Samuel Adams Black Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,529 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,529
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 60
Gots: 125 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (111) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,529 | Reviews: 1,434
Reviews by tito42:
Photo of tito42
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in the SA Harvest Collection sampler. Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by January 2012 notched on label.

A: Cola colored, clear, with a dense cocoal head that leaves nice lacing and has nice retention.

S: Roasted coffee, grassy hops, and chocolate.

T: Roasted grains with a touch of caramel and chocolate. A flash of raspberry tartness before a grassy hops finish.

M: Light-bodied yet creamy with a tart finish. Decent hops bitterness and a bit of a sour aftertaste. Clean and crisp for a winter beer.

O: Very well-rounded representative of the style. Really kind of like a winterized light lager. The hops finish seems dumbed down just a bit to retain mass appeal, but a good brew nonetheless.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This was a dark brown in color as it should be with a deceivingly growing off-white foamy head.

Smell – The subtle roasted malt aroma is mixed with some lightly burnt yeast and a smidgen of raw sugar. The grain smell here is dark but nothing is pungent. There’s a smoothness to this bouquet that is quite nice.

Taste – The yeast comes out a bit more at the taste and the sweets step back a tad, but otherwise the driving force is the subtle roasted grain that I caught in the nose. The flavor forms a crescendo on the palate, flowing nicely from burnt toast to roasted malts smoothed by dark yeast then petering out with a mild sugariness.

Mouthfeel – This is between light and medium-bodied with a harmonious feel in the mouth and not at all bitter.

Drinkability – This was a tad off-style but is an excellent drinker and incredibly smooth. It’s an obscure style but Sam Adams gave us a nice rendition here.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interestingly translucent yet black. It looks kind of cool. First impressions are good.

Nose is grainy and chocolaty. Touches of caramel, nougat, toffee, and a general Snickers odor enter into play. Not what I’m used to but this works too.

Taste/MF…weak, real weak. This is a style that I admire for its full-on boldness both in the taste and mouthfeel categories that blend with an easy drinkability but this one comes up short in both categories. Notes of charred grains, wood, caramel are present but all are light and the big roasted-burnt malt flavor that I want is nowhere to be found. Carbonation is on the light side too.

Drinkablitiy: With Sprecher around, this just isn’t up to par.

Photo of ricke
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, almost black but with strangely clear edges. A small off-white head that quickly settles into a ring of lacings.

S: Sweet malts, light burnt sensation, toast, some coffee notes. Hints of grains.

T: Mostly sweet malts with notes of molasses and burnt caramel, coffee and a faint smoky note. Restrained fruity flavors. Quick hint of lemony hops. The finish is short and quite bland with mineral flavors, bread and grain.

M: Medium body, crisp carbonation. Not very exciting.

D: Not a bad beer, but certainly nothing exceptional.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep brown to black with a creamy
brown tinted head.

S: Smells of coffee, malty.

T: Good macro, hints of coffee and toasted nuts.
Malty with a defined hop presence.

M: Great heartiness to this porter, definately
not a mislabeled stout.

D: Very drinkable both in terms of price and
quality of tbrew. Goes down smooth and the
finish is nice as well with a slight bitter
aftertaste that lingers a little long for my

Photo of sgoodship
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one in Cleveland. My mother in-law held onto it for me - thought I'd like to try it.

A: Dark brown, almost black. Rich burgundy highlights showing against the light. Pretty dense stuff - looks porter-like. Creamy head finger head that dissipated to a dusting and a ring.

S: Lager yeast, sweet maltiness, a touch of hop. A hint of coffee an licorice.

T: Very much like the smell. Caramel malt and coffee is more apparent in the taste. Finish is a nice sour ale type experience. Not hitting the spot like I thought it would.

M: Nice and clean like a lager but creamy in the mouth. Light/medium mouth with medium carbonation.

D: They recommended this with BBQ. I had one with Mexican and that was just fine by me. This is my first Schwarzbier. I liked the refreshing lager mixed with malty satisfaction - a real hybrid. I'd really like to try this again. Not blowing my mind but a sound brew.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a lager?! I poured this carefully into a pint glass without much fanfare. There was very little head but okay lacing. The color was truly black, or darn close. Sweet malts were prominent on the nose but there was a very slight hint of hops as well. The taste seemed slightly sweet but not necessarily a malty sweetness. Although the malts didn't come through with any major distinction, they were obviously there and the overall body of the beer seemed balanced and smooth. The finish was long and even with that sweetness hanging in there for several seconds.

