for a bit then fades completely. The aroma is cake-like with a bit of chocolate and a bit of roast. The flavor is nice with more chocolate and more roast. There’s a little more body there than some schwarzbiers, but that’s a good thing. This is a really enjoyable lager.

aracauna, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of TinusTime
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a coal black with a light khaki head. Aroma is rich with a malty chocolate nose with a hint of bitterness. Taste is deep and malty with chocolate, coffee and a bit of burnt sugar. Taste is very full and porter like. Mouthfeel is good with nice carbonation. Drinkability is OK a bit heavy for what I thought it should be. Overall a very robust lager. The label says Schwartzbier, but it seems a bit heavy for that

TinusTime, Jan 27, 2005
Photo of dcmchew
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours almost pitch black, a few dark brown tinges, one finger tan head and then a rich sticky lacing.
Smell of dark malts, low cocoa, some raisin and other dry fruit, burnt sugar, faint nuts.
Taste starts with rich roasted malts (faintly smoked) and some dark chocolate, livened by some juicy raisin and plum, sweetened with rich caramel. Gets a bit darker, with light coffee (some cream in there too), faint charcoal and dark bread crust. Decent Saaz hop presence in the finish, with a nice bitterness that separates itself from the roast.
Medium body, mildly carbonated, smooth, on the easier to drink side of dark lagers.
Lots of local tradition involved here, great ingredients, a very good beer.

dcmchew, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big light-tan head, topping a ruby-tinted nearly-opaque black color. Little trails and spots of lace; head retains throughout.

Aroma features lots of caramel and toffee, and a little something like toasted chocolate (ie. not burnt).

Flavor recalls milk-drowned cold black coffee with fudgy accents...also some dark fruits. All the while the flavor is light and the beer remains surprisingly crisp. The flavors fall away quite a bit in the finish.

Mouthfeel reminds of some English ales, being pretty low in carbonation, having a nearly flat feel, not much presence in the mouth. Though thin, its silkiness is appreciated.

Very likeable; a great example of the style. Comforting flavors, crazy-easy to drink, wish I'd bought a few more bottles.

Metalmonk, Apr 03, 2007
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kind of tough to explain its look - very dark, like a stout, but not opaque at all. light passes through easily. medium-sized head.

A bit of fruit and chocolate sweetness and quite a bit of hops. Pumpernickel bread and a bit of molasses round it out. An interestingly complex beer - the flavors mold together in a strange way. can't say that i've had a similar experience before.

Lnedrive14, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of blackie
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I pour the beer into the glass, a one finger khaki head is created. The color is a very dark shade of brown, almost black...but some brown light does filter through.

Some slight coffee aromas on the nose. An extremely small amount of esters are in there. There is an aroma that I first had trouble nailing down, but after some pondering I figure that old, stale whole grain bread is the best descriptor for the smell. Hops are very slight.

Carbonation is on the lower side of medium and the body is medium.

Again, the same coffee flavors as on the nose, but more pronounced on the tongue. Mild flavors of toasted malts. Slight hop bitterness that carries a little ways into the finish. Finishes also with some lingering roasted malt notes and a slight astringency.

blackie, Aug 10, 2005
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking round the world today, had a Malt lager from Kenya and an Ale from the UK so far. So a Black Lager from Bohemia (now the Czech Republic) isn't a bad third choice.

Brown 500ml bottle, loads of life left, well 8 months anyway.

Poured into one of my Thistle shaped Gordon glasses (twice).

Cracking look to it, really deep black/ruby red colour with a fantastic creamy, full, biege head on top. The thistle glass really shows it off well.

More aroma than most black beers I've had, there is some burnt malts and more than a little Porter and Stout type smells too.

Again the burnt malts are the dominant factor, this time with a lager style sharpness added.

At 5.2% it sits nicely, there is a slight heaviness in the mouthfeel, but it isn't a thick beer by any means.

I think this is the best Black Beer (style wise) I've ever had, not checked my other review scores but I don't remember enjoying one this much before. A very nice beer.

BlackHaddock, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of lackenhauser
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very black in color with a nice chestnut hue when held to the light. Small tan head. Decent aroma-malty with some roasted notes. Good malty, bold flavor with a blend of roasted and chocolate notes. Theres a tad hashness I cant place my finger on it almost seems as it might be a freshness issue. Overall the flavor is well done just this one element of it. Good body for style. A very drinkable beer. More roasted flavor then a lot of schwarzbiers I have had. Tends to be a bit more upfront and pronounced overall.

lackenhauser, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of ark57
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It was nice to get my hands on something besides a pils from the Czech Republic. i was quite eager to sample it and it did not disappoint. It is black with ruby highlights. The aroma is has some raisin and buttery notes. The body is not too thick and is fruity with some burnt maltiness that tastes of bittersweet chocolate. It finishes crisp and clean. Quite refreshing for being a dark colored beer.

ark57, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Transcribed from notes) Tasted on cask at two JDW pubs in London, Nov. 2005, during the Spoon's Holloween Beer Festival. The pump-clip says its imported exclusively for JDW, and to serve a Czech beer on cask-conditioned form really is quite interesting.

