Samuel Adams Black Lager | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
BA SCORE
3.7/5
2,616 Ratings
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheJudge on 12-27-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#28,181
Reviews:
1,451
Ratings:
2,616
pDev:
12.97%
Bros Score:
3.68
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
199
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,616 |  Reviews: 1,451
Photo of stephendr
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of dark chocolate, with a decent tan head - nose of sweet roasted malts , some bitter sweet chocolate , and silky – taste of bitter sweet chocolate , malt , mild bitterness , and hint of espresso - body is light , silky , and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of chocolate , malt , and roasted

 319 characters

Photo of alfistheman
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark golden brown through white light, short thick tan head
S- Light smell, chocolate and carmel
T- Coffee taste like most heavy malts, to me at least, followed by smooth finish accompanied by chocolate and carmel, not bad.
M- Not too thin, maybe for the style, i'm not familiar. Certainly smooth not oily at all.
D- Easy to toss back several of these, compared to average stout i'd say i could put more of these back in a session

 433 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark deep brown to black, Easily managed head forms nicely and leaves at a minimum a paper coating, lacing is admirable. Quite the inviting treat...what lay ahead?

Chocolate is up front, some burnt or charred type quality in the backend. Sweet and slightly unbalanced for the most part. I found the hops to have just enough to make this a solid offering. Malts are sweet and unchallenged, you can get some bitterness from the toasted, charred quality. Finishes pretty clean and crisp. I would have never guessed that it would finish clean, but there is just a whisp of lingering malts.

I have to admit I've stayed away from Sam Adams brews for years. Why? No valid reason whatsoever as I've discovered recently. They are consistent, drinkable, fundamental offerings.

 772 characters

Photo of travolta
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
Black until held to the light, which brings a faint cloudy amber color. Decent head retention with great lacing.

Nose:
Chocolate, malt, powder, sweet yeast and dough, a little melon at the end.

Taste:
Light mouthfeel for a lager. Dissolves very quickly on your palate. Very light chocolate at first with a toasted malty finish. A flash of alcohol at the end.

Notes:
Not as thick as you would expect from a lager, but brewed very well nonetheless.

 463 characters

Photo of jimmah120
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle best by june

Dark mahogany, almost black. Decent head retention and lacing. Smell is sweet malt and floral hops, very light. Taste is crisp, bready malts with a roasted toffee undertone. Good amount of carbonation and a creamy feel.

Overall it's very drinkable but decidedly average.

 297 characters

Photo of gkunkle
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown color. When held to light I get some nice reddish hues. Head is off-white and pretty tall. Retention is good. Smell reminds me of shiner bock, it is roasty and caramel-ey. Taste is of chocolate, slight roasty flavor. No major hop presence. Body is a little on the thin side, with appropriate carbonation. I love that this beer has a nice low ABV and a decent flavor. It wound make an okay session beer.

 421 characters

Photo of mattkoon
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the sam adams black lager is a rich a hearty beer. The coloris a deep black with crimson low lights and a nice tan head. The smell is of rich chocolate barley. Taste like chocolate and lightly smoked malt. The finish is surprisingly mild and that makes it more drinkable that some dark lagers. People that are scared of dark beers should give this one a try it's much less harsh than some out there.

 399 characters

Photo of AMoceri7
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it before but it was way too long ago to review. Bought it again and just as curious as I was the first time.

A: Pitch black, with ruby hints in the light. Very small head unless you pour it completely inverted. Coffee white head. Very pretty

S: Pale malt really. Must have used 95% two row and 5% black patent. No real coffee smell that you would expect at all.

T: This one will throw you for a loop. Hops dont come through till the finish. Balanced nicely but leaning more towards the malty side. The talk of ROASTED and CHOCOLATE seems to be far from the truth. A lot of Crystal 60L (obvious caramel) is evident and thats about as dark as it gets in the flavor. Like I said before, black lager is an appearance beer, which correlates none with the flavor.

M: Smooth as smooth gets, watered down. Clean clean finish. Carbonation is perfect and one beer that compliments the flavor very well.

D: I could have a few of these and be satisfied. Sam Adams (Black Lager) is a very good choice of a sociable beer. Not a treat by any means.

