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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 2,604 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,604 |  Reviews: 1,449
Photo of stckhndlr
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice dark ruby red with a soft 1 inch head

S- has a good smell of chocolate malts and toasty caramel. has a faint hint of like a black cherry to me as well.

T- Good flavor. chocolate and malts

M- feels pretty good, medium body and tasty pop on the tongue

D- very drinkable. I like this one

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Photo of BeanBone
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark, nearly black, reddish brown body with laser-beam red highlights. Up top, two fingers of creamy -cream-colored head that endure almost to the end of the glass, leaving excellent sheets of lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Earthy hops and a dash of something lactic over a husky burnt sugar malt body.

Flavor: Mild earthy and herbal hops over a solid roasty and husky black malt backbone. There's just a twang of something metallic, but it doesn't spoil the party. Lots of roasty and grainy malt in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little creamy with smooth medium carbonation and a drying finish.

Drinkability: Just as drinkable as you'd expect from a Sam Adams brew with this alcohol content.

Verdict: Still a solid beer by my count, the faith I placed in Sam Adams Black Lager as a beer newbie seems to have been well placed. It's nicely roasty, deep enough to hold your attention, and easily quaffable.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown a large amount of tan head that falls quickly to a descent lace around the rim.

Nose is very toasty chocolate and a caramel sweetness. very mild caramel. Earthy hops complement the toast very well.

Taste of heavy roasted chocolate malts with a faint bitterness that seems to come more from the toasted grains than hops. The middle has a smooth sweetness but not chocolate sweet.

Low carbonation but a medium/heavy body. Goes down smooth and quickly.

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Photo of Shuffledaddy
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer was my introduction to dark lagers, so I thought I should review it.

A - Pours a very dark ruby red with a tan head. Head is thin with low retention and very little lacing.

S - Scents of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts. Garden variety dark beer smells.

T - Coffee notes are very present at first taste, moving to brown sugar and molasses at mid-palate, finishing with dark chocolate.

M - Carbonation is lacking and the mouthfeel is a bit thin compared to porters, stouts, etc. Remember, this is a lager, not an ale, so this is somewhat to be expected. Overall, pretty average.

D - Highly drinkable, and a good choice for a session beer if you don't want the heaviness of a porter or stout.

In closing, this is a nice introduction to dark lagers and is worth picking up on your next beer run.

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Photo of BeerMeInMS
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
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 pb9613
2.96/5  rDev -20%
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 pburland23
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a Sam Adams Brewmasters collection mixed six pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A schwarzbier should be black or at the very dark brown. This beer is a dark crimson-y red. Not what I would expect from the style. There is decent head retention and some good lacing for a lager however.

The smell is quite nice. Malty with hints of smooth roastiness. The taste is similar. I actually think the roasted malt flavor is very pleasing but there isn't enough of it. It's like the beer is lacking that extra oomph that would make it bigger.

The carbonation and mouthfeel are middling. They aren't anything special, but there is nothing wrong with them either.

Despite its flaws, Black Lager is drinkable beer for those people who want the that roasted malt flavor without drinking stout or porter.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice two finger head, very pillowy and creamy looking. Smell is very malty, I might detect hints of chocolate notes, but it is very distant. In the taste you get a lot of malts, in the back end you get a slight taste of coffee, which is nice. The mouthfeel is very plain, it almost feels like I'm drinking carbonated water. This beer feels a little too carbonated for the style. The flavor would taste like I'm drinking carbonated water as well, except for the malts and other notes I get. Very average beer.

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Photo of shand
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer sure lives up to it's name appearance wise. It's pitch black with a fingers worth of head that doesn't retain much at all. Color sure is nice though! The smell is on-point, roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, you know the score. I can smell a bit of that signature Sam Adams Boston Lager smell in here - probably the same yeast is used or something to that effect. A little weak, though. The taste is well done, the roasted malts/coffee come in full effect on the taste, with a little chocolate on the background. That "something" that reminds me of Boston Lager is still present on the taste.

