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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.

2,428 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,428
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: 2,428 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

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

Very dark with thick light tan head. Lacing holds it's own.

Dark chocolate malts with hints of caramel.

Hmmm...Hits hard with the chocolate malts, but disappears quickly, refreshingly.

Medium, nearly heavy body with good carbonation.

Low alcohol makes this a nightly drinker. High sugar content makes this less desirable to drink a lot.
If blindfolded I'd probably have guessed it was Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter. I wasn't sure what to expect from this aside from the usual reviewed adjectives (chocolate, caramel and malts). It is much more than that. Indeed a pleasant surprise.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 02:08:06 | More by NiceGuyMike
Photo of beersarang


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

Pours a black brown with a tan head, retention is decent overall. Coffee esque.

Light roasty aroma, malty.

Caramel malts with grain lead into a soft coffee and chocolate character. Low bitterness and spicy hops. Like a roasty Sam Adams Lager. Finishes sweet on the exhale. Well balanced and a good example of the style.

Lighter bodied with smooth carbonation.

Easy to drink yet flavorful, a rare style that may gain some popularity.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 06:23:02 | More by beersarang
Photo of tomthumbsblues


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

A two-finger tan head is produced by this dark brown, almost black beer. Garnet-hued light can be seen through this darkness. Frothy head went down slowly and left good lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Smooth coffee like feel with dark chocolate notes. Not bitter at all with a nutty finish. Balanced in the mouth. A highly drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 00:54:12 | More by tomthumbsblues
Photo of tom444


3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: True to its name, pours out black, with a slight reddish hue visible around the edges. About half an inch of head, dark tan in color and somewhat soft in texture. Head retention is moderate, with a decent amount of lacing.

Aroma: Dominated by the dark malts, with hints of coffee and a bit of alcohol.

Taste: Plenty of malt, with the bitterness of the dark malts and the hops complimenteng each other very well, and some fruity notes. Finishes cleanly, with a nice malty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Rather light, especially considering the appearance. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: A rather unique departure from my normal lighter-bodied beers. Very drinkable, and would make an excellent introduction to darker beers for those just getting into craft beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 20:44:16 | More by tom444
Photo of hopsaplenty


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

Appearance: Deep, dark amber, ruby highlights around the edges where there is more light. Tightly carbonated, sand-colored head dissipates at a moderate pace. Decent lacing as the glass is emptied.

Smell: Roasty nose, hints of coffee and slightly sweet malt. A touch of alcohol.

Taste: A moderate amount of hop bite and roasted malt. The hops and malt are well balanced with plenty of roasted flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. My tongue does a slow waltz with the carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a solid beer, quite enjoyable. Another fine offering from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2005 23:55:53 | More by hopsaplenty
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice fresh bottle from a sixer purchased last week... I love having this beer around, especially in the Fall when I might crave a dark beer without the viscous body and high alcohol content.

Served in a nonic at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pours a dark ruby/black with an immense light beige head, settling over several minutes to an even, consistent mat. Lacing is sporadic but all over the place.

Smell- Intense black coffee with a roasted malty canopy, very nice and damn round. Reminds me of smelling Grandma T's cold coffee from the refrigerator back in Brooklyn when I was like eight years old. Really good.

Taste- Dark, roasted malts and coffee flavors combine extremely well with the bittering finish... leaving a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere that lingers after each sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Definitely bubbly enough to incorporate the flavors and nuances of the malt and roasted coffeebean notes, but very easy to drink and enjoy in a good quantity. Way up there on my list of Schwarzbiers, and I hope to try this on tap one day.

Definitely my favorite of Sam Adams' Brewmaster Series.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2005 01:36:36 | More by yelterdow
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

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

My first Sam Adams! This beer is a very deep burgundy. A thin head rides atop this bad boy. The smell is unique. It has a fruity aroma to it. The taste is pretty good too. The mouthfeel is affected a small amount due to a weird burn but not too much. I could drink several of these if I had em'. I'll probably run across one of these again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2005 19:15:57 | More by Enola
Photo of skittlebrau


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

I tried this beer with some pretty low expectations. I bought the brewmaster six pack with three types of beer, and I was less than impressed with the Hefeweizen, one of my favorite styles. I think this made my black lager experience even better.

