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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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BA SCORE
84
good

2,514 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,514
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 50
Gots: 91 | 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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Ratings: 2,514 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with ruby highlights; the head retained nicely and left quite a few splashes of lace

Smell: Chocolate shavings and café au lait; rather creamy at that

Taste: Starts out with a brown bread flavor that, after the swallow, is joined by a mild bittering aspect that brings along some of that creamy café au lait that was so present in the aroma; relatively clean finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation; a bit creamy

Drinkability: Pleasant and drinkable

Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of Sam Adams better offerings. Medum body with a powerful, yet smooth, with a powdery roasted flavor and texture. Black at first sight, but then allows amber highlights to perminate. Promising, lightly tanned head retention starts off thick and creamy, but fades quickly under the lighter than expected body. Moderatly malty sweet with roasted grain (not quite coffee) bitter balance. A light cocoa flavor adds character and complexity. Low hopping allows for grain to supply bitterness. Finishes nicely clean and lightly charcoal-like. Quite enjoyable and remarkably easy to drink despite it's bold roasted character.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Shp555: Poured a deep black color ale with a nice foamy head with some pretty good retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with some chocolate notes is quite good. Taste is a nice mix between some chocolate malt and some roasted slightly bitter malt. Body is slightly above average with some medium to low carbonation. I thought this was nicely done and fits nicely into style without breaking any barrier.

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

Dark walnut brown with prodigious red and orange sunburst highlights. Ruby when backlit. The golden beige crown is three fingers to start and lasts for a good bit. While it isn't a crazy lacer, it does lay down a respectable amount in the end.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. It isn't really porter-like, but then it isn't a porter. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on the money. There's plenty of power, which always helps.

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. I've had porters that didn't have this 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. It's as if the brewers stopped roasting the barley at just the right moment. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

I never know what to expect from Boston Beer Company. Some of their offerings are yawners and others are very good. Black Lager is closer to very good and was a nice surprise. It's only my third beer of this style and is clearly better than the two German schwarzbiers that preceded it. Good stuff.

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

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

A – Poured a rich deep dark brown with a towering off white head. Lots of retention kept the head hanging around for a good long time. After a few minutes it gracefully settled down into a nice one inch layer of foam that kept throughout the session. Nice amount of carbonation could be seen coming up as the liquid was not totally transparent. Decent side glass lace as well. Overall this was fairly decent looking, like a nice porter, but I am not sure really what a black lager is, I guess it kinda would be a porter.



S – Aroma was nice and rich. Full of caramel and sweet roasted nuts. A light taste of grain was sitting in the back and everything else was built up upon that. It created a nice foundation and defiantly did its part to push things along nicely.



T – Very nice. A light porter would be the best way to describe it easily. Now there was a good grain presence here that could be tasted right from the start. Needed some little bit of a hoppy bite to really push it over the top and make it stand out, but again I am not really sure if that is what they are going for here as I am not sure what the Black lager should be and as such am looking at it as more of a porter then anything else. A nice roasted or smoked teaser came curling up from the back and gave it a nice little touch in the end without being to overwhelming as to knock it around or take away from its sessionable nature.



M – Nice and smooth. A good light porter. Not too thick, actually a little thin for my taste, but fairly decent and I cannot truly knock it for any reason. Had a decent finish, not very dry and the taste faded kinda quick, but it was about average.



D – Very good. This was light enough to be a session ale, but at the same time had enough body in it and enough flavor to be enjoyed with every sip and not just washed down with spicey Mexican or something .A nice little nighttime session ale for sure.



Overall I am still not really sure what a black lager is supposed to be other then a light porter which is really what I reviewed this based off of. I thought it was a more then decent light porter and in facr quite drinkable. Worthy of being in the brewmaster selection, sure. This was really pretty good. My only thing I would have liked to see would have it be a little thicker. Other then that I thought it was quite good and would defiantly try one again.

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

From old notes.

A: The pour isn't quite black but rather a very dark brown color with a finger of khaki head.

S: Lots of roasted malt aroma with a touch of coffee to it. Slightly acidic, likely from the heavy roasted qualities. Maybe a little bit of licorice and some floral hops. A touch of sweetness comes through.

T: More roasted malt and a touch of char. Definitely coffee and some bitter dark chocolate flavors. Moderately bitter with a sort of drying finish.

M: Medium in body with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: This was one of my first Schwarzbiers, but I found it to be quite enjoyable and still do.

