Style Details

Czech Dark Lager
Czech Lager
BJCP Style Code
3 D
Dark cop­per to almost black color, often with a red or gar­net tint. Clear to bright cla­ri­ty. Lar­ge, off-white to tan, per­sis­tent head.
Medi­um to medi­um-high rich, deep, some­ti­mes sweet mal­ti­ness, with optio­nal qua­li­ties such as bread crusts, toast, nuts, cola, dark fruit, or cara­mel. Roas­ted malt cha­rac­ters such as cho­co­la­te or swee­te­ned cof­fee can vary from mode­ra­te to none but should not over­whelm the base malt cha­rac­ter. Low, spi­cy hop aro­ma is optio­nal. Low dia­ce­tyl and low frui­ty esters (plums or ber­ries) may be present.
Medi­um to medi­um-high deep, com­plex mal­ti­ness domi­na­tes, typi­cal­ly with mal­ty-rich Mail­lard pro­ducts and a light to mode­ra­te resi­du­al malt sweet­ness. Malt fla­vors such as cara­mel, toast, nuts, lico­ri­ce, dried dark fruit, cho­co­la­te and cof­fee may also be pre­sent, with very low to mode­ra­te roast cha­rac­ter. Spi­cy hop fla­vor can be moder­ate­ly-low to none. Hop bit­ter­ness may be mode­ra­te to medi­um-low but should be per­cep­ti­ble. Balan­ce can vary from mal­ty to rela­tively well-balan­ced to gent­ly hop-for­ward. Low to mode­ra­te dia­ce­tyl and light plum or ber­ry esters may be present. 
Medi­um to medi­um-full body, con­si­derable mouth­feel without being hea­vy or cloy­ing. Moder­ate­ly crea­my in tex­tu­re. Smooth. Mode­ra­te to low car­bo­na­ti­on. Can have a slight alco­hol warm­th in stron­ger versions.
Over­all Impression
A rich, dark, mal­ty Czech lager with a roast cha­rac­ter that can vary from almost absent to qui­te pro­mi­nent. Mal­ty with an inte­res­ting and com­plex fla­vor pro­fi­le, with varia­ble levels of hop­ping pro­vi­ding a ran­ge of pos­si­ble interpretations.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Pils­ner and dark cara­mel mal­ts with the addi­ti­on of debit­te­red roas­ted mal­ts are most com­mon, but addi­ti­ons of Vien­na or Munich malt are also appro­pria­te. Low mine­ral con­tent water, Saa­zer-type hops, Czech lager yeast. Any frui­ty esters are typi­cal­ly from malt, not yeast.
The U Flek? bre­we­ry has been ope­ra­ting in Pra­gue sin­ce 1499. Many small, new bre­we­ries are brewing this style.
This style is a com­bi­na­ti­on of the Czech styles tma­vý ležák (11–12.9 °P) and tma­vé spe­ciální pivo (13–14.9 °P). More modern examp­les are dri­er and have hig­her bit­ter­ness while tra­di­tio­nal ver­si­ons often have IBUs in the 18–20 ran­ge with a swee­ter balance.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Bohemi­an Bre­we­ry Cher­ny Bock 4%, Bud­wei­ser Bud­var B:Dark tma­vý ležák, Devils Back­bone Mora­na, Kout na Šumav? Kout­ský tma­vý spe­ciál 14°, Notch ?erné Pivo, Pivo­var B?eznice Herold, U Flek? Fle­k­ovs­ký tma­vý 13° ležák
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.044 - 1.060 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.013 - 1.017 SG
14 - 35 SRM
4.0 - 5.0 %vol
18 - 34 IBU