1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Guinness Black Lager - Guinness Ltd.

Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,540 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1540
Reviews: 408
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 19.55%

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)
View: Beers (26) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Guinness Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,540 | Reviews: 408 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SWMeyer4141


2.15/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a Pint Glass..

Appearance-Black, very thin body, light shines all the way through. Head was an off white that dissipated very quickly and left minimal lacing.

Smell-Grainy, Earthy, very light sweetness. Very bland and not very inviting.

Taste-Ya, just like the smell it really tastes like nothing. I get some subtle earthy tones and light skunkiness towards the end. Just not good.

Mouthfeel-It's Clean. But not so much refreshing and satisfying. Very thin and light in body.

Overall-Not exactly why this beer is being produced. People go to Guinnes to drink Guinness, not this.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 14:59:27 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of Sorvahr


2.17/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Purchased from a gas station in Memphis, TN; unfortunately I forgot the price I paid for it. The label sends off all sorts of warning signs, having a very Bud Light-ish silver and blue color scheme and the message "COLD BREWED FROM ROASTED BARLEY". Having to tell the consumer that the beer is made from beer ingredients sets the bar pretty low. But, if you don't expect a beer to be any good, it can't disappoint you. Poured into a New Belgium snifter, in defiance of the label's ridiculous suggestion to drink it straight out of the bottle.

A: The beer pours a cola-like dark brown with a very light tan head that quickly recedes into a ring. It's obvious right away that this is a far cry from a real schwarzbier. Lacing is virtually nonexistent after the first few minutes.

S: There's not much smell to speak of, and most of what I do smell is metal, like a bucket full of pennies.

T: The most succinct way I could describe this taste would be to take an inexpensive dark lager, water it down, and drop pennies into it. There's that same bottley metallic taste as Guinness Extra Stout but here it is the predominant taste instead of an unpleasant background note. The malts have a roasty dark-lager taste but are weak and seemingly watered down. There may or may not be hops in this beer. I cannot say for sure, because I can't taste any. But it's a beer and it's not 1650 so I must assume that they're in there somewhere. The finish is unnatural and chemical-tasting. The intense roasty bitterness of say, McSorley's Irish Black Lager is nonexistent. There's not much point in letting it warm up either; what you taste after five minutes or so is all you'll get.

M: Fizzy, spritzy, watery. There's no body or thickness to this at all, just excessive carbonation. I guess you could call it "clean" since it's so empty there's nothing to make it "dirty" but it certainly isn't interesting. It's not filling or satisfying at all, and makes you wonder if it was made more for chugging and getting wasted on than actually enjoying.

O: This is a bland beer. Really, really bland. It's not offensive like Bud Light, but it's not good either. It reminds me of Beck's, with much the same ho-hum taste profile and watery feel. Warsteiner Dunkel easily bests this in pretty much every aspect, and is cheaper than most Guinness offerings. Avoid.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 19:57:08 | More by Sorvahr
Photo of SFLpunk


2.2/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Back label dated L1194GF001 07:19.

Wow, this is just bad. Doesn't warrant a full review, really. Pours clear, dark brown black with thin tan head. Nose smells like an amber lager, some caramel and frothy lager head. Palate is solid lager mouthfeel, but the "black" part of it has been phoned in. No real malt flavor to speak of. Finish is short and bland.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 02:24:58 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of kgh


2.25/5  rDev -27.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2011 01:03:05 | More by kgh
Photo of jerryjeff


2.25/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dark roasted almost burnt malt smell, maybe a bit acrid scent or bit of sourness.

Pretty thin, kind of watery truthfully without much presence on the palette.

Poured to small amount of off white head which has quickly dissipated in a tulip glass, some slight lacing. Almost completely dark with only faint light coming through on the edges of the glass.

Sour, astringent flavor on the palette. It seems to be getting worse as it warms. It finally hit me what this reminds me of, plain non-flavored seltzer water so maybe a hint of quinine.

Not very, thin on the palette with a poor mouthfeel. I'm glad I only bought a single.

