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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,645 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: 2,645 |  Reviews: 1,462
Photo of AleWatcher
2.63/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served on pint glass.
Deep mohogany reddish hues on the edges of a dark brown, almost black, body. Crey tan head of 2 fingers had good retention and left spotty lacing.

Smells roasty. Huge roasted malt notes-- caramel and chocolate malts are over-roasted, taking away most points of sweetness that those malts usually give off. The beer has a spicy bitterness on the finish. Smells sweeter than it tastes, and the taste gets drier as it crosses fromthe front of my tongue to the finish.
Body is Medium and a bit hefty feeling. Good carbonation. Slight gritty coffee-like feel, and the bitterness reminds me of coffee as well.

Overall, not terrible. This is not one I'll be reaching for again, but it is not entirely undrinkable.

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Photo of MayLattimore
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a much longer review of this beer, but my connection cut out on me. Here's a smaller version of the original: Pours dark brown, black with a red hue in glass, thick tanned head. Aroma has caramel, smoke and coffee. Medium malted body, good sweetness. Some coffee notes comes through, but caramel and smoke dominates. Feel is a bit oily, also some dry feel. Finish has nice hop bitterness

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Photo of Mississipping
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark brown with amber highlights around the edges, glowing when held to light.  A small, one-finger, khaki-color head rises and falls rather quickly leaving behind a thin ring with a bubbly island.  Not exactly black.

S: While the aroma is subdued, there is a roasted dark malt, chocolate, and maybe a touch of vanilla.  That's really about it.  Not unpleasant, but unsubstantial. 

T: Roasted barley up front with a bit of chocolate and a touch of hops.  The roastiness stays pronounced through the middle and then the chocolate and coffee come out at the finish.  Semisweet chocolate lingers long after the sip.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.  Starts out slightly bitter with a roastiness and hoppiness that transitions to slightly sweet finish.  Just slightly drying, but just slightly.

D: Really not a complex beer at all, but it goes down easily enough.  It's pretty well balanced between roasted malt and chocolate, slight bitterness and subtle sweetness.  Goes down easily, but is overall forgettable.  

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Photo of zdk9
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours black with some mahagony highlights, though somewhat hard to see. There's a full finger of tan head with a mix of small and large bubbles that leaves some rings of lacing.

S- Aroma of toast, caramel, walnuts and pecans,

T- A really nice refreshing, yet roasty and complex taste. Lots of nuts, roasted wood, some smoke, creme brulee topping. Earthy bitterness in the corner recesses of my mouth.

M- Light and well carbonated, washes down easily.

O- A good sessionable beer.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown with a touch of light coming through giving deep red highlights. One finger tan head with disappointing retention and lacing.

S: Light nose on this. Mostly chocolate, and some roasted coffee.

T: Chocolate upfront. Coffee in the middle. Rostiness in the finish with slight floral hop notes.

M: Light bodied. Medium carbonation. Smooth.

O: Ok. Nothing special. Light aroma and taste. Another beer to get your friends to try some darker beer.

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Photo of tito42
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in the SA Harvest Collection sampler. Poured from bottle to an imperial pint. Best by January 2012 notched on label.

A: Cola colored, clear, with a dense cocoal head that leaves nice lacing and has nice retention.

S: Roasted coffee, grassy hops, and chocolate.

T: Roasted grains with a touch of caramel and chocolate. A flash of raspberry tartness before a grassy hops finish.

M: Light-bodied yet creamy with a tart finish. Decent hops bitterness and a bit of a sour aftertaste. Clean and crisp for a winter beer.

O: Very well-rounded representative of the style. Really kind of like a winterized light lager. The hops finish seems dumbed down just a bit to retain mass appeal, but a good brew nonetheless.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, about fridge temp, poured into an SA perfect pint, best before MAR 2012 notched, from the harvest collection 12 pack.

pours out a surprisingly nice looking, big billowy head, light tan color, maybe 2 fingers. decent head retention and some decent lace. clear, dark brown/ ruby red color.

definatly lacking in the aroma. metallic at first. all i get is some fruitiness and a toasted grain. smells weak.

toasted grains, caramel with a bit of lightly roasted malt. metallic at times. fruity esters in the middle finishes with a slight herbal hop kick.

snappy carbonation, maybe a bit overdone. heavier side of light bodied.

not a bad sessionable beer, one of my more favorites in the sam adams 12 packs, but im having a hard time determining if this really a lager or not. definatly not something i would drink too often, kind of like a weak brown ale.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep mahogany/black with small 1 finger head that dissipates quickly down the glass.

