Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

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BA SCORE
72
okay

1,902 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,902
Reviews: 440
rAvg: 3.14
pDev: 19.43%
Wants: 25
Gots: 251 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,902 | Reviews: 440
Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Several bottle samples at the LCBO on WIlson as I explained what the term and style was to the friendly rep they sent out. Its black without much head, or unfortunately much taste either. It's not up to the style. Better than the stout they serve here.A bit thin and overcarbonated.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, and a sour, metallic aroma. Taste is much the same with a dark bread and metallic flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that tastes slightly better than it smells, but that isn't saying much.

Photo of kylehay2004
3.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical Guiness foamy head and deep brown black body.excellent lacing. Roasted malts, hint of vanilla, cream and milk aroma. Flavor is also very similar to typical Irish stout Guiness with light roasted malt, lager yeast and cream. Medium
To thick body and moderate carbonation. Not that much different from the Irish stout.

Photo of metter98
2.86/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color and has the slightest hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and some rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are faint aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has some flavors of roasted malts along with notes of nuts and sweetness.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and slightly watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink but could use a fuller body and stronger aromas and flavors. The appearance is quite deceptive because you would think that this beer is a lot fuller-bodied than it actually is.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly standard of European Dark Lagers, and with characteristics of Schwarzbiers and German Dunkel Lagers. Dark in color but an easy drinking lager of mild roast and subtle toffee.

Dark brown in color, the beer's shade doesn't quite achieve the black appearance of the namesake. Very clear, the beer shows highlights of ruby and crimson. Modest carbonation builds a medium white head with loosely knit bubbles, but all is short lived as the head falls rather quickly without lace.

Medium roast, light caramel and toffee, and an overall grainy scent accompany a moderate malty character in aroma. With no real hop character, only the slightest fruity ester of grape and plumb offer any counterpart to the malts.

Flavors do much the same with toast, charred grains, medium coffee, dry bread maltiness and an overall grainy taste leading the malty way. With medium intensity throughout, the malt flavors are balanced by a later hop bitterness that remains understated and gives something to the beer other than malt, medium sweetness, and slight fruitiness.

Medium bodied as well, early creaminess from carbonation proves fleeting as the grainy sweetness lingers well into finish. Mildly malty in the end with the slight hoppy dryness of wood and grain.

I draw a lot of similarities from Dry Stouts to Schwarzbiers, so I was hoping for a better discussion among the two from the classy brewers of Guinness. However, this vague dark lager misses the mark on quality issues and recipe formulation.

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: Poured a clear dark color lager with a small off-white foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of lightly toasted malt is mildly pleasant. Taste is also dominated by lightly toasted malt with light dry bitter notes and watery finish. Body is light with OK carbonation. This is a water-down version of Guinness which says a lot about this beer.

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev +22%
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.

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 womencantsail
2.74/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is cola in color with a thick off-white head. Nose is bland, but a bit roasty. A little bit sour, maybe? Really watery...it’s hard to really smell anything. The flavor is just as bad. It’s almost like drinking black water. Just a hint of roasted malt, a tinge of sourness, perhaps a light earthiness, but I’m really stretching for that one. Not sure what the appeal is here.

Photo of zeff80
3.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a black color with a one-finger, light brown head of sudsy foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and toffee. Not alot going on here.

T - Better than the aroma, it brings some sweet caramel, toffee and chocolate flavors with a very subtle bitterness.

M - It was soft and a little creamy. A medium bodied lager with a clean, crisp finish.

O - This is an okay lager. I didn't have high hopes for it but it wasn't half bad.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.76/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

11.2 ounce bottle - Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a near black body with very dark mahogany-hued hints at the edge and topped with a small-sized, off-white head.

Smell: Ultra faint hint of roast. And...well... There's just not much at all to it.

Taste: Pale malted barley, maybe even a trifling inclusion of pils malt. Very, very low roastiness, more like they added caramel coloring to achieve the color. Faintly herbal hint of hops with a minute bitterness. More of the same (which isn't much) until the crispish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Reasonably crisp.

Overall: As bland, boring, and deficient as their flagship beer but without the treasured history of the standard Guinness Stout.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a mug.

Thanks to VDubb86 for biting the bullet and nabbing a sixer o' this!

Though I wanted to try some FES, this sounded interesting once failure was assured. It pours a shiny black-brown, edged with garnet, topped by a finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, light milk chocolate, wheat, and rice. I'm not sure how the smell tapers at the end like that, and it kinda bothers me. The taste holds notes of wheat and very light bits o' roasted and toasted malts. Thinks look dark and rich, but end up pretty weak. The body is a heavy light, with a moderate carbonation and a sorta dry finish. Overall, a fairly tame and, for lack of a better word, average brew, but it's not offensive and it goes down pretty easily.

