Guinness Black Lager | Guinness Ltd.

BA SCORE
71
okay
1,974 Ratings
THE BROS
71
okay
Read the review
Guinness Black LagerGuinness Black Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Guinness Ltd.
Ireland
guinness.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,974
Reviews:
445
Avg:
3.08
pDev:
19.81%
 
 
Wants:
36
Gots:
330
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 1,974 |  Reviews: 445
Photo of Sammy
2.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Several bottle samples at the LCBO on WIlson as I explained what the term and style was to the friendly rep they sent out. Its black without much head, or unfortunately much taste either. It's not up to the style. Better than the stout they serve here.A bit thin and overcarbonated.

 282 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.41/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Typical Guiness foamy head and deep brown black body.excellent lacing. Roasted malts, hint of vanilla, cream and milk aroma. Flavor is also very similar to typical Irish stout Guiness with light roasted malt, lager yeast and cream. Medium
To thick body and moderate carbonation. Not that much different from the Irish stout.

 324 characters

Photo of jaydoc
2.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.02/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, char, and a sour, metallic aroma. Taste is much the same with a dark bread and metallic flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty average beer that tastes slightly better than it smells, but that isn't saying much.

 575 characters

Photo of spycow
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.44/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

sounds like this is getting some pretty negative write ups. not all the way sure why, as for a european dark lager on a budget, its pretty good, practical, drinkable, and generally fine. a lighter color with a lesser body, like a darker root beer in the glass, but the head is nice. how dark and thick did you expect it to be? i think it fits the style fine, and even has a nice deeper darker roast on it in both nose and taste that makes it somewhat distinct, somewhat obviously a guinness product, and somewhat worthwhile, despite the poor reviews. its a nice beer for cooking, but its also a nice one for drinking, even with a little age on it (forgotten bottle in a basement box), but its pleasant still, smooth, oddly rich for how dry it is, and really well carbonated. a lighter side of dark ale, even with the grain depth. licorice, scorched barley, euro lager yeast with a little oxidation. its about what i expected, but i think its well better than its ratings here. it was never going to change the world, but its a more than passable dark lager. in the right context, this is great beer...

 1,101 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
2.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of djrn2
2.5/5  rDev -18.8%

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed a 6 pack of this last night to take to my friends place. I figured since it was new I'd like to try it at least and see how it was. This brew poured out as a deep brown color with a fizzy tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer reminded me of most European Lagers, I suppose I was able to pick up on some roasted malts on the nose. The taste of the beer is decent It's pretty well balanced between roasted malt and a bitter lager. The flavors to me are similar to what Beck's Dark is like. The mouthfeel has a good drinkable quality to it with a pretty good dry feeling in the back end. Overall this brew isn't all that bad. I still prefer Guinness Draught on tap but I respect the ideas that they are trying to put out in bottles recently.

 755 characters

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of metter98
2.86/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is clear very dark amber in color and has the slightest hints of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface and some rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are faint aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: The taste has some flavors of roasted malts along with notes of nuts and sweetness.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied and slightly watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink but could use a fuller body and stronger aromas and flavors. The appearance is quite deceptive because you would think that this beer is a lot fuller-bodied than it actually is.

 746 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly standard of European Dark Lagers, and with characteristics of Schwarzbiers and German Dunkel Lagers. Dark in color but an easy drinking lager of mild roast and subtle toffee.

Dark brown in color, the beer's shade doesn't quite achieve the black appearance of the namesake. Very clear, the beer shows highlights of ruby and crimson. Modest carbonation builds a medium white head with loosely knit bubbles, but all is short lived as the head falls rather quickly without lace.

Medium roast, light caramel and toffee, and an overall grainy scent accompany a moderate malty character in aroma. With no real hop character, only the slightest fruity ester of grape and plumb offer any counterpart to the malts.

Flavors do much the same with toast, charred grains, medium coffee, dry bread maltiness and an overall grainy taste leading the malty way. With medium intensity throughout, the malt flavors are balanced by a later hop bitterness that remains understated and gives something to the beer other than malt, medium sweetness, and slight fruitiness.

Medium bodied as well, early creaminess from carbonation proves fleeting as the grainy sweetness lingers well into finish. Mildly malty in the end with the slight hoppy dryness of wood and grain.

I draw a lot of similarities from Dry Stouts to Schwarzbiers, so I was hoping for a better discussion among the two from the classy brewers of Guinness. However, this vague dark lager misses the mark on quality issues and recipe formulation.

 1,498 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.23/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle, from a Waikiki grocery store, the one that isn't an ABC outlet. Can't get this particular Guinness offering back home, and the price is surely right.

This beer pours a clear, very dark caramel cola colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves a limestone cross section of lace around the glass as it quickly (for Guinness) settles.

