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.

2,514 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,514
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 50
Gots: 95 | 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)
View: Beers (117) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,514 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nortmand
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of Winter
3.33/5  rDev -10%
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.

Photo of tempest
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Photo of burnstar
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of SteveO1231
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +17%
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.

Photo of rowew
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of taez555
4.33/5  rDev +17%
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.

Photo of JAL67
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.


Photo of LarryV
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.18/5  rDev +13%
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!

Photo of orsulacp
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of tgbljb
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of jhammerly
4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.7/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of murrayswine
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of sinistermadman
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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

Pours a dark black w/ two full fingers of creamy light brown head...lacing is quite thick and holds nicely to the side of the pint glass.
Roasted malt, chocolate and vanilla make the smell quite enjoyable.
The taste is more of the same...a boat load of dark chocolate and even some robust coffee flavors in the finish. A decent amount of bitterness as well, ending very clean w/ no lingering tartness.
Mouthfeel is quite thick and the carbonation is sublime...I could throw back a number of these in an evening and would really enjoy finding this one on tap.
My hats off to new favorite of their offerings and one I would gladly enjoy again.

Photo of Bonhoeffer
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok... i'm going to try to start writing more reviews. I may not have much to add to what's already been said on this site about all the great beers, but i figure someday i may want to come back and see what i thought about a particular beer.

Anyway, the Black Lager is another solid offering from SA. Not the best of the best, but a good all around beer. Kudos to the Boston Beer Co. for producing a pretty rare style, schwarzbier.

I think of this beer as a porter fermented with lager yeast. Lots of deep roasted malt flavor like a strong porter, but just a bit smoother from the lagering. I believe this one only comes in the case of the Brewmaster's collection, similar to the way they only sell Old Fezzi in the Holiday collection.

Photo of ypsifly
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz marked best before Sep 05 poured into a pint.

Black with deep brown edges with a light tan head that falls to a cm or so but leaves good lace.

Roasted malt, caramel, cocoa powder, and a nice mix of smoke and dry hops. The nose reminds me of a good porter only not as intense.

The earthy, roasted malts are upfront, but this quickly changes into a hop bite that is amplified by the carbonation. The roasted notes join the hops for a nice finish that again recalls a porter, but the almost watery mouthfeel is a bit of a let down. I will admit that this is my second schwarzbier, so maybe I'm (somewhat) unconciously reviewing this as a porter.

Whatever the case may be, this really is a good brew and if it becomes a year round brew that's easy to find, I could see it making its way into my rotation of session brews.

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,514 ratings.