Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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Bohemian Black LagerBohemian Black Lager

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
Texas, United States | website

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: 526 | Ratings: 1,452
Photo of BlankFrank
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a large flute glass. The color is absolutely black, crowned by an off-white head that quickly leaves. It's really neat to see a lager that isn't pale, pale gold.

S: Carmel malt smell with some sweetness, but none of it is very upfront.

T: Taste comes in with a round caramel and toasty flavor with a little coffee, and ends on a sweet, but crisp finish. A little stingy on the hops for me, but definitely good. The taste isn't huge and in your face, and you start to pick out more and more after each sip.

M: Smooth and bubbly. It's about medium-light in body. Nothing to complain about, but it doesn't really amaze anyone.

D: My glass was empty before I knew it, and I wanted more. Very easy to drink, especially as it warms. Every sip makes it a little more endearing.

I'm glad they decided to bring this one back.

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Photo of whynot44
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black with some ruby highlights and a moderate but short-lived off-white head.

The aroma is mild roasted grain with some hints of caramel.

The taste is slightly sweet, dark roasted malt, some hints of chocolate, burnt toast, apples. finishes with a touch of iced coffee and more burnt toast, no noticeable hops.

Light/medium bodied, fairly smooth, easy to drink.

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

A - Pours mostly black with an off white thick foam head. I got about two fingers worth, but it dissipated to only a covering, quickly. No lace.
S - Aroma is light with hints of roasted malt, chocolate, and a hay-like smell.
T - Also light tasting. A slight hint of roasted nut, followed by a slight bittery hop bite. Flavor disappears quickly once swallowed.
M - Medium carbonation. Slight bite at back of tongue, also slightly sour on the sides. Medium body and pretty smooth.
D - It's nice because of the clean taste, but I wish it had more punch. The flavors are good, but hidden. Like a shy but pretty girl, this one could be a knockout if it would come out of the shadows.

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3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is a beautiful dark black capped with an off-white big bubbled head that was one finger thick. Head faded fast to a thin lacing that creeps up the walls of the glass. Little highlights of deep red shine through when held to light.

Smell is full of roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and even a little cherry sweetness.

Sweet cherries and chocolate this shit hits your tongue with a vengeance. Roasted malts are hidden and mellowed very well with very little bitterness and no hop signature. Taste could hold up a little bit longer in the finish and thus is hard to call this one well rounded. Impressive force of flavor.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavily bodied and over carbonated, which attributes to the slamming of flavor on the tongue - which does mellow as the beer warms.

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Photo of whoneeds8
4.35/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good Black Lager. I never tried their 97 version from 2006, so I can't compare it to that beer.

The beer pours out to a good black color with a tan head. Not too carbonated. Has a very complex taste. Carmel and what chared malt taste. After taste is a little sweet. Very good beer.

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Photo of ballewblake
2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark black with a one finger head that reduces to a tan ring around the brew. Smell is nonexistent, not catching anything on the nose, completely dry and aroma less. Taste is dry and after tastes reminds me of Shiner Bock. Not a brew I'm wild about, nothing really impressive or distinctive here. Probably good if you lean more toward the German styles, but thats not me.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention is low, lacing is OK. Aroma is roasted malt, caramel and a charred/burnt malt aroma too. However, the aroma is weak. Luckily the taste is stronger. It tastes like roasted malt, coffee and charred/burnt malt. Not much hops from what I can tell, but I think it tastes good. Mouthfeel/body is light, feels a little bit slick but almost watery at the same time. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. Not a bad beer at all, I liked it. Worth a try for sure.

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

Looks like some people have been reviewing the new incarnation of the 97 schwarzbier at its old listing, but this appears to be the appropriate spot now, especially given the debate about whether the recipe has changed any.

Clear deep red/brown color, with a short-lived head.

The smell that is there is very nice, with roasted malts and caramel, however, overall smell is kind of weak.

Tastes of dark malts. Some sweet flavors, with the vaguest bit of coffee/chocolate at the end. Hops could stand to be a bit more prominent. Lacking complexity, but not a bad flavor.

Mouthfeel is a little on the weak side, which gives this a sort of watery finish. Reminiscent of flat cola.

Overall, quite drinkable, but not outstanding.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.3/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep brwon with some even deeper ruby highlights. A nice one and a half finger tan head, but light bubbling. Very light creamy and heavy toasty, roasty aroma. The taste has a lot of dark polish rye bread. with some very light creamy butter. Very smooth and dark palate, yet light and easy. Great beer.

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

Pours fairly dark , not a lot of head.

Slightly grassy smell , faint malt detected.

This beer tastes about like what I'd expect, slight addition of roasted/black malts. Small hop profile.

Mouthfeel is thin , decent carbonation.

Overall this seems like an OK session beer.

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Photo of ChoqlitStout
2.71/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Definitely black, though in the light, it's a little more dark brown on the edges. The head was substantial, but disappeared quickly.

S - Honestly, it doesn't have as stromg aroma. I'm a novice, but it doesn't hit me.

T - Smoky, not bitter at all. There's a fleeting aftertaste that is sort of bitter. There's no sweetness at all.

M - Very light and too much carbonation for my taste.