Both the mouthfeel and drinkability are good, it's crisp and fairly refreshing for the "darker" flavors presented here. Again, it reminds me of Boston Lager in some strange way - this is almost a "porter-ized" version of Boston Lager - roast the malts and throw in some coffee and chocolate, and there you go, Sam Adams Black Lager!

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Photo of bushbeer75
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle label notched Feb. 2011 for brewery fresh taste

Sam Adams Black Lager poured an opaque black producing a 1-finger tan head that formed light lacing. The aroma is of roasted chocolate and coffee grounds. The taste has a roasted malt character with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, caramel and more coffee with faint hop bitterness. The mouth feel was surprisingly clean and dry.

Sam Adams Black Lager is my first venture into the Schwarz bier style. I enjoyed it...much like a light porter. Black Lager is a nice alternative brew [to Porters and Stouts] for the late fall and winter months.

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Photo of rpardon7
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up in a mix six pack hope this turns out better than the other two. Poured a nice black ruby color with decent head that was a creamy thick off white color. Smell was toasted and caramel malts maybe a bit of roast. Taste is muted chocolate bit of roasted grain, and dominated by caramel malt. Descent mouthfeel creamy and smooth could be a little bit smoother. Drinkability is nice good refreshing beer.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
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 Rhynes2
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent choice in brews that I got in the variety pack from Sam Adams. Pours a nice dark color with a little foamy head that disappears pretty quickly. Not much lacing down the sides of the glass. Didn't really care for the taste as much as other black lagers I've had. It just seemed a bit dumbed down from where I would have liked it to be. If you're looking for an intense flavor this one isn't your beer but it does have a nice flavor considering the style.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown. A decent head forms and maintains a good coverage. The off white head laces on the sides of my glass leaving little bits of head about.

The aroma is roasted with a smooth mix of chocolate and butter. The sweet malt comes in the end to round it out.

The taste is smooth no harsh carbonation at all. The carbonation is light and buttery on the tongue, much like a well poured nitro stout. The flavor is light roasted barley starts with a sweet malt, the roasted flavor remains throughout and finishes with a coffee bitterness and is dry at the end.

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

A: Pours black with some ruby color if held up to the light. Has a tan head with good retention. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: A roasted smell with some caramel and chocolate notes, but overall on the weaker side.

T: Has a slight burnt flavor with a good dose of caramel malts. A little bit of hops to round it out as well.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with decent carbonation. Would have liked a little creamier. Its fine, nothing to write home about, but decent enough.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer is dark brown and opaque with a thin off white / tan head that break and still manages to leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

Aroma is mild with only minor roast and some pils sweetness.

Beer is thin with a mild roastiness at the back end of the palate, otherwise it's a plain Jane beer. I just don't get much from it, it is unoffensive just not very interesting.

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Photo of thebrood1987
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm going by memory on this one but I remember it pretty well. It looked like a porter and smelled of one too. The only thing that separated this and a porter was that this had a thinner mouthfeel and wasn't as thick in body and flavor. It's like in between a brown ale and a porter really. Very nice almost coffee like roasted malt smell and taste. It ends with a tiny bit of Noble hops to match up with the subtle bitterness coming from the roasted dark coffee like malt. Its a very smooth beer that goes down too easily. If you want a dark beer that you can actually have a session with this is your beer most definitely.

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Photo of JayS2629
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep mahogany almost black, thick and dark. Creamy tan head recedes to thick ring that leaves creamy, sticky lacing.

S- Cocoa, roasted malts, and nutty tones. Caramels and earthy tones.

T- Cocoa and coffee, roasted malts all on the front. Earthy hops in the back with notes of leather and caramel.

M- Medium body with hints of cream. Well balanced, malty

D- On the creamy and roasted side, but slightly watery. Well balanced and easy to drink.

