1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

Not Rated.
Herold Bohemian Black LagerHerold Bohemian Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

A: The beer is very dark amber (near black) in color and poured with a finger high tan head.
S: There is a lot of sweetness in the nose, which has aromas of dark malts and some hints of cherries.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has flavors of dark toasted malts and cherries.
M: It feels light-bodied and smooth on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer goes down very smoothly and is quite sessionable.

metter98, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

Appearance: Pours a root beer brown color with ruby highlights and a rocky head that persists well and leaves a dancing pattern of lace

Smell: Tobacco and roasted malt

Taste: From the first, this beer takes on a roasted bitter aspect that builds by mid-palate; there are also undercurrents of caramel and tobacco, underneath; after the swallow, the sweeter elements become a bit more prominent, with a chocolate flavor, in particular, joining the gray; the beer might pair well with a cigar as that tobacco and charcoal flavor persists throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice Schwarzbier with good complexity; it has disappeared from the market and re-appeared in the Chicago area with a new label and a Lake Forest based importer (who may also be new as I had heard rumors that this brewery had lost its US distribution); in any event, its good to see it back

Thanks, brandoman63, for the opportunity

brentk56, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

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%

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 emerge077
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%

This is my favorite schwarzbier. Strange that it's not german, but true to style and then some.

Pours a nearly opaque black, some fizzy carbonation and tan foam. Not much to note in the aroma, some roasty malt as it warms.

Taste is rich and roasty malt, light efferescent carb at first. Develops a mildly sour fruity note later, which is pretty subdued. Freshness is key for optimal taste, i've had old bottles that were lackluster. Supremely easy to drink, and pure velvet on the palate. Give me about six of these and i'l call you next week...

emerge077, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

Herold's Schwarzbier pours a very dark and rich mahogany body with orange and ruby highlights. The creamy, light tan head holds quite well and leaves some nice splashes of lace about the glass. Mild darkly roasted grains appear in the nose along with some grainy Munich malts. It's medium bodied and smooth across the palate with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that lightly caresses the tongue. In the flavor it's maltiness dominates: caramelish, chocolatey and roasty. Some light, grassy and floral hop flavors appear, unfortunately followed by some unwanted fermentation esters. It's well balanced, and it finishes dry and lingering. Quite flavorful and very drinkable.

NeroFiddled, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%

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 kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -13%

Served on draught into a Staropramen pint glass at the Czech Inn, Dublin.

A: One finger head of fair cream but poor retention. Hazy dark copper cola.

Sm: Very light nut-hoppy scent.

T: Nutty hops, vanilla, slight caramel body. Finish complements the body, which is well-balanced.

Mf: Adequately coarse and nicely wet.

Dr: Not badly priced for Dublin, and worthy for fans of the style.

kojevergas, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%

(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 rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a dense black body with a gentle carbonation sticking to the glass and a nice creamy light brown head. The body is pretty opaque but you can see the bubbles close to the edge.

S- I can smell the aroma even as I pour it out of the bottle. The smell of deep roasted grain and a clean slightly sulfur smell fill the air. There is a note of German hops that is in the background. There is a faint coffee quality to the roast as it warms a little.

T- The taste of roasted grain and a slightly dry cocoa note to it are the first tastes. A bit of coffee and toasted grains come through also. A good complexity to the dark malts but not sweet or astringent. The finish is dry with a faint hop bitterness.

M- This beer has a smooth medium body that is a bit creamy. There is no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This is a good solid schwarzbier that has a nice complexity to the dark malts and a smoothness to the finish. It would be nice to see a hint more hops for balance or some alcohol warmth (I know that is not to style).

rhoadsrage, Oct 15, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

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 brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

brandoman63, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of Latarnik
4/5  rDev 0%

Latarnik, May 25, 2014
Photo of beerthulhu
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

A: Poured a opaque black with a rocky light beige head that was moderately lasting.

S: a smooth dark roasted grain aroma, coffee, chocolate, with some rich dark fresh fruit (raisins).

