1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,377 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2377
Reviews: 1429
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%

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)
View: Beers (120) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,377 | Reviews: 1,429 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AllenJasper


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to Snifter
Enjoy before June (2.5 months from now)

A: Nearly opaque Black with sandy tan head, quickly dissipated to a small ring... hardly any lacing.

S: Rich, roasted malts; with hints of dark chocolate and caramel.

T: starts out rather rich and malty, then finishes much sweeter and more on the chocolatey side and continues this trend towards sweetness for quite some time

M: Very smooth

O: Excellent dark beer for the price.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 04:04:05 | More by AllenJasper
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams signature glass.

Appearance: A super dark brown, not as dark as you think. Light tan head comes off 1/4" off the body.

Smell: light hops, nothing new here.

Taste: Hints of coffee, full hops...surprised didn't transfer as well into the smell.

Mouth: medium to heavy, screams "yum" and that smooth.

Overall: Not bad at all. Pick it up, watch a movie or smoke a cigar this beer is only missing one thing, You! Salud!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 21:37:52 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of tubacharlie


3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A quick pour into a pint glass produces a light, hoppy aroma rising out of the well-formed, frothy head. Good retention and medium lacing as it gradually recedes.

At first glance, the brew looks quite black and impenetrable, but held to the light a dark ruby hue colors the translucent lens of beer.

Smooth and medium bodied in the mouth, a strong malt presence dominates the flavor, with some light coffee and burnt toast notes but not a lot of depth. Ample hops for a bittersweet finish.

It was a good match with some egg rolls and duck sauce.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 04:30:03 | More by tubacharlie
Photo of cyclonece09


3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a very dark amber, almost black. Smells of a coffee with toffee, pretty sweet, but not that strong. Tastes of coffee, but not overly strong, and a little toffee notes. Very pleasant. Carbonation is light which leads to a smooth finish. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 01:54:56 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of PhantasIPA


4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer is exactly like its name implies; black! No light comes through at all. The head is small but present at all times during the drinking time.

The smell is a dark chocolate scent and a light malt smell. Not as dark or burnt as a stout, but close.

The taste falls right in line with the smell; it is a dark chocolate flavor (a bitter, almost cocoa flavor) and medium bodied malt flavor, followed quickly with a dry, bitter finish. The ending does finish dry but still appealing.

The mouthfeel isn't nearly as heavy as a porter or stout, which is what you would expect with the darkness of the beer. It is still refreshing.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. It is a great toned-down version of a classic stout. There isn't a better term than "Black Lager". Bitter yet still a little sweet, refreshing, and finishes moderately. Good beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 01:40:33 | More by PhantasIPA
Photo of mscudder


4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz from variety pack. Best by July 2012

A - Pours an oily black with a thin tan head. A bold looking brew.... impressive.

S - Cocoa and roasted malts. One of the most dominant aromas I have come across with Sam Adams; well done.

T - This has a strong roasted malt flavor up front followed by some coffee and nutty notes.

M - Smooth and crisp for a dark brew. Low carbonation is a plus, hoisting a creamy slick body.

O - Pleasantly surprised with this one! Highly drinkable and not too high on the ABV makes this is great widely available brew. Great job Sam Adams!

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2012 19:07:40 | More by mscudder
Photo of rangerred


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

An aggressive pour yields a dark tan two finger head over a very dark brown, almost black, beer.

Smells of cocoa along with roasted malt. A tiny bit of spicy floral hops are present.

Dark chocolate initially dominates the flavor along with some roast. Some coffee notes appear about midway through along with a light bitterness. Finally there is some cocoa during the finish. Mouthfeel is pretty slick and has some body.

Overall a really good beer and great for the style. A pretty easy drinking beer with plenty of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 01:05:43 | More by rangerred
Photo of wafers

New York

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown to black upon the pour, slightly translucent when held to the light, nice amount of frothy head that seems to linger for awhile
S: Aroma of toasty malts, otherwise not much smell
T: Nice, roasted flavor up front, very similar to a dry stout...some chocolate character throughout with a noticeable hoppy hit towards the end
M: Smooth, very light and crisp for a darker brew
O: Enjoyed this one...taste is reminiscent of many stouts but has a somewhat lighter character which sets it apart from those beers...very drinkable and would definitely have again

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 03:48:10 | More by wafers
Photo of blakelive784


2.7/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a deep, dark shade of brown with a light tan 1 finger head, which is pretty thin. Retention is poor, though there's some lacing left on the glass.

S - Incredibly light notes of cream, toasted malts, and caramel. Maybe a bit of smoke in there. Obviously mild strength.

T - Better than I though it'd be, but there's still not much going on. It opens with a fair dose of cream, giving way to light roast. The flavor abruptly ends there. I do like the bit of flavor it's got, but it's far too little. This one could be pretty good with some added complexity and body.

