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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

2,442 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(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 Dizzy
Dizzy

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a pint glass from 12 oz. bottle. Dark brown/black color, off white head. Aroma of roasted malts. Taste is roasted malt with some malty sweetness. Seems light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. I could easily drink another. This is a good beer, but if I'm looking for a Schwarzbier I think I would opt for Rahr's Ugly Pug if I have the choice.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2006 01:36:25 | More by Dizzy
Photo of mooseisloose
mooseisloose

Florida

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

Pours to a dark chocolate color. Nice clingy beige head. Roasted chocolate malt starting like a stout with a robust lager finish. Good carbonation and a slight lager characterictic bitter flavor, with a smooth non-bitter finish. A good hearty beer to enjoy with a hamburger or a nice thick steak. Yet another tasty selection from Samuel Adams who never dissappoints!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2006 20:33:09 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

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

Appearance – This was a dark brown in color as it should be with a deceivingly growing off-white foamy head.

Smell – The subtle roasted malt aroma is mixed with some lightly burnt yeast and a smidgen of raw sugar. The grain smell here is dark but nothing is pungent. There’s a smoothness to this bouquet that is quite nice.

Taste – The yeast comes out a bit more at the taste and the sweets step back a tad, but otherwise the driving force is the subtle roasted grain that I caught in the nose. The flavor forms a crescendo on the palate, flowing nicely from burnt toast to roasted malts smoothed by dark yeast then petering out with a mild sugariness.

Mouthfeel – This is between light and medium-bodied with a harmonious feel in the mouth and not at all bitter.

Drinkability – This was a tad off-style but is an excellent drinker and incredibly smooth. It’s an obscure style but Sam Adams gave us a nice rendition here.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2006 03:40:11 | More by RoyalT
Photo of scoobybrew
scoobybrew

Indiana

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this from the bottle into a pilsner flute. It has a dark color, very dark amber when held up to the light. The head is very nice and has very good retention. The aroma has a roasted malt character with almost no hops perceptible. Upon tasting, the toasted malt character is most notable, but it is well balanced. There is a slight hop finish. It has a medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is not a bad beer. I personally prefer a bit more hop presence in the flavor, but a decent offering. If I were more familiar with the schwarzbier style, I might rate this higher or lower.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 13:18:02 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of AaronHomoya
AaronHomoya

Indiana

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle from holiday sampler.

Appears a near black color with a nice tan head. Aroma is malty and roasty. The taste is a smooth balance of sweetness and roasted malts and a touch of coffee with just a nice hint of hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is good and this beer is very drinkable, especially at only 4.90% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 03:29:52 | More by AaronHomoya
Photo of HoustonTX
HoustonTX

Texas

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from mixed pack, poured into chimay goblet.

A - Deep black from afar, rich deep redish/brown in reality. Decent head, and trails of lacing line the goblet.

S - Malt/Wheat.

T&M - Taste is dark roasted malt, hint of coffee/caramel undertones, and Noble Bavarian hops balance the flavors out. Works well together. Medium bodied. Mouthfeel is rich, creamy, and light on the palate.

D - Crisp and smooth, you can drink these all night.

One of Sam's best brews, and definitely one I can recommend.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 02:18:42 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Sam Adams Mixed 12 pack. Appearance was a dark mahogany color with red highlights. The beer was clear, but almost opaque. Moderately tan head. The aroma was malt, bittersweet chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Taste was similar, with a balance of hop bitterness which was present mainly in the finish. The mouthfeel was medium in body, moderately carbonated, and somewhat drying. A very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 15:16:23 | More by
Photo of jasonjlewis
jasonjlewis

Texas

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

My first Schwarzbier. I was eager to try this. A black lager that was medium bodied and sweet, interesting.

Appearance: Nice dark color and medium head retention. Looks like a coke.

Smell: faint chocolate and caramel smell. Chocolate is the dominant smell to me.

Taste: Medium bodied, tastes like dark chocolate and caramel. Stimulates the sweet tastes buds and leaves a sort of bitter taste, but with chocolately feel (probably from the mixture of malts ( I know chocolate malts are not chocolate.. Not a lot of hops in this beer. But a note from Jim Koch said that was what he was going for.

