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

2,555 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: 2,555 |  Reviews: 1,435
Photo of kkosmoski
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz longneck into a standard pint:

Gave a 1-finger light tan head with lots of big, airy bubbles. Color was a very deep ruby, almost black. The head faded down to a covering within a minute and left some lacing. Smell was of light roast and caramel. The taste of this beer started off with a delicate roastedness with caramel sweetness and finished with a slight noble hop bitterness. It was medium-bodied with a high amount of prickly carbonation, which I thought was a little distracting. This is a nice, clean tasting dark lager that highlights some light roasted flavors and is easy to drink. A good alternative to some big, thick porters and stouts if something lighter is desired that still has some roast in it.

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Photo of John1985
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours an opaque black with a > average head. Spicy aroma with dark malts evident. Roasted flavor upfront that gives in to the sweet malts. Smooth aftertaste that is a bit watery. Overall effect is a very pleasant mild beer. Very sessionable and would be a good introduction for someone just getting into craft beers.

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Photo of ReDave
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thankfully Sam Adams has multipacks that allow me to try and have a few samples of their beers, that i might not normally have.

Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights. Very little dark cream head. Some lacing.

Very roasty as might be expected. Some spices. A little flat in the mouth-feel.

OK for those occasional jaunts out side the HOP LIMIT....

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

Bought several Sam Adams 18-pack samplers around the holidays. Best before Mar 07 notched on bottle label. Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: just as name implies, black or actually cola brown colored with creamy off-white head. Lacing hangs on throughout the entire beer.

Smell: dark malt bitter sweetness, coffee and hard candy toffee

Taste: coffee, like hard coffee candy, licorice with hop bitterness at finish. Dark breadiness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with pleasant carbonation.

Drinkability: after years of drinking this beer, I appreciate it more and more. Easy drinking and enjoyable.

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Photo of themilkman01
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Disclaimer: I'm a beer-newbie ... reviewing beers primarily for beer-newbies in their quest to find the perfect beer. If you aren't a beer-newb, then you'll probably not like this review)

Sam Adams Black Lager is a very dark beer that has a unique flavoring that not everybody will enjoy.

Sam Adams Black Lager has a very dark appearance, when pouring it into a glass ... it has the look of Coca-Cola with a very thick head, I'd say at least three inches. The head sticks around for awhile, so I hope you like the tingle of the bubbles on your nose.

The smell of this beer is good ... it has a very slight beer smell with a strong roast smell. It's one that you will smell when you pop the cap, but it will be very slight, and you may not notice it right away.

I wasn't very impressed with the taste of this beer. At first it tasted good, but the more I moved it around my mouth the less I enjoyed it. There is a very strong roasty taste, so if you like that taste, then you'll enjoy this beer. I wasn't big on the roast flavor, but I did enjoy it in smaller amounts. The roast flavor boarders on coffee, so again, if you enjoy those kind of tastes, I think that you'll really enjoy this beer. However, there is a strong bitter aftertaste that I do not enjoy. I was able to drink this beer in long gulps, but after I was done I needed something else to get the bitter taste out of my mouth!

The mouthfeel of this beer almost offsets the taste of the beer. It's a very smooth beer that I could take some gulps of and still not feel uncomfortable. It's smooth enough to move around your mouth and be one of those beers that you can gulp or sip on. Because of the smoothness of this beer, I kept on taking long swigs of it, continiously drinking it, despite the taste.

The drinkability of this beer is just above average ... mostly because it's very smooth, but not a lot of people will like the taste. Again, there is a very strong roast taste, and if you are into that, then I think you'll really enjoy this beer.

Overall, this is a beer that I could drink again, but I probably wouldn't order it if other options are available. For platforming I don't recommend this beer, just because of the unique tastes that drown out the classic beer tastes.

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Photo of BradBLR
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark root beer brown with a slight amber tint. The head was a slightly tan head that lasted about a thrid of the beer with a medium amount of lacing. The aroma of this beer was a toasted toffee flavor with a hint of coffee.

The taste was an almost burnt malt flavor with slight taste of lemon at the back. There may have been a slight hint of hops, but not very strong. The mouthfeel was pretty good, the CO2 was good, but the beer was a little watery. But that might have just been from being a lager.

A pretty good black lager from Sam Adams, and probably one of the best black lagers I have had out of a bottle.

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

Happened to be in traveling in West Virginia and this was the only thing that caught my eye at the local grocery. Good choice.

A - Extremely dark with moderate head and retention.
S - Caramel and malts.
T - Very pleasing. Fairly sweet with some burnt caramel. Light on the hops but no so much that the taste was unbalanced.
M - Medium mouthfeel.
D - Enjoy several.

