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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

2,438 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,438
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 45
Gots: 59 | 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: 2,438 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dubblebock
Dubblebock

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Massachusetts

3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 04:34:12 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
MUSHROOMCLOUD

Texas

4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought the sampler pack that came with two bottles of Black Lager. The beer pours out a nice dark mahogony with about a 1/4" tan head that left a nice lace on the pint glass. This was a very good beer! I love black beers (1554, Kostritzer) and Sam did not dissapoint. Good aroma of roasted malt. The flavor was the same with very good earthy, roasted, coffee flavors. Highly drinkable(possible session beer?), well balanced beer, the two I bought left me wishing it came in it's own six pack. I will definitely look forward to trying this again. I guess I forgot that Sam makes a decent brew and right now for $5.49 a six, a poor man has to take advantage!

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 04:28:48 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
GIVEMEBACKMYSON

Alaska

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite dark, even for a schwarzbier. Inviting, creamy 1/2" head. Very little light penetration.
Smells heavily of caramel, with a mild citrus hint, and a milder yet nition of rye toast.
Starts off somewhat stout-like with the roasted malt quality. But it becomes increasingly caramelized as it drinks. Hints of carob, butter, and ladies suntanning. All flavors are somewhat subtle, yet this is never boring. Quite tasty overall.
The mouthfeel is super creamy. It does not impede the flavor, but briefly distracts me.
TO likes TO some TO. Well, I like me some schwarzbier. This is a pretty good one.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2005 20:39:19 | More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
Photo of Todd
Todd

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a seemingly black beer, but upon closer inspection deep ruby hues and edges. Head of slightly off-white and seems, with a thin lace. Good head retention.

Light molasses, sweet bready grain, and husk in the nose. Soft smokiness.

Smooth and fairly light on the palate. Light malty base with a watery astringent-like character, faint caramel, burnt edges, suggestions of smoke, a quick semi-sharp citric flash of hop bite - a bit limey - and soft dark berry fruitiness. Soft touch of spice in the hops. Sweetish linger that rides into a drying finish.

A damn tasty Schwarzbier! Nice to see a large craft brewer release such an unknown and uncommon beer style.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2005 18:00:55 | More by Todd
Photo of MDekker
MDekker

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came out of the bottle clean-looking, forming a relatively nice tan head that hung on in some amount for the duration. Laced nicely down the side of my glass, too. Color was nearly black (surprise!), with a hint of dark red around the edges. The aroma was nothing really special - I could detect the roasted caramel scent that I expected, but nothing else jumped out at me.

After mostly stouts and porters that were dark as night, the first gulp was quite refreshing - nice and smooth in the mouth, like a lager should be, and imparting those general roasted dark flavors subtlely but effectively. It wasn't comlex and interesting, like a stout or a porter is, but instead it was, like I already said, refreshing and pleasant to drink. It went down easy, and for something other than ales at the end of the day, this was a goody.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2005 01:03:18 | More by MDekker
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with 2-row Harrington, Munich, and Weyermann dehusked Carafa malts. Hopped with Spalt Spalter. Fermented with a lager yeast strain.
OG=1.062, 4.9% ABV, 191 calories per 12oz.

Pours out to a clear, very dark mahogany, forming a modest light tan head with average retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma of sweet milk chocolate, light caramel, a light grainy sourness. Mouthfeel is lightly sharp with a weak acidity contributing to a semi-dry finish. Medium bodied. Taste starts out with some not so pleasant herbal and semi-sour hops, followed by roasted overtones and a budweiser sensibility. Finish has distant earth and tobacco overtones.

Doesn't really do anything for me, but this has never been one of my favorite styles. I'd drink it in a pinch, but it tastes like a macro-micro, like a Pete's or Saranac. Yeah, pass on this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2005 16:19:35 | More by Mitchster
Photo of flaminghomer
flaminghomer

Indiana

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

this one reminds me of the heineken and beck's "dark" that i would drink back in the day when i was just getting into beers that weren't bud. smell and flavor taste along the lines of a dark euro. from memory i would say that this beer is better than those that exploit this style the most. color is a very dark ruby if you hold it up to the light, head is nice. smell is of course roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate. taste is roasty and malty. so there you go, cheers.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2005 07:20:46 | More by flaminghomer
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dense black color with a head of foam that disappears quickly. It has a chocolate malty smell that is very nice. It has a nice roasted chocolate taste that stays for a little bit. Overall this an excellent brew from Sam Adams that I would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 18:32:57 | More by AltBock
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a three-finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Color is opaque and black. Medium bodied. Nose is roasted chocolate. Medium carbonation. Starts with a sweet roasted chocolate flavor, finish has just a hint of hops. One of the better offerings from Sam Adams. $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 22:52:24 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

