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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

91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 11.54%
Wants: 6
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: 91 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crbnfbr
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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 Schlafly33
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Pyramid_Head
4/5  rDev +9.9%
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 barczar
3.2/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

Photo of rundocrun
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottling date of 10/27/11:

A - Body is dark brown with amber and ruby highlights. No hint of cloudiness. A finger of tan head forms. Retention is decent. No lacing.

S - Lightly toasted sweet malt aroma. Herbal spicy hops. Some fruity smell is present as well characteristic of caramel malts.

T - Lightly sweet and earthy up front. Flavoring hops are definitely prominent here. Not too bitter though. A bit more of the chocolate and caramel flavor from the dark malts come in toward the middle. Finish is hop-spiced with bitter cocoa and lemongrass. An interesting combo.

M - Thin mouthfeel. Well carbonated. Feels for the most part like a lager, but the hops were a little aggressive and took away some of the smoothness that I normally look for in a good lager.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
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 htomsirveaux
3.93/5  rDev +8%
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 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

Photo of drewloc
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of KellyL
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Schlafly is my favorite local brewery, but this is not a good example of their beer. It's much better on tap, it loses something in the bottle.

A: Poured into a pilsner glass it lets light shine through and shows off a beautiful deep mahogany color. One finger of light tan head dissipates quickly but the top of the beer stays a nice tan color.

S: Very slight hints of roasted malt, little if any hop aroma.

T: Faint hints of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and herbal hops up front. Finishes with a balance between the malt and hops, but the malt flavor lingers.

M: Thin like it should be, it's deceiving because dark beers are associated with creamy mouthfeel. Not bad, but nothing spectacular.

O: It's a very drinkable beer, I'd stick with the APA but for something different pick it up and try it. It's much better than a standard lager.

Photo of climax
2.83/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint, a nice brown with bright garnet highlights sits below a decent sticky alabaster head.

The aroma seems mundane; the distinguishable flavors are hidden behind a front of weak generic malt flavor. The scant sweetness and feeble bitterness require no effort to balance one another. Non-offensive is it's only attribute.

The flavor continues to disappoint. A slight metallic finish with fleeting licorice and grassy notes follow up a taste that's pretty feeble. It edges out the aroma by short marks, considering a slight astringent and roasty dry finish.

It doesn't take much to drink it swiftly; And the flavor doesn't take much getting used to, because there is none. This beer is paltry to a beer advocate. The only application I can think of is someone who enjoys bland lagers, but wants to be seen drinking something "heavier".

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.93/5  rDev +8%
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 schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of SAbeerME
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of ButtomsUp
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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 TippySelenoid
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner.

It's a clear, dark brew with a tan head.

It's got a roasty smell. There is a nice amount of bittering hops.

It's got a roasted flavor in the malts. Almost smoky. This isn't a sweet beer. The hops play well amoung the burnt malts.

It's pretty light bodied with a nice carbonation.

Overall, this beer is true to style and pretty authentic. It's a pretty good beer.

Photo of syrupjoe
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a root beer brown color. Dark and perfectly clear. Very light one finger head - almond meat colored.

Nose is roasty, slightly sulfuric, clean but faint.

Taste is roasty and slightly burnt tasting. Thin bodied with notes of lactic and bitterness on the finish.

Moderately high carbonation with slight acidic harshness and fairly thin body.

Overall a thin and somewhat unbalanced beer for this style. Looks great, but doesn't taste amazing.

Photo of Reaper16
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of mrfrancis
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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 rxthree
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of DCon
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
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 russpowell
3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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

Schlafly Sessions Black Lager Schwarzbier from The Schlafly Tap Room
83 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.