Shiner (Spoetzl Brewing Company) Black Lager is the latest beer that I’m trying from the ‘Family Reunion’ six pack I picked up awhile back. I’d never tried any beers from Shiner, so the variety pack seemed a good choice to introduce myself.
So far though, I haven’t been overly impressed. The beers aren’t bad, but generally I’ve found them to be unremarkable.
With that in the back of my mind, I endeavored to sample their Bohemian Black Lager (schwartzbier) and see if they can redeem themselves in my eyes!
The Bohemian Black Lager is supposedly styled after European schwarzbiers (literally, ‘black beer’) which isn’t a very common beer style now that I come to think of it.
I’ve had a couple of black lagers, (Sam Adams Black Lager is one that comes to mind) but otherwise it isn’t often that one graces my glassware.
Here’s what the Shiner people say about their Black Lager…“Bohemian Black Lager, crafted according to exacting old-world standards with imported Czech Saaz, Styrians Hops and selected roasted malts, is the darkest beer we brew. Initially added to the Shiner family as our 97 Anniversary Brew, the unique and complex flavor of this rare brew found such a following among our customers that we brought it back for good!”
That being said, here’s what I think. Shiner’s black lager starts by pouring an almost black color with a decently-sized off-white head. The head, it was noted, didn’t last long and the beer was looking rather flat a few moments after the pour.
The aromas are not anything surprising or unexpected. Its similar to something one might notice in a stout, except more subtle. Caramel malt sweetness, chocolate, coffee, toffee….all there minimally, and make you work for it.
The taste is similar, (so I won’t waste electrons rewriting the aroma section) but I was let down a little bit because the aroma was actually more interesting and more robust (if you can call it that) than the taste. Here’s the formula for you math nerds out there. Taste=aroma-X. (where X=100) Respect.
Anyway, getting on the the mouthfeel, we continue our adventure down bland lane with a watery, uninspired, uncarbonated brew that really has me wondering what the point is.
In conclusion, I found the Bohemian Black Lager to be not to my liking except for the watery smoothness which might be desirable in the Texas badlands, and I’ll give it points for a cool label.