Session Black Lager - Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

Not Rated.
Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

853 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 853
Reviews: 359
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 25
Gots: 89 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 06-27-2009

ABV 5.4% IBU 18
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 853 | Reviews: 359
Reviews by dragonx2099:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Philousa
2.15/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Sits black with one finger white head. Bubbles are visibly large, both on top and floating to the surface from below. Caramel & roasted malt aroma. I get some yeast and bready characteristics too. Taste starts with roasted malt, caramel, burnt toast, and fades to metallic, thin taste that stays on the tongue. There is some american ale yeast in there too. This beer feels very thin and watery with a wet finish.

Three words: thin and metallic. A beer should never taste metallic, imo. To be blunt, this tastes like the first beer I brewed, when I didn't know what I was doing. I kinda feel the same way about it too: it's not bad, because it's beer, but it could be so much better. Add a little hops and switch up the yeast (or baby it a little to make sure it does its magic properly next time) and you will have a good beer. I'm still going to try their lager, but with much lower expectations than I had going into this one.

Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my schwarzbier glass a deep chocolate brown with a fluffy but quick to fade off white head,some light chocolate and mineral notes in the nose but both are pretty light.Chocolate malt flavors with a bit of licorice,and iron.Subtle flavors lends to easy drinkablility,this would be a good tailgating beer or all day sessionable lager.

Photo of Beaver13
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11 oz bottle. Pours a medium brown with a medium frothy off white head that goes to a film that laces the glass.

The aroma is chocolate and roasted grainy malts with a little coffee. Some fruits come out as it warms.

The flavor is lactic chocolate and roasted malts with some coffee. The mouthfeel is fairly full and creamy.

Overall, a nice surprise. This is a very tasty schwarzbier. The first sips are really good, but as it warms I like it a bit less.

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

stubby 11 ounce bottle, available at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. This one pours clearvery dark almond amber, under a slight and fairly quick to depart dark tan head, leaves just barely better then minimal bits of lace. Dark chocolate in the nose. More chocolate malts, dry dark tea notes. In general a fairly bland and unexciting dark lager.

Not really my thing, decent enough, but not likely I'd go for this one again real soon.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish-brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has some roasted malt, as well as some cocoa and a hint of dark fruit. The aroma is fairly sweet overall. The flavor is has some roasted malt and chocolate, as well as a hint of smoke. There is also a little bit of hop bitterness, but not any real hop flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of FMetzger
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Great clarity. Dark brown with a slightly tan head. Brown highlights in the head.

S: Rich malt with slight hoppiness. I love this beer. As it warms the aroma is that of wort after the first hop addition. It is truly fantastic. This beer accurately captures the delicious cereal malty graininess I crave without going overboard and killing me with alcohol.

T: Caramel maltiness, rich flavors of grain. This is a great example of a Schwarzbier/Dark Lager/Euro Dark Lager, or whatever the hell you want to label it.

M: Not much to mention, except that it is smooth and the carbonation is perfect (at least in the bottle I had). Not thick, which is not surprising given the fact that it is a lager, but IS surprising given the rich grain taste.

D: As the name implies, this is a Session-able beer. Only 5.4% abv, so more than one is not going to be a problem, and I am truly astounded by the flavor.

This beer is cheap ($8.99 for a 12pack), and I am very fond of it. The temperature hit 110F today, so I am sure I will be enjoying this beer for a while during the hot summer months. Hats off to Full Sail for this one. Really a pleasant surprise.

Photo of maltmelon
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's probably the style more than anything, but this one's not doing much for me. Some toastiness with the thin mouthfeel of a lager is not a good combination, at least where I'm concerned. Have to admit there's nothing else to complain about though. But nothing to compliment either.

Photo of Karyyk
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I’m always on the lookout for a new beer that might do the trick. I wasn’t familiar with the Full Sail Brewing Company, nor Session Lagers, but looking for something new to try and at $11.99 for a twelve pack (11oz. stubby bottles; 5.4% ABV), I came home with the Session Black Lager.

