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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,623 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: 2,623 |  Reviews: 1,453
Photo of witster18
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

as far as the bottled offerings from BBC this is top shelf...right there with the Boston Lager and the Cream stout. Nice head...short lived though...good semi-sweet chocolate...robust for a lager...some good lacing. Great on the flavor/drinkability scale/ratio. only negative....a little too dry ... making the great flavors leave us far too soon. I would definately recommend this...especially for an accessible domestic brew.

nice earthiness and flavor for an extremely accessible dark beer. Shouldn't take off too many for mouthfeel as this is a dark lager/swarz.... and they're not typically as thick or chewy as stouts... more like a old age porter in mouthfeel... this also has some of that old age porter bitterness which I absolutely love... this is a good beer for something you can get at the grocer for 8.29-8.99 a six... will revisit often....

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Photo of Cadyfatcat
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Intriguing black with placid head. Notes of caramel with some subdued smoke, dark chocolate. All of these flavors on a crisp smooth lager canvas lead to more delicate flavors, but flavors and complexity still quite notable. Lacks much hop presence at all, the end notes get a little sweet and could use a little IBU power to subdue them. A good non-offensive Schwarzbier that I wish would be a little more assertive.

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours like cola, overdose of brown suds & all. The head sticks around like an ice cream float. Vanilla is my favorite.

Burnt molasses, toffee, lots of rich butter, all in the first few deep breaths.

A bitter bite & twang that turns salty & sweet all in one mouthful.

Heavy in taste, but nothing close to it in body. It goes down quite light, much less then my nose expected. Lightly carbonated as well.

All the flavor compacted into this bottle made it an enjoyable experience, but one that left me with a bit of a headache. If this is right up your alley, then you'll have to go out & buy another mix pack, because there's only two bottles in here. :)

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

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz bottle. The beer is near black, dark ruby when held directly to the light. Poured with a thin (about 1/4 inch) off white head.

Smell: Roasted malts dominate the aroma. Not a whole lot saying "hops present here". Scents roasted chocolate and coffee.

Taste: The taste of the beer closely follows what I smell. Roasted malt (again dominated by coffee and chocolate). There is a bit of a little bitter hop finish though as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body with just enough carbonation to keep it lively and not flat and dull. Very smooth and slick going down.

Drinkability: I got two of these in a mixed 12 pack. I would gladly buy a 6-pack of this without hesitation. With an ABV less than 5% this one is also easily sessionable. I can not believe it took me so long to try this. One of my favorite Sam Adams beers.

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Photo of mnesporov
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date clearly on the side.

Appearance: A dark black liquid with a brownish cherry red tone surrounding it. The head lasted pretty well and it also laced well.

Smell: A nice aroma of chocolaty caramel and malt zest with a grainy almost burnt smell as well.

Taste: An extremely nice tasting brew here. A nice rounded taste with caramel and malt overtures. It is a little to sweet though.

Mouth-Feel: A crisp full bodied mouth which finished smooth.

Drink-Ability: I really enjoyed this brew and I would recommend it to someone looking for something new.

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Photo of slyke
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Black Lager pours its namesake color with some dark red around the edges with a tan head that laces as the the beer is drunk. There are some roasted qualities to the smell, otherwise there isn't much there for me. The taste has some nice roastiness to it and perhaps a little smoke. Mouthfeel is better than average. The beer is quite drinkable. You wouldn't do yourself wrong to try this one.

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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.

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

It poured dark with a tall tan head, a nice overall look.
The smell was very mellow with just a hint of vanilla.
Taste was sweet with roasted malt & maybe a hint of chocolate. It went down smooth and was very tasty.
I really like this beer and would purchase it again .
Paid $12.99 for 12 bottle Samuel Adams sampler box at Liquor Barn Hurstbourne

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

12oz bottle with a notch in April 2007 as a 'best-by' date.

Pours a dark brown, with red highlights. I can see the lighting I've held this beer up to through the liquid so its obviousl Nice, fine lacing.

Aroma is very sweet, along with a certain fruitiness. Not really a huge aroma.

Taste is rich and malty, along with some more fruitiness. Not raisins or dark fruit, not molasses either, just a presence of fruit, almost like apples. I'm not sure if that makes this interesting or strange. There's a little roastiness and some nuttiness, too. A little hop bitterness notable in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, quite smooth.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a pretty tasty beer, my first schwarzbier. It's a good intro to the style and I look forward to trying more in the future. I'd get this beer again, it seems like a beer that fits a certain mood, this would be a good beer for New Year's Day dinner.

