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

Not Rated.
Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

804 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 804
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 20
Gots: 56 | 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:
ABV 5.4% IBU 18

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 06-27-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 804 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mike22
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer has a nice brown amber look. It smells inviting with notes of nut and caramel without being over powering. The taste is good with nut brown notes with hint of sweet caramel. Lacks any hops or bitterness which is nice for a change. Goes down smooth. This is a very drinkable beer. I enjoyed it overall and will plan on getting it again.

Mike22, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the disgusting Session lager so I might as well try the dark lager to see if it is any better...it was better but still not good.

Beer is brown and clear with no head, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly roasty, like nuts or really weak coffee.

Beer is thin with no carbonation in the mouth, an odd forward sweetness that is really mild that almost gives way to a sort of caramel-like nothingness with a finish like water. At least this one didn't tempt me to spit it out. I won't have it again.

drabmuh, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

dogfishandi, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$1.79 single from Oak Tree.

Medium brown, not black, body. Light ruby highlights. Three fingers of dense level mid-tan foam.

Nose is roasty, earthy, and with a touch of hay. Inviting and strong enough to sense without picking up the glass.

Very light on the tongue. Mild roastiness paves the way, giving way to earthy hops at the swallow. Finishes clean.

Smooth light/medium mouthfeel all the way through.

Drinks easily and another would be welcome.

A bit lighter than my fav schwartzbiers, but not bad at all. Worth a sample or two.

RonfromJersey, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed a single at the Village Pump the other day. 11oz bottle, best by 17th March 2011.

A clear, dark brown with a dense, light brown head that starts off as a disk, leaving a moderate lace. The nose is decent. Dark grains, mildly husky, a little caramel, chicory and instant coffee. Not particularly complex. A touch of fruity tartness is present as well. A little bit of earthy hop character is present.

The palate opens with flavors of coffee grounds, a mild tartness with some fruit (plums?). Mild sweetness is present in the mid-palate, with dark caramel, a little burnt sugar and some charred grains. The husky character of the nose isn't present on the palate. Drying on the finish with a mildly acidic character, a blend of carbonic acid and acidic burnt grains, this beer is medium-light in body with high carbonation. A touch too high in ABV for a session, but still, I could drink a few of these in a session. A good example of the style.

DefenCorps, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of albern
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As the beer settles, it gets more drinkable. You have to love the little bottle with the non descript labeling. The beer pours a ruby mahogany with a smallish creamy dark tan head. It doesn't lace much and the retention isn't great. The nose is modest, nothing bold. There are some herbal notes, some darkish malts, some slight caramel note or two. Nothing all that distinct.

The taste is a touch flat, there is a smooth caramel uncarbonated malt running right through this beer. The beer is a touch herbal, there is a bit of a metallic tinge before the beer settles. This beer isn't complex in the least and what you get on the first pour is what you get through to the last. There are some dark malts, some sweeter notes, a touch of hop in the finish, mostly a bit of caramel and light molasses. It's okay, easy to drink, nothing special, just wait a bit so the beer can settle in.

albern, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Sammy, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

pours a see through purple black with kahki head that fades quickly.
smells faintly of chocolate malts, not much else, but its pleasant.
tastes more of the same, fairly watery, small hop presence, not much to say. is it drinkable? definitely. is it noteworthy? meh... i cant find a whole lot of words for it, its pretty simple, but hey i still rather enjoyably killed off a 12pk.

Kkottonmouthkngz, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of puboflyons
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 11 fl. oz. old style stubby bottle no. 030311-12:49-FL. Sampled on January 6, 2011. It begins with a dark amber-brown pour with nice highlights glistening through but little head. The aroma is a combination of baked malts and nuts. Decent enough medium body. The taste also has a molasses-like maltiness that remind me of candied yams followed by a subtle dry ending.

puboflyons, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 12pack of these, lets hope they're good.

A-Pours a super dark amber color. Brownish but light pours through letting you see the highlights of the beer. Khaki head sits atop the beer and dissapates slowly leaving some decent lacing behind.

S-Darker maltiness comes through with a tingle of hop spice. It is combined with a macro-lager smell as well. Light chocolate notes are nice.

