Aroma: Moderate intensity, rich malt aroma that can be either bready and Maillard product-dominant or slightly caramelly and candy-like. Spicy, floral or herbal hop character may be moderate to none. Clean lager character, though low fruity esters (stone fruit or berries) may be present. Diacetyl is optional and can range from low to none.
Appearance: Deep amber to copper color. Clear to bright clarity. Large, off-white, persistent head.
Flavor: Complex malt flavor is dominant (medium to medium-high), though its nature may vary from dry and Maillard product-dominant to caramelly and almost sweet. Some examples have a candy-like to graham-cracker malt character. Low to moderate spicy hop flavor. Prominent but clean hop bitterness provides a balanced finish. Subtle plum or berry esters optional. Low diacetyl optional. No roasted malt flavor. Finish may vary from dry and hoppy to relatively sweet.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full to medium body. Soft and round, often with a gentle creaminess. Moderate to low carbonation.
Impression: Malt-driven amber Czech lager with hop character that can vary from low to quite significant. The malt flavors can vary quite a bit, leading to different interpretations ranging from drier, bready, and slightly biscuity to sweeter and somewhat caramelly.
Comments: The Czech name of the style is polotmavé pivo, which translates as half dark. This style is a combination of the Czech styles polotmavý ležák (11–12.9 °P) and polotmavé speciální pivo (13–14.9 °P).
Ingredients: Pilsner and caramel malts, but Vienna and Munich malts may also be used. Low mineral content water, Saazer-type hops, Czech lager yeast.
Commercial Examples: Bernard Jantarový ležák, Pivovar Vysoký Chlumec Démon, Primátor polotmavý 13°, Strakonický Dudák Klostermann polotmavý ležák 13°