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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 Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my Spaten lager glass at a very cool temperature.

A - Very dark brown, almost black with fluffy light tan head resembling swiss cheese that left minimal lace.

S - Sweet malty, slightly salty aroma. Bready, slightly burnt rye toast scent. A slightly tea like roastiness reminiscent of earl grey. Aromas of yeast with a nice bavarian malt scent.

M - Light, but substantially malty. Very carbonated but not to the point of excess. Silky and luxurious finish gradually releases a pleasant caramel essence.

T - Roastiness and effervescene snap to attention as the milky sourness with pilsener malt sweetness and nutty brown malt flavors comingle.

D - A great american black lager. Sweet, supple and bready flavors make for a brew that is quaffable, delightful, sessionable, and easy to enjoy in a variety of settings. I happened to enjoy mine with a cheesesteak pizza.

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Photo of JDK
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a black amber color with an off white head.
Virtually no lacing and no smell. What little smell there was of chocolate malts.
Nice, medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.
Was very surprised at the taste. I was expecting a stronger malty taste due to the toasted malts but this was actually more like a brown lager and very refreshing.
Highly recommend trying this and right now with the Brewers Special Pack, you get to try several different styles at a great price. (The Anderson's has it $3 off )

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance has a deep dark reddish brown having a off white healthy head. Smell of roasted malts, slight dry fruits, but not much else. Taste has a good balance between the malt, hops and carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. Drinkability is pretty good, but leaves a slight bitter and dry aftertaste.

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Photo of klewis
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 8/07

A: Umm.... more like a "brown lager". Small bubbly head with very little lacing.

S: Light roasted and smoky aroma with not much else going on.

T: Nicely balanced with a malty taste and a smooth hop bitterness. Flavors of roasted nuts and a rauchbier sort of cedar taste.

M: Light-bodied, but smooth and creamy. Sticky with moderate carbonation.

D: Definitely a nice beer and definitely one of BBC's best. Smooth and easy to drink. Recommended.

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Photo of semihobo
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, brewery fresh until April 07 which is in 2 hours so I'm still good!

Looks like very dark brown / black beer, duh. Head looked great and faded fast to some respectable lace.

Smells chocolatey, more malts than hops. Not too burnt, not super sweet. Toffee. Hint of mint which might be the hops? Smells tasty.

Very smooth, laid back taste. Nothing overwhelming or too one-dimensional. The burnt coffee flavor of the malts is a little sour, but otherwise it's a very mellow balance with the hops adding some simple bitterness and some semi-sweet chocolate with vanilla notes. Where was the roastedness in the smell?

A bit too sticky on the end, carbonation is a little more than I'd like as well.

I'm not in love with the black lager, but I could take down a few without really thinking about it. I like the balanced and understated profile (almost like a "light" version of some porters). Has its pros and cons, overall it's okay.

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Photo of Tang07
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours as the name would indicate; BLACK,

You can barley see some light through it. It has a pretty good head and has a pretty malty nose for a lager.

It's not as heavy as it looks. I live in Florida and sometimes a heavy beer is not really what you want. This is a good lager with flavor so you can probably drink it through Spring then wait until it cools down in the Fall to savor again.

The mouthfeel is quite pleasant, lots of body and the carbonation is quite balanced.

Very drinkable when cool. More flavors come out when it warms slightly

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Photo of geexploitation
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a totally opaque black that betrays only the slightest ruby highlights when held up to direct light. Very nice aroma of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and some dextrine vanilla notes. It's a smooth, almost creamy aroma. On the palate, this beer is big and juicy, with plenty of active carbonation and a texture that treads perfectly between creamy smoothness and a light, racy touch. Malt bitterness is pronounced up front before morphing into something a that's a touch sweeter and acidic. Hop snap toward the end. This is an excellent beer and one of my favorites from Sam Adams. It's got rich flavors, sessionability and authenticity. Very well done.

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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.

