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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,375 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2375
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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Ratings: 2,375 | Reviews: 1,429 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of MistaC


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

Poured into a pint glass beeradvocate style

The color is a black, with dark amber tones when held to light. Pour results in a healthily textured, tan head.

The smell pervades with roasted malt. Caramel aromas prevail over chocholate ones.

The roasted malt and chocolate tastes are tied together by caramel. There are hints of coffee flavors in the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium thickness feel very consistent with what I expected from the appearance, taste and smell

It lives up to the smoothness of a traditional lager.

This beer is one of the more consistent ones I have tried. Appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel all flow smoothly across the board. There are no strange aftertastes.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2006 09:42:30 | More by MistaC
Photo of davidshamoon

New York

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

Hold a glass of this dark lager up to a light to delight in the red-chestnut hues that lurk underneath. Mine poured with a fine, thick head, though it didn't last very long.

Smell this beer, and you know what you're getting: roasted, malty flavor that's occasionally chocolatey or even nutty. That said, this is no stout. The flavors are subtler, and the beer is lighter and altogether more drinkable. Tasted just as at home with a chicken sandwich as it did with a piece of fine dark chocolate.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 23:23:05 | More by davidshamoon
Photo of JamesS


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

One of my favorite Sam Adams brews. It has a wonderful black appearance that allows just enough light to shine through when you hold it up to give it a little shine. A very nice earthy, rich, coffee scent to it. It goes down very smooth, with a wonderful rich, dark, coffee-like flavor. Definitely worth a try or a six-pack if you like dark lagers.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 01:07:31 | More by JamesS
Photo of Mosstrooper


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

Poured from 12oz into 19oz pilsner.

Appearance: Black, with some hues of dark amber-brown around the edges when held near light. Small tan head that leaves fast and leaves minimal lace.

Smell: Caramel and chocolate malt. A hint of grassiness/graininess.

Taste: Tastes of coffee and chocolate, through and through. A good roasted flavor about it as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, crisp yet smooth, and well-rounded.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and very tasty- I could drink this one after the other without a complaint in the world. My favorite style, and this represents it well. Also my favorite Sam Adams beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 22:39:30 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of fizzy


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

I agree with everything written about this beer. You would think, looking at it in the glass, that it would be overpoweringly dense, sweet, or syrupy. On the contrary! Normally I sway to heavy hoped beers, but the level of hops in this one is really nice! A really nice beer!

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 17:47:00 | More by fizzy
Photo of wnh


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

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with garnet highlights. Had a small fizzy head that died quickly.

The nose is roasted malt up front, followed by a little smoke. The smoke caught me off guard, and it took me a moment to pinpoint just what it was, but it works really well here. Then there's some sweet caramel-like notes in the background that balance out the roasted notes.

Taste is big and roasty, with a sweet malty backbone that holds it up and keeps it from being too much. Very well balanced, and a pleasure to drink.

Sam Adams Black Lager is considerably light bodied--perhaps a touch on the watery side, even--but mellow and smooth. Very high drinkability, and I'd gladly drink multiple glasses of this.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 02:43:25 | More by wnh
Photo of AmberMan22


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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Almost totally black, with hints of red lining the glass. A solid deep hue. Head is 1/2 inch that dissipates somewhat quickly. Lacing reminds of a wine in the way it creates legs.

Smell: Smells of smoky roasted chocolate malt.

T/M: much the same as the smell, a solid medium bodied beer that when rolled over the tongue creates the wonderful sensation of having stepped into a fine chocolatier, whose owner smokes a rich pipe.

D: Not too heavy by any means, you could drink this for a while if you really wanted. The chocolaty flavor almost makes you feel like you've eaten too many sweets if drank too quickly.

I'd have to say this is quite an exceptional beer for the money, but this is one of my favorite styles in general.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2009 04:37:51 | More by AmberMan22
Photo of wages


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

Appearance - 3.5/5 - Pours with a small off-white head. Black but not "pitch black".

Smell - 4.5/5 - Huge roasted sweet aroma.

Taste - 4.5/5 - Wonderful slightly bitter roasted flavor. I can barely tell that it is a lager behind the big roasted character!

Mouthfeel - 4/5 - Just the right level of carbonation. Leaves a light coating in the mouth.

Overall - 4.5/5 - A very tasty schwarzbier that hits you with roasted-ness from all sides. It could possibly have more depth, for a 4.9% ABV brew, this one hits the mark.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 00:31:10 | More by wages
Photo of FakeDeniro


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

A deep dark black/brown color! Small off white head. An amazing smell of dark breads and roasted grains The taste is much the same with a brilliant light body to balance out the heavy smell and taste. A great beer the lets your drink a dark or bigger bold tasting beer when you want a light body beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 17:57:39 | More by FakeDeniro
Photo of OatherS


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Normal SA label but it is black.

