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

Samuel Adams Black LagerSamuel Adams Black Lager
Liked This Beer
3.7 w/ 2,599 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,599 |  Reviews: 1,448
Photo of badbeer
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance wise, I don't think you can get better for the style. Black color with a tan head that stays throughout with spotty lacing. Smell is of coffee, toffee, and roasted grain with a hint of hops hidden. Taste hits me with some burnt caramel flavor, with coffee kicking in right behind it, no real detectable hops in the taste, but it doesn't need them. Pretty light bodied with average carbonation, but seems just about right. Very drinkable, this would be great with a meal or just having a couple whenever. Definately a good decision.

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Photo of oelergud
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black body only letting a little light through at the edges giving it a ruby brown tint. Tan head with low retention and lace.
Smell is roasted coffee beans, strong molasses and slightly spiced honey.
Strong sweet dark chocolate and molasses in the taste reigned in well by spiced hops, well balance and a slew of interesting flavors hard to nail. Aftertaste is dry, big hops walking hand in hand with a little malt. Good duration on the aftertaste.
Full and slick mouthfeel. Dry finish.
Interesting brew and very easy to enjoy.


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Photo of BeerRun13
3.64/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, I bought a Sam Adams variety pack at the supermarket... I thought that that was a cool idea, especially because I wasn't sure what I was in the mood for at the time. It had 2 each of the Brown Ale, Black Lager, and Hefeweizen. I imagine that this is a part of their recent advertising campaign touting the many styles of beer Sam Adams has to offer.

The beer is a very dark brownish black. Glimmers of red show through in the light. A nice 2 finger creamy tan head shrinks and stays with little lacing.
Only my second schwarzbier and now the style is starting to make since. smell to me is very slight much like the other I tried:
Coffe and roasted malt aromas.
Caramel and coffee flavors A little sweeter than the other, but there is still that grassy sourness. Could be the hops or maybe just the flavor charicteristics of the lager yeast. It is still a pretty tasty brew. A light roasted bitterness shows itself at the swallow.
Mouthfeel is good. Smooth and well carbonated.
Me thinks me is starting to like this beverage you call Schwarzbier.
Drink up. I will.

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Photo of palliko
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was able to pick up just one bottle to try. Appearance is dark brown with copper, a beige foam and some lacing. Aroma is of charred oak, toasted grain, semi-sweet dark chocolate. Initial taste is caramel and chocolate followed by a few bitter hops that try but cannot overcome the caramel sweetness. Kind of watery and over carbonated. Acidic finish. This is a good beer for a schwarzebier, but I keep thinking: with a little more body it would make a decent porter – I miss the creaminess. Not sure it is my style, or that I would try another.

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

Pours a clear brown/red, small tan head forms, goes fast and leaves some spots of lace. Smell is sweet cherries, lots of roasted character, chocolate, dates and some floral. Taste is slightly oxidized, some dates, chocolate, roast, and caramel. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly sweet, low carbonation and a watery finish. Pretty good.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured about a 1 - 1/4" head into my pint glass. Pretty good appearance.

Smell wasn't very noticable. Mostly just some coffee tones.

Taste- decent, not anything great though; coffee, a strange bitterness, some nutty flavor too

Drinkability - decent, could have another, but probably won't for a while

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

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark color, resembles a stout. Lots of thick light tan head that stays. Some deep red highlights in good lighting.

Smell: Roasted malts mostly, fairly sublte aroma.

Taste: Roasted malts mostly, overall this beer is fairly subtle in aroma and taste. Its not a big complex beer, but that doesnt make it any less good.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is not quite as thin or crisp as a typical lager but there's still no mistaking that this is indeed a lager style.

Dinkability: Very drinkable. The color, the head, the taste, and the fact that these things go down with lager ease, make this beer very easy to put away several.

Overall this beer is my favorite out of the current Brewmaster's Collection from Sam Adams. If only we could have just this beer alone in a 12 pack...

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Photo of DogFood11
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark deep brown to black, Easily managed head forms nicely and leaves at a minimum a paper coating, lacing is admirable. Quite the inviting treat...what lay ahead?

Chocolate is up front, some burnt or charred type quality in the backend. Sweet and slightly unbalanced for the most part. I found the hops to have just enough to make this a solid offering. Malts are sweet and unchallenged, you can get some bitterness from the toasted, charred quality. Finishes pretty clean and crisp. I would have never guessed that it would finish clean, but there is just a whisp of lingering malts.

