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

2,556 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 2,556 |  Reviews: 1,435
Photo of mvanaskie13
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is dark with light head that lasts briefly.
Smeel is not strong, but a faint whiff of malt.
Taste is very smooth, but not does not have as strong of a malty after taste as expected.
Moutfeel is also smooth and goes down easy, very drinkable beer.

Overall, a good beer that is a little more drinkable than the orginal Sam Adams Boston lager.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot about this from my friends, and finally picked up an orphan from a broken 6 who needed a good home.

Poured a beautiful, deep, dark rubyesque stained cherry, very pretty. Head was a solid 2 fingers of a latte stained mixed foam that bubbled & danced cola like. It faded rather quickly but not altogether, and laced lightly.

Nose is malted, light roasted tones, bread crusts, faint whiff of coffee, some licorice, nice earthy - like a fresh rain on parched earth. Wood tones rise as it warms.

Damn, this is almost like a weak porter. Initially I taste coffee, some traces of hardwood, a hint of some bitterness, maybe a trace of some burnt echoes. Its even on the tongue, refreshingm some lightening, perhaps a little fruity like cherry on the tongue and the hardwood taste rises with the mouth's warming. The finish is clean, light, a little creamy, traces of coffee film on the tongue.

This is a damn fine lager, and has moved to near the top of my choices for the genre. I would drink this again, recommend it highly, and could session it as well. A very pleasing dance between interesting deeper tastes associated with other, heavier genres, yet still light & refreshing. Looks like my friends were right on about this one!

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Photo of karst
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to members of St. Louis Brews who both encouraged Sam Adams owner to release this Schwarzbier as a stand alone style and then for including a sample as part of the 2006 BJCP class as a classic example. Sometimes a beer makes the BJCP list by being widely available across the US.
With an emphasis on caramel and sweeter than the German examples I have tried BBC's Black Lager still deserves a try due to its apperance qualities. IMHO a lighter caramel emphasis would improve this beer but then a lack of decocted melanoidins may then become an issue. A satisfing dextrinous mouth feel is correct for the style and dark roasted and chocolate malts are well balanced by hops that dry the sweet flavors. I will have a hard time passing by a sixer the next trip to a liquor store.

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Photo of AudioGilz
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A smooth pour lends itself towards providing me with a very good looking brew here. Semi-thick foam of a half inch or so stays a while, and laces well. Very dark ruby in color, only transulecent when held up to bright light.
Not a whole lot to smell in this one, some roasted malts and a tiny background of coffee.
VERY smooth mouthfeel, easy as hell to drink which accompanies a high drinkability factor, mostly due to the mouthfeel. Flavors are reserved roasty malts and a bit of cocoa.
I've definitely had better of this style, but this brew is hardly a slacker in the Schwarzbier department. It holds it's own as a solid session beer.

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Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured one of these into a glass from the mix winter pack.

Man, this beer is black, I mean, jet black! You simply can't see through it. It has a very strong toffee smell with some choclate scent as well. The taste has the BBC's trademark smooth maltiness of a nice blend of toffee and choclate, leaving a coffee after taste. The mouthfeel is good, as it's right in the middle with kind of a milky feel to it.

I really enjoyed this beer as it goes down fairly easy but seems to be very flavorful as well. I have only tried one of other beer of the style, but this is by far the best of the two.

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Photo of benito
2.83/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I had some friends over for dinner last week and wanted to serve them a beer that would cut through the saltiness of the mozzarella in carrozza that I was serving...a Schwarzbier seemed the right pick, and since I can't get Fort Collins Brewing's awesome Kidd Lager except when I'm in the Front Range, Sam Adams was my go-to brew.

Not truly black, this is a deep ruby brew when held to direct light with a thin head and a lager-ish (read, absent) bouquet. The sweetness of the malts did in fact match well with the saltiness of the anchovies in my food, and I also liked this brew for it's quick, refreshing finish. I would definitely serve it again with a similar hors d'oeuvre, but I don't think I'd choose to buy a sixer for pleasure drinking.

Overall, the flavors were competent but unremarkable. It's well-crafted, but this is a "what you see is what you get" affair and I'm not sure that I knew anything about this beer after two pints that I didn't know after two sips.

