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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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2,375 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2375
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 Chaney

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presently #15 in the top Schwarzbiers here on BA.

Best by June 2012.

Poured into a FFF shaped glass.

A: Well, it wasn't quite black like the title suggests, but it was pretty damn close. It was more of a dark, dark red actually.... the darkest of red! This fairly translucent brew boasted a 2 finger or so head that retained itself throughout the session.

S: The roast on this was almost into mild coffee ground territory. Additionally, I got a bit of charred malt and fresh filtered water.

T: This was halfway between a smoked lager and porter if I've ever tasted it. The smokiness was there and a bit of raison played second fiddle to that.

M: Pretty creamy actually.... much more so than I was expecting. The carbonation was moderate and the lacing ridiculous.

O: Before I really got into craft beer full-time, I used to always say that this was my favorite from the SA mix packs. I'm happy to report that after about 1,000,000 beers later, this one still has it!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 21:03:01 | More by Chaney
Photo of nach0king


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 DabblinWiscCraft


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

I'm enjoying this beer in a pint glass at my folks' place. My dad has been branching out a bit in his beer choices, so I was happy to get the chance to show him this site. Pours a nice coffee black with a half inch of loosely foamy, khaki head that dissipates pretty quickly without leaving much for lacing. The nose is very pleasant, with notes of black licorice and chocolate coming through the malt. The taste is very inviting, with the chocolate and licorice flavors asserting themselves mid-taste, but not overpowering the overall profile. While I know that this style is often much lighter-bodied than other dark beers, I still find the feel to be more watery than I'd like--even so, it's not much of a detraction.

It's great to see my dad branching out a little bit in his beer purchases, and I'm excited to be able to show him a little bit of the BA world. This beer reminds me that I really do need to take the time to review more Sam Adams offerings: I am very rarely disappointed with the quality of their beers, and my experience with their Black Lager is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 01:17:09 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

2.98/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours almost completely black, with just a thin white head, a little lace. Smell bakers chocolate, biscuit, and carmel. Taste is mainly the chocolate, very one dimensional. Body is very thin for a chocolate tasting beer, lots of carbonation, lush, and very drinkable. This is a very simple strait forward beer, probably a good beer to start off your craft beer adventure.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 18:03:07 | More by SawDog505
Photo of 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 BigPlay1824

New York

3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pilsner glass

A: pours a very clear brown with a distinct amber hue and a finger of velvety tan colored head with large bubbles, lingers nicely, leaves a small amount of scattered lacing
S: nice roasted malts and an underlying sweetness slightly like vanilla
T: roasted malts in the beginning then moves into a bit of sweetness and vanilla which lingers on the palate for a while
M: silky and a bit thick, really intense carbonation, leaves the mouth watering
O: a pretty good brew, taste was not as deep as i had expected from the nose but it was still nice, carbonation was far too intense in my opinion

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 02:13:24 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of yamar68


3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

a - minimal clarity, dark burnt amber, thin head that fizzes off to an outer ring

s - subtle malt notes, hard to pull much out of here

t - much closer to the middle of the road on the hops/malt spectrum than I was anticipating, roasted malts up front that hits some coppery mineral notes before getting overrun by the hops, nothing huge here but what I can gather is nice

m - pretty thin and a bit too fizzy for me

o - a fine beer, not one that I would seek out on its own but I'm okay with a couple thrown into the variety packs from time to time

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 01:20:59 | More by yamar68
Photo of TheSixthRing


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

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark cola brown. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell - Like many SA beers, not a whole lot to smell. Faint caramel and chocolate notes. That's about it.

Taste - Smooth caramel, toasted bread, and a hint of bitter chocolate in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Everything about this beer screams ale, except the mouthfeel. It's Light and evenly carbonated. Tingling bubbles tickle the tongue into and a bit past the finish. Certainly a beer that could be drank for an entire evening with no problem.

Overall - Among the better Sam Adams beers, for sure. Definitely the best in the Brewer's Choice 12-pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 01:49:59 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of ely2000k


4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A couple things first. I have never had this style before. If all beers of this style are like this, count this as one of my favorite styles. Second, I consider to be hands down the best Sam Adam's beer I have had. It's unique, it's complex, and it's not too hard to find. I'm sure they sell 6ers of it, I got it in the one of the "brewer's choice" variety packs, which is actually well worth sampling some of the other beers in there as well.

Onto the beer. Black in color as the name suggestions. Great head. Looks very similar to a stout. The nose is malty which I was expecting, with some light molasses or perhaps honey scent. Light, but pleasant. I love the taste of this. For 4.9% alcohol, this feels like a very full beer, like there is a lot going on with it. Initially a very sweet malt taste, and as it goes down, the taste leads to some subtle hoppy bitterness, and ends with a smokey whiskey style taste. Love the taste. Mouthfeel has some good carbonation that perfectly fits what this is going for. Definitely will get this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 05:42:56 | More by ely2000k
Photo of wages


4.4/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 3.5/5 - Pours with a small off-white head. Black but not "pitch black".

Smell - 4.5/5 - Huge roasted sweet aroma.

