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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 mcarroll10177


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Served from a bottle into a traditional beer mug.

A- Poured dark black and has the look of a stout, with a very nice and very thick off white head that seems to last forever.

S- some nice roasted malts, however I was actually surprised that this beer did not have more a nose to it.

T- an excellent tasting, more simple than complex, beer. Smooth and clean. That being said it is a great tasting beer.

M- thin, much like your average lager, but when you take that first sip with that frothy head it is very nice.

D- This is where this beer shines. Smooth and easy this is one of my go to beers for any occasion. An incredibly drinkable beer.

I am looking forward to trying more of this style beer, iti s one of my favorites and another triumph for the Boston Beer Co.

02-16-2006 01:22:07 | More by mcarroll10177
Photo of mempath


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

pours a nice dark RC Cola color...some lacing similar to sour dough bread holes. pretty but not quite spectacular.

smell is...ok, nice coffee/dark chocolate...even a scent of cappucino. interesting.

taste is pretty straightforward, but quite refreshing and no too simple. actually for all its lack of mystery, there IS depth...toasty malts but not burned or overly sweet. add to that a decent mouthfeel of lite creaminess and snappy carbonation making this (for me) a pretty drinkable beer...i love heft, but still not quite a session beer. i could have this as every other brew if the other brew was something hoppy or that SA White Ale i just finished...

surprisingly nice. thought it would be just ok.

03-31-2009 22:41:27 | More by mempath
Photo of BBM

New York

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Part of the Brewmasters collection. This black lager lived up to its name, pouring a dark, deep black color into the pint glass. A foamy beige head disappeared quickly. The aroma was chocolaty, caramel sweet and slightly bitter.

Wow, what a tasty beer! The semi-sweet chocolate and bitter coffee bean flavor really come through, and the sweet caramel malt compliments the rich flavors nicely. The mouthfeel is medium and somewhat creamy. Overall I'm a big fan of the seldom-used Schwarzbier style, and I'm glad to see Sam Adams made such an excellent version of one. Recommended highly.

08-06-2007 19:37:40 | More by BBM
Photo of assmasterson


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Being one that hates coffee, I was a little worried when I read other reviews that said there was a coffee flavor in this brew. I'm glad that I decided to try it before I dismissed it.

The taste of this beer is very nice, with a roasted taste of hops all the way through. An ever-so-slight hint of bittersweet chocolate hides in the background. There's also a little bit of citrus zest in the aftertaste. The smell is also above par with a mixture of hops, malt and chocolate. It fills the nose nicely but doesn't knock you off of your chair.

Sam Adams once again outdoes its' self. Another soon-to-be classic.

09-14-2006 18:13:15 | More by assmasterson
Photo of SAtaMi


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Appearance - Small head yet thick. Black/brown with a nice red hue in color.

Smell - The Malts come through strong and sweet.

Taste - Chocolaty with a smokey malty richness with a finish of oak and coffee.

Mouthfeel - Has a little tooth to it but not real chewy.

Drinkiability - Yes please. I can see myself drinking a few.

06-01-2010 07:25:26 | More by SAtaMi
Photo of schanker21


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

This was actually the first Sam Adams of any sort that I ever had (about a year ago), and I never turn down a chance to try it again. It being my first Sam Adams, I also decided to make it my first Beer Advocate post.

It pours very dark, black if you don't hold it up to light, with a decent-sized tan head that hangs out almost until it's gone. Leaves a decent lace. I like the look of this beer; some of my light beer-drinking friends think I'm crazy for drinking such a dark beer.

Smells of chocolate with some subtle hops, though I don't really smell a whole lot.

I love the taste of this beer. Definitely notice the malts. Roasted, chocolatey taste, which finishes with a bit of bitterness that becomes more prominent as the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and not too heavy.

Overall, I really love this beer. Probably my favorite from Sam Adams.

01-23-2008 22:34:06 | More by schanker21
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Drink by 11/05... from a 12 ounce bottle poured into a goblet.
This is very, very nice.
An awesome alternative for someone who likes stouts and porters, but doesn't want the heavyness of such just at that moment... like maybe during the summertime.
Smoothness all around. Solid malty flavors, with some milk chocolate and mild coffee flavors rolling around. Doesn't have the hops bitterness that it's bigger beer cousins have and that's fine by me.
This makes me want to check out other brews of the style.
A fine anytime brew.

