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

Well, when you're trying to drink well with a supermarket selection, the Sam Adams Holiday 12 pack is just about the best there is. Not that I'm complaining, because I like pretty much all the beers included. I'm also fairly excited to revisit a couple brews i haven't had in several years, and the black lager, which i haven't tried yet
The black lager pours a dark, umber brown, topped with a creamy whitish head. Good head retention and lacing, good clarity. No complaints. Looks solid so far. The nose is rich with caramel malt, softly roasty, with that signature bit of Sam Adams "bite". It's hard to place. I'm not sure if it's a slightly agressive hopping, or some extra graininess to the malt. Whatever it is, it comes through as some harshness in the flavor, as compared to european style couterparts. The black lager is one of the smoothest of the Sam Adams offerings, probably a great beer to get started on dark beer. Anyways, the flavor comes off a bit different than the aroma. Much smoother, most notably. Very european, with a silky smooth texture and fine, tingly carbonation. Mellowed caramel sweetness is tempered by some roasty, toffee-ish notes. Very clean. I can't pick up any off flavors. Perhaps a bit of plum esters, which only works with the beer. Mild noble hops in the finish, riding out clean and dry. Solid roastiness in the end, kinda coffee-ish. Present, but not dominating. Maybe a little fuller flavored than the average german schwarzbiers, but nothing stands out enough to make this particularly unique. They nailed the style, for sure, and it's very drinkable. I'll have to pick up a sixer of this next time I'm heading to a party.

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Photo of fank2788
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing through my holiday mix pack it is time to review the Black Lager.
This beer pours very dark brown almost black that shows deep red when held up to a light, with a thin light tan head. The head doesn't last long but leaves some bubbles and lacing. The smell is of chocolate and roasted malts with a touch of spice from the hops and maybe a little bit of sweetness. The chocolate and roasted malt comes through in the taste a bit of spice is evident too. The body is light, smooth and a little bubbly. For some reason this doesn't seem to have great drinkability for me maybe the malt flavor is a bit sharp and unbalanced for my taste a good beer all the same.

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Photo of ByTor2112
3.43/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I also got mine from the Mix Pack but tasted earlier this year. Poured a neat brown the shade of maple syrup with a tinge of garnet coming through with the light. Not much head with a few spots of lace. Aroma-roasted malt. The dark or roasted malt gives it just a little extra body without deviating from the lager style. Nice crisp clean lager taste. The mild hops mix well with the dark malt for a nice earthy and balanced taste. Tannins are present and it finishes clean.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one out of their Holiday mix pack. Pretty good collection here, but I haven't tried the cranberry lambic yet. Thought I'd had this before but I guess that's what BA is here, to tell me I haven't. Very smooth, creamy like schwarzbier, great example of the style. A bit malty but not too heavy at all. This is a great example of turning someone on to a darker beer.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

tried this a while back and considered it mediocre. let's give it another try.

pours a dark brownish/black with light coming through on the edges showing a clear brown color. very dark, but clear if you look at it carefully. good white foam at first that quickly subsides to a little cap. leaves a little bit of lace.

smells roasty, sweet and malty. some caramel and chocolate notes. some coffee bean. this one smells pretty appetizing.

taste is quite mellow, with a sort of chocolatey caramel intertwined with a little bit of smokey flavor. this is a malty brew, only modestly hopped. nice full flavor, but not overwhelming. medium to light in body, with a fairly full flavor and a pleasant crisp finish to it. this is a refreshing beer. drinkability is great, i'd definitely recommend this as a great session brew for fans of darker beers.

i recommend this as something different to try for stout drinkers. a great lager for the winter time also!

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

Poured from the bottle into an imperial pint.

Black body with ruby light peeking through on the edges. Average head exits quickly, leaving a foamy ring and sparce bubbles. Some lace.

Quite malty armoa. Some hints of chocolate.

Flavor is primiarly full roasted malts with edges of caramel. Floral hop accent. Flavor is excellent, but could be more robust. Very drinkable.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.66/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass, the Black Lager pours dark brown with a long lasting off-white head. There's a decent bit of lacing with this beer too. It smells like roasted malt, chocolate, and a bit of nuttiness. It tastes like roasted malt, bread, caramel, and semi-sweet chocolate. The mouthfeel is light and a bit watery. The drinkability is pretty good, it goes down easy. Not a great beer, but a pretty good one. Not a bad choice as a session beer either.

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Photo of Rennpferd
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a very cold 12oz bottle into a clean room temperature pint glass.

Opaque and dark, with a quarter inch of head that quickly dissolves and leaves barely a trace behind.

Smells slightly of sweet malts.

A crisp malty taste that goes down well. It is smooth and refreshing on the palate and leaves a slight bitter hops/pine taste in the mouth.

