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Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Not Rated.
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

431 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 431
Hads: 1,919
Avg: 3.08
pDev: 41.88%
Wants: 28
Gots: 285 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd. visit their website

Style | ABV
Euro Dark Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdagnew on 04-03-2010

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (36) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Guinness Black Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 431 | Hads: 1,919
Photo of Olek4374
3.32/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

poured from a 341ml bottle into a pilsner glass of all things. The beer pours black. what a shocker. The smell is faint, but there are some nice malty and roasty aromas - it's nothing fantastic but it's okay. This is a beer that is less than meets the eye for sure - it looks like it'd be similar to guinness in taste, but it's a lot more milder. It's slightly sweet and slightly malty with a very clean finish and no unpleasant aftertaste. It reminds me of waterloo dark lager in that it is opaque as anything but doesn't deliver a huge hit of taste. That's not really bad though - this is still a fine beer and i'd gladly drink it again, but wouldn't buy a six pack - there is better stuff available.

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Photo of Vixie
3.23/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks like you would expect from Guinness, dark with a full tan head that leaves a bit of lacing. There is ruby red around the edges when held up to the light.

The smell isn't very strong, there is some roasted malt in there, with hints of chocolate and coffee.

Has that classic Guinness bitter bite to it, no doubt who made this one. It has a bit of sweetness to it, along with a bit of smokey bitterness. Finishes dry with a lingering bitterness.

Not as thick as I expected from how dark this is, but fairly typical of the style.

I actually liked this one. It has that Guinness quality to it without being as in your face. This is more a version to drink on a hot day, it goes down pretty easily and smoothly, yet still true to its heritage.

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Photo of schnauzeborne
2.95/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I would put this on the same level as Sam Adam's Boston Lager; significantly better than most of the "adjunct" lagers (Budweiser, Miller, Coors, etc.), but still below most ales (including Guinness's stout) on the market, especially on the craft beer circuit. It's basically what you would expect from the same wort used in making Guinness "extra stout", but with a lager yeast: chocolatey and slightly bitter (like vinegar bitter, as opposed to hops bitter), but with the bubbly, slightly acidic crispness characteristic of a lager. It definitely has that characteristic lager aftertaste that anyone used to drinking a lot of Budweiser or Miller would be familiar with, and I respect anyone looking for that particular note. However, for me, this beer is just okay. In fact, it is so okay, it will be the beer I mark as baseline when rating other beers in the future. I would not have bought it if it had not been on sale ($3.99 US for a 6-pack), and will likely be taking cost into consideration in my purchase in the future.

Tl;dr: it went . . . okay.

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Photo of slitherySOB
2.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

This is what I call a m'eh beer. It's okay, but nothing special. Not quite as good as Guinness stout, but a decent offering by Guinness brewery. Appearance is dark chocolate black, with a three finger head that quickly dissipates to nothing. Smells of stale coffee, plums, raisins, and malts. Taste has a bit of dark chocolate, with heavy plums and raisins. Oddly, the aftertaste is stronger than when the beer is actually in your mouth. Mouthfeel is thin and watery. Overall, a m'eh beer. I'd pick it up if it were cheap or free at a party, but the stout is a better beer.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330ml bottle poured into pint glass 28/6/13

A looks like dark cola but has a maroon glow when held to the light, about as many bubbles as one could fit in a glass with a thumbs width of mocha foam that quickly falls to a thick film leaving some random lace on the way down

S coco, plum and faint cold coffee, a little raisin smells fairly faint and basic

T more chocolate but that's not saying much, less coffee and more plum and raisin, not a whole lot going on but decent for the style

M thin bodied and a little slick in the mouth, almost creamy but falls short, faint molasses on the finish, perhaps more flavor after you swallow the liquid than while its in your mouth

O nothing special but easy enough to drink but lacking intensity, one for the masses I suppose

basic black lager where there's nothing wrong but nothing standing out either, I wouldn't say no if passed to me but I doubt I'd spend my hard earned money on this one

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

Several bottle samples at the LCBO on WIlson as I explained what the term and style was to the friendly rep they sent out. Its black without much head, or unfortunately much taste either. It's not up to the style. Better than the stout they serve here.A bit thin and overcarbonated.

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Photo of gerite
3.84/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I was in my local beer buying place today looking for something new and grabbed a 6-pack of the Guinness Black Lager since I like black beers and lagers. I knew it would now be as strong or have the body and flavor of a traditional Guinness Stout. But that was what I was looking for. Since the 6-pack was already chilled I had one when I got home and found it to be very refreshing and drinkable by its self on a hot summer day. This is a great dark beer with a low ABV that allows you to have several at one sitting.

