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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.

2,377 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2377
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: 2,377 | Reviews: 1,429 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DrJay


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

Very dark, but not opaque. Clear chestnut colour with a fluffy tan head. Lots of foam off the pour, which settled to a half inch cap and left tons of streaky/clumpy lace on the glass. Malty aroma, hints of milk chocolate and cola nut, roast and caramel. Bitterness melded nicely with the dark grains, giving it a bittersweet chocolate character. Malt dominated, but a kiss of hop flavour and bitterness were evident towards the finish. Texture was alright, a little on the thin side once the carbonation subsided, but still fine. Pretty tasty overall. I'd certainly come back to this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 00:01:17 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle imbibed directly after a Pennichuck version of the style, purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with a half-finger light tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of black malts with light amounts of chocolate malt aromas. The aromas are there, they're just not strong enough.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Creamy dark malt flavors with very light hints of chocolate segue into a slightly bitter ending. As the beer warms small amounts of herbal hops come into play. As with the smell all the flavors seem a bit on the light side.

Mouthfeel is OK. Following the trend the thickness is a bit thin but with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall this is a solid beer but I thought it was more along the lines of a dry irish stout than a full-fledged schwarzbier. Certainly don't avoid this, but I wouldn't go searching for it.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2009 22:41:25 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights. The glass is filled with bubbles, initially creating an appearance similar to a highly carbonated cola. The bubbles and head recede after a few moments, leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is considerably weaker than the taste. Sweet malts at first, with a subtle hint of roast.

T: This beer is a pleasant surprise, and certainly more enjoyable than I had hoped for or expected. There are nice flavors of cocoa, black coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. The beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness, which helps to round out the overall flavor presentation. Well done.

M: Medium bodied and thicker feeling than I expected from a >5% beer.

D: A good representation of the style. I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 03:08:50 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Slatetank


4.08/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 00:07:20 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Gusler


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The after its extraction from the 12-ounce brown bottle sets in the class a very deep ruby color with a substantial frothy light tan head and lots of sticky lace to cover the glass. Hints of caramel, malt sweet, somewhat coffee like, with the start nicely malted and a bit sweet, top is moderate in its feel. Finish is sternly acidic with the hops delightfully spicy, quite dry and somewhat tart aftertaste, a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2005 23:09:28 | More by Gusler
Photo of Brad007


4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with a one finger head. Aroma is smooth and malty, with roasted characteristics that are reminiscent of a porter. Taste is very smooth and roasty, flavorful and yet, finishes clean just like a lager. I'm loving the aftertaste here. A second sip confirms more of the same. Mmm. So smooth, roasty and very much like a lager as the style dictates. I love this beer. One of Sam Adams' better efforts.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 00:02:47 | More by Brad007
Photo of smakawhat


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. More Samuel Adams festing continues I guess...

A good solid large three finger head off the pour and an off tan color, but with some light foamy consistency and not much retention. Body is at first appearance extremely black walnut but to the light is a very dark red, even clear.

Bouquet, is a mild ripped grain and light roast. Small coffee sense typical of a schwarzbier. Small but quite decent.

Taste overall is a little lacking but still manages to deliver flavor. Palate hits in the finish with a little milky malt almost milk stout. Dry roof top dry mouth on the finish for feel. Leaves also some dry mildly burnt coffee almost on the swallow which I actually kind of like.

Overall fairly decent and surprising, tastes like a schwarzbeir to me and not too bad for one either.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 04:01:41 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a decent head and very spotty lacing. The nose is lightly sweet and malty followed by lightly toasted grain. The taste is similar- nicely balanced maltiness and toasty grain, but relatively dry. The mouthfeel is soft, rounded and creamy. Even though there is a little sweetness in this one, no real stickiness. Nicely done, and a very nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2007 17:50:10 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Editing this review: originally on 9-18-2008 to 5-11-09

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours a dark bronze black color. Pours a 3/4 finger tan head. head fizzles down quickly leaving very little thin lacing.

Aroma is very pleasing for a lager. Dark coffee, caramel, chocolate. Very roasty.

