1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

2,439 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,439
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 45
Gots: 60 | 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)
View: Beers (128) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,439 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ruger


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Almost completely black poured with a one inch tan head with light lacing around the glass.

S - Not much to smell besides roasted malts and hops.

T - Coffee and a little bit of chocolate, malts then hops to finish it off extremely pleasant after taste.

M - Extremely smooth good carbonation very pleasent on a warm Florida night.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 01:39:14 | More by Ruger
Photo of lionking


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance-Black with ruby highlights. Two finger head. Thick and creamy foam head. Lacing inside the glass as I drank it.

Smell-Burnt/roasted grain

Taste-Malt and chocolate taste along with some caramel.

Mouthfeel. A little lighter than expected. Kind of a watered down stout.

Drinkability. I like the style and Sam Adams has produced a nice black lager. I would purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 15:14:50 | More by lionking
Photo of beergoot


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark, ruby-red, mahogany color with a thin, rapidly dissipating light tan head. Some lacing remains on the glass.

Dominant dark, roasted grain scent. Rich bread notes.

The mouthfeel is smooth and hovering between light-to-medium in body, nicely emphasizing a gentle sweetness.

The taste is delicious: soft chocolate and molasses notes. A soft bitterness compliments the clean, dry finish.

A very respectable dark lager. Nicely balanced and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:13:05 | More by beergoot
Photo of BEERMILER12


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours mahogany color with about 1/2 an inch of head that fades fairly quickly

S: Some nice toasted dark malts with a light spicy hop presence

T: Same as the smell; big roasty malts start it off, followed by a light spicy hop finish that isn't too bittering

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down fairly easily without being cloying

O: A good stab at a schwarzbier. It could definitely be darker, although the malt level is good where it is. Overall, though, I like where it stands in terms of being balanced between the malts and hops

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 01:28:53 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of birchstick


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - dark, dark brown with a creamy tan head
S - chocolate and burnt malts
T - nice light flavor - burnt malts and yeast. Leaves a light burnt malt aftertaste.
M - smooth but a bit thin
D - I was really surprised by this one. Lighter in taste than I was expecting, but it really worked well.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 20:54:06 | More by birchstick
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear black with a tannish head which rose slightly and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was roasty with chocolate and expresso coffee. Some slight caramel aromas existed, but they were far in the background. The aroma was also slightly nutty and toasty.

The flavor was light with nutty Munich malt flavor and slight caramel, but those came behind the roastiness in the brew. As the maltiness dies back the flavor became more roasty and expresso based. A very slight portion of the flavor was chocolate, but roastiness was what really took the forefront.

The finish was dry with lasting roasty/coffee flavor long and pleasant into the aftertaste. The body was just below medium, but fine for the style. A bit overly roasty for a schwartzbier, but nicely drinkable. Lower the roast and this might be a quite different beer.

12 ounce bottle, best before September 2005.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2005 00:37:01 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of ncvbc

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice appearance. Deep brown with red highlights. Good looking off-white head with nice retention.

Smell is kind of light. Chocolate for sure and a little burnt characteristic that isn't overly done.

Taste is well rounded. No focus on one aspect, instead they all meld together with ease.

Mouthfeel is just said to be medium but a little shy of it. Good texture to this one.

Overall this is built for drinking. Dark in appearance but lighter in body. This one could fool you.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2007 14:41:53 | More by ncvbc
Photo of perrymarcus


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 with a finger of off-white head; average retention, some 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, not a bad beer, definitely something you would consider sessioning.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 03:34:29 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of Cadyfatcat

New York

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Intriguing black with placid head. Notes of caramel with some subdued smoke, dark chocolate. All of these flavors on a crisp smooth lager canvas lead to more delicate flavors, but flavors and complexity still quite notable. Lacks much hop presence at all, the end notes get a little sweet and could use a little IBU power to subdue them. A good non-offensive Schwarzbier that I wish would be a little more assertive.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 07:29:30 | More by Cadyfatcat
Photo of edmundfitzoil


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer came in a 12 oz. brown bottle with a drink by date of September '05. I'm pouring into my 16 oz. tankard for whatever reason: the mood has struck me this evening.
The beer is a pitch black that lessens on the side where a dark amber allows a little light through. It poured with a finger of head that didn't leave much, if any, lacing on the glass. The beer's aroma swept over my nose with a caramel maltiness that is intoxicating in itself. Something to really close your eyes and just linger over as you allow that idea of the taste to just appear in your mind. The taste mimics the smell but with a bigger chocalate character that introduced itself as it started down my throat. The mouthfeel was definitely on the lighter side. I'm a big fan of porters, and this reminds me of something like a porter light, almost reminiscent of what a Pino Noir is to other red wines. This beer is not overly heavy, and something that has made me want to finish a few more of these tonight, and explore this style more - if not this particular beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2005 03:19:29 | More by edmundfitzoil
Photo of Kadonny


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle part of the spring sampler pack.

