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

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Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
2,623 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: 2,623 |  Reviews: 1,453
Photo of Hunter
2.73/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

appearance: Beer pours dark but not quite black, more akin to cola than a stout. Head of tan foam evaporates on the instant.
smell: Smoke, coffee, and dark chocolate. There's an acrid undertone that's not pleasant but it doesn't detract too harshly.
taste: Complex combination that confirms the aroma. Chocolate smoke and coffee predominate. Aftertaste brings back that acrid aftertaste, much more noticeable.
mouthfeel: Thinner than you would expect.
drinkability: I'm unimpressed. This is something interesting to try occasionally, probably best when paired with strong meats or cheese. By itself it is not particularly refreshing or alluring.

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Photo of barleyman
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12 oz brown glass bottle, into my straight sided tumbler. Dark white head quickly recedes into a nice lace. Dark red, black color. Smell is of malt and raisins. Taste is of expertly balanced malt and hops. Mouthfeel is thin but very nice, spot on for this style. Drinkability is good, dark but not heavy, one could utilize a few of these to slake one's thirst.

Just a thought,


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

Ok let me start by saying, first off, that I'm a huge fan of this beer, even after having just tried it for the first time.

A: Poured out of the bottle into a flute glass a very dark shade of what is best described as mahogany. A centimeter or so of tan-colored head that did not dissipate very quickly and left minimal lacing.

S: Smells very sweet and malty. You instantly pick up the roasted caramel and chocolate malts; they're pretty rich.

T: Pretty nice. Sweet and full of the malty caramel and chocolate flavor. Kind of got a coffee feel to it, which is to be expected. The hops don't really make themselves felt here aside from a tad bit of spiciness. Not much of an aftertaste. My only complaint here would be that it oculd benefit from a slightly richer taste. The sweet caramel malty flavor is very nice, but it's kind of underplayed.

M: Very light body, very smooth. Being used to stouts or porters, you expect a heavier body, but it's a lager so it's something of a surprise. It's almost watery. Like the taste, I'd say it could benefit from a little bit more.

D: Well, it's very tasty and very light, so I can see myself having an entire six of these no problem. Everything about the beer is pleasant; it could just be more so. But, even without more taste or more body, it's extremely drinkable.

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

A: Pours a dark brown with a one finger cream colored frothy head. Good retention and some lace.
S: Aromas of caramel and chocolate malts with a slight hop presence. Fresh smelling.
T & M: Tastes of burnt and roasted malts with some sweet chocolate notes. A little spicy. Big carbonation kick up front on the tongue, which stings a bit. Medium bodied and soft on the palate. Leaves a film in the mouth, ok mouthfeel. Slight bitterness also.
D: Drinkable, but eh. A good change of pace, but not sure i'd go after this one again. Nothing special here.

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

Pours a shiny oil-black like a stout or porter, with a creamy inch-thick light tan head that doesn't last very long. Some lace was left along the sides of the glass.

Smells like a mild stout or porter, with roasted characteristics present but timid. Same with the hops and chocolately elements, which lay even further back. But it all feels more subtle to me than weak, as I enjoyed poking my sniffer in there throughout the drink.

Flavors are well done, with a comfy roasted/toasted maltiness at the fore, followed by a fluffy chocolate lightness, a rich molasses element, and well-balanced bittering from the hops. Mouthfeel is at once thin, sticky and tingly.

Overall a successful treat from Sam Adams, not one of their best but certainly worth picking up for its better attributes. Just a few steps over from a porter or stout, but less heavy in terms of body and ABV.

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Photo of dfried
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I liked the appearance of this beer, deep brown almost black in color, with some burgundy around the sides, and a deep caramel colored head. I found the smell and taste quite similar, coffee and dark roasted malts with a bit of a nutty flavor. This is a smooth and semi-sweet beer, the finish has a nice slightly hoppy flavor as well. There is nothing inherently bad about the drinkability of this beer, but I think I would get bored with it after a few.

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Photo of dgallina
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle notched best-before October 2006.

Pours black with mahogany edges. Three-quarter's inch of thick tan foam and nice lace. Smells rich and syrupy, thick with sweet grainy chocolate and coffee malts. Extremely sweet and very clean (if simple) toasted malt flavors. Finishes slightly dry with little after-taste. Well integrated medium creamy and carbonated body.

Refreshing, though overly sweet and thin in flavor compared to aroma.

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Photo of Sosh
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark brown when pouring, but appears black as the glass fills. When held to light brown and red are seen.

Smell - Like a lager! Also has kind of a burnt smell.

Taste - The best part. Chocolate/Coffee/Lager Beer.

Drinkability - Fantastic, a great session beer!

