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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 MrVonzipper
3/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours a dark pale brown and black in the glass with a touch of reddish brown around the edges through light. Good foamy tan head with pretty good retention and lacing.

Smells very similar to regular guinnes. Dark bitter malt and that's it.

Taste is also very similar to the standard Guinness. Kind of just tastes like a watered down version with kind of a nutty and chalky back end.

Mouth is medium bodied with med-high carb.

Overall IMO it seems to me like they made this beer for people who don't like Guinness because they think it's think and heavy (which it is Not!). It seems like the same beer yet fermented cold and lacking nitro making it a boring watered down version.

MrVonzipper, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of azdback
2.75/5  rDev -12.1%

Poured into my custom etched "dead mans hand" pint glass. Dark black with dark brown highlights. Head is two fingers of sea foam appearance and light brown in color. Head and lace are very airy looking and light.

Smell is of dark roasts and some sweet tart cherry.

Taste is mostly lager yeasts that taste like soggy bread. Some weak roasted malts and water.

Mouth is I guess lagerish. It is watery and empty. The light roasted flavor of this does not hide the fact that it is a lager and is supposed to be drinkable. i.e watery. Not my cup of proverbial tea.

Overall this is what I expected from a brew that is trying to please the masses in America. I can just see the guys in the board room trying to figure out us Americans. Hmmm. light body, drinkable, wait... we are Guinness so it's got to be dark. can't have much alcohol. It's perfect if that's what you were looking for. Not for me. Thanks to Skip for this sample.

azdback, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of jbphoto88
3.28/5  rDev +4.8%

First of all the term cold brewed makes any beer sound cheap, mass produced and ignorant. Right on the label in bold letters is "COLD BREWED" perhaps a signal to the nature of this beer. It does pour well with a familiar Guinness black color and even the trademark ruby when held up to the light (albeit a little lighter.) The one big difference between this and the stout is the lackluster head. Gone is the creamy brown and left is a pitiful fizzy nothing.

The nose is also distinctly Guinness. With a mild bouquet of roasted barley paired a sweet lager yeast. Clean, pleasant and not as bad as I was expecting from that cold brewed tagline which really annoys me.

The taste is like a crisp version of Guinness. Think rich like a stout but with the body and carbonation of a Mexican lager. The co2 adds a nice touch of acidity that cuts the stout flavors but in a respectable way. All in all it's not bad.

I dig on the mouthfeel and think that this is a nice alternative to your everyday lager. The sizzle on the tongue with a slick Guinness feel is a nice contrast and really balances the beer. I am looking forward to pairing it with some spicy mexican food to see if it can hang. Even though this isn't a bad beer it is very middle of the road. Nothing really bold or innovative and frankly the way it's marketed hurts me deeply. Guinness has been around forever and has some great brand loyalty. I don't see why they had to get all gimmicky with their labeling or even why they needed to step into the lager market. They even went as far as to imply Arthur Guinness who died in 1803 signed the description on the back of the bottle. This beer is worth a try but blackens the eye of the brand. I'll pass next time.

jbphoto88, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of JackieTH
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured a brown/black but not opaque liquid with about an inch of light tan head. Smells lightly grainy, roasted and subtle chocolate. Taste is malt/grain roasted to the point of mild smokiness. Mouthfeel is medium with mild carbonation. Overall this tastes like a mildly smoked lager. Not bad, but not great either.

JackieTH, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.83/5  rDev -9.6%

Look: Completely black with a 1 inch frothy head and good retention with some lace

Smell: Initially there is a ight roasted malt which carries some smokiness to it as well

Taste: Not much going on here at all. It is a bit of a let down based on the nose. There is some chocolate and it finishes with an ashtray like flavor

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body with medium carbonation and leaves the mouth a bit sticky

Overally: I was hoping for more with this beer honestly but everything just kind of fell short

DarthKostrizer, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%

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.

