1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

McSorley's Irish Black Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
McSorley's Irish Black LagerMcSorley's Irish Black Lager

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

324 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 11
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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: oriolesfan4 on 01-29-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 163 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Trent:
Photo of Trent
2.25/5  rDev -35.7%

Trent, Aug 05, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Turbo
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Turbo, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of tbryan5
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

tbryan5, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of generallee
4.28/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a dark brownish color with a slight reddish hue. There is some visible carbonation that flows up to the tall tan head. The head had very good retention and lacing.

Smell: There is a lightly roasted character and sweet malted barley with just a hint of hops.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor has some slight roasted coffee notes with sweet bready and roasted malt notes. Hop flavor is light and brings some mineral/leafy notes to the finish. The finish is rather clean with roasted flavors and hop bitterness fading quickly. The palate is a smooth medium body with just the right amount of carbonation to help clean the palate.

Notes: Overall this is a very enjoyable and very drinkable black lager.

generallee, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of dankjohn
3/5  rDev -14.3%

dankjohn, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of wattoclone
5/5  rDev +42.9%
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.

wattoclone, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of afoltz2
4/5  rDev +14.3%

afoltz2, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of jondeelee
3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

True in scent to what could be expected of a black lager, this brew bears notes of molasses, chocolate malts, coffee and licorice. Wet barley also makes an appearance here, as does a yeasty aroma.

These flavors translate well onto the tongue, though in far greater strength that would be imagined, given the rather light nature of the aromas. Indeed, the first taste of the lager brings a shock of chocolate malts and molasses, layered with coffee and dark fruit esters. These flavors fade fairly quickly, though still maintain a presence throughout the remainder of the mouthful, being especially focused on chocolate malts and black coffee. Some nice dark sugars bounce around in the background, playing gently with roasted grains. Mouthfeel is fairly light, being only slightly more viscous than water.

Overall, this is a good black lager, but I wanted more bite and wildness to it; I found it slightly too watery, and thought the flavors could have been better emphasized and drawn out.

jondeelee, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Retail version. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a little bit of ruby red coming through when held to light. A decent finger of off white head fades into a thin layer. Lacing is pretty light.

Smell: Dark roasted malts with caramel, chocolate, coffee, and a slightly smoked character. Has a light hint of hops.

Taste: Dark roasted malts with caramel, toffee, grains, and a light amount of chocolate and coffee. A light amount of hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a medium level of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A good dark lager that is what you expect from the style. A lighter brew with some darker flavors.

MattyG85, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of BranfordBound
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

Pours a dark brown color, but has some transparency to it. One and half finger tan head arises from an aggressive pour. Not too much lacing.

Aroma of roasted malts (a la Guinness) and a touch of coffee.

Has a maltiness to it, but not really roasted in any way. Small notes of chocolate and coffee play in the background. Finishes clean with a hint of lager yeast and malts.

Neutral mouthfeel, lots of carbonation.

Easy to kick back a bunch, just wish they cranked the flavor up a notch or too, it would still make it a session beer, but a more enjoyable one.

BranfordBound, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with ruby highlights when held toward the light, head is light tan forms nicely with a sturdy pour into a tulip chalice from the dollar store. Aroma slight milk chocolate with roasted dark malts and light coffee characteristics. Flavor hits me with a wicked lactic sour note that I wasn't expecting, still has roasted malt dark chocolate with a hint of coffee but there's this wild ripe fruit note with the souring effect I didn't care for in a black lager, but it honestly reminds me of a lighter Stegmaier Porter in a weird way. I think they mixed this recipe with the Penn Dark recipe, because this looks moore like the Penn Dark of old than the newly bottled stuff from the Lion does. Really solid dark lager when said and done and after the slightly sour twang goes away it gets better with each sip. Mouthfeel is creamy with sturdy carbonation a very velvety feel to it all. Drinkability overall is quality impressed to see a decent beer coming from a McSorley's label I remember an Irish Red that was pretty shitty at one point in my drinking career.

WVbeergeek, Jul 27, 2009
Photo of glid02
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Rira in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of black and roasted malts with hints of dark fruits - dates and raisins mostly.

Tastes similar to how it smells, however the dark fruit flavors are a bit larger than the smell would intimate. Black malt flavors up front with a bit of complexity added by roasted malts. Mild fruit flavors enter into things midway through the sip and fade out before a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I actually got two for the price of one but one was enough for me.

