Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager
1,472 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,472 |  Reviews: 535
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, I picked this up from Central Market in Fort Worth while we were staying with a friend. The beer pours jet black, with a light, bubbled, tan head starting at two inches and settling into a thin ring of head. Effervescent nose, with slight floral aromas. The taste is rather bland, with a slight sour tone and some smokey characteristics. Very light and crisp bodied, with a clean finish and minimal aftertaste. There is a semi-sweet and slightly sharp finish. Inconsistent beer, if that makes any kind of sense.

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

Pours dark brown, nearing black with some garnet highlights and a fairly thin head. Quite light in the nose, with some washed out notes of lager yeast and the barest hint of roastiness. The taste is similar, very light, and even somewhat seltzery, but the roastiness is slightly more pronounced and there is a light cocoa bitterness. Fairly pleasant. Light in the mouth, but this is an offering with more character than the usual swill that is acceptable among non-craft drinkers in the South.

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

Never had a Shiner brew before. Let’s try this one out.

A: Deep chestnut brown, almost black. Hints of red. Not a whole lot of head, but some nice lacing at top.

S: Not much in the nose. Some caramel maltiness and vanilla, but that’s it. What’s there is welcoming, though.

T: Malty sweetness on the front end, with smooth phenols on the back. Other than the occasional warming smokiness and coffee tones, that’s about it. Not complex, but that’s ok. It’s a nice, mellow palate that’s perfect for the winter.

M: Light but creamy, with a very subtle carbonation. Nothing special.

O: This is a good winter beer. It tastes a little cheap/watery, so I’m not quite sure I’ll ever make it a session beer. For someone who is new to craft beers, this might be a nice way to expand his/her palate.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.61/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Part of the Shiner variety pack. A rare style, but one of my personal favorites. Pours a nice dark red, almost black. Off-white head to it. Smell is nice and roasty. Taste is medium bodied, great mouthfeel and nice balance going down. Finishes clean and smooth with a bit of spiciness. Pretty impressed by this one, compared to others of this style it's definitely better than average. A nice drinker, this Shiner mixed pack is starting to look like a solid mix!

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Photo of dali27
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color of Coke. Head is light tan and dissipates very quickly down to nothing.

S: Aroma is grainy, malty, sweet caramel and slight hops.

T: Taste is pretty balanced between really light malts and really light noble hops. I appreciate the saaz, however slight, in this dark beer. Towards the end of glass, beer became quite flat (points off for this.)

M: Light bodied with good amount of carbonation at first. Later it's light and watery.

O: I thought this to be a pretty good beer to drink. The combination of lightness with characteristics of a dark brew seem to make this one something to enjoy in the heat of the summer.

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Photo of BEERligerent
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- dark with a golden hue, very pleasing to the eye. I t gives a great sense of confidence.

Smell- the roasted malt aroma is a little above average giving the taster high expectations.

Taste- is average, and more along the lines of a czech beer, dark and heavy.

mouthfeel- is quite pleasant, but lingers a bit too long.

Overall this a pretty standard dark lager. I enjoyed the variety of shiner and will have more reviews to come for the others

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Photo of Wegomlegging
3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured thin black. Smelled like a beer, huh. Flavor was like a beer too, sarcasm aside a nicer drink with some malt notes and a hint of roast. Carbon copy mouthfeel, not unpleasant. Overall a decent swing at the classic, but too much like a light lager to squarely hit the mark. Shiner is awesome, they can improve this.

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Photo of txbrewer
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - almost opaque, not much head (why is it that some create so much more even with a smooth pour?)

S - dark malts, mild bitter chocolate and toffee

T - not as bitter as it smells, dark malt with mild coffee like stout

M - general Shiner mouth feel - quite mild for something this dark

D - yes, but not what is expected from the looks

I like a good dark beer and this has some of the flavor but by the end of it I was not tasting much. I like something that keeps it taste till the end of the bottle/glass. For as dark as it looks, I did expect more on the nose and taste.

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Photo of rlf1810
2.3/5  rDev -33.1%
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.

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Photo of thatlongname
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark black just like expected. Not much head. Not much carbonation

Smell: A malty smell, maybe a hint of chocolate in the nose.

Taste: Some simple malt flavors with a hint of chocolate. Pretty much what you smell is what you get.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with not much carbonation.

Overall: A decent beer if you want to go the malty and chocolatey route on a budget. It's got a nice color but it's lacking complexity.

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Photo of InebriatedJoker
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint goblet -No best by date visible.

A: When held up to light pours a translucent black with two finger head that holds it's retention ,formed a thick off white lacing w/decent carbonation.

S: Not much going on here, light hops with roasted malts.

T: Some hops in the forefront, followed with deep roasted malts, some char flavor not sure how to describe it, maybe the taste of licking a BBQ grill after it cools down.

