Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier - The Schlafly Tap Room

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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager SchwarzbierSchlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
83
good

99 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Schlafly Tap Room visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Realale on 10-21-2002

Sessions Black Lager is a traditional German Schwarzbier with a refreshingly light body. The dark chocolate malts contribute color and hints of roasted coffee balanced by the delicate aroma of German Noble hops. Translated from German, Schwarzbier means black beer.

Schwarzbier originated in the 16th Century in southeastern Germany where it is still brewed today. The style enjoyed a heyday in St. Louis in the late 1800s, but large scale production of dark lagers failed to resurface after Prohibition. In 2007, the beer community of St. Louis honored St. Louis Dark Lager as the official beer of the inaugural St. Louis Brewers Heritage Festival, an annual tasting event that celebrates the many breweries thriving in St. Louis today.

45 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 39
Photo of Jballew816
4.44/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good lager. Good flavor. Really like and search for more

Photo of Tone
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark brown color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, yeast, pale malt, slight chocolate, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Schwarzbier. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight hops, slight chocolate, hint of pale malt, and a hint of yeast. Overall, great appearance, good blend, body, and aroma.

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I scored this on my most recent visit to Max's in Baltimore and passed one on to my local CAN Trader, tone77 for his inclusion in his own CANQuest (TM).

It is a gorgeous CAN, employing metallic brick red, golden yellow and stark black in its coloring. From the CAN: "Bold Flavor"; "Seasonal".

The Crack was loud and inspiring, so I employed an inverted Glug into my Schlafly CAN Sessions CAN-shaped glass. I had two fingers of dense, light-tan head with good retention. Color was garnet (?)/ruby (?) (SRM = > 34, < 44) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled very chocolaty and I was ready for some beer to hit me. Mouthfeel was big and full and the taste was both caramel and chocolate and I was really digging it. I ate some spicy curried chicken for lunch and this was a welcome respite from the heat. Finish was smoky, chocolaty and caramel. This was more in line with what I expect from Schlafly and I wish that I had another for the upcoming Hula in the Coola Day (01 Feb, annually). Man, I really dig drinking well-made lagers when there are so many crappy ones on the market.

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one into a glass stein.

Appearance- The head builds to about one-finger width with pretty decent retention, beige colored. There is a smattering of small bubbles in the smooth cap.

The body is auburn with some lighter brown highlights, decent amount of carbonation columns in the glass.

Smell- A decent hop smell coming through the malt. Mostly earthy and grassy. Underneath that is roasty malt that blends very well.

Taste- A nice amount of roast rides throughout the drink. The hops are actually taking a back seat to the roast, and I enjoy that about this offering.

The finish has the grassy hop flavors. The malt also has a slight buttery aspect to it.

Mouth feel- A medium body and really creamy drink make for a quite decent feel. Coating is not that spectacular, but it does not matter much with how the carbonation is handled.

Overall- I was expecting this one to be a little more hoppy, but the malts taste great and the feel makes for a great drink. The nose does all right, but it could have more to offer. Try it if you see it.

Photo of Pyramid_Head
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Schlafly's Schwarzbier is a sentimental favorite, and my favorite lager.
That is to say it's one of the only lagers i would regularly drink if it wasn't a seasonal product.

The black lager introduces a strong roasted and smokey flavor to the wheat taste of a basic lager. It can best be described as an alcoholic iced coffee with a little wheat to it. I personally love it, but it wasn't released in 2012. In 2013 Schlafly released a canned version which i'll review separately after i've given it a try.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a one-finger head of foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very roasty with some floral notes. Nice chocolate aromas.

T - It tasted of chocolate, toffee and caramel. Some subtle bitterness adds balance.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied brew with a dry finish.

O - This is a very solid schwarzbier. Schlafly is so consistently good with everything they brew.

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A ruby-hued black pour has a 1.5-finger off-white head that retains a ring throughout the brew, leaving a bit of sticky lace at the top of the glass.

The nose is dark and clean with unmuddled aromas of dark bread, coffee grounds, toasted pecan and a faint woody spice.