Taste - 4.5/5 - Wonderful slightly bitter roasted flavor. I can barely tell that it is a lager behind the big roasted character!

Mouthfeel - 4/5 - Just the right level of carbonation. Leaves a light coating in the mouth.

Overall - 4.5/5 - A very tasty schwarzbier that hits you with roasted-ness from all sides. It could possibly have more depth, for a 4.9% ABV brew, this one hits the mark.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 00:31:10 | More by wages
Photo of gtermi


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

A: The beer pours a dark brown, almost black, with a nice thin white head that quickly fades. The head leaves some lace on the glass, but not too much.

S: This has a nice bit of roasted smell to it and also has a bit of coffee.

T: At first I get a strong amount of roasted malt and then as the beer lingers on my palate, it has a very nice coffee taste and an awesome chocolate taste.

M: This is pretty darn smooth. I was expecting something more crisp and has more of a burn, like the other black lagers I have.

O: This is one of the best Black Lagers I have ever had. Black Lagers for sure aren't my favorite, but this one is solid and I could drink think a lot.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 07:19:24 | More by gtermi
Photo of beagle75


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a becker glass.

A: Clear, dark brown color with less than one finger of diminishing mocha-tinted foam head. Heavy lacing remains on the glass.

S: Husky grain is lightly roasted, with a fine thread of dilute chocolate. Carbon dioxide is fairly assertive, undermining to the integrity of other qualities but drawing some attention to a sulfurous component.

T: Begins off-dry, with soft brown malt and dark herbaceous hop aromatics which are mild in intensity. Acidity is understated in the flavor, allowing a smooth transition into an unctuous and refined malty middle. This beer finishes earthy and slightly spicy from ongoing nuanced hop contributions, though bitterness stays restrained.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, creamy on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer sets a metered pace early and maintains it to a successful, but not very adventurous, resolution. In a style as traditional as schwarzbeer, such a practiced but reverential hand is appreciated when it comes to matters of concept as well as execution. Neither apologetic nor challenging, this beer maintains a sweet spot of appeal that could change a lot of casual minds about darker styles.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 18:52:24 | More by beagle75
Photo of Darkmagus82


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

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance - A nice dark brew with a slightly tan head. This gives way very quickly to give little lacing.

Smell - Roasted malt mixed with a bit of roasted nut meet a chocolate aroma. hidden at first, but developing as time goes on is a bit of sweet caramel aroma

Taste - Sweeter malts and roasted coffee flavor first meet the tongue. the cocoa flavor then takes control, but slowly fades to some of the bitter hop and a bitter roast taste. The initial flavors are quite pleasant, but the bitterness at the end sorta lingers, not in a very good way.
(note - I let the beer warm a bit and some of the bitterness seemed to diminish which gave the brew a very nice flavor profile actually)

Mouthfeel - A nice body with a good level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall - If it wasn't for the very bitter aftertaste it would be one quite tasty beer. If you are a fan of roasted bitter though, this may be for you.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2012 01:44:03 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Justin23060


4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Like coke
S - Caramel malt, pleasant sweetness.
T - One of the sweeter Schwartzes I've had. Smokiness compliments the sweetness and makes for a sort of thin porter in a way. Linger is spot on for my taste.
M - Right on for style, not too heavy. Sharp at first and fading into a creamier swallow.
O - One of new favorites. Nothing bad to say about this beer.

Personal Note: Awesome with crackers, Swiss cheese, crispy fried garlic and Dijon.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 06:40:21 | More by Justin23060
Photo of tjacobs610


2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark in color, almost pure black. Has a thin caramel colored head with not very little lacing.

Smell: Has a chocolaty aroma, with hints of caramel. Also has a hint of yeasty aromas to it.

Taste: Very light and smooth, with hints of spices and a touch of malt. Has a pretty good taste for this style of beer.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and not much carbonation to the beer. Has a good feel that goes along with this style.

Overall: This beer fits its style well. It’s not one of my favorite styles but taking this beer for what it’s worth makes it very good.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 06:22:51 | More by tjacobs610
Photo of flexabull


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

Pours a dark brown color with a small white head.

Aromas are grainy, with hints of chocolate, coffee, and mineral hops.

Taste is bready, with some chocolate, roasted malts and a dry mineral like bitterness. Beer comes of as fairly tasty, but also kind of one dimensional in the flavor department.

Mouthfeel is full, with decent carbonation.

Overall this is fairly tasty, but needs some more flavors to break up the toasty mineral flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 04:51:36 | More by flexabull
Photo of barleyroad


3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark, no really dark. Smell is very toasty. Mouthfeel is heavy on the tongue, this does linger a while. Taste is more like a light porter. The toasted malts are nicely balanced with the carmel and chocolate malts. Overall this is a nice brew, but we feel is miss labled.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 01:28:35 | More by barleyroad
Photo of lwillitz


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

12-oz bottle into weizen glass

A - dark ruby/brown body high in visible carbonation under 2-3 fingers of light/medium tan head

S - floral hops, molasses, malty grain

T - grain, malt, molasses, floral hops in the background, dark chocolate, hint of smoke, dry finish

M - medium body, astringent, high carbonation, refreshing

O - Black Lager is a solid Schwarz.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 20:13:55 | More by lwillitz
Photo of steveh


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a lot when it first came out, but never reviewed it -- remedy now.

