Shiner Bock | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner BockShiner Bock
4,176 Ratings
Shiner BockShiner Bock

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States

Style: Bock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Tip back a bock. Brewed with rich roasted barley malt and German specialty hops, this lightly hopped American-styled dark lager always goes down easy. Originally a seasonal beer, fans have demanded it year-round since 1973.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-03-1999

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Ratings: 4,176 |  Reviews: 1,116
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark chestnut yet clear hues with a bright ivory uneven cap which settles thin and quick to a collar.

Slight leafy grainy scents.

First swigs: Grainy diluted oatmeal cereal flavors. Harsh earthy cola notes.

Last swigs:
Harmless benign flavor leads to the easy drinkability. This was a daily staple in Nashville, TN on Broadway while bar hopping.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shiner's best known "bock" pours a crystal clear chestnut brown body beneath a creamy head of ivory foam that holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. Standard sized bubbles can be seen rising quickly beneath. The nose delivers a distinctive note of sulphur from the lager yeast over a dull, lightly sweet and caramelish malt. It's crisp in the mouth with a dextrinous, medium-light body. The flavor is bright and clean with it's yeast character showing just as strong as it's subtly toffee-ish and lightly bready-sweet malt. There are no noticeable hop flavors, but the bitterness is firm and there's an average amount of alcohol there, leaving it to finish dry and refreshing.

Now, onto the "bock" categorization that everyone mentions. It was common during the late 50's, 60's and 70's for breweries to simply add coloring to their regular beers (or slightly higher gravity brews) and release them in the spring as bocks. That seems like what this is. I'd guess they're using a product called "porterine", but there are others available. Or it could have had something to do with the way that beers of a certain strength are categorized in Texas. Either way, it's nothing new and there's nothing to be ashamed of. It's a decent, enjoyable beer.... forget that it's not really a bock and have another one!

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Photo of Puddleglum
2.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

If you intend to go to Austin at anytime you will be forced to consume this beer. I appreciated the fact that there wasn't a budweiser to be found in the club we were in. Yet Shiner Bock was ubiquitous. I hadn't even asked for a beer when it was handed to me. "Don't mind if I do." I wasn't expecting a real bock beer so I wasn't let down. Yet it was nicely balanced with a caramel malt sweetening it slightly withough any cloying. The smell was of sweet malt with a grainy note and a hint of some hops. It was gone in a few gulps and I was on to the next one. The second one I poured in a "Cincinnati" they had sitting there next to the water jug and the clarity was fine but the color was certainly off for a bock as I suspected and the head was nice and sticky.

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Photo of Luigi
3.15/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with a thin lace for a head. Carbonation sizzles a bit when the beer is first poured. The smell is clean with a hint of toasted grains and faint hops. The taste is not very big either. Medium bodied with toasted grain dominating the flavor. A fair amount of carbonation and a small amount of hops come through. Light toasted grain aftertaste. Nothing complex here. Just an easy drinking beer that is better than your mainstream dark lager.

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Photo of aquatonex
3.55/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend of mine in Louisiana always has raved about this one, and coincidentally another friend brought a 6-pack back from TX this past weekend.

Pours medium amber, very slightly hazy. Nose does not consist of much, slight malts and alcohol. Good carbonation, not much head, slight lacing. Taste is a bit light, but not too light. Does not taste like a light beer, necessarily. Malts come out at the end to round out the feel and flavor. I think if the malts weren't there then it would be a failure. This beer was enjoyable and easy to drink. If you are looking for an option that is not your standard pisswater but still want to drink several beers without them being heavy, this is a good option.

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Photo of Rootdog316
3.73/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I personally thought that this was a great overall beer. It poured an amber/copper color. Had a very rich, full flavored smooth taste to it. Absolutely no excessive bitterness at all. This is definitely one of the better beers to come out of the state of Texas.

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Photo of jdm
3.35/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours a one finger plus head. it is a medium brown that is very clear. i smell malt, an earthy note, and grassy. malt and bitter is well-balanced. the style should be a little heavier to the malt but i like it balanced. finishes clean and spicy. fair, very drinkable beer but nothing remarkable.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.06/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a moderate copper color with slight head that quickly fell to a slight ring. Smell was almost totally absent, but at least not unpleasant. Taste was refeshing, but I could not find anyting to get excited about. Mouthfeel is not unpleasant with a slight hint of malt. An easy drinking beer.

