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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,377 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(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)
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Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interestingly translucent yet black. It looks kind of cool. First impressions are good.

Nose is grainy and chocolaty. Touches of caramel, nougat, toffee, and a general Snickers odor enter into play. Not what I’m used to but this works too.

Taste/MF…weak, real weak. This is a style that I admire for its full-on boldness both in the taste and mouthfeel categories that blend with an easy drinkability but this one comes up short in both categories. Notes of charred grains, wood, caramel are present but all are light and the big roasted-burnt malt flavor that I want is nowhere to be found. Carbonation is on the light side too.

Drinkablitiy: With Sprecher around, this just isn’t up to par.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2006 22:45:32 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of DesMoinesMike
DesMoinesMike

Iowa

2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this one a while back and found it undesirable. Now that my taste is more refined I find it, well, somewhat tolerable. It's look is peculiar with the side edges of my perfect pour glass red and the bottom edge brown. There's a thick finger of foam that lasts a few minutes. The aroma is very feint, just a hint of sweet malt. The taste is mild malty but turns slightly sour at the end that throws of my taste buds. I didn't bother to finish the glass because it just wasn't that enjoyable. I'll probably give away my other bottle.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 02:47:48 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of Shrews629
Shrews629

Kentucky

2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown to very, very dark ruby red. Some slight orange highlights around the edges. Fairly clear with a tan colored head that didn't produce much or have much retention.

Smell - Dark, roasted, chocolate malt. Picked up hints of buttermilk (not my favorite fragrance). It has caramel listed on the label, but I'm not really picking it up. I'm even picking up "cream" hints. Doesn't seem as well balanced as I thought it should be.

Taste - Has a deep roasted, earthy, burnt malt to the taste. Some chocolate in there. Again, no caramel. The taste was more balanced than the smell and was just Ok in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Mostly dry, creamy and smooth. Coats the palate honorably.

Drinkability - This is not one of my favorite Sam Adams brews, nor is it one of my favorite styles. This is a beer I can finish, but would probably not go for round two. Every time I took a drink, I continually got the "buttermilk" scent. I didn't care for that. Others may enjoy this beer, however I don't think I will try this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 23:58:47 | More by Shrews629
Photo of nach0king
nach0king

Texas

2.78/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've recently developed a taste for black lagers - this one's decent but little more than that. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: The colour's right. A bit of light can get through but hardly any. No head to speak of.

S: A little bit of sugar, toffee, malt. A very nice smell but there's not enough of it.

T: As the smell suggested this is mild for a black. That said it's well-balanced - seems more heavily hopped than the ones I'm used to and that's welcome. The bitterness makes it more coffee than toffee. But it just feels like there isn't enough there.

M: Perhaps slightly overcarbonated but still pretty full for a lager - which is a good thing.

Would probably not go looking for this one again. It's perfectly fine but there are better schwarzbiers out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 02:16:38 | More by nach0king
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I love the Boston Beer Company. These guys make solid, sometimes great beer that's ubiquitous and cheap. The BBC is anything but traditional; their product line ranges from the insane 25% abv Utopias to little-produced styles, like this Schwarzbier. (Also the Cranberry Lambic, but we won't go there.)

I have to admit this is the first Schwarzbier of any kind I've tried, so I'm curious. A black lager? What's that? Let's see...

Pours a dark coffee color with a small 1/4th inch head. Looks a lot like a Guinness Extra Stout to me. Smell is scant, coffee and malt. Mostly coffee.

Taste is... well, weak. Roasted malt, some sweetness, maybe a hint of caramel. Not much else... pretty watery. Not really sure what I was expecting, but this really is a dark-colored, roasty-flavored lager. Odd.

Mouthfeel is thin, a bit dry, with a malty aftertaste. This isn't filling me up, yet.

