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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,660 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: 2,660 |  Reviews: 1,466
Photo of Jerone
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a tan head that sticks around, bubbles coming up, and pretty good lacing.

S - Smell is of roasted malts maybe some caramel.

T - Roasted malts with a caramel and slight cocoa/coffee flavor, the ending is slightly bitter.

M - Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

O - I like it. great fall or winter beer.

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Photo of fsvan
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into imperial pint glass.

A- Black, but not jet black. Dark copper around the edges. 3 fingers of off white head fades quickly.

S- Roasted malts. Dark chocolate. A chalky quality to it. Smells of a nice schwarzbier.

T- In line with the smell. Nice roasted malts up front, dark chocolate following. A very mild bitterness. Nice, big flavors for the style.

M- On the heavy side of medium. Nicely carbonated. Slight thickness causes flavors to linger.

O- This is one of my favorite beers in Sam Adam's lineup. I'm not sure why more craft brewers don't have a go at the style, but I would like to see that change.

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Photo of Portertime
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer i do not see often but when I do it is a treat for me. I very enjoy Sam Adams' version of this style of beer.

Apperance - the typical Schwarzbeir thin coffee look with a mild head.

Smell - very pleasant hints of milk chocolate, mocha, and toastiness.

Taste - very rich with a velvetyness and nice hop backing. Mocha malts and an almost milk stout quality but much milder.

One of my favorite American Schwarzbiers. I recommend this to anyone who want to try a dark beer but is not ready for a heavy roasted coffee and big hoppiness of most stouts and porters.

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Photo of bpw28
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Two finger tan shaving cream head, dark brown with ruby highlights, pretty good lacing

Smell: Big hop spiciness, floral, lighter roast nose (of the style I'm pretty sure), cocoa, pipe smoke

Taste: Big malt, cocoa, light coffee, spices, light floral, very smooth. It's got a nice punch of malt that smooths out to a nice hop backbone.

Final Thoughts: Pretty good and of the style if I remember it correctly. It's worth the buy.

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

A - Pours a black coloer with a finger of off-white head. Nice retention.

S - Smells of roasted malts and sweet caramel.

T - Taste is very sweet with caramel, but also with lots of roasted malt flavor. Finishes with a toffee-like flavor. The toffee/caramel finish also includes a suggestion of smoke. Very pleasant.

M - Medium light body, with average carbonation and a mellow finish.

O - Overall a nice Schwarzbier. A style I greatly enjoy, and a perfectly adequate take on it.

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

Nice black color that reveals some ruby undertones with backlight; the tan head forms to a modest amount then fades away. Smell is nice with the roasted malt coming through, as are the noble hops, though neither are heavy-handed. Smooth profile with full body (though not heavy). The roastiness is more present than what I’m familiar with in the style (Kostritzer), so it tastes even more porter-like than I would have guessed. The finish cuts dry, bitter, and clean, aiding in drinkability. Up front, the malts work together in producing a really tasty profile of both roasted malts and more fresh bread/doughy hints. The hops appear most notably in the finish, when there’s a good herbal hop hit to cut through any lingering sweetness.

Samuel Adams has crafted a tasty black lager here. When the temps drop again, I’ll be sure to pick up more of these.

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Photo of Ruger
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Almost completely black poured with a one inch tan head with light lacing around the glass.

S - Not much to smell besides roasted malts and hops.

T - Coffee and a little bit of chocolate, malts then hops to finish it off extremely pleasant after taste.

M - Extremely smooth good carbonation very pleasent on a warm Florida night.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not a heavy dark beer.

Almost black in color, forms a brown head when poured into a glass.

The smell is of roasted malts and chocolate.

Taste is mild. Sweet at first, finishes with some bitterness. Mostly malts with hints of chocolate/coffee.

Mouthful is amazing.

Overall, a tasty and satisfying dark beer. Not too heavy, but probably not a beer you would want to drink a whole lot of either.

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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 jillmart
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Practically black with a healthy, frothy head when poured into a glass.

Smell: It's quite subtle, but it's got a roasted malt smell with a hint of chocolate.

Taste: The initial taste of chocolate is what reeled me in. It has a hint of coffee, but it's not strong. It ends up kind of dry, which isn't really my style.

Mouthfeel: Kind of carbonated.

Overall: It's not strong on the smell, and it doesn't have a deep, flavorful punch, but it's a tasty beer and serves its purpose well. It's actually refreshing for a dark beer, which is good for someone like me who loves dark beers but doesn't really want something that heavy in the summertime. This is a mighty fine beer option when you're at a bar surrounded by Miller Lite-like options.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of matty
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark blak beer with a rapidly fading creamy head.Aroma is cocoa and weak coffee.Taste is chocolate,coffee,sweet cream and a pinch of caramel.Overall a pretty good beer that despite it's dark color is probably best suited for the warmer months.I would recommend and would purchase again.

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Photo of snglmltrblnd84
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Black Lager is overall a pretty good beer. It has a solid one inch thick head with a deep black/amber color. It doesn't feel as heavy as the color would suggest. The Black Lager has a smooth finish with a raisin like after taste. The first thing that I notice about the flavor is mocha. This beer reminds me a lot of prune juice. At first it may not be very enjoyable to some but it quickly grows on you. I may not buy it again but I am glad that I did at least once.

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

This pours a very dark brown with a centimetre of beige head.

For me the nose is mostly milk chocolate. A little caramel and a touch of smokiness.

