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

163 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 163
Hads: 344
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 9.09%
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 163 | Hads: 344
Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured very dark brown with a large creamy brown head. A moderate level of carbonation is visible and there is a good amount of head retention.
S: The smell isn't that strong, but there are distinct aromas of dark roasted malts and chocolate in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the aroma and consists of flavors of dark chocolate malts, however it's a bit bland and doesn't prominently stand out.
M: It feels light-bodied and very creamy and smooth on the palate.
D: This beer goes down very easily; I could drink this stuff all day long so is quite sessionable. It's not a bad choice if you are looking to drink a lot of something that has some flavor. (668 characters)

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

Poured into a pub glass

A: Fluffy beige head, that has nice lacing. Dark, nearly black with some dark amber...

S: Roasted malts, burnt caramel

T: Malty and somewhat nutty with faint chocolate finish

M: Light/medium creamy, minimal carbonation.

D: A good beer. I have not had many of these black lagers, but I could see myself getting a case of this (353 characters)

Photo of akokandy
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to JoeyBeerBelly for the bottle!

A- 12oz brown bottle poured into a tulip pint. The beer pours black with a small head which quickly fades to nothing and leaves no lacing. Some light shows through.

S- Not a very strong aroma. Some caramel malts.

T- Caramel and roasted malts dominate the flavor. A little twang to the finish. The taste, I would say, is somewhere between Smithwick's and Newcastle, and basically on par with both. Not too bad at all and paired well with leftover corned beef. I've had some good schwarzbiers and dark lagers, but nothing that delivered this much flavor.

M- Thin, and light bodied. Could have used maybe a little more carbonation.

D- I might've had another if I had one on hand. I feel like this is a beer you need to be in the right mood for. Not my favorite style, and I never would have ordered it in a bar, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I'd have it again if offered. (927 characters)

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brownish black color with a one and a half finger tan head that dissipates pretty quickly to a thin ring. Head is not very sticky and leaves no lacing on the glass.

Smells of a bit of caramel malt, some toasted grains. Not much in the way of hops here. Aroma isnt really off putting, it's just really boring.

Taste is slightly better than the aroma. Still has the base of caramel malts and toasted grains, but it is off set by a faint hop bitterness. Nothing crazy at all, but teh slight bitterness makes it enjoyable enough and makes you enjoy the subtlety of the malts more than I could in the aroma. Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, and it maintains a nice level of carbonation throughout. Not a great lager, but definitely enjoyable. (744 characters)

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 11/28/2010:

12 oz bottle at 42* into a pint glass.

A: This pours a nearly opaque black color with a half-finger of slightly off-white head that dissapates quickly.

S: This shows some roastiness up front with some dark fruitiness and a bit of wet bread as well.

T: It is mostly of roasted coffee and dark chocolate early with a toasty/bready finish.

M: This has a rather thin body, but the carbonation sticks around and makes it quite drinkable.

D: This is drinkable but could be much better. (508 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.4/5  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. (1,043 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not sure exactly what makes this Irish... It's pretty dark though - I see bare hints of red through my weizen glass. Head is moderate and drops quickly to a thin covering sheet. Nose isn't strong - coffee and some tobacco. Flavour is fairly smooth, somewhat acidic, a little bit fruity with a decent hop. Takes a while but burnt and coffee flavours appear as well. Dry with a moderate mouthfeel and a medium carbonation. Pretty smooth and NOT toasty for such a dark beer. FWIW though, easy drinking with some good balanced flavours and pretty accessible for beginners. (568 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
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.? (401 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three-finger light tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Just about black with no highlights. Medium bodied and medium carbonation. Light roasted coffee nose. Flavor has some sweetness - a malty coffee. Best by May 18 2009, bought in May 09 and forgotten - still good. $1.45 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma. (360 characters)

Photo of mjw06
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was an interesting experience being my first time with this style of beer. I didn't know what to expect and even afterwards I still wasn't sure what I got. It wasn't as simple as was described to me, as just being a brew with the taste and smell of lager that just happened to be black. Naw, doesn't work like that, but McSorley's did manage to throw all of my senses together in an array of confusion. The color was indeed black, with little to no head or lace. The smell came up and grabbed my nostrils with a clean and crisp, simple oat-like malt, with a very plain and simple hop note. The taste echoed the smell with very little residual. I was on the fence with how I liked the feel of it, telling myself that maybe the black color of the brew was biasing my opinion of what the feel should be like, but it was that of a medium body, with a few harsh bubbles here and there draining down the sides of the palate, the refreshment hits in the middle-back of the tongue. I'd like to try McSorley's again, I think it has potential. Probably need more time and concentration to really get a feel for it. (1,109 characters)

Photo of BranfordBound
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (599 characters)

Photo of BeerMasterD
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bought a six pack of bottles.
Poured into a glass, a very dark brown almost black with dark amber in the light, tan head with little lacing.
Roasty malts, smelled like a guinness to me.
A smooth malty taste with a faint chocolate/coffee finish, slightly bitter almost dark chocolate.
A mouthfeel that is medium with little carbonation and is somewhat chalky/dry.
I found it enjoyable and drinkable, relaxing but not refreshing, i could see it going good with a meal and a cigar, i was happy with the beer and ill most likely purchase again in the future. (555 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Modest head that settles into a ring of bubbles, but it does leave some spotty lace. Dark, dark brown with a little garnet color. Some light shines through.

Mild darker malt aromas. At the end, there was a notable metallic smell.

Definitely a dark lager in terms of taste, body and crispness. Note of black patent malt and mildly burnt toast. Thin body and relatively high carbonation. Light hop in the swallow. The aftertaste is a combination of two bitters--hop and dark roast malts. (487 characters)

Photo of GregBlatz
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep dark ruby color with a tan head. Head is large and rocky. Laces the glass aggressively.

