Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager
1,474 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: 1,474 |  Reviews: 535
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.79/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After trying Shiner Bock, I wasn't sure I was up for this offering. This is the second in a series of commemerative beers, leading up to the 100th anniversary of the brewery. Bohemian Black Beer is a pretty good beer. A black color with a thin head. It had a dark, roasted coffee aroma. A coffee taste, with some bread detectable. A little thin in the mouth, but quite drinkable.

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Photo of rokoch27
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Toasted/coffee flavor with traditional black/ruby color. Soft malt aroma with specific hop presence, but not really out there. I have really quite impressed with this beer, even though it did seem a bit watered down. Most of that thin feeling I think is due to the style, but still satifying. Normally I have not enjoyed Shiner products as much as some of my peers, but this one really brought me around. Will have to give their wheat beer another try. Would be happy to have a few of these black lagers, but no more than three. Nice for a fall sampling to mix up the normal offerings of octoberfest beers or pumpkin beers. Give it a try!

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

Pours with an initially three-finger thick, frothy, fairly large bubbled head that has a creamed-chocolate tan color and even leaves a bit of lacing as it falls back down to a ringed remnants around the sides of the glass. The beer shows a brilliantly clear, dark chocolate brown color as I pour it, but sits in my glass an almost black, dark brown color. The aroma has a touch of something like burnt raisins, but there is a bit of acidity here as well, which makes me think of burnt tamarind (if you can imagine such a thing). Aromatic notes of chocolate mix with something that makes me think of stale dark malts. That stale note may just be a mix of toasted grain aromatics and heavily roasted barley.

The beer is quite light on the palate, it is bone dry up front, but picks up a bit of malt sweetness by the end of a sip. The light sweetness accentuates a touch of chocolate in the flavor, but the dryness is accentuated by a roasted coffee burnt flavor that is found throughout this beer. A touch of roast grain acidity further dries things out in the finish, and it combines with the carbonation to give this beer a bit of a zing. All of the flavors and aromatics in this beer are, despite being fairly noticeable, quite light. This beer is ultimately quite quaffable, and the best way I can describe this beer is that it tastes like a light Schwarz-Bier. It is pretty tasty though, and I think that it would benefit from being sampled on tap at the corner bar.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this on tap tonight at the Gingerman.

Served in a pint glass, the beer is almost jet black with a decent amount of head. As it was consumed, it left only a minimal amount of lacing on the glass. I mostly secented a faint hint of coffee and choclate in the beer, as the smell wasn't that strong.

This beer is interesting in taste, as the first couple of sips were of coffee and minimal choclate. The beer finishes with primarily the same taste as Shiner Bock, which is more less a roasty carbonated taste. After the first few sips, the beer really started to taste more less like Shiner Bock. This isn't a bad thing, but for the style, I think the complexity was somewhat lacking in this brew. That said, I could still hint the other classic schrawzbier flavors in this brew. The mouthfeel was the middle of the road, not watery but defenitely not heavy.

All in all, a fairly good drinkable dark beer. The beer's color is a littler misleading, as it's as black as ink. This is only the second kind of schrawzbier I have ever tasted, seems good, maybe just lacking a little on complexity. However, it was very drinkable.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark brown,almost black liquid with a toffee colored head that stacked up roughly two inches high and disapated about the same pace that it arrived. Many columns of bead are found but there is not much laceing to speak of.

Smell: The aromas are some dark fruits, light hops, smells like a bock almost.Not bad by any means but does have a slight disagreeable odor.

Taste: The taste consists of raisins, vanilla, light malts with a small amount of hops that seems to balance the whole thing.

Mouthfeel: Light on the palate, medium carbonation. Has a slight bubblely finish. Very smooth and easy drinking kind of beer.

Drinkability: Overall, This was a good beer. I would recommend this for at least a try. This may even be my favorite offering from Shiner,right next to shiner on tap.


