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

2,492 Ratings
THE BROS
84
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 rajendra82
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this Brewmaster’s Collection release the moment I saw it. Brown longneck bottle with a notched in freshness date of Aug 2005, so no worries about freshness here.

Clear body with a dark reddish brown color that was not quite black, but was much darker than any other style of lager. The head was small and fleeting, and lacing was sparse.

The smell was roasted coffee with spicy hop notes. The taste was dry and bittersweet, with clean caramelized and chocolate malt providing a creamy palette. Quite thin in the mouth, this did not have the robust stickiness of a porter. Very refreshing however, and would not be too difficult to down a couple at a sitting.

My first Schwarzbier, so I was not quite sure what to expect. Looking through the BJCP guidelines, I think Boston Beer Company’s product meets all the requirements.

rajendra82, Mar 10, 2005
Photo of HappyHourHero
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly strong, moderately sweet dark roasted malt aroma mixed in with some thick chocolate syrup. Dense, foamy, hazelnut colored head leaves a sheet of lace. Deep brown colored beer with a cola colored hue around the edges. Dark roasted and chocolate malt carries over into the mild flavor and mixes in with a bit of marshmallow. Dry roasted malt finish. Body is on the light side; mouthfeel is kind of a mix between soft and watery. Reminds me a bit of a dry stout; quite tasty.

HappyHourHero, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of frazbri
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black body with deep mahogany accents, short cream colored head. Homemade carmel corn and chocolate aromas. Toffee flavors, slightly fruity with a little coffee flavor and rounded out by bitterness. Medium body, moderate carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

This is a solid offering from Sam. It was slightly fruitier than I expected, which didn't make it bad, it just made it more porter like. I'm glad to see Boston Beer continue to make seasonal brews, instead of just pushing Sam Light.

frazbri, Mar 09, 2005
Photo of guinnessman
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I didn't know what to expect from this Schwarzbier style. But I had to try it and see exactly what was going on there. It was a nice black/amber huge, with a small light brown head with very little retention. But it presents itself well! Sweet smelling with chocolate and roasty smells. A nice grainy mouthfeel and nice chocolate and roasted malt taste with a hint of burnt wood. Very very impressed, I will definitely pick up a six pack again soon.

guinnessman, Mar 07, 2005
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect, but overall not a bad beer from "micro-Sam" Couldn't get Porter out of my head as I waited for the beer to settle, still kinda can't (by apperance). Chocolatey taste, then nothing, very hollow. This is the type of beer you won't mind having a couple of-basically just to get rid of. Not overly disappointing but will not buy again.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of TAMU99
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black-brown with a moderate tan head.
Scents of charcoal and toffee waft from the foam
Tastes mirror the aroma - smoke, caramel and coffee - standard stuff for a beer this dark. Not too bitter. Nicely balanced.
Smooth, no significant bite.
Certainly drinakable. The Stout character is tempered by it's lager roots

TAMU99, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of oberon
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

oberon, Mar 03, 2005
Photo of ADR
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Included in the recent variety pack. Clear dark brown with mahogany highlights in bright light. Head levels out quickly, big bubbles help it fall in about 50 seconds. Laces minimally, fat strings on one side of the glass. Roasty aroma but not burnt, like a well done glazed pork roast, sweetened by a caramel impact. Medium mouthfeel but lively carbonation. Flavor is pleasant, balanced by dusty hop and a mild astringency, however malts win the day early with chocolate infused whole grains and caramelized sugar. Comes off as a drinkable brew to me, maybe a touch too sweet in early impression and aroma.

ADR, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an American Pint glass

A-a dark brown so dark it looks black with a rocky tan head that last quite a while

S- a very clean roasted malt smell with a bit of hop spiciness in the background

T-an almost nuggety maltyness with a hint of caramel taste and a mellow hop bitterness and a roasted malt finish. just a hint of residual sweetness brings out the roast in the malt at the finish

M- a bit of a creamy mouthfeel but no harshness that you find in dark ales. very smooth.

D- definitely a unique style of beer. I expect a stout but it has a very smooth lager taste. It is a refreshing change from porters and stouts but I still enjoy those styles more frequently.

rhoadsrage, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. I bought a sample pack with Black Lager, Hefeweizen, and Boston Lager and this is by far the best of the bunch. Pours dark like a porter with a nice head. Malty in aroma and taste with a touch of caramel. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable. I think this would be a great "transition beer" (one going from a light pilsner or lager to a darker, fuller, more flavorful beer.) I definitely recommend this anyone.