O: Overall this was somewhat unbalanced, The blending between the hops and malts gave it an off flavor something just didn't balance it out, it wasn't terrible and I've had a lot worse.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First review from 2011:

Pours pretty much black, with an average head of tan bubbles. No lace at all.

Aroma I get is malty -- a little roasty chocolate maybe, but that's it.

Flavor is equally as roasty/chocolatey sweet. No complexity at all, much like all the Shiners I've had.

New review, 5 years later in 2016. Ratings adjusted.

Appearance: Pitch black with a nice head of tan foam. Loopy lace.

Aroma: Roasted malts and grains. Not bad.

Taste: Simple but enjoyable, with a bit of chocolate and roastiness. Not overly complex here, with a limited hop profile, but this one is more than drinkable and my favorite of Shiner’s line.

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Photo of Moose44
4.85/5  rDev +41%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I drink this faithfully on a weekly basis. Love the extra darkness. And the chocolateyfrothy(new word?) head. My favorite is served in a 24 oz. frosted extra stout mug.
Always will be my go to beer.
I drink this with all sorts of grilled meats...especially boneless beef ribs.

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Photo of Beefeater57
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Black with caramel edges, a muddy dark chocolate in light. Spongy beige head with good retention.

S - Obviously some roasted malt, but get some hints of ash and licorice. Faint bittersweet chocolate notes.

T - Bright, acidic but mellows as it warms. Not a strong maltiness, expected more of the roasted character. Grassy hops are present but not a lot of depth.

M - Carbonated, acidic, some astringency. Thin but smooth, as expected for a lager.

D - It gets better as it warms, but not much depth to this beer. Didn't get much off it besides some faint hops in the aftertaste. Smooth, easy to drink, but not a lot going on.

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Photo of Avagadro
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: BBL is near black, only showing mahogany highlights when held to the light. Lacing is fantastic, with millions of microscopic bubbles frantically racing to the head of the brew. The head is also noteworthy; its pillowy texture is marked by a cream color and everlasting retention.

S: Not much going on here. A touch of coffee and toast are barely perceptible.

T: Dry and light, with the flavor of a good sourdough. Not as flavorful as some of the other Schwarzbiers out there, but it is close.

M: Light body, good carbonation, and a slightly chewy texture.

D: A good brew overall, but falls short of the artistic expressions offered by the German brewers. Despite all of this, it is a fantastic brew and should be enjoyed,

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Photo of shand
4.02/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

As an aside - the packaging on this bottle is top-notch, the label design is eye-catching and top-notch. This brew pours a very dark brown with a nice two fingers of head. The retention is about average, and it leaves just a little bit of lacing. The nose has some nice chocolate and coffee flavors interacting with roasted malts, and just a touch of smoky and hoppy aspects. The hoppy aspects come out more on the taste - this is surprisingly hopped for a Schwarzbeer! The standard roastiness is present, with coffee and roasted malts being the dominant flavors, with the hops trailing right behind. The chocolate from the nose manifests itself in an earthy flavor reminiscent of cocoa powder. Solid.

The mouthfeel is very carbonated! It almost makes the beer go down like carbonated water at first. The body is somewhere around medium-light. The drinkability is very good, this is a highly drinkable lager. Another solid beer from Spoetzl, I'm having much better luck with their side-line beers than I did with their abysmal Bock flagship.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Nice looking beer that is cola brown with an average sized, light, foamy, creamy, light cafe colored head. Nice retention leaving a nice creamy lace.

S - Nose is a little faint and stale. Has some chocolate but it is more stale and boring than a full rich aroma. Touches of dark fruit and burnt caramel. Also some roasted/burnt malt. Just not rich and luscious enough - more stale and faint.

T - Lots of stale, earthy chocolate. A slightly tarty earthy flavor along with hints of dark fruit, burnt caramel and molasses. Just like the nose, this is missing out on the rich chocolate and malty flavors that I want in a schwarzbier. Too much earthy/soil kind of flavor.

M - Light body but it has a bit of a fullness and doesn't feel too watery. Average carbonation and slightly drying. Not watery thin but definitely not creamy or thick.

D - Goes down easy and it is light, but I'm not really excited about the flavor.

Notes: Not my favorite schwarzbier as the nose and flavor is just to light, faint, and doesn't have that rich flavor. Just kind of an earthy slightly burnt malt flavor. Sure you it went down easy, but there are much better schwarzbiers and beers that I would want instead of this.

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Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RandomBattle for this extra, a beer often seen but never picked up. Carved in half & poured into our cute little Christoffel tasting glasses that fit six ounces of liquid nicely.

Pours black with white foam; something I don't recall seeing before. Aroma is rich & malty, with a singe of smoke to it. No lager overtones at all. Huh.

Bohemian Black Lager brings a heavy dose of woodsmoke, not at all what I was expecting upon popping the cap with my Superman thumb. Coffee is mixed into the smoke, which creates a unique combo that I haven't encountered in the wild (or captivity) before. Sweet malts & light hops roll in to round out the tasting experience.