A -- Very dark brown with ruby highlights and a dense, long-lasting, light tan head.

S -- Roasted malts with a light coffee character and light breadiness back.

T -- Mellow roasted malts up front that blend lightly into bready malts, but finishes with that dry, nearly bitter roasted flavor. There is the lightest of hop bitterness throughout, but it blends with the roasted malts. Also a mellow sweetness in an underlying backbone.

M -- Smooth body with a dry finish with a medium body.

O -- Overall, Sam Adams nails the style pretty handily. Smooth and roasty like you'd expect from the style and just what you'd be looking for if you asked for a Schwarzbier. Yet another 4.9% beer with a ton of character.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 22:09:48 | More by steveh
Photo of boilermakerbrew


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

A- Poured like a stout. Deep black with a small tan head. Head didn't stick around as long as a stout would. Still good lacing.

S- Sweet, yet somewhat bitey scent. Dark malts with a hint of dark chocolate scent. Maybe a hint of coffee...not sure.

T- Odd is all I can say. Starts off with the traditional burnt malts. Tries to break into the sweeter side with some dark chocolate, similarly to a stout, but stops abruptly and continues with a healthy dose of malt. Slight hint of hops at the end. Finishes very clean, and the overall flavor effect is not bad.

M- Somewhat light with a decent amount of carbonation. Pretty smooth going down. In line for the style.

Overall, this was one I was surprised by. None of its aspects stands out, but a very solid brew when all put together.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 22:57:45 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark tan/brown, not much of a head, or lacing at all.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, caramel, brown sugars. Some added spices and a little chocolate aroma.

Taste - Dark malts are the main flavor. Chocolate and some molasses comes in at first drink. Cocoa also adds some flavors. It kind of has a porter feel in flavor to it. Hops slighty come out at the end.

Mouthfeel - Medium thickness, nothing strong or any alcohol with this beer. Tounge and palette both get malts, some sweet sugars and a little bit of hops. Aftertaste is malty bold and a little bitter.

Overall - Decent malty flavored brew with a little sweetness. Nothing about this beer is groundbreaking or special. Worth a drink if you want a mild malty beer but other then that, i could care less to drink this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 23:27:04 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of TTAmod


3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. into pint.

A: Dark, clear brown. 2-finger khaki head with decent retention.

S: Smells like a toned-down Chocolate Bock. Roasted malts, light chocolate, caramel.

T: Roasted malts up front, followed by a bit of the caramel and chocolate that was hinted at from the nose. Finishes with a bit of burnt malt.

M: Nice, creamy body, yet not too thick. Pretty nice.

O: Fairly good all around. Nothing stands out too much, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 02:20:31 | More by TTAmod
Photo of jlindros


3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge frothy head in my SA perfect pint glass, fades semi slowly with lather lacing, over super dark coke syrup brown color with slightest hints of light coming through.

Nose has some nice darker malts, light heavy crystal malts, a sweet nutty like malts with hints of cocoa, molasses, vanilla, a light hazelnut like aroma that almost smells like an extract added aroma, slight hints of earthy malts and light crisp lagers.

Taste is lighter but thicker than I expected, a bit frothy, darker malts, heavy crystal malts, light cocoa, molasses, cola flavors, again light hazelnut like flavoring added, vanilla, juicy flavored. Earthy dark malts that hint at a roast flavor but not quite. Then light crisp lager flavors, slightest hint of unhappy lager flavors, not quite skunk but like it got a bit too warm or fermented too fast. it finishes slightly bitter but more from the earthy dark malts than hops I think although a light earthy bitter hop comes through on the finish, creamy but dry, hints of lingering roasty dark malts.

Mouth is fairly full bodied and a bit creamy, good carb.

Overall not bad but kinda lackluster. That weird flavoring like hazelnut addition takes away a bit, and the lack of clean crisp fruity lager flavors doesn't help either, more like a lighter porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 23:05:59 | More by jlindros
Photo of nimrod979


3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured a deep deep brown with small ruby highlights on the edges. Small white head.
Aroma is roasted chocolate and coffee malts. Smoky.
Same goes for the taste along with some toffee sweetness and a very mellow hop flavor. It's hard to detect through ll the roasted malts. A little on the sweet side.
Medium bodied and a little watery. Oily texture and smooth carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 22:43:30 | More by nimrod979
Photo of soulfly1492


3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Sweet molasses, roasty malts. Mild phenols. Mildly smoky. Some bitterness from the hops and roasted malts.

Appearance: Deep ruby red. Good clarity. Medium height dark brown head. Good lacing. Dissipates leaving a thin layer, extra thick around the edges. The head consists of tiny bubbles.

Taste: Molasses, dark roasty malts. Some mild bitterness, mild phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. Very oily. Very little carbonation.

Overall: Good classic black lager. Nice bold dark malt sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2011 16:54:59 | More by soulfly1492
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,375 ratings.