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

2,558 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: 2,558 |  Reviews: 1,437
Photo of garymuchow
4.19/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is a nice simple roast with just a shot of hoppy spiciness. Simple but nice. Takes on a bit of soy sauce.
Appearance is a clear deep dark brown with reddish hues. Smallish tan head. Some lacing.
Dark malt taste with coffee like flavors. Moderately dry.
Very clean (as a lager should be). Appropriately medium light. Very fine carbonation a a lot of it. Appropriately crisp.
Nicely done.

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Photo of sarahspat
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours near-black with ruby-brown highlights. The cocoa-colored head has good retention and alright lacing.

The smell and taste is very reminiscent of a lighter stout than I was expecting (this is my first Schwarzbier). Coffee, some chocolate, roasted and floral characteristics come through. Bitterness and sweetness play off of each other nicely. The finish is sweet. Medium-light body.

This is a pretty tasty beer. I could definitely enjoy a few of these in a sitting.

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Photo of Hammarby
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with hues of dark brown and deep copper. Foamy dark tan head that stays. Nice lacing.
S: Roasted malt, dark berries, pumpernickel, caramel, buttery tones. Maybe chocolate fudge.
T: Toffee, coffee, hint of charcoal, burnt caramel (but without the sweetness), some bitterness in the back of the tounge that lingers some. Shortish aftertaste.
M: Moderately carbonated with tiny bubbles. Just above medium body, dry.

Very nice indeed. Most beers I tried in this or similar styles often suffer some from a little bit too much sweetness in the aftertaste. Not this one. Very well balanced. Not sure if it's according to style, but very good drinkability.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep brown color, with a nice silky head on it. Smooth and creamy. Smells wonderfully malty with some chocolate and molasses. Tastes like toasted malt, through and through, with a bit of sweetness to it that makes the whole thing much more drinkable than I would have expected.

I really like this one. Not complex, but hands down one of the easiest drinking dark beers I've had in a while. I do wish I could get this in bulk.

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Photo of Rootdog316
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Black Lager pours to a dark brownish black color, though the beer is not entirely opaque. If you hold it directly up to the light, light will pass through and give the brew more of a chestnut color.

A generous creamy tan head forms atop the pour, and lightly roasty notes of chocolate malt are apparent in the nose. A thick film of Brussels lace clings to the side of the glass as the liquid descends.

Upon sipping, a slightly more than medium-bodied palate, generous for a lager is revealed, and the beer has a wonderfully creamy character. There are delightful roasted notes of chocolate, coffee, a touch of caramel and just a hint of licorice.

The roasted character here is soft, and you really won’t find the astringent, harsh roasted bitterness roasted barley imparts to stouts and some porters. In the finish, the roasted character becomes more noticeable, but the beer still finishes creamy and smooth. There aren’t a lot of hops here, either, just a touch. Amazing.

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Photo of Jredner
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn’t expect a coffe, almost stout like, aroma. Plenty of malt aroma and a little chocolate as well. Dark brown with ruby tones and a firm finger thick head. Ok this tastes like a watery porter. Very roasty with a lot of coffee notes. Malt sweetness there with a touch of chocalate again and some vanilla. It is actually a solidly good beer. It just tastes like a porter and not a Schwarzbier

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Schwarzbiers, at least good ones, are very difficult to find but this is one of them!

A: Pours a very dark blackish with a two-finger lasting tan head.

S: of roasted hops and mocha.

T: Nice, but citrusy, burst of hops starts the taste, notes of mocha and coffey and sweet malt. Finishes with a touch of hops and that malt.

M: Smooth, some alcohol, and subtle, but bitter, hop finish.

One of my two favorite Black Beers, the other being the *retired* Orilo organic black lager. One of the top five beers from Sam Adams. Nicely done!

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Photo of coasterfreak75
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The pour was a very dark mahogany, bordering on black but showed red when held up to light. Had a one finger head that quickly dissapated and left a white ring around the top of the beer.

The smell was heavy in coffee, nuts, and smokey caramel notes mixed with whisps of cream.

The drink started with a frothy malt like kick to the tongue. The middle was a mix of coffee and nuts. The finish was a lingering grainy coffee taste along with a sweet caramel.

This beer is the best of both worlds, it's a damn fine porter and a fine stout. The flavor is more like a good stout, but where the stout harshness would normaly begin the porter sweetness kicks in. This could become my normal stock of beer in the fridge.

