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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.

2,456 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,456
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 48
Gots: 68 | 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: 2,456 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours with a thick, frothy full tan colored head that sits atop a deep amber colored beer that shows clear ruby highlights when held up to the light. The aroma is fairly tame with notes of chocolate, and astringent roast coffee. The taste is smooth and almost creamy up front, it then moves to a malty sweet note that accentuates the notes of chocolate that are also found in the taste. It finishes with a bit of hoppy spiciness and a lightly biting bitterness. The chocolate notes of this beer are the most noticeably and make for an easy drinking smooth beer. This is a pretty good attempt, but I must admit I like a bit more smooth roast character in my Schwarzbiers.

07-18-2005 02:39:20 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Suds


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

This brew is a very dark, nearly black, liquid with a slight reddish hue. Moderate size on the cream-colored head. The aroma is very nice: dark chocolate and coffee. It’s a very roasted, even burnt aroma. There’s not a lot of sweetness in this brew…just a hint in the foretaste…instead, the flavor centers on the nice roasted characters. There’s a little caramel, a little charcoal, and a little chalkiness. Just a small amount of hop bitterness in the finish, which is pretty dry. This is a very nice brew…one of the better from Sam Adam’s in recent years.

07-17-2005 16:59:22 | More by Suds
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

Presented in a 12oz bottle I brought back from Boston. Label bore no freshness date. Served in an imperial pint glass.
Black Lager had a clear dark brown color, slight visible carbonation, and a creamy beige head that collapsed very quickly down to a tiny ring, leaving no lace.
The nose had a decent roasted malt aroma overlaid with hints of chocolate and under-strength coffee. The taste had a sweet maltiness up front as a modest caramel flavor merged with the roasted malt base. Mild chocolate notes slip across the tongue in concert with the coffee flavor, almost caffe mocha-like. Not too much in the way of bittering though I caught some near the finish that reminded me of black walnuts, faintly nutty and bitter. The feel was medium-bodied, moreso than expected, and fairly lively on the tongue despite the seeming absence of carbonation.
Overall, I ended up liking this Sam Adams brew. Easily drinkable and showing decent breadth of character. Recommended.

07-14-2005 16:33:21 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.3/5  rDev +15.9%

Drink by 11/05... from a 12 ounce bottle poured into a goblet.
This is very, very nice.
An awesome alternative for someone who likes stouts and porters, but doesn't want the heavyness of such just at that moment... like maybe during the summertime.
Smoothness all around. Solid malty flavors, with some milk chocolate and mild coffee flavors rolling around. Doesn't have the hops bitterness that it's bigger beer cousins have and that's fine by me.
This makes me want to check out other brews of the style.
A fine anytime brew.

07-14-2005 00:32:09 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of OatherS


4.38/5  rDev +18.1%

Normal SA label but it is black.

A: Great black color, with only a hint of amber on the edges through light. One finger head pretty good for a big brewery beer.

S: Maly, chocolate, coffee aromas.

T: Same flavors as the aroma, but they are sudbued and not overwhelming like a stout for example. Very good example of a schwarz.

M: Smooth.

D: Really good beer, especially for a relatively large brewery.

07-10-2005 22:36:07 | More by OatherS
Photo of HoorayBeer


4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

I had this Black Lager out of a variety pack the other day, and I was in for a surprise.
The Black Lager had a deep dark reddish brown color, almost like a cherry cola. A little carbonation sticking to the glass. Looks almost like a Bock. It had hints of caramel malts with a hint of chocolate or coffee, very strong aroma.
The taste was cocoa bean right on the front of the tongue. Mixed with a barley made a good combination of flavor on the palate. The toasted malts came through in the aftertaste. The taste was well preserved as time went on. I thoroughly enjoyed this different Sam Adam's brew.

07-10-2005 06:40:50 | More by HoorayBeer
Photo of karengarys


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

Wow! It's a sam adams, but it is good!!!

