Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Not Rated.
Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

354 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 354
Hads: 877
Avg: 3.67
pDev: 19.89%
Wants: 25
Gots: 100 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 354 | Hads: 877
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark chestnut color. The head billows with a creamy, two-finger pale yellow shade. Some lacing is left behind when the head recedes.

S: I notice a decent amount of dry chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, hazelnut, and lager yeast. Pretty damn solid for a basic dark lager.

T: I like the initial chocolate flavors here. Everything after that (the transition to more caramel and lager yeast flavors on the back end) isn't as interesting, unfortunately.

M: It finishes a bit too sweetly for me. However, it does feature good crispness and carbonation (i.e. not too overdone or limp). Decent drinkability.

O: A simple dark lager that gets the job done, but not in an interesting or flashy manner. Not bad, just simplistic to a fault.

 779 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11oz stubby bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Cola-color brown with red highlights. Has 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with low carbonation.

Cocoa, caramel, brown sugar and sweet bready malts.

Sweet bready malts and caramel candies. Touches of cocoa and brown sugar. Has a subtle chocolate presence with hints of roasted bitterness in the finish.

Medium bodied, creamy and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

A nice Schwarzbier worth checking out if you're a fan of the style.

 576 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another easy drinking beer from Full Sail's session line but this particular one I find to be one
dementional. There is nothing wrong with this brew mind you just lacks depth.
Color is deep copper to brown with barely any head.
Aroma is reminiscent of a porter because the nose is mostly of roasted malts and barley.
Taste is desent but is mostly of roasted malts. Not picking up much else. It drinks smooth and soft and quite refreshing.
Though it might lack in flavor and depth it is a good beer and I could drink it all day.

 529 characters

Photo of tone77
3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 11 oz. bottle.Yes, 11 oz. Has a cola color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, some smokiness. Taste is roasted malts, smoke, a bit of hops, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall this is a pretty good beer.

 254 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The latest find at my local six pack shop in the mix and match for 11 dollar section. Pretty cool looking stubby bottle too.

A - Well after pouring I get the lightest colored Schwarzbier I ever seen. Don't get me wrong it's still a very dark clear brown but I guess since its a session ale its forgivable. Head is minimal with just a 1/4 inch that fizzes out rather quickly. Sticky lacing saves the day.
S + T - I grouped them together because literally the beer had no smell. If I were to reach maybe some cocoa and a touch of roast but mostly just a mild fruity yeast. The taste is much better as I get smooth roasted malts, a touch of chocolate like malt, and a bit of hops in the finish.
M - This is all done very light. I find it though pretty adequate even though I not often reach for a session ale.

Overall a fairly well done Schwarzbier "light" worth a single purchase but I would still reach for better crafted takes on the style with the same ABV and more flavor. German made ones to be more specific.

 1,016 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Woody welcomes Hood River, OR to PA with open arms! I am so excited that not only has Full Sail expanded to us, but they did not restrict themselves to Philly, as so many are wont to do.

My aggro pour created a cascading action that eventually settled into nearly three fingers of dense, deep-tan head that looked like the top of a root beer float. Its retention was such that I held it up to the light to check for color and clarity only to be flabbergasted by its ruby color and stunning clarity. Nose smelled of dark chocolate and freshly dug soil. Earthy as all get-out! That they could accomplish this in a lager is amazing. We make some great lagers here in PA, thanks to our German heritage, but this is great for a west coast concern. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full and I was getting flavors of dark chocolate, smoke, tobacco and earth in the mouth. Finish was semi-dry and very tasty with the smoky chocolaty flavor really lingering. I might try this out on my work colleague, Spike, who is not generally a fan of beer. I almost forgot to mention the lovely sticky lacing that remained in my glass. It may require a jackhammer to remove.

 1,145 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - deep dark but clear brown, head was only a thin cover that dissipated to some random islands
S - prominent grainy with just a hint of molasses, full earthiness
T - leafy and earthy hops are balanced with roasty and light toffee and cola malts, somewhat spicy and grainy through the finish
M - light and well carbonated, generally refreshing with mild hop bitter finish
O - the look and aroma were marginal but the flavour and drinkability tke this brew home, a nice example of a style that I don't see very often, alway nice to find a dark flavourful brew that is light in body

 581 characters

Photo of spoony
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From an 11 oz grenade (best by February 8, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-The brew is very dark brown and nearly opaque. A thin, grayish-brown head drops quickly to a patchy ring.

S-The smell is heavy on the malts with lots of cocoa/milky chocolate flavors and roasty sweetness. There is just a touch of hop twang. The smell tends towards sweetness.

T-The taste follows the smell closely. There is a little bit of toffee caramel as the brew warms, but the dominant flavor is sweet, milky cocoa. A touch of bitterness might be welcome here.

