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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,519 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,519
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 56
Gots: 106 | 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:
Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 2,519 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afinepilsner
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Samuel Adams Black Lager was a dark brown color with good clarity. It had a thick light tan head with good retention and left a sheet of lace behind. The aroma was sweet and toasty dark malt. The taste was sweet dark malts with a little chocolate and roasted grain. It finished dry and a little bitter. It was medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a very good dark lager.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber and clear with massive light brown head. No carbonation.

First aroma is sweet and malty. Roasted, chocolate, and coffee undertones. Floral and fruity vibes, maybe from American hops. Caramel sweetness. Butterscotch hints. No bitterness.

Chocolate malt, roasted and creamy. Light and watery taste once the roasted malt shell is penetrated.

Smooth with mild oral foamation and carbonation.

Simple American Schwarzbier. Almost feels like a watered down Porter, emphasis on the water. The flavors are not bold or daring, and could be better melded. To my tongue the bitterness was completely absent; this contributed to lack of balance and direction. Black Lager is not wonderful, but definitely not bad.

Photo of guinnessfan
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 bottle from variety poured into Das Festhaus pint

A: Clear dark brown, fizzy bubbles, no retention nor lacing. Reminds me of Coke.

S: Mildly sweet malt. Not much here.

T: Mild malt, perhaps some hops taste, not sure. Slight coffee. Not bad, yet not impressive.

M: Thin, watery. Next

D: Not bad. I could drink all night. Easy to drink, but not super enjoyable.

Black Lager sounded much more powerful than it was. I never knew it was a schwarzbier, nor what a schwarzbier was. Now I understand the subtleness. Maybe this is just not the style for me. Too mild, but not bad!

Photo of ericj551
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the Sam Adams mix six pack, Black Lager pours a deep ruby red black with a light brown head. I smell sweet caramel malts as well as a slight roasted aroma. Taste is deep caramel and raisin, with a slightly astringent bitterness from the roasted malt. No hops to be found, but that fits just fine. I'm kind of confused with the name black lager, not too discriptive, but I guess many other beers are just Ale or Lager so not too big a deal.

Photo of xav33
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Black Lager
12 oz bottle
Best before 04/07, patriotized 11/06
Medium pour in a shaker.

Poured a clear dark brown, with ruddy highlights, with an average fizzy mostly diminishing light brown head.

Smelt of light dark chocolate, molasses, dark bread.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter dark burnt malt with sweet dark chocolate and light sour dark fruits, like plums, followed by a bittersweet soy sauce, earthy, sweet burnt chocolate on an average length finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated, and lightly astringent.

Overall, well it tastes like black. I suppose that's good. Flavors are a bit odd for me though. Tastes like motor oil.

Photo of BeerSox
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into mug.

Dark brown with ruby red edges, almost opaque. Tan creamy head that lasts a while which settles to a thin cap. Solid lacing.

Bitter roasted grainy scents with a creamy overtone. Hints of dark coffee. Ever so slight presence of raisin.

Malty background with a creamy texture. Burnt tones in the background with a light hoppiness in the back of the mouth to balance it out. Higher carbonation that seems to fizz for a bit after each gulp. Medium bodied. Some of the bitterness is complimented by a nice sweetness. Finish is grainy and slightly drying, but not by much.

Overall a good shwarzbier. Lots of grainy notes along with a bit of balancing hops. Good fall/winter beer. Recommended.

Photo of boblog
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- black, medium head leaves small amount of lacing.
Smell- Malty, Carmel, and hints of hop bitterness.
Taste- Light Carmel flavor sweet bread flavor, light hop taste, slightly dry finish.
Mouthfeel-Light bodied.
Drinkablity- I could drink a gallon of this if i was so predisposed.
Overall- A damn tasty offering from Sam Adams. Very refreshing very tasty I would definitely recommend this brew to anyone.

Photo of Reidrover
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At last this arrives in Salem,Oregon. Nice dark brown beer with a large, tight,creamy tan head, very attractive. Light roasted malt aromas, some hints of semi-dark chocolate.. as the label says there is a quite luxuriant malty taste to begin with and this coats the front of the tongue, then some hops make an appearance and the beer finishes semi-dry. Some hints of coffee, and English toffee in the malts, quite nice. Nice mouthfeel it starts off quite smooth and thickish but thns out near the end for an almost crisp finish, not quite though. Overall a pretty good beer and worth drinking. I enjoyed this.

Photo of mnj21655
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with tinges of garnet at the edges. Nice, somewhat frothy 2 finger light tan head that settles to about 1/8" with good lacing. Smell is of caramel and sweet and roasted malts. It is fairly subtle and less aromatic than any other Sam Adam's I've had before. Taste is roasted malts with some bitterness followed by some nice caramel sweetness. I also tasted subtle hints of chocolate and coffee flavors. Nice mouthfeel, fairly light in body which is generally representative of the style. Great drinkability. Low ABV, light body and the balance and relative depth of flavors make this an easily drinkable brew.