If pours a very dark brown color, though not quite as opaque as I was expecting from a black beer. On closer examination, there’s also a deep ruby color in the mix (holding it up to a light confirmed this). There was little head to speak of when poured, although if left a nice lacing on the glass as I drank it. The aroma isn’t overpowering, but what does come across are the roasted malts.

As far as drinkability goes, Session Black Lager is up there. It’s much more thin than you’ll be anticipating and it goes down smooth. The roasted malts are quite noticeable at the front end, with hints of chocolate, but they ultimately give way to a much more ordinary, lager-like finish with just a touch of hop at the end (something that Full Sail apparently plays up). I had expected it to be sweeter than it was, and while there’s still some sweetness there, the finish is smooth, lightly-carbonated and surprisingly clean.

I can definitely see myself enjoying these on a regular basis. That would almost seem to be what Session is going for. It’s different, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. Full Sail claims that Session will appeal to all beer drinkers, whether they be the craft beer-types, import drinkers or those looking for something to drink while they mow the lawn. I don’t know how well those claims will really hold up (there are some fairly rigid personalities in those demographics), but I can see someone who just likes good beer making Session one of their regular brews.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11oz twist off medecine bottle at fridge temp poured into a standard pint glass. best before 02 2011.

pours out a dark brown with lots of red in the light. a small off white head that quickly faded to a retentive thin ring. no lace to speak of.

in the aroma there is lots of caramel, toasted grains, and a bit of dark fruits. some lightly roasted malts come in a bit as it warms.

the taste follows suit with lots of rich caramel, toasted grains, and dark fruits with hints of a bit of tart acidity. tastes and feels like a lager. in the finish there is a bit of earthy hops with just a touch of bitterness.

light feel, carbonation is a bit prickly, but just the right amount.

this is a very simple beer with drinkability at the forefront and i think this is exactly what there going for. nothing great to write home about, but i would drink it again, and i would recommend it for $1.50 a bottle.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full Session Black Lager 5.4% abv 
Appears a beautiful black beer with ruby cola highlights, dark tan head light whimsical lacing left behind it's everything I want in a beer so far. The nose is earthy hops with a kiss of roasted far caramel notes. The flavor is just as expressive with dark malts and pure sexiness than any other dark lager on the market these brewers nailed the essence of a session beer! Light bodied on the palate but balanced to perfection never feeling watered down this is beer everyone can and will embrace.

Photo of chinchill
3.56/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11oz. bottle served in standard pint glass

A - dark orangish brown. Clear. 1/4" tan head quickly dissipates.

S - subtle

T- little dark malt flavor. Summer schwarzbier? Quite tasty for a lager, with a nice hint of hops.

M - light. Good carbonation level

Has neither flaws nor any particularly attractive or special qualities. Still, easy recommended as an economical session beer.

Photo of glid02
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop in Thomasville, GA.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark malts with hints of dark roast. Also present are slight amounts of earthy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth dark malt flavors that are more robust than the aroma intimated kick things off. Shortly thereafter the flavor profile dries out a bit with the addition of lightly roasted malt flavors. Very slight hints of leafy hop flavors come into play near the end of the sip before receding into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is OK. It's got a nice thickness however the carbonation is a bit on the heavy side.

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I found this to be exactly as advertised, a dark beer that's easily sessionable. Worth a shot.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a stubby 11oz bottle. The beer is a deep mohagonay brown that has a touch of muddy haze. The head is off white and thin.

The nose is sweet and malty with a nice roast to the aroma. Hints of dark, heat rendered sugars mixed with a little molasses and coffee. Very nice.

Wow the smell doesn't do this beer justice. The taste is a bold malt bomb. Deep roasted grains with strong molasses flavors build the complexity of this brew. It's sweeter then what I would expect and the roasted flavors comes close to a stout or porter but are slightly thinner.

