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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,519 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,519
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 56
Gots: 106 | 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:
Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 2,519 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ronniebruner
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better black lager beers Ive had in some time. Sam Adams almost always produces a great beer. This beer is smoooth. Not a high ABV for a darker beer, the perfect amont of head, a sweet aroma, and leaves a nice taste on your tongue, but not a bitter aftertaste. Id definitely recommend it, and will check it out again at a later date.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black beer with a one finger head from the pour. Head is light brown in color, thick foam that evaporated in less than a minute. Tight lace that has little cling. Color is a 40 on the SRM beer color chart, can't get any darker than that, although with a strong light shining through the brew, it is actually a very dark reddish brown. Smells of a hint of caramel, coffee, chocolate, sweet burnt malt, and roasted wheat. Flavor is bold but not overpowering. Sort of a sweet coffee taste with caramel and chocolate. The malt flavor seems to have some cinnamon hints. A little wimpy in my mouth, some sense of fullness, but just not quite the zip I was hoping to feel. The flavor grows on me as I work the level in my glass south. Might have to have another to fully appreciate the flavors.

Photo of gopens44
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very much dark with very little head at all.

S - Toasted malt with just a slight shock of coffee.

T - Like the nose, toasted malts, but less coffee presence. It's still there a little but not as pronounced. Something sweet to this as well. Maybe a tad bit of a creamy taste, maybe a smidge of well masked vanilla? In any case, it's pretty tasty.

M - Very much carbonated. Somewhat thin with not much aftertaste.

This was a bit of a treat, nice and pleasant.

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

poured into a pint glass.
A- pours a slightly transparent black with a whisper of browny head.

S- smell has a fair bit of yeast and soy going on, a fair bit of roasted coffee too. not to bad.

T- is pretty similar to the smell, roasted coffee and with some yeasty soy flavours going on, on warming up there is some chocolate and a bit of hop to, but its pretty nondescript.

M- light bodied with a bit of carbonation, but not quite spritzy, a little more withheld. slightly bitter end, drying the mouth out a fair bit.

D- another beer that i could easily sit back and enjoy a six pack off. quite drinkable.

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

12 oz bottle notched with typical SA enjoy-by date.

Pours a very dark brown, slightly translucent. A nice tan head stays around. Smell is nicely toasted mocha, more sugary sweet than bitter. A surprising burst of citrusy hops starts the taste, and compliments the coffe-ish malts. nicely complex. Finishes bitter and nutty. Very tasty. Feel is creamy and smooth, this brew is easy to drink. One of my faves from Sam Adams.

Photo of Shrews629
2.76/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown to very, very dark ruby red. Some slight orange highlights around the edges. Fairly clear with a tan colored head that didn't produce much or have much retention.

Smell - Dark, roasted, chocolate malt. Picked up hints of buttermilk (not my favorite fragrance). It has caramel listed on the label, but I'm not really picking it up. I'm even picking up "cream" hints. Doesn't seem as well balanced as I thought it should be.

Taste - Has a deep roasted, earthy, burnt malt to the taste. Some chocolate in there. Again, no caramel. The taste was more balanced than the smell and was just Ok in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Mostly dry, creamy and smooth. Coats the palate honorably.

Drinkability - This is not one of my favorite Sam Adams brews, nor is it one of my favorite styles. This is a beer I can finish, but would probably not go for round two. Every time I took a drink, I continually got the "buttermilk" scent. I didn't care for that. Others may enjoy this beer, however I don't think I will try this again.

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

Pours a good black color with some dark amber highlights to light. Smells of roasted black malts, gas station coffee, some metallics and hint of charcoal. Acceptable schwarz smell. Taste is light and crispier than other schwarzs. Malt forward, some tinny adjuncts. Roasted tastes, some earthiness, some complimenting hops in finish. Mouthfeel is good for a lager, not too thin and overly carbonated. Pulls great f from the glass.

Good session ability here; tasty, subtle and roasty without the power or fullness of a stout. Great Thanksgiving beer.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Photo of beerman207
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, nice head and lace remains on the glass for a while.

