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 FenwaySquid
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle, BBD of June notched on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep dark brown color, almost black but not quite, with a reddish hue whenheld up to light, head formed an off-white 1 finger and faded into a film on top of the beer.

Aroma: Caramel malts, kind of sweet.

Taste: Mainly chocolate and caramel malts up front. There is a slight bittering hop flavor in the middle, then the finish was sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost creamy. The carbonation in good balance, and complimented the flavors nicely.

Overall: I wasn't sure what to expect in this one, and I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth a try if you've never sampled one.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

As you would expect from a beer called black lager, this nice looking beer pours a dark brown or garnet with a medium head with great retention. Aroma is malty, milk chocolate and light molasses. Despite being as dark as a stout, the taste is light and chocolaty with a smoked characteristic. Not much of an appearance by the hops, but that is to be expected. Not much bitterness, but this beer is quite refreshing, like a lager. One of the few dark beers I wouldn't mind having on a hot day. One of Boston Beer's best offerings in my opinion.

Photo of BakerMoore
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon pouring it leaves a cream colored one finger head. After a minute or two the head dissipates leaving a nice bit of lacing that lingers. The body is a thick dark brown color with reddish tints. When put up to the light it shows a constant stream of bubbles rising towards the top. Nice overall appetizing appearance.

The smell is very aromatic. The aroma is heavily of roasted malts, coffee, toffee, and hops. Upon smelling you are able to dissect the smells accordingly. However, the aroma could be stronger.

The taste releases a lot of the aroma and flavors. Roasted malts
, coffee and hops are present in this taste. Its a pleasant taste going down. The aftertaste is also pleasant leaving coffee and roasted malts behind.

The mouthfeel compliments the flavor and aroma. The carbonation is present and just right for the taste. Its something that makes a beer almost perfect.

Overall, its an incredibly tasty beer with the right aromas and feels that makes it almost perfect.

Photo of TongoRad
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SA Black Lager pours a dark translucent brown/black with a killer long lasting tan head.

There is a moderate yet nearly spot-on aroma. It is a great blend of toasty malt, floral/spicy hops and just the right amount of roast malt character. It is more straightforward than complex, but damn fine nonetheless.

The palate is liquid velvet- very well balanced with a dry roasty finish that leaves you wanting for more.

This is a quality Schwartzbier, and at the affordable Sam Adams prices- quite a find.

Photo of clemtig76
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been anxiously awaiting to try this brew ever since reading about it in BA. Finally found it as part of a brewmasters collection six pack. Pours a beautiful mahogany brown (almost black) with a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Taste is pretty much the same, it could use a little more hop bitterness however. An outstanding offering from the guys at Sam Adams! I wish there was more than two of them in the six.

Photo of IIKaRuII
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a Hot fudge color, with a sort of viscus like thickness to it. Has a nice finger length head that leaves great lacing and retention.
Smells very malty with a nice roasted caramel and chocolate backbone to it. Smells slighlty bitter and tangy.
Taste is a very smooth chocolaty goodness. The bavarian hops kick you right on the back of the palate. Which compliments the caramel roastedness. slightly bitter, but nothing to complain about.
This beer lacks some carbonation. i think if it had a little more it wouldn't have that chalky like feel to it.

Overall i feel this beer is very deserving of praise. Black lagers are unique in flavor, and this one is a fine example of the style.

Photo of adamette
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I bought as a single from World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio last week for $1.50 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. "Enjoy Before" May 2010 notched on the left side of the label so this one is past its prime according to that, but only by a few months.

A Nice light brown creamy head over a dark molasses body that lets some light through in front of direct light but it is pretty dark indeed. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass upon repeated sips. I am seriously impressed with the look of this beer. 4.5

S Nice chocolately and nutty aromas arise from the top of the beer in a pleasant, inviting set of smells. This style is quickly becoming one of my favorite. 4.0

T Nice nutty, slightly chocolate lager taste of a well made Schwarzbier. 4.0

M More smooth than the handful of other schwarzbiers that I have tasted and rated and I really like that. It has a feel that reminds me very much of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale (a classic beer). 4.0

D I finished this one in about 5 minutes and wished that I had more. To me, that makes the drinkability at least good. The very manageable ABV makes it even better than good. 4.5

Notes: I sincerely like this offering in the "Brewmasters Collection" from Sam Adams. Bravo!

