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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,658 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: 2,658 |  Reviews: 1,465
Photo of joe1510
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass
Sam Adam's Black Lager poured a color a little to be called black but close enough, with some dark ruby highlights. Lightens when held to the light. A 2+ finger fluffy tan head that slowly faded just to cover.

There Are some different scents. Right up front I smell something that reminds me of chalk dust and dirt. Strange I know. It's followed by some roasted malts. As it warms the first scent disappears and turns to more sweet malts.

Taste is pretty good. There's some chocolate and sweet malts. A slight bitterness comes through at the end along with coffee but the final flavor seems a little weak to me.

Mouthfeel seems good. Medium bodied and slick. Carbonation tingle on the tongue.

The black lager is pretty easy drinking.

Overall Sam Adam's Black Lager is a decent beer. When it warms the flavor and scent is much better but nothing exceptional.


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Photo of peabody
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out really dark but slightly opaque. Smell is fruity malt with a bit of hops.Coffee and or chocolate are it there too.
Taste is a dark carmel with coffee and dark chocolate.Burnt toast is there if you reach a little.
Mouthfeel is very clean but leaves just the right touch of bitterness at the end.
No alcohol is present here and this might be a session beer, depends on who is drinking this.

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

On Fridays there's a weekly beer hour that follows a brief talk by a researcher in a Cancer Center affiliated lab. The beer selection varies from week to week. This week it looks like someone bought a couple Sam Adams mixed twelve packs. I had a Harpoon IPA while talking with some labmates and I grabed a bottle of Sam Adams Black Lager to take home. I served this at around 45º F in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown with ruby tints. It's topped by a thick, fluffy, beige head that thins to a sudsy film leaving patchy lace on the glass.

Smell: The nose is predominantly malty. There are notes of caramel, tart fruit, burnt sugar and coffee.

Taste: Sweet caramel, dried fruit, smoky roasted flavors, with a very light bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, medium-bodied, a tad sticky.

Drinkability: Mild flavors and low alcohol make this easily sessionable.

Overall: Not much to say here...

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Photo of Neehan
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown that flirts with the idea of black, but not quite. A thin head with minimal lacing appears. Smells of roasted coffee and a bit of chocolate as well as a bit of hops. The taste is quite sweet with more milky chocolate, some caramel, coffee, and a hint of licorice. Good, but a tad sweet. A mild mouthfeel with light carbonation. Drinkability is limited by the sweetness and it could be a bit more dry.

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Photo of Morris729
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep black ruby in color with a creamy light tan head. Aroma is a bit subdued but there are scents of roasted malts and chocolaty caramel detectable. The same roasty chocolaty caramel in the aroma comes across in the taste along with a bit of coffee and dark fruit. Hop bitterness seems at a minimal level.

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Photo of hideous
4.7/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5 is most definately the best beer I have had. Drinking one now and it is most certainly an enjoyable experience. Went looking for a six of just the black lager, can only find the mix pack where I live. Oh, well...I will savor the two that came in the pack and move on to the rest...which ain't too shabby either
...I have had the brown ale and the Hefe Weizen that is in the pack at another time...looking forward to the scotch ale...think I already know what the regular lager is like...that is everywhere...
Very happy that I found these Sammy mix has allowed me to try many different beer styes, as I am somewhat new to beer exploration (have drank beer all my life, but never really worried about styles and such, just gimme a beer, plz)

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint glass.

A - The color of cola. Black with a hint of red, with clear carbonation notes. Very nice.

S - Very strong and malty.

T - Nice big flavor with bitter accents at the end. Again, quite malty as the nose implied. One of the better beers I've had from such a large brewery. I am quite a fan.

MF - Somewhat heavy in the mouth, which is consistant with the style and taste.

D - Very easy to drink, even for a darker beer. Straight 4s across the board. A very solidly good beer. Don't hesitate to pick up a 6-pack.

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown and ruby, not quite black, small off-white head which reduces quickly to a ring, average lacing around the glass.

Aroma: Fruit, smoke and malt.

Taste: Smooth and light, slight astringency, slight hop bitterness, smoke and malt.

Very drinkable beer and a very nice offering from a large brewery. Easy to have a few of this easy drinkin' good tastin' beer.

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

Pours out a dark dark brown almost to the point of being black. Some dark ruby hues. You can just barely make out your fingers on the other side of the glass. Thick almond head that settles down to .5" and leaves thick lacing patterns. Smokey, roasted malts stick out in the nose along with some chocolate, dried fruit and clean lager aromas. Smoky, roasty, lightly chocolatey, slightly acidic, and clean in the finish with some hop bitterness and mild astringency. Has an interesting malted milk ball flavor thing going on. Mouthfeel is fairly light with some prickling carbonation. Tasty and drinkable.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: Dark ruby-brown color, but still transparent. Cream-colored head doesn't stick around, but looks darn appetizing. Very slight lacing.