First of all, the beer looked beautiful, kind of reminded me of Guinness. I loved the thick, tan head. Smell was decent. The taste is the best (and most important) thing about this beer. Wow. It was deep an chocolatey (sp?), but with a few hints of honey and not very bitter. This was my first schwarzbier, and now I'm anxious to try some more.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 19:24:56 | More by skittlebrau
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark with a good fluffy foamy head that has nice retention. Very complex smell. Kind of reminds me of grilled steak. Very rich and complex taste. Lightly roasted. Spice. Kind of chocolate milky sweet. Almost too much of a mixture. Very crisp and warming in the mouth. Complexity makes it less drinkable than it could be, but overall still very drinkable. This is a very good beer that I will look for in the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2005 23:05:33 | More by wcudwight
Photo of Toddv29424

District of Columbia

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

Very dark color, with a lacing that doesn’t move at all giving it a thick consistency. Smell is terrific, much like German Schwarzbiers with a hint of fruit and a big presence. Taste has same big dense fruity taste with a hint of smokiness. Mouthfeel is a little light, and even though the first taste is big, the swallow is pretty light like a lager. This makes it very drinkable, and the layers in the taste add to this.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2005 22:25:47 | More by Toddv29424
Photo of KarlHungus


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The name of this brew holds true as it is a black lager. It also has a very light tan colored, creamy head. The aroma is malty with the usual lager smell. The taste is nice. Sweet and with spices mildy poking through. Not nearly as spicy as other schwarzbiers I have had, but refreshing none the less. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a decent brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2005 22:12:42 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of Beastdog75

New Jersey

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

Samuel Adams Black Lager is indeed a very nice attempt at a dark lager. I've only had a few schwarzbiers so I'm not too familiar with the style (although I've liked the ones I've had), but this was almost like a lighter bodied stout in some respects.

This brew pours a very dark brown color with a light tan head that retains for about a little over a minute. The aroma that exudes from this beer is very pleasing to the nose, with some nice dark malt qualities, some "burnt" smell to it, and some dark chocolate-like aromas. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation. The roasted malts are indeed the centerpiece in this brew. Burnt, somewhat charcoal-like flavors are noticable. Some good chocolate-like flavors, light coffee qualities. There is a somewhat citric hop presence detectable in the brew as well, but is somewhat overshadowed in a dark malty brew such as this. The hoppiness does add a bit of dryness in the finish. The aftertaste has lingering roasted malt flavors, and a bitterness that is part hoppy and part "roasted." These flavors linger on for awhile, and the brew concludes with very little alcoholic warmth.

This was a nice attempt by the BBC to brew something a little less mainstream and I would say they pulled it off really well. I would even suggest this to beer newbies who don't want to delve too deep into the world of darker beers right away. This beer is flavorful and well-crafted, but certainly not intimidating to the uninitiated. Recommended!

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2005 23:58:09 | More by Beastdog75
Photo of jmz62565


4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A full two finger head with a dark black color.This has a nice malt and chocolate aroma.Sam's has made a very nice dark rich coffee/chocolate beer with alot of flavor.Almost like a light stout.I was happily surprised when I tried this.This is probably the best beer I've had from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 22:17:33 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Dmann


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

This beer was a suprise and I am glad that I tried it. It started out with a nice pour and had a great dark brown color with a light brown head that left great lace and stayed till the end. The smell was nice with some sweet malt scents and molasses and some bready-ness to it. This beer's flavor was very nice with a very light smokiness in the beginning and the light airy mouthfeel really added to the overall sensation. The beer finnished with a bit of sweetness and faded away very dry and made you want to come back for more. This is my favorite Sam Adams release in awhile!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 09:20:50 | More by Dmann
Photo of nortmand


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

Pours deep ruddy red, with a nice tan foam.
Lightly roasted coffee smel, kinda like when the roaster is just getting stated. Maybe a little chaff, maybe not.
Chocolate sweet upfront, followed by acidity midtongue and sweet roast bitterness at the end.
Smooth, and fairly drinkable, although not as complex as I prefer a schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2005 00:38:50 | More by nortmand
Photo of Winter


3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown in color with a light tan head. Aroma primarily consists of chocolate malt. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. Grainy, chocolatey flavor upfront and carries midway though. It turns slightly vinous toward the finish with a lingering bitterness. Pretty straight-forward. I guess I was expecting more. This isn't a bad beer, just not overly exciting.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2005 03:18:28 | More by Winter
Photo of tempest


3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a Sam Adams Mix Pack.

Pours a dark dark brown body with about a one finger head and leaves a little lacing. Nice, full malty aroma. A little sweet too.

