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

BA SCORE
84
good
2,561 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
samueladams.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,561
Reviews:
1,438
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
12.83%
 
 
Wants:
84
Gots:
179
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,561 |  Reviews: 1,438
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Scwarzbier.. don't see too many of them out there but they're unique to say the least. The color is jet black but it's light bodied, which still just stuns me. Tastes sort of smokey and has some chocolate sort of taste as well. Smell is a little below good but the rest of the beer is well done.

 299 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured very dark clear amber (near black) in color with a creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving some lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark roasted malts and nuts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, coffee, nuts and roasted malts. There are some hops in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin on the palate. It is rather smooth and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: It's not very difficult to finish this beer very quickly; the low alcohol content makes this quite sessionable.

 634 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of Sam Adams better offerings. Medum body with a powerful, yet smooth, with a powdery roasted flavor and texture. Black at first sight, but then allows amber highlights to perminate. Promising, lightly tanned head retention starts off thick and creamy, but fades quickly under the lighter than expected body. Moderatly malty sweet with roasted grain (not quite coffee) bitter balance. A light cocoa flavor adds character and complexity. Low hopping allows for grain to supply bitterness. Finishes nicely clean and lightly charcoal-like. Quite enjoyable and remarkably easy to drink despite it's bold roasted character.

 622 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

33cl brown glass bottle served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a four finger head of nice cream lacing, decent thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a solid black, though it might in actuality be an extremely dark ruby.

Sm: Caramel, light roast, and caramelized malt. I didn't pick up the noble hops per the label. Aroma is mild in strength.

T: Generic barley, very light cream, and maybe some caramel. If roast is there, it's extremely light. It's a very simply built beer and isn't particularly balanced. A faux-rauchbier light as hell smokey note is barely detectable on the climax. Meh.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch too thick. Could use a lot more cream.

Dr: It's very easy to drink but is also bland. The ABV is average. As a schwarzbier, I guess it's a minute success. I won't be purchasing it again.

 897 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep brown color with ruby highlights; the head retained nicely and left quite a few splashes of lace

Smell: Chocolate shavings and café au lait; rather creamy at that

Taste: Starts out with a brown bread flavor that, after the swallow, is joined by a mild bittering aspect that brings along some of that creamy café au lait that was so present in the aroma; relatively clean finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation; a bit creamy

Drinkability: Pleasant and drinkable

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Photo of oline73
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some red showing up with the light comes through. There is a finger and a half of off white head and decent retention.

Smell: Mild sweet malt, a bit roasty with some dark chocolate in there as well.

Taste: Sweet chocolate malt. The roast and dark chocolate from the smell are still there. The finish is chocolaty with a roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: Easy to drink, but not as good as I used to think it was. A good beer if you don't want to pay too much attention to what you're drinking. Pleasant.

 670 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet black color with a thick, foamy, off-white head. It left small traces of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel and roasted malts. It also had a slight grassy/hoppy aroma.

T - It tasted of roasted malts and some dark chocolates. Also, a nice blend of caramel and toffee.

M - It was smooth and soft. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good dark beer. Very sessionable.

 404 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 429 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, best before 8/2014. Pours crystal clear deep brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, plum, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roasted malt, raisin, plum, herbal, and roast/toasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, dark bread, chocolate, roast, raisin, plum, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and lightly chalky/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish as expected of 4.9%. Overall this is a damn nice schwarzbier! All around good balance, robustness, and complexity of dark/roasted malt and fruity yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,427 characters

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

Editing this review: originally on 9-18-2008 to 5-11-09

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours a dark bronze black color. Pours a 3/4 finger tan head. head fizzles down quickly leaving very little thin lacing.

Aroma is very pleasing for a lager. Dark coffee, caramel, chocolate. Very roasty.

Taste is very roasty and malty. Caramel and chocolate. At the very end comes the coffee.

Mouthfeel is crisp but a little creamy. Ends with a coffee flavor aftertaste. Medium bodied. Low carbonation.

Overall this is a very tasty lager. Big on flavor and body. I enjoy it, but I think I will switch to another beer after this one.

 630 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -46.5%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Boston Beer Company has done it again, delivering an accessible and quite authentic rendition of another classic style! There's a little bit more caramel flavor and sweetness here than most German examples exhibit, but gosh darn it, it works!

It pours an almost opaque black body that only lets a glimmer of dark ruby-mahogany through beneath its creamy head of khaki colored foam. The head retention is very good, and it initially leaves some nice lace at the outset of the glass.

The nose is darkly caramelish with an almost-burnt-sugar note, and a subtle roastiness.

It's dextrinous, medium body is livened by a fine-bubbled, median carbonation that leaves it gently crisp and then smooth on the palate.

The flavor is as the nose suggests, with rich caramel notes threaded with a note of dark and roasted bittersweet chocolate. Some leafy and mildly spicy hops appear towards the swallow, and in conjunction with its lightly roasty edge, help its firm bitterness to usher in a dry finsh.