S: Malt, chocolate, kind of mellow

T: Malt bomb, faint coffee

M: Excellent medium carbonation, easy to drink

D: A good one from Sam. Can't say it's fantastic but it's a good sessionable brew.

Photo of drizzam
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The body pours a very dark brown/black in color, but with no cloudiness and ruby highlights when held up to a bright light. The body is topped by a thin khaki colored head. Very little head retention, receded to a thin cap pretty quickly and left little in terms of lacing.

S - Heavy on the caramelized malts. There seems to be just the slightest roasty aroma in the background, not quite drowned out by the caramel.

T & M - Just like in the aroma, the caramel takes center stage...but there are other characters in this play. Dark malt and bitter chocolate help to set up a production whose plot doesn't let you down. There aren't a lot of extras or expensive special effects, but the acting keeps you involved in the plot, and on the edge of your seat.

Medium bodied with just the slightest coarseness from the carbonation, making the body a bit more creamy would have put this brew through the roof.

D - I'm actually very impressed by this offering from Sam Adams, I didn't expect this to impress me as it has. Excellent flavor combined with a low ABV makes this a very sessionable beer. I would certainly recommend this to any of my friends.

Photo of Samp01
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown almost black. Nice lasting tan head. Aroma of malts, caramel, hops. Taste is malts, caramel, some coffee, chocolate. Palate some good carboantion, nice medium to full body smooth beer, Finish is malty, caramel.This a very flavorfull beer. Would drink again. I really enjoyed this brew.

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this one a while back and found it undesirable. Now that my taste is more refined I find it, well, somewhat tolerable. It's look is peculiar with the side edges of my perfect pour glass red and the bottom edge brown. There's a thick finger of foam that lasts a few minutes. The aroma is very feint, just a hint of sweet malt. The taste is mild malty but turns slightly sour at the end that throws of my taste buds. I didn't bother to finish the glass because it just wasn't that enjoyable. I'll probably give away my other bottle.

Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into redwine glass at a friend's house. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a solid black with a two fingers of light brown head that receded into a thick film that left a pretty decent amount of lace.
S: Notes of roasted grains, barbequed corn and roasted vegetables, with a hint of charcoal. This isn't as bad as it sounds though, I like barbequed corn.
T: Flavors of warm roasted grains, dark malt, hints of milk chocolate, burnt caramel, chocolate malt, and barbequed vegetables and roasted marshmallows in the aftertaste.
M: Medium body, thinish mouthfeel with good comfortable carb.
D: Overall very "meh." I liked it but some much of the roasted flavors reminded me too much of barbequed vegetables and corn. The only other beer of this style, Xingu, was much better.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Spot on the style, and one I really enjoy. Hops waft from this opaque black coloured elixir, with generous light brown head that leads a mastery of spider lacing. More roast in aroma and taste, as the beer settles. Very drinkable. Enjoyed in The Samuel Adams Glass.Middling mouthfeel. SUitable carbonation.

Photo of goalie33
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into 23oz weizen glass.
A: Clear black beer with reddish hues. Off White head disappears quickly leaving a thin layer on top.
S: Lager smell with chocolate notes.
T: Chocolate malts hit me first but the flavor goes away almost as quickly as the head did.
M: Just like the taste, the initial feel in the mouth just vanishes. Nice carbonation.
D: Very drinkable.

This is a good tasting beer with a nice mouthfeel, but they both disappear way to quickly. It's as if my mouth absorbs it all and there is nothing left to swallow. This beer has potential but I would like the taste and mouthfeel to last longer.

Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a dark black, but has an amber hue to it. The head is a frothy white, and seemed to last for awhile. The smell of this beer is of roasted malts. The taste is of burnt roasted malts, hint of coffee. There is a well balanced hop flavor with it. The mouthfeel is medium light. I would say this is a drinkable beer.

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

Poured fresh out of the fridge into my Gulden Draak tulip. Damn I love this thing.

