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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,540 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1540
Reviews: 408
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 19.55%

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mdagnew on 04-03-2010)
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Ratings: 1,540 | Reviews: 408 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JamesS


4.68/5  rDev +50%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a fantastic black color with wonderful head and some very nice lacing. Excellent scent with a cool and sweet maltiness, great toastiness scents, and hints of chocolate. Fantastic flavors, with a great smooth and sweet malt with excellent undertoned yet noticable chocolate bites, and slight coffee hints; slight earthy hop finish. Extremely smooth, it goes down a treat.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 23:51:22 | More by JamesS
Photo of TheAdventurella


4.6/5  rDev +47.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you know what a black lager is, and what characteristics it is supposed to have, this is pretty much a perfect representation.

A black lager is supposed to be lighter in mouthfeel (high drinkability and refreshing), with a stout-like sweet, roasted-malt taste. This is what Guinness's black lager is. It is a little light in color for a black lager, but that is the only deficiency. It has a very not heavy mouthfeel (very different than Guinness stouts, as it should be). It has a very strong roasted malt taste with nodes of sweetness from the converted starches.

If you like black lager, drink this.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 17:06:20 | More by TheAdventurella
Photo of B_Sloane89


4.44/5  rDev +42.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised that Guinness Black Lager is rated as poorly as it is on the site. I thoroughly enjoy this beer, and if I'm ever out somewhere that has it, I almost always get it rather than whatever I was going to order before I saw it on the menu. This beer not only looks cool with it's dark appearance, but is surprisingly smooth considering how dark it is. It still packs a good lager flavor, though. Of course it's not traditional Guinness, but it's just as enjoyable to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 15:00:04 | More by B_Sloane89
Photo of bucho


4.4/5  rDev +41%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As a huge fan of Guinness Draught, this Lager raises the bar.

It pours dark and appears heavy, but sits well after drinking. A very crisp, clean finish with plenty of taste.

A perfect beer for anyone who wants to drink the best.

Great job Guinness - keep it up.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 21:18:15 | More by bucho
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +37.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A practically black look with a long lasting, tan colored head, very lacy leftovers.

A sweet and roastie malt aroma, light coffee, vanilla, toffee with chocolate coupled with a tasty sour-lager yeast that is just right.

A perfect balance of flavor's, it's one part quality euro lager and one part mild stout. It's guiness all the way. malty, dark wheat, sour yeast, dry earth and stout style dark malt flavor's all in wonderful balance.

The feel is is just right, snappy and dry lager body, light to medium with a smooth, creamy finish with plenty of jazz and kick left to make it VERY easy to quoff. amazingly easy Quoff.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 22:31:51 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of justinkelley

4.25/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely love Guinness, as well as the Foreign Extra, and I think this is a great beer. It was getting so much hate that I decided to create an account and do this as my first review. It is very refreshing and goes down great. Not much smell, but great taste and after-taste, and easy to put down if you are looking for something lighter than Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2012 23:58:33 | More by justinkelley
Photo of Elaine

4.18/5  rDev +34%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Didn't look at the beer, so really cannot comment

Smell - clean & fresh. Not overpowering.

Taste - Hops flavor, but not overpowering. Same for the malt.

I really like this beer. I usually prefer ales to lagers because they have more flavor, but this lager is an exception as it has plenty of flavor and no bitterness. It has a pleasant aftertaste. Smooth in the mouth it goes down easy.

I cannot comment on the appearance of the beer as I drank it out of the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 22:33:46 | More by Elaine
Photo of schoolboy


4.18/5  rDev +34%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

My Saturday in main stream Ireland has been very much a surprise. Guinness has provided a nice variety pack.

This opens to a nice aroma. Malty and yeasty. The color is as it should be and there is almost enough head and lace (a little more would be nice).

The taste is well balanced. The after taste is quite nice too, with a little more bite than I would expect. Overall this is a nice easy brew and vastly underrated.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 23:49:52 | More by schoolboy
Photo of Sipzzz


4.15/5  rDev +33%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2014 05:25:14 | More by Sipzzz
Photo of punky796


4.08/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Like most other Guinnesses, very dark brown with an attractive tan head that's thick, leaves pretty liberal lacing.

S - Most appealing part of the beer in my opinion, fresher than other Guinnesses in the expected lager sort of way, with a nice toast/bread scent coming through.

T - Somewhat bitter, but not in a bad way. Dark malts, has that familiar coffee taste, too.

M - Thinner than other Guinnesses, light, medium carbonation, but you get the impression that the bubbles are very small. To me, a good thing.