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Photo of mmmbeer
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle that declares they used Czech Saaz and Styrian hops - served in a pilsner glass. It pours almost black with a half-inch khaki head that leaves light lacing and smells of light, roasted malts and hints of earth. It tastes roasted with burnt malts, earth/peat, and light, spicy/green Saaz hops on top of a medium to light body that has light carbonation and a short finish - overall pretty clean but not flavorful enough. Let's hope they're slowly building up to a great #100.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Good head that lasted for awhile and then decent lacing. Had a black color that looked dark ruby against a light. Smell was kinda light with roasted malt. The mouthfeel was kinda watery but overall the taste was pretty good. Wouldn't want to drink several in a session or throughout the week but a good change-up beer. Worth trying and look forward to Shiner 98. (3.5, RR/RB, T, Y)

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Photo of Xadoor
4.01/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark ruby-brown. Frothy tan head which dissipated quickly. Roasted malt and chocolate aromas, but very light. Taste is very similar aroma but with the addition of coffee and caramel flavours. A dry and slighly bitter chocolate finish. Seems perhaps a bit thin, but still very good for the style.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.04/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Csims for this trade.
Swartzbier is one of my favorite styles.
Pours a very dark amber...almost black with a half finger head that melts quickly to ... nothing.
Aromas are definately toasted malt with heavy coffee undertones. Lovely.
Taste is what it should be....toasted malt without being too hops....a perfect blending of ingredients and flavors so that nothing overpowers anything else in this brew.
Aftertaste is clean, fresh, and ...yep, lots of coffee.
This is good...very good.

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Photo of chilidog
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had the 97 ordered in.
It poured a nice dark brown with a tan-like or off-white head. Carbonation was good with no fizz and plenty of lace.

The aroma was dark roasted malts with a hint of coffee.

The taste carries that dark roasted malt along with hints of coffee, licorice and a earthy charcoal background.

The beer does not get in the way of the mouthfeel. Alittle dry or charcoal in the finish but still very drinkable with about any meal.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
2.96/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this at the local grocery store and with all the hoop-lah I've been hearing about it I thought I'd give it a try. Can't really beat $6.97 for a sixer.
A - Dark, deep brown
S - roasted malt aroma as expected
T - For some reason I taste the Shiner Bock twinge, with a bit of a roasted malt aftertaste.
M - good carb, medium body
D - for this style I feel it's a little on the weak side, that being said it still is a pretty tasty brew. I was hoping for a bigger beer for the 97 but I guess the Schwarzbier is still better than the bock. It's worth a try in my opinion, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if you miss it.

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Photo of Dizzy
3.94/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black with reddish highlights. It has a fizzy off white head which recedes quickly. Aroma is roasted malts. Taste is roasty with some sweetness, reminds me of chocolate. This has a medium body. This is probably the best Shiner has made so far. I like this a lot better than the 96.

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Photo of Lagaffe74
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Spoetzl Brewery celebrates its 97th anniversary by coming up with a black lager. Called in Germany as a "Schwarzbier".

This one poured a dark copper-red which gives you the impression of being black, but not quite succeeding there. Nice tan head which dissipates quite fast.

The aromas are mainly of sweet malts. Not much more. I tasted some dark cocoa powder.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. Not extraordinary. I still prefer the Monchshof's version of a Schwarzbier over that - even with the price difference.

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Photo of Morris729
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color with a mild ruby hue and a short tan head. Roasted malts dominate the aroma along with fainter notes of smoky charcoal and a bit of an earthiness. Taste begins with a bit of semi-sweet chocolaty malt followed by stronger flavors of black coffee. There is a certain dry, crackery and powdery texture to the beer, but it does seem a bit thin. Still, I found it enjoyable.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly good-looking beer, with very dark ruby-brown color and a rather tan head, though it doesn't last long. Aroma is faint, somewhat coffee-ish, with a touch of licorice. Taste resembles a toasty coffee, bitterness low but the black malt offsets the sweetness somewhat. Clean, dry finish. Body is downright watery.

It's good that Spoetzl is trying new things; however, this is not that interesting of an effort.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
2.99/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a tall, firm khaki head. Aroma is mild dark malts, faint roast or black patent. There's a faint soapy element that I'm not pleased with.

