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

2,554 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: 2,554 |  Reviews: 1,434
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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Photo of kwjd
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with thick off-white head and nice lacing around the glass. Smells of some mild roasted malt and chocolate. Flavour has a nice bitterness and caramel sweetness with some of the roast coming through. Medium body, fairly smooth. Quite a nice black lager. I haven't had any other Schwarzbiers before, but I really enjoy this.

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Photo of stoudt
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being impressed with the other offerings I've tried by Sam Adams, I just had to try this.
A-As expected, black unless back-lit, then becomes a deep reddish-brown, almost as a cedar knot.
S-Surprisingly mild for the colour. Was expecting very forward roasts in there, instead mostly of caramel and mild mocha.
T-Again, mild for this dark of a beer. Very good though, very subtle but still complex. Doesn't jolt the taste buds, gives you time to ponder and appreciate.
M-For me, just wonderful, beautiful balance of carbonation and flavour.
D-Light enough to enjoy a few. Just boozy enough to relax and enjoy.

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Photo of revolt914
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say Samuel Adams never fails to deliver with me and it's beers. All Samuel Adams have given me good experience.

A: Dark in color with brown around the edge of the glass. Nice off white head and a little lacing around the top of my glass.

S: I have to put this down to a little above average cause when you're drinking other dark lagers like Chatoe Rogue First Growth, Sprecher Black Bavarian, and even Shiner's Bohemian Black you get very strong and noticeable smell... this I feel lacked in over all excitement.

T: Tasted very good with a decent smoker finish that I knew i would enjoy... not my go to with the schwarzbier style but a close second.

M: Fairly creamy, which wasn't bad but was unexpected. I find myself enjoying a thinner beer in this category but the thickness of this was very welcome in comparison.

D: Very drinkable as are most Samuel Adams beers. I think they are going for the buy a 6 pack or case and sit down and enjoy it finish to their beers. I really love to have these at relatively normal parties that way not to many people ask for one of your beers but the ones that do, you know will enjoy it.

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

Look - black (obviously) in color until held up to the light, where it gets a slight shade of brown. About and inch of head. Carbonation seems good.

Smell - Somewhat hoppy in character, with a slight caramel flavor.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Definitely herbal or earthy in taste, but without the bitterness, which is only slightly felt as it finishes. I wasn't able to smell it, but I can taste a hint of the chocolate malts that the label claims. The Nobel hops can also be noticed, mostly in that the hoppiness is "different" than with most American beers. Very well-balanced in texture, but slightly more toward the watery side. Seems like a good historical or definitive example.

Drinkability - good brew and easy to drink and appreciate. Complex enough to enjoy, good tasting, and more toward the lighter side...less filling.

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Photo of Blanco
3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well it's not black but it's pretty close. dark chocolate brown with a light tan head. It's pretty good looking poured in the recommended flute (well not quite a flute, but a tall skinny ommegang glass). It's practically scentless. Taste is definitely more lager-esque than I expected. There really isn't any roasty, toastiness from the malts in this one. It's a bit on the sweet side. Light bodied. pretty drinkable actually, but its so ambiguous I don't know what to think. Not sure if the taste/look mismatch is in my head or if I've been drinking too many stouts but I can't get around the fact this one doesn't look like it tastes. It certainly isn't bad, so I can't fault it for that.

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Photo of dgilks
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep brown colour with a small tan head.

Caramelly, earthy, chocolate and a hint of coffee. Good.

A tasty, earthy malt flavour with a nice bitterness and spicy, citrussy hop character. Nice.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink.

A great beer. Enough going on to keep people interested and good flavour.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with dark red highlights, small creamy off-white head turns to swirly cap and thick ring, leaves some lacing.

Dark chocolate, roasted malt and some hops in the scent, earthy notes. Faint but pleasant.

In order of strength I'd say - chocolate, roasted malt, caramel. Citrus and some grassy notes from the hops in the finish also appear more as the beer goes on. Good balance between the hops and malt flavors, they compliment each other well.

Carbonation is a bit on the high side but the mouthfeel is good. Drinks much like a porter to me.

A great choice if you want stout or porter flavors without a heavy-feeling beer. At only 4.9% this is light, but not too light, with nice flavors. It would be nice to be able to session a beer like this too. Probably my favorite Sam Adams.

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

Got this one in a mixed 12 pack, I feel the need for something darker so lets crack this brew. Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- This beer pours black but when held up to the light the edges are a ruby brown, had a fingers worth of off white head that was gone pretty quickly.

S- Roasted caramel malts dominate the nose, sweet and chocolaty.

T- Roasted malts dominate the taste almost the same way it would in a porter. Hints of chocolate and coffee with some slightly bitter hops in the end that helps tie everything together.

M- Medium bodied, a little under carbonated but it works with the creaminess.

D- This beer is nice and drinkable but i wouldn't have more then 3 before i switched to something lighter.

Overall I rarely find myself impressed with Samuel Adams brews but this one is right up there with latitude 48 as my favorite beers from them. A well balanced Schwarzbier.

