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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,616 Ratings
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,616 |  Reviews: 1,451
Photo of bourbonbock
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A. Looks black until held up to the light and then you can see a reddish amber hue from the other side. There is some lacing at each sip down the glass however it is not much.

S. Malts, roasted and not, perhaps a slight smell of hops and a lager yeast in the background.

T. Very mild taste compared to what I was expecting. I can taste caramels and chocolates and some some spiciness.

M. Light and lagerish with carbonation on the back of the tongue. Leaves a film in the mouth after swallowing.

D. I probably would not pick this up again. Its not bad but just not my kind of beer.

 636 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Standard pint glass shows a nearly opaque black brew with some vague ruby highlights when held to light. Thick creamy head even with a gentle pour...the nice lacing is worth noting.

I smell black cherries, a bit of oatmeal, biscuits and a touch of honeydew melon. A nice aroma.

Somewhat unexpectedly fruity flavor greets the mouth with burnt coffee taste. Interesting combo of flavors. Slightly astringent, bitterness stays on the tounge well past the swallow.

This beer is decent, there are not too many schwarzbiers to choose from that are widely available, but there are some better ones out there. Probably would not buy a whole sixer of these, but it was nice to try a couple and certainly would not turn one down if offered!

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Photo of Axic10
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a half finger of khaki foam that settle pretty quickly.

Smell: Lightly roasted malt, some hop and a faint hint of chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malt, slight smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Mediumish mouthfeel. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent beer that I've enjoyed since Sam Adams started releasing it a few years ago. Not their best, but not their worst and I look forward to it in the variety packs.

 495 characters

Photo of oline73
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some red showing up with the light comes through. There is a finger and a half of off white head and decent retention.

Smell: Mild sweet malt, a bit roasty with some dark chocolate in there as well.

Taste: Sweet chocolate malt. The roast and dark chocolate from the smell are still there. The finish is chocolaty with a roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: Easy to drink, but not as good as I used to think it was. A good beer if you don't want to pay too much attention to what you're drinking. Pleasant.

 670 characters

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours coca cola color with a decent foamy light brown head, fair lacing. Aroma is mainly malty, roasted malt, burnt, coffee, a bit of chocolate, and a touch of hops. Flavor is caramel and roasted malts, a touch of smoke with bit of hops. Medium body, fairly bitter lightly carbonated a bit oily on the tongue. One of the better ones from Sam Adams.

 363 characters

Photo of drperm
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black but clear (i.e. not cloudy), this brew greets you with a nose of sweet and Worcestershire sauce. The flavors reveal tar, and syrup, with perhaps fewer hops than I'd hope for. It's also kinda spritzy. The finish is ok, but nothing to write home about. Overall, not bad, but too sweet and chocolately for my liking.

 319 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - A dark ruby-brown with an eggshell colored two-finger creamy head. Decent retention. Nice looking rings of lacing.

S - Burnt graininess and some floral hop. Some caramel/chocolate malt.

T - Burnt chocolate malt taste forward. Graininess in the nose also present in the taste. A hint of light fruity hop in the finish, but it's very mild. Fruity yeast esters also kick in near the end of the flavor profile with a kind of aritificial lemon flavor. Kind of an oddly sweet and fruity finish for a Schwarzbier. Not unpleasant, just strange.

M - Ok this is where this beer fails. Light bodied bordering on watery, and...creamy? The creaminess really clashes with the graininess of the taste. Could have used a more traditional clean "lager" finish in my opinion. Medium carbonation.

O - A really bizarre Schwarz from SA. Too many off characteristics that didnt work to be considered a truly good beer. Not a repeat buy.

 965 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Samuel Adams talks a good game, but there just aren't that many of their beers I enjoy. I received this as part of a holiday variety pack.

Pours a dark, blackish red. If that makes sense. The appearance is the best thing about it. I'm not overly familiar with the Schwarzbier formula, but there should be going on here than a deep malt taste, right? There's no roasting, not much in the way of hops, fruits, chocolate, etc. .... just malts. It's a solid beer, but nothing special.

 481 characters

Photo of BeerTaster
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am not a huge schwarzbier person but I have had others that excited me more than this one, this one was very average. Appearance black with hints of red, one finger tan head that dissapeared a little quick. Smell was chocolate and malt taste was much the same with very little hop bitterness. Mouthfeel light to mediem body and mediem carbonation. Drinkability I supose I could have a few but I could do without it just as well.