S - Chalky. Buttery. Very British. Dark fruit, plums and raisins.

T - Very ale-like. That is the first thing I notice. Somewhat fruity and quite frankly reminds me more of a light porter than a black lager.

O - It is an enjoyable brew. My sample was laser stamped on the neck with 071311. I assume that is a date but I'm not sure if it is a born-on date or a drink-by date. Either way it was pretty good. (506 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #24 Euro Dark Lager on the beeradvocate.com best of style lists, served in a McSorley's stein because I am capable of it.

Beer is black and clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles, low carbonation, low lacing.

Aroma is sweet and mildly roasty, overall a mild aroma.

Beer is thin to medium in body with a mild tartness on the finish and a roasty aftertaste. The forward of the beer is minimally sweet and the overall beer is fine. I wouldn't go out of my way to drink it again and I would outright recommend it either but overall this is an OK beer. (595 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a deep brown color. The head was ok, but nothing rave about. The smell of the beer is roasted and had some hops on the nose too. The taste of the beer has some decent roasted flavors going on that finish with a decent bitterness. The mouthfeel is light. Overall it's a very light beer for such a dark color. It's probably worth checking out. (365 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.45/5  rDev -2%
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! (357 characters)

Photo of SickGnar
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Super dark mahogany, nearly black with ruby highlights. Short tan head that fades quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts mostly of bittersweet cocoa, hints of coffee, some caramel and sweetness come through as well. It smells pretty good, but it's not a very typical lager aroma. And definetly not a schwarzbier. The nose is more like a thin clean porter (maybe that's the Irish part).

T: Chocolate and coffee dark roasted malts predominate. Sweet, but there is a sharp note in there as well - can't really say if it is burnt or lactic or what. The caramel is not as strong as in the nose - it's more of a dark, sugary toffee. Also some hints of dark fruits. Earthy powder cocoa finish with lingering bitterness. Overall effect is of a mild porter done as a lager. However, it is not all that clean for a lager.

M: Creamy with a medium body and a fine, tight carbonation that adds to the smoothness. Although it is plenty on the sweet side, especially at the start, it finish dry.

D: Pretty decent drinker actually. And sort of an interesting concept. It does have some quirks, but is really quite well put together. Still you do get the feeling that the name preceded the brew (those rascally marketing guys). (1,241 characters)

Photo of Snamnoum
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - dark black for such a light beer. Moderate pour produced a small head which dissipated quickly.

Smell - the principle aromas are of roasted coffee, bittersweet cocoa, some smoky molasses, caramel, and a faint hint of burn grains and hops.

Taste - At the front of the tongue I get a very subtle larger-like sweetness. In the middle I get lots of dark toasty caramelized sugar, toffee, and used coffee grounds. The back of the tongue picks up a mellow dryness, burnt barley and a tart acidity I would normally associate with an acidic coffee. The finish subsides disappointingly quickly; had it lingered I probably would have given it a four.

Mouthfeel - rather creamy and full bodied for a euro lager while still remain clean, crisp, and not at all fruity.

Overall - I enjoyed this beer and found it interesting. It has many of the characteristics that I would normally associate with a Baltic porter or a dry stout, without being as rich. Definitely worth a try if you're in the mood for something dark but don't want to crack open one of your bigger beers. (1,076 characters)

Photo of bayougutter
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark black that you could see no light with a small off white head that didn't hang around long at all.

Aroma is a little muted with chocolate and coffee being the main characters. Molasass and fig in there as well.

Taste is somewhat bolder with the chocolate and coffee still the main flavors, dark fruits and semi sweet malts playing a lesser role. A nice little bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel was a little thin and watery to me but it went down very nice.

Overall a solid black lager, a good thirst quincher with full flavor. (546 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - black in color with a short-lived khaki head that remained as a light coating and left decent lacing.

S - light roasted barley malt and butter in the aroma.

T - the taste brings out more of the roasted malt than the smell with mild bittering on the finish.

F - medium bodied with low carbonation and a somewhat thin feel.

D - fairly easy to drink. (401 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: From the bottle appeared reddish chocolate, while in the glass was a flat black with frumpy and frothy medium sandstone colored head that quickly dissipated.

S: The nose yielded soft accents of freshly roasted barley with light hints of wet charred wood. The overall strength was light, clean and smooth and well suited per style.

T: The flavor was full with light roasted offering of coffee beans. Fresh ripe and juicy plums along with a light earthy bitterness are also well noted. Sweet raisins deliver a touch of sweetness while wet coffee grounds appear on the finish. Pretty good substance wise, and smooth.

M: Creamy and slick texture, with a medium body and playful and edgy feel from the carbonation. Nice fullness per style.

D: Enjoyable for a few, fairly smooth going down with a fullness that can be appreciated without weighing you down. (861 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, caramel, roasted malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of honey, chocolate, coffee and caramel, also a touch of smokiness. The malt character is on the thin side despite the sweetness. The hops presence is mild but provides a little balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easy, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a beer that's ok to drink for a while if you want a darker beer that isn't too heavy, but it's not something that I would choose unless the selection were limited. (851 characters)

Photo of ChrisPratz
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of bump8628
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black as the name suggests with a light tan head.

Subtle roast throughout like weak coffee. Not much else in terms of malt or hop character other than an offsetting hop bitterness. Finish is clean and crisp as a lager should be.

I would say this falls closer to a Schwarzbier with the more pronounced roasted note. Whatever you want to call it it's another underwhelming lager in the vast world of lager beer. (411 characters)

McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.