I think I like Schwarzbier! This is the second one I've had and it's really pretty good. Because of its mildness and hint of sweetness, I think this would be pretty good with spicy or heavily seasoned food. And contrary to its dark heavy look, this really doesn't have a very heavy taste. Good stuff.

Photo of Dmann
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a suprise and I am glad that I tried it. It started out with a nice pour and had a great dark brown color with a light brown head that left great lace and stayed till the end. The smell was nice with some sweet malt scents and molasses and some bready-ness to it. This beer's flavor was very nice with a very light smokiness in the beginning and the light airy mouthfeel really added to the overall sensation. The beer finnished with a bit of sweetness and faded away very dry and made you want to come back for more. This is my favorite Sam Adams release in awhile!

Photo of skybluewater
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark rust color. Smells slightly of chocolate. Tastes of shaved chocolate and a little bit of banana (maybe I'm imagining this?). Mouthfeel is average. Despite the fact that this beer's fairly average, I could still down a few in one sitting.

This is a beer I've only had a few times before. Overall, it isn't a bad beer. It's not something I'd drink often, but it's still heads and shoulders above the usual macro stuff.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark black pour with a two finger khaki head sitting nicely atop the brew. Dark red coming through from the light along with some lacing as well. Roasted, toasted cocoa, caramel along with a hint of sweet cereal grain and an herbal hop. Nice...but nothing special.

Big roasted burnt maltiness showing off quite a bit of chocolate flavor, with ribbons of caramel and nuts. A nice somewhat spicy herbal hop lurks in the background and brings a mellow bitterness on the way down. Nice sweet/bitter mix. A tasty lager.

Medium bodied with a slight creaminess and healthy carbonation. Quite an easily drinkable brew here...a six pack is a good party option. One of my new faves from Sam Adams.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the only schwarzbier I've ever had, and if this is similar to what they all are like, I am certainly a fan.

The beer is dark like a porter or stout, but doesnt have the same chocolate malt & roasted characteristics. Very interesting.

Mostly just malt comes through in the nose. Not really any noticeable hop characteristics.

The taste is great! If all lagers tasted this great, and were this dark, it would possibly be my favorite style. Not bitter but still plenty of depth and character.

This is one of my favorite offerings from Samuel Adams. I could drink many of these in a row.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a dark brown with a hint of red. It had a small coffee-colored head that had good retention. Some nice lacing. A sweet caramel odor, don't get too much of the roasted grain. Tasted chocolate and coffee, with a minimal hoppiness. A smooth , not substantial feel. Pretty drinkable.

Photo of Todd
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a seemingly black beer, but upon closer inspection deep ruby hues and edges. Head of slightly off-white and seems, with a thin lace. Good head retention.

Light molasses, sweet bready grain, and husk in the nose. Soft smokiness.

Smooth and fairly light on the palate. Light malty base with a watery astringent-like character, faint caramel, burnt edges, suggestions of smoke, a quick semi-sharp citric flash of hop bite - a bit limey - and soft dark berry fruitiness. Soft touch of spice in the hops. Sweetish linger that rides into a drying finish.

A damn tasty Schwarzbier! Nice to see a large craft brewer release such an unknown and uncommon beer style.

Photo of Beaver13
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, best by 4/07. Pours a light black with ruby highlights. It has a decent creamy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet toffee, nuts and caramel and black patent malts.

The flavor is sweet roasted chocolatey malts and nutty toffee with a little peat or smoke. The mouthfeel is medium and watery.

Overall, it's an OK schwarzbier. I didn't particularly care for it - a little too sweet and watery.

Photo of generallee
4.63/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body is dark black in color and very nearly opaque with some ruby red highlights along the sides of the glass. There is some visible carbonation near the sides of the glass as well. On top sits a thick tan head with very good retention. It makes some good lace rings on the glass as I drink.

Smell: The aroma is sweet and bready with some mild hints of smoke and burnt sugar.

Taste/Mouth Feel: There is sweet buttery toffee and light caramel notes up front. This gives way to a robust espresso character with a light dusting of bittersweet chocolate. It finishes with some mild hop bitterness and dryness. The palate is medium bodied with a smooth texture and mild yet active carbonation.

Notes: Another solid beer from Samuel Adams!

Photo of bishopdc0
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown. A decent head forms and maintains a good coverage. The off white head laces on the sides of my glass leaving little bits of head about.

