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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,651 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: 2,651 |  Reviews: 1,465
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams signature glass.

Appearance: A super dark brown, not as dark as you think. Light tan head comes off 1/4" off the body.

Smell: light hops, nothing new here.

Taste: Hints of coffee, full hops...surprised didn't transfer as well into the smell.

Mouth: medium to heavy, screams "yum" and that smooth.

Overall: Not bad at all. Pick it up, watch a movie or smoke a cigar this beer is only missing one thing, You! Salud!

 445 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours like cola with about the same consistency. Light comes through at about the same level as well. Head started fizzy but settled down to a nice medium beige base.

S: Not a big nose on this one. Get some faint marshmallow, dried cocoa and crackers. S'mores I'd reckon.

T: Caramely up front with a nice blend of bakers chocolate across the front center of the tongue. Little bit of custard, specifically the buttery egg flavor that comes across. Roastedness comes next; I wouldn't say this is your typical coffee roasted taste, but perhaps what a low roasted cocoa bean might taste like. Finishes lightly sweet with a lingering, gently roasted character.

M: Medium body, soft mouthfeel.

D: Another straight forward and solid beer from Sam Adams. This beer won't dazzle you but its really hard to find a negative aspect to this one. Not enough black beers on the market IMO so I'm thankful for this one.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers that a buddy brought over and I would have never considered buying on my own. But I'm glad he brought it so that I could try it.

Very pleasantly surprised... Very enjoyable.

Very think and creamy 3 finger head that sticks around for a while.
Dark chocolate brown.. But you can see that the beer is somewhat clear.

Slightly sweet aroma, but not much of an aroma at all and I detect a little roasted chocolate in the aroma.

Taste is very nice with a definite chocolate taste. Certainly a roasted, but not a burnt flavor is the main thrust of this beer. This mellows to a nice mellow hop/bready finish.

Wasn't sure what to expect here but I really enjoy this.

Mouth feel is quite light and this seems very drinkable to me.

Scharzbier?? I'm in. The part of this site and tasting beers that I love is that now I will have to go search out for the "best" of the Schwarzbier's to try them.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, with updated labeling. Date notched Enjoy Before Feb
Drank from the bottle, but I assume it is black or near black. Chocolatey aroma with dark and roasted grain. Nice blend of flavors and very stout-like with roasted barley, plenty of dark cocoa, a bit of anise and char with some black tea-like earthy hops. Feel is fuller, creamy, and smooth with a fairly clean finish. Overall, a little better than I remember, but it's been a long time since I had this last. Nice to come back to it. It's very approachable with some nice dark cocoa flavors.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass, best if tasted before June.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a ruby tint and a one and a half inch creamy latte colored head (I'm trying new words so sue me) not much lacing and the head withers down into a thin cap that can be brought back with some swirling of the glass.

S: There seems to be a deeper fruitness that I cannot get a complete grasp of, perhaps this is the hops showing their stuff, creamy sweet almost like a milk chocolate malt aroma upfront otherwise.

T/MF: Nice active carbonation keeps the beer from feeling too heavy and really lifts the beer over the palate, bittering sensations the ultimately leave a drying sensation is felt very readily on the sides of my tongue, the mild malt bitterness tickles the roof of the mouth but the hops do most of the mouthfeel work. Same bittersweet blast of malts and hops though the hops seem to take precedence in this beer, not bad for the mouthfeel but not sure how I feel about it in the taste department quite yet. Can vaguely detect the spiceiness that is referred to on the side of the bottle but there certainly is a detectable graininess to this beer.

D: Overall not bad, well balanced aroma and flavor an enjoyable beer if just a tad on the bitter side. Good representation of the style and quite the easy drinker as well.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Dark with a good fluffy foamy head that has nice retention. Very complex smell. Kind of reminds me of grilled steak. Very rich and complex taste. Lightly roasted. Spice. Kind of chocolate milky sweet. Almost too much of a mixture. Very crisp and warming in the mouth. Complexity makes it less drinkable than it could be, but overall still very drinkable. This is a very good beer that I will look for in the future.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep brown, approaching a licorice black. A bit of a golden hue through it all.

S: Slight floral or mildly piney hops smells, a touch of anise, and hints of a chocolate or molasses aroma.

T: Lightly toasted grains, chocolatey & caramel notes. Bitters a little, with underlying burnt flavours on the finish

M: A fair bit of body, a little chewy... not thick like molasses, rather lighter like molten caramel. Tends to lean a little more towards an oily rather than syrupy consistency, though.

