Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,903 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,903
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 19.43%
Wants: 25
Gots: 255 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 04-03-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (35) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,903 | Reviews: 440
Reviews by speter:
Photo of speter
3.85/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a Schwarzbier rather than a Euro Dark Lager. I have reviewed it as such.

A: Extremely dark ruby, to the point of being black (but for the penlight shining through revealing the true ruby color). The head is a tan, three-finger froth, that fades to a thin layer with clumpy lacing.

S: Chocolate malt with toffee, caramel, and brown sugar.

T: Initial mild sweetness gives way to the roastiness in the mid-palate. The finish is dry and slightly bitter. There is a hint of the trademark Guinness sourness in the aftertaste.

M: Smooth and slightly creamy.

O: Taken as a Schwarzbier, this is pretty good.

More User Reviews:
Photo of GuinnessRegular92
2.5/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Guinness and Lager do not mix. I love Guinness Regular (in the pub) and Guinness Extra Stout and my favorite is Foreign Extra but this Guinness is terrible. It tasted slightly like Guinness but it just didn't hit the spot of the way other Guinness tastes. Lager is lager and Guinness is Guinness. Just keep it that way.

Photo of RoyalT
3.06/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a nice, very dark brown in color, OK almost black, with a big, fluffy, tight, dark white head.

Smell – I like the roasted aroma but there’s just not enough of it. This bouquet is very faint and consists of dark roasty notes along with a light raw sugar sweetness.

Taste – It’s equally light in the ass at the taste. Again, all the flavors are here it’s just a little empty and lacking in depth. I’d say it’s almost watery.

Mouthfeel – There’s no bitterness to this ale which is better than light-bodied but far from medium. The carbs are a bit too perky for the style as well.

Drinkability – This is an easy-going beer that won’t impress anyone but will stay out of the sink.

Photo of weatherdog
2.86/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for giving me this bottle at a recent tasting. It was in his 'Free Beer...Please Take Home' box

It pours a transparent deep deep chestnut brown with crimson highlights. A fluffy generous khaki colored head tops the beer with medium retention and minimal lacing.

The nose is very mild. It has a minimal amount of roasted barley as well as a slight plum esters and finishes just a bit sweet.

The roasted barley is once again nearly non-existent. There is not even a hint of coffee or chocolate commonly found in beers with a decent amount of roasted barley. There is just a slight dark grain taste. Once again a lot of plum esters are coming through. There is almost a medium amount of bitterness which balance some of the malt sweetness in the finish. The plum is just too prominent.

The body is very thin and watery and the carbonation level is medium low which does not compliment this beer at all. Drinkability is just above average, it's not hard to down the beer because it's so thin and watery but at the same time it's very boring, so not enjoyable. It's like they mixed 1 part Guinness with about 5 parts black lager. It ends up with a mash-up that does nothing to accentuate the roastiness of a good dry stout and the crispness of a good lager. I'd only choose this again if BMC is the only thing available. I'd much rather just have the original.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.1/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

In a pint glass this beer was a very dark brown, almost black color. It had a medium-sized tan head that disappeared quickly.

Roasted malt aroma, sweet cocoa. Kind of faint.

The taste was even fainter. Weak coffee, a tiny bit of chocolate.

Very thin and watery. On the positive side, you could drink a number of these in one sitting.

Photo of Jason
3.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml brown bottle w/ no freshness date.

LOOK: Off black color w/ reddish hue. Good lacing.

SMELL: Sweet, cocoa, mild charcoal, lightly bready, clean.

TASTE: Smooth, slick, lighter body, wet, mild roasted grain, dried grass, muted hops, bitterness, residual dextrins.