Light-med bodied palate is malty and bready with a nice touch of acrid roastiness bringing the balance with more flavors of coffee grounds and roasted pecan. Bitterness is mild, seemingly bigger with the darker malt, while the finish ends clean with malty bread and a lingering juiciness with final hints back at that pecan.

Overall, quite a tasty Schwarz. Everything I'd expect- clean, dark and quenching- but it's that persistent pecan note really making this delicious.

Photo of Illtryit
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

"Bottled with Love" 16 days ago. Super fresh. The ABV is 5% per Schlafly's website.

Pours a cola colored brown, almost black, with an off white head 1 finger deep.

Not much to smell on this one. Just a bit of grain.

Taste is semi sweet grains.. I'm also getting a nutty kick at the end. A little chocolate to boot and I'm starting to like this beer a lot.

Mouthfeel is a little light, but it has plenty of character.

Overall I am pretty impressed with this Lager. Light enough to drink a few, but flavorful enough to bring satisfaction. I recommend it.

Photo of DCon
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Bailey's Range in St. Louis, MO for $5 ("DINNER" size). Tapped from the Black Schlafly Handle w/ a Tan "Schwarzbier" label into a 16oz Pint Glass.

Aroma- Good amount of malt included with some a nice yeasty character. Everything easy going, clean, and nothing big jumps out at me.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that stays for the average amount of time. Has a dark brown colored body but clear within. Leaves a bit of lacing behind.

Flavor- Malty, clean, and sweet. Can tell there is Munich-malt used and has a good amount of noble hops. Light-Medium bitterness but mostly smooth and clean.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Light-Medium Carbonation, Smooth, and leaves awesome roastiness on the palate!

Overall Impression- While having this many times before, once again, great! Would enjoy many more to come! This is one of my favorites from Schlafly this month and will be going back to this. Would recommend grabbing a 6-pack of this because your friends will also enjoy this smooth, easy going black bier. Enjoy!

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 10 Dec 2011. Served in the 0.4 L Eder Pils mug.

Large brown head. Well carbonated. Clear dark molasses brown in color. Light aroma, earthy, light roastiness, moderately sweet. Starts sweet and malty. Some roastiness. Medium body, moderate ethanol. Earthy, malty, finishes lightly sweet. A slight bit of mineral in the finish and aftertaste.

Not a complex beer but tasty.

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshness date of 10-24-11

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3 fingers of tan head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, charred grain & choclate notes

T: Charred grain, stone fruit & some dark chcolate up front.Dark choclate, dryness & a touch of herbal hop spice as this warms, maybe even a touch of vanilla on the edges. Finishes sweet with a touch of caramel & a nice roastyness

MFL Creamy, medium bodied, nice balance

Good take on the style, easy to drink. As usual these guys do a good beer at a nice price

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

The body is a ruby black, not quite brown. An off white head recedes to a light wisp, with very light lacing staying around.

The aroma is very faint on sweetness, but brings out roasted malts, grains, and a very sly grassy note.

The taste is very smooth. Roasted malts, faint coffee and chocolate, and a very slight hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium to light.

Overall, a very drinkable brew. No wonder they canned it and made it part of their Can Sessions lineup.

Photo of gabrielsyme
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can in a basic pint glass. The brew pours a dark chestnut brown, quite hazy, with tan head and lacing. I don't get much in the way of smell, maybe a slightly caramel flavor, but that is to be expected with a lager. The mouthfeel is bright and bubbly, and light-to-medium bodied. The initial taste is nutty, bitter, with some toast. There's not much in the way of aftertaste. At 5%, this is highly drinkable. Overall I enjoy this and would buy again.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty dark, brown to almost black and clear, with a nice two finger head that lasted, leaving nice lace.

Roasty and chocolatey in both smell and taste. Great light smokiness too. A bit of toffee and just a touch of hops too. Quite tasty and easy to drink.

Medium body with a lightly roasty aftertaste. I'm glad I bought a sixer of this one.

Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very deep mahogany color with a nice tan head that fades slowly to lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, some nuts, and a bit of chocolate.

