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Samuel Adams Black Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,376 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2376
Reviews: 1429
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%

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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Ratings: 2,376 | Reviews: 1,429 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bishopdc0


3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown. A decent head forms and maintains a good coverage. The off white head laces on the sides of my glass leaving little bits of head about.

The aroma is roasted with a smooth mix of chocolate and butter. The sweet malt comes in the end to round it out.

The taste is smooth no harsh carbonation at all. The carbonation is light and buttery on the tongue, much like a well poured nitro stout. The flavor is light roasted barley starts with a sweet malt, the roasted flavor remains throughout and finishes with a coffee bitterness and is dry at the end.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2011 23:28:08 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of berserker256


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This my second review of this beer. In the first one I said there was not much head. I don't know what the hell happened there but I got a lot of head when this one poured out. Must be because the bartender did it. Maybe beers on tap ARE better than from the bottle. It still has that delicious Hershey's Special Dark flavor and it's still creamy and smooth with little carbonation. For some reason I like it a little bit better this time. Perhaps it's because it's only my second beer of the day and I can judge it better or something. I like it. Very bood beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2008 19:22:54 | More by berserker256
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer


4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served cold on tap at the Sam Adams Beer Summit Oktoberfest into a pint glass tankard. Very dark ruby red and crystal clear.

Aroma is rich and roasty, a big surprise compared with the bottled version. Almost stout like, but with caramel hints of Munich malt.

Flavor is strongly roasted, dry, not chocolately, but definitely not bitter. The perfect level of roast for the style.

Drinkability is great! Wish the bottled version was so rich. This is definitely for the on-tap version, distinctly superior to the bottled version last sampled a year ago. Beer compares very favorably against German and Czech import schwarzbiers.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2007 15:16:41 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of TheBierBand


3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had one on tap at one of my favorite downtown Cincinnati venues: Nicholson's. The knowledgable bartender poured me a pint with a perfect 3/4" head.

The initial appearance was black as night... but when held up to the light a slight red appeared around the edges where a tiny amount of light could sneak through.

The aroma contained elements of sweetness, and maltiness.

So, I went in for the taste. I was impressed (as I am with most of Sam's offerings). The sweetness was not overpowering and offset by the right amount of hoppiness to balance.

The mouthfeel was pleasent with a fair amount of carbonation but again not overpowering. It went down easily enough.... next thing ya know.... it was gone!

The head lasted right through till the end.... and laft a light lacing down the pint glass.

As for drinkability, I would definately have this again. Perhaps I'll pick up a sixer or three and share at my next household gathering!

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2007 22:52:45 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Royal Falconer in Riverside, CA. knocked off their Old Speckled Hen tap to have this new, heavily advertised (and propped by the servers) tap in a place that doesn't change taps very often.

Poured into Samuel Adams Black Lager logo stemmed goblet.

At first look, is nothing but black, but actually, when held up to light is a translucent dark brown. A small but well-built head of off white bubbles is quite attractive.

Aroma is of dark roasty malt, more toasty than chocolate/caramel. A slight sweetness wafts up from the glass.

Flavor is roasty, almost light smokiness with a moderate hop finish. No carmale, chocolate, more on the coffee end of the spectrum of flavor profile, although it's not really a coffe flavor. Middle of the road, I guess. Not real complicated

Mouthfeel is lager thin, but clean and refreshing, and easily drinkable. Pretty tasty, and went down very easily.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2005 15:41:55 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of tmbgnicu


3.76/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grabbed a six pack for my wife because she enjoyed the Guinness black lager so much and I was sick of her drinking my beers! Pours very black with a light caramel hue. It goes down smooth, maybe not quite as smooth as the Guinness black, but there is a lot more flavor here than from Guinness. This is a very solid beer, drinks well and has a lot of flavor. Good brew for a quiet Monday night.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 01:08:05 | More by tmbgnicu
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with best before May 2014 notched on the label. Another new beer to me from Samuel Adams, this one a schwarzbier, not a style I am too familiar with. Acquired as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a dark cola brown, nearly opaque in the glass with some dark ruby showing near the edges. A finger and a half of khaki-tan head. Some okay scattered lacing throughout.

