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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

1,432 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,432
Hads: 2,535
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.65%
Wants: 65
Gots: 132 | 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:
Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,432 | Hads: 2,535
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.71/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review #54
Served On: 9/3/2011
Glassware: Tumbler Pint Glass

Got this one from the 2011 Harvest mixed pack.

Look: Deep deep ruby red color with a small 1 finger tan head. Good carbonation. Lacing already started as the head receded to a thin film.

Smell: Typical lager smell. Strong Sam Adams malty twang. I really can pick up on much else. Maybe some brown sugar. The nose wasn’t real interesting on this one.

Taste: Sweet malts start out and move directly into dark fruits and typical lager notes of breddy yeast and sweet malts. There was also some spice in the finish - similar to the Boston Lager. The mouth feel is definitely a little heavier than a standard lager. I just can’t pick up on anything special with this brew.

Overall this is an OK beer with nothing standing out. The Saranac Black Forest I reviewed yesterday was definitely a step above this one. (880 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
2.71/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a deep, dark shade of brown with a light tan 1 finger head, which is pretty thin. Retention is poor, though there's some lacing left on the glass.

S - Incredibly light notes of cream, toasted malts, and caramel. Maybe a bit of smoke in there. Obviously mild strength.

T - Better than I though it'd be, but there's still not much going on. It opens with a fair dose of cream, giving way to light roast. The flavor abruptly ends there. I do like the bit of flavor it's got, but it's far too little. This one could be pretty good with some added complexity and body.

M - Medium bodied, thick and smooth. More reminiscent of a porter that a schwarz.

D - It needs some work. A good foundation, but that's all it is at this point. (808 characters)

Photo of kkipple
2.73/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I love the Boston Beer Company. These guys make solid, sometimes great beer that's ubiquitous and cheap. The BBC is anything but traditional; their product line ranges from the insane 25% abv Utopias to little-produced styles, like this Schwarzbier. (Also the Cranberry Lambic, but we won't go there.)

I have to admit this is the first Schwarzbier of any kind I've tried, so I'm curious. A black lager? What's that? Let's see...

Pours a dark coffee color with a small 1/4th inch head. Looks a lot like a Guinness Extra Stout to me. Smell is scant, coffee and malt. Mostly coffee.

Taste is... well, weak. Roasted malt, some sweetness, maybe a hint of caramel. Not much else... pretty watery. Not really sure what I was expecting, but this really is a dark-colored, roasty-flavored lager. Odd.

Mouthfeel is thin, a bit dry, with a malty aftertaste. This isn't filling me up, yet.

I don't much care for lagers, so I won't lie and pretend I liked this one. It's just strange... I mean, if I want stout, I'll drink stout. If I was partial to lager I'd drink cat piss -- I mean, lager. I guess this could be a good cross-over beer for the lager fan who hasn't gotten into darker beer. Kind of mixed on this one. It's not an awful beer but you can get a lot better. Props to the BBC for trying something different, in any case. (1,326 characters)

Photo of Hunter
2.73/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: Beer pours dark but not quite black, more akin to cola than a stout. Head of tan foam evaporates on the instant.
smell: Smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate. There's an acrid undertone that's not pleasant but it doesn't detract too harshly.
taste: Complex combination that confirms the aroma. Chocolate smoke and coffee predominate. Aftertaste brings back that acrid aftertaste, much more noticeable.
mouthfeel: Thinner than you would expect.
drinkability: I'm unimpressed. This is something interesting to try occasionally, probably best when paired with strong meats or cheese. By itself it is not particularly refreshing or alluring. (649 characters)

Photo of jpkoch1962
2.74/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep ebony with a tan two finger head. The smell of sweet bread mixed with licorice made for a subdued aroma. Sweet bread, and faint spicy licorice dominated the taste profile. The beer finished sweet and a bit cloying with some faint sourness. The carbonation was moderate which kept a decent body through out.

This schwartzbier is way too sweet for the style. The noble bittering hops were either missing or in such small quantities that the taste profile suffered. This is a disappointment as SA usually brews some very nice classic beers. (555 characters)

Photo of Shrews629
2.76/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown to very, very dark ruby red. Some slight orange highlights around the edges. Fairly clear with a tan colored head that didn't produce much or have much retention.

Smell - Dark, roasted, chocolate malt. Picked up hints of buttermilk (not my favorite fragrance). It has caramel listed on the label, but I'm not really picking it up. I'm even picking up "cream" hints. Doesn't seem as well balanced as I thought it should be.

Taste - Has a deep roasted, earthy, burnt malt to the taste. Some chocolate in there. Again, no caramel. The taste was more balanced than the smell and was just Ok in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Mostly dry, creamy and smooth. Coats the palate honorably.