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Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep chestnut color, almost black. A few ruby edges around the sides of the glass. A rich off-white frothy head forms, and remains intact throughout the life of the beer. Aroma of caramel, and chocolate. Nice flavor of sweet charred caramel, followed up by hints of chocolate. Hints of toasty flavors. Finishes with enough noble hops to balance things out. I have had some of this style that finish so sweet and cloying, however this one does not. A very nice effort, highly drinkable and enjoyable.

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

Pours a dark rust color. Smells slightly of chocolate. Tastes of shaved chocolate and a little bit of banana (maybe I'm imagining this?). Mouthfeel is average. Despite the fact that this beer's fairly average, I could still down a few in one sitting.

This is a beer I've only had a few times before. Overall, it isn't a bad beer. It's not something I'd drink often, but it's still heads and shoulders above the usual macro stuff.

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

Pours very dark brown with plenty of ruby highlights. Creamy tan head leaves slight lacing as it dissipates.

Smell is sweetly malty with strong dark grain. Earthy mustiness. Hints of chocolate and a nice smokiness.

Taste is similiar to the nose, with the addition of dark coffee notes and earthy hop that add bitterness that dominates the residual sweetness and allows a very dry finish. Charred smokiness lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation.

This beer is decently complex and easy to drink. A well crafted session beer.

 571 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a very dark brown with a light head that didn't last very long. Virtually no lacing. The smell is kinda nice, mostly caramel and malt. The taste is not nearly as good as saranac Black Forest but it is good. Caramelly and malty as fuck. There are soem coffee hints also. Flavor is nice but doesn't really grab you. Kinda leaves a yucky porter like aftertaste. The mouthfeel isn't bad but kinda watery. It is pretty slick to the tounge. Kinda drinkable but it leaves such a blah taste in your mouth. Try a black forest instead.

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

A nice black in color with some dark brown highlights and a good thick head.

Smell has a nice bit of chocolate and caramel notes.

Taste has a bit of chocolate malt flavor on a solid caramel malt backbone, slightly sweet.

Mouthfeel is light yet creamy.

Overall a nice easy drinking beer.

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Photo of nriech
3.06/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

First impression was a very malty dark beer making my mouth water. Heavy on the carbonation but hardly any head. Lacing lingered though. Good aroma of malt.

The flavors I picked up were molasses, chocolate, maybe a weak coffee. In fact I would use weak for the body also. There was alot missing from this beer but I think it would be over the top for a traditional american beer drinker. I let it warm a bit more and it was more drinkable but still wasnt quite the beer that I would expect from the "Brewmasters Collection."

Good option for those establishments where the best they serve is Sam Adams and you want something a little different.

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Photo of villainchiwwin
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured into beer mug.
deep brown color (not black, but darkly shaded); gray-tan head with underwhelming retention.
roasty chocolate sugary smell.
taste starts middle of the road malt, roasted hazelnut w/some sweetness, and then bittering toward from milk chocolate notes toward darker chocolate w/a burnt quality. sufficient hoppiness - strong with continuing graininess from malt in long finish.
light-medium body (thin, syrupy) with an astringent character to the feel.

light for such a dark, malty beer (it is a lager...). I could have a few without complaint.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass, pours a brownish black, with pretty good long lasting off-white head, and thin lacing. Aroma isn't that strong, chocolate and roasted malt, some caramel in there, pretty pleasant, just a little weak. Taste is really nice, one of my more favorite lagers i've had. A nice chocolate malt and molasses is matched with a almost thickish, creamy smooth body, and a slightly ever-so-present floral hop that balances it out perfectly. Very nice to have before, after, or with a steak, btw.

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Photo of jwc215
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish black with ruby highlights, a little lighter than expected, and a thin tan head.
The smell was on the thin side, but had hints of roasted coffee, chocolate and caramel.
The taste was of malty chocolate, caramel, and a touch of dark coffee with a hop presence in the background.
The mouthfeel was a bit thin, but refreshing while holding most of the flavors. It did have a sweet kick to it, especially in the aftertaste.
Not a bad example of this style, though I've had several better. It's certainly not one to turn down, and worth buying if better ones are not available (which is often the case with this style, unfortunately.)

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This nice little black beer pours out a deep brown with only the lightest hints of red at the edges... The light, one finger head died off in no time leaving no ring and no lacing on the glass.

The smell is quite nice with an aroma of molasses and caramel - no burnt notes at all. The flavor is pretty similar with a clean malty base with no residual sweetness to make things cloying. Only a hint of coffee-like roasted flavors at the finish with no perceptable hop flavors or bitterness. The biggest complaint is the beer tastes a bit watered-down - as if all the flavors are only half the strength they ought to be. It does make a light refreshing drink but there's not much personality there.

Mouthfeel is good - it's a light bodied beer with no sweetness or sticky malt residues on the palate. The carbonation is a bit light but fine for the amount of sugars in the beer. No real hop bittering at the end but a bit of burnt malt to dry it out a bit.