 1,044 characters

Photo of pjwilson
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bought at local corner store in a mixed 6 pack containing: black lager, hefe, and the brown ale. cool idea. i like to try alot of beers, but i am most anticipating the black lager i have never seen any of these beers in california before. best before june 2006, so you know it's fresh.

appearance: dark black color, yet held to the light it turns a deep amber color. the two finger head is awsome, but then settles down to a half inch or so.

smell: more lagery yeasty smell, no hint of the roasted malts. after you've had death and taxes....well you except some ommffff.

taste: an improvment for sure. reminisant of an irish dry stout, but with some more coffee and chocolate tones. frankly, there is little lager like about this beer, i would buy it is as a stout. very little in the way of what i would except in a swarzbeer. (not that the beer claimed it was)

mouthfeel: a nice and thick fullness, greater than excepted. i guess creamy is the word. i'm giving it lower points because this a lager, it should have lighter mouthfeel. if they called it a stout it might be a 4.

drinkability: this is a disapointment. i'm still waiting to find the perfect shwarz, but am still looking. this is not it. still, this is decent, but i certainly wouldn't seek it out.

 1,279 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark with red hues, lots of bubble action, looks like Coca-Cola. Decent lace to the thick, light tan creamy head.

Aroma - some initial roasted malt and espresso, also a metallic element. Initial nose fades to just the metallic-like smell.

Taste - sweet and malty, nice roasted flavors are enjoyable, no metal stuff thankfully. No hop presence either, on purpose per the label info. Finish is satisfyingly roasty, prompting another sip.

Mouthfeel - solid mouthfeel, smooth with subdued carbonation.

Drinkability - this is one of those rare beers that is best enjoyed in the bottle to keep those metallic odors bottled up. I really wanted to give a higher Taste score, but the smell dragged it down too much for me, affecting Drinkability as well. It is an otherwise delicious beer worth a sixer.

 819 characters

Photo of bark
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is deep dark brown (70 EBC), the liquid clear. The finger-thick head is brown.

The smell is fresh with a sour touch, some chocolate bar, light clean sweet flavours and a balancing touch of bitterness.

The taste is at first a bit earthy. Roasted sweet notes. It got lots of flavours, but it doesn’t get heavy. Bitterness in the background. Medium body. Chocolate and some roasted malts in the aftertaste as well as passing notes of soap and salty hints. Some cookies in the finish.

The carbonation is medium to light, the small bubbles short-lived. The liquid is somewhat dry.

Not a bad beer at all, although I didn’t like the soapy flavours.

 664 characters

Photo of emsroth
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with freshness date

App: dark brown, nearly black, but definitely filtered and transparent. big fluffy head with strong lacing.

smell: sweet, dark malts. earthy, herbal hops. aromas of dark bread.

taste: very dark roasted malt taste upfront. the flavor sharply recedes to a slightly bitter, minerally hop flavor. ends crisp with pleasing noble hop flavor and ever increasing coffee presence as it warms.

The clean, crisp taste of a larger with full-flavored roasted malt. light-medium body. slight but tight carbonation.

 536 characters

Photo of tempest
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in a Sam Adams Mix Pack.

Pours a dark dark brown body with about a one finger head and leaves a little lacing. Nice, full malty aroma. A little sweet too.

Nice tasting, but not a standout in flavor for a schwarzbier. There are no off flavors, but its lightest tasting black lager I've had. Very similar to Saranac Black Forest.

Goes down easy and isn't terribly filling for a dark beer, but I think this is only because the flavor and body are too light for the style.

Very drinkable and I'd never refuse one of these. However, if I wanted a cheaper black lager, I'd still go with Saranac Black Forest. Possibly a good beer for someone just starting to try darker beer.

 691 characters

Photo of Silenus89
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A. A deep brown with red accents and half inch head.

S. Caramel and Chocolate with earthy hops

T. A nice creaminess with bitter chocolate and coffee

MF. Medium to heavy bodied

D. A good beer that i would get again and surprisingly drinkable

 287 characters

Photo of jillmart
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Practically black with a healthy, frothy head when poured into a glass.

Smell: It's quite subtle, but it's got a roasted malt smell with a hint of chocolate.

Taste: The initial taste of chocolate is what reeled me in. It has a hint of coffee, but it's not strong. It ends up kind of dry, which isn't really my style.