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

While not a beer that I could drink more than 2-3 of in an evening, this has become one of my favorite beers recently.
Having had Schwarzbier at a brew-pub or two (the Wynkoop in Denver brews a very good one) I was looking forward to having seeing this variety getting its time to shine.
The best way to describe it would be to imagine the roasted malt of a nice stout, but without the heavyness.
It's not going to go down quite as easy as a domestic lager, but reminds me of an amber ale.
I've always enjoyed Sam Adams' brewers collection brews but this one (and the fabled Scotch Ale) is a cut above even those.
I'm glad to see a larger American brewery brewing something of this quality.

Highly recommended to anyone who love roasted or even burnt malt flavors, but also enjoy something lighter and more drinkable than your typical darker beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 22:36:14 | More by Domingo
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shadowy dark tarnished brown with a big billowing light cocoa hued head of foam; lightly fluffing and spongyness ensues as it grows up fast from a heavy pour. Fades off moderately to a good solid skimming and lacing of all kinds lightly grab the glass.

Nice aroma of dry black malts with a mild touch of chocolate sweetness and vanilla cookies. Very aromatic and appetizing to wiff in.

Flavors are just as nice, a bit more sweetness intersedes the front end with some black and chocolate malt, middle is seemingly like Oreo cookies, finishes with a nice leveling of moderate dry bite of slight roast, chocolate powder, and light Noble-like hopping. Very nice finish, did I just eat an Oreo?

Feel is fluffy, carrying a sweet front, drying most ways across from there, slight crispness to its body as well. Body is about medium to medium/light with a favorably low carbonation making for some kicked-back, sliding-down-the-Ol'-gullet, easy goin' drinkability. A big time session beer that actually has a different taste then most other session types. A nice version of a hard to pin down style. This may be close to rivaling Black Bavarian.
Way to go BBC! Nice brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2005 22:34:07 | More by tavernjef
Photo of ColForbin
ColForbin

New Hampshire

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

Pours black, with a dark tan head. If held up to a bright light, it shows itself to be a deep transparent reddish-brown. Nose is chocolatey, roasted coffee and a bit of caramel. Taste is more of the same, with a dry noble hoppy finish - not overwhelming hops by any means, but very well balanced. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, almost to the point of needing a bit more carbonation. Very drinkable, however, and nice to see Sam bringing out such a underavailable style to their regular lineup.

On a side note, my dad is not much of a beer snob at all - he'll buy whatever micro/import is on sale, but he doesn't really care too much what he is drinking. He has really taken to the Black Lager, to the point where he is seeking it out in six packs. So this beer could be a good opportunity for advocacy.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2005 01:25:17 | More by ColForbin
Photo of Schwarzbart
Schwarzbart

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark reddish brown and almost black with nice lacing. The smell is of chocalate,caramel and light coffee with a roasted character, a sweet smell more like a stout. The caramel malts really come through in the taste section and a good bit of the roasted flavor towards the end, but finishes crisp and smooth. I don't really taste the hops, but the label says it's lightly hopped, so maybe the sweet malts are just to powerful for my taste buds. I found this beer to be refreshing and quite easy to drink, but maybe not completely true to the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2005 23:09:07 | More by Schwarzbart
Photo of jimdkc
jimdkc

Missouri

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

Very cool that Sam Adams took a run at such an obscure style... and they did a very nice job of it, too! Pours dark brown with a healthy tan head. Head has decent staying power and leaves some lacing on the glass. Smell is lightly roasty, with carmel and chocolate notes. Taste is initially sweet followed by the chocolate and carmel. Mild floral hop flavors... could maybe use a bit more hops. Has the smooth mouthfeel typical of a lager. A very drinkable beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 02:57:23 | More by jimdkc
Photo of brewQ
brewQ

Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a good looking deep brown brew. Pours with a 3/4" light caramel colored chunky head of foam.

Aroma is malty with the slight smell of licorice.

