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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.

2,485 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,485
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 83 | 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: 2,485 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Lauthaha
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug. Part of a sampler pack.

Appearance: Definitely black, with a frothy tan head that (even after receding) forms a nice protective layer betwixt the air and the beer. Lots of lacing going on, beer is dark even when held against the light. Nice!

Smell: Sweet. Lightly toasted caramel malt nose with perhaps just a touch of anise or licorice thrown in for good measure. Don't know why, but this is really doing it for me right now.

Taste: Rich, heavy on the malt, and the licorice is also pretty noticeable. Not a whole lot of bitter hop activity going on here until the very end of the sip. Taking the time to appreciate the taste is well worth it on this one. Finishes just a touch dry, with some herbal aftertaste that is neither unpleasant nor unwelcome.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, very warming. Carbonation is balanced with the flavor well. Doesn't rinse clean, but luckily, the aftertaste is good.

Drinkability: A bit heavy to do more than one or two at a time. Still better than average, though.

Surprisingly tasty!

Lauthaha, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of gkunkle
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color. When held to light I get some nice reddish hues. Head is off-white and pretty tall. Retention is good. Smell reminds me of shiner bock, it is roasty and caramel-ey. Taste is of chocolate, slight roasty flavor. No major hop presence. Body is a little on the thin side, with appropriate carbonation. I love that this beer has a nice low ABV and a decent flavor. It wound make an okay session beer.

gkunkle, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pokal.

Appearance is a dark, translucent reddish brown that lets only bits of light through. Quite a few lines of bubbles trailing up to the top can be seen. There is a dusky quarter inch-thick head that recedes slowly, leaving a lot of sticky, stringy lacing. Definitely lives up to its moniker. Smell is full of malts with subdued notes of chocolate and sweetness. Some grains and just a slight hint of hops are also detectable.

Malts up front that transition into a bready smoothness, with a definite smoky quality that is both very distinct, but well-balanced with the rest of the beer. There's some fruitiness as well, hints of berries and dates. Hops are just barely there to provide a light touch of bitterness towards the end that doesn't really linger at all. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but very smooth and easy. Just the right amount of carbonation as well.

Before I knew it, my glass was down to nothing. This is quite the drinkable brew. Definitely a pleasant experience for my first Schwarzbier. Different, distinct and wholly pleasing, the brewers at Samuel Adams continue to impress and do the American beer industry proud.

r0nyn, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of BigIrishman
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/ruby with amberish highlights and an off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell: Smokey peat with a black over roasted coffee note and some earthy herbal hop notes.

Taste: The big smokey flavor gets rounded out by a nice earthy hop flavor, caramel that burnt a little too much and super dark black coffee (Like a double brewed over roasted sumatran coffee). Not overwhelming but powerfully flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and viscous with a palate drying finish.

Drinkability: Big, flavorful, perfect with smoked meat. This is a great alternative to those weary of going with a Rauch or Smoked beer. This also works as a great marinating beer as well.

BigIrishman, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle from the Harvest Pack.

Served cool into a pint glass.

Black lager is actually a very dark brown with light easily passing through the edges. The head is thin, white, and settles quickly.

Aroma is much like porter. It's lightly roasty like coffee, a little sweet like a chocolate bar.

Flavor is more smokey than I expected. It's, again, similar to a porter but the smoke or peat-like quality adds to it. Nicely balanced with good sweet to bitter ratio.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Alcohol is low as well.

Overall it's pretty good but I'm not really a fan of the style. Still a good version compared to the few that I've had. The smoke is light enough that I can enjoy the beer.

GilGarp, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of BeerPhan86
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the best beers by Sam Adams, in my opinion.

A - Very dark brownish black but not completely opaque with a half finger light brown head that quickly dissipates. Sticky lacing, though.

S - Aroma contains aspects of smoke, chocolate, and nuts. A hint of grassy hops as well.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and toasted malts. Mildly smoky and spicy. Nice grassy hop finish. Very well balanced and delicious, perfect fall or winter flavors.

M - Surprisingly light for the color and taste with minimal carbonation. Light carbonation works well with this style.

D - I would be wary of sessioning this one as it is so dark but it is very easy to drink.

Overall, a very well balanced and tasty dark beer. Well done.

BeerPhan86, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-black, slight brown tint, very thin white head, very pretty looking

S-smells like burnt barley and chocolate, its a strong and comforting smell...a real joy

T-the taste doesn't hit with as much punch as the smell, but it is still very good. the taste matches the smell, burnt barley and chocolate, however there is too much of a watery feel to it, it'd be great if they were able to fill that gap in with the flavor. There's a good chocolate after taste to it though.

