McSorley's Irish Black Lager - Pabst Brewing Company

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

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BA SCORE
80
good

344 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 344
Reviews: 164
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 14
Gots: 14 | 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:
Beer added by: oriolesfan4 on 01-29-2009

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 344 | Reviews: 164
Photo of saztheorybook
2.1/5  rDev -40%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Looks exactly like cola, an almost-black brown with no "fizz" after the initial burst. Even my vigorous pour only encouraged about a half a finger's worth of head, suspect because of the plethora of bubbles covering my glass and a head that dissipates in seconds with zero lacing.

S-Caramel and aluminum notes. Obviously the head this the source of most volatiles but there is little to no smell after the head vanishes so quickly.

T- Decent malt profile with a nice roasted flavor that outlasts the negative flavors into the finish. At times there are notes of dirt/grass. Maybe a little DMS, too. This is pretty astringent and a little bit chemical.

M-I could chug this if it weren't for the astringency, but as it stands, it could only be truly quaffable with a sausage in the other hand.

D-I'd get this at a festival and drink it from the bottle. Honestly, I think this might taste better that way. It was cheap, and it's okay, but I don't think I would buy another one at a beer store or restaurant, even though it was relatively cheap.

Photo of vazy
2.13/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Appearance- a rich black with a burnt brown head. Decent head which dissipates fairly quickly.

Smell- a fair amount of hoppiness with very subtle chocolate undertones. Picking up some dark espresso hints.

Taste- Very rich and heavy. Rich coffee like flavors with mild bursts of nutmeg and cinnamon. Gives a warm and toasty feel to the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Thick and chewy, I get the texture of coffee grinds as an aftertaste. Definitely dense and bold.

Drinkability- I was expecting something different from this beer, not that thats a good thing or a bad thing. Its flavors are rich and overall its decent but its wouldn't be the first dark lager I'd pick up.

Photo of kojevergas
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Brown Palace mini-hefeweissbier glass in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a two finger head of fair cream and thickness, and average retention. Solid black colour.

Sm: Caramel, light chocolate, and maybe nuts. A mild strength aroma.

T: Simple light roast with some poorly handled caramelized malt and hints of artificial chocolate. Poorly balanced - especially in terms of structure - wherein all the flavour is contained about the midpoint. Some nutty hints trickle in thereabouts, but never redeem it. It's imbalanced overall and badly constructed.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Suits the flavours generally.

Dr: Drinkable but largely forgettable. I'd never have this again. Awful for the style.

D

Photo of njthebestofme
2.2/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- was a dark brown.. light head to lacing.. didnt now seem to be over caribanted

S- malty,, no hopw to nose a little coco or a roast smell

T- reminded me if you if an ash tray with Guinness and drank it.. did not enjoy it at all

M- let an after tast a ash

D- not recmoned for a six pack.. try one and see how ya like it.. different tastes for different poeple.. but not for me... cheers

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.49/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This seems to be a new McSorley's brand from Wilkes-Barre, PA, my usual beer store just got in 6 packs of it this week so it must be new?

Anywho, their is no website where this product is listed at all and googling "Irish Black Lager" turns up nothing on google... so the style of it is kind of a mystery. Could be a swarzbier, but played it safe with the "Euro Dark Lager." Pours a very dark brown with a small tannish colored head. Doesn't seem to offer too much smell wise, taste is a little underwhelming as well. A little bit of a smokey taste, light bodied, slight hop sweetness on the swallow. Not much going on here.. tried something new and can't say I enjoyed it too much, here's to trying the Irish Pale Ale next.

Photo of Buebie
2.55/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Producing just under an inch of off white head, settling quickly and leaving a thin cap with thicker collar of retention.
Black in color with violet hues lighting up when held to light.

Aroma is toffee, darker grains and a semi sweet malt backing. Aroma is ok, but subdued and really not coming forward much. Its lacking really any strong oder in a nothing to see here...look away fashion.

Taste is more toffee, sweet malt and a touch of floral leaf hops. Some mild biter roasty grains with a distant flavor of peppermint. Tastes almost like somone breifly dipped a candy cane into the beer.

Mothfeel is thin and watery with mild carbonation.

Not much in the way of drinkability. Skip this and you will not have missed a thing.

