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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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2,520 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,520
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 56
Gots: 106 | 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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Ratings: 2,520 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PSUDREW
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
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

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.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of swamiswamu
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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...

Photo of Pegasus
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of HardTarget
2.49/5  rDev -32.7%
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.

Photo of Hibernator
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of clemtig76
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of kmo1030
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of PatandDavid
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | 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!

Photo of kmpitz2
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

Photo of horshack7
4.6/5  rDev +24.3%
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

Photo of Bighuge
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Purchased as part of a mixed “brewer’s collection” six-pack. It begins as a 12 oz brown bottle with August 2005 freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid. Had a slow rising, thick, tan head that had excellent retention, which left pretty lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Just chock full of roast toasty/burnt malts, with a whoping amount of chocolate and caramel

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very mild roasted/burned malts with a hefty amount of sweet malts. Caramel, chocolate, and molasses help give it a really full-bodied nature. There may be some floral hops in there, but hard to discern with the malt masterpiece.

Drinkability & Notes: Very drinkable, however, with the amount of sugariness, I’d need to cut it with eating something, preferably desert. Although initially finishes clean, the last few drops lingered, leaving a sweet aftertaste. Not overly bad, but cuts back on its session beer qualities.

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

Pours a nice dark color can see thru it as a dark red when held to the light nice tan head that falls to a foam cap that laces.
Aroma is malty caramel, chocolate hints of expresso spice and hops pleasant but little light.
Taste is nice rich roasted malt mix with caramel and chocolate very nice. Carbonation brings forth the coffee flavors that mix with a spicey dose of hops for a nice lingering finish.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium nice amount of carbonation adds to the flavor nice smooth little beer.
Drinkability is good only my second of this style should have rated the first better but didn't know so at that time. This beer is fine little lager I would recommend you atleast try. Its nice to have a dark beer thats almost light and refreshing.

Photo of mattcrill
3.27/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle tells me that for brewery fresh taste I need to purchase it before August of '05...ok, fine.

Appearance: A cola-like pour with ruby edges. A nice crusty two-finger head forms at the top of my pint glass.

Smell: Not much going on in this department. Faint wheat bread and carmel noted but nothing else.

Taste: Smoky, roasty, oatmeal, and some walnut notes going on here. A sweeter, slightly carmel finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and kind of prickly due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: I think this is a marvelously quaffable beer. This may be a good "intro" beer to those macro lovers that might have an inclination towards darker beers.

Nice to see that Sam Adams can still make some goodies while still catering to the masses. Recommended.

Photo of waughbrew
4.53/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown mahogany nearing black. Tan head is impressive. Lingers and laces. Aroma of cookie-dough with hints of roasted malt, sweet and toasty. Aroma actually reminds me of Kalamazoo stout. Flavor begins with an awesome light caramel, cocoa, leather, and chocolate all perfectly rounded and balanced. Slightly roasty. Lager yeast leaves a small gap in the flavor profile. Medium-bodied and rediculously smooth. Cocoaish finish makes me want more.

One hell of a beer.

Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured to a very dark brown color, maybe even black in color with some light filtering through. It was poured with a fair sized light brown head that broke down quite quickly but left nice rings of lace down the entire brew. The aromas of this brew are nice; solid chocolate and roasted malt flavors that might even be leaning to a burnt smell. The taste is definitely of roasted malts along with a chocolate flavor that seems to me as being quite smooth. Also notice a nice slight hop taste at the end that goes very nice with this brew, think you could completely miss it unless you are looking for it. Over all I think this is a real good brew, will get some more as I feel that the taste of this will appeal to some of my less adventurous friends.

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,520 ratings.