I have to admit I've stayed away from Sam Adams brews for years. Why? No valid reason whatsoever as I've discovered recently. They are consistent, drinkable, fundamental offerings.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Interestingly translucent yet black. It looks kind of cool. First impressions are good.

Nose is grainy and chocolaty. Touches of caramel, nougat, toffee, and a general Snickers odor enter into play. Not what I’m used to but this works too.

Taste/MF…weak, real weak. This is a style that I admire for its full-on boldness both in the taste and mouthfeel categories that blend with an easy drinkability but this one comes up short in both categories. Notes of charred grains, wood, caramel are present but all are light and the big roasted-burnt malt flavor that I want is nowhere to be found. Carbonation is on the light side too.

Drinkablitiy: With Sprecher around, this just isn’t up to par.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a moslty opaque black (surprise) with a fairly creamy head and a thick, well-retained lace. Caramel and chocolate in the nose. The caramel flavor in the palate is huge, yet very smooth, and though not as assertive, the various chocoalte flavors (bitter chocolate, sweet chocolate, etc.) are pretty smooth too. But there are also some other more minor flavors like coffee bitterness, vanilla and just a touch of brown sugar. The mouthfeel is silky though a bit watery with a mild carbonation tang.

A good stab at the style and, overall, a pretty tasty and drinkable brew. But, just like most of the other beers from Sam Adams (Boston Beer Co.) it’s solid not stellar. However, I do think that the Boston Beer Co. deserves a little more credit for this one: they were actually bold enough to market a beer style that most average beer drinkers no doubt found unusual but perhaps even a bit intimidating (“if it’s dark, it must be really strong!”). But, by all accounts, it’s been well received. Recommended.

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

Didn’t expect a coffe, almost stout like, aroma. Plenty of malt aroma and a little chocolate as well. Dark brown with ruby tones and a firm finger thick head. Ok this tastes like a watery porter. Very roasty with a lot of coffee notes. Malt sweetness there with a touch of chocalate again and some vanilla. It is actually a solidly good beer. It just tastes like a porter and not a Schwarzbier

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.26/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served from a bottle into a traditional beer mug.

A- Poured dark black and has the look of a stout, with a very nice and very thick off white head that seems to last forever.

S- some nice roasted malts, however I was actually surprised that this beer did not have more a nose to it.

T- an excellent tasting, more simple than complex, beer. Smooth and clean. That being said it is a great tasting beer.

M- thin, much like your average lager, but when you take that first sip with that frothy head it is very nice.

D- This is where this beer shines. Smooth and easy this is one of my go to beers for any occasion. An incredibly drinkable beer.

I am looking forward to trying more of this style beer, iti s one of my favorites and another triumph for the Boston Beer Co.

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Photo of akajimmyd
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark color, dark, dark red. Thick but small head retains a nice crown.

Smell/Taste – I get sweet malts on the nose. Taste has some sweet characteristics, hints of chocolate as it warms.

Mouthfeel – It is quite light and lightly sweet. Still refreshing, not as hearty as a porter other dark beers.

Drinkability – My first in the style, very interesting. Quite drinkable. Hopefully a good introduction to the style.

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

A less than careful pour yields a 2-inch rocky tan head atop a garnet-brown see-through beer with meager carbonation. Subtle spicy noble hop aroma with yeasty sourdough notes. Tastes sweeter than the aroma, but in a very pleasing way: doughy-caramel sweetness of malts are nicely balanced by some Hallertauer spiciness. Creamy mouthfeel, light-to-medium body -- actually, more like medium, it's just lighter than I expected. For my buck, I think I prefer a more local offering of the style, but this is a fine beer nonetheless. Recommended.

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

Black, no doubt about it, an opaque black body with a biege head. The head isn't that tall, but it is dense looking, it doesn't hang around too long.

The first scent I notcie is a bread smell, then I think a hint of dark chocolate. It's scent is sweet like syrup. There some toasty notes to it.

OK enough smell let's taste. It's malty alright, possibly that hint of dark chocolate again. I've noticed carbonation in it before, this time is no different. It's an interesting texture.