This is a very poor outing and likely my one and only time trying this beer. Thin and watery, a sour astringent taste and poor acidic aftertaste. I love Guinness Stout, but this is not a winner.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 01:44:52 | More by jerryjeff
Photo of rufusb


2.25/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - slightly dark, somewhat transparent, no much of a foamy head

S - very slight, not what I expected from Guiness

T - Ok, but it seems as if this beer is trying to figure out if it wants to be a light lager, or medium ale. Sort of in between and not really either. Wasn't very impressive

M - light

O - not Guinness' best effort. It's not a terrible beer, but I wouldn't purchase again

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 02:51:58 | More by rufusb
Photo of mrcarterxxl

New Jersey

2.28/5  rDev -26.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 18:27:36 | More by mrcarterxxl
Photo of OneDropSoup


2.28/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a shaker pint: Black body with the faintest highlights around the edges, loose, khaki head, two fingers. Head drops quickly & leaves some foam clinging to the sides.

Definitely a lager smell: Damp basement, a little crusty bread, a little grape juice. Maybe the faintest hint of a cocoa powder, but that's a stretch.

Hmmm. Taste is not great. Hoppy up front, mineral, almost reaches a kind of toasty malt but never gets there, then just ends with a burnt flavor. Not so good.

Just sharp, hard water in the mouthfeel. Burnt bitterness sticks around & coats my mouth. Gah.

I was looking forward to trying this, & didn't really even have my expectations set very high, but this was not good. Don't think I'm going to finish this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 18:12:58 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of jsprain1


2.28/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a dark cola color. Head is thick and billowy. A great deal of lacing.
S- Aroma is virtually nonexistant. There is a slightly charred aroma, but beyond that, not much.
T- Pretty non-descript. A little bit of smokyness and a touch of sweetness.
M- Light, clean.
O- There's not much substance to it. It's easy to kick some back, but there's nothing worth remembering here.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 00:26:21 | More by jsprain1
Photo of Agold


2.3/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This beer pours much like a soda would. The high carbonation is very evident on the sides of the glass, and if not for a small layer of denser bubbles on the top of the head, I feel it would dissipate much like a diet coke would. It is more of a very dark amber than a black for the color. the smell is eh. Maybe a little bit of biscuit and grainy malt character in the nose, but not much. Some of the roastiness of guinness comes through in the taste, but it is extraordinarily light and lacking in serious flavor. Mouthfeel is one of the lightest i have ever experienced, and not pleasingly so. Though it is very drinkable, and maybe a good lawnmower beer, I would prefer a yuengling black and tan than this any day, and this is more expensive.

Nice label though...

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 05:56:28 | More by Agold
Photo of plfahey


2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Black with ruby highlights. Very dark but seems moderately clear. Fairly large light tannish head with some nice lacing.

Aroma-Slightly grainy/bready malt profile with light toast and light roast. Very low earthy hop aroma. Aroma is pretty low, weak, and lacking depth. Smells like a light American lager with the lightest touch of roast character.

Flavor-Similar to the aroma, it tastes a little bit like a light American lager, with a touch of hops and roast character. Grainy, light malt character, with a bit of toast/roasted barley. A touch of earthy hop bitterness and hop flavor kicks in in the finish.

Mouthfeel-Smooth and moderately creamy mouthfeel with medium low body and moderate carbonation.

Just not very good at all. Truly, I would expect more from a beer coming out of Guinness. Not horribly offensive, but really nothing to recommend it. Not good.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 05:17:04 | More by plfahey
Photo of eljeffebrown

2.33/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Very boring, lets say this it's better than buttwiper. I guess it was ok, but I was expecting SO much more from this company and was very let down. I can see what they are trying to do and that is build a better beer to compete W the American "standard" beers, well they have done that, but was that really an accomplishment or an epic fail, fail in my eyes. I won't buy another.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2012 20:04:38 | More by eljeffebrown
Photo of WVbeergeek


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 21:09:53 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of silentjay


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

pours a watery black with a nicely sized khaki head that sticks around a bit, but doesn't lace overly well.

nutty and vegetable aromas with a bit of roasted malts and grains.

tastes like the water you used to boil vegetables in with a bit of roasted malts and some nuts. no hops detectable.

crisp like a lager should be, but with a syrupy stickiness left on the palate that leaves a bad aftertaste.

not great. I was looking for more of a schwarzbier, I guess. barely any roasty/chocolate flavors, but all of the cheap lager flavors I tend to avoid. Glad I picked up a single.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 03:28:16 | More by silentjay
Photo of delmarnate


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 05:23:56 | More by delmarnate
Photo of righthereisay


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Luckily, I only purchased a single bottle of this stuff.