BEERchitect, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of BDIMike
3.45/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a jet black color. There is a medium sized tan head with a slight bit of lacing.
Smell is nice. A good lager hop smell with a very subdued roasted malt smell. The aroma makes me think this beer will be very well-balanced.
Taste has a very nice balance to it. I expected more of a roasted malt taste. The taste has a nice roasted and caramel malt flavor, but it is heavier on the hops than I thought. A good Euro lager taste balances the dark malts.
Mouthfeel is okay. A medium thickness. A slight bit of carbonation gives the beer a refreshing sip.
Drinkability is good on this black lager. Normally, I can't drink too many black lagers, because the smoky dark malts get to me. However, this beer has a nice balance with very nice drinkability.

BDIMike, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of zeff80
3.4/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

zeff80, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of Blakaeris
2.83/5  rDev -9.6%

Pours very dark brown with a creamy tan head that leaves sheets of sticky lacing.

Aroma is roasted dark grain, and powdered cocoa.

Taste is initially similar to the nose, with dark grai, mildly smokey character up front. Then a dry chocolate bitterness takes over along with an odd, musty off flavor that lingers.

Mouthfeel is light bodied.

Overall, an uninspiring lager. The off flavor is overpowering whatever flavor this brew offers.

Blakaeris, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of bashiba
2.75/5  rDev -12.1%

Poured a deep dark brown with bright clean ruby highlights, a thick yet rapidly dissipating head.

There is almost no smell at all, just some light smokey grains.

The flavor is very mild with a light bit of smoke and roasted grain flavors and not much else. Very thin.

The mouthfeel is watery with just a hint of carbonation.

Pretty substandard.

bashiba, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of MrKennedy
1.95/5  rDev -37.7%

330ml bottle at Harts Pub poured into a mini goblet.

Black in appearance, no surprises there...with a solid tan head of foam (about an inch) that gradually reduces over time.

If you've ever smelt a non-alcoholic beer from a supermarket...this nails it...not a good thing.

Relatively bland flavour, tiny bit of roasted malt coming through.

Modest body at best. Feels light.

In summary, underwhelming and really reminds me of an over-malty alcohol-free beer.

MrKennedy, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of match1112
3.15/5  rDev +0.6%

poured from 12oz bottle into guinness pint glass.

A: black with brown hues around the edges, 1.5 fingers mocha colored head with very little lacing.

S: sweet malts

T: sweet start with slightly bitter finish.

M: not much there.

overall not impressed yet not totally turned off by this beer. probably wont buy again, but wouldnt turn down if it was free.

match1112, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of Lemke10
3.35/5  rDev +7%

I bought a 6-pack of this from the local Jewel-Osco in Minooka, IL in Winter 2010.

Pours a very dark brown/black color. I didn't get much of a head on this when I poured it into a chilled pint glass. Has a semi-robust scent of roasted malts and some sweet carmel hints. Has a pretty mild taste of some coffee and toffee hints. Fairly heavy taste but no real texture to it. The robust malts definetly hit the taste buds. It's nice to see something between the taste of a lager and the traditional Guinness stout, but I don't see this being a huge seller. Something new to try at least.

Lemke10, Apr 15, 2011
Photo of kashmoney
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%

A --Deep black color with a light, 3 fingerwidth tan head.

S -- Mild malt character.

T -- Sweet, malty flavor initially with bitter roasted finish. Generic taste.

M -- Thin mouthfeel. Looks thicker than it goes down.

D -- Essentially a guiness looking miller lite...easy drinking but without much flavor

Serving type: bottle

kashmoney, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of weatherdog
2.83/5  rDev -9.6%

Thanks to Mike for giving me this bottle at a recent tasting. It was in his 'Free Beer...Please Take Home' box

It pours a transparent deep deep chestnut brown with crimson highlights. A fluffy generous khaki colored head tops the beer with medium retention and minimal lacing.

The nose is very mild. It has a minimal amount of roasted barley as well as a slight plum esters and finishes just a bit sweet.

The roasted barley is once again nearly non-existent. There is not even a hint of coffee or chocolate commonly found in beers with a decent amount of roasted barley. There is just a slight dark grain taste. Once again a lot of plum esters are coming through. There is almost a medium amount of bitterness which balance some of the malt sweetness in the finish. The plum is just too prominent.

