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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,653 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,653
Reviews: 412
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 19.55%
Wants: 19
Gots: 90 | FT: 0
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: 1,653 | Reviews: 412 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DavidST


3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a dark brown with a decent mocha colored head. The smell is pretty light, a little burnt malt smells, kind of like a really light version of the extra stout. The feel is a little thin. The taste is pretty much like it smells, take the extra stout, burnt flavors and all and tone it down by 50% and you'll get this. Overall this probably is an okay session beer but its pretty toned down and I can't see myself buying it ever over a Guinness stout (and at that there are better stouts out there).

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2011 16:09:33 | More by DavidST
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 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 chinchill

South Carolina

3.15/5  rDev +1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 16:53:33 | More by chinchill
Photo of dbossman


3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown-black with a faint ruby coloring; a thin brown head that quickly dissipates but eventually holds steady at a paper thin head; lacing is pretty good

S: Some roasted malts with subtle chocolate and coffee but mostly that same sour grainy quality that accompanies most Guinness beers; some breadiness here but mostly a grainy, grassy somewhat herbal aroma

T: Roasted malts upfront that quickly fade to a watery--not offensive but not anything great either--grainy beer flavor; some breadiness but unfortunately the flavors fade too quickly; however, in the end it is still a fairly refreshing, non-offensive dark lager

F: A touch thin but for the style it has a fairly decent mouth feel

O: Not all that bad; fairly refreshing and not offensive at all; in many ways I prefer this to the stout because it is what it is: thin, refreshing, and cold

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 16:49:38 | More by dbossman
Photo of bmwats


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

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a standard pint.

A: Black. Medium-heavy carbonation. Pours about a 1 finger, frothy, brown-white head which craters pretty quickly leaving only a smattering of bubbly carbonation on the surface with a buildup of sticky residue around the rim. Some spotty spider web lacing.

S: A woody, caramel malt.

T: Has something of a generic malty tone with just the slightest hop.

M: A bit of a watered-down feel with a slightly pungent and dry finish.

D: Goes down easy.

Atmosphere is okay. Deep dark appearance, with a nice head and a little lacing. Nose is pretty plain, too. Flavor...same. Overall, a decent enough quaff.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 03:29:50 | More by bmwats
Photo of jimmytc

New York

2.85/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Guinness Black Lager. I was looking forward to trying this beer. I love Guinness. This to me was no Guinness.
It poured a deep black.Promising, but downhill from there.
The aroma reminded me of a Heineken. Almost skunky.
Not much for flavor. A light toasty flavor with nothing that would have me thinking this was brewed by Guinness.
A light bodied lager that was easy to drink however, it lacked the flavor that one would expect from Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 03:04:13 | More by jimmytc
Photo of projectflam86


2.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a very dark near black color with a huge off white head that leaves decent lacing.

S- I can smell the roasted malt but it is faint and there really isn't much else going on in the nose.

T- Very grainy flavor with some charred malt and smoke.

M- Incredibly thin body with higher than expected carbonation. Very dry.

O- Eh, not impressed. Drinkable but not something I will buy again.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 21:39:28 | More by projectflam86
Photo of OldIronLungs


3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured blackness into a pint (despite the "drink straight from bottle" suggestion - wtf Guinness?). Several fingers of light tan fluffy, fizzy head - decent lacing.

Sweet malt nose, some roastiness and light diacetyl.

A sip is well-carbonated and thin - watery sweet roasted malts and pretty plain bitterness on the back end. Nothing special, but easy to drink.

It seems that everyone is trying to compare this to their flagship beer and that's totally inappropriate. It's a Euro Lager - it's pretty sessionable and it's basically just not bad. Could they have done better? I'm sure, but it's something new - reminds me of a thin Smithwick's.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2011 18:30:49 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter (despite the label's directions to drink it from the bottle).

Pours very dark with a light tan head that looks appealing. In low light this looks totally black, and when held up to strong light slight crimson highlights can be seen.

