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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.
BA SCORE
84
good

2,485 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,485
Reviews: 1,433
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 12.94%
Wants: 52
Gots: 83 | 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: 2,485 | Reviews: 1,433 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

InspectorBob, May 21, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While recently visiting Highland Pizza, my uncle was very interested in many of the Sam. Adams bottles that they had in their cooler. That, in turn, piqued my curiosity and so I filled out a mixed sixer with ones I knew that I had not reviewed, This is one of them.

From the bottle: "Careful, there's a bit of mystery in this one. - a dark, rich, and roasty beer that's somehow smoother and less bitter than a stout. It was first brewed in the medieval forests of Germany. Depp and full-bodied yet fresh and crisp. You won't taste another dark beer like this one. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I had a great pour with a resultant two fingers of deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep brown with garnet highlights and seemingly good clarity, allowing for its extremely dark color. Nose smelled of cocoa powder and I was reminded of my Lunch Duty partner who seems to to really dig on chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite cocoa/smoky taste on the tongue. She claims not to like beer, but I would bet that she would totally dig this. For me, it was a bit too sweet, but not cloying, which I really dislike. Finish was semi-sweet and a decent drink for the style, even if not my bag.

woodychandler, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that appears black and opaque in the glass with a one finger ligh beige head that immediately settles into a thin ring. Sporadic spots of lace left behind.

Slightly toasted malt aroma with a nice earthy hop presence that counters the sweetness. Hints of pine needle and grass along with some caramel, toffee and toast.

Medium bodied but fuller than expected or the style with a good balance of crisp, earthy hops and sweet malt notes. Slightly smokey but not burnt or overly roasted. A nice dry, bitter hop presence up front with good puny flavor lingers troughout and provides nice balance. This is followsd by the sweet, slightly roasted malt presence that gives off hints of caramel, toffee, hazelnut and toast. Not overly complex but well balance, flavorful and easy to drink. One of the better Sam Adams offerings I've tried.

corby112, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a dark toned brown with hints of an auburn hue when held to the light. A thick, 2 finger, dark tan head slowly fades out. Lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of cocoa, coffee, sugary doses of roasted malt, and brown sugar.
Taste is that of the aromas with a standout caramel sweetness that is soon bombarded with coffee, and cocoa roasted grains and roasted nuts.
Mouthfeel is is medium bodied, slightly spiced, with a dry finish.

weeare138, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of stakem
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review copied from notes taken last week.

Pours a very dark brown color with a finger of slightly tanned head. Has a sweet nose with a hint of yeasty chocolate. Quite a bit of lacing to be found and the head does not retain long. More smell of malt sweetness. Taste has a medium to light body with slight bitter crisp finish. Can taste notes of both chocolate and coffee. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel welcomes a second beer. As it warms it takes on some toffee taste as well.

stakem, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark deep reddish brown, quite clear in the glass with a filmy head of cocoa coloured foam. Some small bubbled carbonation, but not a lot. No lacing. Body looks a bit thin. Not bad overall.

Smokiness and wet grain on the nose. Darkness is slightly muted, but otherwise it tastes pretty pleasantly roasty and sweet. It's a little thin, but the smoke is quite pleasant.

Dark characters on the palate, some toast and smoke, but they're surrounded (or, I guess, not surrounded) but a rather thin body; a sort of emptiness. It's as though the true characters of the beer are quarantined from my mouth in some way. Mouthfeel is particular is thin.

It's not a bad beer, and it has some really pleasant characters. It's just that they seem either muted or otherwise slightly insipid. Drinkable enough, but not necessarily something I'd seek out or even bother trying again.

lacqueredmouse, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of wrightst
4.75/5  rDev +28%

wrightst, Mar 30, 2013
Photo of tempest
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a Sam Adams Mix Pack.

Pours a dark dark brown body with about a one finger head and leaves a little lacing. Nice, full malty aroma. A little sweet too.

Nice tasting, but not a standout in flavor for a schwarzbier. There are no off flavors, but its lightest tasting black lager I've had. Very similar to Saranac Black Forest.

Goes down easy and isn't terribly filling for a dark beer, but I think this is only because the flavor and body are too light for the style.

Very drinkable and I'd never refuse one of these. However, if I wanted a cheaper black lager, I'd still go with Saranac Black Forest. Possibly a good beer for someone just starting to try darker beer.

tempest, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of Georgiabeer
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, almost black with a decent head and very spotty lacing. The nose is lightly sweet and malty followed by lightly toasted grain. The taste is similar- nicely balanced maltiness and toasty grain, but relatively dry. The mouthfeel is soft, rounded and creamy. Even though there is a little sweetness in this one, no real stickiness. Nicely done, and a very nice session beer.

Georgiabeer, May 13, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle of Black Lager served in a Three Philosophers goblet. The ale is near room temp.

Appearance: A deep brown to black color, the lager betrays ruby hints when held to light. There is a smallish head that rings the glass only.

Smell: There is a slight roasted aroma that fades a bit over the beer. It provides a hint of things to come.

Taste: The roasted malts give the beer a slight milk chocolate flavor. There are also some caramel notes to provide the beer with a flavor that is surprisingly soft on the palate. I am pleased with this.

Mouthfeel: This beer's malts provide a tinge of sweetness that finishes long and makes you want another sip.

Drinkability: A moderate to low abv and great taste? What's there not to like. I am thoroughly impressed by this.

akorsak, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Editing this review: originally on 9-18-2008 to 5-11-09

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours a dark bronze black color. Pours a 3/4 finger tan head. head fizzles down quickly leaving very little thin lacing.

