Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 09-02-2006

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Reviews: 534 | Ratings: 1,468
Photo of unionturf
1.56/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Picked up a sixer and looked forward to another fine brew from Shiner. This beer poured dark with little head and minimal lacing. Smell was good but but had something I could not put my finger on. Taste was not good at all for me, had a after taste like someone soaked a dirty sock in it or something, had a hard time finishing the glass.

In case my taste buds were having a bad night I tried another a few nights later, no better. I ended up pouring the rest of the bottle down the drain and giving the rest to a friend.

Never could put my finger on what the taste was and maybe I had a bad batch but no thanks on this one.

 627 characters

Photo of chickenflea
1.87/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

From my brother, Duane. Thanks, buddy. I really wanted to like this beer. I like the idea of an older non-AB brewery in Shiner Texas. But I was disappointed. The beer does not have a good aroma. A little like maraschino cherries, perhaps. There was a very small head with no retention of lacing at all. The taste had a burnt tone but primarily it tasted like cardboard. Texture was very watery with almost no carbonation. It was not pleasant. Cold or warm it was not good, Perhaps it was old.

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Photo of VDJ104
1.88/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Not impressed I'm a porter/stout guy but this beer tasted and smelled like tar weird after taste. After a while it just started to taste like a macro-lager rather than a bad dark beer. Overall disappointed in this would not buy again even in the variety pack that I got it in.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
1.95/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Continuing my tasting of the Shiner variety six-pack...

A. Deep semi-opaque brown and one finger khaki head that lasts for about one minute, no lacing left behind.

S. Gentle sweet caramel malt and....that's it. Can't find any roasted or toasted malt aromas and that is a problem for this kind of beer. Hops are also missing from the picture.

T. Almost imperceptible amount of hop bittering on top of the flavor of weak roasted malts and some watered down coffee tones form the flavor profile of this brew. I'm not very impressed with this one, I've had much better than this.

M. An unpleasant sort of greasy oiliness rears its ugly head inside my mouth after each sip. Other than that, texture is on the thin side, but doesn't 'feel' quite as watery as the thinness of the flavor would have you expect.

I'll be avoiding this one in the future, I might as well have had a glass of coffee carafe rinsewater for the same effect.

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Photo of FrognutUnl
1.98/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Alright, new beer at my local store...

Pours dark cola colored with a three finger head that leaves virtually no lacing.

Smells of sour dough. not very good first impression.

Taste is of roasted malts with notes of sour harshness that does not suit any beer.

Mouthfeel is thin, very thin.

Ultimately this beer seriously lacks in flavor and what little it does have does not make me want to fish it out of the drain. This is a big disappointment for me, which is a pity as I usually love the style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.05/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep amber to a black color, with a small white head. In the aroma, a faint roasty coffee. In the taste, a small dry roasty coffee, yet kind of bland. A small bite and a light mouthfeel, with a dry, roasty aftertaste. Small body and light to no body. Kind of dry and really kind of weak and not worth it.

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Photo of DosBeerigos
2.06/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

N. Smells like water and mild liquorice

Ok, so out of all the black lagers that i have had this comes in last place. It almost taste like I licked a grill that had a tone of char on it. It is smooth and easy to drink with that said. I would not buy it again. If your looking for a black lager I would recommend any but this one. Disappointed.
Score: 1.65

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Photo of sleeven
2.09/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm not an experienced reviewer, but after drinking this, I had to tell someone how bad it was.

Poured into a pilsner glass, which fizzed like cola and quickly dissipated. Slightly malty mouthfeel. Tastes like a soda that has been sitting open in the fridge for a while. I cannot discern how this beer manages to accomplish both an over-carbonated yet at the same time very flat drinking experience, but it does just that.

It says this beer is no longer brewed... but I just bought it, partly because I had never seen it before. The label is all black, seeming updated from the pictured version. I thought it might be a different recipe entirely from the one pictured, as it only says "Shiner Bohemian Black Lager" on the main label, but a closer look on the neck label reads "shiner 97." They first made it to commemorate their 97th anniversary, but it seems that they are making it again.

I really like Shiner Bock, Shiner's most popular beer, and it is often a go-to at bars, as it is usually the same price as Michelob Amber Bock but tastes better. I also enjoy their Hefeweisen and Dunkelweisen, even the blonde isn't bad. But this? All I can ask is, "What the hell, Shiner?"

*I upped my original ratings, as I did end up finishing the six pack (over time) but mainly because maybe this just isn't my style of brew... maybe my palette just doesn't agree with this style... so, benefit of the doubt goes to Shiner's black lager.

