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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.

2,425 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,425
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 45
Gots: 52 | 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: 2,425 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MetroOhio


4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a fantastic pick up! Got a sixer of this today, and boy was I surprised.

Poured strong with a fantastic head--it did, however, disappear fairly quick for me, but maybe my pour was off or the glass may have been off.

The body was deep reddish brown with a nice tan head. Smells of grain, roasted malt/barley, with cocoa-ish scents up front (but not lingering). Taste was very nicely rounded with some roasted and burnt (in a good way) malt sweetness up front, and it's rounded out with a sort of limey taste afterwards--maybe black cherry as well?

Mouthfeel, for me, was a little thin, could've used a little more heft in it.

This beer was fantastic, and it's one of those beers you can have a ton of and still feel good about having another. I have found my new Sam Adams favorite...move over Winter Lager. You have been replaced, and I'll never return...Black Lager is my new favorite brew from the Boston Beer Company.

Song Listened to Whilst Enjoying this Beer: "Such a Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference", Morrissey, off the Bona Drag LP(1990).

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2005 04:56:52 | More by MetroOhio
Photo of UberWasser


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

12 oz bottle, served in a 16oz globe glass.

Pours a deep black color that glows with burgundy when held to light. The head is thick and a dirty white. It builds quite thick in this glass with a medium pour speed. Its retention is admirable as a thick sheet lies atop the beer through a number of sips. The foam clings in big laces as the beer recedes from the rim. My favorite part is when you tip the glass towards yourself for a drink the bubbles hang back for a second and then make a rush for the surface. A very neat effect. Extremely attractive beer.

The smell is sweet with burnt malts and a chocolate/molasses scent. Very nice.

The taste follows suit, with burnt sugar flavors leading into mild bitterness and a present yet subtle tickle of alcohol on the back of the tounge. Very warming as it flows down the gullet. The mouthfeel is quite nice too, with a subtle thinness that plays well with the carbonation and also feels deceptively thick in the throat after a swallow.

Overall, the best offering I've tried so far from Sam Adams. A definite buy-again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 02:23:49 | More by UberWasser
Photo of metallistout


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

Bought this one in a winter pack.

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. A medium size foamy head that actually hung in there for a little while.

Smells of dark roasted malt and sweet chocolate malts, not much hop presence to the aroma.

Tastes pretty damn good. Tasted the roasted malt flavor and small hop presence, very caramel. I would absolutely drink this more often, if there were more hops in it.

Good beer all in all.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 23:22:06 | More by metallistout
Photo of evanackerman


4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

wow, this is a tasty beer and a very interesting style. pours a deep brown with an exceptional head.

aroma is almost non existent at least to me.

taste is all about toasty barley with just the right little kick of hops at the end to balance things out

mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth and medium viscosity, very nice.

drinkability is downright dangerous, i could drink these one after another without a second thought. the one i am drinking right now tastes great with vanilla ice cream.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 17:42:20 | More by evanackerman
Photo of andjusticeforale


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

This poured into a pint glass like it sounds, black as night but seemingly light of body due to the fluffy white head. The head dissipated and stuck to the sides of the glass, forming a web of foam before the first sip.

The smell wasn’t too much to speak of, but certainly not unpleasant.

The initial taste revealed a nicely carbonated lager, with a deep chickory and chocolate malt background. There was some delicate hop bitterness; perhaps more would welcome, but there was a nice residual sweetness that kept this from becoming a porter. There was a grainy dark finish that ended in carbonated crispness.

All in all the mouthfeel was a bit thin and watery, but this also kept the beer crisp...and gave it infinite drinkability in an on-tap type setting; so what this lacks in depth and sophistication, it certainly makes up for in seesion-factor, if you will, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 12:29:56 | More by andjusticeforale
Photo of Zorro


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

Pours a good looking chestnut brown beer with a good tan head.

Smell is good clean grain and malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee in the scent. Strikingly clean and fresh dark malted barley scents, it smells very tasty.

Taste is clean and malty with an aggressive chocolate flavor in the beginning. Flavorful nutty malt comes next but the chocolate flavor here keeps dominating in a good way. Mildly herbal hops in the finish with a bit of raisin and prune flavor showing up in the finish. Pleasant and mild bitterness on the tongue probably equally from the dark malt and the hops.