Drinkability - This is not one of my favorite Sam Adams brews, nor is it one of my favorite styles. This is a beer I can finish, but would probably not go for round two. Every time I took a drink, I continually got the "buttermilk" scent. I didn't care for that. Others may enjoy this beer, however I don't think I will try this again. (1,058 characters)

Photo of nach0king
2.79/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've recently developed a taste for black lagers - this one's decent but little more than that. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: The colour's right. A bit of light can get through but hardly any. No head to speak of.

S: A little bit of sugar, toffee, malt. A very nice smell but there's not enough of it.

T: As the smell suggested this is mild for a black. That said it's well-balanced - seems more heavily hopped than the ones I'm used to and that's welcome. The bitterness makes it more coffee than toffee. But it just feels like there isn't enough there.

M: Perhaps slightly overcarbonated but still pretty full for a lager - which is a good thing.

Would probably not go looking for this one again. It's perfectly fine but there are better schwarzbiers out there. (777 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.81/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interestingly translucent yet black. It looks kind of cool. First impressions are good.

Nose is grainy and chocolaty. Touches of caramel, nougat, toffee, and a general Snickers odor enter into play. Not what I’m used to but this works too.

Taste/MF…weak, real weak. This is a style that I admire for its full-on boldness both in the taste and mouthfeel categories that blend with an easy drinkability but this one comes up short in both categories. Notes of charred grains, wood, caramel are present but all are light and the big roasted-burnt malt flavor that I want is nowhere to be found. Carbonation is on the light side too.

Drinkablitiy: With Sprecher around, this just isn’t up to par. (705 characters)

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.81/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this one a while back and found it undesirable. Now that my taste is more refined I find it, well, somewhat tolerable. It's look is peculiar with the side edges of my perfect pour glass red and the bottom edge brown. There's a thick finger of foam that lasts a few minutes. The aroma is very feint, just a hint of sweet malt. The taste is mild malty but turns slightly sour at the end that throws of my taste buds. I didn't bother to finish the glass because it just wasn't that enjoyable. I'll probably give away my other bottle. (538 characters)

Photo of harrymel
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by Jan, 2012

A: Black, but able to get light through - resulting in dark drown tones. Central cap of off-white foam is also concentric on the edge.
S: Dry malts, slightest hint of smoke and wood. Maybe even a little bit of artificial grape.
T: Dry flavor, wet feeling. Weird dicotomy of experience here. There are some umami tones in this beer. A little bit of burnt pretzel.
M: Light and low carb - very interesting. Semi dry finish.
O: Not sure how I feel about this beer. A little empty for me. (504 characters)

Photo of benito
2.83/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had some friends over for dinner last week and wanted to serve them a beer that would cut through the saltiness of the mozzarella in carrozza that I was serving...a Schwarzbier seemed the right pick, and since I can't get Fort Collins Brewing's awesome Kidd Lager except when I'm in the Front Range, Sam Adams was my go-to brew.

Not truly black, this is a deep ruby brew when held to direct light with a thin head and a lager-ish (read, absent) bouquet. The sweetness of the malts did in fact match well with the saltiness of the anchovies in my food, and I also liked this brew for it's quick, refreshing finish. I would definitely serve it again with a similar hors d'oeuvre, but I don't think I'd choose to buy a sixer for pleasure drinking.

Overall, the flavors were competent but unremarkable. It's well-crafted, but this is a "what you see is what you get" affair and I'm not sure that I knew anything about this beer after two pints that I didn't know after two sips. (982 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.84/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 2/26/2007 (12oz bottle BB Jun07):

Pours a deep dark brown/black color, some light falls through. Big foamy head, decent lacing, somewhat lasting. Not a very strong aroma, malts, some hops, weak, but not unpleasant. Watery malty taste, not too strong, just average. Clean aftertaste. Not much else to it. (313 characters)

Photo of Kooz
2.84/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice color, nice head. Head dissipates quickly, but not completely. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Bitter smell. No thanks.

Tastes okay, but not special. Spicy. To me, this was a bit unexpected from a dark beer. Not unpleasant, but nothing too special either.

Pretty decent mouthfeel. Sam Adams usually gets this right. It's creamy and good. It's just a little too sharp for my tastes though.