I don't much care for lagers, so I won't lie and pretend I liked this one. It's just strange... I mean, if I want stout, I'll drink stout. If I was partial to lager I'd drink cat piss -- I mean, lager. I guess this could be a good cross-over beer for the lager fan who hasn't gotten into darker beer. Kind of mixed on this one. It's not an awful beer but you can get a lot better. Props to the BBC for trying something different, in any case.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2005 06:18:07 | More by kkipple
Photo of jpkoch1962
jpkoch1962

Indiana

2.73/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep ebony with a tan two finger head. The smell of sweet bread mixed with licorice made for a subdued aroma. Sweet bread, and faint spicy licorice dominated the taste profile. The beer finished sweet and a bit cloying with some faint sourness. The carbonation was moderate which kept a decent body through out.

This schwartzbier is way too sweet for the style. The noble bittering hops were either missing or in such small quantities that the taste profile suffered. This is a disappointment as SA usually brews some very nice classic beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2007 18:28:12 | More by jpkoch1962
Photo of Hunter
Hunter

Arizona

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

appearance: Beer pours dark but not quite black, more akin to cola than a stout. Head of tan foam evaporates on the instant.
smell: Smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate. There's an acrid undertone that's not pleasant but it doesn't detract too harshly.
taste: Complex combination that confirms the aroma. Chocolate smoke and coffee predominate. Aftertaste brings back that acrid aftertaste, much more noticeable.
mouthfeel: Thinner than you would expect.
drinkability: I'm unimpressed. This is something interesting to try occasionally, probably best when paired with strong meats or cheese. By itself it is not particularly refreshing or alluring.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 18:24:17 | More by Hunter
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
CraftBeerTastic

Pennsylvania

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

Ba Review #54
Served On: 9/3/2011
Glassware: Tumbler Pint Glass

Got this one from the 2011 Harvest mixed pack.

Look: Deep deep ruby red color with a small 1 finger tan head. Good carbonation. Lacing already started as the head receded to a thin film.

Smell: Typical lager smell. Strong Sam Adams malty twang. I really can pick up on much else. Maybe some brown sugar. The nose wasn’t real interesting on this one.

Taste: Sweet malts start out and move directly into dark fruits and typical lager notes of breddy yeast and sweet malts. There was also some spice in the finish - similar to the Boston Lager. The mouth feel is definitely a little heavier than a standard lager. I just can’t pick up on anything special with this brew.

Overall this is an OK beer with nothing standing out. The Saranac Black Forest I reviewed yesterday was definitely a step above this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 16:27:34 | More by CraftBeerTastic
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

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 Floydster
Floydster

California

2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle from Cooke's in El Segundo

Poured into a pint glass and was not quite black, dark brown, but could see right through the glass

Small off white head about 1/4 inch

Smell was very weak and did not have much but roasted something

Taste was too bitter and dry

Could not drink a lot of these, heavy for style of beer

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2007 02:23:49 | More by Floydster
Photo of jsh420
jsh420

Illinois

2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

best by june 2010

pours dark dark brown with a 2 finger tanish head that left spotted lacing down the glass

smells watery not strong at all - some roasted malt maybe some chocolate

taste is not much better then the nose - the beer is just too thin and the hops (i thinks its the hops) give the beer a sour flavor? - has some roast and chocolate malts but not enough

mouthfeel - this and the look are the best thing about it - light smooth creamy good carbonation

drinkability is not good - if i dont like the flavor why drink it

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 01:36:52 | More by jsh420
Photo of Jesse13713
Jesse13713

Ohio

2.65/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I reviewed this beer in the past, but I am updating my review because I found quite a few differences in my notes.

Appearance - A dark cola brown that isn't quite black. Very little head and average lacing to the Hoppin' Frog snifter. A very flimsy looking beer.

Smell - This beer smelled great after popping the cap off. Huge notes of roasted espresso malt and dark chocolate. A bit of spicy chocolate milk, which I found quite odd. The smell fades very rapidly.

Taste - A quite tasty chocolaty lager. More cocoa and chocolaty notes than I expected. A very faint spice that is difficult to pinpoint. The malt is half-rich and roasty, but coldly received. Light hops and bitterness can be felt on the tongue.

