American Black Lager | War Horse Brewing Company

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
War Horse Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by LumpyGuitar on 08-15-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of Rock_Glenn
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

If you're in the mood for Porter flavor with a light body, this is one of my favorites. I don't understand why Black Lagers aren't brewed more often, I actually think these schwarzbiers are better than most black IPA's. It's hard to visit Three Brothers and not come away with a Growler of this.

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Photo of SonictheBeerhog
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ryser2k
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of wdarcy77
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of cw13
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of CountryRock2001
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of LarryAppleton
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of SebD
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick mocha head that dies down moderately slow and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts, chocolate and an almost cigarette like smokiness.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a roasty malt character with some chocolate/coffee notes and some molasses.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a decent overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas.
Not something I would try again.

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Photo of stakem
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to my brother for hooking me up with a bomber of this after his recent trip to the finger lakes. Poured into a matching war hourse mug, this brew appears dark brown in color. Some clarity is seen around the edges when held to the light. A creamy tan cap sits atop the brew and leaves some webby lacing effect on the glass,

The smell is a pleasant mixture of coffee and sweet milk chocolate.  This actually caught me off guard. There was no mineral aspect to be found like a typical example of the style. Seemingly no hop inclusion or alcohol to be eithet. Just straight, mild dark grainy quality with a fresh seemingly sweet touch somewhat atypical but enjoyable for the style.

The taste continues with the flavor of milk chocolate, coffee and roasty grain. A bit of raisins to fruity alcohol quality almost like plums. The bitterness here is quite low-key seemingly coming only from the roast of the grain. The finish lacks that snap of crispness indicative of the style. However, it also lacks the mineral quality sometimes associated which is nice.

This is a medium bodied brew that is smooth and easy drinking. It displays a modest amount of carbonation a for the most part is crisp and clean without fault or off-character. At times I almost feel like this isnt really a lager but more like a weak milk stout. Regardless, I was appreciative to give it a try.

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Photo of pavpav12
2.5/5  rDev -30.9%

Photo of zekeman17
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of throwback
3/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of casualfan
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of suspect
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a 16oz plastic cup on location at the Warhorse Brewery on Seneca Lake just outside of Geneva, NY. This beer along with the IPA were my two favorites from the brewery.

A: Dark brown in color. Aggressive pour led to a fluffy 3 finger frappucino colored head. Strong lacing stuck to the cup throughout the entire time of the drink.

S: Coffee, licorice, toasted malt. Very strong, very nice smell to it.

T: Followed the nose but added some cocoa as well. The coffee was super-subtle but still a welcome addition to a beer called a lager.

M: A bit lighter than I would expect from the color but just about right on given the fact that it's a lager. Nice bitterness adds to a pretty complex beer.

O: A very solid, very complex beer from a tiny little brewery (which is more of a winery) and one that I would definitely get again.

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Photo of russpowell
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from India Pale Ale, cheers Russell!

Pours an effervescent mahogany with 3 fingers of mocha colored head. Below average head retention & average lacing

S: A touch of dark fruit & licorice

T: Follows the nose, plus a touch of baker's chocolate & a touch of iron up front. Some plum notes, charred wet grain & dryness as this warms & wisp of coffee once this warms. Finishes dry with more coffee & charred wet grain

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation

Drinks easy, an alright take on the style, doesn't quite pull together for greatness

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber purchased at the War Horse Compound outside Geneva, NY.

A: The schwarzbier is appropriately black, a full black coffee or cola color that is brown on closer inspection. A finger or two, depending on the force of the pour, of lightly tanned head slowly bubbles away.

S: The nose combines starchy Baltic porter aromas with coffee and chocolate. The resulting body is full but not heavy. A streak of hops, earthy, cuts through the roasted malt aromas.

T: The schwarzbier doesn't shy away from the darker flavors, revelling in its roasted side. Cocoa and burnt toast drive the depth without allowing the body to get out of hand. There are some off-flavors, a metallic taste that quickly disappears. The cocoa powder flavor and coffee stand out over the other aspects. A decent schwarzbier although I liked better on tap.

M: The mouthfeel, despite the off-flavors, has a nice ring to it. The malts are smooth and there are no strong flavors to push the taste edge.

D: A good bomber. The rich coffee and chocolate flavor keep me coming back. War Horse, and Three Brothers by proxy, have a nice set-up on Seneca Lake.

 1,131 characters

Photo of tlinner
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An absolutely outstanding beer from the tiny brewery on Seneca Lake. More like a porter, it's dominated by coffee malt, with chocolate and a nice hoppy bitterness coming in behind. I sampled this one with all of the other offerings at a tasting, and this was by far the best of the bunch. I bought a growler on the spot, and finished it that night with some family and friends. The brewmaster seemed very proud of his American Black, and I think I know why.

 457 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The pilsner glass is overwhelmed by three to four fingers of frothy, mocha head. Meanwhile, a black, coca cola beer has an auburn halo when put to a light. Once the head finally begins to settle, it deposits tremendous sticky lace.

Sweet, cocoa beans and citrus aromas do battle in the olfactory with dark chocolate and rich black coffee settling the score.

Some burnt malt and toast lead while a long, strong burnt bitterness dominates the finish. Black coffee is less impressive than found in the aroma. This beer is an oddity as it is better from the growler than memory has it from the tap.

This light body Black Lager is almost palate-cleansing in its dryness.

This one has no lacking for character and is easily approachable as a session beer. These attributes make for a real winner.

This may be my favorite offering from Custom Brewcrafters so far, even though it's listed under the Barley Yards name. EDIT - War Horse was previously contract brewed by Custom Brewcrafters under the name Barley Yards. Custom Brewcrafters is now known as CB's.

 1,059 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a 1/2" tan head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a sweet crystal malt scent along with a dry roasted backbone; very nice. The taste is decent. It has a nice roasted malt character that goes down easy and finishes dry and earthy. The caramel nose doesn't translate to the taste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is the new trend now with black lagers. They are almost stout like in character. This is one of them. IMO it has too much dry, roasted character. It needs more crystal malt sweetness.

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Photo of almychristopher
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured in the relaxed atmosphere of the barn tasting room this beer was dark brown in color and of course had the requisite red highlights, but the thick tan head was really nice. the aroma and the taste really bite you with roasty toasty-ness. the clean finish provided by those nasty bottom feeders and the ample carbonation makes this a pretty drinkable beer.

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Photo of LumpyGuitar
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Barley Yards.

Poured a deep black with about a finger of fluffy head, head lasted only a few minutes.

Smells of roasted malts, molasses, and brown sugar.

Taste is crisp, roasted malts dominate with molasses and dark chocolate notes. A bit of an apple flavor, and a slightly sour hop finish.

Mouthfeel is very refreshing, although carbonation is a bit much.

Drinkability is good. This is my favorite style and aside from the sour note, not a bad micro Schwarz.

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American Black Lager from War Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 24 ratings