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

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1,435 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 1,435 | Ratings: 2,553
Photo of wages
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - 3.5/5 - Pours with a small off-white head. Black but not "pitch black".

Smell - 4.5/5 - Huge roasted sweet aroma.

Taste - 4.5/5 - Wonderful slightly bitter roasted flavor. I can barely tell that it is a lager behind the big roasted character!

Mouthfeel - 4/5 - Just the right level of carbonation. Leaves a light coating in the mouth.

Overall - 4.5/5 - A very tasty schwarzbier that hits you with roasted-ness from all sides. It could possibly have more depth, for a 4.9% ABV brew, this one hits the mark.

 522 characters

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. The appearance was dark brown, with a slight creamy head. Very good appearance; slight lacing to the pint glass.

Smell was of chocolate mixed with a slight coffee/espresso aroma. Very nice. Taste was also of a chocolately coffee; not very bitter, not sweet -- just right! Really enjoyable aftertaste brings out the coffee taste.

Mouthfeel: very good body & creamy. Drinkability was also excellent. Could definitely drink a few of these on a nice cold winter night.

Overall--a great Sam Adams dark beer to drink in the winter. Glad I picked it up!

 601 characters

Photo of fizzy
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I agree with everything written about this beer. You would think, looking at it in the glass, that it would be overpoweringly dense, sweet, or syrupy. On the contrary! Normally I sway to heavy hoped beers, but the level of hops in this one is really nice! A really nice beer!

 275 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite Sam Adams brews. It has a wonderful black appearance that allows just enough light to shine through when you hold it up to give it a little shine. A very nice earthy, rich, coffee scent to it. It goes down very smooth, with a wonderful rich, dark, coffee-like flavor. Definitely worth a try or a six-pack if you like dark lagers.

 348 characters

Photo of MistaC
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass beeradvocate style

The color is a black, with dark amber tones when held to light. Pour results in a healthily textured, tan head.

The smell pervades with roasted malt. Caramel aromas prevail over chocholate ones.

The roasted malt and chocolate tastes are tied together by caramel. There are hints of coffee flavors in the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium thickness feel very consistent with what I expected from the appearance, taste and smell

It lives up to the smoothness of a traditional lager.

This beer is one of the more consistent ones I have tried. Appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel all flow smoothly across the board. There are no strange aftertastes.

 725 characters

Photo of FakeDeniro
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep dark black/brown color! Small off white head. An amazing smell of dark breads and roasted grains The taste is much the same with a brilliant light body to balance out the heavy smell and taste. A great beer the lets your drink a dark or bigger bold tasting beer when you want a light body beer.

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Photo of davidshamoon
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Hold a glass of this dark lager up to a light to delight in the red-chestnut hues that lurk underneath. Mine poured with a fine, thick head, though it didn't last very long.

Smell this beer, and you know what you're getting: roasted, malty flavor that's occasionally chocolatey or even nutty. That said, this is no stout. The flavors are subtler, and the beer is lighter and altogether more drinkable. Tasted just as at home with a chicken sandwich as it did with a piece of fine dark chocolate.

 498 characters

Photo of yesyouam
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Samuel Adams Black Lager is a deep aubergine brown with a generous, dense cinnamon-tan head that has excellent retention and lacing. The aroma is of a deep caramel roast in a wooden basement with a tinge of medicinal hops. It's soft and fuzzy on the tongue. It leaves an acidic finish with a final rumble of alcohol. The flavor is of deep char and coffee grounds with a well-hopped uglifruit character that touches off a dark chocolate type of bitterness. This caught me off guard. I usually don't get this excited about lager.
(rated Mar 11, 2007)

 548 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a totally opaque black that betrays only the slightest ruby highlights when held up to direct light. Very nice aroma of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and some dextrine vanilla notes. It's a smooth, almost creamy aroma. On the palate, this beer is big and juicy, with plenty of active carbonation and a texture that treads perfectly between creamy smoothness and a light, racy touch. Malt bitterness is pronounced up front before morphing into something a that's a touch sweeter and acidic. Hop snap toward the end. This is an excellent beer and one of my favorites from Sam Adams. It's got rich flavors, sessionability and authenticity. Very well done.

