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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,650 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: 2,650 |  Reviews: 1,464
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.71/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ba Review #54
Served On: 9/3/2011
Glassware: Tumbler Pint Glass

Got this one from the 2011 Harvest mixed pack.

Look: Deep deep ruby red color with a small 1 finger tan head. Good carbonation. Lacing already started as the head receded to a thin film.

Smell: Typical lager smell. Strong Sam Adams malty twang. I really can pick up on much else. Maybe some brown sugar. The nose wasn’t real interesting on this one.

Taste: Sweet malts start out and move directly into dark fruits and typical lager notes of breddy yeast and sweet malts. There was also some spice in the finish - similar to the Boston Lager. The mouth feel is definitely a little heavier than a standard lager. I just can’t pick up on anything special with this brew.

Overall this is an OK beer with nothing standing out. The Saranac Black Forest I reviewed yesterday was definitely a step above this one.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich chocolate brown with a reasonable light khaki head. Aroma is of toffee and chocolate. Smells rich and creamy. Taste follows aroma. Nice rich toffee notes. Kinda like a subtle Heath Bar with chocolate and toffee notes. A little sweet and perhaps a little lacking in hops to balance, but seems to be on for the style. Mouthfeel is good with a decent amount of carbonation to balance out the sweetness. Drinkability is good, but I dont think I could do more than a couple due to the suiteness. A good solid brew from Sam Adams. I really wish they would but this in a 6 pack instead of the mixed six with the weak Hefe. My friend seems to think that SA got the idea for this when they were contract brewed at FX MATT and ripped off from Black Forest. This is much richer than that. Overall one of the better offerings from SA.

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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 StaindProject86
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of jeff96gt
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of dreadnatty08
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best enjoyed by 06/08
Pours a gorgeous nearly opaque dark brown with red ruby highlights. A huge head is formed, very off-white near tan color and great tracing. Lots of caramel, sweet malt, slight bitter chocolate, and some floral hops; coffee in the finish. A medium-thin mouthfeel, with flavors of light chocolate, slight roastiness, but not bitter. Overall it is very smooth, a light drinker with lots of flavor, and extremely clean. A moderate amount of Hallertau hops without any bitterness, but a balanced finish. There's also an interesting cola like flavor in the middle. A very enjoyable beer and a nice style, will try again.

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

Pours ruby tones at the bottom of the glass and dark brown throughout. Not as black as I thought it would be. Ha!
1/2" off-white head, slightly creamy with some big bubbles. Settles out slow.
Nose is malty and hoppier than expected. I wasn't really expecting any hops, but they are there. Decent roasted aromas and a gentle sweetness. Nice touch of chocolate and even a bit of raspberry.
Smooth mouthfeel, kind of creamy or oily. Mostly grainy flavor. A very good beer and I'm glad it was included in the holiday pack.

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Photo of BanditoJunkie
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of hipHOPSanonymous
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of markasparov
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of EOC
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of jakester
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from the Brewmaster's Collection sampler case. Expiration dates clearly marked on the case and notched on the bottle! This is the way it should be done!!!

This looks like root beer with a nice, lingering head. Nice deep mahogany with ruby tints. A 2 finger head of tan foam forms after the pour. The head eventually drops to a ring and islands, but lacing is evident the whole way down.

Aroma is really nice chocolatey malts coupled with a faint spicy hop smell. Roastiness is not really present. It smells like a Hershey's bar with hops!

Flavor is a very smooth slightly sweet chocolate covered fruitiness, like cherries, with an appropriate level of bitterness. Spicy/floral hop flavor is there as well. There is no roasted barley presence that I can detect. The aftertaste is smooth milk chocolate.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a nice tingle from carbonation. A little grab at the back of the throat from hop bitterness finishes this very good beer.

Another very good beer from Sam Adams. They don't get every style right, sometimes not even close, but this one is a keeper.

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Photo of poppollutesminds
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of doppelmeup
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed in this beer.

Poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Very dark color, about 3/8 inch head. Very dark, tan color. Not really any hints of red or garnet.

Smell was good. A bit chocolatey, a bit malty.

Taste was alright. Sort of like a watered down stout. Slightly sweet and slightly malty. Not much bitterness.

I didn't care for the mouthfeel. It stayed around long after drinking the beer. Not a clean feeling.

