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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.

2,503 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,503
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 91 | 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: 2,503 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jazer
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Sam yet. Looks can be decieving, but not with this lager. The darkness would scare off most lite beer drinkers, but this dark one is surprising flavorful. Almost like a piece of dark chocolate in appearance and almost as flavorful. The only thing holding it back is the lack of aroma givin off. I love this beer and it is...

HIGHLY recommended. Really.

jazer, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of PintOHops
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glass - Official Sam Adams Glass

A - Dark brown/mahogany color, like a cola soda basically. It produced a 1-2 finger head that dissipated rather fast and left a thin ring atop my beer but not lacing.

S - Soft roasted malt character with muted caramel and nutty notes. Very soft nose here with a bit of brown sugar.

T - I get allot more roasted flavors than the aroma led on. Upfront it's got allot of sweet brown sugary like flavor with nutty notes quickly following. A soft porter like roasted character is there middle to end, and it finishes just a touch dry with very mild bitterness.

M - Moderately crisp with a semi creamy feel and around a medium body but on the lite side.

D - Very drinkable, I remember having this one from Sam Adams awhile ago and it still doesn't fail me, one of the best Sam offerings to me. I could quaff a sixer of this one for sure and I'd definitely buy this one again, great price for a good brew. Cheers!

PintOHops, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of JosiahS
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: Samuel Adams Signature Glass

a: Very dark brown body, a little red on the sides. 1-finger tan head, kinda fizzy but looks like it will stick around for a little.

s: Typical lager smell but with light cocoa and syrupy caramel sweetness. Faint plumb.

t: This is cocoa and caramel added to what would normally be a regular lager. It has a nice rounded flavor profile. I also get roasted / slightly burnt barley with cashews on the back-end.

m: About medium in body, medium carbonation as well.

d: Nice, drinkable black lager. 2-3 would be my max.

JosiahS, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of ramseye4
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had from a 12 oz bottle poured into a glass.

Very dark appearance, almost black, minimal head that disappeared after a short time.

Smells of roasted malts, with a slight smoked smell to it

Tastes of roasted malts, with a definite hint of chocolate at the end, with a light smokey aftertaste. Contains a fair amount of carbonation.

Pretty heavy mouthfeel, with the carbonation rolling across the tongue.

Definitely heavy in the drinkability apartment, I could sip on a few of these but I wouldn't want to have an extended session with it.

Overall a pretty tasty dark lager, definitely sits heavy in the stomach, but the taste is worth it.

ramseye4, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of chumba526
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The carbonation is quite low and it helps create smoothness to the beer.

This is a rich yet smooth beer. It's not that typical of a porter but it is still a very nice beer.

Appears almost black with a tan head that dissipates quite quickly.

Smells slightly smoky , chocolaty, nutty and a bit yeasty: like cloves.

Tastes of roasted nuts, and creamy mildly bitter chocolate. There is a noticeable but mild lager yeasty taste present. The beer has a very nice balance to it. The sweetness is matched with a mild smoky and a mild bitter flavor.

The one flaw I see with this beer is that is too carbonated. The high carbonation kills the creamy potential for this beer.

This is fairly drinkable I could drink a few of these though the smokiness of the beer might limit how many I would want to drink.

chumba526, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of rcwhiteky
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A-black as the name would suggest with a fair amount of creamy white head.
S-Roasted malt with hops playing hide and seek.
T-Mocha Coffee with sugar and spice taste is more complex then the smell

M-Just the right amount of bubbles but kinda thin for the style

D could down three or four in quick order

rcwhiteky, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of BevMoAndrew
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass right out of the fridge

The Sam Adam's Black Lager pours a dark molasses-like brown in the glass with a small off-white froth that dissipates quickly. On the nose are aromas of BBQ smoke, ground coffee beans, dark chocolate, & roasted hazelnuts that follow through on the palate. The beer is light bodied, crisp, smooth, & full of flavor with a pretty aggressive carbonation (kind of like Coke). The lingering flavors on the lasting finish leaves me with an overall good impression. This beer is very sessionable & I could easily see myself grabbing a sixer of this for my next BBQ. Even though I wish the carbonation was less aggressive, the head retained a little longer, & the mouthfeel was creamier, I sill Recommend this beer.

BevMoAndrew, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of Tballz420
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black colored brew, the lower half shines amber when held to the light. Small khaki colored head, pretty good lacing. Chocalte lagered malt scent. Pretty big chocolate malt taste, a fair amount of roast. Almost creamy mouth but also fairly wet. Not a bad beer overall.

