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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,643 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: 2,643 |  Reviews: 1,461
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. I bought a sample pack with Black Lager, Hefeweizen, and Boston Lager and this is by far the best of the bunch. Pours dark like a porter with a nice head. Malty in aroma and taste with a touch of caramel. Great mouthfeel and very drinkable. I think this would be a great "transition beer" (one going from a light pilsner or lager to a darker, fuller, more flavorful beer.) I definitely recommend this anyone.

 430 characters

Photo of thatguy3579
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick coffee color with foamy tan head.

S: Smell of sweet roasted goodness and some spice.

T: Mostly sweet in flavor. Full of roastiness and chocolate. Some hops do come through providing some balance.. Finish is mild.

M: Fairly creamy, with decent carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable for such a sweet and tasty beer. This might be one of my favorites in the SA lineup.

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Photo of Beerislife652854
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-oz. bottle poured into a Guinness 1759 pint glass.

A - Black and opaque with some rusty red hues when held up to the light. The head fades to broken patches, yet there is a good amount of lacing on the inside of the glass.

S - Mild malt.

T - Tastes like a Guinness Stout with more carbonation. Earthy, bready and malty.

M - Carbonated Guinness.

D - VERY drinkable. Not too bitter or too sweet.

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Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black, peat-like, with a dense creamy, light andy head. Roasted malts, coffee bitterness on the nose with some sugary malt sweetness. Tobacco leaves too. Nice, sweetish malt melds with singed, roasted character on the palate. Leathery-tobacco notes. Roasted coffee bitter finish. Medium-bodied to light with moderate carbonation. A great offering from SA and I can only hope to find this on tap as frequently as I find the Boston lager...

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Photo of IIKaRuII
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a Hot fudge color, with a sort of viscus like thickness to it. Has a nice finger length head that leaves great lacing and retention.
Smells very malty with a nice roasted caramel and chocolate backbone to it. Smells slighlty bitter and tangy.
Taste is a very smooth chocolaty goodness. The bavarian hops kick you right on the back of the palate. Which compliments the caramel roastedness. slightly bitter, but nothing to complain about.
This beer lacks some carbonation. i think if it had a little more it wouldn't have that chalky like feel to it.

Overall i feel this beer is very deserving of praise. Black lagers are unique in flavor, and this one is a fine example of the style.

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Photo of TwinSox33
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black like Guinness, but has some ruby red hues.

S: Roast chocolate malt, and a bit of caramel.

T: Roast coffee notes up front, followed by a soft chocolate malt. There is a dry sweetness throughout the brew, balanced well by the dry and hoppy finish. Maybe a hint of caramel in there too.

M: very smooth, I guess it's a Lager/Stout hybrid. Never seen many "Schwarzbiers" around before...

D: Very Drinkable, and tasty!

Good and interesting brew, you don't see this style done much.

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Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep brown colour with a small tan head.

Caramelly, earthy, chocolate and a hint of coffee. Good.

A tasty, earthy malt flavour with a nice bitterness and spicy, citrussy hop character. Nice.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

A great beer. Enough going on to keep people interested and good flavour.

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Photo of Calico
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a big, foamy head that retains its presence for about 2 minutes. Then leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Deep ruby color when held up to the light, deep mahogany when not lighted.

Not much aroma, some toasted malt to be had.

Taste is exquisite. One of the best of its kind I have had. The malts all come forward with their full body, yet it is most definitely a lager and a very drinkable one at that. A little tannic sharpness on the back of my tongue, but I do not perceive this as a flaw.

Tingly, smooth feel to it. Not quite as refreshing as Negra Modelo - I'd be less likely to have this one with steak fajitas - but a beautiful brew to have on its own or with German dishes.

 704 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Purely black. I've never seen a beer that looks like this. Not too much foam, and it's impossible to see carbonation with this sort of color. The only downside is that Black Lager looks a bit oily, but it does leave nice lacing. Otherwise, very unique.

