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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
83
good

98 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 98
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 7
Gots: 7 | 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: 98 | Reviews: 39
Photo of squack
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Boca-X
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of Sludgeman
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of wattoclone
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of pmarlowe
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of t8dd
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of jokelahoma
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
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 +2.2%
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 traviswhillier
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of PaleAndBitter
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of KSBlacksnake
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of MacStinson
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ArmedsouthernEr
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of Kpitevl
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mrchrisray
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of CiderGoggles
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of rrski198
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
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 Benvarine
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of jmdrpi
3.49/5  rDev -4.4%
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' .

Photo of tone77
2.94/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 98 ratings.