07-14-2005 00:32:09 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of Ochsenblut


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Bought this in a Sam Adams variety pack and was plesantly surprised.

A- Poured jet black, and only held up to the light did it give off a reddened brown appearance. Excellent 2 finger head to begin with but soon dissapated to a millimeter lacing.

S- Very sweet malty smell to this one. Almost caramel-like

T- I'm not a gaint hop head, so this brew totally appeals to me. Very sweet and malty with little hop feel. Hops

M- Smooth mouthfeel, beginning with a slight crispiness due to carbonation.

D- I could session this beer all night. It's easiness would make it a great pub beer with something substantial to eat.

Food craving- Fat slab of pork and kartoffel salat.

09-13-2006 03:02:00 | More by Ochsenblut
Photo of thespaceman


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Appearance: Opaque black in color, a nice tan head that never seems to dissapate, good lacing as well.

Smell: A tinge of caramel can be smelled through the malt, this malt has alot going on! Some espresso bean and chocolate are also prevalent. This one makes you know your in for a malty treat.

Taste: Good carmelization is shown through an excellent malt presence. This one has a nice toffee/grain note that is somewhat muted, but is brought back to life by such a strong finish of chocolate and coffee. A nice roasted ending to this beer tops of these wonderful flavors beautifully.

Mouthfeel: Not too thick, but this beer has a creamy, decadent mouthfeel that warms up the tongue. This one doesn't go flat either, the maltiness holds up well in the mouth and tends to keep its balance.

Drinkability: Overall, I really enjoyed this great SA offering. It's rich, malty, and has the perfect amount of ingredients to keep it interesting. I love how this beer combines the caramel malts with the good roasty flavors, this makes for a perfect winter beer to relax with on a cold snowy day.

01-06-2009 20:42:11 | More by thespaceman
Photo of Mryup


4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

A: Pours black but when held up to the light shows a very deep blood-cranberry red/purple. Beautiful. The head is average, tan and fine with decent retention and a thick layer left on top after all is said and done.

S: Very impressive...and toasty! Carmel malt dominates with the chocolate malt in the background. Noble hops are there but very docile as they bow to the malt. Interestingly enough, it smells more like an ale then the lager. I have been told that it smells like raisins but I humbly think it's better described as brown sugar/alcoholic, aleish sweetness...mmmm...could have worded that better probably.

T: Soft as a cloud... the malt obviously dominates but the it seems much more balanced in the taste then it did the smell. The hops are there to add much needed adventure. Mmmm...wow. When I taste this beer I can tell just what the brewers were up too. I know exactly what they wanted to do with it and they did it near perfect. Near perfect execution for what it is.

M: Not thin but wet. But it does push the envelope and is on the border of being too thin. But it's not. It is supposed to feel slightly thin. I beg to differ with my colleagues when they say there isn't enough CO2. The CO2 is perfect.

D: Very drinkable but the style gets older quicker than most.

I am not a SA cheerleader by any stretch of the imagination but this...this is a damn good beer. Cheers!

12-07-2007 19:53:47 | More by Mryup
Photo of MVotter

New York

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

A - The Samuel Adams Black Lager pours into a chalice the color of coffee, with a one-inch tan head.

S - Breads, yeast, and spices.

T - Initially the taste is coffee and caramel malts, followed by some mild hops; nice balance, and a hint of bitter in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium and plenty of carbonation, a very smooth drinker.

D - Supremely drinkable. At 4.9% abv, this is a nice choice for a session brew. Extremely well done. Delicious.

10-19-2009 04:09:13 | More by MVotter
Photo of Dmann


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

This beer was a suprise and I am glad that I tried it. It started out with a nice pour and had a great dark brown color with a light brown head that left great lace and stayed till the end. The smell was nice with some sweet malt scents and molasses and some bready-ness to it. This beer's flavor was very nice with a very light smokiness in the beginning and the light airy mouthfeel really added to the overall sensation. The beer finnished with a bit of sweetness and faded away very dry and made you want to come back for more. This is my favorite Sam Adams release in awhile!

