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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,522 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,522
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 57
Gots: 110 | 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:
Beer added by: TheJudge on 12-27-2004

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,522 | Reviews: 1,434
Photo of gkunkle
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
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.

Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of BigIrishman
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown/ruby with amberish highlights and an off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lace.

Smell: Smokey peat with a black over roasted coffee note and some earthy herbal hop notes.

Taste: The big smokey flavor gets rounded out by a nice earthy hop flavor, caramel that burnt a little too much and super dark black coffee (Like a double brewed over roasted sumatran coffee). Not overwhelming but powerfully flavorful.

Mouthfeel: Heavy and viscous with a palate drying finish.

Drinkability: Big, flavorful, perfect with smoked meat. This is a great alternative to those weary of going with a Rauch or Smoked beer. This also works as a great marinating beer as well.

Photo of GilGarp
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle from the Harvest Pack.

Served cool into a pint glass.

Black lager is actually a very dark brown with light easily passing through the edges. The head is thin, white, and settles quickly.

Aroma is much like porter. It's lightly roasty like coffee, a little sweet like a chocolate bar.

Flavor is more smokey than I expected. It's, again, similar to a porter but the smoke or peat-like quality adds to it. Nicely balanced with good sweet to bitter ratio.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Alcohol is low as well.

Overall it's pretty good but I'm not really a fan of the style. Still a good version compared to the few that I've had. The smoke is light enough that I can enjoy the beer.

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the best beers by Sam Adams, in my opinion.

A - Very dark brownish black but not completely opaque with a half finger light brown head that quickly dissipates. Sticky lacing, though.

S - Aroma contains aspects of smoke, chocolate, and nuts. A hint of grassy hops as well.

T - Coffee, chocolate, and toasted malts. Mildly smoky and spicy. Nice grassy hop finish. Very well balanced and delicious, perfect fall or winter flavors.

M - Surprisingly light for the color and taste with minimal carbonation. Light carbonation works well with this style.

D - I would be wary of sessioning this one as it is so dark but it is very easy to drink.

Overall, a very well balanced and tasty dark beer. Well done.

Photo of AdamBear
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-black, slight brown tint, very thin white head, very pretty looking

S-smells like burnt barley and chocolate, its a strong and comforting smell...a real joy

T-the taste doesn't hit with as much punch as the smell, but it is still very good. the taste matches the smell, burnt barley and chocolate, however there is too much of a watery feel to it, it'd be great if they were able to fill that gap in with the flavor. There's a good chocolate after taste to it though.

M-medium to low carbonation, very creamy, feels nice, except once again it is a bit watery

D-for some reason, although this beer initially tastes good, it is not very drinkable. The main complaint i have is that the mouth feel seems to diminish. it seems to become undesirably creamy and increasingly bitter. the great aftertaste; however, does stay.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: The black lager pours a dark brown to black color with a thin head.

S: Smells of chocolate malt with hints of chocolate and some sort of dairy or cream.

T: Tastes much like the smell. Strong chocolate flavor with a bit of coffee bitterness and a nice roastyness. Smooth finish with the a creamy flavor.

M: Medium with some moderate carbonation.

D: High.

I really like this one. It has a lot of dark roasty flavors with a light enough body to stay highly drinkable. I'll be going back to this one.

Photo of chickenflea
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I agree with BuckeyeNation and have modified some of his comments and added my own in this review.

Dark walnut brown with red highlights. The golden beige crown is two fingers to start but did not last long. Fair lacing.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on.

Black Lager is pretty tasty. It isn't a wow! kind of beer, but it's unquestionably well-brewed. There's more flavor than expected and more roasted malt as well. This is the second time I've tried this beer. The first time being last autumn. I will say that either my palate has improved or this beer has. I like it so much more than then. A good amount of black/chocolate maltiness. The hops more than hold their own and are as important in the grand scheme of things as the malt.

The flavor profile consists of cocoa, dark caramel and, surprisingly, black coffee. Those flavors are complementary to each other (as well as to the herbal, earthy, slighty spicy hops) and are soft and powdery in character as opposed to charred. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

This may be the best offering from Boston Beer Company. Black Lager is very good and was a nice surprise. Good stuff.

Photo of rlshep
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Spicy hops. Light sulfur note.

Appearance: Thick fluffy beige head. Black with ruby highlights. Good lacing.

Flavor: Some fruitiness. Restrained malt character. Firm bitterness but not high. Not noticing hop flavor noted in aroma, maybe melding well. Mild chocolate in background. Caramely sweetness sticks around in aftertaste. Clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel. There is a softness to the beer. Medium-low carbonation. Alcohol not noticeable.

Overall: Roast level lower than expected but not out of style. Well balanced, easy drinking. I would happily drink this anytime.