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Photo of Pinto21
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours dark with head thats not terrible
smells of dark roasted malts, like chocolate and coffee
good taste with some coffee and good chocolate, but mostly malts, very dark
cant say I'd drink a lot in a night, but maybe more than a couple
not amazing but not a disappointment, just like the rest from sam adams

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Photo of bonk420247
4.62/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

While its nice having a beer or twelve on Sunday's while watching the game I've come upon S.A. Black Lager. It has tossed me back in my lazy-boy a few times. Big in flavor, heavy in smell, large in body. These three cryteria are very important on any given Sunday!!!

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

Sampled from a 12 ounce bottle. Pours dark and thick, actually opaque. Lots of head and great retention.

Smells of maltiness and chocolate and evokes images of something old or antique. Has a very thick mouthfeel but without too much cloying that usually accompanies such a thick tasting brew. Taste is very good. Dark chocolates, malts, peat moss, and some "dull" hops (for lack of a better term.) Another solid brew from Sam Adams.

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Photo of builder53
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark purple/brown,with a nice tan head w/ good retention and moderate lacing.Essences are mild caramel with strong coffee. Tastes are fig/dates with the caramel/coffee overtones. (The coffee scents and flavors increase significantly as the beer comes up in temp.) There is minimal carbonation and a good although slightly thin mouth feel for a beer this dark in color. Good smooth finish with very pleasant after tones. Would certainly drink again.

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Photo of Byeast
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black , clear yet almost opaque with darkness. The head was a half inch , tannish , and dissipated to a ring. The aroma is roasty malt , some chocolate , faint coffee, and a bit of bready quality. Mmmm , a refreshing , light-dark beer! By light i mean in body/ overall impression. Pleasant deep roasted character , darker chocolate flavors , some light sweetness in the form of caramel , very lightly spicy hops keep things clean and fresh near the finish , ends with a bit of dry , bittersweet chocolate. This is one of my favorite beers from the BBC. Great to grab when you want something fairly light , but full of roast and flavor. A refreshing black tonic!

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Photo of BenH1068
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-Poured a nice black-ish color, on closer inspecting shows a very dark ruby red. Head was an off white or very light tan, some lace.
-Smells a sweet malty aroma, maybe a little burnt molasses.
-Tastes dark malt and black coffee. Theres something else to the taste,but i can't put my finger on it. Nice mouth-feel, attractive body, and a good carbonation level.
-The only schwarzbier I've ever had, but a nice drinking brew. I would gladly drink this in the future, I hope the rest of the SA mix pack is this good.

Nicee first review done.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - I guess I expected something a little darker.This one is a dark ruby red, but not to the point of being opaque. Head is a little loose and falls quickly.

S - Mostly fruity with a toastiness in the back. Some caramel and coffee notes.

T - Light toasted and coffee flavours are prominent. Not overwhelming by any means. A touch sweet and some early tartness gives way to a mild hop aftertaste. Well balanced.

M - Medium bodied - neither heavy nor light. A little overcarbonated for my taste.

D - Quite easy drinking. Not heavy at all, but still full of roasty character.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours like cola with about the same consistency. Light comes through at about the same level as well. Head started fizzy but settled down to a nice medium beige base.

S: Not a big nose on this one. Get some faint marshmallow, dried cocoa and crackers. S'mores I'd reckon.

T: Caramely up front with a nice blend of bakers chocolate across the front center of the tongue. Little bit of custard, specifically the buttery egg flavor that comes across. Roastedness comes next; I wouldn't say this is your typical coffee roasted taste, but perhaps what a low roasted cocoa bean might taste like. Finishes lightly sweet with a lingering, gently roasted character.

M: Medium body, soft mouthfeel.

D: Another straight forward and solid beer from Sam Adams. This beer won't dazzle you but its really hard to find a negative aspect to this one. Not enough black beers on the market IMO so I'm thankful for this one.

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Photo of Rudgers73
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this out of a sample pack of winter sam adams. The last black lager I had was saranac black forest lager and it was horrible so I wasn't expecting much. Turns out it was a very pleasant tasting beer. The maltiness and roasted taste was well balanced and right on the money for my taste. It was almost like a porter but not and chewy and sweet. Very nice.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I must admit, I was expecting less than what I received. This was quite nice. Poured pretty average for the style, although I have only had two or three Schwartzbiers with which to compare it. Pour was very dark brown, like furniture varnish / stain; it did indeed appear black in the pint glass. Smell was very nice. It had a pleasant maltiness to it, but what I really like about this style, is that it smells to me like damp hickory. If you have ever had to split firewood, and you've split a hickory log with a maul, it has an unmistakable smell. That smell is present here and I think it is simply fantastic. Einbecker Schwartzbier has this, too. Very nice, indeed. Taste is malty sweet up front, with a very mild bitterness on the finish. Nothing even slightly offensive about this one. Mouthfeel is smooth and easy drinking, but nothing spectacular.
Highly drinkable and very sessionable. A great repesentation of the style.