 430 characters

Photo of Aoyoc
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of pharmer
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly black with a bit of a red hue when viewed into a light. Forms a 1-finger tan head that displays little retention.

Almost no smell to this one, which is surprising. There is a hint of roasted dark malt and touch of coffee.

Tastes of dark roasted malt and coffee flavors. Slightly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is again surprisingly light and smooth with a moderately high carbonation. This doesn't have the mouthfeel you'd expect when looking at it.

Overall, I enjoy this beer and could drink a few in a sitting.

 530 characters

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice two finger head, very pillowy and creamy looking. Smell is very malty, I might detect hints of chocolate notes, but it is very distant. In the taste you get a lot of malts, in the back end you get a slight taste of coffee, which is nice. The mouthfeel is very plain, it almost feels like I'm drinking carbonated water. This beer feels a little too carbonated for the style. The flavor would taste like I'm drinking carbonated water as well, except for the malts and other notes I get. Very average beer.

 516 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review is from notes taken on 10/17/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a pretty dark cola brown and it shows some dark ruby highlights when held to the light; starts with a 1/2 finger off-whtie head that fades quickly to a fizzy, incomplete skim; while the body is dark, I can still see through it so the clarity is good as well; shows moderately strong carbonation; only a few spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Smell is light in strength; presents some burnt toasty graininess and light burnt caramel; very slight hints of chocolate. Not very impressive, but not bad, either.

Taste: Very lager-esque with some dark, burnt toasty grains; very mild hop presence; bottle claims a very clean finish and it lives up to that -- virtually no aftertaste; very light and sweet cola/chocolate malt presence. Again, not especially impressive, but not awful.

Mouthfeel: Body is light, and it's not as if lagers typically have anything heavier to offer, but this feels a little thin, even watery; carbonation is soft, a little too soft for my liking in this particular style; a fairly thick (surprisingly so) semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not too shabby, but the style itself is a bit plain to warrant too much excitement fro me; not heavy at all and a lower ABV certainly wouldn't prohibit this from being used as a session beer; I certainly wouldn't turn it down, but I likely wouldn't say, "Oh, hey! Look! SA Black Lager! I'm gonna get me some!"

 1,516 characters

Photo of Applesauce1
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured about a 1 - 1/4" head into my pint glass. Pretty good appearance.

Smell wasn't very noticable. Mostly just some coffee tones.

Taste- decent, not anything great though; coffee, a strange bitterness, some nutty flavor too

Drinkability - decent, could have another, but probably won't for a while

 309 characters

Photo of rye726
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a pale black color from the bottle and presents a beige head. The nose has lots of burnt and toasted malts followed by a quiet caramel presence. The flavor is also predominantly roasted malts with a gentle hop bitterness. The body is a bit too light and fizzy, but this is still a decent black lager.

 311 characters

Photo of palliko
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was able to pick up just one bottle to try. Appearance is dark brown with copper, a beige foam and some lacing. Aroma is of charred oak, toasted grain, semi-sweet dark chocolate. Initial taste is caramel and chocolate followed by a few bitter hops that try but cannot overcome the caramel sweetness. Kind of watery and over carbonated. Acidic finish. This is a good beer for a schwarzebier, but I keep thinking: with a little more body it would make a decent porter – I miss the creaminess. Not sure it is my style, or that I would try another.

 547 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep deep brown, with almost red hues when held up to light. Almost no head, that dissipated quickly, with limited lacing.

It actually smelled better than I expected. as has been noted before, the malts and hops are the most obvious smells here. Mostly roasted, hint of sweet, possbily caramel?.

The taste has grown on me as I have progressed through the glass. The hops are not as prominent as I thought they would be, and are very nicely balanced by the malts. Almost a minor burnt chocolatey-caramel tang there, and the hops come through at the end.

Smoothe beer, goes down pretty well, but has that doughy stale lager aftertaste that is simply not a taste that I personally enjoy very much.

to be honest, I've never been a huge lager fan. This isn't bad, but it's still a lager. The elevated malt profile is not bad, but it's just not my cup of tea (as it were...)

