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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier - The Schlafly Tap Room

Not Rated.
Schlafly Sessions Black Lager SchwarzbierSchlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier

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BA SCORE
82
good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | 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:
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 added by: Realale on 10-21-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

soju6, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of mrfrancis
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

mrfrancis, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

bluejacket74, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of BEERchitect
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

BEERchitect, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of wattoclone
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

wattoclone, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Boone757, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of MacStinson
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

MacStinson, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of squack
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

squack, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of mrchrisray
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

mrchrisray, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of ToddHolder
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

ToddHolder, Mar 04, 2014
Photo of Kahlstrom
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Kahlstrom, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of pmarlowe
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

pmarlowe, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

ZombiesAteMyDog, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of karst
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

karst, Sep 26, 2005
Photo of jokelahoma
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

jokelahoma, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of Vancer
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Vancer, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of ONUMello
3.7/5  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

ONUMello, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of MJR
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

MJR, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of Realale
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Realale, Oct 21, 2002
Photo of Boca-X
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Boca-X, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of JayQue
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice, light, sessionable lager, I'm sure just what Schlafly was aiming for. Pours a dark brown color into a pint glass. Lots of light coming through on the sides and bottom of the glass. A hard pour gives a big light tan head with somewhat less than average retention, just fades to a ring around the glass. Small patches of spotty lacing.

Aroma is very light, some roasted malt.

Flavor is good, mostly roasted malt and a little coffee. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall this is a good, refreshing summertime/session lager.

JayQue, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top with nice label; bottled with love on 10-20-11.

Appearance: Poured into my Schlafly Kolsch (stange) glass to show off the color a bit, this pours nearly black, but shows deep chestnut/walnut brown when held up to the light. Light beige cap with good stick and a bit of lace.

Smell: Light roast, but much cleaner than your average porter or stout. A light bit of fruity German hop presence as well as some mild, bready malt from the combination of pale, European pilsener, and Munich malts.

Taste: Overall fairly mild. A bit of fruity, German hops, clean, lager-yeast finish, and a touch of mild roast and toasted malt on the finish. Remarkably easy-drinking. Not a huge depth of flavor, but I'm not sure that the style necessarily needs to be particularly 'big'. I have heard some people refer to Scharzbiers as 'black pilseners', but this one isn't that crisp or sharp. It's more like a slightly roastier dunkel, with significantly less emphasis on the fat, bready Munich-malt middle. Overall, a nice, simple quaffer.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium

Overall: Great to see Schlafly branching out and trying some new things with the Brewer's Choice series. Their weissbier was quite tasty, and this brew follows suit. Not something I'd get all the time, but if it came out once a year, in the autumn, perhaps, I'd likely pick up a sixer.

Overall: B

BedetheVenerable, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

oline73, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of crbnfbr
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

crbnfbr, Oct 18, 2013
Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier from The Schlafly Tap Room
82 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.