Very nicely done! And interestingly enough, the caramel character of this one reminds me very much of my other favorite Sam Adams beer, their Cream Stout. I could enjoy this beer year round, and I think it would be just as appropriate at a bachelor party, poker game, summer BBQ, ski trip, company picnic or Thanksgiving Feast. Excellent!

 1,349 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge frothy head in my SA perfect pint glass, fades semi slowly with lather lacing, over super dark coke syrup brown color with slightest hints of light coming through.

Nose has some nice darker malts, light heavy crystal malts, a sweet nutty like malts with hints of cocoa, molasses, vanilla, a light hazelnut like aroma that almost smells like an extract added aroma, slight hints of earthy malts and light crisp lagers.

Taste is lighter but thicker than I expected, a bit frothy, darker malts, heavy crystal malts, light cocoa, molasses, cola flavors, again light hazelnut like flavoring added, vanilla, juicy flavored. Earthy dark malts that hint at a roast flavor but not quite. Then light crisp lager flavors, slightest hint of unhappy lager flavors, not quite skunk but like it got a bit too warm or fermented too fast. it finishes slightly bitter but more from the earthy dark malts than hops I think although a light earthy bitter hop comes through on the finish, creamy but dry, hints of lingering roasty dark malts.

Mouth is fairly full bodied and a bit creamy, good carb.

Overall not bad but kinda lackluster. That weird flavoring like hazelnut addition takes away a bit, and the lack of clean crisp fruity lager flavors doesn't help either, more like a lighter porter.

 1,293 characters

Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Brewmasters pack I wish I could get the Scottish Ale again,anyways pours a near black but with some ruby highlights thru out some bitter chocolate deep roasted grain in the aromas just smells sweet.Taste of chocolate and sweet caramel with heavily roasted malt but the caramel sweetness almost becomes cloying after awhile.Wow SA wasnt playin around here making a real sweet scharzbier here would have like a little more drier balance liek others I have tried of the style,well to each there own.

 508 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - One finger of brownish-white foam on top of a black body. Head retention is kind of weak.

S - Clean, weak malty note, slight hint of raisins. A little coffee like roastiness.

T - Clean flavor of roasted malt/ coffee with just a hint of hops.

M - Light body with high carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable but not a lot of flavor or complexity. It is quite clean, however and overall it is a decent example of a black lager.

 427 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: The beer itself is a rich dark brown. The head is thick and creamy leaving a good lace on the glass, but the head disappeared a little bit quicker than I had expected.

S: Strong but sweet smell of chocolate and malt, not overpowering though.

T: Initial taste is of chocolate, malt and hops with a faint taste of coffee. A sweet coffee flavor is more prevelant in the after taste. Very enjoyable taste.

M: Very smooth with decent thickness, not bitter at all as many Sam Adams products tend to be.

D: I could go through a lot of these very easily. The only reason I don't give the beer a 5 in this category is because of the heaviness of it, which is customary for the style of beer.

I enjoyed this beer a great deal, so much so, that it prompted my first beer review. Execellent smoothness and taste. My only complaint about this beer is that to the best of my knowledge, it's only available alone in sixers or variety packs with other Sam Adams beers. 2 per 6-pack; 3 per 12-pack. I don't mind trying the other beers but I would like to buy this beer in alone in a 12-pack or larger.

 1,139 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle from Total Wine, Cherry Hill, NJ

Poured an opaque coffee black, a nice two or three fingers of foamy, tan head that retains and laces well. Good aroma of dark roasty malts, chocolate tones. Taste starts out on the sweet side, chocolatey, roasty, brown sugar, with a transition to coffee bitterness which comes out mid-drink. Some hoppiness, but the malts are clearly in command. Bitter aftertaste, medium mouthfeel, and quite easily drinkable.

 462 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled as part of the Brewmaster's Collection mixed sixpack. The color is almost black with a ruby glow when viewed against a light source. Head is average-sized and light brown. Retention is pretty good for a dark lager. Aroma is a little too low key, but nice bready malts are noticed with just a touch of spice. The taste is primarily of an excellent chocolatey malt. Subtle flavors of roastedness, nuttiness, and spice add layers of complexity. For me, Samuel Adams Black Lager is addictively tasty. Now if they would only start selling this by the sixer around here, I would have no problems with the Boston Beer Company.

 627 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

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

a- very dark, with strong cranberry color when held to light. Low head with medium lacing. Interestingly it has a very fine bubble structure.

s- strong sweetness almost reminiscent of corn syrup. Notes of rasin and nut in the middle notes.

t- very smooth flavor, a little light. Roasted malt flavor with chocolate notes on the finish. Slight prune flavor in the middle. Flavor has a low complexity, but still nice overall flavor.

m- mouthfeel is a little light, but being a black lager and not a stout I feel it is appropriate to style. very drinkable, not terribly coating to palate. Carbonation is low but pleasant.

o- very drinkable, light but perfect for a traditional schwartzbeer. Great black lager.

 711 characters

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,561 ratings.
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