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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 zjungleist
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a really dark amber color, but not black exactly, with a dull white, foamy head. Smell is pretty sweet with burnt caramel/sugar aromas. Taste is still pretty sweet, with some decent roasted malt and bitter hop flavors. Lots of caramel flavors, not a lot of chocolate flavors. Not exactly complex, but well balanced. Mouth feel has plenty of carbonation as well as body. Overall, a decent brew, and probably my favorite offering from Sam Adams.

Photo of garymuchow
4.19/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is a nice simple roast with just a shot of hoppy spiciness. Simple but nice. Takes on a bit of soy sauce.
Appearance is a clear deep dark brown with reddish hues. Smallish tan head. Some lacing.
Dark malt taste with coffee like flavors. Moderately dry.
Very clean (as a lager should be). Appropriately medium light. Very fine carbonation a a lot of it. Appropriately crisp.
Nicely done.

Photo of doppelmeup
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed in this beer.

Poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Very dark color, about 3/8 inch head. Very dark, tan color. Not really any hints of red or garnet.

Smell was good. A bit chocolatey, a bit malty.

Taste was alright. Sort of like a watered down stout. Slightly sweet and slightly malty. Not much bitterness.

I didn't care for the mouthfeel. It stayed around long after drinking the beer. Not a clean feeling.

It wasn't a bad beer, but I don't think I'd buy it again.

Photo of RJLarse
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this beer in a Holiday 12 Pack, six different beers, two bottles of each.

I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler. It has a black color and is all but opaque. The head was thin, and dissipated quickly with minimal lacing.

The beer smells sweet and smokey, like roasted malt.

The taste is slightly sweet, and smokey, with hints of caramel and chocolate flavor. The after taste lingers and is pleasant.

I enjoyed this beer. It is a nice dark lager. I’m sure it is billed as a seasonal (winter) offering, but I would be inclined to drink it occasionally year round. This is a very pleasant and drinkable dark beer.

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

Part of the Sam Winter Pack....

Pours nearly black, not much head. Light to moderate carbonation. Nose is light, malty, slight coffee notes. Taste is light as well, smooth sweet malts, coffee and milk. Mild and smooth. Pretty good and quite drinkable.

Photo of stof0048
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown with a hint of red. Essentially no head after the initial pour, minimal lacing.

S: Mostly smells of malt and a bit of wheat.

T: Malty, a bit sweet with a hint of hops.

M: Very smooth, nice "bubbliness" over the tongue, medium body.

D: Very good sippin' beer. Could sit back all night and go glass after glass with this stuff.

Overall, excellent beer for a domestic. Very impressed with the Sam Adams I've tried thus far.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Sam Adams Holiday Sampler found at Woodman's East here in Madison. A new feature of the sampler apparently.

Pours a schwarz-y black with a finger of eggshell head and passable lacing. Nose is husky, toasted malts, old, charred coffee grounds and a splash of bittersweet baking chocolate. Flavor is all malt - toasted bread with notes of burnt toffee and coffee grounds. Mouthfeel is actually a little creamy which was surprising - one of the more substantial schwarzes I've encountered. A nice offering from Sam Adams here, though it doesn't quite compete with Wisconsin's own Black Bavarian/Moravians. I've had 5 or 6 of their brews now and have yet to be disappointed.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer itself is a rich dark brown. The head is thick and creamy leaving a good lace on the glass, but the head disappeared a little bit quicker than I had expected.

S: Strong but sweet smell of chocolate and malt, not overpowering though.

T: Initial taste is of chocolate, malt and hops with a faint taste of coffee. A sweet coffee flavor is more prevelant in the after taste. Very enjoyable taste.

M: Very smooth with decent thickness, not bitter at all as many Sam Adams products tend to be.

D: I could go through a lot of these very easily. The only reason I don't give the beer a 5 in this category is because of the heaviness of it, which is customary for the style of beer.

I enjoyed this beer a great deal, so much so, that it prompted my first beer review. Execellent smoothness and taste. My only complaint about this beer is that to the best of my knowledge, it's only available alone in sixers or variety packs with other Sam Adams beers. 2 per 6-pack; 3 per 12-pack. I don't mind trying the other beers but I would like to buy this beer in alone in a 12-pack or larger.