M-medium to low carbonation, very creamy, feels nice, except once again it is a bit watery

D-for some reason, although this beer initially tastes good, it is not very drinkable. The main complaint i have is that the mouth feel seems to diminish. it seems to become undesirably creamy and increasingly bitter. the great aftertaste; however, does stay.

AdamBear, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: The black lager pours a dark brown to black color with a thin head.

S: Smells of chocolate malt with hints of chocolate and some sort of dairy or cream.

T: Tastes much like the smell. Strong chocolate flavor with a bit of coffee bitterness and a nice roastyness. Smooth finish with the a creamy flavor.

M: Medium with some moderate carbonation.

D: High.

I really like this one. It has a lot of dark roasty flavors with a light enough body to stay highly drinkable. I'll be going back to this one.

RunForYourBeer, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I agree with BuckeyeNation and have modified some of his comments and added my own in this review.

Dark walnut brown with red highlights. The golden beige crown is two fingers to start but did not last long. Fair lacing.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on.

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. This is the second time I've tried this beer. The first time being last autumn. I will say that either my palate has improved or this beer has. I like it so much more than then. A good 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. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

This may be the best offering from Boston Beer Company. Black Lager is very good and was a nice surprise. Good stuff.

chickenflea, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of rlshep
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Spicy hops. Light sulfur note.

Appearance: Thick fluffy beige head. Black with ruby highlights. Good lacing.

Flavor: Some fruitiness. Restrained malt character. Firm bitterness but not high. Not noticing hop flavor noted in aroma, maybe melding well. Mild chocolate in background. Caramely sweetness sticks around in aftertaste. Clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. There is a softness to the beer. Medium-low carbonation. Alcohol not noticeable.

Overall: Roast level lower than expected but not out of style. Well balanced, easy drinking. I would happily drink this anytime.

rlshep, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of Sleestak
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a Sam Adams fall mixed 12 pack. A tasty, roasted malty brew. It is a lager so it's not too heavy like some stouts and porters, seems just right to me. Sam Adams makes some quality beers and this one has always been a personal favorite of mine.

Sleestak, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of bundy462
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown to almost black. Huge tan frothy head that clings to the glass the whole way down.

S: Corn husk, grain, muted hop over a chocolate and caramel malt blend.

T: Muted hop throughout over a sweet dark malt. The base is very clean and smooth throughout. Sort of a smoky burnt finish.

M: Very thin and very smooth. Goes down really easy.

O: Sort of like a light porter or stout. Different, but very good.

bundy462, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a dark, cola-like brown with a finger of off-white head; average retention, some lacing.

nose is strongly lead by roasted malts, followed by lesser notes of chocolate and hops.

roasted malts is also at the forefront of the flavor. a bit of bitter chocolate and hops are evident behind the malt; approaching a stout but not quite. not a bad tasting beer at all.

mouthfeel is OK but there is significant room for improvement; light bodied and a bit - a bit - watery. but definitely drinkable. all in all, not a bad beer, definitely something you would consider sessioning.

perrymarcus, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of brewmudgeon
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sa black lager

a 4-4.5 cola dark, 2 finger head is pretty tight looking, pretty serious cap and lace remain.

s 3-3.5 a little bit of roast malt and naked alcohol, nothing else while the beer is cold. warming adds some strength to the malts' odiferousness.

t 3.5 this one seems a little rough around the edges compared to my favorite schwarzbier, you know the one in the flip top bottles, monscholtz or something. this one is more burnt and one-dimensional. but it's still pretty palatable. mostly unsweetened cocoa and a touch of coffee. the finish is crisp and clean.

m 4.5 as the looks indicate, this one excels in fine, quality carbonation. the body is light-med.

d 4 maybe it's not my favorite style, but the look and feel are first rate. that alone manages to make this one pretty drinkable.

brewmudgeon, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of mjurney
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish-red color, clear (see through). Some bubbles. Head looks thin, lacing looks pretty fair.

Malty, slight roasted, some hint of coffee and dark chocolate.

Malty up front, slight roasted, hint of burnt toast, touch of dark chocolate. Grassy hop is very mild, almost unnoticeable. I could detect some nutty in the middle. Smooth finish, yet kinda crisp with mild roasted coffee aftertaste. Body is medium-light. Carbonation feels pretty nice.


mjurney, Sep 05, 2010
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,485 ratings.