 661 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.37/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz into 19oz pilsner.

Appearance: Black, with some hues of dark amber-brown around the edges when held near light. Small tan head that leaves fast and leaves minimal lace.

Smell: Caramel and chocolate malt. A hint of grassiness/graininess.

Taste: Tastes of coffee and chocolate, through and through. A good roasted flavor about it as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, crisp yet smooth, and well-rounded.

Drinkability: Very drinkable and very tasty- I could drink this one after the other without a complaint in the world. My favorite style, and this represents it well. Also my favorite Sam Adams beer.

 627 characters

Photo of jhammerly
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not being very familiar with Black Lagers, I was excited when I seen this available in my area. Sadly, only two bottles came in the Samuel Adams Mix-Pack. This could be a style that I could get used to.

An almost black appearance with a two-finger width head that dissipated rather quickly. A faint smell of raosted malt. Highly drinkable with a heavy raosted taste that lingers for awhile, with hints of fig. Like a medium-roast coffee that can be gulped instead of sipped.

 477 characters

Photo of southernmagnus
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've found this guy for sub $7 for a sixer- and IMO, that's a steal

Probably my favorite fall session beer- this Lager is reasonably creamy, complex and eminently drinkable.

Sam Adams continues to impress. You gotta love a brewing company that gives you a craft beer taste, even when you're in the middle of nowhere (rural Alabama).

 335 characters

Photo of goochpunch
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark dark brown almost to the point of being black. Some dark ruby hues. You can just barely make out your fingers on the other side of the glass. Thick almond head that settles down to .5" and leaves thick lacing patterns. Smokey, roasted malts stick out in the nose along with some chocolate, dried fruit and clean lager aromas. Smoky, roasty, lightly chocolatey, slightly acidic, and clean in the finish with some hop bitterness and mild astringency. Has an interesting malted milk ball flavor thing going on. Mouthfeel is fairly light with some prickling carbonation. Tasty and drinkable.

 604 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown/black color, some head and lacing.

Smell is dominated by roasted malt with some coffee undertones, some chocolate aroma as well.

Taste is rather creamy, taste is mostly contributed by the roasted malt with some coffee bitterness contributing, some spice and even a little hop presence to balance things out a little bit, not overly sweet but just right.

 379 characters

Photo of Kromes
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is black with a thick, tan colored head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: There are sweet roasted malts and chocolate aromas. Smells pretty god.

T: A very nice smokey, roasted malt flavor with some smooth, sweet chocolate flavors. Very simple and delicious. There is a bitterness in the finish that complements the sweetness in the beer.

M: Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy. It suits this style well.

D: Highly recommended. I'm a big fan of the darker beers and will definitely pick this up again.

 516 characters

Photo of selecter70
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love this dark lager. Delicious. Give me more. Why are not on draught in Boston?!? Dark color, decent head, wonderful dark-roasted malts and just the slightest hops. No overwhelming coffee or chocolate hints, and the perfect body for drinkability. Keep 'em comin' !

 265 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: The beer itself is a rich dark brown. The head is thick and creamy leaving a good lace on the glass, but the head disappeared a little bit quicker than I had expected.

S: Strong but sweet smell of chocolate and malt, not overpowering though.

T: Initial taste is of chocolate, malt and hops with a faint taste of coffee. A sweet coffee flavor is more prevelant in the after taste. Very enjoyable taste.

M: Very smooth with decent thickness, not bitter at all as many Sam Adams products tend to be.

D: I could go through a lot of these very easily. The only reason I don't give the beer a 5 in this category is because of the heaviness of it, which is customary for the style of beer.

I enjoyed this beer a great deal, so much so, that it prompted my first beer review. Execellent smoothness and taste. My only complaint about this beer is that to the best of my knowledge, it's only available alone in sixers or variety packs with other Sam Adams beers. 2 per 6-pack; 3 per 12-pack. I don't mind trying the other beers but I would like to buy this beer in alone in a 12-pack or larger.

 1,139 characters

Photo of RichieS2
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my introduction to the schwarzbier style and it came as a pleasant surprise. 12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: At first glance I believed that this was a porter or stout. It did not register to me that a lager could look like this; opaque with very little light coming through with some quickly dissipating cream frothiness on top.

