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

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,475 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,475
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 76 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,475 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stoudt
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being impressed with the other offerings I've tried by Sam Adams, I just had to try this.
A-As expected, black unless back-lit, then becomes a deep reddish-brown, almost as a cedar knot.
S-Surprisingly mild for the colour. Was expecting very forward roasts in there, instead mostly of caramel and mild mocha.
T-Again, mild for this dark of a beer. Very good though, very subtle but still complex. Doesn't jolt the taste buds, gives you time to ponder and appreciate.
M-For me, just wonderful, beautiful balance of carbonation and flavour.
D-Light enough to enjoy a few. Just boozy enough to relax and enjoy.

stoudt, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of revolt914
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say Samuel Adams never fails to deliver with me and it's beers. All Samuel Adams have given me good experience.

A: Dark in color with brown around the edge of the glass. Nice off white head and a little lacing around the top of my glass.

S: I have to put this down to a little above average cause when you're drinking other dark lagers like Chatoe Rogue First Growth, Sprecher Black Bavarian, and even Shiner's Bohemian Black you get very strong and noticeable smell... this I feel lacked in over all excitement.

T: Tasted very good with a decent smoker finish that I knew i would enjoy... not my go to with the schwarzbier style but a close second.

M: Fairly creamy, which wasn't bad but was unexpected. I find myself enjoying a thinner beer in this category but the thickness of this was very welcome in comparison.

D: Very drinkable as are most Samuel Adams beers. I think they are going for the buy a 6 pack or case and sit down and enjoy it finish to their beers. I really love to have these at relatively normal parties that way not to many people ask for one of your beers but the ones that do, you know will enjoy it.

revolt914, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Nerudamann
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - black (obviously) in color until held up to the light, where it gets a slight shade of brown. About and inch of head. Carbonation seems good.

Smell - Somewhat hoppy in character, with a slight caramel flavor.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Definitely herbal or earthy in taste, but without the bitterness, which is only slightly felt as it finishes. I wasn't able to smell it, but I can taste a hint of the chocolate malts that the label claims. The Nobel hops can also be noticed, mostly in that the hoppiness is "different" than with most American beers. Very well-balanced in texture, but slightly more toward the watery side. Seems like a good historical or definitive example.

Drinkability - good brew and easy to drink and appreciate. Complex enough to enjoy, good tasting, and more toward the lighter side...less filling.

Nerudamann, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Blanco
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well it's not black but it's pretty close. dark chocolate brown with a light tan head. It's pretty good looking poured in the recommended flute (well not quite a flute, but a tall skinny ommegang glass). It's practically scentless. Taste is definitely more lager-esque than I expected. There really isn't any roasty, toastiness from the malts in this one. It's a bit on the sweet side. Light bodied. pretty drinkable actually, but its so ambiguous I don't know what to think. Not sure if the taste/look mismatch is in my head or if I've been drinking too many stouts but I can't get around the fact this one doesn't look like it tastes. It certainly isn't bad, so I can't fault it for that.

Blanco, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep brown colour with a small tan head.

Caramelly, earthy, chocolate and a hint of coffee. Good.

A tasty, earthy malt flavour with a nice bitterness and spicy, citrussy hop character. Nice.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

A great beer. Enough going on to keep people interested and good flavour.

dgilks, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with dark red highlights, small creamy off-white head turns to swirly cap and thick ring, leaves some lacing.

Dark chocolate, roasted malt and some hops in the scent, earthy notes. Faint but pleasant.

In order of strength I'd say - chocolate, roasted malt, caramel. Citrus and some grassy notes from the hops in the finish also appear more as the beer goes on. Good balance between the hops and malt flavors, they compliment each other well.

Carbonation is a bit on the high side but the mouthfeel is good. Drinks much like a porter to me.

A great choice if you want stout or porter flavors without a heavy-feeling beer. At only 4.9% this is light, but not too light, with nice flavors. It would be nice to be able to session a beer like this too. Probably my favorite Sam Adams.

Chico1985, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of StoutHunter
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a mixed 12 pack, I feel the need for something darker so lets crack this brew. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This beer pours black but when held up to the light the edges are a ruby brown, had a fingers worth of off white head that was gone pretty quickly.

S- Roasted caramel malts dominate the nose, sweet and chocolaty.

T- Roasted malts dominate the taste almost the same way it would in a porter. Hints of chocolate and coffee with some slightly bitter hops in the end that helps tie everything together.

M- Medium bodied, a little under carbonated but it works with the creaminess.

D- This beer is nice and drinkable but i wouldn't have more then 3 before i switched to something lighter.

Overall I rarely find myself impressed with Samuel Adams brews but this one is right up there with latitude 48 as my favorite beers from them. A well balanced Schwarzbier.

StoutHunter, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
1.4/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a black color with a tan head, nice retention, no real lacing. Smells of decent malts and some hops. Tastes really smooth with some nice tasty malts -- a bit boozy (may have a bad batch). Mouthfeel medium, but pretty nice. Overall a fairly bad beer.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice take on the Schwarzbier style with enough dark malt to add some real complexity to the finish. I found it pretty drinkable though I was glad it was part of a mixed case as the sweetness gets to stick to your palate. Sam Adams usually does a good job of creating solid offerings

canucklehead, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a sampler pack, served in a perfect pint glass

A - thin 1/4" of loose creamy foam, tan colored, settles by the time i sit down to a thin film and ring. the beer is *very* dark amber in color.

S - dark roasted malts with a hint of nutty sweetness, some medium roasted coffee lightly creamed. grassy and earthy hop finish.

