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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.

733 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 733
Reviews: 334
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 15
Gots: 36 | 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: 733 | Reviews: 334 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Nose is softly malt, dark with roast, hints of nut. Smells okay.

Pours a clear deep nut brown with yellow highlights and mild head. Looks good.

Rich malt - fairly complex with nice biscuit/bread body, nutty tones, and soft chocolaty roast. Mild sweetness - roasted sugar and caramel. Mild to moderate tartness. Soft carbonation and smooth body. Finishes with kiss of malt. Tastes good. Feels good. Very good drinkability.

A welcomed addition to the Full Sail linecard.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 03:10:12 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of alexgash


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11 oz. stubbie bottle.

Dark amber to cola brown body. Thick finger of dense, dirty khaki head. Good lacing. Traces of roasted malts on the nose mix with licorice, tobacco, and scorched caramel. Some good smells, but a little subdued overall. Lightly roasted malts and mineral-y bitterness up front. Earthy, tobacco-y malt flavors come in. Mineral-y bitterness and a little cardboard around the edges. A little licorice and fruit in the finish, but mostly tinny roasted bitterness. Watery body with gentle carbonation. Goes down easy enough and tasty enough to session.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 01:58:18 | More by alexgash
Photo of morimech


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with two inches of off-white head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass surface. Has a sweet malty aroma with just a hint of floral hops. I would of like to have more of a hop presence. The flavor consists of a slightly sweet malt with a hint of floral and herbal hop flavor. Bitterness is low. Light body with nice carbonation for a session beer. Very easy to drink with decent flavor. Just needs a little more hops and bitterness in the finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 18:25:18 | More by morimech
Photo of DeathbySexyBT


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Not black, but extremely dark brown with that ruby halo effect when placed in front of a light source. Minimal head that dissolves into a tan disc and leaves tiny patches of lace.

S: Big sweet malts present immediately. Cocoa, caramel, and some burnt sugars. The sweetness is cut, though I would prefer more cutting, by the hops spice and a charcoal hint.

T: Dry and roasty malts are the name of the game. The sweetness is not overpowering as the nose might suggest. The caramel is there, but that cutting effect is well-placed. The fruity oils and hop spice come in on the back of the palate which is great. This beer is dangerously close to the sweet line, but the term I would use in this case is 'rich.'

M: Light and crisp. Some bitter notes on the aftertaste and a slight mucousal effect.

D: As the name suggests, this is a sessionable beer. Not quite as sessionable as its fairer brother, but still very nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 13:23:40 | More by DeathbySexyBT
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz stubby, picked up at Biercafe in Portland.

Pours a clear dark orange/light brown, pretty thick off white head forms, drops to a thin ring and leaves some sporadic spots on the glass. Smell is nice, very malty, a touch of chocolate and roast, slightly vegetal, caramel middle, biscuit, a bit sugary, pretty neat but I could use a little more roast character. Taste is solid, toasty and biscuity, caramel, quite malty, lightly sugary, some bready malt, light chocolate, clean finish, again needs a bit more roast. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, goes down smooth. Lives up to its name, great session lager.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2009 17:35:20 | More by Viggo
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm going to make this review a little shorter because I'm exhausted from brewing all day.

Color is a brown/amber mix with great head and retention.

Smell is somewhat chocolatey with caramel malts and a slight bit of roast.

Caramel malt flavors come through well with a bit of a chocolate overtone. There is a bit too much roastiness for the style.

Mouthfeel is a little bit too carbonated, but the residual sugars and lingering sweetness lend themselves well.

This is a decent sessionable schwarzbiers, but in judginf to the style, there are some technical flaws.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2009 06:47:10 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of allengarvin


3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another beer in the darling little old-fashioned bottle! This one pours out a dark red color with a small head on top. The aroma is light but pleasantly malty, with a lot of caramel. The flavor doesn't offer much more than a moderately malty caramel with a very light roast. The body is downright watery.

Like the ordinary session beer, I don't find anything appealing here apart from the cute old-fashioned look of the packaging.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 13:27:31 | More by allengarvin
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brenda, Sam, and I drank a bunch of these last night (out of the bottle.... yeah I said it.... you wanna make something of it? :-) ... I was careful to put one in the back of the fridge because I wanted to give it a proper review....

Poured into my Delirium snifter.... short lasting 1/2" lite tan head... the brew is dark brown.. not quite black.. beautiful red highlites when held to a light....

The nose is every bit a good dark lager.. Schwarzbier... I think so too... all the expected dark malts and very clean throughout.

Flavor is really pretty good too... maybe not as "dark" tasting as a bunch of American interpretations on the style.. but this is a damn fine brew... roasty malts are a bit lite... but some serious toasted malts come in and help carry the palate for longer than I was expecting... no real hop flavors that I can pick out.