D: A little on the heavier side... a tasty enough beer, but I might find myself taking it pretty easy on this one when all is said and done.

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Photo of EGledhill
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

porued into my yuengling beer glass barely had any head which quickly disapated. first tastes were what i was expecting hints of a burnt chocolate taste and somewhat nutty flavor. very enjoyable. mostly into stouts, and this was a pretty good alternative as it's lighter on the stomach. definately would drink again

 315 characters

Photo of tmbgnicu
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grabbed a six pack for my wife because she enjoyed the Guinness black lager so much and I was sick of her drinking my beers! Pours very black with a light caramel hue. It goes down smooth, maybe not quite as smooth as the Guinness black, but there is a lot more flavor here than from Guinness. This is a very solid beer, drinks well and has a lot of flavor. Good brew for a quiet Monday night.

 393 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich, dark brown, near black. Disapointing light head and lack of lacing.

S - Toasted malts with small notes of bitter chcocolate and coffee.

T - Toasted malts, roasted nuts. Hints of bitter chocolate and coffee. Some very light dark fruits and spice on the back end.

M - Medium bodied, ample carbonation. Not sticky.

D - Decent version of the black lager, but doesnt stand up to German and Czech versions.

 414 characters

Photo of Fitzy01
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Reaper16
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Pours a porter-like cola brown color. Not really much viscosity when you swirl the body around in the glass; it looks like a lighter beer. One and a half fingers of thin, beige head sit on top.

This beer smells like some Cocoa Puffs brand cereal drizzled with a bit of honey and eaten with some berries. All that's missing is some lactose sugar and this would be breakfast in a glass. A touch of pecan comes out as the beer warms.

Flavors of cocoa powder and crusty bread. A tiny bit of blackberry runs underneath the malts. This is quite dry, which helps those chocolate malts take on the powdery sort of flavor. There is some astringency that is reminiscent of a roast character, only there isn't much roasted malt flavor to speak of here.

The mouthfeel seems spot-on for the style. It is light and allows the carbonation to play a significant role. This is a pretty drinkable beer, then. Light but not wanting for flavor.

Pretty nice little schwarzbier you've got here, Boston Beer Co. A fine example of the style. This is likely the highlight of the Brewmaster's Collection six-pack that I bought on-sale (other beers are the Irish Red and the Coastal Wheat).

 1,226 characters

Photo of ATSJer
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Room Temp

Appearance: The black lager is as you'd expect a very dark brew, and is also very clear. The light does penetrate but not overly so. The almond colored head builds quickly with a nice medium density foam that fades to a layer on the beer. The lacing was nice and even but not thick. I noticed some carbonation streams on the surface.

Smell: The first thing I notice is the hoppy spices which are pleasant, in fact I like very much the way this beer smells, under the spice there is a solid foundation of the dark malts, all of which is touched off with a hint of sweetness. This is a well balanced aroma and has not a hint of alcohol present.

Taste: The hoppy spice and bitterness is apparent upon the first pull, but as my mouth filled I tasted the dark malts. I did not taste any bitterness from the malts at all in fact the malt taste was very well balanced. At the finish I could definitely taste and smell the chocolate malts which give an espresso type taste and smell, or a very dark chocolate. The malts have a nice simple arrangement where I tasted the lighter malts first and then finished with the more robust and darker malts. This lager finishes like some dry stouts in that you get the spice and bitterness at the same time.

Mouthfeel: The lager has a medium body but feels very smooth on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate and pleasant, and there is a very nice dry finish again like the dry stouts.

Drinkability: This is an entirely drinkable brew, its heavier than a Guinness ale (I know different family) but goes down just as easy. The carbonation would keep me from drinking too many of these but I can see having this with dinner and then following it after over a good conversation with friends, although I did noticed some light bloating from the carbonation.

In the end this what I've come to expect from Sam Adams; a good flavorful beer that serves to introduce new flavors and brewing experiences into the American palate.

 1,976 characters

Photo of Freshie
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark colour, almost balck. Good one finger head.

Smells of dark roasted malt, some fruit, licorice, and also a faint smokey character.

The taste is rich in flavour but also light in character and finishes rather clean. Some hop bitterness blends well with carmel malt. I had a pretty overwhleming feeling in my palate of smokiness.

The clean finish makes this very drinkable. I believe this is my first schwarzbier, and I look forward to a few more.

 471 characters

Photo of Strix
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Drinking straight from the bottle.

Smell: very roasted, coffee-like.