A: A dark brownish color with light brown head. Nice full glass lacing that does recede.

S: Roasted notes mix with bready malt, slight chocolate and some floral signature SA hops. Nice.

T: Follow the nose. Roasted flavors mix with the bready malt sweetness. Some toffee and caramel with some mild chocolate tones. Roastiness stays and you get a nice finish of flora hops. The beer has the signature Sam Adams yeast/hop taste to it. Very nice beer.

M: A little light actually, but I didn't get a lot of lingering flavors and it was a tad bit thin.

O: A real nice surprise of a beer, that is very drinkable and enjoyable. I would easily pick one of these up at any time and really enjoy it.

A nice beer that is part of the sampler pack. I really enjoyed it and will have no problem finishing off the rest from the sampler pack. This should be their winter beer, better than the Winter Lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 19:59:12 | More by Kadonny
Photo of bpw28

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Two finger tan shaving cream head, dark brown with ruby highlights, pretty good lacing

Smell: Big hop spiciness, floral, lighter roast nose (of the style I'm pretty sure), cocoa, pipe smoke

Taste: Big malt, cocoa, light coffee, spices, light floral, very smooth. It's got a nice punch of malt that smooths out to a nice hop backbone.

Final Thoughts: Pretty good and of the style if I remember it correctly. It's worth the buy.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 16:23:21 | More by bpw28
Photo of TicksAndLeeches


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep almost black amber color. off-white head and light carbonation.

S- Smells sweet. hints or roasted malts and chocolate.

T- Tastes sweet with a light hoppy flavor. strong hints of chocolate followed but a coffee-like aftertaste. Goes down smooth.

M- medium body and light carbonation.

D- This beer is a bit heavy and i started to feel full after one. i would have had another though.

I got the Black Lager in the Sam Adams harvest collection and it was one of the ones i liked the most. i enjoyed the chocolate and coffee notes in it and i will probably pick up a 6 pack of i see it.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 16:47:23 | More by TicksAndLeeches
Photo of lwillitz


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into weizen glass

A - dark ruby/brown body high in visible carbonation under 2-3 fingers of light/medium tan head

S - floral hops, molasses, malty grain

T - grain, malt, molasses, floral hops in the background, dark chocolate, hint of smoke, dry finish

M - medium body, astringent, high carbonation, refreshing

O - Black Lager is a solid Schwarz.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 20:13:55 | More by lwillitz
Photo of slagle9480

New York

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sam Adams puts this in most of their "Brewmaster's Collection," which I enjoy greatly. This beer is nothing outstanding but it's a great break from the everyday red lager that has seemed to bombard the market.

The dark appearance looks awesome in a draft glass. The mouthfeel is a little thin, and not much head to it unless you drop it in the glass.

I'll drink another one though.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 15:30:13 | More by slagle9480
Photo of rawfish


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears black on the pour but very much dark brown with grape juice highlights when held to the light. Thin tan head, half a finger high with spotty lacing all over the glass from some moderate retention.

Very straight forward with finely roasted malt, that doesn't hide any of the straw, grass and lager yeast. Mild coffee and raw grain.

Bready with plenty of roasted character and weak coffee. Dark fruit springs up in some areas, plum and berry. Finishes with some dry grassy hops, tartness from the roast is evident on the tongue as the beer develops a lemon pith brightness.

Uplifting and prickly carbonation with a body that is less dense than let on. Sticky on the palate with lots of residual acidity left after the drink.

Very nice offering by Samuel Adams, rich and roasty lager with an uplifting character that does well to adapt to the seasons. Curbing the sloppy finish with the tartness and stick would help this alot. I came away fairly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 08:31:28 | More by rawfish
Photo of kmcnair


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Yet another brew pulled from the depths of the 2005 Sam Adams Winter Sampler.

Pours the deepest, darkest crimson red to bitter chocolate hue, nearly opaque. Creates a fine offwhite head. Aroma is burnt malt and smoke. Flavor is mildly bitter with an array of subtle tastes of smoke, chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel. Medium to light on the palate, crisp lager like carbonation and a spicy dry finish. Hmm, its like a lagered porter, pretty nice and the first Schwarzbier that I have reviewed.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 06:43:02 | More by kmcnair
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought the mixed 12 pack to get this baby and the Scotch Ale. I really like the Scotch Ale and this stuff is not half-bad either...

Pours dark mahogany with ruby highlights and an off white head that is fairly short-lived but leaves thick lacing in its wake.

Aroma is malt and some faint hops, charcoal, faint notes of bread dough.

Taste is balanced, not sweet yet not too dry, notes of espresso, some charcoal, faint yeast notes, some hop bittering definitely not Cascades though I can't place the type yet ... european? Short balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin though not so bad that it is mark against the brew. I find this beer superbly balanced and easy to drink.