Plurs black as one would expect, transparent, and leaves a bit of a head.

Smells like coffee, malts and a hint of carmel.

Taste is malty malty malty and coffee and some dark sweetness, maybe vanilla or molassis?

Mouthfeel is fairly creamy, and is present even as it warms.

The body is fair, though I think it was slightly thinner than I would want.

Finish is surprisingly clean - the coffee smacks the back of the tongue, and dissipears as the hops cleans it. No real aftertaste...

I'm not an adams type of person, but this is an exception! Try it!

07-08-2005 00:31:19 | More by karengarys
Photo of bigone4

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

This beer was smooth and poured quite nice. It had a darkish tan head the led to some even lacing around the glass. Very dark in color almost a real ruby black color. Smelled great with hints of coffee or chocolate quite malty. It was a very enjoyable beer and went down very smooth and refreshingly. It is a great beer by my opion. It is nice to have the stronger malt and coffee flavors come through in a lighter brew rather than a Porter or Stout which usually has these flavors. Samual Adams does a great job accenting the distinct flavors in their brews. Very enjoyable and would recomend others to try.

07-07-2005 12:39:37 | More by bigone4
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%

Pours a fluffy medium tan head over clear deep brown liquid. Sweet malt and light chocolate nose. Subtle chocolate and roasted barley flavors with brief fruity note. Light yet palpable hoppiness. Lingering roastiness makes this lager lip smacking good...very good. One of the better Sam A brews

07-06-2005 23:20:58 | More by beerluvr
Photo of scooter231

New York

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%

Picked this up in a sampler 6pack, and I'm really glad I did. Never heard of a Schwarzbier before, so I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself in to or what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Dark, dark looking beer. Smells... coffeeish, caramel, a hint of some spices. Taste is great- more coffee, some chocolate, a nice amount of caramel. A bit of roasted flavors as well. This tasted to me like a light stout- same bold, tasty flavors, but it wasn't nearly as heavy or filling. In fact, the mouthfeel on this was quite nice- a bit bubbly, chewy, and not heavy. Very drinkable. Very tasty.

07-06-2005 05:51:23 | More by scooter231
Photo of lackenhauser


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%

Deep chestnut brown in color. Slight tan head and some good lacing. Very low aroma-some caramel notes. Slightly sweet. Good malty flavor-low roasted bitterness. Hop flavor only slightly discernable. Nice mouthfeel. Full yet somewhat crisp. A good beer from Sam Adams. Hats off to them for doing a style that not a lot of breweries try. Well worth having.

07-04-2005 20:20:52 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of RBorsato


4.93/5  rDev +32.9%

Dark dark brown with ruby hues, a nice full creamy tan to light brown head, and decent carbonation which leaves some lace rings. Dark chocolate and roasty aroma; espresso like coffee character. Dark chocolate flavors dominate with a roasty coffee bean finish in the Robust Porter style. Medium bodied and smooth with a dry roasty finish.

Quite possibly the best Sam Adams brew I've ever had !! Nearer a Robust Porter in my book.

Per Label: "Roasted caramel and Chocolate malts" & "Noble Bavarian hops"

Per BBC website:
OG 14 P / 1.096 SG
191 cal
4.9 ABV
Malts: 2-row Pale, Munich, Weyermann Dehusked Carafa
Hops: Spalt Spalter

Purchase Before: 09/05 (notched)
Tasted: 06/26/05

06-28-2005 15:53:01 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Fish113d


3.6/5  rDev -3%

Served from a chilled 12 oz. bottle into an English Ale glass, it pours a rich dark brown color, allowing very little light through the glass, and leaving a 1/2" tan head that is very spongy and full leaving lots of lattice-work on the glass.

Aroma is of lots of robust roasted dark malts with a slight bit of fruit (rasberries) on the nose and some cocoa or coffee tones, along with a bit of grainy hops. Nothing spectacular jumps out at me with this one leaving a lot to be desired.