S - Smell is pretty light, but what's there is nice. Some roasty chocolate malt presence, subtle hints of char / smoke, some creaminess / soapiness, and perhaps just a bit of lightly earthy hop-derived fruitiness.

T - Taste follows the nose - roasted chocolate / caramel malt, some dry graininess, woodsy, smoke & char, and some underlying tart dark fruit (figs, dates, raisins, prunes).

M - Feel is crisp, smooth, creamy, and lightly roasty on the finish. Mild bitterness left on the palate. Medium-light bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, of the three schwarzbiers I have had so far, this has been the best of them. An accessible, approachable take on the style, that's for sure. One of the more impressive beers I have had lately from the Boston Beer Company. Well done, guys.

Samuel Adams Black Lager ---3.5/5

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 02:57:03 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a perfect pint glass.

The color is a dark black with some maroon and dark brown highlights. A single finger of foamy brownish head ans some slight lacing.

The smell has a dark malt aroma, coffee grounds comes out a bit with a little toasted aroma as well.

The taste has a touch of coffee in the flavor more dark malts coming out toward the back. There is a nice biscuit flavor that is there for a moment before giving a slight bitter flavor.

This beer has a nice drinkable feel like most largers with this same amount of alcohol. It has a medium to lighter body and is smooth going down.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2014 14:50:14 | More by Duhast500
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Cola black with ruby coming through the edges. A tan colored foam head that calms to a thick film, then recedes completely. Little or no lacing.

Aroma: Sweet roasted malts, very toasty and hearty with streaks of chocolate. An almost toffee-like finish.

Taste: Roasted barley and rich, sweet malts give this some substance. There's some faint chocolate, and light smokiness. A caramel or toffee note to finish it off.

Mouthfeel: Medium in weight, crisp, dry.

Overall: I will remember this beer for it's roasted, toasty profile. Pretty flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 23:27:39 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.61/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled back on 2/2/14 and split it with a friend. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a small pilsner flute glass.

Pours a dark brown like cola. A 1/2 finger beige head is seen with a decent amount of lacing. Lots going on with the aroma with burnt brown sugar, chocolate, roasted malts and dark fruit. Even more going on with the taste and sweeter than excepted. Very nice balance of flavors as well as perfect carbonation. One of the better 'black lagers' for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 21:19:47 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of shacawgo24


4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Darkest brown, like raisins. Coffee dark. Sandy head. Average size. Lacing cascades down glass. Average head retention, maybe a little below average. Lacing doesn't last or stick. The opaque black-brown color wins me over, very solid looking.

S-Burnt sugar. Milk chocolate. Licorice. Coffee grounds. Basic dark beer smells. This smoked beer holds true to name, with an awesome smoked meat aroma. Glazed ham and/or bacon.

T-Coffee. Dark chocolate. Resin. Pine bitters. Roasted barley. Smoke. Prunes. Raisins. An unknown dark aftertaste, like, Dr. Pepper I swear.

M-Slightly watery medium body, but retains enough body to be medium. At first that is. The body just dies and thins out too much, becoming extra watery. The carbonation starts out medium-low, (below medium but still medium range). But the carbonation dies and the beer becomes flat. The beer becomes an inky feeling let down that is sour and alkaline in aftertaste. The bitter hops dies as well. The smoke in the beer blows away and doesn't cling and hover around.

O-A great Schwarz bier. Sam Adams DOES knock out of the park rare, hardly done styles, (in America) I must say. Black Lager is not a regrettable purchase. But it could be better. You do get a smoked sense with the brew that is pleasant. But drink QUICKLY. And one bottle at a time. Because the qualities will evaporate. Flavors will die and carbonation disappears. Drink this decent beer I say still. And search out for authentic imported Schwarz biers.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2014 03:27:18 | More by shacawgo24
Photo of stephenjmoore


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown that settles into the glass with a cola-colored body and a foamy tan head.

