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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.

2,457 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,457
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 48
Gots: 69 | 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: 2,457 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrDanno96


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

A: Pours pretty dark and becomes opaque when held to light. Started off with about a finger of tan head, but that quickly dissipated.

S: Strong hints of roasted malt and coffee, along with sweet notes of caramel and candied sugar. Smells a bit like Guinness now that I tihnk about it.

T: This brew really delivers in this department. Some nice roasted flavor up front mixes with strong suggestions of coffee and chocolate. The finish is somewhat smoky with just a hint of hops. Very nice.

M: Fairly light bodied - goes down creamy and smooth.

D: A rare dark beer that boarders on the sessionable. Another style well executed by the boys at Boston Beer Company.

09-04-2010 02:21:11 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of oelergud


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

Black body only letting a little light through at the edges giving it a ruby brown tint. Tan head with low retention and lace.
Smell is roasted coffee beans, strong molasses and slightly spiced honey.
Strong sweet dark chocolate and molasses in the taste reigned in well by spiced hops, well balance and a slew of interesting flavors hard to nail. Aftertaste is dry, big hops walking hand in hand with a little malt. Good duration on the aftertaste.
Full and slick mouthfeel. Dry finish.
Interesting brew and very easy to enjoy.


03-11-2006 18:23:09 | More by oelergud
Photo of clvand0


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

This one pours a dark brown color with a tall off-white head that has good retention and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma has a light coffee and chocolate thing going on - smells pretty good, but also very mild. The flavor doesn't have the same level of coffee, but it has a nice dose of the chocolate. Pretty creamy body for a schwarzbier. The drinkability is very good. I'm very impressed with this beer. As good if not better than any other schwarzbier I've had.

06-12-2005 03:16:38 | More by clvand0
Photo of DannyDan


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

Pours out a black hue with rubyred highlights that has nice lacing and retention. Dark fruits, chocolate, toffee and some burnt roast gives it a pleasant nose. I get some chocolate, toffee followed by some dark fruits, burnt roast taste in the back with some hints of caramel and citrus hops. Very yummy and well balanced with a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel that has a dry finished. One of the best beers I've had from Sam Adams. Yummy yummy yummy!

09-30-2011 07:50:30 | More by DannyDan
Photo of RunForYourBeer


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

From bottle to a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: The black lager pours a dark brown to black color with a thin head.

S: Smells of chocolate malt with hints of chocolate and some sort of dairy or cream.

T: Tastes much like the smell. Strong chocolate flavor with a bit of coffee bitterness and a nice roastyness. Smooth finish with the a creamy flavor.

M: Medium with some moderate carbonation.

D: High.

I really like this one. It has a lot of dark roasty flavors with a light enough body to stay highly drinkable. I'll be going back to this one.

09-09-2010 23:46:53 | More by RunForYourBeer
Photo of luchris80


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

Tasting Notes: Stored in the fridge and served in a pilsner glass.

Aroma: Roasted malt aroma that is somewhat sweet. Very low amount of hops.

Appearance: Dark brown with red/ruby undertones. Incredible café au lait head that quickly dissipates to half and leaves a heavy trail. Clear with many bubbles on perimeter of glass.

Flavor: Clean, smooth, slightly sweet malt flavor. Slight bit of hops noticeable. Roasted coffee-like flavor at finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with some noticeable carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall Impressions: Well balanced flavors overall. Not as heavy as expected from appearance (looking like a porter or stout). Very enjoyable (drinks like a good lager) and I would certainly enjoy multiple.

12-07-2009 20:13:42 | More by luchris80
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

A nice fresh bottle from a sixer purchased last week... I love having this beer around, especially in the Fall when I might crave a dark beer without the viscous body and high alcohol content.

Served in a nonic at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pours a dark ruby/black with an immense light beige head, settling over several minutes to an even, consistent mat. Lacing is sporadic but all over the place.

Smell- Intense black coffee with a roasted malty canopy, very nice and damn round. Reminds me of smelling Grandma T's cold coffee from the refrigerator back in Brooklyn when I was like eight years old. Really good.

Taste- Dark, roasted malts and coffee flavors combine extremely well with the bittering finish... leaving a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere that lingers after each sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Definitely bubbly enough to incorporate the flavors and nuances of the malt and roasted coffeebean notes, but very easy to drink and enjoy in a good quantity. Way up there on my list of Schwarzbiers, and I hope to try this on tap one day.

Definitely my favorite of Sam Adams' Brewmaster Series.

10-21-2005 01:36:36 | More by yelterdow
Photo of BucannonXC5


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Color was pitch black. Just about a ½-inch of head that dissipated quickly. Light lacing on the top. Film was a bit heavy on the sides throughout the beer.

Smelled of roasty dark chocolate malts. Also some toffee and caramel melts in there.

