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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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2,522 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,522
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 57
Gots: 110 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,522 | Reviews: 1,434
Photo of Enola
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Sam Adams! This beer is a very deep burgundy. A thin head rides atop this bad boy. The smell is unique. It has a fruity aroma to it. The taste is pretty good too. The mouthfeel is affected a small amount due to a weird burn but not too much. I could drink several of these if I had em'. I'll probably run across one of these again.

Photo of skittlebrau
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I tried this beer with some pretty low expectations. I bought the brewmaster six pack with three types of beer, and I was less than impressed with the Hefeweizen, one of my favorite styles. I think this made my black lager experience even better.

First of all, the beer looked beautiful, kind of reminded me of Guinness. I loved the thick, tan head. Smell was decent. The taste is the best (and most important) thing about this beer. Wow. It was deep an chocolatey (sp?), but with a few hints of honey and not very bitter. This was my first schwarzbier, and now I'm anxious to try some more.

Photo of wcudwight
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark with a good fluffy foamy head that has nice retention. Very complex smell. Kind of reminds me of grilled steak. Very rich and complex taste. Lightly roasted. Spice. Kind of chocolate milky sweet. Almost too much of a mixture. Very crisp and warming in the mouth. Complexity makes it less drinkable than it could be, but overall still very drinkable. This is a very good beer that I will look for in the future.

Photo of Toddv29424
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark color, with a lacing that doesn’t move at all giving it a thick consistency. Smell is terrific, much like German Schwarzbiers with a hint of fruit and a big presence. Taste has same big dense fruity taste with a hint of smokiness. Mouthfeel is a little light, and even though the first taste is big, the swallow is pretty light like a lager. This makes it very drinkable, and the layers in the taste add to this.

Photo of KarlHungus
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The name of this brew holds true as it is a black lager. It also has a very light tan colored, creamy head. The aroma is malty with the usual lager smell. The taste is nice. Sweet and with spices mildy poking through. Not nearly as spicy as other schwarzbiers I have had, but refreshing none the less. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a decent brew.

Photo of Beastdog75
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams Black Lager is indeed a very nice attempt at a dark lager. I've only had a few schwarzbiers so I'm not too familiar with the style (although I've liked the ones I've had), but this was almost like a lighter bodied stout in some respects.

This brew pours a very dark brown color with a light tan head that retains for about a little over a minute. The aroma that exudes from this beer is very pleasing to the nose, with some nice dark malt qualities, some "burnt" smell to it, and some dark chocolate-like aromas. The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a moderate carbonation. The roasted malts are indeed the centerpiece in this brew. Burnt, somewhat charcoal-like flavors are noticable. Some good chocolate-like flavors, light coffee qualities. There is a somewhat citric hop presence detectable in the brew as well, but is somewhat overshadowed in a dark malty brew such as this. The hoppiness does add a bit of dryness in the finish. The aftertaste has lingering roasted malt flavors, and a bitterness that is part hoppy and part "roasted." These flavors linger on for awhile, and the brew concludes with very little alcoholic warmth.

This was a nice attempt by the BBC to brew something a little less mainstream and I would say they pulled it off really well. I would even suggest this to beer newbies who don't want to delve too deep into the world of darker beers right away. This beer is flavorful and well-crafted, but certainly not intimidating to the uninitiated. Recommended!

Photo of jmz62565
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A full two finger head with a dark black color.This has a nice malt and chocolate aroma.Sam's has made a very nice dark rich coffee/chocolate beer with alot of flavor.Almost like a light stout.I was happily surprised when I tried this.This is probably the best beer I've had from Sam Adams.

Photo of Dmann
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a suprise and I am glad that I tried it. It started out with a nice pour and had a great dark brown color with a light brown head that left great lace and stayed till the end. The smell was nice with some sweet malt scents and molasses and some bready-ness to it. This beer's flavor was very nice with a very light smokiness in the beginning and the light airy mouthfeel really added to the overall sensation. The beer finnished with a bit of sweetness and faded away very dry and made you want to come back for more. This is my favorite Sam Adams release in awhile!

Photo of nortmand
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
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
3.33/5  rDev -10%
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
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
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
4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
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
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
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
4.72/5  rDev +27.6%
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
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
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
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
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
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
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
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
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
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,522 ratings.