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Photo of Baron_Von_Brewhi
3.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I recently purchased a 12 pak of cans at a too good to refuse price $11USD and apparently I really liked them and likely had a few too many. As I stated in my ratings, there was nothing not to like about this beer, until mid-way through my sleep cycle and into the next day.
Thankfully, I was alone and had no obligations the next day. I'm talking intestinal distress, folks, that will turn your friends and lovers against you and could cause permanent damage to your relationships. I hope I did not step out of bounds on this review, but I thought it an important note to my brothers and sisters who have lives and reputations to uphold.

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

A crushing disappointment that is being rated this highly solely due to its St. James' Gate namesake.

Bottle pours an impressive black (for a lager), with a tan head that disappears quickly. Aroma is somewhere between "non-existent" and "offensive", as the raw grains have a metallic brassiness that do not serve it well. There is less copper in the taste, although it remains simple and one-dimensional. Roasted, malted barley is present, but not well balanced or complemented.

Overall, nothing like their benchmark dry Irish stout.

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Photo of plaid75
3.61/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a deep brown hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light roasted malts and a soft sweetness.

The flavor was likewise round and moderately roasty with a grassy hop at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty easy drinking beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.89/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a beer mug.

Look: The color of coffee in a glass, with ruby coming through in the light. A fizzy soda pop head recedes to a light film. Light spots of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Faint grains, roasted malts, maybe coffee. Smells like an adjunct lager.

Taste: There's coffee in the finish. Everything else is very much in the vein of a non-skunky Euro lager.

Mouthfeel: Light and carbonated.

Overall: Really, no complexity or taste. Only tried it out of curiosity, and you know what that did to the cat ...

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Photo of olfolxholme
3.14/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into Spaten Optimator dimpled mug

A - Pours with about two fingers of dark tan foam. Beer is a very dark brown and sucks up all nearby light particles. Patchy but present head retention.

S - A little flat, but features roasted malt. Something in the background that reminds me of bleach. Some nuttiness as it warms.

T - Tastes like roasted barley. More on the husk side of the spectrum. Very little sweetness. Dry and bready. Reminds me of sparkling water with barley flavor added.

M - A little thin, a little over carbonated.

O - Too much like fizzy barley water, for me. If you like the plain, bready maltiness of some Belgian Dubbels and Biere de Gardes, this could appeal to you. That sounds snarky, but it is meant sincerely. Also worth trying for fans of Newcastle. You never know when the magic will strike, right?


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Photo of everythingafter
2.51/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

I tried this beer on a recommendation from a friend, so I went and got a 6-pack. I must say that coming from Guinness I was expecting more. As far as taste, this one fell flat for me. Although it does have a pretty smooth texture, it just has a bland, forgettable flavor.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.65/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Guinness 'Black Lager' @ 4.5% , a Euro Dark Lager served from a 6pack of 330 ml bottles purchased for $14 , beer karma - I won a Guinness Jacket as a draw prize , so why not give this new beer a try

A-pour is a dark brown from the bottle to almost black in the glass with a medium size off white/tan head that is leaving a minimal amount of lace along the pint glass

(No cascading Guinness beer trick/changing color)

S-roasted barley , lager malts

T-this lager has some of the Draught taste , leans a little more towards a Pilsner taste

MF-medium carbonation , barely medium bodied , very easy drinking beer

Ov-I still prefer Guinness Draught , but this is a definate session beer for the Guinness lover in all of us

prost LampertLand

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Photo of witster18
3.39/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

nice spin on a swarzbier.

I find myself bringing this pack home more and more as time goes by. Perhaps it's the lack of great accessible dark beers within a short drive, or maybe they really have stumbled upon something here.

Not as complex as some swarz's... but defo has that bitter-sweet chocolate thang going on. think of it as chocolate shiner bock. super drinkable for the first 2 or 3. past that you'd have to be in the right kind-of mood. but I LOVE THIS as a one or two a night accessible taster.

pours dark brown with red highlights in the sun. very bubbly. you can tell their trying to make this a guinness-like lager. everything about the beer screams stout... except the mouthfeel... which is fizzy and underwhelming.

doesn't have any dark fruit compared to say Sprecher's Black Bavarian. defo lacks that complexity. even compared to SA black lager.

