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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,736 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,736
Reviews: 419
rAvg: 3.13
pDev: 19.49%
Wants: 21
Gots: 128 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,736 | Reviews: 419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev -1%

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.

Bitterbill, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of garymuchow
3.08/5  rDev -1.6%

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.

garymuchow, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
3.75/5  rDev +19.8%

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.

MattyG85, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
4.05/5  rDev +29.4%

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.

AdamBear, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%

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.

DaveHS, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of KarlHungus
1.98/5  rDev -36.7%

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.

KarlHungus, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of airforbes1
2.88/5  rDev -8%

Guinness Draught was the beer that taught me there's more to beer than fizzy, yellow lagers, so I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Guinness Ltd. I almost feel obligated to tick this beer. Is it a worthy offering, or just a gimmick import? Let's find out.

This beer is nearly completely black with a head that retains well. The nose is very plain, with the generic grainy, beer-y smell.

The taste follows the nose; this a painfully ordinary-at-best brew. Maybe there's some cocoa in there, but it's mostly a grainy taste. It's clean, but also very watery.

When it comes to products that sport the Guinness name, I'lll stick with the stouts. Still, I wouldn't decline this if offered.

airforbes1, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
3.98/5  rDev +27.2%

A: Pours a rich coffee black with a quick dissolving head

S: Rich coffee and Dark Malts

T: Has a rich coffee, smooth bready taste from the lager yeast, and some raisin.

M: Light on the palate, but nice carbonation

O: This is definitely a Guinness stout but just with a clean lager yeast. This is still pretty sessionable and easy drinking. This is an awesome beer. I really enjoy this, I could drink this all night, and the next week.

PaulStoneAnchor, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of Treborofmoria
3.6/5  rDev +15%

Guinness Black lager is exactly what it says it is. A commercial, mass produced dark lager from a company know for their stout, that being said. Could it be more hoppy and aromatic? Yes. Can you taste carmelized, dark malt? Yes, medium taste. Is it lighter in mouthfeel, due to being a lager? Yes. A lot of people have trashed this beer for all of the above, unfairly I think. Is there better examples of this style, undoubtably(sp). Is this a great beer to someone who thinks Guinness stout is too heavy or burnt tasting, but wants to hang with the Guinness crowd? YES. Its a serious lighter version of a dark beer. Its not trying to conquer the lager market.

Treborofmoria, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.35/5  rDev -24.9%

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.

WVbeergeek, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of chocosushi
2.48/5  rDev -20.8%

Bought this expecting a Schwarzbier...
12oz->Leinenkugel Pint
A ~ Pours dark brown with an abundance of very air-y cigarette-ash head.

S ~ Aluminum foil, Mulch, Wet malt. Not much roasted action.

T ~ Malt lends mushy wheat bread, appleskin, porridge, & grits...Notes of grilled corn. That's about as "roasted" as it gets
Dirty linoleum buried beneath all of this.

M ~ Cloying & very thin. Not a good combo. Mild bitterness.

D ~ Will never buy this again. I go into the purchase thinking this is a Schwarz, but I end up with a mediocre Euro Lager... I don't know what to think. Sad I have 5 more. Avoid.

chocosushi, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of bmo56
2.4/5  rDev -23.3%

Was given a bottle by a business associate of to take home and try, knowing that i am a Guinness fan. I poured the beer into my favorite laser etched pint. The head is a little more bubbly than the stout, but other than that it looked like a pint of the draught. overall the combined taste and smell did nothing for me, it did taste like a traditional lager, but i was hoping for a little more of something from it.

bmo56, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of adamrobertt
3.55/5  rDev +13.4%

I'm not sure why everyone is being so hard on this beer. It's not spectacular, but it's a decent beer. Comparing it to Milwaukee's Best is just uncalled for.

It looks like a black lager. Nearly opaque with a somewhat fizzy head. It doesn't have much of an aroma but a faint whiff of roasted malt is present. The flavor is primarily of roasted malt up front with a nice bready aftertaste. It tastes a lot like Harp would taste if it were made with roasted barley. The beer is a bit thin in the mouth and doesn't have much texture. Overall it's a decent, if not overly complex black lager.

A nice session beer if anything else. Not too high in the alcohol department and it goes down easy.

adamrobertt, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of Brenden
3.05/5  rDev -2.6%

This black lager isn't quite what it claims, though it isn't too far off. Some red-brown hues show up as light shines through my glass. Lively carbonation builds up a small tannish head but it's a bit loose and fades off quickly, leaving a bit of foam. Lacing isn't terrible, but not good either.
A bit of caramel malts come out under a mostly roasty aroma with some grains underneath, oddly not as much the darker, more barley-like smell one might expect. There's a ghost of dark fruits and very little hops character.
The flavor is much the same, with the roasted character strongest the grains, and the distinct malty backbone. There's a litle char, but not astringently so. A bit of coffee and that hint of dark fruits lie underneath.
The mouthfeel is lightly crisp from carbonation in a medium body that's actually fairly smooth. If not for feeling so thin, it's not bad.

Brenden, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of keysofebony
1.25/5  rDev -60.1%

We just got this beer in at the liquor store I work at. I was excited to hear that Guinness came out with a new beer, but disappointing when I saw the bottles...marketing aside, this is just a terrible beer. If I did a blind tasting of this, I would say Milwaukee's Best came out with a dark beer. It has the dark chocolaty/coffee taste at first, but it mixes with that awful, cheap-old-man-beer taste. I think Guinness should pull this product to save the name they've established. If you want to try this, I would suggest splitting a six pack with a friend. I split a 6 pack with my boss and I got through half of one before I poured it and left the other 2 bottles in my friends fridge.

