Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager
1,476 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,476 |  Reviews: 535
Photo of martyl1000
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of ColSanders123
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of randomdanger
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of videofrog
4/5  rDev +16.3%

4/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of waldoiverson
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz into nonic

A: dark reddish brown, massive sudsy head of very light tan color, minimal lacing

S: slightly metallic, light hint of toasted malt, the carbonation hits strong in this, blasting most of the aromatics away

T: tootsie roll pop sweetness, a bit of a sour note and ends with some of the same toasty flavor, leaning toward burnt sugar, in the finish

M: No body to speak of, carbonation is strong but doesn't bite, which was a worry based on the appearance and smell, clean finish.

O: I was hoping for more dark notes and some complexity but really it is mostly just a fizzy dark beer which isn't the worse but doesn't have much to recommend it.

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Photo of DerekP
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiner Black Lager appears black to the naked eye, but a closer look exposes mahogany corners. A slim rim remains on top after a nougat colored head drops down. The color of the head indicates roasted barley was used in the brewing process (also germane to the style).

Smells roasty & malt forward. Yeasty, wet bread, fruity. A touch of spicy hops in the nose.

Hop bitters, burnt brown sugar, smoke & charcoal in the taste. Metallic notes.

Medium bodied. Washes away nicely with a gentle lingering of the smoky flavor. A little watery as it warms up. Still, damn drinkable.

Notes: Shiner continues to impress me when dealing with their catalog outside of the flagship bock.

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Photo of drpimento
2.95/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I let this warm a bit out of the fridge before trying. Poured with an average sized tan head that quickly subsided to a few islands, a ring, and a tiny bit of lace. Color is a clear, dark cherry red. Aroma is fairly mild and is of roast, malt, fruit, toffee, caramel. Flavor is similar to nose with carbonic tang standing out along with some roast malt and a little cocoa. Body is thin and carbonation is fizzy. Finish is like flavor and has some length.

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Photo of deaconoflove
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: dark, but not black with a course, one finger head that disapates quickly. some lacing remains
S: Odd, pungeant, can't identify other than kind of cheap/beer/old tavern, not really pleasant.
T: Not bad, sort of strange, chemical, coke?
Mf: Good, a little foamy.
Dr: ok, I've had better.
10/21/11 Update:Big head. Milk chocolate aroma. Tastes of roasted coffee/chocolate with sudden sharp grassy/cheap beer flavor. The roasted-ness is all gone. So, not much change, just a much nicer initial aroma.

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Photo of AmberMan22
2.99/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I enjoy a good black lager, so despite previously disappointing run-ins with Shiner, I was looking forward to this 'Bohemian Black Lager' from my variety six-pack. (Kudos to Shiner for putting their own mix-a-six on the shelves).

The very first impression is not good. The bubbles come out big and fizzy, and despite a mid-pour effort of stimulate some retained head, the entire crown is gone in 20 seconds. What is left appears to the eye to be black tea. Clearly darker than a brown ale, yet still with all-around opacity.

The nose is the highlight of this brew. While unorthodox, Shiner steps out on a limb and comes up with something interesting. The smell is lightly of molasses, a rich syrup and a bit of milk-chocolatey sweetness. It looks and smells like I would enjoy this on a waffle, but that leads me to mouthfeel (we'll get back to taste once it warms up more).

It is far from syrupy. It is far from full, even medium-bodied. This carries the weight of a Euro Dark Lager. Given the Bohemian title, I might accept it, but it's not what I look for in a dark beer. The dearth of carbonation and heft leave me unimpressed.

The taste remains interesting due to the almost maple-y caramel malt, and an ever-so-faint smokiness. Realistically I want a bit more darker, roasty chocolate malt out of a schwarzbier. I could do for a skosh more smoky flavor as well.

Overall Shiner produces something slightly different. A Bohemian take on a dark beer seems to be an appropriate label for this beer. It's worth a try, but I'm not sure it's worth another with other so many other great schwarzbiers available.

