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

1,434 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: 1,434 | Ratings: 2,554
Photo of Shrews629
2.76/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appearance - Dark brown to very, very dark ruby red. Some slight orange highlights around the edges. Fairly clear with a tan colored head that didn't produce much or have much retention.

Smell - Dark, roasted, chocolate malt. Picked up hints of buttermilk (not my favorite fragrance). It has caramel listed on the label, but I'm not really picking it up. I'm even picking up "cream" hints. Doesn't seem as well balanced as I thought it should be.

Taste - Has a deep roasted, earthy, burnt malt to the taste. Some chocolate in there. Again, no caramel. The taste was more balanced than the smell and was just Ok in my opinion.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Mostly dry, creamy and smooth. Coats the palate honorably.

Drinkability - This is not one of my favorite Sam Adams brews, nor is it one of my favorite styles. This is a beer I can finish, but would probably not go for round two. Every time I took a drink, I continually got the "buttermilk" scent. I didn't care for that. Others may enjoy this beer, however I don't think I will try this again.

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Photo of nach0king
2.79/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've recently developed a taste for black lagers - this one's decent but little more than that. Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: The colour's right. A bit of light can get through but hardly any. No head to speak of.

S: A little bit of sugar, toffee, malt. A very nice smell but there's not enough of it.

T: As the smell suggested this is mild for a black. That said it's well-balanced - seems more heavily hopped than the ones I'm used to and that's welcome. The bitterness makes it more coffee than toffee. But it just feels like there isn't enough there.

M: Perhaps slightly overcarbonated but still pretty full for a lager - which is a good thing.

Would probably not go looking for this one again. It's perfectly fine but there are better schwarzbiers out there.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interestingly translucent yet black. It looks kind of cool. First impressions are good.

Nose is grainy and chocolaty. Touches of caramel, nougat, toffee, and a general Snickers odor enter into play. Not what I’m used to but this works too.

Taste/MF…weak, real weak. This is a style that I admire for its full-on boldness both in the taste and mouthfeel categories that blend with an easy drinkability but this one comes up short in both categories. Notes of charred grains, wood, caramel are present but all are light and the big roasted-burnt malt flavor that I want is nowhere to be found. Carbonation is on the light side too.

Drinkablitiy: With Sprecher around, this just isn’t up to par.

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.81/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this one a while back and found it undesirable. Now that my taste is more refined I find it, well, somewhat tolerable. It's look is peculiar with the side edges of my perfect pour glass red and the bottom edge brown. There's a thick finger of foam that lasts a few minutes. The aroma is very feint, just a hint of sweet malt. The taste is mild malty but turns slightly sour at the end that throws of my taste buds. I didn't bother to finish the glass because it just wasn't that enjoyable. I'll probably give away my other bottle.

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Photo of harrymel
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by Jan, 2012

A: Black, but able to get light through - resulting in dark drown tones. Central cap of off-white foam is also concentric on the edge.
S: Dry malts, slightest hint of smoke and wood. Maybe even a little bit of artificial grape.
T: Dry flavor, wet feeling. Weird dicotomy of experience here. There are some umami tones in this beer. A little bit of burnt pretzel.
M: Light and low carb - very interesting. Semi dry finish.
O: Not sure how I feel about this beer. A little empty for me.

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Photo of benito
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had some friends over for dinner last week and wanted to serve them a beer that would cut through the saltiness of the mozzarella in carrozza that I was serving...a Schwarzbier seemed the right pick, and since I can't get Fort Collins Brewing's awesome Kidd Lager except when I'm in the Front Range, Sam Adams was my go-to brew.

Not truly black, this is a deep ruby brew when held to direct light with a thin head and a lager-ish (read, absent) bouquet. The sweetness of the malts did in fact match well with the saltiness of the anchovies in my food, and I also liked this brew for it's quick, refreshing finish. I would definitely serve it again with a similar hors d'oeuvre, but I don't think I'd choose to buy a sixer for pleasure drinking.