D - It's almost a session beer. It's average to me.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Murchmac
3.14/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a nice black with a thick foamy head that quickly disappears.

Smells like a cactus in the rain. Not much of a smell at all. Cut grass and deficit spending.

Has a nice burnt malt hoppy taste to it. Good sipping beer, exactly would you would expect, pleasant, but not overwhelming. Not like seeing a giant F-350 from arizona with a dallas cowboys star on the back window.

If you like black beers, purchase a couple. Not a big mouthfeel at all.

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Photo of skittlebrau
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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 rowew
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: This has been repackaged and released again - it appears to be a part of their normal lineup now. Label looks great - old school design with black and silver, but there is no date information on it.

Appearance: Pours as advertised - black, with just a thin head.

Smell: Slightly sweet malt, no roasted aromas though. There is just a bit of diacetyl in there that takes away from it.

Taste: The butterscotch comes through in the flavor too, unfortunately. Medium to light in body, leaves a dry finish. A bit of caramel and malt sweetness.

Overall impression: Not bad - drinkable, but not nearly my favorite example of the style.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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 jasonjlewis
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a decent head that fades way too quickly. Has a dark brown color.

Smell is of faint faint faint malts. I detect little roasted character at all and little chocolate malt. What happened to the smell?

Taste is pretty lackluster. The malts are sweet with the chocolate, but the roasted characteristic is really masked. This beer is easy to drink, but it lacks on any real complexity and is pretty uninteresting.

Not a bad mouthfeel. A little dry and a little too carbonated.

Easy to drink, but very uninteresting.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Dark rich brown color with a descent amount of head that disappears quickly.

S - Some malt and chocolate scents.

T - Roasted malt flavor. Hints of chocolate. Slight fruit finish.

M - Light to light/medium body. Almost light citrus taste. Lighter than I was expecting.

D - Good overall flavor and light enough to enjoy a couple.

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

Shiner's little Schwarzbier is a decent/good attempt but not quite to the finest of this category. (Which can be found in Bamberg)

Color is spot on but the head makes a very early exit. Do not drink this beer ice cold as the mild complexity just isn't there until the beer warms slightly. Not warm, but warmed slightly from your fridge. Nice chocolate malt flavor with just a hint of hops.

Very good drinking beer as the taste is different from most dark beers and with this beer dark does not equal heavy. I'd definitley drink it again and then once more for old times sake.


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Photo of champ103
3.84/5  rDev +11.6%
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 russpowell
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decided to try this since I saw the new packaging. Loved the labeling

Pours chestnut with reddish tinges & 2 fingers of tan head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Roasted malt & licorice notes

T: Roasted malt, a bit of caramel & smokeyness up front. Dryness & some nice fruitty notes as this warms. Finishes dry, with slight sour notes & herbal hops, a bit of caramel & molasses

MF: Light/medium bodied with a little too much carbonation

Drinks good, but needs more malt backbone, still, this is better than I remember the 97 tasting

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Photo of HardTarget
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Great label from an art perspective. Black with silver lettering. Claims to be a Schwarzbier, with Czech Saaz and Styrian hops. Served in a Shiner pint glass.

Aroma: Mild corn similar to Shiner Bock, also some malt sweetness and dark roasted grain which has a bit of coffee and chocolate in it.

Appearance: Opaque black with a tan head that struggles to hold a cover but gives some loops of lace.

Flavor: Dark roasted grain is at a great level, giving a full roasted taste but hardly any astringent bitterness. The beer is a bit sweet but well balanced. No real hop flavors to speak of. Again, a mild corn note which may be a house yeast element.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, high carbonation (a touch too high for me), lingering finish.

Overall Impression: A solid beer. I’m glad to see another Shiner choice out there. This would pair well with some BBQ.

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Photo of PaleAlien2
2.36/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I’m surprised this one’s rated as high as it is. Looks like a headless, watery stout. Has an unfortunate lager smell, which is nothing but malt with a bit of skunkiness. Palate is thin, yet somehow filmy. Flavor is malt with a bit of chocolate and maybe caramel. I detected a metallic flavor as well, but no real hop bitterness.

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Photo of hiikeeba
4.23/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours up black with a thin off-white head. The aroma is very subdued roast smell.

The taste is wonderful. Some malt sweetness at the beginning, and finishes with roasted malts on the back of the tongue. Its a full-bodied beer and sessionable. The roasted malt taste doesn't overpower.

This was my favorite specialty brew Shiner so far. Easily outshines the Amber, and is well ahead of the 96 Marzen. I think this replaced Shiner Bock as My Beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cola color with a moderate head that leaves a bit of lace around the glass

Smell: Rather sweet, with a modest aroma of chocolate and caramel

Taste: Like the aroma, this one is rather sweet, kind of on the milk chocolatey side; not much flavor development after the swallow; becomes watery on the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: What happened to the hops? Just to sweet and lacks complexity; easy to drink, however

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Photo of pojo41
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a very dark brown to almost black. Quickly dissipating off-white head. Aroma of roasted malt. Flavor of dark roasted malt and coffee. This is a very tasty offering from Shiner on their 97th birthday. They should consider making this a permanent addition to their beer line-up.

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
79 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.
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