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Photo of TheKingofWichita
1.43/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a black color with a tan head, nice retention, no real lacing. Smells of decent malts and some hops. Tastes really smooth with some nice tasty malts -- a bit boozy (may have a bad batch). Mouthfeel medium, but pretty nice. Overall a fairly bad beer.

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

Nice take on the Schwarzbier style with enough dark malt to add some real complexity to the finish. I found it pretty drinkable though I was glad it was part of a mixed case as the sweetness gets to stick to your palate. Sam Adams usually does a good job of creating solid offerings

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Photo of Stigs
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a sampler pack, served in a perfect pint glass

A - thin 1/4" of loose creamy foam, tan colored, settles by the time i sit down to a thin film and ring. the beer is *very* dark amber in color.

S - dark roasted malts with a hint of nutty sweetness, some medium roasted coffee lightly creamed. grassy and earthy hop finish.

T - begins with a flash of nutty sweetness, instantly turning towards bitter and slightly charred malts, vanilla, burnt coffee bitterness. finishes with some more vanilla-like sweetness and earthy hops.

M - thin bodied with sharp and slightly overdone carbonation. finishes in a flash, with lingering roasty and earthy bitterness.

D - not a bad beer, just missing a little control and refinement. this style continues to blow my mind with its bold flavors and light body. a good welcome change-up in the SA mixers.

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Photo of OtisStreetBrew
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer puts a smile on my face. There is something special about the feel of a clean, smooth lager playing against a roasty background, and Sam Adams gets it right with this one.

Appearance is as advertised: black.

Smell those Hallertau hops and Bavarian yeast.

Clean lager up front, roasted notes, even some coffee flavors, finish and linger.

Feels nice and smooth.

Drinkability is exceptional. It is not often I find a beer I want to quaff massive quantities of... Sweet!

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A Cellar temperature bottle is poured into a fluted glass. This is a dark brown beer with pretty ruby notes where the sunlight hits it. The head is tan foam that slowly slides down the sides of the glass as I swirl it about. There appears to be a good amount of rising carbonation.

A warm roasted malt aroma greets my nose as I inhale. There is a bit of a candy sweetness to the smell; it reminds me of toffee.

Just like the label on the neck of the bottle suggests, I can taste dark roasted malts and, to a lesser extent, chocolate malts. A mild bitterness appears as I swallow and lingers briefly. Lasting longer is a bit of malty sweetness and some alcohol. It is a respectable flavor profile for this German-inspired beer.

The Black Lager has a medium body and average carbonation. It is a little sticky and leaves a good amount of coating behind.

This is a pretty drinkable beer. I don't think I'd want more than these 12 ounces, as the stickiness and coating may begin to bother me. I think I'll need a glass of water after consuming this beer. I am glad that there is a second bottle in the mix pack, because I will want to revisit this beer soon. It has also inspired me to seek out more beers of this style, as I think there is a lot of potential for some great black lagers.

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Photo of acurtis
2.42/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into River Horse pint glass for lunch. Poured a dark redish brown color with small head. To me it has a strong barley smell and taste. I love dark beers but this one doesn't do it for me. I can drink it but I choose not to. Maybe I need a little more black lager experience.

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

This is quite possibly my favorite in the Samuel Adams canon, a very solid dark brew that escapes the traditional "Sam Adams flavor" and strives for something more complex.

The beer pours a dark black with a decent head retention. The smells don't come through too strongly, but what does come through is a cream and coffee aroma courtesy of some strong maltiness.

The beer comes on a little light on the front end but grows as you hold on to it. The coffee and chocolate flavors hit the back of the palate, however the carbonation keeps it from getting to heavy. The beer is well balanced and unique to the Sam Adams family.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Black Lager poured a very dark amber color, with very little head. It smells rich, with hints of walnut, or hazelnut. The taste is strong, choclate flavors, pretty malty as well. Strong flavor and good carbination as well. A bit harder to drink because of the heavy flavors. Overall a really good beer, one of my favorite sam adams.

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Photo of righthereisay
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Fall sample pack.

Black appearance, as predicted by the name.

The smell is nice, maybe some sugar/licorice.

It wasn't bitter at all, had a really nice full body. My only complaint was it really wasn't very flavorful. The 1st sip was better than the remaining sips.

I guess my only concern is that something seems to be missing in this beer. Almost like they stopped on the flavor because of the mouthfeel and drinkability, which is very good.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured very dark clear amber (near black) in color with a creamy beige head that quickly faded away leaving some lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are aromas of dark roasted malts and nuts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has flavors of chocolate, coffee, nuts and roasted malts. There are some hops in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin on the palate. It is rather smooth and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: It's not very difficult to finish this beer very quickly; the low alcohol content makes this quite sessionable.

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Photo of NODAK
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma here is of some roasted chocolate malt. Somewhat bitter, but not too overwhelming either.

Taste follows the aroma pretty well. The body of the beer is of a smooth, roasted chocolate malt character. It's somewhat restrained so as not to be astringent (like a stout). Mouthfeel is pretty thin. Finish has a touch of sweetness, likely from the caramel malt that the label advertises, to go with the roasted malts to finish it off.

This is a very smooth beer. I like the flavors it presents, and that it does so in a restrained, drinkable way. I believe this is a very good representation of style.

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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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