Poured a nice, deep black/deep garnet with hues of such in the light. A modest off white head that didn't lace much and diminished quickly into a bubbly ring. Light fruitiness, touch of metallic, and subtle hints of chocolate, toast, and toffee. I guess the best way to describe all of this is "delicate." The taste is a touch more assertive, which I enjoy. It has more of a chocolate/carob character to it and caramel nicely supports it as well. Raisins come out in the finish, adorned by a slightest touch of coffee beans. Mouthfeel is somewhat slick and light with a nicely executed carbonation. Very smooth indeed. I was gonna give it a 3 but that carbonation is just spot on perfect IMO. A good, drinkable beer. Nothing outstanding or "holy crap this is &%^%*#! awesome" but not a yuck beer either. Something to grab at the end of a warm day in the middle of cooking up a steak or a burger.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Dark brown beer with a large foamy and creamy tan head. The retention is great, and lots of sticky lacing clings to the glass as the beer is consumed.

S: Rich dark malt smells. Caramel, toffee, molasses. Faint bready and roasted malt smells. Hint of sulfur/metallic phenols. Some light citrusy Noble hop action too.

T: Chocolate and roasted malt flavors open first, then notes of molasses and brown bread take over. Caramel and toffee wash over the tongue, and maybe some coffee as well. Hops add just a touch of bitterness to balance. Finishes semi-dry with molasses and roasted malt tastes.

M: Creamy and thick. Mouthfeel has the smoothness of the style down, but it seems a bit too thick.

D: Thickness hinders drinkability a little, especially when taking style into consideration.

Notes: A fairly solid attempt at a swarzbier. Hop bitterness and flavor could be taken up just a notch. Mouthfeel ws a bit too thick for the style as well. Still a good beer. I wish more American brewers would brew Schwarzbiers.

Photo of pharmer
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly black with a bit of a red hue when viewed into a light. Forms a 1-finger tan head that displays little retention.

Almost no smell to this one, which is surprising. There is a hint of roasted dark malt and touch of coffee.

Tastes of dark roasted malt and coffee flavors. Slightly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is again surprisingly light and smooth with a moderately high carbonation. This doesn't have the mouthfeel you'd expect when looking at it.

Overall, I enjoy this beer and could drink a few in a sitting.

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

Pours a semi-translucent dark brown color with 2-finger off white head that left little to no lacing on the glass. The smell is that of dark roasted malts. There isn't really any hop presence in the smell. The taste is dominated by dark malts. There is a little hop presence at the finish, but not much. There are also some slight notes of chocolate and caramel. The mouthfeel is lighter than I thought it was going to be, and has medium carbonation. I think this is a pretty drinkable beer. It is my first beer of this style, and I look forward to trying more.

Photo of Axic10
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a half finger of khaki foam that settle pretty quickly.

Smell: Lightly roasted malt, some hop and a faint hint of chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malt, slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish mouthfeel. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent beer that I've enjoyed since Sam Adams started releasing it a few years ago. Not their best, but not their worst and I look forward to it in the variety packs.

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

Winter Sampler--Samuel Adams Black Lager--Brewmaster's Collection--2005 12 oz. Bottle. 4.90% ABV--20 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Black Lager--Frothy lacy tan head. Clear dark bronze red black color. Mild roasted chocolate hop front. Creamy semi-sweet smooth roasted mild crusty caramel chocolate body. Smooth clean mild hop end. Tasty mild Black. Sampled 1/31/2006.

Samuel Adams Black Lager--Bewmaster's Collection--Mixed Pack Sampler--2007 12 oz. Bottle. 4.90% ABV--20 IBU's? (4.1 / 5.0) Black Lager. 6-Pack $6.99. Rich rocky lacy soft tan coffee head. Clear thin dark bronze red black color. Toasted mild chocolate floral Bavarian hop front. Silky smooth mild creamy cloying chocolate caramel toasted malty body. Light hop cloying malt smooth clean mild spice end. Sampled 9/9/2008.

Black Lager--Brewmaster's Collection--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 4.90% ABV--25 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Black Lager--Pours a rich dense lacy tan good retention head. Clear dark black red ruby edge color. Roasted mild floral hop cocoa front. Malty rich dry sweet cloying lager smooth chocolate caramel roasted medium body. Smooth soft hop spice clean dry end. Big flavor.Mild fruit & Porter notes. Sampled 3/2/2010. 6-Pack $6.99.

