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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 arnulfooxblood
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle

Appearence--Nice and black, but not so much so that no light gets through. Decent head.

Smell--malty, and rather sweet.

Taste--Robust and flavorful. Malts a little on the sweet side. A touch of spicy at first, the caramel malts come through at the end.

Drinkability--Quite nice. All around a very drinable beer.

 351 characters

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

a - poured a two fingers thick coffee-colored head into a tumbler. body is an opaque light black with light red hints. leaves a thin lace until about one-third of the beer is left.
s - hints of roasted coffee beans and chocolate malt.
t - light chocolate front with a little spicy hop to it. as it finishes it becomes more yeasty like dry biscuits.
m - a little thin and slick.
d - easily drinkable but i wasn't dying for another after i finished this one.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark maple syrup color and an airy tan head that just layers the top. Big malt nose with notes of coffee, mild fruits, and roasted malt. Really nice taste with big roasted malt characters, burnt toffee sweetness, smokey notes and a good amount of hops offer up some floral notes and a little bitter bite for texture. The finish starts out hoppy but quickly evolves to smokey and some soft fruit notes. Full body and a terrific mouthfeel with carbonated froth surrounding the mouth.

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Photo of beeroclock
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark as night with small tan head that laced the glass. Smelled of coffee with some creamy scents. Tasted of coffee with a malty flavor, espresso like aftertaste. Not much carbonation, some creamy mouthfeel. Goes down fairly smooth, enjoyable beer. Sam Adams makes some good products.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't sure of this beer at first, this was a new style for me, and I was ambitious to try.
A: Poured a dark black translucent color with 1” frothy head that dissipates to a thin bead around the glass.
S: A rich/ strong malt character is bold in the nose almost of molasses.
T: There is almost a burnt, roasted wood taste that was very smooth. The bare essence of ETOH held up for a nice finish into that S.A. touch of caramel.
M: Not thin in any regards but a smooth balance to make this your “winter warmer” substitute.
D: If you find a six-pack of this, I wouldn’t hesitate. West coasters typically need to look harder for this one, but it’s worth it.

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

Color is comparable to a very dark molassas. You can smell a strong malt along with a roasty caramel. Carbonation is moderate and very bubbly, head is a tan white and starts out strong and slowely disspates to small, leaving a excellent lacing down the sides of the glass. Taste goes along with the semll, strong malt with a very roasty caramel flavor. Goes down real smooth, leaving no bitter aftertaste in my mouth. This beer is very drinkable and one that i will enjoy for a long time. I will make this one of the beers i have in my refer to enjoy after a long day.

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Photo of treedoctor5002
4.24/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

From the Sam Adams winter pack 2006:
This beer is dark brown with a nice tan head to it. Fairly thin in appearance when held up to the light. Smell is sweet with hints of caramel and mollasses. Taste is very smooth, almost creamy. Well balanced and refreshing. A great change of pace beer for a hop head like me. Overall extremely drinkable. A great session beer. If your looking to turn someone over to the dark side, then this is your beer.

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle from a brewmaster's pack.

A: Pours black. Thin head.

S: Roasted malts and toffee, caramels.

T: Strong malts. Tasted a lot like Köstritzer (obviously).

MF: It's smooth and medium bodied.

D: Easy to drink. I love Köstritzer, but this isnt quite as good.

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Photo of medic25
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, black color with very minimal tan head. Malty aroma. Taste is a burnt caramel, very malty with a fair amount of sweetness and almost no hop flavor. Very easy drinking beer, with just the right amount of carbonation. My first venture into this style, this is a beer I could drink all night.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with some ruby red highlights that emerge only if held to a bright light. A bubbly tan head that clings very nicely. Burnt malts, cinammon-sugar and roasted dark coffee beans, n-ice. The body reveals some coffee beans, dark chocolate and becomes acidic and sweet within the same breath. Enjoyable. The body turns a bit dry, but not over the top; barley notes and roasted malts are further revealed. Traces of sweet caramel round out the finish. Drinkability is high, as the flavorings meld well with the creamy like body. A sessionable-Schwarz? Do it!

 566 characters

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

Well, when you're trying to drink well with a supermarket selection, the Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack is just about the best there is. Not that I'm complaining, because I like pretty much all the beers included. I'm also fairly excited to revisit a couple brews i haven't had in several years, and the black lager, which i haven't tried yet
The black lager pours a dark, umber brown, topped with a creamy whitish head. Good head retention and lacing, good clarity. No complaints. Looks solid so far. The nose is rich with caramel malt, softly roasty, with that signature bit of Sam Adams "bite". It's hard to place. I'm not sure if it's a slightly agressive hopping, or some extra graininess to the malt. Whatever it is, it comes through as some harshness in the flavor, as compared to european style couterparts. The black lager is one of the smoothest of the Sam Adams offerings, probably a great beer to get started on dark beer. Anyways, the flavor comes off a bit different than the aroma. Much smoother, most notably. Very european, with a silky smooth texture and fine, tingly carbonation. Mellowed caramel sweetness is tempered by some roasty, toffee-ish notes. Very clean. I can't pick up any off flavors. Perhaps a bit of plum esters, which only works with the beer. Mild noble hops in the finish, riding out clean and dry. Solid roastiness in the end, kinda coffee-ish. Present, but not dominating. Maybe a little fuller flavored than the average german schwarzbiers, but nothing stands out enough to make this particularly unique. They nailed the style, for sure, and it's very drinkable. I'll have to pick up a sixer of this next time I'm heading to a party.