Tballz420, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice blackish brown color with a smaller head that doesn't really stick very well.
S: Nice notes of coffee and sweet caramel with the very smokey dark malt.
T: Very strong crisp malt flavor with some notes of coffee.
D/M: Very clean and not too heavy. Not overly carbonated. Very good balanced flavor.

pzrhsau, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of uhhhaaron
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed 02-19-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass.

appearance: pours an almost black color with ruby tones on the edges. managed to get about an 1/8 inch head.. minimal lacing.

smell: roasted malts, mild nutty aroma & slight hop presence.

taste: roasted malts & hints of caramel & cocoa. has a bit of a spicy note to it & a clean/grassy but very light hop note.

mouthfeel: light bodied with light carbonation.

drinkability: easy drinker and good session beer. but i'd choose others over this.

uhhhaaron, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of sleazo
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a very dark brown, almost black colour with a tight tan head which dissipates quickly. Nice look to it but poor head retention.

S_Toasted grains, chocolate. Rather nice aroma.

T_Straight forward with the toasted to burnt grains, chocolate maltiness and a finish that is slightly spicy. There is a slight metallic taste here which prevents it from being better but it really does not distract too much.

M_Medium body with an effervescent carbonation. Good for the style.

D_One of Sam Adams better beers. This is an easy drinker yet with a full flavour. A very good American Swartzbier

sleazo, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of adamette
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I bought as a single from World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio last week for $1.50 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. "Enjoy Before" May 2010 notched on the left side of the label so this one is past its prime according to that, but only by a few months.

A Nice light brown creamy head over a dark molasses body that lets some light through in front of direct light but it is pretty dark indeed. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass upon repeated sips. I am seriously impressed with the look of this beer. 4.5

S Nice chocolately and nutty aromas arise from the top of the beer in a pleasant, inviting set of smells. This style is quickly becoming one of my favorite. 4.0

T Nice nutty, slightly chocolate lager taste of a well made Schwarzbier. 4.0

M More smooth than the handful of other schwarzbiers that I have tasted and rated and I really like that. It has a feel that reminds me very much of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale (a classic beer). 4.0

D I finished this one in about 5 minutes and wished that I had more. To me, that makes the drinkability at least good. The very manageable ABV makes it even better than good. 4.5

Notes: I sincerely like this offering in the "Brewmasters Collection" from Sam Adams. Bravo!

adamette, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of rarbring
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is very dark brown, almost black, a rather light beige head, leaving some lacing.

The smell is rather faint, sweet, some burnt notes, cocoa beans.

The taste is rather sweet, dried raisins and brown sugar, toast and coffee beans.

Low carbonation, smooth and nice, a bit dry.

A nice dark lager, sweet but not too. easy to drink.

rarbring, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears as black as night, no light comes through even when held up to the sun; it has a caramel head, frothing with goodness.
Smells of sweet barley, with some slight fruity esthers coming through.
Taste seems bland at first as there is a slight sweet/bitter contrast, but once this gives way the flavors pop in your mouth - caramel, cantalope, still accompanied by bitter & sour characteristics, making it complex and full.
The mouthfeel is nice - balanced and lingering with subtleties.
A very drinkable beer that grows on you.

Chickenhawk9932, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of jbertsch
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black Lager used to be my go-to brew. I've since moved onto other things as my palate has expanded and grown, but I revisited it after not having it for some time.

Poured into a pint glass it gave me a 1-finger head. The brew is virtually black to the eye. Good lacing. It smells of sweet molasses on top of significant malt, with maybe a little smoke and burnt grain.

Tastes colonial. There's a little taste of history in the flavor which is characterstic of the style anyway. Caramel malts and molasses dominate the taste with hints of deep-roasted, smoky grains. Not too much hops. Overall, the flavors are muted, but layered decently.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet light and tad thin. Drinkability is good.

It's a quenching dark brew, which is a juxtaposition I love. I actually remember this brew being a little bigger and not as watery. But that's not necessarily bad because I believe most schwarzbiers are usually on the thin side typically have lower ABV. Regardless - still a good fall-back on a style I love.

jbertsch, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours quite nicely for a tan, chocolate milk colored head. The body is black in color, but shows off some brownish red hues when held up to the light.

In the aroma there is a strong hint of smoke, with a hint of licorice and a slight metallic character.

This is a creamy and smooth treat. The beer tastes of smoke, chocolate, with an herbal finish. This is a great Schwarzbier!

TheSarge, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of RankRefugee88
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into weissbier glass.

A - Almost pitched black body, whitish-tan head. Very dark for a lager, probably an appearance very similar to the Sam Winter Lager.

S - Nothing special, it's a lager. Hints of roasted coffee and malts but not quite the aroma of a stout or porter.

T - Good. Hops are there, but backed up with a sweet coffee taste and a tad of chocolate bringing it all together.

M - Surprisingly light mouthfeel, especially for such a dark beer. Having said that, a quintessential mouthfeel any lager should have, light and slightly bubbly.