It wasn't a bad beer, but I don't think I'd buy it again.

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Photo of r0nyn
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pokal.

Appearance is a dark, translucent reddish brown that lets only bits of light through. Quite a few lines of bubbles trailing up to the top can be seen. There is a dusky quarter inch-thick head that recedes slowly, leaving a lot of sticky, stringy lacing. Definitely lives up to its moniker. Smell is full of malts with subdued notes of chocolate and sweetness. Some grains and just a slight hint of hops are also detectable.

Malts up front that transition into a bready smoothness, with a definite smoky quality that is both very distinct, but well-balanced with the rest of the beer. There's some fruitiness as well, hints of berries and dates. Hops are just barely there to provide a light touch of bitterness towards the end that doesn't really linger at all. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side, but very smooth and easy. Just the right amount of carbonation as well.

Before I knew it, my glass was down to nothing. This is quite the drinkable brew. Definitely a pleasant experience for my first Schwarzbier. Different, distinct and wholly pleasing, the brewers at Samuel Adams continue to impress and do the American beer industry proud.

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Photo of ArmedsouthernEr
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mike22ne
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Translucent black; light shines ruby through it. Cream colored fluffy head.

Chocolate, caramel, roasty and floral hop scents.

Taste is caramel, a hint of molasses, chocolate, and a crisp lightly citrus (lemon, lime) hop note in the end. The sweetness and citrus / bitter qualities seem to trade off throughout the finish. The sweetness is, however, dominant.

Mouth is a crisp medium.

Drinkability is good.

A good solid Schwarzbier.

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Photo of berserker256
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This my second review of this beer. In the first one I said there was not much head. I don't know what the hell happened there but I got a lot of head when this one poured out. Must be because the bartender did it. Maybe beers on tap ARE better than from the bottle. It still has that delicious Hershey's Special Dark flavor and it's still creamy and smooth with little carbonation. For some reason I like it a little bit better this time. Perhaps it's because it's only my second beer of the day and I can judge it better or something. I like it. Very bood beer.

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Photo of Groenebeor
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was expecting a slightly thinner beer - I could hardly tell that this was a lager. Only for the use of the usual lager hops did it lend any sort of lager taste.

Appearance was unsurprisingly black with brown tinges as it poured. Left a small cream colored head with no lacing.

This beer smelled somewhat like dark chocolate and Saaz hops ( not sure if they actually put Saaz hops in this beer).

Expecting a thicker taste after the smell and appearance, I was relieved to find that this brew was still light with plenty of taste. A pretty decent mouthfeel lends greatly to the drinkability.

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Photo of Josiah2729
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into tumbler

A-Black with brown around edges. 2 finger head lasted 2-3 minutes, minimal lacing.

S-Malts, Smoke

T- Malts and Smoke with some chocolate, mildly bitter aftertaste.

M-Nice carbonation, fairly thick texture, almost felt like cola at times.

O-Nice thick dark beer. I enjoyed having this in the Harvest Collection 12 pack.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

In the fall variety pack. Pours darkest green with ruby lights. Smells of sweet malt, coffee, chocolate. Bitter coffee taste. Light feel, easy drinking.

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Photo of Dieck
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of pzrhsau
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice blackish brown color with a smaller head that doesn't really stick very well.
S: Nice notes of coffee and sweet caramel with the very smokey dark malt.
T: Very strong crisp malt flavor with some notes of coffee.
D/M: Very clean and not too heavy. Not overly carbonated. Very good balanced flavor.

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

My recent pseudo-complaint about Sam Adams pricing in southwestern PA will not stop me from buying a single now and again. I've been closing in on this brew for a while now: Black Lager (a Schwarzbier).

An almost pitch black body pours into my nonic pint glass. In the light, there are traces of dark copper lying at the bottom. In the nose there are plenty of roasted coffee & dark chocolate notes. Caramel; brown sugar. For fellow homebrewers, I'm also smelling a freshly opened can of malt extract.

The taste is dark roasted, but matched up with an agreeable hops presence. The hops complement the roasted character, while adding in an extra punch, winning the challenge in the end. Brown sugar & caramel pulling through too, in the manner of an American Brown Ale.

As it warms up, the presence of alcohol starts to show itself. Embrace it. This is a tasty brew. Is it too much to ask for this one to be available on tap in the winter around here?

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,650 ratings
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