Taste: Roasted flavors dominate

Mouthfeel: Creamy, not as dense as the dark taste indicates it might be

Drinkability: Kind of dark for me to want to drink too many at once.

A nice beer if you're in the mood for something dark, reminds me of a porter.

 324 characters

Photo of scarletfire79
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours almost pitch black with hints of red. kind of a fizzy looking head. not really spectacular. the smell is definitly giving off some fresh chocolate notes. slight roasted aroma, some sweetness. the taste is real nice. mellow on the roast, sweet chocolate, decent hop balance. pretty damn drinkable. i'm kind of suprised. real nice.

 335 characters

Photo of tigerdoc
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice creamy head during the pour that quickly dissapears. A fairly high level of carbonation that takes away from the potential smoothness of the beer. Aroma is very malty and nutty. Similairly nutty flavor to the beer. It finishes well with a nice bitterness. Overall a pretty good example of a black lagar.

 310 characters

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in SA pint.
A-Pours a dark brown almost black with a light tan head that fades fairly quickly, leaving just a bit of residue on the glass.
S- Smells sweet of molasses, coffee and roastiness.
T- Pretty much follows suite to the nose, as well as a very faint bitter chocolate.
M- Mediumish feel with the standard carbonation from BBC. Flavors linger on the palate.
O- This is a solid offereing that I'm proud to drink and can handle quite a bit of.

 454 characters

Photo of Ssippisam
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jlh8643
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle, with a drink before 9/08 date, into a pint glass. The pour is moderate that resulted in a 1/2" beige head that fades kinda fast. Roasted, chocolate and coffee aromas dominate the nose. Coffee and chocolate are the initial tastes. Finishes a bit sweet. Could use more bittering and a drier finish. Good tastes but sweetness lowers the drinkability but still good enough for a couple.

 404 characters

Photo of Folderol
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up with the hope that it would be a sweeter/smoother version of SA Cream Stout. I'm not impressed really, this beer lacks the richness I was expecting from such a dark brew. I think I overestimated the Schwarzbier style.

Appearance was cola-like dark brown with a large bubbled head that faded to a thin, fizzy film and eventually disappeared. Typical lager head really. Smell is sweet dark malts, quite inviting. Taste is mildly sweet, mainly caramel with a little dark bread and very little hops. The dark brown color had me expecting a cocoa flavor but alas, caramel is all I got. Pretty easy to drink overall but not enough flavor or spice to keep me interested.

 683 characters

Photo of jazer
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Sam yet. Looks can be decieving, but not with this lager. The darkness would scare off most lite beer drinkers, but this dark one is surprising flavorful. Almost like a piece of dark chocolate in appearance and almost as flavorful. The only thing holding it back is the lack of aroma givin off. I love this beer and it is...

HIGHLY recommended. Really.

 365 characters

Photo of allergictomacros
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - I guess I expected something a little darker.This one is a dark ruby red, but not to the point of being opaque. Head is a little loose and falls quickly.

S - Mostly fruity with a toastiness in the back. Some caramel and coffee notes.

T - Light toasted and coffee flavours are prominent. Not overwhelming by any means. A touch sweet and some early tartness gives way to a mild hop aftertaste. Well balanced.

M - Medium bodied - neither heavy nor light. A little overcarbonated for my taste.

D - Quite easy drinking. Not heavy at all, but still full of roasty character.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark and opaque brown with ruby highlights on the edges. Poured a big ol' tan head that remained for a while and left light lacing on the glass (this isn't a porter or stout, after all...)

S: A sweet, sugary caramel malt is prominent with a background of roastiness. I'm enjoying this faint roast smell--it balances well with the sweet caramel malt very interestingly. Initially there is a smell of spicy hops, but the aforementioned notes overtake that almost instantly.

T&M: Light bodied with a silky smooth finish. The sweetness and caramel malt are only faintly detectable in the taste--they mostly serve to diminish the intensity of the roasted coffee malt that was secondary in the nose. The hops balance the flavor really nicely, and aren't so prominent so as to loudly announce their presence. The coffee malts are definitely there, but subdued in a nice way. I've been drinking a lot of stouts and porters lately, and I'm more accustomed to the dark malts being more prominent than this. Mouthfeel has some hop oiliness to it and moderate carbonation that doesn't cause too much disruption.

D: With such a light body, this beer is definitely drinkable. The taste is decent and the beer isn't too filling. Probably the most sessionable dark beer I've had.

 1,276 characters

Photo of Prospero
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,651 ratings
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