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 Tone
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, oatmeal, slight hop, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, oatmeal, slight coffee, and hint of roasted malt. Overall, good appearance, body, blend, and aroma.

Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a very dark (almost black) brown with a very this head that disappeared quickly. No lacing, nothing.

S - Sweet roasted malt with slight notes of coffee and honey.

T - More sweet roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Slightly bitter finish helps balance it out.

M - Fairly creamy with a medium body and medium carbonation.

D - Moderately drinkable, especially if you are in the mood for something dark but not as filling as a porter or stout.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a VERRRY dark brown, nearly black, with a one finger tan colored head. Nice lacing

S- dark coffee and roasted malts...almost smells a little burned. One of my favorite smells in beer, though

T- chocolate, with some slight hints of coffee in there....tastes like a muted version of a good stout. Tastes good, though

M- a little thin and watery, but considering its not a stout, I'll let it slide...judging for style, its got a good body

D- really drinkable...its got the taste qualities of a stout without the thick body. Really interesting style, and I want more!

Photo of thatguy3579
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick coffee color with foamy tan head.

S: Smell of sweet roasted goodness and some spice.

T: Mostly sweet in flavor. Full of roastiness and chocolate. Some hops do come through providing some balance.. Finish is mild.

M: Fairly creamy, with decent carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable for such a sweet and tasty beer. This might be one of my favorites in the SA lineup.

Photo of droomyster
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/barely black body with one finger of tan foam. Aromas are good but a bit subdued. Primary aroma is roastiness, with a light smokiness and a hint of coffee. Taste is a bit strange, in that it initially strikes me (on the front palate) as a rather character deficient, generic British pub ale, before a complex set of roasty, espressoish, extremely dark chocolatey notes suddenly sprout out. The flavor intensity is mellow. The finish lingers briefly on a coffee note. Like most Sam Adams, the body could hardly be better. Not my favorite schwarziber, but hardly the worst. It's a beer I welcome in one of Samuel Adams' mixed cases, but wouldn't buy as a six pack of its own.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug. Part of a sampler pack.

Appearance: Definitely black, with a frothy tan head that (even after receding) forms a nice protective layer betwixt the air and the beer. Lots of lacing going on, beer is dark even when held against the light. Nice!

Smell: Sweet. Lightly toasted caramel malt nose with perhaps just a touch of anise or licorice thrown in for good measure. Don't know why, but this is really doing it for me right now.

Taste: Rich, heavy on the malt, and the licorice is also pretty noticeable. Not a whole lot of bitter hop activity going on here until the very end of the sip. Taking the time to appreciate the taste is well worth it on this one. Finishes just a touch dry, with some herbal aftertaste that is neither unpleasant nor unwelcome.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, very warming. Carbonation is balanced with the flavor well. Doesn't rinse clean, but luckily, the aftertaste is good.

Drinkability: A bit heavy to do more than one or two at a time. Still better than average, though.

Surprisingly tasty!

Photo of gkunkle
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color. When held to light I get some nice reddish hues. Head is off-white and pretty tall. Retention is good. Smell reminds me of shiner bock, it is roasty and caramel-ey. Taste is of chocolate, slight roasty flavor. No major hop presence. Body is a little on the thin side, with appropriate carbonation. I love that this beer has a nice low ABV and a decent flavor. It wound make an okay session beer.

Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pokal.

Appearance is a dark, translucent reddish brown that lets only bits of light through. Quite a few lines of bubbles trailing up to the top can be seen. There is a dusky quarter inch-thick head that recedes slowly, leaving a lot of sticky, stringy lacing. Definitely lives up to its moniker. Smell is full of malts with subdued notes of chocolate and sweetness. Some grains and just a slight hint of hops are also detectable.

Malts up front that transition into a bready smoothness, with a definite smoky quality that is both very distinct, but well-balanced with the rest of the beer. There's some fruitiness as well, hints of berries and dates. Hops are just barely there to provide a light touch of bitterness towards the end that doesn't really linger at all. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but very smooth and easy. Just the right amount of carbonation as well.