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Photo of witster18
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

as far as the bottled offerings from BBC this is top shelf...right there with the Boston Lager and the Cream stout. Nice head...short lived though...good semi-sweet chocolate...robust for a lager...some good lacing. Great on the flavor/drinkability scale/ratio. only negative....a little too dry ... making the great flavors leave us far too soon. I would definately recommend this...especially for an accessible domestic brew.

nice earthiness and flavor for an extremely accessible dark beer. Shouldn't take off too many for mouthfeel as this is a dark lager/swarz.... and they're not typically as thick or chewy as stouts... more like a old age porter in mouthfeel... this also has some of that old age porter bitterness which I absolutely love... this is a good beer for something you can get at the grocer for 8.29-8.99 a six... will revisit often....

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

Intriguing black with placid head. Notes of caramel with some subdued smoke, dark chocolate. All of these flavors on a crisp smooth lager canvas lead to more delicate flavors, but flavors and complexity still quite notable. Lacks much hop presence at all, the end notes get a little sweet and could use a little IBU power to subdue them. A good non-offensive Schwarzbier that I wish would be a little more assertive.

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Photo of PEBKAC
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours like cola, overdose of brown suds & all. The head sticks around like an ice cream float. Vanilla is my favorite.

Burnt molasses, toffee, lots of rich butter, all in the first few deep breaths.

A bitter bite & twang that turns salty & sweet all in one mouthful.

Heavy in taste, but nothing close to it in body. It goes down quite light, much less then my nose expected. Lightly carbonated as well.

All the flavor compacted into this bottle made it an enjoyable experience, but one that left me with a bit of a headache. If this is right up your alley, then you'll have to go out & buy another mix pack, because there's only two bottles in here. :)

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Photo of BigRedN
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the 12 oz bottle. The beer is near black, dark ruby when held directly to the light. Poured with a thin (about 1/4 inch) off white head.

Smell: Roasted malts dominate the aroma. Not a whole lot saying "hops present here". Scents roasted chocolate and coffee.

Taste: The taste of the beer closely follows what I smell. Roasted malt (again dominated by coffee and chocolate). There is a bit of a little bitter hop finish though as well.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body with just enough carbonation to keep it lively and not flat and dull. Very smooth and slick going down.

Drinkability: I got two of these in a mixed 12 pack. I would gladly buy a 6-pack of this without hesitation. With an ABV less than 5% this one is also easily sessionable. I can not believe it took me so long to try this. One of my favorite Sam Adams beers.

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Photo of mnesporov
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a freshness date clearly on the side.

Appearance: A dark black liquid with a brownish cherry red tone surrounding it. The head lasted pretty well and it also laced well.

Smell: A nice aroma of chocolaty caramel and malt zest with a grainy almost burnt smell as well.

Taste: An extremely nice tasting brew here. A nice rounded taste with caramel and malt overtures. It is a little to sweet though.

Mouth-Feel: A crisp full bodied mouth which finished smooth.

Drink-Ability: I really enjoyed this brew and I would recommend it to someone looking for something new.

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Photo of slyke
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Black Lager pours its namesake color with some dark red around the edges with a tan head that laces as the the beer is drunk. There are some roasted qualities to the smell, otherwise there isn't much there for me. The taste has some nice roastiness to it and perhaps a little smoke. Mouthfeel is better than average. The beer is quite drinkable. You wouldn't do yourself wrong to try this one.

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Photo of Calico
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a big, foamy head that retains its presence for about 2 minutes. Then leaves moderate lacing on the glass. Deep ruby color when held up to the light, deep mahogany when not lighted.

Not much aroma, some toasted malt to be had.

Taste is exquisite. One of the best of its kind I have had. The malts all come forward with their full body, yet it is most definitely a lager and a very drinkable one at that. A little tannic sharpness on the back of my tongue, but I do not perceive this as a flaw.

Tingly, smooth feel to it. Not quite as refreshing as Negra Modelo - I'd be less likely to have this one with steak fajitas - but a beautiful brew to have on its own or with German dishes.

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

It poured dark with a tall tan head, a nice overall look.
The smell was very mellow with just a hint of vanilla.
Taste was sweet with roasted malt & maybe a hint of chocolate. It went down smooth and was very tasty.
I really like this beer and would purchase it again .
Paid $12.99 for 12 bottle Samuel Adams sampler box at Liquor Barn Hurstbourne

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Photo of foureyedgeek
3.41/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with a notch in April 2007 as a 'best-by' date.

Pours a dark brown, with red highlights. I can see the lighting I've held this beer up to through the liquid so its obviousl Nice, fine lacing.

Aroma is very sweet, along with a certain fruitiness. Not really a huge aroma.