T: Flavor of roasted malt and some nuttiness with a bit of chocolate sweetness. A nice bitterness throughout and a dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, smooth with a somewhat creamy texture. Very nice balance.

O: Very enjoyable offering. Not an overpowering beer, but still a beer with lots of character compared to other of this style I have tried. Well worth checking out.

Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a seriously attractive mahogany with a thick, puffy khaki head.

S: Very clean on the nose with hints of mocha, roasted grain, and heavy cream.

T: Notes of heavy cream, molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted grain, and grassy, herbal hops wash across the palate. The finish is balanced and flavorful with a pleasant mixture of grassy hop and toasty, chocolatey malt flavors.

M: Light to medium in body and very creamy. Carbonation is subtle, but just firm enough to keep this lager from feeling watery.

O: This is a quality schwarzbier. Schlafly continues to impress me.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled on 12/9/2011. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a mahogany brown color with about a half inch off-white head. Both the head retention and lacing are decent enough. The brew smells like roasted and bready malt, coffee, nuts and some chocolate. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some caramel and a bit of an earthy flavor. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit creamy and goes down easy. I think it's a solid brew overall. I'd buy this one again, hopefully a fresher bottle next time around. Still, even now it's worth a try at $1.75 for a single bottle. Purchased at Party Town, Florence, KY.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Where Lagers are generally assumed to be pale straw, the face lift of schwarz gives it the opposite appearance. In juxtaposition, dark beers are assumed rich or bold where this Lager is lighter bodied and even crisp! What the hell's going on!

Its dark appearance strikes the eye as black ...at first. Upon further examination, the beer is dark ruby instead and is only noticeable because of its brilliant clarity as is seen through its ribbons of low light. A creamy colored and semi-firm foam stance holds its structure well and laces randomly as the beer fades.

Fresh-ground coffee, burnt caramel and dark fruit rise to greet the nose with the first whiff. A slight cola-like note provides its caramel-like sweet scent that ties together the charred grain, herbal hops and dark chocolate notes. Its tangy and earthy- like chicory or licorice but in the most friendly way.

Its bittersweet taste is due to its dominant char flavor, that shies away from burnt notes, and its supporting kettle caramelization of pilsner malt. Its balance battles out over the early taste while the middle palate separates the charred toast flavor from the sweetness and links up harmoneously with spicy hops that trail in finish. Easily seen as coffee-type or cocoa bitterness, the finish is delicately earthen with that chicory-licorice blend that was picked up by the nose.

The beer's delicate texture is light even though its taste is more robust. Drinking like Pilsner, the beer's early creaminess separates into trailing bubbles and a linger of malt. Cola-like lightness persists across the middle and lands the beer into a slight watery impression until the hop dryness and light alcohol warmth crispens things up to close the session.

With the likeness of stout-like char upon a body of Lager, Schlafly's Black Lager is easy drinking and characterful but without the challenge of highly complex flavors or high alcohol rates. It's ideal for barbecue and chocolate desserts.

Photo of jokelahoma
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a pint shaker.

Pours a clear, deep garnet red. Definitely not black nor opaque, which isn't that unusual among shwarzbiers. Still, a little more color would have been nice.

The aroma is extraordinarily faint. You have to work to find a scent here. What finally does hit you is exactly as it should be; clean malt, a slight roasty aroma. Can't really ding them because it isn't highly aromatic, especially when what's there is dead on. But it would be nice to not have to work so hard to smell a brew.

The taste is not bad, either, but as with the color and aroma, it's simply lacking. It has the cleanliness, the grainy base, the very subtle roast of huskless Carafa malts. All that is well and good. But it seems to need more of each. You certainly don't want anything to stand out, but it would be better if everything stood out a bit more, together. They almost had it, but not quite. Sensing a theme yet?

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, without a crispness. It seems a tad creamier than it should be, while still being too thin. Perhaps it's because they're going for sessionable beers with this series, but once again, I'm left with that "almost" feeling, as in "it's almost enough, but not quite".

Overall, this is far from being a bad beer. It's clean, it has all the right flavors and aromas with nothing standing out where it shouldn't. No off flavors that I could detect. It just seems a bit shy, like a wallflower at the homecoming dance. The biggest complaint against this beer is not about what it is, but what it could easily be. It's a solid "almost" brew, and one I'd almost grab off the shelf again.