T - begins with a flash of nutty sweetness, instantly turning towards bitter and slightly charred malts, vanilla, burnt coffee bitterness. finishes with some more vanilla-like sweetness and earthy hops.

M - thin bodied with sharp and slightly overdone carbonation. finishes in a flash, with lingering roasty and earthy bitterness.

D - not a bad beer, just missing a little control and refinement. this style continues to blow my mind with its bold flavors and light body. a good welcome change-up in the SA mixers.

Stigs, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of OtisStreetBrew
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer puts a smile on my face. There is something special about the feel of a clean, smooth lager playing against a roasty background, and Sam Adams gets it right with this one.

Appearance is as advertised: black.

Smell those Hallertau hops and Bavarian yeast.

Clean lager up front, roasted notes, even some coffee flavors, finish and linger.

Feels nice and smooth.

Drinkability is exceptional. It is not often I find a beer I want to quaff massive quantities of... Sweet!

OtisStreetBrew, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Cellar temperature bottle is poured into a fluted glass. This is a dark brown beer with pretty ruby notes where the sunlight hits it. The head is tan foam that slowly slides down the sides of the glass as I swirl it about. There appears to be a good amount of rising carbonation.

A warm roasted malt aroma greets my nose as I inhale. There is a bit of a candy sweetness to the smell; it reminds me of toffee.

Just like the label on the neck of the bottle suggests, I can taste dark roasted malts and, to a lesser extent, chocolate malts. A mild bitterness appears as I swallow and lingers briefly. Lasting longer is a bit of malty sweetness and some alcohol. It is a respectable flavor profile for this German-inspired beer.

The Black Lager has a medium body and average carbonation. It is a little sticky and leaves a good amount of coating behind.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. I don't think I'd want more than these 12 ounces, as the stickiness and coating may begin to bother me. I think I'll need a glass of water after consuming this beer. I am glad that there is a second bottle in the mix pack, because I will want to revisit this beer soon. It has also inspired me to seek out more beers of this style, as I think there is a lot of potential for some great black lagers.

ToasterChef, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of acurtis
2.4/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into River Horse pint glass for lunch. Poured a dark redish brown color with small head. To me it has a strong barley smell and taste. I love dark beers but this one doesn't do it for me. I can drink it but I choose not to. Maybe I need a little more black lager experience.

acurtis, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is quite possibly my favorite in the Samuel Adams canon, a very solid dark brew that escapes the traditional "Sam Adams flavor" and strives for something more complex.

The beer pours a dark black with a decent head retention. The smells don't come through too strongly, but what does come through is a cream and coffee aroma courtesy of some strong maltiness.

The beer comes on a little light on the front end but grows as you hold on to it. The coffee and chocolate flavors hit the back of the palate, however the carbonation keeps it from getting to heavy. The beer is well balanced and unique to the Sam Adams family.

ManuelHerrera, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Black Lager poured a very dark amber color, with very little head. It smells rich, with hints of walnut, or hazelnut. The taste is strong, choclate flavors, pretty malty as well. Strong flavor and good carbination as well. A bit harder to drink because of the heavy flavors. Overall a really good beer, one of my favorite sam adams.

vette2006c5r, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of righthereisay
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Fall sample pack.

Black appearance, as predicted by the name.

The smell is nice, maybe some sugar/licorice.

It wasn't bitter at all, had a really nice full body. My only complaint was it really wasn't very flavorful. The 1st sip was better than the remaining sips.

I guess my only concern is that something seems to be missing in this beer. Almost like they stopped on the flavor because of the mouthfeel and drinkability, which is very good.

righthereisay, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured very dark clear amber (near black) in color with a creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving some lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark roasted malts and nuts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, coffee, nuts and roasted malts. There are some hops in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin on the palate. It is rather smooth and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: It's not very difficult to finish this beer very quickly; the low alcohol content makes this quite sessionable.

metter98, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of NODAK
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma here is of some roasted chocolate malt. Somewhat bitter, but not too overwhelming either.

Taste follows the aroma pretty well. The body of the beer is of a smooth, roasted chocolate malt character. It's somewhat restrained so as not to be astringent (like a stout). Mouthfeel is pretty thin. Finish has a touch of sweetness, likely from the caramel malt that the label advertises, to go with the roasted malts to finish it off.

This is a very smooth beer. I like the flavors it presents, and that it does so in a restrained, drinkable way. I believe this is a very good representation of style.

NODAK, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of JMad
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle to a pint glass...
Pours a nice black color with a red hue, the cream colored head went quickly, nice lacing.
Smells of sweet roasted malt.
Tastes of Roasty coco, hint of caramel, and a very light bitterness.
Light-medium body with a nice dry finish.
Pretty solid beer, nice flavor.

JMad, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of ultrastiledivita
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

first review!
here goes nothing...

bottle poured into a pint glass, got it in the fall variety pack

A: Deep dark brown almost black beer that has the look of a stout minimal head that kinda dissapered once i was finished pouring it

S: coffee, dark chocolate

T: coffee, toasted malts, the beer is a little bitter and leaves a lingering taste of dark chocolate although it doesnt really linger around for all that long

M: this was what surprised me most, it was surprisingly clean for a dark beer something im not very used to, slightly chewy towards the end as well

D: awesome i could see myself drinking two or three of these in one setting

good brew!

ultrastiledivita, Sep 22, 2010
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.

Tone, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

jsanford, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

bigfnjoe, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of thatguy3579
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

thatguy3579, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of droomyster
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

droomyster, Sep 15, 2010
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,475 ratings.