S- Bready lager yeast, roasted, smoky malts, hint of earthy aromas.

T- Everything in the nose comes through very nicely. Almost like a light stout with lager influences. Roasted malts, bready flavors, hint of smokiness, hint of bitterness at the end.

M- Creamy, with a crisp finish. Again like a light stout. Crisp enough for a lager, smoothness and creamy sets as well.

O- Pretty good beer. Better than I expected. Drinkable, but nice roastiness and flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 23:33:27 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of RolandoHH


3.94/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an inch-thick cream head, with low retention and slight lacing.
S - Very decent roasted malt smell with coffee undertones and some cacao notes.
T - Creamy malts, much sweeter than expected. Still nice.
M - Very low carbonation. Enjoyable.
O - A decent beer, very drinkable, but altogether not something particularly special.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2013 04:13:36 | More by RolandoHH
Photo of BMMillsy


3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This is mostly a rate from memory as I have not seen this one in a while. Pours a deep dark brown with slightly brownish off white head. Aroma is dark malty chocolate, some definite roast, with bite that makes it not super sweet. Flavor follows closely, with big roast and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Interestingly, I didn't get much smoke from this, more roast to me. Rather rich mouthfeel for the ABV, and a pretty solid brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 23:58:37 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of FLima


3.61/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep black color with lots of thick beige head with medium retention.
Aroma of roasted malts with cofee notes and some cocoa.
Likewise, flavor of roasted malts and earthy and herbal hops. Notes of cofee, cocoa powder, molasses and caramels. Hints of soap, pepper, cola, oxidized apples and salt. Sweet, but not too much. Smooth aftertaste with a low to medium dryness and bitterness.
Light body with medium carbonation with a velveted sensation.
Decent schwarzbier, with a twist hard to identify, maybe a late smokiness and hop of choice or ratio. A beer that grows over time.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2013 20:59:03 | More by FLima
Photo of ahommell


4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Finger of head. Deep brown in color. Clear. Small amounts of lacing.

S: Chocolate, small amounts of coffee. I smell smooth hops at the end. Smells slightly sour at a point... typical of Sam Adams beers.

T: Creamy. Much sweeter than expected. Plenty of roasted malt. Bitter right at the end is very slight. Chocolate.

M: little carbonation. Creamy. One of the less sour Sam Adam's. I enjoy this one very much.

I liked this beer a lot. It is heavy enough to know

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2013 01:22:39 | More by ahommell
Photo of bark


3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is deep dark brown (70 EBC), the liquid clear. The finger-thick head is brown.

The smell is fresh with a sour touch, some chocolate bar, light clean sweet flavours and a balancing touch of bitterness.

The taste is at first a bit earthy. Roasted sweet notes. It got lots of flavours, but it doesn’t get heavy. Bitterness in the background. Medium body. Chocolate and some roasted malts in the aftertaste as well as passing notes of soap and salty hints. Some cookies in the finish.

The carbonation is medium to light, the small bubbles short-lived. The liquid is somewhat dry.

Not a bad beer at all, although I didn’t like the soapy flavours.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 12:04:04 | More by bark
Photo of woodychandler


3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While recently visiting Highland Pizza, my uncle was very interested in many of the Sam. Adams bottles that they had in their cooler. That, in turn, piqued my curiosity and so I filled out a mixed sixer with ones I knew that I had not reviewed, This is one of them.

From the bottle: "Careful, there's a bit of mystery in this one. - a dark, rich, and roasty beer that's somehow smoother and less bitter than a stout. It was first brewed in the medieval forests of Germany. Depp and full-bodied yet fresh and crisp. You won't taste another dark beer like this one. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I had a great pour with a resultant two fingers of deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep brown with garnet highlights and seemingly good clarity, allowing for its extremely dark color. Nose smelled of cocoa powder and I was reminded of my Lunch Duty partner who seems to to really dig on chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite cocoa/smoky taste on the tongue. She claims not to like beer, but I would bet that she would totally dig this. For me, it was a bit too sweet, but not cloying, which I really dislike. Finish was semi-sweet and a decent drink for the style, even if not my bag.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 23:25:54 | More by woodychandler
Photo of acevenom