Great mouthfeel. Think a thinner version of a porter with not quite as much bitterness but still a little chewy. I'd put the body at medium and the thinner amount of carbonation really let's the grains shine. Quite a tasty brew that's well worth checking out.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Expiration date on the bottle is 10/28/11. No wonder it was $5.50 a twelve pack.

A: Pours a dark ruby that almost appears black. Thin off-white head. Still a clear beer with visible carbonation. Does leave some lacing on my glass.

S: Initial lager-alcohol smell. Comes around with some good dark chocolate notes. Roasted malt and some dark fruit smell.

T: Always been a fan of Schwarzbiers. Starts off with a chocolaty malt taste, hints of smokiness. Then transitions a little to more of a lager taste and finishes with more of a sweet chocolate. Can see some caramel and molasses if I look.

M: Would consider it a light-medium body. Lighter than you would expect for the color. Very drinkable. Good carbonation.

Overall been pleased with the session line-up. Most of the time they are well priced and always easy to drink. My favorite from the session line-up...for now.

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11oz stubby (we Canucks love dat!), for only a buck-twennie, in agreeably friendly Idaho Falls.

This beer pours a clear dark brick hue, with one solid finger of thin foamy speckled pale beige head, which settles quickly, leaving a low wash of seafront lace around the glass. It smells of toasted biscuit malt, dry chocolate, coffee grounds, and earthy hops. The taste is pretty much in line with the nose - lightly roasted malt, a bit nutty, amongst the usual baker's chocolate and bitter coffee notes. Coming up short, however, are the very subtle weedy, earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, and free any obfuscations that would detract from its session smoothness. It finishes off-dry, the roasted malt very laid back in its 'dominance'.

Well, this is one well-named beer - lots of flavour, and goes down very easily, the extra few percentage points of booze only a consideration if you really take the concept to heart...

Photo of mudbug
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Did this one two different ways, One poured into a standard pint glass which resulted in a nice black beer with a one inch bubbly head that held it's own. A pretty beer
Aroma of roasty barley with a tinge of smoke not overpowering but very pleasant the ghost of hops peeks in
Taste is nice and clean with roasted barley, some caramel and a nice unexpected hop bitterness at the end carbonation is quite lively and refreshing.
The other way was straight up from the very cold bottle.
Very enjoyable and refreshing, gets a nice lager bump from the fizz with a smart hop bite.
At ten bucks a twelve pack this is a great deal and will be a go to on hot beach days and fishing trips.
Bravo Full sail

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.27/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11 oz bottle!?!

Brown color with auburn and amber hues, strong creamy foam, slow dissipation.

Roastie chocolate malt scent, black fruits, cream, herbal, roastie malt and cream.

A lush and smooth malty flavor and feel, soft dark chocolate, no sweetness, roastie nuts, creamy milky smoothness, herbal, yeastie and musty kick. Green herbal, grassy hop flavor's balance this all out really well. a simple but complex style brew.

The feel is smooth and lush but not at all heavy, silky smooth, medium feel. Very nice.

Very much like a light porter with lager-like yeast which is very nice.

Photo of brother_rebus
3.12/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The smell was a bit stale. Looks like a standard black lager. Weren't very winningly hints of much. Nice mouthfeel though. Minimal carbonation but still enough.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a near black, dark ruby brown with a light tan finger width head. Retention is sub-par, leaving behind a spotty, semi-sticky lacing.

Smell - Faint. Roasted malt aromas of sweet chocolate and light coffee, and a slight hint of grassy hop.

Taste - Flavor hints of sweet milk chocolate with a light coffee edge. Light bitterness. Finishes much in the way it starts.

Mouthfeel - Light in body. Carbonation leads to a crisp, respectable bite. Goes down smooth and easy.

Overall - A fine drinking black lager. Nothing great, but it lives up to it's namesake; definitely a Session beer.

