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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,376 Ratings

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Ratings: 2376
Reviews: 1429
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%

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 Gavage

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear black in color with a thick 2" tan head that nicely lasts. Decent lacing develops throught the drink.

Smell: the aroma is of roasted malts, licorice, and slighty earthy.

Taste: the flavor is superb, as roasted malts are nicely balanced with other components such as bitter chocolate, coffee, and soft licorice. Nice bitterness levels. One of the more flavorful schwarzbiers I have encountered.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start. The finish is relatively clean, as the roasted tones fall off the tongue quickly. Light to medium in body.

Drinkability: great as this can be quaffed all night long. One of Sam's better brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 19:53:48 | More by Gavage
Photo of IntriqKen


4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black beer with a thick cream colored head that stays the length of the drink. Rich chocolate, coffee scents. Mouthfeel is rich an creamy with nice carbonation and slight alcohol warmth in the back of the throat as it goes down. Very smooth coffee, chocolate taste with no hops bitterness.
Wonderful winter brew....one of my favorites. I wish I could find it year round in sixers rather than only two bottles in the holiday Sam Adams 12 pack.
In March I have found this beer to be available in 6 packs...at the local Ralph's grocery store, of all places. Woo - Hoo!
I hope they keep carrying it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 05:45:36 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of MetroOhio


4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a fantastic pick up! Got a sixer of this today, and boy was I surprised.

Poured strong with a fantastic head--it did, however, disappear fairly quick for me, but maybe my pour was off or the glass may have been off.

The body was deep reddish brown with a nice tan head. Smells of grain, roasted malt/barley, with cocoa-ish scents up front (but not lingering). Taste was very nicely rounded with some roasted and burnt (in a good way) malt sweetness up front, and it's rounded out with a sort of limey taste afterwards--maybe black cherry as well?

Mouthfeel, for me, was a little thin, could've used a little more heft in it.

This beer was fantastic, and it's one of those beers you can have a ton of and still feel good about having another. I have found my new Sam Adams favorite...move over Winter Lager. You have been replaced, and I'll never return...Black Lager is my new favorite brew from the Boston Beer Company.

Song Listened to Whilst Enjoying this Beer: "Such a Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference", Morrissey, off the Bona Drag LP(1990).

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2005 04:56:52 | More by MetroOhio
Photo of dbalsock


4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours black with a 1 1/2 finger light vanilla head. It has a reddish hue that looks quite nice in candlelight. The only drawback is poor head retention, which counts for a lot in my book.

Smell: A sweet malty character consisting of molasses and caramel is present, and very enticing.

Taste: This is a smokey beer... my first schwarzbier, and it lives up to the name. The molasses also play a role here, along with a more noticeable caramel presence. Moreover, a bit of bakers chocolate is added to the mix. Wonderful.

Mouthfeel: Quite light, considering the flavors, there is again the sense of smokeyness along with a light bitter character.

Drinkability: I find this beer quite sessionable, and easily consumable. I'm almost through my first six pack, and will be buying more. I can't wait to go back and visit Boston this winter (hopefully finding this on tap at Doyles...)

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2006 03:54:11 | More by dbalsock
Photo of tugdriver7


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up on a whim, being a fan of the Saranac offering of the same type. Since then, I've bought a few 6'ers and found each bottle consistently high quality, smooth, drinkable with a very rich taste. This is definitely a beer to be savored. Smell is rich and malty. Taste is rich, with hints of carmel, but much more carefully balanced than some. Full mouth feel with just the right carbonation to be refreshing. What can I say? It's great! I hadn't always been a huge Sam Adams fan until this came along. Those Boston Beer guys (and gals) know what they're doing!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2005 19:40:58 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of mrsoul12


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dominated by roast. There may be a bit too much for style but it is hard to argue with the end result. Black in color with ruby highlights. Good persistent head. Nice mouthfeel. Again lots of roast in this beer. Roast in the front and the back. Good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 12:31:33 | More by mrsoul12
Photo of deanwilson

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Very dark, stout/porter-like. It pours with a nice thick creamty tan head that slowly dissapates while you drink it.

S: Slightly sweet and malty

T: Hints of the caramel and chocolate malts, very smoothe and with a mild but noticeable hop and malt finish. A nice amopunt of complexity. Perfectly blended for this type of beer.

M: Smoothe and soft on the palate.