Smell: Cheap. Miller Lite-ish. I cannot find any terms for the smell. Sorry.

Poured black, with lots of Coca Cola style foam. This has literally no character at all. Doesn't have the fresh feel of Guinness draft. Not sure why they did this to me.

Mouthfeel...almost like Coca Cola. Seriously.

Drinkability...yeah, I guess that is the intentions of this beer. I could see a bunch of College kids thinking they are cool drinking "Guinness".

Personally, I believe that Guinness needs to be very careful when releasing beers. I love normal Guinness, and I always thought they could build their beers off of that. It seems they started from scratch. Maybe this is the Miller Lite of Guinness. But if that is the case, they should charge $15 a case.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2011 19:24:57 | More by righthereisay
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up in a mix a six - glad I only got just one.

Pours jet black with very little foam. Light ring of it. Light roasted smell, very faint. Blah.

Watered down stout taste with added carbonation that is oddly unsettling. Its like someone poured club soda in my Guinness Stout.

Just did not work for me - cannot see buying this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 11:48:47 | More by KTCamm
Photo of Merkur


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Beer pours a nice black color with a bit of a tan head.

The beer smells slightly sweet, but no detectable aromas.

The beer tasts very bland. Not enough richness or maltyness like most dark beers and certainly no crispness like most lagers.

Mouthfeel is very thin, but not unpleasant.

Overall, not very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 01:44:09 | More by Merkur
Photo of Dope


2.35/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: A very dark brown pour with a frothy, just barely light brown head atop it. Retention is pretty decent and so is the lacing.

S: Hint of roasted malt, perhaps a little bit of creamy lactose. Very subtle and hard to pick up anything, even using a snifter.

T: Subtle roasted malt up front with an odd sort of burnt milk flavor after that. Bleh.

M: Very thin and watery.

O: Meh at best, the strange flavors made this one undrinkable and I drain poured it. A normal guinness stout is a thousand times better. This is just a failed experiment of some kind.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 07:15:53 | More by Dope
Photo of OWSLEY069


2.38/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a deep amber to black color with a light tan head.. In the aroma, caramel, note of chocolate, and still lager like. In the taste, light chocolate, note of caramel, both very mellow. A small bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a small roast to a clean aftertaste. Lack of flavor, but a lager form of Guinness for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 17:01:31 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of SometimesIfart


2.38/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a very dark ruby with a finger and a half of off-white head. Left very spotty lacing.

S - Nothing but small amounts of corn, rice adjunct and skunkiness.

T - A small amount of very slightly roasted malt malt and sweet cherries, along with a small amount of skunk.

M - Medium bodied with medium to heavy carbonation.

O - Overall, It was okay at best. I don't think I'd have it again. It would be good as a crossover beer however.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2013 04:35:59 | More by SometimesIfart
Photo of bmo56


2.4/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2011 02:31:34 | More by bmo56
Photo of BeerManDanNYC

New York

2.4/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 23:25:18 | More by BeerManDanNYC
Photo of yankiac


2.4/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 19:54:14 | More by yankiac
Photo of BakerMoore

2.4/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Upon pouring correctly it gives a whitish to light brown one finger head. When held to direct light you can see one stream of rising bubbles. The color is really dark brown. It laces nicely.

The aroma is faint and does not radiate from the glass. What smells there are would be faint roasted smells, maybe hops and watered down smells. Maybe barley as well. Its hard to tell as it doesn't show itself as lots of good beers do.

the taste is watered down flavors that the faint aromas show. It is refreshing as the flavors that are there are pleasant in a way. Its refreshing for someone who is not adventurous. I think this beer was made to market towards people who normally don't drink dark beers. This beer is less flavorful and aromatic than most dark beers even the draughts. The refreshing taste is all it really has.

The mouthfeel is low as it is flat and has little carbonation. It still is smooth however and is good for that reason.

Overall, we think this is a beer that was made to be mass produced and is not sticking to the roots they are known for. Its refreshing but has little more than that.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 04:37:56 | More by BakerMoore
Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
72 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.