Mouthfeel: Kind of carbonated.

Overall: It's not strong on the smell, and it doesn't have a deep, flavorful punch, but it's a tasty beer and serves its purpose well. It's actually refreshing for a dark beer, which is good for someone like me who loves dark beers but doesn't really want something that heavy in the summertime. This is a mighty fine beer option when you're at a bar surrounded by Miller Lite-like options.

Serving type: bottle

 776 characters

Photo of ReDave
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thankfully Sam Adams has multipacks that allow me to try and have a few samples of their beers, that i might not normally have.

Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights. Very little dark cream head. Some lacing.

Very roasty as might be expected. Some spices. A little flat in the mouth-feel.

OK for those occasional jaunts out side the HOP LIMIT....

 360 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

App- There are two fingers of dense and fizzy head that is a light brown. The body is a jet black with slight red highlights.

Smell- There is roasted malt and just a slight amount of earthy hop. They also manage to get some sweet malt in there too.

Taste- There is a good mix of caramel and roasted malt. It gets weird toward the finish. It is a mix of citrus hop and metallic tang. If this beer didn't have that finish, it would be much better. I was a little surprised by the alcohol warming, definitely different and a little off putting for a black lager.

Mouth feel- It is medium bodied and slick. The finish is a little dry thanks to that hoppy finish.

Overall- It isn't a bad beer, but the hops need to be more present and there is just something off about the finish. It is so close to being really good.

 817 characters

Photo of eballard
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a slight hint of amber red. It had a heavy head that settled into a nice lacing. It had a roasted dark chocolate smell with a little bit of a malt quality. The taste is roasted and smoky with sweet malt back. It has a very creamy feel but a light finish. And not too much bite. It’s a subtle beer with a rich flavor and a light body. If you like dark beers this is an easy one to drink but it lacks the heaviness that you may be looking for. Sam Adams never disappoints and this beer is certainly worth a try.

 545 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was average, a deep, deep brown (not quite black when held to the light) with a light head that receded quickly. The cream-colored lacing did likewise, and carbonation was average.

Smell was primarily roasted caramel, with chocolate and a hint of hops also obvious.

Taste was pleasant, but not outstanding - the roasted chocolate and malts were in the foreground, the caramel lent an interesting middle note, and the Bavarian hops were noticeable in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was light, very smooth, with a good finish, and minimal carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty good - I wouldn't mind having a few of these, although it wouldn't be the first beer (or even the first Sam Adams) I would go for if I were out.

 774 characters

Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

 508 characters

Photo of mhbach97
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of beermeright
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Not to say much about this guy... had it a few times in sampler packs. dark beer.. the flavor is okay. not my favorite sam adams but its worth a try. made black and blues with it before def not as thick or rich as other beers that would have worked better with that. wasnt a fan of the after taste.

 298 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed 03/10/08.

Clear mahogany colored pour with one finger head. Fast reduction to a thin skin of foam. Holding beer to light reveals deep brown highlights and a modest amount of rising bubbles.

Chocolate aroma with some smoke and a tart plum note.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable, save for some prickly carbonation.

Flavor is subdued. Chocolate malt is the only component I can detect. Clean finish with a tiny aftertaste of caramel.

Not particularly impressive.

 466 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black. Lives up to its name. Very little head. Only a tiny amount of light can sneak through the glass even when held up to the sun.

It's got a nice, malty, smoky smell although it could have been stronger.

There are quite a few flavors wrapped up in this one, though I have trouble identifying them all. Maybe a little dark chocolate. And overall, a malty flavor, very smooth going down initially. It's a tad bit bitter, with a little bite in the aftertaste though.

There's hardly any carbonation, but I wouldn't call it a "heavy" beer. Not bad, but I won't be rushing back for another.

 596 characters

Photo of PSUDREW
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hmmm. another solid effort by Sam Adams. Honestly, I would prefer a Yuengling Black and tan, but, this is a solid interpretation, and worth getting some

Solid, dark deep burnt amber in color, nice tan head, and solid lacing all the way down. Smells of caramel and malt . Tastes nice and smooth. Slightly hoppy, solid caramel, mixed with coffee and milky sweetness. They pleseantly intermix and present a good show.

Nice brew, a good show by SA

 449 characters

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,616 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.