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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.

2,475 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,475
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 76 | 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: 2,475 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColForbin
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.

ColForbin, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of Schwarzbart
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.

Schwarzbart, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of jimdkc
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!

jimdkc, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of brewQ
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.

brewQ, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of merlin48
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.

merlin48, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of PSUDREW
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

PSUDREW, Apr 18, 2005
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
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.

ViveLaChouffe, Apr 17, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
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.

Dogbrick, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
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.

orbitalr0x, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of swamiswamu
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.

swamiswamu, Apr 13, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
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.

connecticutpoet, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of ZAP
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...

ZAP, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of Pegasus
2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown in color, rather than the expected black color with a massive tan head, which slowly fades to a small layer. The lacing is excellent.

Aroma: Burnt caramel, rather than the expected black patent malt, with harsh chemical notes, which gradually fade away.

Taste: Opens with a bittersweet chocolate note, with rather sweet notes in the middle and a finish notable for an odd, although not offensive nutty characteristic. Pleasant, but seems to be a bit off style.

Mouth feel: Smooth and reasonably full, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A decently crafted beer, a bit off-style, but still quite drinkable.

Pegasus, Apr 07, 2005
Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Schwartzbier, and in the Brewmaster's 12-pack, so I only have two bottles.

Appearance: An almost stout-like darkness, but surely more brown than black. Thick mocha-white head dissipates slowly. Moderate lacing around the glass.

Smell: Burnt malt up front, caramel and chocolate, as the bottle says. Nothing surprising, but pretty nice. Also some mocha / coffee aromas that are more slight but present.

Taste: Aromas coming through. More rich in taste than burnt initially, with the coffee and chocolate as the initial flavors. Aftertaste is burnt, then settles into some mellow maltiness with the tiniest hop bite that's very complimentary to the malts, and is present for a second before it fades back into the malts. Pretty nice.

Mouthfeel: I like the medium-bodied thickness, as it almost seems thicker than some stouts, though I imagine I'm just dreaming this. Definitely balanced well with the moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Having this as an after dinner drink, and for that purpose it's serving me well. Since it's slightly on the sweet side with the maltiness, I personally wouldn't want to make this a session beer. But seems perfect as a dessert treat itself, and something a little lesser than a stout in thickness if you're feeling a little lighter.

I can't see this becoming a favorite style of mine, but I'd like to try more, as this was pretty good. It seems like for me, lately Sam Adams is hit or miss, and thankfully this one does the job.

asabreed, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of HardTarget
2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Sept. faintly notched, out of the sample pack, thanks to Pegasus for the sample
Aroma: 1st whiff was actually repulsive. Over burnt grains, too much black patent, dark chocolate and some “off” characteristic, perhaps DMS.
Appearance: Nice two finger tan multi-sized bubble head on a dark brown clear glass with good clarity.
Flavor: Over toasted, burnt quality in the grains that comes across as charcoal. A real hop bitter that’s over the top and an artificial sweetness that tastes almost like lactose.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, firm carbonation, fairly smooth
Overall Impression: Flawed. My review doesn’t capture the off flavors. All I can say: artificial, burnt, wrong. Avoid.

HardTarget, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The most recent Sam Adams release...the Black Lager. Schwarzbiers are hard to compare and one style that I have not tried very often. Its always nice to see a brewery step outside the box and brew such an atypical beer.

I had this out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a purchase before date clearly notched for September 2005. Served in an imperial pint glass.

This beer pours a nice light black color with some ruby highlights on the bottom. Nice sticky lacings around the glass.

Whiffs of chocolate candy and roasted malts.

Nice and straightforward beer. Smooth milk chocolate malts and sweet caramel backdrop. A tad of biting hops on the finish, but the main flavors in this beer are the smooth malts. Solid drinkability level and another nice alternative to the Sam Adams Boston Lager. I paired this up with a spinach pizza and it worked very well together.

Hibernator, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really solid beer all around. I heard it was a new product so I deicided to pick some up when I saw it at the store and I'm glad I did. Pours a very dark brown, almost black as the label suggests, but not opaque, you can deifnately see through the sides, a tint of red there too. Small head. Smell and taste are really spot on for the style, which I am newly getting accostomed to and liking a lot. I pick up a nice creamy milky character, nice burnt malts, and spicy dusty notes which I really love. Almost dirty smelling but in a good way. Really great smooth mouthfeel. I think I'll be adding this beer to the regular rotation. Go try it if you haven't yet.

twelvsies, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of clemtig76
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been anxiously awaiting to try this brew ever since reading about it in BA. Finally found it as part of a brewmasters collection six pack. Pours a beautiful mahogany brown (almost black) with a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Taste is pretty much the same, it could use a little more hop bitterness however. An outstanding offering from the guys at Sam Adams! I wish there was more than two of them in the six.

clemtig76, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressive beige head--a solid three fingers thick--leaves Pollock inspired lacing on the glass side. Light barely penetrates through the deep brown (no reddish hue) liquor. Appears to be clear.