Overall this beer didn't seem terribly clean, and while not terrible it's not worth seeking out.

glid02, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of sgttibbs
3/5  rDev -14.3%

sgttibbs, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of ltdantheman
3.5/5  rDev 0%

ltdantheman, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of lumberjerk
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

Pours very dark, but you can see points of light around the edges. When held up to direct light (think desk lamp; who doesn't drink where they work?), it's a deep and clear reddish-brown. Head was thin and coffee-colored, but constant.

Smell is nothing to right home about. I can smell the dark malts, but nothing outstanding.

Tastes of coffee and caramel roasts, right down to the bitterness of a dark cup of joe.

A very creamy head. Some sharpness from the carbonation. Smooth and light.

Very drinkable. At the price and at 5.5% I won't be slamming these down, but I'd be happy to have this with a meal.

lumberjerk, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of dacrza1
3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Situation: A Good Friday three-meal ender... Glassware: 22 oz. pilsner... Appearance: thin white head sits atop a black body that befits the label and approximates a black and tan appearance... Aroma: sweet burnt aroma that suggests a porter; malts are roasted and hops are subdued... Palate: smooth, slick body--a moderate to full-bodied lager; slight effervescence; a bit creamy too... Taste: a bit toasted in its maltiness; bread notes remind the drinker that this IS a lager... Overall: rather flat and nondescript overall appeal; a bit of a warmer for February and March, but with a bit of sweetness, this can be a nice after-dinner glass

dacrza1, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

McSorley's- Irish Black Lager

A- Deep dark brown almost black with a good thick head. Big solid lacing down the glass.
S- Light coffee/ cocoa roasted malts.
T- Sweet lightly roasted chocolate and coffee malt with a decent butteriness.
M- Sweet creamy malt body throughout with a light earthy dry hop finish. Buttery and creamy feeling.

Overall- Not bad at all. The best that McSorley has to offer.?

NJpadreFan, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is dark brown and looks alot like rootbeer. A substantial, thick mocha colored head with slow dissipation and leaves a small amount of left-over lacy.

Roastie and nutty with caramel in the malt with dry and green herbs. The caramel-like sweetness is pretty up-front in the malt.

The flavor of the malt is more roastie than the aroma with a nice herbal hop flavor to round it out. good balance, with the malt making the most of it and a smooth feel with a dry finish. subtle notes of mild chocolate and tyme ride in at the end. The yeast plays a big role with earthy and sour notes like a decent lager.

Not bad stuff.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of Griffith
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Griffith, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Zebus0
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow this stuff is good. Never heard of it till a local pub picked it up on draft.

A- Very pleasing. Nice black shade, nice frothy head on it that dissipates in a fair amount of time.

S- Burnt aroma, nuts and smoke, plenty of hops. Pretty good. Not a very strong aroma.

T- Seems like it's just a freak. (no negative) it's not quite thick enough for a stout, but a wee heavy to be a black ale. I would compare this to a marriage of 1554 Black Ale and Guinness. Very good taste. More of the burnt/hops taste. A little sweeter than a stout, very close to most black ales really, with some more carbonation added.

M- Fair. I never grade on mouthfeel too heavy. Medium body. Pleasing, quite smooth really.

D- Very good. I love this stuff for happy hour in the afternoon. That "in-betweeness" makes it very attractive for a stout drinker like me. Not TOO heavy if the weather isn't right or you're just not in the mood, but not water thin either. Rightly nice in the middle. Very, very pleasing find.

Zebus0, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A cauldron of dark topped with as many fingers as you could furiously pour...Light chestnuts and weak unsweetened cocoa in the nose. Some dark malts there as well.

A tad sweet, some cocoa flavor, hmmm delicious molasses and raisins

Incredibly smooth bodied, just velvety, I with the Irish pubs around here had this on tap.

Over all, a surprisingly good beer and one I'm glad a snagged in a make your own sixer

JoeAmerican77, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mc Sorley's Irish Black Lager displays a beautiful dark mahogany-brown body beneath a short head of frothy tan. Unfortunately the head retention and lacing are fairly limited.

The nose offers up notes of dark chocolate, a very soft roastiness, and hints of sweetish malt.

The flavor is mainly deeply-caramelish and gently sugary. Some cocoa-ish notes appear along with some nuttiness, but the chocolate suggested by the nose is simply not found except for a suggestion of it in the finish. The roastiness isn't really present in the flavor either, except until the finish. It's balanced by a solid bitterness, and although it appears sweetish at the outset, it finishes quiet dry.

Overall it's a fairly drinkable lager with a nice character, but nothing special.

NeroFiddled, May 06, 2009
Photo of Damian74Shensky
3.25/5  rDev -7.1%

Damian74Shensky, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of avisong
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%

avisong, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of BklynTerp
3.5/5  rDev 0%

BklynTerp, Mar 18, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.