T-Definately not bad at all. Roasty to begin then goes into a light chocolate almost cocoa taste. A bit of caramel hits and a tiny hop bite. This beer does have flavor but it is still "sessionable" in my opinion. Better than I anticipated.

M-Light, a bit watery. Nice carbonation.

D-Very drinkable for a dark beer.

I am a fan, and I don't think I will have too much trouble putting back this twelve pack over a short period of time. I'd rather spend the extre dollar and get these than the Bud, Miller, Coors type.

VelvetExtract, Jan 06, 2011
Photo of Kanyon22
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured all of the 11oz. little beautiful I pleasing stubby bottle (wish it was 12oz.) into my tumbler pint glass.

A: This beer isn't so much black but a clear very dark red color with a large bubbled brownish head, with lots of carbonation bubbles on the side of my glass.

S: Fruity sweet malts with a touch of roastedness thrown into the mix as well. Not much going on here but nothing out of the ordinary.

T: Same as the nose I get a sweet fruity malts upfront with a slight and I mean slight bitterness in the middle and finishes with a mild roasted malts in the back in. Maybe a hint of chocolate but maybe that's in my head.

M: Thin but extremely pleasing, carbonation is extremely low but done right giving the mild flavors a chance to shine.

D: Super duper high here would give it a 6.0 but I can't. BMC take not this is a brew that has just enough flavor and still gives you the easy of slugging them down and not feeling bloated doing it.

Kanyon22, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

glid02, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of tugdriver7
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a Schwarzbier fan and I was excited to try this one. Something short of black in the glass... about like a good Coca-Cola with a tan head on top. Malty with a (fruity?) hops presence but very subtle. Taste was caramel and biscuity malt with the same hint of fruity/bitter hops for balance. A residual sweetness that hinted of alcohol, but everytime I thought the sweet would become cloying or the alcohol overpowering, it seemed to back off and the flavor remained fairly balanced. A bit on the thin side and lacking any real dramatic flavor, but I get the "Session" tag. Not bad. I'll stick to a more flavorful beer, but this one would be good on tap with food.

tugdriver7, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

oberon, Dec 28, 2010
Photo of CPeterson
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- An opaque black/garnet brew that produces a nice head and settles slowly into a light skim.

S -- Dark fruit, caramel, smoke, and earth.

T -- Nutty, a little sweet, smoky, a light drying and bitter finish. I almost get some woody aftertones.

M -- Velvety and soft, very easy on the palate.

D -- Buy it and drink it. Solid 'session' beer. Pun intended.

CPeterson, Dec 23, 2010
Photo of BieresDesMoines
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

These bottles were badass in my mind till Peace Tree hit the scene, word. Despite it, this beer pours a beautiful black color which is really more of a ruby red when held up to the light. The head is medium and fairly right. There is a moderate lace on the glass. The aroma is clean with a nice rye bread and grainy character. There is a distinct fruity and yeasty note as well, one thing is for sure that this does not smell like your typical lager. The first thing that strikes me about the flavor is the nice smokiness and the sharp bitterness. There is a lot of nice bits of fruitiness both in the hoppy and malty sense. Very straightforward and tasty.

BieresDesMoines, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of david18
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My review of the Session Lager is below, which I had tried a few days earlier than the black. The black is very similar to the non black except there is definitely a distinct roasty flavor and aroma. Very good and worth trying.


I was very excited to see this as the featured bottle beer at my local beer bar. I'd been hearing about it for years and really wanted to try it. Overall I thought it was great and suggested it to numerous people as a more interesting alternative to Stella, Heineken, etc.

The overall characteristics are similar to an American Adjunct but with a lot more interesting things going on. Aroma was not too present but the flavor was similar to a less hoppy german pils.

The best thing about it was I was able to enjoy it the way the name intends it to be enjoyed, drinking many of them and not getting too trashed. It's rare that I feel full from beer before I feel drunk but in this case it was a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 12-03-2010 19:46:25

david18, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of Gavage
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear dark bronze color with a thin 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly. Some spotty lacing develops.

Smell: light roasted malt tones with some hints of fruit sweetness.

