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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

2,472 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,472
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 75 | 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
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Ratings: 2,472 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Blanco
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well it's not black but it's pretty close. dark chocolate brown with a light tan head. It's pretty good looking poured in the recommended flute (well not quite a flute, but a tall skinny ommegang glass). It's practically scentless. Taste is definitely more lager-esque than I expected. There really isn't any roasty, toastiness from the malts in this one. It's a bit on the sweet side. Light bodied. pretty drinkable actually, but its so ambiguous I don't know what to think. Not sure if the taste/look mismatch is in my head or if I've been drinking too many stouts but I can't get around the fact this one doesn't look like it tastes. It certainly isn't bad, so I can't fault it for that.

Blanco, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep brown colour with a small tan head.

Caramelly, earthy, chocolate and a hint of coffee. Good.

A tasty, earthy malt flavour with a nice bitterness and spicy, citrussy hop character. Nice.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

A great beer. Enough going on to keep people interested and good flavour.

dgilks, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with dark red highlights, small creamy off-white head turns to swirly cap and thick ring, leaves some lacing.

Dark chocolate, roasted malt and some hops in the scent, earthy notes. Faint but pleasant.

In order of strength I'd say - chocolate, roasted malt, caramel. Citrus and some grassy notes from the hops in the finish also appear more as the beer goes on. Good balance between the hops and malt flavors, they compliment each other well.

Carbonation is a bit on the high side but the mouthfeel is good. Drinks much like a porter to me.

A great choice if you want stout or porter flavors without a heavy-feeling beer. At only 4.9% this is light, but not too light, with nice flavors. It would be nice to be able to session a beer like this too. Probably my favorite Sam Adams.

Chico1985, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of StoutHunter
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a mixed 12 pack, I feel the need for something darker so lets crack this brew. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This beer pours black but when held up to the light the edges are a ruby brown, had a fingers worth of off white head that was gone pretty quickly.

S- Roasted caramel malts dominate the nose, sweet and chocolaty.

T- Roasted malts dominate the taste almost the same way it would in a porter. Hints of chocolate and coffee with some slightly bitter hops in the end that helps tie everything together.

M- Medium bodied, a little under carbonated but it works with the creaminess.

D- This beer is nice and drinkable but i wouldn't have more then 3 before i switched to something lighter.

Overall I rarely find myself impressed with Samuel Adams brews but this one is right up there with latitude 48 as my favorite beers from them. A well balanced Schwarzbier.

StoutHunter, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
1.4/5  rDev -62.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a black color with a tan head, nice retention, no real lacing. Smells of decent malts and some hops. Tastes really smooth with some nice tasty malts -- a bit boozy (may have a bad batch). Mouthfeel medium, but pretty nice. Overall a fairly bad beer.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of canucklehead
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice take on the Schwarzbier style with enough dark malt to add some real complexity to the finish. I found it pretty drinkable though I was glad it was part of a mixed case as the sweetness gets to stick to your palate. Sam Adams usually does a good job of creating solid offerings

canucklehead, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a sampler pack, served in a perfect pint glass

A - thin 1/4" of loose creamy foam, tan colored, settles by the time i sit down to a thin film and ring. the beer is *very* dark amber in color.

S - dark roasted malts with a hint of nutty sweetness, some medium roasted coffee lightly creamed. grassy and earthy hop finish.

T - begins with a flash of nutty sweetness, instantly turning towards bitter and slightly charred malts, vanilla, burnt coffee bitterness. finishes with some more vanilla-like sweetness and earthy hops.

M - thin bodied with sharp and slightly overdone carbonation. finishes in a flash, with lingering roasty and earthy bitterness.

D - not a bad beer, just missing a little control and refinement. this style continues to blow my mind with its bold flavors and light body. a good welcome change-up in the SA mixers.

Stigs, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of OtisStreetBrew
4.7/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer puts a smile on my face. There is something special about the feel of a clean, smooth lager playing against a roasty background, and Sam Adams gets it right with this one.

Appearance is as advertised: black.

Smell those Hallertau hops and Bavarian yeast.

Clean lager up front, roasted notes, even some coffee flavors, finish and linger.

Feels nice and smooth.

Drinkability is exceptional. It is not often I find a beer I want to quaff massive quantities of... Sweet!