S: Not much here. Slight hint of hops, and something I can't put my finger on...currant/blackberry?

T: The malt, lightly toasted, starts it off. Followed closely by currant, plum, and blackberry flavors, almost Belgian. Maybe some clove in there, too, but it's hard to tell--the beer is very slick, and the flavors meld well. Hops smooth out the finish. Really very nice.

M: Lighter than I expected, even though it does classify itself as a lager. Refreshing, and more effervescent than I expected.

D: All in all, a pleasant surprise. Dark color, smelled fairly serious and heavy. However, the fruit flavors and light mouthfeel really provided a pleasant surprise. I could session this one, for sure.

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

A- Not really black but a deep ruby. Small tan head that disappears in seconds leaving very minimal lacing.

S- Roasted malts give this a coffee/ cocoa aroma with perhaps a touch of molasses. Kind of stout-like, but not real strong.

T- Roasted malts carry into the taste with more coffee. Beer is pretty sweet and finishes with a berry-like fruitiness. Hardly any bitterness to speak of.

M- Nice and medium-bodied, not too thick or thin. Not much carbonation.

D- Pretty darn drinkable. The low abv, mild flavor and smoothness combine to make it quite quaffable.

Another good one from Sam Adam's. This is another style that I am not very familiar with, so I don't really know how this stands up to other schwartzbiers. It was kind of stout-like, but cleaner and with a milder flavor, kind of like I would expect from a lager. It wasn't the best beer in the world, but it was tasty and I would drink it again. Recommended.

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Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost pitch black/dark brown color with a creamy light tan head. Aroma is sweet chocolate, caramel and a little bit of malt. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and a bit of hops. Wow, this is definately better than expected. Overall, this is a great Schwarzbier that is recommended. I am quite impressed with this offering from Boston Beer Company.

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Photo of becktone
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As the name implies this beer is black in color. When held to the light it is a transparent dark garnet. The head is creamy looking and initially pours at a one finger size.Lacing looks appetizing. Head retention is pretty good.

Not the typical aroma for the dark beer. This beer is clean to the nose and smells faintly of hops. Hints of chocolate aroma. Not much else.

On the tongue this beer is well rounded and has a slight chocolate malt taste. Small amount of roasted grain bitterness in the finish. Hops aren't very apparent in the flavor. This is a well balanced brew.

On the palate this beer is light bodied, well light for a dark beer...I guess that meets the style guidelines. Carbonation is in check. Would be nice if the beer were a little bit creamier as the appearance of the head suggests. This beer is easy to drink and is very refreshing; especially after a long day of brewing, not to mention my first all grain batch. This beer comes as a well earned relief. I'd definitely buy this beer again, but probably not before I've had other Schwarzbiers.

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Photo of assmasterson
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Being one that hates coffee, I was a little worried when I read other reviews that said there was a coffee flavor in this brew. I'm glad that I decided to try it before I dismissed it.

The taste of this beer is very nice, with a roasted taste of hops all the way through. An ever-so-slight hint of bittersweet chocolate hides in the background. There's also a little bit of citrus zest in the aftertaste. The smell is also above par with a mixture of hops, malt and chocolate. It fills the nose nicely but doesn't knock you off of your chair.

Sam Adams once again outdoes its' self. Another soon-to-be classic.

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Photo of TechMyst
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

PURCHASED @: Sullivans
COST: medium
HEAD: minimal
LACE: none
AROMA: roasted malt-lager
TASTE: Toasted malts and coffee.
COMMENTS: Good for the style.

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Photo of Ochsenblut
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this in a Sam Adams variety pack and was plesantly surprised.

A- Poured jet black, and only held up to the light did it give off a reddened brown appearance. Excellent 2 finger head to begin with but soon dissapated to a millimeter lacing.

S- Very sweet malty smell to this one. Almost caramel-like

T- I'm not a gaint hop head, so this brew totally appeals to me. Very sweet and malty with little hop feel. Hops

M- Smooth mouthfeel, beginning with a slight crispiness due to carbonation.

D- I could session this beer all night. It's easiness would make it a great pub beer with something substantial to eat.

Food craving- Fat slab of pork and kartoffel salat.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black that is only slightly brown when held to the light. I poured this one aggressively and saw what I thought was a two finger head. I turned around to throw the bottle away and when I looked at the beer again, the damn thing was up to four fingers (in an imperial piint glass) and rising! This light brown monster head reduced to a thin cap over the course of several minutes and left nice lacing on the glass.

