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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

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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Reviews: 1,435 | Ratings: 2,552
Photo of themilkman01
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Disclaimer: I'm a beer-newbie ... reviewing beers primarily for beer-newbies in their quest to find the perfect beer. If you aren't a beer-newb, then you'll probably not like this review)

Sam Adams Black Lager is a very dark beer that has a unique flavoring that not everybody will enjoy.

Sam Adams Black Lager has a very dark appearance, when pouring it into a glass ... it has the look of Coca-Cola with a very thick head, I'd say at least three inches. The head sticks around for awhile, so I hope you like the tingle of the bubbles on your nose.

The smell of this beer is good ... it has a very slight beer smell with a strong roast smell. It's one that you will smell when you pop the cap, but it will be very slight, and you may not notice it right away.

I wasn't very impressed with the taste of this beer. At first it tasted good, but the more I moved it around my mouth the less I enjoyed it. There is a very strong roasty taste, so if you like that taste, then you'll enjoy this beer. I wasn't big on the roast flavor, but I did enjoy it in smaller amounts. The roast flavor boarders on coffee, so again, if you enjoy those kind of tastes, I think that you'll really enjoy this beer. However, there is a strong bitter aftertaste that I do not enjoy. I was able to drink this beer in long gulps, but after I was done I needed something else to get the bitter taste out of my mouth!

The mouthfeel of this beer almost offsets the taste of the beer. It's a very smooth beer that I could take some gulps of and still not feel uncomfortable. It's smooth enough to move around your mouth and be one of those beers that you can gulp or sip on. Because of the smoothness of this beer, I kept on taking long swigs of it, continiously drinking it, despite the taste.

The drinkability of this beer is just above average ... mostly because it's very smooth, but not a lot of people will like the taste. Again, there is a very strong roast taste, and if you are into that, then I think you'll really enjoy this beer.

Overall, this is a beer that I could drink again, but I probably wouldn't order it if other options are available. For platforming I don't recommend this beer, just because of the unique tastes that drown out the classic beer tastes.

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Photo of AlphaFireX5
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with a July 2008 freshness date clearly notched on the label. Poured into a 20oz goblet.

Appearance: Poured a nice deep opaque brown with orangey and caramel hues to the edges with 1cm of head which disappeared quickly.

Smell: Very subtle, clean smell composed of mainly roasted, almost burnt malts with a barely detectable note of hoppy spice.

Taste: Initially comes forth with crisp and clean malts, and a subtle sweetness on the front end. Medium to medium-light carbonation. As the beer warms in your mouth and the carbonation dissipates it become smoother, with the roast/burnt malt character coming through. A dry nutty character lingers ever so slightly with a bready yeast flavor on the back end of things.. A subtle bitter coating is left afterwards.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied mouthfeel with lasting carbonation and a slightly oily texture.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but I don't think I could enjoy more than one or two in a row. Definitely a good one to sit and enjoy though.

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Photo of Irishdagger
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this brew. As one whose heart is black as Guinness, I tend to lean in that direction. As I was walking through my local provider of fine beer, the name Black Lager gave me goose bumps. I just had to try it...and I'm glad I did.

The head starts nice, but doesn't cling to the sides, it carries some complex smells and the taste is kind of coffee/chocolate. The color is a dark chocolate, and the appearance it bold.

I would recommend giving this a shot if your looking for a nice dark beer. Goes down well, and the tastes will have you nodding your head in agreement.

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Photo of thasnazzle
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Opaque dark brown with no head to speak of.

S - Dominated by sweet dark fruit notes with a tiny hint of roast coffee and chocolate. Not too much going on here.

T - A hint of the dark fruit notes up front, followed by some roasted coffee and malts and just a tiny hint of chocolate in the back. Finishes with a bit of coffee/hop bitterness, but not a terribly large amount. Overall the flavors are good, but a little light.

M - A smidgen too thin, but a good amount of carbonation saves the mouthfeel.

D - Overall a decent beer. Pretty drinkable for the style. Comes across as a lighter, less complex version of a good stout. After a few of these the toasted aftertaste might be a bit tough on my palate, though.

Another solid offering from BBC that I'm glad to have as part of a sampler.

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

first review!
here goes nothing...

bottle poured into a pint glass, got it in the fall variety pack

A: Deep dark brown almost black beer that has the look of a stout minimal head that kinda dissapered once i was finished pouring it

S: coffee, dark chocolate

T: coffee, toasted malts, the beer is a little bitter and leaves a lingering taste of dark chocolate although it doesnt really linger around for all that long

M: this was what surprised me most, it was surprisingly clean for a dark beer something im not very used to, slightly chewy towards the end as well

D: awesome i could see myself drinking two or three of these in one setting

good brew!

