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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.

2,470 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,470
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 74 | 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: 2,470 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

Photo of Moxley
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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
Photo of Ruger
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

Ruger, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of lionking
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

lionking, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of beergoot
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

beergoot, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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

BEERMILER12, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

birchstick, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

GCBrewingCo, Jun 20, 2005
Photo of ncvbc
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

ncvbc, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of perrymarcus
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

perrymarcus, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of Cadyfatcat
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

Cadyfatcat, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

edmundfitzoil, Jul 26, 2005
Photo of Kadonny
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

Kadonny, Feb 15, 2012
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,470 ratings.