10-09-2005 09:20:50 | More by Dmann
Photo of bamojr


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

Pours a nice dark caramel color in the light and dark black color not in direct light. thick creamy tan head that hangs on for a good long time. Smells nice and malty with some sweet and skunky notes. Very malty and subtle sweet flavors. Has that good punchy roasted taste to round out for that familiar black beer flavor. A perfect amount of carbonation really finishes this one off. I am very impressed and as usual Samuel Adams keeps me coming back for more.

05-27-2011 23:09:46 | More by bamojr
Photo of DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

One of the first beers I have had from Sam Adams that I really truly enjoyed.

Poured into my yankee pint glass.

A- A dark chocolate color- some thin creamy tan head. No lacing to speak of.

S- Smell was of coffee beans, chocolate, cream, and espresso.

T- Taste was of dark chocolate- malts- espresso- some cinnamon.

M- Mouthfeel was slick but very rich.

D- Great drinkability. For such rich content, it was not as filling as expected-

loved everything about this beer-

09-06-2007 22:22:18 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of cbleary

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

I enjoyed this beer today in a pint glass out of a 12oz. bottle from the Brewmaster's Collection Mix Pack. It looked delicious and dark with a robust white head. The malts were apparent in the nose and there was a hint of rich fruit as well. The taste is the star of the show is this brew. The people I tried it with all recognized the uncommonly long, blooming finish that this beer has. The beer is extraordinarily well-balanced and enjoyable to drink. I'm usually not quite this enthusiastic about Sam Adams brews but the people at the Boston Beer Co. have a real winner with this lager.

01-03-2008 02:51:35 | More by cbleary
Photo of yakman


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

This is my everyday drinking beer. I prefer darker more malted styles. Not my favorite, but for the price makes a good drink.

More malty than hops, good color an feel. Easy to drink several on a hot summer day. Much better than the macro breweries offers.

02-20-2011 23:23:45 | More by yakman
Photo of brfbeerdrinker


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

[Appearance]: This Lager is very dark actually black as the name suggests.

[Smell]: The scent of this beer leaves somthing to be desired, a ever so slight smell of floral and almost nothing else.

[Foretaste]: Almost like a good coffee, and also strong burnt floral taste.

[Midflavor]: Citrus, and a slight burnt floral again.

[Aftertaste]: Very citrusy, and again like a very good coffee.

[Overall Flavor]: This beer just from looking at told me strong as any dark. I was wrong it is very easy on flavor in a good way though.

[Mouthfeel]: slightly oily then disipates quickly.

[Drinkability]: very good beer easy to drink awesome.

Would also like to add that it goes very well with my sceczwan stirfry...basically good with spicy food...

03-31-2009 02:52:56 | More by brfbeerdrinker
Photo of bob3701

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice creamy looking head that goes to a thin film. Excellent lacing. Nice roasted malt aroma. Hints of caramel and just the slightest bitterness of chocolate. Goes down so nice and easy. Very clean finish. I really enjoy this beer and unfortunantly where I live this seems to be the only black lager available. This beer makes me want to try others. Good job SA!

12-12-2009 01:05:35 | More by bob3701
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

Sam Adams Black Lager....from the Brewmaster's Variety Pack

Appearance-pours a pitch-black color with a nice foamy tan head, decent clarity on the color, a nice looking beer.

Smell-roasted barley malt with a touch of coffee and perhaps chocolate, hops touch in, nicely balanced aroma.

Taste-again nicely balanced, chocolate flavor at first then mixes with bitter hops, since it isn't thick it goes down nicely, a really nice drinkable lager.

Mouthfeel-again the lack of thickness helps the mix of flavors hit all parts of the toungue with no inturruption, goes down nicely.

Drinkability-sessionable due to alcoholic content, yet this beer sacrifices no flavor, I'm very impressed.

Overall-a nice suprise, between this and Saranac's Black Forest Schwarzbeir I'm beginning to like the style but this is fantastic, a great surprise, very flavorful and unlike anything most have tried. A good way to get others into the darker spectrem of beet that isn't called "Guinness"

05-29-2005 07:48:37 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of eberkman


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

Poured into an opaque black with some fiery red highlights when held up to the light. A fairly vigorous pour left a modestly thick light-tan head that dissipated fairly quickly until it just covered the surface. I would have liked a little more head, but other than that, a very beautiful beer.

Smell was of dark-roasted coffee beans, whole-grain bread and some caramelized sugar. Very pleasing.

