Bohemian Black Lager | Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner

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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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Reviews: 534 | Ratings: 1,468
Photo of HotterThanHell
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
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 +11.3%
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 +5.8%
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 +5.8%
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 -31.6%
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 +22.6%
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 +1.4%
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 +18.8%
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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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Again gotta love this little German style brewery from down in Texas and anyone who's ever driven through the lonestar state knows there basically two options that people drink as their local, Shiner Bock or Lonestar. Nice to see other German style popping up from them this one appears a dark cola ruby brown almost dark black nearly opaque...nice sized tan head dwindles rather quickly with light even lace that sticks to the glass well. Aromatics have alot of those dry slightly bitter dark chocolate roasted qualities mild watered down coffee with herbal hop traces going on. Flavor more watered down roastiness with dark chocolate cocoa powder and a subtle caramel sweetness with mild herbal hop finish overall a very light schwarzbier. Mouthfeel is light bodied evenly carbonated nothing too remarkable but definitely smooth going down . Drinkability is decent better than most dark style lagers around but I tend to want more flavor hell with Sam Adams Black Lager there's just no need to ever go for this one again.

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Photo of biggmike
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark, deep brown almost black with little head that was quickly gone. Very smooth with the proper amount of carbonation. I really liked this beer, probably my favorite from the Shiner line. Extremely drinkable and satisfying. One of the better Schwarzbiers I have had lately. I could drink this and Sam Adams Black Lager exclusively for a month or so. Good stuff.

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

No, it's not back. (Errr... well, it wasn't at the time this review was originally posted!) I'm just now getting around to entering my tasting notes from when I tried it last year. Yeah, I know.

Poured a clear, reddish-black color with a moderate amount of carbonation and an average head. Pretty. Nose was somewhat assertive roasted malt and spicy hops. Medium body with plenty of roasted malt. A little dryer than expected; the balance was slightly to the hops. Had a bit of an acidic bite. Did I mention roasty? Mouthfeel was above average, as was the drinkability.

A nice schwarzbier. Personally I'd prefer a little more sweetness, but plenty good as-is.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.17/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark-brown color with massive creamy tannich head. Spotty lacing noted.
Taste is significant for roasted malt, with some nice chocolate and coffee essences also present.
taste is splendid. Lots of nice roasted tastes found. Very refreshing with a light bitterness that creaps in at the ending.
Very creamy in the mouth with good taste retention,
Extremely drinkable. Very nice beer.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew is dark chocolate brown with a thick and foamy beige head that has decent retention. Patchy lacing spattered on the glass. Aroma of malt and nuts, as well as a bit of chocolate. Medium-bodied with a roasty character and dark malt and chocolate flavors. The flavor is pretty good, but the body becomes increasingly thin throughout. The finish is sweet malt and caramel, with a touch of hops on the back. Above average overall, but not by a lot.

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Photo of supercolter
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am in agreement with many of the others that have reviewed this beer. It is just ok. Very dark in appearance but the flavor doesn't quite match the intensity of the color. The smell is hints of cocoa and other various malts, but again, kinda weak and soft. Mouthfeel was nice and creamy which I did like.

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Photo of 2wheeledpirate
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

When held up to light, this black lager shows it's ruby hues. Small head that tries it best to hang around till the end. Nose is faint, with a small sweet, chocolate note. Taste is also sweet and malty and comes to a clean finish. Mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected. This is what I would call a good dinner beer.

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Photo of Phatz
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Some information on the label boasts that the 97 is celebrating the 97 years of brewing history of Spoetzl Brewery. That is an accomplishment. The label claims The beer is third darkest and it uses Saaz hops.

I am a real fan of roasty Schwarzbiers so I had high hopes. this is just OK. a bit of a let down but in all fairness a very decent beer. Still there is a market for just OK cheap beer, and as it warmed even more and I got further down the glass the beer did grow on me.

Appearance: Pours dark almost black with read highlights. The small head lacks luster but the lacing is very attractive.

Smell: The aroma is very small but present; there are hints of burnt caramel, black malts and licorice. A small element of butter in a frying pan. I had to burry my nose in the beer to dig out these aromas but with enough effort they were there.

Taste: Burnt malt and grains, coffee, bitter chocolate and coffee. Simple, quaffable.

Mouthfeel: Many of the Schwarzbiers I have had, are similarly thin lagers with the roastedness to compensate. This beer is light in the mouth but not quite intense enough to cover the light body.

Drinkability: It is very approachable and a decent drinking beer though it lack pizzazz!

Hope this is helpful.

 1,270 characters

Photo of AnalogReigns
4.8/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Very nice appearance, with a decent foamy head, leaves a nice lace on the glass. Not quite as black as Koestritzer or Sam Adams Black Lager, but a very dark brown, which looks black unless you hold it up to the light.

S- Nice crisp dark malt smell--not as sweet and carmelly as SA's BL. Closer in aroma I think to Koestritzer, the classic German example.

