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Samuel Adams Black Lager - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,514 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,514
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 50
Gots: 91 | 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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Photo of Foxman
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It came to me a rich ruby brown, clear if dark, with some trails of carbonation visible. A pillowy light tan head lingered nicely, and some lacing adorned the glass.

The aroma was chiefly roasted malt, more bitter than sweet, with a very vague hops air wading thinly into the mix.

The first sip delivered a dark-ish malt sweetness, with some earthy fruit notes, none deep enough to be called by a definitive name, but still pleasant enough. The well-baked malt and bittering hops combined to produce a slightly acrid tang which quickly ceded to a brief glimpse of a more sugary sweetness. The bitterness returned at the finish, blinking out before much of a stay.

Maybe just short of medium bodied, it had a nice creamy feel about it, coating sweetly, if briefly, doing itself some credit.

It was kind of twisty and turny, in that it never seemed to finish an impression before it moved on to the next one, but the sum of the part is tasty enough to make it an easy quaff. I'm not about to sing its praises, but I will gladly have another...just not likely on my dime, thank you.

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have heard about this offering from Sam Adams for some time but had not seen it with my own eyes until this past week at the Wine Cellar of Silene in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Pours a beautiful black, with some red and brown hues. Nice little head and a wee bit of lacing.

Nice malty aroma with a clean malt taste. Light body, refreshing. Quite smooth going down. Little bit of carbination kick.

Had I tried this beer last week I would have entered it as my pick for the "what is your go to session beer" thread du jour.

Photo of clvand0
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark brown color with a tall off-white head that has good retention and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma has a light coffee and chocolate thing going on - smells pretty good, but also very mild. The flavor doesn't have the same level of coffee, but it has a nice dose of the chocolate. Pretty creamy body for a schwarzbier. The drinkability is very good. I'm very impressed with this beer. As good if not better than any other schwarzbier I've had.

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle charcoal black with a slight ruby tinge. Light head that tapers off to a nice lacing. Aromas are typical for a schwartzbier/dark lager. Roasted malts, barley, etc. Taste is fairly one dimensional. Dark roasted malts, slightly sweet up front, slightly bitter finish. Someone thin in the mouthfeel. I've found this with a lot of schwartzbiers though, so I think some of my opinion may be based on the fact that this is not one of my favorite styles. I do give SA credit for branching out into an often overlooked style which tells me they're quite all about profits yet. Its a quite drinkable beer though, wouldn't make a bad session brew I think. I'd be curious to have it on tap.

Photo of Brent
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Took a surprisingly long time for this to show up in sixers around here. Nice dark color with a touch of ruby at the edge. Gentle, sweet malt aroma. Straightforward roasted malt flavors - no straying into coffee or chocolate here - just moderated roastedness. A little sweet marshmallow in the back, and finishes with enough tannic astringency to clean up. Nicely done, particularly for what is now a "better quality macro brewer." I also give them credit for going with a fairly stark, but accurate name for the beer, rather than some catchy mass-marketing name.

Photo of amicar
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black color, or maybe just very dark brown, with tan- tinged head, that thins out quickly. Slight roast smell with a little toffee- sweet smell. Tastes a tiny bit sweet with mild roast malts balancing it well. Feels nice and crisp in the mouth, but surprises me by giving a decent fullness in the mouth midswallow. Light enough to drink several of. This is nice- it's kind of like a very light stout, but has enough flavor and balance to make such a light beer tasty.

Photo of proc
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very nice offering from the Sammy beer folks. This one pours out to a nice, blackness in the glass with a slight head. At first glance you think you are about to imbibe on a stout or porter only to be surprised at first by how light it is, then impressed at how flavorful it finishes. This one starts out a bit slow but builds impressively on the mouthfeel to deliver tastes of chocolate, coffee and malt. Very nicely done. A fine Schwarzbeir.

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled as part of the Brewmaster's Collection mixed sixpack. The color is almost black with a ruby glow when viewed against a light source. Head is average-sized and light brown. Retention is pretty good for a dark lager. Aroma is a little too low key, but nice bready malts are noticed with just a touch of spice. The taste is primarily of an excellent chocolatey malt. Subtle flavors of roastedness, nuttiness, and spice add layers of complexity. For me, Samuel Adams Black Lager is addictively tasty. Now if they would only start selling this by the sixer around here, I would have no problems with the Boston Beer Company.

