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Guinness Black Lager | Guinness Ltd.

440 Reviews
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Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland | website

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 04-03-2010

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Reviews: 440 | Ratings: 1,946
Photo of scratch69
3.91/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Black with a bout a fingers worth of tan head that lingers until the last swallow. Fair amount of lacing.

Smell- Dark roasted malt with a hint of chocolate.

Taste- Sort of like a mellow Guinness stout. Toned down dark malt with a tiny hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and light bodied. Decent amount of carbonation.

Overall- If you are wanting a strong flavored Guinness, look elsewhere. Otherwise this is a very drinkable brew. I could easily down a 6-pack of these in one sitting.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.33/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle served in a glass beer mug.

L - black with a beige head that left a few trails of lacing.

S - roasted malt aroma.

T - light grains and mellow roasted malt flavor, it's got enough taste to make me want to drink more.

F - light/medium bodied with mild carbonation.

O - I could enjoy a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.46/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11.2 oz bottle poured a into a standard pint glass :

A - pours a dark brown/black color. 2 finger head with poor retention and fair creaminess.

T - faint roasted barley notes and some cream. Smells like muted Guinness.

T - quite watery. Real faint roasted barley and chocolate notes. Mild and unimpressive.

M - medium bodied and relatively highly carbonated.

D - this beer seems like an intro to Guinness. Mild aroma and mild taste, and as much as I love Guinness, I'd leave this one be.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.02/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle purchased at Shaw's in North Hampton. Pours a nearly opaque dark brown to black body with a half inch or so of light tan head. Malt and milk chocolate comprise the aroma. Roasty coffee, chocolate, malty notes make up the flavor, though it finishes relatively clean. Medium to light in body with ample carbonation. An easy drinker - the flavors mesh well and don't clobber you over the head and the carbonation, body, and clean finish make this beer seem fairly light. Not bad overall but I'm not sure I'll be having this again any time soon.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.41/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks inviting. I get a pretty nice black with hue of read and a inch and a half of opaque colored head, which is surprisingly kind of sticky.

S - Not too much lager yeast or in your face roast, but it is there. Smell is not offending just not great.

T - Well how can I put this... Bluntly it's kind of like Yuengling amber lager mixed with the Guinness draft, which is not bad for my palate. Slight taste of roast and chocolate meets a bit of lager hops and yeast with only I slight bit of dry finish. Not bad

M - Could be what I didn't like most about it, the body is medium when it should drink like a light lager (under 5 percent) Still a thicker body is not frowned upon here.

Overall I know there are tons more offerings that are more complex or have more hops but this seems to work pretty well. I was kind of shocked to see such low ratings on this one since it could easily stack up again some craft offering in the B or B+ category. To each his own I guess.

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Photo of wvsabbath
2.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearancer -Dark black with some traces of tan. 1/2 inch creamy head, some lacing.

Smell - Some yeast, light malt aroma, some dark fruits like plum. Not much smell here.

Taste - Starts out with yeast and some hops. There is a trace of malts but main this is so watered down. Very plain, bland.

Mouthfeel - Light, weak, barely much of a trace of anything for mouth to deal with. Some yeast on the tounge, minimal malts on the palette, aftertaste is non existent.

Overall - Not worth the time to drink really, too watered down, lacks flavor, complexness and anything to remember. Pass on this.

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Photo of BeerManDanNYC
2.45/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I am in a bodega in Brooklyn a week ago and, what is this? Black lager from Guinness? I had to try it. Not a very good one from a solid brewery. A bit too strong initially, but not overpowering. The flavors linger too long on the palate and not in a pleasant way. Don't go out of your way for this one.

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Photo of EagleTalon
2.73/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a thick but quickly receding buff head and ruby-black color. Aroma is very weak sweet grainy lager smell with very little roast detected. Flavor is equally weak and bland. I would not know there was any roasted barley in it blindfolded except for the finish. Mouthfeel is OK and there is where the "unique character of Guinness" shows up. Overall, I ask myself "what's the point?" I could have had a regular Harp lager and not known much different.

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Photo of Beejay
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep black in color, with a very soft and frothy cappuccino colored head.

S: It has the light fruity notes that I find in light lagers, but a roasted grain kick in the back. There is an almost flour note in there.

T: Light fruity flavors, with a slightly roasted aftertaste. I don't know what to make of this, very light in flavor, and not as much contribution from the roasted grain as I would have imagined.

M: Light in body, very high in carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Overall light and mostly bland. With my eyes closed there is very little roasted flavor at all. Seems like this was created for a crowd who likes adjunct lagers, but wanted a change in color.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.61/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle marked: 15:13-L1208GF001.Sampled on September 29,2011. The pour is a nice looking dark brown with a thick, fluffy head and excellent retention. There is a nice aura of roasted malts and barley that teases the nose in a subtle, mellow fashion.The body is better than medium. The flavor brings out a muted maltiness with the slightest of hop bitterness brining up the rear. I found it to be more appealing than a lot of previous reviewers.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.46/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$1.59 for a 12oz bottle. "Cold brewed with roasted barley", "Enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle". Hrmmm. OK, here we go.