I was not sure what to expect but after several goes at it I am still trying to wrap my head around its inception. Regular draught Guinness does a great job ... consistent, drinkable, the story behind it. Sort of a lesser Guinness that has a typical carbonation of a Euro Lager. I guess I just don't see the market for it. I can understand why FES was brought to the states, 10-15 years late to the party but this concoction just does seem to hit it with me. Not saying it is bad at all, it hits the right elements ... drinkable, easy going flavor. Is it for 38-56 year old males who make more than $75,000 a year that are not into beer that much but are sick other Euro Dark Lagers? If someone was looking for a dark lager why wouldn't they just look for a solid Munich Dunkel or a dark Czech lager? Go figure, best of luck guys ... still trying to figure this one out. Regardless, it is worth a tick.

Photo of Billolick
3.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle

Pours dark cola , minor tan head, thin collar and minor lace.

Just a very faint whiff of dark bread on the nose.

Notes of some dark bread, not much else.

Pretty lame and boring brew. Unfortunate that Guinness doesnt seem to care to put out more of an interesting product. Oh well, glad I only poached one of these from a friends assortment box

Photo of tigg924
3.4/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 1/4 inch head, opaque, moderate carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and caramel

Taste: toasted malt, caramel, smoke--like a less dense Guinness Draught

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet and smoky

Overall: Not a bad beer and certainly above average for the style. I could see myself getting a glass or two again. Probably my least favorite from the brewery. Try to grade against others I have had in the style. If I was not, this beer would be closer to a C.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from can into a pint glass.

Appearance: As the name implies, black in color with a foamy beige head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Smell: Light malts and hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium bodied. Taste of light bitter hops with malts, bread like yeast as well.

Overall: Not a bad brew. I would have this again if it was offered to me.

Photo of wattoclone
3.55/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a huge fan of Euro dark lagers and schwarzbiers (is there actually a difference?), I had to try the Guinness version. I found this one very smooth and drinkable as they should be. Not the sweetest or most bitter but the balance was about perfect. Sure, I would rather have a draft Kostritzer but since I live in the US, this is not always possible. Right out of the bottle this is a great dark lager which would pair well with any food. If I had more income I would keep this beer in stock but unfortunately in the present economy I cannot afford it. The McSorley's Black Irish Lager brewed by Pabst is much more affordable and IMHO has more flavor.

Photo of ChadwickHines
3.25/5  rDev +3.5%

Light, good quality As always.

Photo of MattyG85
3.72/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2 oz. bottle into a Guinness stout glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a little color shining through. Lots of bubbly carbonation but almost no head forms when poured and only small off white patches remain. Lacing is very light.

Smell: Sweet roasted dark caramel malts with light hints of burnt coffee and chocolate. Also some wheat grains. Smells fairly sweet and dark but overall the aroma is pretty subtle.

Taste: Dark roasted malts with some wheat grains upfront. Notes of coffee add some bitterness. Chocolate is very subtle. Taste is mostly bready with coffee also standing out.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a carbonation that is very heavy.

Overall: A decent dark lager from Guinness. Could of used a little fuller body and less carbonation. Coffee flavor is nice.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I thought Guinness stout was a little on the watery side, but this one is much thinner. Barely any roasted malts at all. A touch of that euro lager taste a la Stella Artois. Kind of lame and unremarkable. What's up with that "Cold Brewed" shit? Let's not try to be ole blue mountain Coors here.

Photo of Sipzzz
4.09/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I'v enjoyed Guinness black lager on-tap as well as from the bottle. I have determined this beer needs poured to truly enjoy, despite the fact that the bottle says "ok to drink from bottle".

Tan, foamy head that courses through the body when poured correctly. Dark, impenetrable body.

Smell is lacking, smells the same as Guinness draught, side-by-side it would be hard to tell the difference before tasting.

Taste is amazing, full-bodied with minimal bitterness and a lasting flavorful aftertaste that lingers until your next drink.

Mouthfeel, Like Guinness draught and Blue-moon it is very smooth leaving a refreshing, satisfying feel as it goes down. Almost perfect in my opinion.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.18/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black pour, tan head over 1" in height/depth depending on your viewpoint, some redness on the edges to the liquid, good lacing. Looks like guiness stout except for the clarity thing going on in a dark beer. Aroma was even roastier than I'd say Guinness stout is with some mild charcoal notes.