Mouthfeel and Overall - Very light-bodied and lightly carbonated. Watery at first, but a nice smokey chocolate malt backs it up a bit in the end. With respect, this beer is not terribly great, but it is certainly better and contains more of a body than the Dixi Black Voodoo I just had not too long ago.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 04:48:52 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

2.6/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served on pint glass.
Deep mohogany reddish hues on the edges of a dark brown, almost black, body. Crey tan head of 2 fingers had good retention and left spotty lacing.

Smells roasty. Huge roasted malt notes-- caramel and chocolate malts are over-roasted, taking away most points of sweetness that those malts usually give off. The beer has a spicy bitterness on the finish. Smells sweeter than it tastes, and the taste gets drier as it crosses fromthe front of my tongue to the finish.
Body is Medium and a bit hefty feeling. Good carbonation. Slight gritty coffee-like feel, and the bitterness reminds me of coffee as well.

Overall, not terrible. This is not one I'll be reaching for again, but it is not entirely undrinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 00:02:11 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of noknife83
noknife83

California

2.55/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass, about an inch of thick creamy foam. Super dark chocolate taste, with a thick syrupy feel to it. I can't really describe the smell but I didn't care for it. A very heavy beer, but not much in the alcohol dept. only 4.9

Not my favorite by a long shot, but not horrible.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 06:50:18 | More by noknife83
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.55/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

33cl brown glass bottle served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream lacing, decent thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a solid black, though it might in actuality be an extremely dark ruby.

Sm: Caramel, light roast, and caramelized malt. I didn't pick up the noble hops per the label. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Generic barley, very light cream, and maybe some caramel. If roast is there, it's extremely light. It's a very simply built beer and isn't particularly balanced. A faux-rauchbier light as hell smokey note is barely detectable on the climax. Meh.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch too thick. Could use a lot more cream.

Dr: It's very easy to drink but is also bland. The ABV is average. As a schwarzbier, I guess it's a minute success. I won't be purchasing it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 07:12:14 | More by kojevergas
Photo of LeRose
LeRose

Massachusetts

2.55/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hard to follow the rules on this one. My original notes were:

Dark black pour, smells like badly burnt toast. Too carbonated. Expected a lot, got nothing. Would not buy.

But I did try again.

Pours nice - very black, opaque, nice foamy head with decent retention. What hit me first again was burnt - overwhelming burnt notes. Taste was the same - I couldn't even call it smoky, really. Some malty flavor in there. Maybe a touch of chocolate and toffee. Seems a bit sour as well, especially as it warmed up. I am not seeing how this example matches with the definition of the style - I didn't find any hops character to it. Other than being light on the mouth feel and well-carbonated I don't see it fitting the overall style.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2012 17:17:05 | More by LeRose
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2005 20:27:45 | More by HardTarget
Photo of rtratzlaff
rtratzlaff

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From a Brewmaster's six pack

Pours a black beer with ruby hues around the edges. An off white head sticks around but isn't nearly what I got from the SA honey porter. It does leave a small amount of lacing.

Smells a bit of bitter chocolate, some sweetness, not getting any hops in the nose.

Taste is chocolate, but chocolate that has sat out for a while and dried up a bit, not creamy or sweet, but sort of chocolate-like. Hops even out the malt. I should have had this before the honey porter as it doesn't stand up to it in flavor. This isn't bad, but it just doesn't provide much to keep me interested.
The bottle claims a medium mouthfeel, but I would say on the lighter side of medium. A solid offering, but pales in comparison to the other SA brewmaster beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2008 22:57:33 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smells of dark fruit and burnt coffee. pours a pretty clear brown color with amber tints and a massive fluffy off white head. thin mouthfeel but the flavors are good and well blended. nice thin caramel and chocolate flavors on the side of the mouth with a very modest clean finish of coffee and balancing hops. very good in flavors that are blended together well but the watery body doesn't do justice to how much better it could've. balance is there and all it just needs a richer body. The thinness of the beer really hurt this one unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 23:55:39 | More by jtierney89
Photo of nitemarebrewer
nitemarebrewer

Ohio

2.42/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

appearance- black, slight tan head
Nose-dry, slightly roasted, neutral
taste-neutral, malt and hop flavor balanced, almost cancelling each other out, little toasty, smooth, like a guinness without the creaminess, but with significantly less hop bitterness
Mouth feel- thin, not too carbonated
Drinkability- i didnt enjoy drinking it alone, I would prefer to pair it with food

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2006 19:37:07 | More by nitemarebrewer
Photo of Koolbreeze2
Koolbreeze2

Connecticut

2.4/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: I do like the way this beer looks. I'm a stout lover and dark beers make my day. (usually). Dark with some head that vanishes quickly.

