Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Herold Bohemian Black Lager | Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
84 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Herold Bohemian Black LagerHerold Bohemian Black Lager

Brewed by:
Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.
Czech Republic

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-01-2001

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 84 | Ratings: 101
Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger light brown head that fades slowly to a shallow layer leaving a good lace. Black color. Light carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Caramel nose. Starts malty with a sweet caramel flavor not cloying, finish has hints of hops. Nice black lager. $2.49 for a 500ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

 323 characters

Photo of wl0307
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Transcribed from notes) Tasted on cask at two JDW pubs in London, Nov. 2005, during the Spoon's Holloween Beer Festival. The pump-clip says its imported exclusively for JDW, and to serve a Czech beer on cask-conditioned form really is quite interesting.

A: pours an ebony hue with brownish glows when seen against light, coming with a thick and tightly frothy tan head with great retention. Looking just amazing on the handpull~~
S: colourful~~ caramely sweet and dark chocolatey note of black malts with light roastiness and leather, against a background of sour-sweet plum juice, cherry jam, bread-doughy sour note, sour edge of raw nuts, soaked red-grape skins... the combo. is almost like the liquid form of rum-raisin and nut buttery cookies... ensued by a refreshing, floating aroma of spicy+grassy Saaz hops... Complex and very pleasant indeed.
T: a mouthful of sour-sweet dark fruitiness (plummy and a bit vinous) prevails upfront, along with soft-textured but profound roasted maltiness (plus a tinge of leather) and cherry-flavoured chocolates... leading to a mild aftertone full of clove+licorice, caramelised sugar, herbal bitterness, and more darkest chocolates' sour-bitter edge, going deeper and deeper down the throat...
M&D: a touch too smooth for this fantastic lager, but the cask-interpretation is not bad at all! The low fizziness makes this beer slightly watery at the back, but this remains a medium-bodied and fullsome Czech dark lager, which is less rich and positively smoother. A nice experiment that I feel so happy to bump into twice at JDW pubs, and feel even more lucky that it's on form on both visits!!

 1,642 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a opaque black with a rocky light beige head that was moderately lasting.

S: a smooth dark roasted grain aroma, coffee, chocolate, with some rich dark fresh fruit (raisins).

T: The initial flavor was rich, dark roasted grains, like espresso beans, but very smooth and soft around the edges and not at all bitter. There was some dark cherries, licorice and a light smokiness as well adding to the complexity. There was a nice breadiness to the palate with some dark caramelized sugar notes. A noticeable licorice flavor is detected in the finish.

M: medium bodied, with a nice viscosity but very smooth and light from the carbonation letting the rich dark roasted nature coat the tongue with a nice film lacing.

D: Drinkability was very smooth, rich and light on the tongue providing for a good experience.

 823 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a dense black body with a gentle carbonation sticking to the glass and a nice creamy light brown head. The body is pretty opaque but you can see the bubbles close to the edge.

S- I can smell the aroma even as I pour it out of the bottle. The smell of deep roasted grain and a clean slightly sulfur smell fill the air. There is a note of German hops that is in the background. There is a faint coffee quality to the roast as it warms a little.

T- The taste of roasted grain and a slightly dry cocoa note to it are the first tastes. A bit of coffee and toasted grains come through also. A good complexity to the dark malts but not sweet or astringent. The finish is dry with a faint hop bitterness.

M- This beer has a smooth medium body that is a bit creamy. There is no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This is a good solid schwarzbier that has a nice complexity to the dark malts and a smoothness to the finish. It would be nice to see a hint more hops for balance or some alcohol warmth (I know that is not to style).

 1,082 characters

Photo of bark
3.74/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is pitch-dark. The finger thick head is yellowish. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is creamy and fruity. Some roasted notes and chemical hints of paraffin and diacetyl.

The taste is Creamy with mild roasted flavours. Fruity flavours of apples, cherry jam and fruit drops. Chemical hints of candlegrease. The creamy aftertaste is rather mild with mild neutral bitter flavours and just a touch of smoke.

The carbonation is medium strong; the bubbles are very fresh. The liquid is smooth.

A very pleasant and smooth schwarzbier, although I could live without the candlegrease flavours. It might go well with mild delicatessen like Italian mortadella. Or perhaps a Brie?

 683 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a BOTM Club...

A - Rich, deeo dark mahogany bordering on black. Rich, thich khaki head wich lasts a few minutes. Good lacing

S - Dark roasted malts, chocolate and dark fruit notes

T - Roasted malts with a decent amount of bitter dark chocolate. Some coffee notes thrown in with a touch of sweetness.

M - Medium bodied, decent carbonation (dont let the huge head fool ya). Nice coating of the palate without being sticky or lingering.

D - Very, Very nice dark lager. Drank along with a Sam Adams Black Lager and this blew it away.

 548 characters

Photo of RBorsato
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black ! (amber tones to a light source) with a brown head leaving good lace. Roasty and bittersweet chocolate aroma and flavor. Tastes exactly like it smells - rich and delicious ! Medium bodied (leans full) and creamy with a bittersweet finish.

It's hard to think of another beer that can stand up to this one in terms of style - pleasantly suprised by this Czech brewery which also makes great Pilsners !