The body is very thin and watery and the carbonation level is medium low which does not compliment this beer at all. Drinkability is just above average, it's not hard to down the beer because it's so thin and watery but at the same time it's very boring, so not enjoyable. It's like they mixed 1 part Guinness with about 5 parts black lager. It ends up with a mash-up that does nothing to accentuate the roastiness of a good dry stout and the crispness of a good lager. I'd only choose this again if BMC is the only thing available. I'd much rather just have the original.

weatherdog, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev -1%

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.

kojevergas, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of HalfFull
3.05/5  rDev -2.6%

330 ml. bottle poured into a pils glass. Pours a nice black color with half an inch of off white foam. Deep ruby amber in the light, the beer offers moderate retention and good lacing.

Aromas of roasted malt with some milk chocolate notes. Smell is surely reminiscent of your standard Guinness though a bit watered down. Rather neutral in flavor with light chocolate and some firm roast character on the finish, and increasingly so with warming as the feel dries out some. Nonetheless when ice cold the flavor is a bit too thin. So I ignore the label, decrying 'Enjoy Ice Cold'. Guinness Lightbody seems to have been the intent and in a sense I guess they succeeded.

HalfFull, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of ferrari29
3.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Beer poured from bottle into Mug

A - Beer pours with a black/dark brown color; two finger beige colored foam formed and held very well; good amount of carbonation

S - Scents of this beer are mostly airy and clean lager crispiness; hints of grapefruit sourness; some subtle hints of malt sweetness; almost liquorice

T - Really kind of lacks any flavor; slightly disappointed after that buildup of appearance and smell; the lager flavor comes out more on the back-end but misses most of the umami and sweet buds on the front of my tongue

M - Clean and crisp; not very effervescent; tastes very light, not very filling

D - Like I mentioned earlier, I was really impressed with the appearance, but after all that buildup I was let down immediately after taking my first sip; weak flavoring will make me want to pass on this one

ferrari29, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of DarkOzzieAle
3.95/5  rDev +26.2%

Keeping in mind that this is a new product from a massive, faceless alcoholic beverage conglomerate with a made-up name...aka the ultimate macrobrew, this is quite drinkable and offers something a bit different. I hope it succeeds and they keep making it.

Basically, this is an easy-drinking lager that you can easily have a few of with just a bit of that guinness dark roasted flavor and also a good touch of that guinness appearance.

Is it an exceptional beer? I'd say no. Smell, mouthfeel, taste, etc all have that mass-produced vibe about them. But, on a hot day when a guinness seems overwhelming, but a light and fruity lager is depressing, this is not a bad option.

DarkOzzieAle, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of steveh
3.35/5  rDev +7%

Was able to get a good deal sale on a sixer of this (thanks to the wife's shopping savvy), so I have an opportunity I wouldn't have taken otherwise.

Not sure how to review this, the Bros have it as a "Euro Dark Lager," but there's no definition of the style. Just wing it, I guess.

A -- Deep, dark black color with ruby highlights and a light tan head that holds up well -- looks pretty much like Guinness Stout Draught.

S -- Mild roasted malt character and not much else. Pretty thin.

T -- Hit of heavily roasted, black malt that lingers on the tongue and finishes with a bitter roasted aftertaste. Sort of similar to Guinness Draught, but maybe cleaner -- leaning it to a Schwarzbier.

M -- Medium to full-bodied with a slick mouthfeel that finishes on the dry side.

D -- Well, it certainly goes down easy, but I don't find it that much more outstanding than Guinness Draught. In fact, the "cold brewing" might actually take away from the usual Guinness ingredients. Not sure what marketing plan put this on the shelves, but I think it's sort of redundant to the other Guinness offerings.

steveh, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of JamnesCameron
1.68/5  rDev -46.3%

Poured into a pint glass.

Poured vigorously, giving a big, billowy light tan head, made up mostly of large bubbles, over two fingers' worth. Sits on top of a very deep ruby, almost black, but reddish highlights do shine through. As head falls over period of a few minutes, leaves big chunky lacing on the glass. This is the best part of the review, the rest is kind of a downer.

Aromas of roast malt, an "eastern european lager funk," a grainy harshness with a noble hop aroma. Oily and phenolic. Not that pleasant.