Photo of Calico
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a big, foamy head that retains its presence for about 2 minutes. Then leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Deep ruby color when held up to the light, deep mahogany when not lighted.

Not much aroma, some toasted malt to be had.

Taste is exquisite. One of the best of its kind I have had. The malts all come forward with their full body, yet it is most definitely a lager and a very drinkable one at that. A little tannic sharpness on the back of my tongue, but I do not perceive this as a flaw.

Tingly, smooth feel to it. Not quite as refreshing as Negra Modelo - I'd be less likely to have this one with steak fajitas - but a beautiful brew to have on its own or with German dishes.

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Purely black. I've never seen a beer that looks like this. Not too much foam, and it's impossible to see carbonation with this sort of color. The only downside is that Black Lager looks a bit oily, but it does leave nice lacing. Otherwise, very unique.

Smell: Mellowed chocolate/caramel/coffee smells. Molasses as well. Surprisingly malty but no hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I like this taste a lot. Like the appearance, it can taste a bit oily, especially as it warms. But this tastes very malty with nice hints of molasses and chocolate and a bit of coffee and caramel. Basically like Guinness Draught minues the creaminess. Overall, also very unique.

Drinkability: Highly highly drinkable. As I said, the slight oily texture is kind of odd, but that's being nit-picky and I definitely would not rate this beer a 5/5 overall.

Overall: Of course I'm sure other black lagers exist out there, but I've never had another one, and I don't know many people who have. This is an awesome gateway beer.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with some ruby red highlights that emerge only if held to a bright light. A bubbly tan head that clings very nicely. Burnt malts, cinammon-sugar and roasted dark coffee beans, n-ice. The body reveals some coffee beans, dark chocolate and becomes acidic and sweet within the same breath. Enjoyable. The body turns a bit dry, but not over the top; barley notes and roasted malts are further revealed. Traces of sweet caramel round out the finish. Drinkability is high, as the flavorings meld well with the creamy like body. A sessionable-Schwarz? Do it!

Photo of bum732
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black, nice creamy head with good lacing. Smells of roasty malt, subtle smokiness, faint piney hops. Tastes of roasty sweetness followed by a nice charred roasty dryness. Touch of vanilla and caramel. Moderate smoky and earthy bitterness finishing fairly dry. Nice creamy mouthfeel, great for a lager.

This is probably my favorite from Sam Adams. Creamy but not too heavy with a great roastiness flavor for a lager. Wish i could buy a case of this.

Photo of cheers2beers
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beeer pours a thick almond colored head that decipates within a few minutes.Dark liquid with redish outerband and laceing all over my glass.The nose is of old style malts and sour fruits.The palate detects a hint of cafe latte,moca,malts,and maybe even a hint of raisin in the finish.This lager goes down smooth,fizzy on my tongue,and coats my mouth with film of caramel malts.
This is definitly a great session brew.I would purchase this one again over boston lager.


Photo of jneiswender
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz brown bottle into a small pint glass.

A--Seamingly black with a nice thick tan head. Dark ruby when held up to light.

S--Toasted carmel and some soft spice scent.

T--Served cold it is mild spice hop flavor and some malt sweetness. Warmer it is more caramel like.

M--Very smooth and thick with a very clean finish.

D--Maybe one of my favorites from SA. Very refreshing beer. Nice switch in the winter from heavy ales.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Purchased as part of a mixed “brewer’s collection” six-pack. It begins as a 12 oz brown bottle with August 2005 freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid. Had a slow rising, thick, tan head that had excellent retention, which left pretty lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Just chock full of roast toasty/burnt malts, with a whoping amount of chocolate and caramel

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very mild roasted/burned malts with a hefty amount of sweet malts. Caramel, chocolate, and molasses help give it a really full-bodied nature. There may be some floral hops in there, but hard to discern with the malt masterpiece.

Drinkability & Notes: Very drinkable, however, with the amount of sugariness, I’d need to cut it with eating something, preferably desert. Although initially finishes clean, the last few drops lingered, leaving a sweet aftertaste. Not overly bad, but cuts back on its session beer qualities.

Photo of FickleBeast
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

pours mostly black with a tinge of reddish brown when help up to the light. Almost no foam, just a thin ring when poured.

Smells faintly of dark, roasted malts and coffee - aroma is mild and not unpleasant.

Taste is smooth, with some plum flavors. There is a pleasant astringency to it. Astringency leaves a dry mouthfeel, it is nice that there is not a lot of sweet malts assaulting your palate.