M-The feel is mild, smooth, and medium-bodied. Carbonation is low.

O-This beer is a pleasant surprise for me. In particular, the mouthfeel is a nice match for the flavors. It is a touch sweet and not terribly complex, and if I were really a stickler for judging on style, my rating would drop a bit, but for being a month past due, I find it reasonably tasty and drinkable.

 916 characters

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost like cola - Dark brown/black with a quickly dissipating head

S: Malt, hint of smoke, detectable chocolate and coffee

T: Smokey malt, molasses kind of taste

M: Goes down very easily, as it's not sweet and not bitter, but chooses to kind of ride the line.

Can only be consumed in pairs, as the cap has Rock, Paper, or Scissors printed underneath ;)

 366 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate cherry with off-white film.
Roasty chocolate and dried cran nose with a touch of rye.
Burnt bread crust and roasty sweetness over a biscuity base, then spicy noble hops.
Fudge comeback and a bit of tingle on the linger.
Light, crisp, fizzy.

Knowing Full Sail, this does what they meant it to do. Not approaching a German Schwarz for depth or roastiness, but so drinkable. "Session", indeed.

 403 characters

Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 11 oz stubby into a pint glass, poured a deep brown almost black with a short tan head that dissipates quickly leaving little lacing, clear

S: sweet malt, caramel, chocolate, smoke, coffee

T: sweet and smoky flavored, heavy dark malt flavor, lacks depth

M: light to medium bodied with a sweeter aftertaste, light carbonation

O: lightly flavored and smooth for the style, clean finish

 404 characters

Photo of Infamous7100
3.49/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours deep brown to black as expected. Very thin head with little to no lacing.
S: all kinds of malt, roasted barley, smoke and hints of coffee and chocolate.
T:follows the nose pretty well. Though the maltiness wins out. Burnt notes and a tad bitter at the end.
M: odd. Started out with a nice creamy body. Ended a tad watery. Coats the tongue nicely and finishes with a roasty and long hang.
O: a decent Schwatzbier. Would have liked a tad more earthy flavors and char. Seems just a tad sweet.

 499 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.11/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from an 11 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a black color (no shock) but with very little head, leaves a tiny bit of lacing. Smells of dark roasted malt, a little chocolate, not much else. Tastes of dark malt, not much else, but quite watery. Beer is slightly overcarbonated, but its light body makes it quite sessionable. Overall, a very slightly above average beer.

 384 characters

Photo of bigdaddyd069
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from an 11oz chubby bottle into a snifter. Pours nice with a dirty white head that lasts about 2 minutes.

S - Smokey, roasted malt, toasty coffee.

T - Smoked roasted malt with toasted coffee and hint of coca

M - Feels very crisp, clean, and smooth. Not heavy but very well balanced.

O - Very drinkable. Could drink them all night long. Not sweet and not bitter

Food pairing - I try the beer with Spanish Olives, sharp cheddar, white Colby cheese, sweet chicken, teryiaki pork. All foods did not pair as well as I had expected.

 544 characters

Photo of Seven
4.89/5  rDev +33.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brown Black.
Roasted Nuts, Chocolate, slight Hop smell.
Molasses, Chocolate, dark fruit.
Full bodied carbonation.
This is a premium dark Lager. Very simular to Black Butte Porter. My all time favorite in the dark variety is, the Abyss and the Dogfish, Paulo Santo Marron.I would consider this in a very simular field. If you are looking for a high quality Dark Lager this is a fantastic choice.

 394 characters

Photo of rogerboy
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in an 11oz stubby bottle similar to red stripe Jamaican lager ,just the bottle .it is a dark cola color lager ,the aroma is slightly sweet but not to much just right for my likeing ,chocolate nicely carbonated just makes it a very drinkable beautiful bodies beer ,my brother introduced the red session n i desided to try the session black ....now easily one of my favorite beers gotta have a pack in my fridge typa beer I love it ! Thank you full sail brewing company :)

 486 characters

Photo of stakem
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grenade style stubby brown bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks go to pmsawyer for hooking me up with a couple of these. The brew appears a dark brown with a finger of lightly tanned froth composed of rather large bubbles. It doesn't take long for the cap to collapse to a thin film atop with a few bubbles rising to the surface and collecting around the rim of the glass. You can see some ruby clarity around the edges of this and when held to the light, it really displays more of a mahogany clarity that is polished.

The aroma is mildly roasty with a scent almost like molasses. A bit of citrus and mild fruity hops are present with the most faint hint of alcohol ester. Very mild roasted elements come across like chocolate and vaguely like coffee. The nose here is quite mild but balanced and enjoyable without flaw.