Before I knew it, my glass was down to nothing. This is quite the drinkable brew. Definitely a pleasant experience for my first Schwarzbier. Different, distinct and wholly pleasing, the brewers at Samuel Adams continue to impress and do the American beer industry proud.

Photo of BigIrishman
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/ruby with amberish highlights and an off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell: Smokey peat with a black over roasted coffee note and some earthy herbal hop notes.

Taste: The big smokey flavor gets rounded out by a nice earthy hop flavor, caramel that burnt a little too much and super dark black coffee (Like a double brewed over roasted sumatran coffee). Not overwhelming but powerfully flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and viscous with a palate drying finish.

Drinkability: Big, flavorful, perfect with smoked meat. This is a great alternative to those weary of going with a Rauch or Smoked beer. This also works as a great marinating beer as well.

Photo of GilGarp
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle from the Harvest Pack.

Served cool into a pint glass.

Black lager is actually a very dark brown with light easily passing through the edges. The head is thin, white, and settles quickly.

Aroma is much like porter. It's lightly roasty like coffee, a little sweet like a chocolate bar.

Flavor is more smokey than I expected. It's, again, similar to a porter but the smoke or peat-like quality adds to it. Nicely balanced with good sweet to bitter ratio.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Alcohol is low as well.

Overall it's pretty good but I'm not really a fan of the style. Still a good version compared to the few that I've had. The smoke is light enough that I can enjoy the beer.

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the best beers by Sam Adams, in my opinion.

A - Very dark brownish black but not completely opaque with a half finger light brown head that quickly dissipates. Sticky lacing, though.

S - Aroma contains aspects of smoke, chocolate, and nuts. A hint of grassy hops as well.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and toasted malts. Mildly smoky and spicy. Nice grassy hop finish. Very well balanced and delicious, perfect fall or winter flavors.

M - Surprisingly light for the color and taste with minimal carbonation. Light carbonation works well with this style.

D - I would be wary of sessioning this one as it is so dark but it is very easy to drink.

Overall, a very well balanced and tasty dark beer. Well done.

Photo of AdamBear
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-black, slight brown tint, very thin white head, very pretty looking

S-smells like burnt barley and chocolate, its a strong and comforting smell...a real joy

T-the taste doesn't hit with as much punch as the smell, but it is still very good. the taste matches the smell, burnt barley and chocolate, however there is too much of a watery feel to it, it'd be great if they were able to fill that gap in with the flavor. There's a good chocolate after taste to it though.

M-medium to low carbonation, very creamy, feels nice, except once again it is a bit watery

D-for some reason, although this beer initially tastes good, it is not very drinkable. The main complaint i have is that the mouth feel seems to diminish. it seems to become undesirably creamy and increasingly bitter. the great aftertaste; however, does stay.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of chickenflea
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of rlshep
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Spicy hops. Light sulfur note.

Appearance: Thick fluffy beige head. Black with ruby highlights. Good lacing.

Flavor: Some fruitiness. Restrained malt character. Firm bitterness but not high. Not noticing hop flavor noted in aroma, maybe melding well. Mild chocolate in background. Caramely sweetness sticks around in aftertaste. Clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. There is a softness to the beer. Medium-low carbonation. Alcohol not noticeable.

Overall: Roast level lower than expected but not out of style. Well balanced, easy drinking. I would happily drink this anytime.

Photo of Sleestak
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a Sam Adams fall mixed 12 pack. A tasty, roasted malty brew. It is a lager so it's not too heavy like some stouts and porters, seems just right to me. Sam Adams makes some quality beers and this one has always been a personal favorite of mine.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a dark, cola-like brown with a finger of off-white head; average retention, some lacing.

nose is strongly lead by roasted malts, followed by lesser notes of chocolate and hops.

roasted malts is also at the forefront of the flavor. a bit of bitter chocolate and hops are evident behind the malt; approaching a stout but not quite. not a bad tasting beer at all.

mouthfeel is OK but there is significant room for improvement; light bodied and a bit - a bit - watery. but definitely drinkable. all in all, not a bad beer, definitely something you would consider sessioning.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sa black lager

a 4-4.5 cola dark, 2 finger head is pretty tight looking, pretty serious cap and lace remain.

s 3-3.5 a little bit of roast malt and naked alcohol, nothing else while the beer is cold. warming adds some strength to the malts' odiferousness.

t 3.5 this one seems a little rough around the edges compared to my favorite schwarzbier, you know the one in the flip top bottles, monscholtz or something. this one is more burnt and one-dimensional. but it's still pretty palatable. mostly unsweetened cocoa and a touch of coffee. the finish is crisp and clean.

m 4.5 as the looks indicate, this one excels in fine, quality carbonation. the body is light-med.

d 4 maybe it's not my favorite style, but the look and feel are first rate. that alone manages to make this one pretty drinkable.