3.79/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass. Pours dark brown with a thick, light tan head and plentiful rising bubbles in the beer. The head recedes somewhat slowly, leaving some lacing behind on the glass. Lacing is left behind on the glass during consumption. The aroma is of dark roasted malt, toffee, chocolate, and some hints of spiciness from the hop varieties that were selected (spalt and hallertau mittelfruh). The flavor is malty with some mild toffee, mild chocolate, water, and some hop spiciness. The body is light with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly dry and the drinkability is very high. This is a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 20:24:03 | More by acevenom
Photo of FlatRabbitRed


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good beer, straight forward simple black malted beer, nothing like a Guiness, or even like theyre "Holiday Porter".

Coffee notes, dark but not heavy! Easy to drink and very smooth for a dark beer, does not come around often, so grab some if you see them.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 14:56:26 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Dark brown with an amber hint. Off white foam.

SMELL: Roasted malt and bread. Cocoa.

TASTE: Roasted malts and a simple herbal/lemony citrus hop. Chocolatey and a note of raisin/plum. Coffee like at times. A faint smoke. Well balanced.

FEEL: Medium bodied and well carbonated. Solid overall feel.

OVERALL: A solid dark beer option, and in the same vein of some of my favorite import schwarzbiers. This still tastes like an American take on the style. Tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 02:26:30 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of TempeBeerMan


3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - A dark ruby-brown with an eggshell colored two-finger creamy head. Decent retention. Nice looking rings of lacing.

S - Burnt graininess and some floral hop. Some caramel/chocolate malt.

T - Burnt chocolate malt taste forward. Graininess in the nose also present in the taste. A hint of light fruity hop in the finish, but it's very mild. Fruity yeast esters also kick in near the end of the flavor profile with a kind of aritificial lemon flavor. Kind of an oddly sweet and fruity finish for a Schwarzbier. Not unpleasant, just strange.

M - Ok this is where this beer fails. Light bodied bordering on watery, and...creamy? The creaminess really clashes with the graininess of the taste. Could have used a more traditional clean "lager" finish in my opinion. Medium carbonation.

O - A really bizarre Schwarz from SA. Too many off characteristics that didnt work to be considered a truly good beer. Not a repeat buy.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2012 02:59:08 | More by TempeBeerMan
Photo of LeRose


2.55/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hard to follow the rules on this one. My original notes were:

Dark black pour, smells like badly burnt toast. Too carbonated. Expected a lot, got nothing. Would not buy.

But I did try again.

Pours nice - very black, opaque, nice foamy head with decent retention. What hit me first again was burnt - overwhelming burnt notes. Taste was the same - I couldn't even call it smoky, really. Some malty flavor in there. Maybe a touch of chocolate and toffee. Seems a bit sour as well, especially as it warmed up. I am not seeing how this example matches with the definition of the style - I didn't find any hops character to it. Other than being light on the mouth feel and well-carbonated I don't see it fitting the overall style.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 17:17:05 | More by LeRose
Photo of beermeright

3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Not to say much about this guy... had it a few times in sampler packs. dark beer.. the flavor is okay. not my favorite sam adams but its worth a try. made black and blues with it before def not as thick or rich as other beers that would have worked better with that. wasnt a fan of the after taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 21:25:37 | More by beermeright
Photo of elgiacomo


3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, best by December 2012. Served at around 45F.

Pours dark brown to black with a two finger light brown head that recedes to a light cap and leaves some spots and sheets of lacing behind.

Aroma starts metallic and acidic when cold, as it warms it opens up a lot, offering up some chocolate, caramel and roasted malt notes. Good strength.

Flavor is chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, much nicer than aroma. Some cola-like qualities. Moderate sweetness, minimal alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a little sticky, good carbonation.

Pretty good Schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 18:44:11 | More by elgiacomo
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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,376 ratings.