The flavor has a hint of the expected dark grain inclusion. Instead of being dark and roasty, it has a bit of prune, plum or raisin-like fruity dark sugary quality. Faintly reminiscent of dates and molasses but with a mild alcohol ester and some hints of citrus to floral hops. At times, it seems like a very mild chocolate to roasted grain flavor wants to emerge but it never quite gets there. Once the brew warms up, it displays almost a cola-like quality about it with more residual sweetness than I originally picked up on.

This is a light bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is light, refreshing and easy drinking. The name session is fitting here to the fullest extent. You could effortlessly crush several of these in a sitting. This would be an interesting introductory brew for people who are scared of flavor or dark beers. Think premium lager but with a visual identity crisis and the faintest amount of dark grain flavor that is quite soft and squishy.

 1,807 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Session Black pours from the 11 ounce stubby bottle a deep, deep ruby red with a decent cap of foam above. The aroma is flush with dark bready malt and a very subtle underpinning of chocolate. The beer is carbonated on the palate and smooth as it rolls back. Cocoa flavors mix into a pleasant malt profile of dark bread, becoming slightly bitter at the end. The hops add additional earthy bitterness and leave the palate dry. This is an easy drinking brew, and tasty to boot.

 475 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an A-B flute on 11/12/12

Enjoy by 11/23/12

Medium shade of brown; though it is darker in the glass (dark brown, though lighter at the stem and top of the top of the beer). Half an inch head thins in short order. Some droopy lace.

The aroma is mostly tangy, dark roast and cereal grains. Flash paper thin dusting of cocoa and coffee beans. Shifts more toward chocolate with a touch of sweetness as it opens up. Chocolate greets the palate, followed by a plump roasted grain middle. The finish is very dry with a mild coffee bitterness. Earthy hops build on the finish. I'm surprised the body is as well rounded as it is; I figured it would have been much thinner. Comfortable amount of active carbonation. Slightly coating on the finish.

There is plenty to enjoy with Session Black Lager. It's very well constructed across the board.

 848 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the hand-grenade bottle into a pint glass. Body is black with a small off-white head that's gone quickly.

S: A little odd - I'm getting molasses and grape juice.

T: Also fruity - plums over modestly roasted barlet malt and caramel malt. Finishes very clean.

M: Light in heft with an interesting carbonation that arrives at the back end of the sip as active but fine fizziness.

O: Not much going on here. At least it goes down easy.

 451 characters

Photo of smokinyodas
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I received my first sample of Session Black Premium Dark Lager free from a good friend. Was not sure what to make of this beer from the looks, I was expecting a normal stout. Pulled from the cold fridge and poured into a glass, out flowed the deepest mahogany color with an off-white head. I wanted to allow time for this beer to breathe, nonetheless for unknown reasons I was compelled to quaff it down and was hit with pallet punch of flavors. The aromas of coffee, black cherry and licorice are mixed in with lightly roasted malts and a bit of dark chocolate. I enjoyed every minute of this beer immensely, regrettably some people might find this similar to Guinness.

 670 characters

Photo of fezmeister
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nose is malts, a little citrus fruit, and maybe a touch of coffee. Tastes more strongly of coffee than in aroma, with same citrus tang which seems to provide the flavor balance rather than a pronounced hop flavor. Dry, brittle molasses and malt provide the majority of the body. Plenty of carbonation and lack of stickiness or heaviness do make it quite sessionable, along with low gravity.

 390 characters

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice burnt amber hue with good clarity, deep auburn highlights, thin lace of off white head. Nose of mostly charcoal and faint roasted malts with a touch of chocolate.

Smooth medium sized body with brisk carbonation. Roasted malt with a touch of caramel flows in pungent chocolate which is washed away into an amazing balancing act thanks to the hops. While the flavors are mostly subtle except for the pungent flavor bomb on the mid-palate, theres lots of subtle complexities of charcoal and dark fruit, plums, black berries, cherries and raspberries. Extremely sessionable with bold flavors, and subtle ones if you want look for them. This beer is meant to be drank cold though! and actually, i think it tastes better straight from the bottle rather than a glass. Once this beer warms, those nice roasted chocolate notes become harsh and medicinal. Just keep it cold and you have one of the most flavorful session beers around.

 931 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 376 characters

Photo of tobelerone
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A passable domestic Schwarz. Pours cola black, with a small fizzy head that settles rather quickly, decent lacing. Aroma is quite mild; slightly roasted malt character; some faint bittersweet chocolate, trace of earthy, floral hops perhaps. Gotta really shove your nose in the glass to pick up much of anything.

The flavor is also fairly bland; again there is a mildy roasted maltiness; a touch of bittersweet chocolate and faint sweetness that dries up completely in the finish; low bitterness from subtly grassy, floral hopping. Not much of an aftertaste either.

Medium-light body, crisp but smooth carbonation, drinks clean and goes down pretty easily. Refreshing and certainly sessionable but bland and ultimately forgettable.

 732 characters

Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.