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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: 529 | Ratings: 1,459
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer at the Flying Saucer last October, but just came across my notes so I will go ahead and post it. Here we go...

The beer pours clear for a Schwarz, though they are supposed to be clear. I say this only because it is more of a reddish amber than a Black. There was a 1/4" off white head that fell pretty quickly to end up as a small ring to linger for a while. There is definitely some caramel along with a mild roast. The beer is very dry and well attenuated so that it comes across as a bit dry. There is no real hops apparent, so the malt is about all you get in the finish. Once the malt fades, which is pretty quickly, it leaves you with a bit of sweetness to sit on the palate giving a refreshing finish that borders on wet. This is a pretty good beer...especially for Shiner.

 801 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at a backyard barbeque so I have to admit to some lack of care in this review. On the other hand, what I can say is that it fit in nicely, sitting in the shade during a warm summer day with a wide variety of foods and good company.

That said, I was initially impressed by the massive head, and the retention that followed. Typical black body and dark cream/light tan head.

The nose expressed deeply caramelish and dark roasted malts with a hint of espresso and some burnt sugar and sticky dark fruit character.

In the mouth it was medium-light, and fairly bubbly - not exactly what I'd expect of a schwarzbier - but at the same time not off by too much.

The flavor delivers darkly caramelish maltiness wrapped around a bit of roasty bittersweet chocolate. It's moderately bitter, and dry in the finish with a flicker of dark malt acidity. Hops are relegated to far, far background status.

Overall, it's a fairly well-balanced and rounded dark lager that's got more flavor than the usual. Enjoyable and drinkable.

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Photo of tone77
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts and chocolate, some notes of coffee. Taste is like the smell, malty and coffee, some hints of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is highly drinkable. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from breity, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of roasted malts, coffee, lager yeast and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is malty but well-balanced with flavors of roasted coffee and dark chocolate up front but it's not overly sweet. There's a mild but complimentary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, I found this beer to be surprisingly refreshing for a dark beer. It's definitely a beer worth drinking several of if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull shaker pint glass.

Ah, inexpensive bottles for my mixed-sixer. Love it. This one pours a lovely translucent garnet-brown topped by nearly a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light coffee, cocoa powder, and a twinge o' flowers. The taste holds notes of cocoa, light roasted malts, thick and toasted caramel, and a swig o' roasty toffee. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet feel. Overall, a somewhat surprisingly nice schwarz, nothing too exciting but pretty tasty and highly drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of skittlebrau
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lately this beer is all over in Houston. I just picked up a six pack and I have already burned through it, which is much faster than I usually do.

A: As promised, the beer is black. The top is covered with a respectable head of tan bubbles. I find I can get a pretty serious head on it if I pour a little harder.

S: Not much to smell, especially compared to what else I've been drinking lately.

T: Tastes pretty good. It's actually a little more complex than other schwarzbiers I've had. I might even call it...chocolatey? Not much on the hops but it's definitely got a roasted malt character. The wierdest thing is, there's still a hint of flavor to it that reminds me of Shiner Bock. If you're from Texas you'll know what I'm talking about. Maybe it's the yeast they are using.

M: Again much more substantial than other schwarzbiers I've had. There's some graininess to the malt.

D: Drinkability is very high. So far I haven't been able to drink just one at a time.

As a side note, I cooked with this beer last night and it turned out pretty good. I used it in a sauce that usually calls for Shiner Bock, but I think it turned out better with this beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with hints of ruby. It had a two-finger, tan head that was fairly bubbly and left behind some lace.

S - It smelled of malt and a mossy/earthy quality.

T - The first sip had a coffee-like taste with a malty kick. It was rather bittersweet.

M - It was soft and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good brew. The coffee taste is unique.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cola color dark brown with a slight garnet hue . Clear and has a tan head of thinnish foam that lasted well and left lace. Nose is malty, cocoa, and dark malts. Dry biscuit and bit of faint caramel. Taste is good, follows the nose. malty but has less complexity on the palate than on the nose. That caramel is soft but stronger in the drink than on the nose. Finishes with a small touch of something bitter but nothing full blown. Tiny bit of char to come forward at the very last moment of the swallow. Darn good.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black, with a half finger of off-white foam that recedes without lacing. Aroma is slightly sweet, with a touch of roasty malt flavor.

First sip is... maltier that expected. Quite a bit of sweet crystal malt flavor, limited roasty flavor, and a lingering sweetness. Aftertaste is quite clean with no off flavors. I'm surprised by the amount of dark malt sweetness... this borderline resembles a porter.

Personally, I'd prefer a little more dryness in the finish, and maybe tone down the sweetness a bit. But overall, a very nice Schwarzbier.

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Photo of lionking
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle to try.