First sip is of that eastern european lager quality, grainy malt, some hop balance. But harsh. Tastes like it was brewed bigger, then diluted. Finish is short and grainy.

Mouthfeel is light, leaning toward watery, with an oily quality.

Not very drinkable. Not sure how this got past the corporate tasting panel, unless they thought it would appeal to the macro masses. Won't repeat this one.

JamnesCameron, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of scruffwhor
3.28/5  rDev +4.8%

The color is a nice black with a brown and ruby middle. Nice tan head that recedes to a thick film after a couple of sips, and remains for the rest of the beer.

The aroma is has roasted malts malts cut in half by some gypsum. Theres also a little nutty aroma as well. but this beer overall has a general dry smell that seems to snuff some of the otherwise good odors out.

The taste starts with a light roasted flavor and lots of dry gypsum, almost giving the front and middle mouthfeel a little pucker feel. The finish is malty, heavy toast and a little metallic as it lingers.

Not a bad session ale. Simple flavors and palate make this beer a worthwhile try for any Guinness Stout fan. Overall this beer tastes and feels pretty close to the stout, but a little bubbly on the tongue.

scruffwhor, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of tapman
3.38/5  rDev +8%

Dark brown/black with darker ruby highlights than its sister ale, the appearance is closer to the export stout than the dry version. 2 finger head with moderate retention.

Sweet caramel mixed with a very pale malt smell. Pale malt aroma is similar to the Euro Lager smell of other euro beers lagers. Smells sweeter than oter euro dark lagers like Estrella Damm's dark beer. A little light toast in there as well. Better than the average euro dark lager I would say, but not as good as a Kostrikzer (sp.).

Tastes like a bolder Euro Dark Lager than others I have sampled. There is a soft, toffee flavor mixed with sweet pale malt and a firm bitterness in the finish. On the other hand, like others of the style, there is a cardboard-like flavor that seems to permeate all Euro-type beers.

More carbonation in the mouthfeel than I had anticipated leaving it a little biting for my taste.

Not bad. Remember this is not a Schwartzbier or else it would be in that style category. Every big brewery in Europe has a light and a dark/amber version of their beer and this one tastes just like the average ones, only slightly better. However, those bers are ridiculously cheap, even by our standards. And I'm talking in Euros and they're still cheap. For the price of a six-pack of this brew I would say it is not worth it. Knock off $3 and I would buy it once in a while.

tapman, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
1.73/5  rDev -44.7%

Bought a 6 pack to use in my chili... Ended up with one left-- so here we go...
Not sure of style designation "euro dark lager." I'll be comparing this to other black lagers...
Poured into pint glass.

Unimpressive sums up the beer on all aspects.
It is dark- light red hints. Minimal head, virtually no lace.
Looks undercarbonated-- kind of thick, but not anything I think will be full bodied...

Smells of roasted malt and coffee grounds.

Taste is slightly sweet, toasty, and coffee. No real hop note, although slightly bitter...

Oily and undercarbonated... Medium body.

Not good. Not awful... But not a beer I'll be buying again.

AleWatcher, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of kflorence
2.7/5  rDev -13.7%

A: Poured an opaque black color with a good amount of brown, frothy head. Upon pouring, it is already obvious that this beer is over-carbonated. Lacing is left around the edges of the glass as you drink.

S: Smells pretty decent. Lots of roasted malt notes, some grains. There is some masked lager smell in there... corn and sulfur.

T: Meh. Not impressed with the palate here. The roasted malts present in the smell are there, but rather subdued. There is a bit of a grainy, corn lager flavor and maybe a hint of fruit (grapes?). In any case, the hops are hardly noticeable and the beer is definitely on the sweet side.

M: Too much carbonation! This beer practically tastes like a soda, and screams "cheap!" Other than the ample carbonation, there isn't much body there. Really feels like carbonated water.

D: Overall, I was not impressed with this beer, but I wasn't really expecting to be either. Just another overpriced beer on the shelf that doesn't offer anything new. It's not repulsive, and I'd probably drink some if it was free, but I won't be searching for it myself.

kflorence, Nov 24, 2010
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,736 ratings.