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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.

2,442 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,442
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 45
Gots: 60 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,442 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ocelot2500


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a tight tan head that leaves little lacing on the glass.

Smells of light roasted malts with a bit of earthy hops.

Tastes of roasted malts followed by a subtle hop bitterness. Notes of chocolate are prevalent with some caramel sweetness. Hops add a light spicy edge with a touch of earthy notes to add depth to the roasted notes.

Mouthfeel is medium light and has a smooth amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 01:29:23 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of sunrisesolara


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz emptied into a Pokal.

A: Pours espresso black with a strong 2-finger tan head which receeds slowly to a thick ring. Good lacing throughout.

S: Pure roasted malt fills the nose, just a hint of hops in there.

M : Creamy smooth, bordering on thick, body with good carbonation for the style.

T: Follows the smell, with dark chocolatey roasted malt coming to the fore, hoppy undertones provide some balance here but never dominate. Roasted aftertaste which lingers is quite nice here.

D: A very drinkable beer. Nothing complicated for the style, but that's not a detraction here. These go down nice and easy and I welcome them into my home.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 14:19:13 | More by sunrisesolara
Photo of speter

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a two-finger tan head that fades to lace. The beer has deep ruby highlights when held to the light.

S: Roasted malt, with very little of the base malt or of hops.

T: Clean roasty malt, coffee with a hint of dark chocolate. The finish is clean and the roast persists in the aftertaste. The hops provide a good backbone, but are neither particularly bitter nor assertive.

M: Medium with decent carbonation.

D: A very drinkable example of a schwarzbier, albeit more roasty than some, but well within accepted guidelines for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 01:00:10 | More by speter
Photo of kegger22


4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Black Lager is a dark brown schwarzbier with a half-inch beige head that faded to a thick collar.

The aroma is roasted coffee and some cocoa.

The taste was roasted malts but not particularly sweet. More nutty in flavor than chocolate.

The mouth feel was medium bodied after it warmed, and carbonation was ample.

Drinkability was very good as the flavor was enjoyable, the ABV low and the price reasonable.

One of the better Sam Adams offerings IMO.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2010 01:09:21 | More by kegger22
Photo of katan


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz into a Sam PP

A - Copper, just on the edge of solidly black. Head formation is strong, 2mm which breaks down to a film. Certainly opaque.

S - A malty nose, some pilsner malts, some caramel and roasted notes are present as well.

T - Starts off with the pilsner malt flavors, which is backed up by a roasted, perhaps caramel flavored malt backbone. Mid-stream is more bitter, but hopping is restrained. Finishes with a strong hit of pilsner malts. Roasted barley, dry and burnt, come through in the aftertaste.

M - Seems to be weakly bodied - the carbonation really has to buoy it. Seems watery. Finishes mostly clean, with a light roasted barley acidic bite and some carbonation edge.

D - Pretty drinkable beer. Flavors are pretty easy, almost like a pilsner (due to a load of pils malt I guess). ABV is manageable.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 04:06:51 | More by katan
Photo of jovy1097


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint.

Appearance: Pours coffee black with reddish tints around the edges. Not as dark as many stouts. Creamy, thick, caramel head that leaves extensive lacing around the glass and sticks around till the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Smells of toffee and caramel with malty layering. Has some slight nutty character.

Taste: Rich, creamy maltiness with toffee flavoring that morphs into more of a coffee flavor towards the end. Chocolate flavor comes out the more you drink. A delectable flavor that I want more of. Roasty without being burnt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and thick. Almost a velvety feel to it.

Drinkability: This is what I wish most dark beers tasted like. I love it! Give me more.

Comments: Looks very much like a dry stout but tastes nothing like them. A truly delightful brew that will be welcome in my fridge any time.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 04:49:27 | More by jovy1097
Photo of bsp77


4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into a tall glass.

Appearance: Exceedingly dark brown with thick, foamy cream-colored head.

Smell: Chocolate, roasted malts, caramel, and metallic and spicy hops.

Taste: Roasted malts with chocolate, light coffee and caramel, balanced by cherry and noble hops that contribute a nice layer of spiciness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, relatively light but creamy body, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Great example of a Schwarzbier, once again proving that Sam Adams can make really good German session lagers.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 23:10:45 | More by bsp77
Photo of ironchefchris


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

terrific beer. one of my favorite sam adams around. dark rich color matches the smell and taste. you really can't drink many of them though, definetely a beer for food and that's about it. it's heavy, malty, sweet, and a bit nutty. it's your typical dark beer...but does everything really well.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 04:16:38 | More by ironchefchris
Photo of Nezzy


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black with a toffee colored three fingers worth of head. Can tell it has a lot of carbonation.