A: Great black color, with only a hint of amber on the edges through light. One finger head pretty good for a big brewery beer.

S: Maly, chocolate, coffee aromas.

T: Same flavors as the aroma, but they are sudbued and not overwhelming like a stout for example. Very good example of a schwarz.

M: Smooth.

D: Really good beer, especially for a relatively large brewery.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 22:36:07 | More by OatherS
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer itself is a rich dark brown. The head is thick and creamy leaving a good lace on the glass, but the head disappeared a little bit quicker than I had expected.

S: Strong but sweet smell of chocolate and malt, not overpowering though.

T: Initial taste is of chocolate, malt and hops with a faint taste of coffee. A sweet coffee flavor is more prevelant in the after taste. Very enjoyable taste.

M: Very smooth with decent thickness, not bitter at all as many Sam Adams products tend to be.

D: I could go through a lot of these very easily. The only reason I don't give the beer a 5 in this category is because of the heaviness of it, which is customary for the style of beer.

I enjoyed this beer a great deal, so much so, that it prompted my first beer review. Execellent smoothness and taste. My only complaint about this beer is that to the best of my knowledge, it's only available alone in sixers or variety packs with other Sam Adams beers. 2 per 6-pack; 3 per 12-pack. I don't mind trying the other beers but I would like to buy this beer in alone in a 12-pack or larger.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 04:58:49 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of chuckm


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this would be a porter until bringing it home and reading what a Schwarzbier is supposed to be. With this as my only experience I can see this is a style to search out. The color was a reddish black with a thick head which faded quickly. The smell was a roasted nutty scent however the highlight was the taste. A flavorful and balanced beer with just a little of the bitter after taste I've come to expect from my porters. Very drinkable and one I would seek out for a season other than winter(this is being typed after shoveling the latest 8 inches of snow).

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2007 02:55:20 | More by chuckm
Photo of bobhits


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was probably the first malty beer that really caught my eye. The average stout has always been something I enjoy but don't really ever desire to drink. In spite of the name this is a fairly easy to drink fairly light beer (relative to the name of course).

a. It gives a nice tan head and as you would expect from the name is almost bitch black. You do get a bit of light through it (served in a pint glass). The head lasts long enough and leaves a nice tan lacing down the side.

s. Honestly I'm having a hard time picking up on much of any smell I get a slight bit of toffee but I have been a bit under the weather so I maybe a poor judge here.

t. Chocolate, caramel, toffee maybe a hint of coffee. This isn't an over powering beer by any means. The flavors are subtle enough to let you drink instead of sipping it. This makes for a GREAT beer for people knew to the darker beers to start with as it won't over power them.

m. I love this beer because I can drink a 6 pack without getting tired of it. The mouth feel has just the perfect amount of carbonation and the beer is light enough feeling in the mouth to allow one to drink it.

d. As I already said the taste and the mouth feel make this a very drinkable beer. I do find that beers that are very malty tend to be harder to drink in large amounts and I feel this beer was meant to be one you can drink and not sip on.

I feel a little off giving this beer so much praise, but it just seems like the perfect mix of a flavorful beer that one can drink at almost any time. That plays a role in my score as the amount of flavor and texture of the beer should meet the goal of the brewer.

This is by far my favorite sam adams and I've had virtually all of their non limited edition beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2007 19:00:10 | More by bobhits
Photo of musicjustintime


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

VERY smooth for as dark as it was. I was really surprised. I'm not a "hophead" so this was my favorite in the Brewmaster's Collection case. Hardly any hops to speak of, and such a smoothness...even in the finish. Very nice. Smooth, slightly creamy, yet thin enough to drink a few. HIGHLY recommended by me!!!! Remember though...one must not be in love with the hop flower to appreciate this malty lager. Cheers and SAAALUTE my BA friends!

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2007 22:01:55 | More by musicjustintime
Photo of Gehrig


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I grab the Brewmasters' 12-pack, I always look forward to having the two Black Lagers thankfully included in the box. Good with a chill and some barbecue, Black Lager is a strong contribution from Sam Adams.

It's a nice pour, providing one and one-half fingers of tannish froth on a really black body, yum. The nose is fine but leaves me wanting for a a bit more. Lots of yeast, roasted chocolate and caramel hops, and some subtle fruit sneak through. The taste brings this beer all together. The roasted malt make this beer move, with lots of chocolate and caramel carrying the load. Excellent.

It's nicely carbonated, standing well during a sporting event and allowing the flavors to work their magic. It's quite good, and is a slightly smoother version of Sprecher's excellent Black Bavarian. Grab it and thank yourself later.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 06:14:16 | More by Gehrig
Photo of deltatauhobbit


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown/black color, some head and lacing.

