1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

2,428 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,428
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 45
Gots: 52 | 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)
View: Beers (127) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Black Lager Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,428 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kadonny


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

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle part of the spring sampler pack.

A: A dark brownish color with light brown head. Nice full glass lacing that does recede.

S: Roasted notes mix with bready malt, slight chocolate and some floral signature SA hops. Nice.

T: Follow the nose. Roasted flavors mix with the bready malt sweetness. Some toffee and caramel with some mild chocolate tones. Roastiness stays and you get a nice finish of flora hops. The beer has the signature Sam Adams yeast/hop taste to it. Very nice beer.

M: A little light actually, but I didn't get a lot of lingering flavors and it was a tad bit thin.

O: A real nice surprise of a beer, that is very drinkable and enjoyable. I would easily pick one of these up at any time and really enjoy it.

A nice beer that is part of the sampler pack. I really enjoyed it and will have no problem finishing off the rest from the sampler pack. This should be their winter beer, better than the Winter Lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2012 19:59:12 | More by Kadonny
Photo of bpw28

New Jersey

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

Look: Two finger tan shaving cream head, dark brown with ruby highlights, pretty good lacing

Smell: Big hop spiciness, floral, lighter roast nose (of the style I'm pretty sure), cocoa, pipe smoke

Taste: Big malt, cocoa, light coffee, spices, light floral, very smooth. It's got a nice punch of malt that smooths out to a nice hop backbone.

Final Thoughts: Pretty good and of the style if I remember it correctly. It's worth the buy.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2011 16:23:21 | More by bpw28
Photo of TicksAndLeeches


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep almost black amber color. off-white head and light carbonation.

S- Smells sweet. hints or roasted malts and chocolate.

T- Tastes sweet with a light hoppy flavor. strong hints of chocolate followed but a coffee-like aftertaste. Goes down smooth.

M- medium body and light carbonation.

D- This beer is a bit heavy and i started to feel full after one. i would have had another though.

I got the Black Lager in the Sam Adams harvest collection and it was one of the ones i liked the most. i enjoyed the chocolate and coffee notes in it and i will probably pick up a 6 pack of i see it.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 16:47:23 | More by TicksAndLeeches
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 slagle9480

New York

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

Sam Adams puts this in most of their "Brewmaster's Collection," which I enjoy greatly. This beer is nothing outstanding but it's a great break from the everyday red lager that has seemed to bombard the market.

The dark appearance looks awesome in a draft glass. The mouthfeel is a little thin, and not much head to it unless you drop it in the glass.

I'll drink another one though.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 15:30:13 | More by slagle9480
Photo of rawfish


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

Appears black on the pour but very much dark brown with grape juice highlights when held to the light. Thin tan head, half a finger high with spotty lacing all over the glass from some moderate retention.

Very straight forward with finely roasted malt, that doesn't hide any of the straw, grass and lager yeast. Mild coffee and raw grain.

Bready with plenty of roasted character and weak coffee. Dark fruit springs up in some areas, plum and berry. Finishes with some dry grassy hops, tartness from the roast is evident on the tongue as the beer develops a lemon pith brightness.

Uplifting and prickly carbonation with a body that is less dense than let on. Sticky on the palate with lots of residual acidity left after the drink.

Very nice offering by Samuel Adams, rich and roasty lager with an uplifting character that does well to adapt to the seasons. Curbing the sloppy finish with the tartness and stick would help this alot. I came away fairly impressed.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 08:31:28 | More by rawfish
Photo of kmcnair


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

Yet another brew pulled from the depths of the 2005 Sam Adams Winter Sampler.

Pours the deepest, darkest crimson red to bitter chocolate hue, nearly opaque. Creates a fine offwhite head. Aroma is burnt malt and smoke. Flavor is mildly bitter with an array of subtle tastes of smoke, chocolate, roasted coffee, caramel. Medium to light on the palate, crisp lager like carbonation and a spicy dry finish. Hmm, its like a lagered porter, pretty nice and the first Schwarzbier that I have reviewed.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2005 06:43:02 | More by kmcnair
Photo of Citadel82

New Jersey

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

Bought the mixed 12 pack to get this baby and the Scotch Ale. I really like the Scotch Ale and this stuff is not half-bad either...

Pours dark mahogany with ruby highlights and an off white head that is fairly short-lived but leaves thick lacing in its wake.

Aroma is malt and some faint hops, charcoal, faint notes of bread dough.