Taste is very roasty and malty. Caramel and chocolate. At the very end comes the coffee.

Mouthfeel is crisp but a little creamy. Ends with a coffee flavor aftertaste. Medium bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall this is a very tasty lager. Big on flavor and body. I enjoy it, but I think I will switch to another beer after this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 03:22:33 | More by mothman
Photo of Tone


3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 13:01:02 | More by Tone
Photo of Dogbrick


3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish-black color with a medium thin light tan head and thin lacing. Aroma of chocolate and coffee as well as a hint of nuts. Medium-bodied with a sweet malt and chocolate flavor. Trace amounts of coffee and hops are present too. The finish is smooth and dry but not too flavorful. As with many of Sam Adams’ one-offs, this is above average.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2005 04:23:49 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber to a black color with a tan head. In the aroma, light roasty coffee, yet still lager like. In the taste, hints of coffee, dry chocolate, and a hint of caramel sweetness. A small bite, with a light to medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry coffee and light caramel stickiness in the aftertaste. Still quite lager-ish, ok, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 15:20:49 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tavernjef


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shadowy dark tarnished brown with a big billowing light cocoa hued head of foam; lightly fluffing and spongyness ensues as it grows up fast from a heavy pour. Fades off moderately to a good solid skimming and lacing of all kinds lightly grab the glass.

Nice aroma of dry black malts with a mild touch of chocolate sweetness and vanilla cookies. Very aromatic and appetizing to wiff in.

Flavors are just as nice, a bit more sweetness intersedes the front end with some black and chocolate malt, middle is seemingly like Oreo cookies, finishes with a nice leveling of moderate dry bite of slight roast, chocolate powder, and light Noble-like hopping. Very nice finish, did I just eat an Oreo?

Feel is fluffy, carrying a sweet front, drying most ways across from there, slight crispness to its body as well. Body is about medium to medium/light with a favorably low carbonation making for some kicked-back, sliding-down-the-Ol'-gullet, easy goin' drinkability. A big time session beer that actually has a different taste then most other session types. A nice version of a hard to pin down style. This may be close to rivaling Black Bavarian.
Way to go BBC! Nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2005 22:34:07 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque and sable, it looks like a porter or stout. Aroma is stouty and inviting - strong roast smell with overtone of molasses and a hint of salt. Flavor has both malt and hop components with smoky and coffee tones and just a whisper of sweetness. Though it does not have quite the nice thick feel of a good stout or porter, it is very satisfying and enjoyable. Very different from any lager I have ever tried!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 01:15:54 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a bottle to a flute glass. Had a black color and a somewhat thick texture. Not much head at all, but some OK lacing.

S: Smelled of malt and hops, but little else.

T: Had some roasted malt, but also, bitter hops to round it out. Not the most dynamic of flavors, but decent.

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a kind of slick finish.

D: On the whole, this isn't a bad beer, but it really didn't knock my socks off in any particular way.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 14:30:58 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill


4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice Schwarzbier. Poured into a glass at just below room temp.

Head dissipated fairly quickly, with just a fine lacing on the side. Pleasant smell of roastiness followed by excellent roasty flavour with hints of chocolate. Plenty of complexity and still a smooth drinker. A very good candidate for a session beer, imho.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2005 16:48:35 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Standard pint glass shows a nearly opaque black brew with some vague ruby highlights when held to light. Thick creamy head even with a gentle pour...the nice lacing is worth noting.

I smell black cherries, a bit of oatmeal, biscuits and a touch of honeydew melon. A nice aroma.

Somewhat unexpectedly fruity flavor greets the mouth with burnt coffee taste. Interesting combo of flavors. Slightly astringent, bitterness stays on the tounge well past the swallow.

This beer is decent, there are not too many schwarzbiers to choose from that are widely available, but there are some better ones out there. Probably would not buy a whole sixer of these, but it was nice to try a couple and certainly would not turn one down if offered!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 05:25:09 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pilsner Glass. Notched date of June.

A - Opaque black with ruby hints to it. Small tan head slowly goes down to a little lacing and a ring.

S - Right roasted malts that smell dry with a good helping of light coffee and cocoa. Smells viscous yet light. Great contradiction.

