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McSorley's Irish Black Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

311 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 311
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 14.25%


Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: marlinsfan4 on 01-29-2009)
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Ratings: 311 | Reviews: 162 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a black hue with amber edges below a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured sweet adjunct grain coupled with roasted barley.

The taste consisted of a slight sweetness tempered by a moderate roasted malt.

The mouthfeel was typical foe style with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall a tasty ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 23:52:43 | More by plaid75
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

3.39/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost black looking dark brown color with a little chestnut brown showing where the light hits the beer and a huge foamy 2 finger tan head that faded pretty quickly, leaving minimal lacing as it went down.

Smells of cocoa powder, roasted grains, coffee grinds, dry grass or hay, chocolate, caramel, dry and faint floral hops and some burnt wood; very basic and roasted grain nose, that’s just sort of devoid of any major accents.

Tastes like it smells, with cocoa powder, roasted grains, coffee grinds, chocolate Quick powder, dry grass, hay, light caramel, faint floral hops, tea leaf and astringent charcoal notes; basically this tastes of roasted grains and chocolate notes.

Mouthfeel is very smooth and light, with mild carbonation, a medium and almost chewy body and slightly bitter finish that leaves a sweet charcoal taste.

Average overall, this might fit the style profile, but unless I was at McSorley's in NYC throwing back a few, then I doubt that I’d seek this out again. Extra points for being easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 03:29:10 | More by CHickman
Photo of WissBrauSean
WissBrauSean

Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can reuse this bottle for hombrewing so I am giving some extra sumtin for dat! But look at that head! It is a very nice tan one finger head of tiny to small sized bubbles that fade to a heavy ring around the glass and a cap in the center and leaves a nice little Hopi village in the side of sandstone cliff kind of lacing on the glass. The beer pours a clear but opaque black. I poured this beer at about 50 degrees F.

At an instant an aroma of dark roasted malts hit me. Underneath that are some sweet malts and a bread like note. Someone reviewed it as the dark toasted crust on a slice of bread. They were not too far off. It's pleasant to say the least.

Taste wise once again like with many beers is amazingly similar to the aroma. At first the dark roasted malts are apparent and they carry through with the sip, but just after and sort of under that flavour is a darkened caramel sweetness almost like cola (as another reviewer put it) and then as the beer continues on the sweet fades to mild to medium English bittering hops on the back of the tongue with some dryness and a hint of licorice. Again, it is dry and a little bitter, but only enough so as to get you to drink more!

The mouthfeel is often described as crisp and I tend to agree. It's body is light to moderate with just over moderate carbonation which puts forth the crispiness. It's balanced and refreshing.

Overall, I would say that this is an excellent Schwarzbier at the least. I would totally seek this out AND recommend it to the beginning craft beer drinker as a good transition beer as well as an alternative to a stout in which they may not like. It is a great alternative to the latter in the winter as you feel like you can session this 5.5 % ABV beer without getting bloated and hammered. 4 out of 5!

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 01:54:22 | More by WissBrauSean
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Gotta love the chops on ol' McSorley's jowls, yo! Anyway, this stuff pours a deep sienna topped by a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises cocoa powder and a kiss of roasted malts, both thoroughly intertwined (as much as they can be, given the mass discrepancy) and fairly faint. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a strong contingent of cola. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a nice little schwarz, though it's Irish-ness doesn't really come through (whatever that would mean, anyway).

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 04:50:05 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

A - Pours a very dark brown with a hefty mocha head that has pretty good staying power.

S - Dry roasted barley, toasted brown bread, mild caramel and cocoa.

T - Roasted malts, brown bread crust, mostly dry but some sweetness is mixed in as well. Faint cocoa comes through and the finish is dry with a bready aftertaste

M - Moderate carbonation, coarse at times, light bodied, dry finish.

Texture was a bit off but overall pretty solid for the style. Nothing fancy but a solid session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2012 23:30:51 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deeper brown colored beer with a two finger tan head. The head faded rather fast to leave a lighter level of lacing.

