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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 Beastdog75
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
jmz62565

Connecticut

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
Dmann

California

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
nortmand

Virginia

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
Winter

Wisconsin

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
tempest

Pennsylvania

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
assurbanipaul

Texas

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
burnstar

Pennsylvania

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
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
Bitterbill

Wyoming

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
SteveO1231

Connecticut

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
Wasatch

Utah

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
rowew

Colorado

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
taez555

Massachusetts

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
Photo of JAL67
JAL67

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very impressive beer from SA. I like the fact that they are experimenting more with differnt styles.

This black beer could be confused with a stout but...then there is the taste and what a taste it is. Malt and chocolate hit you but not too strong. Beautiful lace and a nice head. Though it's dark not at all heavy...not many dark beers are heavy anyway. I could drink this all nite

Hats off to SA.

Cheers

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2005 02:51:07 | More by JAL67
Photo of LarryV
LarryV

Massachusetts

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

Pours almost black with red tinges around the edge. Formed about a 1/2" tan head that faded fairly quickly. Aroma of roasted malt, almost molasses like. Taste is very smooth with hints of caramel and chocolate. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a bit of hop bitterness showing through on the tail end. Overall a pretty nice brew and well executed. I gave a lower score on drinkability because I find it to be a rather filling beer and I really don't think I could drink more than two of these in a row. Makes a great after dinner brew though.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 23:29:50 | More by LarryV
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

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

I am drinking a ligthly chilled bottle in a pint glass. The beer pours a deep mahogany color with a soft fluffy beige head of 2 cm foaming up. The aroma is roasted malt almost to the point of smoky charred wood. There is also a mild chocolate presence and a bit of caramel as well.
The head fades slowly to a sturdy surface layer.
The first sip reveals an average body with very fine and tingly carbonation that stings just a little.
Flavor is slightly sweet up front with a hint of brown sugar and then gives way to roasted malt and some espresso like flavors. OVerall the beer is sweet and mild which makes it incredibly easy to drink. Not a big thinking beer, but for sure a tasty one!

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 01:23:06 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of orsulacp
orsulacp

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loved the black color in the glass, with the tan 1" head, very inviting. The pour showed a deep ruby color that you couldn't see in the glass. Sweet caramel, with a bit of coffee and some roasted almond smokiness in the smell. The taste started like a bitter chocolate, then some molasses, and ending with the bitter chocolate with a very clean finish, nothing left behind. There was low carbonation and a medium body making the beer very easy to drink. I really liked this. I only tried two other black or dark lagers (Victory and Weeping Radish) and this beat both of them.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2005 19:03:32 | More by orsulacp
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep brown, almost black color with tannish puffy head that lasted throughout the gflass. Some reddish tints noted. Smell is toasty with caramel in the background. First taste is very good with chocolate, coffee, and caramel found, but as the beer starts to warm the taste become less impressive. Finishes very mildly. An OK beer, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2005 00:35:46 | More by tgbljb
Photo of jhammerly
jhammerly

Nebraska

4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not being very familiar with Black Lagers, I was excited when I seen this available in my area. Sadly, only two bottles came in the Samuel Adams Mix-Pack. This could be a style that I could get used to.

An almost black appearance with a two-finger width head that dissipated rather quickly. A faint smell of raosted malt. Highly drinkable with a heavy raosted taste that lingers for awhile, with hints of fig. Like a medium-roast coffee that can be gulped instead of sipped.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2005 07:55:21 | More by jhammerly
Photo of PBRstreetgang
PBRstreetgang

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours opaque, nearly black with a ruby tint. A tan, three finger head with a creamy consistency and good retention that leaves spiderweb lacing. Noble and floral hops in the nose, with a roasted malt aroma and raisin or fig scent. Bitterness is mild, and comes mostly from the hops. Sweet dark fruit flavor from the malt gives it a decent balance. Mouthfeel comes off very smooth with a middle of the road body and carbonation; but the hops fail to dry the sweet finish, and the drinkability suffers.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2005 04:03:52 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of IrishRedRock
IrishRedRock

Pennsylvania

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

Best before Sept '05 on the bottle. I'm pleased anytime an American brewery crafts their version of a Schwarzbier. This one pours a deep mahogany, not quite black. Thick foamy head quickly reduces to a thin lace around the glass. Nose has some charred malt and hazelnut aromas. Imparts some dark chocolate and a nutty peanut buttery flavor balanced by a quick mild hop zing in the finish. Love the fact that its sub 5%-ABV...such an easy drinker, and a true session beer for sure. Mouthfeel is a bit acrid and spritzy on the tip of the tongue at first, but graduates to a smoothness in the finish. One I'd gladly take a few of, and a bit more flavorful than their standard "lager" offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2005 00:14:34 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of murrayswine
murrayswine

Arizona

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I took up a mix pack of Sam Adams to give it a whirl.

The pour gave a decent white head with good lacing that stayed around for the majority of the tasting.

The beer looks black but is actually a dark and uneven mahogany color with crimson tones.

The smell is like a light stout. Cold coffee, burgundy cherries, and some semi sweet chocalate. The smell is actually has little stale finish.

The taste initially reminds me of guiness draugh without the body. It's mellow and a little thin, but the taste overall is nice. Good balance of sweet and bitters, but no real legs.

The mouthfeel, for me was the worst part, like a bad diet soda, though it could be a bad bottle.

Overall this isnt a bad beer, especially for the price, but is a far cry from other blacks.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2005 03:36:03 | More by murrayswine
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

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

The Royal Falconer in Riverside, CA. knocked off their Old Speckled Hen tap to have this new, heavily advertised (and propped by the servers) tap in a place that doesn't change taps very often.

Poured into Samuel Adams Black Lager logo stemmed goblet.

At first look, is nothing but black, but actually, when held up to light is a translucent dark brown. A small but well-built head of off white bubbles is quite attractive.

Aroma is of dark roasty malt, more toasty than chocolate/caramel. A slight sweetness wafts up from the glass.

Flavor is roasty, almost light smokiness with a moderate hop finish. No carmale, chocolate, more on the coffee end of the spectrum of flavor profile, although it's not really a coffe flavor. Middle of the road, I guess. Not real complicated

Mouthfeel is lager thin, but clean and refreshing, and easily drinkable. Pretty tasty, and went down very easily.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2005 15:41:55 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of sinistermadman
sinistermadman

Oregon

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

Pours a dark brown with an amber hue. Very slight head from pour.
Smell is subtle caramel and other sugary malts.

Mouthfeel is relatively flat and smooth. Subtle chocolate and mocha notes make themselves known before the brew settles into a common hoe hum finish. I could use more hop kick, but then again I have never reviewed a Schwarzbier so this could be the norm. All in all not a bad brew from one of the more mainstream craft breweries.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2005 00:15:28 | More by sinistermadman
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,442 ratings.