Photo of hoffman
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Head rises but to only about 1/2 finger befor settling to a nice bubbly tan cap on the beer. Lacing stays about 1 inch above the beer down the glass. The nose on this one is sweet, some sour dark fruits and slight sugary grains come through....if the aroma was more robust it would command a much higher score, but it is a bit faint. I really enjoyed the flavor of this one. Smooth slightly grainy with that sour dark fruit mirroring the nose. A neat mellow burnt flavor fin the finish but an overall smooth sweet and inviting taste. Very nice. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and adequately carbonated. This is very drinkable beer, smooth, sweet, mild and not too heavy easily sessionable. A nice choice for the cool months of winter.

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. The appearance was dark brown, with a slight creamy head. Very good appearance; slight lacing to the pint glass.

Smell was of chocolate mixed with a slight coffee/espresso aroma. Very nice. Taste was also of a chocolately coffee; not very bitter, not sweet -- just right! Really enjoyable aftertaste brings out the coffee taste.

Mouthfeel: very good body & creamy. Drinkability was also excellent. Could definitely drink a few of these on a nice cold winter night.

Overall--a great Sam Adams dark beer to drink in the winter. Glad I picked it up!

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce standard brown glass bottle with a “Sam Adams” embossed shoulder. Classic Sam Adams label design with a black on golden-yellow coloring and the word ‘Black Lager’ on the main label. Has a nicked “April 2006” Brewery Fresh date.

Appearance: Deep brown body, pellucid with some streamers when closely examined, but depending on the incandescent light it can project a black stout look, but held to the window it is more like an Olde style Porter. Soft tan colored head looks good and creamy, it leaves some nice ring type lacing. Good conditioning and a decent appearance.

Nose: Roasted beans and malts, but the odors are middling in strength. Some bakers yeast and a burnt crusty bread back end.

Taste: Roasted coffee with a bitterness that depresses any sweetness in the front half. Middle has a burnt bread dimension, like charred toast, bitterness and some light rescinding instant coffee. Chocolate coffee sweetness emerges in the finish. Some hop bitterness as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Fair to middling Mouthfeel is never that big, but it does lend a decent enough body that does its job. Creamy with a nice burnt bitterness, dry as well.

Drinkability: A reasonable drinker, a refreshing brew to boot to so it is more than able to quench any thirst. I snaffled two bottles of these from a mixed pack and had one straight after the other; in fact I topped up the remnants of my first bottle with the second.

Overall: I don’t get to drink that many Black Lagers, I’d be hard pressed to name more than a couple of US versions of the style, so this is a solid change of pace and it is nicely done. I would but this again. Enjoyable!

Photo of hanco005
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got this beer as part of the Sam Adams Holiday Pack.

A--deep rich dark brown, not much of a head

S--strong chocolate and caramel malt smell

T--sweet and mellow with a nice combo of chocolate and caramel flavors. Caught a hint of coffee flavor for some reason, especially on the aftertaste

M--very smooth, but heavy

D--a very nice sipping lager. Great on a cold Minnesota night!

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

12 oz brown longneck with clear freshness dating.

The beer is a dark brown with a beige head. Sticky lacing.

The nose is of roasted malts, molasses and a bit of coffee.

Nice slightly sweet roasted malt taste. I get almost a bit of espresso in the background. No off or bad notes here. This is a well made substantial tasting beer. Best served at cellar temp to bring out all those nice flavors.

Nice creamy mouth. Very easy drinker here. Well done Sam Adams!!

Photo of NClifestyle
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice addition to the sam adams beer front.
dark ruby red/brown in color, thick off-white head. keeps a think layer on the beer, with scant points of lace on the glass.
roasted malt aroma, slightly coffee/toffee. sweet bread smell.
flavor is mostly sweet malt, roasted and nice. a touch of mild hop shows up in the back of the mouth and in the aftertaste, but malt is dominant.
and extremely easy drinking lager, but with lots of flavor. smooth, and a bit creamy, but medium to medium/thin in mouthfeel. i could probably drink these all night, and it's a great break from the heavy beers, or a switch from hop heavy brews to the malt side.


