Guinness Black Lager | Guinness Ltd.

444 Reviews
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Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mdagnew on 04-03-2010

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Reviews: 444 | Ratings: 1,961
Photo of thegreatbeerer
1.12/5  rDev -63.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer upsets me. I love guinness. Every thing they were. And still should be. What they stood for. With this they have lost alot of my respect. They have sold out to the mass market. Guinness is not supposed to be for everyone. I'm sad. I'm sick. This is like metallica singing turn the page. CHEAP. i understand what they are trying to do. Be relevant. Current. What they don't understand is that the timeless rock of a beer they have been brewing for 250 years would keep them current on its own. Bc it demands respect. Its a fucking institution. Its not my favorite beer. I prefer more aggressive american stouts but its one of the worlds best liquids. Black lager is no better than yeungling black and tan or 1554. Like bud with black die in it. POSER!!! the slogan for this beer is. " if you are a pussy and are lying about it. Drink black lager"

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Photo of keysofebony
1.3/5  rDev -57.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

We just got this beer in at the liquor store I work at. I was excited to hear that Guinness came out with a new beer, but disappointing when I saw the aside, this is just a terrible beer. If I did a blind tasting of this, I would say Milwaukee's Best came out with a dark beer. It has the dark chocolaty/coffee taste at first, but it mixes with that awful, cheap-old-man-beer taste. I think Guinness should pull this product to save the name they've established. If you want to try this, I would suggest splitting a six pack with a friend. I split a 6 pack with my boss and I got through half of one before I poured it and left the other 2 bottles in my friends fridge.

Overall- Guinness is one of my go-to beers when I can't find anything appealing because all of their beers are good and fairly inexpensive, but this would fall far below adequate for even Miller/Coors and Budweiser.

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Photo of OpenMic
1.43/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Plain and simple, a watered down version of a Euro Dark Lager.
Guinness should stick with their money maker. I'm glad I only
had one bottle,
A: tan foamy head, hangs in there.
S: mild, weak, very disappointed
T: a lite lager at best
M: lacks a robust flavor, just eh, maybe nitrogen would do this beer some good.
O: For someone just starting out on the beer find, a starter
and nothing more.

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Photo of homebrew311
1.54/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: pours dark brown with creamy tan head, minimal light passage, some lacing

S: nose features stale roasted malts, buttery notes, watered down chocolate, lager yeast. Not anything good going on here.

T: taste is bland and watery with muted roasted malts, finish is acrid, this is not good

Mf: feather light body, medium carbonation

O: not good, nuff said

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Photo of blazepowell
1.54/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well this is just bad it is not that it has poor taste it just has no taste. It has a dark look with a decent pour to it but that is where it ends. It is a water tasting lackluster attempt by guinness very disappointing. I would say to pass on this if your in a guinness mood and get the stout.

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Photo of Sobered
1.56/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I bought this because it was on sale at the local beer ripoff joint. I think foreign extra is a decent beer but don't particularly care for other Guinness offerings. This was a total disappointment. It looks good, but there is zero taste at all. It's under-carbonated, just like Guinness Draught. I'm not a macro fan at all, so don't think that that's the problem This was just tasteless slop. I even tried to marinate pork chops in this for 24 hours and couldn't taste it in the finished product. A poor attempt from a decent brewery, sad to say.

My son bought a twelver of Bud Light Plantinum at the same time I got this, and the bud was better. It kills me to say that.

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Photo of Kremlock
1.64/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A: Dark but yet fairly clear. Carb is lively and head is about 1/4 but decipates fast

S: Loads of coffee but more on the burned coffee

T: Burned coffee all over. Actually, more like burned bottom of the bot. Sort of like when you burn sauce or noodles.

M: Carb is hight, but the burned flavour is just too much

O: Would never buy this again. I was drinking this with a spicy curry and it made my food taste bad. I could not believe how burned the beer tasted.

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Photo of eranfaraway
1.66/5  rDev -46.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I had high hopes for this beer but was really disappointed. It almost seems to have a metallic taste to it, like a cheap canned beer. It had a flat mouth feel for such a dark beer, it didn't seem well balanced. Not as heavy as the Guinness I'm accustomed to. I won't buy it again.

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Photo of drinkoneforme
1.68/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Seemed like it wanted to be a good beer but on tasting it reminded me of a black lager mixed with water. Seemed empty to me with not much to it. I was rather dissatisfied.
I would appreciate some body and flavor, give me something to like or dislike.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
1.71/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Poured vigorously, giving a big, billowy light tan head, made up mostly of large bubbles, over two fingers' worth. Sits on top of a very deep ruby, almost black, but reddish highlights do shine through. As head falls over period of a few minutes, leaves big chunky lacing on the glass. This is the best part of the review, the rest is kind of a downer.

Aromas of roast malt, an "eastern european lager funk," a grainy harshness with a noble hop aroma. Oily and phenolic. Not that pleasant.

First sip is of that eastern european lager quality, grainy malt, some hop balance. But harsh. Tastes like it was brewed bigger, then diluted. Finish is short and grainy.

