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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.

2,485 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,485
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 83 | 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: 2,485 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thasnazzle
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Opaque dark brown with no head to speak of.

S - Dominated by sweet dark fruit notes with a tiny hint of roast coffee and chocolate. Not too much going on here.

T - A hint of the dark fruit notes up front, followed by some roasted coffee and malts and just a tiny hint of chocolate in the back. Finishes with a bit of coffee/hop bitterness, but not a terribly large amount. Overall the flavors are good, but a little light.

M - A smidgen too thin, but a good amount of carbonation saves the mouthfeel.

D - Overall a decent beer. Pretty drinkable for the style. Comes across as a lighter, less complex version of a good stout. After a few of these the toasted aftertaste might be a bit tough on my palate, though.

Another solid offering from BBC that I'm glad to have as part of a sampler.

thasnazzle, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Swill5786
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle with freshness notched at October.

A - Black with brownish-red highlights. One finger head fades relatively quickly to a halo around the top.

S - Hops are a blend of fruity and floral. Expecting more maltiness to come through in this dark brew, but clear evidence this is no stout. Perhaps the faintest hint of caramel... And with more warming: here comes the maltiness. More caramelly with a whiff of chocolate and breadiness.

T - Pleasing mild malt sweetness, with chocolate at the outset. Hops are equally mild at the back. A coffee effect around the edges - like a burnt, singed bitterness... but not overwhelming.

M - Light and lingering. Very easy on the palate. Crisp with dry finish.

D - High. Could drink several but will enjoy the one...

Swill5786, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a rather doughy quality lager with a nice malt quality that give it a bit of body and a bit of sweet foamy lace. coca cola without a light carbonation that is a sharp on the tongue. smell of chocolate and toastiness. but mild to the scent of grass. a good drink for the summer if you're looking for something malty. better than most american black beers.

rtepiak, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.55/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Deep black with a touch of amber color. Good sized fluffy head, leaves a bit of lace on the glass. I'm intrigued.

S: Wonderful scent of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and hints of nuts.

T: Excellent distinctive flavors of toffee and caramel as well as chocolate. Very easy to taste the roasted malt.

M: Smooth and creamy. Pretty light bodied, with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes very smooth.

D: Very good drinkability. This isn't the kind of beer that's meant to be thrown back, but it will definitely leave you wanting another.

HockeytownBrew, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.25/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams pint at 51 degrees. I had a dark maroon, almost like a pinot noir, and brown translucence. It tasted best at temps in the high 40's to low 50's.

The aroma reminded me of roasted almonds or walnuts.

The taste had a smoky quality at times along with a brown sugar sweetness. There was a slight bitterness. Overall I thought it had a rusty quality, and I mean that in a good way.

It was very drinkable and had a smooth m/f.

Overall it seemed a bit average. It was okay and I could easily drink this all night, but there was nothing that would keep me going back again and again - I will be moving on.

LacquerHead, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of DerekP
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My recent pseudo-complaint about Sam Adams pricing in southwestern PA will not stop me from buying a single now and again. I've been closing in on this brew for a while now: Black Lager (a Schwarzbier).

An almost pitch black body pours into my nonic pint glass. In the light, there are traces of dark copper lying at the bottom. In the nose there are plenty of roasted coffee & dark chocolate notes. Caramel; brown sugar. For fellow homebrewers, I'm also smelling a freshly opened can of malt extract.

The taste is dark roasted, but matched up with an agreeable hops presence. The hops complement the roasted character, while adding in an extra punch, winning the challenge in the end. Brown sugar & caramel pulling through too, in the manner of an American Brown Ale.

As it warms up, the presence of alcohol starts to show itself. Embrace it. This is a tasty brew. Is it too much to ask for this one to be available on tap in the winter around here?

DerekP, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of karait95
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark reddish color, against light you can see very little going through, two finger head that dissipates a little fast with a nice dark beige color.

S: Very toasted aroma with some sweet aroma.

T: Toasted taste, a good toasted combination with a very faint sweetness there is something else natural flavor not identify.

M: Full of flavor, but not to complex.

