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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.

321 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 321
Reviews: 162
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 11
Gots: 5 | 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
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Ratings: 321 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsr0116
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%

I think this is an exceptional find for any Irish stout lover. The overall characteristics are very similar to the Guinness 250 Anniversary edition brew. This has the same sourness that Guinness is synonymous with (especially the foreign or extra stout strains). While not as complex as Guinness foreign stout, it seems very similar to Guinness 250 edition. It has slightly more mouthfeel and slightly less maltiness (due to it being a black lager to be sure). If you find it cheaper then Guinness at your market, then this is a definite buy. I'm comparing this to Guinness simply because it seems to emulate it so much: it has the same basic acidity and maltiness of the recent 250 variety (IE it has more flavor then the Guinness draught versions but it's not as heavy as the "foreign stout" versions). The main thing that I like about this beer over other Irish ales is it seems to have the same Brettanomyces strains of sourness that I like in Guinness. This is the first time I've had a McSorley's, and from what I've gleened, this is a relatively new contract from Lion brewery. Will be interesting to see if this keeps going: I think it's good for what it is: a lighter Guinness foriegn stout.

dsr0116, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of SisuPride
4.18/5  rDev +19.4%

When you have the name Irish on your beer there are expectations. When you also stick the word "black" on the label the expectations increase. This beer poured a dark dark brown and even looked plain brown for the last third. A nice tan head with a scent that said "welcome old friend." Smelled just like a beer should. I need McSorley's to make a candle of this beer. Taste was rich not overbearing - I could make a night with a few of these - Very very smooth.

SisuPride, May 18, 2011
Photo of WissBrauSean
4.14/5  rDev +18.3%

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!

WissBrauSean, Mar 27, 2013
Photo of zymurgy4all
4.13/5  rDev +18%

What a unique find! Black lagers other than German Schwarzbiers aren't too common. This beer has a great roasty aroma with no hop in the nose at all. It pours a deep brown/black color. It is very light on the tongue, and very clean like a schwarzbier. It isn't the most impressive beer, but very drinkable indeed!

zymurgy4all, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of afoltz2
4/5  rDev +14.3%

afoltz2, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +14.3%

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 TheMrFarnham
4/5  rDev +14.3%

TheMrFarnham, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of runwild99
4/5  rDev +14.3%

runwild99, Jul 15, 2012
Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +14.3%

12 oz. A very dark brown pour, limited off white head. Some chocolate and roast, malt and earthy peat. Good smooth light/med. lager body. Taste has some chocolate and roasted tones. Has that pronounced lager yeast. Good amount of carbonation. Clean slight roast/bitter finish. A pretty darn good drinker. Euro-dark lager, not sure what that is, but I like this one.

Bung, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of mckenderson
4/5  rDev +14.3%

mckenderson, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of RonaldTheriot
4/5  rDev +14.3%

McSorley's Black Lager has a minimal, yet creamy head and is very dark brown is appearance, just short of black. Carbonation is low. The aroma is light nutty. Taste is very slightly hoppy and mild, almost like root beer without much sugar. Mouthfeel is watery. Overall, I think this is a good black lager to try, and I found it to be superior to others I have tried.


RonaldTheriot, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +14.3%

This beer can give the generally well-regarded Sam Adam's black lager a run for its money. Black with caramel highlights and a moderate tan head. Nice roasted malt flavors, with a clean, slightly dry body. For a brewery that produces a variety of labeled products, Lion nailed the style on this one.

Brent, May 17, 2010
Photo of fx20736
4/5  rDev +14.3%

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,

fx20736, Mar 13, 2012
Photo of brewyou2
4/5  rDev +14.3%

brewyou2, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of laxguy13
4/5  rDev +14.3%

laxguy13, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Flowyn82
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Flowyn82, Jul 25, 2012
Photo of oakaged88
4/5  rDev +14.3%

oakaged88, May 05, 2013
Photo of ShepardCommander
4/5  rDev +14.3%

ShepardCommander, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of JoePat
4/5  rDev +14.3%

This beer pours a very dark brown almost black in the glass with an off white head that dissipates fairly slowly leaving a small amount of lacing behind.
The smell is not too complex with mostley a faint smell of roasted malts.
The flavor combines chocolate malts with the roasted flavors rounding out to a smooth finish.
This beer is very soom and creamy almost guiness nitro creamy which makes it easy to go down and rounds out the beer great.

JoePat, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of musicman7070
4/5  rDev +14.3%

musicman7070, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of ColSanders123
4/5  rDev +14.3%

ColSanders123, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Beerdrinker21190
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Beerdrinker21190, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of PalmettoPyrat
4/5  rDev +14.3%

PalmettoPyrat, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Molson2000, Jan 29, 2013
McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.