Dec 17, 2012

Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

It’s always a pleasure to get samples of beer that has won awards throughout its existence. It’s extra special to get the opportunity to try out a beer that has been awarded a gold medal at the annual Great American Beer Festival. And that’s what we’ve got here. Spoetzl Brewery’s Shiner Bohemian Black Lager took home the gold during this year’s GABF in the German-Style Schwarzbier category.

It’s always tough attempting to keep knowledge like that from affecting one’s perception of the beer. Does it taste better in my head because it won such an honor or does it not live up to the hype of winning said medal? It’s a dilemma I am willing to whole-heartedly take on any time it may arise.

As for this bottle of Shiner’s award winner? Well, I’ve had the second place winner in that category (Uinta Baba) and, I must confess, this is the better of the two beers. Shiner’s take on the style is wonderfully balanced and full flavored.


Pouring a dark cola brown in color, the beer sits with a quickly dropping, light tan head.


Light coffee, distant chocolate and a healthy dose of roasted malt fill the nose with a clean aroma. It smells darn good.


The flavors are right on the mark for this type of beer. It leads off with a dark malt and coffee front with a hint of hop bitterness that clings gently to the tongue in the slightly drying finish. The carbonation is a bit sharp for my own personally liking when enjoying a black lager, but it doesn’t affect the flavors the beer presents. The beer is medium bodied and easy drinking.


I gave this bottle of Bohemian Black Lager the same score as the previously mentioned Uinta Baba because, while I think it’s a better beer, it’s not head-and-shoulders above its competitor. There’s a bit more of a refinement here that makes for a cleaner and fuller flavor, but in the end both are great examples of the style. It’s clean, well-balanced and drinks quite easily. It’s not quite sessionable by definition, but I don’t think any one would have any issue enjoying a couple of bottles of Shiner’s Black Lager on a cold evening this month.

Rating: 3.75/5

This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.

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