D: Nice at the beginning but rather fast becomes bitter, with a medium lasting and bitter ending.

karait95, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of adkirkish
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured dark dark brown (black) w/ creamy light tan head, decent lacing.

A: dominantly roasted malt aroma but not overpowering, I couldnt pull any hop or yeast aromatics. No esthers or off aromas.

F: roasted malt upfront, but then lends itself to chocolate and caramel malts. Balance is toward the roasted malts. No perceived hop flavor. The balance is vey complimentary and surprising from a sam adams beer. This one actually conveys some depth.

M: light-med bodied and creamy mouthfeel, with med-heavy carbonation. No warmth.

O: quite pleased with this sam adams, I was skeptical at first but this is a treat. Nice roasted malts, w a great complimentary chocolate malt profile. Will drink again :)

adkirkish, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Very impressive! Dark, dark brown-black, with thick clinging head and lacing. Some bubbles noticeable at the bottom of the glass rise into darkness.

S: Meh. Maybe some roasted malt and light grain. Not much interesting.

T: Pretty good. The body is somewhat watery-smooth, but the muted flavours are all pleasant. The sweetish malts have a definite bitter roast taste, which strikes an acceptable balance. Aftertaste is not bitter, but smooth and pleasant.

M: Carbonation has some bite, but the sweetness is more dominant. Not too much of anything.

D: Very downable, and a pretty damn good schwarzbier. Not my favourite, but I would definitely crack open a bottle if I saw one laying around. I won't go so far as to recommend it, but I would definitely drink another or three.

AgentMunky, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Sudsy89
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised with this beer, since I am not usually a fan of lagers. It pours a smooth, very dark brown, with a smallish white head. Has a malty aroma, like a porter. The taste is nice, has a good balance between hops and sweet malt flavor. Goes down smooth, isn't as thick as a stout or porter. This is one of my favorite Sam Adams beers, would make a good session beer.

Sudsy89, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of Church89
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Same kind of Sam Adams beer (brown bottle, Sam label) nothing special.

Pours a dark brown/black, blocks all light. Tan head.

Smells of a light hops aroma.

Taste is of hops, subtle coffee flavors, chocolate tones.

Smooth going down, very light, pleasant aftertaste.

Drinkability is superb. It's a great session beer.

Church89, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of LuthersMug
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Rich dark brown/black color with a creamy tan head. Lacing throughout the beer.

S - Sweet hints of caramel.

T - The roasted malts are the strongest part of the drink. Distinct notes of caramel and dark chocolate.

M - Creamy and smooth. Slightly bitter at the end, but dissipates quick. Carbonation good.

D - A rich and creamy beer, one was enough for me.

LuthersMug, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of treque
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a dark chocolate-colored beer,with its coffee creamy foam. Without carbonation, It has a good retention, some residual it is shown.
Nice aroma of roasted and caramel

Sweet taste at first, with a roasted intense final, light body

Nice shwarzbier.

treque, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown/near black with a tall light brown head that sticks around and leaves some very nice lacing.

S: Dry, roasted malts, bit of caramel/molasses, vinous. Nothing is too powerful, though. You can smell a bit of the hops, too.

T: Definitely has a darker malt base, but it's not like a stout. It's much lighter - like between a porter and a less hopped German Pilsner. It's bittersweet from the roasted malts and the hops. It's more like something you might drink in the winter if you're looking for something lighter. Lingering slight bitterness and roasted taste. As it warms, a more vinous taste comes through.

M: Quite a light feel which contrasts what you'd expect with a dark beer, but it holds true to the style.

D: I could put a few of these back in the winter/fall. Though because of its lightness, it's not hard to put down in warmer temperatures. I could definitely drink more of these in a sitting.

VoiceOfTheSoul, Jul 05, 2010
Photo of lou50rp
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It looks great in a glass - almost black. Slight head, but good color-light brown.
Malty smell with a bit of sweetness. Smell and color are inviting.
Taste of dark chocolate and dark roast coffee with hints of sweetness.
Mouthfeel was good. Not to heavy, not watery.
Definitely a drinkable beer. Great taste without high ABV.
One of Sam's best.

lou50rp, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of greengorilla
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pilsner glass. It is a dark black with a nice tan head.

The smell is good. It is a combination of roasted malt and a hint of citris.

