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

Not Rated.
Session Black LagerSession Black Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

830 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 830
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 22
Gots: 65 | 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: 830 | Reviews: 349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kaiser81
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AAvgerinos for this beer. I'm currently dog/house sitting for him, and it was in the "too be drunk" fridge, so I'm drinking it.

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Minimal head from the pour. Nice lacing on the glass, with the darkest color brown when held up to the light.

B - Smells of coffee, and roast, and a touch of ash. There's a bit of smoke in there too.

T - Roast is the dominant flavor. It's much lighter than the tastes you get from stouts or porters. There's a hint of dark fruit, and just a touch of molasses. Bitterness, maybe from the coffee, finishes this off.

M - Light body with high carbonation...maybe a bit too high. There's a dry finish to it.

D - It's not bad. I think it needs some vanilla ice cream though! Beer float time!

Photo of PDXHops
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stubby 11 oz bottle, poured into a pilsner glass. Not so much black as deep molasses brown, with a dense cap of tan foam. Some drippy lacing here and there.

Very light nose, crisp toasted malt, a faint whiff of chocolate cake. The flavor is much more robust, with a surprising fruity bitterness and a some tangy molasses (almost enough of the latter to limit sessionability a bit). Plenty of nutty and roasted malt- it's rather like a good, but tame, porter, actually.. The finish is somewhat dry and oily simultaneously. Hints of coffee and toasted malt linger.

Overall impression: I'm more of a fan of the regular Session, but this one's not bad at all. Recommended.

Photo of flagmantho
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 11oz stubby into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich, dark brown with a finger of frothy tan head. Not too bad looking, but I would like it a little bit darker and would like a bit more head retention.

Smell: light roasted malt aroma with a little bit of grain. It reminds me a bit of a dark mild ale, in fact. I rather like it.

Taste: sweet roasted malt; a good flavor though not a dense one. There's a little bit of tart astringency paired with graininess that fades into the sweeter malt toward the end. It's not too bad, but it's not my favorite schwarzbier.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a pretty good level of carbonation. The overall feel isn't too bad.

Drinkability: I find this to be a nicely refreshing and flavorful beer. It proved at hit at my band practice last week, so what else can a guy ask?

Photo of scottyshades
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque black/deep garnet color with a small bone white head. Retention is decent.

S: Lots and lots of toasty aromas, slight coffee, toffee, caramel, wheat, and light hops. Lots of nuts

T: Wheaty, bready, very flavorful. Hops are light, but present. Slight dark fruit as well. Coffee, toffee, caramel, and very very nutty. Awesome.

MF/D: Light/medium in body, smooth and mellow going down. Alcohol is virtually not a factor at all.

Photo of jadpsu
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour is not black but ruby red with a moderate head that provides decent side lace but, at best, only average retention.

Smell is bready, earthy, malty with definite coffee/toffee notes. Burnt toasty malts are there too.

Taste is toasty malts with some coffee bean flavor. Not getting much in the hop areana.

Mouthfeel is low in carbination, on the thin side, smooth, sweet but on the dry side at the finish.
All in all pretty good beer.

Photo of SamN
2.19/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Stubby bottle into a dimpled stein.

A- Ahhhh, schwarzbier! Black from far away, a dead-leaf colored brown up close or to light. Not much of a head, some gritty desert tan billows that fade to spotted wisping. Looks nice in the glass, could use better color.

S- Decent metallic coffee notes. Lite porter aromas, earthiness. Flat, far away and somewhat tinny odors.

T-Ergh, not what I expected. Hollow tastes, no depth whatsoever. Starts watery, moves to faint watered-down gas station coffee tastes, ends on a dead stop of sour bitterness. Damn, I am seriously underwhelmed with this beer. This tastes pretty bad.

M- Super thin and watery, a few notches above Miller in mouthfeel. Needs more carbonation, for sure.

Mostly, this is a boring beer. And when it's not boring you with it's looks or smells, it's actively grossing your out with it's poor tastes. A bad example of a great style.

What a disappointment. I bought a twelve pack of this stuff, too.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A light black pour..meaning that it looks a bit thin. Brown highlights dance in and out, but not much of a head on this guy. Perhaps soda-pop looking.

Faint aroma of toasted caramel on a lightly toasted piece of white bread. Sweetness is akin to a Jolly Rancher candy...grape flavor. Some sourness.