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Photo of Church89
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Same kind of Sam Adams beer (brown bottle, Sam label) nothing special.

Pours a dark brown/black, blocks all light. Tan head.

Smells of a light hops aroma.

Taste is of hops, subtle coffee flavors, chocolate tones.

Smooth going down, very light, pleasant aftertaste.

Drinkability is superb. It's a great session beer.

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Photo of snglmltrblnd84
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Black Lager is overall a pretty good beer. It has a solid one inch thick head with a deep black/amber color. It doesn't feel as heavy as the color would suggest. The Black Lager has a smooth finish with a raisin like after taste. The first thing that I notice about the flavor is mocha. This beer reminds me a lot of prune juice. At first it may not be very enjoyable to some but it quickly grows on you. I may not buy it again but I am glad that I did at least once.

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Photo of MetroOhio
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a fantastic pick up! Got a sixer of this today, and boy was I surprised.

Poured strong with a fantastic head--it did, however, disappear fairly quick for me, but maybe my pour was off or the glass may have been off.

The body was deep reddish brown with a nice tan head. Smells of grain, roasted malt/barley, with cocoa-ish scents up front (but not lingering). Taste was very nicely rounded with some roasted and burnt (in a good way) malt sweetness up front, and it's rounded out with a sort of limey taste afterwards--maybe black cherry as well?

Mouthfeel, for me, was a little thin, could've used a little more heft in it.

This beer was fantastic, and it's one of those beers you can have a ton of and still feel good about having another. I have found my new Sam Adams favorite...move over Winter Lager. You have been replaced, and I'll never return...Black Lager is my new favorite brew from the Boston Beer Company.

Song Listened to Whilst Enjoying this Beer: "Such a Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference", Morrissey, off the Bona Drag LP(1990).

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Photo of dexcool707
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A respectable head with nice color and lace.

Great smell with the expected hints of chocolate.

Smooth and creamy taste and mouthfeel. Chocolate tones and strong maltiness with a slight taste
of molasses.

Sweet enough to compliment the array of flavors
but not too sweet to be annoying,...very drinkable

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

A: Dark rust red in color with coffee colored head that's small but lasts a while.

S: Let's off a medium smell of malt.

T: Smokey with hints of chocolate,

M: Smooth, medium body with medium to high carbonation.

D: Definitely good, would go well with grilled meats.

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Photo of DIYBrewing
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a great drinkable beer. It is submitted for style as a schwarzbier but that is not what I would categorize it as. Has a great dark head that did not dissipate.A little overcarbonated. Smooth taste with a nice malt profile that does not overwhelm. The hops are perfectly balanced in the background with little to no hop flavor or aroma.

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

S: A coffee and dark chocolate smell with a hint of sweet floral
T: Great taste, malty with a hint of coffee,chocolate and a nutty flavor on the back end. Its a good flavorful beer but not to rich or overbearing.
A: Look like a glass full of Coca-Cola with no ice. the head is thick and light brown in color with a hint of a purple ring next to the beer. Leaves little to no lace nor a notch on a glass.
This is a very nice beer and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of monkeybrew
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer- it reminds me of the dark lagers in Munich that were so much better than some of the light colored lagers. So easy to drink, but also very tasty. Looks nice in a glass with a decent amount of head. Moderate carbonation. A little caramel and roasty in smell and taste, but very clean finish and nice aftertaste. A lot in common with nut brown ales, which I also like. I would say that this is one of Sam Adams better efforts for an everyday beer.

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Photo of thaxomatic
3.11/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served out of a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Black upon first impression, but when held up to the sun the beer is actually a dark caramel brown. Non-existent head, which is disappointing.

S: Smells of alcohol. Not much else, somewhat earthy.

T: Tastes of alcohol and a bit of caramel. Very earthy.

MF: Light carbonation with a minor lingering coat of thickness that stays on your tongue after swallowed.

Drinkability: Very drinkable beer. Very clean and crisp.

Bottom Line: This is an average beer. Nothing great about it, but nothing bad about it either. I don't think I will ever buy it again, but that is not to say I wouldn't drink it again.

