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

2,555 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,555 |  Reviews: 1,435
Photo of Todd
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a seemingly black beer, but upon closer inspection deep ruby hues and edges. Head of slightly off-white and seems, with a thin lace. Good head retention.

Light molasses, sweet bready grain, and husk in the nose. Soft smokiness.

Smooth and fairly light on the palate. Light malty base with a watery astringent-like character, faint caramel, burnt edges, suggestions of smoke, a quick semi-sharp citric flash of hop bite - a bit limey - and soft dark berry fruitiness. Soft touch of spice in the hops. Sweetish linger that rides into a drying finish.

A damn tasty Schwarzbier! Nice to see a large craft brewer release such an unknown and uncommon beer style.

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Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: medium head, medium carbonation, black

Smell: malt and chocolate

Taste: follows the smell with some smoky roastiness coming out towards the end

Mouthfeel: smooth, crisp, slightly sweet

Drinkability: I could easily session this. This is one of my favorite Sam Adams offerings. just unique and smoky enough.

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Photo of prdstmnky
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Looks black, but some nice brown and reddish hues when held to the light. I got 3 fingers of fluffy light tan head with an aggressive pour (probably a bit too aggressive).

A nice combination of sweet and roasted malts in the nose, also some chocolaty mocha hints. A bit more of a roast character on the tongue, but nice. Still pick up on the sweetness especially in the finish, and as it warms. A smooth, medium body with pleasant carbonation.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a shiny oil-black like a stout or porter, with a creamy inch-thick light tan head that doesn't last very long. Some lace was left along the sides of the glass.

Smells like a mild stout or porter, with roasted characteristics present but timid. Same with the hops and chocolately elements, which lay even further back. But it all feels more subtle to me than weak, as I enjoyed poking my sniffer in there throughout the drink.

Flavors are well done, with a comfy roasted/toasted maltiness at the fore, followed by a fluffy chocolate lightness, a rich molasses element, and well-balanced bittering from the hops. Mouthfeel is at once thin, sticky and tingly.

Overall a successful treat from Sam Adams, not one of their best but certainly worth picking up for its better attributes. Just a few steps over from a porter or stout, but less heavy in terms of body and ABV.

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Photo of nortmand
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep ruddy red, with a nice tan foam.
Lightly roasted coffee smel, kinda like when the roaster is just getting stated. Maybe a little chaff, maybe not.
Chocolate sweet upfront, followed by acidity midtongue and sweet roast bitterness at the end.
Smooth, and fairly drinkable, although not as complex as I prefer a schwarzbier.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep Mahogany, just about black, with deep ruby highlights that verge toward purple. Very clear despite the color. A light tan head pops right up, then falls to a ring that stays to bottom, and leaves okay lacing.

S: Roasty malts riding on light, sweet, grainy pils type base. Very Porter like actually - if a tad thin for the style. Rather roasty for a Schwartzbier. Nice enough though, whatever style it is.

T: On the roasty side for style. Aftertaste of an exceptionally clean porter. Nothing really steps out and says, "lager." Dark roast malts mostly contribute chocolate but also lightly tart dark dried fruits. The barest faint hints at coffee. Sweetness also darker on palate than the nose - more toward molasses & toffee. Only getting a vague hint of hops, seems to be just for balance in taste but grows in aftertaste.

M: Just medium body with firmly matched CO2. Makes for a lively mouthfeel that is rather different (but nice) in such a dark beer.

D: I think this is the typical US take on the Black Lager style. Sort of a light, low gravity, understated Baltic Porter. Mostly just in flavor/aroma profile - it does not have the heft & bulk of a real porter. Flavorful & refreshing.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. More Samuel Adams festing continues I guess...

A good solid large three finger head off the pour and an off tan color, but with some light foamy consistency and not much retention. Body is at first appearance extremely black walnut but to the light is a very dark red, even clear.

Bouquet, is a mild ripped grain and light roast. Small coffee sense typical of a schwarzbier. Small but quite decent.

Taste overall is a little lacking but still manages to deliver flavor. Palate hits in the finish with a little milky malt almost milk stout. Dry roof top dry mouth on the finish for feel. Leaves also some dry mildly burnt coffee almost on the swallow which I actually kind of like.

