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

2,558 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: 2,558 |  Reviews: 1,437
Photo of Nihilistic
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Calico
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a big, foamy head that retains its presence for about 2 minutes. Then leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Deep ruby color when held up to the light, deep mahogany when not lighted.

Not much aroma, some toasted malt to be had.

Taste is exquisite. One of the best of its kind I have had. The malts all come forward with their full body, yet it is most definitely a lager and a very drinkable one at that. A little tannic sharpness on the back of my tongue, but I do not perceive this as a flaw.

Tingly, smooth feel to it. Not quite as refreshing as Negra Modelo - I'd be less likely to have this one with steak fajitas - but a beautiful brew to have on its own or with German dishes.

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Photo of trentley87
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass

A: Pours dark brown like used motor oil...small head doesn't stick around long but leaves behind generous lacing. I love the look of dark beers but this isn't the prettiest I've ever seen.

S: Tons of malts and caramel...but the overall aroma is fairly faint.
As it warms just a hint of bitterness.

T: The tiniest hint of hops of front followed by loads of malt sweetness and caramel. I love it.

M: Complements the taste perfectly...full bodied and creamy...initial bit of carbonation on the tongue complements the mild hops but everything mellows out towards the end.

D: I really enjoy this one and the fairly low ABV means this is sure to be a new session beer for me. The very thick mouthfeel might be a turnoff for some.

Yet another impressive selection from Sam Adams. I had to wait a while for my local beer store to get this in because it seems to sell out as soon as it hits the shelves around here. It was worth the wait.

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

12 oz Bottle from a Samuel Adams Brewmasters Collection 12-pack.

Appearance - Very dark color, ever so slightly red if held up to a light, otherwise it's just black. Thick, full caramel-colored head shrinks down slowly, leaving nice sheeting.

Smell - Quite roasty malt nose with strong hints of caramel, pleasant and full.

Taste - The roasted malt characteristics are balanced off nicely with slight bittering. Low hops flavor. Flavors of coffee and cocoa come through in the mouth and leave a robust, roasty aftertaste. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel - Mid-high carbonation, medium bodied. Very clean flavor, and as with all the Sam Adams offerings I've had, very very smooth.

Drinkability - Very nice beer, would be a good choice for a flavorful session. Very smooth and well balanced. Tastes similar to SA Honey Porter, just lacking the sweet honey aftertastes.

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Photo of chimaylvr
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams "tulip" glass, fresh date til July 2012

A - one finger frothy foam head, thin but continous lacing, chocolate brown color

S - not too distinct or complex, dark roasted malts, coffee-like

T - it's remarkably good: porter-like; has a smooth finish, not really bitter but roasted malt, coffee indicated by the color and name of the beer is it's primary characteristic.

M - creamy smooth but bold, carbonation is just right

O - Balance: not heavy, not light; not bitter, not sweet; not complex, not simple. I think Koch and the crew got it right. I've always liked this beer. Since I think smell is a lesser category overall boosts to a 4. At 4.9 it makes a great session beer. Cheers.

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Photo of BigFatPanda
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Banxx
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Gunnar12
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the Boston Beer Company's better efforts here.

The Black Lager is a joy to consume.

The color is... well you guessed it black, while at the same time having a small, though well formed head. The beer leaves more than acceptable lacing throughout.

The smell is malt dominated, and one would be hard pressed to really smell much in the way of hops.

Others have mentioned a bit of a coffee taste and this was the first thing that came to my mind after tasting. There is definite sweet aspects to this beer as well, aspects that balance with the coffee tones quite well.

Could drink a sixer of this quite easily. It's not world class, but it's simply a well made beer. The Boston Beer Company gets flak in some beer circles and sure they aren't Stone or Bells.. but man are some of the better efforts they put out ever drinkable.

 848 characters

Photo of Arvo
4/5  rDev +7%

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

Good beer, straight forward simple black malted beer, nothing like a Guiness, or even like theyre "Holiday Porter".

Coffee notes, dark but not heavy! Easy to drink and very smooth for a dark beer, does not come around often, so grab some if you see them.

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Photo of ACD
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of pharmer
3.16/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours mostly black with a bit of a red hue when viewed into a light. Forms a 1-finger tan head that displays little retention.

Almost no smell to this one, which is surprising. There is a hint of roasted dark malt and touch of coffee.

Tastes of dark roasted malt and coffee flavors. Slightly bitter hop finish. The mouthfeel is again surprisingly light and smooth with a moderately high carbonation. This doesn't have the mouthfeel you'd expect when looking at it.

