Shiner Bohemian Black Lager
Spoetzl Brewery

Shiner Bohemian Black LagerShiner Bohemian Black Lager
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German Schwarzbier
Ranked #186
Ranked #46,186
3.47 | pDev: 14.99%
Spoetzl Brewery
Texas, United States
Shiner Bohemian Black LagerShiner Bohemian Black Lager
Notes: Germans call it a schwarzbier (black beer), but Shiner fans know this one as Shiner 97. Unusually smooth for a dark beer, our Bohemian black lager is brewed with roasted malts and Czech Saaz and Styrian hops. All else pales in comparison.
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Reviews: 554 | Ratings: 1,535 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SteveHoller
5/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the smoothest really dark beers that I have ever quaffed. Literally nearly black in color, it has great flavor with absolutely no bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of jwp777
3.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle:

Pours an extremely dark reddish brown just a few shades away from black. Head is light tan and thin with good retention around the circumference of the glass at least.

Smells of malts and black licorice. It is unfortunately a bit watery.

Taste is more robust than I was expecting given the smell. The hops bring a brightness up front and then give way to the sweetness of the malts. It has the tiniest bit of an earthy and smoky quality, which I found pleasant. Finish is somewhat long and malty.

Feel is surprisingly light. The carbonation is strong which lightens up the body. It’s easy on the stomach as well, which could be the doing of the low ABV.

Overall, neither impressed or disappointed with this one. It’s a step above the Shiner Bock for me. For me, everything just needs to be “more” or “bigger” to get closer to the black lagers I tasted in Prague a few years ago.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - The beer looked like a handsome black lager with visible carbonation and a light tan colored head.

Smell - The nose seemed faint, mostly composed of watered down black licorice.

Taste - If there was such a thing as a light schwarzbier, this would be it. The profile was lightly malty with a slight level of acidity. There are also notes a acidity with a slight sense of sweetness. The beer finishes with dry malts.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation is duly noted with a very thin feel.

Overall - This is not the best example of the style. For starters, it needs more of everything. Taste will then improve.

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Photo of gvickery
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Very dark reddish/brown, clear, with a substantial light tan head.
Smell: Rather weak, some weak caramel malts and not much else.
Taste: Light caramel, roasted coffee, some light smoke (very light).
Mouthfeel: Mostly light, mostly dry. Very drinkable.
I haven’t had many of this style but it’s as good as the imports that I’ve had, in its own way. I really enjoyed the coffee notes in the finish.

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Photo of beergoot
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, dark brown body; nice carbonation; thick and creamy head. Faint aroma, generally malty with a bare suggestion of roasted grain and chocolate. Watery, roasted grain flavor; faint caramel; decent hop bitterness at the finish. Medium-light body; a little fizz at the finish of each sip; rather watery; malt grain warmth develops at the finish.

The beer's best feature is its looks. Otherwise, while not a total washout, the beer comes across rather thin and weak where it counts -- the smell and taste. It gets a bit better as it warms up, yet doesn't escape the mundane.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

From the bottle, it pours a clear very dark brown with a nice thick light tan head that slowly dissipates and leaves lacing. In the nose, it is roasted malts - in the mouth, it is the same.

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Photo of Nass
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The pour is hickory brown. The aroma is of whole wheat bread & dark roasted malts. The taste matches the aroma along with a slight prune presence on the backend. Cheers! B-

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Photo of daliandragon
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This pours a dark brown without much of a head and the nose is roasted dark malt and cocoa. Flavor is similar with a cleanfinish and low carbonation. A little understated and nothing special, but I like schwarzbier, and this is a serviceable example of the style that is generally easy to find.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.26/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From a bottle, pours as a dark almost opaque brown with a think tan quickly dispersing head. The aroma is of roasted malt with caramel. For a lager, it's pretty OK; malt-forward sweetness with a hops-bitter bite at the end. I've read some other reviews, but I don't taste any "chocolate", "caramel", or "coffee". I did find a metallic aftertaste and an overall wateriness. Overall, better than Bud, but nothing that I'd give a guest.

