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Shiner Birthday Beer 106 - Chocolate Stout | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Shiner Birthday Beer 106 - Chocolate StoutShiner Birthday Beer 106 - Chocolate Stout
BA SCORE
3.58/5
Good
532 Ratings
Shiner Birthday Beer 106 - Chocolate StoutShiner Birthday Beer 106 - Chocolate Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States
shiner.com

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Patches826 on 11-05-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
126
Ratings:
532
pDev:
16.2%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
22
Gots:
243
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 532 |  Reviews: 126
Reviews by kojevergas:
Photo of kojevergas
1.82/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Brief initial impressions below. A more detailed review to follow.

I winced upon sipping this for the first time. The chocolate character is brutally artificial, and it has a thin schwarzbier-esque feel and an unbecoming pudding-like stickiness. Overly sweet with no roasted barley presence whatsoever, Birthday Beer is a poor excuse for a stout and is best avoided. I don't know that I could handle a second bottle in one sitting, and will get through the first only with effort.

High D

***
02.17.15: My notes below are still truncated, as this is so shallow and simple that it doesn't warrant a great deal of effort.

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Twist-off cap with yellow and red designs. Decent label art. 12 fl oz.

Reviewed live as a chocolate stout per the label. Expectations are low given my last experience with this, but I'm keeping an open mind. 5.0% ABV. 2014 vintage. Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Mocha colour. Nicely cream, with okay softness and thickness. Complexion and consistency could be better. Retention is above average - ~3-4 minutes. Leaves messy webby lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Schwarzbier-esque cola-black. Ugh. Opaque and off-putting.

Looks pretty mundane for a stout, but not awful. Definitely below average, but at least it's not extremely yeasty or bright or anything.

AROMA: Cupcakes, chocolate cake artificial chocolate flavouring. Maybe some sassafras too?

Aromatic intensity is average.

It smells fine - except for the bit where it's supposed to be a beer, not a fat American child's chocolate treat. How about some malts, hops, yeast, or even alcohol in the aroma? This is off-puttingly artificial, and fails to suggest a stout at all. Quite poorly done.

TASTE: Ugh. Artificial chocolate. Evokes mass-produced pre-packaged shitty American chocolate sweets akin to those one would find at an off-brand 7-11 on a road-trip through a flyover state. Crappy chocolate cake, chemically preserved shrink-wrapped cupcakes, horrid artificial chocolate flavouring. Quite off-putting, with no trace of authentic cocoa, chocolate, or chocolate malt at all.

Moreover, it doesn't have the clean yeast profile of a stout or the robust malt backbone of one, and ends up tasting like a horrible attempt at a schwarzbier. Really horribly handled across the board.

To its credit, it doesn't have any yeast presence, overt alcohol, or hop notes. But it's as shallow and simple as can be, and what few notes there are are frankly disgusting.

TEXTURE: Weak. Thin like a schwarzbier, with no real body, weight, or heft on the palate - though I consider this a plus as a fuller body would draw out more of the atrocious fake chocolate flavour. It's overcarbonated, as well. Not watery, fortunately, nor is it oily or dragging or anything. This may be the first beer I call "cakey" - at least in terms of texture. It has this sort of sponginess that gives it an abysmal presence on the palate. Suffice it to say this texture in no way elevates the beer, nor does it even come close to complementing the taste on the most basic of levels. Terrible execution.

OVERALL: I'd have to check my reviews, but there's a chance this is the worst beer I've had this year. It's easily one of - if not *the* - worst attempts at a stout I've ever had, and easily claims the title of Shiner's worst beer (and I consider myself something of a Shiner defender). I'm confounded at how this even made it to market, but it's not so undrinkable that I won't be able to finish my glass; it'll just take effort. I'd strongly recommend avoiding this at all costs.

I can kind of see where they were going if they were trying to do some kind of chocolate cake schwarzbier in keeping with the whole "birthday beer" motif, but please announce that on the bottle so I know to anticipate the meconium that awaits me inside. How did this get past QC!?

Low D-

 3,991 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of AlarmClock314
2.83/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm a stout drinker, but I didn't like this at all. Its smell and taste is pure milk chocolate. Unfortunately it comes across as artificial, like an off-brand candy bar leftover from Halloween. No complexity to make you want more after the first sip.

 250 characters

Photo of JasonTaverner
2.45/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Extremely artificial tasting. The worst chocolate stout I have ever had.

72 characters

Photo of GDawgs34
2.7/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Thin, artificial mess. I had seen some decent reviews for this and figured I would give it a chance when I saw a single

119 characters

Photo of jgorman29
1.48/5  rDev -58.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I am not great at describing the taste of beer or what 'notes' a beer drinker can derive from a beer, but this stuff tastes like Duncan Hines chocolate cake. No 'notes' of a stout exist in this beer, that is, it does not taste like any stout I have ever had. It tastes and smells exactly like chocolate cake made from a store bought mix. Avoid it and do not buy as a "birthday beer" for your girlfriend as you will both be quite disappointed, unless you don't care for beer, but enjoy cake from a box mix. I could see somebody in those shoes liking it. I only gave a decent rating for the smell because I like the smell of chocolate cake, from a box mix or from scratch. Shiner, you failed once again. Shabbiest brewery in Texas, hands down.

