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

335 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 163
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 13
Gots: 11 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 | Reviews: 163 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on at the Abilene, which is a very cool little beer and music bar in Rochester, NY,

Poured into a pint, the beer is dark brown/black with a thinish brown head.

The nose is of brown sugar and roasted malt.

The taste is sweet and leads with more brown sugar, mildly roasted malts and caramel. The taste works nicely as a cross over or introduction to darker styles type of beer.

The mouth was slightly thick with low levels of carbonation. Could be a session beer for some.

Photo of jdhilt
3.43/5  rDev -2%
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.

Photo of saztheorybook
2.13/5  rDev -39.1%
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 smcolw
3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of david18
2.93/5  rDev -16.3%
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 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.

Photo of BeerMasterD
3.5/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of ujsplace
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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

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.

Photo of Bung
4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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.

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.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of erosier
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a deep brown color that is still transparent with a medium sized and light bodied off white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, lightly toasted ones, some honey and hops.
T: Similar to the aroma, it has a lighter body than I expected with a lot of light toasted malts, deeper roasted ones, and some honey and caramel flavors right before a slight hop taste.
M: Very crisp, light bodied, refreshing, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, I liked it, good lager.

Photo of dasenebler
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark, but not very viscous. Soda-like pour, head dissipates quickly. Aroma of peaty malts and roast.

Flavor is nice. Not fantastic or full-bodied, but enough character with the roastiness, peaty malt and potent tanginess to keep me interested for the drink. Not too bitter, but definitely dry rather than sweet and malty. Tart hops. Carbonation was a little high for me, and the mouthfeel wasn't too persuasive. Overall, pretty good and very drinkable for the flavors it packs. Though, I could do without the hoaky McSorley's Ale House history and other gimmickry suggested by the label. Come on, it's a contract brew. But a good beer nonetheless.

Photo of dsr0116
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.38/5  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.

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.

Photo of bmwats
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint.

A: Well. . . it's black as you could probably guess. Medium carbonation pours into a 1 finger, bubbly, grayish-white head. Settles fairly quickly, leaving a smattering of bubbles on the surface of the brew. Nice spiderweb lacing remains.

S: Roasted malt, nutty, and peaty. A bit 'soapy', too.

T: Dark roasted coffee malt. Not really much else. Pretty basic.

M: Light but hearty. Has a feel of lingering carbonation. A bit of a nutty, slightly pungent aftertaste.

D: Nice balance of flavor and feel.

Pretty solid atmosphere. Nice appearance and pleasant, although simple, nose. Flavor is much the same. Not complex, but tasty. Solid feel, good drinkability. Solid quaff.

Photo of pandashaver
4.58/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, what a pleasant surprise!
I had never heard of this, but having liked the Sam Adams Black Lager, I figured I'd give it a try...

Appearance was fantastic, almost stout-like in dark blackness and foamy off-white head. Retained a small white head throughout, and left very good lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell is nice roasty and chocolate. You get some sweet malt on the nose also.

A dry bitterness in the taste, but not too dry. Sweetness is very present in the initial taste, and it seems perfectly balanced to me with the bitter/roasted aftertaste of strong coffee.

Mouthfeel was fully present, not the least bit watery. At the same time, it was not filling. I'm not sure if this beer is really this good, or if I just like the style (as well as stouts), but this is a good brew.

Drinkability - wow, for all the flavor and nice mouthfeel here, this beer's damn drinkable! No ABV listed, but I can't feel it halfway through so I'm guessing it's in the 4-5% range. Also, this beer was VERY cheap considering. I want to pick up a 6 pack in the future.

Photo of zymurgy4all
4.13/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of psulovesbeer
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass with good head, nice lacing and a deep black color.
Smells bland and maybe a touch of roasted malt
Taste is clean upfront with a nice roasted grain finish
Mouthfeel is true lager upfront with a nice roasted linger to make you wan another sip this is highly drinkable and a refreshing example of the style... Not standout but good and worthy of a try

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  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.

Photo of tugdriver7
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed while watching the Australian GP last Sunday. Black/brown in the glass, decent (short lived) head. Smoky "stout-like" scent in the nose and in the initial taste, with a fairly rich dark malt flavor, though somewhat smoother (obviously, a lager) than a stout. Not quite as much of the rich, roasted flavor of a Schwarzbier, but very much like a quality Dunkel. A bit of astringent alcohol flavor emerges as the beer warms, reducing the "drinkability" rating a bit. Great offering, however. And thanks to "N" for bringing it by.

McSorley's Irish Black Lager from Pabst Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.