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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

2,460 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,460
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 48
Gots: 71 | 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: 2,460 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

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
amicar

Missouri

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
proc

Michigan

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
Gagnonsux

Texas

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
Photo of mjohn27603
mjohn27603

Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -9.7%

Pours blackish to dark brown in color. Head is tanish and overfills the glass. Aroma is almost non-existent. Not any distinguishable aroma. First sip reveals a roasted taste. Some charcoal and sweetness in the aftertaste. Tastes of ashes and sweetness. Very typical schwarzbier taste. Not my favorite style but definitely a credible example. Part of a variety six pack. Best before Sept. 2005.

05-31-2005 00:15:27 | More by mjohn27603
Photo of sabrills70
sabrills70

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

Pours a dark (duh) ruby red brown, not qiute black. Has a creamy 2 finger head and very nice lacing. Smells of a slightly roasted malt with hits of coffee. Smells more on the sweet side than roasted side, good chocolate smells as well. A fine tasting schwarzbier. Mild roastedness with some nice sweet malts with some coffee and chocolate flavors. Not a bunch of hoppiness to speak of but just enough, maybe even a bit lacking. High carbonation. Crisp. A nice session beer.

05-30-2005 22:15:24 | More by sabrills70
Photo of TheDeuce
TheDeuce

New York

4.33/5  rDev +16.7%

Sam Adams Black Lager....from the Brewmaster's Variety Pack

Appearance-pours a pitch-black color with a nice foamy tan head, decent clarity on the color, a nice looking beer.

Smell-roasted barley malt with a touch of coffee and perhaps chocolate, hops touch in, nicely balanced aroma.

Taste-again nicely balanced, chocolate flavor at first then mixes with bitter hops, since it isn't thick it goes down nicely, a really nice drinkable lager.

Mouthfeel-again the lack of thickness helps the mix of flavors hit all parts of the toungue with no inturruption, goes down nicely.

Drinkability-sessionable due to alcoholic content, yet this beer sacrifices no flavor, I'm very impressed.

Overall-a nice suprise, between this and Saranac's Black Forest Schwarzbeir I'm beginning to like the style but this is fantastic, a great surprise, very flavorful and unlike anything most have tried. A good way to get others into the darker spectrem of beet that isn't called "Guinness"

05-29-2005 07:48:37 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of bceaglejoe
bceaglejoe

Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev +15.4%

Presentation: Poured a near-pitch black into a pint glass. A tan head immediately bloomed to about two fingers thick, and it had very good retention, leaving a nice frothy lacing on top and around the glass. The aroma was of roasted malts, with hints of black coffee, followed by a slight note of chocolate in the background.

Tasting: A tinge of malt sweetness covers the front of the tongue, followed by coffee flavors in the middle, and then rounded out by a combination of both on the back. Subsequent sips made the beer taste even sweeter. The hop bitterness was minimal to nonexistent. Mouthfeel was perhaps a bit lighter than I liked, but it was still okay. As a "black lager," it's on the light side of moderate in terms of body. It rolled around the tongue decently.

I think this is a great session beer. It goes well with bread, and even with ribs. I recommend this as a great way to introduce someone to darker beer.

05-29-2005 02:50:26 | More by bceaglejoe
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -4.3%

Praise again to the Boston Beer Company. This is a helluva beer. Pours out to what appears to be a dark brown color, but when held to the light, appears more of a burnt rasberry red. Odors of carmel and chocolate were noted, although they were very weak. Also had a earthy character. Flavor was much lighter than expected, not saying this is a weak or wimpy beer by any means. Complex flavors of malt, caramel and herbs were most present, as was a slighly smokey quality. Mouthfeel was smooth and slighly creamy. Recommended.

05-29-2005 01:31:49 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +7.8%

pours out a nearly opaque black colour, with ruby hues and crimson edges. a fine and short lived creamy head leaves just traces of lace. light cocoa aromas with a hint of caramel and another hint of fruitiness. upon tasting, a fine chocolate and caramel candy bar flavour hits me, like a liquid milky way...very satisfying. i would compare this to the chocolate bock recipe sans the added real chocolate. quite tasty for a dark lager or schwarzbier. there is a hint of spice and smoke which adds an added depth that keeps thing interesting and keeps me sipping. this is a really nice brew. mouthfeel is medium to light as a lager of this caliber should be, lightly carbonated and not too prickly. quite smooth and soft and highly drinkable, although maybe after three or four one might find themselves wanting to move on to something else. finishes dry....this flavourful lager is never sweet or cloying, making it quite impressive within its style. i'm impressed. i'd definitely buy this again should i see it in six packs.

05-28-2005 01:19:29 | More by budgood1
Photo of BeerandBlues2
BeerandBlues2

Colorado

2.88/5  rDev -22.4%

Bottle. Pours deep mahagoney, almost black, with a small tan foamy head that dissipates to a thin rocky film. Roasted and caramel malt aroma with a dark coffee, chocolate finish. Faint hop notes rise into the air as well. Initially smooth sweet dark chocolate flavor. It finishes lightly hoppy and spicy. Medium body and fizzy, a bit butpy, and crisp finish.