Sourness is in the taste, too, but faint. The sweet is more candy than fruit although some plum is around there. Malt is dominant even though it's weak. Nothing like a porter, but more than a pilsner. Roastiness just isn't there.
Nothing bad about this beer and it drinks well. The difference between this and the regular session is the sweetness with a bit of sour.

Photo of mjurney
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark ruby red color, see through. Small amount of carbonation. Small soapy head, touch of lacing on the glass.

Very light on the aroma, I could detect some roasted malts and coffee.

Malty up front, toasty, roasted nuts, touch of coffee. Hops is slight grassy at the end. Finish of crisp and dry with slight burnt aftertaste. Light bodied, carbonation is moderate.

Very high. Light bodied, but very tasty beer. I would drink this beer again.

Photo of eclaycamp
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce shortie bottle. Pours a nice ruby black with a full foamy tan head. Initial aroma is of roasted coffee. Looks like a cola. Tastes of roasted malt with very little hops - what is there is earthy and dark as well. Molasses and toffee are present, adding to a semi-sweet mouthfeel. Almost feels like I'm drinking a porter. Suprisingly drinkable with a light finish. It's called Session for a reason, I guess. This beer isn't overly complex, it just aims to please with the roasted choclate and toffee flavors. Good dessert beer.

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

I tend to really like Schwarzbier and this was an excellent take on them. Pours dark (almost black--hence the name) and foamy. Pronounced aroma of roasted malt and malt sugars. The flavor is excellent, a very drinkable mix of dark caramel, medium alcohol levels and sweetness--sort of like a good porter in lager form. The carbonation tastes almost like nitro, making this a very smooth and easy to quaff beer.

Photo of PintOHops
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Glass - Mug

A - Dark brown cola appearance with ruby red when held to light. It produced a 2-finger tan head, retention is outstanding. Moderate to high Co2 can be seen, and it left some impressive splashy lacing for a lager.

S - Yeasty lager aroma with a bit of grain. It's slightly nutty, with soft coffee notes, about all I'm getting here.

T - It's got a bit of a citric hop bite upfront that just smooths into roasted nutty flavors, and even some soft coffee bean notes. It finishes with a bit of a citric hop edge on the sides of the tongue, and softly lingering nutty flavors with a nice bitterness.

M - Moderate bite of carbonation,thin, lite-medium bodied.

D - Very quaff-able, I really enjoyed this one and the price was extremely affordable, which will probably keep me coming back for more. Not my favorite of the style but for the price, I'd buy again. Cheers!

Photo of JosiahS
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Used a standard pint glass for this. An aggressive pour yielded a 1-finger creamy, off-white head. The body is a very dark brown with ruby along the sides.

This beer has the typical lager smell but with the added aromas that the darker malts bring. Such as chocolate, brown sugar and sweet dates. There is also a very faint floral hop aroma as well. Slightly dry.

Taste is surprisingly rich on the malts. It has a nice nuttiness up front along with brown sugar, chocolate and just overall malty goodness. It reminds me of a malted milk ball, minus all the sugar. Also some dark fruit, dates or fig. There's a hop presence that blends very nicely and works to balance the beer. Finish is slightly dry.

Mouthfeel is light with medium carbonation. It's lightness in body makes this very drinkable and the slight dryness keeps me coming back for more. A good Schwarzbier but i prefer others over this.

Photo of rtepiak
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

quite a drinkable 12 pack. if you're gong to go that route. a weak schwarz quality. nose of nougat and toastiness. and palate that is back with a nougat and smoked quality of sour apple finish. not a bad one as the brown sugar quality give it a bit of balance and the malt was rather sufficient. i was pleasantly surprised. drink if you have to... but to experience the schwarzbier.

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 canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Miles better than the regular Session lager at the same low price. I picked up a 12 case for $10.50 in Oak Harbour. This is great value for the money .

The beer pours a very dark brown with a tan head. The nose is dark malts and some chocolate. The drinkability is great especially for the style as some Schwarzbiers are very dry on the finish. Unlike the regular lager this beer has lots of nuances in the finish. Could drink a bunch of these and it is very food friendly

Photo of SpdKilz
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Well, I was going to have the 4th Anniversary from Kern River but it was completely flat...ug. Pours a dark brown/hazelnut color into my SA Perfect Pint. About two fingers of quickly dissipating head is achieved which leaves decent lacing.

Smell - Bready malts, slight chocolate, caramel, "toasty", etc.

Taste - Has a nice toasted malt taste to it, smokiness, nutty, caramel/toffee, and a hint of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Lighter body, decent carbonation, finishes just a tad dry.