 1,438 characters

Photo of negroobserver
2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

C: 3.5 - Filtered clear. Black. Very little light penetrates the glass. Under direct sunlight, it appears to be a very dark chocolate brown. Pours with about an inch of cream colored head, which dissipates over a few minutes.

S: 3.0 - Smoky malts. Lager hops.

T: 2.0 - Tastes very much like a light watered down stout. Starts flat and turns in the middle into strong roasted/coffee flavor and finishes with a strong hoppy bitterness, which lingers for a bit.

M: 2.0 - Watery. Medium Carbonation.

D: 1.0 - Not a very enjoyable beer. Lacks flavor, texture, body. Very poorly constructed.


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Photo of mmmbeer89
2.22/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

it taste like black licorice which i dont like at all so i don't like it but i do like the taste a little better than licorice since it's in beer form.

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Photo of Brad007
2.25/5  rDev -34.8%

Pours a brownish-black hue with a huge head into my glass.

Odd, metallic note greets the nose. I don't detect much beyond that. Wait, there is a touch of roastiness.

Quickly turns into a weak mess with what I perceive to be caramel and dark fruit. It tastes more like a botched black-n-tan than anything.

Finishes flat at the back of the throat.

Not recommended. You can get much better examples elsewhere.

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Photo of williamt
2.27/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark mahagony. Nice tan thick head that laces glass.

First sniff of the opened bottle had some dark roasty notes to it, but that was it. After the pour couldn't find anything.

Weak, next to no flavor. Maybe a little malt but you really have to look for it.

Some what thin.

Drinkable about like water, I think I'd rather have water.

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Photo of nesta
2.3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

poured from a bottle, it looks more like pepsi than beer. it is dark, but very translucent, and lighter than other schwarzbiers i've tried.

it smells and tastes off, kind of metallic. its thin and watery in the mouth, but the one thing it has going for it is drinkability. its not very good, but i could see it being refreshing on a hot day if it was really cold.

 364 characters

Photo of rlf1810
2.3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Black but not completely opaque. The miniature head that forms leaves almost no lacing behind.

S: Pretty typical chocolate, roasted malt, faint hints of caramel or toffee. What you'd expect really. Nothing particularly enticing.

T: Lighter flavor than the aroma lets on. I picked up hints of chocolate, that's about it. Not remotely as complex as some of the others of the style I have tried. Disappointing really.

M: Very thin and watery. Were it not for the intense carbonation I wouldn't really know it was there. At least it is refreshing in this regard.

O: I'd pass unless you are looking for something that goes down easy. What you see is what you get with this one.

 733 characters

Photo of PaleAlien2
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I’m surprised this one’s rated as high as it is. Looks like a headless, watery stout. Has an unfortunate lager smell, which is nothing but malt with a bit of skunkiness. Palate is thin, yet somehow filmy. Flavor is malt with a bit of chocolate and maybe caramel. I detected a metallic flavor as well, but no real hop bitterness.

 330 characters

Photo of Kubishark
2.43/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was the most disappointing beer in the Shiner Reunion pack.

Yes, it's dark. No complaints there. But everything else is just kinda meh. It doesn't smell substantial, it tastes simultaneously really watery and really burnt, it feels soda-like, and overall it just wasn't all that enjoyable. It's not bad, I'm not saying it's bad; nothing I've had from Shiner has been bad. I really like Shiner, I just don't like this offering.

 433 characters

Photo of northaustin
2.44/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

pours a dark brown with almost no head. kinda white and uneven. absolutely no lacing.

smells pretty bland with nothing but an overpowering roasted malt smell. in all fairness it isnt that bad.

taste is like nothing. then all of a sudden way too much sweetness and caramel type stuff when goin down.

mouthfeel: way too sweet at first but then quickly leaves you with that bad overdry, like seriously no salivation and all nutrients have been sucked away from my mouth. me no likey.

drinkability: it is cheap and everywhere, but i wouldnt recommend it.

 555 characters

Photo of Squelch
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first Schwartzbier, and I wasn't impressed. Not enough roasted flavor for me. I know the style isn't supposed to have roasted malt flavor but I was expecting it being that it was a black lager. Much less flavorful than their bock or their blonde. I will not be buying this one again.

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Photo of elgiacomo
2.46/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle. Pours brown, dark brown in the glass with a good peige head that leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is quite weak.

Flavor is light roasted malts, some caramel, a bit of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel is thin with low carbonation. Inoffensive.