SaCkErZ9, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from Town & Country, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" brown head above the very dark mahogany brew. Head fades holds its own, and lacing is good. Aroma is hearty dark malts, with a slight associated bitterness. Taste is just what the nose portended. Dark malt bitter aftertaste lurks in the mouth. Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly thin, but not too much, just right, and drinkability is excellent. Hope this one finds a permanent place in their lineup.

ppoitras, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of oracle
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle in a nonic pint glass

Beer poured just like the label says. Black. Coal black. Pancake thick head the faded to a very thin film. Left a small amount of lacing to mark it's passage.

Nose was sweet carmel with a slight coffee and burnt undertone.

Taste was sweet as well, with minor coffee notes and a distinctly burnt flavor to it. I don't know any other way to describe it. Just burnt. Very little hop presence.

Medium bodied with a very short finish.

This would be an excellent beer to give to someone relatively inexperienced with darker color beers, in that it's not going to overpower them as a stout might.

I'm not much of a fan of SA's Boston Lager, but I did like this beer quite a bit.

oracle, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of ahking
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roasty, malty, a little bit of smoke flavor in this nice and smooth lager. It has a light mouthfeel of a lager with a dark roasted malt color. Interesting experience since you expect a beer of this color to be heavy and full flavored. Lightly hopped and crisp. I would have enjoyed a more bitter character if the malts were a little darker roasted (i.e. black patent).

ahking, Feb 22, 2005
Photo of Shaw
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've only had Kostritzer so my Schwarzbier knowledge isn't too broad.

This ain't your daddy's yellow lager. It's quite dark, but it isn't solid black: a little light can pass through my glass. It has a lovely brown head that's about a quarter-inch thick.

It has a light smell of roasted malts: coffee, chocolate, ya know the drill. I wouldn't expect the smell to be powerful. This isn't a porter or stout, after all.

The taste is good. Plenty of coffee and chocolate flavors, thanks to the roasted malts. Not nearly as heavy as a stout, this is a great beer when you want serious flavor but not such a massive profile. There is a bit of sourness, not bitterness, in the aftertaste that causes me to knock a half-point off the taste score.

The body is light and glassy, as expected. This is one of SA's best brews. Let's hope this beer is successful.

Shaw, Feb 22, 2005
Photo of RushLimbmalt
4.83/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark, ruby red color and has a thick tan head. The aroma is of chocolate and coffee... Definitely a lot of malt in here. The flavor is exceptionally balanced. There is no really overpowering flavor... a nice meld of the coffee tones from the roasted malt and a nice chocolate flavor as smooth as any fine chocolate beer, but balanced in a way that it does not become cloying at all. The label says it all when it comes to the finish... Smooth, spicy and very clean for all of the flavors going on here. I really like this beer and I hope it becomes a regular in the BBC lineup.

RushLimbmalt, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of Litterbean
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll put my conclusion first: this is a great all-around beer. Probably the best I've tasted from Sam Adams.

It pours an almost opaque black. There is some light that shines through that turns it a really, really deep brown. I'm talking about the cusp of brown and black. The head is fluffy and cloudlike, with lace that sticks to the top of the glass.

Smells like roasted malts. I can relate it to a nice bowl of hot oatmeal, topped with sugar and cinnamon. Definite brown sugar presence.

Tastes like a good coffee, with a very roasted oat taste. Also, hints of chocolate permeate the flavor. Tasty.

I gotta say, it's a good beer. Could down a few of these at a time, it's light which belies it's taste and color, which I am aware isn't ALWAYS typical. Anyway, it is a delicious brew and one of the best Sam offers.

Litterbean, Feb 21, 2005
Photo of WesWes
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet sweet malt scent that boasts of chocolate and caramel malts and a lager yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It has an extremely dry, dark malt flavor which is rich in pale, caramel, and chocolate malts. It goes down easy and finishes with an earthy dry lager yeast feel. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking Schwarzbier. I wish it wasn't so dry, but overall it's a fine offering.

WesWes, Feb 19, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark with red hues, lots of bubble action, looks like Coca-Cola. Decent lace to the thick, light tan creamy head.

Aroma - some initial roasted malt and espresso, also a metallic element. Initial nose fades to just the metallic-like smell.

Taste - sweet and malty, nice roasted flavors are enjoyable, no metal stuff thankfully. No hop presence either, on purpose per the label info. Finish is satisfyingly roasty, prompting another sip.