M - Medium bodied, thick and smooth. More reminiscent of a porter that a schwarz.

D - It needs some work. A good foundation, but that's all it is at this point.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 00:22:18 | More by blakelive784
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle from a Sam Adams sampler pack, picked up in Upstate New York.

Poured into a dimpled beer mug. The Schwarz is strong with this one: nice and dark, good sturdy head, lots of lacing, great retention.

Nose is mild molasses, a bit of roasted grain, coffee, citrus hops.

Nice balanced schwartzbier. Easy to drink, but with enough meat to it as to be an enjoyable sipper as well. Molasses and chocolate, a bit of coffee and nice toasty bread. Hops provide a nice twang to the finish. Nice chewy feel, coats the tongue nicely.

One of the better schwarzes I've come across in bottled form.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 00:17:39 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of StaveHooks


3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark brown with ruby high;ights. 2 fingers of tan head slowly sinks leaving behind full sheets of lacing.

S - Sweet dark caramel malts, molasses, hints of chocolate, doughy yeast, very rich aroma.

T - Mirrors the nose with dark caramel, creamy chocolate, nutty yeast, hints of raisins, and prunes, grassy hops lace the sides of the tongue for a light bitterness on the finish.

M - Tight medium carbonation, light to medium body, creamy feel.

Very organized flavors. Rich and robust for just 4.90 ABV! A great session beer anytime of the year. I can't believe I waited so long to try this.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 22:58:37 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of Jamesthebrit


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black indeed. Well it's actually just really really dark brown. But unique for sure, and the head carried a little of the color being a bold tan.
S: Subtle maltyness
T: Malty, roasty, some chocolate in there but less that the other two. Also some hops near the end. It's quite nice because those three flavors come first then it fades into a hop flavor so no one blocks out the other.
M: Really nice: the bubbles fit in really well. The bitterness became overwhelming after a little bit as I made my way through the beer.

Overall a solid showing. Goes down easy but still has considerable character. The roastyness and maltyness really stand out in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 21:54:36 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of bszern


3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, with a small head. Disappears with little or no lacing.

S: Little boozy, balanced with a good malt body.

T: Smooth with a roasted malt flavor. Little bit of chocolate. Tastes a lot lighter then it looks. Aftertaste is clean.

M: Light, some carbonation.

O: A very drinkable beer, one of my favorites from Boston Beer Co.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 21:00:36 | More by bszern
Photo of lovindahops

New York

3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- black lager pours an opaque color around the glass with fair mocha foam that retreats to a thin layer along the edges of the glass.

S- cocoa nibs, bready scent, with a thin hop profile in the scent. The chocolate and caramel is pretty apparent as well. This is a good scent profile

T- chocolate malt crosses over with some toffee and the aforementioned caramel. Good coating flavors all over the tasting. Very dark and flavorful throughout the tasting

M- good carbonation with but fades a little I'm the mouth

O- good brew that did not let down in the mixer. I could definitely come back to these

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2012 02:33:02 | More by lovindahops
Photo of J23hc

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty solid black tone, purpleish in light, good beige head, great lacing on the sip. Smell is mostly a burnt malt with a fatty sweetness to it. Faint herbal hop characters but barely. Taste is balanced but a bit plain, just some burnt malt and a bit high on carb. Overall missing something

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 23:10:53 | More by J23hc
Photo of loftisCT


4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by March 2012, Enjoyed Feb 15, 2012
A: Very dark with ruby red edges, nice off-white head.
S: Chocolate, Slight Roast, and Bready, a very well-integrated malt aroma. A touch of grass. Clean with just a touch of lager yeast.
T: Pretty sweet malt flavor. Chocolate apparent over a nice, bready malt backbone. Then becomes slightly roasty and dries out a little in the finish. Drying seems to be more from light roastiness than hop bitterness. I get just a touch of acidity. Breadiness lingers in the finish.
M: Solid medium body throughout, a little more than I expected for 4.9 abv. I would say it’s is even a little pillowy. Very impressive and still remains very crisp.
O: Very nice beer. I have only had a few schwarzbiers before and this one was cleaner and maltier than the others i've had. My favorite part of this one is that the chocolate and roast really only added to a really solid malt backbone. A lot of malt flavor packed into a low abv, crisp lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:42:26 | More by loftisCT
Photo of beergoot


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark, ruby-red, mahogany color with a thin, rapidly dissipating light tan head. Some lacing remains on the glass.

Dominant dark, roasted grain scent. Rich bread notes.

The mouthfeel is smooth and hovering between light-to-medium in body, nicely emphasizing a gentle sweetness.

The taste is delicious: soft chocolate and molasses notes. A soft bitterness compliments the clean, dry finish.

A very respectable dark lager. Nicely balanced and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:13:05 | More by beergoot
Photo of Kadonny


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle part of the spring sampler pack.

