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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,514 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,514
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 50
Gots: 94 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004)
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Photo of Hootie159
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ButtomsUp
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ACD
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of skriv
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark and opaque brown with ruby highlights on the edges. Poured a big ol' tan head that remained for a while and left light lacing on the glass (this isn't a porter or stout, after all...)

S: A sweet, sugary caramel malt is prominent with a background of roastiness. I'm enjoying this faint roast smell--it balances well with the sweet caramel malt very interestingly. Initially there is a smell of spicy hops, but the aforementioned notes overtake that almost instantly.

T&M: Light bodied with a silky smooth finish. The sweetness and caramel malt are only faintly detectable in the taste--they mostly serve to diminish the intensity of the roasted coffee malt that was secondary in the nose. The hops balance the flavor really nicely, and aren't so prominent so as to loudly announce their presence. The coffee malts are definitely there, but subdued in a nice way. I've been drinking a lot of stouts and porters lately, and I'm more accustomed to the dark malts being more prominent than this. Mouthfeel has some hop oiliness to it and moderate carbonation that doesn't cause too much disruption.

D: With such a light body, this beer is definitely drinkable. The taste is decent and the beer isn't too filling. Probably the most sessionable dark beer I've had.

Photo of aoampm
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of PatGreer
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

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

My recent pseudo-complaint about Sam Adams pricing in southwestern PA will not stop me from buying a single now and again. I've been closing in on this brew for a while now: Black Lager (a Schwarzbier).

An almost pitch black body pours into my nonic pint glass. In the light, there are traces of dark copper lying at the bottom. In the nose there are plenty of roasted coffee & dark chocolate notes. Caramel; brown sugar. For fellow homebrewers, I'm also smelling a freshly opened can of malt extract.

The taste is dark roasted, but matched up with an agreeable hops presence. The hops complement the roasted character, while adding in an extra punch, winning the challenge in the end. Brown sugar & caramel pulling through too, in the manner of an American Brown Ale.

As it warms up, the presence of alcohol starts to show itself. Embrace it. This is a tasty brew. Is it too much to ask for this one to be available on tap in the winter around here?

Photo of Kinsman
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Best by date: August 2010

Pours a dark brown body with lighter red highlights in the thin part of the glass. Moderate fluffy tan head with a lots of bubbles around the glass.

Smell is reminiscent of many English style brown ales and porters. Certainly caramel and chocolate malts are present, and almost no hop aroma. The aroma gives off a moderate sweetness as well as roasted/burnt notes.

Malt profile is up front on that palate. Not as sweet as the nose would suggest, rather the roasted character makes itself known. Some bitterness is perceived, a combination of the roasted flavors with the low hop presence. Hops also provide a little spice flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a moderate-low body, but a seemingly high carbonation level. Bubbles in the appearance hint at this, but it is much more noticeable than expected.

Overall, a very drinkable beer, as this style should be. Really proves the common misconception about dark beer = heavy all wrong.

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

Appearance: A dark, nearly black, reddish brown body with laser-beam red highlights. Up top, two fingers of creamy -cream-colored head that endure almost to the end of the glass, leaving excellent sheets of lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Earthy hops and a dash of something lactic over a husky burnt sugar malt body.

Flavor: Mild earthy and herbal hops over a solid roasty and husky black malt backbone. There's just a twang of something metallic, but it doesn't spoil the party. Lots of roasty and grainy malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Just as drinkable as you'd expect from a Sam Adams brew with this alcohol content.

Verdict: Still a solid beer by my count, the faith I placed in Sam Adams Black Lager as a beer newbie seems to have been well placed. It's nicely roasty, deep enough to hold your attention, and easily quaffable.

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a Sam Adams variety pack.
Poured into a Pilsener glass

Appearance- black color, thin head that dissipated quickly

Smell- roasted malt with a hint of coffee and chocolate

Taste- chocolate, coffee, roasted malt

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, smooth

Drinkability- I thought this was very good. Very refreshing and very smooth. Very good

Photo of wcudwight
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark with a good fluffy foamy head that has nice retention. Very complex smell. Kind of reminds me of grilled steak. Very rich and complex taste. Lightly roasted. Spice. Kind of chocolate milky sweet. Almost too much of a mixture. Very crisp and warming in the mouth. Complexity makes it less drinkable than it could be, but overall still very drinkable. This is a very good beer that I will look for in the future.

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

Schwarzbier seems to be a style few American breweries try. I'm not sure why as it is a very drinkable and accessible style. Other than the infrequent brewpub offering, I've only had this and the Saranac Black Forest from this country. This is quite good but I slightly prefer the Saranac which has a just a touch more roasted malt bitterness.

This is, of course, nearly black, with a hint of deep red. Nice tan head which persists and coats a mug. Smells very good-- roasted malt and coffee. very little hops but just a hint of spice. The taste is well balanced but less roasted malt and sweeter than the smell suggests; it's noticeably less bitter than Black Forest. It's medium/light in body, smooth texture medium/low carbonation. Very pleasant and drinkable.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-is a really dark ruby red with 2 finger mocha colored head

S-lots of chocolate and malt

T- more chocolate with a little smokiness

M- good creamy carbonation

O-solid beer that is not overpowering in any area

Photo of umustdrink
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Very deep red in color. Head slightly off white and sits nicely at an eighth inch. Lacing is average.

