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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,535 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1535
Reviews: 407
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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Photo of yesyouam

New York

3.88/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guinness Black Lager is a black beer with a waxy, turbanado colored foam that has pretty nice lacing and retention. The aroma is very muted and of wet cardboard. There's a touch of roast and maybe spice in the nose. It's medium-light bodied; fluffy and crisp. It's lightly flavored from a dark malt twang at the first taste to a lightly bitter finish of coffee and medicine. This stuff just goes down like water. It's a very simple, refreshing black lager.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 20:05:56 | More by yesyouam
Photo of Knapp85


3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 6 pack of this last night to take to my friends place. I figured since it was new I'd like to try it at least and see how it was. This brew poured out as a deep brown color with a fizzy tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer reminded me of most European Lagers, I suppose I was able to pick up on some roasted malts on the nose. The taste of the beer is decent It's pretty well balanced between roasted malt and a bitter lager. The flavors to me are similar to what Beck's Dark is like. The mouthfeel has a good drinkable quality to it with a pretty good dry feeling in the back end. Overall this brew isn't all that bad. I still prefer Guinness Draught on tap but I respect the ideas that they are trying to put out in bottles recently.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 18:36:46 | More by Knapp85
Photo of donmonkey1


3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer is totally black, or maybe so dark brown that I can't tell the difference. It has nice carbonation, but the weak and quickly dissapearing head is dissapointing. Maybe it's my bottle, but there is an overpowering metal smell, mixed with a very faint, but nice, roastiness. The taste also had a faint, mild roastiness,with possibly a hint of molasses, kind of reminding me of a mild brown beer (because it's a bit bland). The beer is so easy to drink and I love the carbonation on my tongue. It's mild to medium body with the really great mouthfeel makes me want to swish the beer around my mouth before swallowing. This beer is ideal for a thirst quencher on a hot day, but a lot of times I'll prefer something much bolder.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 05:46:27 | More by donmonkey1
Photo of Johnny5tone


3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I first tried Guinness Black Lager with an open mind, and knowing its not supposed to be like the original Guinness. Hence the name Black Lager! I Liked it allot, and i am not a big lager fan. It has now become what I call my everyday drinking beer. It is a nice dark lager with a slight roasted taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2011 22:20:48 | More by Johnny5tone
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guinness has tried several times over the years to produce a brand that could create additional sales beyond their stouts (i.e. Guinness Gold), but nothing has really stuck. Black Lager may turn out the same way for a variety of reasons that I won't go into as this is really just about reviewing the beer itself. That said...

It's basically a German Schwarzbier, although I find it a bit on the roasty side. Sure there's a bit of caramel to the malt, and it even has some nice chocolatey tones to it, but the roastiness remains. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the drinker.

The appearance is good, and it leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The aroma is interesting with a little bit of roastiness, a hint of smokiness, and some underlying oily coffee beans.

The flavor offers a bit of dark caramel upfront, followed by some burnt sugar and subtle impressions of coffee, nuttiness, and bittersweet chocolate. The roastiness hits at mid palate, and remains straight through into the long-lingering finish. It's solid, but not particularly bitter, and fairly well-balanced. Some hops can be found as the aftertaste continues on, and they tend to give a subtle suggestion of underlying mint.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body, and fairly brisk with carbonation.

Overall it's a very decent, enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2011 00:13:18 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of gerite


3.84/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was in my local beer buying place today looking for something new and grabbed a 6-pack of the Guinness Black Lager since I like black beers and lagers. I knew it would now be as strong or have the body and flavor of a traditional Guinness Stout. But that was what I was looking for. Since the 6-pack was already chilled I had one when I got home and found it to be very refreshing and drinkable by its self on a hot summer day. This is a great dark beer with a low ABV that allows you to have several at one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 21:17:57 | More by gerite
Photo of Zorro


3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear brown colored beer a small tan colored head.

Smells malty with a slight smoke scent. Mildly sweet with a grassy hop scent. This maybe faintly smells like Guinness Stout but truly this smells a lot like Harp lager.

Starts out mildly sweet with a little char and a lot more grassy hop flavor. Grass and a Nobel hop taste with a slight amount of smoke and a bigger than expected hop bite in the aftertaste. There is a bit of an ethanol flavor here but it is sort of like a Dark Pilsner in taste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall I like it. Tasted on its own this is a decent Pilsner beer. Just don't expect it to taste like Guinness Extra Stout; this is its OWN beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 03:44:46 | More by Zorro
Photo of JohnnyMc


3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had never heard of this until the other night and wanted to give it a try.

