1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
82
good

2,492 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,492
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 52
Gots: 87 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,492 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

feloniousmonk, May 20, 2005
Photo of Vancer
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Vancer, May 18, 2005
Photo of LPorter33
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

LPorter33, May 18, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

MuddyFeet, May 17, 2005
Photo of Dubblebock
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Dubblebock, May 13, 2005
Photo of MrSeth
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

MrSeth, May 12, 2005
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

RonfromJersey, May 07, 2005
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

MUSHROOMCLOUD, May 07, 2005
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

GIVEMEBACKMYSON, May 04, 2005
Photo of Todd
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Todd, May 01, 2005
Photo of MDekker
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

MDekker, May 01, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Mitchster, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of flaminghomer
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

flaminghomer, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of AltBock
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

AltBock, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

jdhilt, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of Domingo
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Domingo, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of tavernjef
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

tavernjef, Apr 22, 2005
Photo of ColForbin
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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 +2.2%
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 +5.4%
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 -3.2%
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 +6.8%
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%
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 +12.2%
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 +0.8%
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
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
82 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.