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 philbertk
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Winter Sampler--Samuel Adams Black Lager--Brewmaster's Collection--2005 12 oz. Bottle. 4.90% ABV--20 IBU's? (4.25 / 5.0) Black Lager--Frothy lacy tan head. Clear dark bronze red black color. Mild roasted chocolate hop front. Creamy semi-sweet smooth roasted mild crusty caramel chocolate body. Smooth clean mild hop end. Tasty mild Black. Sampled 1/31/2006.

Samuel Adams Black Lager--Bewmaster's Collection--Mixed Pack Sampler--2007 12 oz. Bottle. 4.90% ABV--20 IBU's? (4.1 / 5.0) Black Lager. 6-Pack $6.99. Rich rocky lacy soft tan coffee head. Clear thin dark bronze red black color. Toasted mild chocolate floral Bavarian hop front. Silky smooth mild creamy cloying chocolate caramel toasted malty body. Light hop cloying malt smooth clean mild spice end. Sampled 9/9/2008.

Black Lager--Brewmaster's Collection--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 4.90% ABV--25 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) Black Lager--Pours a rich dense lacy tan good retention head. Clear dark black red ruby edge color. Roasted mild floral hop cocoa front. Malty rich dry sweet cloying lager smooth chocolate caramel roasted medium body. Smooth soft hop spice clean dry end. Big flavor.Mild fruit & Porter notes. Sampled 3/2/2010. 6-Pack $6.99.

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Photo of herman77
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with dark ruby highlights. Creamy and thick light tan head with great retention. Nice sheets of lacing.

S: Sweet carmel malt, a bit of chocolate. A touch of roastedness and a bit of earthy hops. The nose is pretty faint overall.

T: Mild chocolate malts are the main flavor mixed with some toasted carmel malt. Mild spicy hops near the finish to provide some bitterness and balance from the early sweetness. Not to shabby.

M: Medium to lighter body. Moderate carbonation. Thought it would be a little creamier by the appearance of the head.

D: Decent drinkability. Has a slight crispness to it. Never had a Schwazbeir, so its hard to compare it to anything really. It is different than a porter or stout, thats for sure.

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Photo of CBlack85
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of a fall seasonal mixed 12 pack. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Beer pours dark brown (nearly black) with lots of ruby and orange highlights when held up to the light. About three fingers worth of tan head with good retention, leaves moderate to light lacing. Not bad but it looks a little light for the style

The aroma is of roasted malts and coffee. There are also an earthy quality. Hints of dark semi sweet chocolate, and dark fruits give this beer a nice moderately sweet nose. Just the faintest hint of floral hops peeks through the big malty aroma. Really nice

Lots of roasted and chocolate malts. Coffee and caramel flavors compliment the big malty flavors very well. Very smooth and creamy, which gives a nice contrast to the roasted malts and coffee flavors. A little sweeter than some Schwarzbiers that I have had before, but not overpoweringly sweet, this beer has a nice balance of flavors, with no one of them being huge or overdone. The hop presence is noticable but not one of the key flavors in the beer; just a slight floral presence resting in the background. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated with an almost silky feeling on the tongue. Easy to drink.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams making an interesting variety (dark lager) not offered very often. It should be a fairly well-priced drinkable lager either way.

Black, as indicated in the name of the beer, with a lacking head formation, but slightly lacy hold onto the insides of the glass. The light doesn't reveal much change in opacity, but does offer a lighter amber brown hue, very rich.

I wanted to serve this beer cold, as I typically will do for the lager style in general. However, there isn't too much to smell when a beer is this cold. The aromatics are lacking, not necessarily something I would refuse to drink, but it's going to lose some points.
(given time...) Even with the beer warming up I'm not getting much out of it so I'm going to give it a score to reflect this lacking element.

Smooth dark beer and I would prefer to have it refreshingly cold. There isn't much more i'm trying to push from this style. A good swish allows me to experience some essential darkness which the beer is trying to bring, but it just doesn't have passion or funk like i'm used to. That being said, the beer is still slightly above average and is still preferred over many.

Rich and bold. Cold with waning carbonation. I would not want to let this beer sit out because it would likely be a dead syrup before it even got up to 50 degrees.

