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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,472 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,472
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 75 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,472 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Samp01
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black. Nice lasting tan head. Aroma of malts, caramel, hops. Taste is malts, caramel, some coffee, chocolate. Palate some good carboantion, nice medium to full body smooth beer, Finish is malty, caramel.This a very flavorfull beer. Would drink again. I really enjoyed this brew.

Samp01, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of goldbot
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very deep rubyish brown in color with tan head. Good head retention with nice lacing throughout. Very light aroma of slightly roasted malt, bread, caramel. Good malty flavor, more bread and a touch of caramel with a nice balance of floral hops. Medium body but with a light, airy mouthfeel.

goldbot, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of pBRale
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tasting notes on 9-11-11

Appearance: Pours very dark brown with ample foamy light tan head that settles fairly quickly to a thin creamy head and leaves a few rings of retaining lace.

Smell: Lots of bready malts; a bit of grassy hop presence in the nose.

Taste: Pretty roasty maltiness, some chocolate, backed up with some hops and a burnt coffee taste on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

Overall: Good beer with nice taste and good drinkability. Not exceptional, but still a good beer.

pBRale, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is a decent drinkable beer.

The beer pours black and is almost dark enough to prevent light from passing through it; about 95% blockage of light. The head is decently thick and settles ate a medium to slow rate and leaves adequate lacing down the glass.

The nose is acceptable with hints of coffee, malt and subtle smoky aromas.
The flavor is the best part with an immediate burst of coffee, dark chocolate, bread and a nicely balanced amount of bitter hops. The flavors are well balanced and very enjoyable. For a black lager this one is good enough for enjoying even on a hot summer day when I would usually prefer such a beer in the fall or winter.

For perspective: I tend to like darker heavier beers the cooler the weather gets and prefer lighter wheat type beers as summer hits it’s 110 degree peaks. That said; I see this being a year round beer.

As for the mouthfeel it is lighter than the black beers I am used too but it is not watery. Just light enough to be good year round (See above).

Overall I am really enjoying this beer and will definitely be getting it again. It is a very satidfying and quaffable black lager.

AtrumAnimus, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of Murchmac
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a one finger head. Looks more dark brown then black, with a small hop smell. Not very malty or hoppy, but first you taste the hops, then you taste a wide sweet malt. Not a terribly complex beer, but good, and a potent potable. If you like the style, then get a sixer.

Murchmac, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark toned brown with hints of an auburn hue when held to the light. A thick, 2 finger, dark tan head slowly fades out. Lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, coffee, sugary doses of roasted malt, and brown sugar.
Taste is that of the aromas with a standout caramel sweetness that is soon bombarded with coffee, and cocoa roasted grains and roasted nuts.
Mouthfeel is is medium bodied, slightly spiced, with a dry finish.

weeare138, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of hiikeeba
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours up an dark mahogany with ruby highlights and a tan head that dissipates slowly.

S - Roast malts dominate the aroma, but not too strongly.

T - Smooth start, with coffee-like roasted malts in the finish.

M - Slightly thin, but good

D - While subdued compared to other black lagers, the coffee-like finish makes it a bit less drinkable.

hiikeeba, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of spinrsx
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with a large frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some great lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, smoke

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a high amount of carbonation and its feels fairly lively on the tongue. I can taste lots of malts mixed with chocolate/coffee and and some roasted nuts. There is also a smokey flavour. The beer finishes with roasted/smokey chocolate flavour aftertaste.

Overall – I really enjoyed this beer. The flavour was well balanced and it was incredibly easy to drink. I could put back a few of these in one sitting with no issues. I'd buy it again, especially during the fall.

spinrsx, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep mahogany almost black, thick and dark. Creamy tan head recedes to thick ring that leaves creamy, sticky lacing.

S- Cocoa, roasted malts, and nutty tones. Caramels and earthy tones.

T- Cocoa and coffee, roasted malts all on the front. Earthy hops in the back with notes of leather and caramel.

M- Medium body with hints of cream. Well balanced, malty

D- On the creamy and roasted side, but slightly watery. Well balanced and easy to drink.

JayS2629, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Pours a deep, dark brown with a crimson hue. Has a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Light aroma of roasted malts, a hint of cocoa, and some nuttiness.

Taste is roasty and nutty upfront with a mild hint of cocoa. Finishes very clean.

Medium body, good carbonation.

A nice drinking lager with a roasted taste. No problem drinking a few.

MaltyGoodness, Aug 31, 2006
Photo of BostonHops
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a dark, cola-like brown while yielding a finger of off-white head; modest retention and lacing.

nose is strongly lead by roasted malts, followed by lesser notes of chocolate and hops. roasted malts is also at the forefront of the flavor. a bit of bitter chocolate and hops are evident behind the malt; approaching a stout but not quite. not a bad tasting beer at all.

mouthfeel is OK but there is significant room for improvement; light bodied and a bit - a bit - watery. but definitely drinkable; all in all it's not a bad beer, definitely something you would consider sessioning.

originally reviewed: 09-06-2010

BostonHops, May 10, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From old notes.

