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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.

2,479 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,479
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 79 | 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: 2,479 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into my new fancy Samual adam's 16 oz boston Lager glass.

AP: Very deep brown with ruby red hues in direct light, medium carbonation retaind a smooth and even, relativley sticky tan head, the retention in this glass is pretty amazing.

nose: WOW, this is where the glass really makes a difference. The aroma of robust smoked chocolate and caramel malt really flows out of this glass, there is a subtle vanilla sweetness, herbal and spicey, musty hop. The aroma did not tail-off as the session went on...the aroma was pungent throughout!!

flavor & feel: medium bodied, crisp but plenty substantial and slightly dry finish with an ultra roasty and dark chocolate malt that becomes smooth and creamy tasting slight vanilla and coffee flavors way down deep and a complex herbal, earthy and musty hop balance with a unique zesty yeast that complete's the balance of flavors. This glass really brings out the best in the flavors and enhanced the feel by keeping the beer from becoming overally warm from your hand.

DA: ooooh yeah. This beer in this glass is pretty satisfying.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 24, 2007
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass this beer is looking good, very dark and a creamy head. Nice, Some red hues shine through the glass.

Smell is of pure dark roasted malt goodness. Nothing extra, nothing less. Thats a good thing!

Taist is very well defined. This is a black beer the way it is ment to be, very nice deep roasty taste. Dark roasted malt, hints of carmel and toffee. Well done gentlemen. The hops top it off to perfection. Dry, not sweet and not too bitter. Would go well will full meal, steak, chicken, pasta.

Mouthfeel is a little too light and carbonated.

Drinkability it right there folks. Open up and pour it down. You could drink this all day. Enjoy MK

MuenchenerKindl, May 03, 2006
Photo of hoffman
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Head rises but to only about 1/2 finger befor settling to a nice bubbly tan cap on the beer. Lacing stays about 1 inch above the beer down the glass. The nose on this one is sweet, some sour dark fruits and slight sugary grains come through....if the aroma was more robust it would command a much higher score, but it is a bit faint. I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. Smooth slightly grainy with that sour dark fruit mirroring the nose. A neat mellow burnt flavor fin the finish but an overall smooth sweet and inviting taste. Very nice. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and adequately carbonated. This is very drinkable beer, smooth, sweet, mild and not too heavy easily sessionable. A nice choice for the cool months of winter.

hoffman, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Flimsy one finger head, kind of thin and off-white.

Smell: Sweet and spicy notes with roasted malts and alcohol. Smells great!

Taste: Strong and full bodied yet surprisingly smooth. Rich taste of roasted malts with some hoppy notes.

Mouth feel: A bit more carbonated than I would have liked but its not enough to ruin the experience.

Drinkability: Though it packs a mean punch, its still pretty drinkable.

Sam Adam's has done it again, making mass-produced brew yet still keeping a close eye on quality.


dotsonjamesg, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of ghebel
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dark brown almost black, clear. Off white 1 inch head that leaves laces upon dissipation to a thin ring.

S - Roasted chocolate.

T - Sweet caramel malt with a roasted, chocolatey finish. Mild hop bitterness.

M - Moderate body, clean feeling. Nice tingle on the mouth.

D - Extremely drinkable. Very smooth. Makes me want another.

ghebel, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of neenerzig
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams is by far the best American macro brewing company out there. They truly make some tasty brews indeed. While not as good as Stone, Great Lakes, or Bell’s, Sam Adams is certainly 100 times better than anything I have ever had brewed by Bud, Miller, Coors, Labatt, etc. This beer pours a dark, perhaps very slightly reddish, brown color with a tan head about a finger and a half thick, nice and foamy before shrinking a bit, but not by too much. It has very creamy looking head indeed as well as some nice lacing. Has some nice aromas of chocolate, caramel, malts, and hops as well a scent of darker fruits such as plums, grapes, and apples. A nice sweet taste dominated by roasty malts with characteristics of all the smells mentioned above. It has a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel with mild to moderate carbonation. To my knowledge this is the first black lager, or schwarzbier, that I have ever had and it was pretty good. Many things about this beer reminded me of a darker Belgian style ale or even a porter, only the characteristics of this beer were a bit more subtle and subdued as opposed to being robust, bold, and in your face as is the case with Belgian beers and some porters I have had the pleasure of drinking. This beer may also be just slightly, just slightly watery compared to the aforementioned Belgians and porters, as well as not as full bodied as most Belgian beers I have had. This beer is highly drinkable and goes down easy. Definitely worth a try to say the least.


neenerzig, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of TylerAddisonJ13
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark ruby red when held up to a light. 3-finger head from hard pour, off-white in color. Diminished relatively quickly, not much lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, sweet. Mild, but good.

T - Chocolate malt, nuts, very light hops that don't stand out, and an amazing smoky finish. Brilliant!

M - Full-bodied, but clean and crisp.

D - For a beer full of so much flavor and character, it drinks very easily. Very impressed.