I'm not picking up much in the way of bitterenss, no aspect of the flavor seems to linger too long for me. It's dry and pleasant. I dig it.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck bottle, BBD of June notched on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep dark brown color, almost black but not quite, with a reddish hue whenheld up to light, head formed an off-white 1 finger and faded into a film on top of the beer.

Aroma: Caramel malts, kind of sweet.

Taste: Mainly chocolate and caramel malts up front. There is a slight bittering hop flavor in the middle, then the finish was sweet caramel malts.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost creamy. The carbonation in good balance, and complimented the flavors nicely.

Overall: I wasn't sure what to expect in this one, and I was pleasantly surprised. Definitely worth a try if you've never sampled one.

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Photo of sammy44
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was black with ruby colors around the edges. Off white head that was a bit thin. The taste had some dark chocolate and slightly coffee flavors. There was a very slight amount of hops in the after taste. Mouthfeel was nice and not as watery as some stouts can be, of course I guess that's because it's not a stout. As far as drinkabilty goes I guess you could knock back a few. If you get the Sam Adams Holiday pack this has the lowest alcohol in there so it would probably be the only one you could have a few of and not lose your legs.

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

This beer was a dark brown with a hint of red. It had a small coffee-colored head that had good retention. Some nice lacing. A sweet caramel odor, don't get too much of the roasted grain. Tasted chocolate and coffee, with a minimal hoppiness. A smooth , not substantial feel. Pretty drinkable.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Sam Adam's Holiday Pack for '05, this is my first time having this. Didn't know what to expect, as I've never had a scwarzbier before. After nearly finishing my sample, I can say that this is a great style, and certainly worth another shot once I pick a 6-pack of this up...

Nice, dark pour, and the head nearly overflowed my pint glass. Looked like a cross betweeen Newcastle and a stout, with a hint of deep crimson around the edges. Not very bitter, with notes of chocolate, spices, coffee, expresso, and toffee in it. Very easy to drink and the aftertaste was very enjoyable just by itself. Not a lot of lacing either, and just about the right amount of thickness and consistency, as opposed to being too watered-down.

This was enjoyable and would make a great after-dinner or session beer. I couldn't taste the alcohol in this, and the combination of flavors works well together here. I look forward to sampling this again in the near future!

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

Poured into pint glass.
Smell hit first. Some coffee and nut, but mostly chocolate and malt. Some roasted malt, toast
Black (go figure) and brownish head, small, diminishing. Good solid body.
The roast comes out most in the taste. Chocolate and coffee come mid-way, and the hops end it. A good balance

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

from the winking lizard

dark brown; looks like rootbeer with a thin creamy head. spotty lacing on the inside of my glass

smooth toffee, rich caramel. minimal bitterness but detectable hop flavor. munich malts, maybe with some special B as well, give a nice smooth roasty character with a great subtle chocolate finish

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

Pours dark brown to black with medium to large head and good lacing. Smells of coffee and cream, chocolate, malts and hops. The taste is lacking for a dark lager. I little too on the coffee end for my preference. Leaves too much of a sour taste as well. All in all, this is a beer I would drink over many (i.e. the Bud Lights of the world) but its nothing to write home about. (sorry dave yoder!)

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Photo of hylton44
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Edting this for a re-review a year after the original. My, how my taste buds have evolved.

Pours very dark, even looking up to light behind it. Solid, medium head, dissipated fairly rapidly. Burnt chocolate; roasted malt smell.

Smooth & malty beverage with a slight bitterness on the back end. Also quite a presence of thick, chocolate malts that add a degree of sweetness. A very hearty mouthfeel and a very tummy-warming experience, overall.

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Photo of sloejams
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Sam Adams Winter assortment 12 pack.

This poured thin dark and somewhat clear into my pint glass. A nice roasted malty nose. The taste had some sweetness to it - some chocolate and caramel, but not overwhelming and decidedly dry. The body was nice - full but light and refreshing.

An excellent session German style lager.

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Photo of walleye
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ffrom the bottle. poured ruby black with a tan head that left some lacing. aroma,a little on the thin side caramel hits the nose first, than malts, chocolate, hops. flavor, malts, dark chocolate, hops, spices. not to bad easy drinking, could throw down a few of these with that low abv.

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Samuel Adams Black Lager from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 55.3% out of 100 with 2,599 ratings
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