Overall- Guinness is one of my go-to beers when I can't find anything appealing because all of their beers are good and fairly inexpensive, but this would fall far below adequate for even Miller/Coors and Budweiser.

keysofebony, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
2.2/5  rDev -29.7%

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Back label dated L1194GF001 07:19.

Wow, this is just bad. Doesn't warrant a full review, really. Pours clear, dark brown black with thin tan head. Nose smells like an amber lager, some caramel and frothy lager head. Palate is solid lager mouthfeel, but the "black" part of it has been phoned in. No real malt flavor to speak of. Finish is short and bland.

SFLpunk, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of Brad007
3.43/5  rDev +9.6%

First thing that catches my eye is the "Cold-Brewed" on the label. Did MolsonCoors buy them out?

Dark black (yadda yadda) color with a thin head in my glass. Looks like a dark something something.

Not much of the roasted barley. Hmm. It's there but it mingles too much with a sweet malt signature.

Ahh, now we're talking. There's that roasted barley, which is subdued and is much like a mild roast. Other than that, it's sweet and oddly like ordinary Guinness.

Thin body? Check. What am I drinking again? *checks bottle*

I was hoping FES would be on the shelf but it's oddly not. Too bad because for every FES and Anniversary Ale, there's a dud like this.

Brad007, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
2.88/5  rDev -8%

Curious little bottle attracted my attention when I wasn't really looking to buy beer. I've had a lot of Guinness over the years and while I don't drink it much anymore it's still got a special place...
So anyhow this pours a dark brown with ruby highlights and a creamy off white head that quickly dissipates to a cap. No widgets in here to release nitrogen and keep this head stable for an hour. Smells, yup it smells, just like a macro lager. Pilsner malt, grainy, grassy, corny. There's a faint and I mean faint aroma of roasted grains, but I would imagine most of the color from this thing came from sinamar. Taste follows the smell really well and ends with quite a dry finish. Light body, medium carbonation, thin watery mouthfeel. Maybe this would make a good gateway beer for someone, but for me this one was a let down. Nothing exciting here at all.

johnnnniee, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of TCog
2.05/5  rDev -34.5%

A - Looks like a black lager
S - The bottle mentions roasted barley, but that must mean something other than what I think it means, because there is nothing to the nose.
T - Blind, I would have never said this was a black lager or anything much darker than a pilsner. There's some non-descript bitterness but nothing else of note.
M - Nothing to it. There is no weight, there is no significant flavor.
O - Guiness missed with this one. I was hoping for a flavorful black lager and instead we got Guiness Lite.

TCog, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of EgadBananas
1.75/5  rDev -44.1%

Pours a dark brown color with lighter edges. Head was plentiful, and spongy. Retention was short lived.

I can see why they suggest drinking it ice cold and straight from the bottle... this smells awful! A mixture of metal, stale malts and a burnt rye toast aroma.

The taste is better, but it's nothing good. Really, it's just so bland its painful. There's only the faintest hints of roasted malts and a hint of sweetness.

This is like water. There's no substance, nothing validating about the way it feels.

I'm so disappointed in this. Regular Guinness isn't spectacular, but it's pleasant and drinkable despite it's giant stature. This just sucked. Smelled awful, tasted bland, and nothing pleasurable about drinking it.

EgadBananas, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of wac9
4/5  rDev +27.8%

wow im so glad i find this beer for 27 bucks a case it worth it. its black baby mt favorite color . looks good in a glass a nice beer smell with a taste like dark euro beers, because drinking the regular guinness doesnt do anything for .overall i would drink this and tell other so go try it

wac9, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of JamesS
4.68/5  rDev +49.5%

Pours a fantastic black color with wonderful head and some very nice lacing. Excellent scent with a cool and sweet maltiness, great toastiness scents, and hints of chocolate. Fantastic flavors, with a great smooth and sweet malt with excellent undertoned yet noticable chocolate bites, and slight coffee hints; slight earthy hop finish. Extremely smooth, it goes down a treat.

JamesS, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
3.48/5  rDev +11.2%

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours black with about an inch tan head that went away quickly. There's a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is roasted malt, coffee, and some bittersweet chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also a slight nutty flavor. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's pretty easy to drink and is well carbonated. Overall it's not bad, it's probably not going to impress you but I think it's a nice sessionable brew. I'd buy it again, it's a decent choice for a lower alcohol brew to end the night with.

bluejacket74, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Zorro
3.83/5  rDev +22.4%

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.

Zorro, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of Dodo2step
3.23/5  rDev +3.2%

P- Thanks to my buddy Matt for this one.

A- dark brown/light black opaque color. No lacing and no head. Head is more carbonated/soda like.

S- caramel malts that smell musty. a light chocolate hint. not much else.

F- metallic caramel malt if that makes sense. It is basically a guinness light.

M- not as creamy as i would have hoped coming from guinness but i guess it is a lager. carbaonted and gassy.

O- not horrible but not good. This would be a good go to beer for the college student with an adventurous outlook.

Dodo2step, Sep 01, 2011
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,736 ratings.