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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.

2,470 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,470
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 74 | 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: 2,470 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lukass
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Lukass, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of Josievan
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

Josievan, Jun 13, 2012
Photo of psmith161
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

psmith161, Jan 14, 2013
Photo of KenRapoza
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

KenRapoza, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of jburris64
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

jburris64, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of NODAK
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

Aroma here is of some roasted chocolate malt. Somewhat bitter, but not too overwhelming either.

Taste follows the aroma pretty well. The body of the beer is of a smooth, roasted chocolate malt character. It's somewhat restrained so as not to be astringent (like a stout). Mouthfeel is pretty thin. Finish has a touch of sweetness, likely from the caramel malt that the label advertises, to go with the roasted malts to finish it off.

This is a very smooth beer. I like the flavors it presents, and that it does so in a restrained, drinkable way. I believe this is a very good representation of style.

NODAK, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of packetknife
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

The best Sam's I've had so far. Pours a dark dark brown but notably not blackish. Dense tan head that laced well. You've get hints of amber in the sunlight. Smelled malty, a bit of coffee, and pleasantly sweet. The nose didn't require deliberate effort, it just wafter off into your senses. The taste was nearly exceptional with a smooth consistent malt/baker's chocolate/coffee/barley taste that even my beer fearing GF loved. Creamy smooth, carbonated just right, with no bothersome residue and very drinkable.

packetknife, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of chickenflea
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

I agree with BuckeyeNation and have modified some of his comments and added my own in this review.

Dark walnut brown with red highlights. The golden beige crown is two fingers to start but did not last long. Fair lacing.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on.

Black Lager is pretty tasty. It isn't a wow! kind of beer, but it's unquestionably well-brewed. There's more flavor than expected and more roasted malt as well. This is the second time I've tried this beer. The first time being last autumn. I will say that either my palate has improved or this beer has. I like it so much more than then. A good amount of black/chocolate maltiness. The hops more than hold their own and are as important in the grand scheme of things as the malt.

The flavor profile consists of cocoa, dark caramel and, surprisingly, black coffee. Those flavors are complementary to each other (as well as to the herbal, earthy, slighty spicy hops) and are soft and powdery in character as opposed to charred. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

This may be the best offering from Boston Beer Company. Black Lager is very good and was a nice surprise. Good stuff.

chickenflea, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of jbsteiny
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

Poured a bottle into a weizen glass -- a dark brown beer with mahogany highlights, with a pillowy tan head that receded from over an inch of sizable bubbles to a fine ring atop the liquid. Some nice sticky lacing, but not much retention.

Smells mostly of caramel malts with roast and burnt characteristics; some hop spiciness is present. Tastes excellent -- smoky & roasty (mocha), the Czech-style hops (Saaz?) and roast characteristics perfectly balance the malty sweetness. Light diacetyl gives a slight toffee taste in the finish. The overall effect is perfect for the style.

Medium body with a dry, slightly astringent finish. The carbonation is persistent enough that even at the end of my glass, I feel the tingle on my tongue. A very drinkable offering from Koch & BBC, perhaps my favorite of their beers that I've tried.

jbsteiny, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of bceaglejoe
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

Presentation: Poured a near-pitch black into a pint glass. A tan head immediately bloomed to about two fingers thick, and it had very good retention, leaving a nice frothy lacing on top and around the glass. The aroma was of roasted malts, with hints of black coffee, followed by a slight note of chocolate in the background.

Tasting: A tinge of malt sweetness covers the front of the tongue, followed by coffee flavors in the middle, and then rounded out by a combination of both on the back. Subsequent sips made the beer taste even sweeter. The hop bitterness was minimal to nonexistent. Mouthfeel was perhaps a bit lighter than I liked, but it was still okay. As a "black lager," it's on the light side of moderate in terms of body. It rolled around the tongue decently.

I think this is a great session beer. It goes well with bread, and even with ribs. I recommend this as a great way to introduce someone to darker beer.

bceaglejoe, May 29, 2005
Photo of MrOH
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

Black with some red around the edges, quickly dissapating tan head. Some lace.

Munich malt and a little bit of noble hops.

Deep, sweet, roasty malt. Nice hop balance. A really great malt character, just enough roast to keep it from being a one trick pony. Good stuff.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Damn, that is tasty. A good lager for cooler weather.

MrOH, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of HoorayBeer
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

I had this Black Lager out of a variety pack the other day, and I was in for a surprise.
The Black Lager had a deep dark reddish brown color, almost like a cherry cola. A little carbonation sticking to the glass. Looks almost like a Bock. It had hints of caramel malts with a hint of chocolate or coffee, very strong aroma.
The taste was cocoa bean right on the front of the tongue. Mixed with a barley made a good combination of flavor on the palate. The toasted malts came through in the aftertaste. The taste was well preserved as time went on. I thoroughly enjoyed this different Sam Adam's brew.

HoorayBeer, Jul 10, 2005
Photo of rousee
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

Pours a dark brown rather than black color as the name would suggest. Small head but after it diminishes it does hang around pretty well. The smell is raosted nuttiness --hazelnuts, chestnuts and lots of other good ones. Taste is much the same with some robust barley and malt flavor up front followed by the nutty elements on the finish. This is an excellent and extremely drinkable beer . I guess I am fairly new to trying this style. I like it a lot.

rousee, Jan 05, 2008
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.

mcarroll10177, Feb 16, 2006
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.

mempath, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of BBM
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.

BBM, Aug 06, 2007
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.

assmasterson, Sep 14, 2006
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.

SAtaMi, Jun 01, 2010
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.

schanker21, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of ommegangpbr
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.

ommegangpbr, Jul 14, 2005
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.

Ochsenblut, Sep 13, 2006
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.

thespaceman, Jan 06, 2009
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!

Mryup, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of MVotter
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.

MVotter, Oct 19, 2009
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!

Dmann, Oct 09, 2005
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,470 ratings.