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 SawDog505
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours almost completely black, with just a thin white head, a little lace. Smell bakers chocolate, biscuit, and carmel. Taste is mainly the chocolate, very one dimensional. Body is very thin for a chocolate tasting beer, lots of carbonation, lush, and very drinkable. This is a very simple strait forward beer, probably a good beer to start off your craft beer adventure.

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Photo of animalchin
2.99/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Provides a nice solid red/brown hue against the light - otherwise appearing a few shades lighter than pitch black. Smells very grainy and nothing else. Nice dark chocolate tones that is also rich with a lot of nutty notes as well - particular to hazelnut. Sits nice and easy upon consumption. Honestly nothing I would have again - I've had better experiences with black beers. This is still a solid work though.

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Photo of psuKinger
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle given to me by my neighbor Brian, poured into a standard nonic.

A: Pours an impressively dark shade of almost-black, with just the slightest amount of light escaping through the other side of the glass. A soft light fluffy off-white head sat on top, but dissipated quickly.

S: More caramel than I would have expected from such a dark beer. Bready sugars can be found in the background. I'm not picking up on any discernible roastiness in the nose.

T: Vanilla cream and roast arrive on the first sip. The caramel backbone, so prominant in the nose, only makes is presence felt on the tongue near the back end of the flavor profile. Finishes bready and dry, with yet more caramel lingering on the back end.

M: Rather unremarkable. Not "hefty". Not "light". Carbonation seems low. The finish is dry, but very little other than caramel is left behind after it's gone.

D/O: A fine beer. But by craft beer standards? It's pretty mediocre. I'd have another, but I won't specifically seek this out.

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Photo of dmcbeerington
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It is a B+ rating here, so I went and got 6 bottles. I am disappointed. It isn't that great at all. First, it does smell a little different from the other ale beer I have tried, but the color is almost exactly like a pale ale. It also tastes kinda watery like pale ale. I am definitely not impressed. It is drinkable, but definitely not the style of beer that I like. So, I think I will give it a middle C.

The strange smell is weird to me. I never smell something like that, so I really can't describe the smell, but I am sure it tastes better than smell. Somehow I think the smell of this better is horrible. For taste, there is indeed some after taste of little bitterness, and that is it.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a very dark brown with a light head that didn't last very long. Virtually no lacing. The smell is kinda nice, mostly caramel and malt. The taste is not nearly as good as saranac Black Forest but it is good. Caramelly and malty as fuck. There are soem coffee hints also. Flavor is nice but doesn't really grab you. Kinda leaves a yucky porter like aftertaste. The mouthfeel isn't bad but kinda watery. It is pretty slick to the tounge. Kinda drinkable but it leaves such a blah taste in your mouth. Try a black forest instead.

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Photo of eriktoyra
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark, almost black colored beer into the glass. The head is about two fingers high and fudge colored. The head is uneven and foamy.

S: Smells of dark malts, earthy tones, fudge and burnt sugar.

T: It tastes of dark malts, dry roasted almonds, some coffee and a sour aftertaste that ends with dry earthy tones.

M: Light body with a hind of oiliness. The carbonation is low to medium.

O: Nothing special. Ok with salty and smoked food.

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Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour shows a semi opaque dark brown body that lets some light through and a off white head that recedes quickly in this goblet.
Aroma is notable for its sweet malts that have a chocolate leaning to them.
Flavors are very rich for a SA lager, caramel and chocolate malts , a light roasted malt background and some earthy notes coming from the hops.

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Photo of psinderson
3.01/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark, but not black. When held up to the light, a deep ruby color shines through. Huge tan head that dissipates slowly to a thin layer on top. Great sticky lacing to the glass.

Smell: Initially, I thought I detected a bit of light smoke, but it faded quickly. After that, there wasn't much there. Perhaps some extremely light malts in the background. Was hoping for some additional roastiness in the nose.

Taste: Somewhat bland considering the description on the neck of the bottle. There are some dark fruit flavors in the middle with a mild roastiness in the finish. That quickly fades, however, to reveal a rather smooth and clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin with just a tad of hop oils on the tongue. Despite the huge head, there doesn't seem to be much carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Definitely a drinkable beer. Mostly clean and light alcoho.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this one up in a mixed sixie last week, and I actually had some pretty decently high hopes for it; sadly it let me down. Poured a dark brown color, with a decent light tan head. Lightly roasted malt, decent quality chocolate and some coffee on the nose. Light bodied, with lightly roasted malt, generic chocolate and coffee.