This is a very good Lager, I had one yesterday that I enjoyed very well and had this one today. I'll probably have one tommorrow. This is something to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of amstelcat
3.05/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark ruby color, almost black. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and a bit of smokiness on the nose. Big malt upfront with just a touch of bitterness and coffee. Kinda odd, thick aftertaste.

Probably wouldn't get this one again and it's not my favorite style. Had to drink it since it's on my beer tour.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, with a freshness date of Mar.2007, into a pint glass. The appearance is dark brown, almost black, with a 3/4 inch head, with slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is a bit weak, with hints of chocolate in the nose. The mouthfeel is about medium, not thin like most lagers, but not as thick as a porter or stout. The taste is very similar to a porter, just a little weaker, with notes of chocolate dominating the flavor, but still extremely enjoyable. This is a beer that I will continue to come back to. Good job Sam Adams!

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Photo of Grundle20
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby hued mahagony into a pint glass. There is a nice creamy one finger head to crown it off. There isn't much lacing but the retention is good.

There's a nice balance of roasted malts and toffee. There is also a mild nuttiness but it doesn't stand out much over the malts.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
It's smooth and full with a mild stinging bitterness towards the back of my palette. There's nice flavors of bittersweet chocolate and again the toffee notes with minor hints of cherries towards the end of the drink. The strong malt character makes for a rather unpleasant aftertaste but the beer is good.

I could definitely throw a few of these back on a cold day. This is also my breakfast beer for the day and it's serving me rather well in that aspect. Not too alcoholic, but bringing great full flavors. I was rather impressed by this beer.

Bottom Line:
The best Sam Adams I've ever had. I have just recently reopened myself to Sam Adam after a few years and I have to say this beer gives me hope for bigger and better things.

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Photo of GilaMinumBeer
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pouring vigorously into a clean weizen glass produced a thick tan head that slowly faded to a thin coating atop the wetline of the glass. A nice crisp lacey residue left on the glass. Color ranged from amber, to chocolate, and finished an opaque ebony with the glass filled. The nose was malty with a hint of hoppiness at the end. Mouthfeel was a little thin almost watery. Flavour was malty with crisp hoppy highlights and no perceived bitterness. A well balanced beer. I will definitely drink this again.

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

The beer pours a nice clear dark amber with a bit of efervesence, and a tan head. The aroma is of sharp toasted malt with some hints of dark fruit. The beer tastes of toasted malt then rounds out to a very sweet coffee taste. The feel is medium and a bit oily. This was a pleasant beer almost a light stout feel to it. Definately one I'll sample again.

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Photo of billybob
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice very dark almost black color with a two or three finger creamy tan head with fair retention and lacing. smell is bready, caramel, slighty fruity. caramel and toasted malt, a very small hop taste at the end and slightly sweet. light mouthfeel but not watery, very smooth going down. very nice beer to drink.

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Photo of eberkman
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an opaque black with some fiery red highlights when held up to the light. A fairly vigorous pour left a modestly thick light-tan head that dissipated fairly quickly until it just covered the surface. I would have liked a little more head, but other than that, a very beautiful beer.

Smell was of dark-roasted coffee beans, whole-grain bread and some caramelized sugar. Very pleasing.

First taste is a very tangy but malty sweetness characterized mostly by coffee and dark chocolate notes, but with a bready flavor as well. It quickly transitions into a dry finish but with a sweetness that lingers afterwards. Not much in the way of hops here, but to me that's generally fine with a dark brew.

Mouthfeel is one of fullness with good carbonation. Not watery at all; almost creamy. Also highly drinkable; in fact it's gulpable if you don't take your time with it.

I really enjoyed this one and I'm glad they sell it on its own instead of making you buy a holiday case to get two bottles of the stuff. I've bought 6-packs of this before and I will continue to.

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

12oz brown bottle

Samuel Adams Black Lager was a dark brown color with good clarity. It had a thick light tan head with good retention and left a sheet of lace behind. The aroma was sweet and toasty dark malt. The taste was sweet dark malts with a little chocolate and roasted grain. It finished dry and a little bitter. It was medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a very good dark lager.

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

Dark amber and clear with massive light brown head. No carbonation.

First aroma is sweet and malty. Roasted, chocolate, and coffee undertones. Floral and fruity vibes, maybe from American hops. Caramel sweetness. Butterscotch hints. No bitterness.

Chocolate malt, roasted and creamy. Light and watery taste once the roasted malt shell is penetrated.

Smooth with mild oral foamation and carbonation.

Simple American Schwarzbier. Almost feels like a watered down Porter, emphasis on the water. The flavors are not bold or daring, and could be better melded. To my tongue the bitterness was completely absent; this contributed to lack of balance and direction. Black Lager is not wonderful, but definitely not bad.