Taste is rich and malty, along with some more fruitiness. Not raisins or dark fruit, not molasses either, just a presence of fruit, almost like apples. I'm not sure if that makes this interesting or strange. There's a little roastiness and some nuttiness, too. A little hop bitterness notable in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, quite smooth.

Drinkability is pretty good, this is a pretty tasty beer, my first schwarzbier. It's a good intro to the style and I look forward to trying more in the future. I'd get this beer again, it seems like a beer that fits a certain mood, this would be a good beer for New Year's Day dinner.

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Photo of Pinto21
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours dark with head thats not terrible
smells of dark roasted malts, like chocolate and coffee
good taste with some coffee and good chocolate, but mostly malts, very dark
cant say I'd drink a lot in a night, but maybe more than a couple
not amazing but not a disappointment, just like the rest from sam adams

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Photo of bonk420247
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

While its nice having a beer or twelve on Sunday's while watching the game I've come upon S.A. Black Lager. It has tossed me back in my lazy-boy a few times. Big in flavor, heavy in smell, large in body. These three cryteria are very important on any given Sunday!!!

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

Sampled from a 12 ounce bottle. Pours dark and thick, actually opaque. Lots of head and great retention.

Smells of maltiness and chocolate and evokes images of something old or antique. Has a very thick mouthfeel but without too much cloying that usually accompanies such a thick tasting brew. Taste is very good. Dark chocolates, malts, peat moss, and some "dull" hops (for lack of a better term.) Another solid brew from Sam Adams.

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Photo of builder53
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark purple/brown,with a nice tan head w/ good retention and moderate lacing.Essences are mild caramel with strong coffee. Tastes are fig/dates with the caramel/coffee overtones. (The coffee scents and flavors increase significantly as the beer comes up in temp.) There is minimal carbonation and a good although slightly thin mouth feel for a beer this dark in color. Good smooth finish with very pleasant after tones. Would certainly drink again.

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

Poured a deep black , clear yet almost opaque with darkness. The head was a half inch , tannish , and dissipated to a ring. The aroma is roasty malt , some chocolate , faint coffee, and a bit of bready quality. Mmmm , a refreshing , light-dark beer! By light i mean in body/ overall impression. Pleasant deep roasted character , darker chocolate flavors , some light sweetness in the form of caramel , very lightly spicy hops keep things clean and fresh near the finish , ends with a bit of dry , bittersweet chocolate. This is one of my favorite beers from the BBC. Great to grab when you want something fairly light , but full of roast and flavor. A refreshing black tonic!

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Photo of BenH1068
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

-Poured a nice black-ish color, on closer inspecting shows a very dark ruby red. Head was an off white or very light tan, some lace.
-Smells a sweet malty aroma, maybe a little burnt molasses.
-Tastes dark malt and black coffee. Theres something else to the taste,but i can't put my finger on it. Nice mouth-feel, attractive body, and a good carbonation level.
-The only schwarzbier I've ever had, but a nice drinking brew. I would gladly drink this in the future, I hope the rest of the SA mix pack is this good.

Nicee first review done.

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Photo of allergictomacros
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - I guess I expected something a little darker.This one is a dark ruby red, but not to the point of being opaque. Head is a little loose and falls quickly.

S - Mostly fruity with a toastiness in the back. Some caramel and coffee notes.

T - Light toasted and coffee flavours are prominent. Not overwhelming by any means. A touch sweet and some early tartness gives way to a mild hop aftertaste. Well balanced.

M - Medium bodied - neither heavy nor light. A little overcarbonated for my taste.

D - Quite easy drinking. Not heavy at all, but still full of roasty character.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.76/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours like cola with about the same consistency. Light comes through at about the same level as well. Head started fizzy but settled down to a nice medium beige base.

S: Not a big nose on this one. Get some faint marshmallow, dried cocoa and crackers. S'mores I'd reckon.

T: Caramely up front with a nice blend of bakers chocolate across the front center of the tongue. Little bit of custard, specifically the buttery egg flavor that comes across. Roastedness comes next; I wouldn't say this is your typical coffee roasted taste, but perhaps what a low roasted cocoa bean might taste like. Finishes lightly sweet with a lingering, gently roasted character.

M: Medium body, soft mouthfeel.

D: Another straight forward and solid beer from Sam Adams. This beer won't dazzle you but its really hard to find a negative aspect to this one. Not enough black beers on the market IMO so I'm thankful for this one.

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Photo of Rudgers73
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this out of a sample pack of winter sam adams. The last black lager I had was saranac black forest lager and it was horrible so I wasn't expecting much. Turns out it was a very pleasant tasting beer. The maltiness and roasted taste was well balanced and right on the money for my taste. It was almost like a porter but not and chewy and sweet. Very nice.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.74 out of 5 based on 2,555 ratings.
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