Smells of black patent malt and cooked vegetables, with a little hop aroma of no particular type.

Tastes like the nose, with a little more depth of malt flavor. The vegetable flavor is muted, but it isn't pleasant. There is a little hop flavor that compliments the semi-sweet roasted barley flavor notes.

the mouthfeel is less than I expected from Guinness, which in my book has a pretty good reputation for mouthfeels. This feels over-carbonated and not very smooth or interesting. Light bodied.

Conclusion: This is better than the other Euro dark lager I have tasted (Baltika), but it still isn't that great. If I am going to drink Guinness beer, I would always take their stout, extra stout, or foreign extra stout (really good stuff!!) over this.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 21:28:30 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of jwc215


2.78/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 14:55:41 | More by jwc215
Photo of therica


3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= totally black, a nice active tan head with plentiful lacing.

S= Interesting hops and burnt malts blend, somewhat a combination of their Guinness Stout and Export. Some vanilla nose.

T= A very nice compromise between Guinness Stout and Export (or their 250th Anniversary). A very nice blend which should appeal to the populace. A nice blend of hops bitters, starchy toasted malts, vanilla and intruigue.

M= a very nice clean mouth feel, not as bitter as Guinness Stout, not as hoppy-bitter as their Export Stout and definitely much more character than their new wimpy nitro-Draft.

O= a superb offering overall by Guinness which should hopefully find wide acclaim.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 04:49:32 | More by therica
Photo of DannyDan


3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a dark brown with a thin tan head that has some retention and very little lacing. The smell is roasted malts and some coffee. the taste starts out with some sweet malts, grains and finishes off with some coffee. The mouthfeel is very thin and watery and very light bodied for a Guinness. Not a bad beer overall and might be good once in awhile but nothing great.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 04:32:18 | More by DannyDan
Photo of depechemode1983


2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark brown in color bordering black. Head is tan and is gone within seconds. No lacing at all.

S - Lightly toasted malts, a bit of a caramelized sweetness with some graininess. Very faint hops if you really dig.

T - Again lightly roasted malts with some sweetness. Also getting a little coffee in the finish but not much. Still picking up grains, a little wheat and maybe some oats.

M - A bit light bodied and somewhat watery. Carbonation is medium.

O - Average at best. I wouldn't drop money on this beer ever again. I would drink it if it was free though.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2011 02:48:29 | More by depechemode1983
Photo of bramsdell


1.78/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I am a die-hard Guinness fan, both stout and draught, but it is here that I draw the line. Honestly, I don't even feel like reviewing this beer, but I paid for it, so I feel like I should. I also want to note that I do not have anything against dark lagers. I think there can be A-level dark lagers out there.

A: It looks like a dark lager. Maybe it is a bit thinner than the usual dark lager. When looked at quickly, it looks like a real beer, but upon further scrutiny, the thinness and lack of head is very apparent.

S: It smells like malt liquor. Now, I love me a Colt 45 in the right time and the right place, but this smells like old Olde English. I hate OE.

A: It tastes like f-ing OE. Did I really just buy a beer that tastes like OE. More importantly, did Guinness, a company with such a distinctive brand, flavor and body, really just allow its name to be stamped onto a beer that tastes like OE? Damn.

M: Um, it's watery. There isn't a whole lot else to say. Carbonation levels are not noticeably high or low for the style; basically average.

O: This beer sucks. I love Guinness draught and stout and will defend the big G until my dying day, but this beer is horrible. Having bought this as a single due to interest, I wish I had instead just bought a 40. Don't buy this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 23:58:21 | More by bramsdell
Photo of mrcarterxxl

New Jersey

2.28/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tumbler glass

A=dark maroon when held to light.

S= like it came from a can but it didn't. barley

T= tinge of bitter barley nothing special

MF= very fine carbonation ( drink it quick it will be flat soon)

Come on guinness give me something good!
I'm very disappointed with this one... if they aged it with oak bourbon barrels and added a vanilla barley ( would be a delicate delectable) it would have been worthy of a six pack, I guess I dodged a bullet.