Overall drinkable and pleasant enough but there's not much personality here. It's almost as if Sam Adams brewed a 9% beer and then cut it in half with water. It's quite light and refreshing for a malty brew but probably not a great 'lawnmower' beer.

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Photo of Budlum
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a little thick with a creamy, deep tan head. The head diminishes after about a minute or so. The color is notably black (as expected) but not quite as black as I would expect. There were plenty of hints of red.

Immediately malty on the nose with hints of chocolate and a small wiff of black licorice.

Texture is somewhat creamy with plenty of roasted malt flavors. Lots of chocolate, modest to no alcohol presence and an inkling of hops that increases as the brew warms.

A smooth-drinking, solid black lager. The only downfall is a lack of depth. There isn't much else to say. Another solid beer from Sam Adams.

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Photo of jettjon
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Highs: Appearance, flavor, mouthfeel
Lows: None

Into the pilsner, pours a dark brown, almost opaque, capped by a one-finger dark tan head that fades slowly and leaves good lacing behind. A good looking beer. Nose is somewhat disappointing, being vaguely of malt. It might improve with warming, but at fridge temperature, there’s not much there. Flavor, however, is solid, starting off with elements of caramelized hops, chocolate, and coffee with moderate bitterness—everything I’d expected in a “dark lager.” Mouth is similarly pleasing, semi-creamy and substantial. Finishes lightly bitter. Drinkability is good; it goes down easy and it tasty, thought it’s still a heavier and somewhat bitter beer.

Overall: A good dark lager, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black? check!
S - Roasty, slight chocolate-sweet aroma
T - oh baby, definitly taste the chocolate on the palate with a delicious roasted coffee aftertaste
M - smooth, just the right amount of carbonation
D - wish I had more

Not much of a lager fan but this one was recommended to me by a friend. I enjoy roasted flavors so this one hits the spot. It gets an A in my book.

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Photo of Mechphisto
2.03/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

First and foremost, not impressed.
The color is kind of a dark brown tinted black, but not entirely opaque.
It looks VERY much like a cola.
The head even looked like a Pepsi head and lasts about as long.

No aroma that I could detect.

At a pretty cold temperature, it was nearly undrinkable. It taste like a cold, carbonated coffee. Or, a very weak coffee flavored cola. It's very carbonated, sharp in the mouth, bitter yet weak, with no interesting notes.

I let it warm up a bit, and that improved it slightly. It no longer tasted like a sharply carbonated coffee cola; and more like a slightly carbonated, oily feeling weak coffee.

Cold the feel was watery. Completely. Warmed up a little, it seemed a little creamier, but actually is more oily than creamy. Lasts in the mouth a little, but not in a great way.

For someone with a little experience as I have, I find myself very surprised that I prefer a strong Guinness over this black lager. I certainly wouldn't choose this beer again.

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Photo of MistaC
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass beeradvocate style

The color is a black, with dark amber tones when held to light. Pour results in a healthily textured, tan head.

The smell pervades with roasted malt. Caramel aromas prevail over chocholate ones.

The roasted malt and chocolate tastes are tied together by caramel. There are hints of coffee flavors in the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is a smooth medium thickness feel very consistent with what I expected from the appearance, taste and smell

It lives up to the smoothness of a traditional lager.

This beer is one of the more consistent ones I have tried. Appearance, smell, taste and mouthfeel all flow smoothly across the board. There are no strange aftertastes.

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Photo of Ego
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep ruby color, some light does penetrate, half finger of loose off white to tan head that dissapates rapidly into an oring. pretty good looking schwarzbier.

sweet, almost like a dopplebock except with a nice subtle smokiness that balances it out beautifully, some coffee and some toffee

taste etc...
medium to full in the mouth as the carbonation is spot on (the actual body is kind of light, not detrimental though), just a hair of prickly nature to it which makes it refreshing for a "darker" beer, like the nose the flavor is very balanced..with the same elements. maybe it won't titilate of the hardcore hophead but this isn't about that.. it is a nice malty sweet beer with a tinge of bitterness and smoke to carry it out.

damn testy and sessionable, a really good one from a macro company, worth checking out.

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

Pours a very dark maroon-brown, almost black with just a hint of a short-lived head and not very much lacing.

Smell is strong of caramel, chocolate and toffee. I could keep my nose in this stuff all day.

Smooth but surprisingly thin on the palate. Like many Schwarzbiers, much lighter than one would expect by color alone. Carbonation seems just right.

Taste reflects aroma. Strong caramel and chocolate tones with a light sweetness and fruity middle (figs). Surprisingly clean finish with very little in the way of hop bitterness.

A very drinkable beer - and surprisingly light. An excellent Schwarzbier.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 2,623 ratings
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