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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.

828 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 828
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 22
Gots: 64 | 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: 828 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ocelot2500
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a small off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of light roasted hops.

Tastes of a small roasted taste with a small earthy hopiness. Malts are a little chocolaty wirh a touch of molasses. Plenty of and earthy taste provided by the hops and roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is light, but the carbonation has a pretty smooth feel to it.

Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a dark mahogany color nd poured a tan head. The head however went away very quickly and did not return. Ha Ha.
The beer had a sweet smell. The beer was a little bitter but not too bad but just did not taste black. Just nothing great here. I will not buy again.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear brown color with amber hues. I guess Full Sail doesn't think I know what black looks like. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes within twenty seconds into almost no lacing. This is not a very impressive looking beer. The aroma is of caramel, burnt chocolate, and malt. It is a moderately strong aroma, but is rather simple. The taste is like the aroma, but weaker. Even with its simplicity it would be nice if there were a little more pizazz to it. The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Again not very impressive. Overall, this beer is quite disappointing. I expect a lot more from a Schwarzbier.

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

11oz stubby bottle. drank March 15. best by 04-09-10
Nice beer. Fantastic value. Not a great schwarz (a style I love) but a good one.
When you pour it looks brown, more like a dunkle, but sits almost black in the glass. Ample foamy tan head.
Nice nose. Rich, inviting aromas with a lil cocoa on it.
Nice, smooth medium body. Some more cocoa and maybe vanilla. Not sweet, not bitter, somewhere in between. Faint bit of floral hop notes.
Really nice beer.

Photo of dedrinker
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not exactly a schwartzbier in my book, but more like a dunkel.

Dark chestnut brown, but no black, and off-white head.

Smells of mild dry toasty malt with a little caramel.

Tastes moderately toasty/ nutty with a little toffee.

Medium body with a dry, almost metallic bitter tang on the finish.

It's quite worthy, but mainly from a better-than-macro standpoint. Or easily better. This just wouldn't be my first, second, or third choice for a proper dunkel or schwartzbier. But it would be in my top choices if I was going to grab some fast food and go eat and drink by the river with some friends and goof off.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Scwarzbiers are session beers to begin with, so it's not as though there's a need to make one "sessionable" if that was the intent. It pours a medium caramel-brown, similar to popular colas. Head is large and retains a medium sized layer well. Nose is light and with some herbal notes. On the palate it is light and watery, with some faint malt and roasty components there, and pretty much screams that it is a "3.2 beer" from Utah or other similar state (but it isn't!). Not a very good Schwarzbier, IMO.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Budweiser pokal.

Pours a clear dark amber brown with a pale oatmeal head that leaves a good amount of lacing behind. The smell is lightly roasted malts, with light hints of chocolate, anise, and wheat. The taste brings back those roasted malts, starting off light and becoming increasingly roasted as the taste floods across the tongue. There's a healthy amount of wheatiness in their as well, not unlike a dunkelweizen with less yeastiness. A slight woddy/nutty quality is also present, but very subdued. The body is on the lighter side and very smooth, allowing this brew to live up to its name.

Photo of diamondc
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I did the sacrilegious and actually poured this beer into a pilsener glass. Best By 04/09/10.

Looked good when poured straight down into the glass. Fluffy head, lots of big bubbles, but not the best head retention. A wisp of foam lingers on sip after sip.

A beef jerky smoky & Cocoa Pebbles aroma shows up with some decent floral/fruit/licorice smells lingering in the background.

Taste is smoke, chocolate, toast, licorice, & some dark fruits. Nothing huge.

Totally drinkable, complex for a dark lager yet not heavy on the palate.

Photo of mdwalsh
3.31/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a footed pilsner glass.

A: Not quite black coloring, more of an amber red. Very clear though with some good active carbonation. But I don't think they were going for real schwarzbier black. The head is 1-2 fingers, tan with mostly small, tight bubbles and there's lots of texture. I'm going to have to score this with a balance between style and what I take to be intent.

S: Smokey, maybe too much so, especially since I get sort of an artificial, liquid smoke taste rather than a true smoked/roasted malt taste. Other than that, it's a bit sweet, not at all hoppy.

T: Very similar to the smell, but the smoke isn't as strong. I could see this being somewhat sessionable, but not all that much. The taste just isn't cutting it for me. Too artificial.

M: Now here I think they nailed it. Very light and approachable, not filling at all.

D: I'm not a huge fan of the taste, to fakey, but I could see others liking this one if you like smoke flavored things.

