Shiner Bock | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner BockShiner Bock
4,197 Ratings
Shiner BockShiner Bock

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States

Style: German 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: 4,197 |  Reviews: 1,122
Photo of hoffman
3.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

There is not much to say about this beer. It's pour is unimpressive the head is on finger at best and does not stick with a glass at all. There is little to no aroma, good or bad at best a faint malt smell that gives little or no clue to the beers make or flavor. The taste is suprisingly full and easy. Moutfeel is watery but robust enough. Overall this is my beer of choice to tailgate or drink in quantity. I can buy it for little $$ and drink one after another untill taste is not an issue. I buy it on a regular basis and enjoy it.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.18/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a healthy dark amber and brown with a decent head.

The flavor is a bit weak for the style, but what's there is reasonably good. The smell is malt with a hint of some spice. The taste is also mostly malt, with a definite caramel presence. Alcohol and hops are minimal. Due the relative weakness of this beer, mouthfeel is easily the low point, although that helps lead to easy drinkability.

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Photo of whynot44
3.18/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown color with a modest off-white head that doesn't persist long or leave more than a trace of lacing.

The aroma is caramel and a bit of sulfur. The taste is mild caramel malt, a bit of corn, and a light touch of herbal hops in the aftertaste.

Light bodied. Bock? More like Bock Lite, but still better than the average Texas beer and a bit more taste and character than the average mass market brew. Good chaser for Tex-Mex.

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Photo of tfinn
2.11/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours amber, with fine bubbled carbonation, and a quickly dissipating head. if the color isn't enough of an indicator, it's immediately apparent that this isn't really a bock by pouring viscosity alone.

big giant DMS hit immediately after the pour. blech. once that clears, there's a "salty caramel corn" component, which is a little better. I don't smell any hops, and don't really expect much with this style, but some hint of german noble hops would be nice. what is there reminds me of rotting seaweed at the ocean.

flavor is primarily toasted caramel in nature, with a little corn sweetness, and maybe a hint of roast. tough to tell. there's really not much to work from, and this completely pales in intensity to a true -ator class bock.

mouthfeel is thin, as it should be for an amber lager, but way too thin for a true german-style bock.

I remember being unimpressed when I had one of these in san antonio, and thinking to myself "this is a bock?" it's drinkable, albeit pretty boring. like a standard american lager with caramel coloring added.

this bock is a gelding in comparison to the real deal.

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Photo of UDbeernut
2.81/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark amber color with a 1/4" head and a good amount of carbonation

Smell: strong hops

Taste: smooth with a hint of hops and citus. Not as bad as I expected.

Drinkability: ok, could drink these rather easily.... but I would not want it on a real hot day.

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Photo of clemtig76
3.45/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This must have been a really fresh bottle. New label with a little history lesson on it. Pours a beautiful dark amber with a thin off white head that lingers for a short while before disappearing. Sweet malty aroma you would expect from a bock.Taste is much smoother than the dark color would lead you to believe, smooth, sweet and malty with just a hnt of herbal hops. Good session beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
2.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber. Good looking color. Thin off-white head disappears immediately. Faint malty aroma, corn husky. Faint floral aroma. Sweet m,alt, slightly toasty but very faint. Feels prickly on the tongue. Light body, almost watered down. Easy to drink, but not flavorful. Certainly not a good bock. Maybe a fair alternative to a macro.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper brown, pretty clear. A very fizzy two finger head falls quickly with poor lacing. Strong buttery malt scent, no hop presence to speak of. Aroma sets you up for a let down with the bland, dry taste. While true to style in low hop presence, the malt flavor is weak and simple. Mild malt with a hint of nut and spice. It's light body and low carbonation make it drinkable and smooth, but boring. A German style lager made in Texas; what can you expect?

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

Well, I'll give it this, Shiner is as good a mass produced beer as any and certain preferable compared to the really big boys. Calling this a Bock however is reaching I think, seriously.

Nose is a bit bitter, faint hop aromas and a certain graininess prevail. Poured into a standard tumbler a light brown/gold in color with a thin white head with decent retention. Taste is pretty thin, fairly well balanced however and decently fresh tasting. Nicely carbonated and accompanied my authentic slow cooked Texas brisket nicely, very resfreshing. Nothing too interesting here though. Average.

SlĂ inte!

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

A mild malt aroma is noticable, no apparent hoppy smell. Light carmel color in appearance. Large creamy head, which quickly dissapated while drinking. Persistent small bubbles, moderate carbonation. Very malty in flavor. Mouthfeel is what i would consider somewhat of a smooth bite at the back of the mouth but goes down with no bitterness. This is what i would consider a good, but not great bock beer. Will drink again, occaisionally.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.06/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Haven't tried a bock from texas so today is as good as any. Poured a 12oz bottle into a pilsener glass and it had a real nice appearance, very clear filtered and amber color.

that was the last of the passing grades. smelled some metallic and uninspired bitterness, with a crippled malt presence. Tasted some dark fruits/prunes. Not much to counter that. Taste was faint. mouthfeel was ok. slid nicely down the neck without irritation. Its not garbage by any stretch because it is fairly nuetral and inoffensive. its a snooozer ZZZ zzzz zzzz.

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Photo of emericanchaos
3.83/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample bottle is one of a six pack from Johnston's Liquors in Conowingo Md. Pours a nice red-brown with a light carbonated head that quickly subsides.

Smells very earthy. Hearty malts and a dash of hops.

Tastes exactly how it smells. Talk about truth in advertising. Has a strong initial attack which quickly rolls into a malty sweetness remant of a marzen.

Mouthfeel isn't anything to write home about. It doesn't feel like your mouth is going to explode because of the carbonation nor do you feel you have to spit it out because it's too fizzy. What you would expect from a better beer.