S - Sweet bready malt nose meshed with a hint of bitterness and a faint smokeyness.

T - Light and sweet, slightly smokey, malt flavor with perhaps a sweet yeast element.

M - Carbonation is too much and hinders the taste a bit. Consistency is more thin than thick.

D - Overall pretty tasty but overly carbonated.

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

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. Small off-white head that dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma of caramel, molasses and malts.

Taste of molasses, smokey, sweet, bready, roasted malts and some hints of licorice in the background.

Mouthfeel was medium/light bodied and mildly cleansing. A dry finish.

Overall, good brew. Very drinkable.

Photo of shroompod
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a nice head , some lacing. A dark beer obviously.

Smell is faintly sweet malt, almost undetectable.

Slight sweet maltiness , with a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel is light, creamy and thin.

Overall and easy drinking beer that is very sessionable .

Photo of Diablerie
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance -
Dark brown with a reddish hue when held to the light. There was a thin, light brown head that was rather short-lived. Seems rather thin, which is reasonable for any kind of lager.

Aroma -
There's the scent of yeast, coffee grounds and toffee, chocolate malt (though it is weak), and it may be in my head, but I could swear I catch notes of licorice in the mix as well.

Taste -
There's more here than I would expect. Slight taste of raisins, bitter chocolate and some mild hoppiness swept under the rest. I find that a slight black coffee aftertaste lingers.

Mouthfeel -
Mild and easy. There's a substantial amount of carbonation, but I think it actually works to the advantage here. I didn't mind it at all. Altogether, it's rather smooth.

Drinkability -
Very drinkable. Plain and simple.

I have to admit that this was a pleasant surprise. Sam Adams isn't my favorite brewery out there, but this was actually a nice gem to stumble across.


Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown a large amount of tan head that falls quickly to a descent lace around the rim.

Nose is very toasty chocolate and a caramel sweetness. very mild caramel. Earthy hops complement the toast very well.

Taste of heavy roasted chocolate malts with a faint bitterness that seems to come more from the toasted grains than hops. The middle has a smooth sweetness but not chocolate sweet.

Low carbonation but a medium/heavy body. Goes down smooth and quickly.

Photo of BigAl723
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer covered in dust underneath a bunch of stuff in my pantry. I figured I would give it a go.

A: Very dark red. Honestly this is a really good looking beer. The head is what grabbed my attention. A fairly hard pour produced a three inch head. I had to let it settle down a little bit.

S: Molasses, prune, and fruit. It smells a little like a fresh apple. Quite inviting If I do say so myself.

T: Smokiness, carmel, and bread. I think it has a nice smokey/fruity taste that makes me want more.

M: Light to medium carbonation. More of a light mouthfeel.

D: This is one drinkable lager. I could seriously take out a six pack of this in no time. With the low ABV, it sure is a great beer to session.

Overall, not a bad beer. I have had it many of times but I took about a three year break from Sam Adams. I just happen to find this today and really seemed to enjoy it.

Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany/black with small 1 finger head that dissipates quickly down the glass.

S - Mostly some dark malt, a bit of caramel.

T - Good roasted taste, a tinge of caramel, some coffee notes, and chocolate. Fades into a tiny bit of licorice.

M - Very smooth taste, carbonation is mild. Very drinkable beverage here.

Overall - Based on the smell, I wasn't expecting much, but this is actually a pretty solid schwarzbier here. Very drinkable and sooth. Would be an ideal session beer.

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

A- It pours a darker shade of brown with a lush bright tan head. Also there was a fair amount of lacing left on the glass.
S- It had a decent mix of roasted malts , interesting dark grains, and biscuityness . There was also just a hint of possible licorice.
T- First there was some chocolate and a little caramel flavor. Followed by some bitter roasted coffee, and bready yeast. At the end was some notable hop bitterness .
M- I thought this was just a little light bodied. but it still was sort of creamy with some carbonation.
D- Not bad for an Amero black themed lager...errr I mean Schwarzbier lol

Photo of sluggermatt15
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a case of this and was impressed with this beer.

A- Pours a darker brownish color and you can see this when you hold it up to the light.

S- Smells of roasted malts, coffee. Nothing too overwhelming here.

T&M- Definitely a full bodied beer. Great taste of malts, no real bitterness with this one.

D- About average here. I wouldn't drink more than one or two of these in one sitting. SA's Black Lager isn't meant to be pounded down, rather it's more or less for relaxing.

Overall, I would definitely pick this one up again. I enjoyed it and if you are a fan of schwarzbiers, take a chance on this one because you won't be disappointed.

Photo of necoadam
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a light black color with some ruby tones with a good looking head. Smell consisted of burnt grains, chocolate (sweetened and bitter), with some malts and caramel sitting in the background. Taste was pretty decent. Sweet malts with caramel start out with an underlying of coffee and toffee which linger into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a let down. Finished a little bit too sweet and was quite watery I thought. Other than the mouthfeel, it's not a bad beer.

Photo of ericj551
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the Sam Adams mix six pack, Black Lager pours a deep ruby red black with a light brown head. I smell sweet caramel malts as well as a slight roasted aroma. Taste is deep caramel and raisin, with a slightly astringent bitterness from the roasted malt. No hops to be found, but that fits just fine. I'm kind of confused with the name black lager, not too discriptive, but I guess many other beers are just Ale or Lager so not too big a deal.

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,514 ratings.