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +22%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, lager yeast, some chocolate and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a light roasted malt and lager yeast breadiness followed by mildly sweet flavors of chocolate, honey and caramel. The hops presence is mild but bring a little bit of balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, very mild kick, decent representation of style, it’s not a bad beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

Photo of jlindros
3.43/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fizzy 1 finger darker head that fades at a med pace with hints of lacing, over dark black-ish beer with slight light coming through.

Nose has cheap lager aromas, kinda macro but not skunked, hints of darker malts like roast and caramel.

Taste is lighter as well, macro produced lager flavors but not too bad or bitter, hint of metallic, some darker creamy malts, hint of roast and caramel, some bitter hop flavors. the metallic flavor comes out a bit more on the finish with more bitter hops, sticky finish, and touch of dark creamy malts.

Mouth is med bodied but creamy, with decent carb.

Overall kinda meh, drinkable but some off flavors, tastes like it was macro produced but not skunked or terrible, with a bit of hops and creamy malts.

Photo of Slatetank
3.28/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at the Wine Source, enjoyed from a willybecker chilled.

The color is as described-black with cocoa brown highlights at the base w/ a thin tan cap that is comprised of tight beads, the lace sticks well. Ther is a mild earthy note at first in the smell which becomes more roasty with dark toast and subtle hints of coffee as it warms, very mild dark brown sugar accents these odors. The feel is light bodied with a subtle dry mineral element, very mild with the roasted notes just enough to indicate there is roasted barley used. The feel is slightly sweet in the background with a mostly dry finish.

The taste is good, but not really impressive...I mean it is clean and slightly mineral in character with light lager yeast flavor and subtle toasted malt verging on roast notes with a light hop bitterness to accent the malt, the finish is dry and has only the slightest amount of sweetness. This is a pretty decent lager, but doesn't really do anything to differentiate itself from the rest other than to be well brewed without many flaws that are noticeable. I would drink this again since it is a good value for the price and I am a fan of the style.

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 Rifugium
3.13/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured into a pint glass a brownish-black color with a rocky tan head of decent size that leaves just a bit of patchy lacing on the glass. Not too much in the aroma department, just basic scents of dark malts and light cocoa. Dark malts in the taste, grainy, lightly toasted, pretty basic. Decent but not overly flavorful. Medium mouthfeel at best, first sip actually seemed a little sandy? But maybe that was just me. Nothing spectacular, especially when things like Kostrizer Schwarzbier exist. Or Guinness Extra Stout, for that matter. Fairly drinkable, and worth a try, but that's about it.

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 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 kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I acquired a few bottles of this from "The Vineyard" off-license in Belfast. I poured it into a Whitewater brewery pint glass, though notably (and strangely) Guinness says it should be consumed straight out of the bottle. This seems very misguided. I was informed that this rule is taken to such excess that bartenders in the UK refuse to give customers a pint glass with the beer even if specifically requested. With all due respect, what the fuck?

A: Pours a dark black with a four finger creamy head of slight tan colour. Nice retention. Guinness show-offs, them.

Sm: Musty hops and barley.

T: Roasted barley; toned down compared to Guinness. Balanced body, but simple.

Mf: Nicely coarse and dry.

Dr: It's worth the price, but it's so damn unambitious. It has sparked my interest in the dark lager style, which I've hitherto neglected.

Photo of mdfb79
3.46/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 11/24/11 notes. Uncle picked up a 6er of this and this actually becomes my first Euro Dark Lager as I inch closer to trying all of the 104 different styles. Style #99 reviewed, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, smokey malts, bread, and toasted malts. Roasted malts dominate, but otherwise a bit bland and not much here. Not bad at all, but pretty average

t - Tastes of roasted malts, dark fruits, toasted malts, light wood/smokey notes, and some bready malts. A step up from the nose with the fruit, and the roasted malts dominate again. Pretty nice.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty decent beer; looks like I like this one more than most. If you're looking for a beer like Guinness' Irish Dry Stouts, this isn't it, as it is more of an easy drinking lager, but I liked it. Lots of roasted malts and some nice fruit in the taste as well, I'd have it again.

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Guinness imperial pint glass because I had one. Beer is black with a big tan head, medium and large bubbles, some lacing but not much, low retention, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is a schwartz beer aroma, mildly sweet, some lager character, a faint roast.

Beer is medium in body and tastes like nothing really. I take that back it is rather thin on the palate, finish is fine, unoffensive but not bold or interesting in any way at all. A lot like Guinness.

Photo of jwc215
2.81/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown to black with a foamy light brown head that has good retention. Lacing sticks.

The aroma is of lightly roasted chocolate with a grainy, slightly earthy touch.

The taste is of light roast with plenty of water in the middle. Too grainy - not much character or depth to it. The finish fades rather quickly.

The feel is watery - not much carbonation on the feel despite the head.

More of a pedestrian (at best) Euro dark lager (as categorised here) than a traditional black lager as it claims to be. The label says to drink straight from the bottle, which is a ridiculous suggestion.

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.

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,902 ratings.