I don't taste the citris, but the roasted malt dominates the taste. There is just enough hops. I really enjoy the taste.

The mouthfeel is nice, and it is very drinkable. This is a high quality beer at a very reasonable price.

greengorilla, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of GoalieRon33
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black with a slightly tan head. Looks like a cola when poured into a glass. Ruby tinge when a light is shined through this beer.

S- Not much going on, but slightly malty and sweet. Slightly burnt as well.

T- Light maltiness with a chocolatey after taste. Sweet enough that the flavor lasts for a while after sipping. Somewhat of a smokiness to go along with caramel.

M- A little to watery for my liking. Decently easy to drink though, with no forced sips throughout the beer.

D- Great beer to drink with food or alone. Nice to change it up a little. One of my favorite SA offerings.

GoalieRon33, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark, dark brown, tan head, looks great.

S: Smokey and dark malts, but bitter.

T: There isn't too much going on. Sweet malt, a touch of bitterness that makes it refreshing. Touch of smokiness at the end.

M: Pretty smooth, lower carbonation, but enjoyable.

D: It's a decent brew that is widely available, but not a repeat purchase.

mostpoetsdo, Jun 24, 2010
Photo of bertwagner
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark rust red in color with coffee colored head that's small but lasts a while.

S: Let's off a medium smell of malt.

T: Smokey with hints of chocolate,

M: Smooth, medium body with medium to high carbonation.

D: Definitely good, would go well with grilled meats.

bertwagner, Jun 17, 2010
Photo of tykees88
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark black color, with one finger head

Smelled smokey and I could also smell chocolate malts. The smokey was a little overwhelming.

Tasted ok, it was more bitter than expected and also a smoked taste. Felt thicker in the mouth and I didn't care for the mouthfeel. It was too thick for this beer.

Drinkability wise I just don't see myself ever drinking this beer again. It has low abv so you could drink a few if you liked it. Only redeeming factor there.

tykees88, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: thin head; dark, nearly black hue
S: striking! strong traces of molasses and chocolate
T: very fulsome taste; sweet; only little bitterness; very light hints of a smoked beer
M: smooth and silky; somewhat viscuous
D: very good drinkability

Overall, a very good beer, one I would definitely buy again.

Arithmeticus, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of rfabian
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler it produces a good head with light lacing. The appearance is opaque dark brown with clear brownish-red highlights. The aroma is of darkly roasted malts with a hint of spicy hops. The taste is bitter with darkly roasted malt and a pleasant caramel undercurrent. The body is light and the finish is dominated by the malt, which apparently came neigh on to smoking in the roasting process.

This is a very nice example of the style, refreshing and flavorful.

rfabian, Jun 09, 2010
Photo of SAtaMi
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Small head yet thick. Black/brown with a nice red hue in color.

Smell - The Malts come through strong and sweet.

Taste - Chocolaty with a smokey malty richness with a finish of oak and coffee.

Mouthfeel - Has a little tooth to it but not real chewy.

Drinkiability - Yes please. I can see myself drinking a few.

SAtaMi, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours an amber tinged dark brown with a thin tan head that dissipates relatively quickly.
S. Roasted malt and caramel malt come through in the smell.
T. Roasted malt, caramel, and vanilla are the dominate flavors. Oak bite comes out on the tail end.
M. Thin bodied with a medium-high level of carbonation
D. Very drinkable; light on the tongue, but interesting. Another great BBQ brew.

BeerAndBourbon, May 26, 2010
Photo of Jesstyr
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wasn't sure what to expect from this beer - grabbed it as an aside, but was overall pleased with the experience. Poured into an Orval chalice.

Pours a coffee black into the glass - just a little brown, not pitch black. Brownish head, doesn't really linger very long, with some small patching. Nose is strongly burnt malt, but definitely a lot of chocolate in there - a common theme for the drink.

Taste is burnt chocolate, dark chocolate, and some significant maltiness. Not a whole lot going on here, but enjoyable for what it has. Smooth mouthfeel, medium heavy body. A litter bitter on the tailend, making this a little less enticing for a long run of drinks.

Jesstyr, May 26, 2010
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,485 ratings.