Drinkability - Not a bad drink for a dollar. If they still have a couple at my beer store I bet I'll pick a few more up.

Photo of SAtaMi
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a nice 2 1/2" head with an off with cream color. Head retention is long lasting. Deep dark amber color to the beer.

Smell - Chocolaty roasted malts and a coffee presence. Lights hops in the background.

Taste - Sweet and roasted chocolate coffee bean type of flavor. The nutty back to it is very nice.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and creamy. Me likey.

Drinkability Thank you sir ill have another.

Photo of blackie
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: cool retro-stubby bottle, deep brown in color, well retained head with some lace

s: a nice aromatic lager with dark toast, some darker caramels, even a glimpse of powdered cocoa, mild noble hops

m: moderate carbonation, light-medium body

t: solid lager structure with a nice toasty flavor running through, balanced noble hops, a touch nutty, caramel

d: a nice little schwarz, and easily drinkable

single from an SLC liquor store

Photo of froghop
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a clear dark amber with a small khaki head, and good lacing.

smell is of malt, grain, and a touch of cocoa.

taste is smooth, cocoa, some dark fruits, malt, and some caramel, ends a little oily.

overall pretty good for a schwarzbier, a bit on the lighter side, which is good for a beer you are going to drink all day.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into pint glass.

Pours dark ruby brown, thinning out to chestnut around the edges, with a thin light-khaki head. A bit light for a schwarzbier, but I feel like this one was kind of lumped into this category for lack of a better one, so it gets the benefit of the doubt.

Nose is fairly light and unexceptional - bit of light nutty breadcrust.

Taste is much better. More of the darkly-toasted breadcrust from the nose, nutty and with a very light bitterness, hints of coffee, black bread on the finish. Dry. A bit watery towards the finish, but not overwhelmingly so - comes off in the mouthfeel more than the flavor. Finish lingers with more of the nutty dark toasted notes, bit of roastiness as well.

Mouthfeel is similar to Session Lager, which is to say, not bad at all - medium-light body and a light carbonation with just the right bite for maximum drinkability. I would buy this over the Session Lager for at least 8 months out of the year I think. Just a nice little, unpretentious beer that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish.

Photo of rootbeerman
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a thin dark off white head, not much if any lace.
S: earthy coffee and light chocolate, reminds me of a toned down porter.
T: again, earthy coffee less sweet with a earthy hop and slight bitter chocolate.
M: crisp clean watery but not the bad way just don't know the right way to say it.
D: the brew is named session for a reason, and you get a group together you can play rock-paper-scissors with the caps.

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

I've had this at the tasting room in Hood River as well as in several bottles. This review is a compilation of tasting notes.

appearance - dark and malty, beige head

smell - nutty, chocolate, roasted malts dominate

taste - the nutty and roasted malt taste are what dominate this beer

drinkability - a light beer that has some flavor and aptly named as a session beer

Photo of avalon07
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a dark brown color and a mostly clear consistency. There was a quarter inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Good lacing.

S: Aroma of caramel, malt, and some other kind of sweetness.

T: Tasted like it smelled - malt, caramel, and possibly some molasses. A interesting if not wholly gripping flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: This is one of those beers that's drinkable, but not overly memorable.

Photo of Flashsp2
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Session Dark stubby into Konigsbacher Pils flute

Pours a very deep, clear ruby with gold edges. Forms a neat, one
finger beige head that looks lovely and tracks nice lacing.

Nose is clean, with subtle hints of sweet milk chocolate, subdues
roastiness, and a faint caramel sweetness. Flawless.

It's no doubt that I love schwarzbier, because I do. This one is a
perfect reason why. Very clean brewing, smooth with notes that follow
the nose: primarily chocolate, coy roastedness, toast, and a light
nutty/caramel touch. Subdued and inspiring.

Smooth and crisp, clean body with a zingy carbonation.

Drinkability....well, it is a 'session' beer, and a nearly perfect one
at that. My only complaint would be the cute little stubbies, they
only hold 11oz. What's up with that?

In short, I love this beer. The only black lager that is on par (dare
I say better) than the acclaimed Kostritzer Schwarzbier

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown with a nice foamy head that sticks around for a bit

S- Clean with a hint of dark roasted grain and a sticky sweetness reminiscent of molasses

T- Mostly sweet, a bit tangy and wholly satisfying. Again, sort of reminds me of molasses

M- Very light with fizzy carbonation. Slightly sticky and slightly chewy

D- Quite drinkable in such a cute, little bottle

Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 830 ratings.