O - Not bad. A pleasant twist on the regular. Wouldn't let it sit around long, though, I imagine it might get too bitter.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 10:12:21 | More by punky796
Photo of AdamBear


4.05/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pitch black with a nice light tan head

S-European malts with a hint of black coffee. not bad, but a faint scent.

T-comes in with a smooth mix of euro malts and black coffee. its not a strong taste, but its a decent one. reminds me a classic Euro pale lager, except much more smooth and balanced with a light touch of coffee. there's a quality matching after-taste. well balanced

M-medium creamy carbonation with a creamy finish

O-okay, compared to other classic black lagers, this is missing something...its not as exciting or flavorful, but is more drinkable than some others. but as a dark euro lager, this seems to be really good. its actually the best "euro lager" that i've had. can't quite find why people dislike this. i'm finding this to be quite enjoyable, and i'm excited that i decided to get a whole 6-pack.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 15:31:42 | More by AdamBear
Photo of dhannes


4.03/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled into a Perfect Pint.

A=Very dark reddish brown...almost opaque. Poured a creamy three finger foamy ecru head.

S=Malted barley; molasses and a hint of nutmeg?

T=Rather bitter, plus a hint of skunkiness. Reminds me of some of the NA beers I've tried. Hop presence is minimal. Seemed to become more sour at the finish.

M=Nice body, but a bit lighter than anticipated. Still, quite drinkable; carbonation is minimal.

O=I'm not overly familiar with Euro Dark Lagers, but this was somewhat enjoyable. I wouldn't purchase a 6-pack of it, but might try it on tap or would choose it over most adjunct lagers, if I was in the mood for a more bitter beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 19:23:32 | More by dhannes
Photo of woodychandler


4.03/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another CAN courtesy of my local, in-person trader, tone77, who knows how to keep me happy when it comes to The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Cold brewed with roasted barley"; "Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness."

The Crack was loud and enticing and I went with an inverted Glug to get things started right. I got an initial two fingers of deep-brown head that actually lightened in color as the pseudo-cascade took place, finally becoming a finger of light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep mahogany with ruby highlights (SRM = 44). Nose was very roasty, like my morning coffee. Mouthfeel was silky and the taste was coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, all adding up to a roasty beer with a lager smoothness. Man, did I drink through this quickly! Finish was semi-dry and had just the right amount of roasted malt flavor to keep it from being over the top.

Original, bottle review dtd 03-09-2013 follows:

My local, in-person trader, tone77, brought this for me to try. It has been an interesting day of beer.

From the bottle: "Cold brewed with roasted barley"; "Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness. Enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle. [undersigned] Arthur Guinness".

First of all, as a founding subscriber to this website's magazine, I try to read and pay attention to it each time it shows up in my mailbox. The Bros were on about glassware this month and while I may not lay my opinions on others, when I am anywhere that I can decant my beer from its medium of storage into a glass, you can bet your sweet bippy that I will do so. Directions be damned, such as the ones on this bottle or on a CAN of Heady Topper. What, if they told you to drink while jumping from a bridge, would you do that, also? Fine, if you want to be mindless sheep, herded along without hue or cry. I will do my own thing, thank you very much!

This Euro Dark Lager must be a relatively new designation as there are no guidelines listed as yet, but I am already a fan. My pour created two dense fingers of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark brown with garnet highlights and good clarity despite its low light penetration. Nose had the characteristic lager honey-like sweetness, but in this case, married with a light roastiness. Chocolate malt, perhaps? I wonder about what, exactly, constitutes "roasted barley" for them. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, even for a lager, but the taste was a pleasant mix of chocolate and smokiness along with a mild sweetness. I do not like Cascadian/Dark/Black IPAs because I feel as though such flavors get in the way of my beloved hops, but in this case, they meld nicely. Finish was semi-dry and the mild smokiness seemed to linger well past the swallow. As usual, I would not want a steady diet of this as a self-avowed hophead, but it beats a lot of other lagers. Not bad.

