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

38 Reviews
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Reviews: 38
Hads: 99
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 6.04%
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
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 99
Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  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. (1,966 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (458 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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 (527 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,089 characters)

Photo of Tone
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (469 characters)

Photo of tone77
2.94/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another canned beer from the creator of the canquest, woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cola color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is damn near non existent. The faintest notes of malts. Taste is light, mild, some roasted malts, really not much going on. Feels light in the mouth and overall nothing special about this beer, mediocre at best. (351 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque deep brown color with amber highlights and a solid one inch khaki head that dissipates into a layer of foam across the surface.

Nutty, toasted malt and a bit of roast character comprise the aroma, with a bit of caramel sweetness and toffee surfacing late.

Flavor is fairly sweet, almost cola-like, with background notes of tobacco and a touch of roast malt at the finish. There's an underlying chocolate note leading into a fair amount of toasted breadcrust. Fruity esters emerge as it warms, along with a bit of acrid flavor.

Body is moderate to light, with fairly high carbonation and a slight astringency.

Overall, not as roasty as I had hoped. It's pretty sweet for the style and lacks complexity of the malt character. (743 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.49/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can, Aug 07 2013 stamped on the bottom of the can.

just short of black, extremely dark brown. very white creamy thick head. great retention and lacing. not much aroma. nice smooth flavors in the taste - just a touch of roast and some sweetness, some faint mild chocolate. thicker mouthfeel, slick, moderate carbonation. Easy drinkin' . (343 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (391 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.56/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (345 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (523 characters)

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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. (499 characters)

Photo of DCon
3.93/5  rDev +8%
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! (1,054 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (394 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
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 (469 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.05/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I knew I'd eventually find a lesser Schlafly beer and this is the one. The appearance foretells that the body may not impress as the drak brown body has no real hues to set it out. The head is basically non-existent and so is the lace.

The nose is of light malt and not much else. There is no strong sense of roasting or other delightful dark beer taste. The feel is light and finishes thin, but not lifeless. It is not so much that this is bad beer, but rather that this is just so average. (494 characters)

Photo of bnes09
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Nice color with slight clarity. Dense creamy head with good lace. Clean aroma and flavor with just a hint of roasted malt and cooked corn. Light bodied. Average carbonation. Highly sessionable. A little boring in my book but I could drink several of these in one sitting. (271 characters)

Photo of maxpower
3.13/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brownish almost black in color, nice wispy brown head that leaves a good lacing, faint roasted coffee malt aroma, thin and watery mouthfeel, decent roasted malty flavors, light bodied with just not enough carbonation, it has a nice roasty bitter finish, pretty average for the style. (288 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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 (1,387 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
3.19/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle (bottled on 10/27/2011) served into a nonic pint glass

Pours a Pepsi cola brown color. Black lager? Hardly. This beer doesn't even approach black. It's not even darker than the glass bottle it comes in. Head size is miniscule, with about zero retention.

Schlafly Schwarzbier smells mostly like grains and nuts. Pecans, almonds, and assorted cereal grains (I even smell oatmeal, though I'm pretty sure oatmeal is not a part of the grist) that have been lightly toasted. It isn't exciting or complex. But a straightforward aroma that is style-appropriate is not a bad thing at all.

Lots of German malt flavors right upfront: assorted nuts and black bread. There's a cola like sweetness too, sort of like Mr. Pibb. A bit of sassafras too. It finishes primarily with a pecan & almond flavor. It should be a very versatile beer with lunch; it should pair nicely with stead sandwiches, hamburgers, even ham sandwiches.

The mouthfeel is above average for the style. It is light like a lager should be. It's a wet, sweet beer but it isn't too slick like poor lagers can be. Overall, this is a pretty average schwarzbier. Apart from the appearance, Schlalfy made a faithful rendition of the style. Merely being faithful doesn't make this a good beer, but it certainly isn't a bad one. (1,295 characters)

Photo of karst
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (382 characters)

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (1,063 characters)

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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.