Smell: Similar to appearance; upon sniffing it I thought it was a porter/stout. It had the characteristics of roasted malt that you would expect in a dark beer.

Taste: Here is where things got interesting, it had a similar taste to a porter but it was just that it was so lighter in taste and had some traces of sweetness that reminded me of vanilla. This ultimately is what won me over, a complex flavor but with the consistency of a much lighter beer.

Mouthfeel: Initially it was strange, a beer this dark with such flavor swirled around and went down very easily with consistency that approached water.

Drinkability: Good flavor and being light means this is an ideal brew for spring or summer when you still want to enjoy complex flavors but don't want a particularly heavy beer.

 1,157 characters

Photo of frosty
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this stuff. Very dark dark brown when poured this stuff is nice. The smell of coffee and chocolate fill my nose. As it goes down the same flavors are there with maltiness making this beer great. Very easy to drink and pleasing. I got to give it to the Boston Beer Co. on this one.

 287 characters

Photo of OatherS
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Normal SA label but it is black.

A: Great black color, with only a hint of amber on the edges through light. One finger head pretty good for a big brewery beer.

S: Maly, chocolate, coffee aromas.

T: Same flavors as the aroma, but they are sudbued and not overwhelming like a stout for example. Very good example of a schwarz.

M: Smooth.

D: Really good beer, especially for a relatively large brewery.

 415 characters

Photo of musicjustintime
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

VERY smooth for as dark as it was. I was really surprised. I'm not a "hophead" so this was my favorite in the Brewmaster's Collection case. Hardly any hops to speak of, and such a smoothness...even in the finish. Very nice. Smooth, slightly creamy, yet thin enough to drink a few. HIGHLY recommended by me!!!! Remember though...one must not be in love with the hop flower to appreciate this malty lager. Cheers and SAAALUTE my BA friends!

 438 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I grab the Brewmasters' 12-pack, I always look forward to having the two Black Lagers thankfully included in the box. Good with a chill and some barbecue, Black Lager is a strong contribution from Sam Adams.

It's a nice pour, providing one and one-half fingers of tannish froth on a really black body, yum. The nose is fine but leaves me wanting for a a bit more. Lots of yeast, roasted chocolate and caramel hops, and some subtle fruit sneak through. The taste brings this beer all together. The roasted malt make this beer move, with lots of chocolate and caramel carrying the load. Excellent.

It's nicely carbonated, standing well during a sporting event and allowing the flavors to work their magic. It's quite good, and is a slightly smoother version of Sprecher's excellent Black Bavarian. Grab it and thank yourself later.

 836 characters

Photo of chuckm
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this would be a porter until bringing it home and reading what a Schwarzbier is supposed to be. With this as my only experience I can see this is a style to search out. The color was a reddish black with a thick head which faded quickly. The smell was a roasted nutty scent however the highlight was the taste. A flavorful and balanced beer with just a little of the bitter after taste I've come to expect from my porters. Very drinkable and one I would seek out for a season other than winter(this is being typed after shoveling the latest 8 inches of snow).

 569 characters

Photo of jovy1097
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint.

Appearance: Pours coffee black with reddish tints around the edges. Not as dark as many stouts. Creamy, thick, caramel head that leaves extensive lacing around the glass and sticks around till the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Smells of toffee and caramel with malty layering. Has some slight nutty character.

Taste: Rich, creamy maltiness with toffee flavoring that morphs into more of a coffee flavor towards the end. Chocolate flavor comes out the more you drink. A delectable flavor that I want more of. Roasty without being burnt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and thick. Almost a velvety feel to it.

Drinkability: This is what I wish most dark beers tasted like. I love it! Give me more.

Comments: Looks very much like a dry stout but tastes nothing like them. A truly delightful brew that will be welcome in my fridge any time.

 884 characters

Photo of greengorilla
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer from a bottle into a pilsner glass. It is a dark black with a nice tan head.

The smell is good. It is a combination of roasted malt and a hint of citris.

I don't taste the citris, but the roasted malt dominates the taste. There is just enough hops. I really enjoy the taste.

The mouthfeel is nice, and it is very drinkable. This is a high quality beer at a very reasonable price.

 401 characters

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,553 ratings.
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