D. Very drinkable. Not overly carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 17:00:59 | More by deanwilson
Photo of ironchefchris


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

terrific beer. one of my favorite sam adams around. dark rich color matches the smell and taste. you really can't drink many of them though, definetely a beer for food and that's about it. it's heavy, malty, sweet, and a bit nutty. it's your typical dark beer...but does everything really well.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 04:16:38 | More by ironchefchris
Photo of arboristfish


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark black, but has an amber hue to it. The head is a frothy white, and seemed to last for awhile. The smell of this beer is of roasted malts. The taste is of burnt roasted malts, hint of coffee. There is a well balanced hop flavor with it. The mouthfeel is medium light. I would say this is a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 12:37:59 | More by arboristfish
Photo of steveh


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a lot when it first came out, but never reviewed it -- remedy now.

A -- Very dark brown with ruby highlights and a dense, long-lasting, light tan head.

S -- Roasted malts with a light coffee character and light breadiness back.

T -- Mellow roasted malts up front that blend lightly into bready malts, but finishes with that dry, nearly bitter roasted flavor. There is the lightest of hop bitterness throughout, but it blends with the roasted malts. Also a mellow sweetness in an underlying backbone.

M -- Smooth body with a dry finish with a medium body.

O -- Overall, Sam Adams nails the style pretty handily. Smooth and roasty like you'd expect from the style and just what you'd be looking for if you asked for a Schwarzbier. Yet another 4.9% beer with a ton of character.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 22:09:48 | More by steveh
Photo of FlatRabbitRed


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good beer, straight forward simple black malted beer, nothing like a Guiness, or even like theyre "Holiday Porter".

Coffee notes, dark but not heavy! Easy to drink and very smooth for a dark beer, does not come around often, so grab some if you see them.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 14:56:26 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Boston Beer Company has done it again, delivering an accessible and quite authentic rendition of another classic style! There's a little bit more caramel flavor and sweetness here than most German examples exhibit, but gosh darn it, it works!

It pours an almost opaque black body that only lets a glimmer of dark ruby-mahogany through beneath its creamy head of khaki colored foam. The head retention is very good, and it initially leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose is darkly caramelish with an almost-burnt-sugar note, and a subtle roastiness.

It's dextrinous, medium body is livened by a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that leaves it gently crisp and then smooth on the palate.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with rich caramel notes threaded with a note of dark and roasted bittersweet chocolate. Some leafy and mildly spicy hops appear towards the swallow, and in conjunction with its lightly roasty edge, help its firm bitterness to usher in a dry finsh.

Very nicely done! And interestingly enough, the caramel character of this one reminds me very much of my other favorite Sam Adams beer, their Cream Stout. I could enjoy this beer year round, and I think it would be just as appropriate at a bachelor party, poker game, summer BBQ, ski trip, company picnic or Thanksgiving Feast. Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2005 21:36:02 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of jeffthecheff


4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black in the middle of the glass with a nice red hue around the edges. Head was off white, laced really well down the side of the glass while keeping a tiny bit of head for each sip.

Aromas were very subtle. Chocolate malts and very subtle coffee notes.

I've never had this style of beer before, but the taste is very interesting. Has the "dark" flavors but they come through very light as it is a lager. I pick up some chocolate and some coffee flavors and they are excellent. Didn't detect any hops.

This beer really slides down very smoothly with great texture to it. This is a very drinkable beer as well. After each sip I looked forward to the next. Most drinkable "dark" beer I've ever had, because its light bodied enough that you can have many if you want.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2008 23:37:24 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of AltBock


4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dense black color with a head of foam that disappears quickly. It has a chocolate malty smell that is very nice. It has a nice roasted chocolate taste that stays for a little bit. Overall this an excellent brew from Sam Adams that I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 18:32:57 | More by AltBock
Photo of guinnessman


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I didn't know what to expect from this Schwarzbier style. But I had to try it and see exactly what was going on there. It was a nice black/amber huge, with a small light brown head with very little retention. But it presents itself well! Sweet smelling with chocolate and roasty smells. A nice grainy mouthfeel and nice chocolate and roasted malt taste with a hint of burnt wood. Very very impressed, I will definitely pick up a six pack again soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2005 19:54:30 | More by guinnessman
Photo of crispy620


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very surprised by it;s easy drinkability. Usually dark or black beer tend to have a very molassasy taste but this did not.

Sweet at first and with a very distintive finish. Not bitter at all.

Color was a rich hue of very dark brown with a nice amber edge.

Very nice compliment with spicy steak or even seared tuna.