S - Mostly some dark malt, a bit of caramel.

T - Good roasted taste, a tinge of caramel, some coffee notes, and chocolate. Fades into a tiny bit of licorice.

M - Very smooth taste, carbonation is mild. Very drinkable beverage here.

Overall - Based on the smell, I wasn't expecting much, but this is actually a pretty solid schwarzbier here. Very drinkable and sooth. Would be an ideal session beer.

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Photo of taylocd
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into weizen glass. Best-by notched at Feb 2012 mark.

A - This brew is a deep mahogany with some red tints in the light. The head was comprised of very fine creamy tan bubbles that dissipated from about a quarter-inch thickness to a thin film that left almost no lacing but did retain its appearance throughout the session.

S - The aroma was a pronounced, but not powerful chocolate malt.

T - The flavor was a somewhat sweet chocolate as indicated by the aroma, but it also had a smoky character. The flavor was not particularly powerful and did not linger long.

M - The beer was very smooth and had a somewhat sticky finish, though the it did not retain the flavor with the 'sticky' finish.

O - The Black Lager is an easy drinker, and was an enjoyable, "good" beer. It is a solid, though not shining example.

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Photo of mnrider
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12. oz brown bottle. Pint glass, nice and fresh.

A: Pours a black color with reddish hues. Large
tan head with good retention and OK lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malts. Some caramel and
chocolate. Nice.

T/M: Full bodied and crisp. Sweet burnt caramel
malt flavor with a small hop bite. This gives way
to a sweet dry aftertaste.

O: A little overly sweet at first but gives way to
a solid good brew. Nice blend of roasted malts
and that hint of spiced hops. Nice Schwarzbier.


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Photo of DannyDan
4.16/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a black hue with rubyred highlights that has nice lacing and retention. Dark fruits, chocolate, toffee and some burnt roast gives it a pleasant nose. I get some chocolate, toffee followed by some dark fruits, burnt roast taste in the back with some hints of caramel and citrus hops. Very yummy and well balanced with a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel that has a dry finished. One of the best beers I've had from Sam Adams. Yummy yummy yummy!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.58/5  rDev -30.3%
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.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Despite the name, this lager is not actually black, but I think I can get over it. It's more of a dark brown, about the color of coca-cola. The head is pretty thin with almost no retention and very little lacing.

S: Grains and roasted malts. Not really much of a nose, but what is there smells pretty good.

T: Taste is much better than the nose. rich malty caramel favors with slightly burnt flavor from the chocolate malts. Hop finish keeps the beer from even seeming cloyingly sweet, and the aftertaste is of chocolate and bitter-roasted malts.

M: Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

O: A good beer. very drinkable. It's also nice because it's so different. Worth checking out.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was one of my favorites, back in the days before I drank mostly craft. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my n'Ice Chouffe goblet. Dark cola colored. Almost zero head. No lacing. On the nose, bitter coffee, lots of prominent malt, some light milk chocolate. Not much hop to speak of. A little bit of smoke. On the palate, more of the same. Sour and bitter coffee. The smoke is more prevalent. Lots of malt, but it's dry, not sweet at all. The flavor is almost that of a stout mixed with club soda, which is pretty true to style. Very bubbly. Good beer. Nothing stellar, but one of the better Sam Adams offerings.

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Photo of jman892
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours dark brown with some ruby highlights. Aggressive pour into a pint glass leads to a foamy, sticky head. Lots of lacing

S - A little bit of malt I guess, but really not much of a nose here. I'm struggling to pick up anything

T - Very subtle taste as well. Some sweet malts and a little bit of dark fruit.

M - Mouthfeel is middle of the road with moderate carbonation, pretty light bodied.

O - Another from the fall pack from Sam Adams. Very middle of the road beer. Just not a lot to say about this. It is what it is.

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Photo of oline73
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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

Pours out a real smooth black with a half inch of tan head. Only a few splotches of lace follow the beer down.

There is a nice roasted malt scent right out front. There is a hint of spice and vanilla. Touch of grass.

