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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,434 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,434
Hads: 2,538
Avg: 3.74
pDev: 12.83%
Wants: 70
Gots: 147 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (120) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Black Lager Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,434 | Hads: 2,538
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a good looking chestnut brown beer with a good tan head.

Smell is good clean grain and malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee in the scent. Strikingly clean and fresh dark malted barley scents, it smells very tasty.

Taste is clean and malty with an aggressive chocolate flavor in the beginning. Flavorful nutty malt comes next but the chocolate flavor here keeps dominating in a good way. Mildly herbal hops in the finish with a bit of raisin and prune flavor showing up in the finish. Pleasant and mild bitterness on the tongue probably equally from the dark malt and the hops.

Very good mouthfeel.

This is a damn tasty and drinkable beer, one of the best Samuel Adams beers. I had this a year ago in Ohio at a party and it struck me as sort of a light porter that was just OK as a beer. Now that I have seriously tasted this it is an exceptional Schwarzbier. No doubt some of the goodness here is having an outstandingly fresh bottle that hasn't made the sea journey from Germany. Having qualified this it is a very good example of the style.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Visible carbonation. Fluffy white head that disappeared very quickly.

S - Not much going on here. I can smell the alcohol right off that bat, which is odd for a 4.9% ABV. Faint smell of a slightly fruity malt.

T - Sweet malty taste that is not very predominant. Not too much gong on here.

M - very light body (for what I expected).

D - This beer is drinkable but moreso because it is so average. I feel like this is just one small ingredient away from being a very good beer but comes up short.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The marketing guys at Boston Beer Co. could have been a little more creative when naming the beer - not the least because 'black lager' is a boring name but because the beer is not nearly as dull and colourless as that name suggests. In fact, Black Lager has a lovely maroon shade that strikes right through it. The head is pillowy and has a soft, chestnut hue; its khaki-tanned tone is a lovely contrast to the body's dismal opacity.

And the smell ain't so shabby either! Dark malts, toasted nuts, dried dark fruits, a splash of coffee, a dab of licorice, an ounce of smoke and a smidgen of ginger root combine for a much more complete aroma than was expected; it smells like no malts were spared in this recipe. The bouquet borrows from other styles - the sweet, dark fruity maltiness of a dopplebock; the stale coffee and cocoa dusted truffle character of a Baltic porter.

But the taste is unmistakably that of a schwarbier. Toasty malts, drizzled in burnt caramel and lightly smoked, procure a flavourful and unique taste, one with a clean lager character and nothing harsh, acrid or astringent about it. Again, thoughts of cocoa-powdered dark chocolate truffles come to mind but the flavour isn't quite bold enough to make them vivid. Still, this is some kind of (understated) deliciousness.

There is virtually no bitterness and even the sweetness seems curiously subdued. Notes of vanilla, walnut, hazelnut, chestnut and coffee are quite mild but imply the malts are fairly well attenuated.The finish is relatively dry and its clean lager taste leaves next to no perception of the fruitiness or chocolaty flavours that existed just a short while ago. This stocked flavour and low, mild body lends the beer an endurable drinkability.

I'd wager Sam Adams Black Lager is the best schwarbier from this side of the Atlantic; it's certainly one of the best examples I've tried to date. Sam Adams makes a lot of beers and although they aren't all winners, those that are tend to be untypically good. If you like flavourful, malty, clean and quenching beers then this is something that should definitely interest you. It interested me enough to buy again.

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Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark toned brown with hints of an auburn hue when held to the light. A thick, 2 finger, dark tan head slowly fades out. Lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, coffee, sugary doses of roasted malt, and brown sugar.
Taste is that of the aromas with a standout caramel sweetness that is soon bombarded with coffee, and cocoa roasted grains and roasted nuts.
Mouthfeel is is medium bodied, slightly spiced, with a dry finish.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before Dec 05. Pours a black color with some carbonation and a little head, some nice lacing throughout. Scents of hops, and caramel, chocolate. There's a nice sweet taste which I liked and you still have the lager presence. Medium body. Very drinkable, a must session beer for this style. Will put this on my list to buy again.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark deep reddish brown, quite clear in the glass with a filmy head of cocoa coloured foam. Some small bubbled carbonation, but not a lot. No lacing. Body looks a bit thin. Not bad overall.

Smokiness and wet grain on the nose. Darkness is slightly muted, but otherwise it tastes pretty pleasantly roasty and sweet. It's a little thin, but the smoke is quite pleasant.

Dark characters on the palate, some toast and smoke, but they're surrounded (or, I guess, not surrounded) but a rather thin body; a sort of emptiness. It's as though the true characters of the beer are quarantined from my mouth in some way. Mouthfeel is particular is thin.

It's not a bad beer, and it has some really pleasant characters. It's just that they seem either muted or otherwise slightly insipid. Drinkable enough, but not necessarily something I'd seek out or even bother trying again.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Samuel Adams Black Lager is a solid dark lager. The appearance as poured into my pint glass was quite good. The color was a dark, nearly opaque, with rich red/amber hue. The head was thin and off-white...some lacing. The smell includes roast and sweet malt...like molassis. The taste had an interesting mixture of roast, malt, caramel, and hops. The combination lent to a spiciness. The mouthfeel is good. A nice beer for the cooler nights. Overall another decent creation by Sammy A!

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Photo of plaid75
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brown hue with a creamy three finger caramel head. Good retention and lacing.

The smell was a nice mix of sweet malt and toasted malt. Additionally, hints of hop do sneak through.