Smell: Very sweet with heavy malts. It shares a smell to some root beers with the sweetness being on the forefront and little hops.

Taste: Surprisingly not what the smell lead on. Instead its heavier, roasted nuts, malts and a little bit of sweetness. It's nice and fuller with oats and chocolate coming through with a little bit of coffee. Reminds me of a cross between a porter and stout with more carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and pretty highly carbonated.

Drinkability: This brewery to me is often hit or miss and this is a definite hit. A really nice beer that while I couldn't drink as a session, I could have with a great meal.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 19:32:59 | More by Nezzy
Photo of acelin


3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting a slightly thinner beer - I could hardly tell that this was a lager. Only for the use of the usual lager hops did it lend any sort of lager taste.

Appearance was unsurprisingly black with brown tinges as it poured. Left a small cream colored head with no lacing.

This beer smelled somewhat like dark chocolate and Saaz hops ( not sure if they actually put Saaz hops in this beer).

Expecting a thicker taste after the smell and appearance, I was relieved to find that this brew was still light with plenty of taste. A pretty decent mouthfeel lends greatly to the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 02:00:21 | More by acelin
Photo of L337ish

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark brown with a reddish/brown tint. A nice fluffy off-white head that doesn't fade too quickly.

S: Nice roasted aroma accented with a nice hoppy bitterness, as well as a malty touch.

T: Nice dark, malty, bitter beer. The caramel taste is there but subtle. Overall a nice, and I want to say strong flavor.

M: A good texture. The carbonation is nicely in sync with the bitterness and other flavors.

D: Very drinkable. A smooth ride. The only part of drinking the beer I slightly disagreed with was the aftertaste, but enjoyed it anyway.

If you're a lager person, this is a great brew in my opinion. It's easy to drink and not too heavy. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 21:30:23 | More by L337ish
Photo of kiddynamite920


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown/black with some light peaking through. Nice fluffy head, just a bit off white. Some red highlights. Although it is dark, it appears to be a lighter beer.

S: Nice smokey/roasty aroma. A bit grainy. Nice hop bitterness. Some sweet malt aromas as well.

T: Light and refreshing, malts are bittered well by the hops creating a dark beer that is not overly malty. Some bitter chocolate and a small citrus tang. Very nice.

M: Great mouthfeel, nice and slick but light. Crisp, clean and good carbonation.

D: Highly drinkable winter beer. Low abv makes it great for a session on cold nights. Lightness and crispness don't weigh you down. Well crafted. I recall this being one of the beers that got me interested in craft brews.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 02:00:23 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of animalchin

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Provides a nice solid red/brown hue against the light - otherwise appearing a few shades lighter than pitch black. Smells very grainy and nothing else. Nice dark chocolate tones that is also rich with a lot of nutty notes as well - particular to hazelnut. Sits nice and easy upon consumption. Honestly nothing I would have again - I've had better experiences with black beers. This is still a solid work though.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2010 01:51:34 | More by animalchin
Photo of alkemy


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The pour is very dark brown, but it has lots of ruby highlights showing through when held to light. Smells of bready sweetness along with touches of coffee, chocolate, and brown sugar. Taste was a virtual match with the scent. There's also a slight touch of hops that is palatable in the finish...it'd be nice if this was more pronounced. Feel was a bit thin and watery.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 23:49:55 | More by alkemy
Photo of MIbeerfan


3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poors a rich dark dark brown into my Sam Adams Lager glass. This Light brown head which dissipates quickly. Smell is nutty and roasted and caramel. Good carbonation. Not as rich as I expected from the color. Relatively light on the tongue. Very light lacing on the glass which evaporates quickly. Flavors of caramel, roastedness, and good hops

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2010 02:05:45 | More by MIbeerfan
Photo of PorterLambic


3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a nice off-white head. Drops evenly & fairly quickly to a thick film leaving little lace.
Smell is roasted malt, vanilla, slight smoke and a hint of peat.
Taste is malt with a nice roasting, vanilla, caramel, smoke and a slight peat note.
A nice warming sensation, mostly in the throat, light effervescence with a smooth texture. A good brew, especially from a brewery this size. Really good with chocolate chip cookies.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 20:13:53 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 03:18:10 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of aubuc1


3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated best before April 2010 poured in to a tulip pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown/black with a steady tan head.

Smell is a roasty, malty, bready delight. Big smell for a session beer.

Taste is a somewhat light, roasty, easy drink. Simple, but good none the less.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but this beer really shines in the drinkability.

