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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,642 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: 2,642 |  Reviews: 1,461
Photo of phisig137
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep brown, almost black color with ruby highlights, and a two finger light tan head. Decent retention leaves behind a bit of lace.

Aroma is definitely malty, slightly sweet, with mostly toffee like aromas.

Flavor is great. A tiny amount of roasted malt acridness up front, followed by sweet caramel malt flavors, and a good deal of nutty nuances. Well balanced, and the clean lager fermentation allows the malt to shine. Finish is dry, and only very slightly hoppy. Mouthfeel is smooth and moderate, relatively heavy carbonation scrubs the tongue clean. Drinkability is good.

Overall, quite a tasty brew. Looking at Sam's limited releases, they are quite nice. This is a beer that I'll happily drink again, and would be a good "transitional" beer, for those that are afraid of "those dark beers"... Recommended.

 834 characters

Photo of IPAcraig
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice ruby black color, but a tiny head that didnt last.

S - Not muche here either. Really had to give this a swirl to get an aroma out of it. Slightly sweet and a bit nutty. But not a bold smell in the slightest.

T - This beer has a pretty solid flavor, chococaltey and sweet with a bit of roastiness. It is like a Sam Adams Cream Stout Light.

M - Very light and crisp.

D - Overall a pretty refreshing and quaffable brew, just not that big on taste.

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Photo of botham
4.72/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

love this brew. pours a deep black with a small tan head. in light, turns into a deep ruby red. though the liquid is black, this one is rather light in the mouth

smell is roasty up front, with some caramel and malts thrown in. not much alcohol present.

taste is also roasty, with undertones of hops. alcohol can be present, but is ephemeral at best. slightly more present on the way down. aftertaste does away with the roastiness and brings caramel and malts to the front.

mouthfeel is rather light, but with enough presence to know your drinking a good brew.

drinkability is suprizingly good, without any bad afterthoughts to make one weary of poping another open. it would be no problem to polish off a six-pack of these in one night.

this brew is very well balanced. the roastiness is not overdone (easily accomplished with a schwarzbier), and the caramel and malts are left to the background, letting the roastiness take the focus. cheers to Sam Adams, you've created another phenomenal brew.

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

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark borwn, almost black, but not entirely opaque as it has some ruby showing through when held up to the light. Thin, maybe a quarter inch light brown head dissipates quickly leaving minimal lace.

Aroma has caramel, and a mild roasted malt characteristic.

Flavor is roasted malts, and caramel leading to a clean finish with some roastiness lingering into the aftertaste. A very slight note of hop bitterness comes through in the finish to balance things out, but overall the hop presence is pretty mild.

Medium body, moderate carbonation. Balance is reasonable, overall very smooth with a nice touch of roastiness to give it some character. Very drinkable, would have it again, and would also consider it a session candidate.

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

Pours from the bottle a clear dark brown color with subtle burgundy hues. Faint, subdued aromas of toasted wheat bread and malt, dark caramels, molasses and chocolate. Maintains a beautiful thick and dense tan head with intricate lacing patterns throughout the glass. Palate is pleasantly thick, full and creamy. Flavor profile much more satisfying and assertive as comapered to the aromas. Nice notes of dark roasted malts, burnt caramel candies, cocoa, with a faint hint of molasses-like sweetness and Noble hop spiciness in the finish. Very drinkable as a session beer and a solid rendition of the style.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 5-25-07
Best before 7-07

Pours almost black, with a deep red around the edges. The head quickly fades away, with very modest lacing.

Smell is all roasty malt, with little bits of vanilla and molasses.

Taste is sweet and caramelly, with the molasses really coming through. A slight bitterness at the end helps to balance out the sweetness, but not all the way.

Mouthfeel is good, a little lighter with good carbonation.

Drinkability is also good, if you like your beers on the sweet side. Still easy to drink with a good heft, and a good choice if you're looking for something lighter than a porter.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of a make your own 6-pack, on to the beer:

Creamy head with a nice black body, this beer is what you would expect from a schwarzbier. Deep assorted chocolate aroma in the smell, more of the same in the flavor, a touch of hop flavor, and a mild grainy finish. I knew I should have gotten myself a Hershey's bar to go along with this beer.

A few months after this review, I got some more of this. No changes in the score, but I popped the top of one that had in sitting in my trunk for a week. In other words, I consumed it at room temperature. It was pretty tasty, and the intensity of the flavor is greater. Try one out the next time you get a 6-pack of this.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, almost black with a decent head and very spotty lacing. The nose is lightly sweet and malty followed by lightly toasted grain. The taste is similar- nicely balanced maltiness and toasty grain, but relatively dry. The mouthfeel is soft, rounded and creamy. Even though there is a little sweetness in this one, no real stickiness. Nicely done, and a very nice session beer.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deep black beer with a creamy head.