Pours out to a near black, deep brown, clear, forming a tall soapy light tan head with very good retention and solid lacing. Moderately brisk carbonation. The aroma is rather weak...suggestions of a lager yeast strain and grassy hops like Harp with a little bit of sourness and roast. The mouthfeel is a little acidic, flimsy, with a light body. The taste opens with grassy hops, pale malts, a clean ferment, a mild to moderate pleasantly balanced bitterness and a decent touch of roasted character in the finish.

Nothing spectacular, which is what happens when you brew a beer with mass appeal, but not too shabby either. It's decent and easy to drink and would satisfy me in a pinch, but I'm not inclined to buy it again either.

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Photo of avalon07
3.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of rocky head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very thin aroma of roasted malt, but not much else.

T: Like the smell, this beer tasted of roasted malt with very little other components. This is simply a thin, one-dimensional, not that interesting flavor.

M: A fair amount of carbonation with a mostly dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is just another one of those skippable beers.

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Photo of DavidST
3.23/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This pours a dark brown with a decent mocha colored head. The smell is pretty light, a little burnt malt smells, kind of like a really light version of the extra stout. The feel is a little thin. The taste is pretty much like it smells, take the extra stout, burnt flavors and all and tone it down by 50% and you'll get this. Overall this probably is an okay session beer but its pretty toned down and I can't see myself buying it ever over a Guinness stout (and at that there are better stouts out there).

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Photo of billybob
3.63/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

well i did read a few reviews before i bought this beer and i see it didn't rate that high and i really like guinness extra stout so it can't be that bad. pours very dark brown with a one finger tan head that didn't hold that well but did leave a nice lace. smells and taste of mild roasted malt a light hop taste smooth light mouthfeel ending slightly dry. its ok but why not have a guinness extra stout its so much better.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 6 pack of this last night to take to my friends place. I figured since it was new I'd like to try it at least and see how it was. This brew poured out as a deep brown color with a fizzy tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer reminded me of most European Lagers, I suppose I was able to pick up on some roasted malts on the nose. The taste of the beer is decent It's pretty well balanced between roasted malt and a bitter lager. The flavors to me are similar to what Beck's Dark is like. The mouthfeel has a good drinkable quality to it with a pretty good dry feeling in the back end. Overall this brew isn't all that bad. I still prefer Guinness Draught on tap but I respect the ideas that they are trying to put out in bottles recently.

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Photo of chinchill
3.15/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually a dark brown rather than black; essentially clear with a nice creamy tan head. Leaves good lacing.

Surprise! There's a significant amount of hop flavor in here. Not a hoppy beer, for sure, but with malt and hops in equal balance, more or less. I got two very different impressions from tastings on two occasions, both from fresh bottles. Originally, I thought it had a ice aftertaste featuring spicy hops and dark malt, and was well crafted. My more recent tasting provided a poor aftertaste that substantially detracted from my enjoyment.

O - a fine new introduction well worth a try, especially on those occasions where only beers from major distribution networks are available.

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Photo of dbossman
3.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown-black with a faint ruby coloring; a thin brown head that quickly dissipates but eventually holds steady at a paper thin head; lacing is pretty good

S: Some roasted malts with subtle chocolate and coffee but mostly that same sour grainy quality that accompanies most Guinness beers; some breadiness here but mostly a grainy, grassy somewhat herbal aroma

T: Roasted malts upfront that quickly fade to a watery--not offensive but not anything great either--grainy beer flavor; some breadiness but unfortunately the flavors fade too quickly; however, in the end it is still a fairly refreshing, non-offensive dark lager

F: A touch thin but for the style it has a fairly decent mouth feel

O: Not all that bad; fairly refreshing and not offensive at all; in many ways I prefer this to the stout because it is what it is: thin, refreshing, and cold

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Photo of bmwats
3.13/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33 cl bottle into a standard pint.

A: Black. Medium-heavy carbonation. Pours about a 1 finger, frothy, brown-white head which craters pretty quickly leaving only a smattering of bubbly carbonation on the surface with a buildup of sticky residue around the rim. Some spotty spider web lacing.

S: A woody, caramel malt.

T: Has something of a generic malty tone with just the slightest hop.

M: A bit of a watered-down feel with a slightly pungent and dry finish.

D: Goes down easy.

Atmosphere is okay. Deep dark appearance, with a nice head and a little lacing. Nose is pretty plain, too. Flavor...same. Overall, a decent enough quaff.

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Photo of jimmytc
2.82/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of projectflam86
2.54/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

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Photo of OldIronLungs
3.08/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.11/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
2.81/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of therica
3.6/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

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Photo of DannyDan
3.23/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
71 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.