BUT, for a nice chocolate fix in a beer - this goes down like water. looking for an acceSsible dessert pairing with no craft beer store in sight - this might fit the bill. ALSO this option would defo fit the bill as a transitional or segue beer for the novice.

nice earthiness to it. I don't necessarily like the price, but it might be a bit under-rated in these circles.

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Photo of arizcards
3.19/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a single from Fry's back in late January as part of a mixed six pack for $8.99.

Beer poured cola brown with a nice tan head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose has slight hints of roasted malts.

Taste is slightly roasted malts, slightly sweet from the lack of hopping.

Mouthfeel is less than smooth, a tad watery.

Overall not a bad beer, worthy of a try, but not one i will seek in the future.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

We pour a brew the color of cola, with light flecks of maroon around the edges. It holds a one and a half finger head of foamy, chunky light brown bubbles. This retains decently, leaving adherent patterned lacing all around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears medium. The nose gives cooling adjuncts, light caramels and coffees with the faintest roast, handfuls of raw barley, and a white sugar sweetness to cut. Metallics are overly apparent in the Guinness kind of way, but seem more cheap here, with a larger contribution from corn, flour, and general adjuncty grain. Our first impression is that this beer tastes pretty much how you would expect, with lightly roasted grain and simple sweetness. The flavoring opens with dulled licorice sweetness, grass, wet adjuncty grain, corn, and roasted barley. Tinny metallics crash in through the peak, with chalky yeast, dusty dryness, and overly expressed sour adjuncts. The finishing wash is sweaty and salty, with a return of the initial roastiness of grain, more chalkiness, baker’s yeast, and lime zestiness. The aftertaste breathes of more of the same, with little else noted but adjuncts and flash-roasted coffee beans. The body is medium, and the carbonation is high. There is decent slurp, sip, cream, and froth. There is no real coating around the mouth, but there is also no real dryness either. The mouth is left rather wet, but not entirely satiated. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks fine.

Overall, the best thing about this beer was its lightness. Unfortunately there is very little smoke, roast, or general complexity, but no other components came out as intensely offensive at really any point in the tasting. Things just remained monotone throughout, with the aroma striking overly basic notes, with the flavor following suit. The feel lent little towards redemption in thickness, froth, or coating. Happy St. Patrick’s Day (!!), but we’re reaching for something else next.

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Photo of bennetj17
2.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black colored brew that you could almost see through in the light. Thin off-white foam that keeps several minutes. The aroma has a faint malty sweetness, with no roasty/black notes, no hop balance. It's clean but rather unappealing. I might as well be holding a golden lager as it doesn't smell much different.

The flavor starts with a touch of sweetness, some hints of roast with a keen dryness. I'm actually excited for a second, but as I swallow the beer it leaves the palate watery with a peppery, almost burnt note. The body is a thin/watery and the carbonation is somewhat forceful.

Not enough going on here to warrant another attempt. Not sure what the point of this beer is really.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.12/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Stopped by the gas station to get some Guinness nitro cans for St. Patty's Day and they were out! Picked this up instead.

A - Almost black brew with a purple cast. Nice big malt-brown head but not much lace.

S - Tootsie rolls. Dusty. Has an almost grapey fruit note. Brown paper sack.

T - Big time tootsie roll. Brown to the point of mushy bananas. Hint of smoke in the super-dry finish.

M - Clean light bodied lager with a really nice dry as a bone finish.

Easy to drink, but fairly boring. If you want something like this but better, stick to authentic Schwarzbiers. Could be a good beer for non-beer geeks to drink that is dark, but not "heavy and bitter" (ha ha!) like real Guinness.

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Photo of Dave_in_GR
3.12/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Served in a pint glass from an 11.2oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a lot of carbonation and a couple of fingers of light tan head.

Smell is really nice, the highlight of the beer for me, fairly sweet with a bit of roastiness.

Taste is not as nice, best word for it is thin. Not as heavy as you would expect for a dark beer, instead it is almost like an American lager. Which is to say, not a lot of flavor.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and light, goes down easy.

A decent, surprisingly easy drinking beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.03/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another CAN courtesy of my local, in-person trader, tone77, who knows how to keep me happy when it comes to The CANQuest (TM)!

From the CAN: "Cold brewed with roasted barley"; "Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness."