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Photo of WesWes
3.77/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent brown color with a 1/4" brown head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry yet fruity scent that boasts of pale and crystal malts along with lager yeast. The taste is decent. It has a smooth, roasted flavor that boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts along with a dry lager yeast finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a pretty good brew. I see the overall average is low, but I think it's tastey and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.65/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light bronze color with a decent off-white head and good carbonation. Toasty malt aroma. Bready, toasty flavors but a bit sweet. Light bodied and a bit watery.


Per Shiner website:
2002 GABF - Bronze - American Dark Lager
2001 GABF - Bronze - American Dark Lager

A poor introduction to the Bock style but not nearly as awful as I remember. More of an American Dark Lager but I can't believe this beer has won awards...

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Photo of wgk
3.6/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had my first bottle last week after my brother brought some home from his Texas trip and a visit to the brewery. This is a light brown colored beer with a pleasant smell out of the bottle. Taste, I agree, is light for a bock which I expect to have some mouthfeel chewability to it. It is probably the reason that there is a reputation this beer has as a college's not going to slow you down any chewing on it. I have to say I like it and will easily drink a few again. I understand that the distribution of Shiner is pretty extensive so you may find it at a decent brew depot.

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Photo of Winter
2.63/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Amber - brown in color with an airy off-white head. Unpleasant aroma of sour fruit, malt and wet cardboard. Mouthfeel is thin. In addition, Shiner Bock is thin in flavor for a bock beer. Has this been watered-down for mass appeal? Taste was grainy. It lacks the caramel and raisin flavors of a good bock. Slight sourness toward the back. Finish is dry. If you want to introduced something to newbie beer drinkers and not scare them away, this might be a good starting point.

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Photo of RocketWidget
3.2/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A big cheers to fellow BA dungaree who was exceptionally generous in shipping this brew to NY. Cheers to you man!

Dungeree tells me that this one is a favorite among Texas college students, and I believe him. Comes in a standard 12oz bottle with twist cap. No obvious best by date. Pours a orange amber color. Head is almost non-existent. Does not taste like other bocks I have sampled. Light and hoppy with subtle malt. Nothing to complain about, (except head retention) but nothing interesting either.

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Photo of diablo14
2/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i was looking forward to trying this bock from texas. considering these texans say everything is big there, i was thinking this might be the same. i thought wrong. nothing about this beer was big. it was insipid, boring and generally dismal.

didnt have the deep colors of a real bock, was bordering more on an amber ale in that area. lacked nose, all i could get was a sweet smell and the faintest hint of malt. to say the taste was nondescript would be an understatement. it was damn sweet with barely any malt, and none of the rich nutty, biscuity characteristics you expect to find in a bock. were there hops in this beer? i couldnt really tell. lacked any type of finish full stop, let alone, the full, dry and flavorsome finish on the back palate any beer of this style has to have as the basics.

i have had worse bocks sure. but calling this beer a bock is truly a misnomer. its not a great beer regardless, but its a shocker in this category. a waste of quality drinking space when there were plenty of better beers on offer i could have had.

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Photo of wailingwench
2.5/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I write this review with great sadness. Oh, those innocent days way back in 1996, before I knew about the rest of the Micros. Shiner was the end all, be all. The taste was so heavy and flavorful, better than Becks or Heine Dark. Held it's own against Newcastle.

Recently tried one, wish that I hadn't. Those fond memories of drinking micro Shiner and living large suddenly lost their appeal. I honestly wanted to drink it, even passed up some Great Lakes on tap.

I seriously could't finish it. I wanted to, but it was revolting. I felt forced to finish half of it.

Band aidish, bitter tea, tobacco, bitter nut like finish.

Now I am very sad. I long for the days when 2 12ers of Shiner was the highlight in my life. Decent score based on mostly memories, as I try to erase this sad moment from my brain. I

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Photo of AlexJ
2.5/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Draft pour yields a clear light brown brew topped by a very short lived head of off white. There are a few spotty patches of lace, but quickly they are gone.

Aromas are nutty malts, bread, and very faint floral hops. It definately smells like a regular lager beer. Overall, the aroma is very meager and subdued.

The flavor offers a little bit more than the nose, but not much. It has a pleasant nutty, malty flavor and a mildly hopped finish. It is nothing at all like some of the better bock beers out there, but certainly an easy to drink one if you are looking for banality.

The body is light and thirst quenching with ample fizz. A good beer for ballgames, brats, and budgets..

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Photo of dungaree
3.2/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ahhh Shiner, a staple of the Texas university student's diet. I've had Shiner many a time in various and sundry places and circumstances around Texas, but this is the first review.