First taste is a very tangy but malty sweetness characterized mostly by coffee and dark chocolate notes, but with a bready flavor as well. It quickly transitions into a dry finish but with a sweetness that lingers afterwards. Not much in the way of hops here, but to me that's generally fine with a dark brew.

Mouthfeel is one of fullness with good carbonation. Not watery at all; almost creamy. Also highly drinkable; in fact it's gulpable if you don't take your time with it.

I really enjoyed this one and I'm glad they sell it on its own instead of making you buy a holiday case to get two bottles of the stuff. I've bought 6-packs of this before and I will continue to.

11-20-2006 02:14:41 | More by eberkman
Photo of AlesRTasty


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

A - Black? check!
S - Roasty, slight chocolate-sweet aroma
T - oh baby, definitly taste the chocolate on the palate with a delicious roasted coffee aftertaste
M - smooth, just the right amount of carbonation
D - wish I had more

Not much of a lager fan but this one was recommended to me by a friend. I enjoy roasted flavors so this one hits the spot. It gets an A in my book.

05-15-2006 04:20:56 | More by AlesRTasty
Photo of billybob


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

nice very dark almost black color with a two or three finger creamy tan head with fair retention and lacing. smell is bready, caramel, slighty fruity. caramel and toasted malt, a very small hop taste at the end and slightly sweet. light mouthfeel but not watery, very smooth going down. very nice beer to drink.

11-21-2006 04:51:54 | More by billybob
Photo of etenbus


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

The Schwartzbier type is relatively unknown in the states, unless you have a good beer retailer or pub that has carried the German Kostritzer. Thankfully, Samuel Adams has added this excellent beer to its rotation.

It pours dark with a decent off white head. It's black until you hold it up to the light when you can see the ruby inside.

The aroma is all about malt, biscuit, some mild chocolate--similar to the aromas coming from the stove when I'm homebrewing.

The taste is hearty. It doesn't have that overpowering maltiness of an Oktoberfest style; it's more chocolaty and sweeter, but not too sweet. The hops come in on the sides of the tongue and cover up the sweetness just in time. It has a dry finish, almost cleansing in nature, with a slight chocolate scone flavor lingering around. Mouthfeel is medium to thin, which is fine since this is a lager.

Overall, a worthy offering from Jim Koch and friends. It takes the lager to new worlds as should be the case when 85% of the world drinks tasteless fizzy yellow bile.

08-20-2006 05:41:01 | More by etenbus
Photo of Smittysguinness


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

Bummer this is so limited. I really enjoy this beer.

It poured black into the glass, with a rich brown head and decent lacing; it looked like foamy coffee.

It was hard to pick out a single smell, which was a good thing. Spicy came to mind; like mild mulling spices. Slight chocolate and a little coffee (though so little I could have been kidding myself).

Now the taste was something remarkable. Coffee and chocolate (quite heavy on the coffee for that matter, which is my second favorite drink next to beer...water comes in a distant 536th) are the heavy hitters here, a definite malty sweetness, little yeasty breadiness. GREAT winter beer, though a tad thin. I couldn't detect a hoppy bitterness at all, which is close to style, though others have at least a taste of it.

Another solid offering from Sammy A. The carbonation was not obtrusive at all, and all-in-all, this was a great, very drinkable beer; I could drink a sixer myself, given that this is so much lighter in body than most dark beers like stouts and porters (which I gather Schwarzbier is supposed to be). Too bad, again, that I can only find this in the holiday mix pack.

11-27-2005 14:22:40 | More by Smittysguinness
Photo of taez555


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

This beer poured a coca cola colored black/brown body with a thick creamy light tan head.

The nose was a mild chocolate, smoke, roasted smell. Not overly complex, but very inviting.

Taste was medium bodied with a big roasted chocolate and mild smoke flavor. Not a rauchbier, ham or meat taste, more of a chimney black sort of smoke. Very porter or stout like but with this huge taste of German bock or lager notes. The roasted malt flavor is outstanding!!! Mild bitterness with some mild earthy hop notes.

Damn this is a good beer. Considering the other mellowed beers the BBC has released I was expecting this to be just a boring dark version of Sam lager or something. This borders more on a mildly smoked porter. Really an outstanding beer. Makes me want to try more schwarzbier. A fantastic session beer.

09-16-2005 17:42:03 | More by taez555
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,457 ratings.