Photo of AlexJ
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Better than expected, this pours out very dark brown with mahogany highlights and a dense little head of coffee colored froth.

Aroma is sweet caramel, charred malts, chocolate, dry leather, and toasted nuts.

Flavor follows closely with a chewy mix of caramel, chocolate, and roasted nuts. Nice noble hop finish.

Body between medium and light. Soft creamy mouthfeel and light carbonation. Not bad at all!

Photo of kkipple
2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I love the Boston Beer Company. These guys make solid, sometimes great beer that's ubiquitous and cheap. The BBC is anything but traditional; their product line ranges from the insane 25% abv Utopias to little-produced styles, like this Schwarzbier. (Also the Cranberry Lambic, but we won't go there.)

I have to admit this is the first Schwarzbier of any kind I've tried, so I'm curious. A black lager? What's that? Let's see...

Pours a dark coffee color with a small 1/4th inch head. Looks a lot like a Guinness Extra Stout to me. Smell is scant, coffee and malt. Mostly coffee.

Taste is... well, weak. Roasted malt, some sweetness, maybe a hint of caramel. Not much else... pretty watery. Not really sure what I was expecting, but this really is a dark-colored, roasty-flavored lager. Odd.

Mouthfeel is thin, a bit dry, with a malty aftertaste. This isn't filling me up, yet.

I don't much care for lagers, so I won't lie and pretend I liked this one. It's just strange... I mean, if I want stout, I'll drink stout. If I was partial to lager I'd drink cat piss -- I mean, lager. I guess this could be a good cross-over beer for the lager fan who hasn't gotten into darker beer. Kind of mixed on this one. It's not an awful beer but you can get a lot better. Props to the BBC for trying something different, in any case.

Photo of Phatz
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours almost black with slight red highlights. Nice tan head and decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts and a bit of coffee of toffee. Seems thick even in the nose.

Taste: Molasses comes to mind, the real stuff (black). A bit of dark chocolate. Super sweet aftertaste of Carmel, followed by a slight dry bitterness on the tip of your tongue.

Mouthfeel: Feels like a lager (medium weight) but tastes like a stout (very syrupy). Smooth. Wow, this is a stout lovers jackpot.

Drinkability: This is a very easy drinking beer. It is to sweet to be sessionable for me but one goes down very easily.

Every time this beer is such a sweet treat. Tonight we had some double chocolate cake with a dark chocolate icing and the Black Lager was just perfect after the coffee with the cake… wow!

Hope this is helpful.

Photo of maxpower
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a dark brownish almost black color, nice wispy brown head that leaves a good lacing in my glass, faint roasted coffee and chocolate aroma, decent roasted malty flavors, light bodied with a somewhat watery mouthfeel, it has a nice roasty bitter finish, average for the style, decent

Photo of jslot38
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from 05-06 Winter, Freshness date marked

Appearance: Pours with a lovely cascading effect. Large beige to tan head settles over a near black, deep mahogany coloured body, slight amber hues. Lacing sticks to the glass throughout. Head never leaves half an inch.

Smell: Notes of caramel interlaced with deep roasted nutty chocolate. As if a candy bar, without the sweetness.

Taste: Roasted malts overwhelm a floral hop notes. Slight spices forumalte in a deep and rich caramel and dark chocolate malt background. Very Light hints of smoke, certainly roasted nuts.

Mouthfeel: The great simplicity of a lager with the taste complexities of an ale. Carbonation upfront lingers for a second and then is overtaken by a great malt smoothness. Hops never interfere with the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Its a lager, and yet one that tastes great, with a light body like this one, I could enjoy a few of these.

Notes: A great style, one that I am new to, but will certainly seek out more examples of. As I said before, the idea of a lager with the taste complexities and appearance of an ale (almost a porter) intrigues me, and Sam Adams does this to near perfection.

Photo of MetroOhio
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
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).

Photo of UberWasser
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Photo of metallistout
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of evanackerman
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of andjusticeforale
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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