Overall, the flavors were competent but unremarkable. It's well-crafted, but this is a "what you see is what you get" affair and I'm not sure that I knew anything about this beer after two pints that I didn't know after two sips.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.84/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 2/26/2007 (12oz bottle BB Jun07):

Pours a deep dark brown/black color, some light falls through. Big foamy head, decent lacing, somewhat lasting. Not a very strong aroma, malts, some hops, weak, but not unpleasant. Watery malty taste, not too strong, just average. Clean aftertaste. Not much else to it.

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Photo of Kooz
2.84/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice color, nice head. Head dissipates quickly, but not completely. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Bitter smell. No thanks.

Tastes okay, but not special. Spicy. To me, this was a bit unexpected from a dark beer. Not unpleasant, but nothing too special either.

Pretty decent mouthfeel. Sam Adams usually gets this right. It's creamy and good. It's just a little too sharp for my tastes though.

This is a fairly drinkable darker beer, but it also has nothing much in common with dark beers except the color. I'm not huge on this one.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect, but overall not a bad beer from "micro-Sam" Couldn't get Porter out of my head as I waited for the beer to settle, still kinda can't (by apperance). Chocolatey taste, then nothing, very hollow. This is the type of beer you won't mind having a couple of-basically just to get rid of. Not overly disappointing but will not buy again.

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Photo of Naes
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This lager is a super dark brown (almost black) with a small tan head.
Its aroma is of roasted malt.
The flavor is roaty with chocolate tones. A little sweet for my likings, but still drinkable. The hops do make an appearance at the end of your swallow, but are very faint.
Mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and actively carbonated.

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Photo of BeerandBlues2
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours deep mahagoney, almost black, with a small tan foamy head that dissipates to a thin rocky film. Roasted and caramel malt aroma with a dark coffee, chocolate finish. Faint hop notes rise into the air as well. Initially smooth sweet dark chocolate flavor. It finishes lightly hoppy and spicy. Medium body and fizzy, a bit butpy, and crisp finish.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, best by 4/07. Pours a light black with ruby highlights. It has a decent creamy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet toffee, nuts and caramel and black patent malts.

The flavor is sweet roasted chocolatey malts and nutty toffee with a little peat or smoke. The mouthfeel is medium and watery.

Overall, it's an OK schwarzbier. I didn't particularly care for it - a little too sweet and watery.

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Photo of tjacobs610
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very dark in color, almost pure black. Has a thin caramel colored head with not very little lacing.

Smell: Has a chocolaty aroma, with hints of caramel. Also has a hint of yeasty aromas to it.

Taste: Very light and smooth, with hints of spices and a touch of malt. Has a pretty good taste for this style of beer.

Mouthfeel: Very thin and not much carbonation to the beer. Has a good feel that goes along with this style.

Overall: This beer fits its style well. It’s not one of my favorite styles but taking this beer for what it’s worth makes it very good.

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Photo of bmeehan
2.9/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great for cooking when poured over ribs, okay for drinking when poured into your mouth. Unknown for use in pouring into a toilet to clean the pipes, though probably not great for that.

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Photo of Pegasus
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep reddish-brown in color, rather than the expected black color with a massive tan head, which slowly fades to a small layer. The lacing is excellent.

Aroma: Burnt caramel, rather than the expected black patent malt, with harsh chemical notes, which gradually fade away.

Taste: Opens with a bittersweet chocolate note, with rather sweet notes in the middle and a finish notable for an odd, although not offensive nutty characteristic. Pleasant, but seems to be a bit off style.

Mouth feel: Smooth and reasonably full, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: A decently crafted beer, a bit off-style, but still quite drinkable.

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Photo of JustinBathurst
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark cola with dark tan head around 2.5 cm. Nice lacing.

Smells of red licorice, grain, pie dough, and a touch of cooked cabbage.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Average carbonation.

Taste is nicely hopped for the style, bready malt, a bit of cocoa.

Too understated and unremarkable for my tastes.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.94/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First of all, it poured a very, very dark brown with a medium tan brown foam. The smell of sour roasted malts is what I first picked up on the aroma of this black lager.