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Photo of TechMyst
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PURCHASED @: Sullivans
COST: medium
HEAD: minimal
LACE: none
AROMA: roasted malt-lager
TASTE: Toasted malts and coffee.
COMMENTS: Good for the style.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with 2-row Harrington, Munich, and Weyermann dehusked Carafa malts. Hopped with Spalt Spalter. Fermented with a lager yeast strain.
OG=1.062, 4.9% ABV, 191 calories per 12oz.

Pours out to a clear, very dark mahogany, forming a modest light tan head with average retention and sparse lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma of sweet milk chocolate, light caramel, a light grainy sourness. Mouthfeel is lightly sharp with a weak acidity contributing to a semi-dry finish. Medium bodied. Taste starts out with some not so pleasant herbal and semi-sour hops, followed by roasted overtones and a budweiser sensibility. Finish has distant earth and tobacco overtones.

Doesn't really do anything for me, but this has never been one of my favorite styles. I'd drink it in a pinch, but it tastes like a macro-micro, like a Pete's or Saranac. Yeah, pass on this one.

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Photo of BeerMeInMS
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drinking Date: 1/30/11
Best-By - March 2011

Glassware - Pilsner

Appearance: It's completely black. An off-white head that dissipated quickly and left very little lacing.

Smell: The beer presented a pungent roasted aroma. As I got close to the brew, I also smelled some spiciness and some fruitiness ( a little citrus, but mostly a banana-like smell, which was surprising). An interesting and varied aroma

Taste: A slight bitterness opened the taste, but was quickly replaced by the roasted flavor of the malt. The beer shifted between the roasted flavor and hints of sweetness. Finished with a lingering taste of those flavors. Though the taste had some variety to it, I thought it was fairly weak. The flavor did not 'grab' me; it was more like the other way around. I was expecting a bigger flavor.

Mouthfeel: As the bottle states, it's medium-body. Has moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: The beer was not heavy where consuming several of these would be a problem to stomach or palate. However, the lack of savory flavor does not entice me for multiple tries.

Notes: I have never had a bad Sam Adams brew, and the Black Lager is no exception. I have read that black lager is typically light in character, so perhaps the flavor is true to the style. For me, after tasting, I would pass this one up for another style.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
3.04/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark, opaque brown with a good-sized tan head. Aroma is malty and sweet with a cocoa, molasses and maple syrup mix.

Taste is sweet and dark, with lots of black patent and chocolate malt. Shades of charcoal and a little bit of bitterness. Mouthfeel is heavier than it should be (IMO), gets too close to stout terrirory. Gives me coffee breath… I like that.

Sweeter than I would prefer, but not bad at all. I could session this for a while, but I would eventually switch to something more bitter.

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Photo of amstelcat
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark ruby color, almost black. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and a bit of smokiness on the nose. Big malt upfront with just a touch of bitterness and coffee. Kinda odd, thick aftertaste.

Probably wouldn't get this one again and it's not my favorite style. Had to drink it since it's on my beer tour.

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Photo of samie85
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a pitch black color with a mocha colored, two finger head.

S-Smells slightly of roasty malts and a little of smoked malt with some earthy hop notes.

T-A bit of roasted malt with some smoked malt hints and an earthy spicy, slightly dry hop finish.

M-Light bodied with medium to heavy prickly carbonation with a slightly coating and slick mouthfeel.

D-Not a bad beer at all and I'd rather have this in some of the sampler packs than some of the beers that make it in. I have had much better schwarzbiers though.

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Photo of nriech
3.06/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First impression was a very malty dark beer making my mouth water. Heavy on the carbonation but hardly any head. Lacing lingered though. Good aroma of malt.

The flavors I picked up were molasses, chocolate, maybe a weak coffee. In fact I would use weak for the body also. There was alot missing from this beer but I think it would be over the top for a traditional american beer drinker. I let it warm a bit more and it was more drinkable but still wasnt quite the beer that I would expect from the "Brewmasters Collection."