Compared to regular Guiness this is a lighter beer. Now I don't mean it's a light beer, but it's easier to drink and not as heavy as regular Guiness. Besides that it has a slightly darker taste. A very refreshing dark beer for the summer.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 18:39:34 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny


3.83/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice ¼ inch head the color of milky coffee. Body is a dense dark brown/black. Lacing fades quickly as you drink.

S: Smells a bit like Guinness Stout with the aroma of sweet malts. Not a terribly strong aroma, but once you get your nose in there, it comes out the other end in an Irish pub.

T: Initially, it’s very reminiscent of the Stout, but as you get into the beer, you notice the real differences here. A much crisper taste with almost a hint of cola. A nice, round flavor; very light. The same nice, toasty malts you’ve come to know and love. Warms up a bit on the aftertaste with just a hint of a bite.

MF: Fairly strong carbonation is the first thing I noticed. Light, crisp, goes down very easy. Body could definitely stand to be a little more robust, though; almost borders on watery texture.

D: Hate to keep comparing it to Guinness Stout, but it’s hard not to. I’ve always been a fan of black lagers, and this delivers on expectations. It’s a dark lager that tastes like Guinness. A little easier drinking if less satisfying take on the original. That said, very drinkable. Again, light, but with a nice flavor.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2012 01:46:17 | More by OMGTheyKilkenny
Photo of Caj1


3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As a fan of dark beers (stouts and porters especially, though I enjoy a good dark lager) I was wanting to try the new Guinness Black Lager I'd been seeing in the supermarkets and on TV for a while now. Gifted with a six pack of the stuff, I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped I would.

The beer is quite black, but to me lacks the ruby-brown tinge that a true Guinness stout should always have. Also much unlike a traditional Guinness, there is almost no head to speak of, and minimal lacing. The head foamed up to about a finger's worth and receded all in the span of about forty-five seconds.

The smell is much better than the appearance, thankfully. Both the aroma and flavor intensify as the beer warms. Toasty notes, brown earthy and coffee smells all predominate, with a touch of sweet fruit and malt, but minimal hops. The taste is lacking in comparison to the Guinness stout (obviously) but there is still plenty here. The toast and coffee, the earth, and some butterscotch are first on the tongue, with malty sweetness and the slightest touch of hop astringency following. The mouthfeel is thin but foamy and refreshing.

This could have been better, but taking into account that it's a lager and not meant to be a meal in a bottle, this could also be much worse. It's a good beer to bring to parties, that's for sure, and I may go get myself some more when the weather starts to warm up again. There's nothing particularly special in this so I ask you to use your discretion, but I enjoyed it. To good health and good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 21:35:40 | More by Caj1
Photo of buschbeer


3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a Guinness proper pint glass

A - This beer is about as dark as Guinness stout. I was expecting it to look more like a bock. There is no light coming through. It is the darkest lager I have had. It is topped with an inch of tan head.

S - It smells like roasted malt with whiffs of cocoa.

T - There is some roasted malt flavor, not a lot, just some. It has a clean finish.

M - Medium. It is hefty for a lager.

O - It tastes like Guinness light. I think I may prefer it to Guinness on tap. On tap it tends to fill me up. This is easier to quaff. I am pleasantly surprised by this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 00:18:51 | More by buschbeer
Photo of MattyG85


3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 04:18:41 | More by MattyG85
Photo of sweett3k


3.75/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Guinness Pint glass with a frothty tan head with thick foamy lacing. Dark Brown not as black as the stout. Very earthy aroma with hints of raisins. Flavors of coffee, dirt, and smoke. Nice light flavor and easy to drink. A little bitter at the end. I'd rather drink the stout and I do not agree with the comercial of this beer making people enjoy a dark beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 21:08:08 | More by sweett3k
Photo of Cyberkedi


3.73/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Malty aroma has a smoky undertone and a firm yeasty note. It pours an opaque dark-chocolate brown with a thick, frothy, light tan head. Malty, smoky flavor has hints of molasses, licorice and coffee. Texture, unfortunately, seems to be on the thin side, though it has a good fizz. OK, but their classic stout is still the best. On tap.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 18:47:46 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of secondtooth


3.7/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep and black (as Guinness well should be), this new brew leaves a large but erratic lace on my pint glass.

Nose is grainy like most lagers, barely hinting at the flavors to follow.

Tastes mildly burnt/roasty - but still light on the body, as opposed to the usual heavier stout. Very enjoyable, and though I'd rather sip on a warmed Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, this one hit the spot.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 02:16:25 | More by secondtooth
Photo of nniicckkww


3.7/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a sexy 11.2 oz. bottle into my Sam Adams contoured glass. 1 inch chocolate milkshake colored head that dissipated quickly. Not much lacing on the glass through the session. The label says black lager but it's just a hair brownish red in the light. Black at a glance.