T: The initial flavor was rich, dark roasted grains, like espresso beans, but very smooth and soft around the edges and not at all bitter. There was some dark cherries, licorice and a light smokiness as well adding to the complexity. There was a nice breadiness to the palate with some dark caramelized sugar notes. A noticeable licorice flavor is detected in the finish.

M: medium bodied, with a nice viscosity but very smooth and light from the carbonation letting the rich dark roasted nature coat the tongue with a nice film lacing.

D: Drinkability was very smooth, rich and light on the tongue providing for a good experience.

beerthulhu, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of billab914
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

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 08, 2010
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev 0%

harpus, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev 0%

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 bark
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%

The colour is pitch-dark. The finger thick head is yellowish. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is creamy and fruity. Some roasted notes and chemical hints of paraffin and diacetyl.

The taste is Creamy with mild roasted flavours. Fruity flavours of apples, cherry jam and fruit drops. Chemical hints of candlegrease. The creamy aftertaste is rather mild with mild neutral bitter flavours and just a touch of smoke.

The carbonation is medium strong; the bubbles are very fresh. The liquid is smooth.

A very pleasant and smooth schwarzbier, although I could live without the candlegrease flavours. It might go well with mild delicatessen like Italian mortadella. Or perhaps a Brie?

bark, Jul 06, 2010
Photo of stcules
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%

Dark color, with dark red edges. Beige head, one finger, quite compact.
Lightsmell, a lightly toasted malt, chicory, some burnt note.
At the taste again toasted, burnt, burnt coffee, chicory. Good, intense and pleasant.
In the aftertaste again toasted and burnt notes, and then a long bitterness of chicory and bitter herbs.

stcules, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +25%

Black ! (amber tones to a light source) with a brown head leaving good lace. Roasty and bittersweet chocolate aroma and flavor. Tastes exactly like it smells - rich and delicious ! Medium bodied (leans full) and creamy with a bittersweet finish.

It's hard to think of another beer that can stand up to this one in terms of style - pleasantly suprised by this Czech brewery which also makes great Pilsners !

All around awesome !

RBorsato, Nov 07, 2002
Photo of blackie
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%

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 rfgetz
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

Bottle from a BOTM Club...

A - Rich, deeo dark mahogany bordering on black. Rich, thich khaki head wich lasts a few minutes. Good lacing

S - Dark roasted malts, chocolate and dark fruit notes

T - Roasted malts with a decent amount of bitter dark chocolate. Some coffee notes thrown in with a touch of sweetness.

M - Medium bodied, decent carbonation (dont let the huge head fool ya). Nice coating of the palate without being sticky or lingering.

D - Very, Very nice dark lager. Drank along with a Sam Adams Black Lager and this blew it away.

rfgetz, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of dcmchew
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%

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 merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

500 ml bottle with label that says this was lagered 70 days in the cellars of their 500 year old castle brewery. Nice label. Disembarks from the bottle with a very dark, but clear, pour into the glass, where it sits with a nearly opaque dark body. A small, light brown head retains well enough and leaves some spotty patch on the glass. Body is a radiant red mahogany when held to light.

Aroma is dominated by scorched dark malts, with notes of burnt coffee and bitter chocolate. Some figs and licorice add an interesting dimension to the rather restrained nose. Some spicy Saaz hops are also apparent.

Slightly creamy mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation seems a bit overdone.

Taste is well balanced with a soothing complexity. Dark chocolate, a hint of coffee, and some molasses sweetness are immediately noticed. Some toasted rye bread notes add some intrigue. Saaz hops add a spicy and floral bitterness that balances the sweetness very well. Finishes clean and leaves an even aftertaste.

This is a very nice Schwarzbier, one of my favorite lager styles. Complex and well balanced, this one is an excellent example of the style. A must try if you enjoy dark lagers.

merlin48, Nov 17, 2005
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Herold Bohemian Black Lager from Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.
89 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.