All around awesome !

 436 characters

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour a deep blackberry color, the head is medium chocolate brown, creamy in consistency, modest in size, the lace velum like sheets that cling to the glass till the last drop. Nose is malt, molasses like tones, roasted grains, and quite "Sniffable" for a "Lager". Front malt sweet, the top light to medium in mouthfeel. The finish is potently hopped, quite dry, meekly acidic. Personally, only one of a handful of "Lagers", that I find entertaining and worthy of recommending. Ranks #346 on my current 1000 beer master list.

 528 characters

Photo of stcules
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark color, with dark red edges. Beige head, one finger, quite compact.
Lightsmell, a lightly toasted malt, chicory, some burnt note.
At the taste again toasted, burnt, burnt coffee, chicory. Good, intense and pleasant.
In the aftertaste again toasted and burnt notes, and then a long bitterness of chicory and bitter herbs.

 324 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a tawny head - identical to stout at a distance. No lacing. Nose is mulch and Marmite. Pine sap, woodsmoke in the middle and spicy Saaz to finish. Lively, oily with a light to medium body.

Dark, wintery flavors. May be too much to have more than a couple, but still close to the perfect example of the style.

Edit: Drinkability to Overall.

 359 characters

Photo of blackie
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

When I pour the beer into the glass, a one finger khaki head is created. The color is a very dark shade of brown, almost black...but some brown light does filter through.

Some slight coffee aromas on the nose. An extremely small amount of esters are in there. There is an aroma that I first had trouble nailing down, but after some pondering I figure that old, stale whole grain bread is the best descriptor for the smell. Hops are very slight.

Carbonation is on the lower side of medium and the body is medium.

Again, the same coffee flavors as on the nose, but more pronounced on the tongue. Mild flavors of toasted malts. Slight hop bitterness that carries a little ways into the finish. Finishes also with some lingering roasted malt notes and a slight astringency.

 778 characters

Photo of wedge
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark garnet hue - clear, with a thick tan head of tight bubbles. Big aroma of dark bread, dark berries, and an underlying layer of sweetness. Tasty roasted malt flavor with a sweetness that brings chocolate to mind. Smoothly melded noble hops and a woody, kind of cedary, hint. The saaz hops are noticeable, but not like in a pilsener, they compliment the roastiness very well. Smooth, medium mouthfeel.

I like it. Very drinkable.

 447 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought from Tescos...

Poured a very deep dark mahogany brown. Dirty mocha head poured thick and meringue like then faded very slowly to good thick, pock marked coating... very light wispy lacing...

Aroma - Very strong toasted bread, lightly roasted milk chocolate maltiness, light smokiness, caramel, leathery and woody notes, coffee notes, treacle sweetness, burnt nuttiness, buttery, some dark fruit notes (dates, some apples)..

Taste – Nice strong roasted caramel malts, peppery hop bitterness, espresso coffee, creamy chocolate, some rich sticky fig and date fruitiness, some light vanilla notes, toasted malty bread, molasses sweetness, light spiciness...

Feel - Pretty rich and smooth with just a little sharpness underneath... medium bodied.. extremely quaffable - i could happily drink this all evening..

Overall - A superb Schwarzbier - the best i've tasted so far... definitely recommended...

 931 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thank you, Howie, Dawn, et al., at the Cock & Bull for continually bringing in new brewers. This is my first from this particular brewery and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Pours black, pitch black. No color hanging around the edges, just deep, dark black. A creamy but very small head ensues with no real lacing.
Smell is smoky like kielbasa cooked on a BBQ grill, roasted malt, hops, coffee. Nice complexity and well-balanced too.
Taste is almost as good as the smell with the same smoke (smoked meat?), malt, coffee and hops. The smoke is not anywhere near as heavy as a rauchbier but it is not a shy little hint flirting around the edges either.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a decent hop presence and a medium body.
Drinkability: it's good, quite good in fact, but it is no Kostritzer.

 798 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle with label that says this was lagered 70 days in the cellars of their 500 year old castle brewery. Nice label. Disembarks from the bottle with a very dark, but clear, pour into the glass, where it sits with a nearly opaque dark body. A small, light brown head retains well enough and leaves some spotty patch on the glass. Body is a radiant red mahogany when held to light.

Aroma is dominated by scorched dark malts, with notes of burnt coffee and bitter chocolate. Some figs and licorice add an interesting dimension to the rather restrained nose. Some spicy Saaz hops are also apparent.

Slightly creamy mouthfeel is medium bodied and the carbonation seems a bit overdone.

Taste is well balanced with a soothing complexity. Dark chocolate, a hint of coffee, and some molasses sweetness are immediately noticed. Some toasted rye bread notes add some intrigue. Saaz hops add a spicy and floral bitterness that balances the sweetness very well. Finishes clean and leaves an even aftertaste.

This is a very nice Schwarzbier, one of my favorite lager styles. Complex and well balanced, this one is an excellent example of the style. A must try if you enjoy dark lagers.