A: The pour isn't quite black but rather a very dark brown color with a finger of khaki head.

S: Lots of roasted malt aroma with a touch of coffee to it. Slightly acidic, likely from the heavy roasted qualities. Maybe a little bit of licorice and some floral hops. A touch of sweetness comes through.

T: More roasted malt and a touch of char. Definitely coffee and some bitter dark chocolate flavors. Moderately bitter with a sort of drying finish.

M: Medium in body with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: This was one of my first Schwarzbiers, but I found it to be quite enjoyable and still do.

womencantsail, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of bsend
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

Appearance: Beer pours an attractive dark brown to black color with a nice off-white head. Carbonation can clearly be seen clinging onto the side of the glass. This beer lets very little light through.

Smell: Nothing impressive here. I got some roasted malt and not much else.

Taste: This beer really shines here! Nice roasted malt character that is well balanced and very light.

Mouthfeel: Light body with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: This can easily become my new session beer. Sam Adams should release this is 12 packs.

Final Thoughts - Surprisingly light in body and flavor when noticing the intial appearance of the brew. Definitely worth a try in a 12 pack mix or a sixer.

bsend, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of DavidST
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a SA pint glass. This pours a dark brown with a decent tan head. The smells are somewhat light, some roasted and bread malts. Feel is medium. The taste is good, much lighter than a stout, but a nice lighter flavored roasted malt flavor.

DavidST, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of Hopswagger
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P:  Full finger of foamy cappuccino head.  Black body with glistening deep amber translucence.  Recedes to a thin spotty layer across the top. 

S:  Roasted toffee, coffee beans, rich caramel and bittersweet dark chocolate. 

T/M:  Light body with a touch of bubbly carbonation on the tongue. Rich roasted malts, dark bread, caramel with a touch of salt, chocolate and timid earthy and floral hops. I detect a slight taste of vegetation but not sure what kind, molasses and red delicious apples.  Finish is smooth with a dryness toward the end.  Bittersweet chocolate lingers on the palate. 

O:  Mild but flavorful and smooth drinking. One of my personal favorites from the Boston Beer Company. I enjoy this anytime of the year and highly recommend it.  Not sure how it represents the style because this is my first of this style but a delicious beer none the less. 

Hopswagger, May 23, 2012
Photo of PintOHops
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glass - Official Sam Adams Glass

A - Dark brown/mahogany color, like a cola soda basically. It produced a 1-2 finger head that dissipated rather fast and left a thin ring atop my beer but not lacing.

S - Soft roasted malt character with muted caramel and nutty notes. Very soft nose here with a bit of brown sugar.

T - I get allot more roasted flavors than the aroma led on. Upfront it's got allot of sweet brown sugary like flavor with nutty notes quickly following. A soft porter like roasted character is there middle to end, and it finishes just a touch dry with very mild bitterness.

M - Moderately crisp with a semi creamy feel and around a medium body but on the lite side.

D - Very drinkable, I remember having this one from Sam Adams awhile ago and it still doesn't fail me, one of the best Sam offerings to me. I could quaff a sixer of this one for sure and I'd definitely buy this one again, great price for a good brew. Cheers!

PintOHops, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Cellar temperature bottle is poured into a fluted glass. This is a dark brown beer with pretty ruby notes where the sunlight hits it. The head is tan foam that slowly slides down the sides of the glass as I swirl it about. There appears to be a good amount of rising carbonation.

A warm roasted malt aroma greets my nose as I inhale. There is a bit of a candy sweetness to the smell; it reminds me of toffee.

Just like the label on the neck of the bottle suggests, I can taste dark roasted malts and, to a lesser extent, chocolate malts. A mild bitterness appears as I swallow and lingers briefly. Lasting longer is a bit of malty sweetness and some alcohol. It is a respectable flavor profile for this German-inspired beer.

The Black Lager has a medium body and average carbonation. It is a little sticky and leaves a good amount of coating behind.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. I don't think I'd want more than these 12 ounces, as the stickiness and coating may begin to bother me. I think I'll need a glass of water after consuming this beer. I am glad that there is a second bottle in the mix pack, because I will want to revisit this beer soon. It has also inspired me to seek out more beers of this style, as I think there is a lot of potential for some great black lagers.

ToasterChef, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of thain709
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A deep, deep brown that boarders on being black...when held to the light the brown shines through on the bottom...an off white head forms and stands about 1.5 fingers...nice retention which leads to good lacing

S - Chocolate and coffee are present in the nose...some roasted malts with a dash of caramel...not big enough on the aromas to be a 4

T - The roasted malts play up front...the dash of sweet caramel really shines in the middle and cuts through the roastiness of the forefront malts...the chocolate and coffee combine really nicely throughout the entire beer...the cocoa and espresso beans leaves for a nice roasted, bitter finish

M - Medium bodied...a tad thin sometimes...I was looking for some extra creaminess

D - I liked this one from Sam Adams...tried it in a side-by-side with Duck Rabbit's Schwarzbier...the flavors are there in this one and come out in good flavor...I would drink this one again

thain709, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite dark, even for a schwarzbier. Inviting, creamy 1/2" head. Very little light penetration.
Smells heavily of caramel, with a mild citrus hint, and a milder yet nition of rye toast.
Starts off somewhat stout-like with the roasted malt quality. But it becomes increasingly caramelized as it drinks. Hints of carob, butter, and ladies suntanning. All flavors are somewhat subtle, yet this is never boring. Quite tasty overall.
The mouthfeel is super creamy. It does not impede the flavor, but briefly distracts me.
TO likes TO some TO. Well, I like me some schwarzbier. This is a pretty good one.