The taste delivers on the aroma and is silky smooth and balanced.
The finish makes me think this is the lager equivalent of a porter.

Emminently drinkable beer- in the syle. Would work great with spicy food.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 21:01:34 | More by brewQ
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body that exhibits a clear ruby mahogany appearance when held to light. Small beige head quickly diminishes to a persistent collar and leaves some patchy lace.
Aroma has lots of dark roasted malts, with sweet chocolate, a hint of coffee, burnt wood, and a note of floral/herbal hops.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low medium carbonation.
The taste is all about the dark roasted malts. Chocolate and a touch of roasted coffee are enhanced by a nice note of wood smoke. Dark roasty malt bitterness and some nice floral hop bitterness work well to lend a nice balance to the chocolate and caramel malt sweetness.
Very well done, and a good effort by Sam Adams. I really enjoy the Schwarzbier style and this one is very enjoyable, if not spot on for style.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 10:14:31 | More by merlin48
Photo of PSUDREW
PSUDREW

Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm. another solid effort by Sam Adams. Honestly, I would prefer a Yuengling Black and tan, but, this is a solid interpretation, and worth getting some

Solid, dark deep burnt amber in color, nice tan head, and solid lacing all the way down. Smells of caramel and malt . Tastes nice and smooth. Slightly hoppy, solid caramel, mixed with coffee and milky sweetness. They pleseantly intermix and present a good show.

Nice brew, a good show by SA

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 03:13:56 | More by PSUDREW
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
ViveLaChouffe

Georgia

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

Deep opaque brown in the glass with hints of ruby around the edges. A frothy cappuccino colored head, Man is this beer lacy. Lots of fine lace. Sweet roasted malt in the nose. Lightly bitter. Like cappuccino, milky and lightly bitter.

Taste is alternately sweet and bitter. Milky with a light coffee bitterness. Very well balanced. Lightly nutty. Very creamy in the mouth with a long sticky aftertaste. Really drinkable.

Not all their beers are mindblowing but Sam Adams beer are always extremely well crafted. It is appreciated.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2005 02:57:10 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish-black color with a medium thin light tan head and thin lacing. Aroma of chocolate and coffee as well as a hint of nuts. Medium-bodied with a sweet malt and chocolate flavor. Trace amounts of coffee and hops are present too. The finish is smooth and dry but not too flavorful. As with many of Sam Adams’ one-offs, this is above average.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2005 04:23:49 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark black pour with a two finger khaki head sitting nicely atop the brew. Dark red coming through from the light along with some lacing as well. Roasted, toasted cocoa, caramel along with a hint of sweet cereal grain and an herbal hop. Nice...but nothing special.

Big roasted burnt maltiness showing off quite a bit of chocolate flavor, with ribbons of caramel and nuts. A nice somewhat spicy herbal hop lurks in the background and brings a mellow bitterness on the way down. Nice sweet/bitter mix. A tasty lager.

Medium bodied with a slight creaminess and healthy carbonation. Quite an easily drinkable brew here...a six pack is a good party option. One of my new faves from Sam Adams.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2005 01:38:29 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of swamiswamu
swamiswamu

Indiana

3.38/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This seemed a little off style. It was much more body than I'd expect from a schwartzbier, coming across more as a lager stout than a schwarz. That said, it was a fairly interesting beer. The whole thing was roasted malt and it was quite assertive. It had a great head and perfect hue. My main complaint was it was just too heavy and not that drinkable. It'd be a perfect 4 oz sample.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 21:40:00 | More by swamiswamu
Photo of connecticutpoet
connecticutpoet

Connecticut

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a nice deep ruby red brew that and very little head the way I poured it... and I was trying to get a head *L*

The aroma was of dark malts, raisins, light aromatic hops, and a little bit of molasses. Rather pleasant.

The taste was of lightly roasted malt, very slightly sweet, and a light hop aftertaste.

It was much lighter in flavor than I had desired. Mouthfeel was also somewhat thin. But easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2005 03:19:01 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be very enjoyable...nose borders on a 4.5 as it is very nice with milk chocolate and caramel...body is medium...clean...good flavors...sweet milk chocolate...a little bit of camael...just a very fine noble hop finish...the more I drink this the more I like it....not my favorite style but I'd buy a sixer of this on occasion as a changeup...

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 21:55:53 | More by ZAP
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,438 ratings.