Shiner Bohemian Black Lager
Spoetzl Brewery

Shiner Bohemian Black LagerShiner Bohemian Black Lager
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Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #185
Ranked #47,874
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: 560 | Ratings: 1,547 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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TwilightBeerCareer from Illinois

2.29/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish black with a quickly dissipating head, leaves no lacing. Smell is that of weak coffee. Taste follows the nose, which isn't much. Weak coffee, weak roast, and a mineral like quality. Hops are nearly nonexistent. Watery and flat is an understatement. Maybe an old bottle, no date code to be found. Glad I only purchased a single.

Mar 30, 2021
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TedHead from Illinois

3.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pretty brownish black that has hints of red to it when you hold it up to some light. It smells like darker pumpernickel bread with very subtle hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste has that same dark bread start with a very mild coffee like bitter finish. It goes down smoothly but has a surprisingly thin mouth feel. Overall a very easy to drink dark beer and pretty decent.

Dec 01, 2020
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ZenAgnostic from Texas

4.13/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into wine glass. Picked up as part of a $15 Shiner variety pack from the grocery store during the COVID-19 pandemic. No discernible date anywhere on the bottle.

Appearance - Apparently opaque black, but on backlight you can see it's clear with a deep mahogany hue. Tan pancake batter head with good retention and no lacing. 4

Smell - Very faint toasted coffee bean that becomes considerably more prominent as the beer warms. Maybe hints of chocolate. 4

Taste - Toasted coffee. 4.25

Mouthfeel - Has astringency but surprisingly little considering the style. Maybe a little thinner and more watery than what I'd expect. But pretty clean and almost refreshing, considering the style. 4.25

Overall - Pretty inoffensive and drinkable for the style. Probably it's greatest quality is the lack of off characters. 4.25

Jul 07, 2020
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AccipiterofBeer from New York

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

L: 3.25 amberish brown. A bit light for this style. Good carbonation with a small light tan head.
S: 3.5 smells like your average black lager. Licorice. Dark malts.
T: 3.5 Licorice. Caramel. A touch of cacao.
F: 3.5 Pretty nice. Medium bodied. Goes down easier than most dark beers.
O: 3.5 A middle of the pack dark lager.

Jul 03, 2020
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured this beer from a bottle into a pint glass. The color of this beer is straight-up black with a faint reddish undertone. The smell of the beer is a tad confusing in comparison to how good it tastes, I'm definitely picking up some smoky/malty notes with a hint of coffee. There is a bit of an empty beer bottle set out in the sun smell to it for some reason though? The taste of this beer is pretty malty as expected, it's slightly sweet, but not to much. The faint aftertaste of coffee is one of my favorite things about it. The feel is much more carbonated than expected, yet light, goes down smooth. Overall, this is a very approachable dark beer, I'd like it more if it had a slightly higher ABV.

Jun 03, 2020
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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.

May 08, 2020
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jwp777 from Oklahoma

3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle:

Pours black, but not pitch black. Head is light tan and thin (maybe 1/4 inch), but it lasts a while with good retention.

Smells mainly of malts and black licorice. There’s a bit of coffee and a toasty quality in there as well. It’s not a powerful smell but it’s more complex than I previously gave it credit for.

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 a good bit of an earthy quality thanks to the coffee, which I found pleasant. Finish is somewhat long, earthy, 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, pretty good and 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, but great for something inexpensive and readily available most anywhere in the Midwestern US.

Edit: I came back to this one today (11/24/2020) and reread my review, and I felt that my previous comments were slightly inaccurate. I moved everything up .25, except for look which I moved up .5, and I changed some of my comments to make sure they were a better representation of the beer and aligned with my palate at this time. I think I interviewed this one months ago and my palate has vastly improved since then.

Apr 18, 2020
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

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.

Jan 05, 2020
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gvickery from Texas

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.

Dec 15, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

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.

Dec 09, 2019
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

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.

Oct 26, 2019
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Nass from Florida

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-

Sep 19, 2019
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daliandragon from Maryland

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.

May 13, 2019
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Guppy314 from District of Columbia

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.

Apr 24, 2019
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mushroomcloud from Texas

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.

Apr 06, 2019
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detgfrsh from Texas

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.

Mar 31, 2019
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

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.

Dec 19, 2018
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jesuschrist666 from Oklahoma

1/5  rDev -71.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is a terrible drink.

It tastes like somebody emptied their ash tray in the rainwater that collected in an old tire and mixed it with instant coffee. Took two sips and apologized to my kitchen drain for pouring it inside of it.

Dec 05, 2018
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Premo88 from Texas

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

Oct 02, 2018
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FBarber from Illinois

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.

Aug 20, 2018
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Schlitz74 from Illinois

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.

Jul 25, 2018
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drtth from Pennsylvania

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.

Jun 08, 2018
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Lucular from Maryland

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.

May 14, 2018
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andrewh995 from Arizona

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.

Jun 15, 2017
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daisyjay from Florida

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.

Mar 07, 2017
Shiner Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 1547 ratings