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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.

837 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 837
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 22
Gots: 71 | 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: 837 | Reviews: 352
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

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

From an 11 oz. twist off stubby bottle. A firm pour yields a half inch of bubbly tan foam atop a clear brownish beer with deep red highlights. Decent retention and light lacing follow.

Nose is of chocolate roast and a bit of caramel. Some earthy hops are more apparent after some warming along with smoked notes.

Taste follows the nose with semisweet chocolate and offers a grainy consistency. Finishes with a bit of charred malt followed by a slightly creamy sweetness. Rather full in body for the style and without the usual crispness I would associate, in fact a bit porter-like with warming.

Photo of Proteus93
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice mahogany hue, nicely filtered. Through the darker hue, I can look out my office window through the beer with a remarkable clarity. Sandy, though more of an off-white head, leaving behind some stringly lace

S: Malty, a little sweet, with a floral hop note that complements the malt aroma rather well.

T: The flavour is nice - not all that complex, but malty and enjoyable. There is a sweetness element that I pick up on which could make it start to become a little much after a few, but for a couple of them, there's no real problems.

M + D: Light body, maybe a little bit slick. Drinkability isn't really in question, outside of the matter of sweetness noted in the flavour. I've found myself returning to this one a couple of times now and would happily pick up a 12-pack at this point.

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

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Session Black Lager from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
83 out of 100 based on 837 ratings.