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Photo of ElCommodoro
4.62/5  rDev +34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque brown-black. It smells sweet, of dried fruit and of delicious barley malt. It smells a lot better than I remember. This used to be my favourite beer when I first started drinking beer.
I was really surprised at how good this beer was. I figured I'd come a long way in my taste for beer since the early days of drinking this stuff all the time, but this is really a damn good beer for the money. The sweet dried fruit flavours are perfectly balanced by the bitter roasted malt character and just enough hops. The light body is a nice touch too. I'm not sure what I think about the level of carbonation. Seems like it might be a bit high, but it doesn't really bother me. This is an excellent brew that I will be sure to buy again. I guess my first instincts as a beer drinker were right. This really is one of the best beers in its price range.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
2.79/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint.

A: Dark cocoa body with a mocha head. Looks promising!

S: A whole lot of nothing! There is a mild German hop presence and a tad, just a tad of roast. That's about it...

T: Not too much here either. I can hardly taste the roasted malts at all. It really just tastes like an average pilsner.

D: Drinkable, for sure, but not much complexity. I guess this would be nice on a hot day...but that's about it.

Overall: Seems to make the Sam Adams mistake of dumbing-down a style so that everybody likes it. Have some balls! I want to taste some complexity in my Schwarzbiers! Not just a pils+brown dye.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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 Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
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 scratch69
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured a bottle into a mug.

Appearance- Very dark brown with red highlights. Tan head that disappears fast.

Smell- Roasted malt with hints of coffee and chocolate.

Taste- It tasted burnt at first, but the more I drink the more complex it becomes. I detect some coffee-like bitterness with no aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Smooth but very little carbonation.

Overall- This is not a bad schwarbier but it definitely is not the best. If I were to want to drink more of this style I would choose another brand.

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Photo of boutleg32
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Pint Glass

A-Pours a dark black that when held up to the light appears a ruby red. Off color head that quickly fades.

S-Chocolate with hints of vanilla and caramel

T-Surprisingly smooth for the deep color and smell. Taste mimics the smell and has a great coffee like finish.

M-Lightly carbonated and easy. I wished it had more kick

O-Night the greatest beer but very drinkable. The fairly low ABV allows the enjoyment of several of these. It's not the best but its certainly better than a Bud Light

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Photo of lawlerj
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - almost black, deep brown w/ a light tan head. Head dissipates relatively quickly.

S - some sweet malt and a lot of bitter chocolaty/coffee type aromas in there somewhere.

T - there is definitely a lot of bitterness/burnt flavor going on here. Coffee and dark, bitter chocolate. Definitely crisp, but maybe I'm looking for a bit more sweetness to mellow the roasted malt. I'm not sure if I like it or not but it's definitely interesting. The more I sip the more intrigued I become. I guess that's the sign of a good beer.

M - very light bodied, easy drinking, pleasing carbonation.

O - this is actually my second time tasting this beer. The first time was in the midst of an all afternoon/evening/night session, and it did not agree with me at all. I was actually apprehensive to give the second bottle a try but I'm pleased that I did. I enjoy the darker flavors combined with the lighter mouthfeel - an easy way to get the complex qualities without the heaviness that I find in some bigger beers that I enjoy.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near black with an off-white head that fades quickly.

S: Sweet malty aroma with with a hint of chocolate.

T: Dry espresso flavor with a touch of sweet chocolate thrown in.

O: Overall a pretty decent brew. This isn't going to shatter any one's world but it is a solid example of the style.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Poured a little lighter than expected at first, then she settled down to a very, very dark brown to black. Almost a brown foamy head that doesn't stick around a long time.

S- Not much of a smell. Hard to describe. I'll call it subtle, and not like any I've smelled before.

T- First thing I get is a burnt flavor. Like someone took the malts, and cooked them a little too much. An interesting flavor to say the least. Finishes with a slight amount of hops bitter, but overall, finished very clean with no aftertaste to be found on the palate.

M- When you see a beer this dark, you think porter or stout and associate a heavier beer. This is not the case. If you can look past the taste differences, this drinks like an American Macro. Hgih carbonation and easy to drink.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes to drink a beer that is lighter on the palate, but still wants flavor that the macros don't have. Definitely an interesting flavor, but very easy to drink.