Well color me surprised. I don't know why, but I didn't expect much from this beer, & it's good, especially considering the low ABV; so few brewers can make a tasty low ABV beer, & this is nothing if not flavorful. Lots packed into this package.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.57/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes. $1.49 for a single I picked up the other day. Best by 29 Jan 2011, consumed a few days back

Not really black, this is a very dark brown with a dense, brown head that rapidly recedes to a disk leaving no lace. Reddish brown highlights are present, and clarity appears to be great. Plenty of carbonation is visible as well.
The nose is very grainy and rustic with raw wheat, roast, a little coffee and a mild sweetness that has some caramel and sugar. There's also a mild metallic character up front, but that fades. Hop character is faint and rather unnoticeable. Very clean, there's no off-flavors from the yeast here. The palate opens roasts with a mild grainy acidity that brings to mind watery coffee grounds. While that doesn't sound very appealing, in a schwarzbier, it is. Sweetness is low, tempered by the mild bitterness that's imparted by the grain. I get a little bit of cola, a faint caramel note and not much else. Simpler than the best of the style, this finishes a touch watery and with a blend of mild bitterness, mild acidity and a little coffee. Light in body with high carbonation, this is decent.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love me a good Swartz! Poured into my Newcastle pub pint glass

A - Pours a very nice ruby brown color, almost pitch black. Head is minimal less than a half inch that turns to a light bubbly ring mocha in color

S - Light grains, sweet chocolate roasted malts and slight bitter hops on the nose.

T - Slightly bitter and more hoppy than I am used to in the style but mild coffee and chocolate tones and grain with a bit of bitter hops in the finish.

M - Body is perfect though. I get a nice medium bodied Swartz with a touch of creamy easy drinking.

D - I believe this maybe the best Shiner beer I ever had. Session able ABV, nice body full of flavor but roasty factor is a bit aggressive. The most affordable Swartz I found to date at 9.99 a sixer, try it if you haven't!

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Photo of Keffa
3.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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

A: Dark brown almost black, small tan head dissipates quickly and settles into the smallest of rings. No real lacing, no retention, and very small legs. Not off to a good start.

S: This is better. Roasted malt is very prominent, as is a chocolate note and some caramel like sweetness. A little bit of a floral note hides in the background. Much better than the appearance, that is for certain.

T: Deep roasted malt, chocolate, a hint of coffee, and a slightly bitter finish. A little sweetness, but not much. Not bad, one of the better Shiner beers I have had.

M: Woefully thin and too lightly carbonated. This one could use some better body. Reminds me of a watered down porter.

D: Not bad. Flavor is decent, only thing I can knock is the body is just too damned thin.

Not bad for being from a brewery that I am accustomed to being disappointed by. This one is not bad. Wish Shiner would make every beer like this one.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Pours a very dark brown, with a tan, bubbly head that pillows down. Rather attractive.

Smell is muted, with some smokey grain and grass smells, even a bit of corn.

Taste is thin, with a burnt toffee malt flavor, mild bitter, and earthy undertones. Overall, very mild.

Mouthfeel is thin.

I suppose it is drinkable enough, but more than anything else, it is simply not a very memorable beer. If offered one I'd drink it, but like the other Shiner beers I've recently tried, I don't know that I'd search this beer out.

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Photo of jds1469
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Expected so much more from this brew. Poured at 50 degrees F.

Dark brown color, with no head at all. Smell is non existent at all. Little flavor to speak of, just booze. Mouthfeel is lite and watery and not too much to speak of. Drinkability is a 3/5 not too good.

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

THanks to duff247.

Pours a lighter almost 1 finger fizzy head that fades semi quickly, over dark molasses mahogany brown color.

Nose of dark crystal malts, molasses, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, light roast, smooth brown malts, some light crisp lager fruit aromas.

Taste starts very porter-esque, light creamy dark malts, light oatmeal like, some hints of smoke, plenty of dark crystal malts, toffee, brown sugar, molasses, roast, some light grassy hops, slight bitterness, light crisp lager yeast and light fruits, smooth. Where are the hops? Finishes crisp with a bit of lingering sticky feel, hints of smoke and toffee linger. Pretty flat on the hops, if this were a dark ale it would be a lot better than trying to come off as though it has hops. As it goes I'm starting to get a bit of diacetyl, with hints of buttered popcorn and gritty dry toast.

Mouth is medium bodied with decent carbonation, a little slimy and stick though.

Drink is pretty good, dry crisp finish, smooth and light abv, very sessionable, bit of stickiness.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours black with a dark cherry red glow from light and a caramel colored lacing.

Smells a bit toasty and malty with some buttered bread notes and a whisper of hops.

Tastes mildly toasty with a tinge of hop bitterness and some grain flavor.

Feels thin, a bit watery, tingly carbonation over the tongue.

So-so, looks dark and heavy but the taste isn't very strong. I think it's characteristic of the style but it comes across as a good presentation of just an okay beer.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 1,472 ratings
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