The beer went down pretty easily and quickly and I wouldn't mind having another. Typically I drink a stronger beer (2x-3x the ABV), but sometimes I can't make as much of a commitment to sucking down ethanol. The Harvest collection wasn't too bad, but I still see myself spending the money differently in the future.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a cola brown color. When held to the light there are tons of red highlights. One finger tna head shows poor retention and dies rather quickly. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice light roasted malts combine with a caramel malt. There is a light hopping in the backing of this that shows some light earthy aroma. Plain and simple yet a little muted which I can't complain about but wish showed a little more.

T- Sweet caramel malts clash with light chocolate notes before roasted malts take over it all. A light bitter hop bite on the back of this and you have what is a wonderful tasting beer. I was quite surprised at this one. Simple to the point and very good.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light roasted malts are left on the palate with light alcohol in the aftertaste. Overall flavor is well balanced and a crisp and clean tasteas well. Light drying on the palate after each sip.

D- This is a very drinkable beer. The ABV is well hidden overall. The only downfall is that the aroma is a little muted. Overall a good drinking beer by Sam Adams.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. This is only my second schwarzbier so take it for what its worth.

Look: dark brown with red highlights. Its dark red when held to the light. The head is beige colored with two fingers. It retains relatively well but doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: dark malts dominate the smell of this one. I smell some burnt malt or sugar in there too. It smells kind of like a porter. I can't really smell the hops.

Taste: dark and heavily roasted, even burnt, malt dominates the flavor. There's some hops in the finish but they are very mild.

Feel: very dry finish along with an astringent bite. Surprisingly bitter. Medium bodied.

Drink: I don't think this is something you would want to have more than one of.

Overall, I'm not the biggest fan of this. Maybe I don't like the style but this was just unpleasant at times to drink because of the dryness. Worth a drink if you get the variety pack.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a off light brown head of 3" on top of a nice dark black body. I smell a a hint of chocolate. It has a great taste of chocolate and dark nuts and hops. Also taste as beer warms up is a little berry and hops. It is not as heavy as i thought and i think that makes it have a nice mouth feel and is drinkable.

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

This dark, reddish-brown beer pours with ~1.5 fingers of light brown head which retains quite well. The head is frothy, but the beer is so dark that I can't see much carbonation. Lacing is quite good.

I detect notes of honey and caramel over a smoky chocolate malt that features spicy hops and a hint of dark berries and nuts. I would describe the smell as both sweet and earthy.

The chocolate, nut, and dark berry notes hit me first. A lingering sweetness features the aforementioned caramel and the hops add a bit of zest as the sensation fades. The berry and caramel notes stick out a bit more as the beer warms.

This medium-bodied beer leaves a wonderful warming sensation in my mouth. The amount of sweetness is just about right, as it doesn't adversely affect the mouthfeel by adding excessive density (i.e. the syrup-like consistency associated with excess sugar).

With well-hidden alcohol, earthy sweetness, and great mouthfeel, I find this beer to be quite drinkable. I suppose it would qualify as a nice session beer for an autumn evening.

I'm not too familiar with this style, but I did enjoy this beer. It's enjoyable at all temperatures, as the transition seems to make certain characteristics stick out more than others all while retaining good balance. I expect quality beers from the folks at Sam Adams and this beer doesn't disappoint. I would have to compare it to other Black Lagers/Schwarzbeirs for a more accurate intra-style comparison, but I would definitely get this one again regardless of the outcome.

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Photo of Dadoftwogirls
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was not enamored with this beer. It pours great, looks great in the glass so I was expecting big things. However, for me, something is missing. It had a slight bitterness and a slight aftertaste that just didn't appeal to my taste buds. I could probably have a couple and maybe with a good heavy meal it might pair well. However, unless it was free, or the only thing available, I couldn't see myself having a session with this offering.

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

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights. The glass is filled with bubbles, initially creating an appearance similar to a highly carbonated cola. The bubbles and head recede after a few moments, leaving a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is considerably weaker than the taste. Sweet malts at first, with a subtle hint of roast.

T: This beer is a pleasant surprise, and certainly more enjoyable than I had hoped for or expected. There are nice flavors of cocoa, black coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt. The beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness, which helps to round out the overall flavor presentation. Well done.

M: Medium bodied and thicker feeling than I expected from a >5% beer.

