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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,845 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,845
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)
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Ratings: 1,845 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vfgccp
3.53/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black with deep cranberry highlights, nice head on the initial pour but it dies out, low lacing.

S - Roasted malt aroma. Pretty subtle overall.

T - Roasty and malty with a touch of bitterness on the front end. The finish is a light dry roast.

M- Pretty standard for a black lager, slightly thin but nice bubbly feel.

O- Average drinkability, it is a nice malty and smooth dark beer.

---Rated via Beer's Advocate for iPhone

Photo of budgood1
2.85/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out of the 330cl bottle an opaque black colour with a healthy, bubbly tan head. reduces to a fine film with some lace to boot. euro lager aroma with bits of charred malts around the edges. the taste is more euro lager flavours, a bit of flowery hops and some slight dark roasted maltiness hinting at bitter char. there must be some pale malts too, as the dark roasted malts just lack any dominance. crisp lager mouthfeel; lightish body. very drinkable, with a refreshing outlook.

overall a disappointment as far as black lagers go. there are much better domestic versions of the dark lager variety, so there isn't much impetus to ever revisit this again.

Photo of fsvan
2.63/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Very dark brown. Basically black through the middle, with a coffee like tinge on the edges. A finger of slightly sticky tan head.

S- Dark malt, some dark chocolate, and a srtange slightly metallic note. Not a huge nose by any means.

T- Malt notes take a back seat to that odd metallic quality, which leaves an odd aftertaste on the middle of the tongue. Color me unimpressed.

M- Light and fairly watery. This is a Guinness beer, right?

O- I'm not a big fan of this, and don't think I'll revisit it.

Photo of bubseymour
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Not very impressive. Looks like a coca cola with large soap sudsy bubbled looking head that disappears quickly.

Smell - nicy malty and chocolatey smell.

Taste - what taste? Nearly no flavor but a bitter/crisp finish.

Mouthfeel - super watery

Overall - The only thing this beer has going for it is the aroma which is misleading. This is a big mistake and is a pointless beer IMO. Scrap the losses in marketing and go back to making stouts Guinness.

Photo of brewskifan55
3.35/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Expresso black with amber highlights. Half finger head that spirits away quickly. Good lacing.

Smell: dark chocolate and barley

Taste: barley and malts come through. Also got coffee and cola. This doesn't taste like a lagered down stout.

Mouthfeel: medium; good carbonation.

Overall: I was expecting to be disappointed from reading other reviews, but I thought this was a decent drinker. Smooth. Goes good with Swiss cheese. Sam Adams Black Lager is a bit better, but I have no complaints with this Guinness version. It won't win any stout drinkers away from the Guinness mother ship.

Photo of delmarnate
2.35/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Has a very strong chemical odor to it. Hits the tongue with a nice crisp kick then descends into chemical bitterness. The aftertaste is hard to describe but easy to explain: awful. Really surprising from Guinness. The initial taste and aroma are very romising, but soon after the initial taste everything falls apart.

Photo of mjpolzin
3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to rank Guinness Stout as one of my favorite beers. Once I started getting into beer a little more though, I realized that although Guinness was still pretty good, it wasn't even in my top 10 or probably even 20 favorite beers. Someone bought me some of the new Black Lager so I gave it a shot. I guessed it would be 1.)Okay but not great and 2.) exactly like Guinness. I think I was pretty close.

If I had to give a difference between this and Guinness Stout, the black lager is a little more watered down but not in a bad way. It is almost more crisp and refreshing but with still some of the roasty, malted characteristic of the Stout. That said though, it is pretty average across the board. It would be an easy one to pound back a lot of (I say that about a lot of average but not bad beers) if you were in the mood for some dark beer but nothing I will buy again.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

App- The body looks much like regular Guinness. It is a dark, almost opaque body with some ruby highlights. There are two fingers of khaki head that is on the soapy side. There is okay head retention, pretty decent lace.

Smell- There is just a little bit of crystal / caramel malt on the nose. Maybe some roasted malt in there too? Meh.

Taste- It tastes kind of watered down. There is roasted malt and a little bit of char in the finish. There is a bit of caramel malt mid drink that is a nice touch. It is not well developed.

Mouth feel- The body is more light than medium bodied. There is a bit of fizziness which I don't think is really a good fit. It could be much smoother, and you know, maybe even a bit dry.

Overall- The black lager is different enough from the stout, but not really distinguishing enough to ever make it as popular as what Guinness is known for. Too average to convert anyone I think, and I doubt it will come as a surprise that it can be easily avoided.