 1,669 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing through my holiday mix pack it is time to review the Black Lager.
This beer pours very dark brown almost black that shows deep red when held up to a light, with a thin light tan head. The head doesn't last long but leaves some bubbles and lacing. The smell is of chocolate and roasted malts with a touch of spice from the hops and maybe a little bit of sweetness. The chocolate and roasted malt comes through in the taste a bit of spice is evident too. The body is light, smooth and a little bubbly. For some reason this doesn't seem to have great drinkability for me maybe the malt flavor is a bit sharp and unbalanced for my taste a good beer all the same.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I also got mine from the Mix Pack but tasted earlier this year. Poured a neat brown the shade of maple syrup with a tinge of garnet coming through with the light. Not much head with a few spots of lace. Aroma-roasted malt. The dark or roasted malt gives it just a little extra body without deviating from the lager style. Nice crisp clean lager taste. The mild hops mix well with the dark malt for a nice earthy and balanced taste. Tannins are present and it finishes clean.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one out of their Holiday mix pack. Pretty good collection here, but I haven't tried the cranberry lambic yet. Thought I'd had this before but I guess that's what BA is here, to tell me I haven't. Very smooth, creamy like schwarzbier, great example of the style. A bit malty but not too heavy at all. This is a great example of turning someone on to a darker beer.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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 HugoGrim
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint.

Black body with ruby light peeking through on the edges. Average head exits quickly, leaving a foamy ring and sparce bubbles. Some lace.

Quite malty armoa. Some hints of chocolate.

Flavor is primiarly full roasted malts with edges of caramel. Floral hop accent. Flavor is excellent, but could be more robust. Very drinkable.

 379 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the Black Lager pours dark brown with a long lasting off-white head. There's a decent bit of lacing with this beer too. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of nuttiness. It tastes like roasted malt, bread, caramel, and semi-sweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is light and a bit watery. The drinkability is pretty good, it goes down easy. Not a great beer, but a pretty good one. Not a bad choice as a session beer either.

 455 characters

Photo of Rennpferd
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a very cold 12oz bottle into a clean room temperature pint glass.

Opaque and dark, with a quarter inch of head that quickly dissolves and leaves barely a trace behind.

Smells slightly of sweet malts.

A crisp malty taste that goes down well. It is smooth and refreshing on the palate and leaves a slight bitter hops/pine taste in the mouth.

This is a very good Lager, I had one yesterday that I enjoyed very well and had this one today. I'll probably have one tommorrow. This is something to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of amstelcat
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
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 beeragent
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, with a freshness date of Mar.2007, into a pint glass. The appearance is dark brown, almost black, with a 3/4 inch head, with slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is a bit weak, with hints of chocolate in the nose. The mouthfeel is about medium, not thin like most lagers, but not as thick as a porter or stout. The taste is very similar to a porter, just a little weaker, with notes of chocolate dominating the flavor, but still extremely enjoyable. This is a beer that I will continue to come back to. Good job Sam Adams!

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Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby hued mahagony into a pint glass. There is a nice creamy one finger head to crown it off. There isn't much lacing but the retention is good.

There's a nice balance of roasted malts and toffee. There is also a mild nuttiness but it doesn't stand out much over the malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's smooth and full with a mild stinging bitterness towards the back of my palette. There's nice flavors of bittersweet chocolate and again the toffee notes with minor hints of cherries towards the end of the drink. The strong malt character makes for a rather unpleasant aftertaste but the beer is good.

I could definitely throw a few of these back on a cold day. This is also my breakfast beer for the day and it's serving me rather well in that aspect. Not too alcoholic, but bringing great full flavors. I was rather impressed by this beer.

Bottom Line:
The best Sam Adams I've ever had. I have just recently reopened myself to Sam Adam after a few years and I have to say this beer gives me hope for bigger and better things.

 1,084 characters

Photo of GilaMinumBeer
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring vigorously into a clean weizen glass produced a thick tan head that slowly faded to a thin coating atop the wetline of the glass. A nice crisp lacey residue left on the glass. Color ranged from amber, to chocolate, and finished an opaque ebony with the glass filled. The nose was malty with a hint of hoppiness at the end. Mouthfeel was a little thin almost watery. Flavour was malty with crisp hoppy highlights and no perceived bitterness. A well balanced beer. I will definitely drink this again.

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

The beer pours a nice clear dark amber with a bit of efervesence, and a tan head. The aroma is of sharp toasted malt with some hints of dark fruit. The beer tastes of toasted malt then rounds out to a very sweet coffee taste. The feel is medium and a bit oily. This was a pleasant beer almost a light stout feel to it. Definately one I'll sample again.

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Photo of billybob
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice very dark almost black color with a two or three finger creamy tan head with fair retention and lacing. smell is bready, caramel, slighty fruity. caramel and toasted malt, a very small hop taste at the end and slightly sweet. light mouthfeel but not watery, very smooth going down. very nice beer to drink.

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Photo of eberkman
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an opaque black with some fiery red highlights when held up to the light. A fairly vigorous pour left a modestly thick light-tan head that dissipated fairly quickly until it just covered the surface. I would have liked a little more head, but other than that, a very beautiful beer.

Smell was of dark-roasted coffee beans, whole-grain bread and some caramelized sugar. Very pleasing.

First taste is a very tangy but malty sweetness characterized mostly by coffee and dark chocolate notes, but with a bready flavor as well. It quickly transitions into a dry finish but with a sweetness that lingers afterwards. Not much in the way of hops here, but to me that's generally fine with a dark brew.

Mouthfeel is one of fullness with good carbonation. Not watery at all; almost creamy. Also highly drinkable; in fact it's gulpable if you don't take your time with it.

I really enjoyed this one and I'm glad they sell it on its own instead of making you buy a holiday case to get two bottles of the stuff. I've bought 6-packs of this before and I will continue to.

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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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