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Photo of mushroomcloud
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

1/2" beige head on a dark brown Schwarzbier. Head recedes and holds at a cap the whole way.
Chalky cocoa and roasted malts. Some feed store grain. Dark fruit.
Lightly bitter roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate. Tree nut (??). Cola.
Medium body, medium carbonation. Thin. Nothing extraordinary here.
Finish has some length but not necessarily the depth that would move this up the radar.

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Photo of detgfrsh
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle. Pours black with a layer of tan head. Smells of molasses. Light feel. Tastes of roasted malts with some light hop bitterness. True to the style.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scored one of these a bit back in a Shiner variety pack. Black and brown color pour, not a porter or stout, noticeably less viscous. Tan head 1/5". Dissolves. Aroma was roasted malt, noble like hops.

Taste has a more bitter presence than expected. Seems to be from a variety of sources, hops, roasted malt, yeast dark fruit notes. I get that a lot of Germans settled into Texas, but this seems like a total niche beer. The mouth feel does reveal a lighter body than the appearance would suggest. Still, it seems to clash with hot weather. One thing I noticed here is that the reviews seem to be significantly higher grades than the ratings give it. I'll take that to mean that people who have actually tried the beer and thought about it enough, like it more than those who haven't tried it or just gave some off the cuff score. Its a decently made beer in an interesting spot.

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Photo of Premo88
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into wide-mouthed stick

L: clear brown as it pours, dark brown in glass, shows very little amber; beige head off pour is an inch tall and super thick looking, dissipates quickly; no major sticking or lacing but keeps a full collar and thick skin

S: chocolate, espresso, dusty grain, cocoa powder, something lightly floral, prune

T: cocoa powder or baker's chocolate, hint of coffee, woody aftertaste that starts almost midswallow; dark chocolate; prune

F: light but full of carbonation; simple and easy to handle

O: very solid representation of the style; the aroma and flavor is relatively tame, about a 6-7 out of 10 in terms of intensity, and there's not a ton of malt sweetness some schwarzbiers have, but there is a lot of malt flavor with the wood note being a highlight

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Photo of FBarber
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark blackish brown color. Thin fizzy tan head dissipates steadily leaving no residual head. This beer looks like a coke - if you didn't know better you would probably think it was one.

Aroma is malt forward - nots of toasted bread, a slight nuttiness and a hint of cocoa come through. No hops on the nose.

Taste is actually really well done - light toasted bread notes come through with hints of cocoa, a light nuttiness and a light earthy bitterness on the finish. The hops don't provide much in the way of the flavor profile other than a light bitterness on the finish.

Feel is light and drinkable, with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Have to say, I was really surprised by this in the best way possible. It sticks to style and does it very well with a nice flavor profile. I could drink this every night especially as the weather turns cooler. I will definitely have to grab this again especially now that I've seen this popping up in stand alone 6-packs.

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Photo of Schlitz74
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours an almost black color with little to no head. The beer is easy drinking, but there is nothing remarkable about it. There is a little lacing left on the glass.

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Photo of drtth
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The dark brown, almost black beer with reddish tinges pours out into a Duvel glass with a 3/4” tan head that soon recedes to leave some large patches and legs of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates several small patches of lacing, many of which slide back down the sides of the glass. Most of the foam on the surface is gone well before mid-way through the beer.

The aromas are all about the dark roasted malts that have both some chocolate and some dark caramel. There don’t seem to be any hops noticeable.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the dark roasted malts providing some chocolate and some caramel sweetness. The very light bitterness in the background which seems more from the dark roasted malt than from the hops.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The moderately long finish begins as the chocolate and malt sweetness begin to recede leaving some light dark roast bitterness to close the semi-dry ending.

While the flavors/aromas are not particularly complex, this is a reasonably tasty Schwartzbier that touches some of the right bases and I’d have it again if offered. That said I’ve had other Schwarzbiers I’d prefer over this one.