T- I'm not a Shiner fan, but this beer is very tastey--extremely well ballanced, and closer, in my opinion to German schwarz than SA's BL. Has a nice crisp bite, from the hops,but smooth, without any bitterness from the black malt. This too fits the "black pilsner" category--you would not know for sure it was black if you were blindfolded. More interesting, in my opinion, than other lager styles--due to its darkness--but tastes nothing like a stout or porter, which it resembles. This really is a great example of Schwarzbier--the best bottled American one I have had.

M- Has a lighter beer feel, much like a Helles or even a Pils--which is strikingly according to style. If one is expecting a stout it may taste thinned out--but that is what it is supposed to be-a light, smooth, but intensely dark beer.

D- Again, like German lagers typically are, this is a very drinkable, "session" type beer, which you could have several, and not feel the worse for it. The ABV is not listed on the bottle, but it can't be much over (or under) 4.5% by the way it tastes. This really is a great style, well captured here, for those who won't be fooled by it's color. Don't expect a porter or stout--think while you drink German or Czech!

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer poured a back color with a thin creamy head which lasted a long time. The smell was malty ans slightly sweet. The taste is bitter with a hint of sweetness that makes a nice balance. It has a surprisingly thin mouthfeel. The smoothness and lighter body of this beer make it quite drinkable.

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Photo of younger35
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Weizen glass at about 40 degrees. This is my first experience with this type of beer and was pretty excited to try it.

Appearance- Poored a lightish brown/very darkish amber. Has a very nice dark amber outline. Can still still light through the beer. Very little lacing.
Smell- Has a nice sour malty smell. Lightly roasted malts show nicely with maybe a slight hop backround.
Taste- A lot lighter than expected. A very light roasted malt flavor is the first thing that hits me. Slightly smokey and dry with very slight hop bitterness. Finishes quite dry and a almost sour (pleasent) on the back of the tongue. No noticable alcohol undertones.
Mouthfeel- Light carbonation and a very watery feel. Very little body.
Drinkability- Overall a pretty decent change of pace. I really like the very slight smokey flavor. Pretty nice.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark but clear brown with some lovely burgundy highlights. The head is a dirty tan.

Smells of a sweet caramel lager with little hints of coffee.

Tastes about the same with a bit of caramel blended into a pasty lager doughiness. The only problem is that the coffee from the smell is now more of a smoke and it finishes with an odd sourness that took me by surprise.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a light carbonation that lingers long in the mouth, drying out my palate.

Not too bad for the price.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear dark brown, almost black with a nice tan head.

Smell. Lightly toasted malts is what i get first. Bigger whiffs i get more roasted aromas. Is slightly sweet with a hint of fruit preservatives.

Taste. Taste is quite roasty. Has a nice dry taste to it. Malts seem close to a burnt taste. During the swallows i get a small fruit tartness, but immediately turns back to roasted/burned. Very nice finish; turns a little smokey.

Mouthfeel. nice body that fills my mouth just right. Carbonation is at a good level. nice balance.

Overall, a very nice offering from shiner. A well balanced beer with nice roasted flavors. Could enjoy one seperate, or have as a session.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.69/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark from the front, a blackish garnet against light. A light tan head is thin but has some okay staying power.

Aroma - some nice roasted graininess at first. Fades to a faint caramel malt.

Taste - good roasted malt flavor, even a touch of charcoal in there. The swallow is dry but tasty and shows hints of chocolate. The aftertaste has some dry bitterness. Good levels everywhere.

Mouthfeel - rather bubbly, fairly thin.

Drinkability - quite drinkable. Tasty, not too heavy, it's alright!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.82/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer at the Flying Saucer last October, but just came across my notes so I will go ahead and post it. Here we go...

The beer pours clear for a Schwarz, though they are supposed to be clear. I say this only because it is more of a reddish amber than a Black. There was a 1/4" off white head that fell pretty quickly to end up as a small ring to linger for a while. There is definitely some caramel along with a mild roast. The beer is very dry and well attenuated so that it comes across as a bit dry. There is no real hops apparent, so the malt is about all you get in the finish. Once the malt fades, which is pretty quickly, it leaves you with a bit of sweetness to sit on the palate giving a refreshing finish that borders on wet. This is a pretty good beer...especially for Shiner.

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Photo of SuperSpy
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark with ruby tones and a short lived tannish head that leaves more of a film than a foam cap.

S - A sweet fruitiness and roasted malt.

T - Some roasted malt, a hint of dark chocolate with a slightly bitter hop finish.

M - Excellent carbonation and smooth, but the beer feels a little bit thin.

D - Not a bad beer but there isn't really anything outstanding here. In a forest of American lights I would choose this, but if given a wide choice of brews, I would pass this one up.

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Photo of ruleof72
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark red/molasses color with thick head that dissipates quickly.
Smell is of roasted maly, chocolate and a hint of fruit
Taste is a bit burnt to me, with some fruity sweetness and hoppy undertones
Mouthfeel is good, carbonation and body are on the medium side
This a decent drinkable beer, the taste is a bit off for me but overall not bad

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Bohemian Black Lager from Spoetzl Brewery / Shiner
3.45 out of 5 based on 1,468 ratings.
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