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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,643 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: 2,643 |  Reviews: 1,461
Photo of alexskovan
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured deep amber/brown, about like a cola. Nice off-white head that stuck around and left medium lacing. Aroma is very nice, toasty caramel malt. A lot of caramel and chocolate in the taste, malty rather than hoppy. A nice beer, and somehow more "honest" than I usually find Mr.Adams' offerings to be.

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Photo of andrewmartin
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in the brewmasters collection mixed sixer-nice to see a fairly obscure style brewed by Sam Adams.

A: Pours a deep carmel, nearly black, with a huge head that sticks around.

S: Roasted malts with faint hints of chocolate

T: Starts off very sweet and roasty, finishes with a mld hoppiness.

M: Clean and very smooth.

D: A bit sweet without enough bitterness to balance things out, but note a bad beer at all, and a nice change of pace.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Not much head. Black with a ruby transparency.

Smell: There's barely anything to smell except a slight whiff of macro lager and an oh so faint chocolate aroma.

Taste: Here is this beer's saving grace. The taste is light and rich at the same time. A fairly heavy chocolate flavor dominates almost making this seem like SACB jr. Slightly roasty finish makes for a nice tasting beer but one that doesn't reach any kind of wow factor.

Mouthfeel: Very thin, although that was to be expected. A little inconsistent though that the chocolatey flavor is not matched by a chocolatey texture.

Drinkability: Excellent. This is easily a session beer.

Beef Notes: A nice schwarzbier here but I wonder if it fell a little short of its potential.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.74/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep ebony with a tan two finger head. The smell of sweet bread mixed with licorice made for a subdued aroma. Sweet bread, and faint spicy licorice dominated the taste profile. The beer finished sweet and a bit cloying with some faint sourness. The carbonation was moderate which kept a decent body through out.

This schwartzbier is way too sweet for the style. The noble bittering hops were either missing or in such small quantities that the taste profile suffered. This is a disappointment as SA usually brews some very nice classic beers.

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Photo of chuckm
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this would be a porter until bringing it home and reading what a Schwarzbier is supposed to be. With this as my only experience I can see this is a style to search out. The color was a reddish black with a thick head which faded quickly. The smell was a roasted nutty scent however the highlight was the taste. A flavorful and balanced beer with just a little of the bitter after taste I've come to expect from my porters. Very drinkable and one I would seek out for a season other than winter(this is being typed after shoveling the latest 8 inches of snow).

 569 characters

Photo of RedHaze
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear black, with some ruby highlights. The head peaks at about one finger in height, but fades quickly to a thin ring, leaving behind a thin spotty lace.

Smell; roasted malts dominate, with a bit of caramel, and burnt sugar. The roasty aroma really comes out as this gets closer to room temperature. Very close to what I would expect in a Schwarz, and very inviting.

Taste; very roasty in flavor, almost biscuity at first. Some chocolate and caramel are present with a touch of some spent coffee grounds. The flavors all seem to blend very well together.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability; mouthfeel is light bodied, and seemed just a touch on the thin side to me, but the drinkability was very good with the light body, and relatively low alcohol.

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

From a 12 oz bottle. Purchased as part of a "Brewmasters Collection" pack. Pours a deep dark choclatey(sp?) color w/about 3/4" inch head into my globe glass. Smells lightly toasted, tastes faintly sour, not bitter at all. Very easy to drink. Finishes nicely. Very highly reccomended. DEFFINETLY wouldnt mind having this again.

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Photo of Hammarby
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black with hues of dark brown and deep copper. Foamy dark tan head that stays. Nice lacing.
S: Roasted malt, dark berries, pumpernickel, caramel, buttery tones. Maybe chocolate fudge.
T: Toffee, coffee, hint of charcoal, burnt caramel (but without the sweetness), some bitterness in the back of the tounge that lingers some. Shortish aftertaste.
M: Moderately carbonated with tiny bubbles. Just above medium body, dry.

Very nice indeed. Most beers I tried in this or similar styles often suffer some from a little bit too much sweetness in the aftertaste. Not this one. Very well balanced. Not sure if it's according to style, but very good drinkability.

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Photo of rodrot
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown color, almost black, with a 1 finger tan head that left a good layer of lace on the glass. Aroma was very malty with strong hints of roasted malts and coffee in the nose. Some spicy hops were also noted in the aroma. Taste was very roasty and coffeeish. Lots of flavors of chocolate and coffee with a bitter finish. Mouthfeel was fairly light for a such a tasty beer. Drinkability was good and the relatively low abv makes this highly sessionable. I'm not too familiar with the schwarzbier style, but this one is pretty damn good. Another solid beer from Sam Adams.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is black...go figure, with a minimal off-white head. Smell is sweet, with chocolate and caramel malt, not much of a hop presence. The taste however does have a fair amount bitterness to it, as well as the chocolate and roasted malt taste. There is also a metallic tinge that seems to be fairly prevalent in SA products. The mouthfeel is quite light, has bubbly carbonation and leaves a feeling of dry mouth. This is a drinkable beer, but the metallic taste ruins it for me.

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Photo of ski271
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with a medium-sized, tan, frothy, slowly diminishing head and attractive lacing. Smell is of nutty roasted malts, a large dose of chocolate and some light hops adding balance. Lots of deep chocolate malt flavors without feeling heavy. Caramel, light citrus, spice and some earthy yeast. It has a medium body, moderately dry texture and low carbonation. This is super-easy-drinking while still having the nice big dark beer characteristics. Solid and enjoyable.

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

I'm not sure one could compare this to a Monschoff Schwarz but not a bad beer to introduce one to the style.
A: Charcoal black with a thin head and light carbonation
S: Hints of smoked hickory with a little sweet malt character showing through
T: Mild hints of what the nose suggests. Enough of a lightly smoked flavor to satisfy without dominating the flavor profile. Clean finish with minimal hop presence.
M: Thin but expected and appropriate.
D: It would be easy to drink several of these, but I never seem to be able to do so. Probably more due to the scotch ale in the mixed packs being more of a favorite of mine. A good initial foray into darker beers for the neophyte craft beer drinker and not much beyond that.

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Photo of tigerdoc
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice creamy head during the pour that quickly dissapears. A fairly high level of carbonation that takes away from the potential smoothness of the beer. Aroma is very malty and nutty. Similairly nutty flavor to the beer. It finishes well with a nice bitterness. Overall a pretty good example of a black lagar.

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Photo of kkosmoski
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
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 +4.1%
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 -10%
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 +4.9%
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.

 609 characters

Photo of themilkman01
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
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 +7.6%
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 +5.9%
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 +2.2%
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 +3.5%
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 +9.7%
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 +7.6%
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 -12.7%
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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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,643 ratings
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