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

1,434 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 1,434 | Ratings: 2,554
Photo of twelvsies
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really solid beer all around. I heard it was a new product so I deicided to pick some up when I saw it at the store and I'm glad I did. Pours a very dark brown, almost black as the label suggests, but not opaque, you can deifnately see through the sides, a tint of red there too. Small head. Smell and taste are really spot on for the style, which I am newly getting accostomed to and liking a lot. I pick up a nice creamy milky character, nice burnt malts, and spicy dusty notes which I really love. Almost dirty smelling but in a good way. Really great smooth mouthfeel. I think I'll be adding this beer to the regular rotation. Go try it if you haven't yet.

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Photo of clemtig76
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been anxiously awaiting to try this brew ever since reading about it in BA. Finally found it as part of a brewmasters collection six pack. Pours a beautiful mahogany brown (almost black) with a thin, dark tan head. Aroma is of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Taste is pretty much the same, it could use a little more hop bitterness however. An outstanding offering from the guys at Sam Adams! I wish there was more than two of them in the six.

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Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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 kmo1030
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

dark brown with a thinish tan head, that fades. toasted aroma with chocolate and a bit of coffee. clean chocolate and caramel sweetness, attempt at balance with a little toasted cofee, and a little hops. a little buttery in the back. gets a little more interesting as it warms. medium bodied but a little soda like in the mouth, but this doesn't detract too much. pretty drinkable and a good attempt by sam adams to attract their audience to something a little out of the ordinary.

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

I've had a few bottles of this one out on the town, and also purchased a sixpack. I think this is the last of that, oh well. Pleasantly surprised by this one, I thought it was a pretty decent offering, especially by a US brewery of a style that not just anybody brews up on a regular basis. Pretty dark cola in color, but there's some nice reddish highlights in the bottom of my glass. Head when poured was like 1.2 inches thick, but has since died down to the top of the brew, very thin now. I think the aroma is the most 'authentic' aspect of this is right on as a German Schwartzbier. Rich malt, natural breadi/yeastiness that has a prescence, but isn't overwhelming. Tastewise, the first sip is really good, nice and malty. Seems to get a wee bit sweeter while drinking, but really an easy beer to turn into a session when you don't want to go overboard. Medium mouthfeel. I'd get it again.

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Photo of jp32
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice black color. Very dark, almost pitch black. It also has a great brown extra-frothy head topping off the glass. Smells of chocolate, molasses, maple syrup, and burnt toast tantalize my nose. The taste is very similar to the aroma, with hints of caramel malts and a load of coffee adding to the collection of intense flavors and scents. The taste also finishes clean with no lingering bad aftertaste. The mouthfeel is just shy of a heavy-bodied beer. It goes down very smooth. My glass was emptied much sooner than I expected. I am highly impressed by this beer, and I'm sure it will soon make its way in front of me again. CHEERS!

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm excited to try this one. I've been enjoying schwarzbiers more lately. It pours a rubied dark-brown color wtih a 2 finger head that falls to coat the beer generously. Its a touch light in color for my liking. The nose is robust, with a bit of roasted nuttyness and a very nice roasted maltyness, maybe a touch of coffee. The flavor is nice as well. Slight coffee, fairly healthy roasted nuttyness. Not a bad brew. The feel is moderate to full with a medium carbonation. I think I am going to have to grab a full 6 of this beer. I could be happy to drink this one often.

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Photo of horshack7
4.6/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours very black with a brwon hue which I thought was a thing of beauty. The head was very frothy and creamy.

Taste: Very malty slightly chocolaty with hints of caramel. Slightly burnt hops and malts and a nice balnce of hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Mildly bubbly yet smooth full bodied.