A: A dark brownish color with light brown head. Nice full glass lacing that does recede.

S: Roasted notes mix with bready malt, slight chocolate and some floral signature SA hops. Nice.

T: Follow the nose. Roasted flavors mix with the bready malt sweetness. Some toffee and caramel with some mild chocolate tones. Roastiness stays and you get a nice finish of flora hops. The beer has the signature Sam Adams yeast/hop taste to it. Very nice beer.

M: A little light actually, but I didn't get a lot of lingering flavors and it was a tad bit thin.

O: A real nice surprise of a beer, that is very drinkable and enjoyable. I would easily pick one of these up at any time and really enjoy it.

A nice beer that is part of the sampler pack. I really enjoyed it and will have no problem finishing off the rest from the sampler pack. This should be their winter beer, better than the Winter Lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 19:59:12 | More by Kadonny
Photo of donmonkey1


4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a thin tan head. The head could be thicker, and it leaves a little too fast. Light but consistent lacing.

Smell: Molasses, Caramel

Taste: Molasses, coffee, toast.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, frothy, good carbonation.

This is a filling beer. Tastes good, a little sweet but not too sweet. I would like more roasted flavor. This is a quality beer I would enjoy drinking and would be proud to give to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 02:51:41 | More by donmonkey1
Photo of bucklemyshoe


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pint glass.

A: Very dark with red highlights and a finger of light khaki head.

S: Chocolate, light roastiness, and some wet oats.

T: Sweet grains, chocolate, cinammon, and caramel.

M: Medium-light body. Very creamy.

O: Solid drinker. It tastes alright and goes down easily.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 15:02:20 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of chimaylvr

Rhode Island

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams "tulip" glass, fresh date til July 2012

A - one finger frothy foam head, thin but continous lacing, chocolate brown color

S - not too distinct or complex, dark roasted malts, coffee-like

T - it's remarkably good: porter-like; has a smooth finish, not really bitter but roasted malt, coffee indicated by the color and name of the beer is it's primary characteristic.

M - creamy smooth but bold, carbonation is just right

O - Balance: not heavy, not light; not bitter, not sweet; not complex, not simple. I think Koch and the crew got it right. I've always liked this beer. Since I think smell is a lesser category overall boosts to a 4. At 4.9 it makes a great session beer. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 04:02:35 | More by chimaylvr
Photo of jeffjeff1


3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this in a Sam Adams variety pack.
Poured into a Pilsener glass

Appearance- black color, thin head that dissipated quickly

Smell- roasted malt with a hint of coffee and chocolate

Taste- chocolate, coffee, roasted malt

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, smooth

Drinkability- I thought this was very good. Very refreshing and very smooth. Very good

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 20:42:49 | More by jeffjeff1
Photo of iBeer16

New York

3.7/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass
A: pours a very dark opaque brown with about a finger of a tan small bubbled head. Doesn't linger too long, leaves little lacing.

S: very strong roasted chocolate and coffee malty aroma with a slight fruity under aroma.

T: smost noticeable a chocolate and coffee taste with a roasted, smoked flavor. Also a watery taste? But when it warms up the flavor becomes more prevalent throughout.

M: very light in body, a bit of a strong carbonation but nothing crazy. Wish it was a little heavier but flavor is pretty good. Finishes a bit watery.

Overall, not bad, the flavor is present but finishes a bit watery. Very easy drinking schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 01:40:08 | More by iBeer16
Photo of fx20736

New York

3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served at fridge temp.

Black at first glance, the color of Coca-Cola when backlit, with a thick cinnamon colored head that recedes quickly and leaves no lacing to speak of.

Aroma of richly roasted malt and only only a ghost-like suggestion of hops.

Taste: roasted caramel malt with a light smokiness.

Notes: a nice, drinkable Schwarzbier.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 21:55:00 | More by fx20736
Photo of psuKinger


3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle given to me by my neighbor Brian, poured into a standard nonic.

A: Pours an impressively dark shade of almost-black, with just the slightest amount of light escaping through the other side of the glass. A soft light fluffy off-white head sat on top, but dissipated quickly.

S: More caramel than I would have expected from such a dark beer. Bready sugars can be found in the background. I'm not picking up on any discernible roastiness in the nose.

T: Vanilla cream and roast arrive on the first sip. The caramel backbone, so prominant in the nose, only makes is presence felt on the tongue near the back end of the flavor profile. Finishes bready and dry, with yet more caramel lingering on the back end.

M: Rather unremarkable. Not "hefty". Not "light". Carbonation seems low. The finish is dry, but very little other than caramel is left behind after it's gone.

D/O: A fine beer. But by craft beer standards? It's pretty mediocre. I'd have another, but I won't specifically seek this out.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 21:43:23 | More by psuKinger
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,377 ratings.