Overall impression - this beer has all of the character you would want in a "heavier" beer, but with the drinkability of something lighter. A sessionable beer, but it's not lacking. Full of flavor! I especially love the smoky lingering finish.

TylerAddisonJ13, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of ronniebruner
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better black lager beers Ive had in some time. Sam Adams almost always produces a great beer. This beer is smoooth. Not a high ABV for a darker beer, the perfect amont of head, a sweet aroma, and leaves a nice taste on your tongue, but not a bitter aftertaste. Id definitely recommend it, and will check it out again at a later date.

ronniebruner, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of lou50rp
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It looks great in a glass - almost black. Slight head, but good color-light brown.
Malty smell with a bit of sweetness. Smell and color are inviting.
Taste of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee with hints of sweetness.
Mouthfeel was good. Not to heavy, not watery.
Definitely a drinkable beer. Great taste without high ABV.
One of Sam's best.

lou50rp, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of bigbubba
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This lager has a nice dark cola color with a pretty decent tan head. The head collapses fairly quickly but laces the glass well. The smell is very inviting. The main scent is chocolate. The taste is also full of chocolate. Its not too sweet and not hoppy at all. The mouthfeel is very good. When I first poured it mouthfeel is where I was afraid it would disappoint but it did not. Drinkability is very good. This is a great beer to share with those people who are afraid of anything darker than MGD. It might open their eyes.

bigbubba, Jan 26, 2005
Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Back in the day, I used to enjoy this one more when it was warm than cold, but I'm gonna start off on the latter end of the spectrum this time. Shits and giggles, y'see. It pours a dark ruby-brown topped by a finger of slightly dirty sandstone foam. The nose comprises toasted toffee, plenty o' cocoa, and a touch of light coffee. The taste doesn't deviate too far from this, though the cocoa is definitely dominant here (especially as it warms, making a sort of light version of a milk stout after a while). The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice schwarz, one of the best regulars Sam Adams puts out.

TMoney2591, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of metallistout
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this one in a winter pack.

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. A medium size foamy head that actually hung in there for a little while.

Smells of dark roasted malt and sweet chocolate malts, not much hop presence to the aroma.

Tastes pretty damn good. Tasted the roasted malt flavor and small hop presence, very caramel. I would absolutely drink this more often, if there were more hops in it.

Good beer all in all.

metallistout, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of TMinton22
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black with tan, creamy head.
Pretty good lacing.
Smells of sweet malts and a slight bit of hops. Taste was much the same. Had a bit of a spicy character, sweet malts, .
The beer was pretty smooth, and overall pretty drinkable.
Would buy again in the future.

TMinton22, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with dark red highlights, small creamy off-white head turns to swirly cap and thick ring, leaves some lacing.

Dark chocolate, roasted malt and some hops in the scent, earthy notes. Faint but pleasant.

In order of strength I'd say - chocolate, roasted malt, caramel. Citrus and some grassy notes from the hops in the finish also appear more as the beer goes on. Good balance between the hops and malt flavors, they compliment each other well.

Carbonation is a bit on the high side but the mouthfeel is good. Drinks much like a porter to me.

A great choice if you want stout or porter flavors without a heavy-feeling beer. At only 4.9% this is light, but not too light, with nice flavors. It would be nice to be able to session a beer like this too. Probably my favorite Sam Adams.

Chico1985, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of ProudGreen89
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

one of my new favorite SA beers.

poured from a 12oz bottle into a bulbis goblet (larger version of a snifter)

A-pours a deep black chocolate, lots of small bubbles and a frothy tan head with good retention and sticky, whispy lacing. once the beer warms up the head disappates into a skiff but still leaves decent lacing.

S-a pretty basic nose for this beer, roasted malts, caramel is there and some subtle dark chocolate notes come thru the bready undertones.

T-there is definitely chocolate/caramel in the mix of roasted malts, grains and a savory breadyness followed up with some lightly spiced hops to finish the beer off with a bitter note to help balance out the sweet flavors you experience at first. i would have liked a smokier flavor to the grains and some more hops (i like a more bitter finish) but really a very nicely brewed dark lager.

M-i couldnt have been happier with the creaminess and slick viscosity of this beer, really matches with the style nicely, it goes down smooth and clean.

D-now i wouldnt go pounding these at the bar but definitely something to kick back with and enjoy with a hearty meal. one of my favorites for the fall/winter holidays. i highly reccomend.

ProudGreen89, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of Jmamay22
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black ruby red with a thin tannish head that leaves no lacing. The beer smells of roasted malts that provide a chocolate scent with a slight hint of bitter hops in the background. Tastes heavily of malty chocolate and roasted caramel flavors. More roasted flavor than in the scent and found in a typical Schwarzbier and a bit sweeter. Finishes dry with a slight bittering from the hops. Light mouthfeel makes this one an easy drinker as it clocks in at 4.90%. This might be my favorite from Sam Adams.

I imagine this would pair well with some hearty grilled fare.

Jmamay22, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of beerogre
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I first encountered this beer when I was up in NJ a few weeks ago. Not having tried it before and with little else of interest in the particular beer store I found myself in, I bought a 6 pack.