Smell – The smell is heaviest of roasted malt as well as some aromas of molasses as well as a light herbal hop smell.

Taste – The taste starts out heaviest of roasted malt. A light caramel/brown sugar sweetness is upfront, but as the taste advances further it fades more and more. More toward the end some hop flavors as well as a licorice flavor come to the tongue giving a lightly sweet and rather pleasant aftertaste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the lighter side with a carbonation level that is average. The thinner body could use a boost, but other than that it’s OK.

Overall – Quite nice and easy to drink with some decent roast and malt flavors. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 02:00:43 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of godlessape
godlessape

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a fine Paulaner beer mug. This is a dark brew. Foreboding to some, and inviting to others. I'm in the "other" camp. The wee tan head stays on like it should, and leaves a fair amount of lacing.
What I'm taking in the nose is rich earthy roasted malt, lots of molasses, faint hints of burnt sugar, and even fainter whiffs floral hop notes.
With this the taste follows the nose to a degree. I find the sweet roasted malt far more gentle, and neutral then the aroma and appearance may suggest. The minimal hop bitterness at the end compliments the brew in a great way.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and refreshing. Something that you could drink all night long.
Overall this a decent mild and mellow brew, that I'd love to try out on tap--preferably at McSorley's Old Ale House.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2012 00:46:14 | More by godlessape
Photo of Bitter_Echo
Bitter_Echo

Michigan

3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this one trade. A black lager, dark like cold coffee in a glass, without ice. Black hole like. Nose is ripe fruits and raison and caramel and floral...OK. Taste is light malt and prune and then some bitter...overall quick and somewhat watery, not chewy or overly rustic. Seems much like the other black lager I've tried. I guess overall, however, I'm lukeW on the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 22:58:42 | More by Bitter_Echo
Photo of wattoclone
wattoclone

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the best American dark lager available. It has incredible roasted malt flavor and drinks smooth like a dark lager should. Sure, I would prefer Kostritzer on tap but in the US this is not a real possibility. I actually prefer this beer to the original Kostritzer in the can or bottle and I can afford it as a retired beer lover. At a price point lower than most American adjunct lagers, this flavorful brew is affordable and readily available. Kudos to Pabst for making it available and affordable.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 01:11:54 | More by wattoclone
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. The brew pours a dark brown with lighter brown coloration around the edges. When held to the light it shows some ruby clarity. A tan froth sit atop and quickly fades to thin film.

The smell is strong of licorice and faint dark grain quality with some roast elements mixes with some dark fruity sweetness like raisins and later like molasses.

The taste is fairly crisp with fruity raisin flavors and a hint of citrus hops. Some dark roasty grain has a bit of chocolate and coffee. The aftertaste is lightly musty and filled with a mild earth element.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is quite crisp and easy drinking. Overall it was a pleasant take on the style but not something I would seek out regularly.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 14:09:02 | More by stakem
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a dark brown with ruby edges and over a finger of beige head. The head dissipated very quickly and left very little lacing behind. The nose was bready with a trace of roast. There is also a hint of roasted malt in the flavor profile, but the taste and body of this beer are pretty thin. There are both light sweet and bitter notes on the finish.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2012 06:16:10 | More by 57md
Photo of ChrisPratz
ChrisPratz

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep dark black coloring pours to a fingers worth of light brown head that dissipates to a thin veil of lace around the top and edges.

S: Nice deep toasted malts with sweet flavors, dark chocolate, toffee and burnt sugar. Picking up some very slight floral hops flavors as well.

T: Nice toasted malts that aren't very robust. That toasted flavor has a hint of tart in it as well. Aftertaste is nice as it isn't over bearing and doesn't linger long.

M: Medium carbonation works well with the flavors. Tones are crisp and blend well together and your left with a nice dry feeling on the tongue.