Taste, roast notes are gone, replaced with a light sweetness. Not really much flavor beyond that, but there isn't any offputting bitterness or yeast flavors. Its an easy drinking beer with some color. Dunno why it costs so much, there's really not much to it. I don't taste chocolate, I think that's just some psychosomatic thing people do when they review a black beer.

Probably a good beer to convert people who think all dark beer is thick and nasty. There are no off flavors, and what is there is plenty mild.

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.43/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Dark roasted barley malt provides a dark mahogany tined cola brown body with a light tan khaki head forms thick with highly carbonated bubbles. Aroma has a touch of coffee and nut roasted malt quality about it. Somewhat of an airy herbal quality tucked away as well, calling it a Euro dark lager or a schwarzbier light. Flavor is roasty with malts up to a point then it tries to be a stale dark brewed watered down old coffee acrid bitterness that doesn't really blend too well. They went for Guinness with a Bud Light mouthfeel, using Coors Light cold brewed ad campaigns. Pretty sad comparing this to Guinness pulled from a nitro tap, flavor was downright disappointing and I'm sure beer people and mainstream drinkers think this is pretty piss poor as a whole. The harsh overcarbonation really makes the whole flavor of the beer unpleasant somewhere between light and medium bodied but it just doesn't do anything for me.

Photo of chinchill
3.15/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually a dark brown rather than black; essentially clear with a nice creamy tan head. Leaves good lacing.

Surprise! There's a significant amount of hop flavor in here. Not a hoppy beer, for sure, but with malt and hops in equal balance, more or less. I got two very different impressions from tastings on two occasions, both from fresh bottles. Originally, I thought it had a ice aftertaste featuring spicy hops and dark malt, and was well crafted. My more recent tasting provided a poor aftertaste that substantially detracted from my enjoyment.

O - a fine new introduction well worth a try, especially on those occasions where only beers from major distribution networks are available.

Photo of frankiepop
2.68/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am not going into details about this beer. I am not going to pick on the company and what they may be trying to do. I am just goint to say this was a very underwhelming beer. I really didn't care for it, and don't want to try it again. I have tasted better Black Lagers, which is almost as good as a stout. Mild stout but good.

Don't be messin' with this beer, man. You're better than that. No recs to listen to this. Just turn on a shitty radio station.

Photo of thatruth
2.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a 1/4" light mocha head with barely frothy lacing, neither of which stick around long. pours a deep root beer color into a black cauldron body, no light penetrates this fucker.

roasty malt, mostly. lightly boozy and floral.

tastes flat. and hella barley.

nonesuch. bitter on-bringing with a club soda like aftertaste and linger.

oh, guinness. stick to irish stout.

Photo of LXIXME
2.83/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium to big light brown head settles into a nice lacing above a clear very dark reddish brown colored beer.

Light to faint aroma of dark roasted coffee malts, licorice, maybe burnt grains.

A light roasted grain malt taste, maybe a hint of the coffee from the aroma but really not much coming through with this beer.

A light dry aftertaste with any lingering tastes on this medium bodied beer.

I was kinda disappointed with this beer, when I saw that Guinness had Guinness Black Lager I had to try it. I guess Guinness's regular stout is kind of the measuring stick for anyone trying to make a stout and was kind of hoping that that would ring true for this as well. Guess not.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

First of all the term cold brewed makes any beer sound cheap, mass produced and ignorant. Right on the label in bold letters is "COLD BREWED" perhaps a signal to the nature of this beer. It does pour well with a familiar Guinness black color and even the trademark ruby when held up to the light (albeit a little lighter.) The one big difference between this and the stout is the lackluster head. Gone is the creamy brown and left is a pitiful fizzy nothing.

The nose is also distinctly Guinness. With a mild bouquet of roasted barley paired a sweet lager yeast. Clean, pleasant and not as bad as I was expecting from that cold brewed tagline which really annoys me.

The taste is like a crisp version of Guinness. Think rich like a stout but with the body and carbonation of a Mexican lager. The co2 adds a nice touch of acidity that cuts the stout flavors but in a respectable way. All in all it's not bad.

