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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 scooter231
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in a sampler 6pack, and I'm really glad I did. Never heard of a Schwarzbier before, so I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself in to or what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Dark, dark looking beer. Smells... coffeeish, caramel, a hint of some spices. Taste is great- more coffee, some chocolate, a nice amount of caramel. A bit of roasted flavors as well. This tasted to me like a light stout- same bold, tasty flavors, but it wasn't nearly as heavy or filling. In fact, the mouthfeel on this was quite nice- a bit bubbly, chewy, and not heavy. Very drinkable. Very tasty.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep chestnut brown in color. Slight tan head and some good lacing. Very low aroma-some caramel notes. Slightly sweet. Good malty flavor-low roasted bitterness. Hop flavor only slightly discernable. Nice mouthfeel. Full yet somewhat crisp. A good beer from Sam Adams. Hats off to them for doing a style that not a lot of breweries try. Well worth having.

Photo of RBorsato
4.92/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark dark brown with ruby hues, a nice full creamy tan to light brown head, and decent carbonation which leaves some lace rings. Dark chocolate and roasty aroma; espresso like coffee character. Dark chocolate flavors dominate with a roasty coffee bean finish in the Robust Porter style. Medium bodied and smooth with a dry roasty finish.

Quite possibly the best Sam Adams brew I've ever had !! Nearer a Robust Porter in my book.

Per Label: "Roasted caramel and Chocolate malts" & "Noble Bavarian hops"

Per BBC website:
OG 14 P / 1.096 SG
191 cal
4.9 ABV
Malts: 2-row Pale, Munich, Weyermann Dehusked Carafa
Hops: Spalt Spalter

Purchase Before: 09/05 (notched)
Tasted: 06/26/05

Photo of Fish113d
3.54/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a chilled 12 oz. bottle into an English Ale glass, it pours a rich dark brown color, allowing very little light through the glass, and leaving a 1/2" tan head that is very spongy and full leaving lots of lattice-work on the glass.

Aroma is of lots of robust roasted dark malts with a slight bit of fruit (rasberries) on the nose and some cocoa or coffee tones, along with a bit of grainy hops. Nothing spectacular jumps out at me with this one leaving a lot to be desired.

TAking a sip, I notice a nice, robust, roasted flavor, along with some slight caramels and cocoa flavors. It also gives the notion of some rasberry chocolate and maybe some coffee flavors on the finish. Pretty sweet and less roasty than expected. However, this almost has a porter-type feel to it.

Little to average carbonation on the sip, followed by a bit of smooth buttery richness is the body of this. Pretty full-bodied, making it tough to drink more than one or a few of these.

Photo of cubedbee
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with reddish tints and a thin beige head that quickly fades to a thin cap. Aroma is chocolate, currants, caramel, and some roasted malts. Taste starts out as dry unsweetened chocolate, moving into a mild roasted bitterness and then a pleasant hop bite that lingers for just a second. Mouthfeel and carbonation are both medium for a creamy smooth feeling. This is a drinkable summer alternative to a porter or a stout that I quite enjoyed.

Photo of Brian700
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours black with an off-white head that faded into a ring around my glass. The aroma is predominately chocolate and roasted malt. The taste is of chocolate, roasted malt, mild bitterness. The mouthfeel is decent. Medium body and carbonation. It's a pretty good tasting beer. It's better than I had guessed it would be.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear black with a tannish head which rose slightly and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was roasty with chocolate and expresso coffee. Some slight caramel aromas existed, but they were far in the background. The aroma was also slightly nutty and toasty.

The flavor was light with nutty Munich malt flavor and slight caramel, but those came behind the roastiness in the brew. As the maltiness dies back the flavor became more roasty and expresso based. A very slight portion of the flavor was chocolate, but roastiness was what really took the forefront.

The finish was dry with lasting roasty/coffee flavor long and pleasant into the aftertaste. The body was just below medium, but fine for the style. A bit overly roasty for a schwartzbier, but nicely drinkable. Lower the roast and this might be a quite different beer.

12 ounce bottle, best before September 2005.

Photo of packetknife
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The best Sam's I've had so far. Pours a dark dark brown but notably not blackish. Dense tan head that laced well. You've get hints of amber in the sunlight. Smelled malty, a bit of coffee, and pleasantly sweet. The nose didn't require deliberate effort, it just wafter off into your senses. The taste was nearly exceptional with a smooth consistent malt/baker's chocolate/coffee/barley taste that even my beer fearing GF loved. Creamy smooth, carbonated just right, with no bothersome residue and very drinkable.

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
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
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
3.7/5  rDev 0%
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
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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
4.18/5  rDev +13%
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
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
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
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
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
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
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
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
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
2.85/5  rDev -23%
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
3.72/5  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.

Photo of masterbruewer
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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