Aroma is very pleasing for a lager. Dark coffee, caramel, chocolate. Very roasty.

Taste is very roasty and malty. Caramel and chocolate. At the very end comes the coffee.

Mouthfeel is crisp but a little creamy. Ends with a coffee flavor aftertaste. Medium bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall this is a very tasty lager. Big on flavor and body. I enjoy it, but I think I will switch to another beer after this one.

mothman, Sep 18, 2008
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +7.8%

ejimhof, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in an American Pint glass

A-a dark brown so dark it looks black with a rocky tan head that last quite a while

S- a very clean roasted malt smell with a bit of hop spiciness in the background

T-an almost nuggety maltyness with a hint of caramel taste and a mellow hop bitterness and a roasted malt finish. just a hint of residual sweetness brings out the roast in the malt at the finish

M- a bit of a creamy mouthfeel but no harshness that you find in dark ales. very smooth.

D- definitely a unique style of beer. I expect a stout but it has a very smooth lager taste. It is a refreshing change from porters and stouts but I still enjoy those styles more frequently.

rhoadsrage, Feb 27, 2005
Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of a make your own 6-pack, on to the beer:

Creamy head with a nice black body, this beer is what you would expect from a schwarzbier. Deep assorted chocolate aroma in the smell, more of the same in the flavor, a touch of hop flavor, and a mild grainy finish. I knew I should have gotten myself a Hershey's bar to go along with this beer.

A few months after this review, I got some more of this. No changes in the score, but I popped the top of one that had in sitting in my trunk for a week. In other words, I consumed it at room temperature. It was pretty tasty, and the intensity of the flavor is greater. Try one out the next time you get a 6-pack of this.

DoubleJ, May 14, 2007
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 8/2014. Pours crystal clear deep brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, plum, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, plum, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roast, raisin, plum, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and lightly chalky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.9%. Overall this is a damn nice schwarzbier! All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, May 28, 2014
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights. The glass is filled with bubbles, initially creating an appearance similar to a highly carbonated cola. The bubbles and head recede after a few moments, leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is considerably weaker than the taste. Sweet malts at first, with a subtle hint of roast.

T: This beer is a pleasant surprise, and certainly more enjoyable than I had hoped for or expected. There are nice flavors of cocoa, black coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. The beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness, which helps to round out the overall flavor presentation. Well done.

M: Medium bodied and thicker feeling than I expected from a >5% beer.

D: A good representation of the style. I would drink it again.

Huhzubendah, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a good looking chestnut brown beer with a good tan head.

Smell is good clean grain and malt with a bit of chocolate and coffee in the scent. Strikingly clean and fresh dark malted barley scents, it smells very tasty.

Taste is clean and malty with an aggressive chocolate flavor in the beginning. Flavorful nutty malt comes next but the chocolate flavor here keeps dominating in a good way. Mildly herbal hops in the finish with a bit of raisin and prune flavor showing up in the finish. Pleasant and mild bitterness on the tongue probably equally from the dark malt and the hops.

Very good mouthfeel.

This is a damn tasty and drinkable beer, one of the best Samuel Adams beers. I had this a year ago in Ohio at a party and it struck me as sort of a light porter that was just OK as a beer. Now that I have seriously tasted this it is an exceptional Schwarzbier. No doubt some of the goodness here is having an outstandingly fresh bottle that hasn't made the sea journey from Germany. Having qualified this it is a very good example of the style.

Zorro, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a three-finger white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Color is opaque and black. Medium bodied. Nose is roasted chocolate. Medium carbonation. Starts with a sweet roasted chocolate flavor, finish has just a hint of hops. One of the better offerings from Sam Adams. $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +7.8%

LXIXME, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: Dark brown with an amber hint. Off white foam.

SMELL: Roasted malt and bread. Cocoa.

TASTE: Roasted malts and a simple herbal/lemony citrus hop. Chocolatey and a note of raisin/plum. Coffee like at times. A faint smoke. Well balanced.

FEEL: Medium bodied and well carbonated. Solid overall feel.

OVERALL: A solid dark beer option, and in the same vein of some of my favorite import schwarzbiers. This still tastes like an American take on the style. Tasty beer.

Stinkypuss, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
Smell hit first. Some coffee and nut, but mostly chocolate and malt. Some roasted malt, toast
Black (go figure) and brownish head, small, diminishing. Good solid body.
The roast comes out most in the taste. Chocolate and coffee come mid-way, and the hops end it. A good balance

Mebuzzard, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4.33/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before Dec 05. Pours a black color with some carbonation and a little head, some nice lacing throughout. Scents of hops, and caramel, chocolate. There's a nice sweet taste which I liked and you still have the lager presence. Medium body. Very drinkable, a must session beer for this style. Will put this on my list to buy again.

Wasatch, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of BillRoth
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

BillRoth, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black with some ruby color if held up to the light. Has a tan head with good retention. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: A roasted smell with some caramel and chocolate notes, but overall on the weaker side.

T: Has a slight burnt flavor with a good dose of caramel malts. A little bit of hops to round it out as well.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation. Would have liked a little creamier. Its fine, nothing to write home about, but decent enough.

mdaschaf, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from Town & Country, West Springfield, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" brown head above the very dark mahogany brew. Head fades holds its own, and lacing is good. Aroma is hearty dark malts, with a slight associated bitterness. Taste is just what the nose portended. Dark malt bitter aftertaste lurks in the mouth. Mouthfeel is smooth and pleasantly thin, but not too much, just right, and drinkability is excellent. Hope this one finds a permanent place in their lineup.

ppoitras, Feb 25, 2005
Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 2,485 ratings.