Photo of Sleestak
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a Sam Adams fall mixed 12 pack. A tasty, roasted malty brew. It is a lager so it's not too heavy like some stouts and porters, seems just right to me. Sam Adams makes some quality beers and this one has always been a personal favorite of mine.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

pours a dark, cola-like brown with a finger of off-white head; average retention, some lacing.

nose is strongly lead by roasted malts, followed by lesser notes of chocolate and hops.

roasted malts is also at the forefront of the flavor. a bit of bitter chocolate and hops are evident behind the malt; approaching a stout but not quite. not a bad tasting beer at all.

mouthfeel is OK but there is significant room for improvement; light bodied and a bit - a bit - watery. but definitely drinkable. all in all, not a bad beer, definitely something you would consider sessioning.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

sa black lager

a 4-4.5 cola dark, 2 finger head is pretty tight looking, pretty serious cap and lace remain.

s 3-3.5 a little bit of roast malt and naked alcohol, nothing else while the beer is cold. warming adds some strength to the malts' odiferousness.

t 3.5 this one seems a little rough around the edges compared to my favorite schwarzbier, you know the one in the flip top bottles, monscholtz or something. this one is more burnt and one-dimensional. but it's still pretty palatable. mostly unsweetened cocoa and a touch of coffee. the finish is crisp and clean.

m 4.5 as the looks indicate, this one excels in fine, quality carbonation. the body is light-med.

d 4 maybe it's not my favorite style, but the look and feel are first rate. that alone manages to make this one pretty drinkable.

Photo of mjurney
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish-red color, clear (see through). Some bubbles. Head looks thin, lacing looks pretty fair.

Malty, slight roasted, some hint of coffee and dark chocolate.

Malty up front, slight roasted, hint of burnt toast, touch of dark chocolate. Grassy hop is very mild, almost unnoticeable. I could detect some nutty in the middle. Smooth finish, yet kinda crisp with mild roasted coffee aftertaste. Body is medium-light. Carbonation feels pretty nice.


Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a hazelnut brown, almost black color with about a finger of quickly dissipating tan head that leaves little lacing.

Smell - Toasted grains and malt, chocolate, nuttiness. Honestly, a very nice aroma and I can't wait to enjoy this on a cooler fall night here in Southern California (currently 103...ug).

Taste - A nice nuttiness in the front, followed by slight chocolate maltiness and toasted grains. Slight caramel, some spices, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes a hint dry.

Drinkability - Relatively so. There is enough bitterness to offset the sweetness which lends itself to be a damn drinkable beer. I could imagine myself enjoying some of these on a cold fall day, sitting in the sun on my porch back home in Illinois. A great addition to the SA Harvest Pack.

Photo of MrDanno96
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours pretty dark and becomes opaque when held to light. Started off with about a finger of tan head, but that quickly dissipated.

S: Strong hints of roasted malt and coffee, along with sweet notes of caramel and candied sugar. Smells a bit like Guinness now that I tihnk about it.

T: This brew really delivers in this department. Some nice roasted flavor up front mixes with strong suggestions of coffee and chocolate. The finish is somewhat smoky with just a hint of hops. Very nice.

M: Fairly light bodied - goes down creamy and smooth.

D: A rare dark beer that boarders on the sessionable. Another style well executed by the boys at Boston Beer Company.

Photo of goldbot
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very deep rubyish brown in color with tan head. Good head retention with nice lacing throughout. Very light aroma of slightly roasted malt, bread, caramel. Good malty flavor, more bread and a touch of caramel with a nice balance of floral hops. Medium body but with a light, airy mouthfeel.

Photo of samie85
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a pitch black color with a mocha colored, two finger head.

S-Smells slightly of roasty malts and a little of smoked malt with some earthy hop notes.

T-A bit of roasted malt with some smoked malt hints and an earthy spicy, slightly dry hop finish.

M-Light bodied with medium to heavy prickly carbonation with a slightly coating and slick mouthfeel.

D-Not a bad beer at all and I'd rather have this in some of the sampler packs than some of the beers that make it in. I have had much better schwarzbiers though.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black walnut with dark ruby hues on the edge. A smaller, compact, creamy, frothy, sticky toasted marshmallow colored head. Decent retention that leaves behind a great, creamy lace.

S - Some dark roasted malt but not really burnt or overly roasted. Has some chocolate aroma. Dark slightly burnt brown sugar. A fair amount of earthiness and some hop aroma.

T - Similar to the nose with a good amount of dark malt with some roasted flavors, but not too roasty nor much roasted bitterness. Good amount of caramel, earthy, and nutty flavors. Also a nice amount of earthy and grassy hops provide a touch of bitterness.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Quite creamy and smooth feel.