Taste is balanced, not sweet yet not too dry, notes of espresso, some charcoal, faint yeast notes, some hop bittering definitely not Cascades though I can't place the type yet ... european? Short balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin though not so bad that it is mark against the brew. I find this beer superbly balanced and easy to drink.

Some potential as a session beer. Very drinkable indeed.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 23:06:54 | More by Citadel82
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

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

Healthy two-to-three finger light tan head with black but very slightly opaque body. Smells VERY malty, with some caramel notes. Sweet and malty, roasty. Lighter flavored and bodied than i anticipated, though it is by no means light in either. Tasty. I've never had a Schwartzbier, but if this is what they're like I'm trying more! Reminds me in some ways of Ayinger Cellebrator Dopplebock...

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2006 02:07:57 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of Jadjunk


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Black Lager is brewed in the Schwarzbier style. It has found its way into many Samuel Adams variety packs in the last year, this being the third inclusion in recent memory. "This traditional lager is medium in body with a deep roasted character. Its dark color and rich malty flavor come from specially roasted caramel and chocolate malts. This brew is lightly hopped with Bavarian Noble hops for a soft spiciness and a smooth clean finish. Cheers!"

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Samuel Adams perfect pint sensory glass. Served at 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp foamy creamy brown head. Retention is slightly above average- could be better, could be much worse. Beer leaves behind a nice medium-thick clingy lacing. Color is a dark brown with deep ruby tones glaring through the thinner parts of the glass. Beer has a nice appearance. 4

(Smell) Heavy tones of dark roasted caramel, a tart nut aroma, and a small hint of bitter chocolate aromas. Hop character is light but adds a bitter floral aroma to the beer. Overall the aroma is mildly bitter with roasted tones in the background. Nothing groundbreaking, but there could be a lot more missing from the aroma; it's quite well balanced and deep in aroma. 3.5

(Taste) Up front bitter chocolate and spicy floral hop character followed through with medium roasted caramel tones and a mildly charred, slightly tart finish. While there's no prominent flavors, nothing is awkward or offensive in the flavor. It's an easily accessible overall flavor for those who are looking for an easy drinking dark lager. 4

(Mouthfeel) Very mild carbonation lends its hand to a slick smooth brew. There's a solid medium body to the beer and a well-concealed alcohol presence. Overall, it lends well to the "lager" style for the beer. 4.5

(Overall) A pretty tasty Schwarzbier, goes for a bit more of a tart bitter flavor than the other options in the category, but very enjoyable nonetheless. Not the best schwarzbier I've ever had but certainly a decent take on the style. 3.5

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Black Lager

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 20:44:06 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of merddyn2002


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent smooth dark lager. I've had 5 or so 6-packs of this since I discovered it in the Brewmaster collection. It's become a favorite treat amongst friends.

Balanced Sweetness, low bitter (especially for a dark) and great texture. It runs a little flat so I'd like to see a bit more carbonation but overall one of my favorite dark beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 15:25:09 | More by merddyn2002
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

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

Pours a dark (duh) ruby red brown, not qiute black. Has a creamy 2 finger head and very nice lacing. Smells of a slightly roasted malt with hits of coffee. Smells more on the sweet side than roasted side, good chocolate smells as well. A fine tasting schwarzbier. Mild roastedness with some nice sweet malts with some coffee and chocolate flavors. Not a bunch of hoppiness to speak of but just enough, maybe even a bit lacking. High carbonation. Crisp. A nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 22:15:24 | More by sabrills70
Photo of HugoGrim


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

Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint.

Black body with ruby light peeking through on the edges. Average head exits quickly, leaving a foamy ring and sparce bubbles. Some lace.

Quite malty armoa. Some hints of chocolate.

Flavor is primiarly full roasted malts with edges of caramel. Floral hop accent. Flavor is excellent, but could be more robust. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2006 01:12:01 | More by HugoGrim
Photo of Nerudamann


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

Look - black (obviously) in color until held up to the light, where it gets a slight shade of brown. About and inch of head. Carbonation seems good.

Smell - Somewhat hoppy in character, with a slight caramel flavor.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Definitely herbal or earthy in taste, but without the bitterness, which is only slightly felt as it finishes. I wasn't able to smell it, but I can taste a hint of the chocolate malts that the label claims. The Nobel hops can also be noticed, mostly in that the hoppiness is "different" than with most American beers. Very well-balanced in texture, but slightly more toward the watery side. Seems like a good historical or definitive example.