Photo of mjurney
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish-red color, clear (see through). Some bubbles. Head looks thin, lacing looks pretty fair.

Malty, slight roasted, some hint of coffee and dark chocolate.

Malty up front, slight roasted, hint of burnt toast, touch of dark chocolate. Grassy hop is very mild, almost unnoticeable. I could detect some nutty in the middle. Smooth finish, yet kinda crisp with mild roasted coffee aftertaste. Body is medium-light. Carbonation feels pretty nice.


Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a hazelnut brown, almost black color with about a finger of quickly dissipating tan head that leaves little lacing.

Smell - Toasted grains and malt, chocolate, nuttiness. Honestly, a very nice aroma and I can't wait to enjoy this on a cooler fall night here in Southern California (currently

Taste - A nice nuttiness in the front, followed by slight chocolate maltiness and toasted grains. Slight caramel, some spices, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes a hint dry.

Drinkability - Relatively so. There is enough bitterness to offset the sweetness which lends itself to be a damn drinkable beer. I could imagine myself enjoying some of these on a cold fall day, sitting in the sun on my porch back home in Illinois. A great addition to the SA Harvest Pack.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of goldbot
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very deep rubyish brown in color with tan head. Good head retention with nice lacing throughout. Very light aroma of slightly roasted malt, bread, caramel. Good malty flavor, more bread and a touch of caramel with a nice balance of floral hops. Medium body but with a light, airy mouthfeel.

Photo of samie85
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a pitch black color with a mocha colored, two finger head.

S-Smells slightly of roasty malts and a little of smoked malt with some earthy hop notes.

T-A bit of roasted malt with some smoked malt hints and an earthy spicy, slightly dry hop finish.

M-Light bodied with medium to heavy prickly carbonation with a slightly coating and slick mouthfeel.

D-Not a bad beer at all and I'd rather have this in some of the sampler packs than some of the beers that make it in. I have had much better schwarzbiers though.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black walnut with dark ruby hues on the edge. A smaller, compact, creamy, frothy, sticky toasted marshmallow colored head. Decent retention that leaves behind a great, creamy lace.

S - Some dark roasted malt but not really burnt or overly roasted. Has some chocolate aroma. Dark slightly burnt brown sugar. A fair amount of earthiness and some hop aroma.

T - Similar to the nose with a good amount of dark malt with some roasted flavors, but not too roasty nor much roasted bitterness. Good amount of caramel, earthy, and nutty flavors. Also a nice amount of earthy and grassy hops provide a touch of bitterness.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Quite creamy and smooth feel.

D - Quite drinkable with a good amount of dark and slightly roasted malt but not a lot of roasted bitterness. Creamy and goes down easy.

Notes: Best before Nov. 2010. A very enjoyable beer that is a good example of the style. Creamy and smooth with a lot of the typical dark, roasted type of flavors but with less of the bitterness that comes with that. Enjoyable to drink beer, although it won't blow you away, it is a solid offering.

Photo of ZeroSignal
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, best by Dec 2010

A - Pours a red and ruby tinted black with a good inch and a half of toasted marshmallow colored head that stops at the very rim of my glass. Excellent retention and sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is earthy and roasted malts; a hint of sweetness and a bit of graininess.

T&M - Roasted and caramelized malts with a bit of medium roasted coffee bean. Medium to lighter bodied and feels a bit thin...almost watery really. Hops hit mostly in the semi-dry finish and have a bit of a spicy quality.

D - Certainly easy to drink and not a style one sees too often. I think I prefer Kostritzer, but I'm okay with biggest complaint is that for me, it was a bit too thin.

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