05-27-2005 17:44:26 | More by BeerandBlues2
Photo of necoadam
necoadam

Connecticut

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

Poured out a light black color with some ruby tones with a good looking head. Smell consisted of burnt grains, chocolate (sweetened and bitter), with some malts and caramel sitting in the background. Taste was pretty decent. Sweet malts with caramel start out with an underlying of coffee and toffee which linger into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a let down. Finished a little bit too sweet and was quite watery I thought. Other than the mouthfeel, it's not a bad beer.

05-27-2005 14:11:57 | More by necoadam
Photo of masterbruewer
masterbruewer

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -7.5%

It a looka lika stout.

Pours dark black with an exansive tan/brown head that stays.

Sweet malty smell with a hint of coffee.

Weak flavor at first but develops into a roasted coffee taste with light hop bite. Decent flavor profile, but light. Might be a good crossover beer.

The mouthfeel is light, almost watery. But I'm not sure if that's just because I expect a stout feel when I look at it.

Very drinkable. Light on flavor for a darker beer, but enough hints of "stout-like" flavor to satisfy.

I'll have to try this one again to develop a firm opinion.

05-26-2005 21:58:18 | More by masterbruewer
Photo of Jacobob10
Jacobob10

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -6.2%

Only the second schwarzbier I have tried to date with Saranac Black Forest being the first. The first one was a truly great beer, so I had high expectations for this one. Nothing wrong with the appearance. Very dark brown almost black color with a small tan head. High in carbonation and not too much read retention. Mild aroma with some roasted malts poking thru. The hop bitterness resulted in a great taste, but a dry mouthfeel and a bitter aftetaste. This beer was a little tough to finish but tasted good. My enjoyment of the beer decreased as it got warmer.

05-25-2005 03:20:25 | More by Jacobob10
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.6/5  rDev -3%

The after its extraction from the 12-ounce brown bottle sets in the class a very deep ruby color with a substantial frothy light tan head and lots of sticky lace to cover the glass. Hints of caramel, malt sweet, somewhat coffee like, with the start nicely malted and a bit sweet, top is moderate in its feel. Finish is sternly acidic with the hops delightfully spicy, quite dry and somewhat tart aftertaste, a drinkable beer.

05-24-2005 23:09:28 | More by Gusler
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL as part of a Sam Adams mixed-pack that also included the Hefeweizen and the Boston Ale. My favorite of the beers in that pack.

Appearance is really pretty good on this beer, almost like a stout or porter. Pours pure black with a nice foamy head. No discoloration around the edges of the beer noted, and the head dissipates slowly.

The nose here was complex, dark and full of coffee flavors, much like a stout, but also with a hint of licorice. The hop profile didn't dominate this beer the way it does on a lot of Sam Adams brews.

Taste was also positive, again like a stout or porter, with the coffee flavors well-balanced by the hops. Again, the flavor of licorice was present somewhere in the background of this brew.

Mouthfeel was also good -- this beer was somewhat more watery than I would have liked, but it had a nice foamy texture to it and was quite pleasant.

The finish on the beer is a bit bitter, but overall the brew is pretty nice, and I think it's pretty drinkable. I really prefer the Sam Adams Cream Stout to this one, if we're comparing SA dark beers, but this was certainly worth the try and if I can ever find it in a six-pack by itself I'll probably buy it.

05-22-2005 15:08:56 | More by danielharper
Photo of chilidog
chilidog

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%

A good offering to be added in the line-up of year round beers from sammy. That year-round tells me they beleave in the quality this beer offers. A great style, not as brash as the stout/porter, but a easy drink'n dark brew.
It pours a nice ruby when exposed to light. The slight tan full head held its retention to lace well. The aroma was bready with hints of burnt grain.
The taste was of roasted malts, chocolate, nut, coffee and a mild creamy caramel.
The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy with a slight burnt after-taste. Drinkability is great, mild and easy. Not much in the way of this beer to hinder drinkability. A true easy drinker, thats just delicious.

05-21-2005 01:03:25 | More by chilidog
Photo of deliriumtremens
deliriumtremens

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +28%

Can't wait for the Black Lager to be available in 6pks in my area. As it is, I'm getting kind of sick of buying the mixed six and making my fiance drink the other 4 beers. Appearance and smell are good but somewhat unremarkable, but the taste is phenomenal. After drinking a Kostritzer and then one of these, I'm struck with the impression that *this* is how a black lager should taste. Caramelly and effervescent, sweet but well-balanced, mouthfeel is full and slightly creamy, not too much carbonation. Only a trace of the signature hops that make most Sam Adams beers taste exactly the same. If the Boston Beer Company would lay off the hops a little in all of their beers, I'd drink more of them.

The only reason I can't drink multiple Black Lagers in a sitting is because I don't have the fridge space for all of that Hefeweizen that I can't stomach and Boston Ale that I will drink only when I'm out of everything else.