Lots of milk chocolate on the palate and a touch of dark fruit too. A bit of spicey hoppiness.

A bit thin in the mouth.

Other than mouthfeel this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

smells malty, toffee, and roasty, quite lovely really.

this beer really is BLACK. almost opaque. have to hold it right up to the light to see through. a nice deep tan head.

tastes roasty. tastes a little sweet. big roasted malt flavor, a little caramel too. there is a sourness there reminiscent of guiness, like maybe they are trying to clone their extra stout(it does look that way looking at the glass.) but i wonder if there wasn't some bret used to sour the mash??

a nice soft beer. big mouth feel, but the carbonation lends it a softness. a teddy bear in a glass.

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Photo of bamojr
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark caramel color in the light and dark black color not in direct light. thick creamy tan head that hangs on for a good long time. Smells nice and malty with some sweet and skunky notes. Very malty and subtle sweet flavors. Has that good punchy roasted taste to round out for that familiar black beer flavor. A perfect amount of carbonation really finishes this one off. I am very impressed and as usual Samuel Adams keeps me coming back for more.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really deep brown color with a pretty strong head on it. The aromas of some roasted malts and caramel are on the nose along with some hops. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it. There's a light burnt flavor in there too. The mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I expected. Overall pretty good beer.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: Very dark brown in color. Streaks of ruby red at the edges when held up to the light. A finger and a half of tan head with decent retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Light aroma of roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of hops. Not much going on here and rather lackluster.

Taste: Things pick up a bit here. Roasted and caramel front end with a dark, fruity middle. Finishes clean with a light coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side of things, and with rather high carbonation.

Drinkability/Overall: Very sessionable and easy drinking. Flavor is good, just not very bold.

Final Notes: Pretty good beer, but nothing spectacular. Very sessionable and pretty "run-of-the-mill." Great introduction to the world of dark beer for beginners.

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Photo of TacoSaladin
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown (almost black) with lighter brown hues (given a well lit room). A thick tan creamy head with great retention. Beautiful lacing which remained for the duration of the beer.

The smell is smooth of roasted malts with a hint of chocolate. Overall it is clean and crisp but it is not all that 'loud'.

Medium body which is very consistent to the style with a good level of carbonation. The initial taste is of chocolate roasted malts with a crisp finish (on the dry side).

Very solid beer! This is a great choice if you want the feel and taste of a traditional stout without the heavier body (as a black lager should be).

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

The nicest beer I've enjoyed while in Mexico! Importation label lists 5.0% ABV, but also refers to this as a "Schewarzbier" so can perhaps be taken with a grain of salt.

Beautiful dark colour, almost black with burgundy highlights. Perfectly clear with a nice head. Subtle aromas, but delightful full-bodied taste : roasted malts with caramelized coffee undertones. Not as sweet as the schwarzbier I remember from Germany, with a pleasantly dry finish.

Becoming even more delightful as the beer warms up to a proper temperature.

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Photo of JRed
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with reddish edges and an off white head that lasts. Weak aroma of cinnamon, prunes, medicinal notes, maple. Tastes of maple, cinnamon, prunes, some hop presence toward the finish but a lasting medicinal tang takes over in the aftertaste. Light body with medium carbonation. Tangy with spice but a lil too much.

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Photo of tkepx182
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a pleasant dark lager. I was surprised by the burnt taste of the hops and thought that it brought a nice flavor addition to what would have been a normal lager. It seemed to be a nice mix of my two favorite beers, stouts and lagers. I enjoyed this beer and will miss it when I finish the 6 pack.

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Photo of mikedevilsfan
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from a bottle. Very dark pour with a nice beige head. No lacing to speak of. Slight malt aroma. Beer has a crisp chocolate/caramel taste with no real noticeable finish. Solid Lager, one of the best I have had in a while, would definitely buy again.

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Photo of bayougutter
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz'er into a tulip and it poured black with brown highlights. Little off white head that didn't last long at all. aromas of chared malts, caramel, with some hop scents as well. Taste was roasted malts at front then caramel, then dark fruits ie; fig. It was balanced out by a little hoppiness at the finish.

Overall a nice refreshing brew that has an aftertaste that reminded me of a smooth porter. It lack a decent head and a little thin on the mouthfeel or I would have reviewed higher, but the taste was very nice indeed.

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Photo of MadCat
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another from a Sam Adams mixed six pack. I've had this way before I joined BA, and I'm impressed that I still enjoy this after that much time. Some Sam Adams beers have been disappointing revisiting them.

Appearance: Just as black as any Russian imperial stout, not too much head, but leaves some lacing

Smell: Good roasted malt smell, with some coffee and caramel hints

Taste: More roasted malts, coffee and caramel hints. Some spicy hints, along with pumpernickel.

Mouthfeel: A little watery with medium carbonation

Overall: Very good, reminds you of a stout or porter, but with some differences. I appreciate Boston Beer Co. producing an uncommon style like this, and doing a good job with it.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer pours a dark brown color. It produced a decent off white head with above average head retention. Very nice amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma of the Schwarzbier had notes of burnt malt, caramel and chocolate. It has a nice medium body and is malty and hints of carmel. There was also some sweetness that balanced this beer out. This is a nice example of a Schwarzbier- It is a little sweet but it would be a great "starter" beer to give someone. This will work for a warm spring or summer weekend.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,660 ratings