I was reasonably impressed by this darkish ruby colored, caramel prominent brew. More so than I imagined I might be.

Since my initial encounter, I have acquired another 4 bottles in the Sam Adams Winter Pack that my wife bought for me recently.

Strangely, every time I go to drink this beer I expect to experience the same slight disappointment I get with Saranac beers (they sound and look great, but just don't really hit the spot) however, Sam Adams is not Saranac and I should know by now that they consistently deliver the goods on a regular basis.

beerogre, Nov 20, 2005
Photo of UberWasser
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, served in a 16oz globe glass.

Pours a deep black color that glows with burgundy when held to light. The head is thick and a dirty white. It builds quite thick in this glass with a medium pour speed. Its retention is admirable as a thick sheet lies atop the beer through a number of sips. The foam clings in big laces as the beer recedes from the rim. My favorite part is when you tip the glass towards yourself for a drink the bubbles hang back for a second and then make a rush for the surface. A very neat effect. Extremely attractive beer.

The smell is sweet with burnt malts and a chocolate/molasses scent. Very nice.

The taste follows suit, with burnt sugar flavors leading into mild bitterness and a present yet subtle tickle of alcohol on the back of the tounge. Very warming as it flows down the gullet. The mouthfeel is quite nice too, with a subtle thinness that plays well with the carbonation and also feels deceptively thick in the throat after a swallow.

Overall, the best offering I've tried so far from Sam Adams. A definite buy-again.

UberWasser, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of hoplover82
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours black, with a very efervecent thick tan head.

Aroma of earthy hops and roasted malts.

Taste is very smooth and balanced with hops and malts. But the hops realy do come through pretty good.

Very smooth on my palate. Very efervecent, maybe too much. Light body, could have used more body.

Very drinkable. Good session beer.

hoplover82, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of PatandDavid
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a few bottles of this one out on the town, and also purchased a sixpack. I think this is the last of that, oh well. Pleasantly surprised by this one, I thought it was a pretty decent offering, especially by a US brewery of a style that not just anybody brews up on a regular basis. Pretty dark cola in color, but there's some nice reddish highlights in the bottom of my glass. Head when poured was like 1.2 inches thick, but has since died down to the top of the brew, very thin now. I think the aroma is the most 'authentic' aspect of this brew...it is right on as a German Schwartzbier. Rich malt, natural breadi/yeastiness that has a prescence, but isn't overwhelming. Tastewise, the first sip is really good, nice and malty. Seems to get a wee bit sweeter while drinking, but really an easy beer to turn into a session when you don't want to go overboard. Medium mouthfeel. I'd get it again.

PatandDavid, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be very enjoyable...nose borders on a 4.5 as it is very nice with milk chocolate and caramel...body is medium...clean...good flavors...sweet milk chocolate...a little bit of camael...just a very fine noble hop finish...the more I drink this the more I like it....not my favorite style but I'd buy a sixer of this on occasion as a changeup...

ZAP, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of TommyW
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Black body with a tan head that fades to a thin lace.

S- Mix of complex malty aromas (sweet, caramel, toasted and some burnt).

T- Really great balance of the intense malt flavors (sweet and roasted) with the bitterness of hops.

M- Medium body and a good carbonation. Nice dry finish.

D- After having some scharzbiers in Germany, I must say that I thought this was a nice representation of the style. I enjoyed it a lot and would definitely drink it again.

TommyW, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of chilidog
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A good offering to be added in the line-up of year round beers from sammy. That year-round tells me they beleave in the quality this beer offers. A great style, not as brash as the stout/porter, but a easy drink'n dark brew.
It pours a nice ruby when exposed to light. The slight tan full head held its retention to lace well. The aroma was bready with hints of burnt grain.
The taste was of roasted malts, chocolate, nut, coffee and a mild creamy caramel.
The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy with a slight burnt after-taste. Drinkability is great, mild and easy. Not much in the way of this beer to hinder drinkability. A true easy drinker, thats just delicious.

chilidog, May 21, 2005
Photo of cvfish
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a black color with ruby highlights that produced a light tan head that had good retention and created a great lacing around the side of the glass

S - This beer produced a great aroma of roasted grains, caramel, and some yeast

T - The taste of this beer was actually very complex, a roasted barley, some caramelized grain, some smoke, with some slight hops on the finish

M - The mouth on this beer had a medium body that had a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer was very interesting, a very sessionable lager that has little hop flavor (but that's what they were going for), but full of something unique, this Schwarzbier is a rare style in America, but Samuel Adams did a great job here

cvfish, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. I bought a sample pack with Black Lager, Hefeweizen, and Boston Lager and this is by far the best of the bunch. Pours dark like a porter with a nice head. Malty in aroma and taste with a touch of caramel. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable. I think this would be a great "transition beer" (one going from a light pilsner or lager to a darker, fuller, more flavorful beer.) I definitely recommend this anyone.

SaCkErZ9, Feb 27, 2005
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,479 ratings.