Photo of mjohn27603
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours blackish to dark brown in color. Head is tanish and overfills the glass. Aroma is almost non-existent. Not any distinguishable aroma. First sip reveals a roasted taste. Some charcoal and sweetness in the aftertaste. Tastes of ashes and sweetness. Very typical schwarzbier taste. Not my favorite style but definitely a credible example. Part of a variety six pack. Best before Sept. 2005.

Photo of sabrills70
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark (duh) ruby red brown, not qiute black. Has a creamy 2 finger head and very nice lacing. Smells of a slightly roasted malt with hits of coffee. Smells more on the sweet side than roasted side, good chocolate smells as well. A fine tasting schwarzbier. Mild roastedness with some nice sweet malts with some coffee and chocolate flavors. Not a bunch of hoppiness to speak of but just enough, maybe even a bit lacking. High carbonation. Crisp. A nice session beer.

Photo of TheDeuce
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sam Adams Black Lager....from the Brewmaster's Variety Pack

Appearance-pours a pitch-black color with a nice foamy tan head, decent clarity on the color, a nice looking beer.

Smell-roasted barley malt with a touch of coffee and perhaps chocolate, hops touch in, nicely balanced aroma.

Taste-again nicely balanced, chocolate flavor at first then mixes with bitter hops, since it isn't thick it goes down nicely, a really nice drinkable lager.

Mouthfeel-again the lack of thickness helps the mix of flavors hit all parts of the toungue with no inturruption, goes down nicely.

Drinkability-sessionable due to alcoholic content, yet this beer sacrifices no flavor, I'm very impressed.

Overall-a nice suprise, between this and Saranac's Black Forest Schwarzbeir I'm beginning to like the style but this is fantastic, a great surprise, very flavorful and unlike anything most have tried. A good way to get others into the darker spectrem of beet that isn't called "Guinness"

Photo of bceaglejoe
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured a near-pitch black into a pint glass. A tan head immediately bloomed to about two fingers thick, and it had very good retention, leaving a nice frothy lacing on top and around the glass. The aroma was of roasted malts, with hints of black coffee, followed by a slight note of chocolate in the background.

Tasting: A tinge of malt sweetness covers the front of the tongue, followed by coffee flavors in the middle, and then rounded out by a combination of both on the back. Subsequent sips made the beer taste even sweeter. The hop bitterness was minimal to nonexistent. Mouthfeel was perhaps a bit lighter than I liked, but it was still okay. As a "black lager," it's on the light side of moderate in terms of body. It rolled around the tongue decently.

I think this is a great session beer. It goes well with bread, and even with ribs. I recommend this as a great way to introduce someone to darker beer.

Photo of Frozensoul327
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Praise again to the Boston Beer Company. This is a helluva beer. Pours out to what appears to be a dark brown color, but when held to the light, appears more of a burnt rasberry red. Odors of carmel and chocolate were noted, although they were very weak. Also had a earthy character. Flavor was much lighter than expected, not saying this is a weak or wimpy beer by any means. Complex flavors of malt, caramel and herbs were most present, as was a slighly smokey quality. Mouthfeel was smooth and slighly creamy. Recommended.

Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a nearly opaque black colour, with ruby hues and crimson edges. a fine and short lived creamy head leaves just traces of lace. light cocoa aromas with a hint of caramel and another hint of fruitiness. upon tasting, a fine chocolate and caramel candy bar flavour hits me, like a liquid milky way...very satisfying. i would compare this to the chocolate bock recipe sans the added real chocolate. quite tasty for a dark lager or schwarzbier. there is a hint of spice and smoke which adds an added depth that keeps thing interesting and keeps me sipping. this is a really nice brew. mouthfeel is medium to light as a lager of this caliber should be, lightly carbonated and not too prickly. quite smooth and soft and highly drinkable, although maybe after three or four one might find themselves wanting to move on to something else. finishes dry....this flavourful lager is never sweet or cloying, making it quite impressive within its style. i'm impressed. i'd definitely buy this again should i see it in six packs.

Photo of BeerandBlues2
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours deep mahagoney, almost black, with a small tan foamy head that dissipates to a thin rocky film. Roasted and caramel malt aroma with a dark coffee, chocolate finish. Faint hop notes rise into the air as well. Initially smooth sweet dark chocolate flavor. It finishes lightly hoppy and spicy. Medium body and fizzy, a bit butpy, and crisp finish.