A: pours an ebony hue with brownish glows when seen against light, coming with a thick and tightly frothy tan head with great retention. Looking just amazing on the handpull~~
S: colourful~~ caramely sweet and dark chocolatey note of black malts with light roastiness and leather, against a background of sour-sweet plum juice, cherry jam, bread-doughy sour note, sour edge of raw nuts, soaked red-grape skins... the combo. is almost like the liquid form of rum-raisin and nut buttery cookies... ensued by a refreshing, floating aroma of spicy+grassy Saaz hops... Complex and very pleasant indeed.
T: a mouthful of sour-sweet dark fruitiness (plummy and a bit vinous) prevails upfront, along with soft-textured but profound roasted maltiness (plus a tinge of leather) and cherry-flavoured chocolates... leading to a mild aftertone full of clove+licorice, caramelised sugar, herbal bitterness, and more darkest chocolates' sour-bitter edge, going deeper and deeper down the throat...
M&D: a touch too smooth for this fantastic lager, but the cask-interpretation is not bad at all! The low fizziness makes this beer slightly watery at the back, but this remains a medium-bodied and fullsome Czech dark lager, which is less rich and positively smoother. A nice experiment that I feel so happy to bump into twice at JDW pubs, and feel even more lucky that it's on form on both visits!!

wl0307, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades slowly to a shallow layer leaving a good lace. Black color. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Caramel nose. Starts malty with a sweet caramel flavor not cloying, finish has hints of hops. Nice black lager. $2.49 for a 500ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

jdhilt, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of pentathlete
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jet black in the pint glass with small beige head. Slight mocha smell. There was a hint of chocolate in the taste, some molasses in the maltiness, could have been a little crisper. The mouthfeel was a touch disappointing. It started off much too light, almost watery, then the flavors kicked in and saved it. I'm not sure what causes this phenomenon, it could have been me. Despite this, the beer is good and makes a nice afternoon beverage. I really like this style but my local stores have only one or two others for me to obtain.

pentathlete, Apr 16, 2005
Photo of PorterLambic
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you, Howie, Dawn, et al., at the Cock & Bull for continually bringing in new brewers. This is my first from this particular brewery and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Pours black, pitch black. No color hanging around the edges, just deep, dark black. A creamy but very small head ensues with no real lacing.
Smell is smoky like kielbasa cooked on a BBQ grill, roasted malt, hops, coffee. Nice complexity and well-balanced too.
Taste is almost as good as the smell with the same smoke (smoked meat?), malt, coffee and hops. The smoke is not anywhere near as heavy as a rauchbier but it is not a shy little hint flirting around the edges either.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a decent hop presence and a medium body.
Drinkability: it's good, quite good in fact, but it is no Kostritzer.

PorterLambic, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Pours dark brown, not that far off from black. It started out with a one finger dense tan head covering the top of the beer, and it lasted pretty well into drinking the beer.

The aroma has roasted malt with some caramel and cocoa to it. The taste shows a lot of the cocoa and caramel that the nose had but not a lot of roastedness. It has a very smooth not very bitter, not very sweet quality to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation. It has a nice appropriate mouthfeel to it, not too thick or heavy and a decent amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good, it has some good roasted malt flavors but is also pretty smooth and drinkable. It was a nice enjoyable and flavorful beer.

billab914, Apr 09, 2010
Photo of bsp77
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in July shipment of my Beer of the Month club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Summit pint glass.

Appearance: Near black with ruby highlights. Tan foamy head that leaves active lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, roasted and caramel malts, and coffee. Somewhat subdued overall.

Taste: Major chocolate with coffee and roasted malt notes. Somewhat bitter at the end, which seems to be mostly due to the roasted character, but the Saaz hops seem to add a slight spicy bitterness as well.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, somewhat thick full body (not nearly as light as other Schwarzbiers). Finishes dry. Becomes quite creamy as it warms.

Drinkability: Seems slightly off-style for a Schwarzbier; of course Herold never claimed it was one, calling it a Bohemian Black Lager instead. Regardless, great lager overall, but not as refreshing as some due to the heavy character.

bsp77, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of tastybeer
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark black lager. Looks like a porter. Color is black with a ruby red and purple tint. Close to opaque but also noticeably clear. There's a good amount of aroma, comprised of a burnt fruitiness, some chocolate and coffee roast, a mollases like sweetness, and spicy hop. Taste is smooth with chocolate, some mollases, nuts, and some plum like fruits. Pretty good. Mouthfeel has a nice velvety feel which is additionally smoothed out by calm carbonation. Good fullness to the light lager body. Drinkability is easy.

