1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,848 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,848
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 3.13
pDev: 19.49%
Wants: 23
Gots: 176 | 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)
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Guinness Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,848 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mnrider
2.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz. Brown bottle. No freshness date.

A: Pours an almost pitch black color with a cocoa tinted head. Not much lacing, but what is seen is OK.

S: A mixture of sweet cocoa and light barley grains.

T/M: A mild taste of charcoal comes in at first. This leads to some roasted barley and hop bitterness. Goes down smooth with a light bitter aftertaste. Not much going on really.

O: I was surprised to see Guinness release a new beer. They don't really have much of a beer library, which I think helps them. So I was really expecting this one to be somewhat enjoyable. But in the end this dark euro lager is forgettable. Worth a try at most.


Photo of SATBMan
4/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of KornWallace
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%

Photo of wshifter2
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of weaselchew
4/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of scottfrie
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330oz bottle into SA perfect pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark dark ruby brown with a huge, dense, dark khaki head that took forever to fade into a thin collar that left a few patches of soapy lace down the glass.
S: The smell is that of dried grains, pale malts and lager yeast. There is a honey, almost mead-like sweetness to the brew.
T: Pretty basic and follows the nose for the most part. Flavors of sweet grains and yeast dominate but there is a bit of ambiguous fruit, a honey-syrupy sweetness, and just a touch of chocolate. The aftertaste is sweet, quick, and easy.
M: Medium-light body, spritzy carbonation and a tingly thinnish mouthfeel. Light and easy but not super smooth.
O: Alright I guess. I could see drinking this now and again but it’s not my favorite.

Photo of DoubleJ
2.5/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Why didn't Guinness use the Harp name to market this dark lager? Maybe cuz more people associate Guinness with dark beer. Let's hope this is not Guinness fermented with lager yeast. On to the beer:

It looks as the name implies, black. Ok, there's a ruby red hue in there too. Head retention is solid. The nose reeks many characters of its famous stout, but without the nitro, so the nose is more intense. Molasses and a lot of bitter roastiness, the latter being annoying.

It's a yo-yo of turn-ons and turn-offs. The turns-ons include the robust flavor intensity at just 4.5% ABV, molasses, bitter chocolate, and charred malts. The turn-offs include the excesive burnt malts and bitternesss and the husky malt that gets in the way. The viscosity is pleasantly on the meaty side, though it is over-carbonated.

Rough all around despite the ups, and it's only a matter of time till my palate can't take anymore. I'm craving an Eisenbahn Dunkel to revive my mind....

Photo of Cubsfan1087
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of animal69
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of mdfb79
3.48/5  rDev +11.2%
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 akinsja
2/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.35/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wanted to like this more than what I've been hearing about it. After trying it out however, I would have to agree with what others are saying -- why mess with the perfection that is Guinness? That said, this is still a solid beer.

Pours a dark black, not unlike--you guessed it--a regular Guinness. Since it's not a stout, there is the traditional foamy off-white head you will see on most dark lagers. The smell is very good -- roasted barley & dark chocolate -- similiar to a Guinness, but with a more noticable alochol aroma. The taste is solid -- dry, roasted barley with an oak/wood undercurrent. Overall, however, I don't really see why I would go for this over a regular Guinness, especially since I think Saranac Chocolate Lager or Sam Adams' Black Lager are tastier, similiar choices.

Guinness is trying to expand -- and maybe this will reach those uneducated beer drinkers that still describe Guinness draught as a "heavy" beer when they notice the more common word "lager" -- but when it comes down to it, I'm still reaching for a Guinness draught if I want a stout, or a Saranac/Sam Adams if I want a lager.

Photo of tigg924
3.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black in color with a 1/4 inch head, opaque, moderate carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and caramel

Taste: toasted malt, caramel, smoke--like a less dense Guinness Draught

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet and smoky

Overall: Not a bad beer and certainly above average for the style. I could see myself getting a glass or two again. Probably my least favorite from the brewery. Try to grade against others I have had in the style. If I was not, this beer would be closer to a C.

Photo of cools007
4/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of righthereisay
2.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Luckily, I only purchased a single bottle of this stuff.

Smell: Cheap. Miller Lite-ish. I cannot find any terms for the smell. Sorry.

Poured black, with lots of Coca Cola style foam. This has literally no character at all. Doesn't have the fresh feel of Guinness draft. Not sure why they did this to me.

Mouthfeel...almost like Coca Cola. Seriously.

Drinkability...yeah, I guess that is the intentions of this beer. I could see a bunch of College kids thinking they are cool drinking "Guinness".

Personally, I believe that Guinness needs to be very careful when releasing beers. I love normal Guinness, and I always thought they could build their beers off of that. It seems they started from scratch. Maybe this is the Miller Lite of Guinness. But if that is the case, they should charge $15 a case.

Photo of syndelee
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%

Photo of TheDarkKnight
4/5  rDev +27.8%

Photo of Lifes2short
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of RockinRob925
2.75/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Very dark brown body that shows some ruby and garnet highlights in the light beneath a one and a half finger head of ivory foam that leaves little lacing.

S: Roasted barley, cooked grains, some cocoa, coffee and weak tobacco mustiness.

T: Light-bodied mix of toasted black malts that give off some weak coffee and dark chocolate flavors to go with the slightly metallic and weak hop front employed by the lager. Finishes a little watery and sticky sweet with low residual bitterness. Not a schwartzbier by any stretch.

M: Thin-medium mouthfeel with a little sticky grain taste in the finish.

O: Light Euro lager for dark beer "enthusiasts?" Not sure what Guinness Ltd. was thinking here, but this beer is very unimpressive. Do NOT expect schwartzbier flavors, but rather something on par with Beck's dark, perhaps. I'd pass again and wil continue to wonder about why this beer exists.

Photo of RoyalT
3.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a nice, very dark brown in color, OK almost black, with a big, fluffy, tight, dark white head.

Smell – I like the roasted aroma but there’s just not enough of it. This bouquet is very faint and consists of dark roasty notes along with a light raw sugar sweetness.

Taste – It’s equally light in the ass at the taste. Again, all the flavors are here it’s just a little empty and lacking in depth. I’d say it’s almost watery.

Mouthfeel – There’s no bitterness to this ale which is better than light-bodied but far from medium. The carbs are a bit too perky for the style as well.

Drinkability – This is an easy-going beer that won’t impress anyone but will stay out of the sink.

Photo of huxcrunner
2.85/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Black in color with a tan head with minium retention and lacing in the glass the smell is pretty lack luster no major aromas of anything. The taste of this beet was pretty plain no great strong flavors that I was hoping for in this beer. The mouthfeel was also very light and watery. This would be refreshing to have maybe one or two but not to sit down and really enjoy a beer. Overall this beer was ok but it was pretty much a major let down from what i was expecting

Photo of captainbearcat
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Photo of adams82
2.42/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights; the ruby is accentuated with a back light.

Smell is mundane; maybe some sweet notes, nothing really takes my breath away. Taste is much of the same, tastes like a euro lager with added roasted barley... sour, astringent, no hop presence and the mouth feel is thin and watery. No body what so ever.

This is essentially Harp Lager with chocolate malt added for color and it adds a bit of a roasty flavor. I suppose if you really, really, really, like Harp you should pick this up, otherwise, pass...

Uninspired and uninteresting. There are better beers out there that *deserve* your money.

Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
73 out of 100 based on 1,848 ratings.