The body is light.. and looking at the label... I'm honestly surprised this is a 5.6% brew... NEVER would have guessed it... Drinkability is amazing... I am seriously digging this one and hope that Full Sail makes this a year round offering.... I buy the regular Session quite a bit just to have in the fridge... but this adds a nice dimension and I will certainly buy again... probably often.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 08:20:53 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Sweasty


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Session black...well its not that black. This beer pours a nice deep mahogany brown color. Its topped off by a light khaki colored head. The head settles to a ring and leaves adequate lacing down the glass.

The aroma is a bit light. Some light roast coffee shows up. A fair amount of grassy/herbal notes are present as well. A light bit of caramel rounds things out.

The flavor follows the nose. The caramel is much more prominent. Light roast and grassy/herbal hops come into play. The finish is bitter with a lingering toasted graininess. The mouthfeel is on the light end of medium. The carbonation is more than adequate.

As far as Schwarzbiers go this one is fairly light all around. This is a nice easy drinking session brew. When I need a dark beer fix this will gladly do the trick. It may not be on par with the style, but that is not a bad thing.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 01:14:16 | More by Sweasty
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber color with a nice cap of light tan foam that displays nice retention and very little lacing.

Nose is a bit of roasty malts with a few hints of chocolate, rye bread and a sunflower seed nuttiness. It's ok, not a great smelling beer....somewhere between a dunkel and a schwarzbier.

Roasty malts are prominent and there is a bit of a black licorice flavor in there. Fairly thin bodied and a fair amount of carbonation. A bit too much roast for me to want to 'session' more than a couple of these. I like the red label better for what I am buying it for. Gimmie a German dunkel before this anyday.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 01:58:12 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Dotcubed


3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An impulse buy at the Four Firkins.
My wife almost opened it thinking it was a root beer. A little annoyed that it was a twist off, wasn't cheap beer. Has a stamp on the glass of 110709 on it which I guess is a consume by date.

Looks like one in my glass, very dark brown. Reminds me of coke, but with a creamy foam.

Smells earthy.
Tastes carbon, well roasted smokey. I think it's a nicely well muted rauch beer. Crispy, mouth watering. More palatable than the few rauch beers I've had. A little sweet.

Tastes good & isn't watery or light. Medium to heavy body. This is a great food beer. I could enjoy a few of these but I'd need something salty with it to fully enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 03:37:14 | More by Dotcubed
Photo of Docer


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Snagged up a 12'er of this at Whole Foods... recently just tried the regular session....

- Kind of a cola colored dark and brown.. bubbly head, mocha colored... like an A & W in a way....

- Smells like a bitter light porter... roasted malt, small bit of coffee bean, bitter chocolate... some bitter spicy hop...

- Flavorful lager with bitter chocolate and hop flare as well and a roasty porter-like quality.... very tasty.

- Somewhat parched aftertaste due to its bitterness.. but overall..

- Sessionable as the name states, and a nice difference in comparison to the standard Session.. quite drinkable and unique!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 16:22:46 | More by Docer
Photo of Rayek


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pilsner glass.

A: Deep chestnut brown, with garnet highlights and nice clarity. A fizzy tan head struggles to form and has only middling retention. Leaves no lace. Easily the beer's weakest aspect.

S: Very chocolaty, with a heavy dose of baking chocolate and even a bit of espresso. There's a hint of lemon in the background.

T: The chocolate parade continues. The bittersweet chocolate is joined by a slight, almost stout like, burnt bitterness. Some lemony bitterness brings up the rear. Finishes with a mild lingering bitter-sweetness.

M: The light body is slightly oily. The carbonation level feels about right.

D: Like Session Lager, Black is eminently drinkable. It has just enough complexity to keep me interested, and a low enough ABV to feel, well, sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2009 01:32:47 | More by Rayek
Photo of FMetzger


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 00:20:38 | More by FMetzger
Photo of Beernoisseur


3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Session lager is one of my favorite beers simply for what it is. I've never had the chance to try session black....until today.

A - dark burnt orange amber. little head, not much retention or lacing.

S - almost none. Light toastiness, little more.

T - It tastes like a session, with about 4 ounces of Guinness poured in. Ok seriously, it's pretty good, for a dollar beer. The malt is toastier, obviously, but it retains a lot of similarities to it's lighter brother. Only very small hop presence, tart finish. Good, but not great.

M - Light bodied, but feels nice going down.

D - This is a very drinkable beer. Refreshing for a darker beer, and not too complicated. That's probably what they were going for.

** I find it odd that they decided to call this beer "session black." I guess they decided that "session medium brown" probably didn't have the marketing power that they were looking for.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 22:04:06 | More by Beernoisseur
Photo of Haybeerman


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color; red around the edges. Poured a thin dark tan head with poor retention. Light, inconsistent lacing.

S: Toasted malts; nuts, bitter chocolate and caramel.