Smell:A little toasty, malty. And I do mean a little. Very light on smell of any kind.

Taste: I had several over a few months. At first I was not impressed with the taste. I am still not impressed with the taste. Not a beer I will buy or drink again. Watery, very little taste. I almost feel bad that I don't care for this beer because so many people seem to enjoy it. But I must be true to myself and my picky taste buds.

Mouthfeel: Nice feel. Makes the mouth feel good but it needs something- like taste!

Drinkability: Like the Lager but not the Black Lager. All show and no go.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2006 20:33:43 | More by Koolbreeze2
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

2.4/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into River Horse pint glass for lunch. Poured a dark redish brown color with small head. To me it has a strong barley smell and taste. I love dark beers but this one doesn't do it for me. I can drink it but I choose not to. Maybe I need a little more black lager experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 15:51:01 | More by acurtis
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.33/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Nearly black with a burgundy tint in light. Pours a one finger tan head that dissipated in moments. A thin ring of lacing left behind.

S - Very faint. Coffee malt, but I struggled to find even that. A bit of soy sauce as it warms (I really hope that stays out of the flavor).

T - Dark coffee and carmel flavors, only slight sweetness. Only a faint bitter in the aftertaste. It's pleasant, not much depth though. The soy sauce makes a faint appearance in the taste. As long as I don't think about it it isn't terribly offsetting. Yuck. At a bit warmer it overtakes the caramel, it is like low sodium soy sauce meets coffee. This is getting very gross. A bit warmer still, soy sauce dominants flavor AND stays around for the aftertaste. Don't let this one warm!

M - Froths up nicely, creamy, carbonation is too intense, only a tad refreshing, if you are thirsty, it would suffice, but if you aren't it's not good.

D - Better than most of Sam Adams's beers. It would work with many foods and as a session, but it is hardly a spectacular beer. Like your average Sam Adams, drink this cold, lest the offensive flavors come out to play. I mean it, drink this before it turns into soy sauce! Maybe it would go well with sushi?

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2006 01:40:37 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of CAP1868
CAP1868

North Carolina

2.17/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Poured a dark cola color with minimal head but had some decent lacing.

S-Smell was decent not too much to speak of here

T- I just really didn't enjoy the style...nothing against the beer it just had a contrasting bitter versus sweet taste...that was wholly unbalanced

M-It is a lager and its mouth feel is light for being such a dark brew.

D-Light and with a low ABV you could drink quite a few, but I will not buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 23:39:50 | More by CAP1868
Photo of Mechphisto
Mechphisto

Missouri

2.03/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First and foremost, not impressed.
The color is kind of a dark brown tinted black, but not entirely opaque.
It looks VERY much like a cola.
The head even looked like a Pepsi head and lasts about as long.

No aroma that I could detect.

At a pretty cold temperature, it was nearly undrinkable. It taste like a cold, carbonated coffee. Or, a very weak coffee flavored cola. It's very carbonated, sharp in the mouth, bitter yet weak, with no interesting notes.

I let it warm up a bit, and that improved it slightly. It no longer tasted like a sharply carbonated coffee cola; and more like a slightly carbonated, oily feeling weak coffee.

Cold the feel was watery. Completely. Warmed up a little, it seemed a little creamier, but actually is more oily than creamy. Lasts in the mouth a little, but not in a great way.

For someone with a little experience as I have, I find myself very surprised that I prefer a strong Guinness over this black lager. I certainly wouldn't choose this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2006 14:22:57 | More by Mechphisto
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,377 ratings.