TAking a sip, I notice a nice, robust, roasted flavor, along with some slight caramels and cocoa flavors. It also gives the notion of some rasberry chocolate and maybe some coffee flavors on the finish. Pretty sweet and less roasty than expected. However, this almost has a porter-type feel to it.

Little to average carbonation on the sip, followed by a bit of smooth buttery richness is the body of this. Pretty full-bodied, making it tough to drink more than one or a few of these.

06-27-2005 00:22:32 | More by Fish113d
Photo of cubedbee


3.98/5  rDev +7.3%

Pours a very dark brown with reddish tints and a thin beige head that quickly fades to a thin cap. Aroma is chocolate, currants, caramel, and some roasted malts. Taste starts out as dry unsweetened chocolate, moving into a mild roasted bitterness and then a pleasant hop bite that lingers for just a second. Mouthfeel and carbonation are both medium for a creamy smooth feeling. This is a drinkable summer alternative to a porter or a stout that I quite enjoyed.

06-25-2005 17:19:57 | More by cubedbee
Photo of Brian700


3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

This beer pours black with an off-white head that faded into a ring around my glass. The aroma is predominately chocolate and roasted malt. The taste is of chocolate, roasted malt, mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is decent. Medium body and carbonation. It's a pretty good tasting beer. It's better than I had guessed it would be.

06-21-2005 05:16:37 | More by Brian700
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

The beer poured into the glass clear black with a tannish head which rose slightly and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was roasty with chocolate and expresso coffee. Some slight caramel aromas existed, but they were far in the background. The aroma was also slightly nutty and toasty.

The flavor was light with nutty Munich malt flavor and slight caramel, but those came behind the roastiness in the brew. As the maltiness dies back the flavor became more roasty and expresso based. A very slight portion of the flavor was chocolate, but roastiness was what really took the forefront.

The finish was dry with lasting roasty/coffee flavor long and pleasant into the aftertaste. The body was just below medium, but fine for the style. A bit overly roasty for a schwartzbier, but nicely drinkable. Lower the roast and this might be a quite different beer.

12 ounce bottle, best before September 2005.

06-20-2005 00:37:01 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of packetknife


4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

The best Sam's I've had so far. Pours a dark dark brown but notably not blackish. Dense tan head that laced well. You've get hints of amber in the sunlight. Smelled malty, a bit of coffee, and pleasantly sweet. The nose didn't require deliberate effort, it just wafter off into your senses. The taste was nearly exceptional with a smooth consistent malt/baker's chocolate/coffee/barley taste that even my beer fearing GF loved. Creamy smooth, carbonated just right, with no bothersome residue and very drinkable.

06-16-2005 11:07:41 | More by packetknife
Photo of Foxman

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -0.8%

It came to me a rich ruby brown, clear if dark, with some trails of carbonation visible. A pillowy light tan head lingered nicely, and some lacing adorned the glass.

The aroma was chiefly roasted malt, more bitter than sweet, with a very vague hops air wading thinly into the mix.

The first sip delivered a dark-ish malt sweetness, with some earthy fruit notes, none deep enough to be called by a definitive name, but still pleasant enough. The well-baked malt and bittering hops combined to produce a slightly acrid tang which quickly ceded to a brief glimpse of a more sugary sweetness. The bitterness returned at the finish, blinking out before much of a stay.

Maybe just short of medium bodied, it had a nice creamy feel about it, coating sweetly, if briefly, doing itself some credit.

It was kind of twisty and turny, in that it never seemed to finish an impression before it moved on to the next one, but the sum of the part is tasty enough to make it an easy quaff. I'm not about to sing its praises, but I will gladly have another...just not likely on my dime, thank you.

06-13-2005 16:14:42 | More by Foxman
Photo of fdrich29


4/5  rDev +7.8%

Have heard about this offering from Sam Adams for some time but had not seen it with my own eyes until this past week at the Wine Cellar of Silene in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Pours a beautiful black, with some red and brown hues. Nice little head and a wee bit of lacing.