D - Very good drinkability. Smooth, light and slightly creamy going down the throat. For such a dark beer, it's pretty easy to down a few without feeling full or bloated.

I liked this one a lot, I was looking all over for it, and was finally able to find it through a friend. Very satisfying for a lager, and like I said before, it's a beer that I would have no problem drinking all night.

RankRefugee88, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of merddyn2002
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent smooth dark lager. I've had 5 or so 6-packs of this since I discovered it in the Brewmaster collection. It's become a favorite treat amongst friends.

Balanced Sweetness, low bitter (especially for a dark) and great texture. It runs a little flat so I'd like to see a bit more carbonation but overall one of my favorite dark beers.

merddyn2002, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of thasnazzle
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Opaque dark brown with no head to speak of.

S - Dominated by sweet dark fruit notes with a tiny hint of roast coffee and chocolate. Not too much going on here.

T - A hint of the dark fruit notes up front, followed by some roasted coffee and malts and just a tiny hint of chocolate in the back. Finishes with a bit of coffee/hop bitterness, but not a terribly large amount. Overall the flavors are good, but a little light.

M - A smidgen too thin, but a good amount of carbonation saves the mouthfeel.

D - Overall a decent beer. Pretty drinkable for the style. Comes across as a lighter, less complex version of a good stout. After a few of these the toasted aftertaste might be a bit tough on my palate, though.

Another solid offering from BBC that I'm glad to have as part of a sampler.

thasnazzle, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Swill5786
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle with freshness notched at October.

A - Black with brownish-red highlights. One finger head fades relatively quickly to a halo around the top.

S - Hops are a blend of fruity and floral. Expecting more maltiness to come through in this dark brew, but clear evidence this is no stout. Perhaps the faintest hint of caramel... And with more warming: here comes the maltiness. More caramelly with a whiff of chocolate and breadiness.

T - Pleasing mild malt sweetness, with chocolate at the outset. Hops are equally mild at the back. A coffee effect around the edges - like a burnt, singed bitterness... but not overwhelming.

M - Light and lingering. Very easy on the palate. Crisp with dry finish.

D - High. Could drink several but will enjoy the one...

Swill5786, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a rather doughy quality lager with a nice malt quality that give it a bit of body and a bit of sweet foamy lace. coca cola without a light carbonation that is a sharp on the tongue. smell of chocolate and toastiness. but mild to the scent of grass. a good drink for the summer if you're looking for something malty. better than most american black beers.

rtepiak, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.55/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Deep black with a touch of amber color. Good sized fluffy head, leaves a bit of lace on the glass. I'm intrigued.

S: Wonderful scent of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and hints of nuts.

T: Excellent distinctive flavors of toffee and caramel as well as chocolate. Very easy to taste the roasted malt.

M: Smooth and creamy. Pretty light bodied, with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes very smooth.

D: Very good drinkability. This isn't the kind of beer that's meant to be thrown back, but it will definitely leave you wanting another.

HockeytownBrew, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams pint at 51 degrees. I had a dark maroon, almost like a pinot noir, and brown translucence. It tasted best at temps in the high 40's to low 50's.

The aroma reminded me of roasted almonds or walnuts.

The taste had a smoky quality at times along with a brown sugar sweetness. There was a slight bitterness. Overall I thought it had a rusty quality, and I mean that in a good way.

It was very drinkable and had a smooth m/f.

Overall it seemed a bit average. It was okay and I could easily drink this all night, but there was nothing that would keep me going back again and again - I will be moving on.

LacquerHead, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of DerekP
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My recent pseudo-complaint about Sam Adams pricing in southwestern PA will not stop me from buying a single now and again. I've been closing in on this brew for a while now: Black Lager (a Schwarzbier).

An almost pitch black body pours into my nonic pint glass. In the light, there are traces of dark copper lying at the bottom. In the nose there are plenty of roasted coffee & dark chocolate notes. Caramel; brown sugar. For fellow homebrewers, I'm also smelling a freshly opened can of malt extract.

The taste is dark roasted, but matched up with an agreeable hops presence. The hops complement the roasted character, while adding in an extra punch, winning the challenge in the end. Brown sugar & caramel pulling through too, in the manner of an American Brown Ale.

As it warms up, the presence of alcohol starts to show itself. Embrace it. This is a tasty brew. Is it too much to ask for this one to be available on tap in the winter around here?

DerekP, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of karait95
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark reddish color, against light you can see very little going through, two finger head that dissipates a little fast with a nice dark beige color.

S: Very toasted aroma with some sweet aroma.

T: Toasted taste, a good toasted combination with a very faint sweetness there is something else natural flavor not identify.

M: Full of flavor, but not to complex.

D: Nice at the beginning but rather fast becomes bitter, with a medium lasting and bitter ending.

karait95, Jul 25, 2010
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,503 ratings.