Overall, I enjoy this beer and could drink a few in a sitting.

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Photo of wighty
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Sheepdog
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Gluteus_Maximus
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of CNeilP09
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sam Adams' Black Lager is a unique beer. Rubied motor oil in color, when held to light. Traditional lager with a huge malt flavor and thick on the roasted coffee notes. big chocolate and caramel malt influence. not much for hops in this one, just a touch to spice it up a touch. drinks easy, although it's robust character and complex flavors might hold you down to a couple or three. not a traditional swilling lager.

 418 characters

Photo of GeneralZod
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A dark beer. Looks a bit thick when it was being poured out. Also, it had very low head retention.

It smells of malt and roast. You could smell the sweetness of this beer.

Better than expected. Taste as well as it is advertise. Malty and roasty with a hint of chocolate.

Smooth and somewhat thick.

Woudl definitely have one again. This is on my favorites list. Very easy to drink and very memorable.

 462 characters

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

12oz bottle to pint glass, part of sampler pack of 3 styles. Best by June 07.

A: Very dark, but brown on close look - looks black if you aren't paying attention. Nice off-white head, but very little retention here. No or very thin lace.

S: Burnt honey wheat toast, chocolates, sugars and malts. Very nice, very exciting, you want to taste it.

T: Chocolaty, smooth, light. Looks heavy, tastes lightish. Sugars and malts with a bit of hops in the back, finishes clean and no alcohols. Finish with a sour note and some burned smoke flavors.

M: Really smooth and light, great carbonation level.

D: Great black lager from a large brewery. Nice flavors, great smell. Little too sweet, and the hops are easy to miss, but this is a good find in a local convenience store!

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Photo of cindiwindi1025
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque dark brown/black body with thin brown head.

S: Molasses and dark, smokey chocolate.

T: Creamy, smokey caramel, light chocolate, faint roated nuttiness, the flavors are so pleasurable, nothing pungent or overbearing.

M: Creamy and silky smooth.

D: Not full flavored, there is flavor but it is not burdoning...the flavor is good, the mouthfeel is perfect, this is a very drinkable beer that is one of my favorites and could easily be an everyday beer.

 464 characters

Photo of Nezzy
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black with a toffee colored three fingers worth of head. Can tell it has a lot of carbonation.

Smell: Very sweet with heavy malts. It shares a smell to some root beers with the sweetness being on the forefront and little hops.

Taste: Surprisingly not what the smell lead on. Instead its heavier, roasted nuts, malts and a little bit of sweetness. It's nice and fuller with oats and chocolate coming through with a little bit of coffee. Reminds me of a cross between a porter and stout with more carbonation.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and pretty highly carbonated.

Drinkability: This brewery to me is often hit or miss and this is a definite hit. A really nice beer that while I couldn't drink as a session, I could have with a great meal.

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

A - Aggressive pour produces two-finger-thick roasted-looking head that bubbles up retains composure long after rest. Deep Brown (SRM 30) color allows some ruby hues to show through when put up to the sunlight, which gives the appearance that this beer is clear, though I don't have any blue laser light to tell. Swirling the beer rouses the frothy head and the aromas, leaving some residue on the side of the snifter.

S - Roasted coffee & dark chocolate matliness comes through upon first whiff. The slight sweetness of the malts really overwhelms all else (not in a bad way!) and so I really found it hard to notice much of the Noble hops in the background, though I know they were there.

T/M/D - Slight hickory roast in the taste, that gives off a bit gritty of a mouth-feel. The bitterness from the hops comes through to balance out the malts. The body comes through as medium and the bitterness fails to linger. Overall, very smooth with an edge to the malt-side of the spectrum. Mild hint of caramel balances with the chocolate malt well, both finishing with the Noble hops smoothly. No warming was noticed in this beer and not surprising, as this Session Beer (ABV 4.9%) really allows more to be had!

C - A really great beer that definitely asks for more to be had! I had this beer a few months back in the Winter months (now it is almost Summer) and find that it pairs equally nicely with a meat pie as it does with BBQ fair.

Pairing Suggestion:
Cajun/Habanero-style Sausages - Grilled on a BBQ
Garlic Rosemary Red-skin Mashed Potatoes (that's right, keep the skins on 'em!)
Steamed Zucchini
Note: Palate becomes shot after half-way through each sausage, as the spice level is so high, so if planning on reviewing this beer, do so before eating too many bites of the sausage ;)

 1,793 characters

Photo of Nfrey
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of manutd103
4/5  rDev +7%

Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,558 ratings.
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