Smell: Mellowed chocolate/caramel/coffee smells. Molasses as well. Surprisingly malty but no hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: I like this taste a lot. Like the appearance, it can taste a bit oily, especially as it warms. But this tastes very malty with nice hints of molasses and chocolate and a bit of coffee and caramel. Basically like Guinness Draught minues the creaminess. Overall, also very unique.

Drinkability: Highly highly drinkable. As I said, the slight oily texture is kind of odd, but that's being nit-picky and I definitely would not rate this beer a 5/5 overall.

Overall: Of course I'm sure other black lagers exist out there, but I've never had another one, and I don't know many people who have. This is an awesome gateway beer.

 1,012 characters

Photo of cdub70085
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of UberWasser
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, served in a 16oz globe glass.

Pours a deep black color that glows with burgundy when held to light. The head is thick and a dirty white. It builds quite thick in this glass with a medium pour speed. Its retention is admirable as a thick sheet lies atop the beer through a number of sips. The foam clings in big laces as the beer recedes from the rim. My favorite part is when you tip the glass towards yourself for a drink the bubbles hang back for a second and then make a rush for the surface. A very neat effect. Extremely attractive beer.

The smell is sweet with burnt malts and a chocolate/molasses scent. Very nice.

The taste follows suit, with burnt sugar flavors leading into mild bitterness and a present yet subtle tickle of alcohol on the back of the tounge. Very warming as it flows down the gullet. The mouthfeel is quite nice too, with a subtle thinness that plays well with the carbonation and also feels deceptively thick in the throat after a swallow.

Overall, the best offering I've tried so far from Sam Adams. A definite buy-again.

 1,077 characters

Photo of orsulacp
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loved the black color in the glass, with the tan 1" head, very inviting. The pour showed a deep ruby color that you couldn't see in the glass. Sweet caramel, with a bit of coffee and some roasted almond smokiness in the smell. The taste started like a bitter chocolate, then some molasses, and ending with the bitter chocolate with a very clean finish, nothing left behind. There was low carbonation and a medium body making the beer very easy to drink. I really liked this. I only tried two other black or dark lagers (Victory and Weeping Radish) and this beat both of them.

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Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Flimsy one finger head, kind of thin and off-white.

Smell: Sweet and spicy notes with roasted malts and alcohol. Smells great!

Taste: Strong and full bodied yet surprisingly smooth. Rich taste of roasted malts with some hoppy notes.

Mouth feel: A bit more carbonated than I would have liked but its not enough to ruin the experience.

Drinkability: Though it packs a mean punch, its still pretty drinkable.

Sam Adam's has done it again, making mass-produced brew yet still keeping a close eye on quality.


 531 characters

Photo of ronniebruner
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely one of the better black lager beers Ive had in some time. Sam Adams almost always produces a great beer. This beer is smoooth. Not a high ABV for a darker beer, the perfect amont of head, a sweet aroma, and leaves a nice taste on your tongue, but not a bitter aftertaste. Id definitely recommend it, and will check it out again at a later date.

 355 characters

Photo of PatandDavid
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a few bottles of this one out on the town, and also purchased a sixpack. I think this is the last of that, oh well. Pleasantly surprised by this one, I thought it was a pretty decent offering, especially by a US brewery of a style that not just anybody brews up on a regular basis. Pretty dark cola in color, but there's some nice reddish highlights in the bottom of my glass. Head when poured was like 1.2 inches thick, but has since died down to the top of the brew, very thin now. I think the aroma is the most 'authentic' aspect of this brew...it is right on as a German Schwartzbier. Rich malt, natural breadi/yeastiness that has a prescence, but isn't overwhelming. Tastewise, the first sip is really good, nice and malty. Seems to get a wee bit sweeter while drinking, but really an easy beer to turn into a session when you don't want to go overboard. Medium mouthfeel. I'd get it again.

 904 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I found this to be very enjoyable...nose borders on a 4.5 as it is very nice with milk chocolate and caramel...body is medium...clean...good flavors...sweet milk chocolate...a little bit of camael...just a very fine noble hop finish...the more I drink this the more I like it....not my favorite style but I'd buy a sixer of this on occasion as a changeup...