T: Very consistent with aroma, but overall, pretty muted. Sharply bitter finish cleaned-up a lingering sweetness

M: Light-to-medium body. Medium carbonation.
Bitter finish was pretty cleansing.

D: Fairly drinkable and pretty reasonably priced. Pretty average for a dark lager.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2009 01:27:02 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of sevopie


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a Medium-dark brown, almost cola-like. Off-white/tan head that disappears relatively quickly.

Very, very light on the nose, a bit of roasty malt and a bit of grain with a slight medicinal smell that almost has a hint of hop.

Clean but light coffee and chocolate flavors, a bit of nut flavor, and some generic grain. There's also a touch of medicinal flavor as it warms, but nothing bad at all.

Light and slightly creamy with a good carbonation.

I almost wish this was a heavier beer to slow me down, because it truly is a fantastic session lager. It disappears quickly, and tastily.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 09:42:32 | More by sevopie
Photo of Wasatch


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some slight hop notes, and caramel and slight toffee. The taste is sweet, malty, slight hoppyness, lots of caramel, and some toffee. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew for a $1.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2009 02:10:55 | More by Wasatch
Photo of augustgarage


4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2009 01:49:11 | More by augustgarage
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

bottle received as an extra in a trade with inflatablechair who is an awesome trader!

Appearance: not quite black but a cola brown with red folds when held up to the light.

Smell: One dimensional roast malt smell

Taste: One dimensional roast malt flavor on a lager base.

Mouthfeel: Thin and leaving lots to be desired.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable. Would have got a 5.0 if the flavor was better.

Lackluster at best. Comes off as a watered down porter to me.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2009 22:10:23 | More by koopa
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 23:31:28 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of a061183


4.9/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Dark, but not too dark and not too caramely (if thats a word). So really it is dark, but not too light for the style. It is perfect for the style, being a Schwarzbier. If you hold it up to light in a glass it is not see through by any means. Color of it held into the light is caramel and milk chocolate. It is dark period. 1 Finger mocha head.

S: the smell is mostly of coffee notes and a lil bit of bitter sweet chocolate. Gosh a lot of coffee comes from this lager and is quite unexpected, but it is not too heavy at all.

T: Pretty much like a "lite" porter/stout. It has a great coffee/milk chocolate taste but not too strong and has a nice mellow feeling when drinking, so it is easy to drink more than a couple. Which I feel a Schwarzbier/Black Lager should be. It still has hops, but still has complex flavor.

M: Mouthfeel is not lite, but not like a stout/porter. And that is what a Schwarzbier/Black Lager should feel like.

D: Drinkability is amazing very sessionable. It is a great nitecap where you can have a few.

Remember this is a review for the style a Schwarzbier/Black Lager.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2009 08:05:31 | More by a061183
Photo of RedDiamond


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Once again Full Sail served me their Session lager straight from the bottle. Not even a glass to pour it in. Just straight from the bottle. This time the beer is Black - a schwarzbier and an odd choice from Full Sail. You can't argue with the fact that their regular Session has become one of, if not the best selling FS beer. But schwarzbiers are still relatively uncommon and it's hard to imagine the general public rushing out to devour them, even if the quaint stubby bottle inspires some nostalgic familiarity.

I can't comment much on the color or smell of this black lager. Neither quality extends beyond the brown glass of the stubby and this of course limits the beer's appeal. But unlike the pale Session lager, the Black has a discernable flavor along the lines of black-and-sweet coffee with an agreeable finish that scoffs at the hops gods. Enjoyable. Remind me to try this one from an actual drinking glass next time.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 21:45:11 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of rowew


3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11 oz stubbie, grey label that matches the style of the original Session. ABV is marked, date inkjetted on the neck (err, shoulder?).

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, average head that fades relatively quick but leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell: A bit of roast, with some nice caramel in there too. Just a bit of dark chocolate.

Taste: Body is just to the light side of medium, average carbonation level. Flavors are not overwhelming, but there is that same light roast flavor combined with just enough hop flavor to keep it from being overly sweet. Kind of a lighter schwarzbier, very drinkable.

Overall impression: Another nice offering from Full Sail .. I imagine I'll be consuming quite a few of these in the future.. Session is always a favorite at parties and this looks to fit the bill just as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2009 01:12:32 | More by rowew
Photo of waltonc


3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle today at Colorado Liquor Mart. Dark amber/copper color, little to no haze, and a white head. Smells of malty goodness, a tad of caramel, and chocolate. Taste too. Somewhat sweet. Mouthfeel on the lighter side. Very nice drinkable session brew. I appreciate Full Sail's effort to provide a sessionable option in a smaller bottle A refreshing break from all of the beers unnecessarily bottled in 750 ml and 22 oz format.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 04:50:43 | More by waltonc
Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
84 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.