OtisStreetBrew, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Cellar temperature bottle is poured into a fluted glass. This is a dark brown beer with pretty ruby notes where the sunlight hits it. The head is tan foam that slowly slides down the sides of the glass as I swirl it about. There appears to be a good amount of rising carbonation.

A warm roasted malt aroma greets my nose as I inhale. There is a bit of a candy sweetness to the smell; it reminds me of toffee.

Just like the label on the neck of the bottle suggests, I can taste dark roasted malts and, to a lesser extent, chocolate malts. A mild bitterness appears as I swallow and lingers briefly. Lasting longer is a bit of malty sweetness and some alcohol. It is a respectable flavor profile for this German-inspired beer.

The Black Lager has a medium body and average carbonation. It is a little sticky and leaves a good amount of coating behind.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. I don't think I'd want more than these 12 ounces, as the stickiness and coating may begin to bother me. I think I'll need a glass of water after consuming this beer. I am glad that there is a second bottle in the mix pack, because I will want to revisit this beer soon. It has also inspired me to seek out more beers of this style, as I think there is a lot of potential for some great black lagers.

ToasterChef, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of acurtis
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.

acurtis, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is quite possibly my favorite in the Samuel Adams canon, a very solid dark brew that escapes the traditional "Sam Adams flavor" and strives for something more complex.

The beer pours a dark black with a decent head retention. The smells don't come through too strongly, but what does come through is a cream and coffee aroma courtesy of some strong maltiness.

The beer comes on a little light on the front end but grows as you hold on to it. The coffee and chocolate flavors hit the back of the palate, however the carbonation keeps it from getting to heavy. The beer is well balanced and unique to the Sam Adams family.

ManuelHerrera, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Black Lager poured a very dark amber color, with very little head. It smells rich, with hints of walnut, or hazelnut. The taste is strong, choclate flavors, pretty malty as well. Strong flavor and good carbination as well. A bit harder to drink because of the heavy flavors. Overall a really good beer, one of my favorite sam adams.

vette2006c5r, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of righthereisay
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Fall sample pack.

Black appearance, as predicted by the name.

The smell is nice, maybe some sugar/licorice.

It wasn't bitter at all, had a really nice full body. My only complaint was it really wasn't very flavorful. The 1st sip was better than the remaining sips.

I guess my only concern is that something seems to be missing in this beer. Almost like they stopped on the flavor because of the mouthfeel and drinkability, which is very good.

righthereisay, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured very dark clear amber (near black) in color with a creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving some lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark roasted malts and nuts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, coffee, nuts and roasted malts. There are some hops in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin on the palate. It is rather smooth and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: It's not very difficult to finish this beer very quickly; the low alcohol content makes this quite sessionable.

metter98, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of NODAK
4.28/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma here is of some roasted chocolate malt. Somewhat bitter, but not too overwhelming either.

Taste follows the aroma pretty well. The body of the beer is of a smooth, roasted chocolate malt character. It's somewhat restrained so as not to be astringent (like a stout). Mouthfeel is pretty thin. Finish has a touch of sweetness, likely from the caramel malt that the label advertises, to go with the roasted malts to finish it off.

This is a very smooth beer. I like the flavors it presents, and that it does so in a restrained, drinkable way. I believe this is a very good representation of style.

NODAK, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of JMad
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle to a pint glass...
Pours a nice black color with a red hue, the cream colored head went quickly, nice lacing.
Smells of sweet roasted malt.
Tastes of Roasty coco, hint of caramel, and a very light bitterness.
Light-medium body with a nice dry finish.
Pretty solid beer, nice flavor.

JMad, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of ultrastiledivita
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

first review!
here goes nothing...

bottle poured into a pint glass, got it in the fall variety pack

A: Deep dark brown almost black beer that has the look of a stout minimal head that kinda dissapered once i was finished pouring it

S: coffee, dark chocolate

T: coffee, toasted malts, the beer is a little bitter and leaves a lingering taste of dark chocolate although it doesnt really linger around for all that long

M: this was what surprised me most, it was surprisingly clean for a dark beer something im not very used to, slightly chewy towards the end as well

D: awesome i could see myself drinking two or three of these in one setting

good brew!

ultrastiledivita, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, dark brown color. 3/4 inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, oatmeal, slight hop, hint of roasted malt, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, oatmeal, slight coffee, and hint of roasted malt. Overall, good appearance, body, blend, and aroma.