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Photo of rhythmguitartz88
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured nice smooth into the glass. It was a very dark colour with a tan two finger head. The smell was a warm smokey malt taste and was sweet-esque with a nice caramel under tone to the scent. The taste was definiatly above average. It started very rich and smokey but had a nice sweet after taste. The mouthfeel was rather satisfactory; not too heavy but definately not too light. It went down semi smooth. Drinkability was above average.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours black into my glass with an off-white head, leaving a little lacing as I sip. The aroma is moderately roasted, a little sweet, and there is a hint of spicy hops in the background. The flavor is a nice balance of medium-low sweetness, moderately roasted, and a moderate hop/roast bitterness to balance things out. There is also a little bit of hop flavor that hits at the swallow. The mouthfeel is rather creamy, medium body, and carbonation moderate. Overall this is one the best offerings by Sam Adams. The nose is inviting, flavor has good balance, but still leaves you with a little something after the swallow. The creamy mouthfeel and medium body mean this is quite a drinkable beer. Grab a 6er!

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Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the Boston Beer Company's better efforts here.

The Black Lager is a joy to consume.

The color is... well you guessed it black, while at the same time having a small, though well formed head. The beer leaves more than acceptable lacing throughout.

The smell is malt dominated, and one would be hard pressed to really smell much in the way of hops.

Others have mentioned a bit of a coffee taste and this was the first thing that came to my mind after tasting. There is definite sweet aspects to this beer as well, aspects that balance with the coffee tones quite well.

Could drink a sixer of this quite easily. It's not world class, but it's simply a well made beer. The Boston Beer Company gets flak in some beer circles and sure they aren't Stone or Bells.. but man are some of the better efforts they put out ever drinkable.

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Photo of theopholis
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pretty black. When held up to a light, it has a deep mahogany color. Pours with a head of about 2 inches and falls slowly to a cap. Some lacing.

Aroma- Nice blend of malt sweetness, roastiness and just a hint of either caramel or toffee. Smell is kind of weak, but what there is smells great.

Taste- Very interesting. Nice mix of malt sweetness, cocoa, and caramel. No hops at all.

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel (How often have you heard me say that?). Nice level of carbonation. Clings to the mouth nicely; giving you a nice woddy, caramelly after-taste.

Drinkabilty- Very good, no matter what styles of beer you drink. Like somebody else said, this is a good a comfort type of brew!

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Photo of mobud
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Wonderful dark color with very little light getting through. Nice head that hangs on thru sample. The smell of the roasted malts is nice with a slight smoky smell behind it. The taste is more towards a porter IMHO. The mouthfeel is even, not too heavy and certainly not light. The roasted coffee and caramel taste coats the mouth and lingers . This was a nice beer and would get it again.

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Photo of July2Nov
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a pub-style pint glass. As the name indicates, it is black. When shone up to a light, it has a deep mahogany color.Begins with a head of about 2 inches then goes down to about 1/2 inch. Nice amount of lace left.

S: Strong and roasty.

T&M: If you like rich cocoa, coffee and a slight caramel taste...then proceed further. The flavor leaves the palette in a tangy mood with an ever so slight dry finish near the end.

D: If your into darker beers, then I highly recommend this tasty concoction. It's perfect for year-round consumption, but I have a feeling it would go well with a nice summer BBQ (mmm...ribs!). This is by far a comfort type of brew!

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Photo of umustdrink
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Very deep red in color. Head slightly off white and sits nicely at an eighth inch. Lacing is average.

S - Sweet bready malt nose meshed with a hint of bitterness and a faint smokeyness.

T - Light and sweet, slightly smokey, malt flavor with perhaps a sweet yeast element.

M - Carbonation is too much and hinders the taste a bit. Consistency is more thin than thick.

D - Overall pretty tasty but overly carbonated.

 429 characters

Photo of cichief
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured nice and dark with a light brown head, but the head was thin. It smelled a little of coffee and chocolate. It tasted of coffee as well, but was not a strong flavor. It was dry, as a schwarxbier should, not sweet like a Bavarian Dunkel. It was well carbonated as well. I could enjoy this beer anytime except for hot weather.