Smell is light molasses, burned with coffee notes.

Taste is light roasted, mild burned with coffee and when the beer warms pure dark chocolate notes. The German schwarzbiers I had where less subtle in roast notes and had some more of the molasses and maltbitter tastes. The yeast adds a clean character. No real hoppiness present.
Mouthfeel is smooth velvet, the fine carbonation feels really good on the tongue.

 459 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 16oz pint glass. Thanks to Bernie for the hook-up!

A: Pours a pretty dark black that lets some light through. Very creamy, off-white, 1 1/2 finger head.

S: Very decent aromas of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, and some tangy fruit.

T: See above. Nice finish that starts tangy and ends dry and bitter.

M: Creamy and at the same time dry. This starts off a little on the thin side right out of the fridge but thickens considerably as it warms.

D: Quite enjoyable. I found this to be very refreshing and dare I say, sessionable.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown. One finger head. Light retention and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate malt, caramel, yeast, nuts and some mild hops.

Taste: Chocolate malts with caramel is the majority of the taste. The nuts taste and hops are present and the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Lively carbonation provides a crisp mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Easy to drink. This is one for all occasions.

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Photo of BeerManDan
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First of all, it poured a very, very dark brown with a medium tan brown foam. The smell of sour roasted malts is what I first picked up on the aroma of this black lager.

The taste was not quit as bad as the smell. The taste had a sour and tart feel on the palate. It was not a pleasant lager flavor. The sour taste of the roasted malts turned me off!

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Photo of Clockwork420
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into large glass stein.


This is black. As dark as porter almost! The smell is very similar to somthing else I have drank. I cant point that one out. Its SO BLACK! The taste is very carbonated, and I guess the taste is malt? And a bitterness. It not bad. Lacing is heavy. No head. Mouth feel is medium. Not as thick as some not as thin as ale. Nice mouthfeel.

This is a fairly decent schwartz beer. Its now one of my favorite lagers. I enjoy this one.

Give me another bitte.
Hope I honstly rated this one.

Goes good with Saurkraut. And potatoes. German cuisine.

 600 characters

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

roasted caramel chocolate malt
with noble hops,
finishing bitter
just like the bottle mentions

a decent shwarzbier winner

tastes a bit on the sweet side
yet still has balance
and bite
drinks easy
tastes good
you could session
all night
if you like dark malt flavors
and if you don't
it suits well
for an after dinner drink
perhaps with desert as well

 371 characters

Photo of jtslay
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark, if not black, color with amber highlights. The smell is mild with a hint of roasted malt. The taste is rather strong of the malt. The mouthfeel is similar to a porter. This is a heavy beer, as one might expect, and is therefore not good as a session beer.

 284 characters

Photo of shirfan
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not black, but actually very dark ruby/garnet and transparent. Good layer of foam remains after a few minutes.

Aroma is mild and mostly consists of dark, bready malt.

Taste: Lightly nutty, roasty malts in a smooth, easy to drink and light bodied brew. Hints of cocoa, on the dry side. Just a touch of leafy hops at the end, very faint.

An easy-to-drink crossover beer.

 377 characters

Photo of montageman
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Dark brown to black in color, but this is a much thinner pour than other dark beers. The head is white and strong. A bunch of lacing is left on the surface. Licorice, chocolate, and roasted coffee are present in the smell, which is good, but none are dominant nor are they all that inviting. There is a citrus hoppy sourness that is immediately evident in the taste which is then followed by a touch of chocolate and finishes dry. Mouthfeel is thin - not that this is bad, but with darker beers I expect more creaminess or body, this is quite thin. As alternative to heavy dark beers (i.e. russian imperial stouts), this is a great thing - a dark beer that drinks like a much lighter style. Recommended.

 729 characters

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

12oz bottle to pint glass, part of sampler pack of 3 styles. Best by June 07.

A: Very dark, but brown on close look - looks black if you aren't paying attention. Nice off-white head, but very little retention here. No or very thin lace.

S: Burnt honey wheat toast, chocolates, sugars and malts. Very nice, very exciting, you want to taste it.

T: Chocolaty, smooth, light. Looks heavy, tastes lightish. Sugars and malts with a bit of hops in the back, finishes clean and no alcohols. Finish with a sour note and some burned smoke flavors.

M: Really smooth and light, great carbonation level.

D: Great black lager from a large brewery. Nice flavors, great smell. Little too sweet, and the hops are easy to miss, but this is a good find in a local convenience store!

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Photo of cpn920
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer truly is a black beer. It had no distinctive smell. I enjoyed the sweet caramel and roasted taste. I found it to have a good deal of carbonation that one usually sees with a lager. It had a sweet caramel flavor but not overwhelming where it would be considered too sweet. I have not had too many of Samuel Adams beers but I would rate this as my favorite. I would be able to have several of these to pass an evening.