Some potential as a session beer. Very drinkable indeed.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 23:06:54 | More by Citadel82
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Healthy two-to-three finger light tan head with black but very slightly opaque body. Smells VERY malty, with some caramel notes. Sweet and malty, roasty. Lighter flavored and bodied than i anticipated, though it is by no means light in either. Tasty. I've never had a Schwartzbier, but if this is what they're like I'm trying more! Reminds me in some ways of Ayinger Cellebrator Dopplebock...

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2006 02:07:57 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of Jadjunk


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Lager is brewed in the Schwarzbier style. It has found its way into many Samuel Adams variety packs in the last year, this being the third inclusion in recent memory. "This traditional lager is medium in body with a deep roasted character. Its dark color and rich malty flavor come from specially roasted caramel and chocolate malts. This brew is lightly hopped with Bavarian Noble hops for a soft spiciness and a smooth clean finish. Cheers!"

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Samuel Adams perfect pint sensory glass. Served at 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp foamy creamy brown head. Retention is slightly above average- could be better, could be much worse. Beer leaves behind a nice medium-thick clingy lacing. Color is a dark brown with deep ruby tones glaring through the thinner parts of the glass. Beer has a nice appearance. 4

(Smell) Heavy tones of dark roasted caramel, a tart nut aroma, and a small hint of bitter chocolate aromas. Hop character is light but adds a bitter floral aroma to the beer. Overall the aroma is mildly bitter with roasted tones in the background. Nothing groundbreaking, but there could be a lot more missing from the aroma; it's quite well balanced and deep in aroma. 3.5

(Taste) Up front bitter chocolate and spicy floral hop character followed through with medium roasted caramel tones and a mildly charred, slightly tart finish. While there's no prominent flavors, nothing is awkward or offensive in the flavor. It's an easily accessible overall flavor for those who are looking for an easy drinking dark lager. 4

(Mouthfeel) Very mild carbonation lends its hand to a slick smooth brew. There's a solid medium body to the beer and a well-concealed alcohol presence. Overall, it lends well to the "lager" style for the beer. 4.5

(Overall) A pretty tasty Schwarzbier, goes for a bit more of a tart bitter flavor than the other options in the category, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Not the best schwarzbier I've ever had but certainly a decent take on the style. 3.5

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Black Lager

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 20:44:06 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of merddyn2002


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent smooth dark lager. I've had 5 or so 6-packs of this since I discovered it in the Brewmaster collection. It's become a favorite treat amongst friends.

Balanced Sweetness, low bitter (especially for a dark) and great texture. It runs a little flat so I'd like to see a bit more carbonation but overall one of my favorite dark beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 15:25:09 | More by merddyn2002
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark (duh) ruby red brown, not qiute black. Has a creamy 2 finger head and very nice lacing. Smells of a slightly roasted malt with hits of coffee. Smells more on the sweet side than roasted side, good chocolate smells as well. A fine tasting schwarzbier. Mild roastedness with some nice sweet malts with some coffee and chocolate flavors. Not a bunch of hoppiness to speak of but just enough, maybe even a bit lacking. High carbonation. Crisp. A nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 22:15:24 | More by sabrills70
Photo of HugoGrim


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint.

Black body with ruby light peeking through on the edges. Average head exits quickly, leaving a foamy ring and sparce bubbles. Some lace.

Quite malty armoa. Some hints of chocolate.

Flavor is primiarly full roasted malts with edges of caramel. Floral hop accent. Flavor is excellent, but could be more robust. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 01:12:01 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of Nerudamann


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - black (obviously) in color until held up to the light, where it gets a slight shade of brown. About and inch of head. Carbonation seems good.

Smell - Somewhat hoppy in character, with a slight caramel flavor.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Definitely herbal or earthy in taste, but without the bitterness, which is only slightly felt as it finishes. I wasn't able to smell it, but I can taste a hint of the chocolate malts that the label claims. The Nobel hops can also be noticed, mostly in that the hoppiness is "different" than with most American beers. Very well-balanced in texture, but slightly more toward the watery side. Seems like a good historical or definitive example.

Drinkability - good brew and easy to drink and appreciate. Complex enough to enjoy, good tasting, and more toward the lighter side...less filling.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 04:52:20 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of Ego

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep ruby color, some light does penetrate, half finger of loose off white to tan head that dissapates rapidly into an oring. pretty good looking schwarzbier.

sweet, almost like a dopplebock except with a nice subtle smokiness that balances it out beautifully, some coffee and some toffee

taste etc...
medium to full in the mouth as the carbonation is spot on (the actual body is kind of light, not detrimental though), just a hair of prickly nature to it which makes it refreshing for a "darker" beer, like the nose the flavor is very balanced..with the same elements. maybe it won't titilate of the hardcore hophead but this isn't about that.. it is a nice malty sweet beer with a tinge of bitterness and smoke to carry it out.

damn testy and sessionable, a really good one from a macro company, worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2006 02:44:01 | More by Ego
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,439 ratings.