D: A good representation of the style. I would drink it again.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.22/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Fairly dark, it is a schwarzbier afterall, but light still shines through. A slightly copper hue when it is held up to the light.

S - Hmm. A medicinal smell. Not pleasant or attractive.

T - I like the taste for it being a schwarzbier, but only because I usually do not like the sweet maltness of the German schwarzbiers that I have had. This does not have any sweetness to it, which I like.

M - Very carbonated.

D - The smell seemed to die off as I drank the glass so it was not as off-putting as the first few drinks were. The carbonation was annoying too. Still, I liked the taste.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber to a black color with a tan head. In the aroma, light roasty coffee, yet still lager like. In the taste, hints of coffee, dry chocolate, and a hint of caramel sweetness. A small bite, with a light to medium bodied mouthfeel, with a semi dry coffee and light caramel stickiness in the aftertaste. Still quite lager-ish, ok, but nothing too exciting.

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Photo of Reaper16
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Pours a porter-like cola brown color. Not really much viscosity when you swirl the body around in the glass; it looks like a lighter beer. One and a half fingers of thin, beige head sit on top.

This beer smells like some Cocoa Puffs brand cereal drizzled with a bit of honey and eaten with some berries. All that's missing is some lactose sugar and this would be breakfast in a glass. A touch of pecan comes out as the beer warms.

Flavors of cocoa powder and crusty bread. A tiny bit of blackberry runs underneath the malts. This is quite dry, which helps those chocolate malts take on the powdery sort of flavor. There is some astringency that is reminiscent of a roast character, only there isn't much roasted malt flavor to speak of here.

The mouthfeel seems spot-on for the style. It is light and allows the carbonation to play a significant role. This is a pretty drinkable beer, then. Light but not wanting for flavor.

Pretty nice little schwarzbier you've got here, Boston Beer Co. A fine example of the style. This is likely the highlight of the Brewmaster's Collection six-pack that I bought on-sale (other beers are the Irish Red and the Coastal Wheat).

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Photo of taigor
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A - Pours dark, almost black non-transparent color with medium head that dissipates quickly leaving average lacing around the glass.

S - Almost non-existent but slight hint of roasted malts and honey.

T - Starts off sweet but very quickly turns to dark chocolate and coffee bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very enjoyable fall beer and very balanced overall. Would definitely like to get more in the future.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown, almost blackened with an inch of fluffy head.

S - You get slight grain roasted semi burnt coffee and dark chocolates in the nose.

T - The grain bitterness clashes very well with the coffee and chocolate flavors. Finishes sweet and light.

M - Light to medium bodied. Pretty nice.

D - Well I have a couple more but it was nice to succession a couple of these back to back. Would not be off putting to have again in a variety pack again.

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Photo of TicksAndLeeches
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Deep almost black amber color. off-white head and light carbonation.

S- Smells sweet. hints or roasted malts and chocolate.

T- Tastes sweet with a light hoppy flavor. strong hints of chocolate followed but a coffee-like aftertaste. Goes down smooth.

M- medium body and light carbonation.

D- This beer is a bit heavy and i started to feel full after one. i would have had another though.

I got the Black Lager in the Sam Adams harvest collection and it was one of the ones i liked the most. i enjoyed the chocolate and coffee notes in it and i will probably pick up a 6 pack of i see it.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.49/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of the Harvest Collection twelve pack. Poured into a stemmed beer glass. Dark brown color with an off-white head. Smell was very off putting. Had a buttery, sour smell to it. Almost like a hint of sulfur. Not a fan of the aroma. The beer did not taste bad though. Nice roasted coffee flavors with just a slight amount of bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel was just thick enough so that it felt like it had a good body. Maybe I got a bad bottle, but the smell was disappointing. But I know I've had this beer in the past in six packs and liked it. So I'd probably buy it again sometime in the future.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adams sensory glass

I was given this beer when visiting a buddy of mine. It pours a very dark color, but my assumption of a black lager was black, and I can sure as heck see some red in here. The aroma was a lot fainter that I would have anticipated. There are the smells of a dark roasted coffee as well as some chocolate notes. The taste has similar notes to the smell, and it is just as mild. I for some reason seem to taste a bit of corn syrup in the taste, though it may be due to the caramel roast being as weak as it is. It is not bitter at all as I would have expected and it seem to go down very easily. A nice light black lager if I do say so.