Taste is a mild roast malt, fairly bitter. Maybe some black patent or chocolate malts, not a lot of discernable hops. Flavor is a lot like cold coffee without milk, nothing exotic or premium, just average joe. More mild malty sweetness, mild caramel elements and chocolate malt emerge as it warms slightly.

Mouthfeel is thin but clean. A good effort but rather lacking in depth. I liked this better toward the end of the glass than I did at the start.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into mug

Pours an almost opaque deep brown. Light ruby red edges at the bottom of the mug. A soft tan one inch head is formed, which slowly settles to a thin cap. Respectable lacing along the glass.

Creamy scents swirl around roasted malts. Hard to detect, but there also seems to be a fruity element in this.

Roasted malts are obvious, with the slightest bit of hop bitterness toward the end. Bits of creaminess. Slightly chalk-like finish.

Medium bodied with lighter carbonation. Very smooth finish.

This is a very well made beer by Shiner. It has the feel of a porter, but it's not quite as heavy. A very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
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 Higravity
4.33/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. A really nice dark color and cream tan head that gives some lacing. The smell is of a clean larger with a slight tilt of roast. Really gave a strong first impression with a nice subtle roast malt flavor follwed by a clean and almost crisp finish. Great med-light body that lends itself to a full night of drinking. This should be added to Shiner permenant rotation unlike the less than spectacular marzen from last year.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.98/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown. Black from a far, so it definitely lives up to the name. Frothy small white head. Good carbonation streams, and small trails of lacing. Smell is roasty, with a burnt fringe. Taste upfront has a nice surge of roasted malt. A burnt, smokey taste, that lasts the duration of the sip. Balancing caramel/toffee malts work together near midway, yet only show themselves for a brief moment. Finishes roasty, with slightly bitter hops. Leaves a pleasent smokey bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, and semi-dry. Drinkability is excellent. The hops on this one really grow on you, they are very subtle, but very smokey and fresh.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep brown that could easily be mistaken for black in improper lighting with a bubbly cafe au lait head. Head subsides a bit, but doesn't totally disappear. Lot of chocolatey roasted malt with some grain and clean lager aromas. Grassy hops. Lot of chocolate and a bit of coffee upfront with a malty and clean middle. Finishes moderately dry and pleasantly hoppy. I pick up some bready malt in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is creamy with soft carbonation and weighs light on the tongue. Definately a session.

I was worried that Shiner wouldn't be able to pull off another good limited edition beer like the 96, but they didn't let me down.

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Photo of Dubblebock
3.87/5  rDev +12.5%
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 BEERchitect
4.07/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't really expect much out of the Shiner camp, but they dealt a nice surprise with this Schwarzbier. The typical black look with dark mohogany highlights and nearly opaque. Though head retention was timid, the lacing proved excellent. Obvious aromas of charcoal-like black malts backed with solid notes of caramel malts and nuttiness. The flavors were dominated with a simple and dry black malt that left a chalk-like, powdery feel in the mouth. The flavors weakened as the beer went down, but never became water or characterless. The beer is a very good representation of the style, though the caramel character caught me a bit by surprise. Quite dry and fleeting in the finish. Very clean and flavorful without getting heavy or over-sweetened. The best of the Shiner beers so far.

Bottle: 10-28-09. Thanks Exiled!

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Photo of Pegasus
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear deep reddish amber brown with a massive, sticky tan head, which retains superbly with scattered and broken lacing. The carbonation is slight.

Aroma: Slightly sweet, with dark caramel aromas, roasted barley, a bit of bitter chocolate, and faint herbal hops.

Taste: Opens with substantial roasted barley, with substantial burnt and earthy notes, these provide a lingering bitterness, which carries throughout the taste, and beyond its end. There is also a fair herbal hop presence towards the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Dry, seems a bit thin for the style, but soft on the palate.

Drinkability/notes: Seems a bit off for a Schwarzbier, and shares the frequent Shiner characteristic of being light for the given style. Not bad, but not particularly representative of the Schwarzbier style.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass longneck with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Beer rating: 3.44 out of 5 with 1,474 ratings
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