Not much aroma to be had. Maybe this was because I failed to "drink straight from the bottle" like the label instructed.

Slight lager yeast taste (think Harp). A bit of sulfur. Creamy roasted barley chocolate flavor. Fairly hefty carbonation and light body. Just a tad sweet finish. Sort of a mix of the extra stout and Harp. Not bad. Definitely the most thirst quenching dark beer I've had in a while. Good for what it aims to be. I wonder if it will last??? I might buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 23:08:35 | More by nniicckkww
Photo of mtmst15


3.7/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black in color, just like the name says and like a typical Guinness. White head poured from a bottle. Very surprised with the taste! It wasn't very thick and tasted like a very smooth lager. Smells of roasted malt and dark chocolate. This roasted taste is throughout the entire beer and makes it different.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 20:32:06 | More by mtmst15
Photo of billybob


3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

well i did read a few reviews before i bought this beer and i see it didn't rate that high and i really like guinness extra stout so it can't be that bad. pours very dark brown with a one finger tan head that didn't hold that well but did leave a nice lace. smells and taste of mild roasted malt a light hop taste smooth light mouthfeel ending slightly dry. its ok but why not have a guinness extra stout its so much better.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 16:03:52 | More by billybob
Photo of vandemonian


3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Guinness Black Lager is an inoffensive black lager. Not that much flavour, but not bad either.

A: Black color and a 10 mm head that lats pretty well. 4

S: Grainy with some charcoal aromas. 3.5

T: Malty with with sour and grainy corn flavours. The roasty flavours are not especially strong. Not terrible. 3.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: 4

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 03:43:41 | More by vandemonian
Photo of Dave128


3.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had a good beer in a while so this review may be a little partial. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a duvel tulip.

A - A medium pour yields about a finger of brown head that dissipates pretty quickly. Body color is clear black and lacing is so-so.

S - Smells of light biscuity malt. Don't really get much of a dark malt character on the nose.

T - The taste starts out great, but as the beer warms the taste is starting to get more sour and metallic. It was nice and clean to start with roasted malt hints.

M - Medium carbonation and light body. I was afraid it would be undercarbonated.

O - This beer is pretty crisp and refreshing when cold, but as it warms it gets a little ugly.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2012 00:13:49 | More by Dave128
Photo of LampertLand

British Columbia (Canada)

3.64/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Guinness 'Black Lager' @ 4.5% , a Euro Dark Lager served from a 6pack of 330 ml bottles purchased for $14 , beer karma - I won a Guinness Jacket as a draw prize , so why not give this new beer a try

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to almost black in the glass with a medium size off white/tan head that is leaving a minimal amount of lace along the pint glass

(No cascading Guinness beer trick/changing color)

S-roasted barley , lager malts

T-this lager has some of the Draught taste , leans a little more towards a Pilsner taste

MF-medium carbonation , barely medium bodied , very easy drinking beer

Ov-I still prefer Guinness Draught , but this is a definate session beer for the Guinness lover in all of us

prost LampertLand

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 22:29:46 | More by LampertLand
Photo of keeganfrank


3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black liquid with a thin, off-white head. Aromas of roasted grain and yeast, with a hint of chocolate. Toasted chocolate flavor with crisp grains and seltzer. Light hints of caramel and cola. Has a light, easy-drinking body despite looking like something that should be much thicker. I'll definitely be drinking this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 23:21:24 | More by keeganfrank
Photo of MrJohnnyDRocker

3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Guinness pint glass. A dark brown, almos black color. Can see why they call it black lager. Smelled like a less aromatic version of Guinness. Nothing really jumped out at me, flavor-wise. This bottle had been in my fridge for a while, so it tasted a bit sour towards the end, but not bad. Overall, a fine beer. Much more "drinkable" than regular Guinness. Nothing to write home about, but fine. If you like Guinness, this would be a good alternative for the warmer months.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 23:20:34 | More by MrJohnnyDRocker
Photo of wattoclone


3.63/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 17:07:00 | More by wattoclone
Photo of nicholas2121


3.61/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Guinness Black Lager Poured from a can into a glass. Dark also Black. Over all I really Like this brew. Not something I would get on a everyday bases. But drinkable. It is Heavy Compared to American style Lagers. I got the smell of a dark rich beer. Over all I gave this brew a 3.75. Not a big fan of Guinness Brews but this one is good.

Serving type: can

02-10-2014 02:07:39 | More by nicholas2121
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,535 ratings.