I’ve always regarded beer in the same way most people regard sex and pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s good. I have never in my life spit pizza out of my mouth in disgust, nor have I ever stopped mid-thrust and said, “This is really bad sex. I gotta go.” I also solemnly swear that I have never tasted a beer with such a pungent aftertaste that I poured half of it into the kitchen sink. Until today.
Today I picked up a six pack of Shiner Bohemian Black Lager at my local Publix grocery store. I figured at a little over $6 for a six pack it was worth a try. When I got home I stuck it in the fridge and let it chill for a few hours. Once I knew it was good and cold I popped the cap on one of the Shiners and poured it into my frosty Dog ‘n Suds mug. It had a great color and a great smell which are tell-tale signs of a good beer.
I took a long hard pull from the ice-cold mug. The initial taste was sharp and somewhat bitter, but the after taste that followed was downright disgusting. It seriously tasted like some redneck had spit Copenhagen in my beer. For those of you who aren’t or who don’t have any redneck/country friends, Copenhagen is a very popular brand of smokeless tobacco. It’s most commonly referred to as dip or snuff. And yes, I used to dip back in the day so I know what the stuff tastes like. Especially when you have to swallow it to keep your Forestry teacher from seeing it in your lip.
I drank a few more sips just to be certain that it did in fact taste like crap. It did. So for the first time in my life, I poured a beer down the drain of my black granite sink because it tasted too bad to finish. Once I regained my composure, I made myself a Black Velvet and Coke and decided to write a scathing post about my experience. But first I had to do a little research.
After doing some digging, I found a few other reviews for Shiner Black that all said the same thing. They all said Shiner Black has a bad taste if it’s served too cold and that it is best served as close to room temperature as possible. Apparently the warmer Shiner Black gets, the better the malt flavor gets. I also found out that Shiner is made in Shiner, Texas. I’ve known a few people from Texas and I can honestly tell you that two things Texans know about are steaks and beer. In light of the two aforementioned facts, I decided to give Shiner Black the benefit of the doubt.
What I decided to do is conduct my own experiment to find out what the optimum temperature for consuming Shiner Black is. I pulled out a non-chilled pint glass from the cabinet and poured a Shiner into it. I then got my beer brewing thermometer and suspended it in the middle of the glass of beer. Right out of the fridge the Shiner Black was 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
At the starting temperature of 46 degrees, I got almost the same taste and aftertaste that I got with the frosted mug. However, there wasn’t as strong of an aftertaste. At 50 degrees the aftertaste was even less and the initial taste wasn’t as sharp. At 55 degrees there was absolutely no Copenhagen aftertaste at all and the flavor began to mellow out a bit.
At 60 degrees Shiner Black becomes a very drinkable beer. The taste is smooth and mellow and the once pungent aftertaste is completely gone. At 65 degrees Shiner Black is still good but begins tasting watered down and lacks a strong finish. At 70 degrees it’s just more of the same with the beer becoming less impressive and lets face it, warm beer just doesn’t sound or taste very appealing.
So in conclusion, the optimum temperature for consuming Shiner Bohemian Black Lager is 60 degrees Fahrenheit which makes this beer perfect for drinking when you don’t have a cooler or a fridge to put it in.