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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.

2,470 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,470
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 51
Gots: 74 | 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: 2,470 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pzrhsau
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%

A: Nice blackish brown color with a smaller head that doesn't really stick very well.
S: Nice notes of coffee and sweet caramel with the very smokey dark malt.
T: Very strong crisp malt flavor with some notes of coffee.
D/M: Very clean and not too heavy. Not overly carbonated. Very good balanced flavor.

pzrhsau, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of uhhhaaron
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

consumed 02-19-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass.

appearance: pours an almost black color with ruby tones on the edges. managed to get about an 1/8 inch head.. minimal lacing.

smell: roasted malts, mild nutty aroma & slight hop presence.

taste: roasted malts & hints of caramel & cocoa. has a bit of a spicy note to it & a clean/grassy but very light hop note.

mouthfeel: light bodied with light carbonation.

drinkability: easy drinker and good session beer. but i'd choose others over this.

uhhhaaron, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of sleazo
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%

A_Pours a very dark brown, almost black colour with a tight tan head which dissipates quickly. Nice look to it but poor head retention.

S_Toasted grains, chocolate. Rather nice aroma.

T_Straight forward with the toasted to burnt grains, chocolate maltiness and a finish that is slightly spicy. There is a slight metallic taste here which prevents it from being better but it really does not distract too much.

M_Medium body with an effervescent carbonation. Good for the style.

D_One of Sam Adams better beers. This is an easy drinker yet with a full flavour. A very good American Swartzbier

sleazo, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of adamette
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I bought as a single from World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio last week for $1.50 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. "Enjoy Before" May 2010 notched on the left side of the label so this one is past its prime according to that, but only by a few months.

A Nice light brown creamy head over a dark molasses body that lets some light through in front of direct light but it is pretty dark indeed. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass upon repeated sips. I am seriously impressed with the look of this beer. 4.5

S Nice chocolately and nutty aromas arise from the top of the beer in a pleasant, inviting set of smells. This style is quickly becoming one of my favorite. 4.0

T Nice nutty, slightly chocolate lager taste of a well made Schwarzbier. 4.0

M More smooth than the handful of other schwarzbiers that I have tasted and rated and I really like that. It has a feel that reminds me very much of Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale (a classic beer). 4.0

D I finished this one in about 5 minutes and wished that I had more. To me, that makes the drinkability at least good. The very manageable ABV makes it even better than good. 4.5

Notes: I sincerely like this offering in the "Brewmasters Collection" from Sam Adams. Bravo!

adamette, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of rarbring
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%

The beer is very dark brown, almost black, a rather light beige head, leaving some lacing.

The smell is rather faint, sweet, some burnt notes, cocoa beans.

The taste is rather sweet, dried raisins and brown sugar, toast and coffee beans.

Low carbonation, smooth and nice, a bit dry.

A nice dark lager, sweet but not too. easy to drink.

rarbring, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

Appears as black as night, no light comes through even when held up to the sun; it has a caramel head, frothing with goodness.
Smells of sweet barley, with some slight fruity esthers coming through.
Taste seems bland at first as there is a slight sweet/bitter contrast, but once this gives way the flavors pop in your mouth - caramel, cantalope, still accompanied by bitter & sour characteristics, making it complex and full.
The mouthfeel is nice - balanced and lingering with subtleties.
A very drinkable beer that grows on you.

Chickenhawk9932, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of jbertsch
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

Black Lager used to be my go-to brew. I've since moved onto other things as my palate has expanded and grown, but I revisited it after not having it for some time.

Poured into a pint glass it gave me a 1-finger head. The brew is virtually black to the eye. Good lacing. It smells of sweet molasses on top of significant malt, with maybe a little smoke and burnt grain.

Tastes colonial. There's a little taste of history in the flavor which is characterstic of the style anyway. Caramel malts and molasses dominate the taste with hints of deep-roasted, smoky grains. Not too much hops. Overall, the flavors are muted, but layered decently.

Mouthfeel is creamy yet light and tad thin. Drinkability is good.

It's a quenching dark brew, which is a juxtaposition I love. I actually remember this brew being a little bigger and not as watery. But that's not necessarily bad because I believe most schwarzbiers are usually on the thin side typically have lower ABV. Regardless - still a good fall-back on a style I love.

jbertsch, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%

Pours quite nicely for a tan, chocolate milk colored head. The body is black in color, but shows off some brownish red hues when held up to the light.

In the aroma there is a strong hint of smoke, with a hint of licorice and a slight metallic character.

This is a creamy and smooth treat. The beer tastes of smoke, chocolate, with an herbal finish. This is a great Schwarzbier!

TheSarge, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of RankRefugee88
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%

Bottle poured into weissbier glass.

A - Almost pitched black body, whitish-tan head. Very dark for a lager, probably an appearance very similar to the Sam Winter Lager.

S - Nothing special, it's a lager. Hints of roasted coffee and malts but not quite the aroma of a stout or porter.

T - Good. Hops are there, but backed up with a sweet coffee taste and a tad of chocolate bringing it all together.

M - Surprisingly light mouthfeel, especially for such a dark beer. Having said that, a quintessential mouthfeel any lager should have, light and slightly bubbly.

D - Very good drinkability. Smooth, light and slightly creamy going down the throat. For such a dark beer, it's pretty easy to down a few without feeling full or bloated.

I liked this one a lot, I was looking all over for it, and was finally able to find it through a friend. Very satisfying for a lager, and like I said before, it's a beer that I would have no problem drinking all night.

RankRefugee88, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of merddyn2002
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

merddyn2002, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of thasnazzle
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

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%

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%

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 30, 2010
Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.55/5  rDev +22.6%

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%

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%

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%

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 24, 2010
Photo of adkirkish
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%

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 22, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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 07, 2010
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

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%

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
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,470 ratings.