Notes: Jim Koch did very well with this one simply an amazing beer very drinkable to get one through a cold winter night. Cheers

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Photo of Bighuge
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear and deep burgandy appearance. Thin cropping of bubbly tan foam. Lacing iis adequate. Nice tones of chocolate, roast, vanilla and caramel on the nose. Really solid nose. The flavors aren't quite as nice as I was expecting from the nose, but they are good. A nice combo platter of roasted bitterness, baker's chocolate and sweet caramel. The mouthfeel is slightly prickly. Body about medium. It's good to see another enjoyable schwarzbier on the shelves.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Purchased as part of a mixed “brewer’s collection” six-pack. It begins as a 12 oz brown bottle with August 2005 freshness date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Brownish red tone around the black liquid. Had a slow rising, thick, tan head that had excellent retention, which left pretty lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Just chock full of roast toasty/burnt malts, with a whoping amount of chocolate and caramel

Taste & Mouth Feel: Very mild roasted/burned malts with a hefty amount of sweet malts. Caramel, chocolate, and molasses help give it a really full-bodied nature. There may be some floral hops in there, but hard to discern with the malt masterpiece.

Drinkability & Notes: Very drinkable, however, with the amount of sugariness, I’d need to cut it with eating something, preferably desert. Although initially finishes clean, the last few drops lingered, leaving a sweet aftertaste. Not overly bad, but cuts back on its session beer qualities.

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

Pours a nice dark color can see thru it as a dark red when held to the light nice tan head that falls to a foam cap that laces.
Aroma is malty caramel, chocolate hints of expresso spice and hops pleasant but little light.
Taste is nice rich roasted malt mix with caramel and chocolate very nice. Carbonation brings forth the coffee flavors that mix with a spicey dose of hops for a nice lingering finish.
Mouthfeel is a solid medium nice amount of carbonation adds to the flavor nice smooth little beer.
Drinkability is good only my second of this style should have rated the first better but didn't know so at that time. This beer is fine little lager I would recommend you atleast try. Its nice to have a dark beer thats almost light and refreshing.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle tells me that for brewery fresh taste I need to purchase it before August of '05...ok, fine.

Appearance: A cola-like pour with ruby edges. A nice crusty two-finger head forms at the top of my pint glass.

Smell: Not much going on in this department. Faint wheat bread and carmel noted but nothing else.

Taste: Smoky, roasty, oatmeal, and some walnut notes going on here. A sweeter, slightly carmel finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and kind of prickly due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: I think this is a marvelously quaffable beer. This may be a good "intro" beer to those macro lovers that might have an inclination towards darker beers.

Nice to see that Sam Adams can still make some goodies while still catering to the masses. Recommended.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.53/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark brown mahogany nearing black. Tan head is impressive. Lingers and laces. Aroma of cookie-dough with hints of roasted malt, sweet and toasty. Aroma actually reminds me of Kalamazoo stout. Flavor begins with an awesome light caramel, cocoa, leather, and chocolate all perfectly rounded and balanced. Slightly roasty. Lager yeast leaves a small gap in the flavor profile. Medium-bodied and rediculously smooth. Cocoaish finish makes me want more.

One hell of a beer.

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Photo of Stimack
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured to a very dark brown color, maybe even black in color with some light filtering through. It was poured with a fair sized light brown head that broke down quite quickly but left nice rings of lace down the entire brew. The aromas of this brew are nice; solid chocolate and roasted malt flavors that might even be leaning to a burnt smell. The taste is definitely of roasted malts along with a chocolate flavor that seems to me as being quite smooth. Also notice a nice slight hop taste at the end that goes very nice with this brew, think you could completely miss it unless you are looking for it. Over all I think this is a real good brew, will get some more as I feel that the taste of this will appeal to some of my less adventurous friends.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz, longneck, brown glass bottle, capped, "best by" month notch on label.

This black beer poured a clear, dark, chestnut red-brown color with creamy, tan foam that persisted and clung to the glass a fair amount. The smell was dark malt with a bit of molasses. The taste was lightly sweet malt with a touch of molasses and caramel and a hint of yeast. Very low hop presence. The mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy with medium body and modest carbonation. There was a mildly malty aftertaste. This was a pretty good schwarzbier, but perhaps just a tad too sweet.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours into the pint glass a ruby black with a tan head about 1/2 inch high. Slight lacing. Aromatic toasty malty chocolatey the smell. Tastes malty sweet with chocolate notes and crisp like a lager (like I'm drinking a crisp stout). Little hop taste at all though some must be there to provide what little balance there is. Mouthfeel is creamy and sweet. Nice carbonic bite in the finish. The roasted maltiness is felt throughout. The only thing that keeps this from being a top notch session brew is the sweetness...that would start to wear on the palate after two beers.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought the mixed 12 pack to get this baby and the Scotch Ale. I really like the Scotch Ale and this stuff is not half-bad either...