Appearance. Poured a one finger head. Reddish black color in the glass.

Smell. Smell was of cooked grains

Taste. Tasted the dark malt and bitter chocalate.

Mouthfeel. Mouthfeel was crisp. A little lighter in the mouth than a lot of craft porters. I suppose these schwarzbiers are pretty similar to a bottom fermented porter (if that is a true style), a la Yuengling.

Drinability. Drinkability was high for this beer. I would pick it up again.

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Photo of younger35
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Weizen glass at about 40 degrees. This is my first experience with this type of beer and was pretty excited to try it.

Appearance- Poored a lightish brown/very darkish amber. Has a very nice dark amber outline. Can still still light through the beer. Very little lacing.
Smell- Has a nice sour malty smell. Lightly roasted malts show nicely with maybe a slight hop backround.
Taste- A lot lighter than expected. A very light roasted malt flavor is the first thing that hits me. Slightly smokey and dry with very slight hop bitterness. Finishes quite dry and a almost sour (pleasent) on the back of the tongue. No noticable alcohol undertones.
Mouthfeel- Light carbonation and a very watery feel. Very little body.
Drinkability- Overall a pretty decent change of pace. I really like the very slight smokey flavor. Pretty nice.

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Photo of peterjk
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with amber highlights, light brown head fades quickly

S: Nice aromas of smoke with hints of dark chocolate

T: Smokey, Molasses, roasted nuts, cola, has a distinct slightly tart sweetness. Malt driven very little hops

M: From the bottle it's a little watery but has a nice crisp finish

D: This is shiners most complex and flavorful beer very good with central Texas BBQ. It has a wonderful dark malt character but is easy to drink.

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Photo of champ103
3.84/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black/Brown in color, and clear. A Good tan head forms and recedes to leave some chunky lace on the side.
S: Not much there. Some sweet malt, a slightly fruity background. Metallic and chemical that detracts a bit.
T: Again, sweet malt with more chocolate than in the nose. I really like the taste of this. At first I thought I detected a metallic taste, but after the beer warms up it goes away. An interesting dark fruity flavor as well.
D: Love the drinkability of this beer. Very smooth and easy to drink. I put back three of these without a thought at a friends party. It went great with the spicy chili we had.

This is a simple beer, but an enjoyable one. A beer I will revisit. A good black lager.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appears a nice opaque charcoal black, with a small head. nice roasty aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate.

the taste followed the aroma with roasted malt flavors. the body is on the thinner side, with moderate carbonation.

a much better offering than the Shiner Bock

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Photo of jazappi
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Came in a bottle. Really enjoyed the unique label.

Appearance: Darl Red, Not much head.

Aroma: Deep fruity smell, malty.

Taste: This was a interesting brew, has a malty body, has some sweet fruit taste, and a bold aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Semi-thick feel, for smooth, light carbination

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer, I will for sure have it again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice black pour into a pint glass. Looks a bit oily. Medium sized head that tried to stay around, but ultimately did not.
Smell of coffee hits right from the start. Black coffee, not that fancy stuff.
Tastes of coffee, but a lighter than its aroma. There's something else. I thought it might be chocolate or caramel, but I think it's more ashtray. Perhaps its the roasted malt, but it hints at an ashtray. Kinda weird, but not bad.
Finishes a bit sticky, but it does leave you wanting another sip.

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Photo of Dubblebock
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shiner's 97 is a follow-up to last year's successful run of Shiner 96, only this one is a schwarzbier as opposed to a marzen. It's got a catchy-looking label, and the typical Shiner brown long-neck bottle.

It looked really good coming out of the bottle. It settled into the mug nicely, leaving a fairly thick head, much thicker than normal for the style. The nose was crackery and dry, a hint of the taste to come. It was fairly opaque, with deep rose undertones apparent when held to the light.

The taste was fairly adventurous, with a clear malt presence up front. There were a lot of burnt coffee notes, followed by a balancing hop bite. There was a bit of a grapeseed finish. Not bad at all.

The mouthfeel was off for a schwarzbier. It had too much body and an almost chewy consistency. The style should be lighter on the palate. Too carbonated as well.

Drinkable, though, in spite of the average mouthfeel score. A good stab at the style from Shiner, though you should look for Rahr's Ugly Pug for a more accurate (and somewhat tastier) representation of a black lager. I'll buy this one again, though, as it won't be around for too long.

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Photo of revolt914
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the first beer that got me into drinking beer for the taste rather then for the effect. I picked this one up after trying a drink of my girlfriends Shiner Bock at a local restaurant. I must say when I first tasted this beer all I could think was wow this is a great beer. I see it's not one of the highest rated beers on the site but in personal taste and opinion this is one of my more favorite beers.