 421 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Six Pack
Dan's Liquor
Plover, Wisconsin

Appearance - At first pour this beer is a very deep brown, almost black but not quite. Head is a pale brown that lasts along the wall of the pint glass but dwindles in a swirl towards it's center. Even with the rich color is still appears to be watery, which I like. It looks to be an easily drinkable beer.

Smell - The scent is very faint. It takes several strong whiffs to be able to really recognize a discernable aroma. The scent is a pleasant roasted flavor but not as strong as I'd like.

Taste - The Black Lager does a good job of maintaining the qualities found in a lager beer. It's a smooth tasting beer that adds a roasted roundness that I've discovered, I enjoy.

Mouthfeel - The beer is a bit uncomfortable on the tongue when not imediately swallowed. The carbonation kicks in stronger here than most dark beers. I guess that's just the Lager side talkin'.

~ I would order another Samuel Adams - Black Lager. This is a beer that's easy to drink with it's watery finish. I'd really like to give this a try from a tap. Anyone know where I can get a Black Lager on tap?

 1,135 characters

Photo of bobhits
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was probably the first malty beer that really caught my eye. The average stout has always been something I enjoy but don't really ever desire to drink. In spite of the name this is a fairly easy to drink fairly light beer (relative to the name of course).

a. It gives a nice tan head and as you would expect from the name is almost bitch black. You do get a bit of light through it (served in a pint glass). The head lasts long enough and leaves a nice tan lacing down the side.

s. Honestly I'm having a hard time picking up on much of any smell I get a slight bit of toffee but I have been a bit under the weather so I maybe a poor judge here.

t. Chocolate, caramel, toffee maybe a hint of coffee. This isn't an over powering beer by any means. The flavors are subtle enough to let you drink instead of sipping it. This makes for a GREAT beer for people knew to the darker beers to start with as it won't over power them.

m. I love this beer because I can drink a 6 pack without getting tired of it. The mouth feel has just the perfect amount of carbonation and the beer is light enough feeling in the mouth to allow one to drink it.

d. As I already said the taste and the mouth feel make this a very drinkable beer. I do find that beers that are very malty tend to be harder to drink in large amounts and I feel this beer was meant to be one you can drink and not sip on.

I feel a little off giving this beer so much praise, but it just seems like the perfect mix of a flavorful beer that one can drink at almost any time. That plays a role in my score as the amount of flavor and texture of the beer should meet the goal of the brewer.

This is by far my favorite sam adams and I've had virtually all of their non limited edition beers.

 1,765 characters

Photo of stephendr
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle- color of dark chocolate, with a decent tan head - nose of sweet roasted malts , some bitter sweet chocolate , and silky – taste of bitter sweet chocolate , malt , mild bitterness , and hint of espresso - body is light , silky , and with medium carbonation – aftertaste of chocolate , malt , and roasted

 319 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.32/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black. Lives up to its name. Very little head. Only a tiny amount of light can sneak through the glass even when held up to the sun.

It's got a nice, malty, smoky smell although it could have been stronger.

There are quite a few flavors wrapped up in this one, though I have trouble identifying them all. Maybe a little dark chocolate. And overall, a malty flavor, very smooth going down initially. It's a tad bit bitter, with a little bite in the aftertaste though.

There's hardly any carbonation, but I wouldn't call it a "heavy" beer. Not bad, but I won't be rushing back for another.

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Photo of Boppar
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz into a pint glass, it pours a robust black color, with an impressive three fingers of head. Great head retention and decent lacing.

There was not a whole lot going on in the smell department. Generic dark beery goodness.

The taste, on the other hand, was quite pleasant. At the beginning of the glass, when the beer was still around 40-45 degrees there was a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. As the beer warmed up to around cellar temperature, the flavor changed to more of a combination of dark rum, molasses, and maybe vanilla. Interesting, and drinkable.

Heavy and carbonated, without being chewy. A great mouthfeel for this style.

Good flavor, solid mouthfeel and low ABV make for one sessionable beer. Nicely done.

 746 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my Spaten lager glass at a very cool temperature.

A - Very dark brown, almost black with fluffy light tan head resembling swiss cheese that left minimal lace.

S - Sweet malty, slightly salty aroma. Bready, slightly burnt rye toast scent. A slightly tea like roastiness reminiscent of earl grey. Aromas of yeast with a nice bavarian malt scent.

M - Light, but substantially malty. Very carbonated but not to the point of excess. Silky and luxurious finish gradually releases a pleasant caramel essence.

T - Roastiness and effervescene snap to attention as the milky sourness with pilsener malt sweetness and nutty brown malt flavors comingle.

D - A great american black lager. Sweet, supple and bready flavors make for a brew that is quaffable, delightful, sessionable, and easy to enjoy in a variety of settings. I happened to enjoy mine with a cheesesteak pizza.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,642 ratings
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