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Photo of torchedpunk
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- pours a 2 finger head that is moderately thick. Dissipates slowly. Dark in color and true to its title.

Smell- Very roast. The caramel and chocolate malts are noticable. Both alcohol and hops are not prevalent.

Taste- Very strong and malty. Both chocolate and Caramel malts are smooth and well blended. Small bite of alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Pretty smooth, but very malty. since its think I probably couldn't drink more then one or two of these a night.

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Photo of Chaz
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic -with sevral pours- great, voluminous head on this, medium-tan in color, and with nice lacing as well. Nose is pretty much on-par for the style, which is a very good thing indeed - notes of toffee, caramel, roasted malts, and a hint of molasses. This is my kind of beer! Color is a dark brown with a touch of crimson, and brilliant. Carbonation seems rather gentle on the tongue, and overallthis seems to just glide effortlessly across the palate. The base of this drinking experience is provided by the roasted and dark malts, with echoes of the toffee and caramel from the nose, along with a lighter taste of espresso and just a touch of light biterness. Yet there are some delicate fruit notes as well, light notes of ripe red apples and sour cherry, and yes, it's also a touch metallic - but in a good way. Samuel Adams Black Lager might strike some as light or thin on the palate, but it's on style, and moreover is far less a 'big beer' than an excellent session drink. I look forward to finding this on draught!

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Photo of TexIndy
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a best by date on the label. Got as part of a sampler. Actually the 3rd time I got this in a sampler and it's the 1st time that the beer wasn't horrible off. The quality of SA here is very hit or miss. The distributor really needs to step it up. Anyway....was a black color with dark mahagony highlights. The smell was faint but had dark roasted malts. Mouthfeel was average. The taste was just alright. I've really gotten in this style this year and have had several and this was in the bottom third. Mostly bland with no risk taking at all. I really don't get the Sam Adams hype. Other than the Boston Lager, the rest of just average at best. Overall, average beer that is not worth seeking out unless you find in a friend's fridge and just want to try it. (3.5, RB, T, O)

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Shp555: Poured a deep black color ale with a nice foamy head with some pretty good retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with some chocolate notes is quite good. Taste is a nice mix between some chocolate malt and some roasted slightly bitter malt. Body is slightly above average with some medium to low carbonation. I thought this was nicely done and fits nicely into style without breaking any barrier.

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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

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Photo of Beaver13
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
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 bennetj17
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light tan foam eclipses the almost black, dark amber beer below. The head reaches a half-inch and settles quickly. The aroma emits flavors of honey nut, and roasted coffee. It's a mild and pleasant smell. The taste immediately strikes me as clean and dry. The roasted malt flavors are lightly sweet with coffee and chocolate undertones. Not much bitterness as it remains sweet throughout the finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation, smooth going down.

One of the better beers I've tried from Sam Adams. I would have hoped for even a little more bitterness in the finish to provide balance. This would have helped round things out and increase overall drinkablility. As it stands it's worth a try...

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Photo of BadRockBeer
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type Sampled: 12 fl. oz. crown top bottle. Features “Enjoy before Date,” bottle reads “Brewmaster’s collection.”

Appearance: Dark Brown with crimson hue. Rocky 1 finger head leading to tight lace.

Smell: Chocolate malt, crisp lager yeast, herbal hops

Taste: Burnt chocolate and caramel malts, maple, ting of soy sauce. Light earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, clean and crisp slight bite in the finish.

Drinkability: Great, good everyday beer. Great session beer.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank a 12 oz. bottle of this from the Sam Adams' holiday collection. Has a best-by May 2007 date. Poured into a pint glass - it pours a deep black with ruby edges. Thin, white head. Okay retention. Smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malts. Hints of carrots as it warmed. Tastes, too, of dark chocolate and coffee, the roasted malts, a touch of warming alcohol. The alcohol comes out more as the beer warms to room temperature. Mouthfeel is a tad watery, although good for a lager. Overall, a good beer. I liked it better as it warmed.

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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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