Photo of icefisherman
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

From the stubby 11oz it poors a nice black, big head. Smells kinda odd hard to place not much do talk about. Taste kinda spicy/burnt with an odd bitter not really hoppy but kinda hoppy taste. Feels a little thin but what I was wanting tonight. Easy drinking and priced rite I could easily put back a few.

Photo of josiahschlender
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Session lager is one of my go-to light, easy-drinking beers. When I heard of a Session Black, I was intrigued and wondered if Full Sail would pull it off.

Pours dark brown with amber highlights. Light brown head isn't too abundant, and fades quickly. Just clear enough to let light through. I like the stubby bottle, but 11oz kind of irks me. I think this and the traditional Session would be great beers to put in a can. Well, I think that about most beers. I won't fault Full Sail on its unique presentation, though.

I notice quite a bit of roasty chocolate malts with a hint of butterscotch on the nose. There's a bit of a sweet floral aroma that probably comes from the hops.

Flavors mellow out the roasted malts a bit. I did notice that my first sips, taken at refrigerator temp cold seemed more one dimensional roasted malt. With some warmth, more butterscotch sweetness and a grainy, bready finish pushed through. Still some subtle floral hops, but they're pretty faint.

This beer disappears quickly and easily. Light-medium body, subtle carbonation and a short, pleasant finish invites another gulp.

I'm impressed. This beer comes across easily drank without completely abandoning its dark aspirations. It's more versatile with food than most dark beers out there and quite affordable (I found mine for around $10 for a 12 pack). Too bad Full Sail's twist off caps are so hard to twist off. That's the biggest thing keeping you and me from the next one.

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

11 ounce short bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Clear very dark brown with amber tint when held to light. Small tan foamy head that didn't retain long but left nice sticky lacing.

Smell: Scents of dark roasted malts, coffee and licorice and a bit bready.

Taste: Dark roasted malts are the star here, with hints of chocolate, coffee and black licorice. Slightly sweet with a little bitterness on the tongue on the finish. It lives up to the expectations of a Schwarzbier style.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Not my favorite of the Schwarzbier style (that honor goes to Sprecher) but not bad either. A good fall/winter brew.

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown and tranparent, with little light shining through. Head is white and creamy, but fades quickly.

S: Dry, astringent, but shows notes of chocolate and coffee, with some floral hops in the backround.

T: Chocolate, Coffee, and molasses are dominant, with a dry finish consisting of spring meadow, dried fruit, and fresh hay.

M: Light for this style. It's there, but then again not.

D: Actually very easy to drink for what it is. It's a decent beer at a very affordable price. One of the better American interpretations of a Schwarzbier...

Photo of deruiz10
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Black body with reddish brown lining, tan one-finger head with little retention.

S - Toasty malts and mild chocolate, not too strong but works well.

T - Toasted malts, milk chocolate, and some biscuity goodness in the body. Finish has lingering chocolate notes and a nice toasty malt character with some coffee.

M - Slightly creamy, but perhaps could benefit from a less watery feel.

D - Very refreshing and flavorful, this one definitely stands on its own.

Photo of natelocc787
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good example. Not the most thick, vicious or complex but tasty. Black body with a light tan head. Sweet roasted malt notes in the nose with a brown sugar presence. Sweet but not cloying, medium thick body with caramelized molasses, espresso notes, anise and sweet brown sugar. Mouthfeel could have been bumped up if a little less sharp. Still well done, tasty and a great session black. Looked very average by the bottles appearance but well worth it once you taste it.

Photo of liquidsunshine
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As one of my Christmas presents I received a "Create your own" 9 pack of tasty beers. Very excited about it. One of which was Session Black, having heard good things in the past I decided to try it first.

The pour was nice, with a thumb or so of tan head which faded to leave some decent lacing around the glass. Very dark in color, when held to the light you can pick out some deep red and brown hues.

I could not seem to get any particularly strong smells out of the beer, but that may be because I have a rather poor nose. There are pleasant, though perhaps faint, notes of caramel, coffee and roasted malt.

The taste is full, flavorful, and develops as it travels across your palate. I get a sweeter chocolate element when it first hits the tongue, which then fades through caramel, and to more roasted malt and coffee as you finish the sip. I find this to be a great characteristic.

It has a very nice variety of flavors which seem to spread out, involving all of your tastebuds, giving the beer a great filling mouthfeel.

Surprisingly drinkable for a dark and flavorful beer.

I would recommend it!