This is an awesome session beer. It has alot of flavor but not so much that you get tired of it. Combined with lower alchohol content this beer will last you the night.

If you've ever had yuengling's traditional lager, this is a great substitute for it. I find shiner's bock to be very similar in flavor, about the same in price and more consistent than yuengling. Alot of times yuengling will taste too flat and watered down or too carbonated. Sometimes you get it really sweet which is awesome but it's very rare. If you know what i'm talking about than relate to flavor to a more carbonated yuengling. I find shinerbock a bit more prickley unless yuengling is over carbonated. Overall i think the texans are beating us in a Shiner bock vs. Yuengling lager battle.

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3.38/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiner Bock has the appearance of a traditional English brown ale. There is a 1/4" white head that settles down into a solid cap and stays put. It is odd to see a beer of this color with a bright white head on top.

Lightly roasted aroma and a little bit of hops. Very subdued. I have sampled this beer many times before and found a much fuller nose.

Flavor is better than aroma. Earthy, nutty, mild chocolate. Light tanginess from the hops. This has somewhat of a Marzen flavor to it.

Good drinkability, I have put down several of these on many ocassions. Obviously not a bock, this beer shares more characteristics with an amber ale or an Oktoberfest. Still a decent beer and it is easy to see why it is so popular. It lands somewhere between a macro and a micro and is a good cross-over for many.

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Photo of russpowell
2.29/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I loved the color of this beer, brown to molasses, but wanted more body more taste more nose. Having said that, still better than most of your choices in the lone star state. The brewrey should try to gradually bump up the body & nose, subvert from within!

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Photo of Atlas1
3.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Growing up in Texas, I know Texans are proud of their beer. And Shiner is no exception. I've always been a fan, and even though many knowledgable beer drinkers will argue that there is nothing terribly exciting about Shiner (and they would be right), it's still a huge success for a number of reasons. It's a highly drinkable, worthy alternative to the American macro brews that rule the market. It has a nice color, and is an excellent thirst-quencher to accompany a saturday cookout. But as far as bocks go, Shiner is one of the least complex versions out there. It's not fancy, but it's not trying to be. It's just trying to be a dependable beer. Here in the mid-Atlantic (where you can now find Shiner at various locales), it's akin to Yuengling. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Photo of BuckSpin
2.62/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a sharp looking warm, honey amber, brassy hue with a 3/4" head of tight cream foam on a nicley bubbling body that disappated quickly and laced lightly & sporatically. Nose wasn't anything special, some straw, sharp, odd.

Even yet dull on the pallete, perhaps some mild sweetness on a very flat tasting malt base. Pallete was the best part as a crisp, pleasing, cinnamon like spiciness showed up, but alas it too faded into a lackluster, dull, watery finish with a mild bitterness.

There was nothing remarkable about this. I'll pass on future ones if other options are available.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A weaker attempt of a traditional beer. Still plesant tasting though. It looks brown and moderately carbonated. Slightly tan head pours a 1/2" head that wants to stay. No lacing detected. Smells mildly malty, nutty, bready, and yeasty. Tastes smoothly malty, caramelly, roasted, toasty, and a bit chocolatey. Flavors similar to a porter, but not nearly as bold. Body is medium and a bit carbonated. Like many American Bock beers, it is grainy and sweetly sticky to the toung without the supporting malt character or the warming finish. Likewise the finish is sticky and a bit grainy. Yeast character remains. Aftertaste is slightly nutty and clean. A safe, easily drinkable beer, but not one to brag about either.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
2.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pints on sale for $1.75 at the Echo Tap here in Madison. I can tell why it they were trying to get rid of it. If there was one word to describe this beer, it would have to be "...oh...". Probably the most neutral, average, uninspiring, neither bad nor good beer I've ever had. Oh...I'm, uhhh....drinking a beer?

Pours a transparent dark brown with no real head to speak of. Smells like....umm, beer? Kind of metallic. Tastes like....watery beer? A hint of caramel malt to let you know it's supposed to be dark, but other than that entirely bland. Mouthfeel is probably about the thinnest I've ever experienced in a beer, even the carbonation was limp. Slightly higher drinkability rating only because it goes down like water. So...apparently I drank a beer last night....I guess.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.85/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation- 12 oz bottle from Texas!

A clear brown, not quite like most browns I have seen in beer- this seems richer than many of the transparent brown beers I am familiar with.

Aroma is fresh bready malt= slight sweetness. Not complex, but nice!

Flavor is mostly malty, a little roasted caramel. Not terribly sweet, just a slight sweetness, kind of like fresh-made dark German bread is sweet. A slight hop bite in the finish, just enough to let you know it's there. Generally simple in it's overall profile (i.e., not terribly complex, but that's not really a bad thing!).

Mouthfeel is moderate and this is a nice, simple, drinkable brew.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.05/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing Kev! 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep copper color with two fingers of head that die off quickly. There is almost no lacing. The smell has a decent caramel malt base. It's fairly sweet, and there's a faint hint of biscuit malt. The taste is sweet and malty. Lots of caramel, kinda toasty as well. The finish has the slightest bit of hops. The mouthfeel could be a little bit thicker. The drinkability is great. A decent American take at a bock.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.68/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a very slight covering over top. It seems to want to stay around more than others. The nose is roasty, slightly grainy and a touch of brown sugar sweetness. Not too bad here. The flavor is fairly grainey and slightly toasty with a faint sweetness. Almost a little drying on the finish as well. the feel is a solid moderate, even light thick, with a moderate carbonation. Overall, a pretty nice brew. Good session brew. I can easily have a few of these in a night.

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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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Shiner Bock from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.19 out of 5 with 4,197 ratings