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: 92 | 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 BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of Sam Adams better offerings. Medum body with a powerful, yet smooth, with a powdery roasted flavor and texture. Black at first sight, but then allows amber highlights to perminate. Promising, lightly tanned head retention starts off thick and creamy, but fades quickly under the lighter than expected body. Moderatly malty sweet with roasted grain (not quite coffee) bitter balance. A light cocoa flavor adds character and complexity. Low hopping allows for grain to supply bitterness. Finishes nicely clean and lightly charcoal-like. Quite enjoyable and remarkably easy to drink despite it's bold roasted character.

Photo of GeneralZod
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark beer. Looks a bit thick when it was being poured out. Also, it had very low head retention.

It smells of malt and roast. You could smell the sweetness of this beer.

Better than expected. Taste as well as it is advertise. Malty and roasty with a hint of chocolate.

Smooth and somewhat thick.

Woudl definitely have one again. This is on my favorites list. Very easy to drink and very memorable.

Photo of acarroll413
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a glass

A- beautiful! a nice dark, thick black, not dull at all. i would have given this a 5 but the head was kind of brownish, which i didnt care for. then again im used to seeing the fluffy whiteness of guinness with a beer this dark.

S- smelled like toffee, malt, and a hint of chocolate.

T- bitter up front but not too bitter. the tasted of malt comes through and shines. very tasty. and surprisingly not very dry. i guess thats what seperates this type of beer from an irish dry stout.

M- perfect texture, not thin, but not jello either. and very smooth, much more so than the Guinness extra stout.

D- sure, id probably drink it again if it was on tap or in the single's rack of my favorite liquor store.

Photo of scottum
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep dark brown with a nice full tan headskie. Full roasty flavor with thin mouthfeel. Hop balance is there, but not perfect. This is a very decent lager worth checking out. It is so good to see Boston Beer Company checking out new styles.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Aggressive pour resulted in a two-finger white head that disappeared quickly atop of a deep black beer. Minor lacing throughout the beer.

S: Picked up on some roasted coffee with some sweet malts and possibly a bit of dark chocolate.

T: The taste seems to follow the smell. I immediately noticed coffee. A little bit of roasted nuts and dark chocolate. Sweet malts seemed to come out near the end of the beer.

M: Crisp up front. Smooth throughout. Clean finish. Not much aftertaste.

D: An easy beer to drink. I could sit down and have a few at a time.

Photo of JustinAniello
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours very dark, just a little opaque, with a two finger cream colored head. Very thin cap remains after a couple minutes.

S - Caramel from the roasted malt with a heavy chocolate scent. A slight sweetness lingers.

T - The sweetness starts the flavor with caramel notes. The chocolate comes in afterwards with a mild bitterness.

M - Light body and carbonation, right for the style.

O - A good beer with a nice flavor, personally, I would like the flavor be a bit more heavy. As it warms, the flavor does come out more, though still mild. Overall, a refreshing brew to have in the cooler seasons.

Photo of John1985
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours an opaque black with a > average head. Spicy aroma with dark malts evident. Roasted flavor upfront that gives in to the sweet malts. Smooth aftertaste that is a bit watery. Overall effect is a very pleasant mild beer. Very sessionable and would be a good introduction for someone just getting into craft beers.

Photo of canucklehead
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice take on the Schwarzbier style with enough dark malt to add some real complexity to the finish. I found it pretty drinkable though I was glad it was part of a mixed case as the sweetness gets to stick to your palate. Sam Adams usually does a good job of creating solid offerings

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprise, surprise. Very nice. Pours very black with a slight head. No lace. Nose is of toasted malts and just slightly of yeast. Flavor is surprisingly really good. The toastred malts come through strong, but not swinging for the fences. Also got tones fo sourdough bread in there. Hops are there to give it a nice and subtle balance. Mouthfeel is fairly light but the flavor sits on the tongue after a while. Very drinkable, goes down smooth.

Photo of grayburn
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely one of my favorites in the SA lineup.
Pours a pitch black with a smallish tan head.
The smell is a bit subdued, but there is some roasted grains.
The taste is again, clean and crisp with some mild hopping and a nice roasted finish.
Decent mouth, a bit thick for the style, nice carbonation.
I could drink a six pack of this without a problem, nice beer.