Good option for those establishments where the best they serve is Sam Adams and you want something a little different.

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Photo of mcallister
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amberish brown that is somewhat transparent. A cream colored head nearly an inch high fell to the nethers of the liquid rather quickly with little to no lacing apparent.

Sweet malt aromas, very little hop, lavender, caramel, and choclate.

Chunky caramel hits the tatebuds with smooth choclate malt and subdued hops. Very creamy mouthfeel yet the beer lacks complexity. Signigicantly high in RS. I tend to like a brew like this too have more weight and depth. Bold would be the word.

Brew is very smooth making is have decent drinkability but can't say much else.

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Photo of jeranbrews
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - A perfect 2 fingers of creamy beige head. Plenty of bubbles. Healthy strong sheaths of lacing. Color like wooster sauce.

S - Dry straw hops, like a slowly drying bale of hay in the summer. Some yeasty sourdough puffs. Afterwards I found some toasty smells.

T - Like burnt pudding skin. Some pleasant roasted tastes, but the aftertaste was sour and off. Disappointing after all the nice smells and color. I've had better.

M - Very nice. Smooth, well bodied. Feels like more than 4.9% abv. A tiny bit spicy.

D - Good looks and smells but doesn't matter because the taste is too bland and uncharacteristic.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a creamy black with about an inch of dark tan, nearly brown head.
Smells faintly of some roasted malt, bitter coffee.
Taste is fairly watery with some roasted and toasted flavors throughout.
Finish is poor, there is a bitter taste left that isn't desirable, to me anyway.
It is drinkable because it is pretty thin beer, but the bitter taste makes it more difficult to put down.

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Photo of barleyroad
3.09/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark, no really dark. Smell is very toasty. Mouthfeel is heavy on the tongue, this does linger a while. Taste is more like a light porter. The toasted malts are nicely balanced with the carmel and chocolate malts. Overall this is a nice brew, but we feel is miss labled.

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Photo of Blanco
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well it's not black but it's pretty close. dark chocolate brown with a light tan head. It's pretty good looking poured in the recommended flute (well not quite a flute, but a tall skinny ommegang glass). It's practically scentless. Taste is definitely more lager-esque than I expected. There really isn't any roasty, toastiness from the malts in this one. It's a bit on the sweet side. Light bodied. pretty drinkable actually, but its so ambiguous I don't know what to think. Not sure if the taste/look mismatch is in my head or if I've been drinking too many stouts but I can't get around the fact this one doesn't look like it tastes. It certainly isn't bad, so I can't fault it for that.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a mug

A: Poured with less than a finger of darker off-white head. Faded quickly. Color is actually very dark brown with deep ruby highlights.

S: I get some spicy hop smell.

T: Spicy hops up front with a small bit of roasted malt on the back end. Aftertaste is somewhat metallic.

M: Feels kind of watery and flat with some foam.

O: My least favorite from Sam Adams so far. It seems to follow style, but this really isn't that drinkable or good in my opinion.

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Photo of Pleepleus
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to new Sam Adams pint glass a deep dark brown with ruby red hues and an almost non existent cream head that quickly disolved with no lacing to speak of. It had a minimal malt aroma and a trace of caramel sweetness, but not the strong nose I had expected. Tastes like roasted malts with some sweetness of chocolate and caramel. Over carbonated and thin, very disapointing. A very drinkable beer, if you like thin, weak, overly carbonated false advertising. I can not understand the fascination with the swill these guys pump out. I try and go into every Sam Adams beer with an open mind but always walk away scratching my head. Just once I would like to say "this is a great Sam Adam's Beer!" Sadly I cannot say that here.

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Photo of bgreg3
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

very dark brown , near black , creamy foam head.

smells like sweet malt , with very subtle coffee notes.

Tastes the same pretty much like a kolch style , but with very subtle coffe flavor and a wet finish , pretty light in the mouth and palate

I would much prefer my golden lagers and kolchs.

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Photo of Arborescence
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Black, pours a decent creamy head.

Aroma: Very mild. Slight hint of chocolate and malt.

Taste: Still mild, but there is some roasted malt present. Bitterness in the aftertaste. Not much depth.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, rolls nicely on the tongue; oily.

Overall: Decent attempt, but nothing special. The Czech and the Germans do this type of beer much better.

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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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