O: Very nice Schwarzbier, i've enjoyed this on tap at my local watering hole for many years around St Pattys Day.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2012 02:05:21 | More by ChrisPratz
Photo of Neorebel
Neorebel

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It almost looks as if I have Coca-Cola in my mug rather than beer, with its similar , almost translucent deep brown color and thin fizzy head. The aroma is like that of a sweet stout - giving my nose the pleasure of milk chocolate, roasty malts, and a hint of grapefruit hops as well. The light bodied beer coats my mouth nicely with its oily mouthfeel, and as the beer traverses my palate, I begin to again notice a nice mix of sweet stout flavorings, and this time in the taste itself there is a definite pronounced hop bitterness, especially in the finish. This is an excellent everyday beer - very straightforward and mild. I am particularly fond of Schwartzbier, although this is no Kostritzer. Ultimately you really need to take a trip to McSorley's Old Ale House in NYC, get a table, and knock back a bunch of these with some rowdy friends!

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 04:01:41 | More by Neorebel
Photo of obywan59
obywan59

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. A 5 finger head leaves copious lacing.

Aroma of sweet dark bread with a bit of floral hops.

Lightly sweet with toasted malt, but primarilly tart like a wheat beer, which is appropriate as I'm drinking it out of a weizen glass.

Mouthfeel is rather thin, but it leaves a light sticky coating on the tongue and some heartburn in the throat.

This beer is decent, but not great. I probably won't try it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 02:22:38 | More by obywan59
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a perfect pint.

3.5 A: Black color. Two fingers of creamy tan head. Retention is good, but little lacing is left.

3.0 S: Dry, dusty roastiness. Very faint neutral maltiness. Clean. Otherwise, not much going on.

3.0 T: Light dry roastiness. Slightest touch of chocolate. Very faint malt sweetness. Again, not much going on.

3.5 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Lightly creamy.

3.0 D: Fairly tame schwarzbier, but not bad. Goes down quite easy.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 00:22:15 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of KTCamm
KTCamm

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours very dark black with some brown tinges. Very little foam remains. Light chocolate nose. Smooth, even keeled dark chocolate malt taste. Light, almost watery underneath. Mild bitter long into the finish. Pretty good beer. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 20:36:31 | More by KTCamm
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

McSorley's may sound tough, but it looks like a weak cup of decaf. While the better part of the beer is black, a good deal of it is still light brown. Those spots not only showcase clarity but a good deal of sparkle against the light. As for head, it has none. As for lace, it leaves none. Hence, again, the weak cup of decaf look.

I was expecting stout, but the nose is unmistakably schwarzbier. The difference may be negligible to casual drinkers, but I assure you it's night and day to those who've acquired the taste for the coffee and roasted barley aromas of stouts. A lot less chocolate (though with hints of cocoa), this has a much more moderate maltiness.

On the palate it is medium-light bodied and smooth with no harshness whatsoever, despite the prominent taste of dark and lightly roasted malts. It is a very neutral (some may say 'clean') character that deposits a pleasant nougat-like sweetness in the aftertaste, but nothing at all coffee or chocolate-like. I want to say 'dark fruits' but maybe not.

The beer's extreme dryness contributes to its neutral feel on the palate. Even the sweetness parts quickly. It drinks very much the same as a golden lager, albeit with the additional dark maltiness, and has about the same bitterness (which is to say little). As such, dark colour notwithstanding, it should really appeal to mainstream drinkers.

McSorley's may have an Irish name, but it's a German-style beer brewed by an American company. Too weak for stout lovers, this black(ish) beer may be a good introduction for those too timid yet for the dark roastiness of authentic Irish stouts. And when viewed in this regard, it's not too bad an offering at all. I'd happily have another.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2012 19:32:44 | More by biegaman
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, served cool.

Black with 2 finger khaki head.

Aroma; Deeply toasted malt, a touch of roastiness and a faint hoppiness.

Mouthfeel; nice, mousselike

taste: malty, with a dry finish, and a slight aftertaste of licorice and smoke.

notes: this is good. This is very good beer,

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2012 00:45:50 | More by fx20736
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours outz a rich, nearly black body and produces a thick, creamy off-white head. Excellent lacing down the glass.