Very good mouthfeel.

This is a damn tasty and drinkable beer, one of the best Samuel Adams beers. I had this a year ago in Ohio at a party and it struck me as sort of a light porter that was just OK as a beer. Now that I have seriously tasted this it is an exceptional Schwarzbier. No doubt some of the goodness here is having an outstandingly fresh bottle that hasn't made the sea journey from Germany. Having qualified this it is a very good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 03:37:09 | More by Zorro
Photo of Shovelbum


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

Pours a robust chunky cocoa colored head over a deep-black body with orange edges. Great head retention and thick bands of lace. Wine-like aromas dominate, but some coffee and toasted malt come through as well. Sweet roasted malt flavor with chocolate, caramel and a slight nuttiness. Hops are present but in the background. Medium body. Smooth mouthfeel with a lingering bitterness. Drying.

Like a good schwarzbier, this is deceptively light bodied for its appearance. This beer samples from the best of two more common styles: great roasted malt characters, hop bitterness and aroma in a lighter bodied beer that isn’t out of whack. A nice take on a rare style.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 15:06:16 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of Naes

New York

2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This lager is a super dark brown (almost black) with a small tan head.
Its aroma is of roasted malt.
The flavor is roaty with chocolate tones. A little sweet for my likings, but still drinkable. The hops do make an appearance at the end of your swallow, but are very faint.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and actively carbonated.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 02:39:04 | More by Naes
Photo of skynxnex


4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easy to read freshness date (March 2006). Pours fairly black with ruby highlights. Held up to light, it lets a dim reddish color through. I poured it very gently, since I've had some Sam Adams get a huge head. Ended up with half a fingre, that settles to lacing on the sufrace and some down the glass.

Smell is grainy with some roasty notes. A lot more sweet/grainy smell gets through compared to a porter or stout.

Taste is smooth with a hint of roast and toast flavors matching nicely with the sweet. The hops just peek through at the end to provide a pleasent finish. It's quite drinkable. A very nice, mild, somewhat subtle, beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 00:58:46 | More by skynxnex
Photo of bpiwarzyk


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

I grabbed a six-pack of this interesting brew on the way to a dinner party. I hadn't seen it before, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The beer didn't accompany the the main course very well (Salmon), but I loved it anyway!

The Black Lager is a very smooth drinking beer. It has the richness and nose of a porter, but it's not quite as heavy, thus very drinkable.
When poured into a glass, a tan, toffee-colored head settled nicely on top, and released a nice dark, malty, chocolate-laced aroma.

My first BL was right from the fridge, and served in a fresh, frosted glass. The second was served a bit closer to room temperature, not warm, but not icebox cold. This second one seemed a bit more aromatic, but both were very clean drinking.

The Sam Adams Black Lager might not be quite as robust as some of my favorite styles, but I definitely enjoyed drinking it, and am looking forward to my next one...

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 00:11:40 | More by bpiwarzyk
Photo of LordChesterfield


3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It looks like your typical schwarzbier and tastes like your typical schwarzbier. No schwarzbier isn't really typical in itself, but this is as close as I've seen to a run of the mill example of the style. Very clean yet full of rich burnt flavors and relatively light in the stomach. Not very complex, maybe some of you find it to be, but I think it could have been alot more interesting. It is what could be considered a session brew, but I keep such wide variety, that I rarely drink two of the same type in a row. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 07:38:21 | More by LordChesterfield
Photo of ColoradoBobs


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in a mixed winter 12-pack. Great buy.

Poured with a huge rocky, bumpy light tan head over an almost opaque red-brown body. Very good looking beer -- the head looks like baked meringue, and lasts almost as long. Lots of sticky lace.

Sweet molasses-like smell, unexpected but pleasant.

Taste is all toasty malt with a nice dry metallic finish. Really good.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin.

Easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 03:37:26 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of MSchae1017


4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was tasted in a Pint Glass from a bottle.

This poured nearly black with hints of red. The head was not the best. The most overpowering smell in this beer is the malts. As the beer is tasted you can really sense roasted malts. The beer is not overly hoppy but there is a good level of bitterness to it. There is a good level of carbonation and there is a welcome thickness it your mouth. This a fantastic beer and is especially welcome during these winter months.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 01:13:26 | More by MSchae1017
Photo of Mitchel


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

Samuel Adams Black Lager pours a dark, dark red; almost black. It has a thick off-white head which holds pretty well and leaves behind a small amount of lacing.