Serving type: can

03-09-2013 23:21:39 | More by woodychandler
Photo of wac9


4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow im so glad i find this beer for 27 bucks a case it worth it. its black baby mt favorite color . looks good in a glass a nice beer smell with a taste like dark euro beers, because drinking the regular guinness doesnt do anything for .overall i would drink this and tell other so go try it

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 00:41:44 | More by wac9
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle purchased at Shaw's in North Hampton. Pours a nearly opaque dark brown to black body with a half inch or so of light tan head. Malt and milk chocolate comprise the aroma. Roasty coffee, chocolate, malty notes make up the flavor, though it finishes relatively clean. Medium to light in body with ample carbonation. An easy drinker - the flavors mesh well and don't clobber you over the head and the carbonation, body, and clean finish make this beer seem fairly light. Not bad overall but I'm not sure I'll be having this again any time soon.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 01:13:47 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of Minkybut


4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this good beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a nice black color. The beer poured a nice pillowy tan head. The smell was like a raw steak. Sorry, thats what I got. The beer really was kinda neutral tasting but I like it. The beer also had good lacing. I think it is a good product with a good name and people who do not want a strong beer will enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 17:47:41 | More by Minkybut
Photo of Rumpole


4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick take: Guinness brews Beck's Dark. Perfectly fine Dunkel, I was worried it might somehow be some sort of off light stout, but no, it really does taste like a German dark lager. To those asking why, well, why not, except the usual Guinness premium price tag? I picked up a six-pack of this for $7 in NH which was why I tried it. Not worth any extra outlay if the Beck's is there and cheaper, but if you can find it cheap, try it.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 00:18:21 | More by Rumpole
Photo of ZenAgnostic


4/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Three Philosophers mini snifter.

Appearance - Opaque black body with a small tan head. Decent retention and somewhat patchy but otherwise good stick.

Smell - Musky corn. Cardboard. Bready.

Taste - Follows the nose. Mild.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied. Clean finish.

Overall Drinkability - No off characters. Drinkable and smooth. Good 'craft' gateway for BMC diehards.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 00:22:57 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor


3.98/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich coffee black with a quick dissolving head

S: Rich coffee and Dark Malts

T: Has a rich coffee, smooth bready taste from the lager yeast, and some raisin.

M: Light on the palate, but nice carbonation

O: This is definitely a Guinness stout but just with a clean lager yeast. This is still pretty sessionable and easy drinking. This is an awesome beer. I really enjoy this, I could drink this all night, and the next week.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 06:51:09 | More by PaulStoneAnchor
Photo of DarkOzzieAle

New York

3.95/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Keeping in mind that this is a new product from a massive, faceless alcoholic beverage conglomerate with a made-up name...aka the ultimate macrobrew, this is quite drinkable and offers something a bit different. I hope it succeeds and they keep making it.

Basically, this is an easy-drinking lager that you can easily have a few of with just a bit of that guinness dark roasted flavor and also a good touch of that guinness appearance.

Is it an exceptional beer? I'd say no. Smell, mouthfeel, taste, etc all have that mass-produced vibe about them. But, on a hot day when a guinness seems overwhelming, but a light and fruity lager is depressing, this is not a bad option.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 12:21:18 | More by DarkOzzieAle
Photo of scratch69


3.93/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black with a bout a fingers worth of tan head that lingers until the last swallow. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Dark roasted malt with a hint of chocolate.

Taste- Sort of like a mellow Guinness stout. Toned down dark malt with a tiny hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and light bodied. Decent amount of carbonation.

Overall- If you are wanting a strong flavored Guinness, look elsewhere. Otherwise this is a very drinkable brew. I could easily down a 6-pack of these in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 00:40:45 | More by scratch69
Photo of Corpsehoagie


3.93/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I thought it was the best out of the draught extra stout and foreign extra. I like strong beers but I think the bite of the foreign extra ruined the taste. Id say the extra stouts better than the draught and I just really like the taste of the black lager. They go down so good and smooth, its a really enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 20:36:04 | More by Corpsehoagie
Photo of JayS2629


3.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a creamy white head that fades fast but leaves nice lacing.

Clean, faint roasted malt and touch of cocoa.

Very clean with roasted malt and cocoa notes. Earthy with a bitter finish.

Medium/thin, clean and crisp

Easy to drink, ok but boring beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 19:03:18 | More by JayS2629
Photo of beertunes


3.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 9oz pilsener glass. Poured a clean, clear, translucent black with over an inch of medium tan head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma had good, solid grains, a lightly pleasant amount of soft roast, some very gentle hops and, surprisingly, a bit of yeastiness. The flavors were pretty similar, good malts and the hops had a bit sharper presence. The flavors were nicely balanced and complemented each other well.

The body was very good, clean and crisp with a dry finish. Drinkability was very good, you could easily drink several of these low ABV brews with wiping out your taste buds. Overall, a very nice little brew that easy on your palate and on your wallet. Worth trying for most people, and a must try if you like the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2012 18:40:20 | More by beertunes
Photo of speter

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +24.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 23:21:39 | More by speter
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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.