Shiner Bohemian Black Lager

From the state that thinks it is its own country comes Shiner. It's a black lager, and I've had one or two of them. The Guinness stands out as pretty bad, but that brand has been making a lot of bad decisions lately.

It's not really black. It is more of a really, really, really dark red. The head is thick and creamy, and it doesn't dissipate quickly at all. The fairly thick 1/4 inch of foam that just stays there right on top looks really nice. The aroma is a bit smoky with slightly burnt malt and a bit of an indistinct tin or metallic smell. Do I also smell cherries?

First sip is a straight-forward dark lager. It's all filled with moody malts, a bit of smoke, and a bit of chocolate. I didn't expect the chocolate from a black lager - I always thought that was the purview of chocolate stouts and the occasional porter.

A bigger swig brings a tip-in of gentle malt and refreshing water. It then turns smoky with some carbonation burn on the tongue. The carbonation burn isn't terrible, and it doesn't hit the back of the throat, but it lasts through the whole middle. Then, the chocolate malt gives you a kiss and runs away. The carbonation gives once last punch to the whole mouth, and the smoke trails off down the throat.

On the whole, it's a good beer, as it brings a special kind of brooding to the whole black lager thing. It's one I wouldn't feel bad about ordering in a bar, even if it wasn't in Texas.



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