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Photo of aval89
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a dark brown almost black. when put up to the light you can see a dark amber almost ruby color in the beer.. half finger of off white head..

s: roasty malts, cocoa, slight coffee aroma.. some caramel as well..

t: upfront is roasted malts with a semi sweet bakers chocolate.. middle of the tongue brings more dark malts to a backend that has coffee like bitterness along with some dark chocolate.. some caramel sweetness to balance out as well..

mf: a little thin but not too bad.. carbonation may be a little too high as well, but still makes for a decent brew.

o: im actually shocked on this one.. i expected less, but it ended up being pretty decent.

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Photo of DCon
3.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pulled a 12 FL. OZ. bottle out of a Spoetzl Mix Pack I bought @ Shop N' Save in Valley Park, MO for $15.99. Poured from the dark black bottle labeled Bohemian Black Lager in Silver with no Freshness Date into my 16oz Dewey's Pizza Pint Glass.

Aroma- A nice roasted, clean aroma. Has tons of malt and have hints of caramel throughout. Can smell a clean lager hanging out in here too.

Appearance- Pours a 1.5 finger head that has decent retention. The body is a very dark color brown and hard to see through. There isn't any lacing, just suds are left behind.

Flavor- Light and roasted malts make up this taste. You can definitely taste the munich malts used. Very clean but then a bit watered down. The finish is a very light bitterness and doesn't get in the way of this dark lager.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, and has barely any aftertaste due to the watered down taste.

Overall Impression- I was looking for more body and more strength with this brew. Very easy to drink and some would say a good "starter" beer for the beginning of the night or a session. Enjoyed the roasted malts and lager tastes but very watered down at times.

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review #56
Served On: 9/4/2011
Glassware: Wheat Glass

This was from the Shiner Family mixed six pack.

Look: Poured a deep dark ruby red with tinges of copper around the edges. Head was ½ finger of tan spongy foam. Carbonation bubbles were slow but steady.

Smell: Rich lager tones with some sweet roasted malts in the background. Caramelized dark fruits were also present. It had a clean freshness in the nose – similar to the other Spoetzl offerings I’ve reviewed.

Taste: Roasted malts at first - then a brief note of semisweet brown sugar and caramelized plum. The finish was a roasted malt with the brown sugar lingering. A hop bitterness also contributed to the finish.

This is another fantastic offering from Spoetzl. This is a very complex – yet drinkable Schwartzbier that just screams quality.

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Photo of MrDonQuixote
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into an oversized wine glass:

A- Beautiful jet black color with not much of a head, and what head there is, dissipates quickly

S- Smells of chocolate and malt

T- Very mild taste, slightly malty, with a nice coffee finish

M- Smoothish with a bit of carbonation

O- At one point early in my beer education this was one of my favorite beers (as I am from Texas). At this point, it is still enjoyable, but not nearly one of my favorites

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Photo of 2xHops
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Every time I drink this beer, I am always undecided if I liked it or not. At the time of this review, I have tried this beer at least five times.

The appearance is good, and it is as advertised. It's nearly black, and it shows up in the taste as well. You could tell that there's some roasting going on with the taste and how it lingers well after you have swallowed. The beer's slightly thin, and a bit under carbonated.

Overall, it's not a bad offering, and apparently one of the more popular offerings from Shiner? I suppose, for many Texans, this reminds them of Shiner Bock? I don't see how, but it's definitely one of the more interesting beers the brewery has to offer.

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Photo of elNopalero
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into what else, my Shiner pint shaker glass. Beer pours a nice inch and a half of head that quickly and almost completely dissipates into a very thin layer. From arm’s length the beer appears black, although its more of a dark auburn/reddish brown. I’m picking up on a very muted roasty aroma here, while detecting notes of a sweet maltiness. Heavy carbonation makes this beer appear lighter to the taste than I’d expect, given the sweet/malt notes. However, that doesn’t improve the taste. It’s sweet, a little too sweet, almost sickingly so. I don’t remember it tasting so unpleasant, as this was one of my go-to beers during Shiner specials. Could be I liked it more a year ago and my tastes have radically changed, or my options in Tejas expanded to where I no longer drink it and forgot just how it tasted? Either way, as a schwarzbier] it misses more than hits. Can’t say I expected all that much but I’m writing this one off as a letdown.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 1,476 ratings