Mouthfeel - solid mouthfeel, smooth with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability - this is one of those rare beers that is best enjoyed in the bottle to keep those metallic odors bottled up. I really wanted to give a higher Taste score, but the smell dragged it down too much for me, affecting Drinkability as well. It is an otherwise delicious beer worth a sixer.

brewdlyhooked13, Feb 15, 2005
Photo of bearrunner44
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost-black, reddish brown with a thick head. Retention was pretty good, and there was excellent lacing. The smell is full of chocolate and coffee notes. The mouthfeel is a little thin, but it's smooth as silk despite the carbonation. The taste consists of chocolate and coffee elements that blend seamlessly into the slight bitterness in the finish. The bitterness is at a perfect level, countering the smooth sweetness of the beer without decreasing drinkability. This is a delicious, extremely drinkable beer that I could spend all night with.

bearrunner44, Feb 15, 2005
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass forming a decent 1 finger head that left moderate lacing throughout the duration of the sample. A dark dark brown in color with just a slight red tinge when held up to the light.

Smell is what you would expect from stouts. Some caramel and coffee upfront, with roasted malt and slight chocolate also coming thru.

Had all of the stout taste to it without stout dryness or bitterness. This beer was not sweet, but it certainly did not resemble what one might think it would taste like based on color alone. Each smell was represented in the taste and it was smooth and well balanced to the finish.

Light on the palate. Much more so that a stout but not quite a watery as a lager. A nice balance between the two.

Very easy to drink, nice smooth finish and great flavors. I still stick to my stouts and bitters but not a bad alternative now and then.

Sycodrummer, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of far333
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Deep chestnut color with ruby highlights and a fat, thick head of beige foam about a quarter inch high that hangs in there. Aroma is deep and rich - roasted malts, cocoa, leather and smoke. Flavor is roasty, with dark malts, chocolatey, not bitter, not sweet. No noticeable hop presence. Body is light, but mouthfeel is even, round, and full. Sheets of lacey legs slide down the sides of the glass. A pleasant surprise from ol' Sam.

far333, Feb 13, 2005
Photo of ybnorml
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark brown/ black beer with deep mahogony highlights. Has a Small dark beige. There is a deep roasted malt aroma with a coffee background. A prickely carbonation opens the way for the warm roasted malt flavor to cover your tongue. There is a coffee like bitterness on the finish.

ybnorml, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of counselor
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

what a very good offering from sam adams. pours a deep opaque black with a fluffy dark tan head. the beer has a rich nose filled with chocolate, coffee, molasses, sweeet malty goodness. the beer has a pretty silky mouthfeel, a cross between a thin lager and a malty bock and it is smoooth making for a good session beer.

the flavors are very complimentary - nice full bodied malt, slightly dry finish and in between a german chocolate cake flavor, rum notes, almost like a latte with a hint of coffee. Only problem is these flavors are too short lived, but thats OK since these go down quite easily and no problem opening another.

Good offernig, pick some up

counselor, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of WanderingFool
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a mighty tasty easy drinking beer by Sam Adams. Black lager pours black in the glass, but is actually a deep ruby color when held to the light. A creamy tan head forms on top and dissolves slowly to a thick ring around the surface. There's a fair amount of thick lace left of the side of the glass.

A malty aroma with notes of roasted malt, chocolate and nuts floats above the beer. Each sip of this light to medium bodied beer is smooth with a soft fizz felt throughout the palate. The flavor begins nutty. Roasted malt with a hint of chocolate fills the middle and it finishes dry with a taste of hops (grass?). There's a nice sweet malt flavor with a hint of smoke holding it all together.

This is an easy drinking, well balanced, malty beer. Although, I was looking for some more smoky flavor. I had to go to three different stores before I found it! Looks like it may be a new favorite for many people.

WanderingFool, Feb 09, 2005
Photo of malty
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from a long neck brown bottle w/ freshness date (July).

Brown/ruby hue, russet highlights with a quickly diminishing off-white head.

Scent is wonderfully fresh with chocolate malt notes - roasted nuts and faint winey undertones.

Taste is a bit confusing, but the grainy lager notes pull through. A combination of bitter chocolate and a metallic tinge is detected on the sides of my tongue. A nice powdered sugar sweetness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is average with a nice carbonation that keeps things moving along.

Drinkability is good being it's not an intrusive beer and not filling either.

Overall I wasn't impressed with this 'Brewmaster's Collection' offering. I give them credit for a solid attempt at a swarzbier, but I'll stick to Kostritzer for about $1.00 or so more a 6 pk. But not much tops Einbecker!

malty, Feb 09, 2005
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.