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Photo of gunnerman
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a pitch black with a fluffy foamy head that leaves sick lace. Smell is pretty sweet with hints of bitter. Taste is smooth and refreshing very malt and roasted like some warm nuts on a fire, a good offering from Sam Adams. It was included in the winter sam pack.

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Photo of bgraney
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Amber/black, lots of carbonation with an off-white, creamy head.
Not a lot going on with the aroma; a sweet maltiness is all I can pick up.
Tastes very sweet with a tasty, dominating malt presence with a caramel background.
Medium mouthfeel, maybe a little thin. A slight malt aftertaste.
For me, it's too sweet to have more than one.
I felt like I was drinking a malt flavored soda but I liked it. I would drink it again but I can't imagine a situation in which this would be available and there wouldn't also be choices I prefer over this.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black until you hold it up to the light, then you see ruby hues poking through. Beautiful frothy head that sticks around for the long haul. Great lacing to boot. Attractive brew from Samuel Adams!

Smell is of sweet, dark malts, chocolate, a little bit of coffee. Taste is really good consisting of tons of roastiness that follows through with the aftertaste. Cofffee flavors, chocolate, tons of chocolate malts, some caramel toffee flavors...good stuff. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Extremely drinkable. Great for sessioning. This is a unique beer from Samuel Adams and can say that I am thoroughly impressed and is one of my favorites from them.

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Photo of arizcards
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mixed Sam six pack purchased in early September for $5.99. Best enjoyed by December 2006.

Beer poured an opaque black with a nice tan head that is leaving a lacing. Nose is of roasted malts. Taste is a nice combo of roasted chocolate malts with a very light hopping. Flavor is deceivingly sweet. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth which lends to an enjoyable finish. Overall drinkability is good. At 4.9 abv, this is a sessionable beer for those that enjoy this style.

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Photo of SetarconeX
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep brown color, with a nice silky head on it. Smooth and creamy. Smells wonderfully malty with some chocolate and molasses. Tastes like toasted malt, through and through, with a bit of sweetness to it that makes the whole thing much more drinkable than I would have expected.

I really like this one. Not complex, but hands down one of the easiest drinking dark beers I've had in a while. I do wish I could get this in bulk.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pub glass,a clear deep ruby red color.A very thick and creamy head,lacing the glass,with execelent retention.
The aroma was a bit faint a bit spicey,with malt tones of chocolate,toffee,light caramell,and a bit nutty.
The taste was a bit spicey,with chocolate,toffee,nutty,roasty a nice complex blend of maltiness. the finish was very clean,spicey,with a pleasing bitterness at the end.
A light to medium mouthfeel,slight cloying,creamy and very smooth.A very drinkable dark lager.
A session dark lager,very tastey and quite pleasing,easy drinking.A very good beer.Worth a try!

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Photo of CpnYates
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a holiday sampler 12 pack, purchased at a Roanoke Kroger
Poured into a nice foamy brown head, with strong retention. A dark beer, but sunlight visible if held up to a window. Taste is smooth with roasted malt being the main character in the mix.

A good beer, but a little two sweet to be a daily addition to the fridge.

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Photo of techdiver
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear very dark brown with a two-finger head that dissipates moderately. Visible carbonation leaving delicate lacing. Nice malty aroma. Taste is well balanced and very tasty and clean. Surprisingly light and very drinkable. One of the better offerings from Samuel Adams.

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Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Black Lager pours, appropriately enough, a black color with ruby around the edges with a thin off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is caramel malt and sugar. The taste has nice roasted malt flavors and is on the sweet side. I like it, it's a pretty good interpretation of a schwarzbier.

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Photo of treehugger02010
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. About a finger and a half of head, but not much lace at all. It smelled like an Irish Stout. Very very smooth. No bad after taste. I have enjoyed this Sam Adams the most out of all the Sams I have had. Don't drink and review.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a black color with ruby hues when held to light, with a nice tan colored head that lasts a long time and leaves a thin layer of lacing when it finally goes away.

There is a sweetness in the smell of carmel and chocoalte along with some roasted malt. Not too strong of a smell.

Taste is of roasted bitterness along with some licorice and some carmel sweetness.

Medium bodied, but mouthfeel finishes a little dry.

This beer is extremely drinkable. A great session beer that I will pick up again. Very nice.