Mouthfeel- Nice carbonation,. Goes down easy.

I would buy this again, I usually like a little more hops in my beer, but it's nice for the style and a good malt fix.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2006 20:52:52 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle of Black Lager served in a Three Philosophers goblet. The ale is near room temp.

Appearance: A deep brown to black color, the lager betrays ruby hints when held to light. There is a smallish head that rings the glass only.

Smell: There is a slight roasted aroma that fades a bit over the beer. It provides a hint of things to come.

Taste: The roasted malts give the beer a slight milk chocolate flavor. There are also some caramel notes to provide the beer with a flavor that is surprisingly soft on the palate. I am pleased with this.

Mouthfeel: This beer's malts provide a tinge of sweetness that finishes long and makes you want another sip.

Drinkability: A moderate to low abv and great taste? What's there not to like. I am thoroughly impressed by this.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 01:51:27 | More by akorsak
Photo of Liquids
Liquids

Connecticut

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

Black with a crown-amber hue that peeks through in the light. Yields a thin but very creamy almond colored head. Smells sweet and thick, with a distinctly german lager aroma. Tastes sweet and roasty but no harshness to speak of, mostly just dark sweetness. Very non-threatening, sweet and rich with an extremely slight alcohol aroma in the finish. Caramel malts are dominant but the darker malts add great complexity here. Very appealing. I'm new to this style. It's darker than a brown ale, and definately not as intense in the dark malts as a porter, and distinctly a lager for another twist. Mouthfeel is thich and full, but slightly more carbonated that desirable. Excellent drinkability and all around, this is Sam Adams? Impressive. I actually think I'd reccomend this beer more often than I'd drink it most likely. I doubt I'd buy a sixer of it too often, but I can see friends enjoying it and picking up a single for myself from time to time. with my only concern being that most people might at first be unaacustomed to the german hops and lager yeast characteristics when expecting a dark stout like beer by appearance. Overall, a great offering.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2006 13:21:33 | More by Liquids
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Beautiful black beer. Light brown laced head.

Very faint nose on this bottled version. maybe it's just the glass shape. Some roasty malt notes, a sugary sweet smell too.

Medium bodied, carbonation is very noticeable, very tame malty sweetness that leads into a somewhat "thin" finish. Very drinkable, as in you could really down several of these fast, but not extremely appetizing (you don't crave the next sip).

A very good evening session beer when you want that malty lager that will go down fast.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2006 04:32:50 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate and heavy malt was evident in the aroma immediately. Appearance was similar to a stout, dark in color with a foamy tan head. I didn’t note much of a spiciness in this, but the malt and chocolate/carmel were very evident and consistent throughout the glass. Tasty beer with a good finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2006 13:15:14 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of scottoale
scottoale

California

3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was one from the "Brewmaster Collection" six-pack and poured into the SA Black Lager slender goblet a dark mahogany-brown with a massive two-inch foamy tan head. I got a little aggro on the pour, thus the huge head...it started settling into a rocky, frothy 3/4 inch and left some good lace initially. Shortly after it died down to a ring and a little bubble lace after each taste.

At first my nose could sense much of anything coming from it, then as it warmed a bit, I could finally smell some dark roasty malt and a faint bit of sweetness of some chocolate malt as well. Not very impressive as compared to it's looks...

The flavor had a nice dark roasted thing going on and a sweet malt with some chocolate down to the finish. Medium body if that, the finish was rather watery, but clean. Mouthfeel kind of watery too.

Easy enough to drink with a mellow ABV, worth a try but wasn't impressed.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2006 10:03:27 | More by scottoale
Photo of palffyfan
palffyfan

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a thick dark color with some mild head. Does look red on the outside somewhat--very uniform throughout.

Smell - Amazingly chocolaty, some sweet notes, hints of malt, coffee.

Taste - Reminds me of the SA cream stout, yet distinct. The thick roasted coffee finish is the best part about this beer (not bitter at all finish). I would also have to agree with a lot of the other readers that there is no distinct taste to it--theres a concoction of many notes, yet none overwhelm you with the exception of the coffee aftertaste.