Photo of BDIMike
2.63/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark color that turns a reddish-brown color when held to the light. There is a thick brown head that dissipates fairly quick, but laces nicely on the way down.
Smell isn't back for a Euro Dark Lager. There is a bit of a roasted malt smell, but like most European beers, there is a strong hop smell to it as well.
Taste has a bit of a roasted malt taste, but is then taken over by a hop taste. Neither is a very good taste and instead of balancing, the two tastes kind of clash.
Mouthfeel is ok. There is average thickness, but there is a bit of a chewiness to the beer.
Drinkability is rough on this beer. It isn't all that bad, but there is a bit of a dry and scratchy aftertaste that ruins the sip. It makes it hard to drink.

Photo of GRG1313
2.65/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown with a tan/yellow head.

Nose is simple light coffee and roasted grain with a light cooked fruit undertone. Not bad-just nothing about which to make note.

Mouthfeel is thin and a bit watery.

Flavor profile is very simple and not really appealing. Thin, watery, lack of character and body and with a simple light roasted grain flavor and character profile. Again, not bad-just not noteworthy.

Light thin coffee finish.

Photo of THECPJ
2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: brownish hue black with 1 finger off white head

smell: roasted malts, coffee,

taste: coffee, some cocoa notes, roasted malts, lager yeast

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, thin mouthfeel

drinkability: overall it was just an average lager.

Cheers,

The CPJ

Photo of chicagoabbot
2.69/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Notice a high score for appearance and nothing else...they got the color of the style right but that's about it. No yeast funk like there should be...the malts lake depth...the hops are forgettable, even though this isn't supposed to be a hoppy style anyway...tastes like an adjunct version of a schwarzbier, which I suppose is what it is...was cheap anyway...avoid

Photo of jlindros
2.86/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I was watching the Boondock Saints on a hot spring day so I figured this was appropriate.

A: Tall fluffy 2 finger head fades so slowly it is as if it was an implanted memory that it even existed. The beer is very dark brown, almost black but slightly clear where light can get through where it thins.

N: Hmmm, a lot like lager extract and mass produced lager. Some cheap lager aromas, lots of syrupy aromas like corn syrup, touch of darker malt.

T: A little better than aroma. SOme sweet syrups, some molasses, corn syrup, chewy malts. A slight cheap lager taste, but not so bad at first. Then a slight bitterness comes on but not from hops, more like some unpleasant additive or something from the yeast that was no happy with the beer as it fermented. Then some metallic tastes and off flavors no so pleasant.

M: Lighter body with tons of carbonation.

F: The unpleasantries come out more late on the taste and carry into the finish. More metallic bad lager flavors, some sticky sweetness, slight unpleasant bitterness. There is also a touch of dark malts, perhaps a heavy crystal or even a touch of roast. The weird bitterness lingers for a bit too.

Granted I did drink this a little warmer than I should have, but being ice cold just covers up all the flaws, so now they are all brought out.

Photo of association330
2.88/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date

A - Pours dark brown with a fleeting, light-tan head. Barely any lace.

S - Stale roasted malt, light milk chocolate and a lactic note. A bit like flat cola (oddly also what it happens to look like).

T - Roasted malt, milk chocolate and a swallow of bananas. Odd roasted malt/cola aftertaste.

M - Light side of medium bodied, with slightly harsh carbonation.

D - A lot like mixture of Killians and Guinness Draught - darker and perhaps a bit more flavor than either. Not something I'd buy again, but I've certainly had worse.

Photo of david18
2.91/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this for a friend's party. He grew up in Manhattan and I knew it would have sentimental value. I don't drink a lot of Euro Dark Lagers so I have nothing to compare it to. It was ok but no great shakes. Impressive dark color, good tan head. Aroma is almost non existent. Mouthfeel and drinkability are ok and this beer would be good for almost any season.

Photo of Kooz
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Love McSorley's. Love it, love it, love it. McSorley's in a bottle? I'm skeptical, but we'll see.

Looks good. Dark brown, almost black. Not much head; it disappears quickly and leaves nothing behind.

Smells ok; sorta nutty.

Tastes ok. It might be better if I wasn't anticipating a McSorley's dark. On it's own (the bottled kind), it isn't anything special. Not a great aftertaste either.

Maybe a little too acidic--mouthfeel is average at best.

I wouldn't dink much of this. I drink it until I can't drink anymore when I'm at McSorley's, but with the bottled variety, I am good after one or two.