Drinkability - good brew and easy to drink and appreciate. Complex enough to enjoy, good tasting, and more toward the lighter side...less filling.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 04:52:20 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of Ego

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep ruby color, some light does penetrate, half finger of loose off white to tan head that dissapates rapidly into an oring. pretty good looking schwarzbier.

sweet, almost like a dopplebock except with a nice subtle smokiness that balances it out beautifully, some coffee and some toffee

taste etc...
medium to full in the mouth as the carbonation is spot on (the actual body is kind of light, not detrimental though), just a hair of prickly nature to it which makes it refreshing for a "darker" beer, like the nose the flavor is very balanced..with the same elements. maybe it won't titilate of the hardcore hophead but this isn't about that.. it is a nice malty sweet beer with a tinge of bitterness and smoke to carry it out.

damn testy and sessionable, a really good one from a macro company, worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2006 02:44:01 | More by Ego
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 02:26:38 | More by ManuelHerrera
Photo of greenmonstah

New Hampshire

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

A - Pours a black coloer with a finger of off-white head. Nice retention.

S - Smells of roasted malts and sweet caramel.

T - Taste is very sweet with caramel, but also with lots of roasted malt flavor. Finishes with a toffee-like flavor. The toffee/caramel finish also includes a suggestion of smoke. Very pleasant.

M - Medium light body, with average carbonation and a mellow finish.

O - Overall a nice Schwarzbier. A style I greatly enjoy, and a perfectly adequate take on it.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 19:10:14 | More by greenmonstah
Photo of whynot44


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

Not actually black, but a very dark chestnut color with a very nice creamy tan head that sticks around for a while before retreating to just a skin of lace.

The aroma is interesting - dark roasted malt, caramel, apples and raisins.

The taste is slightly sweet with caramel and raisin notes and hints of chocolate and coffee.

Smooth, creamy and easy to drink. Slightly spicy finish with a bit of coffee aftertaste. Possibly a bit lighter in body and taste than some versions but this just seems to make it easier to drink. A good introduction to the style, I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 04:22:46 | More by whynot44
Photo of NHGrafx


3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle. Freshness date of March 2009.

Pours a nearly black color with a dark tan head. The head is quite small.

Aroma is pretty nice. Sort of sweet with a molasses like smell, some caramel and chocolate malt smells come through.

Taste is quite malty. Lots of roasted malt flavor. Some slight burnt taste too. There is a light sweetness that turns slightly bitter. Nice malty finish. Mouthfeel is decent. Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall this one isn't bad, but nothing super fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 03:01:05 | More by NHGrafx
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 scalffd


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

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

Appearance: Dark brown and ruby, not quite black, small off-white head which reduces quickly to a ring, average lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Fruit, smoke and malt.

Taste: Smooth and light, slight astringency, slight hop bitterness, smoke and malt.

Very drinkable beer and a very nice offering from a large brewery. Easy to have a few of this easy drinkin' good tastin' beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2006 02:08:40 | More by scalffd
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

caramel-y brown color, crimson shades, thick, rocky brown head, like a chocolate cloud...
Sweet nose, with coffee tones, bittersweet tinges, a a dab syrupy, but ultimately dry.
Choocolate leads the taste, roasted and dry. Starts with a solid flavor, mellows with ease, very easy-drinking. "Quaffable, but not transcendent."
Medium bodied, with a light, but durable finish.
Not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2005 01:25:55 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Jamesthebrit


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

A: Black indeed. Well it's actually just really really dark brown. But unique for sure, and the head carried a little of the color being a bold tan.
S: Subtle maltyness
T: Malty, roasty, some chocolate in there but less that the other two. Also some hops near the end. It's quite nice because those three flavors come first then it fades into a hop flavor so no one blocks out the other.
M: Really nice: the bubbles fit in really well. The bitterness became overwhelming after a little bit as I made my way through the beer.

Overall a solid showing. Goes down easy but still has considerable character. The roastyness and maltyness really stand out in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 21:54:36 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of mattster


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle, poured in Nonic class.
Pours a nice low head that dissipated rather quickly to a layer of fine lace across the top of the almost opaque black brew (I love the look of this stuff).

Smell is nutty with hits of malts. Initial taste is actually like a toasted pecan. Almost get a slight smoky bacon taste, but beer is lighter than it looks - common for this style. Nice on palate and definitely follows through with a great finish.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 08:01:49 | More by mattster
Photo of stereosforgeeks


3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown. One finger head. Light retention and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate malt, caramel, yeast, nuts and some mild hops.

Taste: Chocolate malts with caramel is the majority of the taste. The nuts taste and hops are present and the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Lively carbonation provides a crisp mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easy to drink. This is one for all occasions.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2007 00:35:11 | More by stereosforgeeks
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,428 ratings.