I'll go into details as to why I think the beer is so wonderful and deserves a good score in my book.

Appearance: I'd have to put the label and overall look of the bottle it comes in as very elegant and sleek looking, not bad to carry about in the bottle to get some attention at your local Budweiser party. The beer pours a cola color with a decent sized head but not a big head like a Sam Adams.

Smell: When I take a good long inhale of this beer when it's in a pilsner glass I get an aroma of burning wood/ash smell in a pleasant way. I really love the smell of this beer and I really think I'm bias towards this beer.

Taste: Delicious, it has such a unique flavor that I can't help but love it. When I let it sit on my tongue and have a slow exhale I get a taste of sweet but strong bitter hop that sits on my tongue during the exhale remind me of that ash smell and it is an amazing reminder.

Mouthfeel: A category I don't have enough knowledge to judge in a helpful way. I feel as though it's thicker than a usual beer but I realize the style of beer it's kind of thin. I've had the Samuel Adams Black Lager and it is much thicker in feel in my mouth than the Shiner Bohemian Black. I'll be settling in to the Schwartzbier/Black Beer style so hopefully I'll have more of an understanding soon.

Drinkability: I have no trouble putting a 6 pack down just sitting with my girlfriend watching a movie and playing some cards. Shiner Bohemian Black is a great drink that isn't to thick to sit heavy on your stomach and it's not so thin you're needing to run to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I love this beer for social events.

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Photo of EPICAC
3.87/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown, and is topped is by a creamy, beige head that fades quickly, leaving a persistent film on the surface f the beer. The aroma is roasty with undercurrents of chocolate and dark fruit.

Toasty malts quickly move into their darker, roastier counterparts. There's a light, sweet undertone throughout the beer that grows into a raisiny, chocolate character before moving into a roasty bitterness in the finish. Medium-bodied and smooth with moderate carbonation.

Tasty, probably Shiner's best year-round beer.

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Photo of Spikester
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
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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Photo of KeefD
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, maybe some black in center, clear, and ruby edges with a two finger head and light lacing. Aroma is slightly subdued, but there is a touch of roasty and chocolate notes going on, a but grainy (Shiner's MO?) and no hoppiness. Taste is right along with the aroma. Lightl cocoa, some caramel, and a teeny tiny bit of roast make up the flavor profile, some grainy, bready like base malts underneath, and a fading light bitterness along with a nutty sweetness on the finish. Not too sweet, and easy drinking. Mouthfeel is smooth, carbonation, just on the verge of creamy. Not a bad a beer by any means. Probably the best out of this mixed 12 pack so far.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was givent to me by a co-worker who did a trade with someone from Texas. I poured it out into a Sam Adams pint glass. The color was very dark brown with a light tan color head on top. The head had a good retentions which was impressive to me. The smell of the beer gives of a pretty typical roasted aroma with some lager yeast aromas. The taste is a little chocolaty and with the lager bitterness in the aftettaste. The flavors are better as the beer warms up a little. The mouthfeel is a little creamy, no bite to this one at all. Overall I found it to be a pretty nice Black Lager.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown color with a tan head. Leaves a good amount of lacing as well. This is a fairly good looking beer. Smells of some faint grainy notes, and some roasted malt. I've certainly had more aromatic schwarzbiers but it's still fairly nice. Mouthfeel is slightly creamy, and highly carbonated. Roasted malt flavor dominates, but it still finishes fairly dry. I want to say I can detect some floral-like flavors off the hops, but I'm not sure. They're faint if they're there. This is my favorite Shiner offering to date, I think.

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass from Shiner sampler.

Nice cola like appearance. Dark, with some clarity.

Smells good. Toasty and malty with hops in there.

Malty, bready. Touch of hops. Taste of brew.

A bit carbonated and stingy. Smooth finish.

This beer taste good and has a nice appearance. Like most things from Shiner, nothing fancy, just a solid beer for those who enjoy a bit of darkness. Not bad at all. Highly recommend the Shiner sampler, as it has some good beers. Was very surprised by the overall goodness and qualtiy. Too bad their staple beer is their shittiest.

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Photo of ranger7
3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a tumbler.

A - Pours black, but not thick. A low tan head dissipates soon after pour, but lingers. Nice.

S - Some coffee and malt. Good smell.

T - Same as the smell - coffee and malt, with maybe a dash of chocolate bitterness. Easy to drink.

M - Although this beer is dark, the mouthfeel is unexpectedly thin. Some carbonation. A little weak.

Summary - Shiner Black is one of my favorite "any day" beers. It is drinkable in any season, with many meals, as well as fairly enjoyable on its own. There is nothing particularly special about Black, with mouthfeel being the least spectacular, but as a casual beer I have enjoyed it.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,459 ratings.
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