Overall fairly decent and surprising, tastes like a schwarzbeir to me and not too bad for one either.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

this one reminds me of the heineken and beck's "dark" that i would drink back in the day when i was just getting into beers that weren't bud. smell and flavor taste along the lines of a dark euro. from memory i would say that this beer is better than those that exploit this style the most. color is a very dark ruby if you hold it up to the light, head is nice. smell is of course roasted malts, hints of coffee and chocolate. taste is roasty and malty. so there you go, cheers.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish black with ruby highlights, a little lighter than expected, and a thin tan head.
The smell was on the thin side, but had hints of roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel.
The taste was of malty chocolate, caramel, and a touch of dark coffee with a hop presence in the background.
The mouthfeel was a bit thin, but refreshing while holding most of the flavors. It did have a sweet kick to it, especially in the aftertaste.
Not a bad example of this style, though I've had several better. It's certainly not one to turn down, and worth buying if better ones are not available (which is often the case with this style, unfortunately.)

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Photo of beerprovedwright
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black beer with a one finger head from the pour. Head is light brown in color, thick foam that evaporated in less than a minute. Tight lace that has little cling. Color is a 40 on the SRM beer color chart, can't get any darker than that, although with a strong light shining through the brew, it is actually a very dark reddish brown. Smells of a hint of caramel, coffee, chocolate, sweet burnt malt, and roasted wheat. Flavor is bold but not overpowering. Sort of a sweet coffee taste with caramel and chocolate. The malt flavor seems to have some cinnamon hints. A little wimpy in my mouth, some sense of fullness, but just not quite the zip I was hoping to feel. The flavor grows on me as I work the level in my glass south. Might have to have another to fully appreciate the flavors.

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Photo of srrn
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another brew from the Brewmasters Selection. Poured a deep brown, almost black, tan head that quickly reduces, there is some lacing.

Smell is burnt toast, slightly smokey.

Taste is the same with a lingering aftertaste, slightly smokey, and dry, not too sweet.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin

All around a nice drinkable dark beer.

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Photo of jaymirage
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this in a mix pack with the Honey Porter and the Brown Ale.

Pours a rich, dark, mahogany, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it black. It's definitely a dark, dark brown. Nice head retention, lingering a few moments before disappearing into a fine lacing.

Taste is big caramel, with a very, very thin mouthfeel. Not much else is present here, but the caramel is pleasant enough. The thinness adds to the experience, lending some drinkability.

Not a bad choice. But if you're looking for more complexity in this mix pack, I'd select the Honey Porter.

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Photo of karait95
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark reddish color, against light you can see very little going through, two finger head that dissipates a little fast with a nice dark beige color.

S: Very toasted aroma with some sweet aroma.

T: Toasted taste, a good toasted combination with a very faint sweetness there is something else natural flavor not identify.

M: Full of flavor, but not to complex.

D: Nice at the beginning but rather fast becomes bitter, with a medium lasting and bitter ending.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark deep brown with a solid head and decent brussels lacing and good retention.
Smell is of coffee, chocolate licorice and some burnt malts, so it brings a lot to the table here.
Taste is led by the burnt malts and coffee flavor and creamy going down. Hops are there but barely.

In many ways reminds me of some lighter Porters that I have had.

The nice thing was that it was on sale for only $12.50 a 12 pack, and at that price it maintains some good value. At it's usual price of $15.99 a six pack it's value is far less. It is smooth and engaging.

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Photo of rfabian
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler it produces a good head with light lacing. The appearance is opaque dark brown with clear brownish-red highlights. The aroma is of darkly roasted malts with a hint of spicy hops. The taste is bitter with darkly roasted malt and a pleasant caramel undercurrent. The body is light and the finish is dominated by the malt, which apparently came neigh on to smoking in the roasting process.

This is a very nice example of the style, refreshing and flavorful.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of Sam Adams better offerings. Medum body with a powerful, yet smooth, with a powdery roasted flavor and texture. Black at first sight, but then allows amber highlights to perminate. Promising, lightly tanned head retention starts off thick and creamy, but fades quickly under the lighter than expected body. Moderatly malty sweet with roasted grain (not quite coffee) bitter balance. A light cocoa flavor adds character and complexity. Low hopping allows for grain to supply bitterness. Finishes nicely clean and lightly charcoal-like. Quite enjoyable and remarkably easy to drink despite it's bold roasted character.

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Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a translucent dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet sweet malt scent that boasts of chocolate and caramel malts and a lager yeast aroma. The taste is decent. It has an extremely dry, dark malt flavor which is rich in pale, caramel, and chocolate malts. It goes down easy and finishes with an earthy dry lager yeast feel. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking Schwarzbier. I wish it wasn't so dry, but overall it's a fine offering.