Pours a nice, tall medium thick head. Took a good minute or more to dissipate. Still a nice 1/8 inch head remained. Showed a medium brown color. Smelled of roasted malts, a slight mustiness, and a hint of a rustic feel. Tasted sweet and lots of roasted malts. Finished very bready. Wet at the beginning with a little bit of dryness at the end. Thin mouthfeel allows for more drinkability. It's easy to knock back a few of these. Shiner Bock won't win any awards, but it is definitely worth trying not only for its flavor but for its place in Texas culture.

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Photo of karst
2.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured clear amber, with a moderate sized sticky head
Aroma: little malt & some grainy scents.
Taste: bland and watery, butterscotch and the other malt tastes are vaguely syrupy, though thin mouthfeel, little aftertaste.
From Baum La Vernia, Tx south of China Grove. I picked up a six of these (Rick got six pack of Busch "tallboys") Decent drinkability. Better than ZiegenBock

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Photo of grapemaster
2.88/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

If this beer were a mountain, a tree covered jut of rock and dirt, arcing skyward in defiance of gravity and the forces of nature, admired and adored by all humans and animals, then this would only be an average mountain. Maybe 6000-8000 ft. Not one of the towering 14,000 foot mountains, the massive 20,0000 footers or the infamous 29,000 foot Everest. It was a decent beer, plenty drinkable and for sure tasty. However, it was nothing to shout about.

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Photo of beertastegood
3.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I figured I would review this beer, as it has been a staple of my family and friends for as long as I can remember. For me, it is the best beer to swill from the bottle after a hard day's work out in the country. It has a refreshingly evident malt flavor, and even a bit of hops comes through in the finish. While this can still be classified as mass-produced beer, for the price here in Texas you can't go wrong with stocking a cooler full of Shiner for an outing to the country.

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Photo of smcolw
3.11/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In the land of Bud, Bud Light, Coors, etc., this is a huge improvement from the bland and limited choices. As far as bocks go, this is a weaker entry.

Appearance wise, it's encouraging--it pours a dark amber with a good head and light lace.

The aroma is light malt and is appropriate for the style, nothing special. The taste is similar to the aroma although some hop shows up on the swallow. Decent body, good carbonation, doesn't have the winey alcohol flavors of most bocks. My sample was just starting to skunk (ordered at Prego in Rice Village, Houston)

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Photo of granger10
3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was purely an all around average beer. Pours a medium copper color with a medium sized fizzy tan head. Aroma is malty then slightly acidic and then malty again. Roasted grains hold the base of this beer but no other flavors really come out. Slight caramel/toffee sweetness with a mild malt flavoring in the middle. Finish brings a very light dosage of hops and a nice little bit of acidity. Aftertaste is weak though. This beer is average all the way through.

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Photo of brentk56
2.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark but clear amber colored body with a modest head that quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing

Smell: Toffee sweetness dominates the nose

Taste: A rush of toffee sweet flavors flit across the tongue but quickly fade in a flash of flinty fizziness; after that, everything fades away due to the lack of any balancing hop flavors

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery but with a ton of carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly a step up from the macros and not unpleasant but there are much more flavorful and representative bocks out there

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Photo of beersarang
3.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown amber with rocky bubbles that dissapear into a thin collar with spotty swirling lace. Head retention is nill.

Smell, malts, toasty something or other, not too prominent.

Gives a mild toasted malt flavor, with minor hop bitterness. Leaves little to no lasting impression on the palate.

Watery, especially for a bock. Carbonation is more prominant than the bitterness, which is not a good thing.

Average drinkability, as far as any beer goes.

Not bad, not good, simply average. Doesn't really have the body or maltiness for a true bock.

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Photo of hero27
2.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color. Carbonation seems good. Off-white head is gone in the blink of an eye. Leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

Smell: Very...and I mean very faint aroma of roasted malts and grains.

Taste: Hints of caramel and molasses..roasted malts with an extremely subtle hop flavor..barely noticeable. Fairly weak overall taste. If it had more flavor and a bit more "bite", this beer could have some potential.

Mouthfeel: A bit oily in the mouth. Way too thin for the style..needs some muscle to make this an above average brew.

Drinkability: One of the thinnest bocks I've had, for sure. Could be easily consumed if one were so inclined.

This seems to be Shiner's most well-known beer, but not their best, in my opinion.

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Shiner Bock from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.19 out of 5 with 4,176 ratings