The taste was not quit as bad as the smell. The taste had a sour and tart feel on the palate. It was not a pleasant lager flavor. The sour taste of the roasted malts turned me off!

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Photo of jman892
2.94/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights. Aggressive pour into a pint glass leads to a foamy, sticky head. Lots of lacing

S - A little bit of malt I guess, but really not much of a nose here. I'm struggling to pick up anything

T - Very subtle taste as well. Some sweet malts and a little bit of dark fruit.

M - Mouthfeel is middle of the road with moderate carbonation, pretty light bodied.

O - Another from the fall pack from Sam Adams. Very middle of the road beer. Just not a lot to say about this. It is what it is.

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Photo of hero27
2.94/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Brewmaster's Collection. Best before July 2006.

Clear burnt mahogany, tight head of foam. Very light aroma of dark roasted malts...I might be able to pick up some weak chocolate if I use my imagination. The taste is more bold, with the roastiness showing off a bit and the chocolate being actually noticeable. A thinnish body with modest carbonation. Nothing too memorable for me, but it's alright for the style.

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Photo of monkeybeer
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark brown with a slight red tint. Nice tan head light lacing

S- Clean roasted malty smell

T/M- dark dry roast flavor, slightly over carbonated. Somewhat heavy on the back end

D- Not bad, I would not turn it down if offered to me, and may buy again in a variety pack. I would not go out and search for a six pack of it.

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Photo of nicksta
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: It pours a cola black, with a moderate sized tan pancake on top. Not a whole lot of action going on here. It sits perfectly still only a few moments after pouring.

S: The smell is very similar to other dark brews I have had lately. If you look at my reviews you will know that isn't a good thing. On the plus side their is a sweeter chocolate smell wringing through than what I have found lately.

T: Unfortunately it starts out like most shitty Euro Darks, slightly bitterly chocolate. Thank god it doesn't finish like one. It finishes with a slight, low-fat, weak caramel taste that at the very least makes the beer tolerable (for a couple of them, anyway).

M&D: The mouthfeel is average and the drinkability is no better.

I am about to say screw dark brews until I get my hands on some more Guinness, or until I try Murphy's of Beamish.

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Photo of pb9613
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Apperamce - The Black Lager is dark but not black. There is a distinct dark red hue to the beer. It has a decent head if it is pour directly into the glass and not on an angle to the glass

Smell - A nice malty smell with a little hops aroma.

Taste - This ale has a great malt flavor with a hint of chocolate. The balance of bitterness associated with most dark beers such as porters and stouts is toned down. The hops flavor is similar to a brown ale.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a heavy chocolate feel similar to chocolate mild without the heavy lactose flavor..

Drinkability - This ale went down nice but could use a little bitterness from the hops or the roasted malt or barley.

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Photo of nkruback
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This reminds me of quite a few other Sam brews. I always pick up on that lingering, lager-like flat taste that Sam has picked up oh so well. It pours a thin, Redbull-like head that dissipates as quickly as my hope for this beer. Color and opacity are great. The color is the best feature, I find. Not much going on here, I wish and hope for more.

A good example of a similar style is New Belgium's 1554. Dark in color, yet highly drinkable and full of flavor.

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Photo of goblue3509
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not a favorite from Sam Adams. No real aroma too it. The color is a very deep black color. There is little texture and the taste is so-so. You could drink alot of them, because they are in fact very smooth going down. Overall it is so-so, if it is on hand and your other alternatives are bud, go for it.

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Photo of bgraney
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Amber/black, lots of carbonation with an off-white, creamy head.
Not a lot going on with the aroma; a sweet maltiness is all I can pick up.
Tastes very sweet with a tasty, dominating malt presence with a caramel background.
Medium mouthfeel, maybe a little thin. A slight malt aftertaste.
For me, it's too sweet to have more than one.
I felt like I was drinking a malt flavored soda but I liked it. I would drink it again but I can't imagine a situation in which this would be available and there wouldn't also be choices I prefer over this.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,554 ratings.
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