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

Pour into Samuel Adams Glass

A: Deep mahogany pour, two to three fingers of caramel colored head.

S: The first thing I thought of when I smelled this was 'Chocolate Asphalt', which in my own reckoning of the beer, complimented it well. The cocoa, roasted malts had a tarlike and nutty quality, which was almost endearing.

T: The mixture of sweet Sarsaparilla and roasted malts permeate this brew - the coffee bean earthiness brought this beer home. This a well-crafted medium-bodied brew, that is distinctive and well placed in its style.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this Sam Adams selection - what a well balanced schwarzbier, with sufficient complexity to make it one of the most worthy of the style.

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

Bottle drink by date of Feb. 2011
Pilsner glass

The appearance is black with a nice 2 fingers worth of light brown head. Holding the glass to light you can see it is not opaque like a stout, and a lot of carbonation in the form of streaming bubbles is seen. Minimal lacing in this pour.

The aromas were of malts with hints of chocolate and caramel, but the smell was somewhat weak.

Taste was of roasted malts with a low to medium bitterness. There are some burnt flavors but they are kept in check with a slight sweetness I enjoyed. As the beer warmed up I noticed some spiciness coming through. Mouthfeel was medium in body, with a fairly high degree of carbonation and a slight bitter aftertaste.

I think this is a good example of a schwarzbier to be enjoyed in the cold winter months.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep black with slight hue of brown/mahogany up to the light. no head and very little lacing.

S - sweet toffee, nuts, hint of chocolate.

T - sweet chocolate, smooth feel, hint of roasted nuts and light malt.

M - medium/light body, creamy smooth feel.

D - fine beer for cold day. Like the Porters, German cousin, after dinner/dessert drink. Only a few per sitting, this is a little sweet. One of my favorite Sam Adams.
This is a must try.

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3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours with 2 fingers of khaki colored head, light and airy in texture. The retention is excellent and it produces great lacing in sheets around the glass. The body is remarkably clear and very dark brown in color.

S: Lightly roasted malts in above average quantity, chocolate and caramel come through with prominence. The Bavarian Noble hops incorporate a pleasant grassiness. Yeast contributions are earthy, leathery and leafy. Long flavor duration with a light sweetness from front to back. There is a distinct metallic note in the aroma which works its way into the backend of the palate as well. In spite of this steely quality, Sam Adams Black Lager is still a decent beer.

M: The highlight of the brew...The body is full and the texture is thick, increasing in creaminess as the beer approaches cellar temperature. Gentle carbonation.

D: Not a bad quaff, but again, and as with many of BBCs beers, I'll save any purchases for a desperate situation, and probably enjoy the hell out of it at that time.

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Photo of Richardberg
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - bottle to pint glass. Opaque, dark, fizzy, but no lacing and head doesn't last. Red fringing.

S - some sweet roasty malts, but not much else...seems weak

T - surprisingly tasty after a disappointing smell. Bit of sweetness up front; banana bread; remains balanced throughout.

M - light to moderate body. Not much carbonation for a lager.

D - goes down easily. Not too fizzy -- helps here more than it hurts the mouthfeel. Tasty, with character, but never heavy. Totally sessionable if youre into the style.

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Photo of JDFish
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass:

A: Very dark with a large foamy head. Plenty of multilayered lacing.
S: Sweet malts with a hint of coffee and chocolate
M: Kind of thin, lots of carbontion, burnt nutty finish on the swallow
T: toasted, almost burnt malts, lesser presence of the other smells. Tasty and not bitter at all
D: Very drinkable. Reminds me a little of some non-complex Stouts. Good brew!

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Photo of mikeg67
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pour was dark brown with a small tan head. Nose is roasted malt, spicy hops with some coffee and chocolate notes. Medium to full smooth body. Flavors begin with sweet roasted malts, chocolate and some earthy hops, while finish is dry with coffee notes. Quite tasty beer from SA.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 55.3% out of 100 with 2,604 ratings
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