Tone, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of jsanford
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a very dark (almost black) brown with a very this head that disappeared quickly. No lacing, nothing.

S - Sweet roasted malt with slight notes of coffee and honey.

T - More sweet roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Slightly bitter finish helps balance it out.

M - Fairly creamy with a medium body and medium carbonation.

D - Moderately drinkable, especially if you are in the mood for something dark but not as filling as a porter or stout.

jsanford, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a VERRRY dark brown, nearly black, with a one finger tan colored head. Nice lacing

S- dark coffee and roasted malts...almost smells a little burned. One of my favorite smells in beer, though

T- chocolate, with some slight hints of coffee in there....tastes like a muted version of a good stout. Tastes good, though

M- a little thin and watery, but considering its not a stout, I'll let it slide...judging for style, its got a good body

D- really drinkable...its got the taste qualities of a stout without the thick body. Really interesting style, and I want more!

bigfnjoe, Sep 19, 2010
Photo of thatguy3579
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick coffee color with foamy tan head.

S: Smell of sweet roasted goodness and some spice.

T: Mostly sweet in flavor. Full of roastiness and chocolate. Some hops do come through providing some balance.. Finish is mild.

M: Fairly creamy, with decent carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable for such a sweet and tasty beer. This might be one of my favorites in the SA lineup.

thatguy3579, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of droomyster
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown/barely black body with one finger of tan foam. Aromas are good but a bit subdued. Primary aroma is roastiness, with a light smokiness and a hint of coffee. Taste is a bit strange, in that it initially strikes me (on the front palate) as a rather character deficient, generic British pub ale, before a complex set of roasty, espressoish, extremely dark chocolatey notes suddenly sprout out. The flavor intensity is mellow. The finish lingers briefly on a coffee note. Like most Sam Adams, the body could hardly be better. Not my favorite schwarziber, but hardly the worst. It's a beer I welcome in one of Samuel Adams' mixed cases, but wouldn't buy as a six pack of its own.

droomyster, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of Lauthaha
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug. Part of a sampler pack.

Appearance: Definitely black, with a frothy tan head that (even after receding) forms a nice protective layer betwixt the air and the beer. Lots of lacing going on, beer is dark even when held against the light. Nice!

Smell: Sweet. Lightly toasted caramel malt nose with perhaps just a touch of anise or licorice thrown in for good measure. Don't know why, but this is really doing it for me right now.

Taste: Rich, heavy on the malt, and the licorice is also pretty noticeable. Not a whole lot of bitter hop activity going on here until the very end of the sip. Taking the time to appreciate the taste is well worth it on this one. Finishes just a touch dry, with some herbal aftertaste that is neither unpleasant nor unwelcome.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, very warming. Carbonation is balanced with the flavor well. Doesn't rinse clean, but luckily, the aftertaste is good.

Drinkability: A bit heavy to do more than one or two at a time. Still better than average, though.

Surprisingly tasty!

Lauthaha, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of gkunkle
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color. When held to light I get some nice reddish hues. Head is off-white and pretty tall. Retention is good. Smell reminds me of shiner bock, it is roasty and caramel-ey. Taste is of chocolate, slight roasty flavor. No major hop presence. Body is a little on the thin side, with appropriate carbonation. I love that this beer has a nice low ABV and a decent flavor. It wound make an okay session beer.

gkunkle, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pokal.

Appearance is a dark, translucent reddish brown that lets only bits of light through. Quite a few lines of bubbles trailing up to the top can be seen. There is a dusky quarter inch-thick head that recedes slowly, leaving a lot of sticky, stringy lacing. Definitely lives up to its moniker. Smell is full of malts with subdued notes of chocolate and sweetness. Some grains and just a slight hint of hops are also detectable.

Malts up front that transition into a bready smoothness, with a definite smoky quality that is both very distinct, but well-balanced with the rest of the beer. There's some fruitiness as well, hints of berries and dates. Hops are just barely there to provide a light touch of bitterness towards the end that doesn't really linger at all. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but very smooth and easy. Just the right amount of carbonation as well.

Before I knew it, my glass was down to nothing. This is quite the drinkable brew. Definitely a pleasant experience for my first Schwarzbier. Different, distinct and wholly pleasing, the brewers at Samuel Adams continue to impress and do the American beer industry proud.

r0nyn, Sep 13, 2010
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,472 ratings.