Photo of proc
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice offering from the Sammy beer folks. This one pours out to a nice, blackness in the glass with a slight head. At first glance you think you are about to imbibe on a stout or porter only to be surprised at first by how light it is, then impressed at how flavorful it finishes. This one starts out a bit slow but builds impressively on the mouthfeel to deliver tastes of chocolate, coffee and malt. Very nicely done. A fine Schwarzbeir.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark black but holding it to the light shows lots of ruby colored glowing. 2 finger khaki colored head receded quickly. Decent amount of lacing.

S- Nutty, smoky and slightly chocolaty. Pretty nice.

T- Lots of the same stuff found in the aroma. Nicely balanced with a roasted malt bitterness on the finish.

M- Thinner body, but for a lager its on the fuller side. I keep comparing this to porters which this is not at all a porter. Noticeable carbonation, its quite prickly.

D- This is a beautiful beer, a good session beer for autumn. Its great to see this style represented and easily accessible.

Photo of rtepiak
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a rather doughy quality lager with a nice malt quality that give it a bit of body and a bit of sweet foamy lace. coca cola without a light carbonation that is a sharp on the tongue. smell of chocolate and toastiness. but mild to the scent of grass. a good drink for the summer if you're looking for something malty. better than most american black beers.

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Schwarzbier is my wife's favorite style--high malt, sweet, low hop. And, Sam Adams Black Lager is a very good representative of the style and I think a good choice for a transition beer for those moving into the micro world. Beer pours a dark brown to black, but has enough copper tones around the edge as to not be too scary. Head is thick and rocky, and the colored of the inside of a malted milk ball. Which is appropriate with the strong chocolate taste and a not so subtle hint of coffee underneath. No hop aroma, and the nose is very light but some fruity undertones. Very smooth and easy to drink, except for a bit of a carbonation bite. I like the beer a lot; however, the mouthfeel is a bit light and doesn't fill up my mouth with the taste and the end of the beer is watery with no final punch. Pick it up like I did, in a variety pack if you have the room on the beer run.

Photo of jazer
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Sam yet. Looks can be decieving, but not with this lager. The darkness would scare off most lite beer drinkers, but this dark one is surprising flavorful. Almost like a piece of dark chocolate in appearance and almost as flavorful. The only thing holding it back is the lack of aroma givin off. I love this beer and it is...

HIGHLY recommended. Really.

Photo of counselor
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

what a very good offering from sam adams. pours a deep opaque black with a fluffy dark tan head. the beer has a rich nose filled with chocolate, coffee, molasses, sweeet malty goodness. the beer has a pretty silky mouthfeel, a cross between a thin lager and a malty bock and it is smoooth making for a good session beer.

the flavors are very complimentary - nice full bodied malt, slightly dry finish and in between a german chocolate cake flavor, rum notes, almost like a latte with a hint of coffee. Only problem is these flavors are too short lived, but thats OK since these go down quite easily and no problem opening another.

Good offernig, pick some up

Photo of woodychandler
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While recently visiting Highland Pizza, my uncle was very interested in many of the Sam. Adams bottles that they had in their cooler. That, in turn, piqued my curiosity and so I filled out a mixed sixer with ones I knew that I had not reviewed, This is one of them.

From the bottle: "Careful, there's a bit of mystery in this one. - a dark, rich, and roasty beer that's somehow smoother and less bitter than a stout. It was first brewed in the medieval forests of Germany. Depp and full-bodied yet fresh and crisp. You won't taste another dark beer like this one. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I had a great pour with a resultant two fingers of deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep brown with garnet highlights and seemingly good clarity, allowing for its extremely dark color. Nose smelled of cocoa powder and I was reminded of my Lunch Duty partner who seems to to really dig on chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite cocoa/smoky taste on the tongue. She claims not to like beer, but I would bet that she would totally dig this. For me, it was a bit too sweet, but not cloying, which I really dislike. Finish was semi-sweet and a decent drink for the style, even if not my bag.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent blackish-brown with a thick tan head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma is roasted chocolate, molasses and light grainy scent. Taste begins with a chocolate and roasted flavor, followed by a thin grainy flavor that subsides into a molasses sweetness, and a light hops bittering at the end that meshes well with the roastiness. Mouthfeel is a tad thin, even for a lager really. Drinkability is quite good, another very drinkable and flavor offering from BBC.

Photo of Samp01
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of goldbot
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of pBRale
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of Murchmac
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of hiikeeba
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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