A very decent schwartzbier, but I haven't had a lot of this style to say for sure.

tastybeer, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany with brilliant ruby edges that sparkle in the sun... that is just barely visible on the opposite side of the glass. Black Lager is darker than most porters and quite a few stouts. The pale caramel cap is tight-bubbled and firm, encouraging persistence. Chubby rings of lace don't stick with much force, but several of them are present at all times just above the surface of the beer. It's hard to conceive of a better looking schwarzbier.

The nose is style appropriate and is better than average. Caramel and cocoa share the stage, although it isn't as sweet as that description makes it sound. This is probably the weakest of the half dozen schwarzbier noses that I've had to date.

HBBL is intensely flavorful. I'm sure the fact that I'm drinking it at an un-lager-like 55 degrees helps. The flavor profile consists of black malt that has been generously roasted, bittersweet chocolate and crushed coffee beans. There's also a hint of Saaz spiciness that provides the yin to the black malt yang and gives the beer yet another dimension.

Black coffee becomes so prominent as the beer warms that I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this is a coffee schwarzbier. As expected, an unsweet middle leads to a dry finish. The light-medium mouthfeel could stand to be more full and more creamy to suit me.

Herold Bohemian Black Lager is an excellent schwarzbier. As noted, I've only had a handful, but I recognize a good one when I drink it. If you like incredibly flavorful, amazingly drinkable dark lagers, be sure to seek this one out.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I truly have no idea when or where I received this one, but to be honest I saw it hanging out in my fridge last night and decided that I would grab it for dinner. Served into a tall-footed pilsner glass straight out of the fridge.

Appearance - Poured a deep, dark brown, nearly black in look, but no so heavy. There was a touch of light that was shining through, only on the edges. A nice tight one inch head of off white colored foam then graced the top of it, before settling down to a thin film that covered the top like a crown and a nice bit of side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was a touch light at first, but came around as it warmed up. Rich smoky roasted malts were the predominant contributors here. A very nice little bit of caramel sweetness in there as well. Some nice touches of roasted nuts way towards the back, nice earthy tones.

Taste - The flavor was very nice and classic for the style. Started out very dark with a rich flavor of roasted malts. A very big smoky property to this one as well, which was very nice to see. Some nice earthy and grainy like flavors start to come out and really show themselves off. The finish was a little bit more bitter then what I was expecting, but this was rather nice, with a good drying a long lasting smoky flavor.

Mouthfeel - The feel was very nice. A medium bodied ale with a smooth, rich and creamy feeling. Very nice carbonation with a strong profile, this was definitely very nice indeed.

Drinkability - This was an outstanding session beer. Low ABV and a nice rich malty profile combined for something that I could easily throw down multiples of. I would have loved to have had another last night on top of this one.

Overall, this was an outstanding representation of the style. Rich, deep profile with a superb feel and a really nice long lasting taste. If you are a fan of smoked beers or just looking for something a little bit different, just check this one out, its worth it.

mikesgroove, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour a deep blackberry color, the head is medium chocolate brown, creamy in consistency, modest in size, the lace velum like sheets that cling to the glass till the last drop. Nose is malt, molasses like tones, roasted grains, and quite "Sniffable" for a "Lager". Front malt sweet, the top light to medium in mouthfeel. The finish is potently hopped, quite dry, meekly acidic. Personally, only one of a handful of "Lagers", that I find entertaining and worthy of recommending. Ranks #346 on my current 1000 beer master list.

Gusler, Oct 15, 2002
Photo of endless1408
4/5  rDev 0%

endless1408, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of seanyfo
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark as guinness with a 2 finger head of tan foam in an imperial pint glass

Smell: a smokey faint rauch essence. with a metallic note but overall some wheaty toasted goodness.

Taste: Once again, i find a very metallic taste apparent in this beer among a strong wholewheate toasted bread/malt flavour. very characterful. A nice balance between any sturdy malty metallicness and a faint hop bitterness in the finish

Mouthfeel : Low carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, goes down easy

Drinkability: An exellent Schwarzbier. some nice roastyness character flavours and settles well. Could drink a few but would like to compare with other Czech Schwarz and Koztrizer

seanyfo, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of StJamesGate
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tawny head - identical to stout at a distance. No lacing. Nose is mulch and Marmite. Pine sap, woodsmoke in the middle and spicy Saaz to finish. Lively, oily with a light to medium body.

Dark, wintery flavors. May be too much to have more than a couple, but still close to the perfect example of the style.

Edit: Drinkability to Overall.

StJamesGate, Nov 01, 2009
Herold Bohemian Black Lager from Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.
89 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.