The Crack was loud and enticing and I went with an inverted Glug to get things started right. I got an initial two fingers of deep-brown head that actually lightened in color as the pseudo-cascade took place, finally becoming a finger of light-tan head with decent retention. Color was a deep mahogany with ruby highlights (SRM = 44). Nose was very roasty, like my morning coffee. Mouthfeel was silky and the taste was coffee, dark chocolate, smoke, all adding up to a roasty beer with a lager smoothness. Man, did I drink through this quickly! Finish was semi-dry and had just the right amount of roasted malt flavor to keep it from being over the top.

Original, bottle review dtd 03-09-2013 follows:

My local, in-person trader, tone77, brought this for me to try. It has been an interesting day of beer.

From the bottle: "Cold brewed with roasted barley"; "Guinness Black Lager is cold-brewed with roasted barley to deliver the refreshing taste of lager with the unique character of Guinness. Enjoy ice cold straight from the bottle. [undersigned] Arthur Guinness".

First of all, as a founding subscriber to this website's magazine, I try to read and pay attention to it each time it shows up in my mailbox. The Bros were on about glassware this month and while I may not lay my opinions on others, when I am anywhere that I can decant my beer from its medium of storage into a glass, you can bet your sweet bippy that I will do so. Directions be damned, such as the ones on this bottle or on a CAN of Heady Topper. What, if they told you to drink while jumping from a bridge, would you do that, also? Fine, if you want to be mindless sheep, herded along without hue or cry. I will do my own thing, thank you very much!

This Euro Dark Lager must be a relatively new designation as there are no guidelines listed as yet, but I am already a fan. My pour created two dense fingers of light-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark brown with garnet highlights and good clarity despite its low light penetration. Nose had the characteristic lager honey-like sweetness, but in this case, married with a light roastiness. Chocolate malt, perhaps? I wonder about what, exactly, constitutes "roasted barley" for them. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, even for a lager, but the taste was a pleasant mix of chocolate and smokiness along with a mild sweetness. I do not like Cascadian/Dark/Black IPAs because I feel as though such flavors get in the way of my beloved hops, but in this case, they meld nicely. Finish was semi-dry and the mild smokiness seemed to linger well past the swallow. As usual, I would not want a steady diet of this as a self-avowed hophead, but it beats a lot of other lagers. Not bad.

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Photo of Mdog
2.77/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Dark brown, ok head.

Smell: Molasses, muddy roasted aroma.

Taste: Roasted grains are the main flavor, not bitter. Shifts into a roasted corny flavor as it warms up. Mild roast flavor stays around for a while after the finish.

Overall: Pretty mediocre beer, really started turning into a corn bomb as I went through the glass. Stick to their stouts.

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Photo of angrybabboon
2.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Consumed 3/9/13

Appearance: Black from a distance, but dark brown around the edges - pours with a decently sized, light beige head - keeps a decent cap, leaves some nice streaks and spots of lacing

Smell: Some roasty malts, but not much else - unexpectedly, remarkably uninteresting - lightly roasty, hints of chocolate malts, and some light sweetness

Taste: A bit more interesting than the smell, but not by much - lightly roasted - actually looks darker than it tastes, which is rather odd - some caramel malts, and some lager malts - tastes more and more like a pilsner as it warms up - lightly bitter, mostly from the lightly spicy hops - minimal sweetness - touches of burnt in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, nicely carbonated, crisp

Overall: Better than the advertising, but that's not saying much

I hate the commercials for this beer. "How can something be both refreshing and flavorful?" I hope someone gets fired for that. I bought a bottle of this because of how much the advertising sucks. The beer itself isn't bad, but it's not memorable in any way. More bland than anything.

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Photo of PaleZombie
2.94/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with about a 2 finger head that quickly vanished. No lacing.

S- Malts and caramel, not much in here.

T- Again malts caramel and some slight coffee hints, but not to bold on the flavors, some bitterness.

M- Fairly light with mild to medium carbonation. Goes down ok.

O- I will not be getting this one again, I managed to get a 6 pack for 3.50. But even regret that. This was very lacking and did not have any of the Guinness flavors I was expecting.

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Photo of screamking
2.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours very dark brown, with a thick creamy khaki head, no lacing. 3.25

Aroma-light roasted malts, hint of brown sugar, caramel, not much here. 2.5

Taste-very light roasted malts, small amount of brown sugar, slight white bread taste. 2.75

Feel-light and watery, very drinkable feel, very slight bitter feel. 3.25

Overall-what can I say about this? It's okay. It's sessionable beyond belief, you could drink this all day with out much effort. Very light and fluffy tones in this brew. Really the only thing going for this beer is its drink ability. 3

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
71 out of 100 based on 431 ratings.