Photo of appenzeller
3.51/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thin light black with a chocolate colored two-fingered head. Smells lightly of dark bread, cinnamon, chocolate, maybe coffee. Taste reflects the same. Taste is refreshing and smooth; the beer is substantive but not thick or heavy at all, a true lager.

This one impressed me far more than the regular Session Lager, it's a nice standard dark lager that should be in the running for regular for anyone who likes the style.

Photo of Magpie14
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a light ruby and brown and settled in the glass it looks like burnt browns and with deep red hues. Hold it up to a light source and it is a transparent glowing red. Head is dirty white and nothing more than a few patches of fizz with countable blobs of lace

S: chocolate and crystal malt type of smells with a shot of toffee nut. This relies mostly on a cocoa and toasted malt in the nose

T: the maltiness pushes through and lends flavors much like in the nose. This beer drinks with a quick semi-sweet punch of cocoa and plenty of roasted malt. A nice addition of earthy hops flows on the palate, softly spicy at times. The sweetness is toffee nut sprinkled with some brown sugar, very balanced. The flavors are well placed and distinct

M: smooth and very easy to drink with a mild body. Carbonation is in good order and makes the feel nice, a zip or two on the tongue. Seems right for a session brew

D: this is a good beer. I find this to be a very good session beer and with its flavors makes for a nice treat. Anyway, this is a tasty little ringer

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber ruby color, bordering on brown ale territory. Small off white head forms and quickly reduces to a thin film over the top of the brew.

Nose is mostly lagery grain, but there is a noticeable roasted malt profile. Maybe black pat. It's there, but nowhere near like what it would be in schwarzbier territory. Sublte.

The roasted malt in the flavor is actually quite a bit more prominent than the nose indicated. Starts off easy with some lager like highlights, but quickly demonsrates the minor roasted malt profile of a scharzbier. Really very similar to a good schwarz, just a little lighter on the palate.

Mouthfeel is pretty much ideal for a beer like this. Minimal viscosity. A clear roasted flavor is present, but there is no solid bitterness or anything to detract from what this is...a session ale...*waits for pun to sink in*

Drinkability is quite solid here. Could easily put a sixer of these away on a hot day.

Overall, really i am quite suprised. This is a fine example of a dark lager and one i will probably revisit when craving a session ale with that little kiss of roasted malt. Really much more than i usually expect out of full sail. Not a bad price either. Overall a solid summer or fall BBQ choice.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11 ounce short bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Clear very dark brown with amber tint when held to light. Small tan foamy head that didn't retain long but left nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Scents of dark roasted malts, coffee and licorice and a bit bready.

Taste: Dark roasted malts are the star here, with hints of chocolate, coffee and black licorice. Slightly sweet with a little bitterness on the tongue on the finish. It lives up to the expectations of a Schwarzbier style.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not my favorite of the Schwarzbier style (that honor goes to Sprecher) but not bad either. A good fall/winter brew.

Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely little beer,lovely malting, easy drinking. A nice balance of chocolate and roast. Middling mouthfeel. Black colour with significant lace. Very good drinkability. Neutral at best aromas.Very fresh.I would love to have this regularly in the fridge.

Photo of augustgarage
4.21/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11oz (stubby) bottle into a pilsner glass.

Liquid is a gradient of burnt umber to auburn, topped by a finger of flax foam. Nice clarity. Head retention is remarkable for a lager, and lacing is elegant and substantial.

Delicate malt aromas with hints of piloncillo, candy cane, and burdock root. Just the slightest suggestion of DMS but it actually works in this beer.

Flavor is lightly toasted malt, minerals, nuts, with suggestions of coffee and perhaps a trace of brown butter (though not diacetyl). Very balanced finish with a suggestion of caramel, but not too sweet. Hops are almost undetectable. Rating for style, it doesn't get much better than this.

Crisp and refreshing, with a smooth mouthfeel. Decent carbonation, though it could stand a little more.

Living up to the name, this is a great session beer - light and refreshing, with just enough going on to hold your attention.

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.