The aroma is roasted with a smooth mix of chocolate and butter. The sweet malt comes in the end to round it out.

The taste is smooth no harsh carbonation at all. The carbonation is light and buttery on the tongue, much like a well poured nitro stout. The flavor is light roasted barley starts with a sweet malt, the roasted flavor remains throughout and finishes with a coffee bitterness and is dry at the end.

Photo of Scribbles
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark Brown/black colour, a very mild head that left a only a little in the glass.

S- Light smelling; roasted malt, caramel, possibly some dried fruit.

T- Sweet roasted malt, with caramel and molasses, not much hops to speak of.

M- Medium bodied, with medium-low to medium carbonation, relatively smooth, crisp flavor, then the somewhat oily finish that others have mentioned, though the taste left in the mouth is pleasing.

D- Fairly drinkable, good with meals mostly. Worth having around, but I probably wouldn't drink more than two or three.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black until you hold it up to the light, then you see ruby hues poking through. Beautiful frothy head that sticks around for the long haul. Great lacing to boot. Attractive brew from Samuel Adams!

Smell is of sweet, dark malts, chocolate, a little bit of coffee. Taste is really good consisting of tons of roastiness that follows through with the aftertaste. Cofffee flavors, chocolate, tons of chocolate malts, some caramel toffee flavors...good stuff. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Extremely drinkable. Great for sessioning. This is a unique beer from Samuel Adams and can say that I am thoroughly impressed and is one of my favorites from them.

Photo of Jason
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid, decent lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Fresh chocolaty and caramel malt aroma, a little grainy and semi-burnt in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Crisp and full bodied, mild burnt notes with a rounded caramel malty backing. Nice balance between the burnt flavor and malt sweetness though the spicy floral hops barely can balance the rest of the sweetness..

Drinkability & Notes: I wish there was a bit more hop bitterness to this I tad too sweet for my liking, either way it’s a delicious beer.

Photo of mtyrrell
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours very dark brown, basically black with red copper around the edges and a tan head

S- Good smell of roasted malts with chocolate and coffe and just enough hops to balance

T-Just like the smell, great roasted malt and chocoloate taste, smooth spicy hops to balance

M- Medium body, but on the lighter side for the style. Good carbonation

D- Very drinkable, easily can have more than one. I was expecting a little heavier of a body, but still good. Typical Sam Adams, great quality but nothing to go crazy about

Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body that exhibits a clear ruby mahogany appearance when held to light. Small beige head quickly diminishes to a persistent collar and leaves some patchy lace.
Aroma has lots of dark roasted malts, with sweet chocolate, a hint of coffee, burnt wood, and a note of floral/herbal hops.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low medium carbonation.
The taste is all about the dark roasted malts. Chocolate and a touch of roasted coffee are enhanced by a nice note of wood smoke. Dark roasty malt bitterness and some nice floral hop bitterness work well to lend a nice balance to the chocolate and caramel malt sweetness.
Very well done, and a good effort by Sam Adams. I really enjoy the Schwarzbier style and this one is very enjoyable, if not spot on for style.

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have heard about this offering from Sam Adams for some time but had not seen it with my own eyes until this past week at the Wine Cellar of Silene in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Pours a beautiful black, with some red and brown hues. Nice little head and a wee bit of lacing.

Nice malty aroma with a clean malt taste. Light body, refreshing. Quite smooth going down. Little bit of carbination kick.

Had I tried this beer last week I would have entered it as my pick for the "what is your go to session beer" thread du jour.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black w/ two full fingers of creamy light brown head...lacing is quite thick and holds nicely to the side of the pint glass.
Roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla make the smell quite enjoyable.
The taste is more of the same...a boat load of dark chocolate and even some robust coffee flavors in the finish. A decent amount of bitterness as well, ending very clean w/ no lingering tartness.
Mouthfeel is quite thick and the carbonation is sublime...I could throw back a number of these in an evening and would really enjoy finding this one on tap.
My hats off to new favorite of their offerings and one I would gladly enjoy again.

Photo of nem2006
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured black, almost completely opaque with a small, light tan head which fades, but still leaves lacing on the glass.

The smell is toasted with coffee and dark chocolate hints. It said there was caramel in there, but I didn't catch it.

I actually caught the caramel in the taste. Along with some coffee and dark chocolate as well. I thought it was a surprisingly deep beer and finished smoothly.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,529 ratings.