Smooth dark chocolate on the initial flavor. Also a strong caramel taste at the end (together like the Rolo candy bar). Very smooth.

Medium-to-full body. Sticky-creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth finish.

My favorite of the five I tried in the Harvest Collection (didn’t count the original Samuel Adams beer). Nice smooth, dark beer.

10-22-2011 02:10:17 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of thirtysixbelow


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

a - black with a small amount of light passing through. 1.5 finger light tan head.

s - sweet, roasted, chocolate

t - roasted flavor with lots of chocolate/coffee. Mild bitter ending from the hops. Smooth and crisp. Well balanced.

m - very smooth with a little carbonation

d - a very good beer. A nice bridge between a crisp lager and a strong stout. One of my favorite sam adams, especially since this is readily available in a 6 pack.

02-04-2008 01:41:34 | More by thirtysixbelow
Photo of chOAKbarrell


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

This is the only schwarzbier I've ever had, and if this is similar to what they all are like, I am certainly a fan.

The beer is dark like a porter or stout, but doesnt have the same chocolate malt & roasted characteristics. Very interesting.

Mostly just malt comes through in the nose. Not really any noticeable hop characteristics.

The taste is great! If all lagers tasted this great, and were this dark, it would possibly be my favorite style. Not bitter but still plenty of depth and character.

This is one of my favorite offerings from Samuel Adams. I could drink many of these in a row.

11-17-2005 04:12:04 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of sarahspat


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Pours near-black with ruby-brown highlights. The cocoa-colored head has good retention and alright lacing.

The smell and taste is very reminiscent of a lighter stout than I was expecting (this is my first Schwarzbier). Coffee, some chocolate, roasted and floral characteristics come through. Bitterness and sweetness play off of each other nicely. The finish is sweet. Medium-light body.

This is a pretty tasty beer. I could definitely enjoy a few of these in a sitting.

06-08-2009 22:45:01 | More by sarahspat
Photo of Rootdog316


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Samuel Adams Black Lager pours to a dark brownish black color, though the beer is not entirely opaque. If you hold it directly up to the light, light will pass through and give the brew more of a chestnut color.

A generous creamy tan head forms atop the pour, and lightly roasty notes of chocolate malt are apparent in the nose. A thick film of Brussels lace clings to the side of the glass as the liquid descends.

Upon sipping, a slightly more than medium-bodied palate, generous for a lager is revealed, and the beer has a wonderfully creamy character. There are delightful roasted notes of chocolate, coffee, a touch of caramel and just a hint of licorice.

The roasted character here is soft, and you really won’t find the astringent, harsh roasted bitterness roasted barley imparts to stouts and some porters. In the finish, the roasted character becomes more noticeable, but the beer still finishes creamy and smooth. There aren’t a lot of hops here, either, just a touch. Amazing.

11-21-2005 19:25:19 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of Jredner


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Didn’t expect a coffe, almost stout like, aroma. Plenty of malt aroma and a little chocolate as well. Dark brown with ruby tones and a firm finger thick head. Ok this tastes like a watery porter. Very roasty with a lot of coffee notes. Malt sweetness there with a touch of chocalate again and some vanilla. It is actually a solidly good beer. It just tastes like a porter and not a Schwarzbier

02-17-2006 23:57:27 | More by Jredner
Photo of bowersdm


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

12oz bottle poured into a mug

A - dark brown color with a tan head measuring around 2cm.

S - roasted barley, caramel, toffee

T - roasted barley, caramel malt, slight chocolate flavor, coffee. the taste is mainly of dark malts. it also seems very dry

M - good. at the time that this review was written, i didn't quite know how to take notes on the mouthfeel.

D - this was the first beer I truly enjoyed and for a while, it was my session beer. it's a very good schwarzbier.

02-13-2009 08:21:51 | More by bowersdm
Photo of ProfessorHomer

New York

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Schwarzbiers, at least good ones, are very difficult to find but this is one of them!

A: Pours a very dark blackish with a two-finger lasting tan head.

S: of roasted hops and mocha.

T: Nice, but citrusy, burst of hops starts the taste, notes of mocha and coffey and sweet malt. Finishes with a touch of hops and that malt.

M: Smooth, some alcohol, and subtle, but bitter, hop finish.

One of my two favorite Black Beers, the other being the *retired* Orilo organic black lager. One of the top five beers from Sam Adams. Nicely done!

03-26-2011 21:14:24 | More by ProfessorHomer
Photo of MadTown1000


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Pours a truly close to opaque black; very, very dark ruby red when held up to direct light. Short brown-white head recedes relatively quickly.

Smell is chocolate malt (like, the grain, not the milkshake). Sweet but not very strong. Flavor is that and more, though. Dark, sweet chocolate maltiness all the way through, and it finishes to, yes, something close to chocolate ice cream. Hopes are just, just barely detectable; alcohol almost not at all.

