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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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2,518 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,518
Reviews: 1,434
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.97%
Wants: 53
Gots: 101 | 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: 2,518 | Reviews: 1,434 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StoutHunter
3.92/5  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.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
1.43/5  rDev -61.4%
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.

Photo of canucklehead
3.82/5  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

Photo of Stigs
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of OtisStreetBrew
4.65/5  rDev +25.7%
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!

Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of acurtis
2.42/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

Photo of righthereisay
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of NODAK
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of JMad
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Photo of ultrastiledivita
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of jsanford
3.57/5  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.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

Photo of thatguy3579
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Photo of droomyster
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
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!

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.

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,518 ratings.