Smells of caramel and malt, mmm. A little smoky with a hint of chocolate.

At first has a hint of almost lemon and then quickly fades to a well-adjusted burnt, smoky malt. Nice and spicy with that kick that only Sam Adams produces time and again. It finishes clean and very nearly has a hint of berries (sweet, can’t put my finger on it).

Overall, one of my favorite SA products. Exceptionally pleasant and very well composed, medium bodied beer. I would recommend this all year round even though it is somewhat hard to come by in my neighborhood. It is excellent to have a dark beer that is not a stout or a porter every now and then.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 00:46:18 | More by Mitchel
Photo of Hagbard


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

This is a pretty interesting beer for Sam Adams to make. They take a lot of flak for pandering to the lowest common denominator, but they're just smart business-people. As long as they keep making beer like this, I'll continue to be a fan. The Black Lager pours black, as the name suggests, with a thin tan head. The aroma opens up a bit as the beer warms. Filled with a malty sweetness with some chocolate and perhaps caramel. The taste is mostly sweet chocolate and caramel, neither of which ever becomes overpowering or cloying. There's a bit of a biscuit element in the background. It finishes with a slight roasted bitterness and an even slighter bit of hoppiness. The mouthfeel is a bit light, but no more so than most Schwarzbiers. You can definitely tell this is a lager. The drinkability is superb. This is a great tasting beer that would be great to bring to a party. None of the tastes overwhelm or challenge your palate, but they all come together to form a tasty beverage.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 15:12:52 | More by Hagbard
Photo of WetCoaster


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black, deep mahogany to the light. Moderate carbonation. White head, fairly good retention. Collar throughout.

Smell: A bit of hop spice up front, but soon morphs into a subtle caramel and toffee maltiness, with perhaps a faint hint of chocolate. Non-descript overall sweetness; yeast?

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth, mildly chewy butter toffee, toasty malt, a bit of coffee. Finishes roasty with a bit of hop bitterness.

Drinkability: Despite having the horrifying descriptor "clean finish" (re: flavorless shite) in the packaging, this actually is a nicely balanced beer with a tight finish. Not a world beater, but a nice session; it'd be a a good transition beer for the marco crowd.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 06:32:48 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of Tim460


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

Pours dark black with a tan head that stays for a while. Smells of malt and chocolate with a hint of caramel. Taste is surprisingly great. Sweet malt, chocolate, and caramel. The blend of tastes is superb. Very smooth. Due to the beer being sweet I couldn't drink too many of these in a sitting. I really enjoyed this beer and look forward to trying more of this style. The inclusion of this along with the Holiday Porter makes their holiday 12-pack better than ever.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 22:09:06 | More by Tim460
Photo of Smittysguinness


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bummer this is so limited. I really enjoy this beer.

It poured black into the glass, with a rich brown head and decent lacing; it looked like foamy coffee.

It was hard to pick out a single smell, which was a good thing. Spicy came to mind; like mild mulling spices. Slight chocolate and a little coffee (though so little I could have been kidding myself).

Now the taste was something remarkable. Coffee and chocolate (quite heavy on the coffee for that matter, which is my second favorite drink next to beer...water comes in a distant 536th) are the heavy hitters here, a definite malty sweetness, little yeasty breadiness. GREAT winter beer, though a tad thin. I couldn't detect a hoppy bitterness at all, which is close to style, though others have at least a taste of it.

Another solid offering from Sammy A. The carbonation was not obtrusive at all, and all-in-all, this was a great, very drinkable beer; I could drink a sixer myself, given that this is so much lighter in body than most dark beers like stouts and porters (which I gather Schwarzbier is supposed to be). Too bad, again, that I can only find this in the holiday mix pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 14:22:40 | More by Smittysguinness
Photo of IntriqKen


4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black beer with a thick cream colored head that stays the length of the drink. Rich chocolate, coffee scents. Mouthfeel is rich an creamy with nice carbonation and slight alcohol warmth in the back of the throat as it goes down. Very smooth coffee, chocolate taste with no hops bitterness.
Wonderful winter brew....one of my favorites. I wish I could find it year round in sixers rather than only two bottles in the holiday Sam Adams 12 pack.
In March I have found this beer to be available in 6 packs...at the local Ralph's grocery store, of all places. Woo - Hoo!
I hope they keep carrying it.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 05:45:36 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of KroMagnon


