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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Reviews: 163 | Hads: 344
Photo of GRG1313
2.65/5  rDev -24.7%
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. (443 characters)

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 brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a chocolate brown color with amber highlights and a creamy ecru head that sits like pancake batter atop the liquid and leaves a few strands of lace

Smell: Chocolate, with a hint of roast and leafy hops

Taste: Tootsie roll chocolate, up front, with coffee, roast, and a bit of leafy hop flavor developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate flavors dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with a creamy feel and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I note that this beer is now brewed in Latrobe, and I wonder a bit whether the recipe has changed; certainly, I was more impressed than I expected to be reading the reviews of others (674 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

McSorley's Black Lager is pretty average for dark lagers- a caramel, malty base is met with heavy toast and even roasted grains. No fruitiness and the beer shies away from coffee or char. Still dark brown, much darker than it tastes; a little softer on the palate but still not a Schwarzbier either. Heavy carbonation and minerally flavors make the beer taste and feel a bit abbrasive. The beer needs a maltier base and more creamy texture before fading into dryness and lightness. It's an ok beer that has a hard time competing with German Dunkels but has too much roast to even compare. (588 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 zeff80
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown (almost black) color with a small, tan bubbly head. There was minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of chocolate, toffee and roasted malt.

T - It tasted roasty with some sweet chocolate. There was a slight bitterness from the hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. When I saw the style my expectations dropped, but it was pretty good with some intricate flavors. (484 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up a near black body with some ruby-hued highlights when back-lit by restaurant lighting and topped with a finger of beige foam.

Smell: Aroma comprised of relatively mild notes: you've got some coffee, some baker's chocolate, some cola nuts, and some dark fruits in there.

Taste: Lightly roasted taste following with flavors of charred nuts and a splash of the rightfully discontinued Coca-Cola BlāK. Scarcely sweet. Mild dark fruitiness prowls around in the background. Some slight cocoa hints appear as it warms. Modest touch of hops provide a small measure of bitterness. Final notion of sweet roastiness on the relatively crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A simple, drinkable brew. Not bad, not great; it gets the job done. (856 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
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). (591 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
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. (766 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 jlindros
2.86/5  rDev -18.8%
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. (1,301 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.49/5  rDev -29.3%
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. (727 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +13.6%
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. (1,076 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.2/5  rDev -37.5%
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.

(798 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 mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

a - Pours a dark brown with an inch on tan head that is gone instantly and light carbonation.

s - Smells of wheat, bready malts, and a little bit of hops. Not much going on.

t - Tastes of bready malts, wheat, and a hint of chocolate.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - I've had this on tap an McSorley's in NY and really enjoyed it, but it wasn't as good from the bottle. A little bland in the smell and taste. Would probably only have again at McSorely's. (538 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 WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown/black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice, pale, crystal, and chocolate malt scent along with some slightly fruity yeast esters. The taste is decent. It has a smooth black and crystal malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry with some light earthiness. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carobnation. This is a pretty good black lager. I like a little more crystal malt flavor, but this is a fine representation of the style. (547 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
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. (784 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.52/5  rDev 0%
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. (1,708 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 plaid75
3.34/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (352 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 puboflyons
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 051809-1613022. Sampled on March 16, 2009.

Before I get into details I must say that this was one of best tasting beers I've had lately.

The pour is deep black with a short-lived tan head. The aroma is a luscious smelling licorice, smokey, pipe tobacco, chocolate malt mixture. I really couldn't define it. All I could think of was a smoke-filled pub (and I don't smoke).

The mouthfeel was medium to heavy and somewhat creamy. The taste was very much like its aroma of licorice and smoke with a vibrant but subtle hoppy sensation. Wow, I wish I picked up a 6-pack of this one. (614 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (516 characters)

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