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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,774 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,774
Reviews: 419
rAvg: 3.13
pDev: 19.49%
Wants: 23
Gots: 146 | 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: 1,774 | Reviews: 419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimmytc
2.85/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

jimmytc, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
2.53/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

projectflam86, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of OldIronLungs
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

OldIronLungs, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.15/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

allforbetterbeer, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of jwc215
2.78/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

jwc215, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of therica
3.6/5  rDev +15%
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.

therica, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of DannyDan
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

DannyDan, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of depechemode1983
2.95/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

depechemode1983, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of bramsdell
1.78/5  rDev -43.1%
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.

bramsdell, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of mrcarterxxl
2.28/5  rDev -27.2%
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!

mrcarterxxl, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of pzrhsau
2.95/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

pzrhsau, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of JMad
3.25/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

JMad, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.13/5  rDev 0%
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.

OtherShoe2, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of Bitterbill
3.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

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

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

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

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

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

KarlHungus, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of airforbes1
2.88/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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%
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.

WVbeergeek, Sep 10, 2011
Photo of chocosushi
2.48/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,774 ratings.