This is a good one - could kick back with this all day long.

10-31-2011 03:26:15 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of MrHolland

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a light brown head and is vivid black color with ruby red highlights, quite impressive for a lager. Smell is of roasted malts and a little hint of chocolate. Taste is very smooth and crisp, with lots of malt and caramel notes. Mouthfeel is just what a lager should be smooth and clean and thats just what it was. Hopefully I will look around and try to check some of the same style out.

10-04-2006 00:09:08 | More by MrHolland
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Into a pint glass, pours a brownish black, with pretty good long lasting off-white head, and thin lacing. Aroma isn't that strong, chocolate and roasted malt, some caramel in there, pretty pleasant, just a little weak. Taste is really nice, one of my more favorite lagers i've had. A nice chocolate malt and molasses is matched with a almost thickish, creamy smooth body, and a slightly ever-so-present floral hop that balances it out perfectly. Very nice to have before, after, or with a steak, btw.

05-24-2006 01:02:08 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of ZimZamZoom

West Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

A nice deep chestnut brown color, creamy tan head that never does entirely fade away. Lacing is fair.

The roasty malt, caramel nose is very nice, with a bit of the noble hops complimenting it nicely. A smooth, sweet malty flavor with that same roasty caramel also. Creamy and so smooth. This is a nice flavorful brew. A little spice in the finish, tickling the senses only briefly as it ends very clean.

Nice medium bodied Schwarzbier. Leave it to BBC to get this done right. I could session this all day long.

04-26-2009 16:53:44 | More by ZimZamZoom
Photo of animal69


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Another from the sampler, #2 Pours deep root-beer brown w/ a creamy head which dissapates quickly, good lacing; very malty nose w/ a "baked" aroma, hop aroma does come through w/ a poss. diacetyl undertone; the flavor of roasted & chocolate malts really complement the sweetness slight hop prescence also; nice rich med bodied, very dextrinous; quite drinkable, this is really good, i can see myself knocking back quite a few of these this winter

10-13-2007 21:48:48 | More by animal69
Photo of marc956


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Was hestitant because the store I got it at has it on sale (4.99/6) as it'd been notched for consumption before June 2009, but very good despite that.

As far as the beer: Lots of flavor (if you've had
Sam Adams you expect that), good drinkability (plan on getting more), easy to drink. Went well with a burger, probably goes well with ethnic food too.

10-11-2009 02:33:20 | More by marc956
Photo of MadCat

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Another from a Sam Adams mixed six pack. I've had this way before I joined BA, and I'm impressed that I still enjoy this after that much time. Some Sam Adams beers have been disappointing revisiting them.

Appearance: Just as black as any Russian imperial stout, not too much head, but leaves some lacing

Smell: Good roasted malt smell, with some coffee and caramel hints

Taste: More roasted malts, coffee and caramel hints. Some spicy hints, along with pumpernickel.

Mouthfeel: A little watery with medium carbonation

Overall: Very good, reminds you of a stout or porter, but with some differences. I appreciate Boston Beer Co. producing an uncommon style like this, and doing a good job with it.

04-27-2011 00:18:02 | More by MadCat
Photo of Gosox8787

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Bought a six pack of Sam Adams Black Lager as it is one of my favorite offerings from Boston Beer. The other times I had it, I remember it being an exceptionally drinkable beer that had a surprising amount of flavor.
The appearance is dark brown to black with a thin beige head with little retention. The smell is heavy on the chocolate malt. Very little else is noticeable. The taste is chocalately from the malt. There is also a slight spice from the hops, but the malt clearly dominates. The flavor of this is nicely mild and does not overpower the palate, which I enjoy in this case. The mouthfeel is light and complements the mild flavor. This is one of the few beers I can have a lot of without being overpowered by the flavor. Thus I find this brew extremely drinkable and a favorite session beer of mine. Completely worth the effort to try.

03-16-2009 00:50:10 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of Wheelinb


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Wow! We were hanging out at the Stonewood Ale house in Schaumburg, UIL when I decided to give this a try. Nice rich black color. Not much head. I could smell the chocolate/coffee goodness right away and the taste was right along with that, plus there was a subtle smokiness to the beer as well. The texture is a little thin but it is generally well balanced. I don't think this would be a good session beer.

06-28-2009 14:05:52 | More by Wheelinb
Photo of tomthumbsblues


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

A two-finger tan head is produced by this dark brown, almost black beer. Garnet-hued light can be seen through this darkness. Frothy head went down slowly and left good lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Smooth coffee like feel with dark chocolate notes. Not bitter at all with a nutty finish. Balanced in the mouth. A highly drinkable beer.

10-25-2005 00:54:12 | More by tomthumbsblues
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,457 ratings.