D - Quite drinkable with a good amount of dark and slightly roasted malt but not a lot of roasted bitterness. Creamy and goes down easy.

Notes: Best before Nov. 2010. A very enjoyable beer that is a good example of the style. Creamy and smooth with a lot of the typical dark, roasted type of flavors but with less of the bitterness that comes with that. Enjoyable to drink beer, although it won't blow you away, it is a solid offering.

Photo of ZeroSignal
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, best by Dec 2010

A - Pours a red and ruby tinted black with a good inch and a half of toasted marshmallow colored head that stops at the very rim of my glass. Excellent retention and sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is earthy and roasted malts; a hint of sweetness and a bit of graininess.

T&M - Roasted and caramelized malts with a bit of medium roasted coffee bean. Medium to lighter bodied and feels a bit thin...almost watery really. Hops hit mostly in the semi-dry finish and have a bit of a spicy quality.

D - Certainly easy to drink and not a style one sees too often. I think I prefer Kostritzer, but I'm okay with this...my biggest complaint is that for me, it was a bit too thin.

Photo of Augustiner719
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle onto a tulip glass.

This is beer #5 in Sam Adams mixed pack.

Pours a very dark, but not opaque black brown color with a nice fluffy head and nice retention. Best appearance out of the series so far. The aroma is burnt chocolate, coffee and some roasted nits. The flavor is very roasty with nice background malts. Creamy finish and medium bodied. Bordering on a stout. The mouthfeel is very smooth and really easy to drink. Has too much carbonation for me for this style bit Its drinkable. Drinkability is very high on this as it's got a once low abv and really has a good flavor for such a light beer.

Photo of jazer
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Sam yet. Looks can be decieving, but not with this lager. The darkness would scare off most lite beer drinkers, but this dark one is surprising flavorful. Almost like a piece of dark chocolate in appearance and almost as flavorful. The only thing holding it back is the lack of aroma givin off. I love this beer and it is...

HIGHLY recommended. Really.

Photo of PintOHops
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Glass - Official Sam Adams Glass

A - Dark brown/mahogany color, like a cola soda basically. It produced a 1-2 finger head that dissipated rather fast and left a thin ring atop my beer but not lacing.

S - Soft roasted malt character with muted caramel and nutty notes. Very soft nose here with a bit of brown sugar.

T - I get allot more roasted flavors than the aroma led on. Upfront it's got allot of sweet brown sugary like flavor with nutty notes quickly following. A soft porter like roasted character is there middle to end, and it finishes just a touch dry with very mild bitterness.

M - Moderately crisp with a semi creamy feel and around a medium body but on the lite side.

D - Very drinkable, I remember having this one from Sam Adams awhile ago and it still doesn't fail me, one of the best Sam offerings to me. I could quaff a sixer of this one for sure and I'd definitely buy this one again, great price for a good brew. Cheers!

Photo of JosiahS
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: Samuel Adams Signature Glass

a: Very dark brown body, a little red on the sides. 1-finger tan head, kinda fizzy but looks like it will stick around for a little.

s: Typical lager smell but with light cocoa and syrupy caramel sweetness. Faint plumb.

t: This is cocoa and caramel added to what would normally be a regular lager. It has a nice rounded flavor profile. I also get roasted / slightly burnt barley with cashews on the back-end.

m: About medium in body, medium carbonation as well.

d: Nice, drinkable black lager. 2-3 would be my max.

Photo of ramseye4
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had from a 12 oz bottle poured into a glass.

Very dark appearance, almost black, minimal head that disappeared after a short time.

Smells of roasted malts, with a slight smoked smell to it

Tastes of roasted malts, with a definite hint of chocolate at the end, with a light smokey aftertaste. Contains a fair amount of carbonation.

Pretty heavy mouthfeel, with the carbonation rolling across the tongue.

Definitely heavy in the drinkability apartment, I could sip on a few of these but I wouldn't want to have an extended session with it.

Overall a pretty tasty dark lager, definitely sits heavy in the stomach, but the taste is worth it.

Photo of chumba526
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The carbonation is quite low and it helps create smoothness to the beer.

This is a rich yet smooth beer. It's not that typical of a porter but it is still a very nice beer.

Appears almost black with a tan head that dissipates quite quickly.

Smells slightly smoky , chocolaty, nutty and a bit yeasty: like cloves.

Tastes of roasted nuts, and creamy mildly bitter chocolate. There is a noticeable but mild lager yeasty taste present. The beer has a very nice balance to it. The sweetness is matched with a mild smoky and a mild bitter flavor.

The one flaw I see with this beer is that is too carbonated. The high carbonation kills the creamy potential for this beer.

This is fairly drinkable I could drink a few of these though the smokiness of the beer might limit how many I would want to drink.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,522 ratings.