Photo of grbennett
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, almost cola color. Head doesn't last very long.
S: Has a sweet caramel like smell. It almost smells like syrup and Guinness.
T: Sweet chocalatey taste. The aftertaste is coffee and maybe caramel.
M: No carbonation. It feels a little bit too watery, like a lot of other beers.
D: It tastes good by itself but I can't imagine what kind of food I would want to pair it with.
Overall: Not a bad beer. It's good to have sometimes, but it always leaves me craving a Guinness. I don't know if it's the dark color or the sweet taste, but after drinking one of these, I just want a Guinness.

Photo of therica
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aside from a slight over-carbonation at the start, this is quite a delightful surprise.

Appearance-- pours a very dark black-amber with a moderate dense off-tan head.

Smell-- complex and strong, with licorice-chocolate and florals prevalent.

Taste-- follows the smell with a strong floral complexity and some mild licorice and chocolate, less noteable in the taste than in the smell. A very nicely integrated taste which received a "WOW" out of me. There are modest bubble-gum hints after it sets for a while, in the aftertaste. Aftertaste is a bit more of the dark-chocolate (ie Swiss 80% style) with hild bitters. It's similar to the taste of Kostritzer but maybe slightly more bold and yet less sweet.

Mouthfeel-- pleasant, a hint of a bite but not annoying.

Drinkability-- the strong taste belies a minimally 4.9%ABV. Aside from a slight full-feeling from the carbonation, this is a very drinkable beer, in single or in-session.

Photo of Ricochet
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had tried Miller's Chocolate lager earlier in the evening, so why not keep with the dark lager spirit and try Sammy's. This is another I have heard good things about.

The pour went over with a big head and little light getting through. Creamy head too with the cream lace all around. Smelled stout. Malt , and lots of it, alcohol and just a hint of chocolate. Mouth was a little thin, it did cream up on the tounge but went down like water with little if any note of bitter.

Taste was , well, I was hoping for a little bit more. It leaves a very malty flavor, dark, caramel, touch of maple but nothing to really make this excel. It is , well, thier Boston lager, made dark. Not much more to say.

If they had this as a seasonal choice at a bar, I'd pick it over BMC but it's "eh" otherwise. Average.

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is dark with light head that lasts briefly.
Smeel is not strong, but a faint whiff of malt.
Taste is very smooth, but not does not have as strong of a malty after taste as expected.
Moutfeel is also smooth and goes down easy, very drinkable beer.

Overall, a good beer that is a little more drinkable than the orginal Sam Adams Boston lager.

Photo of BuckSpin
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot about this from my friends, and finally picked up an orphan from a broken 6 who needed a good home.

Poured a beautiful, deep, dark rubyesque stained cherry, very pretty. Head was a solid 2 fingers of a latte stained mixed foam that bubbled & danced cola like. It faded rather quickly but not altogether, and laced lightly.

Nose is malted, light roasted tones, bread crusts, faint whiff of coffee, some licorice, nice earthy - like a fresh rain on parched earth. Wood tones rise as it warms.

Damn, this is almost like a weak porter. Initially I taste coffee, some traces of hardwood, a hint of some bitterness, maybe a trace of some burnt echoes. Its even on the tongue, refreshingm some lightening, perhaps a little fruity like cherry on the tongue and the hardwood taste rises with the mouth's warming. The finish is clean, light, a little creamy, traces of coffee film on the tongue.

This is a damn fine lager, and has moved to near the top of my choices for the genre. I would drink this again, recommend it highly, and could session it as well. A very pleasing dance between interesting deeper tastes associated with other, heavier genres, yet still light & refreshing. Looks like my friends were right on about this one!

Photo of karst
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to members of St. Louis Brews who both encouraged Sam Adams owner to release this Schwarzbier as a stand alone style and then for including a sample as part of the 2006 BJCP class as a classic example. Sometimes a beer makes the BJCP list by being widely available across the US.
With an emphasis on caramel and sweeter than the German examples I have tried BBC's Black Lager still deserves a try due to its apperance qualities. IMHO a lighter caramel emphasis would improve this beer but then a lack of decocted melanoidins may then become an issue. A satisfing dextrinous mouth feel is correct for the style and dark roasted and chocolate malts are well balanced by hops that dry the sweet flavors. I will have a hard time passing by a sixer the next trip to a liquor store.

Photo of AudioGilz
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A smooth pour lends itself towards providing me with a very good looking brew here. Semi-thick foam of a half inch or so stays a while, and laces well. Very dark ruby in color, only transulecent when held up to bright light.
Not a whole lot to smell in this one, some roasted malts and a tiny background of coffee.
VERY smooth mouthfeel, easy as hell to drink which accompanies a high drinkability factor, mostly due to the mouthfeel. Flavors are reserved roasty malts and a bit of cocoa.
I've definitely had better of this style, but this brew is hardly a slacker in the Schwarzbier department. It holds it's own as a solid session beer.