Kind of like a porter jr. - I really enjoy this style of beer. I've had a few of these tonight, certainly drinkable

Photo of schoolboy
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am going to have to try drinking a whole mess of these, because although I know I've had this a number of times over the years, I don't think I ever had a bunch all at once. It seems well suited for that. It is extremely drinkable.

It has a light and crisp taste that european versions of this are sometimes missing. The aroma isn't particularly strong, but it is nice. I want more!

Photo of uwmgdman
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours black into my glass with an off-white head, leaving a little lacing as I sip. The aroma is moderately roasted, a little sweet, and there is a hint of spicy hops in the background. The flavor is a nice balance of medium-low sweetness, moderately roasted, and a moderate hop/roast bitterness to balance things out. There is also a little bit of hop flavor that hits at the swallow. The mouthfeel is rather creamy, medium body, and carbonation moderate. Overall this is one the best offerings by Sam Adams. The nose is inviting, flavor has good balance, but still leaves you with a little something after the swallow. The creamy mouthfeel and medium body mean this is quite a drinkable beer. Grab a 6er!

Photo of orsulacp
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loved the black color in the glass, with the tan 1" head, very inviting. The pour showed a deep ruby color that you couldn't see in the glass. Sweet caramel, with a bit of coffee and some roasted almond smokiness in the smell. The taste started like a bitter chocolate, then some molasses, and ending with the bitter chocolate with a very clean finish, nothing left behind. There was low carbonation and a medium body making the beer very easy to drink. I really liked this. I only tried two other black or dark lagers (Victory and Weeping Radish) and this beat both of them.

Photo of skynxnex
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easy to read freshness date (March 2006). Pours fairly black with ruby highlights. Held up to light, it lets a dim reddish color through. I poured it very gently, since I've had some Sam Adams get a huge head. Ended up with half a fingre, that settles to lacing on the sufrace and some down the glass.

Smell is grainy with some roasty notes. A lot more sweet/grainy smell gets through compared to a porter or stout.

Taste is smooth with a hint of roast and toast flavors matching nicely with the sweet. The hops just peek through at the end to provide a pleasent finish. It's quite drinkable. A very nice, mild, somewhat subtle, beer.

Photo of Pehlman
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Usually Im not a fan of super malty flavored beers. But the roasted smokiness of the malts in this beer put it right up my alley. Beer looks good, smells good and tastes good. Not great but good. Feels great in the mouth. A very comfortable beer. Definitely a beer I could enjoy from time to time.

Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque dark brown/black body with thin brown head.

S: Molasses and dark, smokey chocolate.

T: Creamy, smokey caramel, light chocolate, faint roated nuttiness, the flavors are so pleasurable, nothing pungent or overbearing.

M: Creamy and silky smooth.

D: Not full flavored, there is flavor but it is not burdoning...the flavor is good, the mouthfeel is perfect, this is a very drinkable beer that is one of my favorites and could easily be an everyday beer.

Photo of ColForbin
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, with a dark tan head. If held up to a bright light, it shows itself to be a deep transparent reddish-brown. Nose is chocolatey, roasted coffee and a bit of caramel. Taste is more of the same, with a dry noble hoppy finish - not overwhelming hops by any means, but very well balanced. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, almost to the point of needing a bit more carbonation. Very drinkable, however, and nice to see Sam bringing out such a underavailable style to their regular lineup.

On a side note, my dad is not much of a beer snob at all - he'll buy whatever micro/import is on sale, but he doesn't really care too much what he is drinking. He has really taken to the Black Lager, to the point where he is seeking it out in six packs. So this beer could be a good opportunity for advocacy.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep opaque brown in the glass with hints of ruby around the edges. A frothy cappuccino colored head, Man is this beer lacy. Lots of fine lace. Sweet roasted malt in the nose. Lightly bitter. Like cappuccino, milky and lightly bitter.

Taste is alternately sweet and bitter. Milky with a light coffee bitterness. Very well balanced. Lightly nutty. Very creamy in the mouth with a long sticky aftertaste. Really drinkable.

Not all their beers are mindblowing but Sam Adams beer are always extremely well crafted. It is appreciated.

Photo of jtslay
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark, if not black, color with amber highlights. The smell is mild with a hint of roasted malt. The taste is rather strong of the malt. The mouthfeel is similar to a porter. This is a heavy beer, as one might expect, and is therefore not good as a session beer.

Photo of Filler83
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%

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