Any who cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 18:27:36 | More by mrcarterxxl
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Rich black coffee color with a nice cream colored head.
S: A little dry and sour nose. The aroma has hints of caramel and rich dark roasted malt.
T: Very light and crisp flavor. Not as rich as you might think by the color. Its a very nice tavern style ale with some roasted undertones.
M/O: Not overly carbonated which gives it a nice silky texture. Good flavor but a little plain.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 22:10:59 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of JMad


3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from an English pint glass...

Pours a cola colored dark brown with red hues and a bubbly/ rocky tan head that clung nicely to the glass. Smells of roasted barley with a hint of coffee and a slight sourness. The taste is very metallic, a little bland, the most dominant flavors are roasted barley and earthy hops. It has a medium body with low carbonation and a dry finish. I thought this beer was ok but it lacks in the flavor department, I'm glad Central Market sells singles because I wouldn't have wanted to buy a whole six pack.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 22:41:08 | More by JMad
Photo of OtherShoe2


3.13/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep brown with an off-white head. No lace.

Some coffee and dark roasted malt aromas. A sour edge in the nose as well. Eh.

Limited in flavor and depth, this brew has coffee and decent roasted malt flavors, but then it falls apart. A sour grain edge is in there, and this beer has a dried element. It screams for depth and balance, and the malt, coffee, and light bitterness don't seem to work. You won't spit this out, but you'll curse yourself if you bought a 6.

Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

I'll never drink this again. Gimmick beer at best.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 03:42:39 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of Bitterbill


3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle.

It pours a very dark brown and has some reddish hues. A good 2 finger head of foam leaves some lacing.

The smell is of roasted malt, not much else but is decent.

The taste is roasted malt, has a bit of a sweet/bitter thing going on. Not very complex but I wasn't expecting that given the style.

It's close to medium bodied and has moderate carbonation. A relatively good mouthfeel and is pretty easy to drink. It's not bad.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 19:09:43 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of garymuchow


3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I was kinda' excited when I saw this, esp as it stated on the label - "the character of Guinness" I'm thinking a lager form of the stout, but alas it wasn't mean't to be. Euro dark lager fits the bill better.
Looks good, as expected. Attractive black body with deep red highlights. Dense tan head, lots of lacing.
Rather dull and uninspiring aroma. Minimal dark malt character with mild yeast character.
Uninspiring would be my adjective for the flavor too. As it warms start to get some malt character with a growing mild bitterness and start of some drying on the finish.
Body actually holds a little heft for a lighter lager. Well carbonated and good feel overall.
I have the slogan, "Guinness for folks who don't actually like Guinness (or beer)".
Disappointing overall. I had hoped for more. Having said that, well made, of course, and hints of possibilities in the flavor. But hints aren't enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 14:17:51 | More by garymuchow
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 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 DaveHS


2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours cola brown with an inch of foamy, dark mocha head. Reduces to nothing in a matter of seconds, leaving soapy traces of lacing.

S-Mildly roasty, some chocolate malt.

T/M-Light cara pils maltiness, a little caramel sweetness. Very watery and thin. Just as the nose suggested, not much going on here.

O-It's not so much that it's bad, it's just really boring. It fulfills the bare minimum requirements to be a dark lager, without shooting for anything beyond mediocrity.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 01:54:43 | More by DaveHS
Photo of KarlHungus


1.98/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown almost black color. The head is on inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of mostly nothing with a very faint hint of roasted malt. The taste is hard to detect for two reasons: first it is very faint, second, the extreme carbonation makes it difficult to leave this beer in my mouth longer enough to pick up anything. Not only is the mouthfeel way to aggressively carbonated it is water thin. Overall, this beer is really bad. I wasn't expecting a ton of flavor being that it is brewed by Guinness, but I was expected some flavor, and this beer simply doesn't have it.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 21:21:15 | More by KarlHungus
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,653 ratings.