Nice malty aroma with a clean malt taste. Light body, refreshing. Quite smooth going down. Little bit of carbination kick.

Had I tried this beer last week I would have entered it as my pick for the "what is your go to session beer" thread du jour.

06-13-2005 04:43:24 | More by fdrich29
Photo of clvand0


4.2/5  rDev +13.2%

This one pours a dark brown color with a tall off-white head that has good retention and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma has a light coffee and chocolate thing going on - smells pretty good, but also very mild. The flavor doesn't have the same level of coffee, but it has a nice dose of the chocolate. Pretty creamy body for a schwarzbier. The drinkability is very good. I'm very impressed with this beer. As good if not better than any other schwarzbier I've had.

06-12-2005 03:16:38 | More by clvand0
Photo of ChrisBowers


3.58/5  rDev -3.5%

Pours from the bottle charcoal black with a slight ruby tinge. Light head that tapers off to a nice lacing. Aromas are typical for a schwartzbier/dark lager. Roasted malts, barley, etc. Taste is fairly one dimensional. Dark roasted malts, slightly sweet up front, slightly bitter finish. Someone thin in the mouthfeel. I've found this with a lot of schwartzbiers though, so I think some of my opinion may be based on the fact that this is not one of my favorite styles. I do give SA credit for branching out into an often overlooked style which tells me they're quite all about profits yet. Its a quite drinkable beer though, wouldn't make a bad session brew I think. I'd be curious to have it on tap.

06-11-2005 03:30:13 | More by ChrisBowers
Photo of Brent


3.68/5  rDev -0.8%

Took a surprisingly long time for this to show up in sixers around here. Nice dark color with a touch of ruby at the edge. Gentle, sweet malt aroma. Straightforward roasted malt flavors - no straying into coffee or chocolate here - just moderated roastedness. A little sweet marshmallow in the back, and finishes with enough tannic astringency to clean up. Nicely done, particularly for what is now a "better quality macro brewer." I also give them credit for going with a fairly stark, but accurate name for the beer, rather than some catchy mass-marketing name.

06-06-2005 14:38:53 | More by Brent
Photo of amicar


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%

Pours a nice black color, or maybe just very dark brown, with tan- tinged head, that thins out quickly. Slight roast smell with a little toffee- sweet smell. Tastes a tiny bit sweet with mild roast malts balancing it well. Feels nice and crisp in the mouth, but surprises me by giving a decent fullness in the mouth midswallow. Light enough to drink several of. This is nice- it's kind of like a very light stout, but has enough flavor and balance to make such a light beer tasty.

06-03-2005 02:20:55 | More by amicar
Photo of proc


3.83/5  rDev +3.2%

A very nice offering from the Sammy beer folks. This one pours out to a nice, blackness in the glass with a slight head. At first glance you think you are about to imbibe on a stout or porter only to be surprised at first by how light it is, then impressed at how flavorful it finishes. This one starts out a bit slow but builds impressively on the mouthfeel to deliver tastes of chocolate, coffee and malt. Very nicely done. A fine Schwarzbeir.

05-31-2005 01:44:09 | More by proc
Photo of Gagnonsux


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%

Sampled as part of the Brewmaster's Collection mixed sixpack. The color is almost black with a ruby glow when viewed against a light source. Head is average-sized and light brown. Retention is pretty good for a dark lager. Aroma is a little too low key, but nice bready malts are noticed with just a touch of spice. The taste is primarily of an excellent chocolatey malt. Subtle flavors of roastedness, nuttiness, and spice add layers of complexity. For me, Samuel Adams Black Lager is addictively tasty. Now if they would only start selling this by the sixer around here, I would have no problems with the Boston Beer Company.

05-31-2005 01:41:18 | More by Gagnonsux
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,456 ratings.