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Photo of number1bum
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown in color, but not dense looking, with about two fingers of tan head. Settles to a thin but full lace, leaves some stick.

Smell has a soft roasted aroma along with some sweet caramel, even a hint of chocolate. It's light and clean with a distinct lager aroma to it.

Taste also has some roasted malt and some sweeter elements of caramel and chocolate. There's a grainy, bready quality to it, and a bit of bitterness in the finish to balance it out. Clean and smooth. My only complaint is that the flavors are a bit too thin, although the flavor overall is good.

Mouthfeel has a nice smoothness to it and is a pretty creamy medium body, surprisingly creamy and full for clocking in at less than 5%. Finishes clean, very smooth.

This is a pretty solid brew across the board. Only my 2nd or maybe 3rd Scwharzbier, but a solid and tasty brew regardless of style. It's light and maybe a tad thin in terms of flavor, but this hit the spot after working my tail off in my new house.

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Photo of Moxley
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Given to me by Hyland24 to try. Thanks pal.

A - I love to compare these dark beers to flat cola. If you've ever seen flat cola in a glass then you've seen this beer. Very little (maybe ¼ inch) head to speak of. Surprisingly, the lacing was like a sheet down the sides of the glass. I was impressed with that.

S - The nose was a strong malt with a faint dark chocolate and bitter coffee smell.

T - Sweet creaminess up front with a malty, bitter finish. I detected a slight coffee aftertaste and the flavors and smells really came alive as the beer warmed up a bit.

M&D - A little more carbonated than I'd like for a beer this creamy - but not a deal breaker. Medium-to-heavy bodied.

This beer is a Guinness wanna-be. I think it's a good beer, and I'd drink it again, but if I were in the mood for a Guinness I would probably just drink a Guinness and leave this one for the less sagacious of beer drinkers i.e. those who are not attending the TAP festival at Hunter Mountain this weekend.

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Photo of soulfly1492
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Sweet molasses, roasty malts. Mild phenols. Mildly smoky. Some bitterness from the hops and roasted malts.

Appearance: Deep ruby red. Good clarity. Medium height dark brown head. Good lacing. Dissipates leaving a thin layer, extra thick around the edges. The head consists of tiny bubbles.

Taste: Molasses, dark roasty malts. Some mild bitterness, mild phenols.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body. Very oily. Very little carbonation.

Overall: Good classic black lager. Nice bold dark malt sweetness.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Surprise, surprise. Very nice. Pours very black with a slight head. No lace. Nose is of toasted malts and just slightly of yeast. Flavor is surprisingly really good. The toastred malts come through strong, but not swinging for the fences. Also got tones fo sourdough bread in there. Hops are there to give it a nice and subtle balance. Mouthfeel is fairly light but the flavor sits on the tongue after a while. Very drinkable, goes down smooth.

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Photo of afdempse
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz pour into a pint glass

Pours with a thick tan head that sticks around for a while

Roasty aroma, slight alcohol - maybe a bit of spice from the hops.

Flavor begins with a slight metallic character followed by dark roasted grains. Carbonized caramel malt flavors are understated but present. Mild alcohol in the breath.

Finishes with clean hop bitterness that leaves palate dry and refreshed. Dark unsweetened chocolate notes linger through the end of the finish.

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Photo of grayburn
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely one of my favorites in the SA lineup.
Pours a pitch black with a smallish tan head.
The smell is a bit subdued, but there is some roasted grains.
The taste is again, clean and crisp with some mild hopping and a nice roasted finish.
Decent mouth, a bit thick for the style, nice carbonation.
I could drink a six pack of this without a problem, nice beer.

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Photo of Atron67
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is actually a late review considering ive been a fan of it for quite awhile but never reviewed it.

A- It pours a pretty black clear with a brown tinge around the edges, a kinda wettish fluff head on top that sticks to the glass but isnt lace. the head has pretty long retention

S- Pretty much all delicious roasted malt on the nose

T- more and more roasted flavor throughout. a nice clean light balanced finish, little

m- pretty creamy, solid, strong carbonation

d- one of my favorite session beers, its not spectaculare but its very enjoyable

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Photo of bertwagner
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark rust red in color with coffee colored head that's small but lasts a while.

S: Let's off a medium smell of malt.

T: Smokey with hints of chocolate,

M: Smooth, medium body with medium to high carbonation.

D: Definitely good, would go well with grilled meats.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,555 ratings.
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