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Photo of ultrastiledivita
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

first review!
here goes nothing...

bottle poured into a pint glass, got it in the fall variety pack

A: Deep dark brown almost black beer that has the look of a stout minimal head that kinda dissapered once i was finished pouring it

S: coffee, dark chocolate

T: coffee, toasted malts, the beer is a little bitter and leaves a lingering taste of dark chocolate although it doesnt really linger around for all that long

M: this was what surprised me most, it was surprisingly clean for a dark beer something im not very used to, slightly chewy towards the end as well

D: awesome i could see myself drinking two or three of these in one setting

good brew!

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice deep chestnut brown color, creamy tan head that never does entirely fade away. Lacing is fair.

The roasty malt, caramel nose is very nice, with a bit of the noble hops complimenting it nicely. A smooth, sweet malty flavor with that same roasty caramel also. Creamy and so smooth. This is a nice flavorful brew. A little spice in the finish, tickling the senses only briefly as it ends very clean.

Nice medium bodied Schwarzbier. Leave it to BBC to get this done right. I could session this all day long.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The name of this brew holds true as it is a black lager. It also has a very light tan colored, creamy head. The aroma is malty with the usual lager smell. The taste is nice. Sweet and with spices mildy poking through. Not nearly as spicy as other schwarzbiers I have had, but refreshing none the less. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a decent brew.

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Photo of animal69
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another from the sampler, #2 Pours deep root-beer brown w/ a creamy head which dissapates quickly, good lacing; very malty nose w/ a "baked" aroma, hop aroma does come through w/ a poss. diacetyl undertone; the flavor of roasted & chocolate malts really complement the sweetness slight hop prescence also; nice rich med bodied, very dextrinous; quite drinkable, this is really good, i can see myself knocking back quite a few of these this winter

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Photo of marc956
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was hestitant because the store I got it at has it on sale (4.99/6) as it'd been notched for consumption before June 2009, but very good despite that.

As far as the beer: Lots of flavor (if you've had
Sam Adams you expect that), good drinkability (plan on getting more), easy to drink. Went well with a burger, probably goes well with ethnic food too.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

tried this a while back and considered it mediocre. let's give it another try.

pours a dark brownish/black with light coming through on the edges showing a clear brown color. very dark, but clear if you look at it carefully. good white foam at first that quickly subsides to a little cap. leaves a little bit of lace.

smells roasty, sweet and malty. some caramel and chocolate notes. some coffee bean. this one smells pretty appetizing.

taste is quite mellow, with a sort of chocolatey caramel intertwined with a little bit of smokey flavor. this is a malty brew, only modestly hopped. nice full flavor, but not overwhelming. medium to light in body, with a fairly full flavor and a pleasant crisp finish to it. this is a refreshing beer. drinkability is great, i'd definitely recommend this as a great session brew for fans of darker beers.

i recommend this as something different to try for stout drinkers. a great lager for the winter time also!

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A two-finger tan head is produced by this dark brown, almost black beer. Garnet-hued light can be seen through this darkness. Frothy head went down slowly and left good lacing. Aromas of roasted malt and dark chocolate. Smooth coffee like feel with dark chocolate notes. Not bitter at all with a nutty finish. Balanced in the mouth. A highly drinkable beer.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark ruby red with a soft 1 inch head

S- has a good smell of chocolate malts and toasty caramel. has a faint hint of like a black cherry to me as well.

T- Good flavor. chocolate and malts

M- feels pretty good, medium body and tasty pop on the tongue

D- very drinkable. I like this one

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Photo of MrOH
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with some red around the edges, quickly dissapating tan head. Some lace.

Munich malt and a little bit of noble hops.

Deep, sweet, roasty malt. Nice hop balance. A really great malt character, just enough roast to keep it from being a one trick pony. Good stuff.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Damn, that is tasty. A good lager for cooler weather.

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Photo of Justin23060
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Like coke
S - Caramel malt, pleasant sweetness.
T - One of the sweeter Schwartzes I've had. Smokiness compliments the sweetness and makes for a sort of thin porter in a way. Linger is spot on for my taste.
M - Right on for style, not too heavy. Sharp at first and fading into a creamier swallow.
O - One of new favorites. Nothing bad to say about this beer.

Personal Note: Awesome with crackers, Swiss cheese, crispy fried garlic and Dijon.

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Photo of doopydoogle
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark Black with a decent brownish head that leaves a good lace and a nice residual ring of foam.

S - Coffee, toffee, rye bread, smoky oakiness, baking chocolate, slight spice, almost like an anise

T - Zesty coffee and chocolate upfront that mellow out to a nice rich toasted and roasted malt profile. Lingering smokiness and a very subtle bitterness finishes with some subtle sweetness and a hint of rye.

