Black Lager | Devils Backbone Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
331 Ratings
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Black LagerBlack Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Devils Backbone Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
dbbrewingcompany.com

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Schwartz Bier

Added by on 07-24-2009

BEER STATS
Ratings:
331
Reviews:
67
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
10.73%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
87
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 331 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of Sammy
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

my first beer from these guys is a bit of a let down. it tastes a bit stale, like a crummy euro dark lager all extracty and weird. dark in color, more like a porter in looks than a dark ale, rather dense and not super heady after the initial gush fades down. a nose of tale dark roasted grain and lager yeast, nothing seems alive or fresh about it, flavors are all muted, and the yeast is just weird. i have heard these guys make some great stuff, but this is a pretty uninspiring introduction to this brewery. lacking the nice carbonation and quick finish of the better schwarz types, and not really giving me much grain character at all. it makes me thirsty for a good one. it also seems a bit thick and under carbonated, not the feel i am really after in the style. all up, there is nothing particularly bad about it, but it just never really comes together, something with the yeast i think, but this one is forgettable for me.

 931 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a 22 Sept. 2014 date stamp.

Pours clear, dark red-brown with a decent head, but the head soon reduces to a ring.

True to style, this is a very well crafted Schwarzbier. Plenty of sweet toffee in the aroma; caramel, coffee and black bread in the flavor. Lightly sweet.

O: Nearly as good as Sprecher's, this is highly recommended for style

 364 characters

Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours into my schwarbier glass a deep cola color with a light beige head sitting perfectly atop,just a great pour.Aromas of chocolate and earth with light roast...not overpowering,smells like a great dessert beer.Chocolaty sweet flavors but not overly so,some more brown sugar comes into play giving more sweetness but a big earthy backbone keeps the sweetness from taking over,roast is bigger as I drink more but the lager smoothness holds thr to the finish.I like this rendition of the style,it's alot better than most American versions in my opinion.

 553 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the brewpub. Pours black with a sturdy light mocha head that rings the sides with rich swathes of lace. Smells floral and green with citric hops. This blends in with a combo of cocoa powder and some sweeter toffee flavors, while a firm roastiness shores up the back. The taste is similar, with a smooth blend of cocoa, caramel, dark malts and a crisp citric bite that leaves a touch of bitterness and roast in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a clean and tight feel all around. Flavorful and very drinkable, this is one of the better Schwartzbiers I’ve had lately.

 590 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Slatetank
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

tried this on tap at BWI -served in a willybecker.

The color is very dark brown with black coffee appearance with opaque clarity thin tan head with very fine bead lace clings well. The smell is cocoa-like with slight roasted coffee and mild mineral yeast with roasted barley dominant in the aroma. The feel has medium body with moderately low sweetness and mild roast with semi-dry yet clean finish.

Taste has a good malt flavor with mild sweetness in taste combined with slight roasted barley and subtle hop in the back with more of a bready taste with toasted maltiness as it finishes dry. Overall a smooth lager as it should be yet nice amount of roast which is not burnt or bitter. This fits the style well I would drink this frequently if available locally.

 766 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, near black, body with a half inch of khaki head. Chocolate, nutty, earthy, aroma. Chocolate and caramel malt with a hint of yeast and afterthoughts of coffee. Dark and rich. Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation and a mild hop note in the back end. Solid.

 274 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tall pilsner style glass.

A very dark walnut black, with hints of red, a real dark lager for sure. Makes a nice tan head with soapy retention, and leaves lots of speckled tiny clumped up lacing. Real dark brew, good head and retention, impressive.

The brew has a great nose. Light toasty malts, and hints of creamy coffee. Great wonderful chewy grain and pumpernickel like bread. Hints a little bit of milk chocolate hiding as well. A real inviting bouquet.

Palate hits with the right notes that came from the nose, but are much more downplayed. Good hint of grain roast, but there's a little bit of acrid sourness on the finish just a touch. Mouthfeel seems about right, with a hint of light character but plenty of malt depth to carry the flavors. There's also a hint of lager like crispness that just wants to peak out, with a coffee sensing roast character.

Overall it's a pretty solid Schwarz but nothing mind blowing or something I would desperately pickup again. I would drink this again with no problem if I had a choice.

 1,063 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a deep, dark, auburn highlighted, brown coloring with a halo of off-white head. Aromas of richly sweet nut and chocolate, smoky highlights, and a bitter coffee backbone. Flavors are richly sweet forward, nutty, creamy, and with chocolate highlights. There are roasted overtones, hints of smoke, and a tangy cream profile at the end of the palate. Mid-bodied, with a slight effervescence, and a dry undertone. The aftertaste is a subtle smoky highlighted blend of candy-like sweet notes all blending together. Smooth, slightly dry, slightly effervesced finish. Not bad.

 621 characters

Photo of VeganUndead
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Cogan's Pizza in Norfolk, VA.

It pours decently dark black, with a white foamy head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like roasted malt, some light smoke, cream, and caramel.

This is a pretty tasty dark lager here, fairly roasty and earthy, with some light sweetness in the form of caramel and light creaminess. There's some smokiness that's fairly mild as well.

This is medium bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel, and a moderate level of carbonation.

A nice roasty dark lager, nothing crazy, just well crafted.

 534 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Gavage
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown almost black in color with a 1" tan colored head.

Aroma: chocolate and roasted malts were easily detectable.

Taste: mild roasted malt, dark chocolate, hints of espresso, prunes, and a moderate balancing bitterness creates a flavorful beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, but a bit thinner than a porter. Lightly crisp to start, smooth at the finish. Long roasted flavor aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer was extremely quaffable and very flavorful. One of the better beers during my visits to the brewpub.

 529 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Black Lager from Devils Backbone Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 331 ratings.
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