Drinkability - This is a pretty drinkable brew. Not something you can get drunk of because of the flavors, but this is definetely enjoyable amongst friends.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2006 00:25:31 | More by palffyfan
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a very dark color. Seemingly black, but with a slight ruby glow around the edges. The thin tan head (mostly of carbonation) dissipates quick quickly. I don't quite know why, but I really like how this looks.

Smell: Malts, toffee, roasted nuts, toasted grains, a bit of molasses... they all seem waft out of the glass. Though the smell isn't too powerful (or else it's my allergies).

Taste: The beer has a very rich and warm taste, but not as complex as you'd expect from the smell. Sure, there's malts, grains, and a bit of nuts, but they aren't very distinct and the other elements aren't really present. That said, it's still a really good flavor -- just lacking a bit in the complexity department. Just a pinch of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and quite smooth. A light tingle of carbonation is noticable as well. A rather warm feel as well.

Drinkability: A rather rich beer, but very drinkable! Somewhat heavy, but not overbearing by any means. Alcohol is a bit noticable, but under control if you drink it responsibly, enjoying it. Oh, and there's a solution to the lack of complexity in the flavor: just remember to smell it as you sip! Makes quite a difference.

I've never liked S.A.'s Boston Lager, but figured I'd give them another chance by giving this a try. Good thing I did, because I really enjoy this beer! Definitely not an everyday beer, since it's quite rich and a tad heavy, but it hardly has to be one of those "special occasion-only" beers. Give this a try if you haven't already.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2006 05:43:49 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of dmowen
dmowen

Iowa

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Seen this on the shelf beside a black lager from Germany and just had to try it. Damn, this stuff is good!! Pours a VERY dark almost
black color with a nice creamy head that stays around a while. the smell is of roasted caramel? (hell, I'm no expert on smells, I just know it smells good!) Mouth-feel is good; not too fizzy, and goes down real good with just a little lingering after-taste that some may find objectional. I my-self really enjoyed this brew and look forward to getting some more.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 16:23:53 | More by dmowen
Photo of whynot44
whynot44

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not actually black, but a very dark chestnut color with a very nice creamy tan head that sticks around for a while before retreating to just a skin of lace.

The aroma is interesting - dark roasted malt, caramel, apples and raisins.

The taste is slightly sweet with caramel and raisin notes and hints of chocolate and coffee.

Smooth, creamy and easy to drink. Slightly spicy finish with a bit of coffee aftertaste. Possibly a bit lighter in body and taste than some versions but this just seems to make it easier to drink. A good introduction to the style, I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 04:22:46 | More by whynot44
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams is by far the best American macro brewing company out there. They truly make some tasty brews indeed. While not as good as Stone, Great Lakes, or Bell’s, Sam Adams is certainly 100 times better than anything I have ever had brewed by Bud, Miller, Coors, Labatt, etc. This beer pours a dark, perhaps very slightly reddish, brown color with a tan head about a finger and a half thick, nice and foamy before shrinking a bit, but not by too much. It has very creamy looking head indeed as well as some nice lacing. Has some nice aromas of chocolate, caramel, malts, and hops as well a scent of darker fruits such as plums, grapes, and apples. A nice sweet taste dominated by roasty malts with characteristics of all the smells mentioned above. It has a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel with mild to moderate carbonation. To my knowledge this is the first black lager, or schwarzbier, that I have ever had and it was pretty good. Many things about this beer reminded me of a darker Belgian style ale or even a porter, only the characteristics of this beer were a bit more subtle and subdued as opposed to being robust, bold, and in your face as is the case with Belgian beers and some porters I have had the pleasure of drinking. This beer may also be just slightly, just slightly watery compared to the aforementioned Belgians and porters, as well as not as full bodied as most Belgian beers I have had. This beer is highly drinkable and goes down easy. Definitely worth a try to say the least.