T - Robust roasted malts with a slight coffee bitterness and a dry cocoa powder feel.

M - Smooth and medium in body, this schwarzbier goes down nicely.

D - As schwarzbiers go, this one is very decent but a bit more viscous than I'm used to for the style. Its still a drinkable veer but I think it sits a bit heavier while still lighter than it would appear.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 05:07:08 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

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

Poured from a bottle into a weisse vase, the bee pours a ruby-highlighted, very dark brown with a chuny, dense, foamy biege head that starts at a robust two and a half inches but eventually settles into a quarter inch. Aromas are rich and robust, with a heavy sour malt and toasted oats balance. The beer has some interesting flavors, with rich and darkly sweet malt profiles of chocolate and molasses, and a bitter coffee character that balances, along with some roasted highlights. The beer leaves a decent, light lacing along the glass while you drink. The aftertaste is mostly coffee, with a slight linger to the dry-roast taste, and the beer has a tangy, mid-lingering finish. Decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 04:18:00 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of RoyalT


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

Appearance – This was a dark brown in color as it should be with a deceivingly growing off-white foamy head.

Smell – The subtle roasted malt aroma is mixed with some lightly burnt yeast and a smidgen of raw sugar. The grain smell here is dark but nothing is pungent. There’s a smoothness to this bouquet that is quite nice.

Taste – The yeast comes out a bit more at the taste and the sweets step back a tad, but otherwise the driving force is the subtle roasted grain that I caught in the nose. The flavor forms a crescendo on the palate, flowing nicely from burnt toast to roasted malts smoothed by dark yeast then petering out with a mild sugariness.

Mouthfeel – This is between light and medium-bodied with a harmonious feel in the mouth and not at all bitter.

Drinkability – This was a tad off-style but is an excellent drinker and incredibly smooth. It’s an obscure style but Sam Adams gave us a nice rendition here.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2006 03:40:11 | More by RoyalT
Photo of DrDemento456


4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost blackened with an inch of fluffy head.

S - You get slight grain roasted semi burnt coffee and dark chocolates in the nose.

T - The grain bitterness clashes very well with the coffee and chocolate flavors. Finishes sweet and light.

M - Light to medium bodied. Pretty nice.

D - Well I have a couple more but it was nice to succession a couple of these back to back. Would not be off putting to have again in a variety pack again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 04:33:38 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of bluejacket74


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

Served in a pint glass, the Black Lager pours dark brown with a long lasting off-white head. There's a decent bit of lacing with this beer too. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of nuttiness. It tastes like roasted malt, bread, caramel, and semi-sweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is light and a bit watery. The drinkability is pretty good, it goes down easy. Not a great beer, but a pretty good one. Not a bad choice as a session beer either.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 00:32:30 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of ZAP


4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be very enjoyable...nose borders on a 4.5 as it is very nice with milk chocolate and caramel...body is medium...clean...good flavors...sweet milk chocolate...a little bit of camael...just a very fine noble hop finish...the more I drink this the more I like it....not my favorite style but I'd buy a sixer of this on occasion as a changeup...

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 21:55:53 | More by ZAP
Photo of tone77


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

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of some malts and chocolate. Taste is also malts and toffee,some notes of chocolate, slight bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 17:28:00 | More by tone77
Photo of flagmantho


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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: very dark brown/amber, almost black, but very clear. Head was a finger of tan foam which dissipated rather quickly, though a nice lace is left as I drink. I rather like the appearance of this.

Smell: sweet malt with a hint of chocolate. Nice, but rather subtle.

Taste: a nice light take on roasted malt flavors. There is a little hop bitterness toward the end to fill out the roasty bitterness at the beginning. Overall, the beer is a little sweet, but it is pretty good despite that.

Mouthfeel: actually quite silky. Body is medium but there is a slight syrupy feel; added to that is a well-integrated carbonation which makes for a nicely creamy brew.

Drinkability: this is quite drinkable, due to the nice flavor and low ABV. I would definitely quaff a few of these in a session.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 01:03:51 | More by flagmantho
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,377 ratings.