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really deep brown color with a pretty strong head on it. The aromas of some roasted malts and caramel are on the nose along with some hops. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it. There's a light burnt flavor in there too. The mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I expected. Overall pretty good beer.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a thin, light beige head.

Smell: Gentle aroma of roasted chocolate malts with a sprinkling of spent coffee grounds.

Taste: Soft, roasty character with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted grains. Only the very slightest touch of hops on the crisp, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Well carbonated. Fairly watery.

Drinkability: About as rousing and stirring as a light lager can get!!

Photo of oberon
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Back in the day, I used to enjoy this one more when it was warm than cold, but I'm gonna start off on the latter end of the spectrum this time. Shits and giggles, y'see. It pours a dark ruby-brown topped by a finger of slightly dirty sandstone foam. The nose comprises toasted toffee, plenty o' cocoa, and a touch of light coffee. The taste doesn't deviate too far from this, though the cocoa is definitely dominant here (especially as it warms, making a sort of light version of a milk stout after a while). The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice schwarz, one of the best regulars Sam Adams puts out.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a fantastic black lager. the best of both worlds here, almost as much a baltic porter as a schwarzbier really, robust malt profile, earthy and heavily roasted, with a nutty middle and a lot of body for such a quick finish. dark in color too, pushing black, with a matte finish, well carbonated, and thin on the head. it smells nutty and toasty like good roasted barley, but not bitter or super dense like some can be, this stays light while holding onto that extremely deep dark grain element. really a great success here. lager yeast has a lot of flavor this time around, and with the dark malt, its like the burnt flakes on the crust of a properly cooked wood fired pizza, it has that char and dough thing working well for it. hoppy too for an almost macro brew, biting in the finish, more than balancing to the flavoring level, but its all in excellent proportion. lively carbonation makes it feel rather light for its color, and it ends up being a sessionable and quenching drink. sam adams has some really solid basic beers in their lineup, and this is a prime example that beer doesnt have to be complex to be delicious.

Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a thick, foamy, off-white head. It left small traces of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel and roasted malts. It also had a slight grassy/hoppy aroma.

T - It tasted of roasted malts and some dark chocolates. Also, a nice blend of caramel and toffee.

M - It was smooth and soft. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good dark beer. Very sessionable.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Boston Beer Company has done it again, delivering an accessible and quite authentic rendition of another classic style! There's a little bit more caramel flavor and sweetness here than most German examples exhibit, but gosh darn it, it works!

It pours an almost opaque black body that only lets a glimmer of dark ruby-mahogany through beneath its creamy head of khaki colored foam. The head retention is very good, and it initially leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose is darkly caramelish with an almost-burnt-sugar note, and a subtle roastiness.

It's dextrinous, medium body is livened by a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that leaves it gently crisp and then smooth on the palate.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with rich caramel notes threaded with a note of dark and roasted bittersweet chocolate. Some leafy and mildly spicy hops appear towards the swallow, and in conjunction with its lightly roasty edge, help its firm bitterness to usher in a dry finsh.

Very nicely done! And interestingly enough, the caramel character of this one reminds me very much of my other favorite Sam Adams beer, their Cream Stout. I could enjoy this beer year round, and I think it would be just as appropriate at a bachelor party, poker game, summer BBQ, ski trip, company picnic or Thanksgiving Feast. Excellent!

Photo of Jason
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid, decent lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Fresh chocolaty and caramel malt aroma, a little grainy and semi-burnt in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Crisp and full bodied, mild burnt notes with a rounded caramel malty backing. Nice balance between the burnt flavor and malt sweetness though the spicy floral hops barely can balance the rest of the sweetness..

Drinkability & Notes: I wish there was a bit more hop bitterness to this I tad too sweet for my liking, either way it’s a delicious beer.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark ruby brown tone only when held up to the light, forms a fluffy tan two fingered head leaves behind evenly dispersed fine chunky lace. Aroma: Dark roasted malts mild chocolate with an herbal German noble hop tone going on, standard for a schwarzbier. Taste: Easy drinking caramel flowing malt backbone blended nicely with the cocoa slightly burnt flavor, herbal German hop character is subtle but dances nicely in the whole mix. Mouthfeel: A nice medium bodied black lager goes down very smooth carbonation does tickle the gullet just a bit, overall easy drinking. Drinkability: Great representation of a schwarzbier Sam Adams does a nice job brewing this German specialty, the only other version I have had that blows this away was Heavyweight's Black Ocean which was a small beer version of Perkuno's Hammer not mindblowing but solid.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: The beer itself is a rich dark brown. The head is thick and creamy leaving a good lace on the glass, but the head disappeared a little bit quicker than I had expected.