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is indeed black with a nice tan head. The aroma features a hint of caramel and slight malt and not much else. Flavorwise the beer doesn't have the bittersweet nature of a porter - rather, its clean, with a maltiness and some caramel notes blending with a faint chocolatey character. Hop presence seems just there to balance. Overall a decent beer but slightly tame - probably not a bad example of the style, though I suspect it could be a little more robust in its toasted / roasted malt character without overdoing it too much.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 23:05:57 | More by KroMagnon
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear black in color with a thick 2" tan head that nicely lasts. Decent lacing develops throught the drink.

Smell: the aroma is of roasted malts, licorice, and slighty earthy.

Taste: the flavor is superb, as roasted malts are nicely balanced with other components such as bitter chocolate, coffee, and soft licorice. Nice bitterness levels. One of the more flavorful schwarzbiers I have encountered.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start. The finish is relatively clean, as the roasted tones fall off the tongue quickly. Light to medium in body.

Drinkability: great as this can be quaffed all night long. One of Sam's better brews.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 19:53:48 | More by Gavage
Photo of BeerBob


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

Samuel Adams “Black Lager” pours a coal sack black red from a 12oz dark brown glass bottle with a pry off cap. Head went to well over three fingers in my 16oz beer glass. Head was made up of fine tan foam that turned just a bit rocky before going down to a full carpet of foam with tons of thick fine lace along the inside walls of my beer glass.

Nose is a very slight burnt chocolate, charcoal, and fig. Palate is a sweet malty fig with bittersweet chocolate, followed by the bight of carbonation with a pleasant bitter hops aftertaste.

Oh My Gosh, this is really good. Smooth mouth feel with a malty sweet sundry fruit backbone that is well balanced with the bittering of hops, I do hope that this one stays around.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2005 06:32:25 | More by BeerBob
Photo of kmcnair


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

Yet another brew pulled from the depths of the 2005 Sam Adams Winter Sampler.

Pours the deepest, darkest crimson red to bitter chocolate hue, nearly opaque. Creates a fine offwhite head. Aroma is burnt malt and smoke. Flavor is mildly bitter with an array of subtle tastes of smoke, chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel. Medium to light on the palate, crisp lager like carbonation and a spicy dry finish. Hmm, its like a lagered porter, pretty nice and the first Schwarzbier that I have reviewed.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 06:43:02 | More by kmcnair
Photo of mynie


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

I'm not a fan of the way this style pours. Should I hold its hand and clap when it's decent pour, great by shortbus schwarz standards, but still miles behind a great stout pour? I don't know, and I only ask because this here is a fine example of a schwarzbier pour. Solid back, not opaque but close, with a nice tight little brown head.

Smells: Scwarz liquid smoke and funky yeast malt. Nice all around. Not too complex, not too strong; just nice.

Smokey malt, moving into earthy, cigarette tastiness in the middle, ending on sour malt and dry hop. Nice. I wish I knew what malt this was.

A great example of the style, suprising that Boston Beer Co would take such a risk.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 04:41:03 | More by mynie
Photo of Rootdog316


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

Samuel Adams Black Lager pours to a dark brownish black color, though the beer is not entirely opaque. If you hold it directly up to the light, light will pass through and give the brew more of a chestnut color.

A generous creamy tan head forms atop the pour, and lightly roasty notes of chocolate malt are apparent in the nose. A thick film of Brussels lace clings to the side of the glass as the liquid descends.

Upon sipping, a slightly more than medium-bodied palate, generous for a lager is revealed, and the beer has a wonderfully creamy character. There are delightful roasted notes of chocolate, coffee, a touch of caramel and just a hint of licorice.

The roasted character here is soft, and you really won’t find the astringent, harsh roasted bitterness roasted barley imparts to stouts and some porters. In the finish, the roasted character becomes more noticeable, but the beer still finishes creamy and smooth. There aren’t a lot of hops here, either, just a touch. Amazing.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2005 19:25:19 | More by Rootdog316
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,425 ratings.