Photo of PhillyStyle
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this on-tap, at Kevin Barry's in Savannah, GA of all places (8/15):

A: The beer appeared to be cola black, without much of a head that dissipated very quickly. What there was of a head, it was light, and light tan in color. I guess that I expected a thicker, longer lasting head, but this could have been partly to the pour by the wait staff.

S: The aroma is average, nutty with sweet roasted malted barley.

T: Again, the taste was average, lighter than expected, but a sweet malt flavor with maybe a hint of coffee or chocolate.

M/D: The beer was lighter than expected and seemed a bit over carbonated. As for drinkability, I did not finish the pint, but I am not sure that was an indication. The beer was smooth enough and left a decent sweet finish that did not last.

Overall, an average beer, nothing more, nothing less.

Photo of giblet
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
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

Photo of mcann2pu
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours an dark brownish/black color with a slight tan head,

Smell: smells of dark malt and sugar, not too much as far as smell for this one,

Taste: mostly a malt taste with some sweet brown sugar coming through,

Mouthfeel: appropriate amount of carbonation but truly nothing special,

Drinkability: fairly high drinkability, but again nothing too special,

Photo of morebeergood
2.95/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ordered a bottle at the Lansdowne Pub near Fenway. Poured into a standard pint glass. Dark brown almost black color, with a thin white head that faded fast. Smelled a bit like cola syrup. Tasted was interesting. Reminded me of a combination of pumpernickel bread and black licorice. Very thin mouthfeel, with a weird fizz and an acrid aftertaste, like burnt coffee. I can see how some might enjoy a big mug of this, but I don't think it was good enough to encourage me to order another.

Photo of GarrettB
2.97/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Guinness is my de facto standard beer for Irish drinking, but it casts its shadows on other up and coming Irish brews - similar in their dark and malty flavor delivered on a light palate, these beers sacrifice tradition and history for flavor and innovation. McSorley’s Irish Black Lager is the newest beer in this category. Like any other dark lager, it promises some of that dark maltiness in a refreshing beer - perfect for easy drinking with strong ale-like flavors. The smell resembles coke, with touches of raisins. The biggest difference between this and any kind of dark ale is the notable absence of fig aromas. That textured sweet smell is gone, leaving a dark yet simpler aroma, clear and clean through the nostrils, and inspiring clear headedness. This straightforward cleanliness paired with flavor is duplicated in the taste, where a nice, dark, roasted malty sweetness hovers along the palate, off-set by a kind of alkaline baseness. Complexity is shunted to the side in this easy drinking beer, itself a fine rival for my attention against Guinness. Guinness, however, continues to be my favorite beer for recipes that call for something dark and sudsy to enrich a dish.

Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark red/brown color with a one-finger head into my glass. Looks average.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of molasses/roasted coffee in the nose. Pretty basic with nothing that really stands out.

Taste is somewhat near a stout and schwarzbier with a sweet, bland roasted feel to it and what feels like chocolate as well.

Mouthfeel is definitely bland as well. Again, another identity crisis here.

You can drink it but I'm not sure you can enjoy it. Middle of the road and there are better examples out there.

Photo of AlexLMS
3.01/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: black with ruby highlights when looked against the light and almost opaque due to its colour. The head is beige, well formed and moderately low. Fades rather quickly leaving a little bit of lace.
Aroma: lightly dark toasted sweet malts and hints of dark chocolate.
Taste: quite simple taste that confirms the aroma.
Mouthfeel: smooth, good to high carbonation, low alcoholic strength and very light, almost watery body.
Finish: not very long sweet finish.

Overall: nice but not a really interesting beer. Easy to drink and easy to forget.

Photo of blakelive784
3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz bottle served in a weizen glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a dark, non-transparent brown color with a tan 2 finger head of nice creaminess. Retention isn't very good.

S - Smells of cream, roasted barley and coffee. The aroma is inviting, and invocative of something that's not a lager.

T - Afair amount of roasted malt coupled with cream and a nice alcohol sweetness. Smoky/toasty notes. it's a bit simplistic, but I'm having it.

M - Light to medium bodied and coarse. Suits the flavors well.

D - Good flavors and a nice balance. I'd have it again.

Photo of barczar
3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.08/5  rDev -12%
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.

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

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McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 344 ratings.