Mouthfeel is light, leaning toward watery, with an oily quality.

Not very drinkable. Not sure how this got past the corporate tasting panel, unless they thought it would appeal to the macro masses. Won't repeat this one.

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Photo of AleWatcher
1.71/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Bought a 6 pack to use in my chili... Ended up with one left-- so here we go...
Not sure of style designation "euro dark lager." I'll be comparing this to other black lagers...
Poured into pint glass.

Unimpressive sums up the beer on all aspects.
It is dark- light red hints. Minimal head, virtually no lace.
Looks undercarbonated-- kind of thick, but not anything I think will be full bodied...

Smells of roasted malt and coffee grounds.

Taste is slightly sweet, toasty, and coffee. No real hop note, although slightly bitter...

Oily and undercarbonated... Medium body.

Not good. Not awful... But not a beer I'll be buying again.

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Photo of EgadBananas
1.72/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown color with lighter edges. Head was plentiful, and spongy. Retention was short lived.

I can see why they suggest drinking it ice cold and straight from the bottle... this smells awful! A mixture of metal, stale malts and a burnt rye toast aroma.

The taste is better, but it's nothing good. Really, it's just so bland its painful. There's only the faintest hints of roasted malts and a hint of sweetness.

This is like water. There's no substance, nothing validating about the way it feels.

I'm so disappointed in this. Regular Guinness isn't spectacular, but it's pleasant and drinkable despite it's giant stature. This just sucked. Smelled awful, tasted bland, and nothing pleasurable about drinking it.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
1.76/5  rDev -43%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours black, period. There is a one finger, light brown head with lasting lace. The aroma is of burnt toast and anise. The flavor is roasted malt with nutty and phenolic notes. It's mouthfeel is light with a black licorice aftertaste. Guinness Black Lager is an okay beer, slightly recommended.

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Photo of bramsdell
1.81/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I am a die-hard Guinness fan, both stout and draught, but it is here that I draw the line. Honestly, I don't even feel like reviewing this beer, but I paid for it, so I feel like I should. I also want to note that I do not have anything against dark lagers. I think there can be A-level dark lagers out there.

A: It looks like a dark lager. Maybe it is a bit thinner than the usual dark lager. When looked at quickly, it looks like a real beer, but upon further scrutiny, the thinness and lack of head is very apparent.

S: It smells like malt liquor. Now, I love me a Colt 45 in the right time and the right place, but this smells like old Olde English. I hate OE.

A: It tastes like f-ing OE. Did I really just buy a beer that tastes like OE. More importantly, did Guinness, a company with such a distinctive brand, flavor and body, really just allow its name to be stamped onto a beer that tastes like OE? Damn.

M: Um, it's watery. There isn't a whole lot else to say. Carbonation levels are not noticeably high or low for the style; basically average.

O: This beer sucks. I love Guinness draught and stout and will defend the big G until my dying day, but this beer is horrible. Having bought this as a single due to interest, I wish I had instead just bought a 40. Don't buy this beer.

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Photo of daliandragon
1.83/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

The first time I saw this in the supermarket it gave me a sad. At the same time I knew I would get around to trying it sooner or later. Today I picked up a single for a single GW portrait. Low expectations, hopefully they can be realized. Pours pretty black with a brief head that dissipates to an unimpressive cap. Nose is caramel but impressive in neither quality or quantity.

Big yuck! Something is terribly wrong here. It barely tastes like beer at all but more like evil cola. Sweet but insipid and nasty and over carbonated. I am not sure I can finish this or why I should. This is a mistake all around.

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Photo of Organdrew
1.83/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Picked one up on sale from the local liquor chain store. I'm under presumption that this is a new product.

Look: straight from the bottle. Very dark, and the bottle is pleasing to look at.

Smell: smelling straight from the bottle yields not much of anything.

taste: This is where it lacks. First sip tasted like water with a weird skunky taste. For a second I thought I had gotten bad beer but remembered this is a completely different style of the beer I had 30 minutes ago. Taste like bad water in my opinion with a very weak beer linger. Some weak "coffee-like" taste pokes through at the end.

mouthfeel: reminiscent of bad thick water.

overall: weak beer. I would DEFINITELY not try this again. I've tried other Guinness before and this is a WAY different beer. It does have that slightly "guinness" taste, that is coffe/roated toffee, but very subtle and under all that carbonated water. If that little Guinness signature taste was not there, I would swear I was drinking mineral water. I could not finish the beer and poured it out with about 1/3 left. It gave me a sore stomach.

The only plus is the great looking bottle. and maybe less calories. A strong Guinness character SHOULD NOT try to cover/dumb down their signature taste, Guinness and lager do not mix.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
1.85/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle pours black and does not let much light in. Moderate retention and lacing from a light tan head.

Nose is surprisingly metallic and mineraly. Charred malt is about all else I get...really not a whole lot going on. Disappointing.