 255 characters

Photo of Briken
2.51/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Clear black with red shining through in spots with a tan, thin frothy head with okay retention. Dirty lager aroma. A little molasses and earthy hops that are very muted. Nothing in the finish though I wouldn't call it clean, just nothing, except for a bit of a bad coating in the back of the throat. Medium thin carbonation.

Not much to this one. It was even kind of a chore to drink as all the flavors are quite muted. Nothing I would be looking for again but hey, it was cheap.

 480 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
2.55/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Big time disapointment... I love this style beer since I lived in Prague and traveled Germany alot in my day.

appearance: basically pure black

smell: slight chocolate caramel sweet smell

taste: atually tasted macro like which i didn't like. Shiner boack give me the same mass produced flavor

mouthfeel: thin and heavy carbonated

drinkability: overall this beer sucks but i love the style so I didn;t kill the score.

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Photo of jdwayne00
2.56/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

One of the few Shiner beers I've been disappointed in. The black licorice taste is not for me, and that is on top of it tasting a little weak overall. Similar to Guinness but only enough to make me wish I was drinking a Guinness instead.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generic label art and twist-off pressure cap acquired as part of a Spoetzl variety 12-pack box at me local HEB grocery and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; I'm not confident Spoetzl is the brewery to pull off an amazing (or even average) black lager. Reviewed as a black lager because it identifies as such.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Fluffy complexion. No real lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 2-3 minutes.

Body colour is a dark amber-black. No yeast particles are visible. Understated and rich, but I wouldn't call it vibrant given its darkness.

Overall, it's to style.

Sm: Dark malts, vague roast, syrupy caramel, sticky blackstrap molasses, raisin, fennel, and a bit of a vinous and/or herbal note. Not particularly appealing, but it's inoffensive. Definitely comes across as sticky and syrupy, though. Surprisingly, it does have a slight floral hop undertone.

No alcohol or yeast character is detectable. This one's almost all malts.

Not particularly looking forward to it; it's not alive or inviting. Certainly not a unique or special aroma.

T/Mf: Caramel heavy with plenty of molasses. Sticky and syrupy as a result. A buried hint of musty roast does little to satisfy my craving for roast. I do get a vague sense of licorice/fennel, accompanied by an unpleasant sugary sticky sweetness. There's also some of that nebulous vine/herb note I mentioned above. A highlight is its brief foray into mildly dark fruit notes, which yields a hint of grape and maybe dates. Some cola-esque sarsaparilla/sassafrass. A bit of chocolate malt is a nice addition here, but it gets buried by the other less interesting dark malts; we don't get any fine cocoa dust or rich dark chocolate at all. Any hopping is floral in character but generic, and minimal in its presence.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Smooth and wet, with a bit too much body for the lack of depth and diversity of flavour. Flaovur duration and intensity is average for the style. It's not carefully balanced, nor is it gestalt, but there's some cohesion here. It's got a focus and direction. Constructively, it really needs more roast, and I'd like to see the mouthfeel less syrupy and sticky. Overcarbonated in classic Spoetzl fashion; they're almost function like a glorified macrobrewery at this point. A bit too thick; it's got too heavy a presence on the palate. The texture is by no means custom-tailored to the taste, but it does a decent job I guess.

At least it's not harsh, biting, oily, gushed, or hot. But I can't emphasize enough that the stickiness and syrupy quality have got to go.

Dr: A generally drinkable black lager from Spoetzl, but it's not worth getting again - even at its modest price point. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but I'll kill off the two bottles that came in the box without resentment. It's a tough style to really execute right, and Spoetzl's crowd-pleasing ambitions don't allow for a more refined attempt at a black lager. Overall, it's below average for the style, and I think we can anticipate seeing Spoetzl phase this one out over the next five years.


 3,470 characters

Photo of lhaqq
2.61/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear brown body with a quickly dissipating tan head with little lacing.
S: Not much there. Some KarmelKorn and dark malts.
T: Pretty watery and not especially flavorful. Some dark malts, a bit of creamy, and some alcohol and wood in the finish.
M: Not as sweet, sticky, and thick as I was expecting. Pretty thin, with a bitter aftertaste.
D: Alright; not the best for the style. I think I'd go for a Sam Adams Black Lager next time.

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Photo of Spica66
2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Deep mahogany with little head formation and no lacing.

S: Not much here. Slightly coffee, maybe...

T: Again, not much here. Watery roast flavor with a slight tang that I don't much care for. The finish leaves a coffee sort of aftertaste

Mouthfeel: watery, light body. Medium carbonation.

D: If you are after a "sort-of-has-some-taste" beer, there is nothing here to keep you from drinking this.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,468 ratings.
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