The taste was a nice warming toasted and sweet maltiness, with a secondary coffee flavor. A nice dry hop finish.

The mouthfeel was suprisingly clean and dry.

Very drinkable scharzbier. A nice alternative to a brown ale or imperial stout.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- very dark, with strong cranberry color when held to light. Low head with medium lacing. Interestingly it has a very fine bubble structure.

s- strong sweetness almost reminiscent of corn syrup. Notes of rasin and nut in the middle notes.

t- very smooth flavor, a little light. Roasted malt flavor with chocolate notes on the finish. Slight prune flavor in the middle. Flavor has a low complexity, but still nice overall flavor.

m- mouthfeel is a little light, but being a black lager and not a stout I feel it is appropriate to style. very drinkable, not terribly coating to palate. Carbonation is low but pleasant.

o- very drinkable, light but perfect for a traditional schwartzbeer. Great black lager.

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Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a three-finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Color is opaque and black. Medium bodied. Nose is roasted chocolate. Medium carbonation. Starts with a sweet roasted chocolate flavor, finish has just a hint of hops. One of the better offerings from Sam Adams. $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an American Pint glass

A-a dark brown so dark it looks black with a rocky tan head that last quite a while

S- a very clean roasted malt smell with a bit of hop spiciness in the background

T-an almost nuggety maltyness with a hint of caramel taste and a mellow hop bitterness and a roasted malt finish. just a hint of residual sweetness brings out the roast in the malt at the finish

M- a bit of a creamy mouthfeel but no harshness that you find in dark ales. very smooth.

D- definitely a unique style of beer. I expect a stout but it has a very smooth lager taste. It is a refreshing change from porters and stouts but I still enjoy those styles more frequently.

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Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle of Black Lager served in a Three Philosophers goblet. The ale is near room temp.

Appearance: A deep brown to black color, the lager betrays ruby hints when held to light. There is a smallish head that rings the glass only.

Smell: There is a slight roasted aroma that fades a bit over the beer. It provides a hint of things to come.

Taste: The roasted malts give the beer a slight milk chocolate flavor. There are also some caramel notes to provide the beer with a flavor that is surprisingly soft on the palate. I am pleased with this.

Mouthfeel: This beer's malts provide a tinge of sweetness that finishes long and makes you want another sip.

Drinkability: A moderate to low abv and great taste? What's there not to like. I am thoroughly impressed by this.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears black and opaque in the glass with a one finger ligh beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Slightly toasted malt aroma with a nice earthy hop presence that counters the sweetness. Hints of pine needle and grass along with some caramel, toffee and toast.

Medium bodied but fuller than expected or the style with a good balance of crisp, earthy hops and sweet malt notes. Slightly smokey but not burnt or overly roasted. A nice dry, bitter hop presence up front with good puny flavor lingers troughout and provides nice balance. This is followsd by the sweet, slightly roasted malt presence that gives off hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut and toast. Not overly complex but well balance, flavorful and easy to drink. One of the better Sam Adams offerings I've tried.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with faint red. The head is off-white even and really large. When the head dissipates it leaves nice lacings.

S: Heavy roasted malt (some caramell notes) with floral hops and chocolate

T: This rich beer got heavy roasted malt. It is dry and tastes like chocolate and coffee. The floral hops got a spicy tone.

M: Dry, a little bitter and fullbodied.

D: Schwarzbier is great!

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark burgundy color with a foamy tan head that was moderately lasting.

S: sweet roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee. There was a slight breadines in the aroma as well.

T: For flavor there was a sweet roasted caramel upfront followed by a gentle soft roasting of cocoa beans and chocolate. There was a noticeable breadiness to the palate while the flavor was very smooth. There was some hints of charred woodiness in the finish.

M: creamy, softly carbonated with a medium fullness and stickiness.

D: The flavor was very rich. Drinkability was nice, moderate by flavor, an easy drink.

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Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from Town & Country, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" brown head above the very dark mahogany brew. Head fades holds its own, and lacing is good. Aroma is hearty dark malts, with a slight associated bitterness. Taste is just what the nose portended. Dark malt bitter aftertaste lurks in the mouth. Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly thin, but not too much, just right, and drinkability is excellent. Hope this one finds a permanent place in their lineup.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled as part of the Brewmaster's Collection mixed sixpack. The color is almost black with a ruby glow when viewed against a light source. Head is average-sized and light brown. Retention is pretty good for a dark lager. Aroma is a little too low key, but nice bready malts are noticed with just a touch of spice. The taste is primarily of an excellent chocolatey malt. Subtle flavors of roastedness, nuttiness, and spice add layers of complexity. For me, Samuel Adams Black Lager is addictively tasty. Now if they would only start selling this by the sixer around here, I would have no problems with the Boston Beer Company.

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Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost pitch black/dark brown color with a creamy light tan head. Aroma is sweet chocolate, caramel and a little bit of malt. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and a bit of hops. Wow, this is definately better than expected. Overall, this is a great Schwarzbier that is recommended. I am quite impressed with this offering from Boston Beer Company.

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark coffee brown color. Poured a 1 finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Broken lacing.

S: Toasted malts, bitter chocolate and a hint of sweet caramel.

T: Very light malt flavors; predominantly toasted. Nice hop bitter in the finish.

M: Light side of medium body; felt a little thin. A little dry and fizzy.

D: Drinkable enough. Better if the taste matched up with the smell. Nicley balanced in any event.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 1,434 ratings.