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Photo of guinnessfan
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 bottle from variety poured into Das Festhaus pint

A: Clear dark brown, fizzy bubbles, no retention nor lacing. Reminds me of Coke.

S: Mildly sweet malt. Not much here.

T: Mild malt, perhaps some hops taste, not sure. Slight coffee. Not bad, yet not impressive.

M: Thin, watery. Next

D: Not bad. I could drink all night. Easy to drink, but not super enjoyable.

Black Lager sounded much more powerful than it was. I never knew it was a schwarzbier, nor what a schwarzbier was. Now I understand the subtleness. Maybe this is just not the style for me. Too mild, but not bad!

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Photo of ericj551
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another beer from the Sam Adams mix six pack, Black Lager pours a deep ruby red black with a light brown head. I smell sweet caramel malts as well as a slight roasted aroma. Taste is deep caramel and raisin, with a slightly astringent bitterness from the roasted malt. No hops to be found, but that fits just fine. I'm kind of confused with the name black lager, not too discriptive, but I guess many other beers are just Ale or Lager so not too big a deal.

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Photo of xav33
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Black Lager
12 oz bottle
Best before 04/07, patriotized 11/06
Medium pour in a shaker.

Poured a clear dark brown, with ruddy highlights, with an average fizzy mostly diminishing light brown head.

Smelt of light dark chocolate, molasses, dark bread.

Taste was upfront moderate bitter dark burnt malt with sweet dark chocolate and light sour dark fruits, like plums, followed by a bittersweet soy sauce, earthy, sweet burnt chocolate on an average length finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, creamy, lively carbonated, and lightly astringent.

Overall, well it tastes like black. I suppose that's good. Flavors are a bit odd for me though. Tastes like motor oil.

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

12oz bottle into mug.

Dark brown with ruby red edges, almost opaque. Tan creamy head that lasts a while which settles to a thin cap. Solid lacing.

Bitter roasted grainy scents with a creamy overtone. Hints of dark coffee. Ever so slight presence of raisin.

Malty background with a creamy texture. Burnt tones in the background with a light hoppiness in the back of the mouth to balance it out. Higher carbonation that seems to fizz for a bit after each gulp. Medium bodied. Some of the bitterness is complimented by a nice sweetness. Finish is grainy and slightly drying, but not by much.

Overall a good shwarzbier. Lots of grainy notes along with a bit of balancing hops. Good fall/winter beer. Recommended.

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Photo of boblog
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- black, medium head leaves small amount of lacing.
Smell- Malty, Carmel, and hints of hop bitterness.
Taste- Light Carmel flavor sweet bread flavor, light hop taste, slightly dry finish.
Mouthfeel-Light bodied.
Drinkablity- I could drink a gallon of this if i was so predisposed.
Overall- A damn tasty offering from Sam Adams. Very refreshing very tasty I would definitely recommend this brew to anyone.

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

At last this arrives in Salem,Oregon. Nice dark brown beer with a large, tight,creamy tan head, very attractive. Light roasted malt aromas, some hints of semi-dark chocolate.. as the label says there is a quite luxuriant malty taste to begin with and this coats the front of the tongue, then some hops make an appearance and the beer finishes semi-dry. Some hints of coffee, and English toffee in the malts, quite nice. Nice mouthfeel it starts off quite smooth and thickish but thns out near the end for an almost crisp finish, not quite though. Overall a pretty good beer and worth drinking. I enjoyed this.

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Photo of mnj21655
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with tinges of garnet at the edges. Nice, somewhat frothy 2 finger light tan head that settles to about 1/8" with good lacing. Smell is of caramel and sweet and roasted malts. It is fairly subtle and less aromatic than any other Sam Adam's I've had before. Taste is roasted malts with some bitterness followed by some nice caramel sweetness. I also tasted subtle hints of chocolate and coffee flavors. Nice mouthfeel, fairly light in body which is generally representative of the style. Great drinkability. Low ABV, light body and the balance and relative depth of flavors make this an easily drinkable brew.

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Photo of grbennett
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, almost cola color. Head doesn't last very long.
S: Has a sweet caramel like smell. It almost smells like syrup and Guinness.
T: Sweet chocalatey taste. The aftertaste is coffee and maybe caramel.
M: No carbonation. It feels a little bit too watery, like a lot of other beers.
D: It tastes good by itself but I can't imagine what kind of food I would want to pair it with.
Overall: Not a bad beer. It's good to have sometimes, but it always leaves me craving a Guinness. I don't know if it's the dark color or the sweet taste, but after drinking one of these, I just want a Guinness.

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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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