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured one of these into a glass from the mix winter pack.

Man, this beer is black, I mean, jet black! You simply can't see through it. It has a very strong toffee smell with some choclate scent as well. The taste has the BBC's trademark smooth maltiness of a nice blend of toffee and choclate, leaving a coffee after taste. The mouthfeel is good, as it's right in the middle with kind of a milky feel to it.

I really enjoyed this beer as it goes down fairly easy but seems to be very flavorful as well. I have only tried one of other beer of the style, but this is by far the best of the two.

Photo of benito
2.83/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had some friends over for dinner last week and wanted to serve them a beer that would cut through the saltiness of the mozzarella in carrozza that I was serving...a Schwarzbier seemed the right pick, and since I can't get Fort Collins Brewing's awesome Kidd Lager except when I'm in the Front Range, Sam Adams was my go-to brew.

Not truly black, this is a deep ruby brew when held to direct light with a thin head and a lager-ish (read, absent) bouquet. The sweetness of the malts did in fact match well with the saltiness of the anchovies in my food, and I also liked this brew for it's quick, refreshing finish. I would definitely serve it again with a similar hors d'oeuvre, but I don't think I'd choose to buy a sixer for pleasure drinking.

Overall, the flavors were competent but unremarkable. It's well-crafted, but this is a "what you see is what you get" affair and I'm not sure that I knew anything about this beer after two pints that I didn't know after two sips.

Photo of gunnerman
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a pitch black with a fluffy foamy head that leaves sick lace. Smell is pretty sweet with hints of bitter. Taste is smooth and refreshing very malt and roasted like some warm nuts on a fire, a good offering from Sam Adams. It was included in the winter sam pack.

Photo of bgraney
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Amber/black, lots of carbonation with an off-white, creamy head.
Not a lot going on with the aroma; a sweet maltiness is all I can pick up.
Tastes very sweet with a tasty, dominating malt presence with a caramel background.
Medium mouthfeel, maybe a little thin. A slight malt aftertaste.
For me, it's too sweet to have more than one.
I felt like I was drinking a malt flavored soda but I liked it. I would drink it again but I can't imagine a situation in which this would be available and there wouldn't also be choices I prefer over this.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black until you hold it up to the light, then you see ruby hues poking through. Beautiful frothy head that sticks around for the long haul. Great lacing to boot. Attractive brew from Samuel Adams!

Smell is of sweet, dark malts, chocolate, a little bit of coffee. Taste is really good consisting of tons of roastiness that follows through with the aftertaste. Cofffee flavors, chocolate, tons of chocolate malts, some caramel toffee flavors...good stuff. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Extremely drinkable. Great for sessioning. This is a unique beer from Samuel Adams and can say that I am thoroughly impressed and is one of my favorites from them.

Photo of arizcards
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed Sam six pack purchased in early September for $5.99. Best enjoyed by December 2006.

Beer poured an opaque black with a nice tan head that is leaving a lacing. Nose is of roasted malts. Taste is a nice combo of roasted chocolate malts with a very light hopping. Flavor is deceivingly sweet. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth which lends to an enjoyable finish. Overall drinkability is good. At 4.9 abv, this is a sessionable beer for those that enjoy this style.

Photo of SetarconeX
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep brown color, with a nice silky head on it. Smooth and creamy. Smells wonderfully malty with some chocolate and molasses. Tastes like toasted malt, through and through, with a bit of sweetness to it that makes the whole thing much more drinkable than I would have expected.

I really like this one. Not complex, but hands down one of the easiest drinking dark beers I've had in a while. I do wish I could get this in bulk.

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pub glass,a clear deep ruby red color.A very thick and creamy head,lacing the glass,with execelent retention.
The aroma was a bit faint a bit spicey,with malt tones of chocolate,toffee,light caramell,and a bit nutty.
The taste was a bit spicey,with chocolate,toffee,nutty,roasty a nice complex blend of maltiness. the finish was very clean,spicey,with a pleasing bitterness at the end.
A light to medium mouthfeel,slight cloying,creamy and very smooth.A very drinkable dark lager.
A session dark lager,very tastey and quite pleasing,easy drinking.A very good beer.Worth a try!

Photo of CpnYates
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a holiday sampler 12 pack, purchased at a Roanoke Kroger
Poured into a nice foamy brown head, with strong retention. A dark beer, but sunlight visible if held up to a window. Taste is smooth with roasted malt being the main character in the mix.

A good beer, but a little two sweet to be a daily addition to the fridge.

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,519 ratings.