Photo of herman77
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with dark ruby highlights. Creamy and thick light tan head with great retention. Nice sheets of lacing.

S: Sweet carmel malt, a bit of chocolate. A touch of roastedness and a bit of earthy hops. The nose is pretty faint overall.

T: Mild chocolate malts are the main flavor mixed with some toasted carmel malt. Mild spicy hops near the finish to provide some bitterness and balance from the early sweetness. Not to shabby.

M: Medium to lighter body. Moderate carbonation. Thought it would be a little creamier by the appearance of the head.

D: Decent drinkability. Has a slight crispness to it. Never had a Schwazbeir, so its hard to compare it to anything really. It is different than a porter or stout, thats for sure.

Photo of CBlack85
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a fall seasonal mixed 12 pack. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours dark brown (nearly black) with lots of ruby and orange highlights when held up to the light. About three fingers worth of tan head with good retention, leaves moderate to light lacing. Not bad but it looks a little light for the style

The aroma is of roasted malts and coffee. There are also an earthy quality. Hints of dark semi sweet chocolate, and dark fruits give this beer a nice moderately sweet nose. Just the faintest hint of floral hops peeks through the big malty aroma. Really nice

Lots of roasted and chocolate malts. Coffee and caramel flavors compliment the big malty flavors very well. Very smooth and creamy, which gives a nice contrast to the roasted malts and coffee flavors. A little sweeter than some Schwarzbiers that I have had before, but not overpoweringly sweet, this beer has a nice balance of flavors, with no one of them being huge or overdone. The hop presence is noticable but not one of the key flavors in the beer; just a slight floral presence resting in the background. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated with an almost silky feeling on the tongue. Easy to drink.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams making an interesting variety (dark lager) not offered very often. It should be a fairly well-priced drinkable lager either way.

Black, as indicated in the name of the beer, with a lacking head formation, but slightly lacy hold onto the insides of the glass. The light doesn't reveal much change in opacity, but does offer a lighter amber brown hue, very rich.

I wanted to serve this beer cold, as I typically will do for the lager style in general. However, there isn't too much to smell when a beer is this cold. The aromatics are lacking, not necessarily something I would refuse to drink, but it's going to lose some points.
(given time...) Even with the beer warming up I'm not getting much out of it so I'm going to give it a score to reflect this lacking element.

Smooth dark beer and I would prefer to have it refreshingly cold. There isn't much more i'm trying to push from this style. A good swish allows me to experience some essential darkness which the beer is trying to bring, but it just doesn't have passion or funk like i'm used to. That being said, the beer is still slightly above average and is still preferred over many.

Rich and bold. Cold with waning carbonation. I would not want to let this beer sit out because it would likely be a dead syrup before it even got up to 50 degrees.

The beer went down pretty easily and quickly and I wouldn't mind having another. Typically I drink a stronger beer (2x-3x the ABV), but sometimes I can't make as much of a commitment to sucking down ethanol. The Harvest collection wasn't too bad, but I still see myself spending the money differently in the future.

Photo of alleykatking
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a cola brown color. When held to the light there are tons of red highlights. One finger tna head shows poor retention and dies rather quickly. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice light roasted malts combine with a caramel malt. There is a light hopping in the backing of this that shows some light earthy aroma. Plain and simple yet a little muted which I can't complain about but wish showed a little more.

T- Sweet caramel malts clash with light chocolate notes before roasted malts take over it all. A light bitter hop bite on the back of this and you have what is a wonderful tasting beer. I was quite surprised at this one. Simple to the point and very good.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light roasted malts are left on the palate with light alcohol in the aftertaste. Overall flavor is well balanced and a crisp and clean tasteas well. Light drying on the palate after each sip.

D- This is a very drinkable beer. The ABV is well hidden overall. The only downfall is that the aroma is a little muted. Overall a good drinking beer by Sam Adams.

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,519 ratings.