M - Vibrant carbonation and a very consistent mouthfeel. Surprisingly light mouthfeel for such a rich beer.

O - Very nice for the style. Clean and crisp, yet rich and flavorful. One of the better Sam outings.

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Photo of Atlas1
4.21/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the three beers included in the Brewmaster's Collection six pack that I bought last week. I've had this before but have never reviewed it.

Poured into, what else, a Sam Adams fancy glass. Beautiful dark brown color with reddish-orange tint at the edges of the glass. Rich mahogany color when held up to natural light. The head is thoroughly impressive; a two-finger dark tan foam that settles down but has incredible longevity. Good lacing. The nose is okay, but not too impressive. Malty chocolate with a bit of licorice and coffee. A hint of smoke. Taste is quite good, though, and multi-layered. Among the assorted flavors I detect here are dark cherry, baker's chocolate, coffee, plum, banana bread. A hoppy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is firm but not overly thick.

A really well-done beer by SA in my opinion. I've been impressed by the Brewmaster's Collection so far; the Irish Red ale was also quite tasty. At just 4.90% ABV, this is a totally sessionable beer, and one that I would happily revisit in the future. Superior to the handful of other American craft black lagers I've had in the past.

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Photo of MadCat
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another from a Sam Adams mixed six pack. I've had this way before I joined BA, and I'm impressed that I still enjoy this after that much time. Some Sam Adams beers have been disappointing revisiting them.

Appearance: Just as black as any Russian imperial stout, not too much head, but leaves some lacing

Smell: Good roasted malt smell, with some coffee and caramel hints

Taste: More roasted malts, coffee and caramel hints. Some spicy hints, along with pumpernickel.

Mouthfeel: A little watery with medium carbonation

Overall: Very good, reminds you of a stout or porter, but with some differences. I appreciate Boston Beer Co. producing an uncommon style like this, and doing a good job with it.

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Photo of Wheelinb
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow! We were hanging out at the Stonewood Ale house in Schaumburg, UIL when I decided to give this a try. Nice rich black color. Not much head. I could smell the chocolate/coffee goodness right away and the taste was right along with that, plus there was a subtle smokiness to the beer as well. The texture is a little thin but it is generally well balanced. I don't think this would be a good session beer.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug. Part of a sampler pack.

Appearance: Definitely black, with a frothy tan head that (even after receding) forms a nice protective layer betwixt the air and the beer. Lots of lacing going on, beer is dark even when held against the light. Nice!

Smell: Sweet. Lightly toasted caramel malt nose with perhaps just a touch of anise or licorice thrown in for good measure. Don't know why, but this is really doing it for me right now.

Taste: Rich, heavy on the malt, and the licorice is also pretty noticeable. Not a whole lot of bitter hop activity going on here until the very end of the sip. Taking the time to appreciate the taste is well worth it on this one. Finishes just a touch dry, with some herbal aftertaste that is neither unpleasant nor unwelcome.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, very warming. Carbonation is balanced with the flavor well. Doesn't rinse clean, but luckily, the aftertaste is good.

Drinkability: A bit heavy to do more than one or two at a time. Still better than average, though.

Surprisingly tasty!

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to a SA Perfect Pint glass.

A: The black lager pours a dark brown to black color with a thin head.

S: Smells of chocolate malt with hints of chocolate and some sort of dairy or cream.

T: Tastes much like the smell. Strong chocolate flavor with a bit of coffee bitterness and a nice roastyness. Smooth finish with the a creamy flavor.

M: Medium with some moderate carbonation.

D: High.

I really like this one. It has a lot of dark roasty flavors with a light enough body to stay highly drinkable. I'll be going back to this one.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice fresh bottle from a sixer purchased last week... I love having this beer around, especially in the Fall when I might crave a dark beer without the viscous body and high alcohol content.

Served in a nonic at fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pours a dark ruby/black with an immense light beige head, settling over several minutes to an even, consistent mat. Lacing is sporadic but all over the place.

Smell- Intense black coffee with a roasted malty canopy, very nice and damn round. Reminds me of smelling Grandma T's cold coffee from the refrigerator back in Brooklyn when I was like eight years old. Really good.

Taste- Dark, roasted malts and coffee flavors combine extremely well with the bittering finish... leaving a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere that lingers after each sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Definitely bubbly enough to incorporate the flavors and nuances of the malt and roasted coffeebean notes, but very easy to drink and enjoy in a good quantity. Way up there on my list of Schwarzbiers, and I hope to try this on tap one day.

Definitely my favorite of Sam Adams' Brewmaster Series.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,558 ratings.
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