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Photo of pgenius
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After the Double Bock and Cream Stout, this is my favorite brew by Sam Adams. Pours out a really nice dark color and smells good. Its got a nice body to it and goes down beautifully. I tasted some nice chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt taste. Finishes off with a nice bitter taste. Good stuff.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thiis is one of Sam's selections that they never put into their mixed packs and has thus escaped my clutches so far into this beer drinking life. Pours a healthy dark brown with slivers of red at the edges and a decent foamy head and lacing. Smell is interesting, with first licorice and then toffee and figs making the rounds. Nose improves markedly as it warms.

Satisfying dark malt taste with roasted coffee leading the aftertaste. Could stand some thickening in the body but doen't suffer as much from skinny mouthfeel as a lesser brew would because the flavor still stands up well and there's plenty of it. A little overboard on the carbonation but still drinkable and surprisingly smooth. I would definitely seek this out again.

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Photo of rarevos
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.

A: Not black, but a deep brown with wonderful amber hints at the edges. It's opaque, with a finger+ of light tan head that has good staying power, eventually becoming a solid foam blanket. No sticky trails.

S: Aroma is toasty grain, caramel, ripe cherry and fig. Bit of a smokiness in there, too. Inviting and interesting already.

T/M: Big roastiness up front with some hints of cherry and marshmallow. Finish is lightly bitter (but a fruity hoppiness), followed by a long, lightly burned tail. Mouthfeel is crisp, a bit tingly, and slides down the throat with a rush of bubbles. I'm not sure if that's to style.

D: This is good stuff, and I can think of quite a few porters that aren't this good. I'll be getting this again. Smooth, well-balanced, tasty.

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Photo of BurnsTau
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, amber highlights, nice amount of head stays with the beer, leaving some lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, hints of chocolate, smells very much like a porter would smell.

Tastes is something unique to me. Definitely a good maltiness up front, roasty, chocolately flavor. But then something a bit different, where a porter or stout would be a bit bitter this is a bit sweet. Mouthfeel is light-medium, as is carbonation. This beer has a great mouthfeel, full flavored yet refreshing.

This is actually the second time I've had this beer and it was much better this time than I remembered. A great brew I think, I will drink it again.

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Photo of beveritt
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Label says to enjoy by December 2006.

Appearance: Very dark brown in color with a little hint of red. Thin head, but creamy and seems to stick around for a while. Lots of bubbles coming up. Lots of head sticking on the sides of the glass as I drink it down.

Smell: Malt with a smell of roasted barley. A little bit of sweetness in there too.

Taste: CO2 bite up front followed by a mild roasted barley flavor. Finishes with a nice level of hoppiness and little bit of sweetness. A very full flavored and well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Average to above average level of carbonation. It helps to blend the flavors together nicely.

Drinkability: A nice, flavorful beer.

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Photo of MrHolland
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a light brown head and is vivid black color with ruby red highlights, quite impressive for a lager. Smell is of roasted malts and a little hint of chocolate. Taste is very smooth and crisp, with lots of malt and caramel notes. Mouthfeel is just what a lager should be smooth and clean and thats just what it was. Hopefully I will look around and try to check some of the same style out.

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Photo of joe1510
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass
Sam Adam's Black Lager poured a color a little to be called black but close enough, with some dark ruby highlights. Lightens when held to the light. A 2+ finger fluffy tan head that slowly faded just to cover.

There Are some different scents. Right up front I smell something that reminds me of chalk dust and dirt. Strange I know. It's followed by some roasted malts. As it warms the first scent disappears and turns to more sweet malts.

Taste is pretty good. There's some chocolate and sweet malts. A slight bitterness comes through at the end along with coffee but the final flavor seems a little weak to me.

Mouthfeel seems good. Medium bodied and slick. Carbonation tingle on the tongue.

The black lager is pretty easy drinking.

Overall Sam Adam's Black Lager is a decent beer. When it warms the flavor and scent is much better but nothing exceptional.


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Photo of peabody
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out really dark but slightly opaque. Smell is fruity malt with a bit of hops.Coffee and or chocolate are it there too.
Taste is a dark carmel with coffee and dark chocolate.Burnt toast is there if you reach a little.
Mouthfeel is very clean but leaves just the right touch of bitterness at the end.
No alcohol is present here and this might be a session beer, depends on who is drinking this.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,556 ratings.
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