Photo of necoadam
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a light black color with some ruby tones with a good looking head. Smell consisted of burnt grains, chocolate (sweetened and bitter), with some malts and caramel sitting in the background. Taste was pretty decent. Sweet malts with caramel start out with an underlying of coffee and toffee which linger into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a let down. Finished a little bit too sweet and was quite watery I thought. Other than the mouthfeel, it's not a bad beer.

Photo of masterbruewer
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It a looka lika stout.

Pours dark black with an exansive tan/brown head that stays.

Sweet malty smell with a hint of coffee.

Weak flavor at first but develops into a roasted coffee taste with light hop bite. Decent flavor profile, but light. Might be a good crossover beer.

The mouthfeel is light, almost watery. But I'm not sure if that's just because I expect a stout feel when I look at it.

Very drinkable. Light on flavor for a darker beer, but enough hints of "stout-like" flavor to satisfy.

I'll have to try this one again to develop a firm opinion.

Photo of Jacobob10
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Only the second schwarzbier I have tried to date with Saranac Black Forest being the first. The first one was a truly great beer, so I had high expectations for this one. Nothing wrong with the appearance. Very dark brown almost black color with a small tan head. High in carbonation and not too much read retention. Mild aroma with some roasted malts poking thru. The hop bitterness resulted in a great taste, but a dry mouthfeel and a bitter aftetaste. This beer was a little tough to finish but tasted good. My enjoyment of the beer decreased as it got warmer.

Photo of Gusler
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The after its extraction from the 12-ounce brown bottle sets in the class a very deep ruby color with a substantial frothy light tan head and lots of sticky lace to cover the glass. Hints of caramel, malt sweet, somewhat coffee like, with the start nicely malted and a bit sweet, top is moderate in its feel. Finish is sternly acidic with the hops delightfully spicy, quite dry and somewhat tart aftertaste, a drinkable beer.

Photo of danielharper
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL as part of a Sam Adams mixed-pack that also included the Hefeweizen and the Boston Ale. My favorite of the beers in that pack.

Appearance is really pretty good on this beer, almost like a stout or porter. Pours pure black with a nice foamy head. No discoloration around the edges of the beer noted, and the head dissipates slowly.

The nose here was complex, dark and full of coffee flavors, much like a stout, but also with a hint of licorice. The hop profile didn't dominate this beer the way it does on a lot of Sam Adams brews.

Taste was also positive, again like a stout or porter, with the coffee flavors well-balanced by the hops. Again, the flavor of licorice was present somewhere in the background of this brew.

Mouthfeel was also good -- this beer was somewhat more watery than I would have liked, but it had a nice foamy texture to it and was quite pleasant.

The finish on the beer is a bit bitter, but overall the brew is pretty nice, and I think it's pretty drinkable. I really prefer the Sam Adams Cream Stout to this one, if we're comparing SA dark beers, but this was certainly worth the try and if I can ever find it in a six-pack by itself I'll probably buy it.

Photo of chilidog
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A good offering to be added in the line-up of year round beers from sammy. That year-round tells me they beleave in the quality this beer offers. A great style, not as brash as the stout/porter, but a easy drink'n dark brew.
It pours a nice ruby when exposed to light. The slight tan full head held its retention to lace well. The aroma was bready with hints of burnt grain.
The taste was of roasted malts, chocolate, nut, coffee and a mild creamy caramel.
The mouthfeel was smooth, creamy with a slight burnt after-taste. Drinkability is great, mild and easy. Not much in the way of this beer to hinder drinkability. A true easy drinker, thats just delicious.

Photo of deliriumtremens
4.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Can't wait for the Black Lager to be available in 6pks in my area. As it is, I'm getting kind of sick of buying the mixed six and making my fiance drink the other 4 beers. Appearance and smell are good but somewhat unremarkable, but the taste is phenomenal. After drinking a Kostritzer and then one of these, I'm struck with the impression that *this* is how a black lager should taste. Caramelly and effervescent, sweet but well-balanced, mouthfeel is full and slightly creamy, not too much carbonation. Only a trace of the signature hops that make most Sam Adams beers taste exactly the same. If the Boston Beer Company would lay off the hops a little in all of their beers, I'd drink more of them.

The only reason I can't drink multiple Black Lagers in a sitting is because I don't have the fridge space for all of that Hefeweizen that I can't stomach and Boston Ale that I will drink only when I'm out of everything else.

If you like beers that are sweet-but-not-sticky, and if you're not a huge hophead, I can't imagine a more perfect beer, at least not for the price (as long as I don't think of it as $6.99 for a 2-pack).

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.

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.

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.

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