Eric

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2006 17:45:44 | More by neenerzig
Photo of Hunter
Hunter

Arizona

2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: Beer pours dark but not quite black, more akin to cola than a stout. Head of tan foam evaporates on the instant.
smell: Smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate. There's an acrid undertone that's not pleasant but it doesn't detract too harshly.
taste: Complex combination that confirms the aroma. Chocolate smoke and coffee predominate. Aftertaste brings back that acrid aftertaste, much more noticeable.
mouthfeel: Thinner than you would expect.
drinkability: I'm unimpressed. This is something interesting to try occasionally, probably best when paired with strong meats or cheese. By itself it is not particularly refreshing or alluring.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 18:24:17 | More by Hunter
Photo of barleyman
barleyman

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz brown glass bottle, into my straight sided tumbler. Dark white head quickly recedes into a nice lace. Dark red, black color. Smell is of malt and raisins. Taste is of expertly balanced malt and hops. Mouthfeel is thin but very nice, spot on for this style. Drinkability is good, dark but not heavy, one could utilize a few of these to slake one's thirst.

Just a thought,

barleyman

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 23:20:06 | More by barleyman
Photo of InDreams
InDreams

Maryland

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

Ok let me start by saying, first off, that I'm a huge fan of this beer, even after having just tried it for the first time.

A: Poured out of the bottle into a flute glass a very dark shade of what is best described as mahogany. A centimeter or so of tan-colored head that did not dissipate very quickly and left minimal lacing.

S: Smells very sweet and malty. You instantly pick up the roasted caramel and chocolate malts; they're pretty rich.

T: Pretty nice. Sweet and full of the malty caramel and chocolate flavor. Kind of got a coffee feel to it, which is to be expected. The hops don't really make themselves felt here aside from a tad bit of spiciness. Not much of an aftertaste. My only complaint here would be that it oculd benefit from a slightly richer taste. The sweet caramel malty flavor is very nice, but it's kind of underplayed.

M: Very light body, very smooth. Being used to stouts or porters, you expect a heavier body, but it's a lager so it's something of a surprise. It's almost watery. Like the taste, I'd say it could benefit from a little bit more.

D: Well, it's very tasty and very light, so I can see myself having an entire six of these no problem. Everything about the beer is pleasant; it could just be more so. But, even without more taste or more body, it's extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 03:19:16 | More by InDreams
Photo of bjohnson
bjohnson

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a one finger cream colored frothy head. Good retention and some lace.
S: Aromas of caramel and chocolate malts with a slight hop presence. Fresh smelling.
T & M: Tastes of burnt and roasted malts with some sweet chocolate notes. A little spicy. Big carbonation kick up front on the tongue, which stings a bit. Medium bodied and soft on the palate. Leaves a film in the mouth, ok mouthfeel. Slight bitterness also.
D: Drinkable, but eh. A good change of pace, but not sure i'd go after this one again. Nothing special here.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 17:21:29 | More by bjohnson
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a shiny oil-black like a stout or porter, with a creamy inch-thick light tan head that doesn't last very long. Some lace was left along the sides of the glass.

Smells like a mild stout or porter, with roasted characteristics present but timid. Same with the hops and chocolately elements, which lay even further back. But it all feels more subtle to me than weak, as I enjoyed poking my sniffer in there throughout the drink.

Flavors are well done, with a comfy roasted/toasted maltiness at the fore, followed by a fluffy chocolate lightness, a rich molasses element, and well-balanced bittering from the hops. Mouthfeel is at once thin, sticky and tingly.

Overall a successful treat from Sam Adams, not one of their best but certainly worth picking up for its better attributes. Just a few steps over from a porter or stout, but less heavy in terms of body and ABV.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 21:42:46 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of dfried
dfried

Minnesota

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

I liked the appearance of this beer, deep brown almost black in color, with some burgundy around the sides, and a deep caramel colored head. I found the smell and taste quite similar, coffee and dark roasted malts with a bit of a nutty flavor. This is a smooth and semi-sweet beer, the finish has a nice slightly hoppy flavor as well. There is nothing inherently bad about the drinkability of this beer, but I think I would get bored with it after a few.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 14:27:41 | More by dfried
Photo of dgallina
dgallina

Georgia

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle notched best-before October 2006.

Pours black with mahogany edges. Three-quarter's inch of thick tan foam and nice lace. Smells rich and syrupy, thick with sweet grainy chocolate and coffee malts. Extremely sweet and very clean (if simple) toasted malt flavors. Finishes slightly dry with little after-taste. Well integrated medium creamy and carbonated body.

Refreshing, though overly sweet and thin in flavor compared to aroma.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 03:03:50 | More by dgallina
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,442 ratings.