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
84
good

2,502 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,502
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 89 | 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: 2,502 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Frozensoul327
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Frozensoul327, May 29, 2005
Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

budgood1, May 28, 2005
Photo of BeerandBlues2
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
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.

BeerandBlues2, May 27, 2005
Photo of necoadam
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

necoadam, May 27, 2005
Photo of masterbruewer
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

masterbruewer, May 26, 2005
Photo of Jacobob10
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Jacobob10, May 25, 2005
Photo of Gusler
3.6/5  rDev -3%
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.

Gusler, May 25, 2005
Photo of danielharper
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

danielharper, May 22, 2005
Photo of chilidog
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

chilidog, May 21, 2005
Photo of deliriumtremens
4.75/5  rDev +28%
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).

deliriumtremens, May 20, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
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 +8.6%
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 -4.9%
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 +3.2%
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 +8.6%
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.

Dubblebock, May 13, 2005
Photo of MrSeth
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.

MrSeth, May 12, 2005
Photo of RonfromJersey
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.

RonfromJersey, May 07, 2005
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
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!

MUSHROOMCLOUD, May 07, 2005
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
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.

GIVEMEBACKMYSON, May 04, 2005
Photo of Todd
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.

Todd, May 01, 2005
Photo of MDekker
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.

MDekker, May 01, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
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.

Mitchster, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of flaminghomer
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.

flaminghomer, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of AltBock
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.

AltBock, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
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.

jdhilt, Apr 27, 2005
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,502 ratings.