It smells of roasted, softly meaty pale grain, some bittersweet tropical fruitiness, a wee bit of lactic sourness, and leafy, earthy hops. The taste is more lightly roasted bready caramel malt, some ineffectual coffee and dry chocolate notes, a hint of wet ash, and mild leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is quite laid back in its low-key frothiness, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, with but a minor pithiness growing as it warms. It finishes off-dry, the plain roasted barley sweetness getting a tad biscuity, and the coffee notes fading into the ether, with a very subtle (read: weak) noble hop offset.

An OK enough black lager, I suppose, just lacking a bit of sass, in either the crispness of the grain, or the roast, or maybe the hops - whatever. Nothing wrong, really, but nothing all that right, either - so in that manner, it does well to follow in the footsteps of its (much) more ubiquitous draught stout sibling.

 1,348 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.09/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I acquired a few bottles of this from "The Vineyard" off-license in Belfast. I poured it into a Whitewater brewery pint glass, though notably (and strangely) Guinness says it should be consumed straight out of the bottle. This seems very misguided. I was informed that this rule is taken to such excess that bartenders in the UK refuse to give customers a pint glass with the beer even if specifically requested. With all due respect, what the fuck?

A: Pours a dark black with a four finger creamy head of slight tan colour. Nice retention. Guinness show-offs, them.

Sm: Musty hops and barley.

T: Roasted barley; toned down compared to Guinness. Balanced body, but simple.

Mf: Nicely coarse and dry.

Dr: It's worth the price, but it's so damn unambitious. It has sparked my interest in the dark lager style, which I've hitherto neglected.

 847 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of dmorgan310
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle: Poured a clear dark color lager with a small off-white foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of lightly toasted malt is mildly pleasant. Taste is also dominated by lightly toasted malt with light dry bitter notes and watery finish. Body is light with OK carbonation. This is a water-down version of Guinness which says a lot about this beer.

 347 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.38/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a black color with a one-finger, light brown head of sudsy foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of caramel and toffee. Not alot going on here.

T - Better than the aroma, it brings some sweet caramel, toffee and chocolate flavors with a very subtle bitterness.

M - It was soft and a little creamy. A medium bodied lager with a clean, crisp finish.

O - This is an okay lager. I didn't have high hopes for it but it wasn't half bad.

 456 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of LXIXME
2.83/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium to big light brown head settles into a nice lacing above a clear very dark reddish brown colored beer.

Light to faint aroma of dark roasted coffee malts, licorice, maybe burnt grains.

A light roasted grain malt taste, maybe a hint of the coffee from the aroma but really not much coming through with this beer.

A light dry aftertaste with any lingering tastes on this medium bodied beer.

I was kinda disappointed with this beer, when I saw that Guinness had Guinness Black Lager I had to try it. I guess Guinness's regular stout is kind of the measuring stick for anyone trying to make a stout and was kind of hoping that that would ring true for this as well. Guess not.

 682 characters

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of mothman
2.65/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light tan head. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Roasted malts, coffee, caramel, and chocolate.

Taste: Very bland with coffee roast and chocolate. Definitely has the Guinness house flavor, but not much here.

Mouthfeel: Dry and roasted. Light bodied with a higher amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, this was okay, but nothing special. Not very flavor. My brother described as the equivalent of an American amber. I agreed.

 445 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Guinness has tried several times over the years to produce a brand that could create additional sales beyond their stouts (i.e. Guinness Gold), but nothing has really stuck. Black Lager may turn out the same way for a variety of reasons that I won't go into as this is really just about reviewing the beer itself. That said...

It's basically a German Schwarzbier, although I find it a bit on the roasty side. Sure there's a bit of caramel to the malt, and it even has some nice chocolatey tones to it, but the roastiness remains. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the drinker.

The appearance is good, and it leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The aroma is interesting with a little bit of roastiness, a hint of smokiness, and some underlying oily coffee beans.

The flavor offers a bit of dark caramel upfront, followed by some burnt sugar and subtle impressions of coffee, nuttiness, and bittersweet chocolate. The roastiness hits at mid palate, and remains straight through into the long-lingering finish. It's solid, but not particularly bitter, and fairly well-balanced. Some hops can be found as the aftertaste continues on, and they tend to give a subtle suggestion of underlying mint.

In the mouth it's medium-light in body, and fairly brisk with carbonation.

Overall it's a very decent, enjoyable beer.

 1,343 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.15/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually a dark brown rather than black; essentially clear with a nice creamy tan head. Leaves good lacing.

Surprise! There's a significant amount of hop flavor in here. Not a hoppy beer, for sure, but with malt and hops in equal balance, more or less. I got two very different impressions from tastings on two occasions, both from fresh bottles. Originally, I thought it had a ice aftertaste featuring spicy hops and dark malt, and was well crafted. My more recent tasting provided a poor aftertaste that substantially detracted from my enjoyment.

O - a fine new introduction well worth a try, especially on those occasions where only beers from major distribution networks are available.

 693 characters

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Guinness Black Lager from Guinness Ltd.
3.08 out of 5 based on 1,974 ratings.
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