S: Strong but sweet smell of chocolate and malt, not overpowering though.

T: Initial taste is of chocolate, malt and hops with a faint taste of coffee. A sweet coffee flavor is more prevelant in the after taste. Very enjoyable taste.

M: Very smooth with decent thickness, not bitter at all as many Sam Adams products tend to be.

D: I could go through a lot of these very easily. The only reason I don't give the beer a 5 in this category is because of the heaviness of it, which is customary for the style of beer.

I enjoyed this beer a great deal, so much so, that it prompted my first beer review. Execellent smoothness and taste. My only complaint about this beer is that to the best of my knowledge, it's only available alone in sixers or variety packs with other Sam Adams beers. 2 per 6-pack; 3 per 12-pack. I don't mind trying the other beers but I would like to buy this beer in alone in a 12-pack or larger.

Photo of nickfl
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of brownish-white foam on top of a black body. Head retention is kind of weak.

S - Clean, weak malty note, slight hint of raisins. A little coffee like roastiness.

T - Clean flavor of roasted malt/ coffee with just a hint of hops.

M - Light body with high carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable but not a lot of flavor or complexity. It is quite clean, however and overall it is a decent example of a black lager.

Photo of Slatetank
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my Spaten lager glass at a very cool temperature.

A - Very dark brown, almost black with fluffy light tan head resembling swiss cheese that left minimal lace.

S - Sweet malty, slightly salty aroma. Bready, slightly burnt rye toast scent. A slightly tea like roastiness reminiscent of earl grey. Aromas of yeast with a nice bavarian malt scent.

M - Light, but substantially malty. Very carbonated but not to the point of excess. Silky and luxurious finish gradually releases a pleasant caramel essence.

T - Roastiness and effervescene snap to attention as the milky sourness with pilsener malt sweetness and nutty brown malt flavors comingle.

D - A great american black lager. Sweet, supple and bready flavors make for a brew that is quaffable, delightful, sessionable, and easy to enjoy in a variety of settings. I happened to enjoy mine with a cheesesteak pizza.

Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge frothy head in my SA perfect pint glass, fades semi slowly with lather lacing, over super dark coke syrup brown color with slightest hints of light coming through.

Nose has some nice darker malts, light heavy crystal malts, a sweet nutty like malts with hints of cocoa, molasses, vanilla, a light hazelnut like aroma that almost smells like an extract added aroma, slight hints of earthy malts and light crisp lagers.

Taste is lighter but thicker than I expected, a bit frothy, darker malts, heavy crystal malts, light cocoa, molasses, cola flavors, again light hazelnut like flavoring added, vanilla, juicy flavored. Earthy dark malts that hint at a roast flavor but not quite. Then light crisp lager flavors, slightest hint of unhappy lager flavors, not quite skunk but like it got a bit too warm or fermented too fast. it finishes slightly bitter but more from the earthy dark malts than hops I think although a light earthy bitter hop comes through on the finish, creamy but dry, hints of lingering roasty dark malts.

Mouth is fairly full bodied and a bit creamy, good carb.

Overall not bad but kinda lackluster. That weird flavoring like hazelnut addition takes away a bit, and the lack of clean crisp fruity lager flavors doesn't help either, more like a lighter porter.

Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogony edging towards black color. Head is tan but drops to a1/4" ring fast. Lacing sticks around okay.

Smell: Toasted malts, fruit, & wiffs of licorice & choclate& red wine???

Taste: Toasted grain, fruit, licorice, dark choclate & molasess(sp??)

MF: A little thinner than I preffer my Schwartzes. Good carbonation , balance is getting there.

This is one of SAs better efforts, can't wit tofind some on draft where they know how to talk care of the product!

Photo of oline73
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some red showing up with the light comes through. There is a finger and a half of off white head and decent retention.

Smell: Mild sweet malt, a bit roasty with some dark chocolate in there as well.

Taste: Sweet chocolate malt. The roast and dark chocolate from the smell are still there. The finish is chocolaty with a roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: Easy to drink, but not as good as I used to think it was. A good beer if you don't want to pay too much attention to what you're drinking. Pleasant.

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of drabmuh
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown and opaque with a thin off white / tan head that break and still manages to leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is mild with only minor roast and some pils sweetness.

Beer is thin with a mild roastiness at the back end of the palate, otherwise it's a plain Jane beer. I just don't get much from it, it is unoffensive just not very interesting.

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