Photo of mrfrancis
2.55/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a jet black with a thick, puffy tan head. Great head retention here.

S: Faint aromas of roasted barley and grassy hops are present on the nose. This is one of the least aromatic European lagers I've run across.

T: Opens crisp and grainy with notes of ash, roasted barley, minerals, chalk, and lemony, grassy hops. The finish is so short as to be practically nonexistent with a blend of grain and hop flavors.

M: Light-bodied, firm, and dry with active carbonation. Very crisp. It's definitely refreshing, but that's about all I can say about it.

O: Nothing out of the ordinary here. Very average. I imagine this beer is aimed at the lager-obsessed U.S. mainstream market, but considering the popularity of Guinness Draught, this beer is more than a bit redundant.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.78/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

11.2 ounce bottle - Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a near black body with very dark mahogany-hued hints at the edge and topped with a small-sized, off-white head.

Smell: Ultra faint hint of roast. And...well... There's just not much at all to it.

Taste: Pale malted barley, maybe even a trifling inclusion of pils malt. Very, very low roastiness, more like they added caramel coloring to achieve the color. Faintly herbal hint of hops with a minute bitterness. More of the same (which isn't much) until the crispish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation. Reasonably crisp.

Overall: As bland, boring, and deficient as their flagship beer but without the treasured history of the standard Guinness Stout.

Photo of Rifugium
3.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Pinocchio's beer garden, Media, PA

Poured into a pint glass a brownish-black color with a rocky tan head of decent size that leaves just a bit of patchy lacing on the glass. Not too much in the aroma department, just basic scents of dark malts and light cocoa. Dark malts in the taste, grainy, lightly toasted, pretty basic. Decent but not overly flavorful. Medium mouthfeel at best, first sip actually seemed a little sandy? But maybe that was just me. Nothing spectacular, especially when things like Kostrizer Schwarzbier exist. Or Guinness Extra Stout, for that matter. Fairly drinkable, and worth a try, but that's about it.

Photo of Thads324
2.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark black. Not see through. A loose tan head with loud exploding bubbles. Dissipates quickly, leaving tons of lace. Smells of corn syrup and dust balls. A bit of alcohol too. Taste starts out mellow with a bit of caramel, then has a bitter roasted flavor that is very subtle. Finishes husky and sweet with a butterscotch flavor and feel. A bit of bitter hops at the very end balance nicely. Mouthfeel is overall ok, a bit watery and wet at the end. Crisp Up front, sloppy wet in back.
A pretty tasty beer that smells awful and is just kind of weird. Won't repeat buy, but Im glad I tried it.

As this beer warms up it starts to taste more like that gross smell.

Photo of Justin23060
3.03/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Quite dark with only a little chestnut highlight.

S - Roasty caramel malt.

T - Based on the smell I was a little surprised by the crispness and lack of linger. Would have liked just a little sweetness to carry the light roast that is trying to get through.

M - Pretty thirst quenching because of the light body. But too dry.

O - Certainly not the best Euro Dark on the market. If given a choice between your average adjunct and this, the Guiness Black Lager might win, but not by a lot.

Photo of Derranged
2.78/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is was not an easy find, I don't see this in New York. Found it in a Total Wine in NJ, never saw it before so I had to pick up a bottle. Poured this into a Guinness pint glass.

A- Pours black with a thick tan head.

S- Hoppy, roasted malts, some chocolate. So far so good.

T- This is where is goes wrong. This was very bland. Faint watery malt flavor, although the aftertaste was stronger, roasted malts and chocolate.

M- Thin and flat.

O- Glad I got to try this, but this was a very bland beer. An easy pounder for sure but that's about it.

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

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a pint glass.

A: Pitch black with a 1-finger than head that lasts for a little while before settling into a wispy lace.

S: Chocolaty Roasted malt aroma.

T: Bitter malt flavor with hints of chocolate.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This beer really disappointed me. It was a decent black lager - but with a name like Guinness I was expecting more.

Photo of fx20736
2.78/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Ebony black which has ruby highlights when backlit and a tan mocha . Spots of lacing.

Aroma of roasted caramelly malt with some herbal hoppiness.

Full mouthfeel

Dryish, light bittersweet caramel roast with a distinct hop bitterness.

Notes: ??? Guinness as a lager? The carbonation gets in the way and it works against the sour flavor profile.

Photo of kindestcut
3.15/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Guinness Black Lager pours a deep black with a foamy off-white head. The aroma is grainy with a faint background of malt.