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

Review is from notes taken on 10/17/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a pretty dark cola brown and it shows some dark ruby highlights when held to the light; starts with a 1/2 finger off-whtie head that fades quickly to a fizzy, incomplete skim; while the body is dark, I can still see through it so the clarity is good as well; shows moderately strong carbonation; only a few spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Smell is light in strength; presents some burnt toasty graininess and light burnt caramel; very slight hints of chocolate. Not very impressive, but not bad, either.

Taste: Very lager-esque with some dark, burnt toasty grains; very mild hop presence; bottle claims a very clean finish and it lives up to that -- virtually no aftertaste; very light and sweet cola/chocolate malt presence. Again, not especially impressive, but not awful.

Mouthfeel: Body is light, and it's not as if lagers typically have anything heavier to offer, but this feels a little thin, even watery; carbonation is soft, a little too soft for my liking in this particular style; a fairly thick (surprisingly so) semi-dry coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not too shabby, but the style itself is a bit plain to warrant too much excitement fro me; not heavy at all and a lower ABV certainly wouldn't prohibit this from being used as a session beer; I certainly wouldn't turn it down, but I likely wouldn't say, "Oh, hey! Look! SA Black Lager! I'm gonna get me some!"

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a BN army pint glass.

A- Deep dark brownish red color. Poured a thick head that reduced but stuck around. Slight lacing up the glass.

S- Hard to detect the roasted malt at first, but becomes present as it warms. Some off putting acidic? aromas.

T- rich roasted malt flavor, hint of chocolate. Finishes dry and a little bitter.

M- medium bodied and smooth much like a boston lager.

D- Nice fall session beer. Goes well with the harvest mix pack it comes it.

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Photo of bourbonbock
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a clean pint glass.

A. Looks black until held up to the light and then you can see a reddish amber hue from the other side. There is some lacing at each sip down the glass however it is not much.

S. Malts, roasted and not, perhaps a slight smell of hops and a lager yeast in the background.

T. Very mild taste compared to what I was expecting. I can taste caramels and chocolates and some some spiciness.

M. Light and lagerish with carbonation on the back of the tongue. Leaves a film in the mouth after swallowing.

D. I probably would not pick this up again. Its not bad but just not my kind of beer.

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Photo of beergod1
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams Pint Glass a Deep Dark Brown to Black in color with Tan/Creamy head. Aroma was of chocolate and caramel malts. Great chocolate and toasted caramel malt flavor.Very creamy smooth mouth feel, Medium body, and pleasant to the palate. Hops were there at the finish for a nice crisp clean ending, but still a nice malty aftertaste that left me wanting more. Not a typical German Schwarzbier, But Americanized wonderfully. I haven't bought this in yrs. I can't believe I didn't rate this yet, but my neighbor don't like it, so he gave it to me....Thanx Neighbor.

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Photo of Kooz
2.84/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass. Nice color, nice head. Head dissipates quickly, but not completely. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Bitter smell. No thanks.

Tastes okay, but not special. Spicy. To me, this was a bit unexpected from a dark beer. Not unpleasant, but nothing too special either.

Pretty decent mouthfeel. Sam Adams usually gets this right. It's creamy and good. It's just a little too sharp for my tastes though.

This is a fairly drinkable darker beer, but it also has nothing much in common with dark beers except the color. I'm not huge on this one.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into SA pint glass.

A - The appearance is like the name of the beer implies, black. When held up to the light there is a slight reddish hue. Also pours a decent head and good lacing along the glass.

S - The roasted malts are very present in the smell. Also picking up some chocolate and caramel notes.

T - Very nice flavor, good balance of sweet caramel and roasted malts.

M - Very good mouth feel. Not to heavy, definitely an easy drinker

D - Very drinkable beer. This particular bottle came out of the harvest pack but I would pick this up as a stand alone sixer for sure

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours solid black with a big, tan head that just screams "drink me!"

Smell: Has a strong roasted malt aroma with very little hop presence.

Taste: Has a very nice malty flavor that reminds me of a mix of coffee and chocolate. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Has a mild body. Nothing too special here one way or the other.

Drinkability: By the time I got to the end of the glass, it was getting a little tough to finish. Having one would be good from time to time, but I couldn't drink it all the time.

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