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Photo of TheBierBand
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had one on tap at one of my favorite downtown Cincinnati venues: Nicholson's. The knowledgable bartender poured me a pint with a perfect 3/4" head.

The initial appearance was black as night... but when held up to the light a slight red appeared around the edges where a tiny amount of light could sneak through.

The aroma contained elements of sweetness, and maltiness.

So, I went in for the taste. I was impressed (as I am with most of Sam's offerings). The sweetness was not overpowering and offset by the right amount of hoppiness to balance.

The mouthfeel was pleasent with a fair amount of carbonation but again not overpowering. It went down easily enough.... next thing ya know.... it was gone!

The head lasted right through till the end.... and laft a light lacing down the pint glass.

As for drinkability, I would definately have this again. Perhaps I'll pick up a sixer or three and share at my next household gathering!

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: When the corner is held to the light, you can tell that the beer is a deep dark garnet color that has a 1/4" head of tan bubbles that stuck around for about a minute. There is some lacing left on the glass after the beer recedes.

Aroma: The aroma of sweet chocolate malts are the dominant force in the aroma, but there is also a pretty well defined hop presence that adds a floral sweetness of its own. After the head falls, there is a more noticeable dark caramel aroma coming out, but the chocolate still rules.

Taste: The flavor follows the aroma pretty closely. You get plenty of chocolate in the beginning and then there is a medley of flavors that mix after that. You can pick out the caramel and some hops. The bittering hops are reserved in this beer, and leave most of the balance to come from the dark malts. With the reserved bittering hops, the balance in the finish is definitely sweet. There is a mild syrupy feeling that coats your throat to give the finish a candy-like quality.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer, and one of the best I have tried from Sam Adams. I have noticed that he likes to have one particular flavor stand out in the beer, and in this one it is the sweet chocolate. I really wonder if this is the base beer for his Chocolate Bock as the impression is very similar. I would drink this beer again, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

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Photo of casualbeerman
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a real find. Since I'm not real familiar with which Boston Beer Co offerings are permenant and which are one-offs I can only say I hope they keep this one. This was one tasty brew. The color is, as you might expect, a pretty solid black. The head wasn't especially substantial compared to the Boston Lager, but it was still fair sized and on the creamy side. I've always liked the looks of black beers anyway, so I rate the appearance of this one pretty high. Smell is pleasant. Dark roasted carmel malt, a slight hint of coffee, and alcohol. Not very hoppy. Taste was great. Its smooth and rich with a little sweet, and a little bitter, with some coffee in the background again. Hop presence is not strong here either. Mouthfeel was also pleasant. Unlike a stout, this is a medium bodied beer. The drinkability is pretty good for the same reason. Its not very heavy and the bitterness doesn't weigh you down. This is a real winner here. Sort of like the Yuengling "Porter" (to which this is actually quite comparable since Yuengling uses a lager yeast for that beer) taken up a notch. This will be a regular so for me so long as the Boston Beer Co is kind enough to keep brewing it.

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Photo of Tawnos
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a reddish brown, light lacing but not a lot of head.

Smells sweet, somewhat smokey. Like roasted barbeque meat, somewhat similar to the celebrator doppelbock, though with less molasses. A bit overly sweet smelling.

Tastes somewhat woody, good earthy taste with a roasted nut palette. Less sweet than the smell would tell you, which is good, as it ends up more balanced than the smell would indicate. Not much hop presence, this feels like a lager.

Somewhat tingly mouthfeel, not a huge amount of carbonation, but not creamy like a nitrogen beer. Somewhat thick for the lightness, not syrupy, but smooth.

It's drinkable, but not out of this world.

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Photo of GeneralZod
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark beer. Looks a bit thick when it was being poured out. Also, it had very low head retention.

It smells of malt and roast. You could smell the sweetness of this beer.

Better than expected. Taste as well as it is advertise. Malty and roasty with a hint of chocolate.

Smooth and somewhat thick.

Woudl definitely have one again. This is on my favorites list. Very easy to drink and very memorable.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown bottle, served in a becker.
Best enjoyed before 04.2007.

Muddy oil-brown with a hue of scarlet. Half-inch high, creamy off-white head with good retention. Condensed and spotted lacing with decent strength.

Rich, unsweetened roasted chocolate malts; sweet caramel. A bit of spicy, earthen hops. A mild whaff of smoke.

Rich, chewy roasted malts with a robust mocha flavor with hints of moderately sweetened caramel and dark chocolate. Heavy cream with a saffron and ginger-touched hop character. The finish is milky and smooth followed by notes of dark chocolate and coffee in the aftertaste.

Medium to full in body; robust and chewy, yet rather creamy at times on the palate.

A slightly unbalanced Schwarzbier in terms of flavor: sweetness, spiciness, and robust malt richess; but a nice effort at a more unusual style.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,623 ratings
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