Cheers, Matt

Photo of BDJake
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark brown/ruby with beige head and slight retention

S- pretty simple, leaving just dark malts and coffee, not bad at all but also not very exciting

T- same as above, but a hair better

M/D- light body with decent carbonation, goes down with the greatest of ease- it's a perfect beer to offer to those friends of yours who's only experience with anything darker than a BMC was a Guinness, showing a much wider variety than they previously knew about

Photo of Gatch
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at T's in Tempe, AZ for $.99 but it was in the "Specials" cooler.

A - Deep brown with an amber hue. A beige, fluffy head.

S - Roasted malt, coffee, not much else.

T - A pleasant maltiness with hints of roasted coffee. Subtle flavors with nothing overpowering. Very enjoyable.

M/D - Real smooth, slight carbonation, light body. While average, the flavors are enjoyable and nice on the palate. Very drinkable, of course.

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

11 ounce stubby bottle - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark brown body with a sustained inch of light khaki-colored froth which deposits a minor smattering of lace on the descent.

Smell: The malty nose is made up mostly of a basic chocolate scent with lesser, lighter hints of roast and toast and a faint, underlying earthiness.

Taste: Quickly goes from toasty to roasty and then to a smooth, pleasant chocolaty taste. Modestly sweet. With a little warmth on it, it gradually adds some caramel to the mix. Light earthy hops with an expectantly light, brief bitterness, leaving the flavor to tip back towards those initial malty tastes. Finishes drying and malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Why, that's a pretty tasty beer, actually! If it's time to have a fine, flavorful beer with a reasonable amount of alcohol then Session Black is a good place to start.

Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pokal glass at 41 degrees.

Appearance: A nice one finger head that has some retention, that is creamy, light tan and foamy. The color of the beer is deep mahogany color with rich garnet highlights. The clarity of the beer is clear with effervescence bubbles. The head is leaving lacing on the glass.

Nose: A medium roasted malt aroma with some yeast. There is some anise, coffee, dark chocolate, and a light phenol aroma.

Taste: A medium roasted malt, light coffee, hint of bitter chocolate, biscuit and light phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel is a medium carbonated, slightly dry, and smooth. The body of the beer is a medium light and the finish medium light. This is the first schwarzbier that I have tried and it is descent. There is nothing about this beer that stands out to me.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark caramel, one finger head that reduces to lacing.

S: Malty with a slight hint of hops.

T: Mostly malt, and just a hint of chocolate.

M: Well-balanced, medium body with some carbonation.

D: Pretty high for any fan of dark lagers, and as pedestrian as this may seem, it tastes great straight out of the bottle, too. I can't say this is my favorite black lager, but it's definitely a keeper for parties and gatherings, considering its fairly low price point.

Photo of Mdog
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear brown, good head.

Smell: Toast, mild tea aroma.

Taste: Mild toasted bread, some light sweetness, and a little tea-like bitterness. Very balanced flavors.

Mouthfeel: Creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Light, yet flavorful, easy to drink. That's why it's a session.

Finally saw the black session so picked up a 12 pack. It's a nice little schwarz that meets the requirement for an upscale session beer. Easy to drink and the stub bottles are cool too.

Photo of shadow1961
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Session Black pours out a little sandy foam over a black brew. Nose is nice and toasty, with notes of baker's chocolate. Flavor is mild and slightly sweet, again, with toasty malts predominant and notes of mocha and maybe a little licorice. Mouthfeel is crisp and light with a mild toasty aftertaste. This has a lot of flavor for such a modest brew- but not in a way that makes it off-putting to people used to drinking crap beer and lurch into this (or the original Session). As such it's another perfect gateway beer. As with the first Session, this has the rock/paper/scissors game under the caps, though the half cases they are sold in also have a word search printed on the bottom. Nice party beer!

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

I managed to find this in Tulsa only 4 days past its sell by date, pretty good for Oklahoma (sigh)

Pours a brown tinged chestnut with 2 fingers of mocha colored head. Good lacing & head retention

S: Brown bread, fruittyness & herbal hops

T: A touch of licorice, dark fruit & woody hops up front. Brown bread, figgyness & leafy hops are all there as this warms. Finishes fruitty, dry & with a bit of brown bread swetness/grainyness, almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation & great balance

Drinks really easy, will pick this one up again if I can get it fresh. Nice Schwartz bier

Photo of velosuds
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11 oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.09.

A-Pours a medium brown with a one finger beige head that recedes quickly leaving scant lacing. Looks a lot like a brown ale.

S-Roasted grainy malts and some fruity hop presence.

T-Lightly toasted chocolate malt sweetness and some bitterness.

M-Smooth, well balanced, crisp, and refreshing.

D-Very easy drinking. Disappointing that it is only an 11 oz. bottle.

Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 828 ratings.