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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.

2,462 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,462
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 49
Gots: 72 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,462 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Manosbeeroffate


4.72/5  rDev +27.2%

I love this stuff!! Sam Adams may be a huge company now but they still put out some good product and this black lager is one of my new favorites. So far I've only gotten it in the mix packs, so mix packs I'll have to buy. Dark ruby/black color, nice smell, taste is a mix of dried fruit, caramel, roasted malt done very well. This is the first black lager I've tried, now I'm looking foward to finding more of this style.

11-11-2005 01:47:00 | More by Manosbeeroffate
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +7.8%

Appearance: Dark ruby brown tone only when held up to the light, forms a fluffy tan two fingered head leaves behind evenly dispersed fine chunky lace. Aroma: Dark roasted malts mild chocolate with an herbal German noble hop tone going on, standard for a schwarzbier. Taste: Easy drinking caramel flowing malt backbone blended nicely with the cocoa slightly burnt flavor, herbal German hop character is subtle but dances nicely in the whole mix. Mouthfeel: A nice medium bodied black lager goes down very smooth carbonation does tickle the gullet just a bit, overall easy drinking. Drinkability: Great representation of a schwarzbier Sam Adams does a nice job brewing this German specialty, the only other version I have had that blows this away was Heavyweight's Black Ocean which was a small beer version of Perkuno's Hammer not mindblowing but solid.

11-10-2005 22:35:37 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of TongoRad

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +11.3%

SA Black Lager pours a dark translucent brown/black with a killer long lasting tan head.

There is a moderate yet nearly spot-on aroma. It is a great blend of toasty malt, floral/spicy hops and just the right amount of roast malt character. It is more straightforward than complex, but damn fine nonetheless.

The palate is liquid velvet- very well balanced with a dry roasty finish that leaves you wanting for more.

This is a quality Schwartzbier, and at the affordable Sam Adams prices- quite a find.

11-05-2005 01:33:07 | More by TongoRad
Photo of Fugazme


4.03/5  rDev +8.6%

Pours ruby tones at the bottom of the glass and dark brown throughout. Not as black as I thought it would be. Ha!
1/2" off-white head, slightly creamy with some big bubbles. Settles out slow.
Nose is malty and hoppier than expected. I wasn't really expecting any hops, but they are there. Decent roasted aromas and a gentle sweetness. Nice touch of chocolate and even a bit of raspberry.
Smooth mouthfeel, kind of creamy or oily. Mostly grainy flavor. A very good beer and I'm glad it was included in the holiday pack.

11-01-2005 19:42:58 | More by Fugazme
Photo of ghostwalker


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

12 oz bottle from the Sam Adams Holiday Variety Case. $20 at Sam's Club, always a winter favorite of mine!

Black with ruby/brown highlights. Light tan head, 1/2", fell off quickly.

Malty, roasted barley nose.

Sweet malt and chocolate flavor. I definitely get the smoky, bitter aftertaste that seems to build up as the pint progresses. Even with these flavors, it still always remains sweet. I know that this may sound heavy, but it's not. In fact this is really quite light on the palate for what it is.

Mouthfeel is moderately thin, but still has some body.

Very drinkable. I was recommended this beer by a co-worker. He's right, it's very good. Now that I have tried it in the variety pack, it could easily become a regular purchase in the standard 6-pack.

11-01-2005 01:52:23 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

Deep nearly black ruby in color with a creamy light tan head. Nice head retention and sticky sheets of lacing. Smells quite malty - caramel, semi-sweet, roasted chocolate and coffee beans. Rich roasted/burnt black malt flavors - bittersweet, caramel. Medium body with moderate carbonation - dry finish. Very easy to drink.

Good session beer here. Seems like a lighter alternative to a stout - malty and sweet. Enjoyable and not to be overlooked.

10-31-2005 01:00:45 | More by wedge
Photo of sacfly


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%

Purchase before notched at MAR. Part of the holiday 12 pack 2005

Pours very dark, but you can see through it in the light. A very dark red. Thin, tan head of medium bubbles. Aroma is of roasted grains. Slight coffee. I immediately taste black patent malt. Seems this is where the dark color comes from. (note: the bottle says “Specialty roasted caramel and chocolate malts”, but the taste to me is all black patent and a bit of crystal 120). Light body. Nice and clean in the finish with the burnt character lingering for a while balanced with a bit of sweetness. A “porter light” without the sweetness.

10-30-2005 00:54:26 | More by sacfly
Photo of MurphyMacManus


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

12oz. longneck poured into Imperial pint glass.

Appearance: very dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to light. Light tan-colored head that stays and sticks to the glass a bit.

Smell: Sweet malt, molasses, and a distinct impression of black licorice. I'm thinking that last one is the hops.

Taste: Sweetness from the caramel and chocolate malts, a mild spiciness from the hops, and very light bitterness in the finish. There's a bit of a smoky, roasty character reminiscent of a good stout or whiskey, but it's not as pronounced in the Black Lager.

Mouthfeel: Given the taste, surprisingly light. I'd expect this one to coat my vocal cords the way a Guinness Extra Stout or a Mackeson might, but it doesn't. There's undoubtedly some body to it, but it's not at all heavy.

Drinkability: The lightness of this brew and it's pleasant flavour make it easy to drink as a session beer. This is something I could drink all day, and I say that about very few beers.

10-29-2005 05:17:51 | More by MurphyMacManus
Photo of granger10


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

This was a another nice offering from S.A. Pours a deep chestnut color with a large frothy tan head that holds for a good amount of time. Aroma is a bit weak but definitely had a baker's chocolate, nutty, and toasted grain element to it. Taste is really quite nice. Begins with some toasted grains. Then moves to a more creamy, milky flavor. Chocolate sits in the background until the finish which leans on the sweet side. Hops are there and provide balance and some bitterness the whole way. Mouthfeel was leaning on the thin side but it wasn't too thin. This does have a lager feel to it and is quite a nice drinker. Worth trying.

10-28-2005 13:33:24 | More by granger10
Photo of NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

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


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

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.

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


3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

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


4.03/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

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

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +7.8%

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.

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


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -2.2%

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!

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


4.18/5  rDev +12.7%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

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!

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


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

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


3.33/5  rDev -10.2%

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.

10-03-2005 03:18:28 | More by Winter
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,462 ratings.