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Photo of nwilson023
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Boston Beer Company found a winner with the Black Lager. As soon as I poured it from the bottle I was impressed with the rich dark appearance and aromas of chocolate, grain, roasted malt, coffee, and a hint of smokiness. Has a sweet taste but not to overpowering. I felt it was a bit heavier than a typical lager but all in all I like it quite a bit and will buy it again in the future.

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

Being impressed with the other offerings I've tried by Sam Adams, I just had to try this.
A-As expected, black unless back-lit, then becomes a deep reddish-brown, almost as a cedar knot.
S-Surprisingly mild for the colour. Was expecting very forward roasts in there, instead mostly of caramel and mild mocha.
T-Again, mild for this dark of a beer. Very good though, very subtle but still complex. Doesn't jolt the taste buds, gives you time to ponder and appreciate.
M-For me, just wonderful, beautiful balance of carbonation and flavour.
D-Light enough to enjoy a few. Just boozy enough to relax and enjoy.

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Photo of DasBoot91
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Very dark looking beer. Not all the way black, if the light is on it you can see a slight dark red/brown color. Head is a light brown color. Almost looks like a glass of coca-cola.

S- Roasted malts, getting a lot of chocolate.

T- Like the smell, lots of deep roasted malts and chocolate. A slight bitter taste but not much.

M- Medium body. Very smooth to drink. A little carbonation.

O- I think it's a easy going beer. Nothing to complex. One of the better ones in the Sam Adams fall pack. Will buy again next fall.

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Photo of bpiwarzyk
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a six-pack of this interesting brew on the way to a dinner party. I hadn't seen it before, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The beer didn't accompany the the main course very well (Salmon), but I loved it anyway!

The Black Lager is a very smooth drinking beer. It has the richness and nose of a porter, but it's not quite as heavy, thus very drinkable.
When poured into a glass, a tan, toffee-colored head settled nicely on top, and released a nice dark, malty, chocolate-laced aroma.

My first BL was right from the fridge, and served in a fresh, frosted glass. The second was served a bit closer to room temperature, not warm, but not icebox cold. This second one seemed a bit more aromatic, but both were very clean drinking.

The Sam Adams Black Lager might not be quite as robust as some of my favorite styles, but I definitely enjoyed drinking it, and am looking forward to my next one...

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Photo of kgreen2k1
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

In the style of Ebert & Roper this is a two-man review. The idea being that two people’s opinions playing off one another might give you a good idea of where your own thoughts would end up.

Me: This is a Schwarz bier! German for black beer. The black only refers to color though, it's not going to be super heavy. Also unlike porters and stouts the bitterness comes from hops instead of roasting the malts.
Me: It's also got a freshness date, which I wish more beers did.
Me: Mine's best by august.
Him: Mine says best purchased before may.
Him: I’m glad I made the cut!
Me: You make no cuts. You are picked last for the kickball team.
Me: Interesting that mine says "enjoy by" and not "purchase by" like yours.
Him: I’m reading the label and it looks like we should expect caramel and chocolate malts.
Him: It also says it is lightly hopped.
Me: That goes somewhat against the Schwarz bier description.
Him: People this is why we do these find out who is lying and actually get down to what this beer is like.
Me: I’m so editing that out.
Me: OK pour! I’m using a pint glass.
Him: Same.
Him: There’s a smell, but I’m not sure I like it.
Me: I quite enjoy. Kind of a smoky chocolate.
Him: I smell some caramel too.
Me: I get a bit of a bark smell also.
Him: The head was small and is now gone after sitting for a couple minutes.
Him: It’s very dark, pretty much the color of cola.
Him: This is definitely a beer we could trick our non-drinking friends into drinking.
Me: Except I don't see any signs of carbonation.
Me: It looks good though. I ended up with more head than you did.
Him: Look on the top, there are a lot of bubbles rising to the surface.
Me: I can't see the top because of the head actually.
Me: I was holding it up to the light though, got a bit of a ruby highlight and no bubbles.
Him: So! If you get a lot of head like he does you wont see bubbles, but if you get no head like I do, you will see bubbles.
Me: (laughs) Stop talking to the audience. I’m editing you all out!
Me: Ready to drink?
Him: When am I not?
Him: I definitely taste chocolate and caramel.
Me: That's actually way better than I remember it being. Maybe I had killed my taste buds with something else the first time I drank this.
Him: Yeah this beer tastes great!
Me: It's a little sweet, yum.
Him: The taste doesn’t linger though... Yeah I think the sugars make my mouth water.
Him: I’d say this is a relaxing beer, no bitterness at all.
Me: Agreed. As the flavor fades there's a little something I don't like.. Don't know what I’d call it. Not a huge deal though
Him: Cover it up with more beer.
Me: Just for fun I had a bit of cheese with it. It brought out the fattiness of the cheese. Not recommended with cheese.
Me: Now I’m talking to the audience.
Him: Stop it!