Taste: mild roasted malt, apple sweetness, some grass, and a mild bitterness are the main flavors.

Mouthfeel: lighter side of a medium bodied beer. Crisp throughout with a short aftertaste.

Drinkability: very easy to drink this beer. It has a bit of a refreshing quality to it too.

Gavage, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.63/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

11oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.

L - dark brown with a beige head that left a few trails of lacing.

S - not too much of a Schwarzbier aroma it smells more like a lager.

T - some roasted malt upfront but it finishes like a lager.

F - light/medium body.

D - meh

Note: I would have upped some of the ratings if this were listed as a "American Lager".

JoeyBeerBelly, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Forgot that this was now distributed to SC. Had a bottle at some little bar in downtown Greenville this last weekend. Bartender poured it into a pint glass. Wouldn't have been my choice in glassware, but no matter. Poured a slightly transparent dark black. A thin tan head on top. No lace. The nose was full of roasted malts, some faint chocolate, and some grassy notes.

Moderate body, with ample carbonation. Light feel for this "heavy"-looking beer. Nice mild bittersweet chocolate, light toasted flavors, and a bit of a hop kick on the back end. Another good representation of this style. I wish more American brewers would attempt this one. Becoming one of my favorites. Recommend.

Onenote81, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of WesWes
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a black color with a thin tan head that quickly fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is average. It has a grainy roasted malt scent along with a tangy zing that I can't put my finger on. The taste is decent. It has a grainy, dry roasted flavor with a hint of caramel malts. It does down easy and finishes bone dry with some black malt bitterness. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is an easy drinking, "sessionable" beer, but not the greatest black lager.

WesWes, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of musicforairports
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, somewhat black. Practically no head, minimal lacing, decent carbonation visible--kind of looks like cola.

Smells like crystal and chocolate malt with a hint of coffee in there.

Taste is the same as the nose. Flavors are all decent, if a bit underplayed--kind of tastes like a (very successful) macro attempt at a dark beer. There's enough flavor going on here that you won't mistake this for BMC or anything, but I don't think this is designed to be too strong in flavor. As the game reads, it's supposed to be sessionable. Would probably be a good gateway beer for a macro drinker who like Amber Bock or something like that. All that said, I wish more breweries made this kind of style.

Mouthfeel is a little creamier than I expected and a tiny bit fizzy.

The name doesn't lie--this is pretty easy to drink. Tastes just as good out of the neat, stubby bottle; I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

musicforairports, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of tronester
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with red highlights. Not even close to black. Thin tan head. Very unusual sour smell. Taste is a hint of sulfur up front, along with a hint of wierd sourness. Middle is light coffee flavors. Juicy fruity finish with a hint of earthy hops. Mouthfeel is bland and watery. Low carbonation. Not all that drinkable, many real session beers (less than 4% abv) are richer and have more flavor. I guess compared to a dipa this is sessionable, but it really isn't that good of a beer. It's only a couple of months old too so it hasn't gone bad; I am pretty dissapointed with this one.

tronester, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of bagpiper2005
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour: Clear dark brown color with streaks of red. A small ring of head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Sweet with hints of chocolate and brown sugar. No hops to speak of, and pretty light.

Taste: Follows the nose almost exactly, but you also get a little bit of coffee in the finish. Not overbearing but pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with active carbonation. Typical of ligher American lagers, actually.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Great for a hot day.

Final Notes: About as light bodied as darker beers come, but for the price (just a bit over a buck a bottle), it's hard to beat this for decent beer on a shoestring budget. I'll be returning to it.

bagpiper2005, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Session Black pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. The tan head is a little over a finger high and leaves behind a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is really smoky, with a distinct peat character to it. Also dark, roasted malt.

The flavor is good, but a bit bland. It is made up of equal parts roasted malt and smoke, and once again has hints of peat. There is also a little bit of dark fruit in the middle. A little bit of chocolate is in the back end also.

Mouthfeel is good, almost creamy.

Session black is pretty drinkable and for the price I wouldn't be surprised if I picked up a 12 pack at some point to bring to a party or something along those lines. I could see either of full sail's session beers being good as an introduction to non-macro beer.

Hojaminbag, Nov 21, 2010
Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 804 ratings.