I dig on the mouthfeel and think that this is a nice alternative to your everyday lager. The sizzle on the tongue with a slick Guinness feel is a nice contrast and really balances the beer. I am looking forward to pairing it with some spicy mexican food to see if it can hang. Even though this isn't a bad beer it is very middle of the road. Nothing really bold or innovative and frankly the way it's marketed hurts me deeply. Guinness has been around forever and has some great brand loyalty. I don't see why they had to get all gimmicky with their labeling or even why they needed to step into the lager market. They even went as far as to imply Arthur Guinness who died in 1803 signed the description on the back of the bottle. This beer is worth a try but blackens the eye of the brand. I'll pass next time.

Photo of Brenden
3.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This black lager isn't quite what it claims, though it isn't too far off. Some red-brown hues show up as light shines through my glass. Lively carbonation builds up a small tannish head but it's a bit loose and fades off quickly, leaving a bit of foam. Lacing isn't terrible, but not good either.
A bit of caramel malts come out under a mostly roasty aroma with some grains underneath, oddly not as much the darker, more barley-like smell one might expect. There's a ghost of dark fruits and very little hops character.
The flavor is much the same, with the roasted character strongest the grains, and the distinct malty backbone. There's a litle char, but not astringently so. A bit of coffee and that hint of dark fruits lie underneath.
The mouthfeel is lightly crisp from carbonation in a medium body that's actually fairly smooth. If not for feeling so thin, it's not bad.

Photo of biboergosum
3.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle, from a Waikiki grocery store, the one that isn't an ABC outlet. Can't get this particular Guinness offering back home, and the price is right.

This beer pours a clear, very dark caramel cola colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves a limestone cross section of lace around the glass as it quickly (for Guinness) settles.

It smells of roasted, softly meaty pale grain, some bittersweet tropical fruitiness, a wee bit of lactic sourness, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is more lightly roasted bready caramel malt, some ineffectual coffee and dry chocolate notes, a hint of wet ash, and mild leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is quite laid back in its low-key frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, with but a minor pithiness growing as it warms. It finishes off-dry, the plain roasted barley sweetness getting a tad biscuity, and the coffee notes fading into the ether, with a very subtle (read: weak) noble hop offset.

An OK enough black lager, I suppose, just lacking a bit of sass, in either the crispness of the grain, or the roast, or the hops. Nothing wrong, really, but nothing all that right, either - for that manner, it does well to follow in the footsteps of its (much) more ubiquitous stout brother.

Photo of dacrza1
3.35/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Situation: Day nine of Christmas vacation...
Glassware: Sam Adams lager...
Appearance: dark velvet black body with an off-white head that laces in cirrus whisps--sleek, but Guinness!
Aroma: roasted malts give the beer a distinct shwarzbier aroma; in some way, the lager retains the lactic scent of the draught...
Palate: substantial body; slightly effervescent mouthfeeel with a soda fizz ending...
Taste: a malty payoff, but not much smoke or roast; serviceable in its substance, but limited in its profile...
Overall: Tought to gauge this beer's heart--is it a genuine attempt to expand a good brand, or propaganda riding the word black at the expense of Arthur's good name? At least the brewery made a modest move by staying dark with its first lager... this beer's strenght will be in its weight; however, its lack of roast will be its limitation....

Photo of MrVonzipper
3.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark pale brown and black in the glass with a touch of reddish brown around the edges through light. Good foamy tan head with pretty good retention and lacing.

Smells very similar to regular guinnes. Dark bitter malt and that's it.

Taste is also very similar to the standard Guinness. Kind of just tastes like a watered down version with kind of a nutty and chalky back end.

Mouth is medium bodied with med-high carb.

Overall IMO it seems to me like they made this beer for people who don't like Guinness because they think it's think and heavy (which it is Not!). It seems like the same beer yet fermented cold and lacking nitro making it a boring watered down version.

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,903 ratings.