 741 characters

Photo of thereal_adam
2.53/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bought this on a whim as I love stouts, especially chocolate stouts, and this is under $3 for the bomber, so figured why not. Awesome chocolate smell off the bat, had me encouraged, sadly this was the highlight. Moutfeel? Weird. Rather thin, and yes I realize this is a lower ABV stout, but expected more. Almost like water. The taste is just off putting. I guess it's chocolate, but more of the fake imitation chocolate you run across. It reminds me when as a kid my dad would get cheap and buy the store brand chocolate syrup. Yes it's chocolate syrup, but it was obvious it wasn't the real thing. Outside of the nice smell, this beer is a great example for other on how not to make a chocolate stout.

 703 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

To commemorate my 300th beer review, I am going to do a celebratory beer. What better than Shiner's Happy Birthday Beer.

It looks : Pours a dark brown to black body, 90% opaque. Head pours strong but recedes fairly quickly to a weak 1 finger and leaves absolutely no lacing. Beige colored.

It smells : Hey! What do you know? It smells like molten lava chocolate cake! Deep, moist chocolate cake. Chocolate frosting. This by far a chocolate beer. Close my eyes and I'd think I was smelling a fresh cupcake. That's it. Just a hint of alcoholic malt. Pretty one noted but totally amazing!

It tastes : light chocolate on the front, followed by a milky, sweet, delicious stout flavor. The malts are very slightly roasted, leading to a baked flavor. It ends with more chocolate.

It feels : silky smooth, oaty and milky, so incredibly easy drinking and velvety. Medium bodied but drinks like chocolate milk. Ends slightly roasted.

Overall : I'm going to stop writing so I can enjoy this beer. Fabulous session stout with no off flavors and a milky, silky feel.

 1,058 characters

Photo of Plokhooy
1.71/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Super thin. Smells and tastes artificial. I do not recommend and sent the brewery a note stating such.

102 characters

Photo of CPE1704TKS
2.11/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Unnatural flavoring, odd smell, and a lingering unpleasant aftertaste.

70 characters

Photo of BryanFlaherty
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Nelguz
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Spotted this at whole foods. Bought it for my birthday was a little bit disappointed with the taste.

100 characters

Photo of otoolman221
4.04/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of generallee
3.61/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label lists the abv at 5% abv and there is a nice short description of the beer on the back label. Appearance: The body has a very deep dark brown to almost black color. It is topped off with a small light tan head. This head settles quickly leaving just a light ring of foam at the edge of the glass. There is a little glass lacing at the top of the glass but it is mostly slick and slides down the sides of the glass. Smell: The aroma is full of chocolate and dark cocoa powder like character. Taste / Palate: The flavor starts off with notes of milk chocolate which blends into dark cocoa powder notes. The base malt is a bit light for me and I also pick up a slight hint of the hops but not enough to really add significant depth of flavor. It has a medium body and mouth feel with an average easy drinking character.

 899 characters

Photo of Ryno3031
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dditto2
3.94/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark. Thick head with chocolate tint. Moderate lacing.
Smells like a tootsie roll. Like an old school chocolate flavor?
Tastes like a toostsie roll without as much sweetness.
Creamy feel.
Overall I was quite impressed. This is the first Shiner beer I've tried. Everything about it screams old scool and it is enjoyable.

 327 characters

Photo of Richie_Inman
3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Did I just eat a piece of chocolate cake? Fantastic!

52 characters

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really impressed with this. Taste is roasted malt, sugar, and chocolate frosting. Almost like a Tootsie Roll with a light bodied porter. Sweet for the style. Not complex, but a lot better than most Shiner beers.

 215 characters

Photo of jamesmk48
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ledouge
3.19/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of gibgink
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like drinking liquid chocolate cake

35 characters

Photo of Dallassucks
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of IrishGermanAmerican
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Franziskaner
4.14/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black in color with a very minimal amount of light penetrating and only when held up to the light. A quarter inch of creamy beige head with consistently erupting tiny bubbles of foam is present. This smells like a Hostess cupcake. Nailed the aroma and dessert is served. The flavor is as advertised with the aroma. Sweet milk chocolate in abundance. The mouth is very creamy and dry. If you have a sweet tooth and pair this with raspberries or blueberries you will be in heaven.

 485 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle

Opaque black-brown color with reddish brown edges ad a good tan head.

Something seems off in the chocolatey aroma, as if bad milk was used to make hot chocolate (but now the same aroma).

Flavor: Markedly better than expected, especially considering the aroma. Tastes alot like chocolate birthday cake, including some chocolate icing, but with a bit of dark brown bread, some faint spicing, and thankfully much less sweet.

Feel: medium+ body; smooth; overly lively carbonation.

 501 characters

Photo of jazfst1
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Good chocolate flavor, a little thin and too carbonated for my taste

68 characters

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Shiner Birthday Beer 106 - Chocolate Stout from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 532 ratings
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