A very nice session beer that has a lot of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 23:48:25 | More by aubuc1
Photo of Mistofminn


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been meaning to try this one for a while, finally got a chance to knock this style off my list.

Initially, the pour seems to be pitch black, but when held into the light it reveals it's ruby hues. Small, off-white head is produced on an aggressive pour. The head displays decent retention, and leaves thin strings of lacing.

The nose has a light roastiness to it, with hints of chocolate and bready malts.

The taste is a lot more complex than the nose. There is a light burnt/smokey character that I didn't pick up in the nose, even some dark fruit sweetness. Biscuity malts and light grassy hops round it out.

Light in mouthfeel, with a crisp carbonation. Drinkability is decent.

Overall, not a bad beer. I assume that Schwarzbier isn't the mose complex style, but this seems like a good representation of others.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 22:43:01 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of scarfacecrowe


3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The lager was poured from a bottle into a clean goblet. Not really impressed with the appearance, the beer is black with absolutely no head. The aroma was average with hints of roasted grain. The beer had a nice rich and smooth flavor of roasted grains with a hint of coffee and hops. Drinkability is good, but this style of beer is meant to be savored not swilled. Pretty good beer but not as good as I had expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 20:25:35 | More by scarfacecrowe
Photo of Morey


3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours black in color although you can see some brown and dark red hues when you hold it up to the light. Holding it to a light also allows you to see that this dark brew has some good clarity as well. Lots of head retention going on here!

Smell is typical for the style with roasted and chocolate malts being the frontrunners. Also some molasses and dried fig in the aroma as well.

Taste- a roasty and smooth lager here. You get a little zing from the hop/carbonation combo. Slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a fairly light yet noticable carbonation.

I could drink a couple of these, but not a session beer for me despite the low alcohol.

Morey's Bottom Line: Not my favorite style, but this beer is well crafted for sure. Would gladly drink again, but probably wouldn't purchase with my own money.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 18:37:05 | More by Morey
Photo of tone77


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 17:28:00 | More by tone77
Photo of TheMightyGUEST


3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured pitch black with a smallish head. The head itself was a plasant caramel color with a little bit of a "sticky" appearance to it.

S: Lots of roasted malts to it, although I started to pick up on faint hints of coffee which came out in the taste (below)

T: The first sip tasted like coffee, alltogether pleasant. Further sips revealed a subtle sweetness to it, and a definite hit of the roasted malts on the palate. The bitterness came out more as I drank, but was not as pronounced on first taste.

M: I would place this on the fuller side. Carbonation wasn't heavy, but that feels almost like a favor in regards to this beer.

D: Definitely a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of drink. I enjoyed it, and if I were given the choice between a Bud and one of these, I'd pick this up in a heart beat. It was rich and flavorful, but heavier than I usually like my drinks. I think I'd only be able to take one in a sitting.

Serving type: bottle poured into a 1 pint mug.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 17:12:36 | More by TheMightyGUEST
Photo of brystmar


3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: poured a dark, near-black color into my pint glass. Dark reddish hues shone through around the edges of the glass. Medium head of above-average thickness with good retention. Light, beady lacing on my glass.

S: chocolate, caramel, roasted malts. Smells very dark, but quite inviting!

T: roasted (almost burnt) malt and dark caramel flavors throughout. Chocolate shines through towards the end and remains the prevalent flavor in the aftertaste. Sweetness adds further enjoyment to this brew.

M: a medium- to full-bodied brew; above average carbonation tingles the tongue. Room for improvement here.

D: I really enjoyed this beer, but it's a bit heavy (in a non-boozy way) for me to consider throwing back more than one of these.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 08:56:07 | More by brystmar
Photo of RichieS2


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my introduction to the schwarzbier style and it came as a pleasant surprise. 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: At first glance I believed that this was a porter or stout. It did not register to me that a lager could look like this; opaque with very little light coming through with some quickly dissipating cream frothiness on top.

Smell: Similar to appearance; upon sniffing it I thought it was a porter/stout. It had the characteristics of roasted malt that you would expect in a dark beer.

Taste: Here is where things got interesting, it had a similar taste to a porter but it was just that it was so lighter in taste and had some traces of sweetness that reminded me of vanilla. This ultimately is what won me over, a complex flavor but with the consistency of a much lighter beer.

Mouthfeel: Initially it was strange, a beer this dark with such flavor swirled around and went down very easily with consistency that approached water.

Drinkability: Good flavor and being light means this is an ideal brew for spring or summer when you still want to enjoy complex flavors but don't want a particularly heavy beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 23:06:05 | More by RichieS2
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,442 ratings.