Me: Appearance!
Him: My head was lacking, I do like the dark beer color, but it is like every other dark beer... 3.
Me: 4 for me.
Me: I got a pretty good head as mentioned and I liked the smooth darkness.
Me: Smell!
Him: I smelled caramel, which I don’t normally smell in beer.
Him: But it was a light smell, so I’ll say 4.
Me: Agree. Liked the scent a lot, every bit as thick as the color. 4.
Me: Taste!
Him: There is a lot going on with this beer. You definitely taste the chocolate and caramel, and it has a smooth finish after a funky taste....4...a tip would be to wash away the funkiness with some more beer!
Me: Yeah the taste was really good. That aftertaste is still bugging me and it's getting worse the more I have. But initially delicious. 4.
Him: Yeah definitely don’t go kiss anyone after this beer, unless they are drunk.
Me: I only kiss drunks as a rule.
Him: I can’t imagine a girl saying "Ooh I just love your smoky musky breath!"
Me: I like the “musky” descriptor.
Me: Mouth feel!
Me: A light feel to it. Not too watery, just very smooth. Very nice pairing with a pretty rich beer otherwise. 4 again.
Him: Yeah I agree with everything you said. 4.
Me: And finally drinkablility.
Him: I think I could only have a couple of these, that muskiness is growing... 2.
Me: Yeah it's like a metallic heaviness. I wouldn't want more than 1. 2 for me too.
Me: Any final comments?
Me: You know, for the audience.
Him: Oh wait I finally get to say something to them?
Me: Sure!
Him: This beer is good and worth a try... but I’m not gonna buy a case of it.
Him: Try it in a variety pack like I did and see which Sam Adams you like best.
Me: (laughs) Sound advice.
Him: Ugh that last bit of it was gross....
Him: NOTE! Gets less pleasant as it gets warmer.
Me: It did the opposite of grow on me. At the end of the glass I realize why I liked it so much more at first sip than I remembered.

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Photo of hideous
4.7/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5 is most definately the best beer I have had. Drinking one now and it is most certainly an enjoyable experience. Went looking for a six of just the black lager, can only find the mix pack where I live. Oh, well...I will savor the two that came in the pack and move on to the rest...which ain't too shabby either
...I have had the brown ale and the Hefe Weizen that is in the pack at another time...looking forward to the scotch ale...think I already know what the regular lager is like...that is everywhere...
Very happy that I found these Sammy mix has allowed me to try many different beer styes, as I am somewhat new to beer exploration (have drank beer all my life, but never really worried about styles and such, just gimme a beer, plz)

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Photo of yakman
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my everyday drinking beer. I prefer darker more malted styles. Not my favorite, but for the price makes a good drink.

More malty than hops, good color an feel. Easy to drink several on a hot summer day. Much better than the macro breweries offers.

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Photo of OtisStreetBrew
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer puts a smile on my face. There is something special about the feel of a clean, smooth lager playing against a roasty background, and Sam Adams gets it right with this one.

Appearance is as advertised: black.

Smell those Hallertau hops and Bavarian yeast.

Clean lager up front, roasted notes, even some coffee flavors, finish and linger.

Feels nice and smooth.

Drinkability is exceptional. It is not often I find a beer I want to quaff massive quantities of... Sweet!

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Photo of TicksAndLeeches
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep almost black amber color. off-white head and light carbonation.

S- Smells sweet. hints or roasted malts and chocolate.

T- Tastes sweet with a light hoppy flavor. strong hints of chocolate followed but a coffee-like aftertaste. Goes down smooth.

M- medium body and light carbonation.

D- This beer is a bit heavy and i started to feel full after one. i would have had another though.

I got the Black Lager in the Sam Adams harvest collection and it was one of the ones i liked the most. i enjoyed the chocolate and coffee notes in it and i will probably pick up a 6 pack of i see it.

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Photo of robruiz
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer was pretty good. I like that interesting twist of this dark beer. Very interesting flavor, not very easy to describe. Complex, yet smooth. It has the malty flavor you expect from a dark beer, but different from a porter or stout. I would definitely drink this brew again. It reminded me a lot of Xingu.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 1,435 ratings.
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