Fair aroma - black patent malt and other roasted malts. Light burnt toast. Faint bitter chocolate.

Light chocolate, caramel, mocha flavors. Hop bitterness is well-hidden in the malt characteristics.

Smooth and velvety in the mouth. Wet and highlighting malt sweetness throughout.

A rather good black lager. Relatively light in body feel but with a nearly full, luscious dark malt roundness. Flavorful and smooth. Goes to show that decent malt-y dark beers can be made with lager yeasts, too.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2012 23:01:42 | More by beergoot
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served a black color with a nice tan head that fades to some lacing. Aroma of malt with a trace of caramel. There is also a bit of coffee and nut in the background. Taste of malt, coffee and some bittersweet chocolate. There is a nice bitterness throughout and a dry finish. Medium body, crisp and smooth. Nice balance. Easy drinker, nice beer for the style. I think having this on tap at an Irish pub enhances the character of this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2012 17:06:31 | More by soju6
Photo of allforbetterbeer
allforbetterbeer

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours black with faint amber/brown highlights. A strong pour yields three finger of thick brown head that looks creamy but dies fairly quickly leaving a thin layer on the surface.

Smells of dry roasted malts and some slight hop bitterness but not hop aroma. A swirl brings up further depth of malt flavor and some light chocolate and caramel notes. Smells rather like a more complex version of modern day Guinness Draught.

From the get-go the flavor is moderately dry and shows fairly good depth. The roasted malts lend a drying character and some very nice caramel, light chocolate, and light burnt notes to the flavor but do not make it feel thick, heavy, or coffee/bitter like a porter or even more so a stout. There is moderate hop bitterness but no flavor as I would expect.

The mouthfeel may be slightly over-carbonated but I can fix that with swirling. This is a light bodied beer, which really enhances its drinkability and refreshing quality.

Conclusion: This is the second beer I have had from this brewery and it is by far the best. There is good balance and complexity in the feel and flavor and this beer hits the style head on. I think if it was smoother and less carbonated (cask anybody?) it would reach new heights.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 22:48:15 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque deep brown with garnet highlights and a half inch medium tan head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving light lace.

Caramel malt, cola, and roast aromas dominate, with a hint of diacetyl surfacing. Little floral hop is present.

Chocolate and roast malt form the flavor backbone, with an acrid coffee taste rounding out the finish, leaving a bitter note. Hops are underlying, slightly herbal. Esters of dark fruits surface as it warms.

Body is medium light, with moderate carbonation. The finish is slightly astringent.

Not a bad brew, but nothing spectacular in flavor or aroma. Glad it's something different in style with such wide availability.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 06:49:13 | More by barczar
Photo of giblet
giblet

Ohio

2.95/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured almost flat. had to coax a 1/8" head that quickley settled. decent lacing down the glass very fine and sparse carbonation. black in color. smells of roasted malt. tastes decent. a little sweet roasted malt. but actually fairly light and thin overall. that is ok if you want 3-9 of them.

suckem up and movem out.

giblet

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2012 21:14:12 | More by giblet
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours just about pitch black in color. Produced a decent cap of tan froth. Good retention and lace.

(S)- A nice bready roasted component with lots of raisin and licorice.

(T)- Heavy on the raisin and licorice. Subtle bits of that same bread-like roasted part.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A decent balance, but really thins out on the finish texture-wise.

(D)- A good little lager, though extremely straightforward and thin; even for the style itself.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 16:45:12 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Hopfenpeter
Hopfenpeter

Maryland

3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a very dark clear brown and produced a one funnier high beige bubbly head. Dissipates fast and leaves not much lacing.
The smell is of coffee , brown sugar, but has a smokey feel to it.
The taste is light caramel and dark fruit up front, and gets a little smokey in the middle. The end is dominated by malt.
Nice simple beer, very drinkable!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 04:24:06 | More by Hopfenpeter
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McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.