 357 characters

Photo of brewdub17
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, almost opaque body with small hints of red and a faint tan head.

Smell: Roasty, Nutty and small amounts of sweetness, each positively complimenting each other.

Taste: The roastness comes through small but pleasantly, while there is a small alcohol trace, it is cut by the strong carbonated feel.

Mouthfeel: As said above, it has a strong crispness which is characteristic of a lager and plays an important part in the content of the brew.

Overall: I am pretty impressed. It is a very easy drinking schwarzbier and I can foresee it being utilized in many food pairings.

 591 characters

Photo of jmartinger
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of DIYBrewing
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great drinkable beer. It is submitted for style as a schwarzbier but that is not what I would categorize it as. Has a great dark head that did not dissipate.A little overcarbonated. Smooth taste with a nice malt profile that does not overwhelm. The hops are perfectly balanced in the background with little to no hop flavor or aroma.

 343 characters

Photo of Dewey0603
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A full two finger head with a dark black color.This has a nice malt and chocolate aroma.Sam's has made a very nice dark rich coffee/chocolate beer with alot of flavor.Almost like a light stout.I was happily surprised when I tried this.This is probably the best beer I've had from Sam Adams.

 290 characters

Photo of cheers2beers
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beeer pours a thick almond colored head that decipates within a few minutes.Dark liquid with redish outerband and laceing all over my glass.The nose is of old style malts and sour fruits.The palate detects a hint of cafe latte,moca,malts,and maybe even a hint of raisin in the finish.This lager goes down smooth,fizzy on my tongue,and coats my mouth with film of caramel malts.
This is definitly a great session brew.I would purchase this one again over boston lager.


 490 characters

Photo of dcotom
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a Craft Beer Club tasting glass. Deep blackish brown color, with a dark tan head. Lots of complexity in the aroma and flavor profiles: notes of caramel, dark bread, prunes, roasted espresso bean, pepper, and floral hops. Medium-to-heavy mouthfeel, with a nice hit of roasty bitterness up front and a pleasantly dry finish. This was a pleasant surprise. Will definitely keep this one on the radar.

 429 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Purchased as part of a mixed “brewer’s collection” six-pack. It begins as a 12 oz brown bottle with August 2005 freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid. Had a slow rising, thick, tan head that had excellent retention, which left pretty lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Just chock full of roast toasty/burnt malts, with a whoping amount of chocolate and caramel

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very mild roasted/burned malts with a hefty amount of sweet malts. Caramel, chocolate, and molasses help give it a really full-bodied nature. There may be some floral hops in there, but hard to discern with the malt masterpiece.

Drinkability & Notes: Very drinkable, however, with the amount of sugariness, I’d need to cut it with eating something, preferably desert. Although initially finishes clean, the last few drops lingered, leaving a sweet aftertaste. Not overly bad, but cuts back on its session beer qualities.

 996 characters

Photo of joshotron
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: It's called black lager for a reason folks. It pours black but if you hold it up to the light, you'll see it's really a dark amber.

Smell: Chocolate, coffee, and malts all mixed in one. Really bold.

Taste: Full body. Very deep taste. No bitterness. Extremely refreshing. Nice malt flavor with a chocolate essence mixed with the caramel sweetness.

Feel: Bold but still goes down quite well.

Drinkability: Great beer. It's a winner. Although when I saw that Sam Adams was making a black lager, I really didn't have any doubts. It's a rich and bold beer that still goes down easy.

 593 characters

Photo of RobH
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful back color with a tan head.

This is a malt-first beer (hops second) in terms of flavor, which is to my personal liking.

To new-comers, don't expect a heavy, thick, full-bodied beer here just because it's black. This is a medium bodied brew that feels light on the palate but packs a nice dark beer flavor.

Serve this one to yourself or others on a hot summer day and you'll be surprised, I believe, with the refreshing quality of it.

This is a very nice example of a the rare (fom my experience) Schwarzbier style, and it's a great year-round brew.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,643 ratings
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