Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager
1,485 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: 1,485 |  Reviews: 538
Photo of Moose44
4.85/5  rDev +40.6%
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 +1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 +16.5%
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 -9.9%
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 +5.8%
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 +3.5%
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 +10.1%
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 +1.7%
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 +0.9%
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 -8.7%
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 +5.2%
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 -1.4%
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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Photo of jrallen34
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, poured into my Darkness glass...A dark brown, bordering black pour. The head is light night, creamy with good retention and lacing. Much better looking than I anticipated...Pretty boring aroma that shows a hint of smoke, and some sweet notes underlying, pretty boring...The taste shows some things, surprising. Nice roasted smoke is the main player here, but shows some accents of bacon and chocolate. Hops show them self at the end in a bitter chalky finish that just seems out of place. Enjoyable though...The feel is really to light, needs to be a little fuller.

An average beer, but good for shiner.

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Photo of Beerbluesbiology
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown-ruby colored body which would appear as black in low lighting with a tan-brown 1.5inch head which dwindles down to a thin layer of foam. Smells of smokey dark chocolate and a toffee-like sweetness. Tastes of dark chocolate, subtle hints of coffee and smoke, then a hoppy kick. Unfortunately the beer finishes with a carbonated-water like taste and feel which really kind of ends up making the beer feel thin. Overall, this is a good beer, but that strange CO2 water feel at the end has to knock back the score.

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Photo of johntp
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Black, but clear. Very carbonated and dark red when held up to light. One fingers worth off white bubbly head.

S: Smells like an american lager, a bit metallic.

T: Tastes like an american lager plus lots of smoky roasted malts. Has quite a bit of metallic taste, not sure where this comes from.

M: Thin bodied, plenty of carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable due to thin body and carbonation.

This tastes alot like an american lager with roasted malts, if i were going for a black beer, i would much prefer Monchshof Schwartz. Also, i don't know why I am tasting metal, its a bit off puting, but may be a bad bottle. I would probably not buy this again, but at the same time, wouldn't turn down a free one. :D

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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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Photo of SamN
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bad pour into a regular water glass, for lack of a proper pint glass.

Dark beer, not opaque, some dark ruby highlights at the edge of the glass. Smell is lacking for the style, not much for roasted malts, dry and thin with a distinct musty aroma. Some crisp hops in the back. Taste features some malts, but still not enough for the style. Woody cedar, light charcoal? The finish of crisper hops is great, really fleshes the beer out, definitely saves it from being a poor tasting beer. Mouthfeel is still too light, needs more body but the carbonation is spot on.

Not much for smell and taste, average brew, good for Spoetzl, pretty poor example of one of my favorite styles. Nothing I would seek out again, but I don't mind finishing the single bottle I bought.

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Photo of nickfl
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of very light brown foam on top of a brown-black body with amber highlights showing through. The foam fades away quickly and leaves behind some spotty lace.

S - Brown, malty aromas of caramel and toffee. Some light hops in the background.

T - Toffee and caramel malt flavors dominate the beer initially with a hint of herbal hops that grown in the middle. Notes of brown sugar and licorice with some light roasted notes. The beer finishes with dominant flavors of sweet caramel and light hop bitterness for balance.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - This is a decent beer, but it is lacking in comparison to classic examples of this style. The roast character is a bit subdued with sweet caramel dominating the beer in a way that almost makes it seem more like a bock than a black schwarzbier. The sweet finish only serves to intensify this impression. Drinkable, but not something I would buy again.

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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 ChimRichels
2.64/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Clear cola-colored body with a head that falls quickly to a thin foam layer and then a mere ring around the edge.

S - Nothing. I honestly smell nothing at all.

T - Some coffee flavors emerge that meld nicely with a toasted bread flavor. Some astringency. Pretty watery.

M - Nice and smooth, but a little thin.

D - Easy to drink, but lacking in flavor.

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Photo of chchchchia
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Almost a completely opaque black. Pours a 1 finger head that dissipates quickly. Looks very nice.
S - Hints of coffee and roasted malt as well as a metallic tinge. On the weaker side for a schwarzbier.
T - Toasted malt, chocolate, hint of coffee and a very slight hop bitterness. It's on style, but very lacking.
M - Medium carbonation, light body.
D - High, but lessened by the slight body given to it with the malt.

This is a forgettable schwarzbier. Very watery and not that exciting.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Beautiful dark cola color but small white head, little retention, and slightly creamy lacing.

S- Almonds, toffee, and faint roasted coffee hints. Very small hint of cocoa.

T- Bitter cocoa, sweet malts, smokey wood characteristics.

M- smooth, crisp and clean but watery.

D- Slightly too bitter. Deep, dark flavors but watery and bland.

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Photo of burgerandbeer
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner glass.

First I have to admit I had read some reviews here before I tried this beer.
However I tried to keep this to only my "catches".

I like coffee....I really like coffee. I also like chocolate. Therefore I like
toffee. And so....I really like this beer. Don't let the word "dark" keep
you from trying this beer. It is smooth and flavorful and best of all doesn't
turn your mouth sour like most urine yellow American big brands do.

I bumped my pouring elbow while pouring the beer and that resulted in some
of the beer "sloshing" into the glass. The result was a huge 3 inch soft creamy
brown head. I also got a lot of lacing that was still clinging to the sides of the
glass 5 minutes after I had finished it. My second one I poured normal and
got a 1 inch head but still a lot of lacing.

Carbonation was moderate.

Picking up scents is my very weak spot in reviewing beers, but I picked up
roasted almond, roasted coffee and some floral.

I expected a big thick bitter taste simply due to the name of the beer and look after
pouring. I was surprised at the mild coffee and molasses flavor. Delicious. The
flavor follows all the way through and therefore I can't say there was a finish.

Reading the article on how to review a beer I saw the word "balanced" used. I
stayed away from this term in my reviews so far because I wasn't certain how I
would know if a beer was balanced. I realize now you know it when it slaps you
in the face. This beer is balanced. Spoetzl....don't change a thing.

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Photo of mothman
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours ½ finger of light tan head. Color is pretty much black.

Aroma: Roasted malts, smoke, bacon, and grassy hops.

Taste: More bacon flavors up front with some roasted malts following. Has some chocolate, grassy hips, caramel, and smoke as well.

Mouthfeel: Roasted and dry. Light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Ends dry and roasted.

Overall, I like the smoke flavors. Good for a lager, but way too much carbonation really throwing this beer off. Somewhat drinkable.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 1,485 ratings