The taste is light, far lighter than I would expect from a dark lager. There is a noticable malty sweetness but it gives way quickly to a familiar lager graininess. The finish is very faintly bitter.

The mouthfeel is not heavy, a drinkable beer but not an excellent one.

Photo of yankiac
2.4/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Dark black with a modest white head.

S - There really isn't a lot of aroma to this beer. A hint of roasted barley, but not very impressive

T - There isn't a ton of taste either. Its slightly bitter and there is a slight presence of roasted barely.

M - Very light and drinkable. Very smooth and kind of watery

O - Wasn't impressed by this offering. I think Guinness should have gone a bit bolder with this one.

Photo of JayS2629
3.9/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a creamy white head that fades fast but leaves nice lacing.

Clean, faint roasted malt and touch of cocoa.

Very clean with roasted malt and cocoa notes. Earthy with a bitter finish.

Medium/thin, clean and crisp

Easy to drink, ok but boring beer.

Photo of mralphabet
2.58/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a black with a hint of red, about 2 fingers worth of than tan head that settles to a ring.. very nice lacing from start to finish. I will say it does not pour like Guinness.. not as pretty.

S: Kind of plain.. little roasted malt, little hops and a small touch of caramel sweetness.

T: Wow not much here... hit of mild bitterness to start with hints of roasted malt, not much else.. Finish is a little to bitter for me.

M: Lighter than I was hoping for from Guinness... little watered down but smooth on the finish and a little dry.

O: Strange offering from Guinness. Maybe I just don't get it... Just not very Euro Dark Lager.. more Schwarzbier and not a very good one.

Photo of kgh
2.25/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The difference in creating what is essentially a stout at heart, using a lager yeast and brewing technique rather than those suitable for an ale, is quite noticeable; this is one of the more insipid beers I ever recall having tasted. A beer like this needs an appropriate ale yeast.

Appearance and mouthfeel are OK for a "lagered stout," but the smell is barely perceptible to me and the taste rather flat and uninspiring--a bit of hop bitternes and what I perceive to be black malt and not much more.

This could be a fair session beer, but there are other brews out there that I would rather drink, including those with a lower ABV and more flavor and aroma.

Photo of drcarver
2.63/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Black clear body with a small light brown head. Head fade and leaves little lacing.

S - clean, sweet and meaty

T - worchestershire/soy sauce, unsweetened cocoa through the nose, stale brewery floor

O - While I highly enjoy the stout and I am glad I tried it, I won't come back to it. There are more flavorful, well rounded black lagers on the market.

Photo of BigPlay1824
3.15/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a Guinness pint glass

A: Pours a deep black that is fully murky with two fingers of foamy head that is mocha colored and dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a bit of lacing on the glass
S: not much to the nose of this brew, maybe chocolate malts but thats really about it
T: a bit of sweetness like chocolate malts but overall not much in the way of taste here just blandness
M: medium to strong carbonation in the beginning then moves to silkiness that lingers on the palate afterwards
O: eh, its smooth and drinkable but there is just no taste or scent, just not much going on, its light which is good i guess

*EDIT: I have had this beer many more times since my review and it has improved a bit in my opinion, i think the initial issue was that i was drinking it too cold which masked the taste notes, now i find it to be malty, slightly smokey and also a very slight hint of caramel, i have bumped up the smell and taste notes by a full point each and the same for the overall score

Photo of twiggamortis420
1.85/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle pours black and does not let much light in. Moderate retention and lacing from a light tan head.

Nose is surprisingly metallic and mineraly. Charred malt is about all else I get...really not a whole lot going on. Disappointing.

Taste is some black patent malt and tangy minerals. Not really very pleasant, to be honest. Not sure why, but I was expecting a little more from this new brew. Its watery, metallic and lacks any sort of character. I would like to see at least a little sweetness and would a hint of hop character be too much to ask? Im not even going to comment on the 'Cold Brewed' nonsense on the label. This beer is a total farce, avoid at all costs. Guinness should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for creating this monstrosity.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost opaque brown with a fair head that leaves behind some decent lacing.

Smells very much like a Euro lager. Not much in the nose.

I've heard people saying "It tastes like a lager with some Guinness in it." Well yeah, what were you expecting? That's exactly what it tastes like. Why would you think different? It's in the name!

Fairly bland overall but not bad. Very drinkable with a light feel, but stronger carbonation than any other Guinness I've had.

It's ok, but absolutely no reason to buy this over Sam Adams Black Lager.

Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
73 out of 100 based on 1,845 ratings.