Taste is some black patent malt and tangy minerals. Not really very pleasant, to be honest. Not sure why, but I was expecting a little more from this new brew. Its watery, metallic and lacks any sort of character. I would like to see at least a little sweetness and would a hint of hop character be too much to ask? Im not even going to comment on the 'Cold Brewed' nonsense on the label. This beer is a total farce, avoid at all costs. Guinness should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for creating this monstrosity.

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Photo of MrKennedy
1.93/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

330ml bottle at Harts Pub poured into a mini goblet.

Black in appearance, no surprises there...with a solid tan head of foam (about an inch) that gradually reduces over time.

If you've ever smelt a non-alcoholic beer from a supermarket...this nails it...not a good thing.

Relatively bland flavour, tiny bit of roasted malt coming through.

Modest body at best. Feels light.

In summary, underwhelming and really reminds me of an over-malty alcohol-free beer.

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Photo of KarlHungus
1.99/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This beer pours a dark brown almost black color. The head is on inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is of mostly nothing with a very faint hint of roasted malt. The taste is hard to detect for two reasons: first it is very faint, second, the extreme carbonation makes it difficult to leave this beer in my mouth longer enough to pick up anything. Not only is the mouthfeel way to aggressively carbonated it is water thin. Overall, this beer is really bad. I wasn't expecting a ton of flavor being that it is brewed by Guinness, but I was expected some flavor, and this beer simply doesn't have it.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
2/5  rDev -35.3%

This beer is not a bad beer, just very bland. The appearance is dark black with an off white head. The smell is very subtle with some sweetness coming through. The taste was a bit flat. There was a bit of bitterness in the beginning but the rest was rather neutral. Also not a fan of the mouthfeel which was too thin and not enough carbonation.

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Photo of monique
2/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

As a Guinness lover, I was very disappointed with the Black Lager. I really wanted to like it but couldn't. Tried it cold & room temperture;and, with & without food. When poured, it didn't have the cascade; it didn't have the rich smell nor did it have the Guinness Taste. It sort of reminded me of what one would have if you added water to the Stout. And the price - not worth it.

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Photo of MightyMonk
2.01/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Wow this was a surprise. I expected a bit more from Guinness.

The best part of this beer in my opinion is the look. And that's not all that great considering it's large quickly settling carbonation.

The color really is it's attribute but it lies when you taste it. Weak, almost no hoppiness, no maltiness. Bland is what I might say. I expected more roastiness with the color.
The smell has nothing to offer and the mouthfeel is light bodied to watery for the style.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh here but I sure expected more.

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Photo of Halcyondays
2.03/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours black with a firm light tan head, frothy in the glass, good retention, thick lace. As with most Guinness products, the appearance is impressive.

S: Practically non-existent, I feel like I'm smelling a light beer. A hint of roast if I'm being kind.

T: Taste is just as bland. C'mon. Very minor dark chocolate notes, doesn't even taste roasty, some carbonic acid flavour which is never a good sign. I'm drinking beer not Perrier.

M: Light-bodied, thins out in a big way at the finish. Fairly clean, but not really saying much.

O: Guinness Draught was the first beer I ever had back in 2005 so this brewery will always hold a special place in my heart. But this beer is not good. I feel like Guinness just invented the black light lager. That's really what it is. Just reeks of corporatism and dumbing down for the masses. Foreign Extra Stout came out last year and it was great. I was hoping for something similar here. Didn't happen.

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Photo of TCog
2.06/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Looks like a black lager
S - The bottle mentions roasted barley, but that must mean something other than what I think it means, because there is nothing to the nose.
T - Blind, I would have never said this was a black lager or anything much darker than a pilsner. There's some non-descript bitterness but nothing else of note.
M - Nothing to it. There is no weight, there is no significant flavor.
O - Guiness missed with this one. I was hoping for a flavorful black lager and instead we got Guiness Lite.

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Photo of cbartos1021
2.15/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm surprised I haven't had Guinness Black Lager earlier. I was a little skeptical to try it. I much prefer the creaminess of a nitro-tapped Guinness Stout.

Anyway, here's a quick beer review.


Guinness Black Lager pours a very dark brown beer with very minimal whitish head. Head retention is minimal.


Very clean aroma. Not a very pungent smell whatsoever. It's slightly sweet with minimal toffee or caramel notes.

Taste & Mouthfeel

Very lager-y taste. Definitely what you expect of any kind of lager. Much less roasted malt flavor that I might expect of a darker beer (no coffee, espresso flavor). More black malt. (Black malt is roasted at very high temperatures that tend to drive off most of the malty flavor, therefore there is very little flavor. It's really used more for it's color than anything else.) That's exactly what it tastes like. It tastes like any lager you might enjoy -- almost like a Bass Ale with black malt to give it a black color. Not much there...


I'm slightly disappointed in this beer. It is not reminiscent of the Guinness flavor I am fond of. I would much rather taste coffee, espresso flavored roasted malt. If I close my eyes, I feel like I'm drinking a lighter lager like a Bass Ale, Harp, or something similar. I would much rather stick to Guinness Stout.

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
3.09 out of 5 based on 1,961 ratings.
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