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Photo of Lucular
3.74/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a solid schwarzbier. It pours nearly pitch black with very little head or lacing. The mouthfeel is prickly and it has a strong bitter/roasted/coffee flavor from the malt without becoming astringent.

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Photo of andrewh995
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black color with a small head that dissipates very quickly. Smells of chocolate and very light coffee with some malt. Tastes is coffee, mildly sweet malt, and a little chocolate. Medium light in body and medium light in carbonation. This is a pretty good beer for its style, and while it's not incredible, I believe it deserves better reviews than it's getting.

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Photo of daisyjay
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark, nearly black. Very little foam on the edges, with almost no head. It smells a little smoky, with dark chocolate and molasses. The taste isn't as complex as the smell, but contains malty and mocha notes without overpowering sweetness. Feels a little thin on the tongue, with medium carbonation. Low alcohol so it's not gonna kill your afternoon. Very enjoyable beer for what I paid for it.

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Photo of Hackattack
4.08/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown. Great sweet smell. The taste is mellow/malty sweet. Hoppy it is not. However I am a big fan of these type of brews as I have stated in previous ratings. I bought a past- dated 12- variety pack of Shiner beers. It's still good even after a normal 6-month shelf life has past. I'm surprised Shiner Brewery's stuff rates so medium.

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Photo of nbaker290
4.49/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured 12 oz bottle to a Weizen glass. I've had this beer a number of times, I just haven't reviewed it yet; this being said this is a very consistent brew, every one has been the same since I had my first 3 years ago.
Look: pours a black-brown color, brown-tan head with a good amount of retention.
Smell: first I smell toasted malt, followe by bitter hops. Smells like a Schwarzbier.
Taste: Hot damn there's a lot going on in this beer. Beginning-middle-end: sweet/toasty malt-bitter- clean hop finish. Best way to describe all of the tastes. You have to try this beer a couple times.
Feel: medium light body, medium carbonation, exactly what you should expect for a black lager.
Overall: one of my favorites from Shiner. A quality, good tasting, drinkable beer that is a good representation of the black lager (Schwarzbier) family of beers. I had my wife pour one of these and a Kostritzer Schwarzbier side by side and give them to me. After a few tastes of each I started reaching for whichever one I wanted, and once one was gone, there was a third of the other left. The Shiner was gone first, it has a little something extra, more flavors to sift through. Good job Shiner, you won in my blind taste test.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours black with a finger of khaki-colored head. Certainly a light stout look to it. Lacing is totally absent. Aroma is malty, with specific notes of toasted, and bread malts. Oatmeal shows up as well. Flavor is a blend of flavors, or more so, a mashing of various flavors making it difficult to sift through. It certainly has a "dark" taste, with notes of toasted malts, oatmeal, and a hint of chocolate. Mouth feel is thin, and watery. It does have some carbonation harshness to it. Overall, it's a fine beer. It always feels goofy drinking something that looks so hearty, but feels and tastes so light. Still, it's an easy drinker.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of singletary
4.39/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It pours a nice dark brown with a good head that really hangs around. Smell is of roasted malts and the taste is of roasted malts with a bit of coffee at the end. mouthful is full and refreshing and not heavy for a dark beer. Overall a awesome beer. I had it in a Shiner family pack but would buy this on it's own.

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Photo of DavidRolle
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The first time I had this black lager I wasn't too hot with it but had it a second time a couple weeks ago and I think this beer requires a couple times of drinking it to actually like it. I paired it with smoked sausage and actually pairs really well. Love the roasty and dark flavor in this beer.

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Photo of Spikester
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with some ruby at the edges. Three fingers of five minute tan head. Some minor fine bubble lace.
Smell is roasted malts with a hint of coffee.
Taste is roasted or dark malts with a good balance of malts and hops. Slight coffee flavor.
Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Finish is lightly drying with minor bitter ending.
Overall a well made beer. First time I've tried it. From a Shiner family reunion six pack.

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Shiner Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 1535 ratings