Herold Bohemian Black Lager - Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
United Kingdom (England)
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!!
06-15-2006 02:59:16 | More by wl0307
3.85/5 rDev -3.8%
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!
06-15-2006 01:22:25 | More by BeerIsland
3.8/5 rDev -5%
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass. A nice, one finger sized head forms on the beer. Dissolves at a fairly slow pace and leaves a white sheet of lace on top. Nice lacing as well. Almost opaque but a purple/brown hue is visible in the bottom of the glass.
Smell is ordinary. Doesnt hint toward anything. Caramel malts is about all.
Taste is quite hearty. Toasty and bready flavor. Not a whole lot of chocolate or coffee which seems odd. Tastes nice alltogether.
Mouthfeel is pretty dry. Clean on the palate as well. Medium bodied I would say. A decent all around beer.
04-06-2006 19:53:41 | More by SaCkErZ9
4.4/5 rDev +10%
This is a deep ruby colored beer with a thick, foamy, malted-milk color head. Aroma is overpoweringly of sweet green apple, kind of like some of Sam Smith's beers, but even stronger. Hey, I like it.
Flavor is that same green apple along with a chocolatey malt base and a slightly roasted bitterness. It all comes together exceptionally smoothly with a suprisingly crisp finish. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, which is nice, but something lighter would really make this brew heavenly. I don't know much about Schwarzbier but I know this is a new favorite of mine no matter what you call it.
03-24-2006 21:38:36 | More by JudgeRoughneck
3.55/5 rDev -11.3%
I am pretty new to this style doesn't seem to be many examples available. The pour is OK, dark beer but not so dark you can't see light through it. There is a creamy tan head and adequate amount of very fine bubbles of carbonation. The smell is malty and caramel, there does seem to be a hint of roast. Tastes the way it smells. Malty and caramel and enough hops bitterness to almost balance it out. I do like the mouthfeel of this; it is rich and full, kind of chewy.
Overall the drinkability is pretty good.
03-11-2006 17:06:16 | More by Chadbrew
4.28/5 rDev +7%
Dark brown/black in appearance with a light tan head which bubbled high and fell fast. The smell is mainly malt with a fair amount of yeast. Nice black malt flavors with some sugary notes somewhere between chocolate and vanilla. Not to say this beer is very sweet, but there is some residual sweetness countered with plenty of bitterness. Yet, that is not to say this beer is hoppy, because there is not much hop that I noticed, but mainly malty bitterness. The mouthfeel is spot on for the style, with a lager-like crispness and velvety richness. This brew is nice and complex, yet is not overpowering in any one way.
02-16-2006 01:19:52 | More by zjungleist
3.8/5 rDev -5%
Poured from a brown 500 ml bottle. No expiration date.
This beer is a clear very dark mahogany with ruby hightlights. It has a tan head and lasts well into the beer, but not for the time to drink all 500 ml. A very good looking pint.
Nutty, toasty, malty aroma....Initially a very nice smell; but as the beer warms, some slightly undesireable vegetal components come out. (I let this one sit around longer than usual, or I likely would not have picked up on this.)
A well done schwarzbeer. Nice malt -- chocolate, a hint of molasses, good complexity. Sweetness of the malts comes through making a nice "schwarzbeer" statement.
I'd recommend this one.
12-30-2005 00:28:46 | More by ncbrewerbun
4.18/5 rDev +4.5%
Pours a black colour with a long lasting tan head. Lots of roasted malt in the aroma, some some caramel too. Sweet malty flavour some roasted notes too. A little thin in the mouthfeel. But it is very soft and easy drinking. One of the best schwartzbier i have ever tasted.
12-04-2005 12:12:53 | More by anders36
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.
11-17-2005 13:10:20 | More by merlin48
4.45/5 rDev +11.3%
This beer is similar in color to a good porter. Just a bit of light gets through. Very little head, only a small ring around the edge. The smell is pretty faint. Maybe a little hint of roasted grains. The taste is of roasted grains with a slight cola-like taste thrown in. The mouthfeel and drinkability lift this beer up high. There is absolutly no negative aftertase. A very smooth beer. Slight bitterness is noted. As for drinkabilty, this is one of the best that I've had. I was somewhat relunctant to try this one but now I'm sorry I waited so long. This beer will be on my list to try often. This was my first from this brewer. It makes me want to try their other selections. A good beer worthy of much praise.
11-17-2005 01:15:09 | More by Enola
4.22/5 rDev +5.5%
The beer pours to a nearly opaque black with ruby highlights. Has a nice fluffy tan head that doesn't leave much of a lacing.
The smell isn't too great, what little there is. When inhaling deeply I manage to smell a lavender soap aroma with some malt and spicy hop.
This is one of the best tasting schwarzbiers I've had. It doesn't seem to make direct contact with the palate. I could chug this beer like water and not know the difference until I stopped drinking and tasted the residual roastiness and smoke in the finish. Has a light caramelized chocolate malt flavor to it, but the hops are more or less completely indetectable.
This beer is very light bodied, like water, but it finishes crisp and smooth. Leaves a very light and pleasant finish.
This is probably the best beer I can think of for converting BMC drinkers who think Guinness is too "dark." It has that full flavored yet light taste, and its more chuggable than BMC could ever dream of being.