If you like beers that are sweet-but-not-sticky, and if you're not a huge hophead, I can't imagine a more perfect beer, at least not for the price (as long as I don't think of it as $6.99 for a 2-pack).

05-20-2005 01:36:59 | More by deliriumtremens
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

caramel-y brown color, crimson shades, thick, rocky brown head, like a chocolate cloud...
Sweet nose, with coffee tones, bittersweet tinges, a a dab syrupy, but ultimately dry.
Choocolate leads the taste, roasted and dry. Starts with a solid flavor, mellows with ease, very easy-drinking. "Quaffable, but not transcendent."
Medium bodied, with a light, but durable finish.
Not bad at all.

05-20-2005 01:25:55 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%

Good ol’ Sammy. Decent black pour with dark mahogany edges, topped off by a foamy tan head – which dissipated a little too quickly. Rich, malty aroma with underlying biscuits and bread. Tastes included above, along with the standard black beer notes of leather and earth – although generally a tad weak. Still a good medium to full bodied, very drinkable with meals, frosty. Side note: compared with 1554 from New Belgium, would go with the 1554.

05-18-2005 12:45:58 | More by Vancer
Photo of LPorter33
LPorter33

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -4.9%

Purchased Single bottle from Martignetti's

Appearance = midnight black with a few hints of rootbeer brown. Nothing get through this one. Barely any head and no carbonation.

Smell = Dark, rich coffee and chocolate. Very malty and similar to a stout or porter.

Taste = Good upfront flavors of chocolaty, coffee like malt then a little bit of sour hops comes through nicely. Aftertaste is pleasant. Lighter than a stout or porter so it goes down smooth and easy. The taste grows on you a bit. I wasn't impressed after my first sip but the more I drank, the more I appreciated what this beer attempts.

Overall = Interesting style that I've never tried before. I do recommend this if you've never had it although personally it's not my preferred style. I can respect it and think it's an above average brew.

05-17-2005 23:39:25 | More by LPorter33
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%

Surprise, surprise. Very nice. Pours very black with a slight head. No lace. Nose is of toasted malts and just slightly of yeast. Flavor is surprisingly really good. The toastred malts come through strong, but not swinging for the fences. Also got tones fo sourdough bread in there. Hops are there to give it a nice and subtle balance. Mouthfeel is fairly light but the flavor sits on the tongue after a while. Very drinkable, goes down smooth.

05-16-2005 23:55:03 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Dubblebock
Dubblebock

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%

I picked up this beer as part of a Sam Adams sampler pack at the local grocery store. It was reasonably priced and also contained the Hefeweizen and the dependable Boston Ale. This is the beer that had me the most curious out of the six-pack, though, as it is representative of a style not often seen these days. This was an impressive beer, and I'm really glad to see that Sam Adams continues to experiment with different offerings. Beers like this open up the palate to a lot of new sensations.

The Black Ale poured...well...BLACK, like it says. It wasn't completely opaque, but it left me with the impression of a deep, rich, dark coffee. The head was massive and creamy, and left nice lacing around the head of the mug. The smell was dominated by chocolate and a bready crispness.

The taste was also dominated by chocolate, but there were hints of almonds and toffees as well. Halfway through the mug, a coffee-like taste started to come through. The neck label claims that this beer is lightly hopped, and I would agree, but I'm not sure how consistent that is with the style. The hops are there, but muted in the background as this beer is clearly focusing on the richly roasted malts. This beer really resembled a porter, both in it's appearance and it's flavor profile, although not as heavy in body.

Good mouthfeel, clean finish. Good carbonation level. Very drinkable. If I see it again in a sixer by itself, I'll buy it for sure.

Good job, guys. The Black Lager is a winner.

05-13-2005 17:04:57 | More by Dubblebock
Photo of MrSeth
MrSeth

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -3%

Pours an opaque black with a hearty tan head. The head settles a bit, but doesn't die right away. A big tan ring of frothy suds stays around the glass the whole time. Almost no lace at all.

There are alot of earthy, musky smells at first. Then there is some creamy, chocolatey, toasted maltiness as well. The toasty malt comes across even better in the taste. Very full flavored, like strongly brewed coffee. I only get phantom wafts and tastes of the hops.. it's in there, but the malt is the dominant characteristic here. Medium bodied, very strong carbonation.. a bit too much. I can't make up my mind about the drinkability.. it has some good taste qualities, but the carbonation is way too strong.. you be the judge.

05-12-2005 05:47:36 | More by MrSeth
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%

Dark brown to almost black body,but still with clarity, topped by a huge heaping of light tan shaving cream foam, which rockedup a bit above the glass. Nice lacing.

Nose is just good and plain roasty. You're not in Starbucks, but there's one in the neighborhood.

Taste is like the nose. Dominate flavor is the roasty malts that flood the tongue, subtly balanced but not overpowered by some spicey hop flourishes.

Medium mouthfeel. You might think it would be thicker judging by its appearance.

Easy drinking. Light enough for meals, solid enough to end an evening.

Nice example of a style we don't see enough of around here.

05-07-2005 04:34:12 | More by RonfromJersey
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,460 ratings.