A one.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 21:14:51 | More by crispy620
Photo of Brad007


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with a one finger head. Aroma is smooth and malty, with roasted characteristics that are reminiscent of a porter. Taste is very smooth and roasty, flavorful and yet, finishes clean just like a lager. I'm loving the aftertaste here. A second sip confirms more of the same. Mmm. So smooth, roasty and very much like a lager as the style dictates. I love this beer. One of Sam Adams' better efforts.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 00:02:47 | More by Brad007
Photo of Irishdagger


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this brew. As one whose heart is black as Guinness, I tend to lean in that direction. As I was walking through my local provider of fine beer, the name Black Lager gave me goose bumps. I just had to try it...and I'm glad I did.

The head starts nice, but doesn't cling to the sides, it carries some complex smells and the taste is kind of coffee/chocolate. The color is a dark chocolate, and the appearance it bold.

I would recommend giving this a shot if your looking for a nice dark beer. Goes down well, and the tastes will have you nodding your head in agreement.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 01:06:12 | More by Irishdagger
Photo of monkeybrew


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer- it reminds me of the dark lagers in Munich that were so much better than some of the light colored lagers. So easy to drink, but also very tasty. Looks nice in a glass with a decent amount of head. Moderate carbonation. A little caramel and roasty in smell and taste, but very clean finish and nice aftertaste. A lot in common with nut brown ales, which I also like. I would say that this is one of Sam Adams better efforts for an everyday beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 16:55:21 | More by monkeybrew
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours not quite opaque black; slightly translucent. Good foamy tan head with average retention and nice lacing.
Smells of dark roasted malt and a little cocoa.
Flavor features hearty roasted malts up front and finishes with a mild acidic sourdough tanginess almost like a porter. Great smoky character with a touch of balancing hops.
Light to medium body and average feel.
This is one of the better (and one of the few) Schwarzbiers out there. A great dark session beer with loads of flavor but a lighter body, which makes it easy to drink even in warmer weather.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2009 22:20:33 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of TheSarge


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours quite nicely for a tan, chocolate milk colored head. The body is black in color, but shows off some brownish red hues when held up to the light.

In the aroma there is a strong hint of smoke, with a hint of licorice and a slight metallic character.

This is a creamy and smooth treat. The beer tastes of smoke, chocolate, with an herbal finish. This is a great Schwarzbier!

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 01:49:09 | More by TheSarge
Photo of Portertime


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer i do not see often but when I do it is a treat for me. I very enjoy Sam Adams' version of this style of beer.

Apperance - the typical Schwarzbeir thin coffee look with a mild head.

Smell - very pleasant hints of milk chocolate, mocha, and toastiness.

Taste - very rich with a velvetyness and nice hop backing. Mocha malts and an almost milk stout quality but much milder.

One of my favorite American Schwarzbiers. I recommend this to anyone who want to try a dark beer but is not ready for a heavy roasted coffee and big hoppiness of most stouts and porters.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:59:26 | More by Portertime
Photo of jasonpeckins32


4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice black color. Very dark, almost pitch black. It also has a great brown extra-frothy head topping off the glass. Smells of chocolate, molasses, maple syrup, and burnt toast tantalize my nose. The taste is very similar to the aroma, with hints of caramel malts and a load of coffee adding to the collection of intense flavors and scents. The taste also finishes clean with no lingering bad aftertaste. The mouthfeel is just shy of a heavy-bodied beer. It goes down very smooth. My glass was emptied much sooner than I expected. I am highly impressed by this beer, and I'm sure it will soon make its way in front of me again. CHEERS!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2005 04:36:25 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of jhammerly


4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not being very familiar with Black Lagers, I was excited when I seen this available in my area. Sadly, only two bottles came in the Samuel Adams Mix-Pack. This could be a style that I could get used to.

An almost black appearance with a two-finger width head that dissipated rather quickly. A faint smell of raosted malt. Highly drinkable with a heavy raosted taste that lingers for awhile, with hints of fig. Like a medium-roast coffee that can be gulped instead of sipped.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2005 07:55:21 | More by jhammerly
Photo of oldirtycaffrey


4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. The appearance was dark brown, with a slight creamy head. Very good appearance; slight lacing to the pint glass.

Smell was of chocolate mixed with a slight coffee/espresso aroma. Very nice. Taste was also of a chocolately coffee; not very bitter, not sweet -- just right! Really enjoyable aftertaste brings out the coffee taste.

Mouthfeel: very good body & creamy. Drinkability was also excellent. Could definitely drink a few of these on a nice cold winter night.

Overall--a great Sam Adams dark beer to drink in the winter. Glad I picked it up!

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 23:46:42 | More by oldirtycaffrey
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,376 ratings.