This is a fairly drinkable darker beer, but it also has nothing much in common with dark beers except the color. I'm not huge on this one. (574 characters)

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect, but overall not a bad beer from "micro-Sam" Couldn't get Porter out of my head as I waited for the beer to settle, still kinda can't (by apperance). Chocolatey taste, then nothing, very hollow. This is the type of beer you won't mind having a couple of-basically just to get rid of. Not overly disappointing but will not buy again. (359 characters)

Photo of Naes
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This lager is a super dark brown (almost black) with a small tan head.
Its aroma is of roasted malt.
The flavor is roaty with chocolate tones. A little sweet for my likings, but still drinkable. The hops do make an appearance at the end of your swallow, but are very faint.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and actively carbonated. (351 characters)

Photo of BeerandBlues2
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours deep mahagoney, almost black, with a small tan foamy head that dissipates to a thin rocky film. Roasted and caramel malt aroma with a dark coffee, chocolate finish. Faint hop notes rise into the air as well. Initially smooth sweet dark chocolate flavor. It finishes lightly hoppy and spicy. Medium body and fizzy, a bit butpy, and crisp finish. (358 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
2.86/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, best by 4/07. Pours a light black with ruby highlights. It has a decent creamy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet toffee, nuts and caramel and black patent malts.

The flavor is sweet roasted chocolatey malts and nutty toffee with a little peat or smoke. The mouthfeel is medium and watery.

Overall, it's an OK schwarzbier. I didn't particularly care for it - a little too sweet and watery. (451 characters)

Photo of tjacobs610
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark in color, almost pure black. Has a thin caramel colored head with not very little lacing.

Smell: Has a chocolaty aroma, with hints of caramel. Also has a hint of yeasty aromas to it.

Taste: Very light and smooth, with hints of spices and a touch of malt. Has a pretty good taste for this style of beer.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and not much carbonation to the beer. Has a good feel that goes along with this style.

Overall: This beer fits its style well. It’s not one of my favorite styles but taking this beer for what it’s worth makes it very good. (577 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
2.91/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown in color, rather than the expected black color with a massive tan head, which slowly fades to a small layer. The lacing is excellent.

Aroma: Burnt caramel, rather than the expected black patent malt, with harsh chemical notes, which gradually fade away.

Taste: Opens with a bittersweet chocolate note, with rather sweet notes in the middle and a finish notable for an odd, although not offensive nutty characteristic. Pleasant, but seems to be a bit off style.

Mouth feel: Smooth and reasonably full, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A decently crafted beer, a bit off-style, but still quite drinkable. (642 characters)

Photo of JustinBathurst
2.91/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark cola with dark tan head around 2.5 cm. Nice lacing.

Smells of red licorice, grain, pie dough, and a touch of cooked cabbage.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Average carbonation.

Taste is nicely hopped for the style, bready malt, a bit of cocoa.

Too understated and unremarkable for my tastes. (299 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First of all, it poured a very, very dark brown with a medium tan brown foam. The smell of sour roasted malts is what I first picked up on the aroma of this black lager.

The taste was not quit as bad as the smell. The taste had a sour and tart feel on the palate. It was not a pleasant lager flavor. The sour taste of the roasted malts turned me off! (353 characters)

Photo of jman892
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights. Aggressive pour into a pint glass leads to a foamy, sticky head. Lots of lacing

S - A little bit of malt I guess, but really not much of a nose here. I'm struggling to pick up anything

T - Very subtle taste as well. Some sweet malts and a little bit of dark fruit.

M - Mouthfeel is middle of the road with moderate carbonation, pretty light bodied.

O - Another from the fall pack from Sam Adams. Very middle of the road beer. Just not a lot to say about this. It is what it is. (530 characters)

Photo of hero27
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Brewmaster's Collection. Best before July 2006.

Clear burnt mahogany, tight head of foam. Very light aroma of dark roasted malts...I might be able to pick up some weak chocolate if I use my imagination. The taste is more bold, with the roastiness showing off a bit and the chocolate being actually noticeable. A thinnish body with modest carbonation. Nothing too memorable for me, but it's alright for the style. (429 characters)

Photo of monkeybeer
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown with a slight red tint. Nice tan head light lacing

S- Clean roasted malty smell

T/M- dark dry roast flavor, slightly over carbonated. Somewhat heavy on the back end

D- Not bad, I would not turn it down if offered to me, and may buy again in a variety pack. I would not go out and search for a six pack of it. (325 characters)

Photo of nicksta
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: It pours a cola black, with a moderate sized tan pancake on top. Not a whole lot of action going on here. It sits perfectly still only a few moments after pouring.

S: The smell is very similar to other dark brews I have had lately. If you look at my reviews you will know that isn't a good thing. On the plus side their is a sweeter chocolate smell wringing through than what I have found lately.

T: Unfortunately it starts out like most shitty Euro Darks, slightly bitterly chocolate. Thank god it doesn't finish like one. It finishes with a slight, low-fat, weak caramel taste that at the very least makes the beer tolerable (for a couple of them, anyway).

M&D: The mouthfeel is average and the drinkability is no better.

I am about to say screw dark brews until I get my hands on some more Guinness, or until I try Murphy's of Beamish. (853 characters)

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
85 out of 100 based on 1,432 ratings.