This smells like freshly baked nutty black bread and brown sugar. Nothing too complicated, but it smells really tasty.

Oh yeah. That's pretty good! Very light and sugary on the tongue with rich molasses and smokey malt at the forefront. Then, a lightly bitter hop note wraps things up without disturbing the syrupy sweet character.

This is an excellent sessioner and a good food beer for the fall, but it isn't very deep. Mouthfeel is thin and watery, but that is probably par for the style and doesn't hurt with food paring IMO. I would pick this up again ...I'm thinking cookouts, bonfires, and tailgating!

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Photo of DrinkinBoy
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

After pouring it into a glass, the beer was extremely dark brown and need to be held up to a light to see any coloring at all. It had a nice big head, that settled into a quarter inch tall foam throughout most of the time I consumed it.

There is a light roasted nutty smell.

The taste was not very strong, but gave a perfect roasted touch.

Had a smooth thick mouth feel.

Samuel Adams Black Lager is a very heavy, filling beer. I would not have another right after, but I will definately enjoy another in the future.

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

Schwarzbier seems to be a style few American breweries try. I'm not sure why as it is a very drinkable and accessible style. Other than the infrequent brewpub offering, I've only had this and the Saranac Black Forest from this country. This is quite good but I slightly prefer the Saranac which has a just a touch more roasted malt bitterness.

This is, of course, nearly black, with a hint of deep red. Nice tan head which persists and coats a mug. Smells very good-- roasted malt and coffee. very little hops but just a hint of spice. The taste is well balanced but less roasted malt and sweeter than the smell suggests; it's noticeably less bitter than Black Forest. It's medium/light in body, smooth texture medium/low carbonation. Very pleasant and drinkable.

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

Healthy two-to-three finger light tan head with black but very slightly opaque body. Smells VERY malty, with some caramel notes. Sweet and malty, roasty. Lighter flavored and bodied than i anticipated, though it is by no means light in either. Tasty. I've never had a Schwartzbier, but if this is what they're like I'm trying more! Reminds me in some ways of Ayinger Cellebrator Dopplebock...

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

Sam Adams black Lager, I was surprised by how good this was...

A: Pours almost black, but through-light shows a deep, deep red hue. Off-white head with descent retention and lacing.
S: Great malty smell, chocolate, coffee and vanilla. No real hop aroma.
T: Similar to smell. Lots of sweet malt with the flavors described above. Low to no bitterness.
M&D: Medium body and mouthfeel with an unusal (but good) creamy texture. Average drinkability. It gets a bit sweet for me at the end.

My first black lager. I look forward to having more examples from this style. I would buy this beer again.

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Photo of crispy620
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very surprised by it;s easy drinkability. Usually dark or black beer tend to have a very molassasy taste but this did not.

Sweet at first and with a very distintive finish. Not bitter at all.

Color was a rich hue of very dark brown with a nice amber edge.

Very nice compliment with spicy steak or even seared tuna.

A one.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Schwarzbier is my wife's favorite style--high malt, sweet, low hop. And, Sam Adams Black Lager is a very good representative of the style and I think a good choice for a transition beer for those moving into the micro world. Beer pours a dark brown to black, but has enough copper tones around the edge as to not be too scary. Head is thick and rocky, and the colored of the inside of a malted milk ball. Which is appropriate with the strong chocolate taste and a not so subtle hint of coffee underneath. No hop aroma, and the nose is very light but some fruity undertones. Very smooth and easy to drink, except for a bit of a carbonation bite. I like the beer a lot; however, the mouthfeel is a bit light and doesn't fill up my mouth with the taste and the end of the beer is watery with no final punch. Pick it up like I did, in a variety pack if you have the room on the beer run.

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Photo of theozag
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This opaque and flat black beer has a minimal eggshell-colored head that fades fast. Smell is very strong, very tasty, and actually has a mouthwatering, rich coffee character to it. Start is somewhat sweet but very oaky and heady. The beginning of this drink reminded me of a porter. Settles full-bodied and bitter with some malt smoothness. Flavors are coffee and caramel. Finish is bitter and dry with a rough aftertaste that vanishes quickly.

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a deep, dark brown with a crimson hue. Has a thick tan head that fades. Mild lacing on the glass.

Light aroma of roasted malts, a hint of cocoa, and some nuttiness.

Taste is roasty and nutty upfront with a mild hint of cocoa. Finishes very clean.

Medium body, good carbonation.

A nice drinking lager with a roasted taste. No problem drinking a few.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,658 ratings