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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
2,645 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#28,900
Reviews:
1,462
Ratings:
2,645
pDev:
12.7%
Bros Score:
3.68
 
 
Wants:
84
Gots:
204
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,645 |  Reviews: 1,462
Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
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!

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Photo of jlindros
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
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 olradetbalder
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.18/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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

Photo of paulish
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressive beige head--a solid three fingers thick--leaves Pollock inspired lacing on the glass side. Light barely penetrates through the deep brown (no reddish hue) liquor. Appears to be clear.

Strong dark chocolate notes, a touch of burnt toast, and toasted marshmallow. Similar smells to a well-made porter.

Crisp like a lager should be. The beginning of the taste is surprisingly neutral--malt flavors but not as obvious as the smell might indicate. The real treat comes from the swallow--strong caramel and dark chocolate notes with a wonderful blend of hop spiciness. The carbonation also shows up here. The aftertaste is surprisingly dry. In fact, the entire tasting devoid of any significant sweetness.

A short description would be a "lagered porter", meaning it doesn't have the roundness of typical fare. Working from memory, this is a more flavorful schwarzbier than others I've had. Worthy of a six-pack.

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Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of russpowell
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogony edging towards black color. Head is tan but drops to a1/4" ring fast. Lacing sticks around okay.

Smell: Toasted malts, fruit, & wiffs of licorice & choclate& red wine???

Taste: Toasted grain, fruit, licorice, dark choclate & molasess(sp??)

MF: A little thinner than I preffer my Schwartzes. Good carbonation , balance is getting there.

This is one of SAs better efforts, can't wit tofind some on draft where they know how to talk care of the product!

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Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a black body with a thin, light beige head.

Smell: Gentle aroma of roasted chocolate malts with a sprinkling of spent coffee grounds.

Taste: Soft, roasty character with flavors of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, roasted grains. Only the very slightest touch of hops on the crisp, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Well carbonated. Fairly watery.

Drinkability: About as rousing and stirring as a light lager can get!!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

While recently visiting Highland Pizza, my uncle was very interested in many of the Sam. Adams bottles that they had in their cooler. That, in turn, piqued my curiosity and so I filled out a mixed sixer with ones I knew that I had not reviewed, This is one of them.

From the bottle: "Careful, there's a bit of mystery in this one. - a dark, rich, and roasty beer that's somehow smoother and less bitter than a stout. It was first brewed in the medieval forests of Germany. Depp and full-bodied yet fresh and crisp. You won't taste another dark beer like this one. Cheers! [undersigned] Jim Koch".

I had a great pour with a resultant two fingers of deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep brown with garnet highlights and seemingly good clarity, allowing for its extremely dark color. Nose smelled of cocoa powder and I was reminded of my Lunch Duty partner who seems to to really dig on chocolate. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite cocoa/smoky taste on the tongue. She claims not to like beer, but I would bet that she would totally dig this. For me, it was a bit too sweet, but not cloying, which I really dislike. Finish was semi-sweet and a decent drink for the style, even if not my bag.

 1,209 characters

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 BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark walnut brown with prodigious red and orange sunburst highlights. Ruby when backlit. The golden beige crown is three fingers to start and lasts for a good bit. While it isn't a crazy lacer, it does lay down a respectable amount in the end.

The aroma is more dark malty than anticipated and is huskily, muskily, earthily hoppy. It isn't really porter-like, but then it isn't a porter. Given what I know about schwarzbiers (not much), the nose is right on the money. There's plenty of power, which always helps.

Black Lager is pretty tasty. It isn't a wow! kind of beer, but it's unquestionably well-brewed. There's more flavor than expected and more roasted malt as well. I've had porters that didn't have this amount of black/chocolate maltiness. The hops more than hold their own and are as important in the grand scheme of things as the malt.

The flavor profile consists of cocoa, dark caramel and, surprisingly, black coffee. Those flavors are complementary to each other (as well as to the herbal, earthy, slighty spicy hops) and are soft and powdery in character as opposed to charred. It's as if the brewers stopped roasting the barley at just the right moment. The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium, which it maintains all the way to and through the finish.

I never know what to expect from Boston Beer Company. Some of their offerings are yawners and others are very good. Black Lager is closer to very good and was a nice surprise. It's only my third beer of this style and is clearly better than the two German schwarzbiers that preceded it. Good stuff.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,645 ratings
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