11-15-2005 06:22:26 | More by neonbrown82
4.4/5 rDev +10%
500 mL bottle with no freshness date - served chilled in a pilsner glass. Pours black - between that of a porter and a stout - with ruby highlights and a 1 finger brown head that leaves some lacing. Smells of sweet chocolate, roasted malts, figs, apples, and a hint of metal right as I opened the bottle. There is both sweet and bitter chocolate on the palate, along with toasted malts, coffee, figs, a bit of raisins, apples, and green/spicy hops. Kinda like an imperial stout - quite nice. It has a medium to light body that is tingly like a lager yet smooth. A delicious lager that's better than Köstritzer in my opinion.
11-01-2005 05:39:26 | More by mmmbeer
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).
10-15-2005 02:11:55 | More by rhoadsrage
3.93/5 rDev -1.8%
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.
10-13-2005 19:47:19 | More by lackenhauser
4.33/5 rDev +8.3%
There's a really nice mix of chocolate, nut, and grain flavors in this one. As you drink more, the sweet tastes, while not disappearing, yield some ground to a hops bite and a general spiceness. Everything is well-blended and tuned to the right levels, making this beer highly drinkable.
The dark lager/schwarzbier style is really growing on me.
10-11-2005 13:26:49 | More by GnomeKing
4.43/5 rDev +10.8%
Purchased from the back fridge at Andy's Corner in Bogota, NJ. A big "thanks" to George & Tommy for carrying this wonderful example of a schwarzbier.
Served at a little over fridge temperature in a nonic after dinner. 16.9 oz. bottle, no freshness date.
Appearance- Pours a deep, glowing ruby-black with an amazing incandescence. Nice cookie-dough 1" head that remains for a good several minutes, leaving a slick, sticky lace down the sides of my glass. A very sexy, elegant beer for the eyes.
Smell- The first thing I got was chocolate milk, the kind that you drank real cold back in fourth grade after school... not from a box, from a huge glass that you needed two hands to manage. Then comes the lightly roasted coffee beans and the malts. Rich, masterful aroma that could only come from the hands of an artisan brewery.
Taste- Mocha, coffee, chocolate, malts, Saaz hops... in that order. Delightfully light yet full bodied, the flavors from the roasted malts enter the mouth softly and become all-encompassing, while the mildly bitter hops finish with just the right amount of dryness to prep me for the next sip. Fantastic.
Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A medium slickness and moderate foamy texture feels just right for this style. Just right, serving as a backdrop for the dance of flavors parading on the tongue. This could be sessioned until the sun comes up Monday morning.
Without a doubt one of the finest black lagers I have ever had the pleasure of sampling.
09-29-2005 03:31:56 | More by yelterdow
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.
09-15-2005 21:03:22 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.38/5 rDev -15.5%
Pours a dark brown - almost black. Had a tan colored head that lasted a minute or two. The taste is very mellow, with very little evidence of hops and no bitterness. The aftertaste is reminscent of coffee. Would make a good dessert beer, and I think that it would go nicel with a piece of dark chocolate. It would be a poor choice for a heavy drinking session, as it has a somewhat cloying effect. An interesting beer, though not one that I'm likely to get again any time soon.
08-23-2005 02:28:29 | More by WMBierguy
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.
08-10-2005 07:51:09 | More by blackie
4.2/5 rDev +5%
Pours an opaque black with slight ruby highlights and a thin tan head. Aroma begins with a chocolate and roasted coffee aroma, followed by a currant and spicy saaz hops aroma. Taste begins with a nice chocolate, roasted coffee, currant and smoked meat malt profile, followed by a spicy and earthy hops flavor (i love those saaz hops). Mouthfeel is thin and suits the beer well with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good. An excellent and very complex brew, definately a quality schwarzbier.
07-23-2005 05:16:48 | More by silver0rlead
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
Poured a deep brown color with boisterous tan head that lasted throughout the glass. Color appeared more reddish when held to the light. Smell is fantastic, a mixture of roated grains, plums, raisins, cherries. Taste is a nice roasted malt with hops only being detectable in the dry finish. Truly an enjoyable beer.
07-22-2005 00:37:39 | More by tgbljb
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
06-20-2005 02:08:07 | More by PorterLambic
4/5 rDev 0%
This was a tasty drinkable brew at a decent price.
Pours a dark coffee brown with a thick, tan, creamy head that leaves lots of lacing, Held to the light this brew shows ruby/garnet highlights. A good looking beer.
Smell is smoky, sweetish caramel, biscuit and sweet malt. Faint alcohol in finish.
Taste is malty, doughy sweet, a touch of sour with a short, dry, hop bittering finish. Alcohol is there in the back.
Feels tingly on the tongue, with a slick yet chewy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.
05-20-2005 04:19:23 | More by Citadel82
3.95/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
04-16-2005 11:28:16 | More by pentathlete
4.45/5 rDev +11.3%
500 ml bottle, bought at Pivni Galerie, Prague. Label says Herold Bohemian Black Lager, tmavý speciál, 13 degrees plato, Schwarzbier, ABV 5.2%. Very dark reddish brown colour, nearly black, deep ruby when held to the light. Moderate tan head. Excellent aroma of roasted malts, tar, leather and tobacco. Flavour of roastiness, notes of dark chocolate and liquorice, well balanced with the hops, not particularly sweet. Mouthfeel a bit too thin to deserve a straight "5", still a very good beer. Recommended!
03-31-2005 20:28:38 | More by Sigmund
Herold Bohemian Black Lager from Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.
89 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.