Nice tasting, but not a standout in flavor for a schwarzbier. There are no off flavors, but its lightest tasting black lager I've had. Very similar to Saranac Black Forest.

Goes down easy and isn't terribly filling for a dark beer, but I think this is only because the flavor and body are too light for the style.

Very drinkable and I'd never refuse one of these. However, if I wanted a cheaper black lager, I'd still go with Saranac Black Forest. Possibly a good beer for someone just starting to try darker beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2005 19:11:59 | More by tempest
Photo of assurbanipaul


3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, opaque brown with a good-sized tan head. Aroma is malty and sweet with a cocoa, molasses and maple syrup mix.

Taste is sweet and dark, with lots of black patent and chocolate malt. Shades of charcoal and a little bit of bitterness. Mouthfeel is heavier than it should be (IMO), gets too close to stout terrirory. Gives me coffee breath… I like that.

Sweeter than I would prefer, but not bad at all. I could session this for a while, but I would eventually switch to something more bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 02:05:39 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of burnstar


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

Pours black with a very nice two finger head. Smell is chocolate and roasted malt. Taste is dominated by roasted malt- chocolate and caramel flavors are present and there is just a bit of hops in the finish. Quite sweet and very tastey. Mouthfeel is medium and not a lot of carbonation which actually I think suits this beer. Overall quite drinkable and very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2005 04:12:56 | More by burnstar
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown-black pour with deep ruby borwn highlights and a huge 3 finger head of soft tan foam. Fades slowly and leaves a nice amount of lace; quite generously applied to the edges of my glass. Good-looking beer.

Smell is light, but there's some chocolate and caramel in there with a nice deep roastiness and maybe a bit of dark fruit. I'm not getting much hoppiness.

Flavor is slightly roasty, but the chocolate is fairly prominent. The caramel comes through in a kind of roasted toffee flavor that's quite nice. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it's not entirely detrimental; I just think a little creamier would hold up to the sweet flavors a bit better.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2005 02:06:51 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Bitterbill


4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice Schwarzbier. Poured into a glass at just below room temp.

Head dissipated fairly quickly, with just a fine lacing on the side. Pleasant smell of roastiness followed by excellent roasty flavour with hints of chocolate. Plenty of complexity and still a smooth drinker. A very good candidate for a session beer, imho.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2005 16:48:35 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of SteveO1231


4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice dark color very good thick creamy head.
Excellent mouth feel, nice velvet creamy texture as it floods the palate.
Nice coffee flavor at first with a taste of sweet caramel. Nice finish.
Very, very nice drinkable beer every sip seemed to get tastier.
I was happy to see they have added this to the Holiday Pack.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2005 22:23:37 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of Wasatch


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

Best before Dec 05. Pours a black color with some carbonation and a little head, some nice lacing throughout. Scents of hops, and caramel, chocolate. There's a nice sweet taste which I liked and you still have the lager presence. Medium body. Very drinkable, a must session beer for this style. Will put this on my list to buy again.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2005 01:08:58 | More by Wasatch
Photo of rowew


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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck with best by month notched on the side. Beer description on the neck.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown/black with just a bit of red around the edges. Nice sized head is fairly solid. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Mostly sweet malt, with a bit of roasted aroma in there too. Just a bit of grainy smell comes through at the end.

Taste: More roasted flavors come through here than in the aroma. Not overly sweet - lots of caramel flavor. Just a bit of hops balance out the finish.

Overall impression: Highly drinkable - not the best schwarzbier I have ever had, but very approachable. Another nice beer from Sam.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2005 21:19:50 | More by rowew
Photo of taez555


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

This beer poured a coca cola colored black/brown body with a thick creamy light tan head.

The nose was a mild chocolate, smoke, roasted smell. Not overly complex, but very inviting.

Taste was medium bodied with a big roasted chocolate and mild smoke flavor. Not a rauchbier, ham or meat taste, more of a chimney black sort of smoke. Very porter or stout like but with this huge taste of German bock or lager notes. The roasted malt flavor is outstanding!!! Mild bitterness with some mild earthy hop notes.

Damn this is a good beer. Considering the other mellowed beers the BBC has released I was expecting this to be just a boring dark version of Sam lager or something. This borders more on a mildly smoked porter. Really an outstanding beer. Makes me want to try more schwarzbier. A fantastic session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2005 17:42:03 | More by taez555
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,428 ratings.