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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
72
okay

1,666 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,666
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 19.55%
Wants: 19
Gots: 97 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website
Ireland

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: 1,666 | Reviews: 412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 22:58:20 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 04:27:20 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -19.9%

11-20-2011 18:19:56 | More by djrn2
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

2.88/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2012 02:54:06 | More by metter98
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -3.8%

11-26-2011 17:20:32 | More by nmann08
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2014 17:59:55 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 03:19:44 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 04:58:37 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

08-24-2013 22:47:33 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

2.5/5  rDev -19.9%

01-13-2012 01:24:11 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

2.78/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2011 00:34:23 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

11-24-2013 17:04:27 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.43/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

09-15-2012 04:40:46 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3/5  rDev -3.8%

06-11-2013 23:02:13 | More by spycow
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

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 TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 05:07:47 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.4/5  rDev +9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 19:01:42 | More by zeff80
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 08:42:25 | More by biboergosum
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3/5  rDev -3.8%

03-26-2012 23:34:29 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

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 TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:38:06 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 02:54:26 | More by Jason
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 21:09:53 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 04:24:54 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 15:03:30 | More by Slatetank
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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,666 ratings.