GIVEMEBACKMYSON, May 04, 2005
Photo of Moxley
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by Hyland24 to try. Thanks pal.

A - I love to compare these dark beers to flat cola. If you've ever seen flat cola in a glass then you've seen this beer. Very little (maybe ¼ inch) head to speak of. Surprisingly, the lacing was like a sheet down the sides of the glass. I was impressed with that.

S - The nose was a strong malt with a faint dark chocolate and bitter coffee smell.

T - Sweet creaminess up front with a malty, bitter finish. I detected a slight coffee aftertaste and the flavors and smells really came alive as the beer warmed up a bit.

M&D - A little more carbonated than I'd like for a beer this creamy - but not a deal breaker. Medium-to-heavy bodied.

This beer is a Guinness wanna-be. I think it's a good beer, and I'd drink it again, but if I were in the mood for a Guinness I would probably just drink a Guinness and leave this one for the less sagacious of beer drinkers i.e. those who are not attending the TAP festival at Hunter Mountain this weekend.

Moxley, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of righthereisay
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Fall sample pack.

Black appearance, as predicted by the name.

The smell is nice, maybe some sugar/licorice.

It wasn't bitter at all, had a really nice full body. My only complaint was it really wasn't very flavorful. The 1st sip was better than the remaining sips.

I guess my only concern is that something seems to be missing in this beer. Almost like they stopped on the flavor because of the mouthfeel and drinkability, which is very good.

righthereisay, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Dark brown beer with a large foamy and creamy tan head. The retention is great, and lots of sticky lacing clings to the glass as the beer is consumed.

S: Rich dark malt smells. Caramel, toffee, molasses. Faint bready and roasted malt smells. Hint of sulfur/metallic phenols. Some light citrusy Noble hop action too.

T: Chocolate and roasted malt flavors open first, then notes of molasses and brown bread take over. Caramel and toffee wash over the tongue, and maybe some coffee as well. Hops add just a touch of bitterness to balance. Finishes semi-dry with molasses and roasted malt tastes.

M: Creamy and thick. Mouthfeel has the smoothness of the style down, but it seems a bit too thick.

D: Thickness hinders drinkability a little, especially when taking style into consideration.

Notes: A fairly solid attempt at a swarzbier. Hop bitterness and flavor could be taken up just a notch. Mouthfeel ws a bit too thick for the style as well. Still a good beer. I wish more American brewers would brew Schwarzbiers.

ryan1788a5, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of JosiahS
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: Samuel Adams Signature Glass

a: Very dark brown body, a little red on the sides. 1-finger tan head, kinda fizzy but looks like it will stick around for a little.

s: Typical lager smell but with light cocoa and syrupy caramel sweetness. Faint plumb.

t: This is cocoa and caramel added to what would normally be a regular lager. It has a nice rounded flavor profile. I also get roasted / slightly burnt barley with cashews on the back-end.

m: About medium in body, medium carbonation as well.

d: Nice, drinkable black lager. 2-3 would be my max.

JosiahS, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of hunteraw
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Looks like a stout in the glass, very dark with a nice off-white head that displays good retention and lacing. It lives up to its name.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, initially reminded me of a macro for some reason, but as it warmed chocolate was definitely detectable. Not very complex, but surprisingly appealing for a lager.

Taste: Interesting. Only schwarzbier I've had, and it seems like a stout for climates too cold to use top-fermenting yeast. Very similar flavor profile, anyway. Roast, chocolate, but not burnt. A touch of caramel in the finish. Good bit of sweetness, reminiscent of a cream or milk stout. Enough hops to finish fairly dry. No dark fruits present, though, must be the lager yeasts and temps.

Mouthfeel: moderate body, carbonation seems right.

Drinkability: Not bad, but I think if I want a seriously dark beer, I'll go for an ale and get a broader array of flavors. Thickness detracts a bit from drinkability.

hunteraw, Aug 07, 2006
Photo of hopsolutely
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The nicest beer I've enjoyed while in Mexico! Importation label lists 5.0% ABV, but also refers to this as a "Schewarzbier" so can perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.

Beautiful dark colour, almost black with burgundy highlights. Perfectly clear with a nice head. Subtle aromas, but delightful full-bodied taste : roasted malts with caramelized coffee undertones. Not as sweet as the schwarzbier I remember from Germany, with a pleasantly dry finish.

Becoming even more delightful as the beer warms up to a proper temperature.

hopsolutely, May 16, 2011
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,472 ratings.