 1,193 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown color with boisterous tan head that lasted throughout the glass. Color appeared more reddish when held to the light. Smell is fantastic, a mixture of roated grains, plums, raisins, cherries. Taste is a nice roasted malt with hops only being detectable in the dry finish. Truly an enjoyable beer.

 315 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.14/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured crystal clear black with a ruby highlight. The head was tan, moussy, and fell slowly to both coat and lace the glass.

The aroma was chocolate, coffee and caramel. Actually a very well done aroma for a Schwarzbier.

The flavor was not anything like the aroma. The chocolate flavors were masked by a harsh molasses and coffee flavor. The harshness was on the verge of becoming astringent. No sweetness existed in the flavor, only harsh dark grain bitterness.

The finish was dry with lasting harsh coffee and bitter dark grain harshness. The body was medium light and a bit watery.

16.9 ounce bottle. Says Schwarzbier on the label. Says Schwarzbier in the aroma. Says skip it in the flavor.

 714 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a big light-tan head, topping a ruby-tinted nearly-opaque black color. Little trails and spots of lace; head retains throughout.

Aroma features lots of caramel and toffee, and a little something like toasted chocolate (ie. not burnt).

Flavor recalls milk-drowned cold black coffee with fudgy accents...also some dark fruits. All the while the flavor is light and the beer remains surprisingly crisp. The flavors fall away quite a bit in the finish.

Mouthfeel reminds of some English ales, being pretty low in carbonation, having a nearly flat feel, not much presence in the mouth. Though thin, its silkiness is appreciated.

Very likeable; a great example of the style. Comforting flavors, crazy-easy to drink, wish I'd bought a few more bottles.

 763 characters

Photo of rarbring
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is black, black and slightly red, a tan head leaving some lacing.

The smell is sweet, dried fruits, syrup, nuts and soy sauce.

Tasting of nut fudge, syrup with vanilla, waffles and red dried fruits.

Medium high carbonation, small bubbles, a medium small body and a dry finish.

A light, fruity and sweet black beer.

 327 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.26/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like burnt raisin toast, failry sweet raisiny start, with a burnt, but not roasty finish, some mollasses i there and a slight bitterness. Somehow, i expected a lot more, but in saying that, theres nothing wrong with this, a little sweet if anything..

 250 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.91/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very black in color with a nice chestnut hue when held to the light. Small tan head. Decent aroma-malty with some roasted notes. Good malty, bold flavor with a blend of roasted and chocolate notes. Theres a tad hashness I cant place my finger on it almost seems as it might be a freshness issue. Overall the flavor is well done just this one element of it. Good body for style. A very drinkable beer. More roasted flavor then a lot of schwarzbiers I have had. Tends to be a bit more upfront and pronounced overall.

 514 characters

Photo of bsp77
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received in July shipment of my Beer of the Month club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Summit pint glass.

Appearance: Near black with ruby highlights. Tan foamy head that leaves active lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, roasted and caramel malts, and coffee. Somewhat subdued overall.

Taste: Major chocolate with coffee and roasted malt notes. Somewhat bitter at the end, which seems to be mostly due to the roasted character, but the Saaz hops seem to add a slight spicy bitterness as well.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, somewhat thick full body (not nearly as light as other Schwarzbiers). Finishes dry. Becomes quite creamy as it warms.

Drinkability: Seems slightly off-style for a Schwarzbier; of course Herold never claimed it was one, calling it a Bohemian Black Lager instead. Regardless, great lager overall, but not as refreshing as some due to the heavy character.

 877 characters

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt with chocolate scents

T - Roasted malt and bitter chocolate at first then a slight coffee finish

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a style that I'm starting to like more these days and I think this is one of my favorites so far it has a better stronger taste and is easier to drink then the others I've had its worth a try sometime

 468 characters

Photo of marc77
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep garnet hue w/ excellent clarity. Beige head settles in to a dense, tight layer that leaves lace. The aroma is comprised of nutty and toasty Munich malt, mellow dark chocolate, & hints of black malt sharpness. Beneath the dark caramel profile lies a lightly herbal Hersbrucker hop nose. Quite appetizing aromawise. Clean roasted grain bitterness upfront fades into a combination of dark caramel sweetness & subtle prune - like fruitiness, while bittersweet dark chocolate is present as a constant from start to finish. Dryish mouthfeel. The light hop bitterness allows black patent bitterness to dominate. Finishes w/ a light brown sugar sweetness fading. Although abounding in malt character, this brew retains a refined, elegant dryness of a well lagered brew. Very enjoyable.

 791 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a pint glass. A nice, one finger sized head forms on the beer. Dissolves at a fairly slow pace and leaves a white sheet of lace on top. Nice lacing as well. Almost opaque but a purple/brown hue is visible in the bottom of the glass.

Smell is ordinary. Doesnt hint toward anything. Caramel malts is about all.

Taste is quite hearty. Toasty and bready flavor. Not a whole lot of chocolate or coffee which seems odd. Tastes nice alltogether.

Mouthfeel is pretty dry. Clean on the palate as well. Medium bodied I would say. A decent all around beer.

 586 characters

Herold Bohemian Black Lager from Pivovar Herold Březnice A.s.
3.97 out of 5 based on 101 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!