Smell is dominated by roasted malt with some coffee undertones, some chocolate aroma as well.

Taste is rather creamy, taste is mostly contributed by the roasted malt with some coffee bitterness contributing, some spice and even a little hop presence to balance things out a little bit, not overly sweet but just right.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 04:23:45 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Black Lager is a deep aubergine brown with a generous, dense cinnamon-tan head that has excellent retention and lacing. The aroma is of a deep caramel roast in a wooden basement with a tinge of medicinal hops. It's soft and fuzzy on the tongue. It leaves an acidic finish with a final rumble of alcohol. The flavor is of deep char and coffee grounds with a well-hopped uglifruit character that touches off a dark chocolate type of bitterness. This caught me off guard. I usually don't get this excited about lager.
(rated Mar 11, 2007)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 03:36:46 | More by yesyouam
Photo of southernmagnus


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've found this guy for sub $7 for a sixer- and IMO, that's a steal

Probably my favorite fall session beer- this Lager is reasonably creamy, complex and eminently drinkable.

Sam Adams continues to impress. You gotta love a brewing company that gives you a craft beer taste, even when you're in the middle of nowhere (rural Alabama).

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 02:09:17 | More by southernmagnus
Photo of Kromes


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is black with a thick, tan colored head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: There are sweet roasted malts and chocolate aromas. Smells pretty god.

T: A very nice smokey, roasted malt flavor with some smooth, sweet chocolate flavors. Very simple and delicious. There is a bitterness in the finish that complements the sweetness in the beer.

M: Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. It suits this style well.

D: Highly recommended. I'm a big fan of the darker beers and will definitely pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2009 16:46:13 | More by Kromes
Photo of jovy1097


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint.

Appearance: Pours coffee black with reddish tints around the edges. Not as dark as many stouts. Creamy, thick, caramel head that leaves extensive lacing around the glass and sticks around till the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Smells of toffee and caramel with malty layering. Has some slight nutty character.

Taste: Rich, creamy maltiness with toffee flavoring that morphs into more of a coffee flavor towards the end. Chocolate flavor comes out the more you drink. A delectable flavor that I want more of. Roasty without being burnt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and thick. Almost a velvety feel to it.

Drinkability: This is what I wish most dark beers tasted like. I love it! Give me more.

Comments: Looks very much like a dry stout but tastes nothing like them. A truly delightful brew that will be welcome in my fridge any time.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 04:49:27 | More by jovy1097
Photo of MSchae1017


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was tasted in a Pint Glass from a bottle.

This poured nearly black with hints of red. The head was not the best. The most overpowering smell in this beer is the malts. As the beer is tasted you can really sense roasted malts. The beer is not overly hoppy but there is a good level of bitterness to it. There is a good level of carbonation and there is a welcome thickness it your mouth. This a fantastic beer and is especially welcome during these winter months.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 01:13:26 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of frosty


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stuff. Very dark dark brown when poured this stuff is nice. The smell of coffee and chocolate fill my nose. As it goes down the same flavors are there with maltiness making this beer great. Very easy to drink and pleasing. I got to give it to the Boston Beer Co. on this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 05:47:14 | More by frosty
Photo of goochpunch


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark dark brown almost to the point of being black. Some dark ruby hues. You can just barely make out your fingers on the other side of the glass. Thick almond head that settles down to .5" and leaves thick lacing patterns. Smokey, roasted malts stick out in the nose along with some chocolate, dried fruit and clean lager aromas. Smoky, roasty, lightly chocolatey, slightly acidic, and clean in the finish with some hop bitterness and mild astringency. Has an interesting malted milk ball flavor thing going on. Mouthfeel is fairly light with some prickling carbonation. Tasty and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 05:12:51 | More by goochpunch
Photo of geexploitation


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a totally opaque black that betrays only the slightest ruby highlights when held up to direct light. Very nice aroma of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and some dextrine vanilla notes. It's a smooth, almost creamy aroma. On the palate, this beer is big and juicy, with plenty of active carbonation and a texture that treads perfectly between creamy smoothness and a light, racy touch. Malt bitterness is pronounced up front before morphing into something a that's a touch sweeter and acidic. Hop snap toward the end. This is an excellent beer and one of my favorites from Sam Adams. It's got rich flavors, sessionability and authenticity. Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 02:02:04 | More by geexploitation
Photo of selecter70


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this dark lager. Delicious. Give me more. Why are not on draught in Boston?!? Dark color, decent head, wonderful dark-roasted malts and just the slightest hops. No overwhelming coffee or chocolate hints, and the perfect body for drinkability. Keep 'em comin' !

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 23:19:48 | More by selecter70
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,375 ratings.