 883 characters

Photo of ragnarsword
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm a big fan of most dark beers, and I don't think this one disappoints. It has the appearance of a porter, in color at least. I actually like the description of a previous reviewer, it looks like flat cola. The smell has a sweet and roasted grain character to it, but is not very strong, and I will add, no hint of hops. As for the taste, it is a sweeter beer that leaves behind an almost toast-like flavor. Very flavorful and quite drinkable.

My one big complaint is the feeling once it goes down. There is an aftertaste to it that is quite biting and it lingers for a while. I sometimes find myself washing my mouth out with a glass of water just to rid myself of the leftover feeling.

Overall, I think this is a fine beer, both in taste and going down, but the aftertaste is a drawback.

 795 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown, almost black. Visible carbonation. Fluffy white head that disappeared very quickly.

S - Not much going on here. I can smell the alcohol right off that bat, which is odd for a 4.9% ABV. Faint smell of a slightly fruity malt.

T - Sweet malty taste that is not very predominant. Not too much gong on here.

M - very light body (for what I expected).

D - This beer is drinkable but moreso because it is so average. I feel like this is just one small ingredient away from being a very good beer but comes up short.

 536 characters

Photo of Cresant
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Sept. 08 notched on label. The body was dark brown with red highlights. The head was creamy and tan, three fingers high.

Smell was light smoke and metal. Subtle malts and maybe molasses.

Taste was mild and pretty clean. There was a gentle bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was smooth with mild to moderate carbonation.

 381 characters

Photo of Ricochet
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had tried Miller's Chocolate lager earlier in the evening, so why not keep with the dark lager spirit and try Sammy's. This is another I have heard good things about.

The pour went over with a big head and little light getting through. Creamy head too with the cream lace all around. Smelled stout. Malt , and lots of it, alcohol and just a hint of chocolate. Mouth was a little thin, it did cream up on the tounge but went down like water with little if any note of bitter.

Taste was , well, I was hoping for a little bit more. It leaves a very malty flavor, dark, caramel, touch of maple but nothing to really make this excel. It is , well, thier Boston lager, made dark. Not much more to say.

If they had this as a seasonal choice at a bar, I'd pick it over BMC but it's "eh" otherwise. Average.

 811 characters

Photo of bboven
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black body but almost light enough to think you can see hints of ruby around the edges. Thin but lasting head that leaves some patchy lacing.

I'm getting a huge chocolate aroma and a lot of hop in this one. There is roast in there, but it's not in tune with the others and should be more predominant.

Lots of bitter dark chocolate in the taste. Very good, but needs a little more roast to cut the sweet/spicy characteristics.

Nice full but not attacking carbonation; feels a little heavy, however and sticky on the palate. Really great for some styles, but I think this should be a little crisper and drying.

It's a good beer and one that I would probably drink again. It's a little heavier than I was expecting in all areas, but in and of itself, great, great flavor and aroma.

 782 characters

Photo of xav33
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Black Lager
12 oz bottle
Best before 04/07, patriotized 11/06
Medium pour in a shaker.

Poured a clear dark brown, with ruddy highlights, with an average fizzy mostly diminishing light brown head.

Smelt of light dark chocolate, molasses, dark bread.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter dark burnt malt with sweet dark chocolate and light sour dark fruits, like plums, followed by a bittersweet soy sauce, earthy, sweet burnt chocolate on an average length finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated, and lightly astringent.

Overall, well it tastes like black. I suppose that's good. Flavors are a bit odd for me though. Tastes like motor oil.

 693 characters

Photo of bgreg3
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

very dark brown , near black , creamy foam head.

smells like sweet malt , with very subtle coffee notes.

Tastes the same pretty much like a kolch style , but with very subtle coffe flavor and a wet finish , pretty light in the mouth and palate

I would much prefer my golden lagers and kolchs.

 296 characters

Photo of Arborescence
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Black, pours a decent creamy head.

Aroma: Very mild. Slight hint of chocolate and malt.

Taste: Still mild, but there is some roasted malt present. Bitterness in the aftertaste. Not much depth.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, rolls nicely on the tongue; oily.

Overall: Decent attempt, but nothing special. The Czech and the Germans do this type of beer much better.

 373 characters

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