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

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Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

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812 Ratings
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Ratings: 812
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 21
Gots: 58 | 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: 812 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of argock
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11oz stubby brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Best by 022011 on bottle neck. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.40.

A: Nearly black with soft 1-finger of off-white wispy head that falls away quickly but leaves a few crusts of lace.

S: Roasted and cereal grain with some herbal, earthy hops

T: Good roasted malt flavor but it is short-lived and leaves a slightly grainy papery taste that is a little bit dry. Hoppiness is mild but does lend some crispness on the back end.

M: Nice creamy feel from the even carbonation and light-to-medium body.

D: A pretty nice beer but what's with 11oz bottles -- that's a European trick!

Photo of Jimmys
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: brown/reddish. not really dark or light, just brown. cookies and cream fluffy head. cant really see any carbonation in here.

S: roasted malt. a little brown sugar. butter. not an off-flavor, but more of melted movie butter.

T: sweet roast, bits of coffee. some of that same butter that was in the nose, but just a touch. the roast is sort of cloying to the sides of the mouth, but not in an obnoxious way. just a reminder that it's a dark lager.

M: really gentle carbonation. medium body. super sessionable. cant decide if it's too light or just perfect. so im going middle of the road.

D: just a really easy drinking schwarz. i know this is unrelated to the beer review, but i dig the short stubby bottles. they are pretty fun to drink out of if im not in the mood for glassware.

Photo of negroobserver
2.63/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Stubby 11oz twist-off bottle

COLOR: Dark brown color remeniscent of coffee. Pours with a nice 1/2 inch cream color head, which leaves behind light lacing.

SMELL: Malts. No presence of hops or any other spices or flavors. Light scent of coffee/cocoa.

TASTE: No taste of hops. Notes of roasted coffee/chocolate. Mostly, it tastes like watered down malts. Not very impressed with this beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Light carbonation. Smooth texture. The beer has a well balanced medium body.

DRINKABILITY: I don't like malty beers, so this is not very drinkable for me. For those who like malty beers, they will find that it's very enjoyable. It's not for me.


Photo of scootny
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice cola brown with a large creme' & cocoa head. Head is big, retention good and lace is nice. Smell is roasted malts and yeasty bakery breads. Some fruitiness that is more english ale than german lager but still appealing. Taste is light roast and some malt body but I want more presence from a schwarzbier. A touch of tannic sourness and sweet light coffee verging on mocha. Feel is quite good, light with a touch more carbonation than the Session Lager that moves me. A refreshing and drinkable beer.

Photo of Redrover
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a new option at Molly Macpherson's Scottish Pub in Savannah, GA.

The beer comes in a brown stubby 11 oz bottle.

Poured into a glass, the beer is dark brown with garnet highlights. Thin but sticky tan head.

It has an aroma of sweet slightly charred malts and dark fruit.

The taste is sweet with some roasted qualities. Raisins a hint of molasses and coffee fill in the roster.

The mouth is pitch perfect. It has low carbonation with some oily smoothness.

It is an easy drinker that is a true session beer.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsener glass.

Look - black color with less them half a finger's worth of khaki-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - basically smells like a very light stout. Maybe just a little tinge of caramel and maltiness.

Taste and Mouthfeel - good balance of malts and hops in general, but with a sweeter taste from the malts. Caramel tinge is also in the taste. Texture is fairly well balanced but leans a little more toward the watery side.

Drinkability - not a bad tasting brew, but not complex in character. Interesting to taste a schwarzbier.

Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy mahogany with a one finger head that leaves a strand or two of lace as it fades

Smell: Roasty, with a bitter nut-skin aspect

Taste: Toasty, and verging on roasty, with a caramel and bitter nut-skin character that develops, mid-palate, and lingers after the swallow

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent enough Schwarz but nowhere near the top of the heap

Photo of riversider76
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown with amber hues and a thin tan head. Not much retention and no laceing. Aroma is of grainy caramel malts,dark fruit,and brown sugar. Nice but a bit weak. Body is thin and carbonated.Taste is of fruity malts,and maybe a bit of coffee. Refreshing, but a bit on the weak side. Still worth a try.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 812 ratings.