Strong dark chocolate notes, a touch of burnt toast, and toasted marshmallow. Similar smells to a well-made porter.

Crisp like a lager should be. The beginning of the taste is surprisingly neutral--malt flavors but not as obvious as the smell might indicate. The real treat comes from the swallow--strong caramel and dark chocolate notes with a wonderful blend of hop spiciness. The carbonation also shows up here. The aftertaste is surprisingly dry. In fact, the entire tasting devoid of any significant sweetness.

A short description would be a "lagered porter", meaning it doesn't have the roundness of typical fare. Working from memory, this is a more flavorful schwarzbier than others I've had. Worthy of a six-pack.

smcolw, Apr 02, 2005
Photo of kmo1030
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown with a thinish tan head, that fades. toasted aroma with chocolate and a bit of coffee. clean chocolate and caramel sweetness, attempt at balance with a little toasted cofee, and a little hops. a little buttery in the back. gets a little more interesting as it warms. medium bodied but a little soda like in the mouth, but this doesn't detract too much. pretty drinkable and a good attempt by sam adams to attract their audience to something a little out of the ordinary.

kmo1030, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of PatandDavid
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a few bottles of this one out on the town, and also purchased a sixpack. I think this is the last of that, oh well. Pleasantly surprised by this one, I thought it was a pretty decent offering, especially by a US brewery of a style that not just anybody brews up on a regular basis. Pretty dark cola in color, but there's some nice reddish highlights in the bottom of my glass. Head when poured was like 1.2 inches thick, but has since died down to the top of the brew, very thin now. I think the aroma is the most 'authentic' aspect of this brew...it is right on as a German Schwartzbier. Rich malt, natural breadi/yeastiness that has a prescence, but isn't overwhelming. Tastewise, the first sip is really good, nice and malty. Seems to get a wee bit sweeter while drinking, but really an easy beer to turn into a session when you don't want to go overboard. Medium mouthfeel. I'd get it again.

PatandDavid, Apr 01, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice black color. Very dark, almost pitch black. It also has a great brown extra-frothy head topping off the glass. Smells of chocolate, molasses, maple syrup, and burnt toast tantalize my nose. The taste is very similar to the aroma, with hints of caramel malts and a load of coffee adding to the collection of intense flavors and scents. The taste also finishes clean with no lingering bad aftertaste. The mouthfeel is just shy of a heavy-bodied beer. It goes down very smooth. My glass was emptied much sooner than I expected. I am highly impressed by this beer, and I'm sure it will soon make its way in front of me again. CHEERS!

jasonpeckins32, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm excited to try this one. I've been enjoying schwarzbiers more lately. It pours a rubied dark-brown color wtih a 2 finger head that falls to coat the beer generously. Its a touch light in color for my liking. The nose is robust, with a bit of roasted nuttyness and a very nice roasted maltyness, maybe a touch of coffee. The flavor is nice as well. Slight coffee, fairly healthy roasted nuttyness. Not a bad brew. The feel is moderate to full with a medium carbonation. I think I am going to have to grab a full 6 of this beer. I could be happy to drink this one often.

kmpitz2, Mar 30, 2005
Photo of horshack7
4.6/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours very black with a brwon hue which I thought was a thing of beauty. The head was very frothy and creamy.

Taste: Very malty slightly chocolaty with hints of caramel. Slightly burnt hops and malts and a nice balnce of hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Mildly bubbly yet smooth full bodied.

Notes: Jim Koch did very well with this one simply an amazing beer very drinkable to get one through a cold winter night. Cheers

horshack7, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of Bighuge
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear and deep burgandy appearance. Thin cropping of bubbly tan foam. Lacing iis adequate. Nice tones of chocolate, roast, vanilla and caramel on the nose. Really solid nose. The flavors aren't quite as nice as I was expecting from the nose, but they are good. A nice combo platter of roasted bitterness, baker's chocolate and sweet caramel. The mouthfeel is slightly prickly. Body about medium. It's good to see another enjoyable schwarzbier on the shelves.

Bighuge, Mar 27, 2005
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,475 ratings.