Bohemian Black Lager
The pour yields a gently rising tan head the settles to almost half an inch and stays put. The beer itself is dark, but not quite opaque; when held to the light, shades of garnet and cola shine through the edges.
The nose is toasty and bready and slightly sweet – like burnt waffles or brown sugar and melted butter. A slight green-twig wetness hints at the Saaz hops that are used here, but we’ll see if they cut through the roasted malt.
The mouthfeel starts off as a bit thin, but fills in a bit as the carbonation that caused the creamy head to appear cascades across the palate. There isn’t a ton of body, but there is a nice progression of flavors that is cooperative, if not balanced.
First, a white-bread airiness hits you. It’s chewy, but not complex. Next, the roasted grain comes in with touches of almond and maybe a bit of cinnamon. Finally, things are tidied up with some grassy hops that are just a bit on the watery side of things.
Overall, this is an eminently drinkable brew – perfect for a replacement in your line of session brews when you want something that’s not golden. Shiner is never the most daring of breweries, but they certainly put forth an effort to make a wide array of easy-drinking beers and you have to love that in a time when many people think that bigger beer is better beer.