Pours dark mahogany with ruby highlights and an off white head that is fairly short-lived but leaves thick lacing in its wake.

Aroma is malt and some faint hops, charcoal, faint notes of bread dough.

Taste is balanced, not sweet yet not too dry, notes of espresso, some charcoal, faint yeast notes, some hop bittering definitely not Cascades though I can't place the type yet ... european? Short balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin though not so bad that it is mark against the brew. I find this beer superbly balanced and easy to drink.

Some potential as a session beer. Very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this Brewmaster’s Collection release the moment I saw it. Brown longneck bottle with a notched in freshness date of Aug 2005, so no worries about freshness here.

Clear body with a dark reddish brown color that was not quite black, but was much darker than any other style of lager. The head was small and fleeting, and lacing was sparse.

The smell was roasted coffee with spicy hop notes. The taste was dry and bittersweet, with clean caramelized and chocolate malt providing a creamy palette. Quite thin in the mouth, this did not have the robust stickiness of a porter. Very refreshing however, and would not be too difficult to down a couple at a sitting.

My first Schwarzbier, so I was not quite sure what to expect. Looking through the BJCP guidelines, I think Boston Beer Company’s product meets all the requirements.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly strong, moderately sweet dark roasted malt aroma mixed in with some thick chocolate syrup. Dense, foamy, hazelnut colored head leaves a sheet of lace. Deep brown colored beer with a cola colored hue around the edges. Dark roasted and chocolate malt carries over into the mild flavor and mixes in with a bit of marshmallow. Dry roasted malt finish. Body is on the light side; mouthfeel is kind of a mix between soft and watery. Reminds me a bit of a dry stout; quite tasty.

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Photo of frazbri
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black body with deep mahogany accents, short cream colored head. Homemade carmel corn and chocolate aromas. Toffee flavors, slightly fruity with a little coffee flavor and rounded out by bitterness. Medium body, moderate carbonation with a slightly dry finish.

This is a solid offering from Sam. It was slightly fruitier than I expected, which didn't make it bad, it just made it more porter like. I'm glad to see Boston Beer continue to make seasonal brews, instead of just pushing Sam Light.

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

I didn't know what to expect from this Schwarzbier style. But I had to try it and see exactly what was going on there. It was a nice black/amber huge, with a small light brown head with very little retention. But it presents itself well! Sweet smelling with chocolate and roasty smells. A nice grainy mouthfeel and nice chocolate and roasted malt taste with a hint of burnt wood. Very very impressed, I will definitely pick up a six pack again soon.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
2.85/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Didn't know what to expect, but overall not a bad beer from "micro-Sam" Couldn't get Porter out of my head as I waited for the beer to settle, still kinda can't (by apperance). Chocolatey taste, then nothing, very hollow. This is the type of beer you won't mind having a couple of-basically just to get rid of. Not overly disappointing but will not buy again.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black-brown with a moderate tan head.
Scents of charcoal and toffee waft from the foam
Tastes mirror the aroma - smoke, caramel and coffee - standard stuff for a beer this dark. Not too bitter. Nicely balanced.
Smooth, no significant bite.
Certainly drinakable. The Stout character is tempered by it's lager roots

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Photo of oberon
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
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 ADR
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Included in the recent variety pack. Clear dark brown with mahogany highlights in bright light. Head levels out quickly, big bubbles help it fall in about 50 seconds. Laces minimally, fat strings on one side of the glass. Roasty aroma but not burnt, like a well done glazed pork roast, sweetened by a caramel impact. Medium mouthfeel but lively carbonation. Flavor is pleasant, balanced by dusty hop and a mild astringency, however malts win the day early with chocolate infused whole grains and caramelized sugar. Comes off as a drinkable brew to me, maybe a touch too sweet in early impression and aroma.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,554 ratings.
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