The taste follows the smell. Great roasted malt front. Slight mineral middle, smooth, slightly citric finish.

Pretty nice schwartzbier. Glad they packed it into their Autumn Sampler.

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Photo of tbern007
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, I am not sure what this style is supposed to be. So I'm rating this based more on personal preferences most likely.
A - dark nut brown. Ruby when lit from behind. Tan head, does not last a long time. Medium lacing.
S - malty, some hops, grainy. Roasty is the overall impression.
T - coffee, bitter chocolate, slight smoke, slightly sweet aftertaste. I think I'd call this a light porter if I had to characterize it based on what I've had thus far. Tasty.
M- dry, roast, finishes s little sweet. Different than what I've had. Not sure if it's spot on for style but interesting.
Overall I think it's drinkable but I think I'd rather just get a good porter.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark brown/black, one finger head, dissipates but comes back with some swirling.

S-Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate.

T-Lots of roasted malt along with some coffee and chocolate.

M-Medium bodied, with some carbonation.

O-Of the the Schwarzbiers this one is the best so far. Gotta love SA for making some of the lesser known styles and making them well to get into the style.

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

A solid black brown color with a reasonable sized light creamy tan head and good lacing. The nose finds deep nutty malt with a hint of molasses. Decent and relatively simple. The tongue detects lots more malt and molasses with raisin apricot hints. This is a medium bodied brew with a smooth, well carbonated and easy drinking feel. I get some brown bread and a vague charcoal ingredient. It’s a very serviceable brew.

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Photo of airforbes1
3.52/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with some dark red/brown that shows when held to the light. The head doesn't last very long. On the nose, I smell toasted malt and chocolate.

The taste is pretty sweet; I'm tasting milk chocolate, offset by slight bitterness at the end. Not a lot of carbonation, which makes it a smooth brew.

This beer doesn't amaze me, but it is solid and tasty. The problem is this beer is a tweener; it has just enough flavor to be on the sweet side and therefore loses drinkability, but doesn't have enough flavor to leave a lasting impression.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big creamy tan head, clearish ruby-brown body.

Tangy metallic nose, there's malt hidden under aluminum.

Taste is nice and roasty malt. Most of the metallic presence is gone, but there's still some tang from something. It's a shame, too because minus that, this would be quite a nice dark lager. It's still decent in spite of this. Maybe I have a skunky bottle.

Mouthfeel is kinda too cola-fizzy for the style.

Taking the good with the bad, this is pretty all right. I expect no less from Sam Adams.

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Photo of alexkeil
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one from the Harvest mix pack

Appearance is deep brown with ruby edges when held to the light. A tan head which lasted around the edges.

The smell is mild and hard to pick up: clean lager yeast with slight sulfur notes, only a hint of roasty malt.

The taste starts with the dominance of roasty malts, bready to toast, chocolate. The finish you're left with the roast and a residual sweetness.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, silky smooth with no astringency.

Overall a nice drinking beer, easily sessionable, appropriate any time.

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

A - Very dark, black, not quite completely opaque. There's a nice ruby hue near the edges of the glass. 1 finger of very light brown head. Fades to a layer of bubbles pretty quickly. Not really any lacing.

S - Dark malts, coffee, chocolate, some dark fruits like cherry, mostly cherry. Slight breadiness in the back. It almost smells 'crisp' if you can imagine it.

T - Rich sweet roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, caramel, it's all blending, essentially the flavor profile you would see in any stout. Slight hop bitterness with some mild piney flavors coming through.

M - Light bodied, which is an absolute shocker once you get that flavor on your tongue. It has all the full bodied flavor of a delicious stout but the body of a light lager. Amazing. Finish is fleeting, with bitter chocolate and dark malt aftertaste. Slightly drying.

O - Not at all what I was expecting. This beer is fantastic. It's a stout in lager form essentially. I have never had anything in this style before, so my ratings are purely on a self-biased scale, but once I get more from this style, I'll be sure to re-review it within it's own style.

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Photo of MrOH
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black with some red around the edges, quickly dissapating tan head. Some lace.

Munich malt and a little bit of noble hops.

Deep, sweet, roasty malt. Nice hop balance. A really great malt character, just enough roast to keep it from being a one trick pony. Good stuff.

Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Damn, that is tasty. A good lager for cooler weather.

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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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