Photo of ONUMello
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can dated 8/21/13 poured into a pils glass
A: Pretty. Dark brown with a hint of red and a two-finger head
S: Lots of malts, nutty, a hint of cola
T: Nutty, malty, a hint of cola sweetness, just not quite as complex with those same elements as the nose
M: Medium-bodied yet a bit thin at the same time
O: Still a really enjoyable beer to drink, this isn't available locally but would probably be a go to session beer, easy to drink from the can and tasty, if it was

Photo of karst
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown with tan head. Aroma was mostly malts. Malty flavors with some caramel and coffee and some fruity esters. Low carbonation Medium/thinnish body and nearly watery mouthfeel hurt by low carbonation, its finish somewhat bitter (less from hops and more from black patent or dark roast malts) but clean and palate clearing lager nevertheless. I found it very refreashing.

Photo of Vancer
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Guess I sampled the late 2004 batch. I liked the pour, deep brown with good lite brown head that left small laces. It had that black beer aroma to it, earthy, grainy – just a hint of malt. Taste was very good, low carbonation with almost no hop kick. Nice lite to medium texture thoughout the pint. Could drink many of these – if the Taproom didn’t offer so many other enticing libations.

Photo of MJR
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear reddish-brown with a light tan head with good retention. The aroma is all malt, with hints of coffee and caramel. Starts off with a bit of malt sweetness and roasted grains, then opens up to a smooth caramel/coffee/smoke balance. Ends with a slight earthiness, along with a touch of roasted grain bitterness and toasted malt. Thin-to-medium in body, with a mildly acidic finish that adds to it's clean and crisp mouthfeel. Overall, a solid schwarzbier.

Photo of Realale
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black/brown color - definitely more toward dark brown when held to the light. Decent head that remained throughout.

Nose is relatively muted, and not giving much. As the pint warms a bit, some malty notes come out, but not much there.

On the palate, its got a surprising amount of fruity and hoppy flavors. These pretty much overwhelm the malt. Again, as it warms, a bit a diacetyl appears, and definitely detracts from the overall impression. Seems a lot like Schlafly's lager (which does not have the diacetyl) with some roasted barley or black patent added for color.

Schwarzbier is not a style I have a lot of experience with, however this one definitely seemed to be inconsistent with the style, other than the color. That being said, it was a pleasant quaff, but I only had a single pint, before I returned to the excellence of their cask-conditioned pale ale.

Photo of Boca-X
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

This review will consist of one beer out of can and one poured into a glass. This is a session and I believe should be reviewed from can? Chances are if I wasn't going to take this fishing, boating, camping or hiking I wouldn't buy a canned beer.

Can is mostly brown...nothing special. Served very cold from my beer fridge.

Some malty dark chocolate bread on the nose...and aluminum can.

First sip...big carbonation up front followed by mildly sweet caramel...it doesn't last long and finishes with bitter burnt toast, the burnt crust mingles with dark roast coffee that bitterly lingers on the tongue.

Pretty nice lager...much better than any BMC but that isn't saying much. At 5% ABV I wish it wasn't so carbonated but it does help it go down easy. As the can warms the beer softens...creamier, sweeter, richer...the bitterness fades some. Everything considered...a very good session black lager in a can.

Ok...let's pour one into a tulip.

Off white head, deep dark brown pour, almost black...a hint of red/brown sneaks through. Little to no lacing. I let sit a few minutes to warm...

Again the dark chocolate and malty bread hits nose first...although this time there is much more of the roasted dark coffee notes coming through.

First sip...the carbonation is there but less noticeable than from the can...mouth feel is thin. Sweet caramel and again is over run by the bitter finish. Bitter burnt toast...slightly sour? My tongue is left some what're dry.

In finishing I think the beer is much better in glass after it's warmed...much smoother with it's sweetness cutting some of it's bitterness. My review will be as drank from a can...good not great. A few changes to the recipe and bottled and this black lager could be great.

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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.